Welcome back to the 143rd episode of Financial Advisor Success Podcast!
My guest on today’s podcast is Cathy Curtis. Cathy is the founder of Curtis Financial Planning, a solo independent RIA in Oakland, California that oversees nearly $60 million of assets under management for 52 client households.
What’s unique about Cathy, though, is the way she’s positioned her business into a niche of serving women, and in particular, single, independent-minded women who specifically want to work with a female financial advisor as their financial partner, to the point that the majority of Cathy’s new clients find her through a Google search.
In this episode, we talk in-depth about why Cathy chose to build into a niche of serving women as a way to better stand out and attract clients in the crowded San Francisco advisor marketplace, how she refined her website to the point that even new prospects compliment her on how it spoke to them, the way she’s been able to generate most of her new clients from organic Google search traffic, even though she focuses on working with local in-person clients, and why the business development success of focusing into her niche eventually has forced Cathy to implement a minimum fee requirement just to better determine which prospects were really qualified to do business with her or not.
We also talk about Cathy’s financial planning process itself. How her targeted marketing has helped her to get clients who are willing to go through a lengthy, detailed 20-page data gathering questionnaire, why she includes a draft financial plan meeting with clients and uses eMoney Advisor’s Decision Center instead of printing out any details of a financial plan, the reason she chose HiddenLevers and Kwanti to be her risk tolerance and investment research tools, and the surge meeting approach that Cathy is using to cluster all of her regular client meetings into just 3 different months throughout the year.
And be certain to listen to the end, where Cathy shares how she got over the impostor syndrome struggles she faced early on as a career changer entering financial planning. Why she thinks new entrants to the profession today should work for another advisory firm for several years before going out on their own, and how the industry pressure to consolidate led her to merge into another advisory firm, only to realize that she really did prefer being an independent entrepreneur, and now simply leverages technology and outsourcing solutions instead to make herself even more successful.