When you join Infinity Financial Services as an independent financial advisor, you have the option to use our brand or create your own brand. The choice of brand is important in that it tells your target audiences what your business offers and what you stand for. Brand is much more than a label or a color palette. It typically includes the business’ Mission, Vision, Values, Authentic Value Proposition and 2-3 key messages that describe the business in an audience-centric way. Your brand should be designed to resonate with your target prospects and clients, with an understanding about what they strive to achieve and the challenges that face them. You also need to take into consideration what clients and prospects see and hear from your competitors.
Even if you choose to use the Infinity brand, you still need to position your practice within the brand.
Let start by considering your competition. When you position your practice, you are not doing it in vacuum, you are doing so in comparison to your competitors. Are you primary competitors at wirehouses, other independent or regional firms, bank or trust companies, insurance companies, or online robo advisors? Are you competing with financial professionals who have specific credentials, like a CFP® or a CIMA®? How is what you offer to clients, and the way you manage relationships, different and perhaps better than your competition?
Foundation of Your Brand
Let’s walk through the building blocks of your business brand. After each component, you will see examples we have established for the overall Infinity Financial Services brand.
Mission: What do you do, for whom do you do it and what is the benefit?
Infinity’s Mission is to empower our financial professionals to develop thriving independent financial services practices, using their own brand or ours, while meeting their compliance requirements.
Vision: What will your business look like in the future if you achieve your mission?
Values: What values shape the actions your practice will take?
Infinity Financial Services advisors are given a Financial Advisor Practice Business Plan outline to create their plans, working on their own or with the assistance of a business or marketing consultant. The outline is comprehensive and includes such sections as practice positioning, target audiences, measurable goals and objectives, products and services you will offer, practice segmentation and analysis, technology, roles and responsibilities, digital marketing and budget.
Leveraging the expertise of a marketing consultant may help to expedite the process and enhance the results. A consultant may help you:
• Develop key messages to promote your practice
• Help you to develop a marketing budget to achieve business growth goals
• Develop and implement your digital marketing communications plan
• Grow you practice with business development support
We recommend that advisors develop their plans linearly, step-by-step, from the top of the business plan outline to the bottom. With a high degree of focus they can write a first draft within 30-60 days, perhaps sooner if they are working with a consultant.
When advisors complete their draft plans, we encourage them to do a complete read through. As they reflect on what they have learned during the plan development process, they may decide to modify some sections.
The time taken to develop the business plan thoughtfully and deliberately is time extremely well spent. By clearly defining measurable goals and how they want their practices to evolve, they greatly increase the chances that they will achieve those goals.
If you should affiliate with Infinity Financial Services, your manager and I will be pleased to review your business plan with you and provide feedback and suggestions, if needed. I thoroughly enjoy coaching and helping our financial advisors to achieve their most ambitious growth goals.
Your plan is a dynamic document. The initial version of the document serves as a baseline that you can revisit annually and make any needed updates and changes. It is a powerful tool to help ensure that you (and you team) are staying on track and not veering off into activities that will not foster business growth.
For personalized assistance in considering affiliation options, please click here.
Infinity Financial Services is a national, independent Investment and Wealth Management firm, founded with a vision: help enterprising financial professionals to grow truly independent, successful practices, leveraging leading-edge technologies and firm support. Based in Oakland, California, with branch offices around the U.S., Infinity's financial professionals and advisors offer an array of asset management, brokerage, insurance, financial planning, benefit plan, insurance, and risk management services. This article provides information for investment professionals. It is not intended for use by the general public.