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. Today, we're going to talk about content marketing and I've gotten a few questions from financial advisors about how to leverage content marketing, how to use it to reinforce other marketing strategies. So we're just going to talk about that today. I mean, I know I talk about strengthening your marketing and integrating them and all that. So, some financial advisors want to know…I mean, I collect all these emails and have gotten so many over the years. I just pick some if financial advisors keep asking me the same question, I will address them on the show and now we're going to talk about content marketing. [0:01:02.8]
First, before we get into all the content stuff, you really have to shift your mindset about content marketing because you're not just creating content for content sake. A lot of financial advisors and not just advisors, all business owners really who are interested in blogging and creating content and stuff, they sometimes fall into the trap of just creating more and more content. Like, oh, we got to write that weekly blog post. Like what can I do? They're just cranking it out for no reason. When it comes to content marketing, what you're really doing is you're creating an asset that will continue to work for you in the future. Like this podcast episode will continue to work for me long after we're done recording. It could be years from now and someone could listen to this episode and benefit from it. It's going to take me about, I don't know, 15, 20, 25 minutes to record this podcast episode. It's a small, small slice of my life. It's going to reach tens of thousands of people. They're going to listen to it. They're going to benefit from it. And it's going to exist years from now. Don’t just think of your content as a short-term deal. It is a commitment to the long-term success of your business. [0:02:09.2]
The longer the content exists, the more content you create, the higher your returns will be. It's like compound interest. A lot of this stuff we talk about on the show, it's just like compound interest. The returns add up over time. they continue to grow. People will continue to listen to this show. They'll continue going to my blog articles and the same is true with financial advisors. If they create a podcast, it will live on. It will continue working for them. And that’s one reason why I tell financial advisors not to tie their content to current events. I mean, those stock market comment emails that I make fun of all the time and I just totally trash, they're only good for a few days and then they're outdated, but if you're creating something like a comprehensive financial planning checklist or something for a specific niche, that can stay relevant for years. I mean, it's called "evergreen content." [0:03:02.6]
People who are content marketers, that's what they call it. I don’t expect financial advisors to know that term, but that's what it's called - "evergreen content." And also, creating content does not mean you're just writing a bunch of blog posts. When people talk about content marketing, that's kind of like the default and you say, oh seven content marketing tips or whatever. They think of seven tips to help me write blogs better, but it can be a blog post, sure, but it can also be a pdf guide. It can be a video. It can be an infographic, a podcast episode. It could be a lot of different things. So content marketing is truly content marketing, not blog post marketing. So I want to get that out of the way just to set some expectations, like we talked about two episodes ago, about setting expectations, Jonathan, for the clients.
Jonathan: Well done. Practicing what he preaches.
James: Now that we have got the expectations out of the way, we can get into the tips. I've got three of them here for you today and tip number one is to share your content across all of your channels. This ties right back to the backbone of having multiple marketing strategies and making your business stronger than ever. [0:04:06.5]
If you're writing a blog article, don’t just slap it on your website and that's it. Share it with your email list. Post it on social media. Get it out there and keep sharing it over time. Six months go by, share that sucker again. Keep sharing it. Share it and share it and share it. Put it on a schedule. I remember one time I did a webinar for advisors and I was talking about content marketing and one of the comments in the webinar box, it said that content marketing took too much time. No, not really. This is called stepping over dollars to pick up pennies when you say, "Content marketing takes too much time." Let me illustrate why that "takes too much time" is dangerous thinking, really dangerous. I'm going to use myself as the example. I'm going to be the guinea pig. Let's say I write an article and I put it on LinkedIn where, let's just say a few thousand people see it. If it gets some engagement, that could be tens of thousands. [0:05:02.9]
Then let's say that I send it out to my email list. Some people are going to ignore that email entirely, while other people will open and click it. Then, I might take that same piece of content, I might boost it on social media for a short period of time. Even then, after I do all that, after I hit the email list, social and maybe boost it online, it would still be on my website. It would still exist as an asset. It would still get traffic, month after month after month. For the purposes of this illustration, let's say that 100,000 people will end up seeing that article over its lifetime, that article would maybe take me an hour to write plus another 30 minutes to edit it and put it on my site. It could take two or three times for you. I'm just using me as an example. It takes me 90 minutes of work to reach 100,000 people over the course of its life. [0:06:01.5]
Uh yeah…I'll take that, all day, every day and I completely acknowledge that it takes a lot of work to build up to the point there that many people see the content at such a low cost, but I'm telling you, it's worth it because a week from now, I can write another post. I can reach even more people and I can keep it going. That's why I started off the show by saying how important it is to shift your mindset about content marketing. You've got to be in this thing for the long haul. You're creating assets. I know I've said it several times - you're creating assets that will work for your business for long, long periods of time and you can take your piece of content, especially if you have a niche, if you're working within a certain group, that group will look at your content a year from now and you've got the evergreen content. It's going to continue to help people.
Next, tip number two is despite what you may think or believe, your content should not be about you or your company. Sometimes when financial advisors get started with content marketing, they think that they should just write about how long they've been in business, how great they are, why prospects should work with them, and that type of thinking doesn’t go very far in content marketing. I know that, Jonathan, you're a big follower of Storybrand…[0:07:14.9]
Jonathan: Yes, sir.
James: …and I'm going through that right now, the book, and I've noticed that in Storybrand it's not just people talking about themselves - correct?
Jonathan: It's not supposed to be.
James: No, it wouldn’t be and it shouldn’t be. It's more about the person you're trying to serve. Am I right? I mean, that's what it should always be.
Jonathan: Yeah, yeah. I think that this is a good spot if you've been digging in is people are…we try to be heroes too much in our marketing and you have a person that needs financial advice. They need to be the hero of their own day. Right? So they…
Jonathan: …can't be competing against each other. So we need to step down on the marketing front and be the guides, be that Yoda and I think that's one of the most fascinating changes that I've had over the years, like how can we be more Yoda is what I ask our team all the time. [0:08:07.4]
James: Yeah. I mean, I couldn’t agree with you more, and you really don’t want to be the hero, not all the time. You definitely want to make your client the hero more often than not and I recently created a video where I was showing financial advisors how to build their email list and I showed my own personal Facebook account. I went in there, did everything. You could see it. I generated 300 leads in 3 weeks for $5 each. I was like these leads go to this email address. They do this, this, and this. This is how the machine works. Again, 100% transparency. But I also said compared to some of the other people, the giants of Facebook marketing, I'm not a Facebook marketing at all, not by any stretch of the imagination - 300 leads in 3 weeks for $5 - that’s really good for advisors who want to make high six figures. Compared to some of these people out there, that sucks. This is baby money. It's baby advertisements. It just sucks. [0:09:04.5]
I said that on the video, I was, "I am not the best at this. I'm not even top 1%, but I am showing you what works because I actually do it." I was like, "Here's my name, James Pollard, in the account - The Advisor Coach. I'm going to refresh the screen or whatever so you know that it's real. Here you go." I'm actually doing it. When financial advisors say how can I build my email list, it's "Let me show you," because I actually do it. But I'm not sitting here saying, "I am the best financial advisor Facebook marketer on planet Earth and nobody can touch me." Because a lot of the stuff I do sucks compared to legends of the industry. But I still get a lot of freaking good results. When I put my content out there, financial advisors, some love it and some hate it but it works. Your content should be about your niche, the people you serve. If you're a financial advisor and you're targeting teachers, every single piece of content you put out there should be relevant to teachers, in at least some way. You don’t have to be super explicit to teachers all the time, every single time. Sure, you could if you want to, but you don’t have to. It should be relevant to them, at least in some way. [0:10:10.5]
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 three-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: I mean, picture this: You have a piece of content on your site about how the teachers should be planning for retirement. So a teacher in your area searches for this topic online, clickety clack, and either through organic rankings, like ranking on first page Google or paid advertisements, you show up. [0:11:09.6]
However you do it, you're there. That teacher clicks on your article and then rather than you trying to "sell her" on how great you are and how great your company is, you actually tell a story or you provide an insight in some way. Now of course, you always want to remain compliant. Got to get your stuff approved. I get it. I know that you have to go through that stuff, but it doesn’t mean that you can't create content that's valuable to people. I mean, look at my personal blog, my blog, the one that I do. I'm not just giving you theory, like "Oh, in theory, a blog should have these things, seven different pieces to make every blog work." I'm giving you stuff that I actually do. If you go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/blog, you will see these types of articles. You'll see 11 Tips for Writing a Stellar Financial Advisor Bio, 7 Traits Successful Financial Advisors Have That Others Don't, 6 Common Financial Advisor Interview Questions and How To Answer Them. All of this stuff is targeted specifically to financial advisors because I want to help them. I want to be a resource for them. [0:12:15.0]
This is not "10 Reasons James Pollard Is Better Than Everyone Else." It just doesn’t… it doesn’t mean that I'm giving a bunch of free stuff away either. A lot of times financial advisors will reach out to me and say that they can't afford something like Appointments On Autopilot. I tell them, go to the blog. Study all the blog posts. Put that content into action until you've made enough money to invest in it. Use the blog. If you don’t have a pot to piss in or two nickels to rub together, go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/blog. Study those blog articles. Put them into practice. Make some money from that information and then come back and break me off a piece of that bread.
Jonathan: Nice. Share the wealth, baby. [0:13:00.4]
Jonathan: Yeah. Spread that stuff around. I am trying to help you here. I'm trying my hardest, but a playa's got to make a living too. A lot of these people hide behind the stuff, "Oh, I'm not trying to sell you anything here. Don’t whip out…leave your checkbook at home." It's goofy. It is so dumb. People know you've got an ulterior motive or whatever when you do that. Like, "Oh, don’t worry, we're just going to give away free valuable content and nothing else."
Jonathan: Give value.
James: Yeah. Oh, my god. That really bothers me. If…I just want to throw up every time I hear "give value" in the sense that people…I'm a big believer that you should give value in your business and really make smart business decisions, but to just give away the farm for nothing and waste your time and waste your prospects' time because the …when you give away the stuff for free, people are less likely to implement it and it's not just me trying to create this thing and get you to think a certain way. There are literally studies that prove when people pay something for something, even if it's as small as $5, they are significantly more likely to put it into practice. [0:14:14.3]
It just makes no sense, like oh … and I don’t want to get too off track with the podcast but it's just a…I'm thinking about this now. When you see webinars that are, "This is not just another webinar that is trying to sell you something," it's "Okay, then I'm not going to attend."
Jonathan: I want to buy something, damn it.
James: I do because I understand that when I put my money towards a resource, I'm more likely to implement it and use it. Producer Jonathan, you're very kind to send me your free newsletter and it's amazing. I love reading it. But I remember one day over the summer, last summer, your newsletter and Ben Settle's newsletter, and by the way, I pay for other people's newsletters too - I actually am paying for other people's newsletters - I'm not just subscribing to my own. But anyway, the paid newsletter and your free one came on the same day and no offense to you, but guess which one I read first? [0:15:13.2]
Jonathan: The one that cost you 97 a month.
James: Exactly. I just…I read that thing. I took my notes. I said I'm going to do this, this, and this in my business. Now on the producer Jonathan's newsletter.
Jonathan: Hey, I made the list; I'm happy.
James: Yeah and that's a step beyond what a lot of people do because a lot of people won't even go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/blog and read the free stuff. I've got it there. It's for you to use. Really, really think about that stuff. Start soaking up the content.
Number three, this is the third content marketing tip that I have for you. This could save your business if you're doing any content marketing. Number three is don’t be cheap with your content and a lot of you are going to be shaking in your boots right now because the jig is up. Everybody knows that with a few clicks, you can hire people for super cheap and get them to write content for you. This is not a secret anymore. [0:16:08.7]
We…this is not new information. I can literally have someone from India writing a blog post for $10 in less than an hour. You could set a timer, put me to the test. I could say, "I'm going to get someone for 10 bucks to write an article for me. I could do it. I could go to Upwork. I could go to Fiverr. I could go to any of those hire cheap websites out there and get it done. But we're way past this. The problem with today's content marketing is that a lot of people are putting up content for content sake. It's the number one issue. They read about how they need to be "doing content marketing" and then hop on the train as quickly and as poorly as possible, or maybe they want to try and save a few bucks, so they hire someone from one of these content producing farms or websites and they slap something together. It is the wrong way to approach this. In the sense that I would rather have 10 high quality books that I read again and again each year rather than reading 100 books and barely understanding them, I would rather have 10 high quality, rock solid blog posts than 100 meaningless pieces of content because some guru told me that content marketing is the hot thing this year. [0:17:22.0]
I would rather have the solid pieces of content because I know, going back to that word that I kept repeating in the beginning - it's an asset. It is something that's going to work for me. It is an investment in my business. This also means that when it comes to content, you should probably err on the side of creating longer content. If you want to go a little bit deeper when it comes to creating stuff for your niche and creating guides like my free giveaway in my own business is "57 Marketing Tips For Financial Advisors." It's a long pdf. It's not a little checklist. It's not a cheat sheet or a guide. It's nothing like that. it's a long piece of content. Most organizations, they shy away from creating that type of content, the long stuff because they think people will get bored or because they think it's too expensive to create, but that's simply not true. [0:18:12.8]
The average top ranking blog post has somewhere around 2000 words. That means a longer post will drive more traffic than a short post and I'm talking about organic traffic now. What's more of a waste of money - spending $50 on a short piece of content that nobody's ever going to read or spending $200 on a blog post that will drive traffic and engage your prospects? The most expensive marketing is the marketing that doesn’t work. I mean, you got to realize that. That's a quotable. We have got to put that on a photo, Jonathan.
Jonathan: Yeah, that's got to be, definitely.
James: The most expensive marketing is the stuff…the marketing that doesn’t work. By far. Financial advisors try to squeak by, try to save a penny. They step right over those dollars right in front of them. [0:19:01.0]
Also, when you're creating longer content, more in-depth content, if it's relevant and engaging, your audience is not going to get bored. I have super long sales letters and I've done projects in the past. I don’t really do this stuff anymore, but I've created stuff that is 10, 12 pages and I've had people say to me, "Oh, my prospect's never going to read this." Well, not everyone is going to read it. I will give you that, but the people who are going to give you money and hire you and do business with you and not cause headaches, yeah, they're going to read the whole thing because if they're interested in it, just like… that's why…well, that's why I personally put my email at the bottom of the blog post and I tell financial advisors to do the same. All of the experts and the gurus, they're like, "No! it has to be above the fold. It has to be above the fold otherwise no one is going to see it!" It's the fold! It's true. It's like I'm breaking a commandment. They're like, "Why would you put it there? It's like the least visited part of your site. Nobody goes all the way down to the bottom. [0:20:02.1]
Uh, the financial advisors who are interested in marketing and actually serious about this stuff, they read the freaking article. They get to the bottom and they see it. That's who I want. I don’t want the people who are "Oh, yay! Above the fold. Let me put my email in." Now, I'm not saying that I never have above the fold because I have the exit popup and all that because in my case it works. But for a lot of people, it's just going to waste their time. you want the people who are interested. I mean, would you rather have that or would you just rather have a bunch of low quality leads? When it comes to financial advisors, their time is money. They've got to be on the ball. They only want to be in front of prospects who are serious anyway. So, to recap, because I don’t want to go on forever about content marketing, even though I probably could.
Content marketing, it can be an absolute gold mine, as long as you do it correctly and as long as you follow these three pieces of advice. Number 1: Share your content across all of your channels. This is also known as repurposing. You've got to do it correctly. You're going to share it. You're going to expand the life of your content. [0:21:07.2]
Number 2: Make it relevant to the audience you want to attract.
Number 3: Don’t be cheap with it. Don’t go cheap with this stuff. Just like with a lot of marketing, you don’t want to go cheap. Being cheap can come back and bite you, in a major way. So that's it for this week, producer Jonathan.
Jonathan: Yes, sir. What do you have coming up for us next time?
James: Next week, I am going to talk about the only real way to reach your goals. A lot of financial advisors, they come to me with these big lofty goals and even, I love seeing their ambition - I love it - I love goals. Goals are awesome. I'm a big believer in goal setting, but a lot of financial advisors approach these things from the wrong way. I'm going to set them straight next week.
Jonathan: James is going to set you straight - again. Looking forward to it. So that is a wrap for another Financial Advisor Marketing;. Thank you for tuning in. We will be back in your ear buds next time.
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