Thoughtful advisors tend to be a little too humble. Many of you are rockstars and people should know it.
Marketing Maven Marie Swift
Inside Information March 2023. Bob Veres Writes: The reader is probably expecting this next line to say that the Summit was all downhill from there, but in fact there was a good (diversified) mix of presentations over the two and a half day meeting. Marketing consultant Marie Swift of Impact Communications offered her best tips for enhancing advisor marketing, and I think the very best one was the observation that many of the advisors who provide the most value to their clients are the least aggressive in their marketing and outreach. “Thoughtful advisors tend to be a little too humble,” she said. “Many of you are rock stars and people should know it.”
The recommendation is to spend more of your time, attention and budget on helping people know about you and your services. But how?
Swift recommended that advisors start to pivot from a public to a personal persona on their websites and in social media. And they should let their staff members do the same.
Meaning? Instead of a formal mug shot in formal clothing, try putting an image on your website that shows your personal interests or hobbies—projecting what Swift called ‘authenticity.’ Be uniquely yourself, because clients are much more likely to relate to a person rather than a professional image.
If you post a blog or create videos (which Swift recommends), be bold enough to let people see your opinions and personality.
Beyond that, diversify the personas that a potential client can relate to. “Let your staff people have their own branded websites, and create a distributed marketing approach,” Swift told the audience. Ideally, everybody on staff would be encouraged to create and follow their own marketing plan—and of course some will be better at writing, others with videos, others with in-person presentations to local groups. If you dare to focus on a niche (which Swift also recommends), then make your messaging hyper-relevant to that audience, join the ‘tribe’ and become the tribe’s go-to person on financial issues.
Of course, getting to that personal brand in your marketplace will be a journey. Swift outlined the steps you need to take. First, determine how you’re framed by your current clients. Who are you in their eyes? Then explore what you’d like to be known for—and make sure that it matches the needs of your target clients.
Then you need a story that communicates this personal brand—preferably a story that conveys your purpose as an advisor. Swift recommended that you use this story to help existing clients rediscover your firm’s services.
Moving a bit deeper in the weeds, Swift said that your social media outreach will be stronger if you create that hyper-relevant content and find a way to make it entertaining—and share your own perspectives. To make the outreach more personal, include messages about causes and brands that you care about—in other words, don’t just promote yourself; promote others. The presentation distinguished among (in ascending order of relevance to prospects) canned material, curated material that is already out there, custom material that you create yourself, and credibility, which can mean getting quoted and then sharing the fact that you were included in an article in a local or national news outlet.
The goal is to become, in Swift’s words, ‘slightly famous’ to the tribe that you want as clients. And if you don’t think you should start on this marketing journey, go back to Swift’s earlier words, and notice that advisors with far less to offer than you do are getting more and better attention in the marketplace. The rock stars need to step up.