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

Financial Advisors: Why YOU Want To Pick A Niche!

The goal of this article is to provide you with enough of the benefits of niching and kick your main concern, “but I’ll lose clients” or “I won’t get enough clients” to the curb.

There is one skill that creates clarity around financial freedom. You know it —  because you do it — planning. Planning for your own business growth is as important as you sitting down with clients to create their financial plan. In fact your business planning process should come first and will help you when you work with clients..

When you do your own planning — life planning, business planning, etc — you’ll have a deeper understanding of all that goes into the planning process — including all the emotions involved.

You’d think that advisors and planners wouldn’t need to be told that; but it’s the case of the shoemaker whose children have shoes with holes in them. Same thing happens with in the marketing, coaching, and other service professions.   Most often coaches don’t hire coaches — and they should!    It’s difficult to see what’s missing, and even what should get a hurrah — when you’re looking at your own stuff.

You may in he ranks of advisor-owners who are sworn enemy of business planning.  If that’s because you think 40- page report needed for funding, then think again.  When done right, on a few pages, in a way that you can quickly updated it and always monitor it, it will save you thousands of dollars and time! To learn more about a planning process that helps you create a plan in 2 hours, go to http://www.elevatingyourbusiness.com/coach-for-financial-advisors/index.html

Tell Me About Your Ideal Client
It’s a question I’m sure more than a few people have asked you. I even ask advisors who request a complimentary getting to know you session the same question. But in 16 years, not one FA has ever had a real answer to my question “tell me about your ideal client” — NOT ONE!

Creating a niche is best practice. It is one of the fundamental systems of a new and growing practice.

An FA who worked with any educator wasn’t earning enough. He wanted some other suggestions. We came up with professors or teachers 10 years from retirement, etc.

The FA who worked with “mostly” business owners wouldn’t remove the word “mostly” from his conversations. The FA who worked with “women” wouldn’t narrow it down to busy professionals, ages 20-30 or some other specialty.

I couldn’t take these folks on as clients, because they were not at this time, my ideal clients!  They wouldn’t even try on a change for a few days or weeks to se how it goes!

Niches are very important.   So much so that in the first module of my Advisor CEO series is … you guessed it … niching. And the second module is on creating a One Page Business (& Marketing) Plan® whose vision includes your niche and ideal client profile information.

Don’t feel bad if you don’t have a niche, there is hope and time to create one. If it makes you feel better, years ago I went to an American Marketing Association Meeting and met a marketing consultant who “worked who needs marketing”, too.

Bottom Line
If you want to get to the next level, you must be willing to do things differently!

If you’re working all hours of the night… through your weekends… with little rest or down time. If you’ve hired our spouse so you can see them more often. If you’re frustrated by all you do to make just a little money. If you’re pushing and running your business like you’re cramming for exams. OR if you’re thinking of being a top advisor, then you need to do what you tell your clients to do. Step up and stop running your business flying by the “seat of your pants.”

Passion and hard work aren’t enough to get you to the next level. I bet you see people who are working a lot less than you but are making a lot more money. How are they doing that? They have clear goals and a roadmap to success. That roadmap is part of their planning process. And niching is part of the planning process.

“Planning is something you can count on, all the way to the bank” — Maria

You need a niche. After you create one, you need an ideal client profile. If you don’t believe me, try it on for size for 6 months or so and see how your business develops!

Michael had a table at a conference within his niche. He had a table years before and this was going to be his last year because it seemed like a waste of money. Within his niche, he created an ideal client profile and a few other systems along the same line.

Michael called me after the event. “I ONLY got 50 cards. I used to get a few hundred and it was so overwhelming to contact them all. Out of the few hundred I got few clients. But these 50 people I talked to longer than usual because they were my ideals; we connected and I know that’s going to make a bigger difference.”

Michael went on to tell me that he did talk to the same number of people as usual, but he politely cut many of the conversations short when her realized that that person(s) in front of him were “tire kickers”.

What are some of the benefits of creating an ideal client profile? They all have to do with earning more, less stress, and working fewer hours.

#1 More Connections: Meet a stranger and all they care about is WWI-FM (what’s in it for me) People also want to feel that they are special. They “get” this when they are in your niche. It’s easier to turn strangers into prospects when they connect with you and your firm.

#2 More Known: People do business with people they know, like, and trust. You’ll build deeper relationships (i.e. connect more deeply) with people you are really passionate about working with AND who share passions with.

#3 Easily market: You can easily find strategic partners who have your same niche. Then you can do things together — write articles, conduct seminars, refer out, etc. — even write a book together!

#4 Work Less: You do less work. I used to work with a very wide niche (women in service businesses). I spoke at association meetings of many chapters and conferences. I had more than 8 different versions of my niching program, based on the audience I was going to be in front of. I wrote articles for magazines in more than 40 different industries. CRAZY was I!

#5 Get Called: Because I ONLY market to FAs, I get calls from reporters, magazines, etc. in the industry.

#6 Get Called 2: When you’re looked upon as an expert in one area, you’re looked upon as an expert and other prospects will come to you for resources and referrals. Then it’s your choice to take them on as a client — or not.

#7 Get Called: CLIENTS WILL COME TO YOU! When you’re an expert in an area, and you chose that area wisely (which means you have a niche, ideal client profile, segmented market and you monitor the work you’re doing) you’ll eventually do less marketing. People will more easily find you online. People will remember you better and refer you…

#8 Better Referrals. Your clients will be able to refer you more easily — without you asking. From the marketing you do to them, they’ll clearly “get” who you work with and how you help them.

#9 Better Referrals 2. How will I know that’s a good client for you? That’s a question you may get asked at networking groups. When you have an ideal client profile in your head, it will be easy to answer that question with 3 different things they’ll say. When you get to know someone you can also add “do you know “someone” like that or someone who has said that recently to you”>

#10 More Efficiency: Instead of creating 1 blog for your “ideals”, you’re talking about creating more than one.. Or if you write an article, you may need to change it, like people do for resumes, for a different audience.

#11 More Efficiency: You’ll be able to create special programs for your niche, based on your expertise.

#12 More Efficiency: You’ll have one “area” to get engrossed in and read all about, giving you more time to work with people on their financials and investments.

#13 Create a win-win when you leverage marketing, social media and your personal connections more easily.

more to come as I remember it all!

(c)2013 Maria Marsala

Niching- The Way Advisors Become An Obvious Choice Of Prospects

IdealClient

I didn’t intend to write an article about niches for financial advisors. I expected to conduct a search for financial niches and find a list for a client. But I couldn’t find such as list! Amazing. Why? Shouldn’t every financial advisor (and business owner) nitch?

Plus my previous niche marketing research had suggested that niching originated in the financial sector. Some of you might not remember but there was a time when as an individual, you went to a personal bank for your needs and had a personal banker who knew you and visa versa. If you were a business or CEO of a corporation, you might have also gone across the street to a commercial bank. Brokerage firms also came in two flavors: retail houses or institutional firms.

Looking at Niches

Niches are very broad segments of who your ideal clients are. It’s about a community of people or businesses you’ll work with … not their about AUM (although some advisors advertise that they work with affluent or high net worth clients). Their AUM or the revenue they generate yearly comes into play — after all, you’re in business, but be open to niches that describe a community of people. Their AUM or generated revenues can easily be part of the step after you choose your niche — creating an ideal client profile

I recommend choosing a niche based on system I developed called the 3 P’s of Niching: passion, population, or products/services.

Niches can be categorized by general characteristics such as an occupation, a passion/hobby, or by the type of product or service consumed. In many cases, the categories overlap. In this step, “finding or redefining a niche” has little to do with who can afford to pay you what you’re worth. Now the secret to niching is NOT choosing just one of the 3 P’s as you choose a niche. Find your niching sweet spot by choosing a niche based on the intersection of the 3 P’s.

Below is a representation of the 3 P niches for financial advisors.

NOTE: This article started out with 67 niches in 2012. It is updated once a year. Last updated 01/2016. If I missed your niche post it in the comments section.

 

Population Characteristics Population may be a “person” or a “profession”.

  1. Athletes
  2. Couples
  3. Corporate Executives, Managers, Supervisors or Employees
  4. Men/Male
  5. Women/Female
  6. Retirees
  7. Business lawyers
  8. Divorce attorneys
  9. Divorced Women
  10. Divorced Men
  11. Military
  12. Defense Industry
  13. Academics/Teachers/Educators/Professors
  14. Widows
  15. Widowers
  16. Dual Income Families
  17. Single Income Families
  18. Families taking care of their Parents
  19. Industry-specific professionals (executives, CEOs, etc.)
  20. Professional couples with children
  21. Unmarried women professionals
  22. Physicians specializing in a particular human or animal practice area
  23. Older women married to younger men
  24. Older men married to younger women
  25. Partners in a second marriage, with or without children
  26. High net worth individuals or couples
  27. Children of wealthy clients
  28. Nonprofit organizations
  29. The Affluent
  30. The Super Affluent
  31. Specific religions
  32. Specific nationalities
  33. Specific sexual orientation
  34. Scout leaders
  35. Unemployed with 401K plans
  36. Middle market executives
  37. Women CEOs
  38. Registered Investors
  39. College Alumni
  40. Members of a club you’re a member of
  41. Estate attorneys
  42. Franchise business owners
  43. Under-40 business owners
  44. SAHM
  45. Business owners in a specific industry or in a specific stage of their business (rapid growth, 20 years from retiring, etc.)
  46. Chefs
  47. Family-owned businesses or corporations
  48. Restaurant Owners
  49. Individuals who own animals
  50. LGBT individuals and/or couples
  51. Families with a disabled child or children
  52. Families with children who have a specific disease
  53. New Parents
  54. Parents of school-age children
  55. Special needs parents
  56. Empty Nesters
  57. People who have had serious personal injuries
  58. Athletic Coaches
  59. Professional Coaches
  60. Therapists
  61. Adventure Enthusiasts
  62. Accountants
  63. Advertising Professionals
  64. Architects
  65. Art Directors
  66. Bankers
  67. Computer/Technology Specialists
  68. Consultants
  69. Controllers
  70. Artists
  71. Engineers
  72. Engineering Companies
  73. Environmental Planners
  74. Fitness or Weight Loss Instructors
  75. Fund Raisers/Corporate Developers
  76. Headhunters
  77. Health Care Administrators
  78. Human Resource Managers
  79. Interior Designers
  80. Internet Consultants
  81. Management Consultants
  82. Manufacturing Companies
  83. Marketing Professionals
  84. Media Executives
  85. Museum/Cultural Administrators
  86. Physicians
  87. Real Estate Executives
  88. Freelancers
  89. Franchise Owners
  90. Sales Executives
  91. Systems Analysts
  92. Traders (at firms or home traders)
  93. Wall Street Executives
  94. Web Designers
  95. Writers
  96. Parents of Adopted Children
  97. Parents or individuals with ADD/ADHD, Asthma, Allergies, Autism, Cancer, Diabetes, etc.
  98. Unions
  99. Clergy
  100. Co-Parenting Parents
  101. Interracial Couples
  102. Holistic Couples
  103. Couples dealing with infertility
  104. Grandparents
  105. Individuals who built their own homes
  106. Farming/Ranching
  107. Hospitality
  108. Individuals/couples dealing with a loss
  109. Nurses
  110. Politicians
  111. Public Relations Professionals
  112. Real Estate Professionals
  113. Singles
  114. Social Media Professionals
  115. Veterinarians
  116. Socially Conscience Organizations
  117. Christians
  118. Horse Training
  119. Dog Owners/Showing/Breeders
  120. Your Countries Residents Who Currently Live in a Specific “Other”Country

 

Passion/Hobby This is a specific area you can connect with clients such as you have a passion you share with a majority of your clients such as:

  1. Golf
  2. Boats
  3. Wine enthusiast
  4. Football fan with season tickets
  5. Other sports
  6. Fishing
  7. Travel
  8. Home beer brewers
  9. Quilters
  10. Chess players (or other games)
  11. RV-ers
  12. Pet owners/breeders (dogs, cats, snakes)
  13. Chocolate lovers
  14. Car restoration/collectors
  15. Coin collectors
  16. NASCAR fans
  17. In Recovery Programs
  18. Bird Owners/Breeders
  19. Gardeners
  20. Cat Owners/Breeders
  21. Christians
  22. Horse Training
  23. Dog Owners/Showing/Breeders

 

Product/Service Consumed

  1. Wealth management
  2. Socially conscience investments
  3. Life planning
  4. Fee-based financial planning
  5. Business planning
  6. Business succession planning
  7. 401K retirement planning
  8. Tax reduction strategies
  9. Insurance
  10. Self-directed plans
  11. Education/college planning
  12. Personal financial planning
  13. Profit sharing
  14. Retirement distribution planning
  15. Estate planning & conservation
  16. Investment management planning
  17. Socially responsible investments

What Niches Should You Stay Away From?

You may have noticed a few niches I’ve left off my list. Specifically, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y (The Millennials) and Generation Z. Why? They’re very much in vogue but think about it. Thirty years from now, a firm that niched to work with boomers will have how many clients? And the first will be worth how much? If you’re currently branded in any of these four groups, create a sub-niche you can use in your branding, too. Or do what one firm who works with XY’ers. oXYGen Financial (as you see in their name) highlights their niche in their firms name. But their brand will also outlast the test of time.

 

Niched Website Examples: Most financial advisors’ websites aren’t niched. They very general in verbiage, photos, and design. If you don’t make your best clients important on your marketing materials, you’ll attract more “clients from hell”.

© 2012 Elevating Your Business. Updated 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 Maria Marsala is a Business Advisor to Financial Advisors growing firms with teams. Advisors seeking her help are looking to simplify business, advise more, and live better Maria has been published in Financial Planning Magazine, Investment News, RIA Biz, , Dow Jones, The Street, Entrepreneur Magazine, and numerous other trade journals and magazines. She’s the author of more than two hundred articles and speaks internationally on practice managment topics.

Webinar online: Marketing Smarter: 6 Steps to A Profitable Client Base

Thank you for your interest in the presentation.  The presentation is over but you and/or your colleagues can view it below. Here’s what we covered:

Overview

Are you seeing a clear ROI on your marketing, networking, and seminar efforts?

The most successful financial advisors use niche marketing to stand out from the crowd. Before you change your marketing strategy, however, you must 1) learn the difference between niches and ideal clients, 2) create an ideal client profile, and 3) determine the best ways to market. Discover the simple secrets of marketing with niches and ideal client profiles before you waste your time and money on strategies that don’t work.

Today, decide to work with high-quality clients who value your services and the expertise you bring to the table. Attend this workshop and we’ll show you how.

What You Will Learn

  • The vast difference between niches and ideal clients
  • How niching helps you stand out from your competition
  • 6 steps to create an ideal client profile that brings you AAA clients and a more profitable firm

Schedule

Date:  Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Time: 10am PST / 11am MTN / noon CST / 1pm EST

Duration: 45 minutes

Register : http://www.elevatingyourbusiness.com/admin/brighttalkwebinar.html

 

About the speaker, Maria Marsala

Maria Marsala is an internationally-recognized speaker, coach, and subject expert on planning today and profiting tomorrow. She climbed the corporate ladder on Wall Street at a time when female executives were as rare as pink diamonds. While at Bear Stearns, she saved her department hundreds of thousands of dollars yearly when she created new processes and authored an operational manual for sales assistants and reps. Much of what she designed was then duplicated in other departments or used firm-wide.

Maria founded Elevating Your Business fourteen years ago. She works with independent and fee-based financial advisors, planners, and RIAs to multiply their bottom line and reduce the number of hours they work each week. She works with FAs to grow their business strategically, tactically, and operationally. In 2011, Maria was voted one of the top 30 Coaches Internationally. As a trained Life Coach, she works with her clients holistically.

 

About BrightTalk.com

BrightTALK provides online events for professionals and their communities. Every day thousands of thought leaders are actively sharing their insights, their ideas and their most up-to-date knowledge with professionals all over the globe through the online event technologies that BrightTALK has created.

You can join BrightTALK’s vibrant exchange of ideas as either a viewer or a presenter.  BrightTALK offer presenters the ability to create powerful online events using our easy-to-use webcast platform.  Read more about how BrightTALK can help you grow your business here https://www.brighttalk.com/r/jdm

A BrightTALK Channel

“97% of all failure is due to the SYSTEM and not the person.”
— W. Edwards Deming, renowned management consultant for quality and statistical methods

Want To Learn More About This Subject

Click here

Free Webinar For Financial Advisors — 6 Steps to a More Profitable Client Base

View webinar online click here

Now available to watch online.

Overview

Are you seeing a clear ROI on your marketing, networking, and seminar efforts?

The most successful financial advisors use niche marketing to stand out from the crowd. Before you change your marketing strategy, however, you must 1) learn the difference between niches and ideal clients, 2) create an ideal client profile, and 3) determine the best ways to market. Discover the simple secrets of marketing with niches and ideal client profiles before you waste your time and money on strategies that don’t work.

Today, decide to work with high-quality clients who value your services and the expertise you bring to the table. Attend this workshop and we’ll show you how.

What You Will Learn

  • The vast difference between niches and ideal clients
  • How niching helps you stand out from your competition
  • 6 steps to create an ideal client profile that brings you AAA clients and a more profitable firm

Duration: 45 minutes

Register : http://www.elevatingyourbusiness.com/admin/brighttalkwebinar.html

 

About the speaker, Maria Marsala

Maria Marsala is an internationally-recognized speaker, coach, and subject expert on planning today and profiting tomorrow. She climbed the corporate ladder on Wall Street at a time when female executives were as rare as pink diamonds. While at Bear Stearns, she saved her department hundreds of thousands of dollars yearly when she created new processes and authored an operational manual for sales assistants and reps. Much of what she designed was then duplicated in other departments or used firm-wide.

Maria founded Elevating Your Business fourteen years ago. She works with independent and fee-based financial advisors, planners, and RIAs to multiply their bottom line and reduce the number of hours they work each week. She works with FAs to grow their business strategically, tactically, and operationally. In 2011, Maria was voted one of the top 30 Coaches Internationally. As a trained Life Coach, she works with her clients holistically.

 

About BrightTalk.com

BrightTALK provides online events for professionals and their communities. Every day thousands of thought leaders are actively sharing their insights, their ideas and their most up-to-date knowledge with professionals all over the globe through the online event technologies that BrightTALK has created.

You can join BrightTALK’s vibrant exchange of ideas as either a viewer or a presenter.  BrightTALK offer presenters the ability to create powerful online events using our easy-to-use webcast platform.  Read more about how BrightTALK can help you grow your business here https://www.brighttalk.com/r/jdm

 

Financial Advisors: Do you have a niched website I can use as an example?

IdealClientRecently, I wrote an article, actually a list, about FA (financial advisor) niches.  Amazingly…a) I didn’t intend to write an article   b) as many have told me, the article can be used by those who are not in the financial industry, too.  (very true)

But when I went to the web to look for such a list — there was none!  Amazing.  Why?  Because, years ago, when I tried to learn the “history” of creating niches and ideal clients, the closest I came to finding the origin was mention on a website that  the concept may have been started in the financial sector.

Strange you might think, but maybe you remember the time (or maybe you don’t!! ) when you banked at a commercial bank if you were a business, and a personal bank if well, you weren’t a business!   You didn’t go to the personal bank if you wanted a business loan and you didn’t go to the commercial bank if you wanted a mortgage on a house.  OR maybe you remember a time when brokerage firms were either institutional or retail?  (I worked as a clerk and then a retail trader at institutional houses that were starting or had newer and very small retail departments and sales force.)

Anyway,  I wanted to use a list of FA niches as notes for a program I’m teaching on January 9.

I’ve determined that it would be helpful if the articles included good examples of niched FA and financial professional type websites.  I’ve been looking for some and haven’t found many!

What I’m looking for are niched websites — i.e. if you work with executives, all your marketing on the site is geared to them.  If you work with defense industry, your website shows it …. loud and clear.  By loud and clear I mean the look, all the words on the site, are something that is very attractive to your niche.

If you have such a website, I’d like to take a look at it and I may include it in my article.   Include the link in the comments section of my blog post or post it here on my blog on in the pace you found this post — most likely LinkedIn and I’ll review the websites next week.

Note: I will not guarantee that every website that is submitted will be included.

Thanks in advance.

 

FREE Resources

List of niches is at:  http://www.marketingwithintegrity.com/?p=3220

A 30-minute discussion on ideal clients  http://webtalkradio.net/internet-talk-radio/2011/06/27/marketing-4-0-%e2%80%93-who-is-your-ideal-customer/

Free Webinar on this subject — for Financial Advisors Marketing Smarter: 6 Steps to Sustainable Growth & A Profitable Client Base  http://www.marketingwithintegrity.com/?p=3229

Read Maria’s articles on ideal clients and niches here:   http://www.marketingwithintegrity.com/?cat=26

 

Maria