Free copywriting skillfest you can attend

Interested in kicking up your firm’s marketing a couple of

Send this email to your assistant or marketing manager and have
them sign up for the free, second annual
No-Hype Copywriting Telesummit, taking place now.

If you have clients or colleagues who own businesses, this is
sure to be a content-heavy telesummit, so pass this email along to them, too.

Marcia Yudkin, who put this telesummit together, is the
author of “6 Steps to Free Publicity”, a book I’m mentioned
in (as an Internet Marketer and Article Marketing Pioneer) and a
book I highly recommend.
She’s a copywriter, but also an Internet marketer
I’ve known for more than 15 years.

You’ll learn about the latest tips and tools from highly-regarded speakers.

What Marcia is NOT is a marketing specialist in the financial industry. So,
it’s up to you to determine which strategies will pass the watchful eye of your
compliance department.

This year’s sessions give you principles, examples and
inspiration to develop an authentic selling voice, integrate
search engine marketing with sales copy, use metaphors to
excite and tempt your audience, and spin stories that engage
customers, readers or listeners.

The A-list presenters include Peter Bowerman, author of “The
Well-Fed Writer”; Vickie Sullivan, coach for high-fee
speakers; Karon Thackston, SEO copywriting authority; Sean
D’Souza, storytelling wizard for small business owners; and
Marcia Yudkin, leading advocate of no-hype marketing.

As I mentioned, there’s no charge to attend the five live
teaching sessions, November 3 to 7. All you need to listen
is have a telephone OR Internet access.
Simply register using the link below. If you’re too busy to
attend the teaching sessions in real time, the recordings
are available for purchase for a low fee.

Last year’s sessions on storytelling basics, achieving
rapport with customers, using problem/solution selling,
values in copywriting and avoiding lying in your marketing
are available as well.

Here is the link to learn more about this no-cost
educational opportunity and to sign up to attend any or all
of this year’s sessions:

Your marketing mentor,
Maria Marsala

P.S. Whether you write to promote yourself, your company or
a cause, this free event is a “don’t miss.” Sign up at:

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 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>



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: A good resource for technology automation is Jennifer at  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:


More niching resources…

✔ Download Niching Assessment

✔ Watch “Hitting Your Niche” Video

✔ Read more articles about niching

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!

Replay Available: Financial Advisors Hit Your Niche and Become the Obvious Choice for New Clients

Available Immediately  — 45-minute, content driven replay.

Register now to watch the replay PLUS receive a 16 page ebook AND  our Your Niche Assessment, too!


Marketing Smarter:  Hitting Your Niche

Position Yourself To Become the Obvious Choice

Presented by BrightTALK’s Finance ChannelHitting Your Niche


Why should an individual seeking a financial advisor contact YOU?  Why should your clients risk their reputation and REFER you?  What makes you STAND OUT?


If you answered, “Great customer service!” or “Experience!” your voice evaporated in a crowd of thousands.  If you talk about your credentials, how you’re paid, or your fiduciary responsibility, you’ll only confuse the stranger you’ve just met.


Wouldn’t you like to be SOUGHT OUT by prospects instead of constantly chasing them?  As a financial advisor, you need to establish a connection with the clients you’re looking to serve.   If prospects aren’t finding YOU, you are missing your niche.


In this program, you’ll learn how to differentiate yourself so that you become the OBVIOUS CHOICE for clients.  You’ll discover practical strategies for developing niche that single you out as the “go-to” expert.   


Accept that you can’t be all things to all people and enjoy the benefits that go with hitting your niche.  



Financial advisors, in business 1-40 years ready to grow your firm to the next level and beyond.

Join us, especially if you’re not currently running a niched firm or your niche isn’t working out as well as you thought it would.  OR you’re 10-20 years away from retirement and are ready to create a niche as a way to purposefully grow your firm as part of their nest egg



– Common mistakes financial advisors make around niching

– 3 specific steps to help you identify the best niche for you and your firm

– The 4 four niches you don’t want to choose (and why)


Available right now!  Register to watch the replay PLUS receive a 16 page ebook AND  our Your Niche Assessment, too!


Why Finding Your Niche Leads to More Success

13 Business & Finance Experts Reveal

Why Finding Your Niche Leads to More Success


What are you doing to separate yourself from the competition? Several experts in the finance and business world believe that niching is one of the best strategies you can use to stand out and increase your profitability.


Now here’s a quote, one of my favorite business quotes, which I bet you’ve often heard or seen online. It’s MORE OFTEN miswritten or misquoted, so to set the quote right by my colleague, Bob Burg, here it is:


“All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.”

Bob Burg, entrepreneur and speaker,


Read what more experts have to say about niching below.


“As more and more people earn their CFP certification and become financial planners, the mere fact that one is a financial planner is no longer the differentiator that it once was. In turn, financial planners find themselves increasingly compelled to focus into a niche where it’s easier to stand out and win clients…being a generalist may bring a lot of prospects but few clients, while settling into a niche may narrow the field of prospects but results in an incredibly high likelihood that clients (in the niche) will say yes and choose to do business.”

Michael Kitces, Partner of Pinnacle Advisory Group, Nerd’s Eye View Blog Publisher


“A financial planner who presents his financial plan in a paper report is just similar to every other financial planner. It’s common.  A financial planner who presents his financial plan in an engaging video is special and unique.”

Ronald Sier, Financial Planner, Netherlands


“Niche marketing is one of the most profitable ways to prospect and network. When approached correctly, working a specific niche market brings with it several inherent benefits, including superb positioning (as an expert), and easier access to those with whom you wish to speak.”

From Endless Referrals by Bob Burg, entrepreneur and speaker,


“By building your brand, you’ll end up with zero competitors. Your firm will become singularly qualified to handle the complex financial needs of your target clientele.  The key is to realize that you can’t be all things to all people, but you can be all things to a small group of carefully chosen people who value your advice, service and relationship.  And it doesn’t take a large number of clients to be financially successful in this business.”

From Tested in the Trenches, by Ron Carson and Steve Sandusky, of Carson Wealth Management Group and Peak Advisor Alliance


“If you want to begin finding your perfect niche as an adviser perhaps the first step is to think about the volunteer and community work that you have done – or thought about doing – over the years. The work that you have done for nothing – just to help other people or make the world a better place – will be the best guide for helping you zero in on what it is you truly love doing.  It is relatively straightforward after that to work out what you are great at…and working out what others will value and pay for.”

Tony Vidler, Adviser to the Advice Industry, New Zealand


“Discovering your niche takes time and will be refined with time. Probably the very best place is to start with yourself. What are your passions? Your hobbies or pastimes?  Betcha you’re NOT the only one who likes ‘_____’.  Will narrowing your base of prospective future clients by working with a select group hurt?  On the contrary, how cool would it be if you’re known as the ‘Go-To’ financial advisor for a particular group of people.”

Marty Morua, Technology Advisor for RIAs


“…Simply defined (your target market) is the specific set of customers whose needs you are trying to meet. This is the audience, out of all who might hear your message, for whom you design your marketing program.   Instead of trying to sell your product or service to everyone in a market—everyone in your town, for example, or everyone who might see your television commercial—you should aim your message toward those who have the greatest potential need or desire for your product or service.”

Ivan R. Misner, Ph.D. & Robert Davis, From Business by Referral


“Focus on what you know. Understand the unique concerns and world of your niche.  I’ve seen former airplane pilots or senior executives from the nonprofit world develop businesses by focusing on those niches.  It’s all of a matter of knowing yourself and being cognizant of which groups of people with whom you’re likely to forge strong bonds.”

Mark Elzweig, President, Financial Advisor Executive Recruiting Firm


“CEG Worldwide Research shows that a full 70 percent of top financial advisors—those earning at least $1 million annually—focus on a particular niche. In stark contrast, just 35.1 percent of financial advisors earning less than $150,000 a year have a niche focus.”

Jonathan Powell, Managing Director, CEG Worldwide research,


“As an advisor, you have a choice: have high visibility in select target markets or low visibility in many markets. You can have a business where prospects flock to you OR you can continually chase prospects. You can be perceived as an expert OR be seen as just another investment guy or gal. You can have a business where marketing gets easier and more profitable every year OR you can continue to ’slug it out’ every year in the typical high cost, slow growth way.”

Mike Brizz, the CPAI, who created the Referral Mastery® System,


“There’s also a financial advantage to having a specific target client. When we look at other professions for best practices, there’s a strong correlation between pay and client profile. In legal firms, accounting firms, and doctors’ practices, specialists make more money than generalists do. Yet in financial services, advisors staunchly resist specializing. That’s often because they approach their work with a fear of scarcity.”

Matt Matrisian, The Power of Practice Management,


“Create your firm’s niche on purpose. The alternative–taking any client who breathes–sabotages your productivity–and profits.”

Maria Marsala, Elevating Your Business,




Complied by Maria Marsala,  Thank you to each of the financial advisors and business owners, who granted me permission to use their quotes.


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 MagazineRIA BizAdvisor MaxDow JonesThe StreetEntrepreneur 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. Did you find this article thought-provoking? Get more delivered directly to your inbox every two weeks by signing up here


More niching resources…

✔ Download Niching Assessment

✔ Watch “Hitting Your Niche” Video

✔ Read more articles about niching