Branding: Becoming the advisor to call

In any financial services practice, branding is a primary way to attract ideal clients. It is an expression of your unique identity to arouse interest in the kind of people you most want to work with.

Branding, though, isn’t just about having a catchy tagline or slogan about how you’re different from your competitors. It’s about getting your ideal clients or prospects to see that what you offer is exactly the solution they’ve been searching for.

If you meet someone and tell them you’re a financial advisor who works with medical professionals to help them avoid taxes in retirement, you’re engaging in direct marketing. You’re talking about your brand to someone who doesn’t know it.

If a stranger comes across the room and says, “I hear you are the advisor to see if I’m a medical professional and I want to avoid taxes in retirement,” you’ve successfully branded your business.

Brand yourself and your work seamlessly with three steps

  1. Identify an ideal client, target market or niche. Who do you most want to work with? You will have more success if you become an expert in the needs of one narrow target market, such as government workers, baby boomers, young families, entrepreneurs, landscaping contractors, teachers, retirees and so forth. Focus on a target instead of scattering your efforts and energy.
  2. Identify one core need your ideal clients often have that you can help them with. What are their biggest problems or dreams? They may have many but lead with one. Sometimes the core need creates the target. If you’re selling coverage for final expenses, employee benefits or college planning, your market is defined for you.
  3. Design your unique solutions. Why will these people with that need choose you to work with? Why not your competitors? What’s unique about you? Having a specialty and being an expert in it will make you more appealing. Knowing why you work with this ideal client on this desire or need can be compelling. And how you package your services can also make you unique.

In “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing,” Al Ries and Jack Trout wrote: “If you can, be first. If you can’t be first [in an existing category for a particular client], create a new category in which you can be first.”

So, decide who you are, who you serve and how. When are you the one advisor to call for a particular kind of client? If you have an answer, post it below in the comments.

Sandy Schussel is a performance acceleration coach who has been working with financial advisors for more than 20 years, helping them break through to higher production levels.

For more ideas about how to boost your brand and attract more clients, read:

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