Successful Financial Firms Focus on the Customer 

Whether your financial advisory firm handles a wide range of clients or specializes in a particular kind of investor, your success as an advisor is determined by how well you know your clients.

Every client’s needs and financial goals are different, but many of these clients face similar pressures and challenges when it comes to financial planning. As your firm works to attract new investors and retain your current clients, it’s often helpful to understand their advising needs by using a financial advisor customer persona.

Customer personas can play a significant role across your advisory firm’s operations, guiding not only sales and marketing strategies, but also customer service and client engagement strategies aimed at the following:

  • Expanding your client base
  • Providing client education on important financial topics
  • Strengthening client loyalty
  • Building interest in underutilized financial products or services

What is a financial advisor customer persona?

Financial advisor customer personas represent a specific type of customer your financial advisory firm serves. Depending on their age, employment status, family situation, and other critical financial factors, different advisory clients have different needs and goals when working with a financial advisor.

With customer personas, your business can build a profile for each distinct type of customer you serve. While these profiles should outline the typical demographic information you associate with these customers — which can include age, income, net assets, and years to retirement, among other data points — they should also identify the top pain points, advisory needs, and financial concerns faced by the customers represented by this persona.

Why is it important to create customer personas?

Being a financial advisor is hard. Attracting new business? It’s even harder. 

A basic marketing strategy for your advisory firm may offer some value in attracting clients, but most consumers don’t respond well to these general marketing strategies. If you’re relying on traditional marketing tactics used by advisors over the years, you might be making inefficient use of your marketing capabilities — and missing out on quality clients as a result.

Modern marketing strategies can leverage digital marketing and targeted campaigns to connect with clients by speaking directly to specific pain points. By positioning your firm as the solution to each customer persona’s problems, you can attract more clients and grow your firm faster, all while getting more marketing bang for your buck.

Once you have this persona-specific information in hand, your firm can create marketing and sales strategies, as well as customer engagement scripts, that speak directly to these needs and provide a better customer experience.

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What are some common customer personas for financial advisors?

The financial advisor customer personas targeted by your advisory firm will be determined by the client base you typically work with or by the types of clients you’re looking to attract to your firm. This is especially true in cases where you’re trying to expand your firm’s services to a particular segment of investors. Some of the most common customer personas targeted by financial advisors include the following:

Early Career Professionals
These individuals typically don’t have significant investments and may not have a clear retirement strategy in place. They need help setting up a savings plan and setting goals for the future.

Near-Retirement Professionals
These clients are approaching retirement and want to make sure they’re in a position of financial security when they finish their careers. They’re interested in scenario planning, tax planning, and other strategies that will maximize their retirement income and help them achieve their goals.

New Retirees
Clients in retirement need an advisor to continue managing their assets and retirement income streams to maximize net income, minimize tax obligations and plan for new financial changes that occur, such as evolving healthcare and/or living costs.

Widow(er)s Claiming Spousal Benefits
After one spouse passes away, the surviving spouse needs assistance understanding and managing spousal benefits, collecting life insurance payouts, and maximizing their financial security in the years to come.

How can I create customer personas for my financial advisory firm?

With customer personas to represent your valued customer segments, your firm can make sure messaging and services align with your customers’ needs. First, though, you need to create customer personas that are accurate to each customer type. Here are some tips for developing accurate, effective customer personas for your firm.

Analyze customer data to identify trends and relevant customer segments. 
What is the makeup of your current client base and/or the client bases you’re targeting? If you’re struggling to attract a particular type of client, use a customer persona to understand their needs better and connect with them through marketing.

Use surveys and fillable form data to facilitate easier customer segmentation. 
Take advantage of your current client base by asking them directly which services matter most to them, what their most significant sources of financial stress may be, and where they need the most help in navigating aspects of financial planning.

Identify the most frequent pain points with which each customer segment is dealing. 
What challenges are unique to each persona? How can your marketing provide tailored messaging in response to these challenges?

Evaluate the services currently provided to different types of customers. 
How do your firm’s services meet the needs of individual customer personas? How can you address these needs through your marketing?

Persona-focused marketing takes patience.

As you build customer personas, remember that the process of using them to drive better marketing results takes time. Focus on taking the proper steps and being methodical in developing strategy. Have patience when launching your new and improved marketing strategy. 

Discover more tips to drive leads for your firm by downloading our “Financial Advisor Lead Generation Guide” today.

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