The gig economy isn’t just for creatives anymore, more and more professionals are turning to freelancing because it fits their needs and lifestyle. Freelance financial advisors offer in-demand skills and have the potential to be successful solopreneurs. As a freelance financial advisor, you can work with individuals or small businesses who do not have the resources available to hire full-time financial advisors. Your duties will include giving advice related to stocks, mutual funds and bonds, as well as helping with investment strategies. Here are some steps you can take if you’re thinking about becoming a freelance financial advisor:
In order to be a trustworthy financial advisor, you need to have the proper qualifications. The journey to becoming a financial advisor usually starts with a four year degree in finance or accounting. A Bachelor’s degree majoring in finance, economics, business, statistics or similar fields may be suitable. Taking courses in risk management, investment strategy, retirement and estate planning, and income tax are all useful for pursuing a career as a financial advisor. Learning about how people think and behave will help you assist your clients and make predictions about the market, so you might want to consider taking some course in psychology during your studies.
In order to attain proper certification in your country, you should ensure that your degree has the sufficient number of training hours to fulfill the requirement for certification. Proper certification to be a financial advisor is a little different in every country, in Canada you need to become a Certified Financial Planner. Check out the certification and the requirements to obtain it for your jurisdiction.
Often financial advisors start gaining experience during their studies by completing unpaid internships. An apprenticeship or internship might be required to obtain the proper certification in your country and they are a great way to make connections in the industry. Before striking out on your own as a freelance financial advisor, you need to get some additional experience before individuals or businesses will hire you. It is a good idea to work for a couple years in a traditional setting at a bank or an investment firm in order to gain the experience you need to become a freelancer. You could also consider doing some accounting as a volunteer for a charitable organization or NPO to gain additional experience.
Make a Business Plan:
In order to be a successful freelance financial advisor for the long haul, you’re going to need a plan. Making a business plan seems daunting and complicated but it doesn't have to be. There are a few step-by-step guides available online and plenty of books written on the subject. An easy way to get started is to outline your short term, medium term, and long term goals using the S.M.A.R.T system of goal setting, in which your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. At this stage it is also time to examine your finances and determine how much work you need to do and what rate you need to charge to keep your business afloat and have you living a comfortable lifestyle. When assessing your finances, do not forget include important items your plan and budget, such as insurance and taxes. While you’re making your business plan you should think about what business license you need to operate in your area, if you need to renew your credentials annually and plan accordingly.
At this point you should think about what your niche could be, it could be found in primarily working for a specific industry or offering specific services. You might decide on your niche based on your own experience or by identifying a need in your community. Finding your niche early on can set you up as an expert in that field and you will be better able to charge within it accordingly. When you are starting out as a freelance financial advisor, you need to decide what type of services you’ll offer and how you’ll charge for your services: hourly or by package rates.
In order to get attention from potential clients, your new business will need a professional website. If you aren’t confident in your website building abilities, it might be worth it to hire a fellow freelancer to do it for you. Or you can check out some online resources for advice and guidance, but whatever you do: be sure that your website is professional looking and includes an explanation of your services, experience and credentials to entice clients to hire you. A good business website includes the following: what it is that you do, what makes you stand-out from others who also do what you do, where you are located, what your rates are, how you can be reached, as well as a few personal touches to draw people in.
When you’re just starting out as a freelancer, you can add your profile to freelance marketplaces to help clients find you easily. When using these type of sites, it might be tempting to lower your rate in order to get more jobs. Once more clients can find you, you will get more jobs; the more jobs you get, the more in-demand you will become and the higher you can raise your rate. However, do not get stuck in the habit of working for low pay and selling yourself short, offering services too cheaply is bad for business, feel free to say no to poorly paying jobs.
Anyone starting out in business knows that importances of networking, get out there and start connecting people. You will have already made connections during your studies, internships and at work and now is the time to use them. Let everyone from friends and family to former colleagues know what you are up to by sharing your progress across appropriate channels. Once your business website is up and running, be sure to include links to it on your social media platforms. Aside from cultivating your online presence, you should have business cards ready to hand out in real life when you meet prospective clients or other people who can pass your information on to someone who is looking for your services. If you’re not sure where to meet people to had out your business cards to, try attending local business events and joining local business associations.
If you already have credentials and experience as a financial advisor and are ready to move out of the traditional workforce and into the realm of freelancing, we hope this list helps you do so. Here at Sagegroupy, the freelancer’s friend, we love to help people find the freelancers they need to get tasks done; someone might be looking for a financial advisor today so be sure to create a profile with us so that they can find you.