As 2021 gets underway, many of last year’s financial trends are poised to continue and virtual relationship management remains the norm. For advisors who are looking to expand their practice, optimizing branding and marketing efforts is an important first step.

Dasarte Yarnway, founder and managing director of Berknell Financial Group is familiar with these tactics. Over the past five years, he’s used them to expand his practice and his thought leadership in the field. His advice for advisors: Play to your strengths and don’t be afraid to try new things. In a recent interview, Yarnway shared his tips for developing a professional brand—and growing your business. 

Develop A Multi-Touchpoint Strategy
Whether you’re just starting out or looking to improve your existing strategy, a multi-pronged approach can help you amplify your message and reach people where they are. This type of approach can include blog posts, newsletters, or even a podcast. If you’re not sure where to start, Yarnway recommends leaning into the things you like to do. 

“For the person who is thinking about writing a book, you already have something that you are interested in, you already have a subject matter that you love to talk about, now it’s just letting your thought leadership lead through the keyboard,” he says. He also recommends creating a comprehensive ecosystem where your clients can access the content they want in the format they want it. 

While it may feel overwhelming to develop this type of strategy if you’re just getting started, Yarnway emphasizes that a slow and steady approach can help you identify what works best for you and your firm. “It takes time to build an audience and build that credibility. If you give it some time, it’ll grow for sure.”

Track What’s Working, And What Can Be Improved 
A comprehensive marketing plan is a great starting point, but to experience true success you need to optimize and refine your strategy. This includes tracking your referrals and being responsive to feedback from clients and prospects.

A simple way of doing this is to create a questionnaire for your incoming clients and ask them how they found your firm. You can either include a link directly on your website or email it to prospects as part of their onboarding process. Once you receive some responses, you’ll be able to ramp up efforts that are generating referrals while refining those that are not delivering results. 

Yarnway believes that measuring leads in this way has been crucial to his firm’s success. “These people are giving me their information on how they’re reaching us and that gives me the data that I need to lean into more of what’s working and say no to the things that are not working,” he explains.

The Bottom Line
While 2020 has presented many challenges, it has also created new opportunities for business growth. If you’ve been looking for ways to expand your brand, starting small and being consistent can help you get there. “Success leaves fingerprints,” says Yarnway. “If you’re doing the right thing, you’ll begin to see the fruits of your labor manifest in their proper forms.”