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How to Build Client Personas for Your Wealth Management Firm


What separates good advisors from great advisors is the ability to build meaningful relationships, and to connect with their clients. When advisors and firms can build trust with clients and retain them for the long haul, they’re on the path to increased prospects and sustainable business growth.

Building these meaningful relationships requires knowing your clients and crafting solutions to their needs. This involves empathy, and dedicating time to take on their perspective and understand their wants and needs. The same skills in keeping client relationships can translate to attracting new prospects, too.

But how can your firm standardize the process of making these connections and attracting the type of client that will be an ideal match? One of the best ways is to create client personas for your ideal client.

What is a Client Persona?

In the simplest terms, a client persona is deep dive into your ideal client.

If you had to imagine the perfect prospect walking through your doors , how would you describe them? Are they focused on retirement? The CEO of their own business? Interested in preparing their finances for their children and grandchildren to go to college? Maybe they are just starting out on their investment journey and looking to learn about finances and save for their future.

But personas go beyond client goals – they also include pain points, personalities, and lifestyles. You might have one or several clients already under your wing that fit this storybook scenario, or your client base might be an assortment of various personalities, each with goals.

By knowing your ideal client persona, you can create marketing content and investment solutions that speak directly to those model prospects.

Why Do Advisory Firms Need Personas?

You know that personalized customer service is critical to building a successful advisory firm, but in a world of hyper-personalization, client expectations are ever-evolving.

To reach hyper-personalization, your firm needs to be aware of all the interactions an individual has with your company and develop content specifically to their wants, needs and interests. Instead of pouring time and money into manually assessing each client or prospect’s situation, firms can use personas to streamline the hyper-personalization process.

In addition to marketing outreach, personas also give your advisors guidelines for how to communicate and interact with clients via phone, email or in-person conversations. For example, if your ideal client is hands-on and wants to be aware of and approve any small change to their investments, you can take a proactive approach to keep them informed. In turn, that strategic communication can lead to better close rates.

Firms that utilize personas actually have greater growth outcomes. A 2018 study by TD Ameritrade found that firms with specific target markets had an 18% higher median profit margin and 35% higher median client growth.

Related: Riskalyze Announces Client Acquisition and Engagement Growth Platform Enhancements at 2022 Fearless Investing Summit

How to Create Client Personas for Your Firm

It’s important to recognize that personas are about more than just demographics – it involves focusing on the attitudes and desires of real people. You need to know more than age, job and gender (although those are important, too). Creating an ideal client persona begins with understanding real peoples’ goals, problems and methods of decision-making.

Once you have those key data points nailed down, it’s time to embrace strategies that pivot your firm as the above-and-beyond solution.

3 Questions to Help Build Out Your Firm’s Personas

To start building out your firm’s client personas, there are a few key questions you’ll need to keep in mind.

1. What do your favorite clients look like?

We’re not asking you to rank your clients from favorite to least, but you should think about which people you look forward to working with and what problems are most exciting to solve.

Jot down some demographics of these individuals, such as their age, occupation, location, hobbies and family life. It’s okay if you have multiple types of personas or if your personas are starting to look very specific – a niche approach often can help you recognize your specialties and connect with prospects more deeply.

You’ll also want to note the financial situation(s) of your ideal clients: what are their long-term and short-term money goals? How do those goals affect other aspects of their lives?

2. Why do those clients need your firm?

Next, explore why those clients need your firm’s services. In short, you’re looking to outline their pain points.

Do many clients come to you as a result of a big life change, like a sudden inheritance or a new business venture? Maybe your core clients have complex estates and need an advisor savvy in tax laws for a particular state.

Once you know the problems your clients are facing, you can approach conversations according to the solutions you have to offer.

3. How can your firm reach those clients with the right services at the right moment?

Lastly, it’s time to put yourself in the shoes of your ideal client persona. If you were this individual facing this particular problem, what solutions would be most beneficial? How would you go about searching for those solutions?

Think about it this way: a 27-year old investment novice isn’t going to be Googling the same thing as the 55-year old CEO – rather, they might be looking on social platforms for advice. If your target market is active on social, then that is where you should devote marketing spend. If your target client attends car shows, then showing up as a sponsor could be a good use of your marketing budget. Similarly, a brochure on retirement planning that features images and tone akin to elderly divorcées might not resonate with a 33-year old tech worker from Texas.

Once you know who you’re speaking to, it’s important to decide how and when you’ll start the conversation. What content and what channels are most beneficial for your ideal personas?

When it comes to building out your firm’s personas, you can never know too much. Taking the time to explore your ideal clients can save your firm time and money in the long run, and offer a better, hyper-personalized experience for your clients.

Improve Your Client Communication with Riskalyze

Reach hyper-personalization for your clients with the Riskalyze growth platform. With Riskalyze, you can create a repeatable, scalable client experience with every advisor and client across your firm. Click below to schedule a tour today.

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