Building your personal brand takes time, commitment and consistency but it is crucial for gaining a competitive edge. Shermaine Tan, a one-year MDRT member from Singapore, shares key tips on how to build a strong and memorable personal brand identity by highlighting the qualities you have while defining what makes you different.




Personal branding is important for any type of business today. As the saying goes, “People buy people, not products.” In the field of financial advising, it is even more important that personal branding is established. Since advisors face stiff competition from numerous other firms and advisors alongside technology developments, such as robo-advisors – understanding the concept that people do not actually buy products but into people, is essential for financial advisors to differentiate their practice. Shermaine Tan, a one-year MDRT member from Singapore, shares how you can enhance your personal brand and present yourself in a manner that builds greater trust with clients. 

Define your personal brand 

Tan defines her personal brand as being a mentor figure that people can look up to and look to for guidance. “With accreditations as a professional trainer and coach, it is natural that my role in the financial advisory business is inclined toward guiding others to work on improving their own financial situation. Because people see me for the various milestones that I have established myself in (such as pursuing fitness and finance full-time as a passion and livelihood), my personal brand is anchored as a fitness coach and a finance mentor,” she shares. 

Demonstrate expertise and build trust 

Having established herself in the field of fitness and finance, Tan regularly posts about these topics. For example:  

  • Sharing general workout tips and routine; showing ways that one can live the life you want to and still achieve your financial goals. 
  • Talking about how one’s fitness journey is like the financial planning journey – where in both cases, you would not expect to see instant results in just one day. Drawing the parallels between the two helps audiences to better understand various concepts in financial planning. 
  • Sharing about how fitness requires dedication and expertise. For instance, athletes hire a personal trainer to reach specific fitness goals; this concept of how a trained professional can help you meet your aspirations is similar to the role a financial advisor plays in managing your finances. 
  • Hosting appreciation events and engaging others to join in via livestreams on social media. This helps to further build credibility in your fields of interest as a professional. 

Branding yourself offline  

Apart from being active on social media, Tan also emphasizes the need to strengthen her personal brand offline — this further builds expertise and credibility. In particular, she finds networking events and groups to be good opportunities to amplify her personal brand while connecting with like-minded professionals. “An example is the Business Network International (BNI). This group focuses on helping members to increase their business through a structured, professional referral marketing program. In the weekly group meetings, everyone is given 30 seconds to pitch the business they represent, and members of the chapter are committed to seek referrals to grow each other’s businesses,” she shares. 

It takes continuous effort to craft and curate your personal brand, but Tan stresses the importance of keeping it real. In the long run, she believes that it is your values, honesty and authenticity that will help to set your practice apart.

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