After so many years in the financial services business, you’ve probably heard just about every reason and strategy on how to, and how not to, build a successful career as a financial advisor.
Unfortunately, most advisors don’t have a marketing and/or business plan in place, so they strive to be all things to all people. They fail to implement creating a profile on their ideal client or lack working in a niche market, so their agenda is to survive another day.
Is there a need or demand for your product or services?
Every day for the next 19 years, 10,000 baby boomers will reach the age of 65. While many boomers are likely to have defined-benefit pension plans, personal savings, and social security, they are in great need of financial advice. Of the 76 million baby boomers expected to retire in the next 20 years, 9.9 million of them are African American. Do you believe they need some help in planning for their retirement? You bet!
Prudential completed a research study in 2011 called “The African American Financial Experience.” It indicated that the majority of people want financial advice, but concerns about finding a qualified professional they can trust and relate to prevent many from hiring an advisor. That means there is a significant demand for financial literacy, which puts financial advisors in a good position to help.
It will be easier to find clients
By establishing a niche market in the African American community, there are numerous ways to meet, interact and find clients.
A great start would be by participating in community events, attending church where many congregate, sponsoring expos and sports teams, and conducting financial seminars, workshops, and teaching wealth-building classes. There are social and business organizations that you can join that’ll provide opportunities to network and seek speaking slots at many of their functions.
Is there a lot of competition?
Not only is there a shortage of African American financial advisors in the industry, but the majority of these communities are severely underserved and in most cases, untapped. If you’re a financial advisor who has the time, energy and commitment to serve this particular demographic, you basically have no competition.
As an African American advisor, it surprises me that the majority of African American advisors I speak with don’t claim their own natural market as one of their niches. Out of curiosity I would ask who they market to, who their ideal client is and do they have a niche market. Most of them would normally say, ‘I help everyone because I have a real hard time getting black people to listen to me and many of them don’t invest.’ I can’t count how many times I’ve heard that, but they just haven’t learned the psychology of African Americans. Get to know this demographic well and you’ll have no competition.
What are the chances of making lots of money?
As an entrepreneur in the financial services industry, if you are able to meet and see many people, solve financial planning issues, help people retire, build strong relationships, network, communicate and service existing clients, get referrals, and work in a few niche markets you have the opportunity to do very well financially if you specialize.
In just about any industry in the U.S. today, those who specialize and work in a captive niche generally make more money. In the medical field, an orthopedic spine surgeon makes much more than a general practitioner. The surgeon typically sees fewer patients in a day than a practitioner because the work requires a high degree of skill, time and knowledge, and he is paid top dollar for solving problems at this level of difficulty. The practitioner’s job is equally important, but the orthopedic spine surgeon is a specialist and that’s what we should strive to be as financial advisors.
Is it possible to grow the business in the future?
The beauty of working in a niche market is that it provides an ideal situation where you can build systems torepeat the process. Let me give you an example. In my community, we are holding semi-monthly lunch-n-learn wealth-building sessions. For 20 or so attendees, we provide lunch and wealth-building techniques that they’ve probably never seen or heard before. We know it blows their mind and they will tell other people about the experience.
This is one of the most effective ways to build a lucrative business and put systems in place for future growth, as well. But you do have to be very patient and consistent in the beginning as word slowly gets around the community.