Does your “brand” set you apart from other advisors in the eyes of your clients and prospects? Top advisors often have a strong brand that can be described very simply – your brand is what people say about you. Your brand is not your logo, your tag line or your “elevator speech.” Your brand is how someone else describes you, your firm, your staff, your offerings. And, your brand exists whether you like it or not.

The good news is that you can control how people describe you and your brand.

In the media
When a newspaper, magazine, radio or TV station quotes you or uses your press release or article, you’ve established one of the most valuable aspects of branding, your credibility.
Let the world know about awards you’ve won, charity and community involvement, your new designations or events, or your reaction to the current events or market conditions. Use a press release template that allows you to easily craft a release.
Once you’re in the media, market your clips and coverage back to your clients and prospects. Include your press releases (whether they were printed or not) in your prospect packet. Include online links to your media coverage. Let them see your credibility.

Your community involvement
Being an active member of the community establishes name recognition and positive awareness. It’s no coincidence that top agents and advisors are also very active in their communities. It’s almost like magic, but when you give back and develop a positive brand as a good member of the community – business comes your way.

Your online presence
Have you done a Google search on yourself, as vain as that might seem on the surface? Do you know what’s out there on the Web about you? Today, most people will search for you online and check out your Web site before coming into your office – even if they were referred. And when they find you, does your online image help or hurt you? Use real pictures, real video of you and your staff with real staff voices. Your Web site is your voice and should be a reflection of who you are. It is your brand.

Your clients describe your brand
Your clients are the leading source for what your firm is all about. Controlling your brand through your clients is done almost entirely through your communication. Impactful communication with your clients leads to confidence and trust. Your communication will differentiate you, make your clients feel important, give them something to talk about, and bring you the referrals you deserve.
The reality is there are hundreds of thousands of agents and advisors for your clients and prospects. Ultimately it will be your brand that will determine your year. The stronger your brand, the more credible, and visible you are, the easier it becomes to do business with you.