Five Tips for Telling Your Marketing Story
By Megan Elliott
February 18, 2014

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Good storytelling will make your firm stand out.

Whether you work at an advisory firm serving 100 clients or a multi-national corporation like Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), storytelling should be a key element in your marketing. You need to tell a story about you, your firm and what you do that shows how your firm fits into your prospect’s lives.

A great story makes your firm stand out. Many financial advisors struggle with storytelling, which can seem vague or touchy-feely, especially if they’re more comfortable focusing on the technical side of wealth management. But telling great stories is easier than it seems. Here are five tips to you get started.

1. Focus on people

When you describe what your firm does, do you launch into a lengthy, detailed description of your services? Do you ramble on about a fee-only fiduciary model? If so, you’re not telling a good story.

Consider this commercial from Chase Manhattan Bank advertising its private-client services. The ad doesn’t say anything about the specific services the bank provides. Instead, it features two characters (a dad and his daughter) and tells a story about their lives. Then, it inserts Chase into that story. Showing how you make people’s lives better is far more powerful than reciting a laundry list of the services you offer clients.

2. Make your client the hero

Make the client the star of your story. Of course, as an advisor, compliance restrictions make it difficult to share actual stories about clients you’ve helped in your marketing materials. But you can still put the focus on the client, rather than your firm.

Take a look at your firm brochure or website. Do you use the word “we” a lot? Do you spend a great deal of time discussing your firm’s unique process or investment philosophy and bragging about your industry awards or credentials? If so, refocus on your clients and their needs. That doesn’t mean you can’t talk about yourself, your philosophy or your awards. Those are important too – it demonstrates your expertise and builds credibility. But do that in a way that is meaningful for a current or prospective client. Show your clients how you’re going to help them be the heroes in their own stories.