How to Create Ideal Client Profiles for Financial Advisors

Need help targeting better prospects to book more meetings with quality leads? Learn how to create a Ideal Client Profiles for financial advisors.

How to Create Ideal Client Profiles for Financial Advisors

Identify Your Ideal Client and Create Targeted Messaging to Fill Your Pipeline

When you decided to become a financial advisor, you may not have considered how much time you’d be spending on sales…yet here you are.

To support your sales efforts, we’re going to teach you all about ideal client profiles (ICPs). What is an ideal client profile for a financial advisor? How do you identify your ICP? What do you do with it? We’ve got the answers below that will help you improve your financial advisor prospecting efforts.

So let’s start with the basics:

What is an ideal client profile (ICP)?

In short, an ICP is a detailed outline of the client you are best suited to help, while receiving the best return on investment. It includes details about their demographic, like age and income, as well as broader information about their challenges, goals and lifestyle. The exact details you’ll want to cover can somewhat vary across industries.

What Is an Ideal Client Profile for Financial Advisors?

Okay, so you want to target clients that are a good fit for your financial services. How do you do that?

Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. The entire point of defining your ICP is deciding on who you’re best positioned to help so you can set yourself apart from other financial advisors.

Maybe you have potential to help almost anyone–but if you’re more experienced with people in a specific lifestage, financial demographic, or with specific needs or experiences, chances are you’ll have more value to offer those customers. They are your ideal clients. 

Creating Your ICP

As a financial advisor, creating your ICP looks a little bit different than it might if you were selling software, for example.

Unlike someone who sells to businesses, your ideal client is an individual (or maybe a couple). While most sales professionals need to create an ICP that outlines the best business to sell to, and a buyer persona to outline the person at that business to sell to, your ICP will be somewhat of a two-in-one.

You’ll define both the type of client you want at a high level (age, goals, financial status etc) and some more personal characteristics of that person (lifestyle, financial views etc).

We’ve put together some questions and sample answers below to help you define your ICP.

9 Questions to Define Your ICP as a Financial Advisor 

1. Who Are They?

Young professionals with high-earning potential in their late 20s to early 30s with plans to start a family in the next two-five years. They currently earn 90-150k per year, with career trajectories that should lead to multi-six figure incomes within 10 years. They work hard so they can enjoy their down time.

2. What Do They Care About?

These clients care about balancing financial planning with enjoying some luxuries of their current child-free life, such as travel and nights out. They want to be well set up for the costs of parenthood, and begin saving for their future children’s tuition.

3. What Are Their Values?

Growth, achievement, stability and adventure.

4. What Are Their Motivators?

Financial stability for their future children, fun life experiences and growth.

5. What Are Their Personality Traits?

Outgoing, ambitious and methodical.

6. Where Do They Spend Their Time and Money?

These clients work about 45-50 hours a week, and then spend their time and money on experiences like travel and weekend trips, or upper-middle priced food and drinks. While these clients earn above average for their age, they don’t currently have enough for an overly luxurious lifestyle. They avoid impulse spending on material things in order to balance saving with enjoying experiences.

7. What Is Their Lifestyle Like?

These clients mostly live for weekend trips with their partners and happy hour with friends.

8. What Stage of Life Are They At?

They’ve recently purchased their first condo with a life partner, but will likely need more space before welcoming a baby. They’ve begun to establish themselves in the work world, with senior positions at work with the goal of reaching director before welcoming a baby.

9. What Financial Challenges Do They Face? 

They need to plan for both the base costs of parenthood, as well as a well-buffered emergency fund to navigate an uncertain economy. They want to ensure they are making significant investments for the child’s post-secondary education, and know they’ll need to cut back on certain aspects of their current lifestyles in order to achieve their goals. That said, they still want to prioritize experiences at this stage in life.

Building the Right Ideal Client Profile

If you’re struggling to choose a specific answer to any of these questions, weigh the pros and cons to picking a specific demographic and decide who best suits you.

Remember, the goal is to find your ideal client. Maybe you feel capable of helping both young clients getting started on saving, and older clients that are looking to retire.

Older clients may have a bigger budget, but might be less readily available. Targeting those big clients may require that you spend more time on sales to get the same revenue as you would finding more, smaller clients.

With the smaller clients, you’ll likely build a client roster faster, allowing you to focus more time on your actual services. Other factors to consider could include where you have more knowledge and experience, the types of services you have more interest in and what your competition looks like.

Whatever direction you go in, don’t be afraid to get creative and get specific. The questions above are general, and not exhaustive.

Find a Niche to Determine Your ICP

If you’re scared to get a little too niche, just think: what if I captured every client in this hyper-specific category?

That’s exactly what the advisors below set out to do–and it's working.

While these aren’t examples of the full ideal client profiles themselves, they’re a great source of inspiration for how you can niche down and use that niche to answer questions in the section above.

Examples of Financial Advisors with a Niche for Their ICP

Ellyce Fulmore 

Ellyce leverages her personal experience as a person with ADHD to create The Neurospicy Money Method. She offers financial advice that specifically addresses the challenges people with ADHD face with their finances–like impulsivity and forgetfulness. She also visually tailors her content and resources to meet the dopamine-seeking needs of her clients.

Colton Etherton

Colton Etherton, better known as The Tattoo Artist Advisor, found immense success when he decided to target other tattoo artists with his business Out of the Office Planning. He uses analogies from the tattoo world with his clients, and has the first-hand experience to relate to them.

Aaron Shapira

Aaron is a financial advisor at Northwest Mutual who specializes with workers in big tech who are on visas or a green card. Growing up with immigrant parents, he understands some of the unique obligations his clients may have to support family overseas.

Think about what unique aspects of your life experience can make you a strong fit for a unique group of people, and use that to define your niche.

How to Use Your ICP to Talk to More Quality Leads

Having an ICP to guide your marketing is the difference between a targeted, strategic marketing effort and throwing mud at the wall to see what sticks.

Now that you know who you’re talking to and what they need, it’s time to start getting your message out.

4 Ways to Find Clients as a Financial Advisor with an ICP

  1. Content Marketing
  2. LinkedIn Prospecting
  3. Digital Marketing
  4. Relationship Building

1. Content Marketing

Start creating content that brings value to your desired clients. Give your audience tips and information that positions you as an expert in solving their specific problems – and create that content on platforms your ICP is already on.

You could write blogs, post on LinkedIn, and/or create YouTube content.

If you’re looking for some inspiration on how to get creative, browse through these financial advisor influencers to see how they use informative content to draw in clients.

2. LinkedIn Prospecting

Search for and reach out to prospects on LinkedIn based on your ICP. Be sure to follow LinkedIn social selling best practices like filtering for your ICP demographic on Sales Navigator and crafting targeted messages based on their needs.

With a more targeted approach to your prospecting, you’ll see a better response and conversion rate.

3. Digital Marketing

If your ideal clients aren’t already retired, you can pretty well guarantee they spend a decent amount of time online.

That means digital marketing can be a great (albeit not free) way to get in front of more clients’ eyes.

With Google Ads, Meta Ads or LinkedIn ads you can advertise your services on a budget of your choice, and measure their performance. And with free design tools like Canva, you don’t need to be an expert designer to create captivating graphics.

4. Relationship Building

Some would say there’s no better advertising than great service. If you can deliver value to your clients, they’ll be likely to recommend you to their networks.

Value comes from your content, your advice, your customer experience – it’s a 360 effort. Delivering an overall positive experience with current clients is a sure way to build your own business.

Read more about how to increase sales in financial services

Using Your ICP to Optimize Your Financial Advisor LinkedIn Sales Strategy

Sales is a lot of work–and it’s probably not your favorite part of being a financial advisor. So how do you spend less time prospecting, and more time advising?

So you’ve created your ICP and built a LinkedIn sales strategy to send personalized messages to the right audience. But you’re still spending a lot of time on outreach.

That’s where lead generation software comes in.

Software like CoPilot AI supports lead generation for financial advisors by taking some of the grunt work out of prospecting.

Lead generation software can help send the right messages to the right prospects while helping you separate your warm leads from your dead ends.