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

Lead Generation For Financial Advisors Isn’t Everything- Why We Need to Change Our Focus

lead generation for financial advisors

Lead generation for financial advisors, ugh, where do I begin? As advisors, we need to get the nagging voice out of our heads telling us, “you need more leads”. For decades, advisors have been taught to focus on obtaining leads to grow their business. This is all wrong. We don’t want leads, but rather ideal clients.

Think about it, would you like to be referred to as a lead? It’s such an impersonal, inhuman word, solely focused on one thing, selling something. Client, on the other hand, is a far more human word — one that is relatable and will lead to more significant sales.

We need to shift our focus to stay competitive in a rapidly changing world. Prioritize the client, not the business. Treat clients like the unique entities that they are. Worry more about niche satisfaction and the quality of your client acquisition than sheer numbers. Use a personable approach to liaising with clients, made up of empathy and support, to make you the clear choice in a financial advisor. Let’s dive a little deeper, shall we?

 

There Are Better Ways of Doing Things

To truly excel as an advisor, you need to understand you are not merely a salesman. There is so much more to being a great advisor than just selling a product.

Advisors who buy cold leads are essentially slapping people in the face (pitch slapping ring a bell?) as they ask them for money. It demonstrates that someone holds no value to you other than as a pay-check. This is not the kind of experience people are lining up to get more of, and they are rightfully looking elsewhere.

Prospecting is, for all intents and purposes, dead. Yes, it may yield some return — but at what cost? It’s a soul-crushing process that is certainly not scalable. As a virtual financial advisor, myself, I know there are far better ways to tell your story and propel new client acquisition in the digital world we live in today.

financial advisors

The Art of Financial Advice 

Financial advisors who focus on selling a product are subjecting themselves to massive competition – an endless rat race of misguided purpose and ambition. At the end of the day, we can all pretty much sell the same products and services. They are a commodity. But brilliant financial advice? That is an art form. An art form through which you can differentiate yourself and thrive.

Art requires skill – Michelangelo didn’t paint the Sistine Chapel by accident. You will need technical know-how and formidable storytelling abilities. Experience, credentials, and expertise create the basis for great relationships and client trust. Expressing your ideals and breathing life into your brand’s story can be the perfect lure to get well-suited clients.

With the possession of both skills, you can be sure the right clients will be placing their financial wellbeing in your hands. Advisors who focus on the art of financial advice have all the opportunity in the world with virtually no competition.

 

Clients Are Everything

Advisors who focus on client acquisition are the most likely to find long-term success. Remember, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. You need to show them you care by marketing strong commonalities, deepening the human connection.

An ever-present human element forms part of any effective financial advisor marketing plan. This warm Conneqtor strategy bridges the gap between the service provider and the client. Once the client knows how much you care, they will be chomping at the bit to work with you.

As financial advisors, we need to facilitate meaningful, trust-building conversations. Before assisting with financial decisions, we can help clients clarify priorities and values. In this respect, a better client experience involves having financial knowledge and a fair deal of emotional intelligence.

Financial Advisor helping clients

Client participation

Client participation is equally important. Clients want to feel understood, informed, in control and secure within their service. For us, that means we need to deliver a hyper-personalized experience through smart consistency.

Smart consistency requires understanding where it’s critical to deliver a consistent experience and delivering on that. This means leveraging an established process to create tailored strategies based on what is most important to your clients. Advisors should put their clients’ interests before their own, using their goals and unique perspectives in their tailored strategies. A custom experience – that’s what clients want!

They like knowing what’s happening behind the scenes and feeling they have the best support in their corner. The client relationship should be aligned to achieve common goals of awesome advisory service and financial prosperity.

Time to change your focus, my advisor friends!

I hope you gained some valuable insight from reading this article! Remember, you can always reach out to me for more guidance and advice.

 

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

My Experience of Presenting at Riskalyze Fearless Week

riskalyze fearless week experience

We are currently in a global megatrend, and as financial advisors, we have no choice to evolve and embrace this change. The future is now.

If we do not embrace these waves of changes, we will become FADs (Financial Advisor Dinosaurs). As an industry, we are quite averse to change, but as a silver lining, the COVID-19 pandemic is somewhat forcing us to change.

The brick and mortar advisor is dead. But the virtual financial advisor will be able to make exponentially more money while drastically reducing their overhead. Furthermore, they will be able to form stronger connections with their clientele then what was previously thought possible.

I spoke about this at Riskalyze Fearless Week – more on that below.

fearless week setup

Riskalyze Fearless Week

I will most definitely look back at presenting at the Riskalyze Fearless Week Virtual Conference as a professional highlight of 2020.

It was an epic experience for me, packed with value and loaded with opportunities to meet so many distinguished, influential people.

This year has thrown us all for a loop, and there’s no denying that, but the whole Riskalyze team did a fantastic job of putting together a massive conference for the benefit of over 2,500 advisors all over the world. Riskalyze is undoubtedly paving the way for how virtual conferences should be done. A job well done, my Riskalyze friends!

I was humbled to have been included as one of the featured speakers for the event, and although the event was entirely virtual, it was still a blast and perhaps even more effective in some ways!

I was able to communicate with fellow advisors in real-time during my session, and I was also able to instantly schedule meetings right within the conference platform.

It was incredibly refreshing and encouraging to see how many advisors around the world are forward-thinking and looking to build an amazing practice while doing what is right for their clients. As I mentioned earlier, we have no choice to adapt, and in doing so, I can see how my peers are benefitting tremendously from the virtual financial planning model.

The 4-day event was packed with useful and practical information that was well diversified from a content standpoint.

And although so much was learned, my biggest takeaway was that our industry is becoming open to evolving, opening up to change, and is led by so many brilliant people trying to improve the work we do from so many angles.

Mindset is a hard thing to change, and the Riskalyze event illustrated just how open to change people are and highlighted the wondrous things that lay ahead for us all.

riskalyze fearless week

Takeaways from My Riskalyze Session

Our brain gets in the way of our evolution, when, in fact, the opportunity to transition to what the modern-day consumer wants from us is more straightforward and faster than what you realize.

The financial advisor who embraces this change and effectively transforms their business into a virtual financial planning practice will benefit from the following:

– Location independence

– A robust digital footprint

– A focus on process and relationships, rather than your product

– Cutting out costs like staff, travel and rent for office space entirely, reducing your overhead significantly (meaning more money in your pocket.)

– Using your knowledge and experience to position yourself as a thought leader in your industry, and in turn, creating more awareness around your service offering

– Heaps more time on your hands to focus on what truly matters to you

What Can You Do Right Now?

I understand that it may come across like we are just throwing around a bunch of new concepts and expecting you to accept them. However, we are merely introducing you to a very apparent reality. The world has changed forever. Before the pandemic struck, we were on the brink of an inflection point, and all COVID-19 did was accelerate that change that was already underway. I want you to know that the solutions and survival of your profession are within virtual reach.

Adopting a Semi Virtual Financial Planning Model

If you are interested in finding out more about what it means to adopt a (semi) virtual financial model, then download our free e-book.

Our system, Conneqtor, will equip you with everything you need to move forward in the new normal as a financial advisor, from lead generation to creating a robust digital footprint.

If you’d like to chat more about what our virtual advisor system can do for you, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

I hope you enjoyed reading about the future of our industry!

Kind regards,

Derek Notman

 

The Importance of Robust Digital Infrastructure for Financial Advisors in a Virtual World

robust digital infrastructure

When I refer to a robust digital infrastructure, I am talking about the tools and strategic plan you’ll need to thrive as a financial advisor in a virtual world – technological capabilities and efforts imperative to your success.

Even though modern-day consumers have been using online banking and mobile applications for years, the concept of online financial advisors is still relatively fresh, although quickly becoming a demand and the norm.

The question is, how do you cater to that demand, how do you make your target audience aware of your services? You do by creating a robust digital footprint. And how do you create a robust digital footprint, you ask? By implementing the following crucial online efforts, which form the foundation of your robust digital infrastructure:

Be Social

When it comes to brand awareness, your social media efforts are critical to building your digital infrastructure – this cannot be undervalued. Without a proper social media plan, no one will ever know about your business.

linkedin social media posts for financial advisors

An effective social media plan consists of:

  • Soft marketing
  • Brand awareness
  • Talking about solutions and benefits of the work you do to your target audience
  • Actively engaging with others content regularly
  • Posting about live seminars and webinars relevant to your brand or that you have created yourself
  • Being genuine and transparent with your audience
  • Growing your network
  • Positioning yourself as a thought leader
  • The blending of personal and business social profiles and content
  • Frequently sending direct, personalized messages to your ideal client to build a relationship, not pitch!
  • Collecting email addresses, in exchange for content of value (eBooks, etc.) by directing people to your other channels
  • Video posts (better for engagement)

The whole point of social media is to educate your audience and stay away from pushy sales and products.

Host Live Virtual Seminars

By creating virtual seminars that dive deep into your brand and services, you can engage directly with your audience through live Q&As. You can also record them and post across your social media channels later, resulting in helpful content.

When it comes to the kind of content, you can create multiple presentations for specific topics and, in turn, breakdown and serve your target audience even more. Your virtual seminars can also be used as free giveaways (downloadable), strengthening your relationship and connection with prospective clients.

Have A Clean & Transparent Website

As I’ve highlighted before in previous posts, you can host all your content on your website; this will drive SEO efforts and become your “home” online. Be sure to regularly update it with new content to keep your audience engaged.

Clients should be able to book an appointment with you through your website too, which can be managed through an embedded calendar.

The possibilities are endless, but ensure that your website clearly states who you are, what you offer, and whatever you do don’t forget to list your prices – highlight your purpose.

Build A Mailing List

Now that you are creating excellent content, you can use giveaways (free downloads) to get prospective clients to sign up for your mailing list. For example, you give them a free webinar, seminar, or eBook, and they have to sign up to download it.

The benefit of building a mailing list as that you can retarget to people that you know for sure are already interested in your service offering.

Invest in Paid Ads

A whole other ballgame, but incredibly effective. With paid ads, you can also create an “ideal client” audience to market to.

Paid ads are a necessary investment, but they aren’t cheap. They do, however, garner instant results (you get what you pay for).

Paid ads essentially drive more traffic to your website from search engines such as Google or Yahoo, meaning that the traffic is relevant. For instance, if someone types “Virtual Financial Advisor” into Google, you could potentially (depending on how relevant your content is, and how much budget you have) be the first result that comes up.

This is something you don’t need to do right off the bat, build a solid foundation of digital infrastructure first, otherwise you are throwing digital spaghetti at the wall!

Build Relationships with Other Industry Players

By forming relationships with other industry players, they can potentially become what I like to call “referral partners.”

xy advisor podcast

You can achieve this by guest blogging on another brand’s website, featuring on a relevant podcast, or generating backlinks to your own blogs. Backlinking, in particular, is super useful for building the credibility of your website. When one of your “referral partners” link back to your blog, and they have a high trust score, your content automatically becomes more trustworthy in the eyes of Google.

These relationships are strategic and should be beneficial to both parties.

In a nutshell, being relevant and visible is accomplished by being active online with engaging and highly valuable contributions to your specific industry.

Alright, that’s it for now! I hope you enjoyed reading my insight into the importance of robust digital infrastructure for financial advisors in a virtual world.

To dominate the digital space as a financial advisor, find out more about my virtual advisory system Conneqtor – it’ll transform your business.  Hint hint, we teach advisors how to do all of this in our virtual advisor system…..

Kind regards,

Derek Notman.

How Technology is Transforming the Financial Advisory Practice

technology for your financial practice

COVID-19 has forced us all into an experiment.  A “virtual” experiment where all of us had to go digital. We have had to embrace communicating virtually and have no choice but to conduct business online. The effects on the traditional financial advisory practice are obvious.

Whether a result of the pandemic or younger generations coming of age, according to the founder of The Rudin Group, April Rudin, in a recent article in ThinkAdvisor, 64% of high-net-worth individuals are counting on their future financial advisor relationship to be entirely digital.

For the financial advisory industry & practice, technological disruption is actually a positive thing; we are no longer limited by location, or, in fact, the high capital demands of the traditional brick & mortar office model.

As a driver toward the adoption of digitalisation, coronavirus has allowed us to test some of the digital processes that were more than likely only part of future plans – and guess what? It works well – incredibly so.

I took the leap over six years ago, being one of the pioneers of virtual financial advisory, and back then there was a lot of trial and error – many were not onboard with the idea. Slowly but surely though, my clients soon realised how much simpler it is.

Receiving advice or giving advice from the comfort of your own home is easy, and you save a great deal on overhead.

Embracing digitalisation has certainly been the silver lining amidst the these trying times. Here are some of the major transformations I have seen, combined with some insight from April Rudin.

embracing digitisation

You Have the Ability to Shape Your Next-Gen Clients’ Perceptions

For the next generation, the financial & societal impacts of the pandemic are the first monetary relationship crises they have ever been through.  How will they react? How will it impact how they perceive planning, investing, and saving?

Their future is in your hands; you have the power to influence their perception. You can shape it virtually – more like a partnership as opposed to the advisor/client relationship we have seen in the past.

This power, or influence rather, is a great responsibility. By becoming more accessible to your clients, your relationship grows deeper – meaning your approach needs to be more holistic.

Relationships Are More Important Than Ever

When strategizing for the future, virtual financial advisors need to focus on building relationships. Relationships are no longer based on financial return only – they are based on overall advice; giving clients direction – how they should spend their money and what decisions are best for securing their ideal future.

zoom call with financial advisor

Your Online Presence Needs to Be More Compelling

As I have mentioned in previous articles, your presence online is the most vital aspect of being successful as we emerge into the new normal.

Your website cannot simply state your service offerings and a bit of a background like before. If you are to survive as the next generation comes of age, your story, what you offer and how you advise needs to resonate with your audience. Your website is where you live – your new head office, your digital storefront, and the internet is where your client’s shop. Your website is essentially your practice now, and all your communication and activity online needs to align with that. This is what the next generation requires.

You need to tailor your approach to make your clients’ experience more personal. It is time to revaluate your brand.

Further to this, social media has become social selling and is a great opportunity for you to grow and expand your business. It is more about building relationships rather than acquiring clients.

You will Need to Help Your Clients Build A New Kind of Life

Gen Xers and Millennials are opposed to working tirelessly now, only to live life to the full in their twilight years. You will be required to help them build a life that looks a lot different than previous generations.

Next-generation clients are accustomed to moving quickly, switching jobs almost annually, and using technology in absolutely everything they do. They want to build lives centred around a combination of exiting life experiences now while balancing for the future, rather than working hard now and retiring at age 65.

Try Conneqtor

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the impact technology is having on your business, consider Conneqtor. My virtual advisor system offers a hand-in-hand, step-by-step guided migration to a virtual financial planning practice that operates like a virtual sales engine, bringing in leads to you through a robust digital marketing footprint.

It is time to adapt. Afterall, the impact technology has had on the financial advisory practice is permanent; there is no going back.  Human behaviour has changed.

Stay ahead of the curve.

I hope you enjoyed reading.  Want more?  Check out my eBook, The Virtual Movement Proclamation.

Kind regards,

Derek Notman

How Becoming a Virtual Financial Advisor Keeps You Ahead of The Curve (Forever)

staying ahead of the curve as a financial advisor

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, most businesses have struggled to survive. There are so many that rely on in-person interaction, and they have taken a huge knock, especially the travel and hospitality industries.

As a financial advisor, though, you are in an incredibly unique situation. You can run your entire financial planning practice online. In fact, by transforming your practice into a virtual one, you will not only survive the challenges of doing business during this tumultuous time, but you will thrive and stay ahead of the curve forever.

As a financial advisor who made the virtual migration over six years now, my business is booming at the moment. Although I have felt the effects from a social perspective just like anybody else, my business is rocking!

Tradition Vs. The Future

Although the finance industry is traditional and relies on face-to-face interactions, you can still operate remotely with the technology available today. It may even be more suited to your target audience.

I run my entire practice remotely from my home office and have the freedom to run my business from anywhere in the world, at any time of the day.

The best part? My overhead is minuscule in comparison to what I used to have to fork out when I was running a physical practice.

Most of my clients prefer communicating via a virtual meeting, conference call, or combination of the two as they can take my call from the comfort of their own home, or from anywhere really – whatever suits them – no more commuting or prepping before meetings.

The benefits of holding virtual client meetings are now evident to everyone, but they were not so clear just a few months ago. The future is now.

virtual financial advisor zoom meeting

Being A Virtual Financial Advisor Is Simpler

“Why should I spend days on end traveling, away from my family, if I can conduct business just as effectively online?” This is a common answer I get from advisors when I ask how they are coping with the new normal.

If anything, COVID-19 accelerated what we all knew was inevitable; a fully digital world.

Why would you pay thousands of dollars a month on office space, or spend a fortune on travel expenses to meet with and maintain your client relationships when you can have the same impact on their lives digitally? It’s illogical, no matter which way you look at it. Being a virtual financial advisor is simpler, cheaper, and easier to control.

As business owners, yes, most financial advisors should consider themselves business owners, we must look at things from a place of logic and scalability.

Generating Leads as A Virtual Financial Advisor

When speaking to my peers, their primary concern of going fully digital is almost always lead generation. How do you find clients without leaving your home? Quite simply, you need to rethink your approach to communication and marketing.

Although, theoretically, much of how you run your financial planning practice remains the same, your approach to sales needs to change, and it needs to change fast if your business is to survive.

It comes down to adapting your approach to your consumer’s needs. To stay ahead of the curve, you need to create a virtual presence that drives inbound clients to you while enhancing the client/advisor experience.

Your lead generation will be a direct result of how much effort you put into digital marketing. As of March 2020, 1.8 billion people do their shopping online, and half of those people shop from their handheld devices. When we refer to shopping, this includes shopping for services such as seeking a lawyer or financial advisor.

Those numbers are only going to increase, so you would be doing yourself a disservice by failing to adapt. You’ve got to sell your services in the place where your audience lives, and according to the statistics, that place is online.  You simply can’t argue with the data!

digital marketing for financial advisors

Staying Ahead of The Curve

Although the transformation to a virtual business takes some doing, don’t be spooked – luckily, I have paved the way for you. You don’t have to endure the trial and error I did. As a result of my experiences, I decided to create a virtual advisor system called Conneqtor.

I understand what it takes to run a virtual financial planning practice and have thought about absolutely everything.

Conneqtor will show you, step by step, in great detail how to:

  • Hire a team of virtual assistants
  • Build a virtual client contact/service module
  • Communicate digitally over email and social media
  • Create a website that converts leads
  • Create a blog and use it to generate leads
  • Use social media for brand awareness
  • Use SEO to generate leads
  • And so much more….

To learn more about how my system can help you, download our free ebook today.

Thanks for reading!

Now, go get ahead of this curve before it passes you by!

Kind regards,

Derek Notman