(From the March 2023 Edition of eFORUM)
By Robyn K. Thompson
When it comes right down to it, what you are offering when you go into business as a financial advisor is yourself. To best present who you are and what you offer, you need to create a “brand identity” – the public face of your company and the person who runs it.. It’s what you present on your website, your social media pages and posts, your marketing brochures, and your media appearances.
Start by creating a personal profile that highlights who you are and what you stand for. It’s more than a routine biography. Consider it a credo. Explain why you feel this work is your calling, focusing on perhaps three key points that best highlight your personal profile. Try to narrow it down to an “elevator” presentation – something you can convey quickly and effectively. These elements, in longer or shorter form, become the foundation of your brand identity, which you’ll use consistently in all your public communications.
Social media has become a proven tool for advisors to grow their business and maintain existing relationships with clients. Avoid posting content related to politics, religion, or currently controversial opinions. Stick to posts of immediate interest to your target clients (i.e. portfolio planning, market outlook, investment strategy). Use the platform they are most likely to use and tailor your messaging to them. It’s a good idea to avoid direct selling; rather, offer helpful content that will be of interest to your target market. Mix in some personal content as well, but limit it to content that reflects your brand.
Because social media has the attention span of a goldfish, you need to post regularly for best visibility. Highlighting your recent activity – whether it’s a helpful article you’ve written for your website or had published recently, a media appearance, or a podcast on some financial topic – are all content types that you can post frequently Follow others and build a followers list.
Keep in mind that your aim is to attract potential clients with a winning value proposition that is implicit in the content of your posts. Beat your own drum about significant awards and accomplishments, but keep the content related to strengthening your brand. Your target clients really aren’t interested in whether you just completed a 10K run or not.
Because of their expertise and experience, financial advisors are often called upon by media channels – from online videoblogs to full-blown broadcast television – to comment, explain, or present specific financial planning and wealth management issues that are at the top of the daily news cycle.
But for many, sitting down in a studio in front of bright lights and cameras can be downright terrifying. It need not be. In fact, media visibility can be a great way to gain market visibility for your practice and to get your message across effectively to a wide audience.
I use the three “P” method to make the most of my own media appearances:
Prepare. Be fully prepared with answers to scripted questions and be fully briefed with background material for questions that might not be pre-arranged or might need more explanation. Write out answers to scripted questions.
Practice. Most media interviews are set up in advance by producers who will generally work with you to fashion a list of questions for the topic at hand. This gives you a great opportunity to rehearse your interview topics until you have them memorized. Keep doing it until you get it right!
Perform. During the interview, stay calm and confident, with a relaxed but alert demeanour – even if you don’t feel that way. Keep eye contact with the interviewer, and smile whenever it’s appropriate. Turn your mobile phone off – not just “silent.” For video calls, such as Zoom, learn how to set up backgrounds and lighting for best effect.
© 2023 by Robyn K. Thompson. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is prohibited., This article is for information only and is not intended as personal investment or financial advice.
Robyn Thompson, CFP, CIM, FCSI is the President of Castlemark Wealth Management Inc.
Robyn is an accomplished financial journalist and communicator, with an ability to cut through financial jargon and simplify difficult concepts for laypeople. With a high comfort level on stage, at the dais, or in front of the camera, Robyn will bring dynamic, compelling style to your professional function, event, or broadcast.