“Make sure you never let anybody squash your initiative or your desire to have an opinion and articulate it to people – because that’s the most valuable component you bring to the business as an advisor.” – David B. Armstrong, CFA on advice he would give to his younger self
Co-founders of Beacon Partners and co-hosts of the new show Get Real! Genevieve Thayer and Meg Hanington welcomed David B. Armstrong, CFA on their program as a featured guest earlier this month to discuss the genesis and ongoing digital marketing transformation efforts of Monument Wealth Management.
On the Decision to Start a Firm
Rather than any one particular thing, Dave feels that his desire to start a company stems from a collection of experiences and observations throughout his lifetime. Always one to embrace his entrepreneurial spirit, he was the kid flagging down cars in his childhood neighborhood to sell bags of apples from his family’s apple trees; incidentally, this is also how Dave learned his first lesson on revenue versus profit. He always knew he wanted to be a business owner one day, so when starting in the financial services industry in 1999, Dave knew he needed the experience of working for a large firm so he could see what was working and what wasn’t. What he learned was that the financial services industry was drowning in a sea of sameness – but he knew it didn’t have to be.
On Finding Your Unique Voice
Dave knows that in order to truly differentiate yourself in this industry, you have to do things in a much different way than in the past. Advisors can no longer claim to differentiate themselves on basic things like client experience or asset management and financial planning execution because they are expected components of client relationships – so what does that leave you with? Dave says it’s the way firms communicate with prospective and existing clients and how they message themselves to the world – to have a unique voice and opinion, you have to be changing and updating your messaging all the time.
Finding Monument’s unique voice wasn’t simple, Dave notes. The process was painstaking and time consuming, but it’s critical for advisors to go through this exercise to establish their role in the shifting industry. And it’s totally worth it.
On Our Digital Marketing Agency Strategy
Dave believes an advisor’s digital presence is more important now than ever before. Monument’s experience of onboarding north of $15 million of new money over an 8-week period during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic illustrates this claim. Many individuals became either dissatisfied or unconvinced by the advice they were getting from current advisors and were forced to shop from home for an alternative; somehow over the digital medium, these individuals came across something Monument wrote or said that resonated with them and caused them to seek our advice. At this point, Dave knew that Monument needed to strategically pivot the way we find and resonate with potential new clients, which is now completely through the digital space.
It was a surprising move for many when Monument engaged a marketing agency with no prior financial services industry experience, but don’t be fooled – Dave reveals that this was actually by design. Monument’s search for a marketing agency began by looking at who the grassroots up-and-comers of the industry were. The goal was to find a level of passion and authenticity that is so often missing from the sea of sameness out there and appeal to those who may not be well-versed in industry jargon. From there, countless proposals were reviewed to find the right fit our voice and we also looked at the social media profiles of our final contenders to see how the firms were truly communicating and representing themselves in the online space. Monument partnered with a great agency based in Arizona called Axle Eight, which is filled with young, hip, and unafraid marketing experts that are helping to amplify our voice.
Our Team would like to extend a thank you to Get Real! co-hosts Genevieve Thayer and Meg Hanington for inviting Dave onto the show for an insightful conversation on the digital marketing transformation going on in our practice and industry!
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