Financial Advisors are more aggressive than ever in pursuing high-net-worth clients. In order for you to join the elite pack and remain competitive you need to establish and demonstrate what makes your firm unique and how your firm is the solution to meeting client needs by creating a strong personal brand.
Your brand message should embody core principles of your practice. These principles should act as drivers and filters when you make business decisions. They should be easy to remember and summarize what makes you unique in serving your clients.
Keep in mind that your brand is also determined by your reputation among clients, prospects and centers of influence. Maintaining a great brand will require that you make promises and set expectations, that you must meet each and every day. Demonstrating to clients that you consistently follow through on what you say you will do builds trust and a strong foundation for your firm.
Advisors with strong brands do things that are meaningful to clients on an ongoing basis.
Building Your Brand
1. How Is Your Firm Unique?
In what way is your firm different from your competitors? Evaluate your skills and expertise. Consider the following and expound on how you effectively perform each component:
Communication with clients – introducing new concepts, ideas, products, and portfolio performance, as well as maintaining contact with clients and prospects through educational seminars. Advisors typically try to differentiate themselves by focusing on a fee-only business model. While this is a key characteristic, it will not truly set your firm apart from your competition and build a brand that speaks to your target market.
Set yourself apart from your competition by effectively communicating your expertise and knowledge and providing pro-active solutions to clients.
2. Determining Your Relevance Starts with Determining Your Ideal Target Client
Choosing your ideal target clients takes more work than simply making a selection of retirees, pre-retirees, affluent professionals, etc. Focus on small target groups with similar needs and determine how you can provide them with significant value. Get to know your clients and target markets by delving beyond their financial needs. Find out what their values, concerns, and fears are, and what is important to them in daily life.
Design your services as a gift that you give to your clients and prospects
that truly offers and delivers what they want most.
3. Be Consistent
Consistent brands get noticed. They achieve strong recognition through trust and engagement, which drives loyalty from existing clients and brings prospects to your firm. To ensure that your brand is recognized and understood it is vital to be consistent through all communication channels.
Review your brand periodically to ensure it remains true. Research how your brand is perceived by interviewing clients which will give you a better understanding of how they interpret your brand.
Think of any strong brand and you are likely able to list its colors and the products it sells. The appearance of your brand should always be clear across the foundation that you have set, including your fonts, logos, colors, images and the presentation of your firm name and services.
Your audience should know what to expect from your brand. Avoid changing your media spokesperson or sending messages that don’t tie-in with what you stand for. This only causes confusion. If your target market recognizes a piece of communication they are more likely to engage with it.
4. In Conclusion
Brand recognition is much more than a nice logo and a bit of advertising –it is the outline of everything you stand for, everything you believe in, and everything you do. It is how you look, how you talk, and how you act.
Ask several clients how they would describe you to their best friends. Their responses are an excellent way to periodically test whether you are living your brand.
Ironstone can assist you in developing a brand that is reflective of your firm. We specialize in identifying gaps in your existing plan and will collaborate with you to develop solutions that are parallel to achieving the results you desire.
Contact us for assistance in starting and improving your firm’s brand. We want to hear from you! Share your best ideas here! How do you demonstrate your brand? What challenges do you have in presenting your brand? We always love hearing from you!
Follow us as we explore each of Ironstone’s Fundamental 4™!
- Strategic Planning
- Business Development
- Operational Effectiveness
- The Human Element
You won’t want to miss our next in the series: Operational Effectiveness-Reports & Tracking