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Planning series: do all advisers have to sound the same?

According to a new study from BNY Mellon's Pershing the survey finds most advisors fail to convey a unique value proposition. This is not unique to the investment world, and is a trend that could worsen as advisers, concerned about compliance, tend to try to be in the mainstream. Innovation, it seems, has a bad name.

But does it have to be that way?

I know that many financial advisers, not being IT experts, go to service providers to set up their websites - and those companies often employ template-based approaches. Advisers concerned to allow their sites to be found by search engines tend to prefer using standard or widely accepted names for different services. The challenge is, you lose your differentiation. All you do is prove that you are 'just like all the rest'.

Sure, your SOA must address the six step process, but most advisers I know are not short of personality. It isn't a bad thing, you don't need to hide it. Showing who you are, and that includes what annoys you and what you like to celebrate in life, helps your clients to relate to you. That is at a personal level. Now translate that to your business. With a little more scale your business can have a broader personality, or reputation. If you are in a diverse market, and hire for diversity, then you can serve more segments in that market. 

It is worth trying to break out of the boring old sameness, and it isn't hard, just be you.



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