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Business owners are the “holy grail” of financial advisor clients. Not only can they be some of the wealthiest clients you land, but despite what they think, they actually need your services more than the average person.

But financial advisors make a big, fat mistake when trying to target business owners:

They go too broad, don’t niche down enough, and this erodes the effectiveness of marketing to a specific group.

And you know what?

There are so many different kinds of business owners, so niching down in this industry is one of the easiest ones to do it in.

But how do you attract wealthy business owners who desperately need your financial services?

In today’s show, I reveal my 4 favorite ways to attract (and convert) business owners as clients.

Listen now.

Show highlights include:

  • 3 websites to scour for compiling a list of hungry business owners who are in dire need of your services (0:59)
  • Don’t have as much success as you’d like? Here’s the niche my most successful Inner Circle members specialize in (1:39)
  • Why business owners need financial advice more than the average person (and how to use this to catapult your business) (3:57)
  • The sneaky “Power Couple” marketing strategy that unlocks an endless stream of opportunities (4:38)
  • How to hypnotize high-level business owners to your calendar by spending a few hours per week on this (8:17)
  • The “Show, Don’t Sell” mechanism baked into content marketing that makes your ideal audience trust you (even if you’ve never spoken a word to them) (9:29)
  • How to send out a direct mail campaign to hungry business owners by the end of the day (and the trick for getting near 100% open rates) (11:18)
  • 4 story ideas to come up with a limitless amount of email angles and ideas that will convert your ideal audience into loyal customers (15:12)

Want to watch some of my appearances on other people's YouTube channels and listen to me as a guest on other people's podcasts? Head over to https://www.theadvisorcoach.com/media

Want access to my 57 favorite financial advisor marketing ideas? Download the free PDF at https://theadvisorcoach.com/57mt

Want to become an expert at niche marketing and put growing your business on “easy mode?” Then join my niche marketing program here: https://www.theadvisorcoach.com/niche.html

Need help getting more clients as a financial advisor? I created a free, 53-minute video outlining the steps to my “CLIENT Method,” which helps financial advisors land more clients. Watch the video before I take it down here: https://www.theadvisorcoach.com/theclientmethod.html

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 https://TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar to register today.

Go to https://TheAdvisorCoach.com/Coaching and pick up your free 90 minute download called “5 Keys to Success for Financial Advisors” when you join The James Pollard Inner Circle.

Want to transform your website into a client-getting machine? Go to https://www.theadvisorcoach.com/website to get The Client-Getting Website Guide.

Want a masterclass training in running effective Facebook Ads? Head to https://TheAdvisorCoach.com/ads-training.

Discover how to get even better at marketing yourself with 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: In this podcast episode, I'm going to share four of my favorite ways to attract business owners as clients.
Before we get started, I want to make it clear that I do think “business owners” is too broad of a niche. There are tens of millions of small businesses in America. How many clients do you really need? Chances are you can build a thriving business with roughly 100 clients. Maybe it's 50, 75, 100, 150, 200, whatever. It’s in that 100 ballpark. So, don't be afraid to niche down. [00:59.2]

For example, you have startup founders. These are entrepreneurs who are in the early stages of their business journey. They're often in need of financial guidance to ensure that their personal and business finances are aligned. There are so many different websites where people can find co-founders for startups. You have FounderDating, StartHawk, CoFoundersLab, and so many more. You could literally go to one of these websites and immediately begin building a list of leads in this niche. It is not that hard.
There are so many people [who say], “Oh, how do I build a list? How do I get leads?” It's really not that hard. Just go out and talk to people. I just gave you three websites right there where you can literally find startup founders, if you're specializing in those.

Then you’ve got franchise owners. A few of my most successful Inner Circle members specialize in helping franchise owners. Back in 2018, I believe, don't quote me on that, but I wrote a big chunk of a newsletter issue about the franchise owner niche. In my opinion, it's a great one. Plus you can be the obvious choice for those people. If you understand cash flow, franchising fees, management, royalties, and stuff like that, you can dominate that market. [02:07.1]

Ecommerce entrepreneurs is another one. I saw one accounting firm that specialized in helping ecommerce entrepreneurs and it looked like it was doing well. These are people who are on eBay, Etsy or Shopify. They’ve got online stores, merchant accounts. The name escapes me right now, but the appeal of this accounting firm was that people who run online stores typically have tons of transactions, they have payment processing fees, and just little quirks about that industry. And speaking as someone who sells products online, I can tell you that certain payment platforms, ahem-ahem, PayPal, ahem-ahem, are absolute nightmares to deal with.

Then you have freelancers. Freelancers operate as one-person businesses. They do things like writing and design, and consulting. Freelancers usually don't have employer-sponsored health insurance or other benefits. They need guidance on setting up SEP-IRAs and solo 401(k)s. They also need help with potential tax deductions, quarterly payments, and even budgeting because they have irregular income streams. I think there's a huge opportunity for advisors who work with freelancers. [03:14.2]

I could go on and on, because you also have retail store owners, farmers. Several of my Inner Circle members focus on farmers in the agricultural market. You have professional service providers, like attorneys, architects, fitness professionals, travel and tourism business owners, doctors with private practices, people with Airbnbs, real estate investors, just so much more.
My point with sharing all this is to let you know you can dig a little bit deeper. You can go a little deeper than just business owners as a niche. But the information I'm going to share in this episode should apply to most of them, because I like strategies instead of tactics. Once you know strategies, you can create your own tactics. [03:57.3]

What's nice about targeting business owners is that despite what they may think, they need financial advice more than the general population, or at least in my opinion, they do, because financial advisors can help business owners diversify a little bit more. They can help them expand their networks. They can help them manage risk. They can help them with liquidity events, and so much more. I think if you were to create a hierarchy of the amount of value, the sheer amount of value financial advisors can provide to their clients, you'd be hard pressed to find more value than what is provided to business-owner clients.

Anyway, without further ado, here are some of my favorite ways to attract business owners.
The first way is to build relationships with CPAs and other professionals who serve business owners. They can refer clients to you and you can return the favor. I think one of the most underrated sources of a financial advisor’s value is actually in the advisor’s network. [04:54.8]

For example, I saw a friend post online that he was shopping for a mortgage. Instead of going to Google and putting his information into some terrible lead-generation site where hundreds of people would hound him for weeks on end, he just contacted his financial advisor and asked if he knew any good lenders. The advisor made a recommendation, and, boom, it was done. He didn't get a single cold call. He didn't have to fill out a single forum. He didn't get added to any email list without his permission, and he didn't have to sort through dozens of websites or talk with anyone except the advisor. If you don't think that's valuable, you're crazy. I’ve got to get the number for a rehab center because you're on something.
I have a PDF guide called “51 Referral Marketing Tips for Financial Advisors.” If you're really interested in that, you can go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/products, and it's one of the products there. The bonus that comes with that PDF is a video about how to build relationships with accountants and attorneys. Actually, it may just be CPAs. I need to check on that. But, anyway, the accountants and attorneys, those are two of the most obvious relationships for all client relationships, but especially with business owners. [06:05.7]

The reason it's even more powerful for financial advisors who specialize in business owners is because the CPAs and attorneys also specialize in working with business owners, so it makes more sense to work together than just being a generalist accountant and a generalist financial advisor. If you both specifically target business owners, you can become like a power couple, right?
But you don't have to stop there because other professionals should be in your network, too. You should have marketing consultants, business coaches, commercial real estate agents. All of these people can be valuable partners, because they interact with business owners on a regular basis, and they can be a source of referrals for you.

If you only get one thing from this episode, get this: you should have a stronger network. I’ve only scratched the surface here because you also have IT consultants, event planners, supply-chain consultants, branding experts, and a whole bunch of other professionals who work closely with business owners. [07:04.5]

One of the reasons why I want you to niche down to even more than just business owners is because your niche will dictate the network you need to build. I mean, if you specialize in working with people who own trucking companies, then you probably don't need a personal branding consultant. But you likely do need commercial-vehicle dealers, transportation attorneys—did you know that was a thing? There are people who specialize in transportation law. That is a real market—trucking-insurance agents, logistics consultants, fuel suppliers, parts dealers, and technology providers specifically for trucking. I want you to get into the mindset that you could provide zero value from the actual financial planning and you would still be worth every penny due to your network. That's where I want you to get. [07:53.6]

Moving on, my second favorite way to attract business owners as clients is to double down on content marketing. I'm a big fan of content marketing, obviously. I practice what I preach because I have 100-plus blog posts. I have 250-plus podcast episodes at this point. Last week's episode was Episode 250, so now I can say that, 250-plus, so I create a ton of content. But what I’ve found is that content is extra helpful for attracting business-owner clients precisely because they think like business owners. They like to evaluate their options. They like to make sure they're making the right decision before jumping in with both feet. Content marketing does that. It helps them feel like they're making the right decision.

Business owners are accustomed to making informed decisions. Don't get me wrong, they can make decisions quickly. They can think on the fly. They can walk and talk and chew gum, but they’ve built their businesses on the foundation of research, understanding the market, and ensuring they're always a step ahead. That is why content marketing is so effective with them, or at least with the high-level business owners who are actually killing it. [09:01.5]

Hey, financial advisors. If you'd like even more help building your business, I invite you to subscribe to James' monthly paper-and-ink newsletter, “The James Pollard Inner Circle”. When you join today, you'll get more than $1,000 worth of bonuses, including exclusive interviews that aren't available anywhere else. Head on over to TheAdvisorCoach.com/coaching to learn more.

Consistent, high-quality content builds trust with them. Business owners want to know that their financial advisors understand their unique challenges and needs. By addressing those in your content, you're showing that you get them. That is the point of content marketing.

Content Marketing allows you to showcase your expertise in a non-salesy way. Instead of selling business owners that you're an expert, you're showing them through insightful articles, podcasts, webinars, and more. I have I don't want to say a ton, I’ve got at least four or five content-marketing episodes. You can scroll through the episodes of this podcast and look for “content” or “content marketing” in the titles to find them. I’ve tried to be descriptive in the titles wherever possible, so if you're interested in email, go through and look for titles with “email”, and if you're interested in social media or LinkedIn, go through and look for “LinkedIn” in the title. [10:14.8]

But let's get back to the trucking example. If that's your niche, you could write blog posts, like “Financial Planning for Trucking Companies,” “Navigating the Highways of Finance.” That's not very good. It's just a cute one. You could do something basic, like “Tax Deductions Every Trucking-Business Owner Should Know,” and, in fact, that tax-deduction one would make a fantastic lead magnet. You could slap a photo of a truck on the cover, maybe a photo of an IRS agent with a big red X on top of them, and you have yourself a Grade-A lead-magnet cover right there.

Content Marketing also includes case studies, webinars, white papers, blog posts, and even email marketing. I would consider email marketing to be a subset of content marketing, because your emails contain content. That's kind of what they deliver. Your emails could be about whatever your niche is. In my experience, stories and entertainment work best. We're going to talk about that in a little bit. The obvious way to make that work is to tell stories about people in your niche, and you, obviously. [11:17.7]

Third, my third favorite way to attract business owners, specifically, is with direct mail marketing. The reason I love direct mail so much for business owners is because you can wake up tomorrow morning, go to Google, search mailing lists for your niche, buy the list, and mail that list the very same day.
Before recording this podcast, I searched “franchise owner mailing list” and there were hundreds of results. Of course, Google will tell you that there are millions, but, realistically, there are just a few hundred places where you can build and buy mailing lists of franchise owners. I could buy the list, get the addresses of franchise owners and mail them immediately. [12:01.3]

I don't know if you know this or not, but there's this nifty little thing called paper and you can put words on that paper. Then once you have words on that paper, you can fold it up, and you can put it in something called an envelope, and after that, you can stamp the envelope. And you know what happens with the stamped envelope? A government employee will hand-deliver that to anyone you please.

Think about how awesome that is. The person doesn't have to subscribe to an email list, even though I love email. The person doesn't have to connect with you on social media, even though I love social media. You can get someone else a bona fide government employee and have that person stuff your words directly in the other person's mailbox.

And the coolest part is that direct mail has a very high open rate. Most studies report direct mails open rate as 90% on average, and just like with any average, half the people are better and half are worse. If you have the basic No. 10 envelope with a handwritten address that looks like personal mail, because it should be personally from you, then you will likely get a near 100% open rate. I'm just telling you that from experience. I’ve done a ton of direct mail. I've helped a ton of financial advisors with direct mail and that is just what it is. The mailers that do worse than 90% are the ones that look like junk mail, because they are junk mail. [13:24.6]

Business owners are awesome niches for direct mail because you have access to so many lists. Of course, you still have to have a good offer, good marketing and good service. Otherwise, really, no marketing will work for you. But I think direct mail is hugely underestimated. It is a marketing strategy that my Inner Circle members have used to great effect and I even have a bonus they get immediately after subscribing that has a step-by-step direct mail marketing formula from one of the greatest direct mail marketers in the world and, yes, I mean it in the entire world. This guy has sent 300 million direct-mail pieces. [14:02.2]

Number four, my fourth favorite way to attract business owners, and I mentioned this earlier, I alluded to it earlier, is with email marketing. Gosh, I love email. You've heard me say this many times before on this podcast, but email marketing is the most effective appointment-setting strategy I have ever seen for financial advisors. Getting email marketing right is like having a license to print money.

It hurts my heart to see so many financial advisors screwing up email so much when they could be raking it in. I'm just going to tell it to you straight. I am arguably the best financial-advice email marketer in the entire world. I am really good at what I do. There is not another person in the entire world who has put in the time I have with financial advisors’ email marketing. There is no one else who has gotten the results I have gotten, so please listen to what I'm telling you here. [14:55.3]

What's nice about email marketing for business owners is that you can tell stories that tell them how you think like them, because if you're a business owner, too, then you are like them. You can walk like them, talk like them and identify with them in so many ways. Let's say you niche down to restaurant owners. What are you going to talk about in your emails? Stories about restaurants. You're going to share horror stories from crazy customers. You're going to talk about amazing wait staff that you've had or that you've experienced. You're going to talk about the difference between front of house and back of house and how that relates to financial planning.

But, James . . . none of that stuff is about money or investing. You're right. None of it is about money or investing. It's about your audience, aka the most important part of this whole process, the people who can say yes to doing business with you. Those stories build far more trust, credibility and rapport than generic emails with stock-market commentary or blog-post roundups, like, “Every single week, I'm going to send you a roundup with some blog posts that I’ve found.” That's just so dumb. Tell stories. [16:02.0]

It's really wild when financial advisors and/or compliance departments say they can't do email marketing when my entire philosophy around email marketing has nothing to do with talking about money. It has nothing to do with making recommendations or doing anything that could even possibly be construed as financial advice. I am all about stories and entertainment, because that is what works. If you're on my email list, you will see I eat my own cooking. I am not doing one thing and telling you to do another. I am doing what I'm telling you to do.

And speaking of my email list, here's how to join if you're not already subscribed. Go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/57—so the No. 5 and the No. 7 together creates the number what? 57. So, TheAdvisorCoach.com/57. What you want to do is click the big red button on that page, enter your email address, and then subscribe. You’ll get a free 80-plus-page PDF called “57 Marketing Tips for Financial Advisors,” and if you don't subscribe, I will be very disappointed. I'll be really disappointed in you, because you're listening to the Financial Advisor Marketing podcast. Why not get even more financial-advisor marketing tips delivered directly to your inbox? [17:17.6]

However, a word of warning. I email every day. Every single day. If you can't handle that or if you think you're going to throw a hissy fit and say I'm sending too many emails, then do yourself a favor and please do not subscribe. Otherwise, I can't wait to forcibly insert myself into your email inbox. One more time, that's TheAdvisorCoach.com/57. That should tide you over until I catch you next week. [17:49.0]

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