I had the opportunity to hear the always entertaining and informative Matt Halloran of Top Advisor Marketing speak earlier this week. He mentioned that at one time he had considered earning his PhD. Presenting a fairly well-defined area of study to his doctoral mentor, he elicited the response “not specific enough.” In order to meet the approval of a doctoral committee and obtain your terminal degree you must demonstrate deep expertise in a narrow field.
Matt’s point, and I wholeheartedly agree, is that the same is true in marketing financial services.
If you want to get the attention of prospective clients you must be the expert in their particular profile.
It gets back to the ultimate marketing question – why should I choose you over all the other advisors ? I believe the best clients gravitate to the advisors who have a PhD in their particular situation.
Knowing some of the specific challenges (and how to meet them) of physicians is more valuable to those doctors than a financial planner that works with different professions. Knowing the unique circumstances of particular medical specialties is better. Knowing the planning implications of being in private practice versus being an employee for a health system is better still. If you want to attract anesthesiologists in private practice you will be most effective by being the PhD in their unique situation.
What client profile will you earn your PhD in?