The saying, “If you build it, they will come,” may sound like a great plan for starting and growing your firm, but building the foundation alone will not get you clients.

And if you already have a few clients and focus all of your energy and attention on outstanding customer service, you’ll have an award-winning client retention rate, but this still does not equate to new client growth.

If you want to grow your business and increase the number of clients you serve, you should start with the following four steps:

1. Define & articulate your unique value proposition.

While this may sound obvious, defining your target market, defining your competitive advantage, and ensuring it is consistently told in all of your marketing material takes purposeful planning.

You need to start with identifying specifically who you serve.  For people to see you as a clear choice, you must represent a clear solution for a specific type of problem or specific type of client.  This is not possible if your defined client is “companies that offer 401k plans”.

Think about it, specialists make more than generalists and get more referrals – but it’s a difficult concept for advisors to embrace because no one wants to leave money on the table by casting a narrow net – so we become just like everyone else, in hopes to attract everyone else, and then we must compete with everyone else.  When you appeal to everyone – you appeal to no one.  Niches equal riches.  Define your segment or target that addresses some characteristic or challenge that a small portion of the population can relate to.

Next in identifying your unique value is to define your competitive advantage. In the book “How to Get Your Competition Fired” by Randy Schwantz, he describes the three ways you can have a competitive advantage.

  • First, you can provide a service that is unique, that no one else provides.
  • Second, you can provide a service that others provide, but you have a better process for it that gets better results.
  • Or third, you can describe the service you offer in such a clear and compelling way that prospects are motivated to buy from you rather than from your competition.

You need to be able to clearly articulate your competitive advantage, and ensure this message is consistently told throughout all of your marketing, website, social media and public-facing material.

There’s a great worksheet for developing your unique value proposition in the special report titled “3 Steps to Developing a Marketing Strategy That Doesn’t Suck” found here.

2. Focus on one marketing strategy.

One of the biggest challenges we all struggle with is time.  If you’re going to create and implement a strategy for growth, you must be selective in your strategies and deliberate in how you implement them so you don’t waste valuable time trying and testing tactics that may not be suited for you and your business.

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