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Diana Cabrices

Humanizing a Brand

It's about you.

YouTube changed the way we relate to each other, exchange information and ideas, and listen to each other’s stories. Born out of the need to share posts and videos with family easily, this $200 billion business is now hosting many of our videos. It spurned the social media phenomenon of influencers recording themselves doing their favorite things or sharing experiences; you watch because you’ve grown to have a connection with the influencer.

As I like to say, connection drives relatability, and relatability drives preference. After all, for those of us who think we purchase a good or service simply because of that item, they’re wrong. People buy from people, not businesses. Behavioral economists, scientists, researchers, and data show that over 95 percent of purchasing decisions subconsciously are driven by people’s emotions. We’re not thinking when we make most of our economic decisions—we’re feeling.

That’s why it’s important for advisors not to just see themselves as people who dole out financial plans and help others retire comfortably. Yes, that’s technically what you do, but that doesn’t separate one advisor from another. How would we expect an investor to decide between Advisor A and Advisor B if they’re solely making the decision based on services that are largely the same? We can’t. It’s all about the advisor’s brand.

Getting back to relatability for a second, it’s about three things: authenticity, personalization and accessibility. The first aspect is, you probably guessed it, bringing your true self to your work; sharing your passions and your real personality with people. Certainly, there’s a risk that someone may not appreciate your humor or delivery, but that’s also a method to help unsuitable clients self-select their way out. Often, it will endear people to you and make them referral magnets because of their connection to you.

An important point about accessibility is making sure that you’re putting yourself out there for people to be able to reach you. In my case, I travel a lot so you can find me on stages across the country. But on my website, while I have the pretty standard contact form that most utilize, I also have my email address, my phone number and my address. I’m inviting people to chat with me in whatever manner is most comfortable for them. People who are looking for that level of accessibility know they will find it with me.

I also like to say that relatability is your revenue superpower. Fifty-seven percent of clients will increase their spend with you if they feel connected to your brand and you personally. Also, 76 percent of consumers will buy from you over your competitor if they feel drawn to your brand.

Another key component of relatability is confidence or the belief in yourself and your brand. Women have been known to have imposter syndrome as, especially if you were raised like me, you were told not to smile too much. My smile is what has gotten me to where I am, starting with the beginning of my career when I was smiling and dialing. Those with imposter syndrome need to do their best to shake it off and recognize all of their superpowers.

Some people find confidence tricky because they don’t want to come across as cocky. And that’s understandable. If you’re less comfortable touting your own accomplishments, let others do it for you. That’s what testimonials are for.

I know this might sound hokey, but I think the world would be better off if financial advisors built relatable brands. Hear me out. The investor achieves more affluence. The advisor reaches more people, which could increase the country’s financial literacy. Advisors could prime future clients for when they are ready for financial advice.

Advisors who want to work on humanizing their brand can take some or all of these steps:

  • Embed a calendar booking tool directly on their website, in addition to direct phone and email.
  • Create educational content and simple communications for clients and/or prospects with their voice or via video, depending on an advisor’s comfort level.
  • Put testimonials on their website and social media which showcase how they’ve solved other people's problems and drive relatability.

Creating pathways that bring people closer to you through authenticity, personalization, and accessibility could bring in more profits and clients. There's a reason we all use YouTube to find information. After all, it has the word you in it.


Diana Cabrices is the founder of Diana Cabrices Consulting

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