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.

Adopting a Digital Financial Model – The Exponential Era Webcast

the exponential era webcast digital financial model

‘Staying ahead of the curve’; a phrase that has become the new normal as financial advisors from across the world search for new ways to find more ideal clients in a pandemic stricken world.

Beyond the notion of ‘staying ahead of the curve’, what does this concept mean for advisors and how can financial advisors evolve from the traditional bricks-and-mortar setup to not only survive, but thrive in the new world?

The answer? Adopting a digital financial model for your financial practice!

Adopting a Digital Financial Model

Conneqtor founder, Derek Notman recently had the privilege of featuring on the Exponential Era webcast hosted by David Espindola and Michael Wright recently.

The webcast focussed on how adopting a digital financial model allows financial advisors to thrive in a post-COVID world. Since taking his practice virtual in 2013, Derek has been able to:

  • Establish an incredible life-work balance.
  • Generate more ideal clients from virtually anywhere in the world.
  • Increase revenue, while managing risk.

What makes this so possible in a post-COVID world? The consumer is now consuming more virtual content than ever, and feel more comfortable building relationships virtually.

Derek didn’t want to be a slave to his business and believes that every financial advisor should be able to enjoy this reality. Since there was no roadmap for the journey he embarked on in 2013, it took him a while to figure it out. Fast forward to today and Derek is enjoying the spoils of what Conneqtor has to offer and more.

Watch The Exponential Era Webcast by Intercepting Horizons below and dive deep into Derek’s journey as a virtual financial advisor and how COVID-19 affected his business:

 

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:

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

financial advisor going digital

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses of all kinds to rethink how they work and interact with clients, including financial advisors.

We have had no choice but to turn to video for communication, and we are learning very quickly why this is the preferred method of interaction with younger generations.

With video, you can communicate with anyone from anywhere in the world, and as a virtual financial advisor, this is incredibly beneficial.

Building and maintaining relationships with your clients over video is just the first step, though, as there are other important factors to consider for a successful virtual financial practice.

As you transform your practice into a virtual or semi-virtual business, use these five tips to drive success.

1.  Invest Time into Your Practice’s Future

Business may be slow at first during the pandemic, and as you migrate online, but I see this as the perfect opportunity to use this time to determine how you can streamline your business for when you’re back in full action.

How about embracing business process automation? Thanks to technology, you can now have the administrative side of your business (the mundane tasks) fully automated! Here are some examples of the work you can automate:

  • Jobs you do every day or on a schedule
  • Functions that involve capturing and moving data between applications
  • Mundane tasks that do not require problem-solving
  • Tasks that distract you from what you love doing

As you migrate online, automating your processes will help you as you build a virtual staff.

financial advisor mailchimp rss feed automation

2.  Marketing For The Next Gen Financial Advisor

If you look at your competitors, you will have noticed that many of them have cut down on marketing during the pandemic.

My advice is to put even more emphasis on your marketing efforts.  People arguably need our advice and services more now than ever.  You’re offering them a solution for during this time, so make it known.

As you transform into a virtual financial advisor, your overhead can drastically be reduced, I have dropped mine by ~60%!  Consider using some of this to invest in your marketing – this is how you can gain a competitive edge in the months and years to come.

You also will free up a significant amount of time by embracing the virtual or semi-virtual model which can now be allocated in part to spending more time on creating content for free social sites like Facebook and LinkedIn which are a great way to increase your marketing reach while not costing you a penny!

facebook ads for financial advisors

3.  Use Conneqtor To Get You Started

Yes, I created Conneqtor to help advisors around the world.  But first built my virtual practice for me, to make more money while getting my life back and having an awesome life/work balance!

So yes, I admit that this is a little marketing plug from my side, but Conneqtor is a system I have created to help you migrate your financial planning practice online. More specifically, it’s a system that will help you generate leads 24/7.

It will teach you how to build a virtual or semi-virtual financial and insurance practice that will empower you to:

  • Make more money while expertly managing risk
  • Find and work ideal clients through predictable lead generation
  • Work from anywhere in the world while expanding your reach
  • Leverage your money and time to improve effectiveness while achieving an excellent work/life balance

I have successfully run an MDRT* Court of the Table financial practice, almost 100% virtually since 2013, so I have a deep understanding of what it takes.

the virtual advisor system for financial advisors

4.  Build Stronger Personal Relationships with Your Clients

So, you can no longer take your client out for dinner or a coffee, but you can use video to connect with them.

When people need to be selective about who they work with, they will commonly approach those who identify with them on a personal level. As a virtual financial advisor, you are dealing with arguably the most intimate aspect of a person’s life – their wealth and future.

Your catch-up calls don’t have to be all-business though. Introduce them to your loved ones and pets. Share your challenges and what you have been up to during the crisis – how you’ve been keeping sane. Talk to them about their problems and what they’ve been up to, and ultimately use this time to connect and develop stronger bonds with your customers.

Even little things like sending them a short video to wish them a happy birthday can make all the difference and show them you are thinking of them.

5.  Financial Advisors Should Create Valuable Content

In the meantime, as you transition to a virtual practice, take this time to create valuable content that will attract prospective clients.

Your audience lives online, even more so now, and the best way to get them interested is by giving them something of immense value for free. You are an expert in your field, so share some of your insight with your audience online. Be it through blogs, an eBook, explainer videos, or infographics, show your prospective clients why you are their best bet.  It could even be as simple as basic posts in places like LinkedIn and Facebook.  Be present and drive value!

I hope this helps and that you found my article insightful! If you would like to find out more about Conneqtor, get in touch with us.

Kind regards,

Derek Notman

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

6 Books Every Virtual Financial Advisor Needs to Read

6 books all virtual financial advisors should read

As a virtual financial advisor, there are 6 books you simply have to read. With the times we currently find ourselves in, adaptability is key – using the plethora of information available to not only maintain your financial advisory practice but flourish like never before.

I’ve always been an avid reader but the following 6 books are the ones I keep going back to when it comes to business, being virtual, and just rocking at life!

I’ve learned a great deal and have taken the liberty to review the 6 books I’ve read that stick out, books that every virtual financial advisor should be reading in the current climate; for productivity, sales, and a positive mindset.  These books have materially improved my life and business, I simply would not have the success I do today without having had read them.

1.  The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

Ok, so what about the 4-hour workweek haven’t you heard already? Well, it has never been put in a book like this before. It is fun and easy to read too.

A book about how many of us follow the rules and stick to the system, striving to do the same thing repeatedly for 40+ years, in the hope of a stable lifestyle and a secure retirement.

Tim Ferriss has a straightforward plan for achieving an entirely different kind of life where you take “mini-retirements” throughout your time here on earth.

He gives you a practical plan for setting up an online business (in your case, a virtual financial advisory practice), so you can live a life of balance, the difference between being a business runner and a business owner. The latter giving you much more freedom and time to do what you love.

2.  Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

One of the best books you will ever read about money. A book published in 1937 during the great depression – it’s about convincing yourself that you can be wealthy – that there’s no reason you can’t have exactly what you want.

You can, however, apply the principles in this book to anything in life. To get what you want, you must have the desire, belief, act on these, and then persist. A brilliant and timeless read!

3.  Virtual Freedom by Chris Ducker

You don’t have to go at it alone, nor do you have to spend thousands of dollars on office space and employee benefits. An incredible book for small business owners, virtual financial advisors, and online entrepreneurs on the power of building teams of virtual employees to help run, support, and grow your business.

Going hand in hand with my online system Conneqtor, this read will give you great tips on how to find and manage virtual staff. You should read it directly after you have read the 4-hour workweek by Tim Ferriss.

4.  Social by Matt Lieberman

A book that explores how our need to connect with each other is even more fundamental than our need for shelter or food. Lieberman provides insight into the necessity of human connection.

There are many examples here that you can apply to the relationships you have with your clients—a book for anyone who wants to understand themselves and others better.

5.  The Art of War by Sun Tzu

A book that was written 2500 years ago, yet the information conveyed can be applied to today’s fiercely competitive business scenarios as well.

For example, “In conflict, straightforward actions generally lead to engagement, surprising actions generally lead to victory.”

This read gives insight into how vital discipline, honesty, wisdom, and courage are for everything you come across in life.

6.  Swim with The Sharks by Harvey Mackay

As you transform yourself into a Virtual Financial Advisor, this book will come in handy! An essential read for lead prospecting and selling your services.

He offers a million ideas for being the best businessperson you can be, how the most crucial function of sales is about being relatable with other human beings.

Combining these books with my virtual financial advisor system will undoubtedly set you up for success. You have just got to be open to change and, of course, keep persisting.  I highly encourage you to buy the physical books instead of the digital ones.  There is something powerful about having the actual book in your hands, something that stimulates your mind more than a digital copy.

You owe it to yourself to buy, read, and learn from these books.

Thanks for reading!

Warm regards,

Derek Notman

The Importance of Working Virtually in Today’s Modern Age – Webinar Replay

I hosted this webinar just before most of the world went into complete lockdown. It was incredibly to see so many advisors ready to begin working virtually. The webinar focussed on the challenges we face when clinging onto the working model of the old school advisor, otherwise known as the brick and mortar model.

The Importance of the Virtual Model Today and in The Future

the importance of working virtually

I explored the importance of working virtually completely as well as from a semi-virtual model, with over 100 advisors. We were all able to understanding the benefits of a virtual or semi-virtual model today and for the future.

I created this webinar to introduce the virtual model and the Virtual Advisor System. It was made for financial advisors, by an active financial advisor so that we can succeed in what already is ‘the new world’.

Common questions about working virtually

common questions about working virtually

The Virtual Advisor System is a turn-key solution that will empower financial advisors with a virtual framework.

The virtual model is the wave of the future for financial advisors. Covid19 has made that wave bigger and faster. This webinar will ensure that financial advisors can catch that wave with ease and ride it in style.

Want to learn how to ride the virtual wave? Lets make it happen right here.

 

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.

Remote Work in the Time of Corona

remote work on the go

As I briefly covered in my last article, remote work is the way to go during this global pandemic. COVID-19 has shown us that working from home is possible for multiple industries and businesses. All you really need is the right infrastructure and digital footprint and the world is your oyster!

I’ve been a Virtual Financial Advisor for 6+ years now and have found so many benefits to working online. Adapting my brick and mortar approach to the online space has made my business flourish.

According to Forbes, some studies show that there has been a drop in productivity as the world embraces the remote work model, but this is because we’re amid a pandemic and because friends and family are at home with you. At this moment, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed, scared, and even distracted.

There are ways to get around this, though. Here are some tips for staying productive if you are new to remote work.

3 simple tips for remote work

  1. If you’re doing administrative work, try to add a deliberate distraction. For instance, listening to classical music with headphones. By blocking yourself out from the rest of the world (and your family), you can get a lot more done. Or even better, outsource it to a virtual assistance who probably can do it better than you and is a fraction of the cost of hiring a traditional staff member.
  2. Take a moment or two throughout the day to get lost in your thoughts – something unrelated to the task at hand; this is known to refresh focus – like stepping outside the office for 5 minutes. Take a brisk walk to get the blood flowing, take in some deep breaths of fresh air, and then get back to work and crush it!
  3. Another way to take a break and boost activity is by making yourself a cup of your favorite brew. Taking a coffee break isn’t just about taking a few minutes away from your work task, but caffeine actually improves physiological arousal and less inclination to be distracted.

Now that you know how to be more productive and maintain your concentration levels while working from home let us look at some of the benefits of remote work.

how to work remotely from anywhere

4 Benefits of remote work

In the financial services industry, more and more financial advisors are embracing the remote (virtual) model as clients’ needs, wants, and expectations change with the times.

There are many benefits to remote work, here are 4 reasons:

1.   You’ll save on fixed expenses

You will save a considerable amount by not having to pay for the fixed costs that usually come with running a traditional brick & mortar financial planning practice. Think office space, employee salaries and of course, commuting to meet with clients. These savings (amounting to thousands of dollars a month) can be reinvested into your business through more budget for marketing, or even be profit in your pocket!

2.   You can meet with clients anywhere in the world, for free

Yip, that’s right! There are countless free online apps for video conferencing, and with remote work, you can meet with your clients regardless of their location. As a result, you expand your reach into a global market – giving you the opportunity to make more money and gain more experience regardless of your physical location or theirs!

3.   You can work on your own time

When running a traditional office space, you usually have to be there from open to close. The beauty of remote work is that you can run your own schedule, affording yourself a better life/work balance in the process. It also means that you choose when to serve your clients. If you have something personal to attend to, or simply feel like going for a jog, or surf, you can.

4.   There are brilliant online tools that facilitate remote work

From Skype, G Suite, and FreeConferenceCall, to Conneqtor and Trello, there are incredible tools and systems to help you take your financial planning practice online. You can communicate, stay organized, and thrive by using the right tools for you.

So, besides the fact that we’re going through difficult times at the moment, remote work makes sense in general.  It did before the pandemic and will after. The tools are available, and it’s what the new generation of clients require.

Will you be left behind, or embrace working remotely and become more successful and happier than you’ve ever been?

If you’d like more insight on how to become a Virtual Financial Advisor, get in touch with us at Conneqtor, or download our free e-book for an introduction on how our virtual advisor system can help you take your business online.

work from anywhere in the world with these online tools

Thanks for reading!

Cheers,

Derek