What is a Branded System?

Are you confident that prospective clients understand the full benefit and outcome of working with you as their financial services professional? One way to encourage idealprospects to convert into ideal clients is by using what I call a “Branded System.”

A Branded System is your structured process that ultimately delivers the outcome you’re committed to for your ideal clients. Your Branded System does not include your sales process, although it does support and enhance it.

The #1 benefit of a Branded System is that it helps you clearly describe and articulate your services to your ideal clients. Once you have gone through my process to create your own, you will be more personally grounded in the way you describe your services, which will make them easier for prospects to understand. A strong Branded System will encourage your prospects to become your clients!

How to Create a Branded System:

I invite you to begin by thinking about the ultimate outcome your clients experience with regards to your services. This could be consolidating their assets into as few accounts as possible, analyzing all of their investments, or thinking through their financial concerns and helping them determine solutions in alignment with their goals. This exercise will help you create your Branded System.

To get started, “zoom out” as much as possible on the overall experience your clients have working with you. Think as broadly as possible, and write down what you come up with.

Once you have an idea of the overall client experience, think about the absolute first step in your client process. An example might be meeting with your client and having a conversation about what they are currently facing and what they want to achieve. Record this as well.

Continue the process and continue making notes of what you come up with in a detailed way. What is the next step? This could be gathering all of the client’s financial data. Continue repeating this process until you have outlined, in detail, all of the steps in your client experience until you reach the original ultimate outcome that your clients have working with you.

By the time you are done, you should have a very clear outline of your process. For marketing purposes, your Branded System will have a certain number of steps. The key is to keep the number relatively small (between 7-9 steps). If you have many more than that, look at them and consider where you can group them together into fewer steps.

How might you use your Branded System?

1. During your prospect meeting. It serves as a marketing tool both for your prospects to see your process, and for you as a visual aid to help you keep the conversation focused.

2. During client meetings. It is a great way to educate your clients about the full range of services you provide. On many occasions, I have heard clients share their frustration of their clients having gone elsewhere for services or to buy products that they didn’t know their own financial services professional also provided, like life insurance, long term care insurance, or 401k rollovers.

3. In your marketing materials

4. On your website

If you would like assistance creating or refining your own Branded System, email me today: susan@susandanzig.com

Branding Your Business Series: Creating Your Tagline

As you already know, effective branding makes attracting new ideal clients easier. Along with your business name, your slogan and tagline are important pieces of branding that should quickly and efficiently convey information to a potential ideal client.

A well-crafted tagline is an opportunity to convey additional information about your client experience that is not typically included in the business name. Though many people get the concept of taglines and slogans confused, a tagline is very different from a slogan. While a slogan succinctly describes what you do and for whom, a tagline should describe a feeling or potential benefit your clients get from engaging in your services. (If you need a refresher, click here for my previous post on creating a slogan.)

Take this American Express tagline: “Don’t leave home without it.” This implies that American Express will be there for you, that you can count on them. Allstate’s tagline “You’re in good hands,” and Capital One’s “What’s in your wallet?” impart similar connotations and feelings related to the desired client experience.

When you create your tagline keep in mind your ideal client experience that you’d like to relay to your clients and prospects. I invite you to try this exercise:

Step 1:

Define the desired client experience. From a company perspective, what are you committed to providing, achieving, or producing for your clients? What are you most inspired about that you deliver for your clients? What are your clients biggest needs?

An example: your client experience might be helping business owners with the structure to achieve financial success and helping them best manage their money while investing for the future.

Step 2:

Clarify the results your clients experience. This might include support staying on track for a college savings plan, retirement savings, financial milestones like buying a vacation home, or having a legacy plan in place to take care of their family and organizations they are committed to.

Step 3:

What are your clients most grateful for with regards to your services? This an important step because it will help you get to the more emotional perspective of this process.

Here are a few questions to consider: What do you hear from your clients about your services? What do they thank you for, and when? Is it after you’ve reviewed your comprehensive financial plan and they have clarity about their financial future? Is it after you’ve had an annual review with them, and you’ve gone over reports and answered all their questions about where they are in relation to their goals and any potential changes they should make?

Step 4:

Put the pieces together from the previous three steps in a way that flows and speaks to the full experience of what you’re committed to delivering as your overall client experience.

For example: if you have a financial services company focused on supporting women entrepreneurs with financial planning and investment management, a potential tagline could be: Helping women achieve their dreams.

By getting to the emotional heart of your client experience, potential ideal clients will more easily understand the benefits of what you offer and feel more compelled to hire you. On the other hand, a weak or lackluster tagline is a missed opportunity to attract more ideal clients and revenue to your financial services business.

While I have broken down the process of creating your own tagline into a simple one, it can be hard to come up with something impactful and powerful on your own. If you would like help crafting or redesigning a tagline for your financial services business, I invite you to reach out to me today. I would love to talk with you. Email me at susan@susandanzig.com.

Do You Have a Personalized Marketing Plan?

It’s critical to have a personalized marketing plan to clarify how your bold goal can be achieved. Your personalized marketing plan takes into account who you want to attract as new ideal clients, what their demographics are, and where and how you can reach them in order to support your pipeline.

How to Create a Personalized Marketing Plan:

1. Growth is one of the key desired outcomes of a marketing plan. As a first step you want to define additional goals of your marketing plan, and be as specific as possible. Clarify how many ideal clients you want to attract and 3-5 marketing channels that will support the attraction of those clients.

2. Determine which marketing channels or avenues will attract clients. Some of the most effective marketing channels for financial services professionals include client referrals, professional referrals, digital marketing, client events, speaking opportunities, and networking.

Look back to what has been most successful in the past, (for example, client referrals or professional referrals?) and make sure to include those areas, as well as what’s next in the marketing plan to truly create the results you’re looking for within these channels. For example, a digital marketing plan should encompass a website, social media campaign, and strategy around messaging that will align with your brand to attract and maintain ideal clients. Pick which marketing channels you’d like to focus on for the year.

For senior level advisors with larger practices, typically you already have an abundance of ideal clients in your book of business. If that’s you, the client referral channel is a great place to start or enhance your marketing plan. Financial advisors with referral programs generate 86% more leads.

Here are some important points to consider:

  • Are you strategizing about which top clients are raving fans and open to referring you business? Are you setting up opportunities with these top clients where they can invite friends or associates to meet you? A few examples of events that easily facilitate referrals include a milestone birthday, anniversary, or retirement party. Another effective example: if your top clients are golf enthusiasts, you could invite one of them to invite two of their friends to a round of golf. The people that you’d want them to invite would also be golf enthusiasts who they think might benefit from your services at this time.

  • Are you asking for introductions from your top clients and taking steps to follow up and connect with anyone they introduce to you?

Another channel for seasoned advisors is the professional referral channel. These are other professionals serving your ideal clients in a different capacity, like estate planning attorneys, CPAs, or even golf instructors. Typically with the professional referral channel, it’s a two-way referral partnership. The professional referral partners you want to attract are seasoned enough that you can rest assured that you’ll be referring your clients to people who can be counted on to deliver (as well as also interested in building their practices).

An easy place to look for people to connect with are your top clients. Which other service professionals are your top clients utilizing and raving about? These are the individuals you want to build relationships with. There are a few ways to find out who these potential referral partners might be. If you don’t already inquire about their CPA and estate planning attorney and any other service professionals on your client intake form, I invite you to add that to the information you collect at the beginning of the engagement. You could also send out a separate letter letting them know you’re interested in creating resources for clients and asking if they have any recommendations with regard to their CPA or estate planning attorney. Once you get recommendations (and ask permission to contact their referrals), contact those professionals and schedule a meeting to learn more about their practice and determine whether or not they might be a good referral partner.

3. Figure out when you will implement each channel. For example, if you are doing an event to support client referrals, figure out in advance how you will support the event, such as sending out an email blast to your clients, or promoting it ahead of time on social media. Build a marketing calendar so you’re being proactive and not missing opportunities to promote your business.

4. Take stock and pay attention to what’s working and what isn’t. Consistent tracking is critical to maintaining focus and producing results. Oftentimes when people get busy, tracking is one of the first tasks that is left for “later,” though often later becomes much later, like the end of the year. Ideally you should be tracking weekly to keep a good pulse on what’s working and where you might want to make changes with your plan to support your desired results.

5. If you would like to get a jumpstart on this in a dynamic and empowering environment, sign up for my 2-day event Business Success Intensive for Financial Advisors on September 21st-22nd, 2017. In just 2 days you’ll learn how to increase your visibility in the marketplace, create a personalized marketing plan, attract high net worth clients with greater ease, overcome your business challenges, and receive high-level input to set you up for success.

Click here for more information, and register by calling Susan at 925-954-1773 or email  Susan@SusanDanzig.com. Spots are limited so reserve yours today!

Are You Inspired?

How do you feel about your financial planning business right now, in this moment?

Ask yourself: are you inspired?

If you are, bold goals consistently inspire you to take action, and you’re hitting milestones on your way to reaching those goals. You’re creating a momentum, and attracting your ideal prospects. You’re excited, and looking ahead at what’s next. Doesn’t that feel great?

Unfortunately, though, we can lose our sense of inspired action. If that has happened, you might be noticing that your business is not growing as you would like it to, or maybe you’re at a standstill and not sure how to move forward.

If you’re not in a state of inspired action, take a pulse on these points:

1 – Are you burned out? Have you been working hard and not giving yourself adequate breaks to nurture balance in your life? Burnout can negatively impact your inspiration around your goals, and affects many extremely driven professionals, for whom it can be hard to “turn off” and take time for ourselves. However it’s critical if you want your financial services business to be at it’s best, because your business suffers when you’re not at your best. Being at your best requires balance, because it keeps us feeling inspired, energetic, and driven to think creatively, act decisively, and continue working toward goals.

If you’ve been working very hard without breaks to rejuvenate and recharge, I invite you to look at your calendar right now (seriously, open it up right now) to see when you can block time to nurture yourself. This could be a day at the spa or a long weekend in Tahoe, or even a staycation where you’re doing something relaxing at home. Taking a fun family vacation can feel more like work than relaxing — make sure to carve out “me time” as well as family time. (And remember that “me time” means active relaxation, not just lying catatonic in front of the TV bingeing on Netflix!) Just knowing that you have something booked on the calendar to look forward to can lessen feelings of burnout.

2 – If you’re not burned out and have been doing a good job of taking care of yourself but feel that something is missing in your commitment to your goals, it’s time to take a step back. Have you set bold goals that you were initially motivated and inspired by? For example if you set goals in January and it’s now August and you haven’t taken significant action, it could be time to reevaluate how much you care to to see those specific goals unfold. What I have found is that if our goals don’t excite us, we won’t maintain intention to reach them. When there’s no fire burning, implementation and action are limited.

3 – If your goals still seem appropriate but you haven’t taken action, ask yourself what’s missing from your current reality that would get you into a state of inspired action?

  • Do you need to recommit and carve out time in your calendar to take the action that supports achieving your bold goals?

  • Is your bandwidth simply at its max? Maybe you need extra support to see your goals come to fruition. For example, if your goal was to get consistent blog posts up on your website, but you’ve found you don’t have time to write those posts, who might you delegate that task to? I invite you to look for items on your task list that you can delegate to free up your time.

  • Do you need accountability or help from a coach with creating a more focused plan of action? This is often the point at which my clients reach out for help, because staying committed and following through on bold goals can be challenging when you are your sole support structure to make things happen. I love helping people create and achieve their boldest goals, and if this is an area you’d like support with, I invite you to consider the expert Coaching Programs that I offer. With my 20 years of experience and industry expertise, I help my clients achieve their boldest goals. I work with clients one-on-one, in small groups, or can even set up a one-day intensive built exclusively for you. Reach out to me today at susan@susandanzig.com, and you’ll soon be on your way to achieving the results you dream of!


FAST Track Your Business

Discover the 7 steps to attract your ideal clients and grow your book of business.