Originally Published 12.27.2016
Building a digital footprint is critical in the era of collaboration.
Everything that you publish, whether it be in the form of comments as in this article, or in the form of blog posts as seen here on this blog post… or a combination of the two, curated to bring meaning to my beliefs and opinions in a tangible fashion. This blog post is a working example of HOW to leverage your digital footprint by exuding your authentic value 24/7. Your ideal audience will find you so you had better be publishing with a purpose.
The Future for Advisors is about proving value. 24/7.
When Advisors allow any other entity besides themselves to define their authentic value they diminish the chances of survival and hinder their plans to thrive in the digital age. You mustn’t allow your plans to thrive in the digital age be undermined by anyone… much less yourself. Avoid self-sabotage by reading on…
The advisor in the future must look beyond industry standards and minimum antiquated regulation to demonstrate in a tangible fashion why anyone should do business with them Pertaining specifically to this article, (Original Article from RIABiz.com) the advisor who relies on the industry to demonstrate his or her value through a benchmark is more likely to be replaced by the industry. Advisor autonomy goes beyond the realm of value props.. In order to thrive in the digital age of transparency advisors must own a “client-centered purpose.” Technology and transparency will weed out the ne’er do wells. It’s already happening without (and in spite of) regulation. Clients are becoming more empowered through transparency and technology , which is a beautiful thing. Advisors must also leverage the same transparency and technology to empower themselves.
You can’t police advisors into stewardship roles.
Any form of industry standard benchmark weakens the advisor… it does nothing to empower the perception of value, which is under the complete control of the advisor… more specifically, the advisor who owns a client-centered purpose. – Most advisors are good.-(Especially those advisors who subscribe to RIA Biz.) More industry drafted oversight is only adding to the digital noise. Advisors must become empowered through autonomy to thrive in the new collaborative world of 24/7 advice. My opinions about the facts in this article are backed by my conviction about HOW advisors can and should become empowered. Advisors must be afforded the opportunity to exude their authentic value through – ownership – of the perception of their value. Acquiescing to antiquated industry standards that limit the ability of the advisor to own the perception of his or her value, in my opinion, is a catastrophic mistake that can and should be avoided. Now, more than ever, investors are searching for a trusted source of wisdom. Advisors who are empowered through autonomy will be more likely to exude that wisdom than those advisors who agree to become suppressed by industry created benchmarks. ((BTW, this is a great article that shines a much needed light on the difference b/t portfolio alpha and advisor alpha. Keep ‘em coming.)) This article is an important component in moving the conversations away from the “what” that most RIABiz readers are already well aware of.
The comments after the article (found in the link above) are nearly 2 years old… and there they sit… Conveying my unique beliefs and opinions about this business.
If advisors rely on the industry to define their value will they be replaced?
Who do you trust?
Who should your clients trust?
Better conversations start with questions that lead to better definitions which lead to better solutions that can truly make a difference in the lives of trusted clients…
By posing these questions I am reminding my current ideal clients of my authentic value while exuding my alpha to a new audience who is looking for a trusted source of wisdom to help them see hear and feel about their business in a different dimension. The perception of my value is entirely up to me. There has never been a greater opportunity for advisors to take advantage of technology. By ignoring this statement you risk extinction… discover as much as you can as soon as you can.
Always available when the time is right for you.
The power of persuasion in the digital age of transparency can not be used to sell products in a vacuum to increase shareholder value.
Your gift to persuade clients must be used differently.
Your gift is to persuade clients into doing the right thing for themselves.
Creating stakeholder value is the only way to generate predictable recurring revenue in a robo-world.
You must be able to see your future through this lens or you risk irrelevance.
Think Big Picture.
The Value Algorithm
Sustainable organic growth comes from predictable recurring revenue… or at least the ability to create predictable recurring revenue when it is compounded by the catalyst of successful repetition. This is the magic formula or the “advisor value algorithm” that has enabled successful advisors to thrive (sometimes by default) by design. It is in your best interest (as well as the best interest of your clients) to discover your own personal advisor algorithm to create your own sustainable organic growth by design.
Inherent risk associated with default setup… (The issues associated with you not taking control of your advisor algorithm) What will happen to your business and your clients when you continue to ignore your own advisor algorithm…Options you have to discover your advisor algorithm… (really just one)
Successful outcomes of advisors who have discovered their advisor algorithm and the evolution of their businesses because of the proactive stance they have taken in owning their algorithm of value culture and growth…
3 types of risk you introduce into your business by refusing to own your advisor algorithm…
- One Step Up Risk (Two steps back)
- Culture Risk (Your people don’t have anything to take hold of… there must be autonomy and the opportunity to own one’s own advisor algorithm)
- Valuation Risk (Reducing your organic growth machine to chance reduces the value of your business in an inorganic spectrum)
One Step Up Risk (Copycat Risk)
The issues associated with not owning your advisor algorithm are numerous and compounding by nature. We can start this shortened summary of all risks inherent with not owning your own advisor algorithm… with the risk that you bring into your business by not having the framework for a successful business model in place to guide your daily actions. When you associate the success of your business with the success of tactical concepts that may have worked for other successful advisors you are tacking on additional risk (one step up risk). What initially might seem to be a hit with you and your clients is eventually exposed as the temporary fix that it is because you don’t have the same Advisor DNA as the advisor whose blueprint you have copied. These actions always lead to heartache and two steps back because of the additional work it takes to make up the difference in the perception of the value you have perpetuated and the actual authentic value that you can and should be offering your clients. Your authentic value (the value that you can actually control) must be made tangible to demonstrate its relevance. The relevance of your value is critical in uncovering (getting) and maintaining (keeping) ideal clients. When you turn you back on these critical components of the advisor algorithm you introduce one step up risk into your business… and you don’t need that. One Step Up or Copycat risk is incredibly toxic when it comes to building your business. The cleanup factor is enough to drive any serious advisor out of business… Your reputation will be forever sullied by the lack of authenticity you introduce into your business culture when you fall for One Step Up Risk.
Your business is far too valuable and your reputation is far too important to introduce this type of Copycat Risk into your business development model. When you discover and design your advisor algorithm you create a strategic foundation that makes you and your business culture far less susceptible to falling for One Step Up Risk. In fact it guarantees that you will never see tactical offerings as strategic solutions again.
(This should be enough to get you started down the path of building your business by design… if not, please continue reading to discover more risks associated with not taking ownership of your advisor algorithm.)
When you don’t own your advisor algorithm you open your business up to a multitude of cultural issues associated with lack of focus. Your trusted partners have earned the right to become part of your culture and they are indelibly tied to your reputation and the story of your authentic relevant value. A certain level of autonomy is required to create this culture of trust. If you do not acknowledge the importance of owning your advisor algorithm you will introduce chaos into your business model. Each member of your valued team must be able to have critical conversations that matter, with the confidence of the courage of their conviction. And in this era of 24/7 collaborative services, all conversations matter. You must prepare all trusted partners with the ability to converse with confidence. Without the ownership of the algorithm, which sets the tone for your culture, you are adding risk by default… this sounds confusing… design… default… what the hell man? Just let it be known that you are not doing yourself, your partners, your staff or your clients any favors in the ways of client experience and trust by ignoring your advisor algorithm. For sustainable growth to occur by design you must have a culture that is built (on purpose) from the fundamentals of your advisor algorithm which empowers you to exude your integrity and trust in a multitude of mediums twenty-four hours a day. Your predictable recurring revenue is at risk every minute that you are not able to exude the culture of integrity that you have created by design for the good of your ideal clients.
Business Valuation Risk (Inorganic Value)
The value of the moving parts of your business when you cease to be there is considered by many to be the valuation of your business. There are many more variables associated with the value of your business in the inorganic perspective… there are buyers and sellers markets when it comes to valuations and the grey matter involved is beyond the scope of this article. Suffice it to say that you must be able to demonstrate your predictable recurring revenue and the ability to maintain that predictability and growth when you are not their holding the reigns. The other side of the coin is if you are acquiring another business and need to create your own specific variables for valuation… owning your advisor algorithm empowers you to go beyond the spectrum of third party evaluations of ROI into cultural details that can uncover cultural alignment which must not be ignored when there is so much at stake when it comes to potentially adding risk to your current client base if you do not have an ideal fit with the firm you are acquiring. This is a light summary of the possible risks inherent in the valuation of advisor businesses when it comes to inorganic acquisition. Sustainable organic growth is indelibly tied to inorganic acquisition regardless of which side you reside… both buyer and seller must verify the ability of the acquired business to generate predictable recurring revenue and sustainable growth…Simply not recognizing the opportunity (owning your algorithm) to create a stronger business model while reducing risks associated with valuations is just not acceptable. Your clients deserve better, so does your staff and you do too.
What advisors can gain by owning their advisor algorithm is a dramatic reduction of three inherent risks associated with lack of focus, vision and or purpose.
The advisor algorithm is a merely synonym for alpha or value by design… some advisors see things one way, some see it another.
To get all advisors exposed to the opportunity of tangible alpha I have designed multiple synonyms for tangible alpha… anyway, back to the point of this story…
The need to create sustainable organic growth is often undermined by risks that advisors unwittingly add to their businesses while trying to create predictable recurring revenue. It’s a kind of sabotage that advisors can’t see because they are often times too close to the business to see clearly the missteps they are taking. That’s why I feel it is my calling to enlighten and empower advisors with the wisdom I have been able to gather through my affiliation with one of the best advisor coaches that has ever walked the planet. I might be a little biased.
Anyway… on to the conclusion…
To gain a competitive advantage in a multitude of dimensions (moving forward in the digital age) the advisor in the future will own his or her advisor algorithm and increase the probability of success while simultaneously reducing inherent risks associated with cultivating a business that thrives on sustainable organic growth.
Keep It Tangible,
3 reasons to nail down your topics for meaningful engagement.
1 Content leads to your unique value.
2 Questions lead to your value to filter.
3 Conversations are competent and add to your confidence.
Your virtual value must be aligned with the human experience.
Topics are derived from your purpose, principles, values, beliefs, opinions, experiences, expertise, promised behavior, behavior you expect from clients, your philosophy, and your processes…
Those disciplines of your alpha must be defined (by you) before you can create categories for content topics for engagement and questions that lead to your value.
Topics Tie It Together
The medium is the message. Your digital experience must flow seamlessly with your daily behavior if you want to survive in a robo world.
If you are thinking about outsourcing your content to a third party, think differently.
You don’t need leads for a sales funnel.
You need to filter in prospects and keep clients with personalized topics.
Cookie cutter content will get you washed away.
No more silos.
Your value must become tangible for clients and prospects to see and hear.
Nobody wants to be placed in your sales funnel. Transparency lets prospective clients know exactly what you are up to.
Own the words. Design your topics. Get and keep ideal clients. In perpetuity.
Conversations that matter don’t happen “off-the-cuff.”
Most advisors have never been afforded the opportunity to discover and define their authentic relevant value… they were hired to sell products. To remain relevant and become irreplaceable advisors are going to have to think differently about their job description. You are going to have to think differently about sales… you are going to have to think differently about service… you are going to have to think differently about your unique value.
You can’t have a conversation about the solutions you provide without the courage of your conviction.
The courage of your conviction comes from well defined value…
The conversations of most advisors, up until recently, have been centered around either products or the trustworthiness of their firm. But now, the greatest opportunity in the history of financial services awaits you…
Owning The Words That Define Your Value
By owning your value you are creating opportunities to have conversations that matter 24/7
In order to engage in conversations that matter you must have a formalized process in place in which the client experience is never left to question. Your business must become designed to exude your value and leverage all of your resources to consistently improve your client experience while simultaneously engaging in (and improving) the conversations that matter. Essentially, the client experience and the conversations that matter dovetail to enhance the overall development of your business. Owning your Advisor Alpha creates this opportunity.
Once you define your value… you own your Advisor Alpha
Owning your Advisor Alpha and making it tangible nullifies the element of desperation inherent in a business where you can’t exude your value.
Lacking the courage of your conviction to have conversations of your value is the number one killer of all advisor client relationships… If you can’t put into words why your clients should be paying you, you will neglect them… and neglecting your clients is still the reigning champ of client defection.
They need to feel it… and you need to know how it makes them feel… Tangible Alpha.
If you don’t own the words that define your value you will be destined to attempt to become a version of “all things to all people.” This version of you fails eventually… and this version of you fails more rapidly in a robo-world.
Not owning your value will be the number one reason behind your failure… hourly, daily, monthly failures will ensue… and eventually, not owning your value will be the end of your advisory business.
You must first own your value before you can engage in conversations that matter.
Owning the words that define your value enable you to create a business in which your conversations fuel the client experience and the client experience fuels the conversations that matter. Owning your Advisor Alpha and making it tangible will drive the success of your business in the future… by design.
How can you escape the trap of client defection due to advisor neglect? How can you empower all trusted partners to have conversations with the courage of their conviction? How will you remain relevant and become irreplaceable?
Advisor autonomy will empower advisors to create stakeholder value that leads to enterprise value and shareholder value.
Recruiters of advisors must come to the realization that in the digital age of transparency, it is autonomy that will set advisors free and not independence. Advisor autonomy can be offered to any advisor regardless of his or her firm’s affiliation. The battle for recruiting top advisors will start with a different tone in the not too distant future because the era of collaborative services has arrived and transparency will dictate that investors will not trust advisors (or their firms) who are not offering stakeholder value ahead of shareholder value.
Transparency will empower the investor to see exactly how his or her best interest is being discounted for the good of the c-suites and shareholder value and they will not become a party to being the means to that end. Those days are over.
Just as the investor is becoming empowered by technology and transparency, so too will the advisor. Autonomy will afford the advisor in the future to sit on the same side of the table as his or her clients by owning the perception of his or her authentic value which is wrought from a client-centered purpose. Shared purpose is the only way investors will trust advisors or their firms in this modern era of financial service. This is a great thing. It’s the best time in the history of financial services to become a trusted steward of wealth and every financial advisor has an opportunity to thrive in the digital age.
To create a sustainable culture of integrity that ensures growth from this point forward, recruiters are going to have to offer autonomy to advisors to empower them by allowing the to own the perception of their value. Otherwise the pending crunch that is spearheading commoditization of services and reducing margins (including NIM) will destroy the firm and the industry.
The industry will not be able to serve investors through robos and opaque sales tactics… ever.
I’m not going to let that happen and neither will you. And… neither will the firms… once they realize that autonomy is the key to the culture creation that spurs inorganic growth while harmoniously stimulating and ensuring organic growth for advisors. Own the words… own your alpha… create your own autonomy to remain relevant and become irreplaceable.