11 Common Personas for Financial Advisors (Part 3)

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Let’s get back to common personas for advisors and how they can help you focus and boost your marketing efforts.  Check out part one and part two of this series if you missed them. In short, we went through every client persona we’ve created for advisors and put together eleven of the most common. 

Download the free guide here if you want to get all eleven of these right now. This is a great resource to get you thinking about your target audience personas and help you zero in your marketing efforts. 

The Right Message + The Right Audience + The Right Time = Warm Leads

Why should you care about personas? What’s with all this abstract stuff, can’t you just pound the pavement? The first step to finding something – in this case someone – is to know who you’re looking for. If you speak their language and appeal to their needs, prospects are much more likely to listen.  Not all of these will apply to you – and you probably have at least a persona or two that isn’t covered here – but our hope is that this list can provide a few solid building blocks for your own persona development. Okay, let’s do this. 

7. Nervous Nelly

marketing carson groupNervous Nelly sees the value of investing but is so worried about losing money that she wants to jump ship at the first sign of trouble. Low risk tolerance, high-touch client. Nelly needs you close at hand. 

What Does this Persona Need?

  • An advisor who knows how to navigate risk and explain it to her carefully
  • Someone who can gently keep her on track even when things aren’t going the best 
  • Someone who can help her reach her goals despite herself 

Self Description:

Hard-working mom who’s dedicated to keeping all the plates spinning. She thinks investing could be good for her, but she had family members lose big in 2008 and she watches the headlines closely. She doesn’t want to use a dime from the college funds (even though her kids are in preschool), and she’ll never touch the ample inheritance she got from her great aunt. 


Family activities – kids’ sports, vacations, and any other bonding time they can fit in as a family. If there’s a T-ball game, she’s there with a glove on. She wants to show you pictures of their trip to Yellowstone.


Married. Both spouses work. Combined income of $100,000 to $150,000.

What’s on Nelly’s mind…

“I don’t know if now is the right time to invest. Maybe we should wait.” “I wanted to invest this year, but then (insert event) happened.” “I didn’t work this hard to lose it all now.”

How to Exceed Nelly’s Expectations

  • Demonstrate thorough understanding of risk types and how to work with them.
  • Blog regularly about risk – why we need it, how to navigate, etc. – and send her relevant articles BEFORE she calls you. Drive home the point that investing involves risk, and that risk is a spectrum – it’s not all or nothing. 
  • Be available via phone/email for questions regularly. Anticipate them as much as humanly possible. 

8. DIY Darren

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Darren reads stock prospectuses for fun and has a poster of Warren Buffet on his garage wall. Darren can’t wait to tell you how much more he knows about financial matters than you do. He devours every financial advisor blog out there and thinks hiring one is a waste. That’s for people who don’t know what they’re doing, right?

What Does this Persona Need? 

  • Needs help with financial planning, but will never commit to the full experience (so don’t be surprised) 
  • Needs help getting his head out of the latest news and blogs so he can see the big picture of his financial plan
  • Bring your A+ game, Darren needs to know that the financial game is much more complex than he thinks. Show him you can provide help he didn’t think he needed

Self Description:

Educated investor looking to save money by doing as much of his own financial planning and investing as possible. He’s in charge of his money, and he’s reluctant to let you near it. 


Current events. Financial news, analysis, and research. His prized possession is a genuine Tucker Stock certificate he mounted and framed himself.


Married. Mid-50s. Three grown children (two in college, one in the workforce). Lives in suburbs (riding lawn mower even though his yard is a half acre). $125,000 combined income with spouse.

What’s on Darren’s Mind…

“I know more about the markets than most advisors.” “What are your numbers on returns?” “I don’t need any help with my investments…could you take a look and tell me how you think I’m doing?”

How to Exceed Darren’s Expectations:

  • One-off financial planning deals, such as plan analysis, one-hour planning sessions, etc.
  • Anticipate questions, anticipate objections 
  • Darren will drop buzzwords and jargon to try to “win” conversations. Let him. You’re here to serve him, not to compete with him
  • More often than not, technology will impress Darren. Show him a client experience dashboard that will get and keep his attention. 

Keep in Mind…

  • Darren will almost never sign on to having you manage his assets, so there is not much point in trying to convince him. If you offer him a free 30-minute call, he will try to get as much information as possible out of you.
  • One of the ways you can still work with Darren is by offering smaller commitment levels (if they are worth the time and effort to you and your team, think through the time/cost benefit carefully).
    • For example, an offer to build a financial plan that he can then implement himself, or even a financial plan review. He will do a lot of the work on his own, and he’ll get the most satisfaction from having you look over and sign off on it. Just keep him from hurting himself. 

9. Business Owner Brad

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Brad’s business is basically one of his children. He runs a family-oriented shop – some of his kids work for him and his wife handles the books. He’s emotionally tied to his money and can tell you the story of every dollar he’s earned. 

Persona Needs:

  • So caught up in running his business, he needs help planning ahead – for his family and his business
  • Needs help with his own retirement planning, especially because he doesn’t have time or interest to think about 
  • Needs help running his company’s retirement plan

Self Description:

  • Busy business owner with little freedom to think beyond his employees’ next paychecks or the next big sales push.


Business and family, in that order.


Lives in the suburbs. $200,000 salary. Has a paid-for boat he’s never taken out. 

What’s on Brad’s Mind…

“I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” “Retirement? Huh?” “If I can just get {business goal} done, then I’ll have time for {personal goal}…” 

How to Exceed Brad’s Expectations

  • Blog regularly about the importance of financial planning for business. 
  • Demonstrate your insider knowledge as a business owner yourself. Don’t tell him you know what you’re doing here, show him. 
  • Show him the hard numbers on planning for his own life, retirement especially, and how these personal issues are also a priority. 

That’s it for now! Don’t forget to grab the full guide with all 11 investor personas by clicking below.

Know your personas. Turbo-boost your marketing. Download "The Ultimate Guide to Investor Personas."

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The Financial Advisor's Guide to Effective Marketing

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