Given the current landscape – a more difficult terrain these days, one where consumers are more skeptical and better informed about personal financial matters than ever before – it is important for you as a financial advisor to be visible in the right circles and to stand out as unique.

You can be the most competent, caring professional in the world but it won’t make any difference if you are not visible in the right places at the right times. If you are visible but you can’t clearly articulate your value, you will not be seen as a credible resource. And if you sound like every other financial advisor, ideal clients will not be able to differentiate your value proposition from any other financial advisors'.

In my work with independent financial advisors and allied institutions over the past few years, I’ve identified 5 key strategies that are working for financial advisors today. Over the coming weeks I’ll be sharing a number of advisor stories with you. Hopefully these stories of real life advisors will bring the concepts to life for you.

KEY STRATEGY #1: CREDIBILITY MARKETING

Media mentions and published articles not only increase online visibility, they give people something to talk about. In addition, when used as a reprint or a mailer/handout, published editorial content can help you nail the impression that your firm is the one to pick.

Greg Banner, CLU®, CFP®, CRTP, vice president, and John Jenkins, AEP, EA, CFP®, president and CEO, of Asset Preservation Strategies, a wealth management firm headquartered in San Diego, of have long used a public relations strategy and relationship marketing approach to build share of mind with affluent professionals, business owners and people with significant wealth in Southern California.

Jenkins and Banner participated in the media training and press request program offered by Impact Communications in partnership with Securities America in 2007 and 2008. As a result, they were profiled in major industry publications such as Financial Planning and Boomer Market Advisor magazines. In one instance, Banner was able to work one of his main strategic partners – a prominent estate planning attorney – into not just the article but onto the cover photo. This solidified the relationship and created even more trust and collaboration on business cases. These advisors also pursued opportunities with their local media outlets and were ultimately quoted in the San Diego Union Tribune and San Diego Magazine.

All of these media mentions make them look like rock stars to their clients and strategic partners. “It really creates the ‘wow’ factor and makes us stand out as the most credible resource,” Banner says.

To give additional “legs” to all their great media inclusion, they lacquered the two cover stories and put them in the office as conversation starters; they mentioned the media attention they’d received in their client communications, and obtained reprints of the articles in which they were quoted – especially in consumer publications. They built an online newsroom to create “Google juice” and to improve perceptions when visitors came to check them out online.

THE MULTIMEDIA SUPER STAR

Another financial advisor, who has become a household name across America due to his continual visibility, is Ric Edelman. Edelman is the president and co-CEO of Edelman Financial Group, a wealth management company that manages approximately $18.8 billion in client asset, with approximately 530 employees in 21 states.

Ric has long hosted the Truth about Money Radio Show and is now hosting a PBS television series of the same name. He writes a syndicated newspaper column, has been quoted in numerous publications and has authored seven books on personal finance.

While you may not be one of the largest RIAs in the nation – like Ric is – you can take a page out of his playbook. Being seen as a media resource builds the perception that you are a credible professional. It makes all your other marketing activities easier. You can’t put a price tag on that.

Being seen as a media resource helps you differentiate yourself from other advisors. What to do:

  1. Publish articles, white papers and books under your name
  2. Talk about a key area of concern for your niche market – become the go-to expert on that topic or for that demographic
  3. Publicize every award, promotion, speech, community activity, etc. via news releases on your website, to the media, in your newsletter, and so forth
  4. Then leverage the press you receive

Here are some ideas for leveraging the press you receive: 

  • Email your house mailing list saying “In case you missed this in the recent news, I was honored to serve as a resource in this important article…”
  • Mention in bio, brochures, newsletter, Blog, speeches
  • Post in the News Room page on your Web site
  • Order glossy reprints from the publication
  • Mail reprints with routine correspondence, use at seminars, leave in lobbies
  • Order a lacquered plaque and hang in the office
  • Obtain radio and television clips and post on your Web site, post on You Tube, etc.

 
WHAT’S AHEAD?

Next week we’ll talk about Key Strategy #2: Relationship Marketing.

In the meantime, you might be interested in this white paper transcript: Advisor Of The Future: The Road Ahead.

Eight thought leaders in the financial services profession presented their views in a roundtable discussion following the Financial Planning Association’s National Conference in San Diego in September 2011.  I was pleased and honored to moderate the discussion.

What will the advisor of the future need to survive and thrive through the years? Download the transcript to find out.