Financial Advisors: what are the elements that make up a brand?

brand elements

What is financial advisor branding? What does it really mean? A Brand can be such a mysterious concept that unless one is familiar with the definition of Branding, it’s easy to be confused. In this blog post, I will help you understand what are elements that make up a brand and why they are important. Perhaps then you could include branding in your Business Plan

Wikipedia Definition of Branding:

“A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Brands are used in business, marketing, and advertising for recognition and, importantly, to create and store value as brand equity for the object identified, to the benefit of the brand’s customers, its owners and shareholders.[”

The key word phrase here is “… distinct from those of other sellers.”

Be different

It is my opinion that most financial advisors look the same. They use the same website templates with the same colors. They use the same visual images on their websites. They use the same content to describe their Brand.

When clients come to me for branding help, to assist in the process, we often take a look at the elements that make up a Brand.
So, financial advisors: what are the elements that make up a brand? What do you want to change or work on when it comes to your Brand?

This is your one stop shop for financial advisor branding!

We are going to look at all the factors that make up a brand that you have never thought of before. This article has many links to my blog posts going back 15 years (2004), everything I have learned about how to be different, how to stand out, and how to authentically attract your ideal clients.

What are the elements that make up a brand?

When working with me, we will decide which brand elements need to be addressed. During this process, we will discuss the subconscious and conscious effect each element has on your potential clients/centers of influence and their ultimate decision to refer clients to you or hire you/your firm.

Elements connected to your brand
• Your financial planning or wealth management name
• Decision: Brand the business or brand the advisor
• Client Service Experience
Tagline – convey benefits / sample taglines
Value Proposition (Reasons clients would hire you over another advisor)
• Elevator Speech
Target Market
• Landing pages for your target markets / hot buttons and points of pain
• Challenges of the HNW – (if applicable)
$ Business Corporate Identity, logo, colors
• $ Custom Website
• Ideal Client Profile
Brand your process, investment management style, program, special way of doing something
Biography / engage with your ideal clients
• Staff headshots/team shots/office photos
$ Boutique Brochure to use for prospecting
$ Branded Business Cards
• $ Email signature
• Become a Thought Leader – through blogging, social media
• Social Media Marketing
• $ LinkedIn Profile / LinkedIn company page
• $ Facebook business page
• $ Twitter business account
• How you/staff answer the phone (cheery, helpful – not low energy, lethargic)
Your voicemail greeting
• Office environment – warm and friendly, with china and glasses for serving
• Meeting room – adversarial conference table or comfortable sitting area


So what do you think? That is quite a list, isn’t it? And it’s NOT everything, it’s just what I think are elements of a brand. Other professionals will talk about many other topics, some theoretical and others practical.

Brand Equity

This is a term that refers to the “goodwill” that a financial advisory firm builds up during its lifetime based on its branding strategy. Brand Equity is all about perception. How does the public view your firm? How do clients view your firm? Is your Client Service Experience first rate? Or do clients have a negative experience working with your team.

Do you work with anyone who walks in the door? Or do you have expertise in a specific area?

The answers to these questions will determine if your brand is on track. If the answer is “no,” please contact me!

Health and Business Benefits for Financial Advisors of Disconnecting

We live in a plugged in world. Whether it’s our phones, tablets, computers, or watches, we’re always connected.

With emails, phone calls, text messages, social media updates and more, it can be a lot to keep up with. Often too, there feels like there’s pressure to keep up. If you don’t check your phone every time it pings, you might feel like you’re missing out or missing something (also known as FOMO – Fear of Missing Out). All of this can feel a bit too much at times.

Sometimes we all need to just disconnect for a while. I’m not saying go off the grid and move to the middle of the woods or anything, but sometimes it can feel nice not to always be so attached. It can feel nice to just be where you are, and who you’re with, and not attached to everything else that is out there.

As a financial advisor, you might consider setting aside times to be disconnected. In fact, you might incorporate disconnected time into your business plan.

The time you disconnect might be in the evenings, on weekends, at lunch, or at some time you set for yourself during the week. Setting aside time to be apart from it all can have a number of benefits and just help you feel better. I personally took a step in this direction when I deleted my email from my phone.

Below are three health and business benefits that financial advisors can get from taking some time to disconnect. Hopefully they’ll encourage you to take a step and unplug for a while. After these benefits, there are some ways that you can unplug, and ways that can make unplugging easier, that can help you to disconnect.  If you want more help disconnecting, or with other aspects of your financial advisor business, I can help with business coaching.

Three Benefits for Financial Advisors from Disconnecting

1. Clear Your Mind

When you disconnect from technology, it can give you a chance to clear your mind. By not always being attached and thinking about the next update you get, you can relax and experience a sense of not having to think about anything.

Clearing your mind can help your health and it can help you in your financial advisor business. It can help you to feel less stress and less anxiety. By not always thinking about the next thing, you can feel more relaxed. Also, when your mind is clear, you can better focus on your clients and what they need when you are connected to them.

Clearing your mind can also be particularly important for those in financial advisor leadership positions because of the added pressure of staff and company objectives.  By disconnecting at times, those in leadership positions can reduce their stress levels and clear their minds to better focus on their objectives.

If you want to take clearing your mind to the next level, you might consider meditation while you are disconnected. It can enhance the benefits even further.

2. Allow New Energy to Develop

When you disconnect, it can allow new energy to develop. If you think of being connected as a wire attached to your energy battery, disconnecting can help you to unplug and give your battery time to recharge.

Sometimes as a financial advisor you can work too much. This can especially be the case if you have your own business or if you are a leader at your organization.

Although it might seem a little counter intuitive, sometimes the more work you do, the less work you get done. Working too much can leave you feeling drained. If this happens too often, you might see your productivity suffer. You might find yourself doing things, but not getting too much accomplished.

Working too much can sometimes happen when you are always connected. When you can always check messages, emails and so forth, you might find that you spend a lot of time doing so, but that you don’t get enough actually accomplished.

A similar idea also can apply to social connections. Sometimes when we are always attached with others on social media and with our phones, our relationships can actually suffer. We have lots of small, inconsequential connections, but we don’t have the energy for more meaningful ones. In some sense our relationship productivity can suffer.

By disconnecting, you can develop new energy. By taking time away from all the little interactions, you can grow energy for the more meaningful ones. This can help you both in your financial advisor business and in personal situations.

As a financial advisor, when you disconnect and take time away from all the little interactions, you can find that you have new energy for the work that is really important. When you do so, you might find that you actually get more accomplished and have better results.

3. Attract New Ideas

Have you ever had a great idea while you were in the shower? Although it might be the lavender in the shampoo, it could also be simply that you were taking your mind off of things. It’s kind of a funny idea, but sometimes when we take our minds off of something, we actually come up with new ideas about it.

When you disconnect, it can allow you to not think about things. Whether it’s a project at work, an issue with a client, or something in your personal life, sometimes it can be hard to focus when every minute your phone beckons for your attention.

When you disconnect and take a step away from everything, your mind can refocus and you can develop new ideas. This can be particularly important for a financial advisor, who often has to come up with creative solutions for their clients. This can particularly be the case if your clients are affluent and have more complex situations. Sometimes the best way to think of a solution and a new idea, is to get away from everything else and take your mind off of it.

Seven Tips to Help Financial Advisors Disconnect

Now that you know some of the benefits that financial advisors can get from disconnecting, here are seven tips for how you can disconnect and ways you can make disconnecting easier.

1. Get Things Done

Let’s say you set aside a time each day where you aren’t going to be connected. Maybe it’s during lunch or in the evenings. When you set aside this time, and you plan to stick to it, it can motivate you to get things done beforehand. Since you know you won’t be checking your phone between noon and one or after six p.m. for example, it can motivate you to do what you have to with it beforehand. It can encourage you to prioritize your work, delegate work, and get things done. This can be a benefit by itself, but it also can make the time you unplug easier. Since you got things done beforehand, you can feel better about unplugging and know that you won’t be missing too much.

2. Set Ground Rules for Yourself

Disconnecting has the most benefits when you stick to it. If you bend a bit, and let’s say check your email when you said you wouldn’t, you might not get the most out of it.

One way to help yourself disconnect is to set ground rules. You can decide what you’re going to disconnect from, how, and for how long. You might even write it out and put it somewhere where you can see it.

Having ground rules can help motivate you. You know what you want to do and you’ve thought about it, and that can help you to do it. If you have a difficult time setting boundaries for yourself, think about Life Coaching as a way to develop a foundation.

3. Set Ground Rules for Others

If you’re in a position to do so, one way to help yourself disconnect is to set ground rules for others, which we call “Boundaries.” For those people you can set limits for, you can explain to them, for example, that in order to do your best work, you turn off your phone in the evenings, or that you don’t check email on the weekends. You might tell this to particular people, or you might have a policy, for example for when you are available to clients, on your website.

When you set ground rules and boundaries for others, and they respect them, it can make unplugging easier to do. When you know, for example, that your staff knows not to call you in the evenings, or that clients know you aren’t available on weekends, it can make disconnecting easier. You can feel more comfortable that you aren’t missing something, because there is less likely to be something there to miss.

Emergencies: in order to help clients feel that you are there for them, you can let them know that in an emergency there is a way to contact you. How you set this boundary is up to you.

4. Turn it Off

When disconnecting, you might start off gradually. Maybe you decide you’ll only check a device at certain intervals, like every half hour. Or maybe you decide to remove a notification from something on a device.

While these can be good steps, you can get more of a benefit simply by turning a device off.

One question to ask yourself is who or what would you be missing if you turned a device off. If you are with the people most important to you, like your family, then you might worry less about who you are missing. If you’ve set ground rules for others, you might worry less about what you’d be missing. If you can feel comfortable with it, turning off your device can be the best way to disconnect from it.

I remember with one client, we decided that the minute he walked in the door to his home, he would put his phone in his home office drawer and only check it once in case of a client emergency.

5. Remind Yourself of the Benefits

One way to help yourself disconnect is to remember the benefits you get from doing it. Disconnecting isn’t something you do just to do it. You get something from it. You can clear your mind, get new energy, and come up with new ideas. These things can help your health and help you in your financial advisor practice. When you think about these things it can help make the decision to disconnect easier.

6. Remind Yourself of Your Priorities

Someone once said, “If you are with someone, and you answer your phone, what you are saying, is that the person on the phone is more important than the person you’re with.” If you think about things in this way it can make unplugging when you with your family, friends, and others you care about easier. If you know you’re with those important to you, it can make disconnecting from others a simpler decision.

7. Remind Yourself of Efficiency

Sometimes, as a financial advisor, working a lot can be valued. You’re in an important profession that serves clients and helps them with their goals. It can feel that always being connected and working at all hours is a virtue.

If you can change your perspective though, and learn to value efficiency in what you do, this can help you to disconnect. If you can remind yourself that getting things done, doesn’t necessarily mean you need to fill the remaining time with something else, it can make unplugging easier to do.


Unplugging from the constant connections around us isn’t easy. There are so many connections and they all seem to need our attention. Disconnecting though can help your health and help you in your financial advisor business. By disconnecting, you can clear your mind, get new energy, and come up with new ideas. By taking some simple actions like getting things done, setting ground rules, turning off your devices, and reminding yourself of certain things, you can make disconnecting easier to do.

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