When Andrew Pyle’s rookie training program instructor asked the class how much they intended to spend on marketing, he was surprised by some of the answers. “Someone in the room said $300. I was shocked,” he says. “In the back of my mind, I was thinking more like $10,000.”

That may seem like an exorbitant figure for a new advisor, but Pyle is serious about creating a brand for himself. When he decided to make a go of his new career, he went above and beyond the cookie-cutter investment advisor profile templates provided by his brokerage in favour of his own Web site, and all his clients receive the cleverly entitled weekly newsletter Pyle Drivers.

“The more original things you do, the better,” he says.

In the meantime, he’s building brand awareness any way he can: sending out flyers, giving joint seminars with fund companies, delivering weekly podcasts through his Web site and running ads in the local newspapers. This summer, Pyle began advertising through spots on a local FM radio station that targets baby boomers.

Creating a brand doesn’t come cheaply — the radio spot alone costs $4,000 for 13 weeks — but Pyle is committed to the task.

“Today, it feels like marketing occupies 85% of my time,” he says. “But this is a business; I’m a franchise. And it’s paying off.”