NEW YORK -- Sometimes all an advisor’s brand needs is to give their practice that personal touch.

Leasha Flammio-Watson, a CFP and private wealth advisor for Ameriprise-affiliated Flammio Financial Group, offered ways to develop that personal approach at the Women Advisors forum held in New York Tuesday. Photos, for example, go a long way with clients, says Flammio-Watson, who was joined Ameriprise's independent channel last year from Wells Fargo.

"If you don't already have a phenomenal picture of yourself being you, get one made," said Flammio-Watson, who’s group is based in Melbourne, Fla.

Clients got back to her with positive feedback and through social media just because of a photo of herself that was included in an advertisement outside a nearby Panera Bread. People took selfies of themselves next to the picture, she said.

"Marketing and branding is not prospecting, but it makes it easier,” she said. “Because every time a client walks by [my photo advertisement] with someone who is not my client, that referral happens."

CONNECTING THROUGH CHARITY

Another way to add that personal touch for improved branding, with both the general public and existing clients, is through charitable giving. Flammio-Watson was inspired to help a local autism foundation after hearing about it through one of her clients who has an afflicted child.

A UBS advisor, and friend, Flammio-Watson said, flies animals on her personal plane back from the Bahamas for adoption. "It's turning your passion into action," she said.

Flammio-Watson even got personal on the subject of networking.

"Build yourself a network of sisters, build yourself a network of people that is not your competition," she says. "When you have a will inside you, the people around you are the way to get there."

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