The power of your branding statement – Part 1

01 December 2021 Myra Knoesen

Christopher P. Wendt, President of Midstream Marketing, a digital agency that generates predictable leads for independent financial advisory firms says over the last 10 years, after auditing dozens of websites and spending hundreds of hours helping financial advisers market their businesses, he has seen too many firms struggle to communicate how they are different.

Don’t settle for anything less

“No one wants to be passed over and unnoticed, especially in this business where there is so much competition. You have a unique offering and an array of unique talents that your prospects actively seek. Yet most financial advisers fail to communicate what makes them and their brand unique on their website and other marketing collateral,” says Wendt.

“Consider two basic assessments. On a scale of one to 10, how confident are you presenting your service offering in-person with an ideal prospect? Probably pretty confident. Now, consider the second assessment, on a scale of one to 10, how confident are you that your website presents your service offering at the same level as your in-person skills? Probably not quite the same level of confidence as when in-person, right? Therein lies the problem,” states Wendt.

“Your website's job is to sell your firm and service offering to the thousands and thousands of prospects seeking financial advisory services online every single day. Your website should sell your firm’s services as good, if not even better than you do in-person. You shouldn’t have to settle for anything less,” continues Wendt.

Enter the brand statement

“One of the ways I help my clients make sure their website communicates their message at the same or better level than they can do in-person is by making sure they lead with a strong “brand statement” on their homepage,” he says.

“A brand statement is a short, one-line sentence that expresses your prospects needs in a clear, compelling fashion that will attract them to your firm,” continues Wendt.

“Too many financial advisers try to be the “hero” on their website, instead of focusing their message on the pains, needs, and aspirations of their ideal prospect. In other words, the content is written around the firm itself and not on the prospect and his or her story, and his or her needs to survive and thrive,” highlights Wendt.

A tale of two financial adviser sites

“I am on the homepage of a website and the headline text on the homepage reads: ‘As one of the region’s most respected independent fee-only advisory firms, ABC Advisers has been assisting clients to protect and grow their assets for more than 20 years’. Above this statement is an image of the firm’s team members and next to it are more facts about the firm - the number of clients it currently services and some additional useless facts about the firm. This adviser brand is the typical approach that makes the firm the hero and speaks mostly about the firm, and not so much about what the prospect wants to hear - how their needs will be met,” emphasizes Wendt.

“You can easily see this when reviewing your own website based on how many “I,” “Me,” “We,” or “Us” words are used compared to “You” and “Your” statements. On website mentioned above, they have 100% I-based statements. I have audited hundreds of independent advisory firm websites, most of them do this, and so they, like this first firm, all become just a face in the crowd,” he continues.

In part two of the article Wendt highlights the strategy.

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