Financial advisor target markets: TM Development is key to ongoing financial success. One of the top marketing mistakes financial advisors make is to not focus on a niche, or target market. This lack of focus positions you as a generalist who will take any client walking through the door. While unsophisticated clients will often overlook this lack of tactical expertise, refined clients will not.
Read the full series on marketing mistakes that financial advisors make here.
You can’t please everyone, so why try?
I know it’s tempting to say that you work with everyone who needs financial advice, because working with even 2% of a large market is good, right? No, this is simply not the case. What it really comes down to is that you can’t please everyone all the time, so why try?
As a coach for advisors, one of the first questions I often ask prospective clients is “Who is your target market?” By my unofficial survey, 90% of advisors don’t focus on a niche market, at least not officially in their marketing collateral such as on their website or brochure. I believe this is mostly because they don’t want to risk turning away clients.
I know it’s scary to declare a niche, but it’s a truly effective way to distinguish yourself from thousands of other advisors who offer a dizzying array of services to a wide range of clients.
“In a recent @TDA4advisors survey, niched advisors showed 35% higher client growth, 25% higher revenue growth and 17% higher profit margins than non-niched financial planning practices.”
**** SEE ALSO MY FINANCIAL ADVISOR IDEAL CLIENT SERIES****
What are typical target markets for advisors?
- Business owners
- Individuals and families
While declaring a niche in these areas is better than nothing, advisors can go much deeper by getting into demographics and psychographics. Yes, women would be more likely to hire you if you “specialize” in their needs. I encourage you to think of “women” as a broad niche and “single professional women over 40” as a more defined niche.
Example of financial advisors targeting women
Over 15 years ago I worked with an advisor who was passionate about how he could help women with their finances. This advisor had 20 years in the industry, yet he was having a difficult time attracting women clients until he started working with me.
We did a deep dive into the WHY behind wanting to work with women. This advisor’s mom had passed away when he was 8 years old and his father was not in the picture. In order to stay out of foster homes, his aunt adopted him. It was not an easy road growing up and his aunt worked two jobs to put him through private high school and university. You can see that his passion was because he wanted to give back in some way and this desire drove him. Your reason for target women doesn’t have to be as dramatic as this, but you do need to be passionate.
What are more defined target markets?
Here is a list of possible niche/target markets that financial advisors can seek to attract:
- Couples (DINK’s – double income, no kids)
- Families with children
- Widowed women over 50
- Divorced women
- Single, professional women
- Women entrepreneurs
- Family businesses
- Business owners or employees in specific industries: agriculture, building, green building, architecture, website design, travel, hospitality, restaurants or food industry, apparel manufacturing, arts and entertainment, retail, mining, the motion picture industry, oil and gas extraction
- Complete list of Industries in the United States
- Physicians and professionals in the medical industry
- Pet care industries such as veterinarians, groomers, and pet products
- Sports celebrities and athletes
- Airline pilots, cabin crew members, and airline professionals
- Technology industry executive or employees
- Military service members or former military
- Public or state service employees
- 401(k) plan-specific participants such as those who work for Motorola, Intel, Merck, etc.
- PANKs: Professional Aunts, No Kids
- Yummies: Young Urban Males
- New or expecting parents
What are under-served target markets?
- Gay or lesbian couples
- Muslim families or businesses
- Hispanic families or businesses
What are the benefits of having a financial advisor target market?
There are many benefits of focusing your practice on a few specific areas where you have expertise and where you can make a real difference. Here are just a few:
1. Increase your income
When you go deep into the specific issues of a defined target market you learn to overcome challenges over and over again. It’s a no-brainer that you can charge more for intricate expertise.
You are also eliminating competition that does not have the same focus as your niche. The less competition in your market, the more your opportunity to boost client engagement and create higher potential income revenues.
2. Increase referrals from your clients
When you can explain how you help clients in specific professions, industries, or demographics you a clearer picture of whom your clients can refer to you.
Word-of-mouth recommendations will spread exponentially because those in niche demographics tend to hang out with similar individuals. Women are an excellent example of this. When you have single professional women due to choice, divorce, or lifestyle enjoying a shared afternoon, the topic of finding quality services for their needs will come up and you want your practice to be mentioned.
3. Increase referrals from centers of influence
CPA’s and estate planning attorneys are approached all the time by advisors wanting to develop reciprocal referral arrangements. When you refine your target market, you stand out from everyone else. When you can explain the sophisticated solutions you have developed for your clients, you stand out even more.
This allows you to partner with complimentary services around your niche market.
4. Decrease marketing costs
Rather than sending direct mail to thousands of households, refining your niche and your message can save you printing and postage costs.
The same is true for digital marketing. You are carving out a specific demographic that is easier to reach with targeting social media and search engine ads that directly touch on their personal pain points.
5. Narrow your networking
You can network at the chamber of commerce with hundreds of other advisors or you can network at the local SHRM event and rub shoulders with professionals in the HR department of your chosen niche.
The more familiar you are with your client’s issues, the better your solutions will be as well as your ability to single out those places they frequently visit – online and off.
6. Attract clients with your website
I call this effortless marketing – create landing pages on your website that talk about specific issues faced by your clients and how you have helped them. There is a certain amount of expertise required in this strategy, so do seek the help of experts if you go in this direction.
The Top Financial Advisor Target Markets to Consider
If you’re an advisor who wants to grow the size of your business, you’ve probably heard that it’s easier to pick up clients from referrals than anywhere else. That’s because when someone chooses to refer a friend or family member to you, they’re essentially saying that they trust your advice. This is especially true when you serve a target market that major financial advisor firms often overlook. Some of these top markets include:
Industry Specific Workers/Employees
If you’re an advisor, there are plenty of industries that you can specialize in. You might choose to focus on businesses in IT, energy production, or even truck driving. You may also want to look at industries with unionized elements like auto workers, or some service area professionals.
The point is when you reach out to specific company workers, you tend to open up a world of possibilities because they more than likely would prefer to work with a financial advisor who understands their unique career roles.
Couples with Double Income
Double income no kids couples (DINKs) are some of the best opportunities for financial advising because they tend to have high net worth and a significant resource for investing. These couples earning twice as much can afford to pay for financial advice without breaking their bank account.
This market is incredibly lucrative because many of these couples have friends and family members with children DINKs love to spoil. Think about the Aunt or Uncle who is married without kids, but wants to contribute to their nieces and nephew’s education funds as well as take them to Disney World each year. This is a highly lucrative market niche with little drama.
Minority Families with Kids
Minority families with kids are a good target market for financial advisors. The early generations of black and Hispanic families have worked hard to build a foundation for the current spending power age groups. This means those starting and growing family businesses are seeking financial advice right now and are highly underserved.
New generations of minority families are finally gaining access to home ownership, investment instruments, and generational wealth compared to previous years. They need guidance from advisors who look beyond race and see a valuable client who wants to build upon that foundation so their kids can succeed.
Single, Professional Women
This is the area where I love to work the most. Single women who have invested in their careers and built an incredible reputation have financial resources and decision-making power that make them rewarding clients. They understand the challenges of navigating the world independently and are willing to go deep into the nitty gritty details of investing and setting up their futures for a comfortable retirement. I cannot recommend this niche market enough.
Small Business Owners
Small business owners are often the most overlooked target market, but they need financial advice more than anyone else. In addition to the usual tax preparation, insurance, and retirement planning that all individuals need help with, small businesses have even more demands on their time.
They also have employees and vendors who need their money and products or services, so they’re constantly juggling budgets to run smoothly. There’s no question that small business owners are experts at running their companies—but it doesn’t hurt to have someone else look over their shoulders once in a while for their personal wealth growth.
LGBTQ+ professionals are a growing market. According to the Williams Institute at UCLA, an estimated 4% of Americans identify as LGBTQ+. And with each passing year, more and more people come out—which means there’s a greater demand for financial support services tailored to their unique needs.
LGBTQ+ individuals face unique challenges in their careers. They’re more likely to be self-employed or freelancers, tend to be single, and often choose to live abroad for extended periods of the year. These factors mean that the average LGBTQ+ professional has fewer financial protections than their heterosexual counterpart. They have disposable income and know how to spend it.
Clients Experiencing Dramatic Life Events
This target niche market is often overlooked because these events are dramatic. However, that doesn’t mean they do not require the same amount of dedication and time spent on your part. I often recommend applying these life events to other demographics of your niche. These would be things like:
- Recent Death of a Partner
- Change of Career
- Significant Relocation
Start Where the Money is Already
If you’re just starting out and need to build your client base, it makes sense to prioritize people who already have money. They are more likely to have a high net worth, which means they are more likely to be able to afford your services and stay with you for the long haul.
Targeting this audience can also help you build a strong reputation early on in your career as an advisor—a reputation that can make it easier for other prospective clients (including some who don’t yet have their own wealth) to trust that they should work with you.
Now that you see the possibilities of improving your business by targeting a niche, is it time to undergo a change in your strategic direction?
Contact me for a Consultation!
I can help you parlay this tactical strategy into a winning way to acquire new clients. My client Bonnie attracted a $1.2M rollover from this strategy. The client found HER and contacted HER. She did not have to go out and pound the pavement to land a new client. Wouldn’t you rather have clients come directly TO YOU?