Since the first introduction of Apple’s iPhone in 2007, the Internet superhighway has become more cluttered than an L.A. freeway. That might sound like a negative, but since Google became a verb and search engines became the smartest person in the room, Internet “clutter” is a fantastic thing.
Why? It allows us to run hyper-specific searches. In the early days of the Internet, if you had trouble with a lawn tool, it was cutting edge to run an online search for “small engine repair.” Now you’d cut straight to the chase by searching “changing the filter in a 2014 Honda CR27 pressure washer.” This is a trend that advisors can use to their advantage.
The best advisor content right now is hyper-specific.
When you narrow your focus, your content becomes more useful, more searchable and more likely to convert into new business. We’ve ridden this wave since 1978. Back then, we gave away material (in print at the time), which helped us build relationships and, eventually, led to new business. Our focus has become more and more targeted every year; now focusing on one industry and covering only a handful of topics…but going deeper into these topics than anyone else.
So how do you go about riding this wave of hyper-specific content? These steps should help:
- Define Hyper-Specific Niches—What occupations, companies or demographics can you penetrate? Do you work well with John Deere employees, dentists or divorcées? Choose more than one and experiment.
- Create Hyper-Specific Content—What issues do these specific groups face? Go beyond just adding their company or occupation to the title of the article or video. Add in some language that shows that you’re an insider and that you really get them.
- Spread Hyper-Specific Content—Your articles and videos need distribution to become effective. Post on your website, distribute through social media and send to your email distribution list. Over time, you’ll become known as a specialist.
- Run Hyper-Specific Ads—Facebook ads are laser-focused and not all that expensive. We run Facebook ads for advisors, and our biggest successes happen when we get hyper-specific. For example, rather than running a generic retirement-planning ad, we would target local physicians who are nearing retirement with a piece on "Seven Key Questions Physicians Should Ask Before They Retire."
The idea is not to bombard prospects every day with useless information disguised as content (junk), but to position yourself as a thoughtful professional who regularly gives away useful advice. Who will you target?
@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.