When Are You the One to Call?

Advisor with a happy couple

What You Need to Know

Talking to people who have never heard of you is direct marketing.
Branding creates a pool of people who know what you do.
The best strategy is offer them a unique solution to a core need.

FedEx used to be ”The one to call when it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.” That was their brand.

For a while, when you did a Google search for “gecko,” GEICO would appear first — even before the definition of the word or description of the animal.

The gecko has become a major part of the company’s branding.

In any financial or insurance practice, branding is a primary way to attract your ideal client.

It’s an expression of your unique identity designed to arouse interest in the kind of people you most want to work with.

But branding isn’t just about having a catchy tag line or slogan about how you’re different from your competitors. It’s about getting your ideal clients or prospects to see that what you offer is exactly the solution they’ve been searching for.

If you meet someone and tell him during your conversation that you’re a financial advisor who works with medical professionals to help them avoid taxes in retirement, you’re engaging in direct marketing.

You’re talking about your brand to someone who doesn’t know it.

If a stranger comes from across the room and says, “I hear that you’re the advisor to see if I’m a medical professional and I want to avoid taxes in retirement,” you’ve successfully branded your business.

But to brand yourself and your work seamlessly, you need to take three preliminary steps:

1. Identify an ideal client, target market or niche.

Who do you most want to work with?

You will have more success if you become an expert in the needs of one particular narrow target market: federal workers, “boomers,” young families, entrepreneurs, landscaping contractors, teachers, retirees, etc.

Aim at one target with a high-powered rifle, rather than shooting up hundreds of pounds of buckshot in the hope of hitting something.

This doesn’t mean that you’ll only work with people who fit the target.

Work with anyone you can help.

It means don’t spend time, energy, and money on activities that aren’t aimed at your target.