It’s managing your business and then market. Before you market, determine the type of clients and partners you want to work with.

7 Helpful Resources To Refine Your Niche

Have you been thinking you need to redefine or refine your niche?  Maybe you’re newly considering niching as a way to have more time to work with clients?  If so, you’ll find the blog articles and webinar resources below more than helpful.  

Refine Your Niche with 158+ Examples for Financial Advisors

Here is an ever-expanding list of possible niches to get you thinking.  They are sectioned off into three categories — what I call the 3 P’s:  population and product (which most financial advisors think about when they are considering niching) AND passion (yours and your clients).    http://www.marketingwithintegrity.com/67-financial-advisor-niches/

13 Reasons Why You Should Refine Your Niche

This is a list of niching benefits gleaned over 16 years.
http://www.marketingwithintegrity.com/financial-advisors-frign-niche/

Working Smarter: Hitting YOUR Niche

Wouldn’t you like to be SOUGHT OUT by prospects instead of constantly chasing them? If prospects aren’t finding YOU, you are missing your niche. This webinar training is free with a newsletter subscription. The newsletter includes our 3 Niching P’s training and will walk you through the process of choosing a niche.  Ask Maria for the link to the niching video Ask Maria for the link to the niching video please provide us with your full name and website.

Less IS MORE When It Comes to Running a Successful Practice

Learn what different financial advisors–from startups to experienced advisors–discovered when they niched.
http://www.marketingwithintegrity.com/less-comes-running-practice/

Spaghetti Marketing Hurts Your Business

This article is about what often happens when you don’t niche.  Prospects gathered via Spaghetti Marketing rarely, if ever, develop into ideal clients. These prospects only have one thing in common:  breathing.  Chances are they’ll be clients from hell.  This article also includes a list of 9 processes that successful financial advisors have developed.  http://www.marketingwithintegrity.com/stop-spaghetti-marketing-effective/

Why Finding Your Niche Leads to More Success

Learn what 13 successful financial and business owners say about niching or having a niche.   http://www.marketingwithintegrity.com/inding-your-niche-leads-to-more-success/

11 Quotes On Niching From 11 Celebrities

If you’re wondering if and how successful business owners, from a variety of industries feel about niching read this article.
http://www.marketingwithintegrity.com/11-celebrities-endorse-advantages-finding-niche/

©2015 Elevating Your Business, Updated 2016 Maria Marsala, Strategic Business Coach

How Advisors Strategically Acquire Clients

Each month I’m sent questions by subscribers to my newsletter. Thinking that you might find the answers helpful, I’m answering this question on my blog.

Question
I know I need a niche. I also need more best clients. Where do I start?

Answer
As I learned myself, the hard and very expensive way, if I do what I’m doing, and it’s not working, doing it more and working harder, will get me the same results and has an affect on my health and well being.

Over time, I’ve seen personal and business reasons why a client isn’t where they want to be – client acquisition wise. Some things you read in this post you may already know about and other concepts maybe new. But know that all of it is affecting the growth of your firm!

growthEYBYour business model affects your client’s more than you think. So does your confidence, energy level, mindset, and so much more. If you’re needy about needing clients, burnout, not sleeping well, not playing or resting enough, that will affect everything about your business. You might not see it but, rest assured, other people — including prospects do.

Make more time for yourself and for the new business you want. (If you need help with the “live better” part of your life, I’m a trained Life Coach and can help there, too.)

On the business side of life, here’s my 5 Steps to Strategically Acquiring Clients process — simplified.

• Take 2 steps back first. Assess what you have.

• Determine what it is you really want from your firm and clients. Create a strong vision. (If you don’t have a clear and concise vision, go here: http://actnowseminars.com/new/index.php/businessvisionstatement/

• See what’s missing. Most often it’s learning new skills, concepts, and systems – including niching, creating an ideal client profile, segmenting your client base, determining customer service levels for each niche, and looking at the services you offer now and want to offer. It also could include updating your client onboarding process, taking a look at technology, hiring an onboarding assistant (virtual or in your office), revamping how you’re networking, and determining and simplifying your marketing strategies — all in an effort to attract more ideal clients, and over time, work less to bring in new clients. YOU want to attract clients and run your business by design, not default.

• Strategize and create a new strategic game plan to gain a higher level and better based. (My clients use a single page system for planning and a single page for a 90-day sales plan).

• Execute your plan. Tweak where necessary.

A big mistake, in my experience, is to ask all your clients for referrals. Even with the best of referral systems, if you aren’t clear about who you want to work with, or you ask everyone for referrals, you’ll just get more of what you’ve been getting.

Remember the adage that goes something like “you hang out with people like you.” Only use a referral process with clients who are your “ideals” or when you are clear about the clients you want to attract.

Bottom line, you can continue to do what you’re doing to get clients or start the process of changing the way you run your business.

Here’s a few resources to get you started:
1) Introduction videos http://www.ElevatingYourBusiness.com/b/facebook.html
2) Niching Article http://www.marketingwithintegrity.com/67-financial-advisor-niches/
3) Strategically Acquiring Clients http://actnowseminars.com/new/index.php/niching-for-financial-advisors/

My specialty is helping my clients to advise more and live better. Request a complimentary Get More Business session with me at: http://www.elevatingyourbusiness.com/financial-advisor-practice-management/session.html

Advisors: Save money and time by clearly defining your niche

Design your entire practice around your niche; specifically around how you define your ideal clients — before you spend time and money on marketing materials, websites, or even attend a networking event.

 

Once you’ve chosen a niche and then zeroed in the specifics of an ideal client, everything else about your practice will support “who” your ideal clients are. That could include which the business model to choose, which services to offer, what people to hire, what are the best ways to market your firm off and online, which technology to purchase — and even what your office will look like.

Let’s look at one advisor and how “who” they worked with really matters… down to the office furniture.
A few years ago, met with an advisors (a prospect for me) in their office. When they told me that they worked with military officer, I was pretty shocked and they noticed the look on my face. There wasn’t even a flag anywhere to be found! No red, white, or blue nothing. No magazines of interest to their clientele. Their office didn’t look like the clients who they were trying to attract. While they made many changes to the way they operate their practice and market their firm; what’s evident to people who walk in or walk by their office is that they work with the military. Fast forward a few years, their office is maroon, white, and navy blue.

Decisions, in all aspects of your firm, will be much easier when you have clear strategies, short and long-term goals, and a plan to get you there.

ACTION
1. If you don’t have a niche and ideal client profile, start one today.

2. If you have a niche and ideal client profile create clear strategies and goals to implement a consistent business. From the time a client sees your front door; to the way you operate, to how your team works together. The “who” you work with should be evident. Watch this business training video (free).

3. You want your marketing to be consistent with who your ideal client is. Are you a member of organizations where your ideal clients are? Are you partnering or affiliating with other business owners who share the same ideal client with you? Are your workshops topics, blog posts, newsletters, and other marketing collateral directly related to the pains and solutions your ideal clients are looking for? If you think so, it’s time to ask your staff for their honest answers to those questions and for suggestions about how you can best grow your firm. It’s easy to get back on track if you’ve jumped over the “who” of “who are your own ideal clients”.

Less is more when it comes to running a more successful practice

Below are a few recent articles on niching that I thought you’d appreciate.
When an Adviser Finds His Niche
As a new advisor, Mr. Milittello learned a valuable lesson about niching from his clients. Now he runs two firms.
Widows, Divorcees A Potential Service Niche For Advisors
Many women don’t have the documentation they need to manage their households and
some fear they’ll end up homeless or broke…
1. How Financial Advisors Can Adjust To Robo-advisors
2. Financial Advisor Becomes a Robo-Advisor
One thing robos have done is to create systems for everything. And all their systems are geared towards their niche and ideal clients. They have written manuals, automated systems, and computerized processes. Their brand is consistent. Every time someone deals with them they what to expect (or not expect). They lack, what the customer service and all the human touches that most advisory firms offer.
Less Can Mean More When You Niche Your Practice
This article talks about why two advisors, with 600 clients and $33 million AUM decided to niche. Now they have 110 clients and $150 million AUM

“Hitting Your Niche: Become the Obvious Choice for New Clients” Video

Upwards and onwards,

 

Maria Marsala

Practice Empowerment Coach, Advisors’ Advisor, Speaker, Author, and former Wall Street Retail Trader

Strategy, solutions, & results for investment advisors and financial planners who are on a mission to do amazing things. ElevatingYourBusiness since 1998

 

Schedule a 20-30 minute Discover Session to learn how we can help your firm grow Start here: http://www.elevatingyourbusiness.com/coach-for-financial-advisors/index.html or call 360-271-8418

 

 

 

Financial Advisors: Spaghetti Marketing Hurts Your Business

Be More Effective When You Master Your Niche!

“If you don’t determine your firm’s niche, your clients–each and every one of them–will do it for you.” – Maria Marsala, Elevating Your Business   Most financial advisors attempt to attract more clients to their firms with “Spaghetti Marketing.”  This entails throwing different marketing strategies against the wall and seeing what (if anything) sticks.  Spaghetti Marketers stay very busy, but are not as productive or profitable as they know they can be.

Prospects gathered via Spaghetti Marketing rarely, if ever, develop into ideal clients. These prospects only have one thing in common:  breathing.  Chances are they’ll be clients from hell.  Needless to say, you’ll waste time and money while engaged in this unfocused marketing mode.  Many aspects of your life will also suffer, including:  the quality of service you provide, your personal life, and your sanity.

You know that you’ve been “Spaghetti Marketing” when you’ve paid for a new website, marketing materials, and a newsletter distribution – but aren’t targeting or connecting with a specific audience of your ideal clients!

 

Smarter Marketing 101

Smarter marketing requires connecting, planning, strategy, and execution. Smarter marketing aims to position your firm as the obvious choice for prospects.  You want new clients to seek you out or, at least, recognize that you’re the right advisor for them – versus the chore of constantly hunting for prospects.   Smarter marketing involves creating these systems:

  1. Determining (or updating) a viable niche for your firm’s brand personality.
  2. Specifying the ideal or best client for your firm.
  3. Creating a business and marketing plan.
  4. Segmenting your client base into categories.
  5. Determining a service level of “touches” for each segment.
  6. Designing a Go/No Go Decision Matrix.
  7. Choosing and developing your pricing strategies based on your niche.
  8. Developing a client acquisition, engagement, and management process.
  9. Taking action and monitoring the processes you’ve created to run your business.

 

NOTE: The above systems may contain many other mini-processes and procedures, determined by your business model and needs.  Monitor the processes you create weekly in the beginning, tweak them where necessary, and include these processes in your yearly planning week.

 

Niches

Niches help advisors build a connection with prospects and an even stronger connection with clients. Generally speaking, a niche is a broad category of people or companies with a specific commonality.  A niche can be based on a product or service that individuals or companies need and want.  Your niche can also be based on a segment of the population or a passion you share with other individuals or companies.  I call them the 3 P’s of Niches: population, passion, and product.  If you can create a niche that encompasses all three of the P’s, great!

 

Ideal Client Profile

An ideal client profile narrows a niche down into bite-sized properties that describe very specific criteria. When creating your ideal client profile, you look deeply at the demographics, geographics, psychographics, and technographics of the group you are choosing to work with.  Your firm’s ideal client profile is a list of attributes your ideal clients share, a story about your ideal client, or both.

 

For example, “women” constitute a niche (a general population of people). Female business owners of million-dollar companies narrow the niche down more.  Your ideal client profile would include this information and much more.

 

Create a Business and Marketing Plan

This is a document stating your vision, goals, strategies, and action plans for achieving your goals. It is a document that you use every day to guide your decisions. MORE> http://www.marketingwithintegrity.com/why-havent-you-created-a-business-plan-for-your-business-or-department/

 

Segmenting

Although you want to help as many people as possible, when you own a business, you also have the goal of earning a great living and the value clients bring to your firm. Value should not just consist of AUM or revenue; factor in the fulfillment you experience by using your expertise, being around others who think like you and share your passions, and if they’re apt to recommend your services to others.  I recommend segmenting clients into categories that are easily relatable to the industry: AAA, AA, A, and B.  Then, determine the level of “touches” for each segment.

 

Service Level

Service level is based on three criteria: the specific ranking of a client (AAA, AA. etc.), the level of service the client expects, and the level of service you feel comfortable providing the client, based on the revenue generated.  Touches are the specific ways you’ll connect with clients be it:  in person, by phone, texting, email, video, mail or “presents” – something special you give or do for a client.  When clients expect a higher level of service than you can comfortably give them, you’ll have to determine what’s best for the client.  Often, firms refer these clients elsewhere or hire a junior associate to work with them.

 

Go/No Go Decision Matrix

The Go/No Go Decision Matrix is borrowed from the project management, engineering, and construction industries. When you create a Go/No Go Decision Matrix, you’ll stay focused on the best and most profitable clients for your firm.  You’ll have a spreadsheet with weighted criteria, so decisions about which clients to serve can be made objectively.

 

Pricing Strategy

Many concepts and strategies go into pricing your services. In the 21st Century, the most important pricing strategy is transparency.  You’ll want to determine if you’ll be commission-based, fee-based, fee-only, or a hybrid and determine what those commissions or fees will be.  Naming each of your services productizes them and makes them memorable.

 

Client Acquisition, Engagement & Management Process

Every business needs a consistent client acquisition marketing strategy, ways to maintain existing relationships, and software to help you monitor and manage client relationships and touches. You do all three by creating procedures, processes, and systems for each part; utilize these systems consistently and monitor your efforts.  You’ll find a resource for client acquisition and management systems at John and Michael’s website:  http://www.7FigureAdvisor.com/ A good resource for technology automation is Jennifer at www.myvirtualcoo.com  When you speak with them, tell them that Coach Maria sent you.

 

Monitoring System and Process

Since you’re conducting business in the real world, not a vacuum, make sure to consistently evaluate your branding, marketing, client acquisition methods, and client management efforts. This means setting time aside, at least monthly, to review the systems and processes you’ve developed to gauge what’s working and what’s not working.  Tweak your systems where necessary to yield the greatest efficiencies and profits for your firm.

 

As you utilize Smarter Marketing, you’ll stop Spaghetti Marketing and your efforts will bring you more profit and joy.

 

 

©2014 Maria Marsala guides independent financial advisors to reach their 5-year business and personal goals in 24 months. She is a business coach, speaker, and a former Wall Street Trader. Named one of the Top 30 International Coaching Gurus in 2011, Maria has been recognized as a thought leader whose ideas have been published in Financial Planning Magazine, RIA Biz, Advisor Max, Dow Jones, The Street, Entrepreneur Magazine, and numerous books, trade journals, and magazines. She has authored four business-building workbooks including Attracting Clients You Love Working With: 6 Steps to a Profitable Client Base.

 

Get FREE thought-provoking marketing advice and business expansion tools delivered directly to your inbox every two weeks. Sign up here: www.CoachMaria.com


 

More niching resources…

✔ Download Niching Assessment http://www.countonsuccess.com/financialadvisorniche

✔ Watch “Hitting Your Niche” Video  http://www.countonsuccess.com/financialadvisorniche

✔ Read more articles about niching http://www.MarketingWithIntegrity.com

I invite you to share your experiences and perspective in the comments. And if you enjoyed this post, please share it with your colleagues and groups!