Some clients will be easier and more enjoyable to work with than others simply because they’re a better fit for who you genuinely are. When you find those clients, you build a business with people you enjoy and your business grows.
To allow such clients to find you, try these steps to differentiate yourself in the marketplace:
Step 1: Identify what makes you who you are
When you are unapologetically authentic, you stand in your own power and shine like a bright beacon of light that attracts your best clients. Like a lost traveler at sea pulled in the direction of a lighthouse, they will seek you out with fervor. The key to being authentic starts with having clarity around your values. For example, my team and I value purpose, empowerment, curiosity, candor and charisma. (“Quaresma,” with the same pronunciation, is my last name, after all!) These don’t have to be your values, but you must identify and commit to your values 100%.
Step 2: Share your values with your clients and prospects
When I showed up as my authentic self — someone who is curious, passionate and empowered — clients saw themselves, and I realized I had found my tribe. When you have a tribe, it’s bigger than you. If you speak your truth, commit to your values and align your actions to your purpose, your clients will follow you anywhere and share you with their network.
Step 3: Connect to your values, find your path and take action
Advisors think and often lead with their products, strategies and tools. None of that matters, though, if your prospects and clients don’t feel a connection to you. I have always considered myself an artist and activist destined to a life of sales. Being true to my core values, I created a marketing campaign that focused on women and their historic financial inequities. I didn’t get the idea from a marketing team, though. The idea came from me being me.
Showcasing a vintage dress I was wearing, my assistant took a photo of me at my desk and posted it on Facebook and LinkedIn with this fact: “Did you know that the original owner of this 1960s sheath dress couldn’t get a credit card in her own name until 1974? The future is female.” Then we added the hashtag: #financefashionandfeminism. Within the hour of my initial post, my social media blew up.
It didn’t stop there, as people kept sharing it on their social media feeds. “Finance, fashion and feminism” was born. I expanded on this brand by designing and producing a calendar featuring local women who were CEOs, executive directors, politicians and the like. Why feature me when I can feature and highlight the success and stature of amazing women in my network? With each calendar month, I showcase a different woman in my community, style her through the decades and pair her with some financial facts of the time.
Step 4: Shine your light for all to see, and your tribe will find you
My inbox flooded with people saying they wanted to work with someone like me because I was someone like them. I wanted people to think differently about money and opportunity. I wanted them to feel empowered about overcoming any financial setbacks or obstacles.
My calendar featured 17 women over 18 months. Each month, we highlighted their business on our social media pages and tagged them and their business, which gave us access to their community. Then their tribe merged with mine, and the clients and prospects kept coming. Through this marketing project, we brought on 94 new clients in a single year.
Step 5: Take a risk and own your story
Be courageous and unapologetically you, but a word of caution. With that courage, you may lose some people, and that’s OK. If you are for everyone, you are actually for no one. If you are building a brand, you have to differentiate yourself. Be authentic. Identify with your passion and live your values.
It was a huge risk for me, but I stopped hiding behind a business suit that I thought the client expected of a financial advisor and traded it in for some vintage clothing where I could be myself. However, it’s not about what you wear on the outside. It’s about what you live on the inside. Let that light shine outward. If your values truly make you who you are, your authentic self, then your tribe will find you.
Charlene M. Quaresma, of Portland, Oregon, USA, is a Top of the Table qualifier and an MDRT member since 2018. She spoke about this topic at the 2020 MDRT Annual Meeting and Global Conference Virtual Event and will speak more in-depth about it in her 2021 MDRT Annual Meeting Virtual Event presentation.
Discover more about branding:
- Mastering your digital brand and navigating the digital frontier (Top of the Table qualifiers only, audio)
- What sets me apart as an advisor (audio)
- Effective marketing through the power of publicity (MDRT members only. Available in video, audio and text)
3 easy steps for meeting HNW prospects
Ways to use gifts to say thank you — and drive referrals
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