Whatever your experience, these top tips will help you stand out as a financial adviser.
Whether you are a seasoned professional or someone who is just starting out in the sector, everyone can learn a thing or two from a good list of tips for financial advisers.
Here is part one of our 20 top tips that can help you with everything from finding pension leads for IFAs through to working out how to really make yourself stand out from the crowd.
Invest in yourself
Someone who is giving investment advice to others for a living can often miss out on the most obvious financial adviser tip – the single best investment that you can personally make is in yourself. Investing in yourself can mean a wide range of things, from taking time to further your education by taking online courses, getting more qualifications, or even just keeping up to date with developments by reading industry publications.
You are your best asset, so the more you invest in yourself, the more valuable you will become. This is a lifelong process as personal development never needs to stop, and often when it does, problems will occur. Simply by learning a new skill as and when you need it, you can overcome new challenges and make sure that you are ready to move forward.
Move to opportunity
Most people will move if a firm offer or opportunity arises that is a big enough temptation, but sometimes you have to consider moving location or making a career change when things are more speculative. Moving to opportunity means putting yourself in a place where opportunities exist. This could simply be the classic early geolocation move from a small town to a big city, but later on in life, it could also mean being flexible and open about pulling up roots and going where new doors could open for you if you make yourself available.
Develop the habit of saving and investing
You should get into the habit of saving and investing from the earliest stage in your career. What’s the point of being able to give others advice about how to grow their money if you don’t take advantage of what you know yourself?
Knowing how to build clients as a financial adviser is one thing, but realising that you can personally benefit from your own industry skills is something that a surprisingly significant number of your peers never get around to doing. The amount you save or invest is less important than the habit you form.
Keep core expenses low
In any kind of business, juggling overheads against income is the only way to eventually make a profit. That’s why this is one of the most important tips for new financial advisers who are just starting out. Month-to-month expenses are better than longer commitments because they allow you to keep a flexibility around what might not be a steady income in the early days.
Your health and energy levels are key resources. When you lack energy or are in poor health, your work will suffer – that’s simply a fact of life. When you are a younger professional concentrating on picking up qualified leads for financial advisers, you’ll most likely feel invincible as you go about revolutionising the industry. When you get a little older, you’ll realise that just like any other asset or investment, your health needs nurturing and looking after.
Use your time wisely
The idea that you work eight hours, sleep eight hours and have eight hours over will be laughed at by anyone who is self-employed. When you start a business and are looking at how to get your first client as a financial adviser, you won’t have one eye on the clock to see when the working day ends. However, career burnout is a very real risk, so knowing how to use your time wisely is another skill you need to develop.
When you work for yourself, it’s nobody else’s fault when something goes wrong. You can’t lay the blame at another co-worker or manager that doesn’t understand you. When you accept that everything in your life is because of what you do, even non-work issues will become clearer and easier to handle.
When you take responsibility, you fix things and make them better. You don’t have to get permission to be successful and happy, and you see the world differently. Although it might sound like a self-help cliché, even if you just apply this approach to finding leads for financial advisers, you will soon see the difference.
Focus on your strengths
You might be really good at servicing pension transfer leads, so why complicate things by diversifying too much? If you try to be good at everything, then you might succeed, but it’s more likely that you’ll be the “jack of all trades and master of none”, as the old saying goes.
You need to be exceptional at something to stand out from your competitors, and to do this, you need to know your own strengths. Often, it can pay dividends to get even better at something that comes naturally to you, rather than losing time, effort and possibly money trying to improve things that might prove more difficult.
Make new friends
You need to add new friends to your life as you go along. Times change and people with them, so older friends might become bitter or more caustic and begin to drag you down with them. Likewise, you’ll undoubtedly have friends whose positivity and lust for life always help spur you on to greater things. Surrounding yourself with a group of friends whose positivity is infectious can be one of the best investments you can make.
In a field as competitive as the financial advice sector, getting investor leads means standing out from the crowd. You need to have a unique selling point, you need to know who your potential customers are, and you need to be bold when you go out to get them. Playing it safe might work in the short term, but if you are looking forward, then you need to take some risks.
Developing the mentality of success is the first building block in achieving it. Whether you want a new boss or new company to take notice of you, or you are your own boss and want to stand out from your rivals, not being afraid to put your head above the parapet is key to winning.