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Running a business involves wearing many hats: depending on the task at hand, you may need to be a leader, sales manager or head of operations.

One of your most important roles is marketing manager since branding is key to success. Still, many advisors don’t know why creating a strong brand is essential.

Read: Become a better brander

One reason is there’s a lot of regulatory pressure around fee transparency. As a result, you need to ensure your brand communicates your value and the breadth of your services to clients and prospects. If it doesn’t, you run the risk of not standing out from the crowd.

Read:

Here are five ways you can boost business.

1. Be strategic

Rather than search for quick, short-term solutions to problems, always consider how you’ll improve your branding and services over the long term. If you need a new website or brochure, for instance, you shouldn’t waste resources on materials that don’t communicate your brand. Rather than move forward without a clear direction or message, consider consulting a brand specialist who can help identify your unique value.

Read: 3 characteristics of successful businesses

2. Be reflective

Before making brand and business decisions, write down why you chose to be an advisor. Think about your industry experience, values and goals, as well as what drives you. Also, think of your business as a person and decide which words you’d use to describe it. You want your story to be compelling, so try sharing it with a friend or colleague who will give you constructive criticism.

3. Be forward-thinking

Create a current profile of your ideal client. Start by looking at your existing client base to figure out who values your services the most, as well as who’s most willing to refer like-minded prospects. Make sure you think about where this ideal client lives and his or her characteristics, such as age, salary, lifestyle and values.

Read: Open Agenda: Regularly review business goals

4. Be analytical

After reflecting on your story and defining your target market, review the core message of your business. If it’s up-to-date, is it reflected in your company name, logo, colours and slogan? Creating a strong, consistent brand is difficult so you may need outside help to streamline these elements. Still, the amount of time and money advisors spend on this task varies. It helps to figure out a budget and timeframe before hiring help and committing to changes. Also, whether these are big or small, your clients will appreciate your efforts. Even better, they’ll be more likely to share your story with prospects if your message is clear.

Read: Don’t skimp on branding

5. Be proactive

If you decide to revamp your brand, make sure to review all client communication materials. This includes any stationery that’s branded, as well as any handouts you share at meetings. You should also tweak client appreciation materials, such as birthday cards and event handouts, and review how you communicate on social networks (you may have included company logos and mission statements in profile bios). Thinking of all possible elements ahead of time will help ensure you’re communicating your brand clearly. Read: Connect with clients using social media

Also check out:

8 ways to improve your website

What if you share a name with a criminal?

So you want to specialize?

3 ways to beat the summer lull

Fortunato Restagno is a branding specialist at The Personal Coach. He can be reached at fort@thepersonalcoach.ca.
Originally published on Advisor.ca

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