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.

The Perks of Permanency and Flexibility on the Remote Advisory Model

remote work model man working in nature

As I write this, almost 60% of the workforce in the United States of America has the option of remote work in their employment contracts. Workplace Analytics recently completed a survey and came up with the following forecast:

“Our best estimate is that 25-30% of the workforce will be working-from-home multiple days a week by the end of 2021.” – Kate Lister, President of Global Workplace Analytics

The whole world has had to adapt, and from a financial advisor’s perspective, this is hugely positive. For us, it means that we will cut down on costs dramatically, and we’ll be able to serve our clients when and how we (and they) want to.

When I refer to permanency, I am talking about the fact that you’ll be able to work from anywhere in the world, at any time of day, and for anyone you wish to, even if lockdowns continue indefinitely. A beach house? A cabin in the woods? Do you want to work in two different cities a year so that no matter what, it’s always summer? All good so long as you have a decent internet connection and the right infrastructure! The only thing I can think of that would stop you from working is a major technological shutdown, and if that happens well then, we all might as well just pack it in.

So, let’s look at some of the perks of the Remote Advisory Model.

Hiring New Staff Has Never Been Simpler

Communication is so easy to manage, given the tech at our fingertips. You can now hire staff at a cheaper rate, per hour and without having to fork out for any of their infrastructures. The remote advisory model has no geographic boundaries, meaning you can hire people from anywhere in the world.

Being able to hire international employees also means your virtual financial planning practice can run 24/7. If you have people representing your business in multiple time zones, your profits will increase exponentially.

remote model virtual recruitment

Remote work models increase productivity

Another reference from that Workplace Analytics article suggests that remote workers produce 43% more output than their 9-5 counterparts. So not only can your business grow significantly, but you’ll also have a much more productive team working for you. Oh, did I mention that your employees will be a lot happier too? By embracing the remote advisory model, you’re promoting a healthy work/life balance.

The same goes for you too!

A Healthy Work/Life Balance

You can now maintain a greater balance between your personal life and your responsibilities as a business owner.

Rather than having to work all day and visit clients in the evening after hours at their homes, you are freeing up your time to focus on other things that interest you. Have you always wanted to renovate a boat? Do you want to pursue a passion project or even spend time with your kids in the afternoons? Well, now you can – it’s all about time management.

working remotely has this dad enjoying time with his child in the autumn leaves

Being genuinely flexible allows you to live a fuller, more rewarding life.

Furthermore, a flexible schedule lowers stress and strengthens your output.

Retaining Employees Is No Longer an Issue

With the remote work model, you don’t have to have a single permanent employee if you don’t want to. You can quite literally run a business with a freelance workforce. Think about how expensive your hiring process is. With all of the online platforms for hiring freelancers now available, you cut those costs entirely. You pay per hour, per task, or project – no strings attached.

In fact, hiring freelancers is highly cost-effective as you only pay for their services. Are you looking for an expert in something out of your experience? No problem – you can find any professional online.

There’s another added benefit here – a truly diverse team.

More Creativity

When you bring a group of people together who have unique perspectives and backgrounds, it results in a more innovative workforce. If you have an idea, you can brainstorm with your team members, and receive much fascinating insight from them.

Think about how different the perspective of a junior financial advisor from California is to that of a digital marketer from Amsterdam, for instance? A diversified team can only be a positive step forward for your practice.

Technology to Better Serve Your Ideal Client

From building an easy-to-navigate website to promoting your services online, anything is possible in the digital age. You can even embed code into your website that syncs with your calendar to allow clients to book their own appointments. Your online presence becomes your new overhead cost (investment), and it’s a whole lot cheaper than office space and continuous travel expenses.

You’ll need to invest in software and perhaps a team of expert individuals to take your digital footprint to the next level. Fear not; it will most definitely result in more lead conversions.

A Fraction of The Cost

You won’t have to pay for electricity, water, office supplies, or furniture with the remote advisory model. You won’t have to pay for employee benefits or travel either.

It’s a no-brainer!  Haven’t read our Virtual Proclamation eBook yet?  Get it here for free and find out how you can start migrating to a fully remote financial practice today.

I hope you enjoyed reading this!

Kind regards,

Derek Notman

Mastering the Remote Digital Advice Delivery Experience – Asset-Map webinar replay

Our Founder, Derek Notman was fortunate enough to join fellow advisor turned entrepreneur, H. Adam Holt, for a recent asset-map webinar aptly titled ‘Tales from Two Advisors: Mastering the Remote Digital Advice Delivery Experience‘.

What is Asset-Map?

Asset-Map, like Conneqtor is a virtual advisor tool that allows advisors to provide a comprehensive advisory experience that not only engages, but empowers clients to make better decisions. The software allows advisors to collaborate with clients on their ideal virtual financial map, subsequently allowing them to realise their financial hopes and dreams.

Why use Asset-Map? Its simple – it allows you to be more efficient, more calculated, and therefore increases your revenue generation potential!

Tales from Two Advisors: Mastering the Remote Digital Advice Delivery Experience

H. Adam Holt and Derek Notman, both embraced the digital financial model over seven years ago. Since then, they have both launched successful products that seek to not only empower advisors by directly addressing the pain points advisors face when transitioning to a remote virtual model.

In the webinar, the two discuss:

  • How to create a robust digital footprint to attract new clients.
  • Digital fact-finding (from shoeboxes to Dropbox).
  • Managing a virtual meeting calendar.
  • How to present impactful visuals virtually.
  • Virtual team management.

Click the image below to view the webinar:

 

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

Running a Virtual Advisory Practice – Propulsion Podcast Ep.23

running a virtual advisory practice with derek notman

Building a business that embraces technology and the current state of global affairs is central to running a successful virtual financial advisory practice.

Our founder, Derek Notman finds himself in an advantageous being one of the first virtual financial advisors since 2013. Equipped with an incredible life work balance, he recognizes the responsibility he has to share this knowledge with financial advisors worldwide and empower them with the tools, strategies and knowledge required to grow their business virtually.

Running a virtual advisory practice with Derek Notman

Derek recently had the privilege of featuring on episode 23 of the Propulsion podcast. Francois Du Toit, is the host and an certified financial planner specializing in financial planning and tax consulting. With over 20 years of experience in helping businesses unlock growth, and consulting on bespoke tech products, he found the Conneqtor offering particularly interesting.

In this episode Francois and Derek explore the journey to becoming a virtual financial advisor and the lessons that came with it. All of these lessons contributing to the creation of Conneqtor, which is specifically designed to help other advisors go virtual, while avoiding often ‘expensive’ lessons.

The podcast covers:

  • Life before going virtual.
  • Making the change.
  • The virtual advisor system.
  • Onboarding clients and nurturing existing relationships.
  • Overcoming challenges.
  • Going virtual today.

You can listen to the podcast below:

If you are interested in learning more about Derek’s journey and how the virtual advisor system can work for you then download our free e-book today.

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

How to Create a Mutually Beneficial Advisor-Client Relationship

build mutually beneficial client advisor relationship

In the age of instant gratification, Millennials and people from Generation Z are not your average clients. They want what they want when they want it. While this may be daunting, it also provides us with an opportunity to connect with them in the place where they are most likely to be found; online.

The Coronavirus has only served to drive more people into the online realm, and this has become the place where your current and future clients will be looking to interact with you. To succeed in any industry these days, it all boils down to keeping up with the times and being agile enough to accommodate your clients’ needs.

Here’s my advice on how you can form good connections while running a virtual financial planning practice.

First – Be Selfish and Focus on the Advisor Experience

So much is said and written about the Client Experience that most advisors forget to address the Advisor Experience.  All too often advisors focus on trying to create an amazing Client Experience but neglect to consider how doing so may negatively impact their own lives and business.

It never made sense to me that so many advisors essentially put their lives on hold only to help their clients realize their hopes, dreams, and goals.

Advisors who focus on creating an amazing experience for themselves first are empowered and positioned to create a really great Client Experience.

Just like when flying, make sure to put on your oxygen mask first, then help those around you.

Be the example your clients are looking for.  Make it a point to be happy, excited, motivated, and living the life of your dreams.  This will resonate with your clients more than anything else.

Once you have this sorted then the following tips are crucial.

Embrace Technology

The first step to better serving your clients is to embrace technology. Yes, it is fast-paced and ever-changing, maybe even confusing, but connecting with your clients requires an understanding of the environment where they are most comfortable.

Whether this means communicating with them on a platform that they choose or learning to use a new app, embracing technology is paramount to maintaining a good relationship with your clients.

embrace technology and social media

Create A Virtual Relationship

Forming a relationship with your clients online includes building trust with them from scratch. Without face-to-face interactions, building trust in a virtual environment needs to be intentional because, ultimately, this will be your key to success.

Get to Know Each Other

Make sure you get to know your clients personally – tell them about yourself and arrange video calls with them. Fostering any good relationship begins with getting to know someone and being genuinely interested in their lives.

having video calls with clients

Proactively Communicate

Without real-life meetings, clients can feel like they’re getting lost in the fray, so it’s crucial to actively communicate with them and make them feel important to you.

Set a reminder to check in with your clients regularly, to touch base and reconnect. Even if it means sending out some useful tips or some extra personalized advice – providing value to your clients is also an excellent way to connect and maintain a good rapport.

Work with Their Needs

Chat with your client about how they’d like to work, whether that be seeing a presentation, a monthly video call, or simply an email. Making them feel comfortable involves finding out their preferences and molding them with your own.

New-age clients often like to see their stats and information in real-time, so be prepared for that and find software that could allow for that.

Set Clear Goals

At the outset, make sure that you know your clients’ goals and explain how you can work together to achieve them. This will show your client that you’re committed to understanding them and what drives them. Show them that you’re invested in their needs.

Spending some extra time on creating a solid relationship with your clients will go a long way to building trust and creating a dynamic where you can lead your clients towards making the best financial decisions.

Show A Robust Digital Footprint

Clients are now particularly interested in your digital footprint, which is essentially how you appear online. To gain new clients or build trust with current ones, I advise having a robust digital footprint.

This includes being active on social media channels, having a great website, and communicating a variety of content (personal and professional) through these channels.  People tend to trust someone who has an influential digital presence over someone who doesn’t, and it’s quite simply because they can see what you’re all about.  Don’t be a creeper, be a creator!

Tell them about who you are, what your focus is, and how you can help them. If they can find you in a quick Google search, you’re on the right track. Let’s face it; we all Google someone before we go ahead and use their services or buy their product. Adding in social media channels and a blog, would further solidify your digital presence and add to your credibility.

financial advisor google ranking

Conneqtor can help

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of adjusting to this digital world, I can help. My virtual advisor system, Conneqtor, teaches you how to leverage all the tools that you need to transform your business into a virtual or semi-virtual one.

My system will lead you step-by-step into the virtual space, and help you get more leads by showing you how to establish a digital presence.

Get in touch with me. Let’s get you set up in the virtual financial planning world so that you can meet your clients where they’re at, foster your current client relationships, and build new ones, the modern way.

I hope you found this of value!

Kind regards,

Derek Notman