A handful of advisors take their personal likes and dislikes and incorporate them into their marketing. If you like babies, therefore, you would feature pictures of babies on your home page. The same goes for dogs or castles. This seems to be an extension of the personal branding messages that some advisors have adopted. I believe it’s over the top. If you’re a dog lover or think baby pictures are adorable, that’s great. But it should not be featured in your marketing materials. Few of the people seeking financial advice from you really care that you like babies. If you want to allude to your hobbies, likes, and dislikes on a personal bio page, fine. Well, maybe. But images prominently advertising your hobbies and personal interests on your site’s home page or on the cover of your brochure are more likely to puzzle people seeking an advisor than attract them, especially if they don’t share your passion for babies, dogs, or castles. Personal brands can appear corny to people seeking professional advice about their money.

Today’s sophisticated consumer who needs help managing money is not seeking a back-slapping salesperson who likes fishing just like he does. He’s seeking a knowledgeable professional. It is good to convey some personal information so that you and your firm do not come across as impersonal, but making personal likes and dislikes the central theme of your marketing materials adds little to your credibility as a person to be trusted with other people’s money. In addition, personal branding will make everyone who chooses you want only to deal with you and not with your staff. Creating a company brand that is bigger than you alone will also make it easier to sell your business years from now because the company identity will not be tied so directly to you personally.