Finding a good way to differentiate yourself amid a sea of people who call themselves financial advisors has never been easy task, but it’s become all the more difficult in recent years as the ranks of advisors who offer “comprehensive financial planning” continue to grow. The problem is only compounded for newer advisors trying to find a way, not to get new clients, but just to get noticed within their firms (and get opportunities for client face time) as they launch their own careers.
In this week’s #OfficeHours with @MichaelKitces, my Tuesday 1PM EST broadcast via Periscope, we discuss why niches and mini-specializations are a great way for advisors to differentiate themselves, the differences between the two, and cover specific and actionable ways to market yourself and grow your exposure in your mini-specialization of choice.
At the start of their careers, most advisors are generalists – having just completed the comprehensive CFP certification educational curriculum – and haven’t yet had the time, opportunity, and experience to develop a specific target niche audience. However, one way that newer advisors can start to differentiate their expertise is simply to dive deep into a particular subject area and make themselves more referable and top-of-mind by becoming the go-to expert for that topic in their firm or within their community – a form of “mini” specialization.
Because the reality is that early on, in particular, you don’t need to be an expert on everything to succeed. You just need to become really good at only one thing and be known for doing it well… and that can happen in a relatively short period of time!
Of course, just because you become an expert on something with a (mini-)specialization doesn’t mean that the masses will automatically beat a path to your door. You still have to get the word out, and that’s where a good inbound marketing strategy comes into play, from building a website that showcases your expertise, to starting a growing an email list and a social media presence to get the word out about your expertise, and creating “lead magnets” like ebooks (or even self-publishing a real book) to establish your “authority”, which you can then leverage further to teach and speak on the topic.
Ultimately, by going through the mini-specialization process, you’ll learn more about the things that matter most to your target clientele, and where they spend their time gathering such information, which makes the process of getting new clients even more efficient over time. But at the most basic level, developing a mini-specialization is the most straightforward path to being more than just another advisor who offers “comprehensive financial planning and investment management to affluent individuals and families”, and can be the key to making you the one that lead advisors choose to bring into their client meetings to gain more real-world experience!