It’s no surprise that most owner-advisors I work with, or talk to these days, are interested in growing their businesses. And it’s also no shocker to hear that they are looking for marketing programs to help them grow.
While marketing can be a helpful tool for growing a business, it shouldn’t be the first step. Before you can successfully “market” your firm to anybody, you have to have a very clear vision of what you’re selling — and be able to very clearly articulate it to anyone who’s interested.
Typically, there are two components of a “brand:” the verbal and the visual. I suspect because it’s easier and more fun, most firm owners focus on the visual — logos, printouts, brochures, websites, office furnishings, etc.
Yet, in my experience, these branding visuals do very little to either attract clients, or to keep them with an advisory firm. It’s the verbal component of branding that brings in new clients, retains clients, and motivates existing clients to refer prospective clients.
Simply put, “verbal” branding is what attracts new clients, and retains existing clients, in most advisory firms. We all know people who look “well put together” — nice clothes, well-groomed, tasteful accessories — but when they open their mouths, they just don’t say anything that you find interesting.
The same is true for advisory firms. They can look good on paper, but if what is said about your firm isn’t interesting to prospects and clients, you’re not going to attract or keep them.
Yes, advisors need to have both — but what you say is more important.