Establishing yourself as an advisor will take dedication, time and sound strategic thinking. Here are some key strategies that will help you kick-start your financial advisory practice
#1. Develop a business plan
No one succeeds without a plan. It’s the first step in building a credible business. No matter how good you are at your job, if you don’t know where you want to go
, you won’t grow a healthy business.
Imagine where you want to be and work backwards. Look at the long-term picture and consider how much money you want to be earning at a specific future date. Then break things down into the smaller goals that will enable you to achieve this aim. For example:
How many clients will you need to have on your books?
How many people will you need to call to get that number? Yearly, monthly, weekly and even daily?
Make sure your goals are concrete and achievable, and once you’ve written them down, keep them close by, so you can revisit and amend them if need be.
#2. Create an ideal client profile
Many new advisors make the mistake of trying to work with all and sundry, seeing any business as better than no business. In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth. If you want to stand out, you need to identify your target market
and become expert in servicing that group of people. Pin down who it makes sense to work with.
This could be based, for example, on your prior work experience. If you used to be in another industry, , you’ll be eminently relatable to people in that field. Or perhaps your partner is a college professor? If so, your inside knowledge could give you the edge when it comes to promoting yourself to that sector.
You could narrow down to people in a given geographical area – or of a certain age or stage of life.
Go into as much detail as you can. When you’ve drawn up a list of characteristics, create a one-pager detailing your ideal client profile.
Decide to work only with people who fit this description
. When you meet with someone who fits the profile, hand them your ideal client profile sheet. This is a great icebreaker and will arouse their curiosity – to the extent they’ll maybe decide to take things further.
#3. Pick a specialty
Not only should you aim to work with people who fit your ideal client profile, but you should decide early on what kind of advice you should be giving.
When people choose a advisor
, they usually want one who focuses on their specific area of need. For example, they may be searching for help with taxes, retirement or estate planning. If you advertise yourself as someone who offers advice in all areas, you could get overlooked.
To help you identify a specialism think about what enthuses you or what you feel you’re best at. Consider the reasons you became a financial advisor in the first place. Was it because you saw someone struggle in retirement – in that case could you add true value to people in a similar situation?
#4. Build a strong online presence
Many people search for an advisor via the internet, so you need to make sure you show up in search by having a website that’s optimized for the area you serve. It’s also important to develop a strong social media profile. LinkedIn can be a valuable tool for generating new leads so make sure your profile is up to date with clear information about what you do. Posting content and joining groups relevant to your target market can help you get seen by the right people.
Setting up your financial advisory practice can seem like an overwhelming task. But if you develop and stick to these key strategies, you can and will successfully launch your business.
Related: 6 Reasons to Specialize in the Kind of Financial Advice You Give