Is Your Online Brand Breaking the Walls Down? Take this Survey.

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As old-fashioned as certain industries may be (e.g. finance), there’s no stopping the digital revolution.  Financial advisors should take this quick 8 question Sara Purple Survey to get a good honest look at whether or not your online financial advisor brand is strong enough to break down walls that are preventing you from reaching your customers online.

Sara’s Purple Online Brand Survey

1. What % of your employees, strategic partners, and clients could recite your company tagline from memory? (Move the decimal point over to the left by one, for example 33.0% means 3.3 points)

2. Is the exact same logo, font, and color scheme applied to each of the following: 1) website 2) email footer 3) social media 4) email newsletter 5) marketing brochures. (award 2 points for each element that was a “yes”).

3. What was the last time you were made aware of the results of your Google Analytics traffic?

  • Last week (10 points)
  • Last month (5 points)
  • Longer than 3 months ago (2 points)
  • Can’t remember or have no idea what Google Analytics does (0 points)

4. Has you ever used a video on your social media or website? (Yes, 10 points. No, 0 points)

5. What % of content is canned and generic (e.g. news articles) versus customized and uniquely created for your brand? (Move the decimal point over to the left by one, for example 33.0% means 3.3 points)

6. Do you know your NPS (Net Promoter Score)? If so, when was the last time you assessed it?

  • Last month (10 points)
  • Last 6 months (5 points)
  • Last year (2 points)
  • Can’t remember or have no idea what an NPS is (0 points)

7. Number of times your brand was featured on another brand’s social media (in an article they wrote, tagged in a post that they made, etc) over last 6 months.

  1. 10 or more (10 points)
  2. 5 to 10 (5 points)
  3. 1 to 5 (2 points)
  4. Zero (0 points)

8. Number of times you have gotten a qualified lead from your website, social media, or newsletter in the last 6 months.

  • 10 or more (10 points)
  • 5 to 10 (5 points)
  • 1 to 5 (2 points)
  • Zero (0 points)

First, Let’s Look at the Survey Questions

Before we tally the results, here are some key concepts you may have noticed interwoven in the survey questions. Behind each question was a strength driver for your brand equity. Read below to learn how the following branding elements break the walls down before moving on to the scoring section.

Question #1

Employees are the #1 source of company branding, way more than anything on a piece of paper or on a website. If your employees (or for a solopreneur, your strategic partners or even clients who are referring you business) don’t know your brand, how can they deliver the sense of anything being unique about you? Remember word of mouth marketing always breaks walls down best.

Question #2

The human mind doesn’t handle inconsistency well. If you’ve got last month’s promotions on the website, last year’s font, and are using three different logos then chances are you’re causing some chaos in the mind of the buyer — not what you want if you’re looking to make an impression in the quick moving world of online media.

>>Read Chaotic Picasso to learn how to streamline the various elements of your brand to break down, not build up, walls in the mind of the buyer.

Question #3

The reason that Google Analytics, which tracks your website traffic for FREE — let me repeat that the basic application COSTS NOTHING — is important because it gives you a sense of how well your website is guiding and controlling the buyer’s experience. If you don’t know what content on your website is attracting attention and provoking action, you have no sense of what the emotional response is to your online brand. Without this knowledge it’s impossible to build brand equity and break down walls.

The other thing you have to realize is that even if you get a qualified lead from your digital marketing, there’s no guarantee you’ll close it right away. I would say I close on maybe 20% of my digital leads within a month and the rest go into my sales funnel. From there, I have to constantly hit these prospects with my branded content and get them to go back to my website, over and over again. It takes sometimes up to 10 attempts before I can close some leads. So needless to say, my ability to understand my web traffic is critical to moving my prospects through my sales funnel. The better branding on the website, the stronger the message and the shorter the sales cycle.

>>Read my Online Branding Conversions blog for more info.

Question #4

Online video is the best way to convey a personalized message that breaks down walls. It can be done inexpensively.

Question #5

As I’ve said before in other blogs, if you use the same content that any of your competitors could use, there’s no way you’re going to stand out from your competitors. This is the problem with 99% of brands. Custom content takes longer but it’s the only way to break down walls.

>Read my blog about truly valuable differences in business branding.

Question #6

A Net Promoter Score (NPS) is essentially a measure of how likely your clients are to refer you leads. You assess an NPS through a survey that you administer to all clients, past and present. If you don’t know the NPS then you have no idea how much customer loyalty your brand is creating. More loyalty in the eyes of the consumer signals higher emotional attachment which leads to more walls breaking down.

Question #7 and #8

Results never lie. It’s this simple: strong brands get attention, online leads, and conversions.  Higher attention, higher conversions as long as you’re getting the right attention. You may be getting attention and getting nowhere and this is because you might be focusing on the wrong customer niche for your brand, or you may be failing to motivate your audience to take action.

Don’t forget to give the visitor a friendly nudge once you get their attention. I can’t tell you how many times I see so many companies messing up the completion once they get the attention. You already did the hard work! It’s not being pushy to clearly articulate what the next steps are to result in the customer being helped by your service. Brands that do not understand that get nowhere online. They are essentially what I call “order takers” who fail to actively create new business and must resort to either referrals, lead generation services (highly competitive – read my blog to find out why), or the 2% of deals that just close on their own with no sales work needed.

For those of you who debate that it’s the right thing to do to ask the customer for the sale, yes, in fact, you do need to lead the horse to water! You have to spell out exactly what you want the customer to do in a targeted call to action. People don’t just seek you out and ask you where to send the check because they think you’re great. When it comes time to shell out the cash and make the decision, 99% of consumers need a little push. It doesn’t mean you bulldoze them. There are ways to apply pressure that go over well with customers. Skilled marketing consultants know how to do this.

Make it easy for the customer to contact you, for example, by including your phone number or email on every page of your website. Have your social media buttons prominently displayed on the top of bottom banners of your site if you want them to follow you. Make it hard and in the fast paced world of the Internet people will move on in a matter of seconds and there goes your lead out the window!

Now, Let’s Tally the Results and Go Purple!

So how does your brand stack up? Tally the points according to the prompts included with each questions, and read on to find out how your brand stacks up.

0 to 2 points: You’ve made a great start by reading this blog – now let’s color that brand in Purple! Please refer to my blogs on the fundamentals of branding. O

3 to 6 points: You’re medium Purple. You’ve paid attention to your brand, but it’s not the Picasso that it could be. In fact, it may be a Chaotic Picasso,which is probably the biggest mistake I see small to medium sized businesses making. Most of the time, a few simple tweaks can realign and strength the brand.

6 to 8 points: Nice job, you’re in the Purple as they say. Are you getting three new leads a day yet? If you’ve got a strong brand, lead generation should be happening. If not, it’s likely there are some brand issues getting in your way. These aren’t the easy ones to fix– most likely they are not those rookie type issues that will be obvious to fix. You may need to make an investment in some intellectual capital to get that brand the Purplest it could be. Whether it’s serving up some highly customized content, revamping the website copy or social media, or even running some online ads, a qualified marketing consultant is a great resource to add to the roster.

Sara’s Upshot

Authenticity is what matters most in any financial advisor who wants to get new clients. Learn the no BS way to use social media to get new clients by joining my membership here.

Any questions? Send 'em in!