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Business-Building Advice From The 0.1 Percent

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What could you do for your business if you knew some of the key success strategies used by the very wealthiest professionals and their families -- not the 1%, but the 0.1%? You'd be able generate monumental improvements that would cause revenues and profits to soar.

That's where Richard Wilson comes in. Wilson is the founder of The Family Office Club, the largest association in the "family office" wealth management industry. The group helps ultra-wealthy families start or manage so-called family offices -- specialized firms that address the complex financial needs of the select group of people worth at least tens of millions of dollars (typically well over the $100 million net worth mark).

In his role, Wilson is privy to some of the key strategies and tactics that these families have used in their businesses to generate such tremendous success. He recently shared three key insights with me that any entrepreneur can implement to boost their results.


1. Focus on the most valuable part of your market. Richard looks for niches within larger industries where there is more money to be made, more value to be delivered, or higher quality prospects than average and then defines brands and offerings to exclusively focus on those niches. This is great all-season advice, of course. But it's especially smart if there's a high-value segment of your customer base that is being underserved by others.

Wilson built his success with ultra-affluent families in this way, creating the first platform business focused on family offices based on his seeing a need that wasn't being met. He explains: "Back in 2007, there were 500 books written on wealth management, but not much written on family offices and literally not a single website that just was dedicated to help people learn more about the industry. I just thought it was backwards that the most valuable part of the wealth management industry had nothing written on it."

2. Engage with the influencers in your niche. If you can enlist the help of influencers -- the movers and shakers among the types of clients you most want to serve -- you can leapfrog over the competition. Influencers can help you better understand the needs and concerns of your chosen niche and how to solve them, as well as help connect you to ideal prospective clients. "The best strategy I see ultra-high-net-worth families use to pre-empt the competition is going after the smartest people in the industry and keeping them on their side through joint ventures, partnerships, or shared interests," says Wilson. "You want to identify who controls the relationships and media channels in the area you're serving, and make them your partners. You'll get the first introductions to new leads and massive exposure through those different hubs."

Indeed, I recently co-authored a study of 3,500 highly successful entrepreneurs and found a high correlation between networking with influencers and superior financial results.

3. Become a "go-to" thought leader in your industry. Once you make inroads with influencers and really learn about your clients inside and out, you can start to become one of the influencers yourself -- and boost your credibility and visibility even more.

To become an influencer, you need to get good at thought leadership marketing -- writing on topics of importance to your customers and getting those insights to them via multiple challenges (blogging, videos, webinars, white papers, articles and books). That's exactly what Wilson did to establish himself in the family office space. "I started writing about the industry daily, just for myself to learn more about the industry and kind of bring everything together," he says. "I was reading Bloomberg, Financial Times, and elsewhere, and bought and made it the first website to be focused on just giving away information on the space."

The results have been powerful: Says Wilson: "We are the most visited website in the industry. We have the number 1 best-selling book. And our Family Office Club has more than 1000 registered ultra-wealthy families, which helps us host quarterly 300 to 600 person conferences for our charter members."

There are two ways to get the job of credibility marketing done:

* Start small and do it yourself. Take 30 minutes out of your hour lunch break a few times a week to write a short blog post. By the end of the year, you'll have enough content to write a booklet or white paper or conduct a webinar to prospective clients. As you keep going, you will develop enough content eventually to write an entire book. But the experience will be relatively easy and pain free, since you've built up the content step-by-step over time. This is a better approach than biting off more than you can chew by trying to write a best-seller right off the bat. "If you write about your niche a little bit every day, you'll come to be seen as an expert in your local community in about two years," says Wilson. "We did that and kept at it, and we ultimately became a perceived expert globally in about five years."

* Get help. As the expert and authority in your market, you are always the author of your content -- the person with the important insights and perspectives to share. What you need is a writer -- a professional you can work with to get those insights out of your brain and onto paper or video in a way that is compelling to read or listen to. Professional freelancer writers are easily found, although ideally you want to work with one who has at least a passing familiarity with your industry and niche. Check with industry associations and some of those influencers you're now pals with for writers to tap.

Looking for a roadmap to huge success as a business owner? Check out the insights, tactics and actionable strategies from today's top entrepreneurs at AES Nation.

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