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7 Financial Advisor Business Growth Strategies


Planning your firm’s growth is central to ensuring its long-term survival in a competitive landscape. Researching and studying financial advisor business development can help you discern which methods are most likely to produce results. There are different paths you can follow to scale your business, and your goals may determine which ones make the most sense to pursue.

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Financial Advisor Business Development Strategies That Work

Business development can encompass numerous strategies, but at its core, it’s all about encouraging growth and boosting profitability. Attracting clients is an achievable goal for advisors who are willing to commit time and effort to putting together a plan for growing their business.

Here are some of the most effective ways to chart a path to success.

1. Encourage Referrals

Referrals can be one of the most powerful ways to generate new leads for your business without investing anything other than your time. There are two ways to build referral networks:

  • Through your clients
  • With other professionals

Clients are more likely to refer friends and family to you without prompting if they’re overwhelmingly satisfied with the service they’re receiving. There’s nothing that prevents you from asking for referrals either, though it’s important to ensure that the timing is right to do so.

Beyond client referrals, you can also tap into your professional network to drive leads to your business. Attorneys, insurance agents and certified public accountants (CPAs) can all be potential sources of referrals if you offer services their clients need that they themselves are unable to provide.

2. Focus on Retention

Retention and referrals often go hand-in-hand. Not only do you want your clients to refer you to people in their circle, but you want them to remain your client for the long haul.

So, how does that help grow your business? If you already have a client’s attention, it’s easier to introduce them to new products and services as their financial planning needs change. Content clients may be willing to move additional assets held away under your management if you’re consistently exceeding their expectations.

Growth may also follow if your current clients have children or grandchildren who will eventually need a financial advisor. What you do to serve your clients now can make it easier to facilitate conversations about financial planning with the next generation later.

3. Dial Into Digital Marketing

Digital marketing offers abundant opportunities to grow your business and increase your brand’s visibility.

Some of the most popular ways advisors market themselves online include:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Social media
  • Digital ads, including Facebook ads and Google ads
  • Email and text campaigns
  • Influencer collaborations
  • Public relations marketing

Digital marketing can also help you build effective sales funnels.

For example, you might decide to host a free wealth management webinar that targets a common pain point your ideal clients face. You promote the online seminar on social media, with a link to a signup page where prospects can enter their email to enroll. Once you have them on your email list, you can send a sequence of targeted messages that are designed to generate interest, demonstrate your firm’s value and prompt them to act.

4. Showcase Your Expertise

An advisor preparing a presentation as part of his financial advisor business development strategy.

Gaining a prospect’s trust can be challenging, and it’s important to make the right impression from the very first interaction you have. That means establishing your credibility so that prospective clients are more likely to recognize you as someone they’re comfortable entrusting their finances to.

Some of the ways you can do that include:

  • Speaking at conferences or conventions that are relevant to your niche
  • Doing PR outreach to offer expert quotes and insight for financial publications
  • Participating in an industry research study or focus group that encourages you to share your knowledge and opinions
  • Being a guest on a podcast whose target audience aligns with your client base
  • Collaborating with an influencer to promote your business to their audience

You can also highlight your expertise through a well-designed advisor website and your social media profiles.

5. Foster Engagement

Creating social media content or blog content is integral to digital marketing, but you can’t just post anything and expect it to get results. The content you create should be engaging so that prospective clients are motivated to interact with it.

You might do that by:

  • Sharing a simple poll on a topic that’s designed to spark conversation
  • Posting a quiz that encourages your followers to test their financial planning knowledge
  • Relating a personal story that your audience can identify with
  • Hosting an impromptu Q&A session inviting your followers to ask their most pressing financial planning questions
  • Creating short-form or long-form videos that explain a financial planning topic your audience is struggling with

Consistency matters for building a steady following on social media. Using automation tools can help you schedule posts so that you’re regularly showing up when your audience expects it. If you need help with managing replies or tracking engagements, you may consider outsourcing those tasks to a financial advisor virtual assistant.

6. Get Active Locally

Marketing your business online can be a significant contributor to your firm’s growth, but you don’t want to overlook opportunities in your backyard.

Attending local events and actively participating in the community can help you generate ideas for promoting your business while meeting with prospective clients face-to-face. It’s also an effective way to add local professionals to your network who may be a source of referral traffic.

Some of the ways you might boost your profile at the local level include:

  • Sponsoring youth athletic teams
  • Participating in charity events
  • Joining the chamber of commerce
  • Volunteering to speak at local organizations
  • Leading pro bono workshops through a community center or college

Creating a Google business profile is another way to gain attention in your local sphere. It’s free to set up your profile and doing so could make it easier for those searching for terms like ‘financial advisor near me’ to find you.

7. Invest in Tech

Technology has tremendous potential to help you grow your advisory business.

For example, clients may prefer to work with an advisor who offers a seamless onboarding experience that doesn’t require them to come into the office. Likewise, they may appreciate being able to view their assets through a personalized dashboard or see potential outcomes using visualizer tools.

You can use tech to collect, organize and analyze client data, including financial data, to better inform your decision-making. Automating workflows in the back office can save time and reduce errors, and there are numerous uses for AI technology in wealth management and financial planning.

If you’ve been dragging your feet on technology adoption, it may be time to reconsider its possibilities. Implementing digital tools can help you divert your focus away from time-consuming tasks and redirect it to serving your clients.

 Frequently Asked Questions

How to Grow as a Financial Advisor?

Growing your advisory business begins with identifying the clients you want to work with and are best suited to serve. Creating an ideal client persona can help you shape your marketing plan to attract prospects. Once you’ve gained a client, you can focus on retaining them by delivering top-tier service and letting their needs and goals guide your decision-making.

 What Is the Best Niche for Financial Advisors Who Want to Grow?

Part of a financial advisor business development strategy is choosing the right niche to grow as an advisor. This often comes down to finding an unfulfilled need for your clients that you’re able to meet. Offering specialized services may leave you with a smaller pool of prospective clients to work with, but it can also make it easier for your business to stand out if you’re doing something your competitors aren’t.

What Should an Advisor Measure When Trying to Grow Their Business?

When you’re in growth mode, it’s helpful to have some metrics you can apply to measure your progress. You may track the number of prospects you contact each month, the number of meetings those contacts result in, and how often a meeting converts a prospect into a client. And of course, it makes sense to track your revenues and profits as well as your financial investments in growth strategies to see how they correlate.

Bottom Line

Advisors discussing financial advisor business development strategies.

Financial advisor business development isn’t just one thing. Instead, it’s an individualized process that relies on adding multiple ingredients to the pot to find the recipe that works best for your firm. These strategies can help you level up your business at a pace that’s comfortable and realistic.

Tips for Growing Your Advisory Business

  • Working with an advisor marketing platform can eliminate some of the trial and error that goes along with fine-tuning your financial advisor business development formula. With SmartAsset AMP, you can connect with leads who match your ideal client profile and get the tools you need to nurture those relationships.
  • Reviewing your book of business can help you get a better idea of which activities are most profitable for your firm and where there’s room for improvement. As you evaluate your current client list, ask yourself how well those clients match your current approach to financial planning. You can also examine the range of services you provide to determine if you’re fully meeting your clients’ needs or if it might make sense to expand your offerings.

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