“So, what do you do for a living?” This might be a question you ask as an icebreaker to get to know others.
However, if you’re on the receiving end of this question, your answer could possibly initiate the beginning of a new referral for potential clients or centers of influence.
Always be prepared to respond with a clear and concise value proposition. Give a response that goes beyond a basic job title, explaining why you do what you do and how it offers value to your audience.
A value proposition is a clear, concise statement summarizing who you serve, what you do for them, and why they need you. A value proposition makes a promise to your market segment and offers easy-to-understand reasons customers should choose to work with your firm.
A financial advisor value proposition must be relevant to the clients that you want to attract and serve; credible and simple for clients, prospects, and the media to understand and trust; and unique to you and your financial advisory practice.
A well-defined, easy-to-find value proposition can drive growth, especially for small businesses that might not have the name recognition of larger brands. This simple statement should clearly communicate the benefits you offer, helping clients determine if your firm is right for them.
For financial advisors, having a unique value proposition helps you differentiate your financial planning, wealth management, or estate planning services for your target market.
Prospective clients spend mere seconds on your website deciding whether to leave or explore further. A compelling value proposition, front and center, encourages visitors to linger on your site longer than the average 54 seconds that is spent on most financial services websites.
Your value proposition should impact every part of your outreach efforts, even if indirectly. Value-centered messaging can encourage visitors to click through your social media post, ad, or email link to learn more about your business. You can use your value proposition to start a conversation surrounding industry expectations, changing client needs, and more.
An effective value proposition appeals to your targeted potential clients and tells them why they need you.
Independent financial advisors miss a tremendous opportunity to be relevant and connect to their target audience when they offer a weak value proposition—or no value proposition at all. When your value proposition clearly defines the community you serve, you reinforce your community-based marketing efforts.
Your value proposition is your business’s North Star and part of your business plan, guiding decision-making and planning initiatives. A well-defined declaration helps you chart a straight course forward.
Your firm’s value proposition should become the underpinning of both the client and employee experience.
These principles should be the “why” behind every decision you make—from what technology you put in place to what services and product offerings you provide.
A value proposition informs employee conduct and helps establish your firm’s culture. If your employees truly buy in to your value proposition, they will provide a more unified, branded front.
A solid value proposition is a great motivator and, on challenging days, a reminder of why you do what you do. Make your team proud to work with your company, and they are likely to become more than just employees—they’ll become advocates for your firm.
If you haven’t formulated your value proposition or need to update the one you have, now is the right time to get started. Here are the best practices for creating a strong value proposition to help you get moving in the right direction.
It’s imperative you understand what resonates with your ideal client. Don’t assume you know the answer and skip this part. Uncover what truly matters to your target audience by speaking with existing clients that best represent the types of investors you want to attract.
Find out why they chose to work with you instead of other advisors. What do they like best about your relationship? Where do they think you could improve?
Often times advisors expect clients to reference their savvy financial advice, timely investment advice, tailored solutions that optimize cash flow, expertise on niche financial situations, or financial life strategies. The reality is often much more personal.
Your clients will appreciate that you value their opinion, and you’ll come away with important insights to help you understand the demographic of your ideal client base. Use the insights gained from these discussions to inform your marketing efforts going forward.
What makes you different than other financial advisors? Do you have a special story, a shared interest, or provide services like no other in your community? To answer these questions, you’ll need to understand yourself and what you bring to the table.
You don’t have to limit yourself to looking within; you can draw from your research in the previous step. What drew clients to you, made it easy to work with you, or made them stay with you? In their eyes, what made you unique? Your value proposition is an opportunity to tell your story and create a stronger connection with your audience.
Finally, as you put it all together, focus on what the customer gets out of your service—not on the service itself. What will prospective clients care about? How do you help clients?
Connect emotionally, but be practical. Clients want to feel good about working with you and are looking for high-quality service. Demonstrate your values and be clear about how they will benefit from choosing your firm.
Use your value proposition wherever you can! The value proposition is the cornerstone of financial advisor marketing. Use language from it in all your marketing materials and in your “About Us” boilerplate. Use a simplified version as part of your professional bio for spaces like LinkedIn, as well as times when you do things like host a webinar or guest start on a podcast.
In many cases, you won’t use your value proposition in its entirety. Select a few core concepts and include them in your communication efforts. The more often people see you referencing these words and ideas, the more they will associate them with your brand. Websites, social media ads, brochures, and presentations should all stem from your value proposition.
You want your value proposition to stand out and be totally unique. To be effective, there are four things your value proposition should communicate to your audience.
Here is a simplified value proposition template you can start with:
"I help __insert target client persona (ex. women business owners).__
with __insert your top offerings (ex. with investment management and retirement planning for themselves and their small business)__,
so they can __insert why they need you (ex. focus on their business, stress less, achieve their financial goals, etc.)_.
This Value Proposition Worksheet can help you create a more robust value proposition. You’ll find financial advisor value proposition examples that illustrate how key components come together to provide differentiation and offer clients peace of mind.
As you consider your value proposition, keep in mind what kind of new clients you want to work with. Don’t waste valuable time and resources trying to engage an audience that doesn’t contain potential clients for you. You want to focus on and impact your ideal client.
So, what will you say next time someone asks you what you do for a living? We hope you’ll say more than “I’m an investment advisor.” or “...financial planner”.
Your value proposition is a promise you’re making to your audience and a key element of your overall marketing plan. But there are many other important marketing components that help you build your brand, generate business, differentiate yourself in a crowded marketplace, enhance authenticity, and increase impact.
Learn more about key marketing tactics in our new guide, Marketing Matters in Every Business Environment.
To hear more about how our industry-leading platform can benefit your business, reach out to one of our consultants today.
AssetMark is a leading provider of extensive wealth management and technology solutions that help financial advisors meet the ever-changing needs of their clients and businesses.
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