Solo financial advisors and smaller RIA firm owners: Help is on the way! As you increase your revenue in your financial planning business, you have more profits to invest in your support system. This means you can set yourself up to scale while reducing or redirecting your personal effort in the business. Seem impossible? With a disciplined approach you can make it happen.
Before we start this support shift, you have to know where you are now and what you want. In an earlier LinkedIn post, I invited you to explore where you direct the most time, money, and energy in your business right now. List out all of these current efforts on the left hand side of a document. Now on the right hand side, list out the 3-4 areas where you want to exert your effort in your practice.
With this information in hand you can apply my 3-prong approach to gain more hours, energy and yield:
Prong #1: Eliminate what no longer applies, or you can’t do well right now.
With clarity on the high-value hyper-value client you want to attract to your practice you can cross off efforts you currently do that no longer matter. For example, you may have prospects in your funnel who match the client you do not want. Now may be the time to redirect them to alternate solutions. Any marketing opportunities that draw in clients who no longer match your high value client, you can easily toss or cancel.
Also, if you are directing more of your time meeting with centers of influence seeking referrals, and you haven’t established the core of your marketing plan then you can halt or reduce those initiatives until you connect with your audience directly. If you’re dabbling in Facebook ads but haven’t established a lead magnet or content channel, stop those and get your foundation in place. You want to focus your marketing efforts, not spread yourself too thin.
Prong #2: Hire technology.
Perhaps one of the best “employees” is technology. Which of the efforts in your long list has a technology solution that could handle the bulk of the effort (or all of it!) for you? You may not know your options, but you can start to look. Follow tech expert Bill Winterberg’s Bits & Bytes to stay up to date on the latest tech in the financial advisor world. Highlight all of the items on your list for which you want to consider a technology solution.
Some of the common examples to lighten your load that I recommend for the advisors I help are:
- MailChimp or AWeber: Use one of these email management applications’ autoresponder feature to communicate with new leads who come into your relationship marketing system. You can also link your blog so your new updates will automatically send to your list’s Inbox when you post.
- Buffer or MeetEdgar: These social media sharing tools help you expand your brand’s reach. Load up Tweets or Facebook and LinkedIn posts and then the drip them out over time. Create social media campaigns and schedule them ahead of time to gain leverage and keep a consistent presence in the online marketplace.
- Apptoto and Setmore: Reduce your no-show rate and text or email appointment confirmations using one of these apps.
Prong #3: Outsource work to your team.
By team I don’t necessarily mean employees. I know many entrepreneurs (myself included) fear recreating the bureaucratic organization that they left behind in Corporate America. You may not want to be in the employee development and or people management business. Luckily we operate in a world with an expanding sharing economy where entrepreneurs abound with the skills you need for freelance or project-based work. Circle the jobs on your list that could be implemented or managed by another human (that is not you!) and seek out helpers who will:
- Confirm appointments with a human touch. Use a service like My Receptionist or Ruby Receptionist to answer your phone, reach out to confirm meetings, or check in with clients.
- Design infographics, edit videos, update your web site, help with presentations, or handle other one-time projects: Fiverr.com and Craigslist.org.
- Run your errands that you don’t have time to do: TaskRabbit.
As with any long term sustainable improvements you will have to muster activation energy. If you do not yet have your support system buttoned up, you are probably expending as much or even more effort spinning your wheels trying to do it all than you will following this 3-prong approach.
As you eliminate efforts and shift responsibilities to team members and technology, what remains are the areas that you want to do. With your newfound availability and energy, you can focus where you want and do it well.
What is your favorite outsource provider? Which technology do you feel is an advisor’s must-have? Share in the comments below. For help with integrating technology into your marketing communications system, sign up for my free training videos.