Being a professional in this industry can sometimes bring an unwarranted negative image. The perception of finance and investment banking professionals often attracts blame for issues such as the financial crash in 2008.
In order to overcome this stigma, professionals in the finance and investment banking industry should look towards increasing their personal brand and changing people’s mind through positivity.
The easiest way to do that is by engaging your audience and helping them understand you personally through the internet, especially social media. For example, instead of taking to Twitter to complain about current U.S affairs, Mary Beth Storjohann, a financial planner, has a unique approach to growing her business. She has developed an impressive library of content and she’s constantly open to new ways of reaching her clients. She currently has a book, a podcast and a blog. Her clients have labeled her their very own “rent-a-CFO”.
In addition to a positive online presence, you must also create a positive image in the real world. At work, the way you interact with clients and colleagues has a lasting effect on your brand. Theresa Hannon, founder of Theresa Hannon Financial Group Ltd. in Wheaton, Illinois sent thanksgiving letters to her clients, starting a Random Acts of Kindness campaign. She tucked $100 bills in letters to 90 clients asking them to perform a random act of kindness. Her campaign spread, conveying a positive message as well as building her brand.
While many of these things may not seem directly correlated with your line of work, a good reputation can be the difference between closing a career-changing deal, gaining new clients, or even securing a promotion.
Develop Trust Among Others
Recent studies have shown that trust is declining across all industries, especially in finance and investment banking. Therefore, it is important for professionals to be proactive and earn trust through the growth of their personal brand.
In order to succeed in an industry that requires personal interaction, you need to be seen as trustworthy. If you promote your brand as authentic, sincere, timely and organized, trust will follow. Additionally, gaining the trust of others will mitigate any potential risks associated with your profession such as effortless cooperation and developing relationships.
Andy Seth, co-founder of LotusGroup Advisors, said that building trust is a formula. He believes in the “Trust Equation” which states that “trust equals credibility plus reliability plus intimacy, divided by self-interest”.
When promoting your brand, be straightforward. Build the perception that you work towards fixing problems that arise and can be trusted to get the job done. If executed effectively, this newfound trust will potentially attract more business. People are more comfortable around those they can trust.
Create New Opportunities
Building your personal brand doesn’t happen overnight, but as you develop, a world of new opportunities can present themselves. In the finance and investment banking industry, these opportunities could include new business deals, mergers and acquisitions and the potential for growth.
Increasing your brand effectively will attract positive attention. If you are perceived as experienced and knowledgeable, the opportunities will come to you. Rather than you pursuing a new deal or promotion, you may be offered instead.
Additionally, increasing your online brand can bring recognition from other key players. Platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn allow professionals to connect and build relationships. Using your social leverage to link with journalists and media outlets can present the opportunity to reach out and change public understanding of finance and investment banking.
So, if you would like to grow as a professional in the finance and investment banking industry, developing your personal brand is a crucial step in right direction. If you are unsure about how to start the process, begin by hiring a personal brand specialist. With a brand specialist, you can ensure growth and development through various networks as well as improvement on a personal level.