Personal marketing is extraordinarily powerful for financial advisors, especially those in multi-advisor firms. While a company name, logo, and brand are powerful assets that should be guarded and developed, nothing beats the relationship developing nature of an advisor’s face and name.

While marketing your firm’s services, you may have run up against this problem. Should you market your services as your company’s DBA and logo or should you use your own name and headshot?

Why is personal marketing for advisors important?

While broker-dealers may initially be hesitant to redirect marketing focus to their individual financial advisors, there is a strong incentive for both parties. While it is easy to see how an advisor benefits by having a marketing persona that focuses on them specifically, broker-dealers should also recognize the value of leveraging socially viable advisor personas in their own marketing plan.

Here are three reasons why it is important for individuals in a multi-advisor firm to have a digital presence and marketing strategy separate from their broker-dealer or DBA:

#1 People trust individuals, not brands.

Brand loyalty is one thing, but when it comes to developing a relationship with your audience, an individual is more trustworthy than a brand. Ask yourself the question, would you rather interact with a profile whose picture is a face or a logo? According to a Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey, only 33% of customers trust a company, while 83% trust someone they know personally.

“The most successful programs we have seen are the ones with the highest amount of employee-generated content. The engagement rates are usually about twice as high in the programs where employees contribute over 30% of the content compared to the ones mainly driven by top-down communications.”

To create a financial advisor marketing strategy for yourself, make sure you have a high-quality headshot and are prepared to communicate on a personal level with your audience. It’s not enough just to have your face behind something – it needs to feel like a personal connection between a financial advisor and their target market.

#2 Individuals’ content is more powerful.

Many firms make the mistake of only publishing financial content on their blog and social platforms. It is important to share a variety of content subjects that will help prospects and investors develop their relationships with the brand. Individuals are able to share more personal content than a brand, which has a much higher rate of effectiveness with their audience. Ryan W. Neal, of Investment News, cited a study that stated:

“Advisers are much more successful on social media when they take time to be more human and personal. When advisers share “lifestyle” content… aimed at entertaining and informing followers about non-financial matters, those posts receive 125% engagement from followers, the second-highest rate across all content types and industry sectors in the study. Yet only about 13% of adviser posts involve non-financial interests.”

Individuals who market as themselves are also able to make more of an impact in finding their target market for financial advisors. If you have a different target market than the firm as a whole, you can create individual messaging that resonates with your ideal audience.

#3 Individual advisors act as influencers.

Essentially, as advisors become thought leaders supporting the parent brand, they become those elusive influencers that all marketers are chasing these days. Individuals’ social accounts have, on average, 10 times more followers than their employer’s brand accounts.

As they share valuable information and engage with their audience, they grow the company’s collective audience. Each new entry to their mailing list, elongates the broker-dealers reach. In fact, when individual employees share something over social it has 561% more reach than if it were shared by their parent brand.

What is the Solution?

As a technology company that works with advisors to enhance their marketing and branding, we are always looking for questions that come from multiple advisors. We struggled to find an answer to the question we are asked over and over again: “Should I market as myself or as my DBA?”

Our answer? Why not both?

FMG Suite’s new Personas feature is an opportunity for financial advisors to begin the journey of defining their online persona through niche-based branding and value-driven content marketing. When the entire team of advisors that make up a company is working in concert, the results can be monumental. This feature empowers firms with multiple advisors to create their own marketing strategies and messaging which helps build stronger, longer-lasting relationships with clients. 

Will this strategy be the right fit for you? Every situation is unique and there is definitely no one answer that will apply for every single individual. However, the evidence indicates that empowering advisors with Personas has the potential to drastically improve the efficacy of your marketing efforts.

If you’d like to learn more about Personas, we can help.