Just like any notable and memorable consumer product, you have to build your own identity as a brand in order to establish credibility. Here are some quick tips on branding yourself, in a pain-free fashion.
Think of some of the qualities your prospects are searching for in a financial advisor. Credibility, competency and experience might make the list. With today’s troubled market, many are looking for a reliable financial advisor, and to secure those prospects, you must show them you hold all of the desired qualities by building a reputable brand.
Branding is about creating an identity that projects who you are and what you represent, says Stefanos Loisou, principal of Financial Workshops/Strategies for Life in Middleton, Mass. With a strong brand, you become recognizable and prospects are more receptive to your sales pitch.
“Once you have reached out to your audience and they recognize you, there is a greater willingness for people to want to work with you,” Loisou says. “You’re not a stranger; it’s similar to getting a warm referral. When trying to contact someone on a cold basis, you’re less likely to get an audience, but if they recognize you from branding efforts, they are more likely
to trust and meet with you.”
Branding through traditional media
By using traditional media sources, you can achieve a brand image that exudes knowledge and authority, Loisou says, and appearing in news articles is one of the most common ways to do so. Whether you author the article or are quoted as a source, it speaks to your industry wisdom, and once published, notes Maribeth Kuzmeski, president of Red Zone Marketing in Grayslake, Ill., you have a tangible promotional piece to show prospects and clients.
To capture media attention, try sending a press release to appropriate contacts listing your qualifications and expertise, Kuzmeski suggests. Journalists often look for informed sources or contributors, and a press release builds awareness and credibility of your brand.
Loisou also recommends booking radio or television appearances or even starting your own radio talk show. In this sluggish economy, many are unsure of how to attain financial security, but with a radio show, you can address some of the most pressing issues and offer valuable advice while establishing your brand as a respected resource.
In fact, for three and a half years, Loisou has hosted his own radio show, “It’s Your Money–It’s All About You,” which airs in the northern Massachusetts area and streams live on the Internet, potentially reaching listeners around the world.
“I’ve even been searching for another radio station at the moment, recognizing the outreach and benefits that it provides,” Louisou says. “People can call in, directly speak with you and find you trustworthy. It creates an identity for you.”
No matter what traditional media avenues you decide to implement, Loisou says, be sure they fit with your personality and comfort level. Some people are at ease making television and radio appearances, but others are most effective at written communications. The key is to play to your strengths.
Branding online with social media
In today’s technology-driven environment, the Internet is the first place many people turn for information, particularly among adults earning more than $100,000 a year, Kuzmeski says. Naturally, building a website is the first step in online branding.