5 Reasons for Advisors to Differentiate Themselves Right Now

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I was particularly impressed by Don Connelly’s article: How to Eliminate the Competition Because You ARE Different. Considering how saturated the advisor-space is, it’s no longer enough to be “client-focused” or “comprehensive” because so is everyone else! 

I’m going to quickly expand on Don’s excellent points on why it’s critical that advisors differentiate themselves.


“Clients don’t want average, they want excellence.” 

Today’s clients expect attention and communication that is highly personalized. They’re also asking more questions and expecting to be involved in the planning process. Clients clearly want an advisor that surpasses “average.” 

So how do show your clients that you’re an excellent advisor?

There are three things I recommend:

  1. Make advanced education a priority. Sharpen your skills and offer more value to your clients. 
  2. Consider hiring a coach who will push you to become an unrivaled expert in serving your ideal clientele’s unique needs.
  3. Tell your clients what you learned at the latest conference — and share it with enthusiasm. This is an effective way to show your clients that you’re at the forefront of industry trends and will use that newfound knowledge to benefit them.  


You can’t get referrals if you are not referable.”

If you cannot explain what makes you referable, your clients can’t either. And if you don’t offer anything that is truly unique and different, you are not referable. 

Do you have a real difference-maker in your practice? Do you help a specific kind of person? Spend time answering these questions. Find another advisor who you can have as a sounding board and accountability partner.  

We also have a guide that can help you boost your chances of getting referrals.

“Technology is commoditizing the industry.”

Are robo-advisors a real threat? AI can help replicate many processes, but not relationships. Do you have real, deep relationships with your clients and COIs? Are you super focused on performance? This is something you have to ask yourself. Do I do a good enough job that I am irreplaceable?


You can no longer be all things to all people.”

We have said it before on our podcast and repeat it every time we have a chance: It’s more efficient to replicate your ideal client and target that audience than to spend all your time and efforts trying to be all things to all people. 

You cannot be a generalist unless that is your company’s model. Edward Jones is a perfect example, their brand is being a generalist. It works for them —, they are on every corner. But this company is a rare exception.

Niche marketing can be intimidating for some advisors. Get started by listening to episode 161 of our Top Advisor Marketing Podcast: The Top 10 Arguments Against Niche Marketing and Why They’re All Wrong.


“Sharpen your differentiation message.”

All of the above in Don Connelly’s article leads to this final point. You need to create a compelling elevator statement. A powerful value proposition you strive to live up to every day. What is your story?  Who are your favorite clients? Why should I do business with you?

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to develop your value proposition.

Don nailed this article. I found myself nodding, smiling, and cheering for his points. I just wanted to support his message!  

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