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If you can spend a dollar on ads and get more money back, you can generate as much cash as you want. But if you run ads and don’t get results, you might as well throw your money in a barrel and burn it

Financial advisors who run profitable ads have an unfair advantage. In this episode, you’ll discover how you can run ads that bring you clients without extra work. Let your competitors waste time at  networking meetings and cold-call strangers.

Ready to get an advantage over your competition? Listen now!

Show highlights include: 

  • How to run profitable campaigns even when your company won’t let you run ads. (2:57)
  • A sneaky method “gurus” use to fake their marketing results. (5:27)
  • How your targeting can kill your entire campaign before you write a word. (8:06)
  • How to make money off of an offer you haven’t created yet. (9:43)
  • Why most financial advisors burn money with online ads. (14:45)
  • Why traffic, followers and comments don’t matter and the only metric that does. (19:45)
  • Unsexy, but highly effective marketing strategies few advisors use. (21:37)

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 Adviser Marketing, the best show on the planet for financial advisers 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 TheAdviserCoach.com, where you can find an entire suite of products designed to help financial advisers grow their businesses more rapidly than ever before. Now, here is your host, James Pollard. [00:31.7]

James: Hey Financial Advisers, welcome to this week's episode of Financial Adviser Marketing, I'm here to help your business. I wish you nothing but the best I, and I congratulate you on your success. Yes. I'm a straight shooter. Yes, I give it to you raw. I give it to you unfiltered. I give you the controversial stuff. Like, cause honestly I couldn't sleep with myself or sleep with myself. I couldn't sleep at night / live with myself. Yeah. What a, what a that's so funny. We're going to leave that in, by the way.

Jonathan: Yeah, that’ll be in.

James: This is all real. Like I'm just giving this, giving the advice to you. I'm just talking.

Jonathan: Giving it to them all real.

James: And we have our, our little unscripted moments and all this other stuff, but I like to congratulate people, I guess that's why I built my business to help me give people something to congratulate them on in some deep psychological force here. I really like celebrating people's success. [01:26.8]

It's something that really does give me energy, I really do like it. It's something that gives me a high that I can't get anywhere else, if I congratulate people and I see their success. So if you've got a testimonial or a success story, send it to james@theadvisercoach.com and make sure it's a good one. And make sure you include in there, James, I give you permission to use this on your sales page and your checkout page or something like that, because I would like to use it. And if you don't want me to use it, that's fine too. I still enjoy getting them every, every so often I get testimonials where people are like, Hey, please don't mention this, whatever. It's a little frustrating because those tend to be the best ones go figure. But Hey, I respect people's wishes if they don't want to be public, that's cool. But yeah, send your testimonials to james@theadvisercoach.com and who knows you might get something cool, you might not. We can have a little banter and see what's going on. And by the way, make sure you congratulate people as well. It'll pull you right up there with them. If you see someone doing well, congratulate that person don't say he or she is lucky. [02:29.4]

Jonathan: Hmm.

James: Or it doesn't deserve it or whatever. Give, congratulations.

Jonathan: Right, right.

James: Have an abundance mindset because what you put out into the universe, it's going to come right back. Maybe not right away, but eventually it will. And if you congratulate people, you'll find that you start getting congratulations as well, so something to think about. But this week I want to talk about how financial advisers can run profitable ads. And I know there are some financial advisers who are listening right now, who can't run online ads because they're restricted by their company or whatever. They're not allowed. Daddy, won't let you, I understand and if that’s you, don't skip this episode because the concepts I'm going to discuss can be applied elsewhere. And this is something I try to encourage my inner circle members to think about all the time, taking ideas from multiple sources and integrating, integrating those concepts elsewhere. And we talked about this pretty in depth in the last episode, it's just a way to grow your business. So even if you're not running ads, make sure you stay tuned because this can still help you. . [03:30.3]

But if you are running ads or maybe you're thinking about running them, this could be a no exaggeration, the most profitable podcast episode you ever listen to because I'm going to give you some important high level pointers that will get you started in the right direction. No, I'm not going to talk about the, the ad copy, the images, where you should place your ads and all that other specific stuff, because that change, that can change and that does change. Facebook updates like every other week at this point, Twitter updates, LinkedIn updates, all these ad networks, including Google as well, they all update frequently. And I plan on having this podcast up for a long time and I don't want people to listen three years into the future and say, this isn't accurate anymore. Let me just get frustrated. So I'm going to give you the strategy so you can run profitable ads today and also 10 years into the future because this advice will not change. [04:20.3]

And by the way, if you follow me on LinkedIn, or sometimes I put it on Facebook as well, sometimes we put it on Twitter. I sometimes I will actually like take my phone and I will record my actual ad account. I just take my phone and put it up to my computer, I won't really do a screen capture or anything cause I don't have time for that. I will show you my actual ad account and I will refresh it and that's important because people can Photoshop stuff. People can modify the script it's literally not that hard. So many experts and gurus and people were trying to sell you a bunch of crap. What they will do is, and here I'm going to give the game away, Jonathan. [04:56.2]

Jonathan: Oh.

James: You ready. What they will do is they will use a Chrome browser, they will right click on the page that's up. They will select a button that says inspect element and they will modify the code of the element they want to change. So

Jonathan: Really?

James: What was that producer Jonathan?

Jonathan: Are you serious?

James: Yes. Yup. That's exactly how it's done, it’s exactly how it's done. So you could literally pull up like a Facebook ad library in Google Chrome. You right click you select inspect element and you can modify the script to make it say whatever the flip you want.

Jonathan: Yeah.

James: Isn't that shocking?

Jonathan: No, I didn't know. You could do that.

James: People do it all the time and that's why like seriously you can't, you gotta be skeptical. They seriously even be skeptical of me. You'll see me post something online. Just be like, if you really honestly, truly think I'm full of crap, that's cool. You, you should feel that way that you should have a healthy sense of skepticism. I just revealed that people can literally Photoshop stuff and it's not even Photoshop. You don't even have to have it. [05:58.5]

You don't even have to have Adobe. You can just have a Chrome browser and change it and take a screenshot and you can make it say whatever you want. People can do this with emails. They can do it with the ads library. They can do it with whatever they want. But my point is this, the reason I take my phone and I record my screen and I refresh it and I like click buttons and I go around my account is to show you that it's a hundred percent real. Like you can't do that if you can't refresh you can't, you can't click on different buttons. You can't go to your profile, whatever. I show you the actual URL, because if you save, so I don't want to get too nerdy here. But if you save something as an HTML document and then you open that up, the URL window will basically show that it's a file that you're opening. And when you're going somewhere on the web, it's not like opening a file from your computer. So I basically interact with my own computer to show you that it's real. And recently I posted a video of my Twitter ads, where I got several hundred clicks for 5 cents a piece, and I was getting more than an 18% click through rate. [06:59.5]

Jonathan: Wow.

James: Just to give you a perspective here, the average click through rate on an ad is 2%. I'm getting for real and I show you in the video 18+ percent. Now, does that happen with every single ad? I run. No, but it happens more often than not. I shoot for at least 10% on Twitter. And I shoot for at least 5% on Facebook. Facebook's a little bit more difficult, but I mean, 5% is still like God mode. And I take the phone out, I record it. I refresh it, play around with it, so, you know, it's real. I am not Photoshopping this stuff and all this other crap. So if you see if you see a guru or an expert or whoever posted stuff online, send them a message and say, can you please refresh the screen? Can you please navigate through the elements? So I know it's real player.

Jonathan: Tell him James said. [07:45.6]

James: Yeah. Tell him James Pollard sent you and he's calling you out on UBS.

Jonathan: Yeah. [07:51.6]

James: Now into. See, it just pissed me off because it gets so easy and people get manipulated all the time and they say, Oh my God, this guy made this much money or had this disappointment or whatever. So dumb anyway, in the show, the first piece of advice I have for you is that your targeting is the most important thing. If you don't have your targeting down Pat, then any type of advertising, it's going to be like throwing money away. I got this piece of advice from someone who has sent millions of direct mail pieces over the years, he told me that paper's cheap and ink is cheap, but stamps are expensive. One more time. Paper is cheap. Ink is cheap, but stamps are expensive. What does that mean? It means that your targeting is the most important part of a direct mail campaign. You cannot screw that up. And by the way, if you want to learn from someone who has sent more than 300 million direct mail pieces, go to TheAdviserCoach.com/coaching, subscribe to the inner circle newsletter. Because one of the bonus in that, that new inner circle members get, as soon as they sign up, like right on the thank you page is a 46 minute MP3 audio download of an interview I did with Craig Simpson, who is arguably the greatest direct mail marketer of all time. [09:02.7]

I sat down with him. I got his about his advice on exactly what to do with financial advisers and direct mail and what they should be doing to set appointments with direct mail. So if you're interested in that, go to TheAdviserCoach.com/coaching, and when it comes to online ads or any ads in any ad, really any marketing strategy, the biggest quick win I can give you is to start with you're targeting. Most people and this isn't really just in the financial services base, this is, this isn't even just in marketing, but it's in business in general. People typically create their thing first, whether it's a marketing piece, whether it's a product, whether it's a packaged service, they create that first and then they try to give it to the market. It really should be reverse. You want to figure out who you want to target and then build the thing because then you can build it for the person you're trying to serve. The reason you want to do that, especially with marketing is because it makes the marketing more effective, plain and simple rather than taking your existing marketing and trying to squeeze it in and fit it into whoever you're trying to target. Start with your market. [10:15.3]

If you're a financial adviser and you specialize in working with teachers, make your ads specific to teachers, not that hard. Take a look at your entire marketing sequence and ask yourself, is it appealing to teachers? If not, then change it. And it seems like common sense, but some of the financial advisers who advertise online, they have these generic ads and they send traffic to boring vanilla pages that don't really appeal to anyone. One of my favorite ones is like we had 68 years of combined experience. Okay, it’s like an Amazon has like 4,000 years of combined experience. Like what the freak doesn't matter. We can help you with your financial goal with our 68 combined years of experience. Like it only matters if all of you are working with me at the same time on the same problem, they don't advertise that crap, but they take a look at it. Take a look at your marketing, is it dialed in? because having dialed in targeting that will increase your conversion rates, it will lower your costs. It's one of the best things you can do. [11:17.0]

Hey, financial advisers, 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 advisers can get more clients with email marketing. Go to TheAdviserCoach.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 advisers, three fatal mistakes nearly all financial advisers 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 TheAdviserCoach.com/webinar and register today. [11:57.0]

James: So focus on your targeting. I have an entire product about niche marketing called ‘Deep dive into Niche Marketing.’ I go into this a little bit more, but seriously, your targeting is where you need to start. And it's where most financial advisers screw up. They try to go too broad, try to go too general with all of their marketing, but it's especially prevalent in online marketing. Next start, small. I've seen different companies, not just financial advisers. They start advertising online and they tell themselves that they gotta be on Twitter, they gotta be on Instagram and Facebook and LinkedIn and Google and Snapchat all at the same time. And it's not necessarily a good idea, especially if your marketing resources are limited. I've found that it's a much better idea to start with one platform, master that, and then move on if you want. And I know some people probably think of but James, you say multiple marketing strategies all the time. That's correct. I do. [12:56.6]

But James, you say this…which is true, but you you're doing online advertising. You should still be doing webinars. You still be doing email marketing. You still be direct mail marketing. You should still be reaching out to people, direct outreach. All of these are multiple marketing strategies, but you want to pick one platform and then move on to the next one. Facebook alone, just talking about Facebook has so many different ways to advertise, so many different angles and so many different things you can do that you shouldn't need to experiment with any other platforms for a long time, because you got a lot of experimenting and do on there. I've also seen people make the mistake of taking the same exact ad and multiplying it out to multiple platforms and putting it everywhere they can. This can work sometimes, but it's also very dangerous. I know that on paper, it makes sense. [12:51.7]

You got an ad is working really, really well on Twitter. You're going to just duplicate that ad and put it on Facebook, it should work just as well, right? While yes on paper, but the reality is that the completely different platforms with completely different users are completely different. Like prime, like people are primed at differently on those platforms. So you don't really want to do that most of the time. Instead, what you want to do is you want to make sure you take your time, make sure you have an ad that works for that particular platform before you fill everything out. So take your ad and test it against other ads. Does it still win? If it does test it again, keep split testing until your winners have won. Several times, keep split testing. Your conversion rate will increase overtime because eventually your winners will lose. You'll find a better one that winner will lose. You'll find a better one, so on and so forth, it just never ends. [14:44.2]

Also start small in terms of money spent, especially if you haven't done any testing, you don't want to spend a bunch of money on something that might not even work. That's amateur stuff. It's much better to take your ads and only spend $20 a day to see if those ads work and then adjust That seems so obvious that that alone, like you are welcome, if you're, if you're not an inner circle member, seriously, that one tip alone could pay for your membership forever. Because every so often I will see people, even in agencies, they'll say you got to start off your tasks with like a $100 or $200 or $500, God forbid, it's just not true. Especially if your conversion objective is simple. If you're trying to get someone to convert all the way into an, a booked appointment with a, with cold traffic and with a single ad, then sure you may need to spend a bunch of money, but that's only because you don't know what the heck you're doing. [15:41.2]

But if you start small and you have a, a smaller conversion objective, like getting someone on the email list, you could probably get an email address for 15 bucks and then over time, get it down to 10 and then overtime get it even lower than that. And then from there, you can figure out how many people on your email list convert into booked appointments and then do something. But that, that doesn't require throwing $500 against a wall every single day, until you figure out if it works, it doesn't make any sense. And I know that probably went over a bunch of people's heads. But if for the two people who got it and understand what I just said, you are welcome. [16:14.5]

Jonathan: So you're avoiding that pain.

James: A lot, a lot. Do you even advertise anymore on Facebook? I used to get your ads all the time, but I don't anymore.

Jonathan: I had ahhh…James, I had to do an assessment and I had to cut my ads because the ROI was much smaller than my other investments.

James: But that's a good thing. You want to know, and it's what you shouldn be doing. You should constantly reassess say, what am I doing? What return am I getting? And if it's not up to par with other things, then sure, you make adjustments on the fly. But this is exactly the point. Are you using any other ad platforms, Google or Twitter or anything?

Jonathan: We’re actually, and it's funny that you're asking this because we just we're engaging with someone to do some work on LinkedIn for this quarter. So that's where we're moving to now because of the Facebook we've done for years, just not giving me the ROI, that makes sense. [17:09.2]

James: So what we're recording this in July 2020. In January 2020 Facebook ads were like pretty darn high for us and for a lot of the financial advisers that are in the inner circle, who every so often they'll ask questions. We've got like six people who ask questions about Facebook all the time. And I don't know why they do that cause I rarely talk about Facebook in the inner circle newsletter, I guess like once every couple months I'll talk about a strategy or a marketing campaign or something, but they, they there's like six people who constantly ask about Facebook. And it's cool. I don't mind that, you know, it's a privilege that they have as inner circle members, but in January, these six people and myself included all noticed it’s adds costs were up and up and up and up. And then in March when coronavirus happened, a lot of people stopped advertising.

Jonathan: Yeah. [17:55.6]

James: A lot of people got off the platforms and guess what that means because Facebook is an auction, that's how the, the advertising prices are determined. There is an auction style, people are bidding against each other. If there's not as many people bidding against each other prices go down. So people, Oh my goodness, it was, it was the opportunity of a lifetime in March and April. And I sent email after email about this, I was like, do it now, do it. Now, get on there, do it now, run ads, the costs are low. And the reason that you want to do it in, in a time like that is because if you can make it work, then awesome. Just blow it up and keep going and keep going and keep going. Get it while you can, because when the ad prices go up, you may not get the ROI you want. And that happens to a lot of people. It's cost creep. It just, the ROI may be 200% to begin with. And then as the costs go up, it's like 150 and then 125 and then eventually you're losing money. [18:55.4]

So if there's a chance and you ever see me say this stuff again, like make sure you listen to me. And finally, my last tip for you, make sure you focus on dollars in versus dollars out just like producer Jonathan said, ‘I don't give a crap about anything else.’ One of the best ways to tell the difference between an amateur marketer and a professional marketer is that amateurs love vanity metrics. And I've talked to a different financial advisers who hire like an intern or a social media manager or a marketing manager, whatever. And I hate reigning on their parades, but they're there like my social media manager says, we get this many impressions and this many clicks and the click through rate or whatever, My God! I'm like, none of that matters like, okay, that's cool. Like it's nice that he or she is justifying her job or trying to make it seem like they're making a difference. But the only thing that matters dollars in dollars out. Some people love talking about how many website visitors they have, how many Twitter followers they have, all this stuff that doesn't matter. [19:55.6]

The professionals talk about results, money, the stuff that enables your business to exist. If I, I'd rather have a business that gets a hundred website visitors per month with an average dollar collected value of $10 per month. So that's a thousand dollars total. Then a thousand visitors per month with a per visitor value of 50 cents, it's $500. There are some people who would literally look me in the face and say, I'd rather have more visitors. Ah, okay, that's cool. You know, go to the bank and try to cash your check with visitors, but I'd rather take the money. Just keeping it real with you and.

Jonathan: I love it. [20:34.4]

James: Is it wrong of me though?

Jonathan: Bro, you want to know the only metrics I measure in my business— Offers made and Sales.

James: And.

Jonathan: And how many of those are converted, that’s it.

James: And what I liked about the podcast factory philosophy is, and it's very reassuring. I mean, yes, it's a little abrasive at first, but when you really think about it, it makes a lot of sense that It's really assuring that downloads don't mean deadly.

Jonathan: Right, right.

James: They really don't. Like they really honestly, truly don't. At first I was like, yes, they do, downloads matter. But like they don't, they really truly do not matter. It's a vanity metric.

Jonathan: I agree.

James: They make people feel good. You know, it's nice to see the numbers go up and I see a lot of numbers, but at the end of the day, you could have someone getting 5,000 downloads per episode making virtually nothing. And you could get someone else making tens of thousands of dollars with a couple of hundred downloads per episode. [21:30.1]

Jonathan: Yeah.

James: It's just the way it is.

Jonathan: Exactly, see it all the time too.

James: I'm sure you do. I'm sure you see it all the time. And many financial advisers will turn up their nose at certain strategies because they think they're too good for them. Direct mail is a good example of this. Some advisers don't want to do direct mail because they think it will be perceived as being too old school. Like what? I don't care. If you have to put your face on the side of a bus, if it's profitable, if it's making you money, one, the darn thing. And this is how a lot of people decide if they hate me or love me, I'm willing to put a line in the sand right now and force you to ask yourself, why are you in business? Are you in business to maintain some professional image and do only this stuff that everybody else is doing or are you in business to help people to make an impact? And of course, to make money, make lots of it because we live in a world of monetary exchange of value exchange. If you provide value to someone, they give you value coupons, AKA dollars, and you can imagine a bunch of value coupons by providing a bunch of value to people. [22:38.5]

There's nothing wrong with either answer by the way, but the financial advisers who follow me and really dig into what I teach, they understand this, they understand it's all about dollars in versus dollars out for these advisers. They make decisions for the most part rationally and logically. Now I'm speaking personally now. I personally wish that advisers weren't so emotional about their businesses, it's one of the things I really want. Because if all of them were rational and all of them were logical, there wouldn't be any problems. The podcast it's just like everything would be a lot easier for me. And this podcast really wouldn't exist by the way, because they would make all their decisions based on dollars in versus dollars out. And it wouldn't be a need for someone like me, their businesses would just grow. But instead in the real world, financial advisers get in their own way. It's sad really that they're basically sabotaging themselves. [23:33.5]

But Hey, I'm here to help you. And I wish you nothing, but the best either way, no matter what your answer is. But to recap, I basically, I covered a lot of ground in this episode, but I talked about higher level concepts that can help you succeed with online advertising. They are number one —Make sure your targeting is tight. Number two —Start small, you don't need to test $500 in a single day, no matter what your ad agency or whoever tells you like you really don't. Start with a smaller conversion objective, make sure that works and then scale up. Number three— Focus on dollars in versus dollars out. And that's a wrap for this week.

Jonathan: Love it, man. What do you have coming up for us next time?

James: So next time I know we talked about online advertising and big strategy stuff, we're going to continue it next week. We're going to talk about three of my favorite productivity tools for financial advisers.

Jonathan: Looking forward to it. Financial adviser marketing is in the camp. We'll be back next time. [24:30.3]

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