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

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

robust digital infrastructure

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

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

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

Be Social

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

linkedin social media posts for financial advisors

An effective social media plan consists of:

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

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

Host Live Virtual Seminars

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

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

Have A Clean & Transparent Website

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

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

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

Build A Mailing List

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

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

Invest in Paid Ads

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

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

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

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

Build Relationships with Other Industry Players

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

xy advisor podcast

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

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

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

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

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

Kind regards,

Derek Notman.

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.

Riskalyze Session Replay: The Brick & Mortar Financial Advisor is Dead!

riskalyze week in review

Long Live the Virtual Financial Advisor

The wave of change has crested the financial services industry. The traditional financial advisor has to learn to ride it, or be crushed by it.

As financial advisors begin to navigate the inflection point that was catalyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic, its imperative that we as an industry begin to not only acknowledge, but embrace the fact that technology has evolved to a point where our ideal clients are beginning to expect a different, more streamlined service from us.

Our founder, Derek Notman, was privileged enough to present at this years Riskalyze #Fearless Week last week. In future fashion, this year Riskalyze had no other choice, but to embrace a virtual alternative to their regular conference format, which actually made the conference more accessible to advisors across the globe.

View Derek’s session below:

Riskalyze Virtual Conference Agenda

  • The Financial Advisor of the Future.
  • Why does any of this matter?
  • Who is Derek Notman?
  • A global megatrend.
  • The consumer has evolved.
  • The financial advisor is stuck in 1985,
  • How Conneqtor is empowering advisors.

the financial advisor of the future

What can financial advisors do right now?

It might seem like we are just throwing around a bunch of concepts and telling you to accept them. No, we are just introducing you to a very apparent reality and want you to know that the solutions are with in virtual reach.  These changes were already underway, COVID-19 simply sped them up.  Advisors must evolve along with the rest of the world.

If you want to know more about what it means to adopt a (semi) virtual financial advisor model, then we highly recommend downloading and starting with our free e-book. It is for lack of a better phrase, a virtual step in the right direction.

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

Thank you!

Cheers,

Derek Notman

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

staying ahead of the curve as a financial advisor

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

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

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

Tradition Vs. The Future

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

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

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

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

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

virtual financial advisor zoom meeting

Being A Virtual Financial Advisor Is Simpler

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

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

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

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

Generating Leads as A Virtual Financial Advisor

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

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

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

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

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

digital marketing for financial advisors

Staying Ahead of The Curve

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading!

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

Kind regards,

Derek Notman

How to Build a 100% Virtual Financial Services Practice – The Virtual Advisor Series

how to build a 100% virtual financial services practice

What does the future of financial services look like and what can financial advisors do to help create, as well as benefit from this future? Will the bricks & mortar setup still be relevant in a post-COVID world? Financial advisors might be asking themselves, “How do I build a 100% virtual financial services practice?”

How to Build a 100% Virtual Financial Services Practice

Derek discusses these pertinent questions and more with Vice President of Advisor Development at advisors Excel, Brad Johnson. Brad is committed to helping financial advisors worldwide transition from bricks & mortar to digital during global pandemics and beyond.

It was only fitting that Brad featured Derek on ‘The Virtual Advisor Series‘, since Derek was one of the first financial advisors in the United States to go virtual back in 2013.

The Virtual Advisor Series provides education to financial advisors, on how they can use:

  • Digital marketing to increase sales.
  • A virtual office culture to increase productivity.
  • Leadership to improve operations.
  • Technology to stay ahead of the curve.

Derek and Brad discussed the benefits of a 100% virtual financial services practice, what tools empower advisors in making the transition from bricks and mortar setups easier, what challenges Derek face along the way, and the process of growing a relationship with a potential new client virtually.

Watch the episode with Brad below

If you aren’t familiar or aware of the virtual financial advisor movement then you can learn more about the age of the virtual financial advisor here.

Lead Generation for Financial Advisors – Webinar Replay

I have learned that Lead Generation for Financial Advisors is a tricky thing.

After being asked by countless financial advisors how I bring in new clients all while working virtually I knew I was on to something.  Thus, I created the InboundSalesMachine webinar to share my journey as a virtual advisor and what I created to help advisors generate inbound leads without every having to cold call or meet in person again.

Inbound Sales Machine Lead Generation

Lead generation for financial advisors

Join me as I share my virtual journey with almost 100 advisors from around the world for this second live event.  I talk about what I learned the hard way, the myths I busted as I built my virtual business, how I made 7 figures working virtually, and hold a live Q&A at the end!

The Inbound Sales Machine webinar replay takes a deep dive into my journey, covers inbound lead generation, and why I created The Virtual Advisor System for advisors to dominate in our digital world.

Watch the entire replay and if can tell me what area of the country I recorded this event I will extend you the special offer from the webinar, just send me a note and I will make it happen!

Cheers,

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: