I started my own financial planning firm in 2020.
One of my main goals: have the best brand and strongest marketing in all of financial services
I love design & psychology as much as anything and with a business mind, I thought I could do a lot with it.
Growing up on school-provided Apple products (my 100-person elementary school was named an Apple Distinguished School for some reason), I’ve spent my entire life interacting with some of the best design in the world.
I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from the likes of Apple, Virgil Abloh, and other modern designers and used it to build my own brands.
If you’ve seen any of my work, you know I’m a huge fan of black, white, and grey design.
I love simple, clean colorways.
I wasn’t the first to do that.
Apple wasn’t either.
It’s the most basic colorway you can have.
And taking inspiration from others is a wildly accepted creative practice.
Direct copying, however, isn’t in my opinion:
For the sake of civility, I removed any identifying information because I’m not trying to call anyone out.
I think that financial advisors aren’t familiar with creative work—and don’t understand the difference between inspiration and taking someone’s work—so I want to make it known that people are watching.
Now, almost every financial advisor site has the same info on it. I’m not mad about the fact that they created the *exact* same page structure as AllStreet..
What bothers me is the copying with no communication or recognition.
A simple message, “hey Treyton love your site, mind if I use some of it as inspiration?” or a quick chat would’ve resolved any potential negative feelings.
But I’ve lost some respect for the advisor.
The way the information is laid out, the way the graphic is designed, the (exact same) use of emojis, an identical footer design (I just removed “other links” from AllStreet’s site for design balance), and copy-pasting our disclosure and switching the firm name - I’m mind-blown.
It’s so disappointing to see hours of iteration and development get copied by someone without an ounce of creativity.
INSPIRATION IS OKAY, copying with no alterations is not.
Again, I’m not calling out any specific firms or sharing every single example that I’ve come across because that’s not the point.
I love that my design and content is good enough to act as inspiration.
But when someone takes something that I’ve spent hours, months, or years developing and copies it, it hurts.
Because someone else is going to copy their thing and then a lot of things start to feel like a watered-down copy of my original design, layouts, or ideas - all without any credit (ego).
Here’s a beautiful example of giving credit:
I just want the impact that I think can be made to be documented.
Recent content & branding efforts have felt a lot different compared to 2020 and I know that my output, alongside many other innovative advisors’, is playing a role in it.
I’m only here in the RIA space to push the industry forward in whatever way I can.
I enjoy many, many things more than being a hands-on financial advisor and have no plans to operate in this space forever.
So I’m not sharing this anywhere, just leaving it here in the archive for my own sanity.
Keep your eyes peeled.