Build your brand…Build your AUM

The saying, “no one ever got fired for investing in Och Ziff” exists for a reason.  As much as everyone likes to say they were early investing in an emerging manager, most prefer to let others take the risk.  Safety in numbers…

And few large funds have successfully generated real asset momentum without developing some sort of brand or name recognition.

Some are able to generate it through the buzz of word of mouth.  Most need to go the more deliberate route – conference panels, guest columns or other press.  Either way – building your AUM and building your brand typically go hand-in-hand...

Brand marketing is about building name recognition and familiarity.  It is about communicating who you are and why you do what you do.  And there are lots of ways to do this.

  1. Start with LinkedIn – yes, of course, you need to build a profile.  It gives you credibility as we discussed here.  But also, build your firm profile and populate it with something informative.  Here is an example of ours Meyler Capital (shameless plug…).
  2. Your marketing strategy should be as sophisticated as your investment strategy.  So, spend a little money on your brand.   Get a professional to design your logo and at the very least, go to JC Penney for a professional photo.
  3. Speaking of which – update your marketing collateral.  Stop looking like everyone else….The image you portray with your car and clothes seems to matter for you personally – why wouldn’t your website and marketing deck do the same for your business?  Create a video and get your message out in a way that creates a downhill conversation when you get into the room with an investor.
  4. Add some value – many managers still scoff at the idea of social media and content marketing.  And many others say that institutional investors don’t value it.  On the other hand, I have talked to multiple allocators that invest in Bridgewater purely to get access to the firm’s research.

I know – there is only one Ray Dalio and he provides content worth paying for.  Fine…but recognize – getting to that point is a direct product of a great brand.

Asset management is a trust business.  Trust is a direct consequence of great branding.  You are probably a great investor – so, invest in something that you know best and is most meaningful to you – yourself.

By JD David