The Big Referral Myth: How The Internet Has Changed The Way Advisors Get Business Hot

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The clients with the largest assets have always looked to their networks to find best-of-breed advisors. Networks used to consist of friends, family, and long-time family advisors such as attorneys. Today, they don’t just include the internet and social media, they are the internet and social media.
Relationships and trust building don’t start until people contact you and you have a conversation with them. People trust the internet today more than they trust referrals. This is because referrals steer them to best-of-breed based on a single experience. Internet searches steer them to the best in the entire country—or perhaps, the world.
This is nothing new. It started at least as far back as 2006. I know this because that’s when it happened to me. My largest family client to date found me on the internet—even before social media became ubiquitous. They did a Google search using the words, “family office.” My first book came up. It has “family office” in the title. Then they went to my website. They liked what they read. I got an email. We had a conversation. We met. A month later they hired me. This family had just under $2 billion.
The legal and other professions have traditionally gotten business by word of mouth. They weren’t allowed to advertise. The shift in the way clients are using search engines to find the advice they need is a modern-day throwback to that type of acquisition.
These days, word of mouth includes the position your website has in search results. It includes the community you build through social media. There are multiple people “referring” you, not just one person. With search engines, investors at any level of wealth have the capability to find best of breed. The advisors who stand out have developed a niche in the areas clients look for and need.
The one-stop-shop approach has succeeded notoriously. It has succeeded in confusing investors. They don’t know what is offered and they won’t become advocates for something they don’t understand. The best exercise any business person can put themselves through is to identify what exactly it is that they do. Then they must be the very best at doing that thing. This makes them easy to identify, easy to refer, and easy for clients to find in an internet search.
This is why search engine optimization (SEO) is so critical to success. It’s how people find you. Using the right key words associated with your niche makes your site pop up during a client’s search. The search will lead them to you through your site or your blog. Your well-designed site and well-written content will engage them and get them to contact you. That’s when the relationship and trust building begins.


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With classes approved for over a decade by the CFP Board, IWI, and NASBA, Advisors4Advisors CE classes are an optimal knowledge stream for CFP®, CIMA®, CPA, CPA/PFS®, CFA®, and other practitioners. It's not a grab bag of speakers willing to sponsor CE content. Nor is it a one-man CE course. It's a group of subject matter experts with amazing communication skills and a history of thought leadership that, together, give advisors a well-rounded knowledge system for running a professional practice ethically and intelligently.

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A4A CE classes for financial professionals began in October 2008, the week Lehman Bros. collapsed. Initially billed as “The Financial Crisis Webinar Series,” A4A connects advisors with authoritative sources on investing, tax, and financial planning, chosen by A4A Editor Andrew Gluck, a veteran financial reporter. A4A members get a stream of CE classes for an advisor who: 

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"Thank you Bob for an excellent overview of the SECURE 2.0 provisions. While many of these have been glossed over in other various industry publications, Bob has gone into adequate..."
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"Keebler usually talks tax way above my level, but this time everything was explained clearly to non-tax nerds. :-)"
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"Timely topic - will look forward to more on 2.0"
William Desormeau, Jr. CFP®, AIF®
It is not possible for me to overstate the cumulative value that Craig, Bob and Fritz have added for over 10 years to my investment advisory practice, as well as for personal and family financial planning. A4A gets my highest recommendation
Lynn Najman, CFP®
I’ve subscribed to A4A since its inception, and always find it intellectually stimulating and on point. It’s one of the few CE solutions out there that doesn’t waste my time by pushing product or talking down to me.


Pete Deacon, CPA, CFP®
A4A has had a profound effect on my business. Since 2009, I’ve relied on the consistent messaging and updates to run my business successfully. Being able to present the information from Bob, Fritz, and Craig's ongoing CE webinars has been a significant benefit.


Fredric Mayerson, MBA, PhD, CFP®
I've been a financial professional and professor of finance for 35 years and find Fritz Meyer and Robert Keebler to be among the most engaging, incredibly knowledgeable, and experienced presenters I’ve encountered. They deliver an extraordinary amount of information in an extremely interesting way — sequentially and developmentally, utilizing pedagogical tools and techniques that few possess.  A4A to is the most consistently excellent CE program available.  
Ron Roge, MS, CFP®
I’ve been attending A4A many years because the CE classes are outstanding, and my time is valuable. Though I have over 35 years of experience, I’m always learning something new on A4A. I attend fewer conferences now because the CE is generally not advanced. If you want to learn from the best, in a faster, easier, and less expensive way, I highly recommend A4A.

John R. Day, CPA/PFS®

I’ve been a member since 2011 and never miss the monthly webinars with Fritz Meyer. I appreciate Fritz’s independent views on the economy and markets and Bob Keebler keeps me updated on excellent tax planning ideas. A4A is a great value!


Norman Politziner, CFP

I wouldn't miss a Fritz Meyer webinar unless my pants were on fire. I've relied on Andrew Gluck's knowledge systems --client communications and CE -- for two decades. It's simply the best solution for tax, financial, investment, and risk-management professionals.®   

Dan Hawley, CFP® 

A4A, for over a decade, has been a great resource for useful and accurate information and CE. A4A and Advisor Products are bargains for an advisory practice. 


Kevin Brosious, MBA, CFP®, CPA/PFS®

I get CPA CE credit and CFP credit for the webinars.  But not only that, the A4A content is terrific