The summer blockbuster has been an integral part of the season since Jaws. But these days, it seems a blockbuster’s value rests in its ability to draw in fans for a multifilm experience. Jaws’ sequels were just tacked-on cash-ins—today’s tentpoles (i.e., profitable films that cover the studios’ losses elsewhere) are explicitly branded as entries in a series or parts of a sprawling “cinematic universe.”
It’s that emphasis on the long term that makes the movie biz more like the advice industry than you might realize. Like advisors, studios angle to establish relationships with consumers that last for years, even decades. The trick is getting the audience to buy in.
Me? I like to glean what I can from the trailer. It’s the studio’s way of packaging the movie’s best and brightest. So if the story pitch can’t win me over in two minutes, then why would I sit through something that’s two hours’ long? Or two (or three or four) movies, even?
This got me thinking about how investors select advisors, and how you can quickly sell yourself in a way that’s equal parts informative and enticing. You might not have a pulse-pounding trailer to preview yourself to investors, but you do have something that can serve that purpose: the value statement.
Build a quick introduction into a lifelong commitment
Your value statement provides a highly personalized description of your advisory practice, which you can use to boost client communication. A strong value statement can leave a lasting impression that grows into a long-term relationship with your clients.
Take comic book franchises, Hollywood’s gold mine of late. Before Captain America: Civil War produced $1.1 billion1 in worldwide returns, its trailer racked up 94.7 million online views in its first 24 hours.2 It’s far from a one-time triumph: Parent company Disney has ridden the Marvel tide to the tune of $3.7 billion in box office returns thus far, with nine more releases scheduled between now and 2020.3
Clearly, a captivating introduction is vital in securing long-term commitment. Studios are so insistent on turning their franchise films into long-term successes that advertising costs can top $150 million without so much as a raised eyebrow from accounting.4
Luckily, all you need to spend is a little time to ensure that your value statement gets your story across.
Create buzz around your unique story, services
Your value statement should describe who you are, what you do, and how you’re going to help clients reach their long-term goals. Work in what makes you different—after all, not all superheroes spin webs or sport utility belts. Convince clients that you’re worth it.
One way to set yourself apart from your competition is to open with a client-focused mission statement. The why behind what you do can provide the personal touch that inspires clients to allocate their assets to you. Here are five questions to ask when creating or evaluating a mission statement:
- Is it short and to the point?
- Is it memorable?
- Does it describe the unique elements of your practice?
- Is it convincing?
- Is it up to date?
Also, consider customizing your value statement for the different types of clients you serve. Think of it as a resume. Fine-tune it to align with the prospective client, much as you’d tweak your resume to the specifics of a certain position you’re applying for.
And it’s not just for prospective clients; reminding existing clients of your service menu might keep them from paying other financial professionals for tasks you can perform. They’ll appreciate that.
Don’t be afraid to give insight into who you are as a person (your Clark Kent side), rather than just your professional background. Including biographies of you and your team members can help you come across as more personable and trustworthy. Information about your family, hobbies, or any community involvement helps create common ground with prospective clients.
Securing long-term commitment isn’t always going to be smooth sailing. But a proper value statement can help you put the wind at your back and start you on the right path with clients. Sign up at our Client Relationship Center™ for tools and guides to help you build your value statement.
If you don’t optimize yours—or neglect having one altogether—well, given the competition, “you’re gonna need a bigger boat.”5
1 Captain America: Civil War. Total lifetime grosses. Accessed July 21, 2017, at http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=marvel2016.htm.
2 Anthony Breznican, 2016. Captain America: Civil War trailer nears 100 million views in 24 hours. Entertainment Weekly. Accessed July 21, 2017, at http://ew.com/article/2016/03/11/captain-america-civil-war-trailer-nears-100-million-views-24-hours/
3 Buena Vista Pictures (Disney): Upcoming releases. Accessed July 21, 2017, at http://www.boxofficemojo.com/schedule/?view=distributor&id=buenavista.htm
4 James Rainey, 2016. The perils of promotion: Pricey TV campaigns, fear of change shackles movie spending. Variety. Accessed July 21, 2017, at http://variety.com/2016/film/features/movie-marketing-advertising-tv-campaigns-1201724468/
5 Jaws (1975): Quotes. IMDb. Accessed July 21, 2017, at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073195/quotes.