Financial Advisors Speak: Why Tone Matters
When you think of building a brand around your financial advisory firm, what comes to mind? A logo? A color scheme? Specific imagery? We are visual creatures by nature, and as such, our minds tend to jump to what we can see, but there is so much more to building a brand than that.
In the financial services industry, your voice and tone are core factors in what sets you apart from the competition. Think of it as the specific language unique to your brand. The terminology and tone used to describe your company and your services influences your firm’s overall identity.
The Impact of Brand Voice
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but when it comes to marketing your financial firm, we disagree. You have worked long and hard to build your firm, tailor your services, and build your client base, and imagery alone simply does not convey your unique value proposition. Your written materials on the other hand — your website, collateral, articles and blogs, social media presence, client communication materials, etc. — do convey what your firm is all about.
To further showcase just how impactful a brand’s voice is, Sprout Social conducted a consumer survey to learn what makes certain brands stand out more than others on social media. 40% of consumers responded memorable content, 33% responded distinct personality, and 32% responded compelling storytelling, all of which relate directly to a brand’s voice and tone.
So, how can financial advisors develop their own brand voice that will successfully convey their identity and value? Here are some pointers.
Tips for Developing Your Financial Advisory Firm’s Brand Voice
1. Identify your existing firm voice
Whether or not it’s been intentional, you’ve given your firm a voice from day one. Read through your existing blogs and newsletters, scan your website, and look at your social media bios and posts. What message are you sending out into the world about what your firm stands for and who your firm serves? Try to examine this content from the perspective of a client or a prospect.
2. Determine your desired voice
Based on all the things that your firm is and does, what do you want your tone to convey? Take a look at your firm’s core values, your unique value propositions, the clients you serve or want to serve, etc. If your firm values the environment and encourages ESG investing, use compelling storytelling to showcase the specific work you do to benefit the environment. If you work with widows, make sure that your voice is tailored towards women and features an element of empathy. If you specialize in helping public safety officers plan for retirement, perhaps you want your tone to convey strength and gratitude. If you want you firm to be seen as the go-to for adventure loving thrill seekers, make that clear in the language you use.
3. Adapt as needed
Examine the disconnect between your firm’s existing voice and its desired voice. How can you tweak what you’ve been doing to get your firm to where you want it to be? Keep in mind that ultimately establishing a successful brand voice means being able to align it with your firm’s brand identity. Do what feels intuitive. Don’t chase trends. You want your voice to feel natural and authentic instead of forced and robotic.
4. Create guidelines
Now that you’ve established what you want your firm’s voice to convey, document it. Are there certain phrases to incorporate? Certain words to avoid? Who is your target demographic and how can you speak directly to them? It’s important to create guidelines that are accessible to your entire team so that you’re all on the same page.
Now that you understand the impact your financial advisory firm’s tone has on how clients and prospects perceive your overall brand, it’s time to evaluate the message you’ve been subliminally sending. Does your tone accurately represent your firm’s identity? Does it emphasize your values? Does it speak to the right audience? If not, it’s probably time for a tone refresh. Now that you’re set up with the tools to get your business back on the right track, what message will you send?
At Beyond AUM we understand that every touchpoint matters in the digital space, which is why an established and clear tone is so important. If you’re looking to give your brand voice a refresh but are having trouble figuring out exactly where to start, feel free to reach out to our team!