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Choosing a Niche – Why it Matters

There’s a mistake I see many financial services professionals making in the name of attracting more business, and it holds their business back and keeps them playing small. What is that mistake? Not defining their target clients or choosing a niche.

I often hear financial services professionals shy away from choosing a specific niche because they’re afraid of limiting the playing field and they don’t want to miss out on potential opportunities, connections, or growth.

One major pitfall of not choosing a niche however is that it is much harder to stand out in a larger pond amongst your competitors. You have to fight against so many other professionals for a chance at that client’s business. All of your content will be generic, and you’ll be covering anything and everything that may or may not appeal to your ideal client. This is a huge waste of time, energy, and money. In terms of networking opportunities this comes down to how you will decide where to show up, and how to help others how to refer to you.

This is somewhat more challenging when it comes to marketing, however is tremendously useful for building your business and being successful. Having a specific marketing focus makes it easier for you to stand out, be remembered, and be attractive to your ideal client. For example, once you have chosen your niche you’ll be able to speak on topics that are laser focused and address concerns of a specific group while generating interest in your services and attracting your ideal clients.

If you’re networking with professional referral sources like estate planning attorneys and CPAs, how will you stand out if you’re serving “everyone”? A great way to stand out is by being expert in who you do serve and how you serve them. This also gives you more of an opportunity to learn about the specific needs of one specific group versus trying to address the needs of everyone.

For example, if your niche is doctors, the longer you work with them the more you learn about how to work with them. You learn more about their needs and how you can best support and meet them. As an advisor, you need to come up with a marketing focus and dig deep into the community of your chosen niche. Having that targeted niche enables you to focus your energy to learn most effectively what will work for those target clients, and how you’ll set them up to win.

Due diligence to evaluate and confirm that your chosen niche will support your goals is a crucial part of this process. How many people are in the target group in your area? If you’ve chosen a smaller community and you determine the numbers aren’t sufficient, you’ll need to reevaluate your niche. For instance, if you were going to focus on female physicians and the numbers weren’t sufficient, perhaps you’d like to expand your niche to be professional women instead, and create subcategories to serve different groups.

If you’re new to the profession or are wondering if you’ve chosen a specific enough niche for your business, think about the big picture. If you enjoy working with professional women, are your marketing efforts clearly focused on attracting professional women? Bottom line — to be the most successful, you need to define your targeted niche and learn how to serve that group to meet their needs and effectively market to them.

Another reason it’s so crucial to choose a niche is attracting clients and knowing if it makes sense to serve a prospect. Say your niche is engineers who make $175,000, and an engineer you work with refers a professional outside that industry, like a doctor, are you ready to evaluate if it make sense to serve them?

It’s ok if a potential client is outside of your niche as long as they satisfy your other criteria — do they have assets you want to manage? Is your service model going to work for them? Can you serve them the same way you serve other clients even though they have a different profession, or will you have to spend time and energy creating something entirely new to serve them?

By defining your niche, you’re also able to laser focus where you expend marketing dollars and your time and energy, as well as be able to better understand if a client outside your niche is a profitable client to serve. Is it a win-win?

If you are wondering how to narrow the focus and define your own niche (and make you more successful in the process), email me now susan@susandanzig.com

I look forward to speaking with you.

How to Determine, Describe, and Discover Your Ideal Clients for a Win-Win Relationship

One of the scariest things for financial planners to do is to narrow their target market, or niche. You may wonder how on earth you could possibly make more money by only appealing to a smaller segment of the population. The truth is, by narrowing your niche you have the opportunity to set yourself up to win by simplifying your marketing efforts and effectively attracting more of your ideal clients. Does this mean you don’t accept people as clients who don’t fit your niche? That’s certainly up to you, but when you narrow your focus in terms of who you want to work with, your marketing efforts get much easier and clients begin to seek you out.Your niche or your target market speaks to the WHO you want to provide your services to, the specific group of people or businesses that you want to focus your marketing efforts around.Now in order to clarify WHO your ideal client might be, I ALSO want you to think about YOUR desired income. As long as you have chosen an ideal client that will ultimately support you in reaching your financial and professional goals, you will be in a position to fine-tune your branding and your systems to serve more of your ideal clients to create the win/win experience that you are truly looking for.

With that in mind, here are 3 Ds to clarify your niche: Determine, Describe, and Discover:

  1. Determine the demographics of the type of client that would support YOUR financial goals. How would you describe that group? The more focused your market, the easier it will be for you to establish yourself as a credible expert amongst that group.  Are they business professionals?  Bay Area surgeons? Affluent families?  High tech companies?  Entrepreneurs or start ups? Or even more narrow such as employees of a specific company like Google, for instance?
  2. Describe the top 3 characteristics of your ideal client whether it is their net worth, their profession or the geographic region where they are located.
  3. Discover what their life looks like. What is their net worth? Where do they live? If they work, which industry are they in?  What is the value of the car that they drive?  What types of  vacations do they take? Do they contribute to a particular charity or support their alma mater? Think about those people, that one ideal client.
Take some time to dig into these three “Ds” and in the next article, we will discuss what to do after you have narrowed your niche and how you can determine your area of specialization for that specific group.

4 Steps to Successful Specialization in Your Financial Services Business

IBusinessman drawing steps conceptn last month’s newsletter, we discussed how you can determine, describe, and discover your ideal clients for a win-win relationship. In this month’s article, now that you are clear on your ideal clients, it’s time to figure out exactly what YOU bring to the table that will attract your ideal clients to you.Step 1: Consider your background and experience. What kind of work have you done during the time you have been in the industry and even if you were in another career before, what did you do before entering the financial services industry? Showcase your current and any relevant prior experience in building your credibility for what you do today. Your professional work experiences combined will give you insight into the areas you could specialize.

Step 2: Review Your Education: What degrees and certifications do you have? Your education can help you not only differentiate yourself, but also help you determine an area of specialization.

Step 3: Look at Best Client Results: In what areas have your clients seen the best results? Has it been in wealth acquisition? Investment management? Retirement planning?  Employee benefits? Or something else? When you can show many successes in a particular area, that’s a key to where you might choose to specialize.

Step 4: Remember Your Favorite Clients: This is a personal issue, but an important one. No one wants to work with people that they don’t resonate with. Life is more fun and a lot less stressful when you actually enjoy spending time with your clients. So look at the clients you have appreciated working with the most and what it was they needed, and that will also help you determine where to specialize.

Pull each of these four aspects together and you’ll be on your way to highlighting your specialization for your business!

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