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You’re probably a knowledgeable, effective and trustworthy financial advisor. You know you’ll take good care of your clients’ capital.

But even with all your skills, you can’t afford to be boring. If talking to you feels like a chore, no client will want to stay with you and prospects will start checking their email on calls with you.

If you want clients to come to you, stay with you and refer you, you’ve got to become at least somewhat fun, friendly and entertaining.

The good news: You don’t have to become a stand-up comedian or start wearing funny outfits.

In this episode, you’ll find out how to stop being boring and become the financial advisor clients love interacting with.

Listen now and have more fun in business!

Show highlights include:

  • How to do better marketing by giving way less “value” than anyone else. (8:07)
  • Why you should educate your prospects, but keep most of the information from them. (11:55)
  • Is “giving value” undermining your business? How well-meaning help cannibalizes your own business without making a penny. (13:58)
  • Be less boring: The easy way to become entertaining without creating more content. (16:30)

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

Go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar to register today.

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


Read Full Transcript

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

James: Welcome to Financial Advisor Marketing. This is the show where I yell at you.

Jonathan: Are you okay over there? You need some coffee?

James: No. The title is how financial advisors can stop being mind numbingly boring. And if you're boring, it's not necessarily your fault at,

Jonathan: Yes it is.

James: I mean at its core it's your fault, but indirectly it's you. You've been influenced and people have helped you be boring along the way. So anyway, financial advisor marketing, this is the show where I yell at you for 15 or 20 minutes per week and I call it content. [01:07.9]

Jonathan: Hmm…I like that.

James: That's, that's kind of what it is. I’m just like crouching in, yell at financial advisors. Last week, I just yelled for 20-25 minutes about leads and the lead generation.

Jonathan: Oh, good.

James: Exactly, it is, and I'm amazed at how many people listen to the show. I mean, we're really putting some numbers on the board. It's pretty cool.

Jonathan: Yes Sir.

James: Some people ask, if I listened to my own episodes.

Jonathan: Do you??

James: I've gotten that email twice, if I like subscribed, I do. I do subscribe to my own podcast and you should subscribe to and you should leave a review. But as far as listening to my own episodes, the answer is no. I really don't. A couple of months ago I changed the area where I record, so I mean, I listened then to see, make sure that the audio, audio quality was still good, that everything was still cool. But that's about it. I don't know why people would think that, I go back and listen to the episodes like. [02:03.8]

Jonathan: Hey man, I'm guilty. I listen to my own stuff. I sit there and then I critique myself. Should have said this, why did I use that story? This would have been better over here. So that's kind of why I do it, but.

James: You're like Kobe, you're watching the tape

Jonathan: Game tape.

James: Hey, Kobe Bryant used to take financial advisors, if you don't know this financial — Oh God, I keep got financial advisors on the brain. Kobe Bryant used to travel with a VCR so he could watch tapes in his hotel room. Wow. The truth. True stuff. I'm like, Hey that, that's dedication. Like kudos to that guy, but I don't go back and listen to my own shows cause like I was there, I recorded the show. I know what happens now. All good. But the inspiration for today's show about being boring mind numbingly boring is a, comes from Russell Brunson, great marketer, influenced a lot of people and he's got one video on YouTube where he talks about the line between being boring and crazy. And his basic premise was that people won't accept your message if you're boring and they won't accept your message if you sound crazy. In the example that he gave him, the video was about trying to sell in the weight loss market. [03:18.9]

James: He said if you came out and you tried to like sell the food pyramid as a way to lose weight, it wouldn't work. Or if you tried to sell like eat fewer calories program, it wouldn't work because it's boring. There's nothing sexy about it. There's no sizzle for that steak. You can't come out and release a diet and just call it ‘The eat fewer calories and exercise more program’, ‘lose 10 pounds in 30 days’. This wouldn't work. But then he also talked about like there was this tribe of people who looked at the sun like directly at it and somehow didn't eat because it is, it sounds crazy, but that's what he's talking about it. They got their energy directly from the sun. I don't know. I don't really remember. But if you came out with that approach and you said the stare at the sun diet, people wouldn't get it because it sounds crazy and financial advisors can learn a lot from this concept. [04:21.4]

James: Now, fortunately, most financial advisors don't have to worry about sounding crazy, but they do have to worry about sounding boring. So that's what I'm going to help with. First of all, for most prospects, you've got to realize this finance is boring. Sure, they might have investments, they might have a brokerage account, they might check the money every so often, but they really don't care about investing and finance and all that. Now, let me, let me pull the host here, hey Jonathan, and come be honest, if you can contradict me if you want. Do you care about your investment in your brokerage accounts and stuff?

Jonathan: You're talking to a wrong guy, bro. I check everything daily.

James: But do you, but do you, you do have a financial advisor, don't you?

Jonathan: Yeah, no, actually we were in the process and it's actually somebody at the, at the podcast factory. Yeah, we just hired a financial advisor. But for me, I've always looked at my investments daily, the ones that I can look at, like my ETFs and all that. [05:22.3]

James: Sure. Yeah. I don't look at my end daily, but I look at every couple of days and I kind of pride myself on that because, I mean, not necessarily pride myself, but it's just that I don't have an emotional reaction. I am largely an income investor and I've gotten bashed by financial advisors who, I mean, we've had financial conversations and stuff. Because I mean, just, it just happens, like, I mean, my audience is financial advisor and the advisor coach the whole deal. And we talk about money every so often and I just tell them I'm a dividend income investor, I take my risk elsewhere. You know, in business.

Jonathan: In business…Yeah.

James: Yeah, right… So I, I'm not necessarily looking to be in, in the growth ETF that's going to drop 20% like it did in the year 2018. And so on and so forth. I, yes, I understand that I'm giving up growth over the long term, but I know I want to know that every time I put money into a certain account, I'm going to get this much back in the form of a check every single month. [06:20.0]

Jonathan: Yeah.

James: That's me. That's my personal philosophy. It's not right or wrong, just like anyone's individual investment philosophy is right or wrong, financial advisors have different ones. My point is that unless you're producer Jonathan, for the large..

Jonathan: Once you have OCD about your money.

James: Right, and you should to an extent, but if you're just middle America, the bread basket, the backbone of this country, you don't unless you, unless you're producing Jonathan. If you are the breadbasket backbone of this country, just middle America, regular Joe, then you don't care about your brokerage accounts and you don't check it every single day. Yeah. I mean, you may care if it, the world's going to hell in a hand basket on CNBC. That's when you're going to check it, but they don't really care to the extent that they're interested in it. They're not reading personal finance books. They're not subscribed to personal finance or YouTube channels. [07:15.5]

James: They're not listening to investment podcast or anything like that. The reason that financial advisors struggle to accept this, that most prospects really don't care that much is because the prospects act like they care when they're in the room with the financial advisor because that's how they think they're supposed to act. They're supposed to act like they care, like they're on top of things, but in reality they're hiring you to do that stuff. That's like what are the dynamic that's going on there. Here are the, here are your prospects come into the room to meet with you because they want you to worry about their investments and watch it and take care of it and be more interested in it than they are. And when you talk about it, they nod their head and they smile and they act interested and they, they say a couple of words to make it seem like they look or care. [08:04.1]

James: It's just, it's weird. It's just a trip. And one of the reasons my emails convert so well is because they're nearly all entertainment based. They're not giving “Value.” They're not necessarily providing information, because you've got to realize if your prospects really wanted information about Roth IRAs, all they got to do is head over to Google and start searching. There's thousands of websites, thousands of different places to get this information. I'm sure there's thousands of YouTube videos. Information is not the number one thing prospects want. Sure, a little information here and there would never hurt and it can streamline the process, especially when they're looking to do business with you. But as a whole, mainly they're looking for someone they can relate to, someone they trust and someone who will be easy to work with. And to illustrate this point, I actually sent an email to my own list, this my personal list with financial advisors. [09:01.8]

James: The subject line was literally lessons learned from punching holes in paper and the email talked about me printing a bunch of pages and then having to punch holes in them. Now that sounds crazy, but let me explain. I basically sat down and I thought to myself— What is the most boring thing I can possibly write an email about? And I just sat there for a little bit and my desk was very clean and very tidy and organized and I looked around the room and I saw a hole puncher and I thought that's it. I’ll write an email about punching holes in paper and that's what I did. And in the PS of the email I basically came clean. I wrote that, I basically, I admit to what I'm doing here, I wrote about this boring topic on person or on purpose I should say.

James: But I made it entertaining and I said, if you're still reading this email, I got you to read about punching holes in paper and that should shatter the myth that you need to be creative or you need to have amazing topics in order to make email work for you. Because so many advisors believe that in order to make email work, they've got to be some creative genius. They've got to have some mystical talent. It's the wrong way to think about it because I just proved with that email that people would rather read. Literally they rather read about punching holes in paper than some of the other emails out there like stock market commentary as long as you do it the right way. And by the way, if you're interested in learning how to write emails to get prospects to book appointments with you, go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar. [10:36.7]

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. [11:16.6]

James: But you can't be boring. Even if you're writing about what you think is the most exciting topic, it gets your blood rushing in. You just love it. Your 401k's or Roth IRA, traditional IRA, something that just makes you grin from ear to ear. You know, if you write about that and you're boring to your target market, it is the ultimate marketing sin. And a lot of financial advisors fall into this trap when they realize that they need to educate their prospects. And that's true. You do need to educate your prospects, but this does not mean you need to get into all the details, all the nuances of all these financial products and what you do. And you shouldn't by the way, cause it could be a compliance issue. Education can be more general than that. You can help them see the value in working with a financial advisor. You can give them a fresh perspective on a particular concept. You can erase their limiting beliefs. All of that stuff is education and it's immensely more valuable than like mirror information and I talk about like “Giving value” and it just makes my skin crawl every time somebody says that because typically what they mean is giving away everything for free and giving all the information away. And Jonathan, I've got a new drinking game for you. [12:42.3]

Jonathan: Okay, I don't drink anymore, but okay, I can drink tea, right?

James: You can drink, yes. Chai, latte, tea, whatever you want. The drinking game is this…listen to your favorite marketing…it’s not me. Listen to your favorite marketing expert podcast and I want you to take a shot every time you hear the term giving value, providing value, super valuable or anything like that about it.

Jonathan: I want to put my value all over you. Yeah..I..yeah.

James: Oh yeah

Jonathan: Take some value.

James: Yeah, right. It's, it's okay to an extent, but

Jonathan: I think there's some confusion there and I want to run this by you. I don't know if we've talked about this on the show. I think that whole idea of giving values absolutely warped and wrong and I think what people really are supposed to be doing, I think you do a great job of this is demonstrating value. [13:35.6]

James: Absolutely. Without a doubt and you're demonstrating your expertise, you're demonstrating how you can help, but you're not like, and I get a lot of questions from financial advisors about this and I get a lot of people who criticize me because they hear me say giving value is stupid and they don't understand what I'm really saying. What I'm saying is if you're a financial advisor and you have a podcast, your idea of giving value could be that you have to explain how Roth IRAs work and give every little detail and every little nuance to the point where the person listening doesn't necessarily need your services anymore. You will have provided a service

Jonathan: Lots of value. [14:22.0]

James: Yeah, essentially lots of value there, but you're not helping them in the way that you could help them one-on-one because the true “Value” comes from when they do business with you because you are the expert. You are the one who can steer them in the right direction. You are the one who can make sure that it gets done 100% correctly and sometimes the biggest value that you can really give, and I mean like real value here, not the stuff that the marketing experts talk about is when you rearrange someone's belief a little bit because that has such a bigger impact over the long term than just mere information.

James: Because I could give you on this podcast, I could give you a step-by-step direct mail marketing campaign, but if you could use that campaign, you could get some clients, but then we'd be finished. Even if you use that information and you saw some results in your life, there's an end point. But if I can change your beliefs a little bit to where you believe that you need to split test more or you need to try, try and try again and you need to master the monotonous, then that sticks with you.That's lifetime. That's not just one campaign. [15:32.7]

James: Hopefully you understand that because when I get your, when I get your mind to shift a little bit, when I get you to adopt certain beliefs, when I get you to look at marketing in a different light, the light that is with you forever, that is true, true value. Not just do this, not that, we're going to be done… it's like a transaction. I feel kind of icky with the transactional value stuff and that's why I don't want to do it. And if you've been paying attention, you realize this is exactly what I do on the podcast. I talk about a wide variety of different topics, but I do so in a roundabout way, sometimes I do give you direct information, but most of the time I'm telling you stories. I'm sharing my experience and for, for a backup, for lack of a better term, I'm being entertaining because I don't think of myself as entertaining, but that's what people tell me it is. And that's more valuable to them than just mere information. [16:28.2]

James: Now a great way to avoid being boring is to leverage content that's already out there and grabbing attention. A perfect example of this is like a hot new story and the one that comes to mind is actually one of my most successful emails and it was an email I sent about Build-A-Bear. Yes, Build-A-Bear. I knew you're listening out there thinking what the heck

Jonathan: How did we sponsor you?

James: Put the bears down. No sponsors are on this show, financial advisors. I am the sponsor. But yeah it's go to bear. It's the store where you go in, you make the stuffed animal, you put a little heart in it, they give you a birth certificate. And I must admit I do have my very own, I've got a dog, that I got from Build- A -Bear and I like it and I do. It's cute. I really like it. I had to go in and see what they were, what they were all about. Because I mean they were popping up like just like flies everywhere. They were like really successful. [17:28.0]

James: A few years ago they were hitting their stride, so I said let me go in and see what this is all about. So I built my own, it should be called build-a-dog for me because that's what I got. But yeah, the email itself. Now keep in mind I'm writing to financial advisors who are likely sitting at their desk in a suit and tie who probably just had a very serious meeting with prospects and here I am talking about Build-A-Bear. There's a very important lesson in that though, very important and it has everything to do with separating yourself from all the noise out there because I guarantee you the minute they got that email about Build-A-Bear, it's different than all the other finance stuff, all the different investment stuff that they get. [18:05.8]

James: Like we'd build a bear open, they open it right away, but this particular email was about the Build-A-Bear “pay-your-age day” and you could just Google it, Build-A-Bear “pay-your-age day” if you'd never heard about it. It was so successful that it actually forced Build-A-Bear to shut down their stores. What happened was that build a bear had a marketing campaign where instead of paying the normal price for a bear, if you're five years old, you pay five bucks instead of like the 30 or whatever it is that they charge. Now what ended up happening was that the police departments were so concerned about the public safety because the lines were so long and the crowds were so large that they ordered Build-A-Bear to shut down. And what's crazy is just as a side note, there were YouTube videos and like commentary about how people drove hundreds of miles just to stand in line for a stuffed bear. Isn't it crazy Jonathan?

Jonathan: No kidding!

James: Now that's another lesson entirely [19:09.5]

Jonathan: Yeah

James: In like valuing your time and from Build-A-Bear standpoint, like Holy cow!, that's a really effective marketing campaign. If people are willing to drive a hundred miles

Jonathan: And stick in a line, forget that

James: Yeah, and stand in line for hours, they must be doing something right. That's why, that's why you got to pay attention to this stuff. And you've got to look outside the financial services industry because you can get ideas and you get inspiration from everywhere, but anyway, I saw this thing taking off in the news. There are story after story after story about it, so I wrote an email about it. That's it. People were already interested in it. It was already a hot story. People were obviously looking for it, so I just capitalized on it. Financial advisors can do the same. That's how you, you stay interesting. You're not boring anymore. [19:56.9]

James: What a lot of people don't realize is that if you're talking about money and finance and just money stuff and your email follow-up, you're doing it wrong because there's absolutely no need for it. Let's say the Super bowl happens, write about that, talk about how much you really enjoyed the halftime show, Whatever! It really is that simple and it works better than boring in e-newsletters and stuff because it's entertaining. People would rather read about the halftime show and Janet Jackson.

Jonathan: Hmmm..

James: Hmmm…

James: If you remember, if you know, you know Janet Jackson had a little something something happened at a halftime show

Jonathan: A little show. [20:32.6]

James: They would vouch, she did have a show, she sure did and people would rather read about Janet Jackson's expose than the stock market. It's been proven again and again and again. You have got to incorporate entertainment into your business. And I know I'm talking about email because that's the thing that I specialize in and a lot of financial advisors are going through appointments on autopilot now. They're getting amazing results with it, but keep in mind, you can do this for your blogs, you can do this for your direct mail pieces. You can do this for your social media accounts, you can apply this everywhere. This is the real value here. I'm not just giving you a step by step campaign like…okay, financial advisors, you're going to write a status update and it's going to be just like this and I'm going to give you a template for it. I'm not doing that. I'm telling you to incorporate entertainment, to start viewing your business through an entertainment lens in order to capture prospect's imagination and to captivate them in order to do business with you. Now want to wind this episode down and I want to leave you with the idea that there's really no excuse for being boring anymore. You can get inspiration from everywhere. [21:42.0]

James: For example, reading, if you're not reading, you're falling behind because reading is a great way to become more interesting. You want to become well-read. It still amazes me how many so-called high level professionals don't read whatsoever. It's insane. They make like $50,000 a year, maybe a $100,000 per year. They think, Oh, I'm good, I'm fine, and they have no desire to grow, which is selfish if you think about it because if you can't grow, you can't help people. You can't help your family. You can't build a legacy. You can't look out for your children in the best way. It's just, it's selfish. Now, I personally have huge growth goals, but I don't really want them for me. I want to grow so I can help children across the country so I can help my family. I want to get the money so I could donate it to children's charities. I know I have a moral obligation to make as much money as possible to help these kids so I will never stop pushing. I will never stop growing and that is my promise to you financial advisors. If you're out there listening, incorporate entertainment, stop being boring, stick to your mission and make, make good stuff happen. [22:51.4]

Jonathan: Listen to this guy, he is fired up today. James, what do you have coming up for us next time?

James: I'm actually going to kick it back to the audience this time so if you have any ideas or any things you want, want me to talk about on the next show or any show for that matter, send an email to James at TheAdvisorCoach.com I really enjoy hearing from the listeners. I really enjoy seeing all of their different beliefs and their different backgrounds or where they come from and their approaches. It is fun for me, I really do enjoy it. So hit me up and if you love the show, leave a positive review and make sure that thing is five stars. And I will catch you next week

Jonathan: And if you leave us a one star, we'll make fun of you. All right. That is a wrap for another financial advisor marketing. Thank you guys for tuning in and we will be back in your ear buds next time. [23:36.7]

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