When someone asks us a question about niche marketing, one of our first thoughts is LinkedIn. Whether they’re targeting a certain company, an industry, a profession or demographic, LinkedIn is a great place to start. It helps you find niche prospects, determine your connections to them, and helps you market to them.
Before we dive into how to niche market on LinkedIn, allow us to offer a “pro tip.” Don’t try a niche cold; it’s very hard to get off the ground. Instead, look through your book of business and your existing LinkedIn connections for a commonality. Even if you find two or three current connections with a commonality that you’d like to expand into a niche, it’s better than nothing!
If you want to be known as the go-to financial advisor for those working at XYZ Company, make sure that it’s evident on your LinkedIn profile. There are two ends of the spectrum on this. On one end, you could fully brand your profile as the XYZ Company specialist. It’s in your headline, your summary, your experience, your groups, etc. With this approach, you’re saying your niche is so important that you’re willing to forgo some non-niche clients. If I’m a physician, why would I choose the go-to advisor for XYZ Company? On the other end of the spectrum, you could simply mention in your summary that you’re a specialist in XYZ Company, which makes your case, but doesn’t turn off non-XYZ Company prospects.
One of the best ways to find niche prospects on LinkedIn is to look through the network of a client who’s in that niche. For example, if I click on the connections of someone employed at XYZ Company, I can search specifically for colleagues and even narrow my search by job title or geography. When meeting with this current client, express a desire for them to introduce you to a specific person or two from their network. Our research shows that 85 percent would provide that introduction if your advisor-client relationship has business and social components; 57 percent would help even if you have a purely business relationship.
To search through your entire extended network (your connections and their connections), you can run an Advanced Search. There’s a link beside the search bar at the top of your screen to access this feature. With Advanced Search, you can scour LinkedIn for all people who meet certain criteria like company, job title, geography, university and so on. From there, you’re looking for people with whom you have an inroad (mutual connection that would be open to introducing you).
If you haven’t experimented with LinkedIn advertising, you’ll be surprised at the level of targeting that’s possible. If you want to target dentists within a certain radius of your office, with certain titles listed on their profile, it’s entirely possible and not cost-prohibitive. While you don’t expect hundreds of people to pick up the phone and ask you for appointments, all it takes is one for this strategy to be worth the investment.
Develop custom content for your niche. Envision articles and videos with titles such as:
- Top 3 Concerns Raytheon Executives Have About Retirement
- How Business Owners Should Approach Personal Healthcare
- Helping Merck Executives Save More for Retirement
- Lockheed Martin Employees: What You Need to Know About Your Pension!
- 5 Financial Planning Essentials for Engineers
You get the idea. This type of content is powerful because it’s highly targeted. It jumps out and grabs the attention of your niche and positions you as the expert.
There are two ways to target groups on LinkedIn. You could join groups that attract your niche or you could create a group that attracts your niche. This was listed as our last recommendation for a reason—it’s not where we’d start your approach. You’re unlikely to land new clients simply by regularly posting in the Corvette Enthusiasts of Orange County Group. However, we’ve seen this become very fruitful in certain situations. For instance, one advisor created a group for people getting laid off from a certain company in his area and quickly attracted hundreds of their former employees. It positioned him as an expert very quickly.
Do you have a niche? If not, want to create one? LinkedIn is a great place to start. Plus, you can take some of the same text you draft for your LinkedIn account and use it in promotional materials and your website.
Don’t miss the Stephen and Kevin Show Episode 42 on this topic. It’s full of helpful insights.
@StephenBoswell is President of The Oechsli Institute and author of Best Practices of Elite Advisors. @KevinANichols is the Chief Operating Officer for The Oechsli Institute and author of The Indispensable LinkedIn Sales Guide for Financial Advisors.