A Warning About Advisor Marketing
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These are challenging times to market yourself as a financial advisor. There was the pandemic, whose aftershocks still rattle us. The recent upheaval in the markets hasn’t helped. Who wants to talk about managing their wealth when the leading indexes keep posting down arrows day after day?
But tough times are not an excuse to stop marketing. When you do that, your career will suffer from neglect and inaction.
Now is the time to pause, reexamine the environment and its conditions, and devise a strategy for promoting your services to new clients. And applying some helpful dos, and don’ts will go a long way toward making your effort successful while steering clear of pitfalls.
I’ve been talking a lot about marketing in recent months on my “Bridging the Gap” podcast with marketers, content writers, consultants, and fellow advisors. Regardless of their area of expertise, a common thread emerged in those conversations about growing your practice: Find your niche.
While that approach may sound simple, it requires firms to rethink their marketing approach.
We all initially approach marketing from the same perspective. We view it as a matter of throwing money at the situation. You know, shelling out bucks to place paid ads on Google and other social media platforms. That can be a component of a successful marketing strategy. But it’s not the same as finding your unique niche.
People often start in our profession because they know people with money who ask for help managing it. While aiding those who seek assistance is a noble response, that impulse has a secret consequence that can carry long-term adverse effects.
This mindset will lead someone to open a practice and offer to help anyone who needs their wealth management services. That produces an “all things to everyone” approach that will keep you from reaching your full potential. By being all things to all clients, you are denying yourself a significant opportunity.
Successful advisors have flourishing practices because they understand the importance of focus. They built their careers by setting themselves apart from the competition. They differentiated what they offer and the skill set they provide, making them an attractive alternative to generalist firms.
These advisors only accepted the exact type of clients they set out to attract. In short, they identified their niche, drew up a marketing strategy tailored to it, and then went out and got the new business they wanted.
Niche marketing is all about focus. Rather than firing off a shotgun blast of marketing efforts, you zero on the target. Here’s how it works:
Define your target market. Maybe you want to specialize in helping teachers, the C-suite crowd, or perhaps employees at tech startups.
Devise your strategy for reaching those specific individuals.
Learn as much as possible about people in your chosen niche. Let’s say you are focused on reaching dentists. Take a little time and research them and their practice. What is it like working in dentistry? What are some of the challenges and headaches dentists frequently face?
Go deep in understanding potential solutions to their headaches. Or researching ways dentists can better their practices and serve their patients.
Become an expert on helping dentists be the best dentist professionals that they can be. Using your unique knowledge of analyzing businesses, running businesses and investing build out insights and value add pieces that can serve this unique niche. And speak their language (which you now know because of the research you have done).
Take this content and share it out in the world. Targeting dentists. Find groups on LinkedIn and Facebook where dentists tend to be. Share the content with trade organizations that serve dentists. And the key is, continue to post information that is relevant to dentists. Your other friends on these social platforms may not relate, but the purpose is to speak the language and catch the eye of your niche audience.
Invest time in creating talks to be given to select groups and produce short videos that appeal to people within your targeted niche. One of the many benefits of social media platforms is the power to micro-target your paid content placement.
Don’t assume that clients are just waiting on you to pitch them. Successful people are bombarded by traditional messages from financial advisors. They want to be wooed and courted. Once you connect with their heart, their wallet will follow.
Don’t expect overnight results. Targeted niche marketing takes time and effort. There is research to be conducted, potential clients to be identified, and a communications plan to be crafted. Then comes the investment of time to actually get in front of your targeted prospects. This is a long-term strategy that has the potential to produce long-term results for you and your firm.
What is needed to make niche marketing work is taking the first step. It’s up to you. The folks inside your targeted niche won’t automatically come to you. You must go to them and be adequately prepared to reach them.
And here’s the most incredible part: While this approach requires a time investment on the front end, that commitment is minuscule compared to the enormous amount of time you would waste pursuing traditional, low-results marketing efforts.
Give niche marketing a try. Don’t waste your precious time and limited dollars on things that no longer work.
Matt Reiner is a CFA, CFP®, and partner at Capital Investment Advisors, a $2.8+ billion RIA in Atlanta. Reiner is also CEO of Wela Strategies, a sister company to Capital Investment Advisors, and is the founder and CEO of Benjamin™. Benjamin is an AI technology created by Reiner after seeing the gaps in technology used in his own firm. Reiner's true passion is using his vast experience to coach other advisors across the country, helping them evaluate their firms' practices and find the best strategies for future success. To reach Matt Reiner, visit www.MattReiner.com.