As a financial advisor, your ability to market yourself is vital to the success of your practice, even if you are a fantastic salesperson. The growing competition from virtually all other sectors of the financial industry, including banks, CPAs, robo-advisors and online services requires that you find a compelling method of separating yourself from your competition. This article provides a few helpful tips to assist you in accomplishing this formidable task.

Be Succinct

Some of the basic concepts of marketing apply to financial advisors in the same way they do to any other business or profession. A good technique to use in a corporate interview is to give the journalist or interviewer a solid lead concept in perhaps two sentences that concisely summarizes your firm’s key philosophy or benefit. This will entice them to learn more about what you have to offer, especially if you can incorporate a common phrase such as “strike while the iron is hot” or some similar saying that evokes a tangible picture of action. (For related reading, see: Tips on How Financial Advisors Can Talk to Clients.)

If they are looking for a quote, then you will probably get the greatest amount of exposure with a strong statement of some sort. For example, if you believe that most experts are wrong about what the markets will do this year, then a bold statement to that effect will grab the most attention. Other techniques include making your words rhyme or comparing your idea or business to another common concept or scenario in order to make a readily understandable analogy or metaphor.

If your interview will be televised in any way, then be sure to focus on your voice inflection and other intangible elements of your speech and image as much as the content of your speech. The effectiveness of this form of advertising will depend heavily upon your ability to exude confidence and competence to your viewers. (For related reading, see: FAs Should Factor Clients Into Succession Plans.)

Sell a Story

Many successful advisors have learned that spinning a compelling yarn to their clients can help them to teach important concepts to their clients and close sales. This strategy allows clients to envision a common everyday process or scenario that corresponds to a financial concept. One of the most common stories used in this manner is the stewpot story that mutual fund salespersons use to sell their products. The story basically outlines the similarities between making a stew and creating a mutual fund, where the ingredients that go into making a stew represent the securities that are picked by the fund managers, and each spoonful of the stew then contains a tiny portion of each ingredient in the stew just like each share of the fund offers a fractional interest in each security held in the fund’s portfolio. (For related reading, see: Explaining Portfolio Rebalancing to Clients.)

You can also use stories from your own personal experience to show clients why you care about them and your business. For example, if you sell long-term care insurance because you had a friend or relative who was financially wiped out when they went into a nursing home, then relating this story can help clients to see that your motivation for selling this product is not primarily for your own financial gain. (For related reading see: Want to Impress Clients? Show Your Due Diligence.)

Specialize

Advisors who zero in on a specific niche can often provide a much higher and more focused level of service than those who try to be all things to all people. Small business owners, government employees, military service people and medical professionals are all popular segments of clientele that many firms have chosen for their exclusive market. (For related reading, see: These Professionals Need Financial Advisors.)

This can be especially effective for those who market to those in an area in which they themselves have previously worked. Earning professional credentials in the area of your specialty, such as becoming a Certified Divorce Planner can also build credibility and enhance your image to your clientele. (For related reading, see: Financial Planners: Specialize in Seniors.)

Networking

The digital revolution has made creating an effective internet presence every bit as critical to the growth of your business as the traditional methods of networking such as attending chamber of commerce meetings and obtaining client referrals. A top-notch website that provides the latest online services to your clients coupled with an effective social media campaign can stretch your marketing dollars and increase your appeal to tech-savvy clients. Joining professional societies such as the Financial Planning Association, The National Association of Fee-Based Advisors and other similar groups can also provide you with additional marketing resources and tools as well as a platform for exchanging ideas and finding employees and new job opportunities. (For related reading, see: How Financial Advisors Are Leveraging Social Media.)

The Bottom Line

Growing your practice in today’s world requires both old and new forms of marketing that will appeal to an increasingly sophisticated market that demands expertise, technology and individualized service. Those who are able to meet these challenges will likely see their firms continue to grow and reap commensurate rewards now and in the future. (For related reading, see: Growth Strategies for Financial Advisors.)

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