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Most Advisors Are Terrible at Niche Marketing. Don't Be Like Most Advisors.

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What You Need to Know

  • Establishing a niche is the way for financial advisors to stand out in a sea of sameness.
  • A focused message will make you a center of influence in your niche, making it easier to build an audience.
  • Making clear who you are and whom you serve will make it easier to market to prospects and to build your team.

About a month ago, I took to Twitter to publish my financial services manifesto for the world to see. Not only did it start some good conversations and spirited debates, but it also forced me to think about what I’ve written to provide financial advisors some much-needed context around my thoughts.

Most of my ideas focused on growth, practice management and marketing for a wealth practice. And the most tangible — and simple — thought that I wrote down was “focusing on a niche solves most growth/scale challenges.”

I know that establishing a niche is not the most groundbreaking or controversial topic in our profession. But it may be one of the most overlooked tactics for advisors who are trying to grow. 

Let’s face it: As advisors, we are all swimming in a sea of sameness. So, what are you going to do to stand out while improving your quality of life? 

The answer is, establish your niche. Still not convinced? Here are three reasons you should ”niche down,” as marketing-savvy advisors call this process.

1. You Can Focus Your Communications

There are more than 300,000 financial advisors in the U.S. Many of them are saying generic things not focused on a specific person. This does nothing to help them stand out, so it is not what you want to do.

What you want to do instead is to make it obvious for consumers that you are speaking directly to them, that you understand their problems, and that you are the right person to help them in their financial journey.

In other words, you want to be very specific about a problem that they face, and you want to show them that you can help.

The more focused your message is, the more you will become a center of influence in your niche, and the easier it will be to build an audience. You don’t need to be all things to all people. And your 30-second elevator pitch will become a lot clearer.

2. You Can Be More Intentional With Your Marketing Budget

Suppose you had $20,000 to spend on marketing, but you could spend it only on a billboard in your town. Would it make sense for that billboard to address no one in particular, or would it be wiser to have it target the problems of a subset of specific people?

It’s a no-brainer.

Let’s imagine that you had deep expertise serving corporate lawyers. You might start a podcast with these attorneys as guests, profiling their problems and how you, as a financial advisor, can solve them. From there, you can allocate some of your marketing budget to dice up that podcast, create useful videos and push them out on social media. Then you can assign another piece of your marketing budget to curate content and send a monthly email newsletter to this target audience. The more you drill down into your niche, the easier it will be for you to be more intentional and cost-efficient with your marketing budget.

3. You Can Scale Your Practice More Effectively

Your niche audience confronts specific financial challenges. You understand these challenges well. And as a result, your firm will likely develop an optimal format of expertise and service models to help them solve those problems. 

Let’s say your niche is technology company executives and founders in the startup world. To attract them as clients, you’re going to need a deeper knowledge of financial planning for high-net-worth individuals, equity compensation and tax planning than a typical wealth management firm. 

With a positioning statement that makes it clear who you are and whom you serve, you will have an easier time marketing to prospects. You will also have an advantage in building your team with a focus in mind. 

As I said in my manifesto, being an advisor is one of the most fulfilling careers on the planet. To achieve that balance and the quality of life you deserve, you need to decide on a niche and build your business around it. Give it a shot. You won’t regret it.

Now that I’ve started expounding on my manifesto, which of the 21 topics should I write about next? Send me a DM with your thoughts!

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Patrick Brewer is president & CMO of WealthSource Partners, a $1.7 billion national RIA that helps growth-minded advisors scale their practice.