Finding Your Niche

Matt ReinerAdvisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

Johnny Carson drew 8.5 to 10.4 million viewers a night. But his audience ballooned to a stunning 19 million viewers for the final week of his show in May 1992. Today, the Late Show with Stephen Colbert is lucky to pull in 1.5 to 3 million viewers a night. Though America’s population has grown by nearly 90 million people over the 30-year period, that growth has been dwarfed by the explosive proliferation of entertainment options since Carson left the air.

Entertainment preferences have fragmented, which has been mirrored across our society. The advent of the internet, big data, personalized advertisements, and highly specific information channels has broken the audience for everything from talk shows to financial advice into ever-shrinking splinters. The idea of broadly appealing advertisements has similarly shifted from the default setting to an unprofitable fossil. Businesses seeking new customers must look in smaller and smaller crevices of our culture to succeed, and financial advising is no exception.

Though this still-developing reality presents more than its share of challenges for financial advisors looking to expand their scope, it is one that we will have to confront.

Broad appeal is a thing of the past. It’s time to find your niche.