How to Rethink Your Market Niche

How to Rethink Your Market Niche

April 29th, 2014

by Beverly Flaxington

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

Dear Bev,

I read so much about the importance of having niche markets. That strikes me as trying to identify 50-year-old divorced dentists in private practice with three kids to support. We are told to get so specific that when we do start to market we end up looking for a needle in a haystack. I work with 30-year-old entrepreneurs, 60-year-old dentists, divorced women and others. If I limit myself, I will leave opportunities on the table all the time. Am I wrong to be diverse in what I do?

Larry M., Washington

Dear Larry,

This is one of my favorite topics, because it is a simple concept that is often misunderstood. Yes, you are right – one can do niche marketing the way you have outlined here and target very narrowly. Many advisors do this because it allows them to be laser-focused on a given audience.

However, you don’t need to get this specific if that doesn’t work for you. Even with the differences in age and life situations among the clients you outlined, there could still be some themes that bind them. Was there somewhere you interacted with them all, for example? Are they all alumni of your alma mater? Do they all enjoy golfing and have summer homes in Florida? Were they experiencing similar life circumstances when they came to you?

If you want to find “niches” that you don’t even know you have, look for themes that might show you similarities that aren’t obvious. Advisors often focus on size of assets, age or stage of life to identify a niche, but there are other ways to link people.

To start, look through your client base and identify those top clients whom you would consider to be ideal – what makes them ideal? What links them? What similarities, if any, can you find between them? Niche marketing can often be about descriptors, experiences and ways of thinking, too.

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