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

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.

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

Virtual Practice Management for Financial Advisors – The Advisor Lab

virtual practice management for financial advisors podcast

Practice management for financial advisors is and always will be the process of equipping financial advisors with the tools and processes required to not only run an advisory business, but more importantly achieve optimal results now and in the future.

Enter COVID-19, where brick and mortar advisors are left dead in their tracks without an effective way to build or run their practice.

Why? Because financial advisors are still stuck in, as well as being taught the outdated traditional methods of 1985 (with a minor software update here and there).

virtual practice management for advisors here to stay advisor lab

Is Virtual Practice Management for Financial Advisors here to stay?

Derek recently featured on the Advisor Lab podcast by the Seven Group and explored the future of practice management for financial advisors. The podcast explores how Derek runs his practice, how he manages it completely remotely, as well as how he uses digital marketing to connect and engage prospects.

Listen to the podcast below

Long Term vs Short Term Financial Practice Management

The truth is that the days of cold calling, being a prospecting pirate, and focussing on short term sales are gone. Now more than ever, short term prospecting produces an eat what you kill environment that is really stressful – it just isn’t sustainable anymore.

Advisors need to shift their attention from the sale to their audience. Building a brand over time and providing genuine value to clients at multiple online touch points will result in your brand working for you over time. When your brand works for you, you’ll see an influx of more clients. The secret to virtual practice management? Relationships, relationships, relationships!

With this in mind, Derek has created a Virtual Advisor System that operates as an inbound client acquisition model for building a robust digital footprint.

Practice Management for Financial Advisors Using a Robust Digital Footprint

The Virtual Advisor System has made practice management easy for advisors by making the pillars of inbound client acquisition accessible in the form of valuable course content and more. These practical pillars include:

  • Social Media Marketing & Management.
  • Hosting Live Virtual Seminars.
  • Website Build and Optimisation.
  • Email Marketing.
  • Paid Advertising.
  • Referral Partners.

If you want to learn more about how the Virtual Advisor System can work for you, then we recommend getting started with our free e-book.