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: Hey, everyone. Welcome to another phenomenal episode of Financial Advisor Marketing. I've got a pretty cool story for you today. It's story time today. There was this financial advisor or financial advisor trainee - I'm not sure. He sent me an email explaining that he went to a job interview to become a financial advisor with this company. Either he was already a financial advisor or he was just, he was training to become one. Like I said, I'm not sure. Well, at the interview, he named dropped me and ended up getting the job. [0:01:04.2]
James: Yeah. I mean, he told the people that were interviewing him that he studied my material, he was on my email list, he listened to the podcast and all of that, and they hired him. I was like…
Jonathan: That's crazy.
James: So if you're out there, don’t try that because like some of these people may be like, "Who in the world is that guy?" Right? But I was, like humbled by that, and he told me that the people were impressed that he had been taking initiative and learning all my stuff, and they actually knew who I was. I mean, they - I don't know if they listen to the show. I don't know if they were on my email list, but they had heard of me, at least. Maybe they saw my ads on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn; I have no idea. But the moral of the story is - the guy name dropped me and the people were…
Jonathan: You better know James is the moral of the story.
James: Yeah. Yes. So congratulations to that guy - you know who you are if you're listening right now. So I'm proud of you, and I really am. I am proud of financial advisors when they have success, when they do well. It really makes me happy, and you have to realize - I don’t have to do this podcast. [0:02:07.8]
I really don’t. I don’t have to do all the stuff I do. This is like a hobby for me. That's the reason why this is not like a classroom. Like, I would hate doing that. It's just me and Jonathan, just hanging out, talking and along the way, helping financial advisors. I don’t have to do this, but it warms my heart to know that advisors are getting success. And the guy got the job and he's taking initiative and because he's listening to this stuff, he's probably going to hit the ground running. He's probably going to experience success right away. So, that's awesome. So high five to you and for everyone listening, if you're going to a job, don’t try that at home. I mean, I cannot guarantee that people are going to know who in the heck I am and why I matter and it doesn’t… it doesn’t work all the time. So. Cool story. Wanted to share that.
And today, we're going to talk about freedom, the freedom to do what you want, when you want, because in today's episode, I'm going to show you how you can set appointments on autopilot. [0:03:12.1]
And I want to preface all this by explaining that even though what I'm about to talk about is pretty hands-off, nothing is truly passive. And would you agree with that, Jonathan? Like passive income isn't really passive? I mean, you still have to do some work.
Jonathan: It requires some maintenance.
James: Right. Maintenance and a little work in the beginning. You set it up, you get it running, but nothing is truly hands-off. I think, I mean, passive income is one of those terms that it kind of annoys me because when people say it, they expect that it's just going to magically appear. I mean, even if you get income from like dividend stocks, you still had to choose your investments. You still had to make the investments, and you still had to make the money to put in the investments in the first place. So, yeah, you know, after all the hard work, it's passive. But that's how things go. And what I'm going to talk about, the appointments on autopilot - yes, they are passive appointments, but you have to do the work in the beginning, and a lot of people want passive income or they want a passive marketing strategy. [0:04:10.0]
I mean, it's all a grand illusion, because nothing is truly passive nor can you have a truly passive business because the minute you take your foot off the gas, someone else - like me - is going to come in and I'm going to take everything from you. Like, I'm just going to destroy you and crush you. And there are other people out there - there are financial advisors who are competition, people in your neighborhood and I know that's not pretty and I know that's not what people want to hear. But let's say you're in Chicago and you take your foot off the gas and you stop marketing and you stop working and you stop building your system - there's someone else, I guarantee it, in Chicago who's going to take your cookies, man. They're going to enjoy them and they're going to dip them in milk and they're… Oh, I want some cookies now.
James: I gotta be good because I made some cookies last night and I'm not going to make them again today. So, I have like a big dessert like once a week and I really go all out, and last night was cookies. So. There you go. Now, with that being said - there are ways to make your business run smoothly and ways for financial advisors to get appointments with a minimum amount of work, but work is still involved; It's just a minimum amount. [0:05:21.2]
And this is the process that I've helped thousands of financial advisors implement and you can use it starting today and I actually used to have a lead magnet called Appointments On Autopilot and it was like 15 pages long and it outlined the steps and everything. A lot of financial advisors got a lot of value out of that, but I did realize that it was incomplete because this is something that can't really be explained in 15 pages nor can it be explained in a single podcast episode. That's why, at the time of this recording, I'm currently putting together an email marketing system called Appointments On Autopilot and it's going to be like four hours of video. It's going to have a bunch of templates, a lot of cool stuff in there. It's not done yet, so I can't really talk about it and I don’t have a URL for it yet, but I am really working on it and it's going to expand on this stuff. [0:06:08.5]
So, the first step in Appointments On Autopilot is to optimize your website and I talked about this in-depth a few episodes ago. So if you haven’t listened to that episode, make sure you go back and listen. And as a financial advisor, your website is a really powerful tool because it allows you to control the image and the impression that you give prospects. Your website never gets sick. It doesn’t have any emotions. It doesn’t give you any hassle. It's not going to say, "Oh, sorry, I can't come in to work today - I ran over a cat," whatever. They don’t do that. And perhaps the biggest key to making websites work is to create niche-specific content. For example, if you're targeting physicians, you want to create some content that's relevant to physicians. It's so powerful but most financial advisors don’t do it and these are the same ones that are like, "Oh, there's nothing new here. There's no value." And so I go to your website and you literally don’t tell me who you work with. Like what in the world are you doing? [0:07:08.3]
It's like you're complaining and you're not implementing the information that is literally proven to transform financial advisors' businesses, get them more appointments and make them more money. So, if on your website you have niche-specific content, congratulations, virtual high five, awesome. Because you're doing something right.
The second step to Appointments On Autopilot, and I know I'm sounding like the classroom lecture thing that I'm trying to avoid, but this is very important to financial advisors and it's important that I give them the step-by-step process because it's going to lead into something much bigger, and I'm going to release it later. This is like a sneak preview. The second step, essentially, is to build an email list, and there's an old marketing saying that "The money is in the list," and this definitely applies to email, though there are some other marketers that say "Money is in the relationship with the list," and I tend to agree with that a little bit more. [0:08:00.4]
Because you could have a huge list, but if you have no relationship with them and you don’t build a bond with them, it doesn’t really matter. Does that make sense, Jonathan?
James: You want to have a relationship… Are you doing any email marketing? I don't know if I've gotten emails from you, or maybe I'm not on your list?
Jonathan: I don’t think you're on my list, brother. I'm not as prolific as you, but I average about four a week. I've done about 900 or 1000 so far.
Hey financial advisors, are you ready to take your business to the next level and get more clients with less stress? I invite you to join the James Pollard Inner Circle, a paper and ink newsletter that gets delivered directly to your door every month. When you join now you'll also get a 90-minute instant download called, "Five Keys to Success for Financial Advisors", a $97 value for absolutely free. All you have to do is head over to TheAdvisorCoach.com/newsletter and join today.
James: Cool. Wow. That is definitely more than the average financial advisors are doing and that's definitely prolific. I wouldn’t call that not prolific - 900 or 1000. It's that all with an auto responder or it's like you just on broadcast? [0:09:09.9]
Jonathan: That was broadcast messages, but I took Ben's advice. I don't know if you checked out his book product, but I put 90 of them in an auto responder when people sign up, all to book appointments actually.
James: Yeah. I mean, that's kind of - that's what you want to do, and that is almost exactly what I'm going to be talking about in that email system that I'm putting together, but there are certain things that financial advisors have to do in order to make it really, really, really effective. So the reason you want to build an email list to begin with is because most people will visit your website and leave without ever coming back, and capturing their email address - it is a great way for you to get their information and follow up with them later. I know it seems simple, because it is. You can continue the conversation with your website visitors. So in order to capture email addresses, you just need an opt-in form. It's not super complicated. I personally use Opt-In Monster and they actually did a case study on me and how I increased conversions 3x, over 300%, and if you're interested in that, you can just Google the Advisor Coach Opt-In Monster, and find it in the results. [0:10:12.7]
I mean, I have the case study there. So I kind of know what I'm talking about. You could literally have an opt-in form on your website building an email list for you by tonight. I mean, if you use a software like that - Sumo is another one - Opt-In Monster is a good one, that's the one that I use. You could have it done, by tonight. And think about this, can you reach 1000 people in a few minutes with a cold call? No. But you can reach that many people, very quickly, with an email. Also, how much does it cost to send a few thousand pieces of mail out, direct mail? Depending on what you're doing, if you're doing like a letter versus a post card or something, it'd be a couple of hundred bucks to a couple of thousand bucks, and with email, it's much cheaper, and with email, it's just… it blows my mind that more financial advisors aren’t taking advantage of this because how would you feel if you woke up tomorrow and you found out that your social media account, LinkedIn - I know, I love LinkedIn - I've helped thousands of advisors get clients with LinkedIn - but imagine if your LinkedIn account was shut down for no apparent reason. [0:11:11.5]
It happens all the time, and it's scary, but fortunately, nobody can take your email list away from you. Now I could talk about email marketing for days and days. I only have so much time on this podcast, so I want to give you the most relevant information. What you want to do with your email is you want to set up an email marketing sequence, also known as an auto responder. That's what I asked Jonathan about. I asked him if he did broadcast, which is where you just type the email up and you send it and you don’t put it into a sequence or a campaign or do you have an auto responder and an auto responder is you have your email set up to go out automatically whenever someone opts in to your list. It's all done for you. It's a machine that runs. So for example, you might send a welcome email on the first day. Then on the third day, you send another piece of content or something. Then on the fifth day, you send an about us email or something like that, and so on. But the powerful part about this is when you ask for the appointment, because the third step to getting appointments on autopilot is to *drum roll* include a link to your online scheduler…[0:12:20.7]
James: … in your emails! It amazes me because I've had some people come to me, especially Inner Circle members. I love my Inner Circle members. They are cream of the crop, amazing, like I love them so much. But there are some of them that when I look at their email sequences, and I mean, I'm curious and I really want to help them, so a lot of them don’t even realize that I'm on their email list; they just don’t know. I mean, I'm watching them and I know what they're doing and sometimes, I'll randomly send them an email and say, "Hey, you may want to change this" or "You may want to do this," and I just like, I pop up. It sounds kind of weird when I say it that way, but I mean, that's what I'm doing. Like I'm watching them. [0:13:01.8]
I really am looking out for their best interest and I mean, I can't do it for every single person all the time, but you know, when I'm bored, I will look at my Inner Circle members' websites and their sequences and their marketing and I will see if I can make it better. So, a lot of them say they want appointments and they send out emails and they talk about themselves and maybe they tell a story like where they went to high school or whatever, like I recommend, by the way, but they don’t include a call to action. They don’t include a link to their schedule. They don’t include a link to the website. They don’t include anything. It's just…
Jonathan: No call to action?
James: Nothing. Nothing. And I'm like - what are you doing? Have you learned nothing, child? Have you learned nothing? So if you're sending out emails, please, include a call to action and I'm like doing a forehead slap right now and I keep shaking my head. It's true - it's just - it's nuts. It's nuts. And you set appointments through email, Jonathan, so would you mind sharing with the class your call to action or what you do for it? [0:14:02.8]
Jonathan: Yeah. Every time, it's book a call. Book a call.
James: Is it a link?
Jonathan: It's a link to the calendar, and then they can schedule a time, choose their own time.
James: Now that's got to take you hours to set up, right?
Jonathan: What? The actual system or the emails?
James: The email.
Jonathan: It takes a little bit of work, but no, it's not that hard.
James: No. Yeah, it's not. And it, just a link. A link, guys. If you're sending out an email, include a link so people can book appointments with you. Come on. It's not that hard. So just remember - most of the people who visit your website, they won't be ready to do business with you right away, which means even if you have a contact us page on your site, even if you have an online scheduler on your site already, you should still do this. You need to capture their information and stay in touch with them. If you can't do that, they will likely forget about you forever or they'll move to a financial advisor who does do that stuff, and set an appointment with him or her. But eventually, if you're doing email, you need to ask for the appointment. [0:15:03.0]
And I personally recommend Acuity Scheduling, and I have a page on my site, I think it's TheAdvisorCoach.com/Acuity. I could be wrong, but I think that's what it is - TheAdvisorCoach.com/Acuity and it's a video of me walking you through the software. And I show you how it works. It's like eight minutes long. You could watch it on your own time. And I'm like, hey, this is how you set the calendar up. This is why it's awesome. This is why prospects like using it. Things like that. And that's pretty much it. Nothing fancy. Email opt-in on your website, email a followup and scheduler. Very, very, very simple.
So here's the basic idea, just to recap and I'll explain it a little bit more. You want to have some form of online presence. In this case, it will be your website and you want a website which can offer content to a specific audience. So if you work with physicians, you want to have physician-specific content. You create an opt-in form. You put that on your website. If you want to have a lead magnet, which I recommend that you create a niche-specific lead magnet, like how you help physicians or mistakes that you help them avoid - something like that - a lead magnet. [0:16:13.3]
And maybe I'll talk about that in another podcast episode. I'll definitely talk about it in my email product, in depth. Then, you use an email auto responder campaign. I know a lot of advisors use Mail Chimp. A lot of advisors use Constant Contact. Those are the two most popular ones, from what I've heard and what I've seen. You use the auto responder sequence to automatically follow up with your email list. This happens whether you're working, whether you're sleeping, whether you're on vacation. It just happens. And then in the email, you want to include a link to your online calendar where your prospect can set an appointment. Done. And there you go, Jonathan.
Jonathan: Gave it away, boy.
James: Step-by-step. And one of the best parts of this whole thing is that every appointment you set will be a warm appointment. After all, these people have already visited your website. They already received content from you. [0:17:05.7]
They're familiar with you, at least at some level. They're familiar with what you do, at least at some level, and they're the ones who have expressed interest because they've opted in. They've expressed interest in what you do and what you offer. They're not, you're not out there begging for appointments. They're the ones setting appointments with you, but a word of warning - do not let this idea of Appointments On Autopilot take you away from your other prospecting efforts. I want you to view this as icing on the cake. You still need to go out there and do your marketing and prospecting. That's the cake. You want the cake, but the Appointments On Autopilot is the icing. And like I mentioned several times, I'm putting together this email marketing system. It's going to be my newest product, and I want your help. I want financial advisors to be involved with this because the more information I have from them and the more questions they ask me, the better I can make the product. I am literally putting this system together based on questions advisors have asked me, based on things that I have observed. [0:18:04.5]
So if you have questions about email marketing, if you have questions about using your website, your email system to set appointments, please, send an email to email@example.com and ask it. I am trying to get as much information from financial advisors as possible. How I structure that product will depend on the questions advisors ask me. So if you want me to go into detail about whatever you're having trouble with or whatever you're struggling with, I won't know it's a problem unless at least one advisor asks me. So, one more time - email firstname.lastname@example.org with your email marketing questions and your email marketing problems, and I will incorporate that into my product. And that's it for today's episode.
Jonathan: What do you have coming up next time, James?
James: The next episode is going to be Why Most Marketing Tactics Fail Financial Advisors, and I'm not going to tease you too much, so make sure you tune in.
Jonathan: Yeah, right. Just a mystery. What am I doing wrong? Alright. Another Financial Advisor Marketing is in the can. We will back in your ear buds next time. Thank you for tuning in.
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