Up Your Game: 5 Non-Industry Certifications for Financial Advisors to Stand Out
CFP, CPA, CFA, ChFC….all of these certifications start to feel like alphabet soup after a while. While financial certifications are the best way to demonstrate your area of expertise and education, you shouldn’t limit yourself to industry certifications alone. In fact, using non-industry certifications expands your practice and increases your skillset. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is expected to be a 15% increase in the number of financial advisors between 2016 and 2026. You need new ways to make an impact within a growing industry.
Where do you begin when it comes to non-industry certifications? Which ones matter for financial advisors and which can you do without? Because your time is valuable, you don’t want to waste resources preparing for a certification you don’t need. In this guide, we’ll help you up your game with 5 non-industry certifications specifically for financial advisors.
As a financial advisor, it’s impossible to ignore the role of fintech. Luckily, you don’t need a computer science degree to understand all there is to know about this budding industry. With a fintech course and certification, you’ll be exposed to financial technology from all over the financial system.
If you’ve heard terms like blockchain, AI, digital regulations, and so on, you can become a master of these topics. Learning how to create a digital transformation strategy for your practice is one of the keys to finding long-term success.
- FinTech Professional Certificate Program (University of Hong Kong)
- Fintech: Foundations & Applications (University of Pennsylvania)
- Fintech Foundations (University of Wharton)
2. Inbound Content Marketing
While content marketing might be easy to overlook as a financial advisor, it’s a small piece of an important puzzle. Knowing how to attract leads while distinguishing yourself as an expert isn’t a simple skill by any means. Having an inbound content marketing certification will prepare you to enter the brave new world of digital marketing and everything that comes with it.
From mapping the customer journey to preparing your online presence, an inbound marketing course will help you accomplish more with your time spent online. This is one of the most effective ways to stand out in your marketing strategy.
- Hubspot Inbound Marketing Certification
- Hubspot Content Marketing Certification
- Content Marketing Course (NY Times)
3. project management
Financial planners are project managers in disguise. You can consider just about any task that takes more than a few minutes as a project, and you need to learn how to juggle these projects efficiently. You have to meet client deadlines, schedule meetings, manage budgets, and handle all the small things in between.
Making sure you stay organized and have a system for keeping track of your work is essential in the financial world. You never know when you might be asked a question months after your initial analysis. If there’s a client who needs that previous report in an hour for a conference call, can you deliver? A project management certification will keep you on track no matter what the workday throws your way.
- CompTIA Project Management
- International Association of Project Managers
- Certified Scrum Advisor (Scrum Alliance)
4. Sales Certification
Along with marketing your practice to prospects, you also need to know how to seal the deal. What good does all that marketing and following up mean if it doesn’t convert to profit? The art of selling takes more than just practice.
Having a sales certification can give you the confidence to get noticed by clients and gain an edge over others in your field. While a certification course won’t magically cure any anxiety you feel around selling yourself, it will give you the tools you need to succeed.
- Certified Inside Sales Professional (CISP)
- Hubspot Inbound Sales
- Certified Professional Sales Person (NASP)
Finally, it’s undeniable that you need people skills to make a difference as a financial professional. You need to know how to ask the right questions, resolve conflicts, and counsel your clients. A lot of this comes down to the psychology behind money and your clients’ decisions.
When people trust you, they want to work with you. Your goal as a financial planner is to not only build this trust but also keep it. That’s where relationship-management comes in. With a relationship-management certification, you learn how to create a connection with clients that lasts into the future.
- Client Relationship Development Certification (AESC)
- Customer Relationship Management Certification (DePaul University)
- Business Relationship Management Certification (APMG International)
Think Beyond Finance with These Non-Industry Certifications
While having the financial know-how is essential as a financial advisor, it’s only one part of the story. It’s important to open your mind to perform these lesser-seen functions of your job.
Because standing out is harder than ever before, consider these non-industry certifications above. Each one offers something unique to help grow your business, improve your relationships with clients, and help you achieve more. As a financial advisor, you’re always learning. Make sure you’re staying sharp not only as an advisor but also as a leader.