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What if you had a blueprint for marketing your financial advising business directly from a top 0.1% financial advisor?

Think you could land more appointments, skyrocket your conversion rate, and even enjoy more free time with your family?

Well, good news:

In today’s show, Andy Andrews—a top 0.1% financial advisor—joins me to share his marketing, sales, and operations secrets with you.

After listening to this episode, not only will every piece of marketing you put out become more effective, but you’ll also be able to enjoy more freedom (without feeling as stressed or overwhelmed).

Ready to become a top 0.1% financial advisor yourself?

Listen now.

Show highlights include:

  • The insidious “hamster wheel of busyness” that suddenly puts you on the verge of bankruptcy (3:40)
  • How to overcome your fear of rejection by hanging out with a realtor for a day (5:32)
  • The sneaky “Follow Up Over Time” marketing secret for magnetizing your ideal audience without directly talking to them (6:37)
  • Studies show that 80-90% of financial advisors won’t make it to a third year. Here’s how to be in the top 10% who build a thriving business (9:28)
  • How to transform new clients into diehard fans eager to send you referrals by simply scribbling a few words on a card (14:51)
  • Hate sales? This 2-step sales system not only makes sales calls fun, but skyrockets your conversion rates (18:55)
  • The weird way being too knowledgeable intimidates your prospects and repels them away (21:28)
  • The “SEV” social media content creation method that actually generates more appointments on your calendar (27:32)
  • Albert Einstein’s unheard marketing advice for financial advisors that’s more relevant today than ever before (32:53)

Want to connect with Andy (and watch how he works in action)? You can find him on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewswealthstrategies/

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.

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: Financial advisors, what is going on? Welcome to another week, another episode of the Financial Advisor Marketing podcast. It's been a minute since I’ve had a guest episode, but I have an amazing guest this week, Andy Andrews, and we are going to talk about how he is a top 0.1% advisor, he was number one in his company out of 600 advisors, absolutely phenomenal guy. We're going to talk about business, prospecting systems, and whatever else he wants to talk about, because I’m going to let him lead the way. [01:00.5]

Andy, can you please introduce yourself? Let people know who you are, what you're about, and what we're going to discuss today.

Andy: Yeah, certainly, and first off, thanks, James, for having me. I love your show. Love what you're doing. A lot of advisors struggle to get new clients and I think what you're doing is just instrumental. Andy Andrews from Jacksonville, Florida, originally. Growing up, we didn't have much time, to come from a blue-collar family and mechanics. Just found out that wasn't really going to be the route for me. It wasn't my calling, and I ended up joining the army to go see the world.

You fast-forward through that and I found myself sitting in Afghanistan, reading a lot of finance books, and started helping a lot of people out, a lot of soldiers with their money, open IRAs for people. I was an enlisted guy. I found myself helping a lot of officers. Even the battalion commander walks by one day and goes, “Hey, I heard you’re the finance guy. Can you help me understand a little bit about my finance class in grad school?” and I said, “Sure,” and I kind of just found my life's calling. I was having a lot of fun and it was a lot more enjoyable than I was doing, so I decided to get out and pursue that. [01:59.6]

In 2014, after about seven years on active duty, I got out and became an advisor, and I’ve been doing that for about 10 years now. I've served in various roles. I was a financial advisor. I worked at a home office, which I learned a lot of invaluable insights from. Then I lead a team of advisors. Luckily enough, we were the No. 1 team in the country at that time. That was a lot of fun. Then, recently, I’ve gone independent and started my own practice completely from scratch.

James:And that's how you can do all the cool marketing stuff. There's a lot of marketing things that advisors at any company in any background can do. But once you go have that independence, oh boy, the doors open for you. One of the examples that I like to give that I’ve given a lot on this podcast is imagine if Pepsi was allowed to advertise everywhere, television, email, billboards, direct mail, everywhere. But Coca-Cola could only use billboards? Coca-Cola wouldn't be around for very long, and we're seeing that gradual decay in financial advisor marketing. But that's a story for another time. [02:56.0]

I love that you came from the military, that you were so, I guess, charismatic or knowledgeable, or whatever it was, that people were asking you for advice right there, and that's called a proof of concept and that is freaking awesome. What's cool is I frequently say that if I were designing a perfect financial advisor, I would choose a college athlete, a military veteran, or a teacher, so maybe I know something there. Maybe I’m onto something. So, what happened? What have you learned? What has been going on since you went independent? What have you learned about marketing specifically?

Andy: Wow, there’s a lot of options. There are a lot of people with a lot of services that are going to reach out and they're going to have the best thing since sliced bread to offer you, which may or may not be effective, right? In common with other business owners, in common with financial planners, there's a whole lot of options for you, not just in marketing, but then there's operations, there's admin. There are endless activities that you can do, so it is very easy to get lost and say, “Man, I spent the whole day, but I didn't really do anything productive. I didn't generate any income today. I didn't solve a problem for anybody. I was just busy.” And you can get on that hamster wheel for weeks, for months, and a lot of time can go by and, all of a sudden, you're on the verge of going out of business. [04:07.2]

James: Financial advisors, I’m going to reference some things that Andy shared with me off the air, because I want to lead the conversation in a certain direction and I want to draw the best out of him.
One of the things that he mentioned to me is that advisors aren't putting enough volume out there. They're not consistent enough, and I couldn't agree more. I think financial advisors vastly underestimate the amount of effort required to become successful. Even in something as simple as follow-up, they vastly underestimate the amount of follow-up necessary to get a client. What do you mean when you say that financial advisors don't have enough volume in marketing?

Andy: Great question, James. I think a lot of us get into this because we have a passion to help. We want to serve others. We probably even have an interest in finance, and then we forget, not everybody does. In fact, most people don't have an interest in it and they don't want to talk about it. We certainly don't want to get vulnerable and acknowledge the guilt we feel, when we put on ourselves this pressure that we should be further along. Now you're asking one person to come out and meet with you and to get vulnerable, and they’ve barely met you yet. [05:06.7]

In my experience, a lot of advisors are juggling just a couple of prospects. I’ve got these three or four guys, and I’ve got this one gal and they seem pretty interested and they really need my help. Okay, just frankly, that's not enough people, right? Very rarely do I meet with an advisor and they go, “Yeah, I’ve got 20 or 30 prospects that I’m talking to.”
It's kind of an eye-opener. My wife just completed her first year in real estate. I've recently niched down and made my target real estate professionals. I tell you, if you want to learn about systems and marketing, and prospects and follow up, go hang out with some realtors. These people are juggling hundreds, maybe even thousands of different prospects to follow up with, and so, for me, it just alleviates so much pressure.

One, you're going to get rejected a lot, right? You're going to have people tell you no or they're just going to blow you off, and so when you're juggling a couple of hundred different people that are interested, I’m not as worried when James says, “Hey, no thanks, not for me.”

Two, I’m not forced to put a lot of pressure. “Hey, James, you’ve got to convert.” “James, you’ve got to work with me.” “James, I’m following up again. I’m just following up where we’re at,” right? Because I have the amount of volume that I sleep well, knowing that I’m going to make it work, simply because I have enough volume coming through. And, too, I just feel a lot better, because, hey, James will come around or he won't. I hope he does. I know I can help him, but I’m not going to put all that pressure on him. [06:17.4]

James:That makes a lot of sense and I think that's pretty much one hundred percent in line with my philosophy, because I think you need more volume, and it’s effectiveness and efficiency. You want to get better with the prospects that you have, but you also want to get more of the prospects.

One of the things that I love being in the financial-advisor marketing world is that if I can get someone to get more volume, even if they don't directly interact, if they're on something like an email list or LinkedIn, or online ads or a retargeting audience, they don't have to put any additional effort into their marketing and it will continue to, quote-unquote, “follow up” over time, and that's one of the biggest secret sauces that I can possibly offer advisors, and I see real estate agents do the same thing. [07:00.6]

What's interesting about the real estate community, and I know very little—I imagine you and your wife know way more than I do, but from what I have observed, as a passive observer—is like with most industries, there's 5% or 10% of people who are just crushing it. They’re selling most of the houses. They're getting most of the listings. I’ve seen their ads. I get this stuff in the mail. They mail my community all the time. I see their ads online. Is there anything else that I’m missing? Anything that you would like to share? When you say that financial advisors can learn from realtors and real estate agents, what exactly do you mean by that?

Andy:Yeah, I think, first off, it goes back to just the amount of potential clients or customers, right? You can't juggle five or six people and expect it to work out. Right? It's very similar and when you're in the recruiting space, right? I used to do about two interviews a week, 100 interviews a year. I would have a totally different caliber of advisor that I was bringing on with a much higher success rate because of the sheer volume and the class and the size that I was able to select from. If you're only interviewing 10 people a year, I have no doubt that it's not working out too well for you. You’ve got to increase the volume. [08:08.4]

Two, how do you do that? They have great systems in place. They have great people. They have great follow-up and they have great tech, right? You can't be the one that's handwriting a letter every single week, making that phone call individually. How can you possibly keep up and do the client relationships and do the advising, and follow up with that many people? You have to have a great person on your team to do that, and you have to have great systems and technology in place.
James: Do you think there's a downside to too much volume? Is that a thing?

Andy: I think it depends, right? What kind of business are you trying to grow? Are you trying to do very high touch, very high net worth? That can be a little bit different?

James:Okay, because a lot of times, financial advisors will struggle with just getting the names. One of my pet peeves is a financial advisor will say, “Okay, I finally chose my niche. I'm going to go after one-legged potato farmers in Iowa. Where do I find them?” You're kind of missing the point, because you need to be able to find these people and you need to be able to find them in large enough quantities that you can make it work, so I really appreciate that. I appreciate that you are in alignment with that. [09:09.8]

I think that volume, and thinking about your niche and who you want to attract and how many you need, that's all part of a business plan. Why do you believe that many advisors struggle with business planning itself?

Andy:I think it's not just advisors. If we look at businesses, right, 20% of most small businesses fail in the first year and a half of them are lucky to make it to five years, and it's even more difficult for financial advisors. 80–90% in most studies show that financial advisors aren't going to make it to the third year. Again, I love helping people. I want to do good. I have a knack for finance. Okay, that doesn't necessarily mean that you're good at doing a business plan.

Andy:There's all sorts of metrics and numbers that you have to follow, right? And when you're an outsider or you're a coach, you can clearly see when somebody's coming to the end of the road. James has been going at this for four or five months. His prospects are low. He's not making great sales. I know that his business is suffering. He’s only got so much cash on the sidelines. But James can't see that, because James doesn't track the right numbers. [10:07.1]

The thing I start with a coaching relationship, especially for newer advisors, a lot of what I’m talking about, when you talk about this level of coaching, is for that new or inexperienced advisor growing their practice or senior advisor in a growth model, how much money do you need to sustain your business and sustain operations at home? If you don't know that and you don't know how you're generating money within your practice, we're already kind of dead in the water.

But once we nail that, James says, “Hey, I can't live on any less than five or $6,000 a month.” Great, James. Now let's start working out what are the numbers necessary to generate that? Then I go to the other side and say, “James, this is a really difficult business, especially if you're barely keeping the lights on at home. Ultimately, what do you want to make?”
James goes, “Gosh, I’m working this hard. I really want to make about 10 grand a month.” Awesome. Now I have a floor number and I have kind of an ideal situation that we want to shoot for. Then we can go into further math on how much do you make from existing clients that you work with? How much do you make from new clients, and kind of what are your conversion rates? But if you're not tracking all of that, you can have a great product. You can have great client meetings. But you're probably not doing enough and you're just not tracking where you're at. [11:10.6]

James: That's a good point and I think it's important for financial advisors to have significant cash reserves when they're starting out, and that's a bit of a paradox, because you need the money in order to get the money. In the marketing realm, there's a sense of desperation that you want to avoid when you don't have the money, and different sales books will call it commission breath, and even for fee-only or subscription-based advisors, they still have that, quote-unquote, “commission breath,” if they're desperate.

Just out of curiosity, for me, personally, when you're working with advisors, what do you think is the most common income goal that they would like to shoot for?

Andy: When you’ve got a new advisor just starting out, I think they really have their eye on six figures, and the problem with that is a lot of people don't understand that that doesn't go that far.
James: Right.
Andy: I'm not talking about you're at a W-2 salary and you're off working for FedEx, making 100,000. That's very different. If you're an advisor making 100,000 and you owe some fees to your firm, and you’ve got to pay for your desk and your office space, and then maybe you're doing some sort of advertising, hopefully, you are, 100 grand might look a lot more like 60. [12:16.7]

James: Correct.
Andy: But what I explained to advisors is when you start out with this career, you kind of feel like, Oh, my gosh, I’m doing all this work and I’m getting paid that? But if you can stay on, right, I kind of call those first three years or first two years, I say you're like a sea turtle, anything can get you. We’ve got to get past two years and your likelihood of success goes up significantly. But if you stick around with this, there's going to come a day where you go, “Oh, my gosh, I can't believe I’m getting paid for what I’m doing.”

James: I mean, one of the things I tell financial advisors is to think like a financial advisor. Keep your financial advisor hat one. Think about a traditional IRA, for example. Maybe you put dividend payers in there, and you don't have to pay taxes on the dividends, it just grows and grows and grows and grows and grows. You're not taking any of that money. You're building it, just like you would build your business or you would build marketing assets. You're not necessarily eating that today. You're letting it grow. [13:09.4]

I wish more advisors thought like that. I wish more advisors thought like you and just had that builder mentality. Where did that come from in your personal life? Do you know where? Where did you pick that up?
Andy: I appreciate the kind words. I’d say it really comes from two places. I think we're all carrying around some stuff from our childhood in our families, right? We didn't grow up with much. I don't know if it was poverty or somewhere around there, but, for me, that lit a fire and said, “Hey, I never want to live like this again,” and it's kind of put a monkey on the back or a chip on the shoulder to go take on the world.

But the other one was from the military. It's probably why you look for teachers and athletes and military personnel for advisors. Typically, they're go-getters. There's a good amount of discipline. There's competition. They have the traits necessary to make it happen. [13:51.2]

James: They work based on systems. College athletes have a workout regimen and a diet plan. Most or some of them do. The good ones do. The good ones have a diet plan. Teachers work based on lesson plans. That is a system. The military has a system, protocols. I think that explains a lot of the variance between the advisors who succeed, the career-changer advisors who succeed from those roles versus people who have never been in those careers. I think that explains a lot, just the systems mentality as well.

Andy: Yeah, a hundred percent. That can be a real game-changer whether you're new at this, struggling, looking to make it, or you've had some success, you're trying to get to the next level. Processes. Processes. Processed. Are you recreating the wheel every time you get a lead? If I get a referral today, are they going through the same process? Am I taking the same steps as the referral I get a month from now? I mean, you want to fine-tune it and you want to make it a custom creation for every client so they feel special, but at the same time, it should probably be pretty systematic and not recreating it every time it happens.

James: What are some of your favorite systems that you've implemented in your business?

Andy: Handwritten thank you cards, and to tell you the truth, I'm an Inner Circle member and it kind of blew me away. It's something so simple, but I did not expect to get a thank you card that said, “Hey, these are very seldom nowadays, but I really appreciate you putting your hard-earned money into becoming a client or a customer of mine.” [15:09.7]

James, if you refer somebody to me and they come sit down, I’m going to have that prospect sign a thank you card that I wrote, just saying, “Hey, James, thanks for introducing me to Andy. I really look forward to the changes it's going to make in my life,” and then I mail it to you. How are you going to feel getting that sign from your friend that you referred to me?
James: That's pretty baller. I like that.

Andy: Then you're probably going to refer again, and then now this person that you referred that's in the process of becoming a client, they go, “Ooh, I want to thank you card,” and at the end of the appointment, we're going to talk about who are people you can refer as well.

James: That's really cool. I like that, and I do like the handwritten-card service that I use. It is automated. Not automated in the sense that it sends out the card, but I just go in, I write it, that sort of thing. I have the design. It's Handwrytten.com and the “I” is replaced with a “Y”, in case anyone is curious. I love it, highly recommend, and it saves a lot of time. It still allows me to put a personalized touch on it, because, I mean, there are some months with the newsletter, especially on the 30th and 31st of the month where people would just be piling in, and I'm looking at the list. I’m like, My hand would cramp. So, I can't do all that. Just pulling the curtain back, that's the service that I use. And thank you. [16:16.4]
What have you gotten out of the newsletter so far that you've enjoyed?
Andy: For me, it's huge. I have been guilty in the past of not necessarily executing lessons learned. I do a lot of podcasts, a lot of books. But when I get the Inner Circle Newsletter, I read it and then I began implementing, like the task app that you use. I’m using it, right? This week and on Labor Day, I sat down, I reread the Inner Circle and then I went through and started applying it to my business.
James: What's interesting about the newsletter model, and it's kind of frustrating because I’ve been publishing that for six plus years, and very few people have asked me about the actual business side of it and I’ve said many times that a continuity business is the hardest business in the world to create. Gary Halbert has said that. Marketers from Agora Financial have said that. They've all said this is the hardest business in the world, and selfishly, I’ve done okay with it, but very few people asked me. But I’ll give some unsolicited marketing stuff here with the actual newsletter. [17:13.8]
I write it in a buffet style, and what that means is every issue is not like the LinkedIn issue or the productivity issue. There are a couple of paragraphs that may be about business systems, and then a couple of paragraphs about lead generation, and then a couple of paragraphs about time management. It's not written in a way where you're supposed to implement all of it, and I think when people understand that, it takes a lot of pressure off, meaning, all you need is a couple paragraphs. That's it, and that's all I want you to get.
I never really want an advisor to go through the entire newsletter and think, Oh, my goodness, I have to implement every single last thing, because I don't even think that's possible. It may be over the course of a year or two, but if you can just get that one thing—and so I appreciate that. [18:00.8]
Let's get back to the business and marketing side. We have digressed. One of the things that you emphasized to me off the air was the importance of not just what advisors are doing, but how they're doing it, and I think that's huge. What do you mean by that?
Andy: A couple of things. My wife is always great at reminding me, she says it's not what you said, it's how you said it, and I think that's so true for many advisors. Especially for a newer advisor, we want to prove everything that we know. “Gosh, I’ve studied. I’ve got these licenses. I'm doing all these mentor. Let me just word vomit all over you.” Right?
What I tried to do in my practice is ask better questions, right? I remember that I have two ears and one mouth, so let's stop talking and let's get to the real point. I guess kind of when I had a few revelations. One was getting my volume up, right? If I have the amount of interest in people that I’m working with, I take rejection. It means much less to me.
Number two, sales is pretty simple. If you'll stop talking and ask better questions, the person will tell you what they're looking for. I’ll never forget, I think we were doing a cable package one day and I’m operating a business. I say I want really high-speed, dependable internet. They go, “This is our most popular package. It’s the cheapest one.” Buddy, that's nowhere close to what I said. [19:14.0]
James: I know.
Andy: You could have had the easy sale and the upsell I didn't even know about. Right? For me, I sit down with clients all the time, and when I go through and I see somebody has excess savings, I ask the same question every time. “Hey, James, how do you feel about having x amount in your savings account?” Sometimes they go, “You know, we've been wondering if that's too much. What do you think?” Gosh, that's probably a lot better than me just hitting them in the blindside and going, “Hey, that's too much to have in savings. You need to put that somewhere else.” Right? If you get somebody to say something, it's a fact. But if you say it, it's just an opinion.
James: And you know what happens when you assume?
Andy: Yeah.
James: You make something out of both of us, and, I think that's a problem that a lot of advisors have and I don't know where it comes from. I shouldn't know maybe being the Financial Visor Marketing guy. But I can't figure it out. Do you think it's insecurity? [20:03.2]
Andy: That's the first place that I kind of went when you said, “Why is it?” I would assume ego, right? We’ve all got this nasty little thing running around. We want to prove to everybody what we know we want to prove to ourselves. Yeah.

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.

James: But other businesses don't operate that way. If I go to AutoZone, I kind of take for granted that they're going to know about how to organize vehicle parts. If I go to a grocery store, I kind of take for granted that they know how to present the groceries, and people can say, “Oh, that's a product based business. If I go to an estate planning attorney, the estate planning attorney doesn't need to just rattle off at the mouth to me about the importance of a living trust and irrevocable trust, so on and so forth. I kind of assumed that the table stakes. [21:13.0]
But for some reason, advisors don't operate that way. I guess they feel as if when prospective clients come to them, the prospective clients don't come with the assumption that they know what they're talking about, which you personally know as an Inner Circle member, we’ve talked about it. One of the issues was about intimidation.
One of the reasons that people were intimidated is because of this table stakes phenomenon, where they think, Oh, my goodness, again, this person knows so much. They're afraid you're going to talk down to them, so when the ego and the insecurity comes in, you are fulfilling that prophecy that harms you where if you believe that “Oh, I need to do this, in order to make myself look good,” you're actually harming yourself and that's like a mind-freak to think about. [21:59.3]
Andy: Yeah, you're getting right into probably one of my favorite topics to talk about, which is mindset, right? You've joined this career. It's maybe not going as fruitful as you thought it would and it's a lot harder than you thought. Now you've gotten low volumes of prospects that you're interacting with. You're starting to get a little scared this is going to work out and I think that many advisors start to project onto the prospect or the client that this is going to be difficult, right? They are helping, just like you said, reinforce that intimidation factor.
If you're running around with those beliefs, it's very much being conveyed and the prospect or the client can pick up on it. I think you're just further reinforcing that when you go on and on and on trying to explain all the benefits.
James: I think when I did that issue and when I had the survey done and everything like that, I always knew that prospective clients were intimidated, because from thorough studies from the AARP study where 45% of middle-aged Americans would rather go to the dentist than meet with a financial advisor, that sort of thing. I always knew that was the case. But I just didn't realize how deep it was and how profound it was, and just how terrified people are. [23:09.2]
I mean, to people like you and to people like me, reaching out and setting an appointment with a financial advisor, and creating a financial plan, or at least taking the first step makes all the sense in the world. But to other people, it's scary.
Andy: Yeah, this kind of ties into the question before on people are already doing the right things. How do they put it in front of more people, right? The amount of messages that I just received this year and they really look like two things. One, they say, “Hey, I’m not sure if I would be a good client. I’m not sure what it looks like to work with you.” They're really not sure of much, so you’ve got to help set the expectation. Right?
Then, two, they are scared. They are intimidated to come work with you. Again, they don't know really what to expect, so the more that you can get out there on social media, the more you can do in marketing, the more they can learn about “Oh my gosh, Andy doesn't have a minimum net worth. Oh, Andy is not looking at a certain income. Oh, Andy has a very judgment-free mentality and style in his office.” That's going to break down so many barriers. But if you're not out there on social media, if you're not out there marketing, people now have to take a risk and say, “I’m not really sure about that. I'm kind of scared about it, but I’m going to go for it,” and people tend to not do that. [24:19.7]
James: I can hear all the financial visors thinking this when you talk about social media and marketing. What about compliance? How can you get around the compliance sphere?
Andy: Now, a couple of things. One, I think it really starts with your mindset, right? One, what is your viewpoint on social media? Are you somebody that goes, “Oh, that's not really worth it. That's just brand awareness. That’s never going to make a lead”? Are you taking an easy out and saying, “I’m just going to blame the compliance department. They're not going to work with me. They don't allow it”? Sure, we're not like most other industries where we can have a free, fun social media, and there's some regulations and some compliance to get behind. So, one, I’d ask you what your mindset is/ How bad do you want this? You want to grow your business? Do you see the value in it? [24:57.0]
Two, I would tell you, I think most compliance departments we're willing to work with you, right? There are firms of varying degrees that are willing to accept various risks from high-end to low. But I think most of your firms want to see you succeed, and most of them are willing to work with you if you come in and say, “Hey, I know there's risk here. There's regulations. How do we work together? How can I make this possible and grow my reputation as well as the firm's?” Most of them are going to hear you out and try to work with you.
James: Jim Rohn has a quote that I love and he said, “If you can see the promise, you can pay the price,” and I think that's applicable here because if financial advisors could visualize the promise of the results that come from social media, and I see it—I’ve seen it. I’m going to continue to see it in the years to come—it works, right? Social media works. Email works. Websites work. Ads work. The only question is, do you work? [25:51.3]
But if they could visualize a stack of money, and not to get crude, but that's essentially what it is—because you get paid for helping people, and if you help people through social media, you get the money—if you could visualize a stack of $100,000 on your table and the only thing preventing you from getting that money was having a conversation with your compliance department, wouldn't you want to do it? I don't know. Maybe I’m just weird and thinking that way. What do you think?
Andy: Yeah, I agree. I think of it in a little kind of different terms. Most advisors that I’ve coached say, “Hey, once somebody gets in the seat, it's not a problem. They work with me. They like me. If I could just get more people and see.” I think most advisors struggle with that, which is why I love your podcast and everything that you're doing. You're helping a real need in our industry.
The way this started for me is I was doing the things that clients were already enjoying, many of the conversations, I was already having the questions that we're already coming up in appointments. I said, “I’ve been doing this for 10 years. I think I have some pretty good talking points. How do I get that for more people to see?” Then it just spurred on from there and I have been surprised, right? I kind of thought, Is this going to work, right? We're proving a concept here. And then I started getting leads, right? [27:05.5]
I have a whopping 300-something people that follow me on Instagram. It's not a lot. Some might say it's laughable. But when you go out and somebody meets and they go, “Oh, I follow you on Instagram. You're the money guy,” and then you find out that they have 261 million views on Instagram on their videos and have 100,000 followers, you go, “Wow, maybe there is something to this social media thing,” and you just never know who's watching. Goes back to my point on you're already doing great things. You are a great advisor. How do you get more people to see that?
James: Is that what's working well for you, social media, specifically?
Andy: Definitely.
James: If so, I guess it is, then what type of content are you posting? What does it look like?
Andy: A couple of things on social media I think that are key to remember. One, we have to keep it social. If you're constantly posting things about business—“I’m now accepting new clients.” “No minimum net worth required”—and more business and more business and more business, it's not very social. So, mine is about half about me and my family, things that are happening in our life. This is a vacation that we took. I was able to unplug from work, it's possible. Then obviously, it's a lot of education and value-add. [28:07.6]
But what's been amazing to me is that people that will reach out, they've been following you for months. You had no idea they were there. They didn't like anything. They didn't engage with anything, and then they call you or they write to you and they meet with you and they go, “James, I love what you're talking about. You're just the advisor I want to work with.” You go, “I didn't know you were watching.” But you've already proven that trust and now you don't have to sit there and be, quote-unquote, on the sell in that appointment. You don't have to continue to word-vomit all the value you provide. They've been watching it for months.
James: Right, and there's leverage there. There's scale there. It takes no more effort to post something and get five people to view it than 500 or 5,000, assuming that you’ve built the network in the first place, so I think that's really valuable.
That actually happened to me. By the time this episode comes out, it'll be November, should be November 6. I did LinkedIn consultations in August and they were $2,500 each, and several of the people had never interacted with me before, never did anything with me. No products. Nothing, right? But they signed up immediately. [29:11.6]
That's weird. But it's, again, back to exactly what you're talking about, the power of social. They were looking. They were lurkers. And when I guess I made the offer that finally got them, I guess, I don't know, and they took action.
Andy: Yeah, I think a few advisors are a little shortsighted and they go, “I’m going to spend this money. I’m going to do this marketing or just advertising. What's going to be the immediate ROI?” Right? I don't want you to come up on the other side and say, “I’m spending all this time and spending all this energy and money, and I’m just going to do brand awareness.” I don't think that's the right answer either.
But to a certain degree, you're posting content, proving that you're an expert, showing your personality. You're staying top of mind, and when that person finally goes, “Oh, you know what? I just went through a divorce,” “Oh, I’m leaving my job. What do I do with my 401(k)?” They're going to have something come up and they’ll go, “Now is the time I want to reach out to and advisor.” They're not going to go searching because you've been there the whole time. [30:03.5]
James: Yeah, that's been my experience as well with financial advisors. If they're there, and they're present, and they're consistent, then I don't really use the phrase top of mind, but I think that's a good way to explain it. People will say, “Oh, that's the person who specializes in X,” or “Oh, who was that guy who posted about realtors and real estate agents? I need to search for him.”
I’ve even heard stories from prospective clients where they will not search the financial advisor on LinkedIn. They will search the content. How cool is that, where they will remember a post about a thing, they will search the words that they remember from the post, find the post and then go to the advisor, so obviously, content works.
Andy: Yeah, one hundred percent. I think less and less are we going to some sort of phonebook and then just looking up and finding somebody fresh, especially when, just like you've mentioned in the Inner Circle about how a reputation is and how reluctant people can be to work with a financial advisor.” So, putting out that piece of content that's memorable, that solves a problem for them, again, when it comes time to buy or do a transaction or reach out, hopefully, you're there and you've been there, and they're going to recall that and come to you. [31:12.8]
James: I'm also glad that you mentioned that many financial advisors are desperate. I’ll add that word in, desperate for an immediate ROI. Again, I want the listeners to think, what did I say earlier? I want you to keep your financial advisor hat on. When you tell people to invest early and often and for the long term, you're not telling them that they're going to get an immediate ROI. But you turn right around and expect an immediate ROI on your investments. That sounds a lot like hypocrisy to me, and that's not a good mindset or even a spiritual alignment, if that's your thing, if that's your cup of tea. It's not a good thing to have in your life. [31:53.4]
What I have noticed, personally, this may be a little abstract, but the advisors, again, who can think like advisors and think, I am doing this thing. I’m setting aside cash so I can develop this new business, in your case to the advisors that you help, or in my case, when they do a marketing thing or a marketing campaign. If they spend $10,000 on a marketing campaign today, if they were to invest it in an alternative that generated 10%, they would be thrilled with $11,000 at the end of the year. But yet they want 20, 30, they want to 10x their investment overnight. It just doesn't work that way. What have you done in coaching financial advisors to kind of temper that expectation? If someone really wants that immediate ROI, how do you approach that?
Andy: Like you've said, you’ve got to think like a financial advisor, and you're probably not telling your clients you go out haphazardly and to have unrealistic expectations, right? It's a classic tortoise and the hare. There's a lot of people out there that offer products and services that are going to try and sell you on their marketing and their advertising. What are the things that you think would work that you've built a business plan around, and that you enjoy? Right? [33:06.2]
I mean, if you're not a golfer, don't go buy golf clubs and try to prospect on the golf course. Right? Do the things that sit naturally for you, and then come up with a plan and stick to it. Don't quit after two events, right? If you think that going to bowling alleys and hosting events is going to be the way to make it, don't have one event and go, Oh, this was awful. Now, what can you learn? Go try six of those, and then go ahead and assess and see if it's worth continuing.
James: I think there's a lot of wisdom in that. I'm going to butcher this quote, but there's a quote, I believe it's from Albert Einstein. It goes something like this: If you judge a fish by its ability to fly, you will think it's stupid or something like that. If you're a fish, be the fish. If you're a bird, be the bird. Don't try to swim if you're a bird. Don't try to fly if you're the fish. Embrace your strengths. That may not be coming up in a future newsletter issue.
What are some of the books that you love? Like your top book that has helped you the most in your career? [34:02.0]
Andy: Probably a game changer is, in my first year, I found Grant Cardone and so Sell or Be Sold and The 10X, it was a huge and changing, again, my mindset. There are so many people that are going to tell you no. That could be family. That could be friends. It's certainly going to be a lot of prospects. I think you have to continue to fill your mind with positive things, right? That you can do this, that it's going to work out.
Another big favorite of mine is What Got You Here Won't Get You There. Right? It’s a successful trick. You learn a lot from failure, but success is triggered, and so you start to think, Oh, I’m having all this success. I must be doing everything right. Really, that book’s biggest takeaway moment for me was, no, you're having success despite all the things that you're doing wrong.
James: Right. I think Grant Cardone gets a lot of undeserved hate when people say, “Oh, scam artists,” whatever, but he's obviously done something right from the marketing realm or he's obviously done something right in helping people. He's helped me, too. Full disclaimer, one of the Grant Cardone products that I bought whenever it came out, 2014—this is a long time ago, but maybe it was earlier than that, I don't remember—it was the wealth-creation formula. I don't even know if that's a thing anymore. That totally helped me in a major way. [35:12.7]
The 10x Rule, I have the audiobook, listen to it over and over and over again, and obviously, Sell or Be Sold. He has a couple other books. But the wealth-creation formula, again, I have no idea if it's available, but financial advisors, please don't email me. I think it was 500 bucks when I bought it or something like that, but that helped me quite a bit, because he focused on earn income, increase that flow, add another stream of income, increase that stream, just very basic fundamental steps. But at that time, I needed it to be spelled out for me. Does that make sense?
Andy: Yeah, it does.
James: That's actually what I did. I started one business, grew it, it grew, it grew. Started another business, grew it, grew it, grew it. And what little personal wealth I have by following that formula. And is nothing secretive, it's nothing clandestine. It's just increased income. [36:09.0]
I think so many people underestimate the power of income. I'd love to get your thoughts on that, again, selfishly. Have you found that financial advisors focus too much on just saving as much as possible when they should be focused on expanding that pie?
Andy: I think it depends, right? There are some people that are pretty hungry and they're pretty ambitious, and they want to grow and they want to grow, and they're always kind of looking for the next big thing. There are other people that reach a point of contentment. I'm a big fan of saying the best workout, the best meditation, the best financial plan is the one that works for you. So, if you can stick to something consistently and you can make it a lifestyle, I think that's the way to go.
James: I guess I’ve always been competitive and aggressive, and I just remember thinking to myself one day, What if I could save 80% of my income? Then every single year that I save is four years of expenses. Hmm, I could probably, quote-unquote, “retire,” make work, optional, whatever, pretty quickly if I did that. But I realized that I could only cut my expenses so much, but I could ratchet up my income. [37:14.2]
So, if I got to that savings goal, and there are different studies, if you just google, “What does the 1% save?” the 1% of income earners save about 40%. That's remarkable when you consider the average. The average American saves about 5%. Then the top 1% saves 40%. A lot of the pushback on that that I get from people just in personal life—I talk about money a lot with friends and family members—the pushback that I get is “Well, duh, James, they earn a bunch of money. Of course, they're saving.” I think there's some truth to that, but I also think there's some truth in trying to get there and realizing that in order to hit such an absurdly high savings rate, you need to focus on income. What are your thoughts on that? [38:00.2]
Andy: I’d say, it's a bit of both. Not say that you're wrong. I've sat with clients that make $300,000 a year and they spend 330,000 and they're barely making ends meet, and I’ve sat with dozens of people making $60,000 or $70,000 that are millionaires already or they're clearly on the path to get in there. So, chances are, if you can't manage 5,000, you probably can't manage 500,000. Let's look at all the people that win the lottery and what happens to them.
I think you're absolutely right, you can only cut so many expenses, but if you're only focused on increasing your income, you can drive for Uber, you can get a second job or a promotion, a side hustle, but if you're only spending that cash as you make it, what we like to call lifestyle creep, that's probably not going to result in financial independence either.
James: Huge, huge lessons here, financial advisors. I'm going to wrap up the show. I’ve got one more big question for you. For financial advisors who are just starting out and they're feeling overwhelmed—and that happens to not just new advisors, but experienced advisors as well—what advice would you give them? [39:00.9]
Andy: Man, Deion Sanders has been in the news a lot lately, and so he's got this awesome quote out. He said, “There's somebody out there right now. The light isn’t on you, and I want you to keep making plays.” He says, I know your sales numbers aren't where you want them to be and you're not competing up there with your friends, but I want you to keep making plays. So, it's alright if it's not working out right now. Don't give up. Right? Grant Cardone told me that very early. You cannot fail if you don't quit. So, no matter what you're going through, just keep focusing, keep going after it and don't quit on what's going on.
James: Oh, that's fire, and yes, Deion Sanders has been-- We're currently recording this in the beginning of September, so, yes, Deion Sanders has been in the news quite a bit. I love that. There's a ton of wisdom in this podcast episode, financial advisors. I want you to listen to it again. I know it's cheesy sometimes when podcast hosts say, “Listen to it again to soak up all the wisdom,” or whatever, but I really mean it with this episode.
Thank you so much, Andy, for doing this. By the way, if someone wants to get in touch with you, I guess I should have asked this, how can they do so? [40:01.5]
Andy: Yeah, I’d say, first and foremost, follow me on LinkedIn. That’s going to be “[forward slash] Andrews Wealth Strategies”, so Andy Andrews, financial planner on LinkedIn.
James: All right, you’ve got it. LinkedIn is a wonderful place to be. Financial advisors, I hope you enjoyed this episode, and I will catch you next week.

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