I just wanted to share what several people told me was an Aha-Moment while attending the RIA Summit, sponsored by Business Development Partners. My role at the summit was to meet with C-level executives from RIAs – RIAs managing at least one billion in client assets — and share my experience on building effective and profitable financial brands. Financial advisor marketing ideas they can implement right away.
It was a bit of an eye opener for some. Although all the firms I met with would be considered successful (AUMs ranged from $1 to $10 billion) their brands ranged from extremely powerful and compelling to ineffective and non-existent. There was also a large range in the quality of their marketing.
There was however, one generally consistent and noticeably missing element – the aha moments — the lack of brand depth.
“Brand depth” can be defined as: the amount, scope and packaging of processes, philosophies, tools, and resources that bring the firm’s brand to life. Essentially, a firm’s brand depth is measured by their ability to validate and prove their advisor brand versus just talking about it.
The historical mindset has been, “How do we say what we do differently than other firms?” and the “trick” was to focus on witty catch phrases, and smoke & mirrors marketing copy.
The challenge for a company like ours is that we get hired to make financial advisors sound better than others.
In reality, it’s quite difficult to “differentiate” firms and professionals when everyone is singing from the same song sheet saying they offer independent, comprehensive, custom and tailored solutions to discerning investors and business owners.
The best opportunity to “stand-out” from the crowd these days is to showcase your advisor brand versus simply talking about how good and different your firm is. In other words – Prove it!
A decade and a half ago, TactiBrand used the following text on our website, “The #1 marketing choice for financial professionals”. These days, we don’t bother trying to “say” we are great, we focus on proving it by making it as easy as possible for prospective financial firms to see what we do, experience (read, hear, watch, ponder, learn, and even feel) our branding processes and successes with a variety of free resources, bi-monthly blog posts, timely social updates, assessments and more.
This is also exactly what great financial firms need to focus on, how can they prove they are great versus using marketing razzle dazzle to tell a story that has little or no depth. Consumers have grown weary of being “sold” – they need to “trust” – they need to “believe”.
Here are some financial advisor marketing ideas that build Brand Depth:
- An easy to understand diagram of that explains and showcases your investment or client experience process/approach
- A 90-second video that stirs emotion regarding your purpose and approach to serving your clients
- Whitepapers that tell the story behind your philosophies, the often unaddressed needs and common oversights of your target audience(s)
- Checklists that get you’re your target audience really thinking about how they are being served, and how they want to be served in the future
- Books that further develop your story and your define your value, either your own or books from complimentary authors
- An assessment that scores or measures someone’s mindset or circumstances and provides instant feedback as to their “effectiveness” (i.e. custom risk tolerance or life balance assessment)
- Infographics that quickly, concisely and visually express important concepts or facts
- Regular and timely blog posts that share your diverse and specific insight
- Packaged solutions that address and/or resonate with your target audience (the best way to attract specific niche is to provide niche specific ideas, content and resources)
- “Packaging” could include a name, icon or description of said “idea” but what really important here is that you’ve brought this “idea” to life and it in itself tells your brand story
- “Client experience” initiatives within your office and in your community; this may include:
- Warm and inviting reception area
- Documented meeting summaries and uniquely written financial plans
- A less formal first meeting, or a more structured meeting process
- An introduction video to your firm in the reception area
- Community initiatives that include clients
- Client events that promote your brand and build trust
- Well-organized teams that have clear roles and make it easy for clients to know who to go to for answers to questions
If you’ve had the patience to read through this article – you have my thanks.
If you walk away with one piece of learning, I hope it is that effectively advisor marketing ideas are more than just having the right logo, tag line, website and brochure. Effective advisor marketing requires building trust and the way to do that is to share your wisdom – freely, regularly and in a variety of ways. I hope these marketing ideas help you in your quest to grow your practice.
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