Building Your Brand – My Journey

By: Lottie Kent
Founder
True Financial Design Ltd

I started my working life as an administrator within a Financial Planning Firm in London earning £13,000 a year!  I didn’t even clear £1,000 a month at the time, my share of the rent was £550 and somehow, just somehow, there always seemed enough money to go to the pub!

After a year, I moved firms, qualified, and worked my way up the ladder to become a director of a small boutique firm in the city.

After I got a few years’ experience under my belt, my partner and I decided to take a career break to explore some of the world which was one of the best things I ever did.  On my return, I decided that I wanted to set up my own firm.   This was for a couple of reasons really. Firstly, I wanted to make financial advice more personable, approachable, and tangible but also, I wanted to be the face of my own brand.

I launched this business in January 2019 (if you can call the launch of a business sitting at a desk with a laptop, phone, and notepad!) and initially I started out with no specific niche.  What I learnt very quickly was women (especially women going through divorce) seemed to migrate towards me as there are so few of us ladies in the industry.

Based on this, I tailored and structured the business to help people (but mainly women) all the way through the divorce process.  Whether it be:

  • helping them establish what they need (from an income and capital perspective) from the settlement to maintain their standard of living for the rest of their life
  • modelling their proposed settlement to see if it will fulfil their needs, or
  • ensuring that once they have received settlement it is structured in the most appropriate way their financial goals for the rest of their life.

And niching the business was the best thing I ever did. I am now a specialist in divorce financial planning and the business has grown significantly since I “niched”, although at first it was a very daunting aspect!

I absolutely love what I do and find it so personally rewarding.  The transition of someone who is vulnerable and scared about their finances and their future transform into someone feeling smart and confident, not just about their finances but life too, is why I do what I do.

Don’t get me wrong there are some days that I think “why the heck am I doing this, why did I give up my cushty lifestyle in London to grow my own brand” but there will always be challenges.  A little birdie once told me that whenever you are faced with a challenge think, “this is an AFOG” (another f****ng opportunity to grow) and that is so, so true. 

In terms of growing the brand, I do a huge amount of activity on social media whether that be personal updates, business updates or providing valuable content to people going through this challenging time.  A lot of my content is via video which I think really helps people know you and how you work.  Many people say by the time they meet me face to face; they feel like they’ve already known me due to the video/social content I put out there!

I also love networking and meeting professional connections for coffees and lunches!  The “people” aspect of my job is another reason I do what I do but I also feel this is a great way to keep in touch and get to know potential introducers better in a more informal setting.

For me, building my brand (and the best part about it) is purely being myself!  I appreciate that not everyone will “get me” or like my personality, but by always being myself I attract like-minded individuals who would like my help and therefore I’m always working with people I enjoy working with.

I am NO expert in building a brand but if I could say anything it would BE YOURSELF and JUST DO IT.

You won’t regret it!


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