According to a recent poll, 63% of investors feel that every financial advisor makes the same promises. This makes it difficult for them to distinguish between the services offered or — even worse — to choose an advisor that stands out as unique.
Whether you’re marketing to businesses or individual investors, it’s vital to differentiate yourself as a financial advisor. Your business savvy and your firm’s reputation are a good start, but it’s not enough to set you apart in an increasingly competitive market.
In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of differentiation and also the importance of choosing a financial advisor niche. Then we’ll outline some actionable steps you can take to differentiate yourself and reel in new clients.
Marketing success lies just ahead, so let’s get started!
The Importance of Differentiation
All financial advisors know the importance of a compelling value proposition, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to write one.
Take a look at the wording you use to explain your services. Does it read something like, “We provide comprehensive portfolio management?” That may be true, but it does nothing to set you apart from other financial advisors.
It’s kind of like a restaurant saying they “serve good food” or an auto dealership advertising that they “sell great cars.” You already expect (or at least hope) that you’re getting good value for your money when you buy a meal or a car.
Now imagine a restaurant that “serves the best Korean BBQ in the city” or a dealership that “specializes in high-quality, pre-owned BMWs.” If you’re craving Korean BBQ or looking for a BMW, those businesses are the logical ones you would turn to.
The same concept holds true for differentiating yourself as a financial advisor. Many firms fall into the trap of relying on cliches or industry jargon that does nothing to form personal connections.
To differentiate yourself, craft a value proposition that’s tailored to your target niche audience (more on that in a moment). Emphasize trust, transparency, and accountability as your core values. Explain what makes you different from the “other guys” and why you are uniquely qualified to manage their assets.
The Importance of a Niche
Just like you differentiate yourself as a financial advisor, you also need to differentiate your client base. What do we mean by that?
Simply put, you’ll never be all things to everyone. Marketing to a generic pool of “investors” is just as bad as marketing yourself as a generic advisor. You’re not giving potential clients a compelling reason to choose you specifically.
To lower your stress levels and build a strong client base, toss aside the wide net and reach for a fishing pole and hook. How can you become the big fish in a small pond?
Think about who specifically you want to work with and what specific goals you’ll help them achieve. For example:
- “I work with doctors to help them manage their assets and plan for retirement.”
- “I work with young families to help them build wealth and finance their children’s educations.”
- “I work with pre-retirees to help them understand their pension and Social Security options.”
Do you see how these statements stand out much more than “comprehensive portfolio management?” If you’re a doctor, new parent, or pre-retiree, you’ll be instantly hooked by that statement because it’s speaking directly to you.
How to Differentiate Yourself as a Financial Advisor
Now you know the importance of differentiation and choosing a niche, so let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. How do you take these ideas and put them into action as you create your next marketing plan?
Here are four tips that will help.
1. Consider Your Personal Experiences & Passions
If you’ve been casting a wide net with varying success, it’s time to hone in on a niche market. A good place to start is with your own personal experiences.
For example, do you come from a military family? If so, you understand the unique challenges that military families face. Could you set yourself up as the local expert in financial advice for military families in your area — especially if there’s a base nearby?
Maybe you’re a techie who’s passionate about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Maybe you worked in the airline industry and you want to help pilots and flight attendants plan their retirement. Maybe you’ve seen firsthand what happens when a beloved grandparent dies without having their estate in order.
Here are some common types of niches to consider:
- Affinity niche (sharing the same social circle or common interests)
- Educational niche (providing information and advice the client needs)
- Psychosocial niche (helping clients work through life transitions)
- Technical niche (offering a highly specialized service based on your education or experience)
- Values niche (investing based on shared philosophies or beliefs)
When you feel strongly about a certain demographic identifier, that passion is going to shine through to your clients. This puts you in the perfect position to differentiate yourself and forge those emotional connections.
2. Differentiate Yourself Through Your Blog
Financial advising isn’t a “one and done” sale. You’re building lifelong relationships based on mutual trust, respect, and understanding.
Your website’s blog is the perfect platform to build on those three key elements.
For starters, your blog is the place to start building trust, often before a prospective client ever contacts you. Imagine a young couple who receive an unexpected inheritance and have no idea what to do next. They’re browsing the internet for advice and they find an article you wrote that discusses that very topic.
What they read on your blog may prompt them to pick up the phone and call your office.
Blogging also shows that you value and respect your clients. You want to keep them in the loop and educate them about their financial options. You can also adopt a holistic approach and offer related advice on family life or getting out of debt.
Most importantly, a blog demonstrates that you understand your clients’ pain points. You understand what keeps them awake at night, and you have the expertise they need to solve those problems and rest easier. You can even (anonymously) showcase clients you’ve helped in the past to build your credibility.
3. Set Your Products & Services Apart
All financial advisors deal with stocks, bonds, and taxes, so there’s not much you can do to differentiate yourself there. However, the sky’s the limit when it comes to the tools you use and the experience you provide your clients.
As an example, think about unique ways to educate your clients. Can you start a YouTube channel or a podcast that explains complex financial topics? Or you could launch a members-only group on Facebook where you share information and answer FAQs from your client base.
What about some unique tech tools your clients are sure to appreciate? For example, you could design a program or app to help your clients pay off their student loans. Or you could create a personalized “road map” for each client to help them visualize their retirement goals.
Even something as simple as a 24/7 live chat option with your team could be the deciding factor between you and another advisor who doesn’t offer that service.
4. Revamp Your Pricing Strategy
Most financial advisors adopt a similar pricing strategy, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to differentiate yourself when it comes to how you charge your clients.
Start by looking at your closest competitors who serve a similar niche market. Do they clearly explain their fees and pricing models on their website? Is it vague? Is it even there at all? Set yourself apart by being 100% transparent on your fees and policies.
You could also introduce payment tiers based on the client’s portfolio size. This could be particularly helpful if you’re marketing to Millennials or Gen Z prospects, who usually don’t have the same amount of assets as older generations.
Develop a Marketing Plan to Differentiate Yourself
Your knowledge and credentials are important, but that’s not enough to differentiate yourself as a financial advisor.
To set yourself apart from your competitors, narrow in on a niche market. Highlight how your background and experience make you the logical choice for those investors. Demonstrate to current and future clients how your services are tailored for people just like them.
Most importantly, focus on the human connection you can (and should) form with your clients. Get to know them as individuals, and share relevant things about yourself as well.
Remember: Investing is about more than just dollars and cents. The more of an emotional bond you form with your clients, the greater of a success your business will be.
Are you still carving out your financial advisor niche and looking for ways to differentiate yourself? Do you need help analyzing and improving your current marketing plan?
We can help. Our specialty is helping financial advisors and wealth managers to rise above the competition and create thriving investment companies. We offer consultations and evaluations to help you grow your client base.
Call or text us at 303-808-8719 or use our contact page to learn more!