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Tie or No Tie?

After I wrote an article about which business suit to wear if you’re a financial advisor, several approached me with questions about casual dress, the biggest concern being about whether you should wear a tie. I’m going to unbutton that question and provide insight about what you could do to pull off this look successfully.


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What’s the Best Hairstyle for Advisors (Women and Men)?

As someone who is in contact with a ton of advisors each month, I’m constantly amazed at how so many of them will spend six thousand dollars on a Brioni suit to make them look successful and pay zero attention to their hair. Here are some suggestions for both men and women about how to put a little more style into your hair without breaking grooming rules.


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Eight Questions to Answer When Naming Your RIA Firm

Sara Grillo - Man holding a newborn in silhouette

Ever since I wrote my last article about naming an RIA firm I’ve been inundated with requests to review people’s firm names. I appreciate that! But I also want to clarify what you need to understand about your brand before you can come up with the words to capture it.

Finish reading here.

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Seven Tips for a Firm Name Prospects Won’t Forget

Sara Grillo - name a financial advisor firm

Having named the three children I brought into this world, I know how hard it is. No financial advisor wants to make the mistake of choosing the wrong moniker and then living with that stigma for the rest of your company’s life. But on the flip side, most firm names are so bland and nondescript that it’s like having no name at all. There’s zero brand identity.

Here are seven tips to give your advisory firm a name that means something.

Finish reading here.

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Will I Lose Clients By Focusing on a Market Niche?

Sara Grillo - Missing Puzzle Piece - marketing niche

I can’t stand the despicable lack of branding in the financial advisor space. I’m always advocating for financial advisors to set themselves apart. But the overwhelming pushback I get is this, “Sara, if I specify a particular market niche, I’m worried I’ll lose interest from prospects who don’t fit that niche.”

Despite what you may think, your current clients will not dump you, and you won’t lose wealthy prospects by targeting a vertical – if you do it right.

Finish reading article here.

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What Makes a Good LinkedIn profile?

Sara Grillo - Smartphone - LinkedIn Profile Tips

The word is brand. Get rid of the jargon, get rid of the fluff, and tell the world what it is that you have to offer right there on your LinkedIn profile. There’s no reason you shouldn’t do it; it’s free, for goodness sake!  Here are some examples of what you should and should not do with your personal brand on your LinkedIn profile.

Have a purpose

Get rid of the wishy-washy copy about how you want to change the world and get to the real point: what are you looking to do, why are you looking to do it, and why are you well qualified to help who it is that you want to help.

Take for example the LinkedIn bio of Bridget Schoffman.  She states right away in her summary field that she is seeking an internship and even states when she’ll be available to start. Nice job, Bridget. For those of you who think this is hard marketing, here’s why it’s okay. Because in this case she follows up with a nice reason why you should be interested in her:

“Bridget is a highly-motivated student with strong academic achievements. She has tested out of some courses and has worked ahead so she can graduate early at the end of the Fall 2018 semester while maintaining a 3.94 GPA.”

Remember that people don’t mind being sold to if they 1) are entertained and 2) see value in what you are selling.

Here Bridget is making it clear that she’s an exceptionally driven person. How many college students work ahead so they can graduate early? And she has a 3.94 GPA!

Awesome. In just two sentences she’s set herself apart.

Have some custom content

When somebody happens to come across your profile, give them something they can sink their teeth into. Remember that this is an opportunity to say something about what you are about.

That’s exactly what publishing an article on your page can do. Take a look at the LinkedIn page of Petr Zlaty.  I love Peter’s article, “Why is integrity my No. 1 value.”  And what a great first line, “In my resume you can find that my key values are integrity, curiosity and loyalty.” So while he’s talking about a high level concept, he’s also giving us a clue that he has a resume (and by the way, wouldn’t you be curious to see it?).

What Peter has also done very nicely is presented a strong visual brand with the fascinating background photo as well as the thumbnail for the article. Pictures are a big part of making your bio appealing to the eye, just be sure you are careful to get royalty free images.

Get recommended

Every time you leave a job or end a client engagement, you should get a testimonial on LinkedIn.  Get into this habit. It’s not like these have to stay on LinkedIn – you can see for example on my Reviews page on my website I’ve taken what people wrote about me on LinkedIn and put it there.

I like how Michael W. Staib has done this. He has 15 recommendations on his profile. If I’m looking at him for a job, I can see what other people are saying about him. People love that. Why do you think Yelp is so popular?


Yup, it seems so basic. The warmer and more welcoming personal appeal you can present, the more receptive people are going to be to you.

Rudy Soobaroyen is a great example.

Ace the Headline

Your headline should speak to your purpose and grab the reader’s attention. It should not be where you put your functional title such as “president, CEO” or “analyst.”

Take for example non-profit founder Jean Paul Laurent whose headline is “Building confidence, communities, and careers in developing countries.” Love it. Nice job.

How much success are you having with your LinkedIn brand? Get in touch with any questions.

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Using Social Media Video for Financial Advisor Branding

Sara Grillo - Social Media Video Marketing

Yeah, I said it. YouTube. While social media video (YouTube, Snapchat, Periscope, etc.) used to be seen as a hobby for iPhone happy millennials, it’s quickly becoming the communication du jour for the business world. Yet despite its potential, social media video has not yet caught on with the financial advisor community, especially the ones it should – small RIA firms who need to scale their businesses. This article will discuss the financial advisor branding obstacles that many face and reveal examples of some great brands who are overcoming them.

Finish reading article here.

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Good Financial Advisor Branding vs. “Anti-Branding”

Sara Grillo - herbs and spices - financial advisor branding

Branding is probably the most misunderstood aspect of financial advisor marketing. Perhaps due to heavy regulation that these firms are subject to, most financial advisors have yet to conceptualize what a brand really is, or how it can make a difference in their business. This blog will study two dominant brands and outline the aspects that make them strong. We will also discuss the elements of poor financial advisor branding (what I call “anti-branding”) that are commonly seen throughout the industry.

Finish reading article here.