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How To Effectively Self Promote, IFA Style
Some Basic "Getting The Word Out" Efforts Can Go A Long Way
For today's Independent Financial Advisor (IFA), the industry landscape couldn't be more competitive.
Vying for clients – and hopefully high net worth ones – is always a challenge, but never so much more than it is now.
"Yes, boasting your annual average return rate is certainly a selling point, but you've got to first attract those eyeballs so they actually see how you're performing," asks Chris Hastings, CEO of Sapphire Software Services, which developed Panoramix, the popular at-a-glance portfolio management dashboard for IFAs.
So how to?
If you're an IFA looking to attract new clients, consider whether it would be appropriate for you to implement a new promotional strategy for your organization. It may help you differentiate your services from the competition.
Make the benefits of using your services crystal clearAlthough you might think it goes without saying, an IFA's job is to ensure that his or her clients meet their financial goals in the most effective and efficient way possible. This is a basic point that is particularly worth reiterating to prospective new customers, especially as some people may be looking for a quick fix to monetary issues.
Unfortunately, when it comes to personal finances, many people turn a blind eye for many different reasons. IFAs ought to use this as an opportunity to remind potential clients that spending an hour or so discussing their options once or twice a year can save substantial amounts of time and money in the long run. IFAs can also help explain financial jargon whether it's relation to pension auto-enrollment or the latest financial derivatives.
If you're an IFA, it's worth tailoring your services depending on the needs of your target audience. If, for example, you are based in a town where there are lots people on low incomes struggling with credit card repayments, it's worth promoting how your services can help them manage their debts, rather than encouraging them to invest in the stock market.
Have a presence on social media sitesAs the popularity of sites such as Twitter, Facebook, et al, shows little sign of abating, it's vital IFAs are using these platforms to full effect in order to promote themselves.
Encouraging people to follow you through social media will help you to remain in touch with a wide audience instantly. When it comes to developing a social media fanbase, however, you should focus on quality as opposed to quantity. It's better to have 500 fans on Facebook who take a keen interest in managing their financial affairs and want to use your services, as opposed to 5,000 who are just making up numbers.
Encourage constant interaction with clientsRegularly interacting with clients is something that all IFAs should look to do, not only just to inform them of how their current products and investments are performing, but also to see if there are any new services they can offer. Of course, people's financial needs can change often and without warning, so advisers ought to promote themselves as being on hand to help meet their needs.
This could be achieved by sending out regular updates on the latest legislation that may affect their circumstances, as well as distributing small promotional products like pens as a token of thanks for their business and trust. Promotional items like pens can be personalized to feature your logo, contact details and other marketing information, which could help your organization stay at the forefront of recipients' minds, and encourage them to get in touch with any financial queries they have.
"These tips may seem quite obvious, but we're always surprised to see so many IFAs doing none of the above, then wondering why business is not what it should be," adds Hastings. "Follow these promotions basics, and in short time, you'll witness the effects in a most positive manner."
Sapphire Software Services inc., a custom software and business-to-business automation company founded in 2003, developed Panoramix® for financial advisors in 2013 and completes 16 planned releases per year to the product. Sapphire brings business applications to the web, provides consulting services with the best vendors and partnerships, and offers professional development capabilities to automate business processes. Sapphire specializes in business application software development for companies in the financial services sector. Panoramix, its award-winning flagship software tool for portfolio management for financial advisors, focuses on providing multi-custodial performance reporting and client billing, with a wide-ranging additional feature set. Sapphire markets under the name Panoramix Financial. For more information on Panoramix connect with us at www.panoramixfinancial.com.
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