Everybody wants to develop a profitable niche for their advisory practice. But what drives that profitability? I’m gonna go out on a limb and say it’s emotion. Emotion connects people. It connects you to the people you hope to serve in your business. It motivates you to go out there and work hard, innovate and succeed. Yes, unlike what Yoda told Luke, emotion does not lead to the dark side! It leads to the green side—where the money is. (Actually, Yoda said “Anger leads to the dark side.”) So you do have to harness your emotions to serve your purpose—Yoda was right about that! Yoda was always right!)
How can you tap into your emotions to become more profitable in your business?
I’m gonna list at least four ways you can do this. Answer the following questions about your emotional connections to potential clients. Ready?
- What is my motivating factor? Over the years, I’ve talked to so many advisors who got into financial services for emotional reasons. Several because they had a parent die young, and they saw their family struggle. And they felt motivated to study personal finance! Others have seen firsthand the benefits of financial planning. One client I work with lost her father in a tragic automobile accident when she was 16. He died on the way home from work one night. This advisor ended up helping her mother with all the paperwork and has carried with her an enduring passion to help make sure others are in a good position (as her family thankfully was) to weather tragedy. Another client who became a top-tier financial advisor was motivated because of her children. She was recently divorced, was a single mom to young kids, and needed to succeed—no matter what. And she wanted to help other women! But she had to do it her way—not as a slave to the industry mold. What motivates you? Why are you doing this? This forms the foundational story you can use to connect with clients.
- What are my hobbies and passions? Don’t check your hobbies and passions at the door to your office. Bring them to work with you. Whether it’s an obsession with classic cars, a love of college football, NBA basketball, golf or red wine—let those interests guide you to the people who fanatically like the same things. You may be more remembered for your hobbies, than for your financial advice. Obviously, do a good job providing advice! But let your personality shine through. People expect financial advice to be a bit blasé … but you can show them the fun side of finance. When you have financial resources you can pursue your dreams, your hobbies. Live the life you want your clients to live. And vice versa. Help your clients live the life of their dreams—that includes all the things they love. You may even find yourself vacationing together with some of your clients! A great brochure for the benefits of your advice!
- What emotions are my potential clients dealing with? I’ve been doing freelance copywriting for several years now, and what I’ve learned is that it’s not the information-heavy articles that resonate most with the public. It’s important to share information, of course. But it’s the touchy-feely stuff that gets you remembered. I helped a client write several articles for a physician publication in which we discussed doctors and depression—especially the prevalence of depression among retired doctors. The articles touched a nerve. This financial advisor wound up getting a lot of comments from the very medical professionals she was attempting to reach with her articles. So, as you think about what to write in your blog posts and LinkedIn pieces—go for the emotional hot button issues your clients care about. Show yourself to be a caring, compassionate human being first and foremost. Bore them later! (Kidding!)
- What do I believe in? Whether it’s politics, religion, social justice or the environment … those can all become part of your niche reputation. I knew one advisor in San Diego who became the go-to financial guy for his fellow Republicans. He often joked that he did not want to help people like Cher who would give their money only to the liberal side. Other advisors have targeted working with members of their church community and fellow Christians or Jews. And I helped a young advisor in Colorado write a series of articles about socially-responsible investing—for his niche market: people who cared deeply about the environment and social justice. He wanted to become known as the Green Advisor in Denver. And there were plenty of environmentalist clients that wanted just what he was offering. Another advisor in a small town in Maryland tapped a nerve in her community talking about charitable remainder trusts and how wealthy families could strengthen their families—and improve their children’s lives—by learning to serve and give back. Wealthy people, it turns out, are quite worried about their kids becoming spoiled brats. (This also fits under Question #3 above.)
Bottom line: Your niche market thrives on emotional connections! And you’ve probably got several possibilities from the list above that could keep your prospect pipeline full for a long time. Am I right?