Are You Putting Your Clients’ Interests Ahead of Your Own?
Are you a financial services company or an independent financial advisor? Whether you are a new broker or have been in the business for some time, your reputation is at stake, more than ever before.
Have you read Tony Robbins’ new book MONEY Master the Game? In his book, he educates everyday Americans about the differences between a broker and a fiduciary, including the higher fees charged by brokers. He empowers people of all financial backgrounds and provides them with the questions to ask potential financial advisors. All of this puts a greater onus on brokers than ever before.
For financial advisors, there has never been a better time to consider new ways of keeping clients and establishing yourselves as a trusted advisor and credible authority in your industry.
President Obama recently proposed a rule that would “protect Americans from being steered into costly retirement investments that produced high commissions for brokers but low returns for investors preparing for retirement.” In the coming months, the Department of Labor is planning to submit a proposed rule of higher “fiduciary standards,” requiring brokers to put their clients’ financial interests ahead of their own.
Whether this conversation started with Tony Robbins’ book, the mortgage meltdown, or a bill proposed by the Department of Labor, here are three things all financial planners can do to protect their reputation, stand out from their competition, and actually grow their business during this time of high scrutiny:
1. Position yourself as an authority.
This idea was best summed up by Dan Kennedy, the Godfather of Direct Marketing, when he said, “The simple truth is, if you aren’t deliberately, systematically, methodically—or rapidly and dramatically—establishing yourself as a celebrity, at least to your clientele and target market; you’re asleep at the wheel, ignoring what is fueling the entire economy around you, neglecting the development of a measurably valuable asset.”
As a financial advisor, you need to be recognized as an expert in your field. How do you do that? By leveraging your knowledge and amplifying your message to your target market. The most effective way to accomplish both of these things is by being featured in the media, sharing valuable information on a regular basis, and educating a specific audience.
Consider for a moment with whom you would choose to work:
Financial Advisor A was recommended by a friend. He’s someone they’ve known for several years. He seems like a nice guy and knows what he’s talking about.
Financial Advisor B wrote a best-selling book on how to prepare for college, even if your kids don’t receive a sports scholarship. This happens to be the exact financial burden you’re dealing with. His articles are frequently featured in the media, educating and empowering parents with athletes on travel teams about how to pay for college, even if they don’t receive an athletic scholarship.
Chances are, you’re choosing Financial Advisor B every time. Why? Because he is viewed as the go-to expert, almost like a celebrity.
2. Micro-specialize and speak directly to that market.
Take, for example, the medical field. It contains general practitioners, as well as specialty doctors like heart surgeons. This is how you should view your specialty in the financial industry as well. By micro-specializing, you will find much more success helping and marketing directly to a specific niche. You also stand a greater chance of local media outlets wanting to interview you if they need a quote from a professional with that area of expertise.
3. Become the educator and advocate for the success of your clients.
One of the best ways to be seen as such is to produce weekly content, such as articles, blog posts, videos, or podcasts, in which you share valuable information. Or best of all, write a book. This is as opposed to not talking about yourself and what products and services you offer.
Be that person in your niche who your target audience can count on to learn about their topic of interest. This approach alone will grow your business quicker and easier than you think because they will begin to know, like, and trust you. And there is always that greater possibility of you standing out in a local market as the “go-to expert.”
By implementing these marketing strategies, whether a law gets passed or not, you will be ahead of the industry, educating your clients and showing them that you have their best interests in mind. You’ll be at the forefront of your business service offerings. Creating trust triggers, focusing on a specific niche, and sharing valuable information that empowers your target group will set you head and shoulders above other financial advisors. Those who don’t will get lost in the shuffle and lose clients, because they don’t have a proactive approach and cannot prominently establish their reputation in front of their target prospects.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can position yourself as an authority in your industry, visit: http://www.mediaauthoritymarketing.com.
About the Author
Lisa Williams is an authority-positioning consultant for professionals who make a living by charging for their advice, experience, and expertise. She is the President and CEO of Media Authority Marketing.