Most financial advisors spend relatively little on outbound marketing — which isn’t entirely surprising, given how hard it is to differentiate and stand out in a crowded marketplace. To the extent that financial advisors spend at all on marketing, it tends to be little more than 1% to 2% of revenues, most commonly on client appreciation events for their existing clients (and, perhaps, a few potential referrals).

Yet arguably, the primary reason that it’s so hard to market as a financial advisor is that we choose to market ourselves as undifferentiated generalists, rather than targeting a particular niche or specialization. Because the reality is that once you choose a specific target market, it becomes far easier to identify specific, targeted marketing strategies that can have a favorable return on investment. Once the financial advisor doesn’t have to fight as hard to differentiate in the first place.

For instance, an advisor targeting retiring architects might join the American Institute of Architects, write a guest post for the EntreArchitect blog, speak on the Business of Architecture podcast and for conferences of architects, while volunteering on Architect association committees and forming relationships with architect-specific centers of influence. For which the financial advisor will likely have little competition at all… because few other financial advisors go deep into the architect (or any other) niche.

In fact, one of the key benefits of targeting a specific niche is the opportunity to take advantage of unique marketing channels that may be highly effective at reaching that particular niche. And in a more cost-effective manner than the broad-based, generalized marketing that most financial advisors have long since found to be ineffective. Because whatever the niche is, there will be some combination of association and/or community organizations, conferences and events, magazines and blogs, and other marketing channels that are specific to that niche, where the financial advisor can focus their marketing efforts for greater return on investment.

This article summary has been reproduced with permission from Michael Kitces at Read the full blog here. ©Michael Kitces