A Note from Marguerita Cheng, CFP® Pro — I invite you to tune in for this week’s episode of my podcast and video show, Margaritas with Marguerita, where for 15 minutes each Friday at 5pm EST, we learn from industry experts how to flex our financial muscles.
Today’s guest: Dominique J. Henderson, creator of the Jumpstart Coaching Lab
The topic for today’s show: How You Can Learn to Be a Financial Professional
Dom says: “I often get asked about the ‘why’ behind Jumpstart. If you’re reading this and interested in a career as a financial professional then you’re about to get the full story on why I do what I do and how I built the first international community for aspiring financial professionals just like you! Plainly stated, I was frustrated. I was frustrated by the number of people that didn’t have access to R(elatable) E(mpathetic) A(ttentive) L(istening) financial advice. At the time I was trying to figure out how to implement this concept in a firm that was focused on investment and asset management only. I really wanted to change the way that the financial services industry delivered financial advice to people so I wouldn’t have to keep changing the value of the financial advice I gave on investment performance.” What did Dom want? What did he decide? What happened next? Click here to read all about it!”
Scroll down for Dom’s 5 Essential Steps in Becoming a Successful Financial Professional!
And join us this week and every Friday at 5pm EST on Facebook Live for Margaritas with Marguerita Cheng, CFP® Pro: facebook.com/hopekatzgibbs
Watch all of our episodes: www.MargueritaCheng.tv
Thank you for your interest in a career as a financial professional. Our profession needs more caring, genuine individuals. I’m asked all the time how any college graduate, career changer, or existing financial professional can have a successful career in
financial services. I believe there are essentially 5 things that you can do to get the ball rolling towards your success! And although I appreciate your attention, I’ll love it more if you implement these steps. Enjoy!
STEP 1. Do Your Research: Do your homework. I hate to sound like your parents, but you can’t slouch when it comes to being thorough when it comes to this career. There are a lot of nuances that can make this complicated but “measuring twice to cut once” is what you’ll want to employ. It is a skill you will use over and over again as a financial professional.
- The Need: There is a need for good financial professionals. Many companies want to help people with their money and many financial professionals are retiring. People are becoming more conscious about their spending habits and they want to know what they should do. The demand for these services will only continue to grow as the economy does.
- What you should next: I won’t lie to you. One of the things you should do first is to find out if you want to be a financial advisor or a financial coach. This is about how people are regulated under the Investment Advisors Act of 1940. I have created a training that will help you understand this and what each path looks like (click here for more info). Once you know which one, it will make it easier because then, you’ll know what license is necessary for your next step.
- Tips for Implementation: Follow industry experts or thought-leaders and read their publications. Individuals like George Kinder, Bob Veres, Carl Richards, and Michael Kitces will provide industry happenings and trends you should be aware of. Publications like Financial Planning, Wealth Management are also good sources of information.
- Keep notes and research in a productivity tool: Good options include Evernote or Notion to organize your findings and make them retrievable. This would eventually be a great source of information before you go on an interview, attend career fairs, etc. Discuss your findings with industry peers and other professionals to draw conclusions and additional perspective.
- Purchase my training on the Financial Services Industry from A to Z (if you’re brand new to the industry) or consider my training on Logic Maps (if you’re not so new).
STEP 2. Invest in yourself: I can not over emphasize the importance of financial professionals investing in themselves through continuous learning. To develop as a professional, it is paramount to make sure you are always engaged in some type of education and training every year. Your mindset will need to shift (if it hasn’t already) from how much is this going to cost to what is my investment? Why? Because investments provide returns where as expenses don’t.
- The Need: The world is full of information. Information is like a commodity. Your value proposition is what you do with the information, and this will be your edge in this profession. You need to invest into yourself early and often to be an expert at giving context to all the content that there is out there.
- What you should do: Tips for Find a mentor or hire a coach that can provide you insight and perspective that it will take you a long time to acquire on your own. The ability to effectively implement what they know without the pain they endured to gain that insight is called leverage. The more you can employ leverage on your journey the faster you will be able to.
- Implementation: Reach your goals. Never stop investing in yourself. Don’t expect anyone else to invest their time and money in you if you haven’t first done so. Doing the little things like getting up an hour earlier 5-6 days per week to read, study or expand your network will help you get ahead.
- Write down what you’re seeking: Before you approach a mentor, coach, or sponsor. Always be direct. Being timid won’t get you anywhere. These people are busy and will appreciate you having an agenda before you call them or ask to spend time with them. Don’t let what they say go in one ear and out the other. Do it! They are successful for a reason. There’s nothing wrong with asking “why” either, just be ready for what they say.
STEP 3. Build Your Capacity by Deepening Your Skillset. Very few people want to work with a “generalist” although that is a great place to start. To really make your mark in this profession, it’s important to learn what you’re passionate about, master it and then add skills that complement your expertise.
- The Need: There is an incredible amount of opportunity in the financial services industry with so many different industries, products and service lines that are available to provide financial guidance to clients. With all this choice there is also a lot of confusion about what it is exactly that you do.
- What you should do: Tips for Focusing on finding your future employer’s weak areas and leveraging your skills to put them in a better position. For example, could you use your social media skills to help an older financial advisor reach his ideal audience.
- Implementation on Facebook or Instagram: Start thinking about which licenses, designations, or certifications will be relevant to your path. Map out a path to take the exams or get sponsored if necessary. Start making a shortlist of the firms you’d want to work for by researching their FORM ADV. Need help? Join my community and learn how to do this.
- Get a certification from one of the major financial planning software vendors: Options include RightCapital, EMoney, MoneyGuidePro, or Naviplan to show your proficiency with the software.
STEP 4. Join a Supportive Community: You need a tribe. Building a successful career in financial services is not always easy. You need community to help you stay the course, gain the insights and knowledge necessary during your journey in order to stay motivated. You can join an online group of like-minded professionals like Jumpstart (shameless plug) and others like FPA Activate (on Facebook), or the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education (https://www.afcpe.org/).
- The Need: Why do you need a tribe? Because there will be tough days. There will be studying for exams, time missed with loved ones, and moments of failure. Then when you get into the industry, you may lose a client. Believe me, it all comes with the territory of this career. However, when you have a tribe who has your back, your journey becomes easier!
- What you should do: Tips for thinking about joining or forming a study group or mastermind group. You can find them through larger professional organizations. Be sure to set some ground rules and establish a purpose for your gathering no.
- Implementation: Understand the platform or channel you decide to use. Don’t be afraid to move around. Sometimes these relationships will end and it will be time to move on. That’s ok. If you outgrow your relationship, be brave enough to cut the cord because your time is valuable. Not all professional organizations are created equal. Find the one that will help you advance your career and serve the clients that you want to serve. The effort and amount of time you spend networking inside the organization can really pay off. Strike a balance that helps you.
- Don’t break the bank to join multiple organizations. It’s better to join one and become active with that one than be in multiple and do nothing.
STEP 5. Prime your Online Presence. Whether you’re just beginning or already established you need to have an online presence. Clients are increasingly taking to Google and Yelp to find local professionals, thus it is imperative that financial professionals establish an online reputation. If it isn’t the case now, there will come a day (in the near future) that your legitimacy will be questioned without an online presence. Following is what I recommend you do next:
- Pre-recorded videos and/or Vlogs: There is a well-established trend (that is growing) for pre-recorded videos and vlogs. More financial professionals are turning to video marketing to attract clients. Videos build trust faster, are more engaging, and allow prospective clients to “get to know you” before they reach out for a meeting. Videos are a signal to others of transparency.
- Live Stream: Still video, but in a different format, live-streaming is a way to capture an audience in real time just like you had your own TV show. Not surprisingly, many individuals are taking advantage of this platform and it is still a relatively unused format by most financial professionals because of compliance and rules within their organizations. Offering “real-time” access to you for your audience is something that is in demand.
- Create social media posts: If you have social media pages, then you’re familiar with how this works. Using social posts to break down complicated financial information is a skill that can be perfected and it is in great need. It’s also more effective than long-form text articles because it allows consumers to consume financial information in digestible pieces.
- Blog: I don’t think blogs will ever become obsolete, but tomorrow’s blogger will just need to be savvier in his/her approach as more and more consumers shift their preference to bite-sized pieces of information.
- Tips for Implementation: Remember social media is “SOCIAL”. By that, I mean that people post things so that they can be seen, talked about and engaged with. Make sure you do yourself a big favor by spending time engaging with the posts of your connections…not just clicking the thumbs up either! I mean taking time to respond to the posts that they make. It will pay off huge!
As more platforms and mediums become available, it is imperative that you at least be familiar with what is trending right now and how that may impact your journey.
The 5 Essential Steps in Becoming A Successful Financial Professional
- Make sure you do your homework. You have to be prepared.
- Prioritize investing in yourself. Don’t expect someone else to invest in what you haven’t.
- Build your capacity by deepening your skills. Make it your mantra to always be learning.
- Find a tribe to support you on your journey. You will need the motivation, perspective and accountability.
- Develop a standout online presence. This will allow you to get an edge on your competition in your job search as well as your ability to attract clients.
Need more information? Don’t hesitate to reach out: jumpstartcoachinglab.com.