How To Build A Financial Advisory Practice Online

Key Point Summary

  • As a financial advisor, you should consider adopting a virtual (or hybrid) approach to positioning yourself as a leader and resource to your potential and current clients. Nurturing personal client relationships to form meaningful human connections and provide specialized advice in the digital age is more than possible, it’s the expectation.
  • The virtual realm can offer more visibility, enhanced customer engagement, and greater efficiency. Embracing technology allows you to concentrate on what’s important, delivering personalized advice in the digital age
  • Working online means you can slash your overhead drastically. The physical infrastructure you need to put in place to conduct virtual meetings and drive inbound client acquisition is no longer a large, expensive plush office.
  • Full time, in-house employees is not the only answer anymore – it’s time to consider hiring virtual staff to take advantage of their expertise and flexibility. 
  • A virtual financial advisor is no longer bound by physical location.  They are able to work with clients regardless of either of their locations. These distance-defying advisors are successful in part because they know how to nurture client relationships with personalized service at a distance.
  • A location-independent financial advisor is more capable of finding balance in their life. The anywhere advisor chooses a life of increased freedom and well-being.
  • Download my free eBook for further insight on how to build a financial planning practice online while finding true balance in your life. 

Want to build a successful financial planning practice online but don’t know where to begin? Let me be your guide to digital freedom. First, you should consider embracing the virtual (or semi-virtual) financial advisor model and its various dimensions to position yourself as a leader and resource to your potential and current clients.

As we always have done we must continue to direct our time and effort toward building real connections with our clients – relationships that align with their specific missions, visions, values, and goals. Although the virtual model has gone mainstream and is thriving in most parts of the world, this doesn’t mean you should be any less hands-on. Don’t neglect the most powerful tool at your disposal – that of human connection.  All we are changing is the medium for this human connection, replacing the brick & mortar office for a screen.

I built my virtual online practice initially to have something scalable, repeatable, and something that allowed me an incredible life/work balance. Many advisors ended up asking me how I did it all, many of whom initially said it couldn’t be done.  This is what inspired me to create Connector. 

My Virtual Advisor System is a proven program that will show you how to start or remodel your practice into a virtual powerhouse, teaching you how to acquire and work with your ideal clients from anywhere. 

My free eBook and the Conneqtor system explore key strategies for financial advisors looking to evolve & thrive in a digital world while enriching the balance in their lives. Let’s take a closer look at how to build a financial planning practice online and why it should be your top priority.  

Adapt to a Changing World 

‘The measure of intelligence is the ability to change’ ― Albert Einstein.

The world is changing rapidly, and the financial services industry needs to adapt accordingly to avoid being left in the dust. Admittedly a daunting prospect, but this change is a much-needed shift that presents a great deal of new opportunity.

Transitioning from face-to-face selling to virtual selling requires a new approach better suited to the demands of new-age buyers who prefer to work through digital channels. This virtual realm can offer more visibility, enhanced customer engagement, and greater technological efficiency.

Evolution is natural, but growth rarely comes without growing pains. The consumer and technology have evolved into 2021 versions of themselves, yet the financial services industry has largely remained stuck in 1985. Well, that’s all over now, and there’s no going back. The Pandemic has fast-tracked our outdated industry’s evolution, and tremendous good will come from this evolution for those who acknowledge and embrace the world we live in; the future is TODAY, and tomorrow.  Time we learn from what doesn’t work anymore and leave it in the past.

Ground Zero

It’s often said that change approaches slowly and arrives suddenly, and that was certainly the case last year when the pandemic changed our primary source of communication to video. What was once probable yet unlikely scenarios – such as celebrating a friend’s birthday on Zoom, or holding your book club debate over FaceTime – instantly became mainstream in 2020.  

Younger generations prefer these virtual relationships when it comes to service providers. So, this is your starting point. Whether, via Skype, Zoom, FreeConferenceCall, or FaceTime, your primary means of communicating with your clients must evolve. We are in the client satisfaction game, so give them what they want. This is the modern way they wish to interact with us to acquire our products and services. 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 all your unnecessary files and paper too; you’re going to need to migrate everything online, and there are brilliant tools for this. The longer your business operates, the more data it needs to store. If you’re still storing paper, it’s not going to be long before it starts taking up a bunch of space, if it hasn’t already! Online storage is a cost-effective centralized solution that makes finding documents more accessible, saving you the most precious commodity of time… time better spent delivering personalized advice in the digital age.

The Infrastructure 

So, you’re probably wondering what exactly you need to set up a financial planning practice online. It can’t be as easy as only a computer and fast internet connection, can it? Well, yes, in fact. That’s pretty much it.  Yes, there some key infrastructure pieces you should incorporate in addition to your computer, the point is that what is needed to run a thriving advisory practise today is drastically different from what it used to be.

Remember Border’s Bookstore, Blockbuster Video, and actually having to go out to a bar to find your next “significant other?” These were once the infrastructures and social norms which businesses and consumers alike preferred, but boy, times have changed!

The beauty of working online means that you can drastically reduce your overhead (I dropped mine by ~61%). There are plenty of tools for organizing, administration, and communication, financial planning, etc. so your infrastructure requirements remain minimal as many of these tools are free or available at low cost.

Not having to pay rent is a game-changer and will allow you to filter your savings back into your business and invest in crucial aspects of running a virtual enterprise. Think digital marketing and digital infrastructure  – two necessities to run a virtual financial planning practice you can’t live without.

This new-age infrastructure also means a changed obligation to typical operating costs and utilities such as office supplies for your staff, internet for multiple people, insurance, payroll taxes, electricity, water/sewage, or a cleaning company. Again, this equates to drastic savings each month. Other savings associated with a virtual business include not paying for maintenance on plumbing, electrical, appliances, or even paint (yup, I painted 6,000 square feet to save money, ugh!), and avoid having to deal with a sewage backup at 1 in the morning.  I’m afraid that one’s not hypothetical and actually happened to me, ugh!

Reallocating these business expenses will also allow you to bring more home to enjoy life, and after all, that’s what it’s all about! Part of what Conneqtor offers is to teach advisors the physical infrastructure to put in place in order to conduct virtual meetings and drive inbound client acquisition.

The Ideal Client

Identifying, connecting with and acquiring ideal clients are the most important processes for any financial advisor. Do you want to transform yourself into a virtual financial advisor, but you’re 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. 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. Adapting the analogy: Give a financial advisor a fish (lead), feed them for a day. Teach a financial advisor to harness the power of the digital ocean, you feed them forever.

My system teaches advisors how to build a robust online presence that will drive inbound leads to you 24/7. By no means am I overselling. After going digital in 2013, I used my wealth of experience to build a system that offers you a repeatable and tested online sales process with clients coming to you. The best relationships are the ones we chose. Conneqtor enables you to select the clients with which you want to work.

Setting up an online financial planning practice comes with the bonus of working with clients regardless of physical location. Your location no longer restricts you, nor do you have to spend money on travel, spend time stuck in traffic, or waste time with “coffee meetings”.  Let’s face it, not all of these are worth the money you spent on coffee! Become liberated to go after the ideal clients you deserve. The contact point between you and potential clients is at your fingertips. I’m not saying landing your ideal client is a walk in the park, but making contact with them certainly is.

So how do you acquire new clients while working virtually? Well, I’ve created what I refer to as 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.

Dedicated Advice at a Distance

In the virtual space, you and your team become the centralized hub for advice. It’s your job to make sure your clients receive a high level of personalized service from high-calibre advisors. Consider the history of the handshake in the sales culture, symbolically sealing the deal. This gesture can’t be replicated over video chat, so other methods need to be used to compensate for this.

Visual communication and tone of voice carry incredible weight in how we communicate. Psychologist Albert Mehrabian once demonstrated that 93% of communication is nonverbal (Link to – https://www.wyzowl.com/infographic-the-power-of-visual-communication/). It is also said that people remember 10% of what they hear, 20% of what they read, and 80% of what they see and do.  

Virtual meetings actually empower us to have very meaningful conversations with our clients, sometimes more so than in person.  There is a major convenience and comfortability factor when a client is able to meet from the comfort of their own home instead of having a stranger sitting in their living room at night or having to drive across town. To be a successful virtual financial advisor, you will need to make your interactions with your clients as personal as possible but also make sure the virtual experience is a great one!  Don’t make people look up your nose or constantly wonder what you are saying.  Nurture these relationships by being ever-present to reassure them you can provide an even better service level than in person.  Complementing your virtual meetings can be done with email, voice/video notes, and the rest of your digital footprint.  Let people into your world.

I recently touched on the importance of self-awareness for a financial advisor and mentioned that it’s ok to get a little touchy-feely. No, I don’t mean in the physical sense! I mean that it’s ok and often very beneficial to get in touch with who you are. Not only will this allow you to form genuine connections with your clients, but it lets you evaluate your advisor journey and whether you are living a fulfilling life. 

When advisors ask me where they should start, I reply with a question of my own; “What is the single most important thing you are looking to accomplish by being an advisor?”

Initial responses tend to share the commonality of wanting to help others. Which – don’t get me wrong – I love, but the answer should be deeper than that. Being a Financial advisor is part art, part science.  When you combine the two it fulfils you and what you seek to achieve in life.    

As an advisor, what is it that lights a fire in your belly? Why is this occupation important to you? Will being a financial advisor help you do everything of value to you and your family?

Most advisors are not taught to think about these things, but all else is secondary to these questions of real pertinence. Start asking yourself the real questions!

Mixing It Up

If you enjoy meeting with clients in person and can’t imagine being an advisor without it altogether, you can set up a semi-virtual financial planning practice.  I suspect this will be where we end up for some time.  Once the COVID-19 pandemic exists only in our memory, meeting with clients can indeed form a part of your business if you choose to mix it up. If you feel it will keep things dynamic for you, go for it. The pandemic has proven beyond a doubt that the virtual or semi-virtual model works incredibly well.

When working with Gen X or Baby Boomer clients, they may still want to meet in person. 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. Once everyone has had a taste of the time-saving benefits, it’s hard to go back! 

Marketing

We live in the internet age. It’s such a fundamental part of our daily lives that the younger generations can’t even fathom a time when the internet wasn’t around. When internet consultation and recommendations are the go-to, you need to stand out digitally as the best financial advisor in town.

This is why digital marketing for financial advisors is so critical. It gives you the tools to work your magic and develop a robust online presence through social platforms, website, and email marketing campaigns.  

Marketing your services will require an effective strategy to be successful. Without a strategy, you are entering the digital realm blind, likely to waste money and time amongst well-tailored competitor efforts. A powerful strategy can increase your SEO ranking, drive traffic to your website, enhance your social media presence, and convert prospects into clients through inbound marketing.

Your digital presence will only grow and provide you with ideal clients if you follow the process of building awareness, getting your audience to consider you through engagement and prompting action to acquire them as a client. Trust the process!

Virtual Staff

With a virtual financial planning practice, you can be fully operational by hiring virtual employees. Not only is outsourcing far more cost-effective than hiring full-time staff, but you can acquire expertise in a variety of different skill sets.

There is a world of professionals working remotely who are rearing to help you move your business forward. Finding the right person is all the more possible with the number of companies that offer virtual staffing solutions.

Enjoy the flexibility of the virtual staff. Get the pros in and cut the dead weight. You can also leverage freelancers, you can access a whole team of expert individuals on call, using them when and where you need them. In the digital world, this is most definitely the way to go.

Work/Life Balance 

As an advisor, did you ever really want to conduct phone clinics at night, or meet with prospective clients at their home – sometimes at night, an hour’s drive or more away, only to get porched? Did you envision yourself becoming a peddler, pushing products like a salesman?  

No, of course not, but it’s been engrained into the teachings of financial advisory services and is what we believed we had to do to earn a living in this industry. The anywhere advisor chooses a life of increased freedom and well-being. I’ve previously discussed the value of being a location independent financial advisor, and I can’t stress enough the profound effect it could have on your life and your pursuit of balance.  

Deeper Understanding 

I hope this gives you a brief understand of what going virtual entails and its immediate benefits. For a deeper understanding and a mentorship guide to building a virtual financial planning practice, get the advisor playbook: Download my free eBook right away. 

Dive into the chapters of my eBook, where I explain my journey of epic realisations and eureka moments. I give perspective on the outdated nature of the financial industry and how to avoid extinction like the dinosaurs. Yes, there was a massive meteor that hit the planet and wiped a bunch out. But meteor or not, dinosaurs were doomed because they didn’t adapt to their changing environment.  The difference between them and us, we have a choice.

Thanks for reading, sending positive vibes your way.

Cheers,

Derek Notman

How Thriving Financial Advisors Acquire & Work with Ideal Clients – Webinar Replay

How Thriving Financial Advisors Acquire & Work with Ideal Client – Webinar Replay

It’s 2021 and the truth is that the only way forward as advisors is together. We are all on the same team and its important to recognize that learn from one another to succeed and thrive.

This is the ethos upon which Conneqtor was built and the Virtual Advisor System is designed. It is through sharing his experiences and knowledge that our founder, Derek Notman has discovered his true calling in this post-pandemic world.

Conneqtor x PreciseFP Webinar

Derek recently had the privilege of joining Courtney Peek, Head of Support at PreciseFP to share how thriving financial advisors are acquiring and working with ideal clients on a semi or full virtual model.

The discussion is centered around tactics and strategies that stem from Derek’s personal advisor journey. The webinar has key takeaways that are designed to support the advisor community through tangible and actionable ideas – watch it below:

A $2 Million Idea that thriving advisors are using

If you found the webinar interesting and want to learn more about what you can do right now, today, then we recommend you download our latest eBook. It details how Derek made over $2 million, virtually while realizing an amazing life-work balance.

Download it here.

Social Media Best Practices For Financial Advisors

social media best practices for financial advisors

By now, we all know the power of social media. Its influence is significant enough to sway elections, change buying behaviors, and alter public opinion on almost anything! It’s too big to ignore, so rather than fight it, you should embrace the capabilities of social channels to help connect you with your potential customers.

By being on social media, you let your customers know that you exist, you’re open for business, and you’re ready to listen. It’s a tool you need to leverage as a part of your marketing strategy to remain relevant and competitive.  

Digital marketing for financial advisors can help increase your brand visibility and boost sales in a fast and cost-effective manner. Social media platforms act as mystical portals through which to channel your enchanting story. Cast your spell and put yourself in front of your ideal clients today.   It may sound funky, but the reality is that it works, but only if you actually do it.

 

When Should You Post On Social Media?

A frequency asked question is, when is the ideal time for financial advisors to be posting social media content? Although there is no universal handbook for posting times, and the algorithms of big platforms continue to change regularly, I still have some advice on how to go about your content scheduling. Here are some general rules of thumb:

  • The best time for click-throughs is around 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday is proven to be the best day to post.
  • The worst time for click-throughs are weekends between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.

Take these times with a grain of salt. I’m not saying that you should only post to social media during these times, but as a virtual financial advisor who has been doing this since before mass adoption, these are the best averages to go on. 

Your posting schedule will be dependent on your target audience. Say, for instance, you’re a financial advisor who specializes in working with educators. You probably wouldn’t want to follow this advice because your audience will be in school teaching during the “prime times”. So, tailor your approach to your market to maximize exposure and reach. A/B testing is a great way to gauge response rates at different times and on different days. It’s how you find your sweet spot.  

Social Media Best Practices For Financial Advisors

Keeping It Real

Originality is everything when it comes to content and should be your main priority. Your content is an extension of yourself and your story. Please don’t be sending out canned spam into the ether, and by canned spam, I mean cold, generic, lazy and impersonal content.  You know exactly what I am talking about! The kind of content that makes a terrible first impression and probably does more harm than good to you and your practice.

Keep it real – when it comes to social media marketing, content drives engagement. When content is unique and original, it encourages clients to engage with you. Make it personal by writing for your audience. Ask them questions to grab their attention and make them feel as though you are having a conversation with them in an authentic way.

Originality is a brand builder. Posting original content will help search engines drive traffic to your website and boost your reputation in terms of creativity and trustworthiness. This approach can have potential clients feeling as if they know you before even using your service, which is a fantastic foot in the door on the way to building a lasting relationship. 

So, what should you post on Social Media?  A variety of original content.  Plain copy posts.  Pictures.  Short videos (try to keep them under 2 minutes).  Articles.  Audio clips of podcasts you are on or are producing.  The list goes on.  

All of it should be driven by WHO your ideal client is.  And stay out of the weeds, people don’t care so much about complex financial products, strategies, etc.  They want to know who you are.  They want to know how you can help them.  They want to know why you instead of the next advisor.  They want to know the benefits of working with you.  They want to know your why.

social media best practices for financial advisors

The Fundamentals For Social Success

Integrate social media into your overall marketing strategy – Think of social media as an element of, not a replacement for, your other marketing efforts. Start slow. You don’t need to break the internet overnight and trust me, and you won’t. Trying to do too much too fast can be overwhelming. Rome wasn’t built in a day. 

Your efforts will be most effective if you take your time, observing and learning along the way. This will allow you to grow in confidence before tackling a new platform. I recommend starting with LinkedIn, where networking is the game, then move on to Facebook to build some relationships.  A caveat here is that if you know your ideal client is on Facebook, Twitter, etc. more than any other platform then go to that platform and crush it.  You can always add another platform later once you are rocking it on one.

Engagement is key. Don’t post your content and then disappear.  If people are commenting on your content, then engage with them, thank them, ask them additional questions.  Make it a conversation.

Never stop learning from others. What effective financial advisor marketing strategies have you seen lately? What was interesting about their website? What type of updates generated the most interest and engagement? These are the questions you need to be asking yourself to find the most effective solution for yourself.

Set goals for your social efforts – lay out a plan for achieving them and track your progress. Set up automated reminders on your calendar to stay on track with your social ambitions. Be consistent in your messaging and what you post. Once you have set up a pattern for posting you are happy with, stick to it. This forms part of your social identity.  

Lead generation for financial advisors is all about driving traffic into your marketing funnel.  For example, you post on LinkedIn, you build an audience that gets to know you, you post about an eBook they can have for free on your website, you send them there. Measure your efforts by using Google Analytics to track referrals from social media to your site. When you find out what’s driving traffic to your site, do a heck of a lot more of it!

Social media for financial advisors is an art & science.  It is not something that magically starts driving in clients overnight, forget that myth.  If you build a robust digital footprint, which includes social media, and are actively engaged with amazing organic content good things will start to happen.  When you start to see what works then, and only then, should you venture into the world of paid advertising (boosting posts, etc.) to throw gas on a fire you have already started.

What is your favorite social media platform and why?

 

Thanks for taking some time to read this, I really appreciate it!

Best Regards,

Derek Notman

Lead Generation For Financial Advisors Isn’t Everything- Why We Need to Change Our Focus

lead generation for financial advisors

Lead generation for financial advisors, ugh, where do I begin? As advisors, we need to get the nagging voice out of our heads telling us, “you need more leads”. For decades, advisors have been taught to focus on obtaining leads to grow their business. This is all wrong. We don’t want leads, but rather ideal clients.

Think about it, would you like to be referred to as a lead? It’s such an impersonal, inhuman word, solely focused on one thing, selling something. Client, on the other hand, is a far more human word — one that is relatable and will lead to more significant sales.

We need to shift our focus to stay competitive in a rapidly changing world. Prioritize the client, not the business. Treat clients like the unique entities that they are. Worry more about niche satisfaction and the quality of your client acquisition than sheer numbers. Use a personable approach to liaising with clients, made up of empathy and support, to make you the clear choice in a financial advisor. Let’s dive a little deeper, shall we?

 

There Are Better Ways of Doing Things

To truly excel as an advisor, you need to understand you are not merely a salesman. There is so much more to being a great advisor than just selling a product.

Advisors who buy cold leads are essentially slapping people in the face (pitch slapping ring a bell?) as they ask them for money. It demonstrates that someone holds no value to you other than as a pay-check. This is not the kind of experience people are lining up to get more of, and they are rightfully looking elsewhere.

Prospecting is, for all intents and purposes, dead. Yes, it may yield some return — but at what cost? It’s a soul-crushing process that is certainly not scalable. As a virtual financial advisor, myself, I know there are far better ways to tell your story and propel new client acquisition in the digital world we live in today.

financial advisors

The Art of Financial Advice 

Financial advisors who focus on selling a product are subjecting themselves to massive competition – an endless rat race of misguided purpose and ambition. At the end of the day, we can all pretty much sell the same products and services. They are a commodity. But brilliant financial advice? That is an art form. An art form through which you can differentiate yourself and thrive.

Art requires skill – Michelangelo didn’t paint the Sistine Chapel by accident. You will need technical know-how and formidable storytelling abilities. Experience, credentials, and expertise create the basis for great relationships and client trust. Expressing your ideals and breathing life into your brand’s story can be the perfect lure to get well-suited clients.

With the possession of both skills, you can be sure the right clients will be placing their financial wellbeing in your hands. Advisors who focus on the art of financial advice have all the opportunity in the world with virtually no competition.

 

Clients Are Everything

Advisors who focus on client acquisition are the most likely to find long-term success. Remember, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. You need to show them you care by marketing strong commonalities, deepening the human connection.

An ever-present human element forms part of any effective financial advisor marketing plan. This warm Conneqtor strategy bridges the gap between the service provider and the client. Once the client knows how much you care, they will be chomping at the bit to work with you.

As financial advisors, we need to facilitate meaningful, trust-building conversations. Before assisting with financial decisions, we can help clients clarify priorities and values. In this respect, a better client experience involves having financial knowledge and a fair deal of emotional intelligence.

Financial Advisor helping clients

Client participation

Client participation is equally important. Clients want to feel understood, informed, in control and secure within their service. For us, that means we need to deliver a hyper-personalized experience through smart consistency.

Smart consistency requires understanding where it’s critical to deliver a consistent experience and delivering on that. This means leveraging an established process to create tailored strategies based on what is most important to your clients. Advisors should put their clients’ interests before their own, using their goals and unique perspectives in their tailored strategies. A custom experience – that’s what clients want!

They like knowing what’s happening behind the scenes and feeling they have the best support in their corner. The client relationship should be aligned to achieve common goals of awesome advisory service and financial prosperity.

Time to change your focus, my advisor friends!

I hope you gained some valuable insight from reading this article! Remember, you can always reach out to me for more guidance and advice.

 

Best Regards,

Derek Notman

Riskalyze x Conneqtor Lead Generation Webinar Replay

digital marketing lead generation and defining your niche

Digital Marketing, Lead Generation, and Niches

Digital marketing, lead generation and defining your niche are 3 of the key pillars to the ‘digital as default’ model.

As more financial advisors understand the necessity of adopting a remote advisory model, these pillars will become powerful tools in the arsenal of advisors across the globe.

digital marketing for financial advisors

Riskalyze x Conneqtor Lead Generation Webinar

Our founder, Derek Notman had the privilege of joining Director of Channel Marketing at Riskalyze, Matt Fritsch in exploring these three pillars in an exclusive webinar.

If you missed it, you can watch the webinar below:

In summary, the Virtual Advisor System provides advisors with proven strategies and tools for building a robust digital marketing footprint for enhanced lead generation. It also provides a framework from which to define your niche.

If you want to learn more about the origins of Conneqtor and how the Virtual Advisor System can facilitate your transition onto the virtual advisory model, then download our free e-book here.

How to Drastically Reduce Your Overhead While Expanding Your Team as A Virtual Advisor

reduce overhead and expand your team

Arguably the best thing about transforming your financial planning practice into a virtual one is that your overhead will come down drastically. No office + virtual staff = minimized expenses.

A relatively obvious observation, yes, but let us take a look at what a virtual practice actually looks like from a financial perspective.

As a business owner, your goal is to service your clients to the best of your ability while generating as much revenue as possible while still living a life you love, the virtual financial practice will enable you to do just that.

No More Rent

Not having to pay rent for physical office space is a considerable benefit, resulting in your saving a lot of money each year.

Depending on your location, office space can cost many thousands of dollars a month in the USA; astronomical and no longer necessary. Think about how you can reallocate this expense for your business while also bringing more home to enjoy life….

You will then have more room to reinvest some of your savings back into the business for the crucial aspects of running a virtual business. Think digital marketing and digital infrastructure – two necessities for a virtual financial planning practice you simply cannot go without.

working remotely saves costs

No Running Costs Associated with A Physical Office Space

Now, with zero office rental fees, also comes the benefit of not having to fork out for the general costs associated with running a physical office.

No more obligation to typical maintenance and utilities such as office supplies for your staff, internet for multiple people, electricity, water/sewage, or a cleaning company. Again, this will result in a drastic savings each month.

Other savings associated with a virtual business include not paying for maintenance on plumping, electrical, appliances, or even paint.  Or having to deal with a sewage backup at 1 in the morning…ya, that happened to me, ugh!

Virtual Employees Are Cheaper

Another significant saving is not having to pay the salaries and benefits for permanent employees. Fewer employees physically present in your office means less money to be paid out every month – in this case, none at all.

With a virtual financial planning practice, you can be fully operational by hiring virtual employees instead. The benefits? Firstly, it is not your responsibility to ensure they are set up to work. So, you need not worry about office supplies, a laptop, or even their internet connection – you simply pay them by the hour or per job/task.

You won’t have to cover their benefits either. The amount you pay per hour or per task is all-inclusive, and it’s also very affordable.

Further to that, working with virtual employees as opposed to permanent ones also gives you flexibility. You’ll be able to forecast whether you’ll need someone’s services or not. If not, no worries, meaning no dead weight. You only hire when their expertise is required.

Through employing freelancers, you can have a whole team of expert individuals on call, using them when and where you need them. In the digital world, it is most definitely the way to go.

virtual team video call

Investing in Digital Infrastructure

When migrating to a virtual business, you’ll need to invest in digital infrastructure, as in the right tools to get you fully operational. Besides a virtual team, you’ll need an in-depth digital marketing strategy because this is where your lead generation and client prospecting will take place.  People aren’t looking for advisors in the Yellow Pages anymore!

Your audience lives online, and so this is where you’ll need to engage with them. My advice is to first build out the foundation yourself.  It will take a bit of time and effort but is necessary for so many reasons.  But eventually you will want to outsource these services. Getting up to speed with how marketing works is no easy feat as it is incredibly strategic. Your expertise is financial advice and planning, and that is what you should focus on. Instead, use the infinite amount of online resources available to build a virtual team that can take care of what you currently cannot.

By using the virtual model to your advantage, you will be working with the most experienced and knowledgeable individuals to help get your digital practice off the ground.

If this migration seems a little too daunting to you, don’t stress! I’ve designed a virtual advisor system called Conneqtor to help guide you every step of the way. It will train you on lead generation, virtual practice management, and digital marketing, etc., etc., etc.

It’s simple and will enable you to dominate as a virtual financial advisor in the digital world. Download our free eBook to get started.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article!

Kind regards,

Derek Notman

My Experience of Presenting at Riskalyze Fearless Week

riskalyze fearless week experience

We are currently in a global megatrend, and as financial advisors, we have no choice to evolve and embrace this change. The future is now.

If we do not embrace these waves of changes, we will become FADs (Financial Advisor Dinosaurs). As an industry, we are quite averse to change, but as a silver lining, the COVID-19 pandemic is somewhat forcing us to change.

The brick and mortar advisor is dead. But the virtual financial advisor will be able to make exponentially more money while drastically reducing their overhead. Furthermore, they will be able to form stronger connections with their clientele then what was previously thought possible.

I spoke about this at Riskalyze Fearless Week – more on that below.

fearless week setup

Riskalyze Fearless Week

I will most definitely look back at presenting at the Riskalyze Fearless Week Virtual Conference as a professional highlight of 2020.

It was an epic experience for me, packed with value and loaded with opportunities to meet so many distinguished, influential people.

This year has thrown us all for a loop, and there’s no denying that, but the whole Riskalyze team did a fantastic job of putting together a massive conference for the benefit of over 2,500 advisors all over the world. Riskalyze is undoubtedly paving the way for how virtual conferences should be done. A job well done, my Riskalyze friends!

I was humbled to have been included as one of the featured speakers for the event, and although the event was entirely virtual, it was still a blast and perhaps even more effective in some ways!

I was able to communicate with fellow advisors in real-time during my session, and I was also able to instantly schedule meetings right within the conference platform.

It was incredibly refreshing and encouraging to see how many advisors around the world are forward-thinking and looking to build an amazing practice while doing what is right for their clients. As I mentioned earlier, we have no choice to adapt, and in doing so, I can see how my peers are benefitting tremendously from the virtual financial planning model.

The 4-day event was packed with useful and practical information that was well diversified from a content standpoint.

And although so much was learned, my biggest takeaway was that our industry is becoming open to evolving, opening up to change, and is led by so many brilliant people trying to improve the work we do from so many angles.

Mindset is a hard thing to change, and the Riskalyze event illustrated just how open to change people are and highlighted the wondrous things that lay ahead for us all.

riskalyze fearless week

Takeaways from My Riskalyze Session

Our brain gets in the way of our evolution, when, in fact, the opportunity to transition to what the modern-day consumer wants from us is more straightforward and faster than what you realize.

The financial advisor who embraces this change and effectively transforms their business into a virtual financial planning practice will benefit from the following:

– Location independence

– A robust digital footprint

– A focus on process and relationships, rather than your product

– Cutting out costs like staff, travel and rent for office space entirely, reducing your overhead significantly (meaning more money in your pocket.)

– Using your knowledge and experience to position yourself as a thought leader in your industry, and in turn, creating more awareness around your service offering

– Heaps more time on your hands to focus on what truly matters to you

What Can You Do Right Now?

I understand that it may come across like we are just throwing around a bunch of new concepts and expecting you to accept them. However, we are merely introducing you to a very apparent reality. The world has changed forever. Before the pandemic struck, we were on the brink of an inflection point, and all COVID-19 did was accelerate that change that was already underway. I want you to know that the solutions and survival of your profession are within virtual reach.

Adopting a Semi Virtual Financial Planning Model

If you are interested in finding out more about what it means to adopt a (semi) virtual financial model, then download our free e-book.

Our system, Conneqtor, will equip you with everything you need to move forward in the new normal as a financial advisor, from lead generation to creating a robust digital footprint.

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

I hope you enjoyed reading about the future of our industry!

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