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If you’re a regular listener of this show, you’ve probably had a question pop into your head while listening.

In this episode, James answers questions from listeners, a privilege usually reserved for Inner Circle subscribers.

Want to learn more about James, get business-boosting advice and get your question answered? Listen now!

Show highlights include:

  • Is Dave Ramsey’s new program dangerous? (2:55)
  • How to make your follow-up succeed without being annoying. (4:42)
  • The blood-sucking type of SEO agency you should run away from. (10:24)
  • The only metric you should use to decide if you should invest in an online course. (15:13)
  • Don’t follow any marketing “guru” until you’ve listened to these 4 reclusive copywriters. (16:11)
  • LinkedIn request acceptance is going down. Here’s how much you should be getting. (18:09)

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 https://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. [00:32]

James: Financial advisors, welcome to another week, another episode. Financial Advisor Marketing podcast, if you have not subscribed and left a review, please do so…I beg you from the bottom of my heart. Give me your reviews and your subscriptions. I need them; otherwise, producer Jonathan locked me in the basement again. “It puts the lotion on its skin, James or it gets the hose again, James”.

Jonathan: Yikes!

James: Okay, let's see what do we have here? It's going to be the Q&A episode because a while back we did a Q&A episode and I got some positive feedback so I've decided to do another one and here's how this works. Whenever I get asked an interesting question by my email subscribers or my inner circle newsletter subscribers, I write it down and I keep it for content ideas and topic ideas and all that good stuff. Inner circle newsletter members are the only people who get direct responses from me and I can help them with whatever I'm really qualified to answer. So if you're not a member yet, go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/coaching and join. [01:33.3]

It's $99 per month. It is a physical newsletter that gets mailed directly to your door. It's arguably the best thing I offer and it's worth it. It's worth every penny. I'm not really going to hype it up or anything, you'll see exactly what it is and all the cool stuff once you get to the sales page. But inner circle members get questions answered directly from me. Everyone else, I just file it away cause I get so many that I, I literally couldn't have time to answer all of them and go through every single one and I wouldn't be able to run a business anymore. But I still think the questions are valuable. I still think that people should ask me them because it lets me know what is on their minds. I can help a hundred financial advisors at the same time with a recording or a video. Rather than trying to just do one by one and put out crappy content. I'd rather put out really good stuff that can help a thousand rather than trying to just run my business into the ground as the answering one-on-one. [02:25.7]

So I don't want to dilly dally or anything today. I want to get right into these questions. Some of them have been shortened for brevity because advisors seem to think I love getting essays.

Jonathan: Yeah.

James: In my inbox. They made like 17 paragraphs to ask one question. And so in cases like that, I just cut the 17 paragraphs out and I asked the main question. So our first question is actually one of those, I remember this one, it was a long, long email. Oh my goodness, cut me some mercy here. But the question was, James, what do you think of Dave Ramsey smart investor pro program? I don't have an opinion because I don't know enough about it. I know that there are some financial advisors who are in it or do it or whatever it is, but I can't speak to the results because I just, I don't know. I really don't. I'm not trying to avoid the question or anything. I really don't. I, I do know the Dave Ramsey has a massive following. The guy's a beast. He relates to his listeners like nobody else can. He tells stories, he shows his personality, they trust him. [03:24.1]

And for a lot of people his advice makes sense and he helps people get out of debt and anyone who is doing that deserve some recognition. I mean, no, I know a lot of financial advisors bash Dave Ramsey, but he's at least doing some good. So shout out to Dave Ramsey for helping the public. I think his heart is in a good place. But the stuff he talks about, it doesn't work for everyone and it's very dangerous to paint with a broad brush especially when it comes to your finances. So if you're a Dave Ramsey hater, that's okay. If you're a Dave Ramsey lover, that's okay too. I really don't know anything about his program so I can't answer. You a Dave Ramsey fan. Jonathan?

Jonathan: Hmm…I haven't followed him so I can't say I am for or against him.

James: Sure…Yeah, I noticed someone in the podcast factory who was a Dave Ramsey haterrrrrr. That's okay.

Jonathan: Yeah.

James: Like I said, it's kind of like there are levels in your finances, right? I mean, if you're making less than, I'm not going to give any age specific financial advice, but if you're making less than a certain threshold, it makes sense to do one strategy. But if you're making more, makes sense to do another strategy. So if someone who is making a bunch of money listens to Dave Ramsey and tries to do the same thing, it may not work so well. I'll just leave it at that. [04:40.2]

Question. Where are we at? Number two, how can I follow up with prospects without being annoying? I'm nervous every time I follow up because I don't want to annoy my prospects and where are my chances with them? Well, the key to successful follow-up, it's largely varying your medium and your message. You obviously have to have a reason for following up. You don't want to say dumb stuff like “I'm checking in” or “I'm just touching base”. It just, it's silly. You want to bury your medium, bury your message. If you do that, you should be fine. And what I mean by that, I say medium and message, it's basically like LinkedIn then phone call then seminar, invitation, webinar invitation or the phone call, voicemail or whatever. You're varying it up, you're varying your message. And speaking from data, actual, real, verifiable information. Once you get to about five follow-up attempts, you can start to make a judgment call as to whether or not you want to continue because nearly every single follow-up study out there agrees that it takes five follow-up attempts to get a conversation going and to get a conversion with a prospect. So five, go for five and then make a decision. [05:47.8]

As far as ruining your chances with them, look at it this way — You've got nothing. If you don't follow up, I mean you're not working with your prospects not doing anything with them. So the worst that can happen is they give you a direct no and you move on. And honestly, I would rather get a direct no and move on as soon as possible so I can focus on people who are actually interested. That's just how I approach it. That tends to work well. I mean, it may be intimidating or uncomfortable or whatever, but you're not doing business with them now. And if they say no, you still won't be doing business with them. So nothing changes. So that's my answer. Am I, is that good enough for you, Producer Jonathan? [06:30.0]

Jonathan: You're giving too much away. No okay of course.

James: I'll try to hold it back a little bit with the next question. I wonder how well this episode will do. I'm a little curious because I kind of feel as if it's just a boring episode, but I feel like this is gonna help a lot of people, so whatever. The next question, I noticed you changed your homepage from being a sales letter for financial advisor marketing mastery. Is there a reason you did this? It's been that sales letter for as long as I can remember.

Jonathan: Wow.

James: That is true. The homepage for TheAdvisorCoach.com used to be, they used to be for financial advisor marketing mastery, and what's funny is that this advisor knows what my home page was.

Jonathan: Yeah.

James: Those that it had been like that for years and knows that I changed it, but when I checked his email inside of my payment processor, he never enrolled in financial advisor marketing mastery.

Jonathan: Oooh. [07:20.7]

James: So talk about being a longtime lurker, first-time poster, longtime listener, first time caller or whatever the heck it’s called. I actually talked about all the reasons why I changed it in the February, 2020 inner circle newsletter. So out of respect for inner circle members, I'm not going to go into detail with all that, but I tell you that a big reason for me doing that is to show how deep my roots are with financial advisors because there's so many different experts and Googlers and all that. They're just popping up. There are a lot of lead gen experts now. But not many people have been doing it to the level that I've been doing it and not really saying that to brag or whatever. It's just it is what it is. I mean this many podcast episodes, thousands of emails, dozens of articles, like a hundred plus at this point, monthly newsletter, tons of products, webinars, you name it. Like I've got a lot of material, a lot. A war chest of material. [08:17.5]

So when financial advisors look at me and they look at some company or whatever, that only has a click funnels website and maybe you do, but I mean that's really what it is. They look at me, they go to my home page, they see podcast, email list, blogs, newsletter, like products like I'm, my roots are deeper. They know who the real deal is. Point blank period. I've been doing this a long time and they go to the bottom. Right now at the time of this recording, it's more than 31,000 financial advisors served. We've got to update that number. So yeah, the numbers there, you see how deep the roots are. I've been doing this. I've got a lot of material. If you are skeptical or if you don't believe that I can help you or whatever, that's cool, but just go to the blog, it's all free. Listen to each podcast absurds it's all free. The webinar free, you know I'm not a big fan of giving away free stuff, but it's there. I mean I've already done it, there's no taking it back. I mean, but roots are out there. [09:16.1]

So, I want to say this, there is a lot of wisdom in what I just told you. I'm not really trying to toot my own horn or anything, but I basically just summed up years of marketing struggle into that answer. If you have a wealth of material and you have a wealth of content as a financial advisor, you need to put it front and center and just like I did, I put it on the home page. I said, you know what? I've got all this stuff. I'm not going to bury it in my website. I'm not going to bury it in my emails anymore. I'm going to just put it straight up on the homepage. Anybody who goes to the home page can see, I've got this, this, this and this. I've got a wealth of content that other people literally cannot replicate, at least not overnight. The people who put up a click funnels website, it would two clicks in two minutes. They just cannot compete with the level of content that I have and that's why I did. So if you've got that type of stuff for your own business, don't hide it. Make sure people know that you would generally care about them, that you have been around for a while. I mean, I've been helping financial advisors in 2015, 2016, 2017, I was doing a lot of good stuff then, 2018 I'm still here. I'm not going away, so that's my answer. [10:19.5]

Next question - I am looking to hire an SEO agency in the coming months to help my website rank higher on Google. The one agency I've interviewed so far says they can't guarantee their services and that it may take several months to rank. Does that sound right to you? Yes, it does. Does that sound right to you, Jonathan?

Jonathan: I just had this conversation today. It is such a long play.

James: That it takes long to rank, right?

Jonathan: Yeah, yeah.

James: Yeah. [10:44.1]

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. [11:24.0]

James: It doesn't happen overnight. You've got to give search engines time to call your website and to index it properly. I'm not getting into the technical stuff here. What the SEO agency is probably going to do though, they're going to go into your site, they're going to change some of your article titles, they're going to add some keywords into your blog, into to your pages and stuff like that. They're going to tweak your content, then they're going to resubmit your site to Google. They're going to go to Google search console…well, if it's changed by now, there's something else. They're going to go to Google search console, they're going submit it, and after that you've got to wait and then they're going to see what happens after that and then they're going to proceed accordingly. But they really can't do much for you until they have that initial data. [12:01.7]

And a lot of people are so impatient that they'll hire an SEO agency and when they don't see results in like two weeks, they fire the agency and they can't do anything for you, they can’t help you in two weeks and no, they definitely cannot guarantee their results. I don't blame them for that. Most of my products have guarantees. I have a money back guarantee on the stuff because it works. And if you don't get results with it, I don't deserve to keep your money. But an SEO agency can't do the same thing. Because SEO and ranking in Google, and not just Google, but other search engines is based on too many variables and if anyone tells you that they can guarantee a specific rank, run far away and run fast. Anyone can get something to rank that's easy. It's easy to get something to rank, but taking the content that you wrote and there's stuff that you want to rank and making that rank, that's a lot harder. [12:57.0]

It's easy to get just any height. You just, if you have no limitations and no restrictions, SEO is easy, but if you've got a specific business in a specific market in specific niche like financial advisors do, it becomes a little bit harder. So it's completely fine that they don't guarantee their services. I would never expect them to, but you can't just hire them for two weeks and then move on, that's all. You might… if you're gonna, if you plan on moving on after two weeks or a month, don't do it. [13:24.1]

Next - I am interested in your appointments on autopilot email marketing system, but I'm not sure if it's right for me. I am an RIA generating roughly $1 million in revenue per year. Is your program more for advisors making a 100k or so or would it be suitable for me? That’s kind of a weird question. I..good. First of all, good for you for being in RIA and good for you for making what is a roughly $1 million per year in revenue. Okay. But income's got nothing to do with it.

Jonathan: How much are you keeping?

James: If you want to add another marketing strategy to your business, it has been proven to set more appointments for financial advisors and then appointments on autopilot is for you. Doesn't matter if you're doing email marketing or not. If you aren't, this will blow the hinges off. If you are, then this will tighten it up and make it even better. But total revenue has nothing to do with it. In fact, it's almost better for advisors who are making more money because it takes less of a percentage increase for them to make their money back. I mean, that's kinda how I think about everything, Jonathan. When I'm making a purchase, I think if, if I make a $1 million per year, like this guy and something cost, let's just say $100,000 where you hire a really expensive consultant to come in and dissect your business, all that consultant really has to do is increase your business 10% and that's your yearly income. [14:41.3]

So you will break even if the, if the consultant increased your income 10%. A year from now, you're a break even in every year after that you're making another hundred another hundred another a hundred like it just adds up. So that's how you got to view it. I mean, if you're making $1 million in revenue, you shouldn't be losing sleep. You shouldn't have to think about it. I mean, appointments on autopilot at the time of this recording is 1495 but I think we're going to raise the price to 2000 and maybe even $3,000 so don't, don't hold me to that. It may be two or $3,000 by the time you listen to this. But yeah, you just got to look at it for me Return on Investment perspective and that's just a program that can pay for itself, if you get one client, it's easy. [15:22.4]
Next - Who are some of the people you admire? Do you have any role models? Yes, producer Jonathan is the one.

Jonathan: Thank you.

James: No, I on a serious note, note that I don't admire you from a more serious note, I should say I've been influenced by a lot of people… way, way too many people to list here. The thing about me in the way that I run The Advisor Coach is I try to get inspiration from a lot of different sources. I mean, if you've listened to this podcast, if you've been a longtime listener, if you're not subscribed yet, you should subscribe. But I've talked about every firm, everybody from R.L. Stine to Bill Gates to Rockefeller, to Tony Soprano. So I learned from everyone, and I know that's not a satisfactory answer though, so I try to name some specific people. I study a lot of marketing legends; Gary Halbert's a big one. Dan Kennedy's another one, Gary Bencivenga, Ben settle — who I actually had the honor of having on this podcast, if you go back, I did a two part series with Ben Settle. [16:22.6]

I really do look up to Ben settle. Look up to Eugene Schwartz, he's a copywriting legend, arguably the best ever, I think. Gary Halbert, Gary, Gary Bencivenga, Dan Kennedy, Eugene Schwartz, I mean you can't go wrong with putting any of them in your top 10, they're they're gonna be there. Clayton Makepeace is another one; he unfortunately passed away not too long ago. I really love his stuff. As far as role models…Not Really! I mean, I gotta be honest, I really don't have any role models or at least not people that I would think of as a role model. I really try to take the positive traits and positive aspects from a bunch of people and incorporate them into my life. [17:01.2]
Next question - I got an aura ring based on your recommendation, good for you. But I've yet to get a sleep score above 85.

Jonathan: I’m not complaining.

James: How on God's green earth are you getting 90 plus scores on a consistent basis? It seems impossible. No, it's not impossible. I used to post my scores on social media all the time. I, I don't anymore cause it's just, it's a routine part of my life and it's just, I don't really have time for that. If you want to see what I do to sleep better than 99.9% of the human race, go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/sleep there's an entire article breaking down my process. And I would say the majority of the time I get 90 plus, but I still get, I mean I still get, I had a 68 not too long ago. I had an 80 not too long ago. So I am, I have my good nights and bad nights. When my score is lower, it's typically, could I go to bed later where if we're staying up and partying or something and I just go to bed later. And one of the factors in your score is, is the time you go to bed and that breaks my score down. [18:08.1]

Another question - what is a good LinkedIn connection request acceptance rate? I am doing LinkedIn direct outreach and I'm getting a 35% acceptance rate. That's good. I mean that's really good. That sounds about right. I've seen ranges from about 25 to 40% right now. It has, I will admit it has gotten a little bit lower than it used to be, but the strategy itself of using LinkedIn and doing direct outreach and connecting and building an online presence there, it's still good. I will say that I've seen improvements to direct outreach get made by changing the headline in your LinkedIn profile. Meaning if you say it, let's say that your headline right now is just financial advisor and you're doing direct outreach to a specific niche or just anyone for that matter, you are probably going to have a lower connection request acceptance rate than if you changed your headline to financial advisors serving dentists and reaching out specifically to dentists. That's like common sense. A lot of people don't really think about it that way cause it's just so obvious they can't see the forest for the trees and then you, you will see your acceptances tend to go up. [19:09.4]

I've also noticed that women advisors tend to get a higher acceptance rate from other women, if that’s sexist so be it. I mean this is what I've seen, women get more connection requests, acceptances from other women. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, but that's what I'm seeing you. If you change your headline or if you change your profile to appeal to a certain type of person and you reach out to that certain type of person, you should see it go up. And last question, we're going to end it with this one. What got you interested in supporting charities like donors choose? I work with animal shelters because I love animals. I love hearing about how people, love hearing how people got started with their causes. Oh goodness. We recorded, we recorded that dog one.

Jonathan: Yeah. [19:52.3]

James: Well I had to; I had to take that dog back for scratching up my hardwood floors, unfortunately. So forgive me for that, if you listened to that episode. I like this question and she's got a good point because it is nothing cool to think about. Like what does get people interested in causes? I mean a lot of times people will support like cancer research because they've lost a loved one to cancer, there's a direct link there, stuff like that. But I suppose donors choose because I believe that knowledge and information there, some of the biggest components to your overall success, because if you're not operating with the right data, life is going to be a struggle for you. And a lot of these kids would do better if they knew better. So many financial advisors would do better if they knew better. I mean, a lot of people struggle with this and I kind of still believe this, and you, you believe what you want, this is not a political podcast whatsoever, but so many people in this pull yourself up by your boot, bootstraps ideology. But what they don't realize is that a lot of these kids, they literally don't have the information. They're not near a library, they don't have transportation. [21:00.0]

The parents suck or the parents are on drugs, they beat them, whatever. They're not there for the kids. So how in the world do you expect these children, it would be different, if you're like 35 and you've got your own place and you're near a library or whatever and you're not making things happen. Or if you're a financial advisor and you're 40 years old and you're struggling to build your business, even though you're listening to this podcast and you get, I'm giving you all the information, like that's our new screw you, you've got the data. [21:24.4]

But these kids, man, like they don't have the stuff. It's not like they can just drive, they're eight, nine, ten years old. They can't drive to the library and get the stuff, they're not and they can't go anywhere or the parents are terrible. There's some of their home life situations just like they will make you, I don't even want to get into it. Some of the stories I've heard are just terrible. These kids cannot get the right information and knowledge and data unless they have help. There is no pull yourself up by your bootstraps if you're five, six, seven years old, Jonathan, it just doesn't happen. And I hope like, I hope Huddy realizes how lucky he is.

Jonathan: Yes.

James: I mean on a serious note, like I mean you probably do a great job and he has like two parents who obviously love him very much and care for him and have educational resources and I mean you actually give a crap, right? I mean, but there's so many people out there who don't unfortunately. [22:16.0]

So that's what I do. I support by donating books and educational resources to kids all across the country, and that's why I do it. And also my entire business, like The Advisor Coach as a business, it's based on giving financial advisors the information they need to succeed. So I apply that same philosophy to children. I'm giving the kids the information they need to succeed, giving financial advisor the information they need to succeed. So that's it for this week. As always, make sure to subscribe to this podcast, leave a positive review. We try to keep the positive over here with the advisor coach.

Jonathan: Yeah.

James: Kind of, but that's it producer Jonathan,

Jonathan: What do you have coming up for us next time, James?

James: I think I'm going to discuss a little bit about prospecting, because advisors always want to learn how to become better prospectors. So I am going to dig in and talk about prospecting next week.

Jonathan: All right, can't wait. That is a wrap, ladies and gentlemen, for another financial advisor marketing. Thank you fam for tuning in and we will be back in your ear buds next week. [23:17.6]

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