Rahna Barthelmess is an expert in branding and personal branding and today’s guest blogger. She is celebrating the launch of her new book, Your Branding Edge: How Personal Branding Can Turbocharge Your Career with a virtual blog tour, and we are happy to host her. Personal branding can help you get more clients more quickly, as Rahna shares in this post, “Want More Clients? Effective Personal Branding for Advisors.”
You’ve done all the training. You’ve got all the right credentials. You stay current in your field. You are legitimately an expert and provide strong value to the clients you do have… you just don’t have enough clients to fill your practice.
If you need more clients, then you need to strengthen your personal brand.
Personal branding is not just about a slogan or the colors on your website (though it may include that, too.) Personal branding is knowing who you are and what you have to offer that is different from everyone else out there…and then shining a spotlight on that so that the right opportunities and the right people can find you.
In my book, Your Branding Edge: How Personal Branding Can Turbocharge Your Career, I outline seven core principles of personal branding. For purposes of this post, I will deal with two of them: Be Clear and Be Bold.
These are two main areas of focus for proper development of your personal brand:
- Part 1: What you want to communicate (what will your message be)
- Part 2: Where/how you are going to communicate that message
Part 1: Be Clear About Who You Are and What You Have to Offer
You need to get really clear and really specific about what your point of differentiation is. What are you passionate about? Think deeply about what is unique about you.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 223,400 people who are categorized as having the job title, “Personal Financial Advisor,” so it’s not enough for you to describe yourself that way! You’re not a cookie-cutter insurance agent, so never describe yourself like one.
Take the time to dig deeper, understand the more nuanced aspects of what it’s like working with you. Maybe you are the “OMG-We’re-Having-a-Baby-Now-What-Do-We-Do?” Advisor that specializes in helping soon-to-be parents sleep at night, get their financial house in order, get financially prepared to have a baby. Or you are the “Redefining Retirement” Advisor that is going to help Gen X navigate the next years of their financial lives.
It’s not enough to just be a “Financial Advisor;” there is more to you and your work than that! Some advisors may identify themselves as a “Prosperity Economics Advisor,” an “Insurance Planner,” or a “Retirement Income Specialist.” Or perhaps you identify yourself with a sales system or specialty certification.
You might try on different titles and introductions before you settle on one, or consider that you can embrace more than one, tailoring your title for the specific audience. You may want to go to different networking groups and see what generates the best results and what feels most authentic for you. Just make sure that you bring your own specific flavor and style to your branding, and that your ideal client isn’t “everyone.” If you’re trying to attract everyone, chances are, you’re too generic to appeal to anyone.
What problems do you solve? Who do you help? How is your process different, or what results do you provide that other advisors cannot? You have a unique perspective that is right for someone, and how you get matched with that ideal client is incumbent upon articulating that perspective in a way that they can hear it.
Part 2: Be Bold in the Expression of Your Personal Brand
It’s not enough to simply identify what is unique about you; you then have to go out and let everyone know what you do and how you do it so that the right people can find you.
Personal branding is a verb; you must DO SOMETHING every day to actively manage your personal brand. Develop a marketing plan for yourself to become known to your target audience. There are so many tools to get your message out there! You can’t take advantage of them all, but choose two or three to start:
- Write a guest blog where your target audience will see it.
- Give a presentation, do a radio interview, or reach out to a local reporter to offer to act as a resource for them whenever a financial story comes up.
- Post your thoughts and ideas and your beliefs on social media.
- Write a book for Amazon Kindle and/or Create Space.
- Discuss the benefits of your favorite financial strategies in SEO optimized videos posted to YouTube and/or your own website.
- Grow your network on LinkedIn and publish frequent updates, articles, podcast links or videos.
- Share your ideas broadly in networking groups to gain as much exposure as possible.
Brainstorm a list of all possible means to get your message out there, and then prioritize those ideas by viability (the ones will have the biggest impact and that you feel you can execute most expeditiously).
Now go do them.
Do something to broadcast your personal brand every single day… consistency is key! Stick with it, observe what works and do even more of that… and watch as the right clients come knocking on your door.
Rahna Barthelmess is a branding and personal branding consultant and the author of Your Branding Edge: How Personal Branding Can Turbocharge Your Career. Want to know what the other five personal branding strategies are? Read the book or sign up for her companion course to build your own personal brand at www.YourBrandingEdge.com