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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Hourihan

Developing a Brand is Overrated

Why would any business ever want to differentiate? Why would any professional want to be known for something unique? That seems like a terrible idea; wouldn’t it be much better to do everything, like a true one-stop shop? Just imagine a restaurant that changes tires and updates resumes! Sounds likes like a great business, right?

Hopefully that made your head spin a little and perked your interest. Of course, you want to specialize and develop a brand! That way when a client or center of influence is speaking with a company decision maker, they will think of you and your unique retirement plan expertise each and every time.

Recently, a client shared a story about his weekly networking group meeting and a very insightful exercise. Each member was given a single piece of paper. On the left-hand side, it listed every attendee’s name – about 15. The instructions were clear: write down what each person does.

The next week they roll called everyone’s name and read aloud what the group had said about that person. It went something like this: John Miller, Attorney, Tax attorney, Family and Tax Attorney, Lawyer, Not sure, Legal aid, Father, Estate Attorney, Business owner. While, most of these were accurate, see how they differ? In our client’s story, he said that it hit him how important it was to have a strong brand. Yes, he did much better than the attorney, but it still gave him pause to do a self-evaluation.

So, we pass this challenge on to you. If you asked fifteen of your clients, “what do I do?” what do you think they would say? How would they articulate your brand?

When you cultivate a strong brand, people will naturally think of you and your unique attributes. Here are two ways to develop a strong brand through networking and social media.

Interesting and memorable stories. At networking events, share stories about who you are and what you like. These stories can be professional and/or personal. They just need to be interesting and memorable. For example, do you like to travel? Where and why? Tell me a story about your trip. As a retirement plan advisor, tell me that funny story about working with that father/son business. C’mon, you know the one.

Social community. The other idea is through social media. Take pictures at events. Let your social viewers into your experiences and share information about what you’re doing. This will create a social community, where people are interested in what you’re doing, and it could provoke a future conversation. The social viewer could “like” your post, comment, and/or share with their social audience. Posting pictures at events could generate thousands of views.

There it is. Be authentic, be interesting, be you. People will remember your stories and how you’ve helped employers and employees achieve a better retirement. Building a strong brand takes time and commitment. The more networking and social media involvement, the farther your reach will become. Also, the better your stories, the more people will immediately recall them. Think about what you want to be known for; then think of an example that tells that story. Share it with everyone. This way, when someone has that quiz in front of them with your name on it, they will write, 401(k) advisor extraordinaire!

Thanks for reading and Happy Marketing!

About 401(k) Marketing

We believe the retirement plan industry can do better. Our clients are the best professional retirement plan advisors and TPAs in the business. They care deeply about saving America’s retirement future. We are proud to share their voices through industry writings, professionally-designed marketing materials (including websites), and expert content collateral. We lend support by promoting businesses through ongoing awareness campaigns.

About Retirement Plan Marketing

Retirement Plan Marketing is a product of 401(k) Marketing and is an ongoing turnkey marketing solution for retirement plan advisors. It is an easy-to-follow, consistent marketing program designed to get you noticed in your community and generate new retirement plan sales. When you deliver relevant plan sponsor content, you add value to your conversations and can work your way up to become known as the “go-to” retirement plan advisory office.

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