So you became a financial advisor to have more freedom and flexibility in your career but now you find yourself having less support or direction than you imagined.
Here at Consolidated Planning, our supportive infrastructure can help you to focus on your unique abilities while expanding your capabilities through strategic partnerships with planning, marketing, and practice management resources. This support might be right for you, or might not.
But if you want the freedom and flexibility of a career in financial advising, you can have that. You just need to determine to what degree you’ll have it, based on the firms you’re evaluating. Learn when to accept the support given to you, and where autonomy works best, all for the sake of your practice.
4 Ways Support and Autonomy Work As A Financial Advisor
#1 Setting your own schedule
Setting your own schedule as a financial advisor is one of the most common draws to the industry. Depending on your work ethic, this aspect of the career can be great for you. Setting your own schedule should take into account a few aspects:
- Your clients’ needs
- Your working style
- Your time management skills
What does setting your own schedule look like at Consolidated Planning?
Support in setting your schedule: We have built out an ideal workweek for our financial advisors to follow. An ideal workweek follows a similar style to a block calendar or time blocking. This ideal workweek follows a 1-3-1 approach.
1 Day for Administrative tasks – 3 Focus Days – 1 Day for “Catch Up” Activities
Mondays and Fridays
- Admin (client notes, research, meeting preparation, data collection)
- Trainings (Continuing Education)
- Consolidated Planning meetings
- Reviewing prospecting lists
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays
- Client meetings
- Client phone calls
- Anything where you’re in front of people
A more structured workweek can help advisors make their “to-do lists” a little more predictable, helping to cover all of your bases.
Autonomy in setting your schedule: Financial advisors at Consolidated Planning are free to make their own schedules. If you already have a workflow that suits you, we encourage you to continue with that. What’s important is that your schedule works best for you and your clients.
If you forgo the 1-3-1 ideal workweek, don’t forget to make time for the details. The little details in your practice can make all the difference in client retention.
#2 Pursuing quality leads
According to Statista Research Department, in 2022 only 35% of Americans said they work with a financial representative. This means that over 50% of Americans do not have a financial representative.
That number is enough to make any advisor feel like they need to be pursuing any and every lead.
As a financial advisor, your best leads are typically broken down between your natural market (friends, family, acquaintances) and your target market (a market you’ve become an expert in).
How can Consolidated Planning help you pursue quality leads?
Support in pursuing leads: Regardless of where you are in your financial advising career, our Marketing And Practice Management Solutions (MAPS) team can help you accurately assess your target market. This may include identifying and building out your target market, narrowing in on this market, or finding new markets to grow into. Some ways this team can help include:
- Completing a Natural Market Inventory (NMI)
- Connecting you with associations and organizations to reach your market
- Determining what value add you can provide your market (webinars, events, marketing materials)
- Building a marketing plan around your target market
With quality leads, your marketing efforts won’t fall on deaf ears. They will be pointed and resonate with your market, helping to make you an expert in that field.
Autonomy in pursuing leads: Of course, you can pursue any and all clients that you would like to in your financial advising career. If you’re hoping to reach your goals at Consolidated Planning, whether that’s the 250k in 5 Years Playbook, or the Greater than 250k in 5 Years Playbook, pursuing more quality leads will get you there as we have laid out.
If you choose to pursue any and all leads, you may find yourself wasting time and energy with little return. We’re not saying that it can’t work out for you, but pursuing quality leads will ultimately help you grow your practice exponentially.
#3 Marketing your practice
Marketing your practice is like watering the flowers you planted. What would happen if you planted flowers in the Spring and didn’t water them all Summer? They wouldn’t bloom and flourish.
Marketing your financial advising practice is a step you can’t leave out. Think of all the time you spent becoming an expert in your market, finding your clients, and helping them achieve their financial goals. Build on that with your marketing efforts.
What ways can Consolidated Planning help you market your practice?
Support in marketing your practice: The MAPS team at Consolidated Planning will help support your career goals through a meticulously crafted marketing and business plan.
This plan will be customized to you and include:
- An assessment of your target market: Helping you understand who your target market is, how it can differentiate you, and how you can better connect with your market through community engagement and marketing.
- A 90-day marketing plan: Assessing where you are now, where yo
- u would like to go in your career, and determining best practices for reaching your desired audience.
- Finding efficiencies in your practice: Reviewing what your day looks like as a financial advisor, what areas you can delegate, and how you can utilize your marketing and business plan to set quality appointments and convert those into clients.
- The Virtual Assistant Program: For additional support, a virtual assistant can take your marketing and client services to the next level. This assistant can be available to you for 3 hours a week, up to 20 hours, or for a specific project.
The MAPS team at Consolidated Planning has industry knowledge that makes marketing your practice a little more seamless.
Autonomy in marketing your practice: As a financial advisor, you can take your marketing a step further with the help of an outside firm. Whether you’ve already mastered marketing to your target market or you have an existing partnership, you have the autonomy to do more. Areas may include:
- Developing your own brand
- Implement automation technology
- Event planners for your client parties
- Establishing an online presence
While using the MAPS isn’t a requirement at Consolidated Planning, this team has the unique ability of solely working with financial advisors. Better yet, they will teach you how to focus on revenue-generating activities and how to market yourself.
What’s that old Chinese proverb? “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.”
The success of your career requires you to be involved and knowledgeable, don’t let your marketing efforts be any different.
#4 Delivering real solutions to your clients
Delivering solutions to solve or improve your client’s financial goals is your ultimate goal as a financial advisor. With so many solutions available, how can you know what is best for each client?
Fully understanding products just takes time, but even the most experienced advisor can’t always know everything about everything.
So, how can Consolidated Planning help in delivering the right solutions?
Support in delivering solutions: The Advisor Performance Group (APG) is another incredible internal team at Consolidated Planning. The APG team has made themselves the experts at analyzing data and determining gaps and opportunities for each and every client case. This team will go to work for you in a few ways:
- Developing meeting agendas
- Providing meeting scripts and narratives
- Identifying potential client objections
- Drawing insurance illustrations
- And any and all deliverables for the client
Prior to your client meetings, APG will review these items with you, allowing you to confidently deliver these solutions to your clients.
Autonomy in delivering solutions: As a financial advisor, we trust that you know your clients best. While APG is an expert in their field, they don’t have the relationship and face-to-face time with your client like you do. APG will rely on you to provide client feedback during each step of the process.
Meeting your client’s goals matters most and it’s essential that you feel confident and comfortable in delivering these recommendations.
Just as you will learn from the MAPS team, you will learn from collaborating with APG. Through this collaboration you will grow more confident in the industry, our product offerings, and our planning philosophy, requiring less input from this team.
Is A Mix Of Support And Autonomy Right For My Financial Advising Career?
When done right, support and autonomy can work together seamlessly. Part of achieving autonomy in your career means having the necessary support to adequately learn how to be the best financial advisor for your clients.
As a financial advisor at Consolidated Planning, you work for yourself but not by yourself, meaning you will never lack support in building your practice.
The only question is, will you accept the support you’re given?
If you like the idea of a career with a mix of autonomy and support, it’s time to talk to our recruiters about building your financial advising practice.
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