In today’s technology-oriented world, you can do just about anything virtually. If you need to schedule a doctor’s visit for your sick child, you can book an online appointment with a telemedicine health provider. If you want to exercise without stepping foot into a commercial gym, you can hire a virtual fitness instructor. If you want to learn how to paint a masterpiece without driving to an art studio, you can join a digital art class.
We live in a fast-paced society where people want their goods and services in a snap. Furthermore, we live in an increasingly digital age where people want to utilize technology to get those services. This means there is also a demand for virtual financial advising services. People want to be able to make smart money choices through the ease of their smart devices.
Remote Work as a Financial Advisor
Hiring a virtual financial advisor is a growing trend. More and more clients want to remain in the comfort of their own homes while receiving personalized advice for their individual financial circumstances. So if you desire to work entirely online as a financial advisor, there is a client base for you. But like any other job, remote work comes with some unique challenges.
What should you consider before becoming a virtual financial advisor? Let’s explore how you have to adjust your approach to financial advising when working as a virtual advisor.
Types of Clients
Technology surrounds us, and while it is intricately woven into all aspects of our lives, this does not mean everyone is tech-savvy. When working as a virtual financial advisor, you will discover that some adults are technology experts. For others, using technology is a constant struggle. This divide presents a hurdle for virtual financial advisors.
As a virtual financial advisor, you typically do not meet clients in person. Instead, you utilize video conferences, online chat apps, emails, text messages, and phone calls. If you have a client that cannot figure out how to log into a video conference or download a new chat app, you will hit one roadblock after another as you try to provide your virtual services.
Such a scenario often results in a frustrated and disappointed client, and that’s the last outcome you want as a financial advisor. Dissatisfied clients can hurt your reputation as they share their discontent with family and friends.
This is precisely why some virtual financial advisors choose to limit their clientele to those that tend to better manage technology. For instance, millennials who grew up with smart devices are technologically literate, and many prefer online interactions.
Plus, an individual that is comfortable with technology is probably more likely to be open to receiving advice online. Some clients will always and forever want a traditional in-person meetup, and those people are not ideal clients for a virtual financial advisor.
In-Home Office Setbacks
Your clients deserve your undivided attention, no matter how you offer your financial services. Yes, in our post-pandemic world it is more common than ever before for children to burst into the online meetings of their parents, but some clients will not tolerate those kinds of interruptions.
When you work as a virtual financial advisor, you need a quiet, interruption-free work zone. Of course, high-speed Internet is a must as well. If your in-home office sounds far from this setup, you need to consider how this will affect your ability to work as a virtual financial advisor.
Emotional Connectivity Challenges
Virtual financial advisors must be able to emotionally connect with their clients, even over a computer. Clients need to feel listened to, heard, and understood, and this can be a big ask when not sitting face-to-face.
For example, your body language can be hard to interpret if the client is viewing your video conference on a tiny phone screen. Not to mention, your facial expressions and even the tone of your voice can be hard to distinguish as well. Add into the mix a glitchy internet connection or poor cell phone service, and emotional connectivity can feel like a huge undertaking.
As a virtual financial advisor, both your verbal and written communication must be at the top of their game. You will be forced to think of creative ways to ensure your clients feel valued. Perhaps that’s in the form of a follow-up email or a thank-you-for-your-time text message.
Oftentimes, being a virtual financial advisor is about pivoting your efforts and coming up with strategies that allow for connectivity amidst technological challenges.
Additional Considerations When Going Virtual
Commute: Your workspace is wherever you set up your laptop. No more wasted time while stuck in traffic, and no more spending money on gas, parking fees, or public transportation. Plus, it reduces the wear and tear on your car.
Self Discipline: Are you a self-starter? Can you set a schedule and stick to it? Is personal time management a strength or weakness? The answers to the questions can either make or break your success as a virtual financial advisor.
Location: As a virtual financial advisor, you are not limited by geographical location. A perk of having an online business is that you can serve clients anywhere across the country.
For additional ideas to help you determine if taking your business online is the right move, look into financial advisor life coaching. If you are new to this career path or a seasoned veteran, working with a coach for wealth managers can completely change your outlook.
Even the most experienced financial advisors can benefit from the additional direction, insights, and guidance of a financial advisor coach, especially if you want to discuss with a like-minded professional whether or not to become a virtual financial advisor.