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 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

Building a Virtual Advisor System for Advisors – XY Adviser Podcast

xy adviser podcast virtual financial system episode

Founder of Conneqtor, Derek Notman chats to Clayton from XY Adviser about how and why he built a virtual advisor system for advisors that acts as a gateway to becoming a Next Gen advisor.

Listen to the podcast for free while you get your day started or are doing those mindless admin tasks via Apple iTunes, Sticher, Spotify or just press play on the YouTube video above.

Build a Virtual Advisor System for Financial Advisors

Since 2013 Conneqtor founder, Derek Notman has conducted business as a financial advisor entirely virtually which has allowed him to generate more revenue, while reducing overhead and risk. Going virtual has resulted in an incredible life-work balance and an ability to exceed his personal hopes and dreams.

Below are links to key pieces of literature about the virtual financial system that allows advisors to easily go virtual,  scale their business and find their ideal client with a 24/7 lead generation potential:

5 Tips for Becoming A Virtual Financial Advisor During & After the Covid-19 Pandemic

How To Build A Financial Planning Practice Online

The Age of The Virtual Financial Advisor and COVID-19

What is XY Adviser?

XY Adviser describes itself as the social network for financial advisors. In honor of the evolution of financial advice and empowering advisors with the technology they need to scale their business, XY Adviser allows advisers to:

  • Exchange ideas between their peers on delivering the most useful financial advice, while mitigating any spam or advisor to advisor promotion.
  • Engage with their peers in a safe and respectable environment.
  • Develop a client-centric approach that is practical, helpful and beyond reproach.

You can view Derek’s XY profile here.

Serving Financial Advisors Around the World – CapIntel Webinar

capintel how to build a virtual financial practice webinar

Conneqtor Serves Financial Advisors Around the World

Building a successful virtual practice will become the norm for financial advisors as we move into what can be perfectly described as the era of the virtual financial advisor. 

Derek sat down with James Rockwood from CapIntel to explore how financial advisors came make the transition to the virtual model and how they can successfully build a virtual financial practice.

As advisors battle with the future of growing their business in a post-pandemic world, Conneqtor’s virtual advisor system provides a gateway to becoming a Next Gen advisor. Next Gen advisors are not only able to survive, but have the knowledge and tools at their fingertips to thrive amidst, and after global pandemics like COVID-19. CapIntel is one such tool!

What is Capintel?

Much like Conneqtor, Capintel exists to empower advisors. CapIntel do this by providing a market leading sales platform that allows advisors to compare client portfolios and investments with ease. The ability to do this, coupled with the infrastructure to produce world-class proposals has resulted in advisors selling 50% more of their assets compared to advisors who don’t use the CapIntel system!

Taking Your Practice Digital

In this webinar Derek covers the hows and why’s involved in going virtual including:

  • The first step financial advisors need to take to go virtual.
  • Building and leveraging a robust digital footprint in a post COVID world that allows you to find more ideal clients and better service existing ones.
  • The possibility of a semi-virtual vs fully-virtual model.
  • The biggest lessons Derek wish he had under his belt when he went virtual in 2013.

Watch the webinar below:

How To Build A Financial Planning Practice Online

financial planning practice, online financial planning

To successfully build a financial planning practice online, you need to embrace the virtual model, at least in part, to position yourself as a leader and resource to your potential and current clients.

You have also got put all your effort into building real connections with your clients – relationships that align with their specific missions, visions, values, and goals.

I built my virtual online practice initially for myself to have something scalable, repeatable and that also gave me an awesome life/work balance. A lot of advisors end up asking me how I did it all, which is what inspired me to create Conneqtor.

My Virtual Advisor System, Conneqtor, is a proven program that will show you how to start or remodel your practice into a virtual powerhouse, enabling you with the right tools to acquire and work with your ideal clients from virtually anywhere in the world.

Like myself, you probably have questions such as:

  • Where do I begin?
  • Will my current clients be OK with the virtual model?
  • Do I have to work 100% virtually, or can I do both?
  • What infrastructure will I need to be a virtual financial advisor?
  • How do I market my financial planning practice online?
  • How do I build a virtual team?

The Starting Point

By now you are probably used to catching up with family, or meeting with your employees over video. During the pandemic, it has been the primary means of communication. Well, younger generations actually prefer virtual relationships, be it with any service provider.

Whether via Skype, Zoom, FreeConferenceCall, or FaceTime, this is the primary way you’re going to be communicating with your clients from now on, especially since it is how they want to interact with us to get our services and products. Millennials and Gen Zers make up a combined 48% of the consumer population, so it would be a missed opportunity for a financial advisor not to adhere to the changing demands of almost half of their potential customers.

Get rid of the files and paper too, you’re going to need to migrate everything online, and there are brilliant tools for that.

group zoom call

The Infrastructure

So, you’re wondering what exactly you need to set up a financial planning practice online? A computer and a stable, fast internet connection. That’s it, really.

The beauty of working online means that your overhead is virtually zero. There are plenty of tools for organizing, administration, and communication, so your infrastructure requirements are low to given how many of these tools are free or minimal in cost.

Part of what Conneqtor teaches advisors is the physical infrastructure they should put in place to conduct virtual meetings and drive inbound sales.

The Ideal Client

Through trial and error and through making the migration myself starting back in 2013, I have designed a virtual financial advisor system that will set you up with everything you need to build a successful financial planning practice online.

My system will show you how to build a robust online and digital presence that will drive inbound leads to you 24/7. By no means am I overselling. After starting my business Intrepid Wealth Partners and going digital in 2013, I have used all my experience to build a system that offers you a repeatable and tested online sales process that has clients asking to buy from you.

Conneqtor enables you to choose the clients you want to work with. The best part about setting up an online financial planning practice is that you can work with clients from anywhere in the world. Your location no longer restricts you, nor do you have to spend money on travel, high office & staff overhead, etc.

You are liberated to go after your ideal clients, and getting in touch with them is simple. Not easy, but simple.

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

Mixing It Up

If you enjoy meeting with clients in person, you can set up a semi-virtual financial planning practice. Once we overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, you can certainly meet with your clients in person again; it’s your choice whether to mix it up or not, but if anything, the pandemic has proven beyond a doubt that the virtual or semi-virtual model works really, really well.

When working with Gen X or Baby Boomer clients, they may still want to meet in-person once this is over. Nevertheless, once you introduce them to the virtual model, I assure you that they’ll be happy to meet via video conferencing. It’s just more convenient for both parties.

Marketing

When it comes to marketing your services, an effective strategy can make or break your business. By catering to a variety of generations, you’ll need to find them where they now live – online.

A powerful strategy will increase your SEO ranking, drive traffic to your website, enhance your social media presence, and convert prospects into clients through inbound marketing.

online financial planning, digital marketing for financial planners

Virtual Staff

As is the case with client communication, so too is the process of building a virtual team. Whether you need a personal assistant or a junior financial planner to help you with your business’s administrative side, outsourcing is the way to go.

There are professionals of all kinds who are rearing to work online, and finding the right person is all the more possible with the number of companies that offer virtual staffing solutions.

I hope this information answers some of your questions. For a deeper understanding and a full guide for building a virtual financial planning practice, download my free eBook, or purchase Conneqtor straight away.

I hope you enjoyed reading it!

Kind regards,

Derek Notman

4 Tips for How to Get Clients as A Financial Advisor Online

Ok, so you’re entertaining the idea of transforming yourself into a virtual financial advisor? Good! Are you concerned about how you’re going to get clients online? Don’t be!

I’ve been a virtual financial advisor for years now and know precisely how to get clients as a financial advisor online – I’ve learned through trial and error so that you don’t have to.

Welcome to the virtual world! I introduce to you Conneqtor – the turn-key financial advisor lead generation system to transform your business now, and in a post-COVID-19 world.

digital marketing, virtual meetings, financial advisor, virtual financial advisor

1.  Build a website

You can’t expect to get clients as a financial advisor online if you don’t have a home. Think of your website as your digital storefront, or better yet, your new office. Your website is where people come to find out more about you and find out how you can help them.

Whether a prospective client discovers you through a referral, an advertisement, social media, or a Google search, the first place they’re going is your website. So, it needs to look slick, relay the right information, and seal the deal.

Your website should include necessary information about your firm’s services, team biographies, and contact information – it should also offer something for free, be it an eBook or a discount.

The best advisor websites are clean, simple, and easy to find information. The key points you should make sure are on your website are:

  • Who you are (show a personal side)
  • Who you specialize in helping
  • What your services are
  • What your process is
  • What your prices are

Without these, potential clients will not have enough information to feel comfortable coming to you for an initial meeting.

virtual advisor system, website, virtual financial advisor website

2.  Social Media Marketing

Acquiring clients online may be achieved via social media marketing, but not through merely posting about your business. You’ve got to dig deeper. You have to offer real value. You must publish content that includes that is educational, not sales, orientated. Make sure to have a nice blend of personal and business and focus on outcomes, benefits, etc. Answer the questions people are already having in their minds with your content.

You can do these via blogs, infographics, or explainer videos. Just make your content engaging and valuable. You’re the pro, so showcase it.

At the same time, you need to develop personal relationships with people of influence online. These people can be accountants, attorneys, or HR directors, anyone who would work with your ideal client but offers them a different service to yours. Find these people online and ask for their help but also showcase them and their services. You need to give to receive.

This is just the first step in your social media marketing, but it is a great way to start building meaningful connections; relationships that will lead to you getting clients online.

3.  Use Social Media Advertising

By going virtual, you’ll be saving so much money – no more expenses like renting office space or traveling to the next state to visit a client. You can most certainly pocket what you save, but make sure to use even 10% of the funds towards social media advertising.

Once you’ve got a website and some engaging, valuable content, it’s time to advertise it.

Facebook and Instagram offer incredibly robust paid advertising features. You can literally have one post (cross-platform) that gets shown to users on both.

The targeting available through Facebook & Instagram’s advertising tools are precise, meaning you can target a specific age group in a certain income bracket that live within 20 miles of a zip code, and love reading novels.

Even better is once you have advertised to a specific target market, you can re-advertise to those who clicked the link and visited your site through something called a “Pixel.”

4.  Use LinkedIn

As a financial advisor, you should have a LinkedIn account already – I mean, it’s been around for 18 years already. You would have used it as an online CV, but now’s the time to start using it for getting clients online.

It’s perfect for connecting with old contacts, building up a reputation as an industry expert, and for growing your professional network.

With LinkedIn, you can post original, useful content, interact with prospective clients, and even request referrals via mutual friends or other industry experts (see tip 2).

virtual advisor, linkedin profile, virtual financial advisor linkedin

LinkedIn is arguably one of the most powerful places you can go to drive inbound clients. Like Rome, it takes time to build an empire. Don’t be cheesy and pushy, build meaningful relationships, share content of immense value, and help others.

So, you’re wondering how to get clients as a financial advisor online? Well, these four tips are just a small introduction to how Conneqtor can help you.

Download my free eBook to see what I mean. Your virtual transformation starts now.

Thanks for reading!

Best regards,

Derek Notman

Covid19 and The Age of the Virtual Financial Advisor – Morningstar Podcast

virtual financial advisor morningstar podcast

Covid19 has provided a unique opportunity for financial advisors to evolve, in a time when uncertainty is the norm. One thing is certain – we are truly in the age of the virtual financial advisor.

I was privileged enough to have featured on the Morningstar podcast in early April 2020. The first question Drew Carter asked me was ‘How has the Corona Virus affected your practice?’, and I honestly replied that it hasn’t.

The Virtual Advisor System means business as usual

Who knew that the coronavirus was going to be the thing that completely shakes the markets? Needless to say, I have never been busy. Not only have my clients embraced the virtual working model, but more advisors are looking for new ways in which they can continue growing their practice during these crazy times.

Conneqtor provides financial advisors with an opportunity to go 100% virtual. However, as the name of the podcast goes its simple, but not easy! You can only evolve with the Virtual Advisor System if you put in the work. I’ve been virtual for the past 6 years and I still put the work in to make sure that my virtual practice is optimized at all times.

I was forced to embrace a virtual model much earlier than most advisors even think to and the hard work has paid off. Some of the perks include:

  • Exponential revenue growth.
  • Drastically lower overheads.
  • A work life balance that makes happiness the norm.

If you want to learn more about how the Virtual Advisor System can help you, then listen to the Simple, but Not Easy podcast here or contact me today.

Virtual Advisors vs Traditional Financial Advisors With Michael Kitces

Michael Kitces podcast episode 155

I was privileged enough to be invited to join Michael Kitces on his ‘Financial Advisor Success’ podcast earlier this year. As many of you may know, Michael is best described as a lifelong learner with a deep passion for sharing. With an extensive background in financial planning he explored what sets traditional bricks and mortar financial practices apart from the virtual advisors of the future.

This ‘Nerds Eye View’ podcast explored my journey from high-volume bricks-and-mortar office-based practice to an entirely virtual one. The core ethos of the virtual advisor involves being 100% committed to embracing the online space. Only here can virtual advisors leverage the power of digital marketing to not only generate leads, but to enhance productivity within your practice.

I expanded on my decision to narrow things down and focus on small business owners, as well as CEO’s. Michael and I went through the challenges financial advisors face in managing and upscaling bricks-and-mortar office setups, and why embracing the virtual advisor model is going to become more important as the world continues to rely more on technology.

If you want to know more about how to embrace the future of the virtual advisor system then i highly recommend checking out Michael’s executive summary of our conversation and the podcast here.

Want to go 100% virtual today? Take the first step and get in touch.