Marketing to high net worth individuals requires a different approach compared to regular marketing and advertising efforts targeted at the general population.
The most common definition of a high net worth individual is someone who has at least $1 million in liquid assets. Many would even put up a much higher number to be considered high net worth. One thing’s certain though – even if you live in a very affluent area, the number of high and ultra-high net worth individuals is still a very small percentage of the overall market.
What Makes High Net Worth Individuals Different?
Wealthy individuals can come from many different backgrounds. Typical high net worth individuals are high-level corporate executives, business owners, entrepreneurs, investors, and successful professionals such as doctors, lawyers and accountants. Quite a few are entertainers, athletes, or some other type of celebrity. There are also many who have inherited generational wealth from their families.
Regardless of where their money and assets come from, high net worth individuals will have different goals compared to someone who works a normal job – even one who makes six figures annually.
They’re not losing sleep over mortgage payments or college tuitions, nor are they worried about saving up enough for a comfortable retirement. They’re more interested in seeing their portfolio grow and having more time to enjoy their wealth.
They can easily afford all of their needs and wants, so it’s useless to try to attract them with free consultations, special promotions and amazing deals. They’re also not easily impressed with abstract ideas of achieving their dreams – they’re already living it.
What they are looking for is someone who can make their lives easier.
Where to Start
To come up with an effective direction for your marketing strategy, you’ll need to identify your target audience first. You can’t simply come up with a campaign to target every rich person in the world.
As mentioned earlier, these individuals can come from different backgrounds and each one will have different tastes. Just like regular people, every one of them will have different expectations for growth and varying appetites for risk.
Get to know your ideal client first by finding out what makes them tick.
- What do they read?
- Who do they listen to?
- Where do they shop?
- Where do they eat?
- What do they do in their spare time?
In marketing terms, this process is called creating a buyer persona.
Immerse yourself in their world and you’ll be able to speak their language better. This allows you to make stronger connections with your marketing campaigns. It’s also a good idea to target a specific niche or a specific buyer persona in the beginning, so you can test your campaigns much easier.
Make New Connections
In order to make yourself heard, you’ll have to reach out to individuals and organizations who your target clients already know and trust.
High net worth individuals won’t listen to just anyone off the street. They get dozens of proposals and solicitations a week from people trying to get their business. If you want them to single you out or at least give you any sort of consideration, your message should come from someone they already listen to. People who regularly work with the wealthy get all of their business through their reputation and referrals.
To build up your reputation, your brand needs to be regularly seen in publications and events that rich people patronize. Look for special events you can sponsor or participate in so you can build up brand awareness and create healthy associations with your company.
Make sure your ads and press releases get published in industry publications, websites, and social media pages that your target clients read. Write articles and posts that cater to these websites’ target audiences and ask them to link to your page or at least make references to your brand.
Don’t forget about the power of social media. Simply connecting and engaging with social media pages that your target markets follow is free and gives you more exposure. Even just observing what topics and posts get the most engagement and interaction allows you to get a better idea of what people actually like to see and hear.
It goes without saying that a top financial advisor won’t be spamming posts just to get attention. So make sure that whatever you share is properly curated and thought provoking so you can make a lasting impression.
Highly Personalized Services
High net worth individuals are used to having exclusive access and perks. These individuals expect bespoke products and extra services that are not available to the mainstream market. It’s important that your marketing reflects the specialized services that you are able to offer.
Wealthy individuals hire personal assistants and professionals like lawyers and accountants to handle all the tedious legwork for them. More often than not, they choose people who will go the extra mile and do their bidding without any questions asked.
High net worth clients also have no qualms about spending more than the average person as long as they can get exactly what they want. As such, your marketing should not only present you as someone who is reliable and available at all times, but also as someone who will listen and understand exactly what they need – sometimes, even before they realize they need something.
Along with specialty VIP service, wealthy clients expect absolute discretion when it comes to dealing with their finances. They value their privacy above everything else, and will choose a service that can guarantee it.
Adding extra features to your website like AltaStreet’s Client VAULT, for example, allows you to securely share sensitive documents with your clients. Access is protected by unique usernames and passwords so clients can easily communicate and collaborate with their financial advisors whenever and wherever they are.
Show Off Your Expertise
Wealthy clients have the freedom to choose from hundreds of financial advisors, so give them a good reason to pick you over the others. Your branding should clearly communicate what sets you apart. You only have a short amount of time to get their attention, so be clear about your firm’s expertise from the very beginning.
State how many years of combined experience your office has. Let people know you can handle large accounts by promoting the total value of your AUM (Assets Under Management). Set proper expectations and show how much consistent growth you’re able to deliver year-over-year. Make sure your brand messaging reflects that you’re the best of the best, and what you offer is not available anywhere else.
Most important of all, make sure you can deliver on any promises you make. VIP clients are very discerning and sophisticated. They can easily tell if someone is selling them something that’s too good to be true.
One thing high net worth individuals are always wary of is people who are just trying to take advantage of them. If anything, most wealthy clients want assurances that you can deliver what you promise. You’ll only get their attention if your marketing reflects the sophistication and expertise they expect from a top-tier team.
To further bolster your firm’s image and credibility, you can write articles, blog and social media posts, and email newsletters to show that you know what you are talking about. Publish these in-depth write-ups on your own website and social media pages, as well as other well-known publications, or send them out to your mailing list. This lets people see how well you know the business and how much work you put into your financial analysis and investment strategies. It also helps keep your brand on top of people’s minds and become a more respected authority in specific areas.
The Allure of Exclusivity and Rarity
Luxury brands can justify charging higher than normal prices not just because their products and services are the best that money can buy. A large part of their success and popularity comes from the exclusivity of their brand, since only a select few can afford them. When you add the aspect of rarity, prices and values skyrocket even more.
Many top financial advisors and wealth management firms apply these same principles by requiring new clients to put up a large initial investment if they want to open an account. It’s not to discriminate against people with less money. It’s so they can properly allocate their available resources to deliver the best service and returns possible.
Unless you’re a large corporation, you probably don’t have hundreds or even dozens of people working for you. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Managing a smaller team composed of highly talented people allows you to provide a more personalized approach that high net worth clients value more dearly.
You don’t need to explicitly state that you only take on a limited number of clients. But your branding and marketing has to have the same look and feel that high end brands use to attract high end clients. Your messaging also has to incorporate the idea that your unique set of services are only available to the most discerning clientele in order to add a sense of exclusivity to your product offerings.
Don’t Try to Do Everything Yourself
In order to give your brand the image needed to attract high value clients, it has to be designed and developed by experts. Unless you’re also a marketing guru in addition to being a financial management expert, you should hire marketing professionals who can guarantee results. Your time is better spent talking to clients, building your network, analyzing the market, and coming up with new investment strategies and products.
Recent studies have shown that high net worth individuals have a high level of digital literacy . 98% use the Internet daily, while 85% have three or more digital devices. They’ve got tons of exposure to all sorts of digital marketing on different platforms. They’ll be able to easily tell whether something’s been quickly thrown together, or properly planned and laid out by experts. So everything about your brand has to look high quality if you want to stand out and make a good impression.
Marketing professionals also have access to tools that can analyze how well your campaigns are performing. This information is extremely valuable and necessary if you’re determined to increase conversion rates.
Marketing to high net worth individuals requires a lot of finesse and skill if you want to do it right. You have to work on getting the emotional drivers right, as well as highlight the soundness and competitive edge of your financial strategies.
In addition, the barriers to entry are difficult to break through. You’ll need to build and develop relationships with people who can help put your brand on your target clientele’s radar.
It’s better to start by developing an overall marketing strategy with the help of an expert, then focus on perfecting one or two things at a time. You can then slowly improve the other aspects of your marketing campaigns until you’ve refined everything down to a science.