Strategies to Stand Out from the Crowd in an Exploding Profession
According to the United States Department of Labor Statistics, there were 263,000 financial advisors in the U.S. in 2019. What’s more, that number is expected to grow by 4% by 2029. While this growth in the industry is consistent with consumer demand for professional financial services at the moment, it also means that financial advisors must face more competition today than ever before.
In addition to completing all industry-required educational courses, some financial advisors are choosing to become Certified Financial Planning professionals (CFP(R)) or Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) in order to distinguish themselves from other advisors in the marketplace. While they may succeed in this manner, there are other ways to set yourself apart, too. We’ll discuss three of them below.
Standing Out from the Crowd
When you want to make a name for yourself – and seize market share in a burgeoning industry – you’ve got to be intentional and proactive. Here are three innovative ways you can do so:
Cultivate Your Social Influence
If you already have social media marketing in place, you’re going in the right direction. Hopefully, you’re working to have a consistent brand presence. However, social media marketing can be impersonal, and the things that can truly help you grow your business and your personal brand are relationships. Reach outside your inner circle and work to grow your professional network. This can be incredibly helpful in increasing your referral base.
It can be difficult to know where to start, and you don’t want to waste time spinning your wheels, so be smart and efficient about your networking. Leverage “centers of influence,” such as attorneys, accountants, local businesses, and even human resources professionals. You might find them on social media, but you can also take a boots-on-the-ground approach by attending local business roundtables and similar offerings.
Serve Underserved Populations
All financial advisors know how to market to the low-hanging fruit: retirees and those nearing retirement. They are obvious sources of business for the financial services industry – which means there is tremendous competition for their business. Why not shift your focus to demographics that are underserved comparatively? Near-retirees might have lush portfolios, but established young professionals, for instance, offer incredible potential for the future growth of your business.
Step Up Your Community Involvement
If you truly want to connect with the community where you live and work – and where you hope to grow your client base – invest your time in community involvement. Business and professional groups are great for networking, but volunteering for causes that are important to you is another great way to enhance your outreach and brand recognition. Anytime you can connect with like-minded individuals, you have the potential to generate new leads and referrals – while doing good at the same time.
What NOT to Do
For a long time, it has been the norm for financial advisors to cold-call (or email), knock on doors, and serve free meals at seminars in the hopes of attracting new clients and building their businesses. If you look at your work as a numbers game, and you’re willing to put in the effort, you can yield results this way. However, it’s a bit of a slow and painful process for most. Plus, it doesn’t help you build relationships or establish trust in the ways that will truly impact your success.
If you want to be the type of financial advisor who truly takes an interest in your clients, and who builds and maintains strong relationships built on respect and trust, shouldn’t you be more people-focused in your outreach efforts, too?
Final Thoughts on Building Success as a Financial Advisor
When you want to set yourself apart from the competition, you need to be ready to put your heart into it. Building relationships through consistent networking, smart lead generation, and community involvement all take time and effort – but they also yield the best results. Remember, people choose financial professionals they trust, and cold marketing efforts don’t necessarily plant those seeds for you. On the other hand, a commitment to consistent and genuine networking, a focus on serving underserved populations of professionals, and personal involvement in your community can elevate you above your competition and set you up for the professional growth you desire.
For more content like this, check out The Advisor’s Plan Podcast, where we discuss the unique challenges and opportunities for modern financial advisors, and explore best practices for achieving your professional goals.