E23 | What it means to be a credible authority

Marie Swift and Impact Communications

Marie Swift Impact Communications on being a Credible AuthorityMarie has been the secret sauce behind a number of the great names in the financial planning industry becoming a credible authority. She and her team are some of the best PR and strategy advisors in the profession.  She has been a long standing contributor to the overall financial planning movement.

When Marie and her team evaluate a firm they note what type of client the firm wants to attract, their niche and ask, “do they look good online? Do they need speaking training?”  She helps firms get on the cover of industry and trade magazines, make connections with opportunities and helps firms realize the presence they want to make in the Profession.

Why consider PR?

PR is always at the top of your funnel process.  Press, periodicals and public appearances contribute to you being seen as a credible authority.  Sometimes PR events directly bring in business but often they are part of the bigger picture with your digital presence.

Good PR helps you articulate value to your strategic partners, Centers of Influence (COIs), and current clients.

Even though the ROI isn’t direct, being seen as a thought leader can be one of the most substantial steps a planner can take to attract high quality clients (Make sure to check out E06 | Working with the Press (part 1) and and E07 | Working with the Press (part 2) with Eric Roberge).

Three funnels to fill an advisor’s business with the right kind of business: Credibility, referral, and relationship funnels.

It isn’t easy

PR work often requires “above and beyond” effort.  You aren’t building plans.  It isn’t directly building your firm or improving your client’s personal finances *but* a great opportunity can take your business to the next level.  By sharing your opinions and taking an active role in shaping the profession you are also building your credibility and authority.

It is often fun!  Getting on the news, seeing your picture in magazines, even colleagues seeing your last name in the table of contents for the Journal of Financial Planning increases your credible authority.

You make an impact!  There can be long-term repercussions with PR.  It is often one of the top hits when a prospect researches you.  Your thought leadership changes the way other professionals manage their practice.  When you have good PR you are enabling your colleagues to make the changes that you want to see int he world.

How to be a Credible Authority

Demonstrating expertise and in front of the right audience of people help you find individuals who might want to work with your firm.

Clients should be able to tell a story about their success with working with you. ~Marie

Listen in to hear about Marie’s story with Sheryl Garrett, CFP®, AIF®, founder of The Garrett Planning Network.  Sheryl was able to save Marie’s family more than she charged, which created an obvious demonstration of the value of good financial planning.  She also articulated value over the other three funnels simultaneously with good results.  She improved the clients’ lives and which added to the relationship, built credibility and made Marie a brand advocate for Sheryl and her network.

Sheryl started out as the “right” planner for Marie and her family but over time and as Sheryl and her network’s authority has grown she is now at the helm of one of the largest networks of independent fee-only CFP® Pros with some of the greatest advocates out there.


Jake Wagner, CDMP

About the Author

Jake Wagner, CDMP

Jake is trained as a Certified Digital Marketing Professional. He is called to connect true financial planning professionals with their clients and prospects through effective digital marketing. He understands the needs and concerns of the financial planning profession and the wide range of regulatory compliance needs and concerns.

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