Tips for financial advisors to strengthen their personal branding to build their client base
By Shenna-Anne Padman
According to GlobalData, the Malaysian insurance industry is expected to grow at a compound annual rate (CAGR) of 8.4% from MYR 73.1 billion in 2021 to MYR 109.6 billion in 2026. The estimated spike is most likely linked to the life insurance and pension segment, which contributed to 75.8% of premiums in 2021. That said, if financial advisors want to benefit from the industry’s growth, they must know how to effectively create a strong personal brand for themselves. This will help them market their services to clients and prospects better.
The process of developing your brand or company’s identity is known as personal branding. It establishes the values you stand for; setting yourself apart from others in the profession. “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room,” says Jeff Bezos, founder of e-commerce giant Amazon. Here are some tips for financial advisors to build a strong personal brand.
First and foremost, financial advisors must start with self-reflection to understand why a personal brand is key for them. Self-reflection can be an uncomfortable process, but it paints a clearer picture on what motivates and drives financial advisors. Some ways to self-reflect are by asking the right questions, clearly establishing what one’s personal values are, and journaling notes down. Self-reflection is crucial in personal branding as it allows financial advisors to see themselves clearly, communicate more effectively and become better individuals.
Lim Chee Yen, a 10-year MDRT member with one Court of the Table qualification from Selangor, mentions that with almost 1200 financial advisors in the market, they must create a personal brand as it helps them stand out from the crowd. “The need to stand out and establish oneself is very important today. With many people offering the same services, it makes it difficult for clients or prospects to choose the right financial advisor for them. They will only notice you if you are unique. It takes commitment and work to build a personal brand.”
Identify what makes you different
Remaining top of mind among clients is no easy task. Financial advisors must ask themselves what makes them unique, to create a clearer image of themselves. By doing so, they will be able to identify what makes them different and build their own personal brand. Financial advisors can also ask themselves these questions to help them further define what they stand for:
These questions also help identify one’s values and goals. Take Chong Yee Von, a six-year MDRT member from Kuala Lumpur for example. She knew that her strong points were professionalism and building strong client relationships. “I always knew that these were what defined me and made me stand out. Being professional and having strong connections with my clients not only expanded my customer base but also gained their trust and allowed them to be comfortable with me as their advisor. This made it easier to have long-term relationships with them.”
Build your personal brand by establishing your online presence via social media
In this day and age, having an online presence is inevitable, with online meetings, consultations and workshops becoming the norm. As financial advisors continue to embrace this digital-first world, they must leverage social media to build their personal brand. For example, financial advisors can keep clients engaged by creating informational and promotional videos on platforms like YouTube and Instagram. This will help serve as a source of education as well as increase the chances of clients and prospects reaching out to the financial advisor.
Other avenues to create meaningful conversations are through blog posts on LinkedIn and bite sized content on Facebook. This allows financial advisors to strengthen their credibility as thought leaders and quickly convey their messages to their audience.
Chaw Fook Hing, a five-year MDRT member from Selangor believes that social media has been integrated in our everyday lives. “For me, I believe in the importance of being authentic when posting on social media to create your personal brand. If you are somebody who is very passionate about children and their wellbeing, posting content with your kids on social media will make you more credible to your clients and prospects.” Financial advisors must position themselves on social media based on how they want clients to view them.
Build a good network
There is no doubt that having a strong client network and building relationships are essential for financial advisors. It not only builds your client base but also cements your reputation. The connections made can be used as an opportunity to be turned into a prospect or client. Some advisors find it easier to strike up a conversation with a new acquaintance to expand their network. Some conversation tips to be incorporated by financial advisors are:
Another way to highlight one’s personal brand is by attending networking events, seminars, and industry events. These events are an opportunity for financial advisors to grow their network and serve as a great platform to build self-confidence. Lim adds that attending these public events also strengthens one’s position and reliability.
To conclude, personal branding reflects who financial advisors are in the profession and creates visibility among clients and prospects. A strong and distinct personal brand will evidently increase the chances for financial advisors to gain trust from clients, close more deals and drive their success.