By Trish Gottesman
You may already be familiar with the term “niche marketing” and, in some cases, may already be applying the core principals to your practice. If you’re not, now is the time to take a hard look at how focusing more specifically on your target market can grow your book of business by attracting like-minded clients.
Basics of Niche Marketing
Simply stated, niche marketing is the practice of examining your audience using a narrow set of criteria and concentrating your marketing on a specific, well-defined segment. If you look at the demographics of your current prospect list, you will likely find that your prospects have many of the same characteristics: 40+, retired, investments of $300,000 or more. Delving deeper, you may look at criteria such as zip code, type of business, size of business. But, are you digging deep enough into your prospect list? What personalities are you missing?
“It is often true that niches choose the advisor, rather than the other way around. In other words, the best niches are the ones that fit the advisor’s unique qualities, skills, and experience.”
Effective niche marketing takes such investigation further by drilling down to the finite details that make segments of our population unique. In doing so, you create a group of like-minded individuals each of whom shares some of the same characteristics with you and, as a result, may be more likely to select you over the competition. This process further creates efficiency in servicing clients by developing a common service model that uses common interests and takes advantage of economies of scale. In short, you are investing your time, energy and money into identifying a targeted group of prospects that is looking for you to help them manage their money.
Define Your Niche
- There are many different avenues for defining your niche. Start by taking an in-depth look at your current prospects. What are the commonalities among your oldest clients and the new additions — industry, location, demographic, acquisition vehicle, ? Make a list.
- Sort that list by personal preference. Who are the individuals you enjoy talking to? Put the names of those individuals who bring a smile to your face at the top of your list. Why do you enjoy talking to them? Write it down.
- Analyze the list looking for trends. If 50 percent of your favorite clients happen to be former female mid-size business owners who are now widows and who enjoy traveling, you now have at least two potential niche markets to consider targeting—women business owners and traveling widows.
- Finally, review the list for any hobbies or passions that you may share. You may find that the clients you enjoy the most share a similar interest such as boating or cycling. Understanding and sharing your client’s passions increases likability, leading to a more fulfilling relationship and potential referral circle.
Reach Your Niche
Now that you have identified individuals with whom you enjoy talking to and have experience representing or with whom you have something in common, consider how your marketing efforts can change. Using the specific example of our former female business owners, you can tailor your efforts to your messaging, imagery and networking activities. Target influencers and places that are attractive to that audience, and you will further increase your success rate.
Below is a generic example.
|Messaging||“The team of Smith & Jones provides financial advisory services to those who want to enjoy retirement and the success of generations to come.”
|“Like many business owners, achieving your dreams is a continuous evolution of learning, growing and providing. The team of Smith & Jones embraces your unique aspirations, helping to manage your resources so you can focus on fulfilling your next stage in life.”|
|A family walking along the beach at sunset, holding hands.||Group of older women laughing over an alfresco dinner and wine.|
|Networking Activities||Generic mailer to individuals in the 12345 zip code, billboard advertising, local charity sponsorship.||Charity event sponsorship at a local winery, Sip and Learn event for the local Junior League, referral network with local salons and religious leaders.|
Niche marketing helps financial advisors save time, money and attracts the clients they “want” by further differentiating themselves from the competition. Start building a portfolio of clients that makes you happy by targeting the people who make you happy.