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Outside-INblog

Outside voices and views for advisers

How to let your client expertise shine online

To have a successful niche strategy, you must position yourself to reach the right audience online

Jun 11, 2014 @ 12:01 am

By Stephanie Sammons

+ Zoom

You've heard it time and time again, how critical it is to define your niche as a financial adviser and focus on a specific target market. This couldn't be more true for positioning yourself for success online.

As an example, my niche specialty is building digital influence. This is what I know how to do and teach others to do. That doesn't mean I should strive to do it for everyone. When you seek to help everyone you help no one. This is where choosing the right target market comes into play.

Who are you uniquely qualified to help AND who do you enjoy helping? In my case, I'm qualified to help independent financial advisors for example, but I really enjoy helping those who are (or desire to be) digital content creators and authority figures online.

This is much more specific than me just trying to help ALL financial advisors. In fact, most advisors wouldn't be a good fit for my niche specialty.

Who are you best suited to serve? Who are the members of your target market?

Once you determine the answers to those questions, it's important to also define both your niche and your target market through your digital presence. Doing one or the other isn't enough. The competition is too steep.

The reality of a digital, social, and mobile world where anyone and everyone can create content is that consumers are drowning in financial information overload. They have so many options available for obtaining the advice they are seeking online, but they are desperately seeking leadership.

The good news is that most of these online options are generic and undifferentiated. Most advisers present themselves in the same way online.

This means that you have an amazing opportunity to carve out your unique niche online and own your market if you're willing to do the work.

Make your digital marketing efforts more linear

Once you have defined your niche and your target market online, two things become crystal clear:

1) You will know exactly what content to create and share with your digital network.

Ultimately the members of your target market (your ideal clients) want you to hear them, understand them and help answer their questions.

If you know who you are targeting, you can easily accomplish this through your content creation efforts on your website, through your blog and in your content marketing strategy.

You want your ideal clients to say “Wow, he or she really knows me.”

By monitoring and listening more intently to the members of your target market online (and offline), you can gather detailed insights about their lives, their challenges and their dreams. This will give you more ideas for what content to create than you will have the time to create.

2) You will know exactly who to target to build an intelligent digital network.

With the increased transparency and reduced privacy that social media networks have created, it's not difficult to find the right people to follow and connect with if you know who you are targeting.

The more intelligent your network, the more reputable and relevant your presence will be within your network.

A targeted network also sets you up nicely for relevant introductions and referrals through digital channels such as your blog, social media and email marketing program.

Many of the fears associated with narrowing your focus with your online presence are unfounded. It's much more effective to launch or re-launch with a defined strategy and branch out from there.

Your digital and social media marketing efforts will be more linear and results more prevalent if you define your niche and choose your target market.

Stephanie Sammons is the CEO and founder of Wired Advisor, a company that helps financial professionals build digital influence.

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