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How to Build Your Personal Brand as a Financial Advisor


Cultivating a brand image is an integral part of your financial advisor marketing strategy. A recognizable brand can give you a competitive advantage, help you attract more clients to your business and boost your firm’s revenues. Familiarizing yourself with the ins and outs of personal branding for financial advisors is the first step in refining your firm’s image so you can close more sales.

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Importance of Branding for Financial Advisors

What is a brand? In a nutshell, it’s an identifier that consumers associate with a specific business’s products or services. Branding can encompass:

  • Logos
  • Symbols
  • Slogans or catchphrases
  • Colors or designs

Good branding makes a solid first impression and “sticks” in a consumer’s memory. Poor branding can trigger negative associations or worse, make your business forgettable in the eyes of the clients that you’re trying to attract.

When you’re talking about personal branding, you’re separating who you are as a person and advisor from what your firm does. Your personal brand identity is unique to you, while your firm’s brand represents the business as a whole.

Developing a personal brand image can you to:

  • Highlight your expertise and knowledge
  • Present your unique value proposition and what makes you different from your competitors
  • Build trust with prospective clients and existing clients
  • Increase client retention rates while also attracting new clients
  • Generate more referrals from existing clients

Those are all things that can help you grow your business and increase revenues. Your branding can also make a difference in attracting and retaining top talent. The more visible your brand is and the better your reputation, the more eager job seekers may be to find employment with you.

How to Build Your Personal Brand as an Advisor

Creating an effective brand image or identity includes some obvious and not-so-obvious steps. Here are some of the most important things to consider as you develop your personal brand.

1. Know Your Client

Personal branding is most effective when it resonates with the people you’re trying to reach. A good starting point for creating your advisor brand is knowing who you want to share your message with and the type of messaging or imagery they’re most likely to respond to.

Having a detailed ideal client profile can help. Your profile should include your ideal client’s:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Income
  • Net worth
  • Marital status
  • Occupation
  • Geographic location
  • Values
  • Interests
  • Challenges
  • Goals

Knowing who your ideal client is from a demographic perspective makes it easier to determine where you should be directing your marketing efforts to capture their attention.

2. Know Yourself

Your brand should easily telegraph who you are to prospective clients and why they should consider working with you. A strong brand identity is built on visual cues and messaging that remain consistent from one channel to another.

Asking these questions can help you flesh out your brand identity.

  • What’s your story and why is it something prospective clients should care about?
  • Which images, words, phrases or colors do you want prospective clients to associate with me?
  • What makes you different from other advisors in your niche, and what benefits do you offer that they don’t?
  • How would people who know you describe you, and how do those descriptions align with how you see yourself?
  • What kind of tone do you want to strike with prospective clients: friendly, authoritative, trustworthy, or something else?

Your answers can influence the branding decisions that you make, from choosing a logo design or color scheme for your website to the type of social media content you share.

3. Be Consistent

Advisors using personal branding tips to improve their firm's visibility.

Consistency in your branding is instrumental in building trust with prospective clients and making you more memorable. That includes how you approach marketing both online and offline.

For instance, a prospect’s first contact may be with your website or social media platforms. They may spend time reading your blog or checking out your social media content to get a sense of who you are. If the messaging is the same across different channels, they may be encouraged to take the next step and reach out to schedule a call.

The key to capitalizing on the connections you’ve established through your online content is presenting the same brand image when they’re sitting down with you in person. In other words, be the person they’re expecting you to be.

4. Establish Authority

Prospective clients want to work with an advisor they can rely on to be knowledgeable about finance. Building authority online can help to underscore your brand reputation and foster trust.

Some of the ways you can increase your authority using social proof include:

  • Creating a professional financial advisor website, if you don’t have one
  • Writing guest articles for finance websites or blogs
  • Creating social media content that’s engaging and encourages your followers to interact with you
  • Being a guest on a financial podcast or YouTube channel
  • Starting a blog, podcast or YouTube channel of your own
  • Being quoted as an expert source in financial publications
  • Participating in financial conferences, conventions and other events as a guest speaker or workshop leader
  • Asking clients for testimonials that you can share with your audience

Note that if you plan to ask for client testimonials, you’ll need to follow compliance rules for doing so.

5. Create Valuable Content

Content creation has become more important than ever for advisors from a marketing stance. Prospective clients aren’t interested in reading “fluff” – they want information that has real value and is relatable to their situation.

As you approach content creation, put yourself in the shoes of your target audience.

  • What challenges do they most need help with?
  • What questions are they most likely to ask?
  • How do they prefer to digest content?

Useful content inspires, motivates, sparks emotion, prompts action or all of the above. It doesn’t put your audience to sleep, and it doesn’t leave them thinking they’ve wasted their time reading your latest email newsletter or watching your most recent YouTube video.

As you approach content creation, keep this simple checklist in mind.

  • Do I find this interesting?
  • Is the content easy to understand?
  • Does it answer a question, offer a tip or give you something to think about?
  • Would I share this with someone else?

That last question is especially important. The more shareable your content is, the more opportunities you have to broadcast your brand messaging to a larger audience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Do I Brand Myself as a Financial Advisor?

Branding yourself as an advisor starts with defining your identity and what makes you unique. Developing an online presence that includes a website and social media profiles, as well as a Google Business profile can help you build authority as you fine-tune your brand image.

How Do You Introduce Yourself as a Financial Advisor?

Your introduction is essentially an abbreviated version of your elevator pitch. It’s your opportunity to tell the person you’re meeting briefly and concisely who you are and what you do as an advisor. You can introduce yourself using statements that begin with “I help ______” or “I’m passionate about ______.” Remember to keep your introduction short, sweet and to the point.

What Is the Role of Branding in Financial Services?

Branding plays a vital role in helping individual advisors and advisory firms stand out amongst the competition. Advisors who want to scale their businesses recognize the importance of having a brand that prospective clients can easily identify and remember. If you’re not working on branding, you could be missing out on opportunities to connect with your ideal clients.

Bottom Line

A financial advisor sits down with new clients after using personal branding tips to grow his firm.

Shaping your personal brand can take time, but it can also pay dividends for your business, helping you to reach prospective clients. Reviewing your branding strategy periodically can help ensure that the message you’re sending still aligns with your mission and values.

Tips for Growing Your Advisory Business

  • Marketing can easily eat up a chunk of your day, but automating can give you some of those hours back. An advisor marketing platform like SmartAsset AMP makes it easier to find leads while leaving you free to focus on serving your clients. Schedule a demo today to learn how it works.
  • Compliance rules dictate what you can and can’t do when marketing your advisory business. For instance, both FINRA and the SEC have rules prohibiting advisors from making false or misleading statements. Having your compliance team or chief compliance officer (CCO) review your branding materials can ensure that you’re not running afoul of the rules.

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