Written by Jen Diehl
In a world of one-person shops and billion-dollar asset managers, some midsized RIAs struggle with an identity crisis when it comes to connecting with potential clients. It’s no secret that financial services firms in general have had a difficult time relating to customers in recent years, especially as we watched the Wells Fargo phony account scandal unfold. The digitization of the industry, where advisers hide behind software and computer screens now more than ever, is also not helping their cause.
But if you’re a midsized RIA, it’s important to remember that just because you have a brand name doesn’t necessarily mean you have a brand. Firms of this nature often manage a decent amount of assets, but they typically lack the marketing resources needed to develop thoughtful campaigns that distinguish their value and resonate with current and potential clients.
The solution? Midsized RIAs need to “humanize their brands.” But what exactly does that mean? Here are three sure-fire ways midsized RIAs can connect with customers in today’s fragmented media environment:
1. Deepen your bench of subject matter experts
While your CEO might be the “face of the company,” they shouldn’t be the only face your customers see. What differentiates your firm is the team behind it, your advice and the delivery.
Get several members of your team and corral around a message you all truly believe in. Several employees delivering similar talking points doesn’t dilute your messages, it reinforces them. And when you truly believe in the advice you are giving, others will too. Make sure you have several media points that can commit time and resources to this effort before jumping in. The result will cast a light on the real people delivering value to your customers.
2. Tell your story in your words
If you’re interested in broadcasting your story to the world, you might as well take the time to tell it on your own. That starts with a blog chock full of custom content. While canned, or prepackaged, content can be more convenient and time efficient, it lacks the authenticity your audience needs to connect with your firm as a brand.
Just like a traditional media relations campaign, a blog comes to life when numerous voices and personalities are involved. In addition to traditional media relations, blogging allows you to drive the conversation and create the content you want your audience to hear.
3. Deliver a more consistent message with authenticity
When multiple voices tell your story, it amplifies its authenticity and credibility.
Take this public service announcement pushing for stricter gun control laws in the U.S. for example. The video is incredibly powerful not only because of the shocking nature of its content, but because dozens of celebrities across the entertainment spectrum gathered to deliver a consistent and uniform message.
A more consistent delivery from multiple individuals solidifies your firm’s mission and purpose in the industry while adding a humanized touch.
“Humanizing a brand” may sound like an oxymoron, but executing the above tips will take your firm’s reputation to the next level. Given technology’s unremitting infiltration of the market and the industry’s already negative reputation, adding a humanized and personal touch to your RIA’s branding and marketing efforts will serve as a difference maker in growing your business.
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