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    Financial Advisors: How to Create Real and Authentic Client Communications

    Authenticity. It is a word that we see often and, likely, appreciate. Who doesn’t want to be authentic in a world of smoke-and-mirrors?

    Even though it may be the predominant buzzword used by a marketing professional or seasoned financial advisor, marketing authenticity is more than just something we fold into the mix. It is an opportunity to use your true brand voice in client communications to create value.

    Let us caution you, however. Sometimes authenticity means that someone may not like what you have to say. That is okay.

    When you better align with your target demographic, then you are fostering relationships that, not only make life better for your clients, it makes your practice more authentic for you, too.

    Defining Authenticity

    Before approaching authentic client communications, it is vital to understand what it is in order to get it right. Within the context of marketing communications, authenticity is the client’s assessment of your financial advisory firm’s ability to be genuine.

    Authenticity is the way that a company describes and offers its products or services in a way that matches what they are communicating about it. Simply put, what you are saying matches the client’s expectations. It is a powerful approach toward marketing since it stimulates word-of-mouth referrals, positive online reviews, and top-of-mind-positioning within your audience.

    Communicating authentically is a strategy that any financial advisor can use to attract, engage, and retain their clients and target audience members. There are several benefits to sending regular client communications, which we address in the next section.

    The Role of Authenticity in Client Communications

    As marketing continues to evolve, the emphasis on consumer behavior and branding are coming to the forefront. Traditional, disruptive marketing simply no longer works.

    Clients are smarter since they have access to relevant information online in a way that is entirely different from the past. We see it in the ways that younger generations are communicating with brands online and making purchase decisions from a consumer behavior standpoint.

    Today’s financial advisory clients are aware and connected socially. This assertion gives them the power and permission to make better decisions for themselves. When a financial advisor is completely transparent, clients know what to expect from him or her.

    In addition to meeting expectations, authenticity in your brand voice also accomplishes the following goals:

    – Differentiates yourself from the competition

    – Helps people relate to your firm

    – Fosters the understanding of what you do

    – Enables the prospect to determine why you matter

    – Builds your brand message

    – Substantiates your firm’s image

    These are the key ingredients for creating a profitable financial advisory practice. You are elevating your ability to profit from turning your prospects and clients into fans. And you accomplish all of this by simply being you.

    So, how does your practice internalize and incorporate authentic client communications? There is no magical formula, since part of that answer already lies within yourself. However, there are a few ways that you can initiate the process of finding your authentic brand voice.

    4 Tips for More Authentic Client Communications

    Now that you appreciate what authenticity is and why it matters, let’s shift focus and discuss the tactics that you can use to foster this approach. Depending upon your financial advisory practice, cultivating value through marketing authenticity may be accomplished in the following ways:

    Just Be Yourself (Really)

    There is a reason why we stress the importance of establishing brand values, like through the use of mission and vision statements. When we know who we are at the visceral level, then we can more effectively communicate that notion to our clients and our prospects. Know what you stand for, and don’t deviate away from that. Incorporate those values uniformly through every marketing channel and within every customer touchpoint.

    Curate the Information You Want to Share

    Sometimes, we tend to confuse oversharing with authenticity, and that might work for you, if that is how you communicate. There are plenty of customers in this world who appreciate that sentiment. But it is not for everyone. You can curate what you want to share and still be authentic. The important thing is that you are genuine about the information you release. It really can be as practical and straightforward as that.

    Be Completely Transparent

    Transparency, in your marketing communications, is the stuff that makes people keep coming back. In an advisory world that promises security and value, it is no longer a differentiator. Clients now expect that you will be a professional organization that doesn’t compromise their financial position. So, if everyone is offering and meeting the same expectation, how do clients know with whom to work? Transparency. It is a real game-changer and helps you rise above the competition.

    Avoid Codependent People-Pleasing

    While it may sound counterintuitive to not engage in people-pleasing, let us clarify this point a little better. You can strive to please your customers. After all, it is why we are here in the first place. That goal is authentic, since you want to run a successful and profitable practice. However, avoid making the mistake of compromising your authentic brand voice in favor of making people like you.

    You must accept that not everyone will “get it.” You might even hear outright criticisms. But you have to ask yourself, do you really want to work with people who don’t appreciate who you are? Call us crazy, but that doesn’t seem very authentic. Instead, it looks like someone trying to cover their ground and can flip-flop in a matter of minutes. Clients can sense this at the subconscious level, whether they realize it or not.

    Create a Communications Plan That Works For Your Firm

    Building authentic client communications is vital to differentiating yourself in the market as a financial advisor. Take the time to cultivate your authentic brand voice to create value. You will find that you are finding better clients, faster, and more profitably. Your target audience will respond to what you are saying. It does not get better than that when marketing authenticity.

    Do you want to start building a communications program for your clients or prospects? Do you need a second opinion on your existing communications? Contact Beyond AUM today.