Do you have a friend or family member who tells the most long-winded stories and often fails to get to the point?
Or maybe they have a bad habit of leaving out the most interesting parts until the very end?
Hiding the most relevant pieces of a story within other distracting information is called burying the lede and can be fatal in advisor marketing. The phrase “don’t bury the lede” was originally coined in journalism to teach writers how to grab the attention of their audience, but has since been adopted in marketing for the same reason.
All too often financial advisors suffer from burying the lede when describing who they are, what they do, and why others should work with them. They lead with irrelevant information or jargon that causes their audience to tune out and miss the most valuable parts of their offer.
This is specific to financial advisors, either. As business owners, we do this for a number of reasons:
- We aren’t confident in what we’re selling.
- We’re unsure if we’ll sound self-absorbed by leading with that information.
- We’ve been taught to be humble, not to brag.
But when you bury the lede, you bury opportunity with it. Instead, you should embrace your lede and be proud to share it with others.
Here are three tactics to place your story front and use your lede to entice your prospects:
1. Define Your Brand and Services
As a financial advisor, you are going to be a part of people’s finances and by extension their biggest life milestones, such as their first home purchases, the births of their children, graduations, weddings, and retirement. They have to trust you, so you cannot bury yourself behind a bland business card or bio and expect them fork over their money.
Your brand puts all of you front and center. And it needs to be an authentic representation of your entire persona — a combination of (1) what you as a person bring to the table and (2) what professional services you provide.
What are your mission and values?
What sets you apart from the competition?
What value do you bring that the average advisor cannot?
Answering all of those questions will help you define your brand and help you avoid burying the lede when prospects ask about what you do.
2. Hone, Memorize, and Shout Your Elevator Pitch From the Rooftops
Remember the folks who tell the long-winded stories? You can’t be one of them if you want to capture people’s attention.
Everyday investors need and want a financial advisor who can simplify what is to them a very complicated wealth management world. So having an elevator pitch, or a brief, 30-second explanation of who you are, what you do, and why people should work with you is essential.
An elevator pitch takes some prep work and practice. Use what you learned while defining your brand and include those points in your elevator pitch. Then practice. It is called an elevator pitch because you should be able to deliver it in the time it takes to ride in an elevator with someone to their stop. And you can use their elevator pitch in person at gatherings and conferences, online in things like your social media profiles, and even in marketing materials.
Your elevator pitch will be based off your value proposition and differentiating statements and should be reflective of your core brand message for consistency across all interactions online and in-person. This is how people remember what you do and are able to refer your services to others, as well.
3. Optimize Your Website to Showcase the Lede
Think of your website as your digital business card. It should establish all of the basic information about who you are and what you do on your home page. Don’t bury that information on an About Us page or in your bio. Keep it consistent with your brand and lean on your elevator pitch to help establish in each visitor’s mind what makes your firm standout against the competition. What’s your niche? Why should they work with you?
Also, make sure your website navigation is simple and user-friendly so that visitors who do want to dig further can do so easily. They should be able to figure out where to go next for what information they need or want. So don’t label your navigation with something cutesy or with industry jargon they may not understand.
Just remember, hiding the most relevant pieces of a story within other distracting information is not a sign of good branding. Don’t bury YOUR lede!
Maribeth Kuzmeski, PhD, President of Red Zone Marketing, is a marketing strategist, advisor to financial services companies, bestselling author of seven books, and a professional speaker rated as a Top 25 C-Suite Speaker as seen in Meetings & Conventions Magazine. She speaks on topics including marketing, branding, sales, and customer service.