For many advisors, marketing to women is a very appealing prospect. After all, Baby Boomers control the majority of our nation’s wealth, and because women typically live longer than men, much of that wealth is poised to be transferred to female Baby Boomers in the next decade or two.
At the same time, subsequent generations of women also have high prospects for future wealth. Women account for 60 percent of four-year-college graduates and have been starting businesses at higher rates than men for the last 20 years.
While personal and professional roles for women have been evolving, many financial advisors lack the marketing materials to appropriately address today’s affluent women. If your goal is to make a genuine connection with women, choose images for your marketing materials that show you understand who they are.
Choose images that resonate. If you aren’t sure what I mean, here’s an example: Let’s say you market to female business owners. You search “business woman” in hope of finding some stock images to use on your website. Hundreds of images of women wearing business suits and stiletto heels and crossing their arms come up in your search results.
However, most female-owned businesses are run out of home offices and employ fewer than five people. Using the stiletto-heeled image would be well off the mark. On the other hand, a picture of a woman working at her online business from her home office while dressed in stylish-yet-casual clothes would likely resonate more powerfully with your target market.
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of female stereotypes that both men and women perpetuate through their marketing without even realizing it. When choosing pictures of women for your marketing, evaluate whether the image you select is an accurate reflection of your ideal client or merely an outdated stereotype. Even if you don’t believe you’re succumbing to stereotypes, brainstorm alternate images to unveil any clichés you may be unintentionally incorporating into your marketing.
Once you have chosen the appropriate themes for the concepts you wish to communicate, choose images of real women, avoiding those of idealized or overly sexualized women. If you don’t, the message you will be communicating to female clients and prospects is that you have no idea who they really are.
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Kristen Luke is the principal of Wealth Management Marketing, a firm dedicated to providing marketing strategies and support for registered investment advisory firms. For more information, visit www.wealthmanagementmarketing.net.