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Increase your practice without increasing your overhead— Digital self-help tools empower your clients and free up your time

Congratulations. You’ve reached a milestone in your career as a financial advisor: You are at capacity. You have all the clients you can handle.

But now you face a dilemma: How do you grow your business? Read on for what may well be the perfect solution.

Your time is limited

Like all successful financial advisors, the day will come when you are maxed out.

You open your calendar and notice that practically all working hours are spent servicing your clients: meeting with them, managing their portfolios, advising them on their investments, updating compliance records, handling administrative paperwork, and so forth.

Add in the required professional development education and keeping up with industry developments, and you have run out of time and energy.

So now you are in a tight spot: How do you keep expanding your business while still maintaining your high level of in-person, high-touch service with each client, current and new?

Traditionally, you’d have two choices, neither very appealing:

  • You could work even longer and harder—and suffer burnout.
  • Or you could hire additional staff, at considerable expense and risk.

Now there is a third option:

Empower your clients with self-service tools.

Modern technology, such as digital self-service tools, will help them get the guidance and resources they need without having to involve you at every step of the decision-making process. These software programs and apps will provide value and efficiency to your clients while giving you the freedom to concentrate on providing one-on-one service when and where needed most.

It’s a win-win situation for all.

How can advisors leverage self-service tools to increase their value?

To transition your clients successfully to the use of digital-service tools, you must take a leadership role in embracing the new technologies. Learn how to use various tools so you can make appropriate recommendations for each client’s situation.

For example:

  • You have clients fresh out of college or graduate school whose main financial concerns focus on paying back student debt, setting up monthly budgets, and tracking bills. Encourage them to download and use budgeting apps such as YNAB or Mint.
  • You have clients with school-age children. Help them start financial preparations for college with College Aid Pro’s College Money Report. This DIY resource creates custom reports detailing your clients’ out-of-pocket expenses and eligibility for grants and scholarships, plus other information that can all be customized to your firm.
  • You have “hands-on” clients who want to check their finances, upload documents, and view recommendations all in one space. Consider offering powerful financial planning software like eMoney, Money Guide Pro or RightCapital and training your clients on how to use them to their best advantage.
  • You will want to check all of your clients’ “money personality” periodically. What are their attitudes toward money and risk? Data Points collects such data based on interactive quizzes so you can make strategic investment recommendations.

Do you see the possibilities?

Create a hybrid practice

Once you start incorporating self-service tools, you’ll discover that they’ll allow you to scale up while maintaining service and value. You will be able to create client relationships through a successful combination of personal connection and digital service.

This type of hybrid practice frees up your time to recruit and cultivate new clients, strengthen your network of professionals, and even share your expertise through public speaking or mentoring.

And here is another benefit: Your investment in new technology will give you a competitive edge compared to other financial advisors.

It will play a key role in attracting more clients, especially the tech-savvy members of generations X and Y who not only like them but expect technology to help manage their finances. It will also increase your operational efficiencies by streamlining and automating many routine office tasks, which saves you money and boosts your bottom line. The right technology can foster client confidence, enhance collaboration, and build long-term relationships. You will stay relevant in a constantly changing business landscape.

There is even some evidence that suggests advisors who use technology are happier and more fulfilled in their jobs!

So go ahead and embrace the new digital tools and services. The time and resources you invest today to use them in your practice will repay you many times over in years to come.

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