Can anyone be a specialist?
When I first started speaking about specialization, I didn’t realize how many financial professionals would be hungry for this information. The most important thing I try to emphasize with people is that anyone truly can learn to specialize their practice; it really is possible if you are up to the task. It’s a process to give yourself over to. In the same way that anyone can learn to lose weight or save money, a system usually helps them create and sustain results.
This is not an overnight system either. It is my desire to share it with people so they can carve out the speciality, grow their business, and simultaneously create a succession plan that makes sense.
The Anatomy of Specialist process is one I made sure to live, eat, and breathe. It’s not something I tell people to do, it’s something I live and implement on a daily basis.
Anatomy of a Specialist takes you through the following steps:
1. Define Your Objectives
Figure out what you want from specializing your practice. Whether it be increasing your AUM/your personal income or becoming the go-to person in your zip code for your given niche, following the AOAS process will help you pinpoint your objectives for a clear path to growth.
2. Work Backwards
Once you’ve set your objectives, your next step is to determine the data you need to gather to make your specialty a success. Next you chart the actions that the data will help you reveal.
3. Check for Authenticity
Authenticity is the prime determinant of a successful niche strategy. Anatomy of a Specialist sets the stage for you to deep dive into your natural market enabling you to pull out your inner specialist. It has to feel natural for you and make sense for your business.
4. Do a Dry Run
You’ll need to devote time to develop your unique ‘why’ and value proposition. You’ve got to offer yourself the opportunity to test drive your newly created speciality, your overhauled mission statement, and your strategy for implementation. Take notes and adjust along the way, while continuing to factor in the authenticity.
5. Create a Blueprint for Differentiation
This is where the fun and creativity begins. Organize your findings and discoveries to tailor your message to your target market and Centers of Influence; the people you network with regularly and get referrals from. No matter what stage of business you are coming at this from, it really never is too late to refine your message. The result is a business that better reflects your strengths, talents, while implementing the right strategy for optimal leverage.
I understand that stopping to work ON your business while you are desperately needed IN your business is a challenge. Being pulled in those two directions is not the most pleasant feeling. There is however a worse feeling: leaving a hidden specialization on the table that is staring you in the face.
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Michelle Smith is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.