As a financial advisor, you’ve probably been hearing about how important it is to choose a niche. But how do you do that? Many financial advisors are used to getting referrals and working with whoever comes through the door. So, choosing a niche and focusing on it takes a brand-new mindset.
How do you choose a niche (or a niche within a niche)? Well, two of the best ways to look at it are:
• Who do you like?
• Who likes you?
So, who do you like? Take a look at your current client list and pick out your very favorite clients. You might find that they all have some things in common. That will help you begin to get a profile of your ideal client, who you really like working with and who you want more clients like. Maybe it’s business owners or business executives, or people going through life transitions. It’s important in your work to have your heart involved so you can do your best work. So, let your passions and emotions guide you with which niche to choose: choose one you really like.
The second way is to look at who likes you. Who seems to be attracted to you? Do you see a theme in that? For instance, when I first started my business, I was creating short 1- and 3-minute videos for small business owners in San Diego. They were in all different industries, and the only thing they really had in common was that they were service providers, rather than selling a product. I was growing my business the same way many advisors grow their practice: through networking. But I always felt like it was kind of uncertain when and where I would get my next client, because they just randomly called me from my networking and referrals when they needed video. My business was growing, but I didn’t feel like I really had control over how fast and how predictably it would grow. And my clients came from all kinds of different industries, so I couldn’t really get as much momentum as I wanted. I was enjoying my work, like you probably do, but it was just nerve-wracking to not know when and where my next client was coming from. But then I started noticing that professionals in the financial services industry were being attracted to what our company could offer. That’s who liked me and who was finding me online for our services, so I decided to go find them. And choosing that niche has made all the difference. Now I only work with financial advisors, and I’ve even focused on more defined niches within financial advisory services, like RIAs, and then even deeper to focus on RIAs who have chosen specific niches that they serve. So now I know how to find my ideal client and can target them much more easily with online advertising, personal reach-outs, and webinars. Now that doesn’t mean that we can’t go ahead and do business with advisors who don’t fit our exact ideal client profile. We can, and we do. It just gives our outbound marketing much more focus and efficiency to know exactly who we’re targeting.
Another way to choose a niche is to go after low-hanging fruit. For instance, here in San Diego we have a huge corporation called Qualcomm. I was talking with an advisor here who was considering niching down to serve executives at Qualcomm, and there are tens of thousands of them, more than he’d ever need to fill up his practice. He just kept thinking about it, but he didn’t pull the trigger. It was actually really frustrating for me to see him sitting on this goldmine and not going for it. When you see a good opportunity, pull the trigger. A niche probably won’t just happen TO you, you have to choose it and then pursue it.
Another factor to consider in choosing a niche is the ability to pay. Choosing affluent clients will make everything about your business easier.
Lastly, ask yourself it that ideal client has a clear need or problem that you can solve. Sometimes your niche will relate to life events that have brought a need to the surface, and that kind of niche focus provides some genius marketing opportunities that we’ll cover in another blog.
Now, get ready, because here’s a rapid-fire list of potential niches to choose from. (This list was generated with input from Joe Simonds, the founder of Advisor Internet Marketing, Patrick Brewer at Brewer Consulting, and several other experts.)
1. Financial “Product”-Specific Niche: life insurance or Medicare, mutual funds, long-term care, annuities.
2. “Go to” advisor for local geography/community.
3. Becoming an expert with a specific Financial Strategy or Planning Process.
4. Occupation or Job Title Niche: doctors, dentists, executives at a local corporation, small business owners, pro athletes, professors, airline pilots, CEOs (this especially makes sense if you changed careers and you used to be one of these people.)
5. Specific companies or Industry: GE employees, Qualcomm corporation, Life Sciences are big here in San Diego, Orlando has Disney and Lockheed Martin. Atlanta has headquarters for Coke, Home Depot, and IBM. Each of these companies represent tens of thousands of employees. Raleigh/Durham has research triangle of Duke, UNC and NC State. You could target business executives or business owners in a field that interests you or where you already have a track record of success.
6. Life event: women in transition, getting divorced, having a child, getting married.
7. Money events: retirement, inheritance, changing jobs, selling a business.
Notice that “helping pre-retirees with their retirement planning” is not on this list. That’s what most advisors do these days, so that’s much too broad to be a niche. Check out these links, and start brainstorming for your new niche.
**This blog post is based on material shared during this game-changing webinar: 3 Keys to Unlocking the Riches in Financial Advisor Niches. To watch the full webinar, click here: https://faclientmachine.easywebinar.live/registration