01 Jul How Financial Advisors Can Reach Millennials
You want to know how to reach Millennials for financial services for your business. It’s an excellent move to make since there are somewhere around 76 million Millennials in the United States, outnumbering the Baby Boomer generation that many financial advisors target.
However, the Millennial generation is much different than the Baby Boomer generation. Millennials have different debts, anxieties, and financial goals because they have had much different lives and challenges. They also view financial advisors differently than elder generations, so you might find that you have your work cut out for you when it comes to Millennial marketing.
Whether you want to create a multi-generational business that welcomes Millennial clients, or build a company devoted to their financial needs alone, the following tips can assist you in bridging the gap between you and the average Millennial.
Pick a Millennial Group and Narrow Your Focus
Since the age of Millennials ranges anywhere from 18 to 35, people in this group have very different needs. Before you learn how to reach Millennials for financial services, you should consider narrowing your focus to one or two of the three sub-groups within the Millennial generation:
- Mom-Assisted Recent Grad (Marg): The youngest group of Millennials are those who recently graduated college and may still have some financial assistance from their parents. They’re early in their careers, have the lowest income of the bunch, and very little use financial advisors to manage their money.
- Career-Focused, Has Income Potential (Chip): This group is in their mid-20s to early-30s and midway through their careers. They might be married and have a child or two and are likely juggling student loan debt and gearing up to purchase a home.
- Debt-Ridden Emerging Wealth (Drew): Millennials in their early to mid-30s fall in this category. They’re comfortable in their careers and may have just bought their first home. This group is the most likely to use a financial advisor to help them save for retirement and pay off debt, but most still prefer to manage their finances themselves.
As you can see, these sub-groups are at different points in their lives and need various financial services, so it can be a challenge to market to all of them. Narrowing your focus to Marg and Chip, Chip and Drew, or only one of these groups might help you become more of an expert on the needs and wants of your potential clients.
Understand the Financial Needs of a Millennial
Studies have shown that Millennials tend to lack financial literacy in several areas relating to their current finances, debts, and savings. There’s absolutely a market for you to swoop in and help them, but only if you recognize that their financial needs are much different than those of older generations.
Money is a primary source of stress for most people, but Millennials are potentially feeling the wrath of the economy more than other generations. They face rising tuition and rent costs, more student debt, and less ability to save than others. And, with a wavering economy, one of the most significant concerns of Millennials is the risk of losing their jobs and being without a steady income while hunting for a new one.
To understand how to reach Millennials for financial services, you must first understand how different their situations are than others you might have helped previously. Those are the needs you’ll need to target in your business model.
Have a Strong Online Presence
Having an online presence for your wealth management business is essential regardless of the age you serve. However, helping Millennials and failing to have a website and active social media accounts can be detrimental to your business before you even start it.
Millennials rely on the internet to research products, services, and businesses before they commit to a purchase. It’s likely that your potential clients will do some online research of your business before ever considering you as a possible point of contact for money management.
Build your website and fill it with helpful content that relates to Millennials. Your social media accounts should be engaging, inviting, and very active. Reach out to your ideal audience whenever possible; 62 percent of Millennials are more likely to become a loyal customer of a brand or business that engages them on social media.
With older clientele, you’re likely used to taking over their finances, investing in portfolios after figuring out their needs and goals, and taking a very hands-on approach to wealth management. You may need to tweak your strategy significantly, though, to gain the trust of a Millennial client.
Millennials don’t want someone who will take full reign of their finances. Instead, they want to learn for themselves what they need while also giving their input. Don’t think of yourself as an advisor for this generation, but more as a financial educator and resource.
Your Millennial clients should feel comfortable coming to you, asking questions, and feeling like their voice is heard, rather than feeling like you’re the authority figure in the relationship. Build a solid, trusting co-partnership with your Millennial clients that makes your relationship feel like a team, not a service provider assisting a client.
Tailor Portfolios Around Sustainable Investing
Millennials want to put their money into sustainable investments more than any other generation. They want positive social, economic, and environmental changes to happen, and one of the ways they choose to take part is by investing their cash in investments that can lead to change.
In fact, the sustainable investment movement has grown by 33 percent in recent years, and Millennials are investing two times as much into these investments than other generations do.
Sustainable investments are controversial in the wealth management industry. Some experts say they provide little return, while others believe they are no more risky than other investments. Whatever your stance on them, you should prepare to support your Millennial clients if that’s the route they choose to take.
Offer some of the pros and cons of sustainable investing but remember to let them have the final say over where their money goes.
Make Digital Tools a Crucial Part of Your Business
Millennials are an extremely tech-savvy generation, more than any age before them. They grew up with technology and they depend on it for just about everything, from paying bills to communicating with their friends and family.
You must be open to using less traditional contact methods, like phone calls, email, and snail mail, and more digital tools, like texts, Skype, social media, and live chats, to communicate with your Millennial customers. The more natural you make it for this generation to reach you in ways that they’re most comfortable with, the likelier it is that you can generate substantial leads and turn them into clients.
Conclusion: Marketing Your Services to Millennials
Millennials face several financial challenges that are similar to other generations but might be more pronounced. Additionally, the way Millennials choose to take charge of their finances is significantly different than other generations.
It will be a learning curve for you to focus on this generation with your financial services. Remember to reconsider your role as an advisor and become a teammate rather than a service provider. Also, be active online and promote digital communication tools to make it easier for Millennials to contact you.