Being a financial advisor comes with its own share of stress. For many companies and individuals, financial advisors are extremely important components to building the future they want for themselves. And though this is a heavy task, there are a lot of tools out there that many financial advisors don’t know they have on their side. Here’s a short list of three of the most powerful:

Google Authorship

If an advisor really hopes to compete in the increasingly crowded marketplace, it’s important to stand out from the crowd as an expert. This usually manifests by publishing content that draws in readers and pushes them down the sales funnel. The thing is, you want to make sure that your original content is continually attributed back to you.

Google Authorship is an online reputation manager that keeps track of everything published online by an individual, including original posts, website, comments and interactions, and more. It attributes those to your specific account, allowing you to clearly show your level of expertise on a subject.

Google Alerts

Advisors are often responsible for their own reputation management. In the sea of different review sites and other means for people to share opinions, it’s extremely important that an advisor is aware of any reviews or interactions taking place.

When it comes to personal business usage, Google Alerts is the ideal tool for knowing the who, what, and where about all online interactions and/or mentions of your business or brand. You can set up alerts for not only the company name, but also individual names and topics as well so you’ll know when there’s any buzz about you or your company online.

Lifestyle/Priorities Checklist

Here’s a simple reality: financial advice relies heavily on your clients’ personal lives. In some cases, trusted advisors are almost more like life counselors than just wealth managers. For this reason, it’s good practice to incorporate a quick survey for your clients to take before you meet in order to better understand where they are in their lives. It’s easy to forget that a client with a family and a home to his name will have different values and priorities than he did when he was a new, single graduate. Understanding how their priorities change and what’s happening in their lives—along with how their needs change for their future—will help you give better financial advice.

Life Settlements

Life settlements are often an overlooked option for retirees who no longer want or need their life insurance policies. Whether the policy is simply underperforming, or the need for it has passed, a life settlement can provide liquidity for other investments that better fit the needs of their clients. In a life settlement, the insured sells their life insurance policy to a third party for a lump sum of cash. It’s a great alternative to either letting the policy lapse, or surrendering it for the (often minimal) cash value. If your client has a life insurance policy they no longer need, you can use our qualification calculator to see if it’s a good fit.

Online Budgeting Sites

It’s easy for advisors to talk to their clients about budgeting (and adhering to those budgets), but it’s not always so easy to track the way a client spends their money. Online budgeting sites like Mint.com are a simple (and free) way for advisors to get their clients onto a simple budgeting plan. The site tracks and categorizes purchases, and helps the client see exactly where they’re spending the most money, and where they have a higher opportunity to cut down on spending.

These sites also allow clients to track all of their investments, make sure they’re paying down credit card debt, and keep an eye on their net worth.

Mentorship

There’s always room to learn, and there will always be someone who’s more knowledgeable than you in some capacity. Finding a mentor in the field is a great way to make sure you continue to learn and grow as an advisor.

Professional organizations are a great way to meet and network with other advisors. You can find someone who can act as a mentor to you, or—who knows—someone may come to you looking for advice as well.

Leo LaGrotte is founder and chief executive officer of Life Settlement Advisors.

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