Editor’s Note: Here’s a guest contribution from Alan Moore, MS, CFP®, and co-founder of the XY Planning Network.
Your financial know-how put you on the map of the personal finance blogosphere. With a solid following of readers, you worked to provide information, education, and even a little financial fun for your audience. Your dedication to your craft paid off for you when you monetized your blog: maybe you sold advertising space or shared affiliate links.
But now you feel there might be greater potential for your knowledge and advice. You know you can do more to help some of your readers. While you publish blog posts that pack in the value, you want to work with your audience on an even more meaningful, personal level.
Imagine the kinds of big, positive, and life-changing value you could provide if you were their financial planner.
Curious to learn more? Bloggers interested in taking their expertise to the next level tend to ask questions like:
What are the legal requirements?
The first step is to study for and pass the Series 65 exam. This allows you to become a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), which is legally required to give (and get paid for) advice related to investments. Even if you don’t manage investments, you need to be an RIA to give specific advice on retirement accounts such as 401(k)s. We also recommend you start to pursue the CFP® designation. The education is invaluable to helping your clients, and would allow you to charge more for your time as your expertise grows.
How much can I charge?
The advisory industry has traditionally charged to manage assets, but the readers of many personal finance blogs don’t have that kind of money. A good alternative is a monthly subscription fee model for financial planning services. The more you narrow your niche market and the more experience you have, the more you can charge. That being said, $1,000 upfront for new clients and $100 to $200/month for ongoing financial planning services is a common starting place for new advisors. You can also offer personal finance courses, charge $100-$200/hour for as-needed advice, and more.
Will anyone actually pay me for financial planning?
Absolutely! By charging a monthly subscription fee, you can provide comprehensive financial planning at a price point most of your readers can afford. How many will tell you they can’t afford a financial planner for $100/month? They pay more than that for their cell phone, cable bill, and CrossFit membership! You have a great base of readers which includes many that will happily pay for your ongoing expertise – you just have to make the service available to them.
How much does it cost to get started?
Advisors can get everything they need in place to start a firm for under $10,000. This includes compliance, technology, website development, and more. Since developing a website, brand, and logo is the most expensive line item for new firms, your existing blog and brand will allow you to get started for even less!
Becoming a financial planner is a wonderful way for bloggers like you to offer even more value while evolving your blog into a source of predictable, recurring income. Plus, you can work virtually allowing you to live anywhere you want. You’ll help your readers reach their financial goals while living the life of your dreams, too!
Bio: Alan Moore, MS, CFP® is the co-founder of the XY Planning Network and is president of Serenity Financial Consulting, a fee-only RIA and location independent financial planning firm. He is passionate about helping financial planners start and grow their own fee-only firms to serve Gen X & Gen Y clients largely ignored by traditional firms. Alan frequently speaks on topics related to technology, marketing, and business coaching, and has been quoted in publications including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and The New York Times. He currently lives in Bozeman, MT so that he can hit the slopes on powder days.
Image credit: Jeremy Vohwinkle