Personal branding is essential for businesses since it allows them to create a unique identity that separates them from their competitors.
A solid personal branding strategy can help businesses attract new customers, build loyalty among existing ones, and create a more powerful presence online.
It can also help companies establish themselves as experts in their field, leading to more business opportunities.
The same applies to financial advisors.
You work hard to cultivate relationships and build trust with your clients.
To differentiate yourself from the competition, it's crucial to create a personal brand that accurately represents who you are and what you stand for.
So how do you develop a personal brand?
Try these 5 simple steps below to get started.
Building A Personal Brand As A Financial Advisor
1. Define Your Goals
Defining your goals is one of the most critical steps in creating a successful personal brand.
Why do you want to create a personal brand?
What do you hope to achieve with your personal branding strategy?
Who do you want to attract with your brand?
Don’t just think of “goals’’ as a generic word.
To identify your personal branding goals, you must first break down your overall goal into smaller ones.
Say you want to raise brand awareness.
Break that larger goal into manageable objectives, such as increasing your online presence via social media, blogging, article writing, public speaking, and networking.
You may also want to generate more leads for your company.
Another goal could be for you to be perceived as an authority in your field.
Whatever your goals may be, make sure they are specific to your target audience and SMART - specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
Once you know what you want to achieve, you can begin developing a strategy for how to reach these goals.
2. Be Consistent in Your Messaging
When it comes to personal branding, messaging consistency is critical.
Consistent messaging will help you build a solid and recognizable brand that clients can trust.
So when they see something from you, say, a blog article, they’ll know it’s from you.
Consistency means delivering the same tone, brand voice, and core message across your marketing channels, from your website, social media profiles, email marketing and client communications, and even your financial proposal template.
Guide Financial Planning, for instance, knows how to be consistent in its messaging.
Here’s a screenshot of their podcast page:
Here are some of their blog posts:
Notice that the blog posts and podcast episodes are written in the same way.
The tone is casual and the language is easy to understand.
Even the use of the colour yellow in the “Read More” call to action is consistent across platforms.
But consistency in messaging doesn’t just mean consistency in style.
It also means consistency in, well, messaging.
So, if you say in your blog post, for instance, that the correct way of signing LLC checks is X, you should stick to X when you talk about signing LLC checks on social media or even when you’re speaking in a forum.
You should create a style guide for your communications. This will help ensure that your messaging is always on-brand.
3. Use Storytelling for Engagement
Storytelling can be a powerful tool to drive engagement.
People are naturally drawn to stories.
Renowned psychologist Jerome Bruner has said that people are 22 times more likely to remember your brand when you use storytelling.
In simple terms, storytelling has been found to trigger connections in the brain.
The result? Your ideal client relates more effectively with you.
So, how exactly do you leverage storytelling when interacting with potential clients?
Keep it personal and authentic.
For example, talk about your experiences and how they've led you to become a financial advisor. S
hare your goals and motivations, and be open and honest about the challenges you've faced along the way.
Take a look at this excellent example from Vanguard.
The company presents its background through a podcast and written materials.
You may hear John C. Bogle, the company's founder, discuss its principles and how they continue to guide everyday activities in this audio recording.
This approach can help you build trust and credibility, which are essential for any financial advisor.
Focus on connecting with your audience. Using inclusive language that is accessible to a broad audience is also essential for conveying respect and empathy.
4. Focus on Networking
Networking involves interacting with others to collaborate or further boost your brand and engagement.
The goal is to position yourself as a trusted resource people can turn to when they have questions about finance.
However, when most people think of networking, they think of going to events and exchanging business cards with as many people as possible.
While this can help you meet new people, it’s not the most effective way to build meaningful relationships that will help other people remember you.
So, try to connect with people in a more profound way instead.
Attend industry events, yes, but also try to get involved in activities your ideal clients would be interested in.
Also, consider networking with people in niches that complement yours such as tax professionals, event planners, self-help coaches, business owners, etc.
Don’t only focus on other financial advisors.
Since these are people in niches that complement yours, their social circles' likely overlap with yours.
That means they can promote your personal brand to other people too.
5. Improve Your Online Search Presence
Your online search presence is your existence across digital media.
To put it simply, if an average person went online looking for financial advice, what are the chances they’d find your content?
This is why you have to improve and build a credible online search presence.
You can do a few things to improve your online search presence for your branding.
Make sure your website is up-to-date and well-designed.
Your website is your "home base" online, so it should look good and be easy to navigate.
Buckingham, for instance, makes it easy for potential clients to reach out to them.
All they need to do is access their website and book their preferred day and time for the call.
Ensure your online content is relevant to your target audience and SEO-optimized.
For example, use keywords and phrases pertinent to your industry in your website's title tags and meta descriptions.
Ensure you have a solid social media presence on all major platforms and regularly post engaging and valuable content.
You should also use hashtags to help people find your content.
Be active in the financial advisor online community.
There are several forums, discussion boards, and groups where financial advisors can share their thoughts and ideas.
Participating in these forums can help you to build your reputation as an expert in the field.
Personal branding is an essential part of being a successful financial advisor. It allows you to create a positive image and helps you stand out from competitors.
When customers know who a financial advisor is and what they stand for, they are more likely to do business with them.
This article discussed the tips you should follow as part of your personal branding strategy.
Define your goals, be consistent in your messaging, and use storytelling.
Don’t forget to focus on networking to further improve your online search presence.
By following these tips, you can ensure a solid personal brand that will help you attract more clients and grow your business.
Jon is the founder of two successful e-commerce and SaaS businesses. He's passionate about sharing what he has learned from working with business owners through Venture Smarter.