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Financial advisor bios really stink, but your doesn’t have to. Whoo hoo! Listen to these tips and get an exciting biography that actually says something and makes the prospect say, “You know, he/she is really different and I want to talk to him/her!”

For those of you who are new to my blog/podcast, my name is Sara. I am a CFA® charterholder and I used to be a financial advisor. I have a weekly newsletter in which I talk about financial advisor lead generation topics which is best described as “fun and irreverent.” So please subscribe!

Financial advisor bios are soooo boring!

Financial advisor bios all sound the same.

Let me guess? You have been in the business for 20 years, before that you worked at XYZ financial firm, you hold the CFP® designation and the Series 7, you work with retirees and pre-retirees, you’re a fiduciary committed to your clients, you volunteer regularly in your community, and you enjoy traveling and cooking in your spare time.

You mean you wrote this (lol)?

  • I’m a fiduciary
  • I have 20 years of experience
  • I’m a CFP
  • I put my clients’ interests first and treat them with the highest attention

Is that you?

It’s really not saying much.

You all sound so self-aggrandizing. After a while, the grandiose achievements and the credentials all sound the same. The financial advisor bio is of limited value if all you’re going to do is restate your credentials and give people the straight facts without providing anything for them to emotionally attach to.

What is the goal of a financial advisor bio?

Have you ever noticed there’s a competitor who isn’t as smart or hardworking as you, but yet they are outdoing you?

They’re more entertaining.

Why do professional baseball players, who hit a ball around in a park, make multiples of what the President of the United States makes?

Because they’re more entertaining.

Look, I didn’t design human psychology this way. But it’s how the world works. When something doesn’t light people up, their already limited attention spans become infinitely shorter.

The goal of a financial advisor bio isn’t to show off. This is the Miss Teen USA pageant.

The goal is to convey meaning and invoke curiosity and relatability while maintaining a sense of credibility.

But I need to be credible, you say! I’m not a comedian, I deal with serious issues.

Okay, let’s compromise.

Just give them a tiny morsel, just a teeeeeny tiny little morsel, or something that they can be entertained by. And then the rest of the bio, 99% of it, can be conservative and boring like everything else you financial advisors do in your marketing.

Make your bio meaningful

Let’s be real.

Most of the terms you use in your bio, people don’t know what they mean. Do they really know what the CIMA is? Do they really know what an allocation is? Do they really know what it meant that you used to underwrite syndicated loans at an investment bank?

The more you puke meaningless info onto people, the less meaningful your bio is. But yet, you financial advisors claim to be the most client-focused people on the planet, if I take your claims seriously!

Let’s infuse some meaning back by focusing on it from the perspective of them not you.

Let me repeat that:

THeM nOt YoU
them not you
(them not you)
Ellos no tu (in spanish)
Loro no lei (in italian)

-Sara G

Chunking it up and other writing tips

Remember that people are going to be reading this on a mobile phone, most likely. When you have a block paragraph of four sentences, they are scrolling and scrolling through a big ole brick of text. It’s suffocating.

  • Let the reader breathe by chopping up your bio isn’t 2-3 sentence paragraphs.
  • And get rid of those adverbs and polysyllabic words.
  • Monosyllabic words infuse breathe into your text.
  • Use bullet points

Don’t break their thumbs on the rapid scroll, okay? Nobody has time for the emergency room.

Other bio tips:

  • Speak in the first person. It sounds less egotistical. Use “I” or “we” instead of “he” or “she” (the third person voice). Stop trying to put yourself up on a pedestal.
  • Include motivational quotes.

Be real, people

People love my bio because I tell a down-to-earth story about how I got into the role of doing marketing for financial advisors. To quote from my page:

After my second baby was born, I quit my job as a financial advisor. I was decent at it, but my heart wasn’t really into it. I felt that I was being called to something else. 

There I was sitting on my couch with no income and two babies saying to myself, “Well, this stinks.” I had to find some way to make money and I couldn’t leave the apartment, so I started trying to sell Antonio’s clothes on eBay. One day he came home from work and found out what I was doing. That ended that

So I started making selfie videos and uploading them to YouTube…

You see, I’m not being narcissistic here or trying to make myself look like I’m heaven’s gift to LinkedIn for financial advisors. I’m portraying myself as a humble person, just like the reader, with flaws, problems, and all of that. They trust me because I have the courage to be honest. They see me as real.

Hypothetical example:

One of the reasons I love working with female executives is that many of my clients are single mothers. I love being able to provide stability that empowers them to focus on their careers and family. I feel that this does something good by alleviating the stress faced by single parent families in our society.

See? Not too dramatic, just real.

Give it some meaning

Our actions are always driven by meaning, whether or not we understand the meaning at the time. Take something you do within your practice that you have a lot of pride in, and ask yourself, “why is it that I do it that way?” Infuse that into your financial advisor bio.

Hypothetical example:

Let’s say you are a veteran.

During my times in the Marines, I was stationed in Ganjgal, Iraq. During one of the battles, my gun broke and I had to rely on my colleague to get me out of the enemy stronghold. From this experience I learned that we are only as good as the person next to us, and this principle has become the foundation for the team I have built to support my clients.

My years in the military taught me that time spent educating others is always well spent. For this reason, my team invests 20 minutes a week in being trained on the software applications used by others at the firm. This way in case somebody is out, the team can operate and there is no dependency on one specific person.

See? Now that’s a meaningful story!

Paint a vivid geographical picture

  • Paint a colorful picture of a location of significance with vivid imagery: names, sensory details, and a story.
  • Instead of “I started my firm in Voorhees, NJ”, say this.
  • “Out in southern New Jersey there is a stretch of forestland called the Pine Barrens, acres and acres of magnificent pitch pine trees atop a carpet of sugar sand. One day I was riding through there on my motorcycle and I passed the local high school – Shawnee High School – and glancing at all the SUVs in the parking lot I realized how difficult it must be for any of the teachers there to get financial advice given there isn’t a fee-only financial advisor for miles. The next day I set up Shawnee Financial Planning and we’ve had an office in the Pine Barrens ever since.

Use details that evoke the senses and tell a story about a place when you talk about your past. It makes the reader feel closer to you and will set you apart from the next financial advisor.

Should you send it out before the first meeting?

“When an intro is made to a new prospect, I usually respond by saying ,’Thanks for the intro, let’s pick a time to talk…I have also attached my bio for your reference.’ Perhaps you have a better/alternate way to do this intro?”

While it’s important to establish credibility, the first impression should be this:

I may be smart and experienced, but this is all about you and your needs first.

When we start to pour forth our credentials without establishing that our #1 goal is to serve (not impress) them, we open ourselves up to objections such as:

  • I found another advisor with 25 years of experience, not just 20.
  • I found someone with better investment performance.
  • I found a planner with a bigger/better team or office.
  • They use Dimensional Funds and you use Vanguard.
  • They charge lower fees.

See my point?

The best marketing strategy is to establish an absolute focus on them and the communication.

However, it is important to be credible. So how do you do that before the first meeting, without having to email them your bio?

Take these actions TODAY:

  • Put an “Action Square” at the bottom of your email, below the signature. You can see mine in pink (“how I help”) below. It’s a square with your headshot and three bullet points summarizing your offering.
  • Put a link to your biography website page under your email signature.
  • Ask the person to connect on LinkedIn before the meeting. Your profile page should outline your service approach, educational and work history, and your postings should signal your views on financial topics that relate to clients.
  • Make sure your website has an updated biography with current headshot. It should describe how you currently serve clients and how you came to perform this way.
  • Include your headshot and bio on your firm’s brochure, and leave it a stack on the coffee table in the lobby of your office.
  • Create a personal “hello” video in which you introduce yourself to the prospect and explain what to expect in the first meeting, and include your Action Box or headshot and bio as the last frame.

Sara’s upshot on financial advisor bios

What’d ya think? Was this helpful?

If yes…

Learn what to say to prospects on social media messenger apps without sounding like a washing machine salesperson. This e-book contains 47 financial advisor LinkedIn messages, sequences, and scripts, and they are all two sentences or less.

This is a book about financial advisor LinkedIn messages which contains scripts you can use to get new prospects.

You could also consider my financial advisor social media membership which teaches financial advisors how to get new clients and leads from LinkedIn.

The Sara Grillo membership is a social media program for financial advisors - but only the cool ones.

Thanks for reading. I hope you’ll at least join my weekly newsletter about financial advisor lead generation.

See you in the next one!

-Sara G

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