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 firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to speaking with you.