7 Tips to Help Advisors Get Ready for 2024

“Preparation, I have often said, is rightly two-thirds of any venture.”
― Amelia Earhart

The end of the year is often a time of reflection—and preparation. It’s time to think ahead and plan for success. These seven practical tips can help you grow your practice, become more efficient, and deliver a better client experience.


1. Reflect

As you plan for 2024, take time to assess what worked well in 2023 and what areas need improvement.

If you own your own advisory firm—or you’re a key partner—chances are you spend the majority of your time working in your business. At the end of the year, carve out some time to work on it.

It may be beneficial to do a self-performance review, where you list and describe your qualifications, such as:

  • Work ethic – Do you process work in a timely manner while taking on additional projects?
  • Problem-solving – Do you work diligently to accomplish tasks when problems arrive?
  • Innovation – Have you created efficient methods to handle your workflow?

In addition, you can consider performing a SWOT analysis to identify your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Armed with this information, you’ll be prepared to develop your strategy (see #2) and do some goal-setting (see #3).


2. Determine Your Strategy

What does it mean to strategize? It means setting short- and long-term objectives after developing a clear understanding of your current situation as well as an awareness of potential challenges and opportunities.

Strategy isn’t just about goal-setting; it also includes determining how to most efficiently and effectively reach those goals. Your strategy may involve a growth plan (see #3) or a plan to refine or expand your niche (see #4).

One useful tool is Symmetry's Strategy Canvas, which you can use to ascertain how and where you want to differentiate your practice from competitors.

As you’re determining where to make changes or enhancements, you may want to survey your current clients about their experience doing business with you, what’s working well, and where they’re dissatisfied. Using this feedback, you can identify patterns or recurring requests to help you strategize improvements.


3. Establish Goals

Once you’ve assessed your past year and determined some strategies to put in place, it’s time to set some clear short- and long-term objectives.

Clearly outline your goals, timelines, and key performance indicators (KPIs). Build in regular evaluations and adjustments based on these KPIs to ensure that your strategy remains agile and adaptive.

Growing your practice is a goal for many advisors. Symmetry offers a Growth Plan workbook that focuses on four main questions:

  • Who do you serve/want to serve?
  • What do you provide?
  • Why should clients work with you and how are you different?
  • How do you effectively communicate?

You then use your answers to these questions to create an effective marketing plan.

More than half (56%) of top-performing advisory firms have a documented marketing plan. A strong marketing plan helps you define and understand your ideal client so you can tailor your messaging and campaigns to resonate with their specific needs and preferences.


4. Refine/Expand Your Niche 

Advisory firms with a documented ideal client persona and client value proposition attract 42% more clients and 45% more assets.

Advisors who focus on one niche area tend to take home higher incomes—on average 12% more—as opposed to generalists who don’t target select groups. Advisors who specialize also generate 20% higher stand-alone planning fees than generalist Advisors.

When focusing on a niche, you want to look at the types of clients you work best with—as well as existing niches within your current client base. A niche should be as small as possible. Working with executives is great, but you may have even more success by focusing on Aerospace executives within 100 miles of your office.


5. Implement Efficiencies/Automate

With the right processes in place, you can spend more time supporting your clients and less time on repetitive workflow tasks you can automate, like task reminders and routine administrative processes.

Consider implementing additional automation systems and tools to help you stay organized and engaged with clients including:

  • Marketing automation systems, which can automate client communication, appointment scheduling, and follow-ups
  • Document management systems, which can securely organize and store client files with automation features like document categorization, version control, and automated alerts for document updates or renewals
  • Client onboarding automation processes for clients, such as digital document submission, electronic signatures, and automated data entry
  • Cybersecurity automation to protect client data and sensitive information, including regular software updates, automated backups, and intrusion detection systems

Automation is important—but don’t forget about personalization. Even automated emails should have a personal touch.


6. Deliver a Better Client Experience

All kinds of brands—from Starbucks and Toms to Apple and Porsche—are noted for delivering elevated client experiences, which benefits both the consumer and the brand.

Firms that focus on client experience grow five times faster than those that don’t and command a 16% price premium on products and services. And, when customer experience doesn’t meet their expectations, many consumers say they’ll walk away after just one bad experience.

How do you want your clients to feel when they engage with you? What type of value do you want to offer? According to the Bain’s Elements of Value Pyramid clients are looking for products and services that are:

  • Functional – Saving effort, simplifying, providing variety, reducing cost and risk, informing.
  • Emotional – Providing rewards, reducing anxiety, adding therapeutic value, adding fun/entertainment.
  • Life-changing – Motivating, providing hope, creating a sense of affiliation/belonging.
  • Socially impactful – Creating a sense of transcendence.

Advisors who can provide these values not only deliver a better experience—very satisfied clients can potentially become significant referral sources for you and your practice.


7. Create a Communications Plan

Communications are key to establishing and strengthening your brand identity with consistent and engaging messaging across various channels.

Your website and your social media in particular help you succinctly communicate with clients and potential clients.

Almost all respondents in the 2020 eMoney Consumer Marketing Survey (98%) noted that a website is somewhat/very important when choosing an Advisor and more than half (56%) said that without enough information to make a decision, they would hesitate before reaching out.

The end of the year is the time for a website evaluation. Some questions to consider:

  • Is your website up to date?
  • Is it mobile-friendly?
  • Does it contain a call to action (CTA) on every page?
  • Do all links work?
  • Is your contact information current?
  • Do you have a blog—and is it current?

Social media is also important to potential clients—50% say it impacts whom they hire as a financial professional and 20% said an Advisor’s social media was the main deciding factor when evaluating a financial professional.

Use your social media platforms to post helpful insights and educational content that communicates. And above all, have a strategy. Are you trying to generate awareness, build relationships, or establish your expertise in your niche? Being clear about what you’re trying to achieve will help drive what you communicate:

  • What products or services do you sell or make
  • How do you provide your service/advice/experience
  • Why you do what you do.


Cheers to a Successful 2024

The end of the year can feel like a whirlwind, but taking the time to plan can help you feel better prepared to start the new year.

If you need assistance, Symmetry Marketing Group offers a customized suite of marketing strategies and services to help Financial Advisors strategize, automate, and ultimately deliver better client experiences.


Symmetry Partners, LLC, provides this communication on this site as a matter of general information. Information contained herein, including data or statistics quoted, is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed or warranted. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may not be reflective of current opinions or positions. All content on this site is for educational purposes and should not be considered investment advice, recommendation or offer of any security for sale. Symmetry Partners does not provide tax or legal advice and nothing either stated or implied in this material should be inferred as providing such advice. Symmetry Partners does not approve or endorse any third-party communications on this site and will not be liable for any such posts.

Symmetry Partners, LLC is an investment advisory firm registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm only transacts business in states where it is properly registered or excluded or exempt from registration requirements. Registration of an investment adviser does not imply any specific level of skill or training and does not constitute an endorsement of the firm by the Commission. Symmetry Partners, LLC and Apella Capital, LLC, DBA Apella Wealth are affiliated entities.

Investing involves risk, including the loss of some or all of your principal. Diversification seeks to reduce volatility by spreading your investment dollars into various asset classes to add balance to your portfolio. Using this methodology, however, does not guarantee a profit or protection from loss in a declining market.

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