As we look back on 2022, we’re highlighting some of the most popular articles that our audience of financial professionals found most helpful and insightful. From advisor best practices to industry trends, they all contain valuable points to consider when building and growing a successful financial advisory practice.
This is not an inflation thing…
Most advisors want to establish a consistent and positive customer experience that makes clients want to keep coming back. Doing the work and making the investment to create a comforting, satisfying client experience is foundational and meaningful.
It’s a feeling, and it’s what successful firms and great financial advisors DO DIFFERENTLY.
Here’s what we mean. Have you ever spent $32 on homemade cookies? Or something else that was non-essential, but made you feel really great?
Even in the midst of economic chaos, as humans, we are still compelled to spend on products and services which make us feel good.
Yes, retail therapy is real. So is inflation. But, as many of us would experience it, spending $32 on cookies may be neither of those things. More likely, we are choosing to pay for an utterly comforting, satisfying moment within an exceptionally chaotic week, under the umbrella of the extraordinarily uncertain world where we—and our clients—live.
What if you combined your high-quality advisory services and knowledge with a powerful, clear culture & well-defined, systematized processes?
What if your clients happily anticipated the consistent experience of entering your office (or even your Zoom space)—every time, no matter what’s happening in this crazy world outside your doors?
What if your clients knew, based on this experience, that they’d be taken care of by you and your team in your own special way?
If you have clarity about your culture, service model, and processes, you have power: To generate the particular, unique experience that you, your team, and your clients are truly excited about sharing with the world. Read the full article here.
You’re Not Alone: Market and Grow Your RIA Business
It’s important to recognize the value of partnerships and collaboration in building a successful practice. By working together with a team or partner, you can go further and achieve more than you could on your own.
If you’re breaking away or forming your own RIA, you may feel alone with your marketing and growth efforts. Like most independent advisors, you’re eager to get your unique message out into the marketplace, but most of the time you’re at a disadvantage without the resources and support of a larger firm.
That’s why advisors who partner with FocusPoint for their back-office and technology needs also utilize our comprehensive Practice Development Program (we call it PDP).
A lot of firms may claim to help advisors with practice management or development, but what does that mean? We truly come alongside advisors, providing them with the support they need.
Before they found us, the advisors we support were looking for a program that would have a TRUE IMPACT on their business. Read the full article here.
Speak Your Truth, Find Your Tribe
Sharing your unique story and value proposition is key to standing out in a crowded market and attracting the right clients. It’s important to be authentic and genuine in your messaging, and to focus on what makes you and your services unique and valuable.
As our profession evolves, the industry seems to be broadcasting this announcement to independent advisors: “Stop swimming in the sea of sameness. It’s okay to shed any of your old fears about delivering a marketing message that’s personal, specialized, and true for you. In a world of sensory overload, it’s time to be—and share—your authentic self.”
Why has this message been so widely received? Because financial planning has come a really long way…and our space is more than ready for this evolution.
On a similar note, in the eyes and minds of clients and prospects, financial planning has become commoditized. Today, most clients are seeking much more than a long list of financial planning services. They want a collaborative, personalized, transparent relationship with their advisor. They want to ask questions and experience customization. They want to know they’re more than just a name and number. They want to be seen, heard, and understood.
If, as an advisor, you want your clients to open up and share with you—and not leave anything important out of the conversation which may inhibit you from doing your best financial planning work—shouldn’t your clients, in turn, expect the same from you?
If your message is a reflection of your truth, then by its very nature, it will be compelling to your ideal audience. They’ll be intrigued, attracted, and moved. They will want to connect with you and learn more. Read the full article here.
Should You Raise Your Fees?
It’s important to be confident in the value you provide to your clients and to be willing to adjust your fees accordingly. This can involve getting clarity on the value you provide and being able to articulate it to your clients.
Have you ever raised your fees? If you’re an advisor, probably not.
But why not? Outside of our industry, have you ever encountered or hired another professional who has never raised their fees?
Over the last ten years, the cost of practically everything in our world—from technology to taxes—has gone up, continuously shrinking advisors’ margins. If you’re like many entrepreneurial financial advisors, over the years you’ve incorporated better, more expensive services and features into your client experience…yet you’ve never raised your fees.
In a world full of uncertainty, independent financial advisors and RIAs offer an incredibly valuable suite of services, care, education, credentials, support, experience, and guidance to clients. Despite all this, they’re often humble, quiet, or unclear about expressing their value.
It’s not uncommon for advisors to feel fear or doubt about charging (and communicating with clients about) a higher fee.
But the belief that they can’t raise fees is usually in advisors’ minds—not clients’. How many times has a client actually ever pushed back on your fees? If you’re confident and excited as you discuss the value of what’s included in your fee, so are your clients. Most clients are happy to pay for the consistently strong services and experience you offer. Read the full article here.
A 6-Step Roadmap for Standing Out in a Crowded Market
Defining and articulating your unique story and value proposition is crucial for effective marketing. It’s important to go beyond generic messaging and focus on what makes you and your services truly unique and valuable.
“I’m an experienced financial advisor who provides comprehensive, holistic planning services to my clients.”
If this is the type of messaging you’re sharing with the world, the likelihood of your ideal audience discovering you is pretty low.
Put yourself in the shoes of a potential client who knows nothing about you or your firm. They’ve reached a crucial point or life event and they’ve become clear about needing to find a financial advisor to guide them through their situation. One evening, after a long week of work, they’re doing some online research to find an advisor in their area. They’re looking for information and connection.
Based on what they’re reading about the five planning firms they’re scrolling through online, you all appear to do exactly the same thing. YOU know that’s not true, but unfortunately your reader—who could possibly be the perfect fit for you and your unique service offering—can’t tell the difference between you and these other advisors. You’re all (more or less) telling the same story.
How effective can a marketing strategy be, if its foundation is built upon the same bland message used by the vast majority of advisors? What makes you and your story stand out…so that someone who may truly need you can find you in the sea of sameness? Even if you and your ideal clients ARE PERFECTLY MADE FOR EACH OTHER, how will those potential clients ever find you if you haven’t implemented a system to attract them?
Ultimately, as an advisor, your goal is to put the right message and strategy in place to create leads who have the most significant likelihood of grasping, appreciating, and NEEDING the value of your advice and unique experience you bring to the table. Read the full article here.
We hope you’ll find at least one of our articles helpful as you look to grow and develop your ideal financial advisory practice in the coming year.
As we remain committed to providing timely and valuable content for the financial advisor community, we’re grateful that the regular content we create is useful to our audience of financial professionals.