Building an effective brand for your business can separate you from your competition in this crowded industry. So how do we build a brand that compels prospective clients to take action? An effective brand, in my view, is one that convinces people to buy “you” before they ever step foot in your office. What is your brand in your community? Do people know who you are? If they do, what is the brand that they identify with your name? Does this brand separate you from the competition, or does it lump you together with every other advisor in town?

As I’ve worked to develop my brand over the years, I’ve focused on the following three components:

Old-fashioned values. What are old-fashioned values? It means you treat people with respect. You explain things in a way people can understand. You don’t talk down to people, but rather listen intently so that you truly hear their needs, and then you develop a plan around achieving their goals. You’re always focused on the client’s agenda, not your own. If you say you’re going to do something, then do it. And if you make a mistake, own up to it, and then move heaven and earth to fix it.

Expert knowledge. In order to develop a great brand, we need to be among the absolute best at what we do. That means truly studying the art of our craft and becoming an expert in our field. We also need to know the products we use. I’ve heard it said that the actual products we recommend only account for 10 percent of our success in gaining new clients. But we better know 100 percent of that 10 percent.

Genuine understanding. By working almost exclusively with people either retired or getting to retire, I understand what my clients are going through. I consider myself an expert in this niche because I focus my entire practice on serving the retirement phase of life. I am not a jack-of-all-trades, but rather a true specialist. I am the heart surgeon, not the general practitioner. The genuine part comes from having a true passion for serving their needs. Genuine understanding can only be demonstrated over time in our service to others.

These three things together form the foundation of my brand. Ultimately, whenever someone in my community hears the name Brogan Financial, or Jim Brogan, I want them to think, “That’s the guy that helps retirees. He really gets it. He doesn’t sound like every other advisor we’ve worked with over the years. He really cares and treats us with respect, and he educates us on how we can be successful. He’s only interested in one thing: our own success.”

An effective brand and message, when combined with a great marketing plan, can lead to the booming practice you’ve always wanted.

For more from Jim Brogan, see:

What is your purpose?

Are you a good closer?

Creating a unique client experience