In the summer 2017 issue of Private
Investor, I wrote “Creating Mass Intimacy”
as an introduction to the notion and need
for advisors to create their own personal
brand. Reflecting on that article – it seems
I may have placed the cart before the
horse as I spoke more about personal
brand promotion and shared an
inadequate explanation of what your
personal brand actually represents.
In this issue, I’ll attempt to start correcting
that oversight, as you may hear from me
again on this topic.
Your “brand” is simply a reflection of
“you”. Paraphrasing well-known speaker
and trainer Bryan Tracy; your brand begins
as an introduction, becomes an impression
and finally exists as a promise.
We are all CEOs in our companies of one;
in the business of getting business. We
exist to go out into the World, meet
people and bring value to those people’s
lives in exchange for making a living and
hopefully find personal fulfillment. That
means we succeed by meeting as many of
those companies, women and men we
don’t know today, to create long-standing
client relationships and friendships.
That search means being prepared to
answer the questions: Who are we? Who
do we serve and what do we have to offer
that would make anyone care?
As our careers mature that job hopefully
gets easier so one day show up, perhaps
unknown in person, yet known by reputation – our brand.
We create a personal brand by becoming
the best person we can, declaring and
living the values we hold dear. Can we
create rapport, trust and credibility so the
people we meet view us positively?
When all things are equal – people will
want to deal with someone they know,
like and trust. More importantly – when
all things are not exactly equal; people
will still want to deal with someone they
know like and trust.
Relationships borne from early impressions
live and grow in the way they become
reliable and consistent. Over time these
impressions become established and
expected. This expectation becomes an
implicit promise of performance and the
commitment you’ve made to care for your
client. Along the way you and your brand
evolve and grow in the degree of credibility you bring to the table.
To say experience is a key indication of
credibility would not be incorrect, it just
might be incomplete as a definition.
I believe there are 4 stages of credibility.
The first is “No” credibility. We all know
people without credibility. They have
created no rapport or trust, seem
interested only in furthering their own
agenda and have done nothing to
establish themselves as being worthy of
your time. Telephone cold-callers and
email spammers come to mind.
The second stage of credibility is
“Implied”. Implied credibility exists when
you (in a sense) borrow someone else’s
credibility by association. Implied credibility may come early in your career as relying
on your training, sales support and
marketing materials and the very name of
the company you represent. “Susan must
be good Acme Enterprises would never
hire someone without making sure they
could do the job!” Most of us start out,
Implied credibility may help get you in
the door but won’t likely keep you there
unless you earn your keep. You have to live
up to the promises of performance you
make or at least be seen to work
your tail off in earnest, trying.
The third stage of credibility is “Earned”.
You have been in your position and know
your stuff or know exactly where to find the
answers you need. You know your
industry and you clearly bring a reputation
as being a high quality individual – a value
to your company and your industry. Most
of us do wonderfully well having attained
The fourth stage of credibility is “
Ubiquitous”. This is the rarest form of credibility
where your reputation and brand are
known in a much broader circle that
transcends your industry; perhaps to the
point you become well-known internationally. These rare individuals become
“brands of one” where the mere mention
of their name elicits a response from
everyone. You don’t need to be a hockey
fan to know “The Great One” a lover of
R&B and hip hop to recognize Beyonce or
a savvy investor to recognize Warren
Buffet. Those with ubiquitous credibility
are quite simply cultural and business
You all have the power to answer the
question, “who are you?” The task is to
create your own identity by declaring who
you are and living up to that ideal by
making it occur to those you serve as a
promise. The more promises you keep –
the stronger yourreputation – the stronger
your reputation – the stronger and better
known is your brand.
Things will go wrong. How you react to
those events will either build or destroy
Who are you when you win?
Who are you when you lose?
Who are you when you have good news?
Who are you when you have bad news?
When we all ask these questions, the
answers define us – and our brands.
Bob has over 35 years of sales and business
ownership experience. Bob built a very
successful financial advisor practice on Bay
Street and today serves as a Vice President
of Sales for a leading Canadian Life Insurance
carrier. Bob is also a PCMA member, real
estate and private equities investor and
family man loving life on the lake with his
wife and family.
These are the views of the author and not necessarily
those of The Private Investor Magazine or PCMA Canada.
MARKETING & PROMOTION
Your “brand” is simply a reflection of “you”.
Your brand begins as an introduction, becomes
an impression and finally exists as a promise.
By Bob Carter