At this point, most advisors have heard that they need to find a niche … and that they need to create content. If you’ve ever wondered at the hype surrounding these two concepts, look no further than Englebert Financial Advisers. The Pennsylvania-based registered investment advisor uses content — from social media videos, webinars, and even a book — to amplify their expertise and grow their practice.
The results speak for themselves. “We just had a client come in and say he found us on the internet,” explains firm co-founder Chris Englebert. “We assumed he Googled financial advisors, and we came up. That was true, but when he got to our website, he binge-watched all of our videos, and that’s what convinced him to make the appointment.”
So how can you emulate that formula for success? It starts with narrowing your scope.
Find your niche
Chris and Jamie Englebert — since the couple shares a last name, we’ll refer to them by their first names throughout this article — started their careers at a wirehouse, which is where they first began working with police officers, via their pension plans. They quickly discovered two things: There are unique challenges facing law enforcement officials in Pennsylvania, and it’s an underserved market in need of advice. Many cops may not even know where to start.
“Depending on what profession you’re in, you might not run into financial advisors,” says Chris, noting that if a cop does encounter an advisor, it’s usually to write them a speeding ticket. As the Engleberts learned the ins-and-outs of pensions and 457 plans for Pennsylvania law enforcement, it became clear that they wouldn’t have much competition as experts in this type of financial planning and advice.
Now, they’re taking that same model and applying it to a new niche. A number of teachers began approaching the firm after hearing about Englebert Financial Advisers’ work with retired police officers. So Chris and Jamie set out to develop expertise to help teachers, too.
“We’ve been doing teachers for a couple of years now, and we just don’t understand how they’ve been doing this by themselves,” Chris says, explaining that the moving parts involved in retirement planning for teachers are complicated even for experts.
Of course, not every advisor wants to specialize in public sector employees or even work with pensions. But the Engleberts still suggest finding a niche. “You’ve got to put your blinders on and just go after that niche, whether it’s doctors or dentists or people who own exotic cars,” Chris says. “Once you narrow it down, you can dominate that field and find success.”
Demonstrate your expertise
Once you find a niche, it’s easier to become an expert. You know things about your niche that other advisors don’t, and that creates an opportunity for you to showcase your knowledge. While this might be easy or natural to do in client meetings, Englebert Financial Advisers found a way to share expertise and information at scale.
First, they’ve poured their insights into books. They use one of those books, Financial Planning and Retirement Strategies for Pennsylvania Police Officers, when talking to clients and prospects. Prospects who see the book automatically associate Englebert Financial Advisers as the industry standard on retirement planning for Pennsylvania cops. They’re in the process of writing a similar book for Pennsylvania public school teachers. (They also have a book out on what to do, from a financial point of view, after a death.)
They’ve also begun doing a series of webinars for law enforcement, which they schedule for the officers’ lunch hour. The presentations are also recorded so anyone who’s interested can watch at a later date. “We have crazy statistics with our website where people will just come to our site and watch these webinar videos,” Chris explains. Even if viewers don’t set up a meeting, Jamie says just sharing the information ensures they’re top of mind when a prospect is ready for an advisor.
“After the webinar, we had people calling us with follow-up questions, so we’d send them the book we wrote,” explains Jamie. “Then, when anyone gets close to retirement, they call us, and they trust us, because now they think we’re the expert. We’ve probably opened at least five new relationships this year just based on those webinars.”
If you’re thinking that books and a webinar series feel like a lot of work, rest assured that your content doesn’t need to be super in-depth or require a herculean effort to be successful. For instance, Chris Englebert also records short videos on a variety of topics. Many of these are targeted at a general audience — topics like why he discourages annuities in an IRA or his market outlook — and, therefore, make good content for social media. For advisors scared to share their content to social, Chris says, simply, “Don’t be.”
Know when to stop
It’s clear the Engleberts are passionate about educating their clients. But they also know when to stop. “Clients don’t care about alpha or beta or Sharpe ratios,” Chris says. “They just want to know if you’re making them money.”
That’s the guiding principle the Engleberts use when coming up with educational videos, building client reports, and even designing their client portal. “Simpler is better,” Chris says.
The Engleberts use a basic formula to keep things simple: Start with what’s going on in the world, then what’s going on in the markets, and then what’s going on with the client’s account. From a content perspective, when it comes to reporting, less is more. Jamie worked with Advyzon to set up client reports to feature specific information and adjusts reports based on whichever strategy the firm is using with that particular client.
While keeping things simple is an approach the Engleberts believe works well universally, this is another area where having a niche can lead to a better client experience. If you work with math-savvy clients who love data, for instance, it might be a good idea to include information on Sharpe ratios and correlation. For the law enforcement officers and teachers the Engleberts work with, the opposite is true.
Whomever you work with, and whatever their preference, Advyzon’s software can help you deliver beautiful client reports that surpass expectations. Schedule a consultation to see how Advyzon can make your reports more effective, with less effort from you.
Read more about how Advyzon supports Englebert here.