As a financial advisor, defining your brand is one of the most important aspects of your business. Your brand stands as your promise to your customers to meet their financial needs and also conveys your professional approach and investment philosophy. Building your brand takes time and effort, but a properly constructed brand is an invaluable tool that will help you to capture more business and grow your practice. Here are some tips to help you achieve that goal.
Defining a Brand
- Create a hook: Come up with a catchy slogan that people can easily relate to that states the nature of your practice. For example, Ken Fisher’s hook is “Ken Fisher hates annuities, and you should too.” Another one is “Ed Slott can tell you how to parlay your IRA into a family fortune.” These tag lines grab immediate interest and motivate people to find out more about them. (For more, see: 6 Essential Marketing Tips for Financial Advisors.)
- Create a good first impression: As the old saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Your website, LinkedIn page and Facebook account should all be highly polished and professional. Jennifer Landon, founder and president of Journey Financial Services in Ammon, Idaho, says that: “Your first impression, whether it’s your website, LinkedIn or Facebook, or all three, should illustrate what you do, how you’re different, and succinctly communicate in a way that a prospective client would understand. People subconsciously make judgments and assumptions based on first impressions.” And Andrew Rafal, founder and president of Bayntree Wealth Advisors, a registered investment advisor in Scottsdale, Arizona, also states that: “A prospective client, whether referred or [who] finds your firm in another avenue, will look at your website as the first way to learn about you and what you do. It’s imperative that your website clearly defines who you are and allows easy navigation. You have one chance to make a good impression and also ensure that your website is mobile-friendly.” (For more, see: How Financial Advisors Are Leveraging Social Media.)
- A branding process: If you are not able to come up with at least three to six marketing pieces that clearly convey the value of your services, then you need to work on your brand. You should be able to come up with at least that many pieces that you can give to clients and prospects that cover the range of services that you provide.
- Create a tagline: Similar to the hook, a tagline can be used to sum up your business philosophy in a few short words. Use this phrase in your marketing and advertising.
- Patent your brand: Trademarking your brand will ensure that no one else copies your idea. Your brand is one of your greatest assets, and it needs to have legal protection.
- Create a video: If you can put one or more video clips on your website or Facebook page, it will give you the opportunity to market yourself in a way that cannot be matched. Clients who visit your website can get a much better feel for who you are than they can from just looking at static webpages. (For more, see: Want to Be a Better Advisor? Think Like a Client.)
- Host a client event: Client events can be an excellent way to get more referrals. Create an event that somehow dovetails with your professional philosophy or accomplishes a goal that you believe in. A charity fundraiser may be a good approach to start with if you need ideas.
The Bottom Line
Creating your brand is one of the most important tasks you will face. A well-constructed brand will allow your practice to shine and demonstrate your professionalism to the public. A poorly constructed brand can be a real hindrance to the growth of your business. Advisors who need help with their brands should not hesitate to consult with a marketing professional for assistance. (For more, see: Growth Strategies for Financial Advisors.)