By Craig Faulkner
The world of financial planning can be hard to break into. Especially for young advisors or those that are new to the business, marketing can seem like an uphill battle.
Luckily, though, there are a few techniques you can use that will help showcase your strengths. These include emphasizing your use of technology and willingness to adapt to the changing industry, highlighting your passion for what you do, and relying on the support of your broker/dealer and other staff.
Harness Advanced Technology
As a new advisor, study up on the current industry technologies and see how those tools can help your clients. For example, you’ve likely heard of the big hitters in financial planning software, including eMoney, Hidden Levers, and Riskalyze. These are all instruments that advisors can use to blend the efficiency of robo advising with the warmth of in-person meetings, and are great tools to attract younger clients.
In the world of rising robos, online technologies, and changing industry rules, the financial planning world is continually evolving. To stay ahead of the curve, new advisors must embrace these changes and take advantage of current technology. Take Eric Flaten of ePersonal Financial as an example. While he offers an in-person, more traditional level of care, he also uses technology to help clients nationwide. With his FinTech service, he serves younger clients who have less complex planning needs.
Along with harnessing advanced technology, it’s also crucial to be present on social media and post consistently. Younger clients, including Millennials and Generation Xers, look to social media to assess the credibility of a business. More than 50 percent of Millennials say social opinions influence their purchase decisions, and 46 percent count on social media when buying online. By keeping your social profiles updated and fresh, you will be taking an important step toward attracting these markets.
Finally, a mobile app can serve as the icing on your marketing cake. This can be a nifty tool to help you get in front of younger clients and attract more business. Few advisors offer this technology, and being ahead of the curve with a personalized mobile app will appeal to younger markets, and offer another avenue through which prospects can reach out to you.
Share Your Story
If you are starting out in the industry, you may not have all the designations behind your name that other, more established planners may have. But not to fear, passion is here! You likely entered this industry because you wanted to make a difference in your clients’ lives. Highlight this desire in your website copy by answering questions like:
- What’s your story? How did you get started in the financial services industry?
- What drives you every day to do your best work?
- How do clients benefit from working with someone like you?
- How do you differentiate yourself from other planners?
Don’t be afraid to tell your story and add a personal touch by explaining your journey to where you are today. You don’t have to have gone to an Ivy League school or have a slew of degrees after your name to be good at what you do. Clients will appreciate your sincerity and willingness to serve them before they think twice about where you got your undergrad degree.
Mike Loo, a financial advisor in Irvine, California, uses his website as an opportunity to share his story and allow prospects to get to know him before meeting with him. He regularly blogs and, in one post, explains why he became a financial advisor. “Today, my passion for serving my clients is strong as ever. In the simplest of words, I love my job. It’s incredibly fulfilling to know that I am making a difference in people’s lives,” he explains.
Though Mike’s been in the industry for some time, his approach would work well for new advisors. Through constant communication that balances financial education and personal stories, clients and prospects can feel as though they are speaking to a friend who is passionate about helping them.
Highlight Your Broker-Dealer Support
Independent b/d's were created to help independent financial advisors operate within the infrastructure and support that larger firms have. As much as your clients enjoy working with a small, boutique firm, they also like knowing that you have someone to turn to for questions and further understanding.
We often hear independent financial advisors describe their status as a “win-win” situation—they have the advantage of providing the intimate, personalized experience of a small practice with the support and product access of a national firm. The independent firm Financial Fitness Center, in Oakland, Calif., features a page on their website about their b/d and why they’ve partnered with HD Vest. This is a great page that highlights the resources they can access, and also speaks to their dedication to client service.
There are many ways that new and younger advisors can find their spot in the financial planning landscape and market themselves efficiently. You know what makes your firm special and have a dedication to service at your core. Emphasize this, along with your use of current technologies and resources, and you’ll be among the top producers in no time.
Craig Faulkner is the chief executive of FMG Suite, offering a complete inbound marketing solutions for financial professionals. Follow @craigfaulkner on Twitter for marketing tips and updates.