Are you a financial advisor looking to build a Book of Business?

As a financial advisor, your “book of business” is a directory of clients or institutions you serve and the revenue generated from their accounts. 

A regular Book of Business contains the following information about your clients;

  • Names, contact information, and demographics
  • Business or transaction types
  • Revenue recorded
  • Referrals (if any) and future needs

Wondering if you need a Book of Business as a financial advisor? The answer is yes, and here is why:

  • It helps you create a strong client base.
  • It creates room for consistent income, growth, and expansion.
  • It establishes you as a trusted advisor in the eyes of potential clients. 
  • It demonstrates your ability to attract and retain clients. 
  • It’s a valuable source of leads that you can sell for money. 

Now that we understand the significance of a book of business and what it contains, let’s see how you can build a reputable one. 

Quick Summary

Before we get into the thick of it, here are the steps involved in building a Book of Business from scratch:

  1. Identify your target market and ideal clients.
  2. Connect with your ideal clients online. 
  3. Connect with your ideal clients offline.
  4. Keep and nurture your new leads. 
  5. Curate your client directory.

We will now take a closer look at each of these steps.

How do you build a Book of Business as a Financial Advisor?

Let’s go through the process of building a Book of Business step-by-step. 

Step 1: Identify Your Ideal Clients

Finding your target market

The first step in building a book of business is identifying your ideal client and target market.

When you adopt a niche, you can easily position yourself as an expert in that area. This is an effective way to stand out and attract clients in a crowded marketplace,

Once you’ve identified your niche, you must define your target client. By clearly understanding your target client, generating financial advisor leads from your marketing and sales efforts will be much easier.

To identify your ideal client, consider the following:

  • Client Needs and Goals: Identify your target audience’s common financial challenges and goals.
  • Ideal Client Traits: Consider age, life stage, assets, net worth, income level, risk tolerance, investment preferences, and communication style.

For instance, if you want annuity sales appointments, you should target people over 55 looking for less risk in retirement and more safety.

Now that you know your ideal clients let’s see how to connect with them.

Step 2: Connect With Your Ideal Clients Online

As a financial professional, it’s crucial to connect with your target audience and ideal clients to build and expand your book of business. As a financial advisor, you can do this online via:

Let’s explore some of these financial advisor digital prospecting strategies in more detail.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is an effective strategy for building a book of business.

Here is how it works:

  • Create Targeted Content: Create content that addresses your ideal client’s specific financial challenges and goals. This will build trust and position you as an expert who understands their unique needs. You can use AI lead generation tools like DASH to help you write the content.
  • Content Variety: Offer different content types, such as articles, infographics, and videos. This will cater to various learning styles and keep your audience engaged. In my experience, articles and videos work best for advisors.
  • Optimize for Search Engines: Use relevant keywords in your content to improve your search engine ranking. This increases the chances of your ideal client finding your content when searching online.
  • Calls to Action: Include clear calls to action within your content, encouraging readers to schedule an appointment or access a free lead magnet.

Watch ‘Step 4’ of my free Masterclass training to learn how to use content marketing to get leads and appointments as a financial advisor.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing

You can use social media platforms to reach out, share valuable content, and build relationships. Here are some tactics that have worked for some of my advisor clients:

  • Meta ads: On Facebook & Instagram, you can generate leads by targeting people who are looking for help with retirement planning, wealth management and investing.
  • TikTok Ads: Similar to Facebook, TikTok is another great platform for targeting high net worth individuals looking for help with retirement. The advantage of using TikTok ads over Facebook ads is that it typically costs less to generate leads because there is less advertising competition.
  • LinkedIn Outreach: This platform is good for targeting business owners, executives or people working inside large companies with over 10+ years of work experience.

With these social media platforms, you can reach clients who could be valuable additions to your existing business and your Book of Business.

How can you build a book of business with online ads?

Follow the steps below to create effective paid ads on these platforms:

  • Define your target audience. When building your target audience on these platforms, consider demographics, interests, financial goals, and online behavior. For example, you can target your audience based on age range, income level, net worth, and life stage (e.g., pre-retirees, business owners, etc.).
  • Set clear campaign goals. Here, you aim to generate qualified leads for prospective client consultations. You also want to raise your brand awareness as a financial advisor brand. 
  • Create excellent ad creatives.  Your ads should grab attention and clearly communicate your desired value. I recommend using high-quality images or videos, headlines highlighting your services’ benefits, and clear calls to action. 
  • Launch and track your campaign. Once your ad is created and your budget set, launch your campaign and monitor its performance closely. Track key metrics like impressions, clicks, cost per lead, and conversion rates. 
  • Analyze and optimize your ads. Regularly analyze your campaign data to see what’s working and what’s not. Adjust your targeting and ad creatives, and optimize your budget allocation based on the insights you gather.

Social media ads offer more precise targeting, resulting in high-quality leads – the leads that can ultimately become clients and great additions to your book of business. 

Watch this video to learn more about TikTok, Facebook and Instagram Ads for lead generation. 


Optimizing your online presence for search engines can help grow your book of business.

For local SEO, create location-specific content, such as blog posts or landing pages, that targets relevant local keywords and provides valuable information to your local audience. Such content should include a clear call to action and organic backlinks from high-authority websites. 

You can enlist the help of AI copywriting tools to make this easier. Alternatively, you can outsource it to professionals on freelancing platforms. 

In the next step, we’ll explore how to connect with your target audience offline to build your book of business.

Step 3: Connect With Your Ideal Clients Offline

Connecting with your local clients

Building a strong book of business isn’t just about online presence; offline networking plays a vital role. Here is how offline networking can help you in this regard:

Tap into your existing network

Your existing network is a goldmine for potential referrals. Let your friends, family, and former colleagues know you seek new clients. Explain your ideal client profile to help them identify potential referrals.

Besides asking for referrals, you should also offer value. You can share industry insights with your network or potential buyers and connect them with relevant resources.

You can also organize events for existing clients to foster relationships and encourage them to spread the word about your services.

Making client introductions during these events is crucial for establishing strong, personal connections, which can significantly enhance client relationships and contribute to the growth of your financial advisor’s book of business.

Attend industry events and associations

Participating in industry events and joining relevant associations can benefit a financial advisor looking to build a strong business book. These activities allow you to connect with potential clients seeking financial advice.

You can also build relationships with other financial professionals who may refer clients to you or collaborate on joint ventures—furthermore, speaking at industry events or contributing to association publications positions you as a thought leader.

That makes you more attractive to potential clients interested in working with a large firm as a knowledgeable advisor.

In the next step, we will see how to keep and nurture these ideal clients you have reached.

Step 4: Keep and Nurture Your New Clients

Steps to build solid business book

Building a solid book of business as a financial advisor goes beyond simply acquiring new clients. Retaining and nurturing your existing client relationships is equally crucial for long-term success. 

Here are a few helpful tips in that regard:

  • Offer Exceptional Client Service: By providing exceptional client service, you can differentiate yourself from competitors, foster trust and loyalty, and encourage referrals from satisfied clients.
  • Offer Personalized Service or Advice: Every client’s financial situation, goals, and risk tolerance are unique. Offer customized solutions that align with their situations to show your commitment to their needs. It also establishes the value you bring to the relationship.
  • Adopt Effective and Transparent Communication: Provide regular updates to keep your clients informed and engaged. Also, be transparent by clearly explaining your recommendations and strategies. You want your clients to understand the rationale behind your advice fully.
  • Seek Client Feedback and Testimonials: Get feedback from your clients to assess their satisfaction levels and identify the areas for improvement. This positive word-of-mouth can be a powerful tool for both client retention and attracting new clients. New SEC guidelines suggest you can now use testimonials as a financial advisor. Many advisors I work with post client testimonials on their website or Google Business Profile.

Step 5: Curate Your Client Directory

Client directory

Finally, it’s time to create your financial advisor book with all the clients you have attracted. Here, we talk about how to curate your client directory for optimal results, emphasizing its role in managing and growing your financial advisor’s business.

Of course, these days, it isn’t a literal book. Most financial advisor relationships are managed online using financial advisor CRM software.

Your CRM is where you manage your client relationships. A well-organized CRM allows you to deliver exceptional service, identify upselling opportunities, and nurture long-term client relationships.

It also contributes significantly to the value and transferability of your business in the context of acquisitions or succession planning.

Here’s what to include in your book of business:

  • Client Information: Provide basic details such as name, contact information (phone, email), and preferred communication method. Include demographic information relevant to financial planning (age, marital status, dependents).
  • Financial Information: These include risk tolerance and investment goals; current financial situation (assets, liabilities, income sources); and existing investment accounts and insurance policies.
  • Notes and Documentation: Record important details from client meetings, discussions, and preferences. Furthermore, store copies of relevant documents like account statements and financial plans.

Why is this information important?

This thorough documentation is crucial for due diligence and building personal relationships with the selling advisor and the existing clients during the acquisition of a financial advisor’s book of business.

While the information above forms the foundation, consider including additional details to improve your understanding of your client and identify potential growth opportunities:

  • Client Life Stage: Understanding a client’s life stage (e.g., young professional, pre-retirement, retiree) helps provide them with relevant and tailored financial planning needs.
  • Business Interests and Ownership: If your client owns a business, record details like industry, size, and future plans. This can open doors to offering business financial planning services.
  • Family Dynamics: Knowing about a client’s family structure (children, aging parents) lets you integrate estate planning options and suggest potential wealth transfer methods.

Doing all of these manually can be demanding. That is why you should consider using a secure Client Relationship Management (CRM) tool to manage your client directory. CRMs offer features like automated data entry, client segmentation, and client portals.

Tip: If you have the funds, consider buying a book of business to quickly grow your client base as a financial advisor.


For any advisory firm, strategic efforts in growing the practice and maximizing the value of a solid book of business are crucial. This includes exploring business acquisitions as a long-term growth strategy, where due diligence and alignment with professional goals are paramount.

Building a solid book of business as a financial advisor requires strategic and consistent efforts. This blog provides a practical step-by-step guide.

Remember, building a successful book of business is an ongoing process. With many financial advisors approaching retirement, there are increasing opportunities for business acquisitions.

Regularly updating and analyzing your client directory will ensure you stay current with your clients’ changing needs.

By following these steps, you’ll be well-equipped to attract and retain clients, the most important requirements for a valuable book of business.

Frequently Asked Questions

To round up, I have compiled and answered some of the commonly asked questions below: