What do these groups of people have in common?
-- Scout People
-- Hot Rod Racers
-- Sports Enthusiasts
-- Cargo Ship Captains
-- Asphalt Business Owners
-- Suddenly Wealth Individuals
While the list above may look fairly disparate, there is something they all have in common. Each of these groups is a niche for Rick Kagawa, CFP, CLU, ChFC, founder of Capital Resources and Insurance, Inc. Based in Huntington Beach, California, Rick is a top producer and member of the Circle of Honor with Transamerica Financial Advisors but his clientele is clearly middle market.
Ready to take a page out of Kagawa’s playbook? Consider this niche strategy.
#1 – COMMON INTERESTS
Kagawa really loves scouting. And sports. And hot rod racing. A volunteer with local, regional and national Boy Scouts of America, he enjoys hunting, fly fishing, guitar collecting and restoring old cars. Drag racing, as both owner and driver, as a member of the National Hot Rod Association is also a passion.
It’s no surprise then that Kagawa is seen in those communities, participating in meaningful ways. Because he shares their passions, interests and values, it is easy for him to exude a high level of energy and commonality when interacting with people in those groups.
The beauty of niche marketing is that it cannot only help you attract significantly more business but also provide richer opportunities for self-expression. Your perfect niche markets are groups in which you are most readily accessible to the people who are most likely to benefit from the services you offer.
Chris Storace, CMFC, owner and principal of Storace Wealth in Danville, Calif., is a part of Rick Kagawa’s OSJ. Storace is a younger advisor, an up-and-comer, who just made the Transamerica’s Top Producer’s list for the first time.
Storace courts and works with some of the biggest names in the Mixed Martial Arts community. To earn their trust, Storace attends the fights, the press conferences, and visits athletes at their gyms just to say hello. Of course it doesn’t hurt that he’s ex-military – a Navy man for eleven years. That gives him a lot of credibility and an instant sense of respect. They not only share common interests, values and passions, but a common vernacular.
Read more about Chris Storace and his marketing strategy here.
#2 -- SHARED LANGUAGE
By choosing the right niches, you will be more effective at crafting your message, developing your website and marketing materials, developing a networking strategy, asking for referrals and differentiating yourself from the competition. You will spend your time and money more effectively as you build your business.
Tom Fowler, CLU, LUTCF, the president of the Fowler Financial Group. He has over 40 years of experience in assisting owners of closely held and family-owned corporations in business and estate planning. The creator of The Business Exit Strategy Solution™, he has authored numerous articles regarding business and estate planning issues. He is a Charter Faculty Member and Certified Wealth Consultant for The Heritage Institute, an educational non-profit organization.
Because Fowler’s niche is closely held business owners and family-owned corporations, his marketing materials, website and in-person sales meetings hinge on words that appeal to his niche market. “Exit Strategy Analysis” and “a professional to manage your company retirement plans” are phrases that have significant appeal for the closely held business owner niche – but would be a total turn-off for a grieving widow or divorcee. Fowler further demonstrates his knowledge of his niche market’s shared language through the two books he’s written: Six Word Lessons, which helps readers learn how to equip future family leaders and create a legacy that impacts future generations and Eight Crucial Questions, a booklet that helps business owners ask and answer the right questions to ensure they exit the business on their own terms, not someone else's.
Kagawa has even created a special logo and “brand identity” for the hot rod racing community – Reaction Time Financial Planning – as this is a term they understand and embrace in the racing world. He wrote an article for a hot rod racing publication that drew lots of analogies between the various niches and their special nomenclature and what he does in the world of money. He has special tabs on his website that demonstrate, through shared language, his acumen for professional athletes, national hot rod association members and individuals who come into “sudden money.” He creates the “wow factor” by having the NFL Players Association and Sudden Money Institute logos prominently displayed on his website. He also has a LinkedIn presence and uses that to connect with and network with people.
#3 -- PERSONALLY INVOLVED
Advisors who realize success with their niche marketing strategy are always actively involved in their communities of interest. They work their way into their niche market’s lives. On any given day you can catch Rick Kagawa golfing with clients, meeting with older clients at their home, mentoring a younger advisor or budding business owner, taking clients out for a skeet shooting experience or surfing the Pacific waves.
I asked Kagawa what cargo ship captains and asphalt business owners had in common with “Scout people,” widows, professional athletes, hot rod racers, and individuals who have suddenly come into money and he told me “these people talk!” They talk in locker rooms. In meetings. At races. At Scout meetings. At church and support groups. Kagawa tries to work his way into their lives, not just on a business professional level but as a friend via social activities or a partner/ally via civic or charitable activities.
Along with running a successful fee-only financial planning practice, Gordon J. Bernhardt, CPA/PFS, CFP, AIF, is an accomplished author who in 2011 published the first volume of Profiles in Success: Inspiration from Executive Leaders in the Washington D.C. Area. The book was developed after interviewing many business owners and executives, and highlights their personal stories and words of wisdom from a diverse group of business leaders in and around D.C. Bernhardt sits in as a silent observer on the live radio interviews that serve as a basis for his individual profiles of the business leaders in his community.
Because Bernhardt’s niche market is closely held business owners and successful professionals, it makes a ton of sense for him to be in front of these people. But instead of pitching his services and acumen, he simply participates in the interview process and asks to include those interviewed in his next Profiles in Success book. Bernhardt anticipates publishing a new volume about every 6-9 months, generating a hardbound set of quality books. The series is already generating buzz and new relationships for Bernhardt and his firm.
In the end, Kagawa says, it’s never about the money. It’s about the client’s values and their life. This gives the advisor permission to communicate in a more authentic and rewarding way. For instance, Kagawa has been studying the art of Appreciative Inquiry with Dr. Ed Jacobson. Because Kagawa has built personal relationships with his current and prospective clients, his holiday letter was about living a life of abundance. He included the letter with a box of bulbs that would bloom over the winter and emerge in the spring. What a lovely way to remind the recipient of their ongoing relationship with Kagawa and his firm.
DID YOU MISS THIS?
I was pleased to attend the T3 Technology Tools for Today conference in February in Dallas. If you missed this Photo Essay, you might want to take a look. I show you what you missed in an economy of words and a nice array of snapshots.
If you missed my prior article on Niche Marketing, including definitions for “niche” and “niche marketing,” click here to glean more insights and advice.