How to Open Your Own Ghostbusting Business

amelia-lego-67856If you want to build your business, become a Ghostbuster. I’m not referring to the movie, exactly (I didn’t even see the sequel.) I’m talking about the theme song.

If there’s somethin’ strange in your neighborhood 
Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters!



If that song were a real advertising jingle as opposed to a fictional one, it would rank right up there as among the best of all time. Its message is simple. If you have this specific problem—say, a slimy green ball of ectoplasm living in your fridge—then you know exactly whom to call. The song builds an instant connection between a customer need and a brand. You couldn’t ask for better marketing.

If your current COIs and referrals have taken you about as far as you can go—and you’re trying to break into the next level of growth—consider becoming a Ghostbuster. In other words, become the go-to expert for one specialized area of expertise, a complex subject that no other advisor in your area adequately addresses. Whenever your issue comes up, you want everyone—including the press, COIs and potential clients—to think of your name automatically.

Of course, you have to tell them all who you are first, and that requires a crisp elevator pitch. Unfortunately, our industry has bastardized that term somewhat.  I’ve heard elevator pitches so long, a building would have to be two hundred stories tall to get the whole thing out before the doors opened. Your pitch needs to be quick, succinct and “snackable.”

When FiComm writes elevator pitches, we create viral pitches. Rather than cramming in everything you want to say to a client, we try to express what a client might say about you to another prospect. A viral elevator pitch might say, “She helps business owners sort out all of the really complicated and emotional family issues they face when they retire.” and not, “He offers a comprehensive array of tailored solutions customized to each client’s needs.”

The key to becoming a go-to expert is focus. You can be known for only one thing. You don’t call the Ghostbusters to get rid of a demon infestation and power wash your driveway. One advisor I know is the go-to guy in his city for cognitive decline. If your Mom made all the financial decisions, but she was just diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, he’s the one you call. Everyone you meet will pass along his name to you: doctors, geriatric care managers, assisted living facilities, attorneys. Another advisor specializes in helping junior partners at VC firms. They all know him, and he knows them. Mind you, both of these advisors have the expertise and service models they need to execute. But they’re well known because of their single-minded specialization.

If you want to grow, become the go-to person for your ideal client. Develop specialized skills. Create informative, easily digestible content. Write very specific articles in the local press. Memorize your patter cold, so you can give a short-and-sweet description to any prospect you meet. And splash that same description across all your materials.

This is how you build a sustainable business that you can sell or pass on. It worked for the Ghostbusters. I mean, can’t you still hear that song in your head 30 years later?