Discover and define your niche to grow your visibility

Natalie Hales smiling
Getting paid well to work with your dream clients as a financial advisor starts with nailing a clear niche. Here’s how to do it.

A guide to niche marketing for Financial Advisors

Chapter 1: The basics of niche marketing for financial advisors

What is niche marketing for financial advisors?

Your niche is your specialized focus in financial services. 

When it comes to financial advisor marketing, niching is the ultimate power move to position yourself as the go-to authority in your field.

Essentially, you have two choices: either be incredibly compelling to a tightly-focused pool of potential clients, or be completely irrelevant to all of them. 

The idea of niching is simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. 

Financial advisors need 3 things to succeed:

  1. A focused group of clients to serve (with clear-cut boundaries on who you will and won’t work with)
  2. The expertise to serve them (and the experience to relate to their experiences)
  3. A viable business model that delivers results for your clients

Adapting your services to the needs of a specific group is no longer ‘optional’.

In our increasingly competitive industry, owning a specific niche can set you apart and make choosing to work with you a no-brainer.

Lead generation for financial advisors is all about the math — working smarter, not harder using the numbers to your advantage.

Picture this: you’re a financial advisor who’s been grinding hard with digital marketing, reaching out to a whopping 500 prospects a month just to make 10 measly sales. Not exactly the most efficient use of your time, right?

It makes way more sense to focus your time on a fewer set of qualified prospects.

Now, you might be thinking, “But Natalie, doesn’t that limit my potential clients? If I target a specific market, what about my current clients? Won’t I be missing out on other opportunities?

The truth is, this thinking actually creates an obstacle. 

On the surface, being a generalist who works with everybody opens you up to work with a nearly inexhaustible pool of potential clients. But in practice, fewer of those potential clients will actually trust you enough to work with you. 

The smaller and more well-defined your niche is, the more you can speak to the specific financial need that’s impacting their lives. And the stronger your positioning will be so you can attract them on repeat without breaking a sweat.  

By narrowing down your target audience to a select group of say, 25 carefully chosen prospects each month, and delivering personalized and informed advice, the sales-to-effort ratio will be much, much better (and less exhausting!) That’s right – less time, less effort, with better results.  

And instead of wasting your precious resources chasing down 475 leads that may not be a good fit for your services, you can instead focus your energy on closing deals with the right clients and provide clients with the top-notch advice and solutions they deserve.  

Plus, you can home in on what messaging works and what channels are most effective for inbound sales from your dream clients.

The more specific you are in defining your niche, the more people “get” what you do, and the more you’ll look like an expert. People like working with experts.

3 simple steps to attract your ideal clients

Here are the steps to attract your ideal clientele:

  1. Define and own your niche. 
  2. Create a messaging strategy.
  3. Show up strategically and engage as the expert you are.

Why is niching worth it for Financial Advisors?

Obsessing over finding the right clients will do wonders for your business. But first, you have to know the clients you WANT to work with. 

Niching starts with knowing exactly who your ideal clients are.

It gets refined by understanding your unique strengths and how you can transform your ideal clients’ lives. 

Michael Kitces is right — you don’t have to perfectly nail down your niche on the first attempt. You’ll naturally reiterate and evolve it over time. 

But the sooner you start nailing conversations with prospects in your niche, the sooner you can start building a robust practice and book of business. 

Here are 3 reasons why niching is worth it for Financial advisors. 

Niching helps you figure out what clients really want

By drilling down to what your ideal clients truly need, you make yourself innately helpful and interesting. 

But how do you figure out what clients really want?

I could simply tell you that you need to do more research. And while that can’t hurt, here’s the real deal: Humans are in pain, and a lot of that is financial stress. 

The solution to that is a compassionate empathetic human. Someone to help them realize what really matters to them.

Your clients have specific, pressing pain points your expertise can fix – but first, you have to understand and empathize with that pain. 

If we can get down to those kinds of conversations, we have a chance to change the world.  

And more good news: Doing this empathy work helps you cut through the noise online and skip uncertainty over what to say. Which almost always results in vague messaging and zero clients. 

So go ahead – think about groups of people you empathize with and why. 

Doing this groundwork will bring amazing clarity to your business beyond even your marketing.

Think increased prices. As your messaging gets more powerful, you can make more for your expertise. 

You’ll have a larger LTV. Your clients will stick with you long-term. 

You’ll build better processes. It’ll be easier to produce results on social media. 

Marketing will become more enjoyable. You can expand the geographic region of your practice. You’ll love the clients you work with. And it’ll be easier to build a reputation. 

Finally, you’ll see stronger referrals. Your clients will reward you by sending more ideal clients your way. Because when people know and remember your niche, they’re more likely to refer work to you.

Niching can help you understand your strengths and inform the rest of your business

Pop quiz: What do Elon Musk and Warren Buffet have in common? 

It’s not focus, a morning routine or their crazy high IQs. It’s a powerful strategy that gave them leverage. 

Did you know that Elon bought Tesla from two dudes? Did you know that Warren Buffet spends a bunch of time researching companies to buy with his main business that buys other businesses? 

Take it from the Billionaires: Don’t start from scratch, find what’s working and scale it. Figure out why people like talking to you and what’s attractive about your offer. 

Use these insights to build a business that leverages your strengths.

Ask yourself and the people who know you: 

What are the top 5 skills you offer your clients that bring value? 

You’re looking for specifics here, not personality traits. 

Once you’ve narrowed down your top skills, you can begin to identify the patterns in your skillset and your most successful client relationships in a more objective way.

Knowing this will make it easier to deepen and hone your expertise. To join forces with your centres of influence. And grow your business in a strategic way, to your strengths. 

Niching helps you close deals

Niching can help you kickstart conversations and close more deals. 

If you struggle with financial advisor marketing, can’t get people to take action, sign up for your webinar or respond to your DMs, choosing a niche is likely the missing puzzle piece. 

Here’s how niching improves financial advisor lead generation: 

When you’re laser-focused on serving a specific group of people, you can tailor your messaging and services to their needs. Your offers will feel much more ‘custom’ to them. 

As a result, you’ll have a shorter sales cycle. It’ll be easier to identify your prospects. You’ll know when to say “no” faster. 

And you’ll have the leverage to charge higher fees. 

Don’t just take my word for it though. Check out the data. CEG Worldwide’s research found that a whopping 70% of top financial advisors who rake in $1 million or more annually have a specialized niche.

Schwab’s 2022 RIA Benchmarking Study found that advisors with a documented ideal client persona, client value proposition, and marketing plan attracted 42% more new clients and 45% more new client assets in 2021. 

Niching helps you make more money

Many financial advisors mistakenly assume that niche marketing means they will have to ‘turn prospects away’ or lose money from lack of client demand. 

But actually, the opposite is true. The financial services industry is changing. It’s not about selling products anymore, it’s about selling advice.  

Niching helps you make more money, not less. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. The beauty of niching and growing your inbound sales is that your clients come to you pre-sold. Niching will make it easier for your clients to cherry pick you out of the crowd. The more specific you are with your prospects, the more clients you’ll get.
  2. Niching frees you up to focus your efforts on the right-fit people, so there’s less attrition and you can grow your book of business with decisive confidence. Yep, niching can boost your client retention. When your expertise is unique and gives your clients exactly what they need, your clients are more likely to stay with you for a long time. Which of course means more money for you.
  3. Especially if you’re looking to grow online, specializing in a niche will help you stand out on LinkedIn and your website will send more targeted SEO traffic your way.
  4. Niching is the perfect strategy if you want to laser-focus your referral strategy and tap into a more stable revenue stream.

Don’t believe me? Hear what other advisors say about niching here.

Chapter 2: Understanding your niche

Understanding your audience is the first step in ANY strategy.

That magic moment when your ideal client tells you that it’s *you* that sold them on your services? It can only happen if you deeply understand your audience.

Relying on blind luck that you’ll somehow hit upon something remarkable that will deeply resonate with your prospect (within the time-limit of a 30 minute discovery call, no less) the very first time… that’s just shooting yourself in the foot. 

To achieve this, you need clarity right from the get-go about what your ideal clients want and need. That way, whether you’re a new financial advisor delving into prospecting or a veteran wealth advisor, you’ll have a deep reservoir of nuanced empathy to draw upon about your prospects’ desires and pain points.

And the good news? You can learn how to empathize with your client on the job – while you’re deepening your expertise, showing up online, interacting with and sharing content. These are all great opportunities to deepen your understanding of your clients’ unique challenges. 

Showing up as the authority you are online is what will help you sell your services every single day. Not just one time on a sales call.

Where to start with understanding your audience

  1. Start with your audience’s demographics and professional characteristics. Who are they and what do their lives look like?
  2. Go deeper into their psychographics, motivations and interests. What do they care about, what’s going on in their lives right now, and what pressing problem can you help them solve?
  3. Pinpoint their most urgent challenges and pain points. How does this problem in their lives play out with specific examples?
  4. What are their communication preferences? Figure out how they like to be communicated with.

If you do all this, I promise you’ll emerge with a clear plan to attract your niche.

TL;DR: Watch me break down exactly how to identify your real niche here.

If you need help understanding your audience, I do this in my online course, The Power of Niche (DIY) or in my 1:1 advising program, the Winning Strategy (done-for-you).

How do I stop constantly hunting for leads and instead attract the right-fit clients?

Don’t pitch a problem, illuminate a path to change. 

Here’s a secret: Your competition is probably messing this up. 

A lot of financial advisors think focusing on pain points only is the best way to attract people who need their services. But focusing on your client’s transformation – and what’s on their mind right now – will often ‘click’ better and help people start visualizing how they can make progress. With you on their team. 

Here are (often better) ways to kick start conversations with your niche:

  1. Tap into what your niche wants to hear and learn. Stay super focused on this. 
  2. Focus on what your niche values. 
  3. Prioritize helpful conversations that actually move them from Point A to Point B.

What strategic advice can you offer that will help them get some quick wins? And what can they take from your personal stories that will be helpful for their lives?

Stay clear and focused — this is not the time to impress them with everything you know. At most, you want three key pillars and one overarching topic.

Keeping it relevant to your clients’ transformation journey will massively differentiate you from competitors who solely focus on agitating pain points and fear. 

When you do this, you’ll stand out as the go-to financial advisor for exactly who you want to serve.

Yes, you can have more than one target market… with a caveat

Many financial advisors ask me, “What are your thoughts on having multiple niches? I see a lot of advisors developing 2-3 niches instead of just one.”

My answer: It depends. 

Can you afford it and do you have the time for that? Because most advisors don’t.  

Niching is a cost reduction strategy. Every business must pay a communication cost in time and in resources to get their prospective customers to take the action they want. 

Now, as a smaller business with fewer resources (time included), you can’t afford to pay the communication cost to capture and convert the attention of a bigger target audience. Established companies can because they have the equity (reputation and image) and resources to pull it off. 

So the question any SME or solopreneur needs to ask before choosing to niche or not to niche is: What is the communication cost to get customer A to take action X? And can I afford to pay that cost? 

The goal is to maximize your communication efforts and tailor them in relation to your available resource and bandwidth so you can have a shorter sales cycle and more importantly survive long enough to target a larger audience. 

Let’s say you’re considering more than one target market. Do the two markets you’re considering share a similar mindset? And do you have a personal connection with these niches to earn trust quickly? Because these two factors will impact your marketing messages. 

Having two target markets is reasonable, but only if they are closely related and not on opposite ends of the spectrum. Ideally, you should start with one niche and expand over time.

Each day, your followers and clients should know what to expect when they see your content. My audience knows they’re going to get one thing: tips on how Financial Advisors can grow online. 

When it comes to crafting content, don’t split up your content to speak to these niches separately, for example, doctors in one post and dentists in the other. Find the throughline that connects your messaging for both audiences. 

Another thing to consider before committing to two target audiences: You’ll need to build out a sales funnel/process for each niche. 

This is why knowing your ideal customers is so vital. Doing so improves your brand and your business.

How to know if your niche is too broad or too narrow

4 signs your niche is too broad right now

  • You’re facing a high level of competition
  • Your clients have diverse needs and circumstances, making it hard to resonate
  • The number of referrals or leads from your center of influence has declined or becomes inconsistent
  • You’ve realized you can better serve a specific subset of your target audience

If you’re consistently attracting clients within a specific subset of your niche, there’s likely an opportunity to narrow down and hone in on that niche.

There’s really no such thing as too narrow a niche if your niche is well-targeted and you’re communicating the right messages. 

But if there’s zero competition, it might be a sign the appetite for what you’re offering is just not there.

Chapter 3: The logistics of niching

First, let’s get two questions I often get about niching out of the way.

When’s the right time to niche?

You can niche any time. It’s never too soon or too late to start exploring a target market. 

But before you dive headfirst into a marketing strategy or tactics for client acquisition, you need to define your niche, position yourself as an expert and build your talking points. Only once you have this foundation will you earn the trust of your audience. 

The most obvious example is social media. While social media can be a powerful tool to reach and engage with clients, you need to have a well-defined target market and messaging strategy in place first. 

Without a clear niche, you’re going to struggle to engage consistently with prospects in a way that resonates and fail to differentiate yourself from other advisors. That’s no bueno!  

Instead, carefully consider where your target market is most active and use social media to share insights, articles, and tips that are relevant to your niche. Keep writing for your ideal clients and they’ll come.

How long does it take to figure out your niche?

When you’re a new financial advisor prospecting, this question is super important. After all, you want the quickest path to getting new clients through your door. 

Good news: Niching is actually the quickest way to get started. In just two weeks, you can have a solid grasp of who you’re talking to. 

This will help you find clients much faster than trying to serve whoever will fog a mirror. 

Most of all, choose progress over perfection. You need an agile strategy — one that lets you make fast decisions while staying the course so you can achieve quicker results. 

Now that that’s out of the way…

Here are 3 easy steps to quickly define your niche

To get your dream clients, start with these three simple steps. 

Step 1 – Start by identifying your mega market

Your mega market is a large group of potential clients who share similar financial issues and interests.

Step 2 – Choose a market segment

Next, slice off a segment. Your market segment is a group within that mega market that you can relate to or have expertise in. 

Step 3 – Decide on your market niche

From there, you can identify your market niche. This is a specific, small slice of your market segment that you can potentially own. 

Here are 3 critical characteristics of a viable target market: 

  • Is it large enough? 
  • Can they afford you? 
  • Do you find these clients enjoyable to work with?

To own your niche, do competitor research to understand what you’ll do differently from the competitors to fulfill this niche’s needs. 

You’ll also need to use one or more of the following to your advantage: price, geography, demographics, level of quality, psychographics, or industry. 

You can find out more with my course, The Power of Niche. 

How to build authority in your desired niche

Look, the process of becoming an authority in your niche is iterative. It takes time to finesse your ideas and become a thought leader. 

But you can start landing clients sooner by declaring a clear, focused niche and creating a marketing strategy you can be comfortable with in the day-to-day. 

For now, here’s what you need to know:

If your ideal clients are high-worth individuals, your authority-building and marketing strategy will look much, much different to a marketing strategy that focuses on everyday people. 

What you say to them, how you say it and where you say it will look dramatically different.

To grow your authority, start by hunting online for the specific podcasts, groups, and social channels that make up your audience’s world. Where do they show up online and what information sources do they trust?

There are plenty of people who’ve already created and cultivated trust with the audience you want. Leverage them and the most popular information they create to grow your authority through these centres of influence. 

This will not only make your marketing a whole lot easier. It makes it way easier for your audience to find you. 

For clear and simple steps to craft your messaging strategy, check out my Guide to Branding for Financial Advisors.

Natalie Hales sitting in a sunny window
Natalie Hales boasts more than a decade of financial marketing experience on both sides of the border. She specializes in helping advisors discover their niche, craft their positioning, and tell their stories to attract dream clients. Her unique expertise was honed through her work with renowned companies like Canada Life, and her superpower lies in crafting personalized brand strategies through her signature framework, The Niche FunnelTM. Personally touched by the transformative impact of financial guidance during a personal tragedy, Natalie is devoted to amplifying advisors’ potential and establishing them as unrivaled experts for their target audience.

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