The increasing popularity of financial planning has led to a growing awareness of how important managing finances and planning for the future can be. Despite its growing popularity, though, financial planning remains a relatively mysterious concept for many people who don’t understand how financial advisors actually provide value. For most financial advisors today, a website is a critical tool that allows them to market their services and communicate their fees to potential clients. However, for prospects who are unfamiliar with financial planning and what financial planners actually do for their clients, a description of services and fees may not be enough to decide whether to conduct business with a financial planner.
In our 106th episode of Kitces & Carl, Michael Kitces and client communication expert Carl Richards discuss how advisors can better connect with prospective clients by showcasing examples of their financial planning work on their websites, and how they can use simple ways to demonstrate what their financial planning process actually looks like.
As a starting point, it’s important to recognize that a website is often where a prospective client gains their first impression of a financial advisor and what they do for their clients. Though a menu of services and fees on a website can be informative, adding examples of work can be a better way to help convey to prospects the advisor’s skills, abilities, expertise, and work style. These work examples could highlight the include samples of actual deliverables, a calendar of events including meeting cadences and financial plan reviews, and even short videos demonstrating the advisor’s expertise and financial planning process (using appropriately anonymized client scenarios).
A different angle that some advisors may prefer is to share client experiences that financial planning has helped them to enjoy, whether it be taking a long-term sabbatical from work, experiencing once-in-a-lifetime destination vacations, or purchasing a dream home. Whatever approach financial advisors choose, showing examples of the financial planning experience for clients can help make the planning process more tangible and understandable, while building trust and credibility with potential clients before even meeting with them.
Ultimately, the key point is that sharing work examples that reflect how an advisor feels they offer the most value to clients not only shows prospects what the financial planning process would look like, but also makes the process easier to understand and more accessible to potential clients. This can help prospects decide whether the working relationship would be a good fit for them and give them greater confidence in the value of hiring the advisor. And by helping potential clients understand the true value of the relationship, advisors can create better opportunities to find more of their ideal clients and create longer-lasting relationships!