As a financial advisor, there are two ways to grow your book of business: non-organically and organically.
Non-organic growth often consists of mergers and acquisitions (otherwise known as M&A), which involve acquiring smaller books of business. The benefit of this method is the opportunity for immediate growth and geographical expansion, however, there are downsides to consider as well. Acquisitions can be high-risk or high-leverage – or both – which pose a threat to the health of your business long term and often require upfront capital. They also involve a migration of systems and a transfer of trust between the former and current advisory teams, leaving ample room for data and other valuable information to be lost or misplaced.
To avoid these downsides, non-organic growth opportunities take time and effort to source and implement. Organic growth, on the other hand, can come to you.
Organic growth refers to new clients that come through as inbounds on your website, referrals from clients, center-of-influences, or family and friends. They require no upfront capital and no revenue share, and often lead to strong, lasting client relationships. Although it can be difficult to grow your business organically, it is possible.
Here are a few simple – but important – ways to grow your financial services business organically.
Make your website work for you, even while you’re off the clock. Ensure your site is not only user friendly, but also optimized for search engines. Adding SEO keywords to your webpage content and metadata will improve the ranking of your site in an online search from a potential client. The higher it ranks in the search results, the easier it will be for prospects to find you. Once they do, a friendly user experience will help them navigate the site, provide them with background on you and your services, and ultimately compel them to reach out.
A strong client relationship can go a long way – not only in years of business together, but also in referrals. It’s more than just an annual holiday card, it’s an attentiveness that won’t go unnoticed. A client that feels supported by you is more likely to refer you to others in their network who could benefit from your services and expertise. Setting a great first impression and making it last will pay dividends.
Family and Friends
Though they might not be in the financial services industry with you, your family and friends have networks of their own. The more they know about your business and see how you’re a leader in the space, the more they can recommend you to someone they know.
Seminars and Speaking Events
A great way to continue building your network and creating recognition for yourself and your business is through seminars and speaking events. As an attendee, you will have the opportunity to meet new people and make new connections. As a speaker, you will cast a wide net of exposure and position yourself as an expert in the field. Both of which will help draw people to you and lead to potential new clients.
Strategic Marketing and Prospecting
Leverage your local area and initiate a strong marketing outreach plan. Positioning yourself as a resource who can answer any top-of-mind questions in a complimentary consultation call or providing a free offering, such as a financial plan or portfolio audit, will show prospects the value of your services and encourage them to continue working with you.
Most financial advisors grow their books with a combination of non-organic and organic methods, both of which have their respective pros and cons. However, an emphasis on organic growth strategies provides better enterprise value.
The key to excelling in organic growth is through a robust outreach pipeline that includes top-of-funnel, high-propensity leads. That, in addition to a strong marketing strategy, is your recipe for success.