Enjoy the current installment of "weekend reading for financial planners" - this week's "Practice Management" edition starts off with a nice Journal of Financial Planning Focus article by marketing consultant Stephen Wershing about how to refine your referral process to improve growth, a great list of tools for digital age marketing from technology consultant Bill Winterberg, and a good reminder that digital age marketing strategies should focus not just on building social media followers but ultimately converting them into clients. From there, we look at an interesting article about the rise of "wealth databases" that advisors can engage to find affluent prospective clients, a profile of some firms that are aiming to serve younger clients not just with different services but an entirely different office atmosphere, and a review from Bill Winterberg about the Fox Financial Planning Network and the resources it provides to help firms with workflow efficiency.
We also look at a few articles highlighting some of the difficult challenges that advisors face, including two warnings from both Mark Tibergien and Angie Herbers that the advisor marketplace is becoming more challenging and competitive and that advisors and the vendors who serve them must step up to compete, a discussion from Pinnacle Advisor Solutions highlighting the emerging number of outsourcing providers that are trying to help advisors get past the growth wall, and a look at how some advisors are joining close-knit study groups where they "open the kimono" and share everything in an intimate group setting to get feedback about how to improve their businesses and professional lives.
We wrap up with two interesting articles: the first suggests that while financial planning is slowly moving beyond just focusing on the numbers to look at client personal issues, we're still a long way from truly integrating behavioral finance and a more holistic look at well-being; and another that shows how storytelling may be a more effective way to activate our brains, which is relevant for everything from marketing your services to prospects to helping persuade clients to change their behaviors and implement your recommendations. Enjoy the reading!