A good financial brand is at the core of achieving marketing results. Regardless of how many people you attract with marketing, your marketing campaigns are bound to fail miserably if your story isn’t obvious, compelling and highly relevant.. Brand leakage is rampant in this industry. Too many advisors market themselves the same as everyone else and consequently end up positioning themselves as the “same old” financial advisor.
When your marketing positions you as “same or similar”, you are relying on inefficient and ineffective sales tactics to grow your practice. Advisors don’t have time or budget to support trial and error marketing. You need an efficient marketing approach that generates long-term value and outcomes.
Here are NINE outcomes you should be enjoying as a result of a compelling financial brand.
1. You are viewed as different and better.
Articulate that you are different and what that difference means to your audience. At the core of a great brand is identifying what you do best (hopefully better than others) and building around that. The more “you” it is, the less likely it is for others to duplicate it.
2. Your expertise is proven.
Make sure people understand what you know. There are many ways to establish and share your expertise. Much of your ability to do so requires you to do it on your audience’s terms – which means not in your office. You need to create and share content regularly to achieve this. Papers, checklists, video, podcasts, published posts or a good blog, and infographics.
3. There’s proof you know your audience.
Clarify with whom you work best and why they should pay attention to what you are saying/doing. Your expertise doesn’t necessarily demonstrate you understand your audience. Your brand needs to tie in what you know, who needs to know it and why.
4. People experience you easily.
Help people experience your approach, your expertise, your process, your attention to detail, your relationship skills, and your business culture. A good brand fills your website, blog and social channels with valuable content and varied media so your audience can experience you before ever meeting you. Multimedia works best for this. A podcast or a video do a much better job of showcasing who you are and what it would be like to work with you. Let them know you before they commit to a meeting or next steps.
5. People refer you easily.
Clients, prospects and influencers would refer you without hesitation because your brand message is so compelling.
The number one reason people make referrals is to make themselves look good. When advisors’ brands are non-existent or not easily identifiable, people find it difficult to introduce them to their contacts. You can see how this seriously undermines referral generation for the average advisor. Advisors simply haven’t made it simple and compelling enough to inspire people to refer them more often – or at all.
An enhanced brand should increase referrals by at least 100% within 12 months following brand implementation.
6. Makes headlines.
A compelling brand should attract media attention. When the brand is easily digestible (easy to sell their audience), niche-oriented (clearly relevant to their audience), and well-supported (easy to point people to a valuable online resources), it makes them look good for finding you.
7. Significantly improved marketing results.
I can’t tell you how often I’ve seen advisors and other financial firms fail at marketing but have no idea why. It’s easy to blame the medium, the vendor, the list or even the call-to-action. But often times it starts and ends with an advisor’s ability to share a simple and compelling story that answers, “why you?”
Whether your campaign is email, a billboard, Facebook ads, or social media, everything you say, offer or ask for needs to be supported by an overarching statement. I’m different, I’m better, and here’s why I’m right for you. No matter how you slice it or say it, you need to be seen this way to gain traction. It’s called intrigue, and your marketing needs to start and end with it.
8. You have influence.
A good brand keeps people coming back for more. Influence happens via social media channels, media, and your blog, video or podcast channels. You can build it through constantly sharing valuable content and ideas that are highly relevant to their financial circumstances, personal goals, careers and families.
9. You inspire advocacy.
A great brand gets people excited to talk about you. It clarifies your unique strengths and makes it easy to direct people to where they can learn more about you. A good brand gets people advocating for you to their friends, colleagues, family, and heck, maybe even their Rabbi.
Advocacy is the pinnacle of a great financial advisory brand.
STOP FOLLOWING THE CROWD
Dare to be different. Distinguish your brand from tens of thousands of advisors. A great financial brand starts with telling a compelling story about who you are.