With over 10,000 people per day turning 65, now is a great time to distinguish yourself as a Retirement Advisor and Coach, starting with defining ‘value’ in terms of what you do for people rather than what you do for ‘money’ so your clients understand that you are different from other advisors.

Why is your brand important? Your brand reflects the value and service you provide to your retiring and retired clients.

There are numerous ways to communicate your brand and image. A Google search for books on branding produces no less than 28,000 results.

To begin with, remember you are not selling a tangible product. Yes, you may eventually use a managed account, an annuity, long term care insurance or some other product, but what you are “selling” is a partnership, ongoing advice, peace-of-mind for retiring Americans. While the intangible may seem hard to describe, it’s the stuff that creates lifetime clients. Lifetime relationships.

Communicating your value proposition
Retirement Coaches believe they offer something of value that goes beyond trying to sell a product or service and will look for every opportunity to explain what they do in a way that doesn’t impose on the listener or scare someone away.

Communicating your value is a matter of personal style. Use your words, your personality and speak from the heart.

Stay “above the line” with your brand
If you work above the line, your focus is on people; if you work below the line, your focus is on money, financial planning and investment management.

There is nothing wrong with working below the line, in fact you couldn’t do your job if you didn’t. However, focusing below the line is not actually WHAT you do, it is HOW you do it.

Does your brand describe how you collaboratively guide clients through life’s opportunities, challenges, issues, transitions and emotions?

If you choose to specialize in the issues that will affect an aging population, there are two parts to this specialization:

  1. The science of being a Retirement Advisor — understanding the key issues that will face your clients and being able to access other professionals in your community who can help.
  2. The art of being a Retirement Advisor — how you market the work you do in providing services to an aging marketplace.

The 10 best practices to creating a retirement advisor/coach brand:

  1. Develop a purpose driven Value Proposition that focuses on what you do for your retirement clients
  2. Build a team of experts within your community and firm that can provide additional information for aging clients
  3. Adopt or develop a discovery process that focuses on understanding life issues that will drive financial planning decisions
  4. Incorporate your retirement value proposition and the focus of your practice into your website and client collateral
  5. Build a library of material on all aspects of aging, including Government services and community resources, to support your clients
  6. Adopt a “spending-based” planning and investment approach in your planning process
  7. Develop a Center-of-influence strategy to extend your positioning as a Retirement Advisor
  8. Take the time to convey to each of your clients how you intend to approach retirement planning, including ongoing client discovery
  9. Build a client education program using community resources and your own knowledge to educate clients on the relationship between life issues and retirement planning
  10. Become a resource in your community on retirement and aging issues. Develop a media presence and let your community know that this is your area of specialty.

Remember, you don’t have to do it all at once! Leverage your Loring Ward resources, but start today.