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If you’ve ever researched how you can market your business, you’ve probably stumbled across Facebook for marketing.

Some advisors love it, others hate it. But there’s one big problem with Facebook for financial advisors. And if you ignore this problem, you won’t attract clients. You might have a lot of “likes”, but you won’t end up with a flush bank account.

Listen to this episode if you’re ready to hear the truth about Facebook marketing for financial advisors—and how to really attract clients.

Show highlights include:

  • How a financial advisor ruined his business with highly effective Facebook marketing. (7:15)
  • The one thing to make sure whenever you think about a marketing channel. (8:48)
  • How you could buy a $10,000 client for $150. (14:06)
  • Why even the best Facebook strategies might be useless soon. (17:12)

If you’re looking for a way to set more appointments with qualified prospects, sign up for James’ brand new webinar about how financial advisors can get more clients with email marketing.

Go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar to register today.

Ready to learn even more about becoming the successful financial advisor you know you can be? Check out these resources:




Read Full Transcript

You're listening to Financial Advisor Marketing. The best show on the planet for financial advisors who want to get more clients without all the stress. You're about to get the real scoop on everything from lead generation to closing the deal. James is the founder of TheAdvisorCoach.com where you can find an entire suite of products designed to help financial advisors grow their businesses more rapidly than ever before. Now here is your host, James Pollard.

James: Welcome to the show. As always, I'm James and I'm here with producer Jonathan, the fine fellow from ThePodcastFactory.com.

Jonathan: I am so happy to be here, James. I don’t know what I'd do without my weekly dose of you.

James: If you need some help with your podcast, folks, feel free to reach out to my man. He will help you get started.

Jonathan: And tell them James sent you. Don't be shy.

James: Oooo, yeah - do that. Let him know. Let them know I sent you. Maybe we could do a little something special. Now, today we are actually going to talk about Facebook marketing. [0:01:05.2]

This is something I don’t think I've discussed on the podcast before. Maybe I have but I don’t remember. Either way, a lot of financial advisors know me because of my How To Get Clients With LinkedIn product. Like tons and tons of you have been through that video training. You've gotten results with it, but sometimes after that, advisors start crushing it on LinkedIn and they will write me and ask about using other social media networks to get more clients and the most popular one is, of course, Facebook. Some will ask about Twitter and I'll be like, mmmh yeah, no. Because Twitter is just like, I mean now it's just become an echo chamber for like whatever you believe in, it's just going to… it's like confirmation biased throughout the whole thing and a lot of people don’t realize that like Twitter's algorithm is literally made for, like if somebody says something that you agree with, you're going to like it and you're going to engage in that way and if someone says something that you really disagree with, you're going to reply to it and you know, comment back. [0:02:04.2]

Like that's what they want. That's engagement. So they're going to give you stuff that you really, really hate and stuff that you really, really love and your emotions are going to be highs and lows and it's … that is how the algorithm is set up. I'm not making this up. I'm not just… I know that sounds crazy, but I'm not being crazy here. It's … that's what Twitter is for. All of the social media networks are like that, but Twitter is by far, in my opinion, the worst. So, I'm going to talk about Facebook, maybe eventually I talk about Twitter. And are you on Twitter, Jonathan? I mean, I know I have a Twitter account, but my virtual assistant manages that and we do it through a buffer, but I mean, I'm never one there. But are you on Twitter?

Jonathan: I have, my Twitter page says "This is a feed from my blog. Go there."

James: Okay, wow. That's really smart. So financial advisors, there you go. That is a marketing nugget for you. You don’t even have to be distracted and get on Twitter, but you can still make use of it. I didn't know that. I didn't know that was a thing. So, thank you for that. I need to do that. But I've got …I've got people for that, Jonathan.

Jonathan: Of course you do. [0:03:05.1]

James: But I want to start this show off by saying that I am completely aware that some companies will not let you advertise on Facebook at all. I make this show for a wide variety of financial advisors all over the world. I know some financial advisors in Australia who run Facebook ads like you wouldn’t believe. I mean, they spend tens of thousands of dollars a month and I know some people who can't use Facebook at all. Even if you aren’t on Facebook or you can't use it, you will still get a lot from this episode. I promise you. So don’t run away just yet because I'm going to tell you about stuff that's way more powerful than Facebook and can get you way more clients and even the stuff about Facebook, you can take the principles and apply them elsewhere. So let's get started. First of all, I want to say that if Facebook marketing is profitable for you, it can be a great tool to have in your tool belt. If you're a long-time listener, you know that I want you to have multiple marketing strategies and Facebook is just another example of a marketing strategy that you can use. But you don’t want to be dependent on it as your only play. Now I don’t know if you saw this - I posted something on Linked a while back about how my Facebook account almost got banned twice in one week. [0:04:24.0]

Jonathan: No, I didn't see that one.

James: Okay. Well, I'll mention it on the show, then. So, I have a Facebook account and I advertise on it a little bit and it got banned or suspended, I should say. It got suspended, blocked, turned off, restricted - whatever the term is that they use. I emailed them and hit up support and I was like, hey - what's going on? Because at this particular time, I wasn’t even advertising at all. Like, none of my ads were turned on…

Jonathan: Really?

James: …and they suspended it. Yeah. Weird stuff, right?

Jonathan: That's why - you weren’t giving them money.

James: Wasn’t filling that Zucker bank account, but yeah - I essentially reached out. I said, hey, why'd you suspend my account because like I wasn’t running ads at all. Then they got back to me and they apologized - said, oh, this was a mistake. We're sorry. So I said, okay, cool. Like I didn't do …[ 0:05:12.6]

Jonathan: A.I.

James: I didn't spend that much time on it and then about like I would say four or five days later, I decided to log into my account because I was going to set up some ads and sure enough, restricted again. I was like, whatttt?! Like, I was not running ads. Like we just did this. Why is it restricted again? So I reached out to chat one more time, and said, hey, you banned me or restricted me a couple of days ago. You said it was a mistake. You apologized. That's nice. And now it happened again. So, they apologized again and reinstated the account again, but I mean, really think about that. If I was dependent on Facebook, I would have been screwed for a few days, or like, I mean, if they decided not to reverse it, I would have been screwed forever.

Jonathan: Forever.

James: And a lot of people say, oh, well just create a new ad account. [0:06:00.9]
That could work and I've seen that work in the past, but I mean, Facebook is really, really cracking down. I mean, you can't use the same funding source. You can't link to the same domain because the minute they see that same domain, that same profile, that same page, whatever, they're going to shut it down again. So, be very careful. But if it's profitable, you know, more power to you but don’t depend on it. I mean, I've had a few financial advisors email me and telling me how Facebook, their business account keeps getting shut down just like it's … just like mine did. Sometimes, it's actually a competitor who keeps reporting their posts.

Jonathan: Whoo, dirty.

James: Yeah, very dirty. So, that's what happens. I mean, I'm just giving you the reality. It's not popular. It's not sexy. People aren’t going to talk about it but sometimes other financial advisors or people, maybe an ex-girlfriend, who hates your guts and has been following your page and sees your ads - she just hates you and she reports you for violating their terms of service or whatever and you get suspended for a little bit. [0:07:01.1]

Sometimes, that's what happens. Sometimes it's a mistake, like they did with me. Other times, it's just Facebook being wonky. I don't know. I mean, I'm not in the backroom at Facebook making all these decisions. So I can only tell you what I've experienced. And I remember one particular advisor who hired a fancy marketing team to help him with his Facebook ads and this was a few years ago, back when it was cheap to do that, like Facebook was really cheap a few years ago. And they were doing extraordinarily well. This guy was getting traffic. He was setting appointments. He was getting clients. He was growing his business. He was hiring people and one day, his ad account got shut down. Now, theoretically like I said, you could make a new account and he could have done that, but it's a pain in the neck to do that. The problem was not that he couldn't create a new account and you know, maybe if the company could create a new account or whatever. The real problem was that he became dependent on Facebook marketing, to the point where he was just coasting everywhere else. He stopped his direct mail. He stopped his seminar marketing. He stopped everything else except Facebook because he…and it's kind of understandable. Right? [0:08:09.5]

I mean, if you're getting the biggest return on investment from Facebook, it is very, very tempting to say I'm going to take all of my money and I'm going to put it into the area that gives me the biggest return on investment. Like on paper, that makes sense. But in the real world, where there are variables that you cannot control and you do not own Facebook and it is not your own media, and that's a lesson by itself, you can't do that and it bit him right in the butt, the booty patootey, the rear end, hind end. So, if you're going to use any marketing strategy, not just Facebook, any marketing strategy I talk about - LinkedIn, email, direct mail, whatever, make sure it's not your only one. Have multiple marketing strategies. Now, if you are going to market yourself and your services on Facebook, make sure you do it correctly. That means printing out the rules. [0:09:02.0]

They updated it fairly frequently, so you may have to print it up every couple of weeks and read it, highlight it, study it. Know which rules you have to follow. Don’t just target… like you can't call out a certain group of people. You can't call out, you can't be like, hey you, the engineer, come to this workshop for engineers. You can't do that. You cannot do that. A lot of people don’t know it and lots of times I will see people, not just financial advisors either. I will see people advertising to get more likes and engagement and stuff like that and that's just goofy. You don’t want to do that. You want to get people to a medium you control because you don’t control Facebook, but you do control your website. So doesn’t it make more sense to send people to your website rather than getting them to like your page and comment on a page that you don’t even own? Am I going off the rails? Am I delusional, Jonathan?

Jonathan: Bro, I had… this is why I went hard in email because I started…there was a time where I used to say that you could run your business on Facebook and I had 40,000 people on a fan page and one morning I woke up and my fan page was gone and I was screwed. So yeah, I learned this lesson the hard way. [0:10:10.7]

James: I learned the lesson the hard way, too and a lot of financial advisors have unfortunately had to learn it. If you're listening to this right now and you're like, yeah, that won't happen to me - I'm going to do everything well. I'm going to follow the rules, then that's cool. Like if you follow the rules and stuff that prevents you from getting shut down because you broke the rules, but it doesn’t prevent you getting shut down for some other reason outside of your control.

Jonathan: They change the rules, though. That's the thing. You just said it.

James: Exactly. Yeah, every other week, it seems like. So you want to get people to a medium you control and if you've seen my ads, you will see that I send them to my website, to an opt in page. I send them to the webinar page, by the way, if you want to register for a cool webinar, go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar. So I send them to there and that's what I'm doing. I'm literally doing this because I own my email list. I own my website. If all of my social media accounts got shut down tomorrow, I would still have a list of people who like to hear from me on a regular basis. That's how you want to think when you're building your business - how can you build an asset you control. [0:11:13.0]

Hey financial advisors, If you're looking for a way to set more appointments with qualified prospects, I invite you to sign up for James' brand new webinar about how financial advisors can get more clients with email marketing. Go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar to register today. On this webinar, you'll discover why email marketing is able to generate upwards of 4400% ROI for smart financial advisors, three fatal mistakes nearly all financial advisors make with their emails, and the proven 3-step process for converting prospects into booked appointments using email. All you have to do is head on over to TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar and register today.

James: And one of the most effective Facebook strategies I've ever seen financial advisors use is this one: There's two steps. Step number one is they run an ad sending their target audience to a piece of content about that target audience, and I talked about this a little bit in the Q and A episode we did last week. [0:12:14.3]

You could send traffic to an article you wrote about dentists and you would target dentists and at the bottom of that article, you could have an email opt in or a way for someone to set an appointment or whatever you want. Step number two is to set up a retargeting audience of everyone who viewed that piece of content, but didn't complete your desired action. So let's say someone viewed that content but didn't opt in to your email list. You could run an ad to that audience sending that audience directly to your email opt in. You basically say, Hey, you know, I know you read the content but you didn't opt in. Why not? Let me send you to the opt in page or you could be like hey, I saw you read my piece of content about dentists. It's obvious you're a dentist. I set appointments with dentists. Let me send you directly to the appointment page. The reason this works so well, especially with financial advisors, because the audience that financial advisors target are the most skeptical people, the most skeptical audience I've ever seen. [0:13:10.7]

The reason it works so well is because the first piece of content serves as a way to demonstrate credibility. It shows that you're serious about helping a particular type of person, that you're serious enough that you already created content about it. That makes the second step so much easier because people are more likely to opt in once they know you're the real deal. I mean being completely transparent. One of the reasons I do the podcast is because I want to demonstrate to you that I really do care about financial advisors, that I really do want to be in the market, really do help people in the market and create a lot of results. I mean, we're on episode what - 50? Almost a year of this stuff. If I didn't care about it or I couldn’t get financial advisors results, don’t you think I would have quit by now? Like, use some common sense, people. And over time, when it comes to using Facebook or any online traffic source for that matter, you will begin to see trends in your online marketing process. [0:14:09.8]

You might notice that out of every 100 clicks to your website, maybe 10 people give you their contact information. So, let's say that every click to your website costs you $0.50, depending on your target market, that could be really cheap. That could be really expensive, but I picked an easy number, $0.50. That means 100 clicks at $0.50 will cost you $50 total. It also means that every lead costs you $5. Once you know that, you can keep doing the math. So let's say you set appointments with one out of every 10 warm leads and that means you can literally buy appointments for $50 each. Let's say that you get one client for every three appointments. So, $50 per appointment x 3. That means you can literally buy clients for $150 each. Now like I said, the numbers are going to be different based on your own situation, but I want you to get the general idea. [0:15:06.5]

There's like the hierarchy. It goes down and you see the way that math works and the best part is that once you've got the system in place, it can work whether you're sleeping, whether you're on vacation. It doesn’t matter. It just works. But time for the bad news. I've got some good stuff about Facebook and I gave them their props, but unfortunately, there's more bad than good, especially with the stuff that's coming up. I want to warn you that Facebook has been getting more expensive every year and there's an advertising agency called Ad Stage and they analyzed over 8.8 billion Facebook ad impressions, yes that's billion with a B and they found that in the first six months of 2018, the average CPM, which is the cost to reach 1000 people on Facebook nearly tripled.

Jonathan: Yikes.

James: And I can tell you that it's increased in 2019 and it will likely continue to increase in the coming years as well, but that's not all. Because they also found that the average cost per click increased 136% from January 2017 to mid 2018. [0:16:13.9]

That means the exact same stuff in 2017 from 2017, it cost more than double to run a mere 18 months later. So if you can't run with the big dogs here and you can't continue to jack up your prices and pay those prices, you just … you will be obliterated, plain and simple. I hope you see the trend here. Advisors who use Facebook to get more clients will continue to get squeezed, which means you either have to go to other marketing strategies or you have to get really, really, really good at Facebook to the point where like you're number one in the world, number two, like that's really the only way, especially in such an expensive market, such a competitive market and such a skeptical market that financial advisors deal with. And honestly, you could just use the strategy that I gave you with the content, the retargeting, you could go out there right now and crush it. [0:17:07.2]

But I want you to be aware that it probably won't last forever. Facebook is notorious… just like Jonathan said, where they change the rules, they're also notorious for removing and changing targeting options, which means you might find yourself advertising to an awesome set of targeting options and you find that one audience where you just crush it and you run the ads and scale them up and then eventually, that targeting option gets removed. You can't do it anymore. So be very careful and I don’t want to have this episode to scare you. I just want to make you aware of the situation. I want to make you… I want to help you understand why it's so important to have multiple marketing strategies and it wasn’t that long ago when Facebook forced everyone to use their automated campaign budget allocation system and it sounds like gibberish and it is, but it basically means that Facebook decides how they allocate your money within your ads. [0:18:00.7]

Jonathan: Crazy.

James: Doing it yourself. Now, the premise is is that artificial intelligence can do it better than you ever could and it kind of makes sense, but the principle is they're taking away control and it means you have less control over how you run your ads and I know that theoretically it was supposed to improve everything, but I have seen some bugs in the system and what's crazy - this is the craziest part, Jonathan - this is the part that blows my mind - some lead generation companies have actually raised their prices above and beyond the cost, the raise in price, which makes sense, because I understand that they want to make a profit and they want to maximize profit and all that. They passed on the cost to financial advisors and this is a perfect example of why you should never buy leads because not only are you getting squeezed on Facebook, it's like an invisible tax - the lead generation company is raising their prices and increasing their profit a little bit. Hey, more power to them. I want them to make money, but it's just ridiculous. They're passing all this stuff to you. [0:19:00.7]

So not only are they giving up control to Facebook a little bit, you're giving up control to a lead generation company that's giving up control to someone else. It's just nuts. I got down this Facebook rabbit hole, actually Jonathan, from Doberman Dan back in the day, where he was talking about Facebook is silently crushing people and removing targeting options and all this stuff. It came from Doberman Dan. Shout out to him. So to recap, if you want to use Facebook to market your business and you're allowed to do so, I should say that - I want to keep disclaiming that out - if you're allowed to do so - don’t do anything that your company won't let you do and I encourage you to do it if you're allowed. Once you find something that's working, I want you to rush to amplify that thing as quickly as possible because you don’t know how much time you have. One more thing - I forgot to include this and this could be a lifesaver for a lot of advisors. If you're going to run ads, make sure you test your images. [0:20:01.8]

You would be amazed at how well people respond to one image and not another. So if you just pick an image at random and you insert it into your ad, you're shooting yourself in the foot by not testing. You're leaving a lot of money on the table. So make sure you test those images. Your bank account will thank you and at the end of the day, I would do exactly what I personally do. I would run Facebook ads to get people to opt into my email list because email is one of the most powerful marketing tools a financial advisor can use and if you're interested in learning more about how to use email marketing to get more clients, I encourage you to go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar and sign up for the webinar. One more time, it's TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar. A lot of information. That's it for this week. Go back and listen to this episode again. I threw a lot of stuff at you and even if you're not on Facebook, you can get a lot of valuable nuggets from this one that applies to other areas.

Jonathan: Absolutely. So what do you have coming up for us next time, James? [0:21:00.7]

James: Next time will actually be titled How Financial Advisors Can Create Raving Fans.

Jonathan: Raving fans… no way.

James: That's your term, isn't it?

Jonathan: This guy…

James: Isn't that your term? Am I taking your little term?

Jonathan: I like that. I like it.

James: I am gaining inspiration from you. Many financial advisors, they have clients, but they don’t have raving fans and the difference between a regular ole' client and a raving fan is that a raving fan is someone who tells other people about you and gives you referrals. Well, it's one of the differences. So by listening to this episode that's coming up next week, you should get several ideas on how you can get more referrals.

Jonathan: Geez. I want to fast forward to next week immediately. Alright. Financial advisors, that is a wrap. We will be back in your ear buds next time with another edition of Financial Advisor Marketing. Thank you for tuning in.

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