A compelling personal brand is one of the most valuable assets you have as a professional in the finance sector. This industry is all about trust—clients place their wealth and investments in your hands, so it’s vital for them to feel confident in your business practices.
Are you a credible expert with a track record of proven success? Are you a leader of integrity who prioritizes customer service and relationships? Do you deliver reliable, efficient, high-quality results? How would clients and colleagues describe you?
All these questions can be answered through your personal brand. How you choose to present yourself matters, both in business operations and marketing communications. Think of your brand as the target audience’s first impression of your services—a virtual handshake that tells them who you are and why it’s a smart idea to work with you.
As you strengthen brand awareness, evoke a sense of emotional connection, and establish yourself as competent and trustworthy, the more positioned you’ll be to increase your clientele. Here are some recommended action steps to create, solidify or improve a brand of your own.
Create a Strong, Clear Mission Statement
If you don’t take the time to clarify what this personal brand you’re creating stands for, the target audience will draw their own conclusions. So, determine the “why” behind your business or professional services and how you plan to communicate these core values. That becomes your mission statement which, in turn, forms the overall brand identity.
According to Kumar Arora, CEO of Arora Ventures and Trust Foods, to define the brand identity, start thinking about “what the brand says, how it is visually represented with images and design, and what [you] intend for customers to feel when they interact with it.” You’ll do this through your personal mission statement which you can craft, using the framework below.
- I am a [adjective that describes yourself] leader.
- I am committed to [intention of your business or services].
- I achieve this [with the specific actions you take].
- I leverage these [core skills or qualities] to reach that outcome.
Your mission statement might read like this: “I am an ethical leader who puts the financial goals of my clients first. I am committed to helping you cultivate smart financial management, build a strong investment portfolio, and grow the wealth to fund all your future dreams. I achieve this by building authentic one-on-one relationships with my clients, so I know exactly what counsel to provide and how to help them make decisions. I leverage my excellent customer service skills and in-depth financial expertise to reach that outcome.”
Evolve the Strategy with the Audience
The most effective way to reach a target audience is to meet them where they’re at. Market yourself on the platforms they use. Respond to their pain points with innovative solutions. Keep your finger on the pulse of changes in your field that consumers are paying attention to. Use this data to inform your brand message—it will set you apart from competitors by showing you’re not afraid to pivot as the industry accelerates and client needs shift.
“Financial professionals work in an extraordinarily dynamic and rapidly evolving industry, where new tech, new tools and new ideas constantly present exciting new opportunities for the savvy professional,” says Drew Jackson, President of Concorde Investment Services. “Staying ahead of the curve is essential in such a highly competitive space.”
Think about how to harness each new advancement or evolution to further expand your audience reach and increase brand visibility. A personal brand is only as powerful and effective as the number of eyes who see it, so use the dynamic nature of this field to put your marketing communications in front of as many potential clients leads as possible.
Infuse Your Brand into Each Marketing Touchpoint
Marketing is a funnel, and each point of audience interaction is a link in the funnel that moves them from casual prospect to secured client. Because the financial industry hinges on trust, each time audiences come in contact with your brand message, it should exude authenticity, integrity, and credibility. Otherwise, they won’t advance to the next touchpoint.
Picture your marketing funnel as an inverted pyramid with four steps: Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action.
Attention tells the target audience, “here are the services and expertise this brand offers.” Interest compels them to think, “I’m intrigued by those services.” Desire urges them to determine, “I want those services for myself.” Action motivates them to respond with, “I need to contact this business to take advantage of those services.” Here’s how to communicate your brand’s value and trust at each of these touchpoints in the funnel:
- Attention: Use this initial stage in the process to start conversations, answer questions and offer yourself as a solution to a pain point. The audience is just starting to learn about your brand, so be educational, informative and helpful.
- Interest: Use this next stage in the process to differentiate yourself from competitors with content and interactions that establish you as a clear authority in the field. Your brand appeals to the audience, but they’re still considering other options too, so be responsive, credible and value-driven in your communications.
- Desire: Use this third stage in the process to hone your “let’s make a deal” message with a persuasive (but not pushy) clincher. The audience wants to work with you at this point, so reinforce why that is a smart choice for them. Leave what’s in it for you out of the equation—it’s about the benefits they will receive as clients.
- Action: Use this final stage in the process to convert these leads you’ve nurtured into clients. You’ll achieve this with a decisive call to action (CTA) which tells them exactly what to do. For example: “Book your first consult on my website.”
Securing Clients and Driving Business with a Personal Brand
Don’t overlook the power of a strong, authentic, trustworthy personal brand. This is the first impression that draws consumers to your business, as well as a motivating factor that helps to ultimately turn them into clients. Your personal brand is the backbone of all your marketing efforts, so be mindful of what it communicates and how you leverage it.