So, a niche matters and ultimately its purpose is to help you drive growth faster. That's the point, drive growth faster. But how do you identify a niche? Well, there's two ways. Finding it in your book of business or testing to find one because your book of business doesn't have a pattern of clients in it yet. Let's look at finding the niche. To find your niche the starting point is to find your ideal client. This is often a fun conversation because you may already think you know who that is and you might be right, but this process is designed to either confirm who it is or you'll either be surprised or reassured, either way it'll be useful. The reason we start with the ideal client or perfect client is that once we know who that is, we can then look for how to find groups of people like that.
Think of your ideal client as being not the bullseye, but the center of the bullseye. We then want to back off our focus and see who else would be hanging out with them dealing with similar concerns or shared interests. That specific unique find-able group of people where you have an affinity beyond rapport that's a niche. And concentrating your attention there will help drive growth faster. To find your ideal client we have a tool for you, it's cleverly called the Ideal Client Identifier. Here's how it works, it's a spreadsheet. You'll have a column of the names of your top 20 clients and you put those names down the left.
Top clients are your clients where you have earned the most income to the business. Focus on more recent years. If someone was a great client in the past, but you haven't earned a lot through your work with them in recent years, you may want to include a different client. Use your best judgment there. Then in the top row, there's fields asking for information about those clients. You're going to fill in every piece of information you possibly can. Ask about their profession, their family, their interests, their business pursuits, how you met, what you talk about and more.
You're going to fill in all of those fields for each of those clients. This works really well. And it's something that only you can do generally. A team member may be able to provide some of the info, but this one's up to you and I promise you it'll be worth it. You'll also find room for your favorite 20 clients on the same worksheet. Follow the same process. Now, favorite means the ones you enjoy spending time with regardless of income. They're not your fave because you make so much money from them. They're your favorite because you appreciate them. The interactions you have with them. Just clients where there's a real connection.
Why do these matter? Well, if you're going to build your business around a niche, it should be people that you like being with. Build a business you love not one that you have to endure. Once you've filled out all the info, it's time to start looking for patterns. Look down each column and see what's the most common characteristic. And you'll want to note it at the bottom of the column. So for example, if more than half of your clients are divorced, then you'd put divorced at the bottom. If most of them are between 55 and 65, you'd note that at the bottom. If they all live in really large homes in a specific area, you'd note that.
You may find that there's no pattern or commonality in a comment, that's okay just leave it blank. But once you've seen what's common across the spreadsheet, then look for clients that have the most number of common characteristics. You may find one client that has all of them or most of them, that's your ideal client. So three steps, list your top 20 clients and favorite 20 clients and fill in as much info as you can about each. Next, look for common characteristics down each column and note them at the bottom of each column. Finally third, look across the common characteristics and see which client or clients embody those characteristics. That's your ideal client. Now, how do I find a niche with that? Here are some questions to ask. Where do people like this hangout? What groups are they members of? Can I buy or pull together or compose a list of people like this? Are they members of clubs, associations or organizations? Are they active online somewhere in a specific group? Where would I find a group of them?
If you think you've found a potential niche, then there's some questions you need to ask yourself. So you went through those questions and you think you've found one, here's how you check that out and make sure it could work. One, do I really create rapport with them easily? Can I reach them? Can I get marketing messages to them? Is there a potential for ongoing introductions from them? Are there other advisors that are under serving them right now? Will I be able to serve them or do I have the technical abilities to deliver? And will there be enough business to build a good business with this specific group?
If you're answering yes to all of these, you have a niche on your hands. Now, what does a niche sound like? Here's some examples. It could be surgeons in a specific city, independent women, people approaching retirement in a specific community or specific geography, senior business leaders, teachers. A business owner can be a niche, but you need to name the type of business because there's such differences. Business owners is a category, not a niche. So you could say the owners of trades businesses or the owners of technology companies as an example. The same goes for professionals, that's a category not a niche. Name them and be specific.
So if it's lawyers, what kind and at what point of their career. We had an advisor whose niche was junior partners of law firms. And it was a very smart niche because this advisor was with them and helping them when no one else was. And then guess what? They all made senior partner everywhere and this advisor was the advisor when it came to attorneys in the city, it was very smart. Action Task: so here is your Action Task. Download the Ideal Client Identifier and complete it. Identify the niche and then post what you discovered in the Facebook group. We and your advisor colleagues in the Facebook group we'll get you some feedback and either some congrats or some fine tuning so that you're clear going forward because you're going to need it.
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