Strategies for branding and advertising your firm

By Lauren McNitt

ProducersWEB


In this week's #prowebchat on Twitter (Tuesdays at 3 p.m. EST), we discussed strategies for branding and advertising your firm. Here is a recap of the conversation:

@ProducersWEB Q1: As a financial services pro, what are the most important objectives for your brand? Credibility? Differentiation? Expertise? #prowebchat
    @BrokersAlliance #prowebchat Measuring brand performance. Since 1925 Americans ask for a Kleenex, not a tissue. Success = When you brand is your sales item.

    @laurenatpweb @brokersalliance Great example! How can a financial services firm achieve something similar? #prowebchat

    @BrokersAlliance #prowebchat The need to "frame their practice" in terms of expertise in distinctive language that clients can use.

    @BrokersAlliance #prowebchat In the old west, a good iron brand was one that a rustler couldn’t burn his brand over of yours - Ditto for corporate branding.

    @KestlerFG @ProducersWEB Building trust and creating advocates among customers. #prowebchat ^KK
@ProducersWEB Q2: What are the most effective ways to brand yourself in a way that makes your firm stand out? Name, logo, message #prowebchat
    @BrokersAlliance #prowebchat Your brand must stand out from your competitors or you’ll fall into their background. It's the message and how its delivered.

    @KestlerFG @ProducersWEB A succinct mission statement makes a great first impression. #prowebchat ^KK

    @robertsofia What about branding yourself by the way you treat clients and prospects? "Wow! That firm provides world-class service!" #prowebchat

    @KestlerFG @ProducersWEB A brand "referral" is pretty much always more effective from an existing client than from the brand itself. #prowebchat ^KK

    @robertsofia I believe your brand should be memorable, unique, unambiguous, relevant to your audience, and should instill confidence. #prowebchat

    @ltcassociates @ProducersWEB #prowebchat Think about your competitors (MGA's, FMO's) Are we distinguishable from one another? Does our msging separate us?
@ProducersWEB Q3: What are the most effective ways for managing your brand (and reputation) online? #prowebchat
    @KestlerFG @ProducersWEB Listening to what others are saying about your brand, + and -, is crucial to managing your brand image.

    @robertsofia @KestlerFG @ProducersWEB This is one good reason to have a client advisory board. They can provide valuable feedback. #prowebchat

    @ltcassociates @KestlerFG #prowebchat That was a driving force for adopting Twitter: to monitor and manage client and agent sentiment

    @BrokersAlliance #prowebchat We live in the bloggosphere. When we take hits and they're true, we own up to it. Right then and there.
@ProducersWEB Q4: Do you hire a pro to assist in your branding/promo or do it yourself? If you do it yourself, have you been successful? how? #prowebchat
    @robertsofia @ProducersWEB Everyone has a "brand" but they may not know what it is. Professionals can help them identify and communicate it. #prowebchat

    @ltcassociates @robertsofia #prowebchat U make a fair point: one envisions one's brand, but the public decides. Eg, What is the "Hilton" brand?

    @KestlerFG @ltcassociates I fully agree. @exacttarget says that your brand is the sum of all of the conversations about your brand. #prowebchat ^KK
@ProducersWEB Q5:How do you promote/advertise your firm to your target market? Certain publications, websites, events? Local media? Referrals? #prowebchat
    @CenturyAdvisory we promote using the internet and referrals. we are known for sending out letters to people neighbors especially for homeowners #prowebchat

    @BrokersAlliance #prowebchat We daily blog, tweet and post on Face Book & LinkedIn as well as write copy for carriers and agents.

    @robertsofia @CenturyAdvisory I think clients are catching up with tech quickly. We need to stay ahead of them. #prowebchat

    @ltcassociates @ProducersWEB #prowebchat Nothing leaves this office w/o a link to LTCA's Twitter account and our ProducersWEB page, for one thing

    @laurenatpweb @LTCassociates Glad to hear it! : ) #prowebchat
@ProducersWEB Q6: Is social media an effective way to promote your brand? How do you avoid compliance/PR problems when using social media? #prowebchat
    @KestlerFG @ProducersWEB In many cases, if you're truly promoting your brand, not your products, the compliance problem is minimized. #prowebchat ^KK

    @ltcassociates #prowebchat Let me add I am VERY mindful of keeping Twitter as junk free as I can: if we want clients to come it must be attractive to visit

    @DispenzaInsure Avoid compliance problems as retail agency - always use license on static posts, re-post canned carrier content w/ intro. #prowebchat

    @DispenzaInsure Good response from customers & prospects when posting useful info. They don't like straight "buy this from me" promotions. #prowebchat
@ProducersWEBThank you for joining #prowebchat! Tune in next week for a discussion on social media and compliance with guest Amy McIlwain @InsuranceMktg