James Christie | What do you do?

I love this question. I had a pretty good answer when I worked at my previous employer. But now that I am in business for myself with a number of ventures going on at the moment, this has become a little bit more cumbersome to articulate. I have heard so many answers to this question over the last decade from financial advisors and life insurance producers.  Some really good, others not so much.

This is something we should know and be able to recite like the lyrics of don’t stop believing, but it can prove to be one of the most difficult questions to answer. However, it is vitally important as you position yourself in the market, especially in the social media age.  Think about it, what is the first thing you do when you meet someone knew or hear something new and interesting?  You “google” it.

If someone “googled” you, what would they find? Is your action statement something like this? “I help people reach their retirement goals by providing wealth management and financial planning services

Sound familiar? Welcome to the herd. One thing I can guarantee about being a part of the herd, is that you will never be heard. There is a lot of noise in this marketplace, it is important to fine tune your pitch to your clients and get as targeted as possible.  This is important for building your business in terms of clientele and just as important for the message you are sending out into the marketplace about your business.

There is actually a proven equation for writing this statement and it is very simple.

“I help (specific target niche) get to (niche’s desired state) via (your proprietary approach)”

The key with this is to really focus on the items that are in parenthesis.  For example, “people” are not a specific target niche. Doctors, engineers, and even “retirees” could be a good example of a specific target niche.

Next, you need to really understand your desired niche.  Know the language they use, the pain they feel, and ultimately what they feel is a desired state that they are looing to achieve. For example, “reaching retirement” is not good enough. If you really know the niche you are working with, this desired state and the words you want to use basically write themselves.

Finally, how do you do it?  You don’t want to sound like every other advisor on your street. Be specific and really give a view into how you are different. If you don’t have something that stands out, that may be part of the problem.

I took the time to write this article because I have had at least a dozen conversations about this over the last two weeks. I am currently involved in a fintech start up and part of that venture is working with financial professionals on how to use the tools we have available to us to be more efficient and productive in the financial advice space.  Something as simple as the words you have on LinkedIn, Facebook, or your website can have a significant impact on your business.  Both positive and negative.

My name is James Christie and I help financial professionals achieve efficiency and scale in their practice by installing predictable systems, processes, and best practices acquired from my decade of experience working with the best financial professionals around the country.