Leaning Into What Makes You Different (Not The Same)

Leaning Into What Makes You Different (Not The Same)

In the 15 months since I left my previous employer, I have held a unique position: that of a (semi)retiree as well as a former financial services executive.  It means I looked at the financial advice industry and how they are marketing to people like me from the lens of a very educated consumer.  Truth is, it was a bit disappointing.  I looked at how many advisors positioned themselves via websites and social media and saw a “sea of sameness” that failed to distinguish any of them. 

Lean Into Your Differences

Speaking as a consumer, if firms all say they do the same thing, then why should I pick yours?  Or, if I already have an advisor, there would be no reason to leave as it seems there would be little differentiation – right?  So why do most advisors market themselves with how they are the same instead of what can make them more unique or different? Why do they lean into what makes them the same?

Years ago, I engaged in a consulting arrangement with the partners at Diversified. I was impressed by their client growth, operational efficiency, and strategic approach to business. However, as a “seasoned” industry veteran, I was initially taken aback by their relative youth. They were young!  The firm was comprised entirely of Generation 2 (G2) partners, all in their 30s at the time. I couldn’t fathom retirees considering advisors of such a young age. Yet, I was proven wrong. What I discovered was that retiree clients valued continuity and dreaded the prospect of having to find a new advisor if their current one retired. 

After consulting with a genius marketing firm, the partners decided to lean into their relative youth, and the brand “Lifelong Wealth” was born. The brand promise that you won’t outlive your advisor, while of course not guaranteed, is there.

Your Brand Promise

As I think about my experience as a (semi) retiree looking at the number of advisory firms that promise wealth management, financial plans, investment advice, etc., what stands out is a brand promise – something different.  When you look at your activity on social media, your office environment, or even your website, what stands out for you?  Are you leaning into what makes you different and memorable or do you sound just like everyone else? 

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