Welcome back to the 297th episode of the Financial Advisor Success Podcast!
My guest on today's podcast is Andy Panko. Andy is the owner of Tenon Financial, a virtual independent RIA that oversees $70 million in assets under management for 43 retired client households.
What's unique about Andy, though, is how, shortly after launching his practice, he created a Facebook group so that he could share his expertise directly with the types of clients he wanted to serve… which unexpectedly became so successful, that in just two short years, he reached the client capacity goal he set out as he went from $0 in AUM to $70 million!
In this episode, we talk in-depth about how, after seeing little success in his initial ‘traditional’ marketing efforts like seminars and creating profiles on advisor referral sites, Andy decided instead to create a Facebook group focused on “Taxes In Retirement” (so that he could more directly engage with and demonstrate his expertise to the types of clients he wanted to work with), how Andy built the initial list of members for his Taxes In Retirement group to gain enough momentum that Facebook’s algorithm would make his group more visible to sustain its growth in bringing new prospects, and how Andy’s Facebook group is still gaining momentum but he has purposefully decided to not take on any more new clients (so that he can still have capacity and flexibility to serve his current clients) and instead has dedicated a page on his website with a list of advisors that have similar focuses so that they can share in the prospect funnel that he created.
We also talk about how, after listening to industry podcasts on his commute while working in the traditional corporate finance world, Andy’s eyes were opened to the possibilities of financial planning which led him to pursuing his CFP marks (along with some other designations) before he ever quit his old job to launch his new firm (to ensure he could hit the ground running when it was time), how, after seeing how his mother’s advisor was not helping her gain the most she can from her Social Security claims, Andy decided to take it upon himself to learn more about retirement planning to help her, which led to an aha moment for him as he realized he truly enjoyed that type of financial planning and would focus his own practice on helping retirees with value-added tax planning, and how once Andy knew what type of practice he wanted to launch, he intentionally structured it with a flat fee model so he could clearly project what his revenue would be, and then used his business projections to determine the target of how much savings he would need to set aside to cover the first three years while his client base got off the ground and ramped up.
And be certain to listen to the end, where Andy shares how, even though he intentionally set out to be a solopreneur for the flexibility and control, he is looking to fill the gap of camaraderie and brainstorming that he misses from when he was part of a larger firm, how Andy didn’t realize he was inadvertently creating a virtual practice by gaining new clients through his Facebook group but decided that it was a positive for him as he can maintain a more casual appearance and approach with his clients, and why Andy believes that though it may take time and be difficult to achieve, it is important for those starting in the financial services industry to continually work hard to find the right position for them that suits their needs and aligns with their values to ensure they can build a longer, much more fulfilled career.
So, whether you’re interested in learning about why Andy decided to become a financial planner after seeing the benefits it provides to clients and their financial futures, how Andy leveraged the connections he made through his Facebook group to turn prospects into clients, or why Andy decided to add a tax planning focus to create a stronger value proposition for his clients, then we hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast, with Andy Panko.