How to get clients as a financial advisor
Earning clients as a financial advisor isn’t easy. The industry standbys — referrals, advertising, direct mail, and cold calls — are either costly or time intensive. The old way of doing things can become a major hindrance to your firm’s scalability.
As your client base grows, advisors tend to have less and less time to devote to inefficient tasks that take ever more of their attention. Consider the ongoing problem of financial advisor client acquisition costs (CAC), which are startlingly high.
It costs a lot to earn new clients in financial services
A Kitces Research report of 800+ financial advisors essentially found that the average total cost of earning one new client is $3,119.
That number is a challenge when it equals or exceeds the benefit of working with that client for the first few years of the relationship. A troublesome “J-Curve” begins to take shape, in which it takes several years before working with that new client is actually positive for your business growth. This makes it difficult to absorb a large number of new clients at once…but only if you’re doing things the hard way.
Less than a quarter of that money, it turns out, is in hard costs like Google ads and promotional materials. A huge $2,600 slice actually represents the cost of time — generally spent by you, the financial advisor. This makes sense in an industry that relies heavily on referrals, cold-calls, dinner presentations, and other methods that take 1:1 investment of the advisor’s time.
The issue with a 1:1 approach to growing your business is clear: the more you grow, the less time you have to devote to talking with people and earning clients.
Other roadblocks to growing your business
Financial advisors face many obstacles: changing demographics, unpredictable economics, evolving technology, and more. At least four major hurdles stand in the way of your firm’s growth:
- It’s tough to stand out in a crowded market (with more than $24.6 billion invested in financial services startups and $112 trillion assets under management worldwide in 2021-2022)
- There’s new competition from robo-advisors, fintech startups and micro-investment apps
- You’re marketing in a highly regulated market
- More and more clients prefer the option to have instant, digital, or self-help solutions
In addition, today’s most commonly used marketing strategies — social media, blogging, and client dinner events — are actually some of the least efficient ways to gain new clients, according to the same Kitces report mentioned above.
So what can you do to expand your business without breaking the bank?
Narrow your focus to a group that needs you
It’s difficult to stand out as a generalist in a competitive career field like financial services. If you can focus on one group of people or one topic of interest (retirement savings, peak career wealth creation, estate planning, etc.), you can position yourself as a specialized expert. Clients who need help in that area of their financial wellbeing are going to be looking for someone who knows it through and through. Specializing makes you more memorable and helps to attract new business for less time investment on your part. Figure out who you can best serve — or who you feel is currently underserved — and help your clients in that space to build a successful financial life.
Financial education saves time, scales well, and really works
You’ll need to learn how to get clients as a financial advisor without investing too much personal time to make it sustainable. Research shows that educational seminars and courses stand among the most cost-effective and cost-efficient methods for bringing in new clients. The opportunity is there to reduce the overall cost of marketing for new business, improve your bottom line, and empower your firm to grow in a scalable way.
The math works in your favor when you’re engaging with self-selected prospects 15:1 in a classroom setting rather than 1:1 in a sales presentation. Attendees in your classroom or virtual course are exactly the people you want to be talking to, since you already know they’re looking for financial advice.
How to get clients as a financial advisor with FMT
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Fiduciary advisors are natural teachers. What you need is a turnkey solution to roll out a scalable financial education program without the immense up-front costs, time and expertise of creating it from scratch.
The end-to-end FMT platform gives you a cost-effective and convenient way to deliver high-value financial education and earn motivated new clients. With FMT, you get:
- Proven, FINRA-reviewed course design
- Engaging, ready-made materials and comprehensive attendee workbooks
- Concierge instructor training, conversion coaching and RSVP support
- Marketing strategy, planning & guidance
- Options for in-person or online course formats
- An exclusive marketing region reserved for you
Fiduciary advisors have been succeeding with FMT for more than 20 years, but there’s never been a better time to get into financial education. The rise of online education tools and video meeting software has made virtual courses into a proven, successful option. At the same time, in-person classroom education has enjoyed soaring popularity in the aftermath of the pandemic of the early 2020s, as folks look for fresh opportunities to get out and get involved.
The advisors we work with have reported that their courses are attracting more AUM than ever before. It’s not unusual for an advisor to attract 3+ clients per course and millions in new household AUM. Get in touch today to start earning lifelong clients and future-proofing your practice with FMT.