Making a name for yourself in the financial advisor space can be a test of your entrepreneurial and creative skills. There’s steady pressure to keep pace with trends and stay up to date on the latest tech innovations. And not to mention competition from established and newer advisors. Knowing how to build a financial advisor practice without getting overwhelmed is key when growth is your long-term goal.
If you are looking to grow your financial advisory business, check out SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor platform.
How Do Financial Advisors Get Clients?
Advisors often ask themselves how can create new ways to generate clients. That’s a common question and the simplest answer is that financial advisors get more clients by delivering useful advice and solving problems. Successful financial advisors are able to recognize their client’s needs and meet them effectively.
There’s a lot of legwork that goes on behind the scenes in order for that to happen. A good advisor lays the groundwork by identifying their target audience, drilling down to the issues or problems those clients face and developing workable solutions to help them move forward with their goals.
Advisors then utilize the information they’ve gleaned to develop a marketing strategy that’s designed to attract their ideal clients. Once they have those clients, successful advisors work to cultivate their loyalty so that they’re not tempted to go elsewhere.
How to Build a Financial Advisor Practice
Building a thriving advisory practice requires planning but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Outlining your objectives is a good place to start, as that can help you to crystallize your growth strategy.
With that in mind, here are some of the most effective ways to grow your advisor practice.
Tip #1: Niche down
Trying to serve everyone in your advisory business might seem like a good way to attract new clients, but it can backfire. If you’re not offering anything different from another advisor, prospects may have very little incentive to choose your business over theirs.
Choosing a specific niche or market segment to serve can make it easier to stand out in the crowd. When you specialize in a particular planning area or offer financial advice to a certain demographic, you can become a magnet for those types of clients. That’s something boutique financial advisors understand well.
For instance, say your current client base consists of pre-retirees and retirees. You might niche down by marketing your services to couples or focusing on higher net worth clients. Or you may choose a different direction and narrow your scope to certain professions, such as attorneys or physicians, or members of underserved communities.
Niching down means you’ll have a smaller pool of prospects to work with. However, you could increase your chances of converting prospects to clients if you’re able to hone in on the issues they need help with and offer solutions that are tailored to those needs.
Tip #2: Clarify Your Mission
Your mission statement is an elevator pitch of sorts that tells prospective and current clients what your practice is about. A good financial advisor’s mission statement should answer some basic questions about your business, in a way that’s concise and easy to understand.
When writing a mission statement, consider how well you’re answering these questions:
- Who do you help?
- Why do you do what you do? What motivates you?
- What is your end goal for helping clients?
Prospective clients should be able to read your mission statement. And they should get a sense of how you might be able to help them. A mission statement doesn’t need to be lengthy or wordy and going too long could cause your message to get lost along the way.
Tip #3: Get Involved In Your Community
Community outreach can be a powerful way to connect with prospective clients and increase visibility for your advisor practice. While more people are going online to search for financial advisors, meeting with prospects face to face can still have a big impact on your business growth.
For instance, hosting a local charity event or participating in one in your area can be a great way to get your name out there while giving back to your community. Sponsoring events is another way to further your outreach efforts and engage with prospects in your target niche.
Tip #4: Embrace Digital Marketing
As mentioned, clients are increasingly taking their search for an advisor online. If you’re not carving out a solid digital footprint for your practice yet, you could be missing out on opportunities to connect with prospects.
Digital marketing can encompass a number of things, including:
- Creating content for social media
- Building out a user-friendly website
- Email marketing
If you’ve been slow to embrace digital marketing, it’s helpful to first understand where prospective clients spend their time online. If your target audience consumes most of their content on social media apps like TikTok or YouTube, for example, then investing money into Facebook ads or spending time on Twitter may be a wasted effort.
Once you know where your ideal clients are online, you can fine-tune your digital marketing plan to create content that gets their attention.
Tip #5: Cultivate Relationships
Your current clients can be an excellent resource for growing your advisory business by referring others to your practice.
Word of mouth and referrals can carry a lot of weight for any type of business. Getting those referrals starts with delivering top-tier services to your clients so that they’re eager to send friends, family members or colleagues your way.
Relationship-building is central to that. Your clients don’t want to feel like a number or a link in the chain. You don’t have to be their best friend. But it’s important to make a concerted effort to ensure that they feel valued. In doing so, you can encourage client retention and gain referrals without having to ask for them outright.
The Bottom Line
Learning how to grow a financial advisor practice is an incremental process. And you can’t necessarily expect to see results overnight. Developing a strategy for growth and being willing to tweak it along the way can get you closer to your goals and take your business to the next level.
Tips for Growing Your Financial Advisory Business
- Make it easier for clients to find you. If you’re ready to grow your financial advisory business but want to do it in a streamlined way, take a look at SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor platform. We match certified financial advisors with right-fit clients across the U.S., helping you to grow your client base conveniently online.
- Expand your radius. SmartAsset’s recent survey shows that many advisors expect to continue meeting with clients remotely following COVID-19. Consider broadening your search. And work with investors who are more comfortable with holding virtual meetings or spacing out in-person meetings.
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