What Dolly Parton Can Teach Advisors About Marketing

“Figure out who you are, and then do it on purpose.”

Dolly Parton

"Figure out who you are then do it on purpose" Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton is a brash, blonde, busty, broad from the boondocks. She’s also a business genius worth nearly $500 million. Whoa, how’d that happen.

It’s no accident. See, she had a simple insight that eludes most advisors and even most profesional marketers. Success comes from being who you are, only more.

What most people do when they think about marketing and sales is begin by thinking what they want to tell people, what they want people to believe about them or their service. In short, they think about image.

Marketing isn’t about image

Hey crafting a specific image has been ONE of the tools of marketing for a long time. But it’s just one part of marketing and misused, it can backfire. In particular in a business based on trust like yours, if the image you’re trying to project isn’t tightly linked to who you are, people’s highly sensitive bullshit meters will redline.

That photo in the nice suit, in a fancy office, with all of the trappings of success carefully assembled is a cartoon image of most advisors and people know it. That slows down the process of people getting to know who you REALLY are. Not the business you, the complete you.

The longer it takes for people to feel like they know you, the longer it takes to build trust. Take too long and prospective clients will simply gravitate toward the person they feel know better. They want to know the real you, your identity not your image. So …

Who Are you?

The Who asks the right question and as Dolly says, it’s got to start with knowing who you are.

Are you someone who wears a hawaiian shirt and flip flops to the office? Then why are you in a polyester business suit in your “professional” photos?

Do you speak with a little bit of colorful language or is your grammar a little f’d up? Then why does it sound like a robot wrote your last client newsletter or blog post?

Do you think any of that helps prospective or clients get to know you? Does it help them trust you because they feel like they know you? The answer of course is no. So why do it? Stop right now and get real.

#BLNation is about transparency. We’re working to create a revolution in accessibility to the best financial advisors like you. We want to help you reach your goal to grow your business. To do it, we need to help you let more people get to know and trust you so they can benefit from your advice and you can grow your business.

So next time you’re thinking about editing your writing to sound more “professional” or changing the way you describe what you do to sound a certain way. Stop! Focus on being understood. Focus on authenticity so that your image and your identity become one. Stop censoring yourself and be proud of who you are.

A parting example from Dolly

Dolly Parton has had several cosmetic surgeries during her career. Wait isn’t that about image? Nope. Why? Here’s how she answered questions on the topic  “If I see something sagging, bagging, and dragging, I’m going to nip it, suck it and tuck it. Why should I look like an old barn yard dog if I don’t have to? ” – Dolly Parton

Get it? Be who you are, change what you want. Then shout it to the rooftops. Forget the sales stuff,  marketing is about understanding yourself and doing it on purpose.

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yvonne Yvonne is a dynamic social media entrepreneur. Her expertise lies in creating identities and branding for clients within the digital space. Engage with her @Yvonnetnt
  • Jason

    Brilliant – couldn’t agree more.

  • Horstfinancialserv

    IN a world of superfical people i think thats great advice not only financial advisor,but for the human race.