A lot has changed in the past few months for Barron's. Our team has pivoted hard into the digital world. We've created a new weekly newsletter and podcast called The Way Forward and launched a series of virtual events. One consistent theme we're hearing from advisors is that the change and innovation we've been talking about for years is here... and how.
As monotonous as endless zoom calls have become, this expedited embraced of all things "virtual" is a huge windfall for elite advisors. As virtual engagement becomes normalized, geography will be less relevant (if not totally irrelevant) in the search for quality wealth management. Advisors with an experienced and digital-first team will be able to prospect nationally. This is especially important for advisors with excellent client referral strategies. See below:
If you were to map out your clients, it might look like the diagram above. Traditionally, the majority of your business might have been represented by the centralmost node of dots — where a client refers colleagues and associates. That could be employees at the same company, members of the same church, or friends of friends. In a digital environment, advisors have the ability to engage clients outside their existing network. These new centers of influence then become the focal point of an entirely new network, where additional clients are added through traditional referrals. This gives larger teams with more savvy marketing strategies a huge advantage. But you don't necessarily have to be Jack Dorsey to tap into this shift in client expectation.
There are a handful of things you can do with little or no extra effort that will give you a boost. For example, having a LinkedIn page and being occasionally active on LinkedIn. Google yourself and your team occasionally to see your digital footprint. Always keep your site and your team information (including professional headshots) current. Despite the fact that everything has changed, they stay the same. Presenting yourself professionally will win you business; and serving your clients well will win you even more.
Hope everyone is safe and healthy.
Although the market is down, advisors — particularly top advisors — see an opportunity to differentiate themselves. “This is what I have trained for.” says top advisors Geri Pell. “This is when we really get to excel.” Advisors to high net worth investors also see a financial upside to disruption. "I think this may be one of the great buying opportunities for us for the next 10 years," says Hall of Fame advisor Christiane Olsen.
This bullishness is echoed by the staff at Barron's. In a time of uncertainty like this, we have seen extraordinary interest in our content as investors seek out quality analysis.
We've been asking advisors who participate the Guide to Wealth if they've won any new business because of it. Here are some big wins advisors have passed on to us:
Despite the uncertainty ahead, there is an opportunity for top advisors to scoop up dissatisfied clients, and Barron's and WSJ are one of the best places to find them. In fact, we've seen subscriptions and online traffic skyrocket in the past month as readers turn to us for quality insight.
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Starting this week, we will be building out a new, improved advisor finder tool. While the FA map was great, the next iteration will allow visitors to delve deeper and create more accurate lists of advisors. The matching tool will show a list of all advisors sorted by geography and minimum account size. Visitors can whittle down this list by selecting from a set of filters.
We will be testing this and gathering feedback in the next two months. Our goal is to launch it by March.
The next issue of the directory will run Dec 2 in Barron's and the following week in WSJ. The theme is talking to your children about money. We'd like your input into topics for the upcoming February and May issues. If you have suggestions for what theme(s) we should focus on, email email@example.com
Barron's is making a few tweaks the homepage to make the rankings and advisor directory more visible to Barron's readers. In two weeks the "advisor" module will now be "above the fold" – the term for content that doesn't require any scrolling. It is your direct input that helped sell this change to the development team, so keep the feedback flowing.