So You Say You Market to Business Owners…
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I’m sick of the impoverished language that advisors use when trying to market themselves to business owners. Try these one-liners instead.
Let’s start with the three common mistakes that advisors make when trying to market themselves to business owners:
- They lack any real meaning
It is meaningless to say, “I work with business owners.” It’s like saying, “I work with people who wear shoes.”
Why don’t you say this instead:
“I work with everyone whose money I can get my hands on who doesn’t have a job or didn’t inherit a fortune. I have no specific expertise, so I run around all day trying to be all things to all people.”
- Nobody refers to themselves this way
Whose words are these, anyways?
Do these people actually call themselves “business owners” in casual conversation?
You are talking over them.
How would you feel if your realtor said to you, “You know, Maria, there are three other financial analysts who live within two blocks of this summer home you’re considering.”
Or if you’re a fee-based advisor and the person who runs the Lexus dealership said to you, “Geez, Benjamin, I saw the market took a dive. I wonder how stock brokers like you avoid losing your minds!”
Or if your father-in-law said something like, “I told my buddy at the golf club you were the best insurance agent in our town!”
Use the words that they would use to describe themselves, not that you assume they want to be called.
- Not a niche
Business owners are not a niche.
Look at The Prince Family on YouTube. They’re making upwards of $1 million per year with no full-time employees. Compare that to someone who owns a family-run manufacturing plant producing eyeglass cases with 100 employees.
They’re all business owners making bank – but their financial needs are completely different. One is going to retire with no assets from the business and won’t be able to sell anything. Another will need a full exit strategy, there is real property involved, and the sales of the business could take a decade.
According to Fundera, the average small business owner in the United States makes about $71,000 annually. That’s who you work with, those of you who say you work with business owners?
Do you know how easy it is to market to a niche on social media? Say, for example, people who own BMW dealerships.
- Join the BMW group on LinkedIn;
- Search for car dealership owners using LinkedIn search;
- Listen to these podcasts;
- Sponsor a Digital Dealer webinar;
- Advertise in Dealer Magazine; and
- Look at these quotes from attendees from last year, find them on LinkedIn, and start up a convo.
But back to the original point, how do you refer to them linguistically?
Instead of using the phrase “business owner,” which is a meaningless phrase for all the reasons described above, use language that puts the person at the center of its meaning.
- I’m a person who
- I work with people who
It’s not an “owner”; it’s a “person who” does something.
Here are five one liners you can use.
- I work with people who own businesses based in Houston that tend to gross about $2 to $5 million in revenue annually.
- I work with people who own pet stores that have 20 or more people working there.
- My clients are self-employed people who consult for tech firms in the San Francisco Bay area.
- I’m a financial advisor and many of my clients are people who manage BMW dealerships in the Midwest.
- My practice focuses on helping those YouTube stars who have one million or more followers.
Every LinkedIn message in this e-book is two sentences or less.
If you need social media coaching, join my membership. There is a waitlist, so please contact me to reserve your spot.
Sara Grillo, CFA, is a marketing consultant who helps investment management, financial planning, and RIA firms fight the tendency to scatter meaningless clichés on their prospects and bore them as a result. Prior to launching her own firm, she was a financial advisor.
Godlewski, Nina. (2020, December 16th. Fundera. Small Business Revenue Statistics (2021): Annual Sales and Earnings. Retrieved on March 15, 2021 from https://www.fundera.com/resources/small-business-revenue-statistics