6 Personal Branding Tips for Female Financial Advisors

I am a big believer in making a good first impression. From what I’ve read and from real-world experience, I know that people form an opinion about us within a few seconds of meeting us face-to-face.

Unlike our online brand, our personal brand is all about us: How we dress, the jewelry we wear, and how we carry ourselves. These factors contribute to our own personal brand and make an impression on those we meet.  Wearing a style that is not right for us, or a color that clashes with our skin tone can be a detriment to our personal branding success.

Clarisse-RingwoldI had the pleasure of meeting Clarisse Ringwald of Trevortni Color Creations a few weeks ago. Clarisse provides image consulting for women and men who want to look their very best. I’ve asked Clarisse to give my female financial advisor readers a few tips on how to present a stylish facade that will allow them to make a great first impression.

 

Tip 1: I love to wear beige and brown colors but I’ve been told that although these colors may suit my skin tone, I should wear jackets and suits in colors that stand out. What’s your opinion on wearing bold colors?

Its all about line and design.  Beige and brown colors are great colors, especially for blondes, picking up some or all the shades of their hair.  If wearing a beige or brown suit or jacket, I would definitely pair it with a bold colored top, from a pastel to a rich jeweled tone.  Matching the color of your hair and/or your eyes in any outfit will make the outfit complete.  Besides, I am of the opinion that jeweled tones are our friends after 35!  A financial planner with dark hair, leaning toward a navy or charcoal suit or jacket, I would recommend pairing with a bold color matching their eye color.  When you enter a room, you want to be THAT person who takes command of the audience.

Tip 2: What’s the biggest clothing mistake women make?

Wearing the wrong clothing style for her body type.  If the woman is adjusting her clothing all day, tugging at it, pulling the clothing down or pulling in her stomach to make it fit, it’s the wrong style for her body type.

Tip 3: What’s one great wardrobe investment all women should make?

A fabulous leather handbag.

Look instantly slimmer using a handbag instead of a shoulder bag.  Shoulder bags tend to be bulky and add inches to your hip area.

Tip 4: I personally love jewelry and I’ve heard that we should have one great jewelry piece per outfit. What’s your opinion on jewelry?

For professional wear, I tend to agree that one great statement piece of jewelry, especially worn close to the face, per outfit is the rule to follow.  This does not include a nose piercing or a tongue piercing.

I have great pins that I use on my suit jacket lapels.  If I wear a pin, I do not wear a necklace.  Bangle brackets are distracting and I would not recommend them for a professional meeting.  However, a great watch is a fine piece to complement the statement jewelry.

Portrait of happy businesswoman in formal dressTip 5: What’s one fashion rule women can break from time to time?

The latest fashion trend is not having shoes and bags match their outfit.  The trend theory is too matchy-matchy.

I embrace the teaching of my mentor, Irene Riter, The Science of Personal Dress, which states, light hair, light bottoms and shoes, dark hair, dark bottoms and shoes.  Think about it, if a brunette wears white shoes, where does everyone’s eyes go to when she enters a room, her feet.  As financial planners and presenters every day, you want to keep the client’s attention to your eyes and face, not your feet.

Tip 6: What’s one fashion accessory that you recommend all women should have?

Scarves in your personalized colors.  If you have an outfit that’s not quite right, use a scarf in your colors close to the face to correct!

 

To learn more about Clarisse’s services, visit http://www.trevortnicolorcreations.com  or follow her on twitter at https://twitter.com/trevortnicolor

 

Mistake 7: Failing to Sell your Value

Financial advisors can sell their valueFinancial planning and investment management are not products that can be bought at the supermarket. They don’t help alleviate hunger. They don’t quench thirst. The real benefits are challenging to explain.

Yet financial advisors often fail to sell the benefits of working with them, either in what they say to prospective clients or in their marketing language.

This is the last article in my marketing mistakes series. Read the entire list here.

Dealing with the compliance department has a great deal to do with how firms market themselves, plus getting “creative” with your marketing can have negative connotations and could land you in some trouble. Unfortunately I think this has lead to a complete aversion to marketing including not leveraging the areas of website development and inbound marketing tactics.

To avoid marketing micromanagement, I’ve had many clients decide to give up their series 7 license so that they can leverage marketing and success planning for their firms.

In growing your practice, have you received sales training to help you sell your services? Are you aware of the ways to communicate the wonderful benefits of

having a financial plan and the ways custom investment management helps your ideal clients?

Most likely you have not worked on your sales skills as is typical of many financial firm founders. If so, this post is for you!

 

How do you sell your value? Here are five ways:

1. Sell an outcome over a service. How are your clients better off with you as their advisor? What problems do you help alleviate? Can you explain how clients have benefited from working with you in terms of the outcome they have received? The outcomes you’re selling are fond memories that include peace of mind, time with family, vacation trips of a lifetime, and achievement of lifetime goals.

2. Be willing to walk away from clients who are not ideal. Not everyone will be an ideal client for you. The finicky client who wants constant handholding will be problematic. The client who demands an investment philosophy that is one you do not believe in will clash with your values. Be willing to say “why” your approach is valuable.

3. Ask great questions and then listen. Since clients only look for a new advisor when the last one didn’t work out, ask why they left. What changes are they looking for now? Is what they’re looking for in line with your outcomes?

4. Never compromise on price. I’ve always said that financial planners don’t charge enough. People only value what they pay for and if you give services away for a lower price, the value will be compromised.  Be willing to stand your ground on financial planning and investment management fees.

5. Realize that clients are buying a relationship with you. Anyone can open a Vanguard account and call a service associate to receive cookie-cutter advice. The value you bring is in the relationship you build with clients. When holding client review meetings, you should allow clients to speak 80% of the time and when you do speak, speak about the true value of working with you.

 

Learning to speak your value has many benefits, least of all financial. Get your language down and speak about how you make clients’ lives better. “Sales” is not a dirty word. It’s key to your long-term success.

Mistake 3: Financial Advisors Lack a Value Proposition

A value proposition is essential for financial advisor firms to clearly communicate what they offer their ideal clients yet creating one is often a confusing process that is greatly misunderstood. This is the third post in a series about mistakes financial advisors make in their marketing. Many financial firms either [...]
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Mistake 2: Financial Advisors Should Avoid Template Websites

Many industries have moved their promotions online to take advantage of inbound marketing opportunities, yet financial advisors are slow to follow, often due to compliance regulations. Regrettably, advisors under utilize online strategies, including custom websites, to grow their firms. What kind of website should financial advisors use? Custom or template? [...]
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