The very first step in communicating effectively as a financial advisor is defining YOU: What you do and how you do it that differentiates you from other financial advisors.
What is it that makes you stand out from the crowd?
If you think your unique value is your ability to understand client needs and objectives, you should know the vast majority – 75% – of financial professionals also claim that’s what sets themapart from others. So you’ll have to dig deeper into your firm’s personality, your processes, your market focus, your services, your strengths, and your vision to arrive at a brand identity and positioning that truly separates you from competitors.
Defining Your Value
Defining your value is a laborious process of introspection, research, analysis, and repetitive brainstorming. It’s not just creating a “clever” slogan; it’s defining the essence of who you are (or are becoming) in a way that’s both compelling and connecting with your target audience.
Defining Your Target Audience:
The second step in communicating effectively is tightly defining your desired target audience: What are your ‘ideal client’ values. Discover that and begin to mirror your messaging to reflect and reinforce the things they value. You can’t be all things to all people, so carefully choose and narrow your audience to match YOU. In defining your ideal client’s persona, there are several factors to consider:
- Background – What are the education, interests, qualifications, designations, job titles, hobbies? (i.e., An advisor may only target first generation entrepreneurs, or dentists, or physicians, or professional athletes, etc.)
- Demographics – Gender, age, location, homeowner, income, assets, etc. (i.e., An advisor may primarily target women of wealth and position, or wealthy retirees, or individuals nearing retirement, or individuals at the earning peak of their career, etc.)
- Identifiers – Preferred communications: Email, phone, in-person, online meeting. Active on social media? A thought leader?
- Primary and secondary goals – What do they want from their career or retirement? Their goals for 5/10/20 years out? How do they measure success?
- Problems/pain points – Challenges they face within life, business, health, relationships, investments, etc.
Having defined YOU and your audience, you are now ready to look at your communications strategy and tools. For example, your website will be the entry point for prospects researching your firm and services offered. Your website must be clean-looking, with strong visuals and graphics (including informative videos), crisp compelling copy throughout, organized for smooth navigation, clearly presenting your brand and specifically targeted at your preferred audiences. You’ll also want to use keywords in the title tags to match your geographical location and specific search terms for your financial service.
- Quality – Your content quality and marketing is critical, too. Visitors to your website have come looking for you (not the other way around) and you need to earn (and keep) their attention with stellar content. Whether it’s an offered e-book or whitepaper, blog article, video or featured infographics, media articles or interviews, your content should deliver maximum value and help answer questions. Remember, the better the quality of your content throughout all your marketing communications (and not just your website), the greater the chance you might just convert that viewer-reader into a serious prospect you can connect with professionally.
- Relevancy – Content relevancy and quality helps determine your SEO rankings, too. If visitors bounce off of a web page without spending any time, Google will think it’s not a useful (or relevant) page and that will negatively impact your rankings. However, if a person reads a blog article then clicks and reads another blog article, Google will reward you for it.
In today’s business world, having a meaningful social media presence is an absolute must. It’s your opportunity to reach more prospects that are very comfortable with social media in their profession or business and personal lives. When used correctly, platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can be effective in helping draw more traffic to your website. Be active where your target audience “hangs out”.
- Twitter – Tweets should educate fellow tweeters about your financial service practice and answer questions.
- LinkedIn – A LinkedIn Profile should convey your brand message and your company page should be a “mini-me” of your website’s main page. You should also join selected groups on LinkedIn.
- Facebook – A Facebook Page should be more consumer-oriented but still communicate your core message. Share blog posts and expert content from other authors on both your LinkedIn and Facebook company pages.
In everything you do, marketing-wise, you want to include a Call-To-Action (CTA). You need a carefully thought out and sequenced CTA using premium content in order to entice the visitor to provide their contact information in exchange for an e-book, financial checklist, webinar, video lesson, whitepaper, free newsletter, free phone consultation, book an free appointment, etc. Once you have their contact info, consider the use of marketing automation software to schedule and streamline ongoing outreach to your prospect database, keeping them “warm” and up-to-date on the latest news and developments within your firm.
Other important marketing tools for successful financial advisers are collateral, public relations, paid advertising, events, associations and memberships, speaking engagements, and authored books. For more information on these and related topics, please check some of our other blog articles.
Do you need help in communicating more effectively as a financial adviser? AdvisorPR can work with you to take the steps toward defining your message and crafting a communications program that will build your brand and business. Contact AdvisorPR at (866) 888-5333 or Info@advisorpr.com today.