How Specialist Advisors Earn Twice as Much

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Dan Richards

In any profession– medicine, dentistry, law, accounting – the average income for specialists is more than double that of generalists with the same years of experience. My experience with successful financial advisors who’ve built a niche practice confirms this, but first they had to overcome three common myths about developing a niche positioning.

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I was reminded of this by a call from an advisor who’d heard me speak about focusing on a niche market. “I’m ready to make the change,” he said. “I’ve bought into the need to be a specialist rather than a generalist. My question now is where to start to make that happen.”

I’m far from alone in talking about benefits of being the go-to advisor for an attractive client group in your community. Focusing on a defined niche with common needs means you develop unique expertise, tailor your practice to the group’s needs and do a better job for them as a result. As you develop a critical mass of satisfied clients in a group, you become the “safe choice” which lets you price your services at a premium and to attracting clients via word-of-mouth.

The challenge for most advisors is that they’ve built practices as generalists and aren’t sure how to make the transition to become specialists. There are three basic steps to becoming a go-to resource for a defined client group in your community:

  • Selecting the right niche
  • Ensuring you have the right skills and capabilities
  • Building a reputation within your target group

Today’s article will focus on the first two of those steps; I will tackle building reputation within your target community in a future article.