Business | 04/20/2016
How Financial Advisors Can Build Brand Voice
I know what you’re thinking.
Businesses can’t have voices.
Yes, okay, that one is a given. A business cannot actually have a voice. But let’s step back from that literal cliff so we can think about things a little more figuratively for a while.
When you’re running a company, you’re running a team of people. You all have unique personalities that mix together into one giant melting pot of a wonderful culture.
And when you talk about your company, you’re not talking about the services you offer or the product you sell. You’re talking about your people and that mixing bowl of personalities.
A brand voice is about capturing the essence, the smell, the delicious gooey goop inside that mixing pot. It’s about grabbing a ladle and pouring it into the bowls of all the prospects waiting for a turn to taste that spicy umami magic you’ve concocted.
If that analogy made you too hungry, I’ll break it down Webster-style:
Brand Voice (noun)
Definition: A consistent approach to expressing what your company does and why and how you do it.
Once you know what a brand voice actually is, it’s time to learn how to construct one that best illustrates your company.
Define your anthem
Let’s take a page from Sally Hogshead’s guide on how to discover your fascination advantage and apply it to brand voice. You can check out her page here for more.
When you define your brand, create a simple phrase or anthem that says who you are by pairing an adjective and a noun together.
Adjective + Noun = Your Anthem
For Mineral, we would say that as a company, we are all about communication, so there’s our noun. We’re also about making that communication as loud and clear as possible, which could be represented by the adjective “amplified.”
There’s our anthem: Amplified Communication.
Identify what you give clients that no one else does
Your company is not like anyone else. Sure, you may offer the same basic services as another, but not in exactly the same way. If you’re a financial advisory firm, you offer investment solutions along with some tax planning, estate planning, and financial planning.
However, the basic services you offer don’t describe you, they describe the field of financial advising. Your brand voice — what sets you apart — comes from how you choose to offer those services and anything beyond the basics.
So what’s different about the services you offer and/or the way you offer them?
Is your differentiator that you create education-based financial planning courses for your clients? Or is it that your firm uses all the latest technology to make it easier for clients to check on their investments? Figure out what sets you apart — the people in your firm, the years of experience, free massages during meetings (I would hire this advisor) — and then build your brand voice around it.
What image do you want to convey to clients?
When you’re developing your voice, close your eyes and envision your company as a person. Who do you see? Who do you want clients to envision when they see your firm? Revenge of the Nerds or Fabio? Glengarry Glen Ross or Bagger Vance? Brad Pitt or Morgan Freeman?
Do you want to project a fun-loving, carefree ideal or strength and professional accountability?
The words you choose influence the image that forms in the minds of those visiting your website or reading the articles you publish.
What are your employees like?
Go back to the melting pot. When you convey what your company is all about, you want to think about what the people who work there are actually like.
If you want to display your company as that strong, seasoned, professional guidepost, but your staff is made up of thirty-year-olds who answer emails with a gifs and memes, you may need to rethink how you’re presenting yourselves to be more in line with reality.
There’s no wrong answer here. Answering emails with gifs and memes may not be everybody’s bag, but if that’s your thing, then you don’t want to work with someone who would hate that. It would just be frustrating.
What is being done elsewhere in your industry?
We can’t all be Walt Whitman and spend our lives looking within to find all the answers.
Put yourself outside your company to see what others are doing so you can keep up with modern presentations and also ensure that what you think sets you apart hasn’t become old hat in the industry.
As you’re developing how you want to communicate what you do and how you do it, think through the five areas we’ve put together here to help get you started on the right path to finding your voice.
Do you feel like you learned something from today’s blog? Let us know in the comments section below, or sign up for our weekly e-mail at the top of this post for more insights.
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