I recently spent a whole day out of the office visiting local fee-only planners. I spent time with my first firm, which manages $100 million in AUM; I also visited two planners whom I had never met. One was a solo practitioner running a lifestyle practice; the other was an owner of a firm with $450 million in AUM.

There’s not necessarily a lot of overlap between their target clients and mine. So my goal with all three meetings was to help them understand immediately who my ideal client is -- and when to refer clients to me.

I launched my RIA,Finance for Teachers, just a couple of months ago. My days are consumed right now with building brand awareness and exposure, both in the advisory community and the teaching world. Because of the niche brand that I have created, this has been a lot easier and more successful than I imagined.

When talking with these advisors about my practice, they all asked whether, if they had a teacher who was not an ideal client, they should send that person to me. (My answer, of course, was yes.) They then started to brainstorm their client, prospect and friend lists to come up with some potential referrals.

I’m not expecting that all referrals will be that easy -- but I’m hoping that because my company name and target are so specific, any teacher that crosses these advisors’ path will automatically trigger a thought of my firm.

My question to you: Do other planners or professional colleagues know your ideal client profile? If they don’t know who, specifically, they should refer to you, you may be missing out on business.

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