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Most financial advisors are generalists. Because they don't realize that honing in on specific clients garners you more money. They believe that if they are more general, they'll reach more clients.

But the opposite is true. When you focus on a singular niche, you find more clients to help.

Niche Financial Advisor Tyler Hackenberg runs a successful firm advising Catholic clients. He targets his clients with specific marketing. And he shares how you can target your niche with niche tips.

In this episode, discover the niche marketing tips you'll need to target your clients today!

Listen now!

Show highlights include: 

  • How finding your “Calcutta” drives you to help your clients (3:31)
  • Why attracting red-hot leads by changing your company name (5:55)
  • How having a community of niche financial advisors and planners garners you referrals (8:19)
  • Why being a niche financial advisor gives you a deeper bond with your clients (10:27)

If you’re looking for a way to set more appointments with qualified prospects, sign up for James’ brand new webinar about how financial advisors can get more clients with email marketing.

Go to https://TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar to register today.

Go to https://TheAdvisorCoach.com/Coaching and pick up your free 90 minute download called “5 Keys to Success for Financial Advisors” when you join The James Pollard Inner Circle.

Discover how to get even better at marketing yourself with these resources:




Read Full Transcript

You're listening to “Financial Advisor Marketing”—the best show on the planet for financial advisors who want to get more clients, without all the stress. You're about to get the real scoop on everything from lead generation to closing the deal.

James is the founder of TheAdvisorCoach.com, where you can find an entire suite of products designed to help financial advisors grow their businesses more rapidly than ever before. Now, here is your host, James Pollard.

James: Financial advisors, welcome to another episode of the Financial Advisor Marketing podcast. It has been a long time since I’ve had a guest on the show, but I wanted to bring on a guest to talk about something that’s near and dear to my heart, something that I talk about all the time on the show in emails, on the website, on LinkedIn, whatever. It is niche marketing, and I think I talk about it a little bit too much because I’ve gotten some feedback from advisors like, Okay, we get it, choose a niche, even though most people don't take that advice. [01:01.6]

The exception is the man I have on the show with me today. I'm going to let him tell a very cool story about how he found a niche that is near and dear to his heart and what he's doing to approach the niche and serve them in the most beneficial way possible. I will let you introduce yourself, Tyler, and we'll get into this.

Tyler: Yeah, I just wanted to introduce myself, Tyler Hackenberg, I'm the founder of Drexel Day Financial. I help Catholics invest their morals, and, yeah. I just wanted to start with a quick story. That is I think if you get this, you'll get your money's worth from the podcast.

I think, back in the nineties, you've heard a Mother Teresa. A story I heard is Mother Teresa once had a man go visit her in the slums at Calcutta, and while he was there, he was moved by what she was doing. The young man asked, “How can I do what you do?” She looked at him and replied, “Find your own Calcutta,” and, really, I think in the financial services industry, we’d be better if people found their own Calcutta and niched down. [02:06.2]

James: I think that's very important. I want to share with the audience the thing I shared with you off air. Financial advisors who are listening, I think this is … I don't want to say funny. It's fascinating/interesting and I think it's a reflection of I think this has gotten worse. This is from 1997. There's a survey conducted by U.S. News & World Report and the survey asked 1,000 Americans the following question: “Who do you think is most likely to get into heaven?”

Respondents indicated a 52% likelihood for then president Bill Clinton. Michael Jordan got 65% because I think the Bulls had won the NBA championship that year. They gave Mother Teresa 79%, so much higher than Michael Jordan and much higher than Bill Clinton.

But here's the kicker. Who do you think had the highest likelihood for getting into heaven? It was actually the person responding to the survey with a score of 87%. So, Tyler, the average person on the street thinks that he or she is more likely to get into heaven than Mother Teresa. I'm glad that you learned from Mother Teresa, but the average American, meh, they have a higher likelihood of getting into heaven. [03:11.8]

Tyler: Yeah, that was definitely fascinating. I got a good chuckle out of that, and that's why I love my niche so much. It’s fun things like that. Yeah, how about five tips for going niche and five things that I’ve learned?

James: That's definitely what I want to do. Yep.

Tyler: The first of the five, I found my Calcutta. In order to have a niche, it needs to be important to you. You can't just choose a niche that “Hey, dentists have a high number of financial planning needs. I want to help them because I just want to get rich.” They'll see through that and it's just something that won't work, but if it's important to you, that's something that you can target, and also it's part of your community. Being part of the community is definitely a big help. [04:03.8]

James: How did you actually become Catholic? Were you born Catholic? Did you convert later in life? What was your journey to Catholicism?

Tyler: That's a great question. I'm a later convert to Catholicism. I converted in 2018, or 2019 was when I actually came into the church, but 2018 was when I started thinking about that. It's because of me converting later in life that it actually impacted me and made me realize that, hey, I want to help my people with financial planning needs, because I was learning about the stuff at the same time, so I'm like, I’m doing it.

James: I want to preface this by saying that I am personally not Catholic. Identify as Orthodox Christian. I think it's interesting that a lot of people who, for example, say they love the Bible, a lot of these people haven't read it. A lot of people who say they hate the Bible and they're never going to read it and it's just a fairytale also have not read it. I apologize in advance to you and to anyone who is listening if I make some type of blunder or I am super ignorant about Catholicism, because, quite frankly, I am. [05:10.5]

One of the things I wanted to ask you was, did you have an established network of people in the church? Did you have mentors, people that you could reach out to, or were you literally just starting from ground zero?

Tyler: Deciding to start my practice, I actually joined a network of other Catholic financial professionals when I went to the RIA space just to have a network of like-minded individuals that were Catholic, but also financial planners as well, so we had that community there, and being a part of the community that can talk to you. It gave me the confidence to be like, Okay, now's the time for me to go out on my own and help people.

James: I actually like the name of your firm, Drexel Day Financial. In case anybody wants to type it into Google, that's what it is. It's Drexel Day Financial, and that has some significance, too. I know in Eastern Pennsylvania, you have Drexel, literally the college, but what made you choose that specific name? [06:13.5]

Tyler: It's actually named after two Catholic saints. St. Katharine Drexel whose father was Francis Drexel, who was a huge banker back in the early 1800s. When he passed away, he left his daughters a $15 million estate, which if you look back into the 1900s, it's closer to $300 million today. She was left with a huge pile of money, and so what does she do? She becomes a nun to help out with African Americans and Native Americans and help with their education.

James: Just all around a good person, and the reason I wanted to bring that up is because it has significance to your niche market. You're not just ABC Wealth Management and then you pull a name out of a hat and say that you target dentists, as was your example, or doctors or corporate executives. Even your name is significant to your target market and I think that's a brilliant move. I think it will make a difference for you in the future. [07:16.5]

Speaking of difference, one of the things that you told me you wanted to discuss was about making a difference or being different and standing out. Can you share something about that specifically?

Tyler: Yeah, absolutely. If you're a generalist financial advisor, you could throw a dart at anybody and realize that, oh, hey, they all look the exact same, but for me, “Oh, he's the Catholic financial advisor.” I have a friend who is a stripper financial planner who works with strippers, which is just … you can't get any more targeted than her firm name, Stripper Financial Planning. She knows who her niche is and she went all in. If you have a super specific niche, you not only stand out to the population in general, but also other financial advisors. [08:05.5]

If I had a prospect that came and wanted to talk to me and they were a stripper, then I would first be confused on how they got to me, but then I'd be like, Hey, I have somebody that I know that handles your specific needs, and I can refer them out.

James: Selfishly, that's one of the reasons I want financial advisors to niche, because I get a lot of traffic, like when people search for, for example, 12 questions to ask financial advisors, one of the Advisor Coach’s articles come up, and I want to give these people somebody that they can trust and I have people, but if they give me a weird niche, like I’ve never had anybody ask for strippers, but if they did, then I would want to send that person in the right place.

But I don't feel comfortable if somebody says, I'm in Montana. I want somebody who is familiar with agriculture. I don't want to send those people to a generalist financial advisor in New York City who has never seen a farm in his or her life. I hope that makes sense. [08:59.2]

I think that that's a very important point for financial advisors, and I think it's a beautiful thing when advisors and planners work together and they form a community, because the prospects and prospective clients, they're going to search for financial advice anyway, and if you weren't going to work with this person as a generalist or the person who is searching for you, you probably weren't going to work with them if you had a niche market. Rather than just ignoring the person who was searching, ignoring the investor, you should circle back and think, Hmm, I got into this business to actually help people. Maybe I should have a network of niche-specific advisors, where if I get someone, I could just refer them out, and I think that's very important, as you said.

Tyler: Yeah, absolutely, and having just a network of great other people that [say], Hey, I trust this person. I know that we're going to get great service, and, again, it's great because individuals and different niches have different needs. [10:00.0]

My niche has different needs than other niches have, mainly with socially-responsible investing and stuff like that. By setting myself as different, selfishly, part of it is also protecting myself against the future of robo-advisors and stuff like that. Really, I don't have to worry as much about that because they really can't do what I do.

James: Totally. What are some needs? I know you said that there’s socially-responsible investing. Is it that people want a personal touch? I know that's true, but from one Catholic to another, when they're searching, they want someone who identifies with them. Have you seen that people want things outside of financial planning that you or a religion-specific advisor can offer? [10:50.0]

Tyler: Having a common language, and really that's Tip 3, we speak a common language, so we understand each other on a different level. Being Catholic, Catholic in the original language means universal, so the universal faith. Having Catholics together, there's a bond there that's not there with just the generalist financial advisor. By having the commonality of being Catholic, there's already a deeper bond than you would have with just a generalist financial advisor.

James: There's trust immediately.

Hey, financial advisors. If you'd like even more help building your business, I invite you to subscribe to James' monthly paper-and-ink newsletter, “The James Pollard Inner Circle”. When you join today, you'll get more than $1,000 worth of bonuses, including exclusive interviews that aren't available anywhere else. Head on over to TheAdvisorCoach.com/coaching to learn more.

James: And since you brought up language, one of the things that I talk about quite frequently with advisors, and I really, honestly, wish more people listened to me, I say that you really should use the language and that's one of the benefits of being in niches that you know the language, you know the words, you know the problems, the challenges. I know that you can find your target market because you know where they hang out. How does that make your marketing easier? [12:20.4]

Tyler: Yeah, I actually had one friend to whom I was like, Hey, I just launched, and she was like, Great, Carl Richards gave me this advice, go play in traffic. I know what traffic to go play in. If I'm going to certain websites, I'm not going to find my people there, but, hey, I'm seeing that Catholics hang out on Instagram or Facebook.

So, I know that, but they're not really active on LinkedIn, so do I spend most of my time on LinkedIn? Probably not. I would go to Facebook where they actually are. Having that, knowing where they hang out, is something where, hey, I know where I need to be in order for somebody to find out who I am and how I can help out. [13:08.7]

James: And for advisors listening, there are niche-specific magazines, blogs, podcasts, YouTube. Actually, since I brought up podcasts, do you want to share a story? I know you told me about getting someone to reach out to you from a podcast that you did. Would you like to share that here?

Tyler: Yeah, absolutely. I did a podcast called Catholic Life Coach for Men. You really can't get any more targeted to my niche than that. I had a prospect reach out and literally within 20 minutes of the podcast going live it seemed like that I got an appointment set, basically that, Hey, I’ve been looking for a Catholic approach to finance and investing for quite some time beyond the normal mutual funds that are targeted there. [13:58.0]

It also brings something to the fact that I also put myself in a position to reach Catholics. When I decided to design my website, and there are many agencies that make financial advisor websites, I wanted to do something different. Again, it goes back to the difference thing. I actually hired a Catholic marketing agency to design my website for me, because they know my market. They knew my market better than I did from a marketing perspective. I was like, Great, run with it and I’ll make sure it's compliant, and so it was a little bit more work on my end, but also, in a way, it was easier because, hey, they know the language that my target speaks and everything like that.

James: And they know the data behind the scenes. They know what works, what doesn't. They've worked with other Catholic websites and I think there's a lot of value in knowing who has the keys to the data. [15:06.0]

Selfishly, I think that's one of the things that makes me different, because with things like the newsletter, for example, I can reach out to advisors I know are doing multiple millions in profit every single year and I can just be like, Hey, have you done anything different? They will respond to me and I am blessed to be able to do that.

One of the things I was wondering, like during the pandemic crash of March 2020, I was like, I would love to be the person behind Stripe, the payment processor, or PayPal, to see, in real time, what is going on with shopping behavior, with purchasing, and I would love to have that data. Most people don't think like that. They don't think that there are people out there, there are companies out there that have the data you want, and you hired a company that had that data, and even though you may not have asked them explicitly, What should I do? Should I do X, Y, or Z? they operated with their knowledge. They still built your website the way that they would build it to get optimum results, and that's just a great idea. I wish more financial advisors did that. [16:13.7]

Is there anything else that you're doing to stand out to attract your target market and anything else that you would like to share? Because I think your story is a great one.

Tyler: My goal is to get in front of as many people as possible, so it frames my marketing. I have a tip that you gave me, which was word alerts for when the Pope says something. Just the other day, I'm writing something now that the Pope offered some advice on retirement, so I'm going to write an article about that.

James: Wow, really?

Tyler: Yeah.

James: What did he say? I'm curious.

Tyler: Leave a legacy of good rather than just goods.

James: Wow. [16:53.3]

Tyler: And, really, that nails what I'm trying to do. I want to help people, not only financially prosper, but also leave a legacy of good. There's nothing better than people helping people and stuff like that, and that's the main reason I wanted to come on this podcast. You're probably thinking, Hey, none of you are in my niche. I want to help the financial planning industry as a whole, because I think we, as professionals that actually are niching down, owe it to other people to provide our stories to give other people confidence to niche down. Don't be afraid to be different. That's really just the biggest thing that I'm finding.

James: People are terrified. They're terrified that they will alienate certain people, and I keep bringing it up, the story I go back to is that my personal accountant, for example, works with attorneys and he has a book tailored to attorneys, and he's like a D-list celebrity in the attorney space. [18:04.2]

I am not an attorney. I want him to specialize because I want him to be profitable. I want him to be successful, be prosperous, to grow. I am not turned off by the fact that he has a specialty. I didn't know this until I really started digging deep into the details of him and his business, that, me, a business owner with my hands in different things, I actually have a lot in common with attorneys, and whether that's good or bad, I mean, financially, I just do, and he can help me. I didn't get scared. I didn't not want to work with him. I think if more financial advisors were exposed to that story, to your story, they would feel more comfortable, just as you've said.

The only thing that I would want to learn more about is are you limiting yourself to a specific geographic region? Because my kneejerk reaction is that Catholic seems too broad and I'm sure that that has crossed your mind as well that it's too big. What is a qualifier or how are you narrowing just Catholics, or are you? [19:10.0]

Tyler: Yeah, that's a great question. My fee model is a big differentiator. I drank the Kool-Aid of being advice-only. I don't actually manage investments, which is a further clarifier. I want to help do-it-yourself Catholics reach their financial goals. There are other of my friends who actually will manage investments for clients, but that's not me. As it goes on, I’ll definitely specialize even more. Just getting started, here's where I'm at, and so, really, currently, I'm virtual, so I can really work with anyone. [19:53.7]

At the same time, also knowing that, hey, I'm going to be selective in who I work with. I want people who believe what I believe. The other fear that people have is, Hey, I really want to work with you. “Cool, are you Catholic?” They say no. Am I going to not work with them? That's not the case. If it's a good fit, it's a good fit regardless of that.

James: And that’s what happens with a lot of people.

Tyler: You don't have to say no. Yeah, you don't have to say no to a client that wants to work with you, unless it doesn't make sense.

James: It's like you would have turned these people down anyway. That's the sentence that I kind of say a lot to financial advisors when they're like, Oh, I don't want to turn these people away. I don't want to turn these people off. I don't want to alienate them.

I'm like, You would have said no anyway. You're freaking yourself out about people that you would not have wanted to work with. If your heart is truly in a specific niche market, whether it's agriculture or corporate executives or whatever, it doesn't matter, if you truly like that, you are probably going to say yes to those people anyway. The only question is where are they? Can you find them? You have answered yes or you've found the answers to those questions, and you're doing it very well. [21:10.4]

Just so we get your website on the podcast. It’s DrexelDayFinancial.com. Is that correct?

Tyler: Yes, that is correct.

James: D-R-E-X-E-L, day D-A-Y, financial [dot] com. You will see right on the homepage that he specializes in working with Catholics. You will get an example of niche-specific marketing. It is not necessarily that you are saying, Oh, yeah, I work with Catholics, and then people get to your website and see something very general with no information about them. You are about this market through and through, and that is what I think financial advisors can learn from you. I think that's what they can take away. I really appreciate you sharing your story. Is that all? Is there anything else that we can go into there?

Tyler: Not really. That's everything that I wanted to talk about. If you have niche questions, feel free to reach out to me. I've literally spent a lot of time thinking about niches, so I do have other ideas for niches, but I'm like, my heart is not really in them. [22:13.6]

James: What were they? What was your number two, I guess? Did you have a Plan B or a different niche? If it wasn't Catholics, what would it be?

Tyler: Yeah, my other would be occupational therapist. Because my wife is an occupational therapist, I know occupational therapist, and because my wife has to travel for conferences and I know what magazines they read and stuff like that. So, marrying your niche is also a good idea. My wife is also Catholic, so in a way, I did it anyway.

James: So, if you are a Catholic occupational therapist, you have no excuse at this point. You know what to do. I've already given you the website.

With that said, I'm going to wrap up the podcast episode. This has been a really good one, five tips for niching down from someone who is living it, breathing it and doing it well. Financial advisors, I will catch you next week. [23:13.1]

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