How to Build a Successful Financial Advisor Practice

Ever wonder what some of the top financial advisors from around the country are doing? How they're doing it? And why they're doing it? Below is a list of the seven keys to building a successful financial advisor practice.

1. Know Your Business

One of the key ingredients for building a lasting brand is to know your business inside and out; everything from knowing the services and benefits you provide to knowing how and what your competitors’ are doing.  Make sure to stay up-to-date with new laws and regulations and also educate yourself as much as you can about current news (both financially and generally).

By doing so, you’ll be able to stand out amongst competitors, and your clients and prospects will view you as a true professional in the field and look towards you for guidance throughout their lives.   If you show them that you’re the expert, not only will they come to you, but they will also refer whomever they come in contact with to you.

Certain questions to ask yourself are: How is the overall industry doing?  What would I like people to view me as?  How does my community view me now?  Who are my competitors?  How are they marketing themselves?  What am I good at?  What am I not good at?  What companies am I using to leverage my time and resources?

2. Define Your Target Market

Once you establish an understanding about the overall business, the next best thing you can do is to be able to define your target market.  The answer here is not“individuals and families”.  Really spend the time to sit down and think about who your perfect client would be.  Think about everything – their location, how much income they make, how old they are, their family members, their personality, their interests, and much more. Once you have your target market established, you are then better able to define what your message should be and how you can communicate that message to effectively reach that target market.  With a defined target market, you will have a better focus on who you are reaching which will save you time and money.

3. Set Objectives

What kind of position do you want to be in a year from now?  Do you know how much money you will make this year?  What about five years?  It’s important to set objectives so that you are able to clearly define and measure the outcome.  Objectives should be specific, measureable, achievable, realistic, and timely.  Some examples may be to work on your client acquisition and obtain new clients or it may be to focus on client retention and retain existing clients.

Whatever your case may be, it’s imperative that you create both short- and long-term objectives.  Without a clear understanding of where you want to go, it’s nearly impossible to really know how to get there.

4. Separate Personal from Professional

Nowadays with the internet and social media outlets, it’s important to maintain the balance between personal and professional communication.  It may be tough to comprehend, but no one wants to see pictures of your grandchild’s elementary graduation.  Your clients and prospects view you as a top financial professional - so let them see that.  Professional photos are highly recommended and useful information pertaining to your clients’ everyday lives should be communicated to them.

And it’s not only the internet, but also your phone and work area.  Does your voicemail state just your name while your kids are yelling in the background?  Is your workspace being cluttered by toys and food?  Take a step back and ask yourself, “Would you do business with you?”

5. Remember The Three C’s

When creating stationery and other marketing materials, remember The Three C’s: Clear, Consistent, and Concise.  Your message and design should be clear so that your clients and prospects can easily understand what it is that you do.  This will lead to more referrals and sales because they will know all of the services you provide and be able to talk to their friends and families more clearly about your business.

For example, let’s say you sold a client a life insurance policy; this client may now distinguish you as their “life insurance sales agent”.  So when a person is talking to this client and asks them if they know of a good retirement planner, chances are they will not mention your name.  It’s important to clearly explain all of your services to your clients because they are your sales force out there in the community.

Consistency is another rule of thumb when it comes to your marketing efforts and creating your brand.  Make sure your message, contact information, color scheme, and logo stay consistent on all of your marketing pieces.  Studies have shown that people finally absorb information being told to them on the third time.  You may find yourself repeating things sometimes and think you’re a nuisance to clients and prospects, but really, this might be the first time that they‘re actually understanding you!

The last thing you can do is be concise.  Get to the point.  Cut to the chase.  Catching on?

6. Review and Revise

You won’t know if what you’re doing is working unless you evaluate and review.  Is your community catching onto what your business does?  Do they recognize your logo if they were to see it in an advertisement?  Was the advertising campaign everything you expected?

A review can simply be done by outlining everything it is you want to accomplish, then implementing the strategy, and finally following up on the objectives it is that you set when the campaign has ended.  Reviews can be done in so many ways; by yourself, with a LifePro Field Support Representative, or a focus group with some of your best clients.  Focus groups have been proven to be the most effective because you are engaged with you clientele and it is a very personal approach which leads to building the trust between you and your clients.

Want More Marketing Ideas?

Grow your knowledge and continue learning about how you can perfect the art of selling life insurance and annuities. For more information like this, click over to view our MarketPro section at MarketPro.

About Dan Tatulli

Dan Tatulli is the Marketing Director at LifePro. He works with financial professionals on strategic marketing and branding campaigns to deliver relevant and timely content to their community.