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IdealClient

Years ago, while working with a client to grow his business, he asked me if I had a list of advisor niches.  I didn’t have anything written down and I told him that I would find him one or two lists online.

But I couldn’t find any lists.  I was surprised and amazed. Why?  All the research shows that the most successful advisors have a niche (and a business plan).  I mean, shouldn’t every advisor who is running their own business or book of business have a niche?

As I continued researching, I also was interested in the history of niching.  There was none, either!

My previous niche marketing research, knowledge I’d grown up with from being “in” the industry for 20 years, had suggested that niching may have originated in the financial sector (at least in the US).   Over time, in a newer town, a business banker would move in.  But they didn’t like doing personal banking as there was no or little collateral.  So, over time,  a personal bank would arise.

Fast forward a few hundred years, there was a time when as an individual, you went to a personal bank for your needs and had a personal banker who knew you and vice versa. If you were a business owner or CEO of a corporation, chances are that you would have gone to a commercial bank.   Brokerage firms also came in two flavors: retail houses or institutional firms.

 

Let’s Take An Overall Look At Nailing a Niche

Niches are very broad segments of who your ideal clients are. It’s about a community of people or businesses you’ll work with … not about their AUM (although some advisors advertise that they work with affluent or high net worth clients). Their AUM or the revenue they generate yearly comes into play — after all, you’re in business, but be open to niches that describe a community of people. Their AUM or generated revenues can easily be part of the step after you choose your niche — creating an ideal client profile.

I recommend choosing a niche based on the 3 P’s System of Niching: passion, population, or products/services.  At one time, niches were based on product types.  But no longer.  I feel it’s a combination of all 3 P’s, not just one of the P’s. Find your niching sweet spot by choosing a niche based on the intersection of the 3 P’s.

Niches can be categorized by general characteristics such as an occupation, a passion/hobby, or by the type of product or service consumed.  Best is when all 3 overlap.  In this step, “finding or redefining a niche” has little to do with who can afford to pay you what you’re worth — although part 2 of the niching process — finding your ideal clients — IS about making sure that you can find a good number of people who can afford the services you’re planning but more importantly WANT and NEED your services.   Niching is about finding a community of people or businesses who you can connect with, enjoy working with, and can share experiences with AND who want and need your services.

Part 2 of niching, “finding your ideal clients”, has you get into the nitty gritty of everything about your niche.  I talk about the difference between niching and ideal client in this article about managing your niche.

 

Population Characteristics Population may be a “person” or a “profession”.

  1. Athletes
  2. Couples
  3. Corporate Executives, Managers, Supervisors or Employees
  4. Men/Male who
  5. Women/Female who
  6. Retirees
  7. Business lawyers
  8. Divorce attorneys
  9. Divorced Women
  10. Divorced Men
  11. Military
  12. Defense Industry
  13. Academics/Teachers/Educators/Professors
  14. Widows
  15. Widowers
  16. Dual Income Families
  17. Single Income Families
  18. Families taking care of their Parents
  19. Industry-specific professionals (executives, CEOs, etc.)
  20. Professional couples with children
  21. Unmarried women professionals
  22. Physicians specializing in a particular human or animal practice area
  23. Older women married to younger men
  24. Older men married to younger women
  25. Partners in a second marriage, with or without children
  26. High net worth individuals or couples
  27. Children of wealthy clients
  28. Nonprofit organizations
  29. The Affluent
  30. The Super Affluent
  31. Specific religions
  32. Specific nationalities
  33. Specific sexual orientation
  34. Scout leaders
  35. Unemployed with 401K plans
  36. Religious affiliations
  37. Middle market executives
  38. Women CEOs
  39. Registered Investors
  40. College Alumni
  41. Members of a club you’re a member of
  42. Estate attorneys
  43. Franchise business owners
  44. Under-40 business owners
  45. SAHM
  46. Business owners in a specific industry or in a specific stage of their business (rapid growth, 20 years from retiring, etc.)
  47. Chefs
  48. Family-owned businesses or corporations
  49. Restaurant Owners
  50. Individuals who own animals
  51. LGBT individuals and/or couples
  52. Families with a disabled child or children
  53. Families with children who have a specific disease
  54. New Parents
  55. Parents of school-age children
  56. Special needs parents
  57. Empty Nesters
  58. People who have had serious personal injuries
  59. Athletic Coaches
  60. Professional Coaches
  61. Therapists
  62. Adventure Enthusiasts
  63. Accountants
  64. Advertising Professionals
  65. Architects
  66. Art Directors
  67. Bankers
  68. Computer/Technology Specialists
  69. Consultants
  70. Controllers
  71. Artists
  72. Engineers
  73. Engineering Companies
  74. Environmental Planners
  75. Fitness or Weight Loss Instructors
  76. Fund Raisers/Corporate Developers
  77. Headhunters
  78. Health Care Administrators
  79. Human Resource Managers
  80. Interior Designers
  81. Internet Consultants
  82. Management Consultants
  83. Manufacturing Companies
  84. Marketing Professionals
  85. Media Executives
  86. Museum/Cultural Administrators
  87. Physicians
  88. Real Estate Executives
  89. Freelancers
  90. Franchise Owners
  91. Sales Executives
  92. Systems Analysts
  93. Traders (at firms or home traders)
  94. Wall Street Executives
  95. Web Designers
  96. Writers
  97. Parents of Adopted Children
  98. Parents or individuals with ADD/ADHD, Asthma, Allergies, Autism, Cancer, Diabetes, etc.
  99. Unions
  100. Clergy
  101. Co-Parenting Parents
  102. Interracial Couples
  103. Holistic Couples
  104. Couples dealing with infertility
  105. Grandparents
  106. Individuals who built their own homes
  107. Farming/Ranching
  108. Hospitality
  109. Individuals/couples dealing with a loss
  110. Nurses
  111. Politicians
  112. Public Relations Professionals
  113. Real Estate Professionals
  114. Singles
  115. Social Media Professionals
  116. Veterinarians
  117. Socially Conscience Organizations
  118. Horse Training
  119. Dog Owners/Showing/Breeders
  120. Your Country’s Residents Who Currently Live in a Specific “Other” Country
  121. Recently Inherited or Sold Business
  122. In Transition: Job Changer
  123. Farmers
  124. Large companies (you’d work with their employees) Universities, Health Care Systems, etc..

 

Passion/Hobby This is a specific area where you can connect with clients such as you where you have a passion you share with a majority of your clients such as:

  1. Golf
  2. Boats
  3. Wine enthusiast
  4. Football fan with season tickets
  5. Other sports
  6. Fishing
  7. Travel
  8. Home beer brewers
  9. Quilters
  10. Chess players (or other games)
  11. RV-ers
  12. Pet owners/breeders (dogs, cats, snakes)
  13. Chocolate lovers
  14. Car restoration/collectors
  15. Coin collectors
  16. NASCAR fans
  17. In Recovery Programs
  18. Bird Owners/Breeders
  19. Gardeners
  20. Cat Owners/Breeders
  21. Christians
  22. Horse Training
  23. Dog Owners/Showing/Breeders

 

Product/Service Consumed

  1. Wealth management
  2. Socially conscious investments
  3. Life planning
  4. Fee-based financial planning
  5. Business planning
  6. Business succession planning
  7. 401K retirement planning
  8. Tax reduction strategies
  9. Insurance or specific products: annuities, life insurance, long-term care, etc.
  10. Mutual Funds
  11. Self-directed plans
  12. Education/college planning
  13. Personal financial planning
  14. Profit sharing
  15. Retirement distribution planning
  16. Estate planning & conservation
  17. Investment management planning
  18. Socially responsible investments

 

What Niches Should You Stay Away From?

You may have noticed a few niches I’ve left off my list. Specifically, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y (The Millennials) and Generation Z. Why? They’re been very much in vogue but think about it. Thirty years from now, a firm that niched to work with boomers will have how many clients? And the firm will be worth how much? If you’re currently branded in any of these four groups, create a sub-niche you can use in your branding, too. Or do what one firm who works with XY’ers does. oXYGen Financial (as you see in their name) highlights their niche in their firm’s name. But their brand will also outlast the test of time.

 

Bonus Tip

Once you choose your niche and ideal client, you’ll need to clarify your firm’s message, introduction, marketing materials, and onboarding process.  Everything you do needs to attract your niche and make the feel comfortable.

I remember walking into the office of an advisor whose niche was military personal and their ideal client was a specific segment of the military. I was meeting an advisor who was a Chamber Member for a networking opportunity.  I walked into a green and white office.  It felt wrong.   Years later, they hired a coach, and their office colors were immediately  changed to red, white  and blue.  That’s an office the military would connect with right away (and the colors I expected to see in their office..

So, as you update your niche, make sure your entire business reflects and attracts whom you’re passionate about working with.  And that includes your website, too!

 

Did I miss your niche?  Please post it in the comments section. I’m always learning and adding, too.

 

© 2012, Updated 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2019  Elevating Your Business.  Are you ready to choose a niche?  Not confident about the niche you’re thinking about?  Want to know how market to your niche? Get on the waiting list for more information on our twice yearly Book MORE Ideal CLIENTS  program and get our Niche Rich Assessment and video here