How To Build A Financial Advisory Practice Online

Key Point Summary

  • As a financial advisor, you should consider adopting a virtual (or hybrid) approach to positioning yourself as a leader and resource to your potential and current clients. Nurturing personal client relationships to form meaningful human connections and provide specialized advice in the digital age is more than possible, it’s the expectation.
  • The virtual realm can offer more visibility, enhanced customer engagement, and greater efficiency. Embracing technology allows you to concentrate on what’s important, delivering personalized advice in the digital age
  • Working online means you can slash your overhead drastically. The physical infrastructure you need to put in place to conduct virtual meetings and drive inbound client acquisition is no longer a large, expensive plush office.
  • Full time, in-house employees is not the only answer anymore – it’s time to consider hiring virtual staff to take advantage of their expertise and flexibility. 
  • A virtual financial advisor is no longer bound by physical location.  They are able to work with clients regardless of either of their locations. These distance-defying advisors are successful in part because they know how to nurture client relationships with personalized service at a distance.
  • A location-independent financial advisor is more capable of finding balance in their life. The anywhere advisor chooses a life of increased freedom and well-being.
  • Download my free eBook for further insight on how to build a financial planning practice online while finding true balance in your life. 

Want to build a successful financial planning practice online but don’t know where to begin? Let me be your guide to digital freedom. First, you should consider embracing the virtual (or semi-virtual) financial advisor model and its various dimensions to position yourself as a leader and resource to your potential and current clients.

As we always have done we must continue to direct our time and effort toward building real connections with our clients – relationships that align with their specific missions, visions, values, and goals. Although the virtual model has gone mainstream and is thriving in most parts of the world, this doesn’t mean you should be any less hands-on. Don’t neglect the most powerful tool at your disposal – that of human connection.  All we are changing is the medium for this human connection, replacing the brick & mortar office for a screen.

I built my virtual online practice initially to have something scalable, repeatable, and something that allowed me an incredible life/work balance. Many advisors ended up asking me how I did it all, many of whom initially said it couldn’t be done.  This is what inspired me to create Connector. 

My Virtual Advisor System is a proven program that will show you how to start or remodel your practice into a virtual powerhouse, teaching you how to acquire and work with your ideal clients from anywhere. 

My free eBook and the Conneqtor system explore key strategies for financial advisors looking to evolve & thrive in a digital world while enriching the balance in their lives. Let’s take a closer look at how to build a financial planning practice online and why it should be your top priority.  

Adapt to a Changing World 

‘The measure of intelligence is the ability to change’ ― Albert Einstein.

The world is changing rapidly, and the financial services industry needs to adapt accordingly to avoid being left in the dust. Admittedly a daunting prospect, but this change is a much-needed shift that presents a great deal of new opportunity.

Transitioning from face-to-face selling to virtual selling requires a new approach better suited to the demands of new-age buyers who prefer to work through digital channels. This virtual realm can offer more visibility, enhanced customer engagement, and greater technological efficiency.

Evolution is natural, but growth rarely comes without growing pains. The consumer and technology have evolved into 2021 versions of themselves, yet the financial services industry has largely remained stuck in 1985. Well, that’s all over now, and there’s no going back. The Pandemic has fast-tracked our outdated industry’s evolution, and tremendous good will come from this evolution for those who acknowledge and embrace the world we live in; the future is TODAY, and tomorrow.  Time we learn from what doesn’t work anymore and leave it in the past.

Ground Zero

It’s often said that change approaches slowly and arrives suddenly, and that was certainly the case last year when the pandemic changed our primary source of communication to video. What was once probable yet unlikely scenarios – such as celebrating a friend’s birthday on Zoom, or holding your book club debate over FaceTime – instantly became mainstream in 2020.  

Younger generations prefer these virtual relationships when it comes to service providers. So, this is your starting point. Whether, via Skype, Zoom, FreeConferenceCall, or FaceTime, your primary means of communicating with your clients must evolve. We are in the client satisfaction game, so give them what they want. This is the modern way they wish to interact with us to acquire our products and services. Millennials and Gen Zers make up a combined 48% of the consumer population, so it would be a missed opportunity for a financial advisor not to adhere to the changing demands of almost half of their potential customers.

Get rid of all your unnecessary files and paper too; you’re going to need to migrate everything online, and there are brilliant tools for this. The longer your business operates, the more data it needs to store. If you’re still storing paper, it’s not going to be long before it starts taking up a bunch of space, if it hasn’t already! Online storage is a cost-effective centralized solution that makes finding documents more accessible, saving you the most precious commodity of time… time better spent delivering personalized advice in the digital age.

The Infrastructure 

So, you’re probably wondering what exactly you need to set up a financial planning practice online. It can’t be as easy as only a computer and fast internet connection, can it? Well, yes, in fact. That’s pretty much it.  Yes, there some key infrastructure pieces you should incorporate in addition to your computer, the point is that what is needed to run a thriving advisory practise today is drastically different from what it used to be.

Remember Border’s Bookstore, Blockbuster Video, and actually having to go out to a bar to find your next “significant other?” These were once the infrastructures and social norms which businesses and consumers alike preferred, but boy, times have changed!

The beauty of working online means that you can drastically reduce your overhead (I dropped mine by ~61%). There are plenty of tools for organizing, administration, and communication, financial planning, etc. so your infrastructure requirements remain minimal as many of these tools are free or available at low cost.

Not having to pay rent is a game-changer and will allow you to filter your savings back into your business and invest in crucial aspects of running a virtual enterprise. Think digital marketing and digital infrastructure  – two necessities to run a virtual financial planning practice you can’t live without.

This new-age infrastructure also means a changed obligation to typical operating costs and utilities such as office supplies for your staff, internet for multiple people, insurance, payroll taxes, electricity, water/sewage, or a cleaning company. Again, this equates to drastic savings each month. Other savings associated with a virtual business include not paying for maintenance on plumbing, electrical, appliances, or even paint (yup, I painted 6,000 square feet to save money, ugh!), and avoid having to deal with a sewage backup at 1 in the morning.  I’m afraid that one’s not hypothetical and actually happened to me, ugh!

Reallocating these business expenses will also allow you to bring more home to enjoy life, and after all, that’s what it’s all about! Part of what Conneqtor offers is to teach advisors the physical infrastructure to put in place in order to conduct virtual meetings and drive inbound client acquisition.

The Ideal Client

Identifying, connecting with and acquiring ideal clients are the most important processes for any financial advisor. Do you want to transform yourself into a virtual financial advisor, but you’re concerned about how you’re going to get clients online? Don’t be!

I’ve been a virtual financial advisor for years now and know precisely how to get clients as a financial advisor online — I’ve learned through trial and error so that you don’t have to. I have designed a virtual financial advisor system that will set you up with everything you need to build a successful financial planning practice online. Adapting the analogy: Give a financial advisor a fish (lead), feed them for a day. Teach a financial advisor to harness the power of the digital ocean, you feed them forever.

My system teaches advisors how to build a robust online presence that will drive inbound leads to you 24/7. By no means am I overselling. After going digital in 2013, I used my wealth of experience to build a system that offers you a repeatable and tested online sales process with clients coming to you. The best relationships are the ones we chose. Conneqtor enables you to select the clients with which you want to work.

Setting up an online financial planning practice comes with the bonus of working with clients regardless of physical location. Your location no longer restricts you, nor do you have to spend money on travel, spend time stuck in traffic, or waste time with “coffee meetings”.  Let’s face it, not all of these are worth the money you spent on coffee! Become liberated to go after the ideal clients you deserve. The contact point between you and potential clients is at your fingertips. I’m not saying landing your ideal client is a walk in the park, but making contact with them certainly is.

So how do you acquire new clients while working virtually? Well, I’ve created what I refer to as an InboundSalesMachine webinar to share my journey as a virtual financial advisor and what I designed, to help advisors generate inbound leads without ever having to cold call or meet in-person ever again.

Dedicated Advice at a Distance

In the virtual space, you and your team become the centralized hub for advice. It’s your job to make sure your clients receive a high level of personalized service from high-calibre advisors. Consider the history of the handshake in the sales culture, symbolically sealing the deal. This gesture can’t be replicated over video chat, so other methods need to be used to compensate for this.

Visual communication and tone of voice carry incredible weight in how we communicate. Psychologist Albert Mehrabian once demonstrated that 93% of communication is nonverbal (Link to – https://www.wyzowl.com/infographic-the-power-of-visual-communication/). It is also said that people remember 10% of what they hear, 20% of what they read, and 80% of what they see and do.  

Virtual meetings actually empower us to have very meaningful conversations with our clients, sometimes more so than in person.  There is a major convenience and comfortability factor when a client is able to meet from the comfort of their own home instead of having a stranger sitting in their living room at night or having to drive across town. To be a successful virtual financial advisor, you will need to make your interactions with your clients as personal as possible but also make sure the virtual experience is a great one!  Don’t make people look up your nose or constantly wonder what you are saying.  Nurture these relationships by being ever-present to reassure them you can provide an even better service level than in person.  Complementing your virtual meetings can be done with email, voice/video notes, and the rest of your digital footprint.  Let people into your world.

I recently touched on the importance of self-awareness for a financial advisor and mentioned that it’s ok to get a little touchy-feely. No, I don’t mean in the physical sense! I mean that it’s ok and often very beneficial to get in touch with who you are. Not only will this allow you to form genuine connections with your clients, but it lets you evaluate your advisor journey and whether you are living a fulfilling life. 

When advisors ask me where they should start, I reply with a question of my own; “What is the single most important thing you are looking to accomplish by being an advisor?”

Initial responses tend to share the commonality of wanting to help others. Which – don’t get me wrong – I love, but the answer should be deeper than that. Being a Financial advisor is part art, part science.  When you combine the two it fulfils you and what you seek to achieve in life.    

As an advisor, what is it that lights a fire in your belly? Why is this occupation important to you? Will being a financial advisor help you do everything of value to you and your family?

Most advisors are not taught to think about these things, but all else is secondary to these questions of real pertinence. Start asking yourself the real questions!

Mixing It Up

If you enjoy meeting with clients in person and can’t imagine being an advisor without it altogether, you can set up a semi-virtual financial planning practice.  I suspect this will be where we end up for some time.  Once the COVID-19 pandemic exists only in our memory, meeting with clients can indeed form a part of your business if you choose to mix it up. If you feel it will keep things dynamic for you, go for it. The pandemic has proven beyond a doubt that the virtual or semi-virtual model works incredibly well.

When working with Gen X or Baby Boomer clients, they may still want to meet in person. Nevertheless, once you introduce them to the virtual model, I assure you that they’ll be happy to meet via video conferencing. It’s just more convenient for both parties. Once everyone has had a taste of the time-saving benefits, it’s hard to go back! 

Marketing

We live in the internet age. It’s such a fundamental part of our daily lives that the younger generations can’t even fathom a time when the internet wasn’t around. When internet consultation and recommendations are the go-to, you need to stand out digitally as the best financial advisor in town.

This is why digital marketing for financial advisors is so critical. It gives you the tools to work your magic and develop a robust online presence through social platforms, website, and email marketing campaigns.  

Marketing your services will require an effective strategy to be successful. Without a strategy, you are entering the digital realm blind, likely to waste money and time amongst well-tailored competitor efforts. A powerful strategy can increase your SEO ranking, drive traffic to your website, enhance your social media presence, and convert prospects into clients through inbound marketing.

Your digital presence will only grow and provide you with ideal clients if you follow the process of building awareness, getting your audience to consider you through engagement and prompting action to acquire them as a client. Trust the process!

Virtual Staff

With a virtual financial planning practice, you can be fully operational by hiring virtual employees. Not only is outsourcing far more cost-effective than hiring full-time staff, but you can acquire expertise in a variety of different skill sets.

There is a world of professionals working remotely who are rearing to help you move your business forward. Finding the right person is all the more possible with the number of companies that offer virtual staffing solutions.

Enjoy the flexibility of the virtual staff. Get the pros in and cut the dead weight. You can also leverage freelancers, you can access a whole team of expert individuals on call, using them when and where you need them. In the digital world, this is most definitely the way to go.

Work/Life Balance 

As an advisor, did you ever really want to conduct phone clinics at night, or meet with prospective clients at their home – sometimes at night, an hour’s drive or more away, only to get porched? Did you envision yourself becoming a peddler, pushing products like a salesman?  

No, of course not, but it’s been engrained into the teachings of financial advisory services and is what we believed we had to do to earn a living in this industry. The anywhere advisor chooses a life of increased freedom and well-being. I’ve previously discussed the value of being a location independent financial advisor, and I can’t stress enough the profound effect it could have on your life and your pursuit of balance.  

Deeper Understanding 

I hope this gives you a brief understand of what going virtual entails and its immediate benefits. For a deeper understanding and a mentorship guide to building a virtual financial planning practice, get the advisor playbook: Download my free eBook right away. 

Dive into the chapters of my eBook, where I explain my journey of epic realisations and eureka moments. I give perspective on the outdated nature of the financial industry and how to avoid extinction like the dinosaurs. Yes, there was a massive meteor that hit the planet and wiped a bunch out. But meteor or not, dinosaurs were doomed because they didn’t adapt to their changing environment.  The difference between them and us, we have a choice.

Thanks for reading, sending positive vibes your way.

Cheers,

Derek Notman

Digital Marketing Best Practices for Financial Advisors

Key Point Summary

  • Our day-to-day lives are now unimaginable without the internet. It is the connection point for billions of people globally. Financial advisors should learn to embrace digital marketing strategies to stay relevant.
  • Your digital marketing efforts need to align with what you’re trying to accomplish as a financial advisor. There are many strategic pathways you may wander down upon your marketing journey, with some leading to nothing but dead ends. Whether it be content marketing, search engine marketing, SEO, social media marketing, or retargeting – the effectiveness of these chosen pathways depends on your desired outcome.
  • Throwing money at social media ads isn’t a strategy… far from it! Your digital presence will only grow and provide you with ideal clients if you follow a process to build awareness, find ways to get your audience to consider you through engagement and prompt them to decide to become your client.
  • Without a strategy and a proper process, digital marketing can be much like the Wild West – an aspect of your business that you will not likely see the return on investment you seek.

Digital marketing, online presence, internet advertising – whatever you call it, marketing yourself and your business online is a big deal in the present age. After all, internet usage had more than doubled over the past decade even before the pandemic-fuelled digitalization of the world went into hyperdrive.

Our day-to-day lives are now unimaginable without the internet. It is the connection point between billions of people globally and a core pillar of the modern information society. This shift to the virtual space has massively affected how people procure services and interact with businesses. Financial advisors should turn to digital marketing strategies to beef up their existing marketing efforts, not as a “nice to have”, but as a “must-have” that is core to their business.

Have you adapted to digital yet? Whether you’re still stuck in the dark ages, or simply need the inside scoop on the online marketing of financial services, you’ve come to the right place.

What Is Digital Marketing?

At its core Marketing is about connecting with your audience in the right space and at the right time to make an impression on them. Today, that means needing to meet them on their own turf, where they spend the majority of their time – the internet. So, digital marketing is any form of marketing that exists online and facilitates the same exchange of information between a business and their audience.

The Process Of Defining One’s Ideal Client

If you don’t have a very tailored picture of your ideal client yet, it’s something you’ll need to figure out. Not knowing WHO to market your services to renders the rest of your strategy useless. You are essentially a ship without a rudder, lost in a digital swamp, that could be taxing not only on your time but on your wallet too. Don’t spend a dollar (Rand, Pound, Euro, etc) on digital marketing if you haven’t identified your ideal client yet.

So how does one define one’s ideal client? Start with you. Who are you? What are your hopes, dreams, goals, passions, hobbies, interests, philosophies, etc? Your ideal client will be a reflection of you. Combine this with evaluating which clients are currently your favorite and why. Explore whether you have a group of unified clients by a common characteristic; for instance, they work for the same company, within the same industry, or possess a particular investment need. These groups who share values, goals, traits, or behaviors and the clients who you genuinely enjoy serving would be your potential Ideal Client Types.

Next, you will need to identify the known and possibly unknown needs of your ideal client type. They will have specific concerns and requirements that are known and can be articulated. What are they? There could also be unknown needs that are harder to communicate but are no less real. Match a solution to their needs.

The main reason a prospective client will choose to work with you is that they trust you. This trust is based upon shared values and a common understanding of each other. Once this is established than their belief in your services and the value of your solutions will become very important.

First, you must attract people to your tribe and build trust with them, then the solutions you can provide for their needs and concerns – known and unknown – of your ideal client types will become very important. This can all be done via digital marketing.

Most ideal client types will have pre-established relationships with other trusted advisors such as attorneys and accountants. Identifying these other trusted advisors and centers of influence associated with your prospective clients can not only connect you with other valued professionals but enable you to form a wealth management network that can best serve your ideal client type.

Given the unique characteristics of your ideal client types and their particular needs, they will respond to specific marketing messages and campaigns, ones that show you KNOW THEM and SPEAK THEIR LANGUAGE. You will need to create marketing messages and campaigns for each ideal client type and broadcast these to connect with your ideal clients.

Social Media and Email Marketing Best Practices

Social media marketing for financial advisors requires a healthy dose of strategy and creativity. With the power to grow your brand awareness exponentially, social media makes it easy to spread the word about your mission, morals, and journey as an advisor. Not utilizing the social mediums at your disposal represents a missed opportunity to increase traffic to your website and promote your services to potential ideal clients.

Email marketing is still well and truly alive despite rumours of its gradual loss of relevance each year. It’s estimated there will be 4.1 billion email users by the end of 2021 — yes, that’s billion with a “B.”

Audience Targeting

Defining the audience is the first step before embarking on any successful campaign planning. We also need to establish where in the sales funnel your target currently finds themselves. What is the goal – to acquire ideal clients, retain your current clients or win back former clients?

The message you send out will be most effective when adapted to different targeted audiences. Segmenting your audience makes a world of difference. It makes your message more pertinent and specific to those to whom you are marketing.

Using Accurate Data

A successful data-driven campaign is only as good as the accuracy and integrity of the data allows it to be. In a single year, between 20-30% of email addresses diminish in usage. Cleansing data of errors or adding other relevant information, such as a physical address, phone numbers, or social handles, can help make data more precisely targeted and, ultimately, more responsive.

Omnichannel Marketing

Get your message out to your target audience on a variety of platforms. Use social media pages and email campaigns that lead to content, such as landing pages or fill forms to download case studies or ebooks.

The modern marketplace has diversified, and it is now rare for a customer to adopt your services after interacting with you or your business through just one channel. On average, clients communicate with a brand through four touch points during the acquisition process. Lead generation for financial advisors has changed, and omnichannel marketing by design addresses these modern customer trends – giving them a consistent experience from start to finish.

(Relevant) Content is King!

No matter which channel you use to distribute your content, make sure it is relevant to the target audience, compelling, easy to read, credible, and accurate. Content creation such as email campaigns, website landing pages, blog posts, webinars, and eBooks can all help your social endeavors. Be original – of all the financial advisor marketing strategies this one is probably the most important. Original content makes you look good online and having higher credibility usually leads to more business and better clients.

Don’t outsource your content at all in the early stages, do it all yourself. Yes, this will take time and effort but you will get better at it and it will get easier and faster to produce. Doing it yourself will also help you refine your voice online. Remember, people, connect with other people. Let your genuine voice attract people and help them get to know you. Eventually you can start to outsource a lot of your digital marketing tasks, but content should always be driven by you with your final edit and approval for before it goes live.

A published eMarketer research report from June 2020 cited that the average adult in the U.S. was spending an additional 23 minutes per day on their smartphones, which they attributed to the pandemic. So, we know where your clients are; they’re online. It only makes sense (and dollars) to pursue consumers where they spend their time.

Measuring Performance Using Analytics

Data analysis allows you to see which platforms were successful in getting the targeted message across to consumers, which allows you to focus your efforts on proven strategies rather than a shot in the dark. Successful data-driven digital marketing campaigns can bring compelling creatives with precisely the right audience and result in the perfect trifecta: An increase in sales, as well as ROI; and increased brand awareness.

For example, I can track down to the penny what it costs me to get people to engage with my content and furthermore know exactly what it costs to get people to download an eBook of mine, etc. Once we know these things, we can scale our digital marketing efforts quickly, only being restricted by our budget and bandwidth in working with new clients. By the way, running a virtual or semi-virtual practice means you can drastically reduce your overhead from things that are not revenue producing and reallocate some of it into digital marketing to grow that much faster.

SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is now an integral sphere of digital marketing for financial advisors. The position of your financial advisory services on search engine result pages (SERPs) has the potential to be the difference between your company’s failure to grow or unlocking a steady stream of new clients.

Part of thriving online is an SEO strategy that is essential to helping you reach the first page of the SERPs, ideally ranking at the summit of this page. Keep in mind there are approximately 70,000 searches conducted on Google every single second. Yes, you heard me right, that’s every single second!

The first five links listed on the SERPs dominate the traffic receiving more than two-thirds of all clicks. Furthermore, 91% of those browsing the web do not click through to the second page of the search results. The goal as a financial advisor is to have your firm appear on the initial page, with an emphasis on the first five listings.

There are a lot of technical components to strong SEO and it’s a moving target so trying to do this yourself, other than some very basic tactics will be an exercise in futility. For example, I teach advisors how to set up a variety of SEO components with their websites and how to structure a blog post in my Virtual Advisor System, but the ongoing management of these really should be done by experts that do it full time. Hiring a digital marketing team, even for just a couple of hours a month can help ensure you are staying on top of your SEO game.

Content Marketing

I like to think of content as the rocket ship of good marketing, promotion being propulsion to that rocket. Without promotion, your content is going nowhere. Amazingly written articles and blog posts don’t count for a lot if your audience isn’t reading them. You need to be actively promoting your blog content using organic channels.

You can have the best cheeseburger in town but if no one knows about it does it really exist?

Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is one of the best marketing channels to generate web traffic. It compliments SEO and content marketing and gets your brand to the very top of Google, and other major search engine players, if you play your SEM cards right.

SEM can be a conversion driver for marketing campaigns of all types. This is due to paid ads often linking to conversion-focused landing pages or sales pages that move web traffic through the sales funnel. Paid ads rather than organic results typically link to landing pages. As such, SEO can support brand awareness and top-of-funnel activity, while paid ads can focus on a specific goal and end-of-funnel conversions.

While SEM is considered a bottom-funnel marketing channel, it can also tremendously boost top-of-mind brand awareness. According to a Google case study, search ads can increase brand awareness by 80%.

Remarketing

Remarketing forms part of the final phase of the funnel, which is all about client acquisition. Once you have someone who has already decided they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you then retargeting becomes a very effective strategy to get them to hire you.

Familiarity and awareness are key ingredients to this strategy. If someone hasn’t already engaged with you, they’re probably not going to do business with you just because you have decided to broadcast a digital advertisement. In the context of social media channels, this could mean running paid ads to put your offering in front of those people who already follow you on LinkedIn or Facebook. This is how to get clients as a financial advisor in a digitally social world.

Client Journey Funnel

Life is a journey, and so is the marketing of financial services. Let’s look at the client’s journey – the path a potential client wanders from being a target audience to awareness, consideration, and making a decision. Much like any other venture, a sales funnel has a conclusion – a final conversion. This can’t take place until your target audience has been converted through each stage. What are the conversion goals in the three main stages of every prospect’s journey?

1). It all starts with awareness which is the first stage of the customer journey. During this stage, clients realize their problems and try to define their pain points. This is when they discover you and your services – while searching for solutions to their pain points. It then becomes vital to provide your targeted audience with more information about your firm and services in a calm and educational way.

Lay down the sales pitch approach, no pitch-slapping here! It’s dated and insincere. The less promotional your content is, the better – the person is not loyal to your brand yet, so it’s easy to scare off a potential client by being pushy. This stage should rely heavily on shareable, optimized, educational content that helps your potential customer not sells to them.

2). Consideration is the second stage of the buyer’s journey and the step at which your prospective client is a little more familiar with you and your services. They begin evaluating their problem, its urgency, how it can be solved, and whether it really needs to be solved now. Your goal here is to show them how their problem can be solved, how beneficial it will be for them and how you and your services can bring them financial peace of mind. Also, don’t be afraid to show them how superior you are to your competitors; if there’s ever a time to flex, it’s now! At the consideration stage, 60% of potential clients want to get in touch; make sure you have the answers to their questions and know how to soothe their pain points. Use the content in the form of free webinars, case studies, eBooks, sample financial plans, etc. to convert people from consideration to the decision stage of the buyer’s journey.

3). The final stage is where a decision is made – also known as the conversion stage of the buyer’s journey. Here your potential customer makes a research-based decision on you and your services. The goal is to help them make a favorable decision and finally become your client. That’s when the conversion takes place. By this stage, a target individual has become loyal to you, and you should use this to educate less and promote more – this is your time to shine. As financial advisors, the content you should be using to encourage conversions is expert advice along with cost estimates of your services.

client journey funnel-

The Client Acquisition Process

The lifeblood of all traditional and virtual financial advisors is growth in the number and net worth of ideal clients they serve. Often advisors have blinders on, being so focused on these goals that they pay little attention to the actual process, time, and costs involved in acquiring new clients.

They know they need more clients but with blinders on, they tend to go the quick route of prospecting like a pirate with a cold spray-and-pray approach. Not only is this not scalable, but it is also life-sucking.

Two concepts that advisors should pay close attention to are: client acquisition cost and client acquisition time. The first measures an advisor’s acquisition costs associated with converting or winning a new client over, while the second measures the time frame of a lead to become a new client. Both are essential to keep an eye on when building and running an efficient advisory practice.

The key to these metrics is proper tracking, and the key to proper tracking is a great customer relationship management system. The primary function of a great CRM system is to obtain accurate data. See how this is coming full circle, as we incorporate the same principles here as we did in our social media and email marketing best practices? Successful advisors should leverage the power of their CRM system, creating useful pipeline reports and analyzing the information they provide to understand and track cost and time metrics. By doing so, you are adding some science to the art of client acquisition!

CRMs can and do take many forms so whichever you use you will want to be able to track things like how often potential clients are opening and reading your emails, downloading eBooks, interacting with your content, what channels they are coming in from, and so on. A good CRM will let you track all of this as well as help you automate your marketing, especially when it comes to email campaigns.

The Digital Marketing for Financial Advisors Kitchen Sink

Yes, I just threw the kitchen sink at you! There are a ton of nuggets in here that you can use today, without the help of anyone else.

Take this overview of the tools available to you to build a marketing arsenal of your own. Find what works for both you and the clients you wish to attract. After all, your ideal client’s preference and needs will differ from those of other advisors and, as such, should be approached uniquely. Once you find practices suitable for your target audience, follow the process of acquiring them as a client by unleashing your inner digital guru to conquer the ever-changing advisory space.

Test, learn, test more, learn, keep going.

If all this seems overwhelming to you, well it is! There is a lot here. Digital Marketing is an art & science. You can learn the basics quickly and even do some of it yourself indefinitely but at some point, you must decide, are you an advisor or a digital marketing expert? If you are an advisor then look to hire an expert that can do all of the heavy liftings as you continue to guide and direct them.

Where do you go from here? Well, it depends on what you have done thus far. Advisors are at all different stages with their digital marketing.

If you are just starting out then do the basics; get your ideal client crystalized, set up your website and social media accounts, start producing basic free content to get comfortable and see what is resonating with your viewers.

If you are more advanced then consider hiring a team to help you. Consider advanced paid strategies to drive potential clients to your digital assets like eBooks and webinars.

Most important of all, just get started. Don’t over-analyze.

“70% and out the door” is a quote I love and can be applied to a lot of things including your digital marketing efforts.

Not sure where to start?  Send me a note and ask.

Thanks a ton for reading!

Best Regards,

Derek Notman

Social Media Best Practices For Financial Advisors

social media best practices for financial advisors

By now, we all know the power of social media. Its influence is significant enough to sway elections, change buying behaviors, and alter public opinion on almost anything! It’s too big to ignore, so rather than fight it, you should embrace the capabilities of social channels to help connect you with your potential customers.

By being on social media, you let your customers know that you exist, you’re open for business, and you’re ready to listen. It’s a tool you need to leverage as a part of your marketing strategy to remain relevant and competitive.  

Digital marketing for financial advisors can help increase your brand visibility and boost sales in a fast and cost-effective manner. Social media platforms act as mystical portals through which to channel your enchanting story. Cast your spell and put yourself in front of your ideal clients today.   It may sound funky, but the reality is that it works, but only if you actually do it.

 

When Should You Post On Social Media?

A frequency asked question is, when is the ideal time for financial advisors to be posting social media content? Although there is no universal handbook for posting times, and the algorithms of big platforms continue to change regularly, I still have some advice on how to go about your content scheduling. Here are some general rules of thumb:

  • The best time for click-throughs is around 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday is proven to be the best day to post.
  • The worst time for click-throughs are weekends between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.

Take these times with a grain of salt. I’m not saying that you should only post to social media during these times, but as a virtual financial advisor who has been doing this since before mass adoption, these are the best averages to go on. 

Your posting schedule will be dependent on your target audience. Say, for instance, you’re a financial advisor who specializes in working with educators. You probably wouldn’t want to follow this advice because your audience will be in school teaching during the “prime times”. So, tailor your approach to your market to maximize exposure and reach. A/B testing is a great way to gauge response rates at different times and on different days. It’s how you find your sweet spot.  

Social Media Best Practices For Financial Advisors

Keeping It Real

Originality is everything when it comes to content and should be your main priority. Your content is an extension of yourself and your story. Please don’t be sending out canned spam into the ether, and by canned spam, I mean cold, generic, lazy and impersonal content.  You know exactly what I am talking about! The kind of content that makes a terrible first impression and probably does more harm than good to you and your practice.

Keep it real – when it comes to social media marketing, content drives engagement. When content is unique and original, it encourages clients to engage with you. Make it personal by writing for your audience. Ask them questions to grab their attention and make them feel as though you are having a conversation with them in an authentic way.

Originality is a brand builder. Posting original content will help search engines drive traffic to your website and boost your reputation in terms of creativity and trustworthiness. This approach can have potential clients feeling as if they know you before even using your service, which is a fantastic foot in the door on the way to building a lasting relationship. 

So, what should you post on Social Media?  A variety of original content.  Plain copy posts.  Pictures.  Short videos (try to keep them under 2 minutes).  Articles.  Audio clips of podcasts you are on or are producing.  The list goes on.  

All of it should be driven by WHO your ideal client is.  And stay out of the weeds, people don’t care so much about complex financial products, strategies, etc.  They want to know who you are.  They want to know how you can help them.  They want to know why you instead of the next advisor.  They want to know the benefits of working with you.  They want to know your why.

social media best practices for financial advisors

The Fundamentals For Social Success

Integrate social media into your overall marketing strategy – Think of social media as an element of, not a replacement for, your other marketing efforts. Start slow. You don’t need to break the internet overnight and trust me, and you won’t. Trying to do too much too fast can be overwhelming. Rome wasn’t built in a day. 

Your efforts will be most effective if you take your time, observing and learning along the way. This will allow you to grow in confidence before tackling a new platform. I recommend starting with LinkedIn, where networking is the game, then move on to Facebook to build some relationships.  A caveat here is that if you know your ideal client is on Facebook, Twitter, etc. more than any other platform then go to that platform and crush it.  You can always add another platform later once you are rocking it on one.

Engagement is key. Don’t post your content and then disappear.  If people are commenting on your content, then engage with them, thank them, ask them additional questions.  Make it a conversation.

Never stop learning from others. What effective financial advisor marketing strategies have you seen lately? What was interesting about their website? What type of updates generated the most interest and engagement? These are the questions you need to be asking yourself to find the most effective solution for yourself.

Set goals for your social efforts – lay out a plan for achieving them and track your progress. Set up automated reminders on your calendar to stay on track with your social ambitions. Be consistent in your messaging and what you post. Once you have set up a pattern for posting you are happy with, stick to it. This forms part of your social identity.  

Lead generation for financial advisors is all about driving traffic into your marketing funnel.  For example, you post on LinkedIn, you build an audience that gets to know you, you post about an eBook they can have for free on your website, you send them there. Measure your efforts by using Google Analytics to track referrals from social media to your site. When you find out what’s driving traffic to your site, do a heck of a lot more of it!

Social media for financial advisors is an art & science.  It is not something that magically starts driving in clients overnight, forget that myth.  If you build a robust digital footprint, which includes social media, and are actively engaged with amazing organic content good things will start to happen.  When you start to see what works then, and only then, should you venture into the world of paid advertising (boosting posts, etc.) to throw gas on a fire you have already started.

What is your favorite social media platform and why?

 

Thanks for taking some time to read this, I really appreciate it!

Best Regards,

Derek Notman

How to Adopt a Virtual Sales Process for Your Remote Practice

asian woman adopting a virtual sales process for her remote practice

At the start of 2020, companies and financial advisors were scheduling client dinners and booking business trips to conduct face-to-face sales meetings. This way of operating came to an abrupt standstill as COVID-19 forced sales teams to shift their operations into the virtual world.

“Physical sales teams had to learn an entirely new system for maintaining and closing deals,” said Brian Moran, CEO of Small Business Edge.

Consider the history of the  handshake in sales culture, symbolically sealing the deal. However, this polite gesture can’t be replicated over video chat, during the current pandemic.

“Things like visual communication or tone of voice carry incredible weight in how we communicate,” says E.J. Kritz, director of training and insights . “While a Zoom meeting can still allow a salesperson to add a sense of human element by being polite and accommodating or dazzling customers with their enthusiasm, much of the deal is now done via email, taking away from the personal element and making the encounter more impersonal.”

Change is the only constant

The world is changing rapidly, and the financial planning industry needs to adapt accordingly, not to be left behind. Admittedly a daunting prospect, but this change is a much-needed shift that comes accompanied by great opportunity.

a virtual sales process outlasts constant change

Transitioning from face-to-face selling to virtual selling requires a new  approach better suited to the demands of new-age buyers who prefer to work through digital channels. This virtual realm can offer more visibility, enhanced customer engagement, and greater efficiency from technology use.

Building an entirely virtual team is a far more financially viable way of running your practice. You no longer require overheads, such as office space and equipment and there’s more room for collaboration, as you can work with specialised individuals as you need them. These digital collaborators can be located anywhere in the world, charging per hourly or agreeing to a set budget per project.

Trust the virtual sales process  

The same tools, such as Zoom and Skype, once used to discuss personal matters and connect with friends, are now used to give clients personalised financial advice in the comfort of their own homes. Younger generations such as Gen Z and Millennials actually prefer it.  In fact this was already mainstream before the pandemic with over 42 million households already prime candidates for virtual advice according to a 2019 Mckinsey report.   Not only will it save you time, but it can avert any awkwardness that arises from visiting clients at their place of residence after hours.

Having the correct digital infrastructure in place is essential to communicate with your virtual staff and clients while protecting all parties’ data. The brick and mortar model would require you to visit physical locations for sales meetings or go to a client’s home at night. Now you can conduct virtual ‘house call’ appointments. Using your business website, you could set up a scheduling tool to enable customers to set up virtual meetings online. This scheduling tool could sync with your calendar for convenience.

Communication is key 

Strong communication lines between employees and managers can further help workers feel part of a network and keep remote work from becoming isolating.

Working remotely allows for more flexibility within your schedule and gives you the ability to choose your hours. When time zones differ, and work schedules don’t align, it’s essential to be mindful of your co-worker’s time to create a working symbiosis.

Remote working can bring about a sudden change to your daily schedule. For instance, if an employee falls ill, you need to take on the responsibility to compensate for their absence as a team. You delegate the work among your team, to best maintain productivity within your practice.

communicating with teams virtually

Prospect through digital marketing

Prospecting transforms into digital marketing with your entire audience existing online. Adopting the virtual financial planning model is where you will need to connect with them.

First impressions are more important than ever, so invest your time and energy in designing and implementing an effective digital marketing strategy that can help increase your SEO ranking and improve your sales conversion rates.  This is your digital storefront do it right and clients will be coming to you.

Interacting with potential clients online can give you direct insight into what your audience wants. This valuable information can steer your decision-making processes in the future. It will also help you enhance your customers’ experience, develop loyalty and trust through exemplary service, and increase your ROI.

One of the key strengths of digital marketing for financial advisors lies in creating brand awareness to target new markets and consumers.

Delivering a high-quality service will result in more fulfilled client relationships and see healthy brand awareness transpire through feedback, reviews, and word of mouth publicity. These customer assets help build a brand reputation without costing you time, money, or energy.

Define and publish your virtual sales process

Once you get traffic (potential clients) to come to your digital storefront you must show them what to expect if they work with you.  Although each virtual sales process will vary slightly depending on the advisor you should make it clear how many meetings they should expect to have with you, how long each meeting typically takes, and what is to be covered in each meeting.

Whether you realize it or not potential clients want to know what your virtual sales process is since they want to know what to expect in working with you.  If you don’t tell them clearly what to expect you are giving them one more reason not to contact you.  Check out my virtual sales process for Intrepid Wealth Partners here as an example of what you should consider doing for your digital store front.

Prepare for the future

The sooner you embrace the technological revolution we are currently experiencing, the sooner you will be able to utilise the ability to work with people anywhere on earth and streamline your business collaboration to reach new heights.

The consumer and technology have evolved, we must do the same.

Cheers,

Derek Notman

Riskalyze x Conneqtor Lead Generation Webinar Replay

digital marketing lead generation and defining your niche

Digital Marketing, Lead Generation, and Niches

Digital marketing, lead generation and defining your niche are 3 of the key pillars to the ‘digital as default’ model.

As more financial advisors understand the necessity of adopting a remote advisory model, these pillars will become powerful tools in the arsenal of advisors across the globe.

digital marketing for financial advisors

Riskalyze x Conneqtor Lead Generation Webinar

Our founder, Derek Notman had the privilege of joining Director of Channel Marketing at Riskalyze, Matt Fritsch in exploring these three pillars in an exclusive webinar.

If you missed it, you can watch the webinar below:

In summary, the Virtual Advisor System provides advisors with proven strategies and tools for building a robust digital marketing footprint for enhanced lead generation. It also provides a framework from which to define your niche.

If you want to learn more about the origins of Conneqtor and how the Virtual Advisor System can facilitate your transition onto the virtual advisory model, then download our free e-book here.

How Financial Advisors Can Develop a Compelling Online Experience

financial advisor social media and digital marketing

So here we are, about ten months into a global health emergency. Over the better part of a year, we have seen entire countries go into lockdown, with most of our country forced to work remotely from home.

If having an influential online presence was important before COVID-19, it is a high-priority now. You cannot survive without one. Look, our 2020 plans were through for a loop this year, but there also is a silver lining to it all for financial advisors especially.

Arguably our greatest attribute as a species is our resilience – our ability to come together and prevail through even the most treacherous circumstances.

So, although it has been some year, I’m here to show you how to embrace this new normal to your advantage as a financial advisor. It begins with developing a compelling online experience.

Adapt your Strategy

Due to the vast improvements in technology, many of our daily tasks have carried on the same, with some now automated. However, as a financial advisor looking to attract prospects (new clients), you cannot rely on previous marketing methods that are more than dated.

social media strategy

As a matter of fact, you’ve got to change your marketing strategy quite significantly.

By adapting your outreach and lead nurturing approach, you will ensure growth and sustainability. Although it first may seem a little daunting, once you’re up and running, it is more scalable and predictable, not to mention that the consumer expects it.

You can start shifting your strategy by working on your blog and social media presence. Everyone is at home, which means that most of us are on our devices more than usual, so it’s the perfect opportunity to engage with your target audience.

Try to build your new marketing strategy around giving your readers valuable advice that they can apply to their lives immediately. In other words, use your skills and experience to write guides, lists & tip style blogs, newsletters, and eBooks that are free to download. You will need to publish content regularly, at least once a week, so get creative and use your knowledge to reel prospective clients in.

Use Social Media to Promote Your Content

No one wants to be blatantly sold to. You have to base your social media strategy around providing real worth to your audience first. Sure, when you’ve built up a following, there’s no harm in a self-promotional post once a week, but for now, make sure your posts are giving something worthwhile to whoever they reach.

Your social media channels should be used as a conversion tool to serve as a source of credibility for your business and aid your SEO efforts. Your channels (compliance approved of course), such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, should always be kept active with relevant, helpful content and should never be directly used for finding new clients.

Content posted on social media should be broken down into the following categories:

Educational content

Educational content should be made up of posts that share helpful, informative, and valuable information to your audience on a topic that resonates with them. Think about what you can teach them about – top tips, how-to’s, infographics, did you know’s, blog posts, industry information, resources, case studies, etc.

Conversational content

Here, it would help if you tried to ask the audience questions and get people engaging with your brand – think ‘fill in the blank,’ ‘caption this,’ ‘give your opinion,’ or polls that they can interact with.

Entertaining content/Inspirational content

It would be best if you weren’t too serious all of the time. Have some fun and create posts that your audience will relate to and enjoy – think memes, quotes, fantastic imagery, motivational posts, feel-good stories, etc.

Brand connection content

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, you need to make your clients’ experience more personal. Again, have a little fun and showcase what you’re all about. Brand connection content should be focused on behind the scenes, employee features, and your brand story.

Promotional content

Try to build a following first, and once you have, sneak in posts that promote your products, services, specials, deals, etc. Also, make sure to add a call to action so that your followers know exactly what to do should they be interested in what’s on offer.

Use Paid Media Campaigns for Promotion

There are so many ways to ensure your marketing efforts are impactful and effective. Once you publish content regularly and promote it across your socials, you can look at setting up paid ad campaigns.

facebook social media ads

Paid advertising is hugely beneficial because it garners instant results, can be measured, is cost-effective, and ultimately enhances your efforts towards building meaningful relationships with your audience.

Now that you’ve adopted a fully digital financial planning practice, your overhead can be considerably lower, so investing in the right tools to help you develop a compelling online experience is imperative to your success.

At Conneqtor, we have built a comprehensive set of processes that will help you establish yourself as a financial advisor in this day and age. Download our free eBook to find out more.

I hope you enjoyed reading this!

Kind regards,

Derek Notman

Digital Marketing for Financial Advisors: Compliance Guidelines

digital marketing compliance fir financial advisor

When creating a digital marketing strategy, compliance is often a complicated issue for financial advisors, usually turning out to be a bigger headache than it should.

I recently created a poll in a LinkedIn group, asking my peers what the biggest challenge preventing them from creating content on social media is, and 52% of them answered compliance.

Sure, digital marketing compliance for financial advisors is tricky, but you will never look back once you set up a proper process. After all, this is where most of your leads will come from, so you must come to terms with it.

Because social media posts are a form of advertising, your social accounts as a financial advisor are subject to specific regulations.

It all starts with understanding the law, on top of your company’s policies and procedures.

How you are registered as an advisor (RIA, IAR, Agent, RR, etc.) will partially determine what regulations you fall under but I believe it is safe to say that for an issue-free online presence, FINRA’s rules on communicating with the public as a financial advisor are crucial to follow. I think it equally important to abide by the requirements monitored by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These rules are in place to protect your audience from false, misleading claims, fabricated statements, and material breaches.

finra headquarters

As a financial advisor myself, I live in one of the industry’s most conservative compliance environments, so if I can do it, any advisor should be able to.

Here are some guidelines to follow when it comes to Digital Marketing for Financial Advisors.

Set up Your Social Accounts and Website to Be Compliant from The Beginning

As long as you are aware and understand the basic rules and set up your profiles to be compliant from the very beginning, keeping up with approved content will become second nature for you.

Most often personal & business profiles are subject to adhere to compliance standards for financial advisors. This includes any social account or profiles directly connected to and managed by you or your business. This will likely include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Your broker-dealer or another registered principal is responsible for having policies in place to archive, review, and pre-approve (when necessary) any content published on these accounts.

Get Your Content Pre-Approved from Compliance

The content you’ll need to get approved for publishing is any long-form content, such as blogs, whitepapers, eBooks, or newsletters. Long-form content or static content is usually published on your website and then shared to your social accounts – it lives on your site for an extended period. blog approval for compliance

If you have a digital marketing strategy and plan, you will need to get this type of content pre-approved by a registered principal. Whether this is through a broker-dealer or an independent RIA, it is imperative to get your content pre-approved before posting to avoid breaking any compliance rules.  Although a bit of a hassle this part is very important.  Your compliance back-office if there to protect you too so it’s imperative you work with them instead of against them.

Additionally, you’ll also be doing some community management, and hopefully, be answering a lot of inquiries through direct messaging. Anything interactive, such as tweets, videos, or posts to your wall, will happen in real-time and obviously cannot always be pre-approved for compliance. Although they can’t be pre-approved, they should most certainly be monitored & archived by someone who fully understands the rules and regulations.

Your best bet is to have a policy in place and train anyone who will be posting content on your business’s behalf, such as an assistant or a social media manager.

A lot of firms use technology made available from outside vendors that allows all of your content to be archived and monitored in real time, much better to do this than try and do it manually.

Put A Policy in Place

By having a policy that aligns with FINRA’s rules and ensuring that your employees understand and know how to follow it, you will always be in the clear.

When engaging with clients, prospective clients, or anyone you interact with online, it’s essential to keep up to date with any changes to compliance so that your business can stay away from any issues.

Make sure you understand which posts should be pre-approved, which posts need to be reviewed, and ensure that your employees understand the importance of adhering to your policy. You can view all compliance rules here.

If you are affiliated with a B/D or RIA they have teams that do just this and then educate the field on how to best interact online.  If you are independent this is on you and your firm to manage or find a firm to outsource it to.

Although being part of a B/D or RIA compliance environment can be frustrating it also is a major opportunity for you.  If you do things correctly and are respectful of your compliance department you can stand a chance to influence their policies to better reflect the world we live in.

You Need to Archive Everything

Regarding digital marketing for financial advisors, it’s an absolute must to keep track of and archive any content you publish online. Regulations demand that you archive all of your content and activity for at least three years. Why? For your protection.

If anyone has an issue or dispute with something you have published or shared further down the line, you will be able to dig it up and prove your actions.

Keeping tabs on what you’ve posted requires proper archiving tools. Each type of contact or update needs to be archived, no matter what account you’re using. This includes sent and received messages, which should be reviewed and monitored as they occur. The monitoring of these messages guarantees compliance for financial advisors, so action can be taken if necessary.

For your website this also can be automated and made simple with strong workflows.  I use Advisor Websites for my two sites and their dashboard is directly connected to my compliance back-office so they can review, archive, and approve all my website content.

Never Recommend A Particular Investment or Product

Again, this is for your own protection. By refraining from making any investment recommendations, you will not be held accountable for any of your audience’s choices. Your goal with social media, digital marketing, and your website should be to create an educational environment where people can come get to know you and learn about things in general terms.

You shouldn’t be recommend a product, investment, strategy, etc. since you have no idea who is seeing your message and what their situation is.

Instead you should be letting people get to know you, professionally and personally, sharing general principals and ideas, and so on.  Your digital marketing efforts should lead people down a path to eventually them wanting to contact you.  If done correctly people will know what you do and who you do it for.  So build your tribe and let people contact you when they are ready.

Be Mindful of Third-Party Websites and Links

Using third-party sites to deepen your content has enormous benefits. The most significant benefit is through backlinks, which can improve your organic ranking on search engines and generate referral traffic.

Just take the same approach as with any of your other activities online, be wary of whether the content or website you are linking to is compliant with the rules and regulations set out by FINRA and SEC.  This will be a tough one to manage but what you can do is make sure in your disclaimers that people understand you are not responsible for the information you linked to and are providing it as a value add since you believe it helps further your point and message.

In short, don’t link to any sites that may contain false or misleading information. As you begin to post compliant content, it will take no time at all for you to identify what kind of content is acceptable.

You do not want your firm to look as if it is endorsing any cunning content.

Lastly, my advice is to add a disclaimer on your social media profiles stating that none of the information you provide should be construed as investment advice – this will act as an additional barrier of security against any disputes.  In fact, this is required by virtually all firms and is simply a best practice you should be using.

So, there you have it, digital marketing compliance for financial advisors in a nutshell.  Yes, there is a lot to it, but it is clear you can be successful with your efforts if you stick to being honest, ethical, and following the letter of the law.  Feel free to check out my advisor websites for Intrepid Wealth Partners and Tribe of Luxury for ideas and inspiration.

If you have any further questions in connection with digital marketing for financial advisors, please feel free to contact me – I am always happy to help!

I hope you find this article useful.

Kind regards,

Derek Notman

Content Creation Tips for Financial Advisors

content creation tips for financial advisors

Content is king. Yes, it sounds cliched, but in a digital world and especially in the realm of digital marketing, content truly is king. Yes, I know you’re not a digital marketer, you’re a financial advisor, but digital marketing is one of the most effective ways to build your brand and grow your business.

Content is essential in digital marketing because it makes people aware of your brand and hopefully converts them into paying customers.

Content is a trigger for interaction and engagement, and if people like what they see, read, and hear, they’re likely to come back for more.

Here’s what you need to know about content creation to ensure that you create excellent financial advice for your clients.

Content creation or curation belongs to the concept of inbound marketing; inbound marketing is the opposite of a hard sell or product push.

Inbound marketing is about publishing excellent, helpful, and relevant content that brings your customers to you.

It’s the type of content that helps users to find you because it’s content that they are looking for. The intention is that you will build permanent and long-term relationships with your customers by publishing this content.

People regularly seek financial advice; your clients are looking to you to receive the latest industry advice. They require information. And because you have the skill and knowledge, you can provide them with information that will help them make their financial decisions.

The onus is on you to explain ideas and concepts in a way that’s easy to grasp. In addition to this, you can offer tips, tricks, solutions, handy and helpful hints.

The thing with content is that you have to keep it up to date and keep it relevant, and this is no small task; it does take effort, research, and time. You need to keep yourself up to date with the latest trends. Try to read everything you can get your hands on related to the financial industry.

If you write regularly, you will find that creating content becomes more comfortable with practice.

This being said, though, there’s also something called evergreen content. This is content that is relevant for more extended periods and doesn’t go quickly out of date. It’s timeless content that will still generate traffic even when you are not writing.

Who’s Your Audience?

Who is your content intended for? Get to know your audience, get to understand their preferences. If you know their preferences, you can segment them into groups and target specific information. This makes them feel like the content was created explicitly for them.  Your audience is your Ideal Client.  The less defined it is the less effective your content will be in driving inbound leads.

Using Your Persona

Position yourself as an expert in your field. Write to your persona. People come back to things they can identify with, or that feels familiar. You will find that they get used to your expertise and style, and this is what will make them return. What makes you different from other financial advisors? What’s your niche?  And, just be you!

Promoting Your Content

Content promotion is also vital. There’s no point in creating valuable content if no one sees it. You still need to entice and persuade people to consume your content.

social media marketing for financial advisors

Email marketing and using your social media platforms are great tools to publicize your content. You can also promote your content through paid advertising or pay per click (PPC); this will get your content directly in front of your audience.

Ideation

When it comes to ideas on what to publish, you can do several things, but one of the best things to do is find out what people are searching for, then serve them relevant content that meets their needs. People use search engines to search for information. They will start their search by typing a word or term or phrase, known as a keyword. You can base a lot of your content on keyword research.

You can also ask your clients or readers what type of content they are looking for – create a poll and let them decide.

You could interview a subject matter expert and give your readers a precis. Or you could be very personal and write about your own financial journey. The list is endless.

Scheduling Content for Publishing

Once you have brainstormed ideas for content, it’s time to create a content calendar or plan. You need to schedule when your content will be published. It needs to be researched and written and edited and then only published.

There is a process, and you need to ensure your timing won’t trip you up. Also, different content belongs to various platforms. For example, blogs differ from social media content; they are longer and more in-depth and are posted on websites; they tend to be more evergreen because tweets last minutes or even seconds. This process will determine where you publish your content.

Analysis

And last but not least, you need to analyze the response to your content once published. How many page views did you receive? This is the number of users that viewed your content. What’s your bounce rate? This is the percentage of visitors who leave your site after visiting only one page. Were they engaged? Did they respond to any calls to action (CTAs) like downloading a freebie or contacting you directly?

The aim of analyzing your content is to find out what’s working. And if something isn’t working, it can be tweaked. This is one of the great marvels of digital content; it can be tracked and analyzed to determine if you’re reaching your goals.

digital marketing analytics

So now it’s up to you. Are you ready to get started?

I wish you luck on your journey. As I have, I hope that you will find that it’s filled with wonder and amazement and can do much for your burgeoning brand.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article! Remember, you can always reach out to me for guidance and advice.

Kind regards,

Derek Notman

How to Drastically Reduce Your Overhead While Expanding Your Team as A Virtual Advisor

reduce overhead and expand your team

Arguably the best thing about transforming your financial planning practice into a virtual one is that your overhead will come down drastically. No office + virtual staff = minimized expenses.

A relatively obvious observation, yes, but let us take a look at what a virtual practice actually looks like from a financial perspective.

As a business owner, your goal is to service your clients to the best of your ability while generating as much revenue as possible while still living a life you love, the virtual financial practice will enable you to do just that.

No More Rent

Not having to pay rent for physical office space is a considerable benefit, resulting in your saving a lot of money each year.

Depending on your location, office space can cost many thousands of dollars a month in the USA; astronomical and no longer necessary. Think about how you can reallocate this expense for your business while also bringing more home to enjoy life….

You will then have more room to reinvest some of your savings back into the business for the crucial aspects of running a virtual business. Think digital marketing and digital infrastructure – two necessities for a virtual financial planning practice you simply cannot go without.

working remotely saves costs

No Running Costs Associated with A Physical Office Space

Now, with zero office rental fees, also comes the benefit of not having to fork out for the general costs associated with running a physical office.

No more obligation to typical maintenance and utilities such as office supplies for your staff, internet for multiple people, electricity, water/sewage, or a cleaning company. Again, this will result in a drastic savings each month.

Other savings associated with a virtual business include not paying for maintenance on plumping, electrical, appliances, or even paint.  Or having to deal with a sewage backup at 1 in the morning…ya, that happened to me, ugh!

Virtual Employees Are Cheaper

Another significant saving is not having to pay the salaries and benefits for permanent employees. Fewer employees physically present in your office means less money to be paid out every month – in this case, none at all.

With a virtual financial planning practice, you can be fully operational by hiring virtual employees instead. The benefits? Firstly, it is not your responsibility to ensure they are set up to work. So, you need not worry about office supplies, a laptop, or even their internet connection – you simply pay them by the hour or per job/task.

You won’t have to cover their benefits either. The amount you pay per hour or per task is all-inclusive, and it’s also very affordable.

Further to that, working with virtual employees as opposed to permanent ones also gives you flexibility. You’ll be able to forecast whether you’ll need someone’s services or not. If not, no worries, meaning no dead weight. You only hire when their expertise is required.

Through employing freelancers, you can have a whole team of expert individuals on call, using them when and where you need them. In the digital world, it is most definitely the way to go.

virtual team video call

Investing in Digital Infrastructure

When migrating to a virtual business, you’ll need to invest in digital infrastructure, as in the right tools to get you fully operational. Besides a virtual team, you’ll need an in-depth digital marketing strategy because this is where your lead generation and client prospecting will take place.  People aren’t looking for advisors in the Yellow Pages anymore!

Your audience lives online, and so this is where you’ll need to engage with them. My advice is to first build out the foundation yourself.  It will take a bit of time and effort but is necessary for so many reasons.  But eventually you will want to outsource these services. Getting up to speed with how marketing works is no easy feat as it is incredibly strategic. Your expertise is financial advice and planning, and that is what you should focus on. Instead, use the infinite amount of online resources available to build a virtual team that can take care of what you currently cannot.

By using the virtual model to your advantage, you will be working with the most experienced and knowledgeable individuals to help get your digital practice off the ground.

If this migration seems a little too daunting to you, don’t stress! I’ve designed a virtual advisor system called Conneqtor to help guide you every step of the way. It will train you on lead generation, virtual practice management, and digital marketing, etc., etc., etc.

It’s simple and will enable you to dominate as a virtual financial advisor in the digital world. Download our free eBook to get started.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article!

Kind regards,

Derek Notman

Virtual Practice Management for Financial Advisors

virtual practice management from anywhere

Now that you are embracing the virtual financial advisor model, you are going to need to equip yourself with a few imperative tools and adopt some powerful approaches for successful virtual practice management.

Practice Management vs Virtual Practice Management

When I refer to virtual practice management, I’m talking about operating as a virtual financial advisor in a fully functional way from the comfort of your own home, co-working space, etc. As we have come to rapidly learn, being productive remotely is entirely possible, and doing so as an advisor is no different.

Sustaining success virtually will take some adapting sure, but with the right systems in place, you will be up and running in no time. Let us take a look at how.

Build A Virtual Team

The world is evolving quickly, and the financial planning industry is actually one of the last to switch on and adapt. Virtual teams have been a possibility for years now with almost every kind of individual with any type of expertise readily available on a freelance or service, fully remote basis.

Before COVID-19, most virtual financial advisors still ran a brick and mortar office, but the pandemic has probably forced you to work remotely, and as such, prompted you to relook at your business from an operational point of view.

You may be a little overwhelmed right now, but trust me, this sudden change is actually an excellent and much-needed shift.

Now you can build an entirely virtual team that will result in a more financially viable way of running your practice. You can collaborate with more people, working with specialized individuals when and where you need them right across the globe. That’s the beauty with a virtual team – nothing’s permanent, and they charge by the hour or job.

build a virtual team

You’ll also save on not having to fork out for your virtual employee’s workspace; it’s their responsibility to purchase a computer, desk, chair, internet connection, and whatever other office supplies are necessary – you just pay for their services and expertise. You will reap the benefits of these savings immediately, not to mention that you won’t have to pay for a physical practice. So, no rent, no permanent salaries – that’s good going!

Further to significant savings, hiring virtual employees also means the output of your business can grow exponentially! Suppose you are based in Boston and hire a virtual employee in Cape Town, South Africa. In that case, you’ll have someone working around the clock and after regular business hours, even when you’re asleep – a massive increase in productivity!

The best part? There’s a massive demand for virtual advisory services – we’re all having to embrace technology now.

Adopt A Virtual Sales Process

Having the right digital infrastructure in place is imperative so that you can communicate with your virtual staff and with clients, all while protecting your and their data.

With the brick and mortar model, you would use a physical location for sales meetings or, even worse, go to a client’s home at night! But now you can conduct virtual in-home appointments. Assuming you have a website, you can set up a scheduling tool on your site, enabling customers to set up virtual meetings online that sync with your calendar.

You can conduct meetings as you usually would, only now it will be through an app like Zoom, FreeConferenceCall, or Skype. As I have mentioned before, younger generations such as Gen Z and Millennials much prefer it, and it will save you time and any awkwardness that comes with visiting clients at their homes after hours.

Prospect Through Digital Marketing

Ok, so selling is one thing, but what about prospecting? Well, in short, your prospecting becomes digital marketing. Your entire audience lives online, and now that you are adopting the virtual financial planning model, this is where you are going to find them.

First impressions are more important than ever, so you have to plan your content and design your messaging. Research is critical initially, but once you have established a brand voice, have a prominent presence, and are seeing high engagement, you’ll be so busy that you will just have to hire more virtual staff.

Speaking of hiring more virtual staff, doing so will prove hugely beneficial if you outsource your business’s digital marketing side. It’s not as simple as it seems. You can’t just post an update every once in a while and expect to see results – you’ll need an individual or team that has a deep understanding of digital strategy in order for it to truly work.

generating prospects by ranking higher

Stay Up to Date with Technology

Once you stop fearing technology and embrace it, you will come to realize very quickly how useful it is. You can streamline all your mundane tasks, work with people from anywhere on earth, and, what’s more, integrate all of your tools together seamlessly.

Your email and calendar can be synced to your collaboration tool for everyone on your team, making life so much easier. If you take Google Suite, for example, it’s quite literally a one-stop-shop for business administration.

Becoming a virtual financial advisor does take a bit of time, though, as well as a little help. This is one of the reasons I created The Virtual Advisor System, Conneqtor. It’s a cutting edge, lead generation, digital marketing, and virtual financial planning practice training system that will accelerate your adaptation to dominate in the digital world we now live in. Again, technology! I was able to take my understanding and experience of adopting a digital financial planning model and create a system that will show you exactly how to do the same, step by step.

Download my free eBook to find out more about becoming a successful virtual financial advisor, starting today.

I hope you enjoyed the article!

Regards,

Derek Notman