Independent advisors may at times jealously regard the large marketing budgets that support industry professionals associated with wire houses and other large institutions. However, the independence that small financial advisors can offer is more than ever something that can be turned into a great PR opportunity.
While independence itself may be difficult to leverage effectively given the fact that there are thousands of independent advisors, taking things one step farther can often open a number of doors. For example, I've worked with some advisors who routinely point out that they invest alongside their clients, which gives them an incentive to maximize their clients' performance, since they too will be enriched.
These kinds of strategies give investors insight into why independence is a valuable asset for them. This is critically important because even in the wake of the financial meltdown and the many conflicts of interest that were exposed over the last couple of years, name recognition is still valuable and that sometimes gives the big houses an advantage. Having said that, investors have also learned that they have to take a more active role in researching advisors and institutions, so more than ever they're receptive to the advantages that independence will bring them.
Savvy advisors have gone as far as to create customized, branded indices that reinforce their objectivity and compare their performance to standard benchmarks, such as the S&P 500. Efforts like that are another great way to drive brand identity and loyalty because they continually reinforce the value of independence on investors. Likewise, many advisors regularly include performance comparison charts in their regular newsletters sent to clients and prospects.
The most important thing to remember about marketing and PR is a good campaign is always based around an educational component; for this kind of information is the best kind of resource people can receive. By giving people information they find useful, you'll find your marketing message is almost always welcomed.