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. [00:32.0]
James: Welcome to the show financial advisors. This week's episode was inspired by an email I got from you guessed it a financial advisor, of course. These are the people who I work with, they email me. He told me that he's been in business for three years and he makes $75,000 per year now, but he has a goal to get to $300,000 per year. He doesn't care how long it takes, but he just needs a little help breaking it down and making it real. And I figured that this is a topic that could help a lot of advisors. So I'm going to get into it this week and I wrote back to him, but I said, you know what? This would be an amazing podcast episode, but I want to start off with this. I am not saying you will achieve these results. I am not giving you some magic bullet. I'm merely entering the question, giving my input based on what I know and what I've seen. [01:23.5]
Your situation may be completely different. Your goals may be different. Who knows? I just wanted to turn this into an episode because it can help a lot of people. So let's get into it. Pretty clear cut. We're going straight to the chase this weekend.
Jonathan: No stories, huh?
James: No story. No story. We're going to get straight to it cause I know anyone who listens to this episode, they're going to see the title. They're gonna be like, Oh yeah, 75 to 300 K, let's do it. So they don't want a story. I'm going to give the people what they want. Above all else, I told this advisor, perhaps the most important thing he could do is to choose a niche market. Now, depending on when you're listening to this, I may or may not have released a little product that I'm working on called ‘Deep dive into niche marketing’ and I don't want to spend a lot of time on it because that is literally like, like it sounds a deep dive into niche marketing. It's one of the most important things you can do. It sets you up for long term success. [02:18.7]
I mean in the short term you can, you can get some results and get some clients and make some money without having a niche. I never said that you, you should have to have a niche in order to succeed in the short term, but in the long term it like five years plus in your business, it makes everything way easier because you've got content for a specific niche. You've got your email marketing for specific niche. You're reaching out to a specific type of person. You've got your social going for you, multiple marketing strategies, all that stuff, so choose a niche marketing. That's the first thing. Second thing is to start tracking your time because a big part of increasing your income is knowing where you spend your time, this is extremely eye opening to people who do that. If you want to move from $75,000 per year to $300,000 per year, you're going to have to, you're going to have to become more productive, at least in strictly economic terms. [03:14.3]
This means you're going to have to extract more money per unit of time. If you're making 75k per year, it means your time is probably worth between 30 and $40 per hour depending on how much you're working. If you're working 40 hours per week, this, it's, I think it's 35 if you're working 45 or 50 it's going to be a little bit less per hour, but in order to make $300,000 per year, you're going to have to make your time worth $150 per hour, assuming you work 250 days per year for eight hours a day. That's just the math, but this isn't how it works in reality. It's not like you're just consistently cranking out $150 hour after hour after hour as a financial advisor. What ends up happening is you do $50 per hour work, sometimes $100 per hour work sometimes, and then sometimes $1,000 per hour work. That $1,000 per hour work will drive up your average and it will get your income to where it needs to be. [04:14.2]
And I will tell you this; your highest value time is going to be when you are marketing, prospecting and meeting with clients. If you're not interacting with with other people or creating marketing collateral, your average hourly wage is being driven down, which means you're hurting your income. I promise you, if you're not marketing, you're not prospecting and you're not in front of current clients, you are not getting the highest and best use of your time. And you've got to be conscious of this stuff. It's got to hurt if you don't do it. This is not like the sexy tip or life hack that's going to make everyone feel good and make it the sunshine and rainbows everywhere. You’ve got to visualize this in real for real cost to you. If you slack off in your business for three hours and you want to make $300,000 this year, I want you to realize that you just cost yourself $450. So whenever you think, oh, I'll just watch another hour of TV, I want you to ask yourself if it's worth the money that it's costing you. [05:18.1]
Lots of people know the saying, oh, time is money and money is time, but very few people treat it as such. They understand it like they know that that's a thing. The time is money, but they don't feel the pain. When they waste their time and when they're not as productive they don't think of it as, Holy crap, I just cost myself $1,000 today. Or oh my goodness, I just blew 400 bucks because I just, I had this lunch that went for three hours and I just wasted it. Or a prospect canceled a meeting and I didn't reschedule with a current client. I just wasted 200 bucks. They don't think like that. And the minute you start thinking like that, you can, you start making decisions on the income that you want based on the life that you want and you become more productive. So focus on productivity, does that make sense? Jonathan? Am I being clear enough?
Jonathan: Yeah it goes back to a, I'm in strategic coach. So what it reminds me of is it's a unique ability decision. If it's not in your unique ability, it can probably be deleted or delegated. [06:18.4]
James: Yes and as an advisor, your unique ability is marketing, prospecting, meeting with clients. You've got to get that. And, I'm always experimenting with ways to become more productive and I'll share the experiment that I just tried. A lot of people, at the time of this recording the episode that came out this past week is the one where I talked about how I don't eat breakfast and I only work. I work like 90 minutes at first and then I take a break and I work a couple more hours. I don't even know if you remember that episode, Jonathan,
James: But I had an adviser, we're going to get off topic now, but we had an, I had an advisor email me. He was like; I always knew breakfast was a scam. I was like it's not a scam it’s just that this marketing company got behind General Mills or Kellogg’s or whatever it was, and that was the episode where I talked about how the nutrition experts got on the radio and they said that nutritionally breakfast was the most important meal of the day and they just hammered it into the population and I said that I don't eat breakfast. [07:19.5]
This guy was like, my eyes are now open.
I always was a scam. Oh my God. Oh, it just had me cracking up. I'm not saying that you shouldn't eat breakfast if you don't want to or if you want to eat breakfast, cool, go ahead. But like I don't, it makes me more productive but no, that's not the experiment. The experiment that I tried, I tried taking Fridays off and I didn't work like four hours on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and then take Fridays off. What I ended up doing was I would work four hours on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and then on Thursday I would try to go hard like balls to the wall, everything, fill up my to do list, crank hard all day long and try to get as much stuff as I possibly could and be as productive as I possibly could. [08:18.4]
Like push my brain and my body to the limit and I'm talking like working like 16 and 18 hours straight. Like just trying to get more time in and all that. And I did it successfully for the first two weeks and I was like, screw this because, you know, I, the whole idea was for me to enjoy my Friday and have Fridays off and relax a little bit or do some of the stuff that I do in my private life is some charity stuff or whatever. And I just, I couldn't do it.
I didn't want to do anything on Friday. I just went way too hard on Thursday and Saturday wasn't as enjoyable and by Sunday when I was totally recovered, it was like I was putting my plan together for the week. So back to low and slow.
Jonathan: No fun.
James: Yeah, it was no fun. And that was the, that was the week where we, oh we were on the podcast call on Monday and I was like, if I'm ever, if I've ever been close to burning out, it's now.
Jonathan: Oh yeah, I remember that. [09:13.8]
James: And that was because I tried that and I figured, I figured that I would be motivated cause I was like, I just got to get through today and tomorrow I'll, I won't do anything and I won't, you know, that kind of thing where like I see the light at the end of the tunnel but it did not work and it failed miserably. So I'm personally always testing different productivity techniques. But for me personally low ends low, meaning do your most important work every single day and do it to the best of your ability and do it to the ability that your brain lets you do it. That's really it. I mean before this show I have a smoothie and the smoothie has, if anyone is interested, I have this smoothie that really helps me operate at a higher level. I've got, if you're, if you're familiar with my superhuman focus method, this is not a, it doesn't have a smoothie in it. It's got like the supplements and all that. And if you're interested in learning the superhuman focus stuff, please email me at James@theadvisorycoach.com. [10:15.6]
I'm not going to discuss it on the show but my smoothie has and get ready for this Jonathan, cause I know you're a health nut too.
Jonathan: Yes sir.
James: It's got almond milk and then I put flax seed, whey protein, fish oil, spinach, kale, carrots and then frozen berries and all of them together just blend them up in my Vitamix and which actually it's apparently it's been so fast that it actually melts the ice part of the smoothie because it went from like really, really thick. It gets thinner the more that I blend it and I, I couldn't figure out why but that's why it's crazy to me. But it gets so hot that it melts.
James: But that gets me really amped up and I think clearly it's like a sustained; I'm not hungry, sustained energy. I really enjoy it. [11:09.2]
So financial advisors, if you want to try out a smoothie that I have paid a pretty penny for, could I've tried, you know, Berry smoothies and chocolate, peanut butter, banana, whatever, like these specific ingredients combined together will give you an edge. I'm not a medical doctor or whatever, but I paid a lot of money to nutritionist and people who can help. So that's our, that's our story, instead of doing our story in the beginning
Jonathan: You have the, yeah. Nice. I like it.
James: Yeah. The other thing that I would tell this advisor, and I did tell him about $75,000 to $300,000 in income, each to seek areas where you can leverage your efforts. And this is all about separating your effort from your time. If you can remove time from the equation, even if you've already become more productive and you're already getting more money per unit of time, you will immediately become more productive like quantum leap in productivity. [12:07.6]
We talk a lot on this show about creating marketing collateral and assets that will continue to work for you no matter what you're doing. And I'm proud to say that that concept has helped a lot of people. There are some financial advisors who for better or worse, just want to make as much money as possible and there are others who just want to make low six figures per year and spend some time with their family and spend time with the kids. Both, both are cool. This idea can help you with both of them because let's say that you integrate some automation into your business, with your extra time you can go out and make more money or you can spend more time with your kids. Either way, you want to seek a way to separate your time from your business and I don't mean that in a four hour work week kind of way where you just delegate everything. I don't know where you stand on four hour work week, Jonathan.
Jonathan: That’s BS.
James: Well for the most part it is, but it, it's important in the sense that it inspired this philosophy that Hey, it doesn't always have to be about me, so I did have some good in the world. [13:03.5]
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. [13:43.3]
What I'm talking about here, you're increasing the productivity of what you do with automation. That's a major key here. All you're doing is getting more output from the same level of input and a perfect example of this is social media and one of the reasons I tell financial advisors to focus on LinkedIn is because it has a tremendous ability to scale. You can reach a lot of people in your target market. You can reach them cheaply, you can reach them easily. Stuff like this, it didn't even exist up until a few years ago. People are still, in in 2020 they're still sleeping on LinkedIn, even though it's been out for years and the wave is passing them by. But once you build your network, it takes the same amount of time to reach 5,000 people as it does to reach 50 people. [14:27.9]
When you build your network on LinkedIn, you are building a vehicle that you can use to expand and grow. Plus, it allows you to easily find people in your niche, which means you can get to a point where you consistently reaching thousands of people and your niche, and it grows your business every time you get online. It's incredible. And by the way, if you want to connect with me on LinkedIn, just search James Pollard. I hopefully should be result number one because unless there's some, some other guy out there, I know there's like a Britta, there's like a British painter.
Jonathan: You almost said it with an accent. I heard it coming.
James: A British. I'm surprised I've got a lot of inner circle members in the UK, so they love me and maybe they don't love my accent. Let me know if it sounds genuine. Just a little bit of the inner circle this month.
Jonathan: You maniac. [15:25.0]
James: So I know the Russian, I hated on him in the past episodes by the Russians getting your data. That actually hasn't been released yet, but I know that when it does get released, those Russians not getting my data now. I've got a micro cut shredder. I've got encrypted hard drives.
James: Not getting my data Russians. But with the LinkedIn stuff, there are tons of studies out there that show they show that someone needs to see your message several times before they take action. The LinkedIn is built for this because you've got somewhat of a captive audience. If you keep popping up in a person's feed, there's a good chance that that person is going to at least get curious and check out what you do.
I've even had financial advisors who have never ever done any business with me whatsoever, engage with me on LinkedIn, and guess what happens? People in their network see them engaging with me, they check me out, they do business with me. It's incredible. The advisors who literally don't want anything to do with me and they, they engage with me on LinkedIn or they comment and say you're wrong or whatever. [16:30.0]
Their connections see that and they're like, who the heck is this James Guy? Wow, this seems interesting. Let me message him. Or like, let me, let me ask about what he does all from the engagement it, and you could do the same thing with teachers where the executives, where the engineers, it doesn't matter. LinkedIn is built for this and another asset like is your website. You can build and grow and you can scale it. Over the past few years, I have seen advisors who have a website and the ones who know how to use it end up crushing almost everyone else because your website never gets sick, never gets tired, never takes a day off and you can control it to do your bidding. That sounded kind of evil, but you get the point. Your website does what you want. It gives the message, you tell it to give whatever you want your website to do it does it. Is cupcake like a website or no? [17:27.8]
Jonathan: Ya Right.
James: Like look here I want you to be more like a website.
Jonathan: Listen here, make me a sandwich smack!
James: Oh no.
Jonathan: Back of the head with a frying pan.
James: I wrote an email with the subject line ‘Financial advisor’s wife cripples his business’ and this lady wrote back me and was basically like you sexist pig and all that and I'm really not like if she really knew me like she would know that there's literally now my personality and if you actually read the email you would realize that there's nothing sexist about it whatsoever. Because I described the situation where the wife impacted the guy's business and vice versa. Actually the, the husband impacted the wife in a negative way. [18:10.7]
But I went into this lady's analytics just cause I had to, I usually don't do this cause I get usually care less or like I don't give a crap, but I was just so enthralled with this, I clicked on her, on her analytics and my in my drip account, cause drip is the auto responder service I use. She had literally signed up like a year ago for my email list. She opened the first email for 57 marketing tips. Had never ever opened a single email in a year, a year. And she finally opened ‘Financial advisor’s wife cripples his business.’
Jonathan: That's the point, isn't it?
James: Well yes.
Jonathan: The shocking email.
James: But she saw that, she must have saw that subject line and she knew what she was going to say before she even opened it. Right. Like she knew it. She was like time to get triggered. And I would say she didn't even read the darn thing. [19:07.2]
And financial advisors who are listening to the show. If you, if you're on my email list and you saved my emails, literally just, just search financial advisors, wave cripples his business, you'll probably find the email and she just like went off and I was like, I did. I didn't, I didn't really respond. I don't actually, I don't remember if I responded or not, but I can't imagine that I would. But anyway, no, she'd never opened any emails, but she opened that one and she got so triggered and it's like, okay, bye bye. You are banned.
But that's really what it is. Email is another example. It's another way for you to gain leverage in your business. You build an email list, you've set up an email marketing machine, and if you have no idea how to do this, I encourage you to go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar and watch the webinar. It's completely free. I do give you some amazing information and I do sell something at the end. I do make you an offer that could change your business forever. [20:05.3]
So if you go in there and you're like, oh, when's the sales pitch coming? Trust me, it's coming at the end is like at the 55 60.
James: 55 50 minute mark, that's when the sales pitch happens, but trust me, it is a sales pitch that can change your life. So let me give you some numbers just so you understand what we're working with email and how it can help advisors scale their business.
According to DMA insights, 99% of consumers check their email every single day. That means if you have a list of 100 people and you want to reach them today, 99 of them will see your message. That doesn't mean they're going to open your email, but they will see your name, they'll see your company, your subject line. They will see it because they check it every single day. [20:51.1]
And my own personal research, this is not based on any outside studies. This is simply me now, my own personal research tells me even when these people have out of office reply saying that they're not there, they're still checking their emails because I email on the weekend and some advisers on the weekend, they have, you know, I'm out of the office for two days. Like your clients should know this. If you're running your business properly, you don't need an out of office every freaking weekend. But they, they send it and they still reply to me or whatever. It's like, wait a minute, I thought you out of the office and not checking email.
James: How are you responding to me? Yeah. Psych. Gotcha. But, and another stat, this is from third party, 59% of marketers say email is their biggest source of ROI. Isn't that insane?
James: More than half of marketers, people who do this stuff for a living are telling you straight up that email gives them their biggest return on investment. Yet you still got, you still have financial advisors who are on the fence about it. They're like, let me think about it. I don't know if email is going to work for me. I've tried it in the past. It doesn't work, and then one more stat and then we'll get onto the next point. [22:00.6]
According to McKinsey and company, email marketing is literally 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined.
James: Not separate, that's combined. You've got so many advisors out there who talks so much trash about how awesome Facebook and Twitter can be for getting clients, but they're really talking out of their butt because numbers don't lie. And the numbers, the stuff that actually matters, the numbers say that email blows both of them combined out of the water. So that's enough, I'm not going to talk about scale. I'm going to move onto the next point. The next point that I gave for the advisor who wants to go from $75,000 to $300,000 a year is that he should ruthlessly and relentlessly qualify his prospects and this is closely tied to this idea of tracking your time and getting the most out of your time because you want to make sure you're spending time with people who are most likely to do business with you. A lot of times people will get stuck in this rut of meeting with anyone and everyone who will give them the time of day. [23:02.3]
That's mine and it's completely cool if you want to make about a hundred thousand dollars or so, but that type of behavior has got to go as you climb the income ladder. Do not be afraid to ask qualifying questions. You are the scarce resource. Is this prospect a good fit for you or not? If they're not, don't be afraid to let the, let them go. Make it clear everywhere in your marketing, your direct mail, your website, your social, your email, everything. Some of the most successful lead gen efforts on the internet and not necessarily with financial advisors, but these companies that generate leads for advisors that literally spend millions of dollars every single year to generate those leads. They ask right on the first page or maybe the second page, the thank you page, do you have at least $250,000 to invest or do you have at least $500,000 in liquid assets and they will use that as a qualification mechanism. [23:56.2]
Some financial advisors are too timid to do this and they end up wasting your time with people who don't even meet their minimum. You're better to cut them off upfront like just get rid of them. Prospecting is a qualification game. Back to the email thing, email is because email really is an amazing tool. It's amazing for qualification because you can explain your business, you can explain how you work, you can tell stories in your daily emails and maybe you send them once every two days or once every three days. You explain your process and it qualifies the prospects for you automatically. People will automatically filter through and set the appointment. Once they do, you can even take it a step further if you want. You can send them a questionnaire and if they're not up to snuff, just be polite. Tell them, hey, you know, I don't think we're a good fit based on your answers. I mean, while you, seriously, you're just protecting your time and just cancel the appointment. Just be honest. Just tell them that you don't think it's a good fit. [24:48.6]
So that is my advice for the advisor who wants to go from 75k to 300k per year. It's, it's largely a game of making yourself more valuable, making your ability, making, making yourself have a higher ability and make yourself more valuable to the marketplace, focused on higher value tasks. Because if you can do that, then your income takes care of itself. The more you can separate your marketing efforts from your time, the more efficient you can become and the more you qualify your prospects, the more you can ensure that you're only spending time with the right people. And we're done this week.
Jonathan: Awesome. What do you have for us coming up next time James?
James: Next week's episode is going to be titled ‘Five signs you're going to be a successful financial advisor’ and I'll leave it at that.
Jonathan: All right, sounds good. That is a wrap for another financial advisor marketing. We will be back inside your ear buds next time. Thank you for tuning in. [25:42.4]
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