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If you want to reach your ideal clients online, you probably won’t find them dancing the Macarena on TikTok. Professionals are on LinkedIn, making connections that could benefit them.

But, like any social network, LinkedIn wants to make money—which means it’s cutting down your reach and making it more expensive to reach your ideal prospects.

In this episode, you’ll find out if LinkedIn is still valuable for financial advisors (and how to approach your dream clients anywhere).

Want to find out where you’ll find clients now AND in the future? Listen now!

Show highlights include: 

  • How to profit off of the flood of amateur advisors harassing your dream clients on LinkedIn. (6:27)
  • Why “free” marketing channels can kill your business. (6:43)
  • How treating LinkedIn as a number’s game only gets you penny-pinching prospects. (7:14)
  • Why you shouldn’t automate your LinkedIn outreach (even if it saves you hours every day). (8:42)
  • How LinkedIn will tap your bank account to fill their pockets. (10:37)
  • Why video content could be a horrible strategy for LinkedIn (unless you’re reposting to other media sites) (15:28)

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.

Go to the  https://TheAdvisorCoach.com/Newsletter  and pick up your free 90 minute download called „5 Keys to Success for Financial Advisors“ when you join The James Pollard Inner Circle.

Check out these resources to get even better at marketing:




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: Financial advisors, welcome to another episode of Financial Advisor Marketing the place where I ramble for a little bit each week and call it content. Sometimes I tell stories, sometimes I crack jokes and other times I yell at you, It's a mixed bag over here, you never know what you're going to get. This week, we're going to talk about the decline of social media for financial advisors, specifically LinkedIn. Let me be perfectly clear. Social media marketing is still working really well. And I imagine it will continue to work well for the next few years, but it is losing effectiveness. I have the whole how to get clients from LinkedIn product. I am revamping it as we speak, and it is going to be way better. I had to revamp it because a lot of their strategies were losing a little bit of effectiveness. They still work better than anything else out on the market, but I don't want to just be the best on the market. I want to be the best on the market by far. I want to like crush everything else. So that's why we are revamping it. But first, you know, it's story time, Jonathan yesterday, let me back up. Do you know Selena the singer from the 1990s? [01:35.3]

Jonathan: Indeed.

James: You're a big, Oh, you're a big fan.

Jonathan: Absolutely.

James: Oh my God. So I was never really, I mean, cause it's just a different generation, right. And I remember being in high school, Spanish class and we watched the movie about her and the last scene where she dies and played dream and a view and all that. Oh, what was it, the old heartstrings there? Well, I, whenever I work, I try to have some background music on because studies have proven that certain types of music when you're having it on in the background, it makes you more productive and it makes you think better. So I follow the science there, but I had some smooth jazz on and it was part of a YouTube playlist. And for some reason, this is yesterday, ‘dreaming of you’, the playlist ended and then ‘dreaming of you’ by Selena was the next video. I like, I don't listen to Selena really at all. And it just, Ooh, Oh my goodness. I felt emotional there for a minute. Selena and then dreaming of you, I couldn't it. How are you cheering up over three in Florida?

Jonathan: I can’t picture it. No I cannot picture it, you listening to Selena. [2:43.0]

James: Not here, but here's the crazy part. So we're recording this in October and every October because it's spooky time, my wife and I try to watch at least one Halloween type scary movie horror movie series. This year, we've been lucky enough to actually get to watch two. We've watched the entire conjuring series.

Jonathan: Hmm.

James: I like the Conjuring. And then we watched the entire Paranormal Activity series, except for number six. We haven't watched the ghost dimension yet. We've watched The Marked Ones but we're watching the ghost dimension when soon. But so, but we've been watching these movies, you know, pretty much every other day to get through the series. Last night I kid you not, I had a dream that Selena was in my room and not in a good way. She was like standing in the doorway. And I knew it was her cause I mean, watched a movie. Well I guess it was the actress, whoever played Selena in the movie, it was the one that I saw. Maybe I didn't see Selena, but who I thought was Selena, right? [3:45.4]

Jonathan: Yeah.

James: I was scared. It felt so real. She was like slowly coming up to the bed and I got recognized. I was like, no, Selena. I thought Selena was going to kill me in my sleep. It was terrifying.

Jonathan: (cross talk)

James: I don't know what that has to do with Financial Advisor Marketing, I just wanted to share that because I know they're going to be Selena fans on there and a lot of inner circle members in Texas. I know she was putting on for Texas, she was representing back in the day, but Holy moly, I don't really remember my dreams or anything like that, but that was one for the ages, Jonathan. [4:27.0]
So I started back to the show. I started researching the topic about LinkedIn and the losing effectiveness and whatnot because I do have a product it's literally called ‘How to get clients with LinkedIn.’ And it shows financial advisors, you guessed it how to get clients with LinkedIn.

Jonathan: Ta da….

James: And I think that as, as, as far as conversion rates are concerned that I think that's my best selling product. It gets the most conversions. And it's also my most highly reviewed product as far as feedback from financial advisors and what they share. And I think that's also because it's also also, I mean, if you have, if you do big numbers with a product, you're going to get more feedback anyway, it just presents a streamlined process for financial advisors to build their business. And every so often I'll get a financial advisor complaining that he or she “already knew” the material inside. But when I asked them to provide proof that they use the actual scripts inside the training, they don't provide any. That's why the money back guarantee clearly says you must provide proof that you'd use the scripts because just being a 100% transparent with you, unless you follow the instructions exactly as I present them, it won't work as well. [5:38.9]

I spent years testing this stuff before we released a product. I know for sure it won't work as well if the instructions aren't followed because we it's based on split tests that we've done. And these scripts that is specifically the connection requests, which is one of the things that's not being revamped really, because we haven't been able to beat it. That's the whole point, right? You have a winner of the test. If you don't use it, it won't work as well. But I did start to notice that the effectiveness on LinkedIn was slowly but surely starting to decline. And like I said, it's still a viable medium, and you do have a window of opportunity here to make it work. But it is getting a little worse. I'm just being clear with you. I think there are several factors at play here. [6:21.2]

First, a lot of financial advisors they've stopped doing other stuff like networking and in-person and all that, they've, they've hopped on the LinkedIn bandwagon. And they've done so without really knowing what the heck they're doing. They're messaging people without knowing what to say, they’re messaging people, willy nilly, they're throwing a bunch of crap out there to see what sticks. I think people, they get sucked into this mindset that social media doesn't cost anything just because they can easily send a message without any immediate, visible impact on the bank accounts. Like it doesn't cost them 10 cents to send each message or something like that. But they're really harming their businesses by racking up the opportunity costs. There is a cost there just because LinkedIn doesn't charge you a dollar or 10 cents or whatever, to send a message, it doesn't mean it's not costing you anything. So really think about that. And it's also sad that some of the financial advisors are using LinkedIn and treating it as a numbers game. And to be fair, marketing is somewhat of a numbers game, but what's happening here is that people are just taking their crappy messages, their crappy connection requests and blasting them to thousands of people. Just to get a few responses. [7:30.9]

You don't want to do this. You want to have something that works better, that actually gets a response. There's a reason why I'm able to get five to 10 times the results that other people are getting it's because I'm not just trying to blast this stuff to everyone, regardless of what they do. I take a niche based approach. Someone who works with dentists will have a different approach than someone who works with retirees and that gets a better result. I'm not just putting you on some automated software where you just blast people with your messages automatically. And you say hello dentists, because they were a dentist back in 1989, and they haven't been involved in the dental industry ever since then. You only say that because they had it in their profile and you use an automated service. That's why it sucks.

Jonathan: I get this all the time.

James: The other…Going hard there. [8:16.9]

Hey, financial advisors – if you’d like even more help building your business, I invite you to subscribe to James’ monthly paper-and-ink newsletter, The James Pollard Inner Circle.

When you join today, you’ll get more than one thousand dollars’ worth of bonuses, including exclusive interviews that aren’t available anywhere else.

Head on over to TheAdvisorCoach.com/coaching to learn more. [8:39.5]

James: So, Jonathan, I know that the automated services are pretty popular on LinkedIn and God I mean, I know I mentioned the Tesla in the last episode, but it's kind of like for self-driving. I mean, I see the analogy there. Technically you're supposed to use it, but I know that people still use full self-driving and let it go. And the hands-free right. You're supposed to keep Oh, hands on the wheel at all times, but there were people out there just roll with it. You can just go to YouTube and search it. You're really supposed to use LinkedIn as a networking mechanism and as personalized outreach and whatnot. And that's individual messaging. That's not full self-driving messaging where you're just letting it go. So there's a trade-off there and I'd feel so bad because there are some people out there who advocate for financial advisors to use these automated services. And LinkedIn specifically says in their terms of service, that they do not allow it. [9:38.4]

And they will ban people if they get caught using this. So at the end of the day, make your own decision with this stuff. But with the automated stuff, I should say, but if you play with fire, don't be surprised when you get burned. Now, the other thing I've noticed is that organic reach on LinkedIn has been declining for quite some time now. So let me give you a little bit of history, so you have some context. and any, any experts out there, if you asked them about the history of whatever they're promoting and they can't give you a solid answer and they can't give you a sequence and a timeline of why they're presenting what they're presenting to you. Hmm. Maybe that's a red flag. [10:14.1]

So back in early 2017, LinkedIn offered four types of posts. They had articles, text only, photos and link posts, but then later LinkedIn added video to the mix. So for a long time, the LinkedIn algorithm favored text only posts. Then they started shifting to video and a few other things started to happen more and more ads starting appearing on LinkedIn. Microsoft is trying to increase their ad revenue. This is exactly what Facebook did many years ago, because they started showing more ads, because the more as they show, the more revenue they get within reason. So not surprisingly, a lot of the ads that are shown on LinkedIn are from LinkedIn itself. They're trying to, to get you to buy a premium subscription, to use their, their services like sales navigator and whatnot. They're also trying to get you to use them advertising platform. So if you're a business they're trying to advertise to you to get you to advertise on LinkedIn. [11:12.1]

Wow, that's a mouthful, but that's what they're doing. And then LinkedIn influencers at that time, they were starting to get more engagement. They were getting pushed on LinkedIn. LinkedIn was putting them in front of users. These are people like Mark Cuban, Bill Gates, etc. They're trying to push the content that they “know”, will keep you on the platform longer. If you see stuff from Mark Cuban and you you're a big shark tank fan, you're probably gonna read his stuff. If you see stuff from Bill Gates, and it says like Bill Gates, top 10 books that he read this year, you probably get to spend a little bit more time on LinkedIn reading that article. And that's what they want. And then external articles from these big media outlets, they started to seeming more and more impressions as well. This is back in like early 2017.Be it the, there were articles from CNBC, Fox, Forbes, these types of articles and all of these big media companies started getting thousands and thousands and thousands of likes. And I'm sure that you've seen at least one or maybe all of these things on LinkedIn, all of this happening and what once meant that organic reach for people like you and me started to go down. [12:12.3]

And here's what you have to understand. LinkedIn is a for-profit organization. It's owned by Microsoft. They want people to pay for recruitment, premium subscriptions and advertisement. It is literally you can think about this, it is literally not in LinkedIn's best interest, if people can get the same results for free AKA organically, this is not unique to LinkedIn either. I'm not bashing just LinkedIn. I love LinkedIn. I've helped financial advisors get clients with LinkedIn. It's a big part of my business. This has been happening on other social networks as well. Facebook's algorithm prefers friends and family first. They know who your best friends are, they know your families are, they prefer them first. Information, second, like articles and whatnot, and surprisingly entertainment third. Although I think that's shifting to entertainment second. [13:06.4]

So in 2018, Mark Zuckerberg was even quoted as saying this is a direct quote from the Zuck himself. ‘You'll see less public content like post from businesses, brands and media.’ And repeat that again, ‘You'll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media.’ If you don't believe me, you just Google it. Everything I'm telling you here is a hundred percent verifiable. I'm giving you the actual empirical evidence, the data, other people can't give you the evidence and data question what the heck they're doing. But Zucky boy here, Mark Zuckerberg himself is telling you explicitly that reach will go down. I know I've been talking and talking and talking and talking. Have you experienced like organic reach changing over the years, Jonathan, I know that you've, you've got the group and you had the page and you're doing a lot of, or at least you used to do a lot on Facebook. [13:55.1]

Jonathan: Yeah. I mean, when I was in real estate Bro, I remember when we used to post and get thousands of views in seconds. And the worst part about that was that I was such an inexperienced marketer, I wasn't pulling emails. I still kick myself in the bud thinking about it.

James: So you miss like the gold rush days.

Jonathan: Oh man, dude, I had a group with like I don't know if it was like 85,000 or so real estate people.

James: Ufff.

Jonathan: And all built organically.

James: Wow. That's crazy. I mean, if you had that today, Holy moly. Knowing what you knew now.

Jonathan: Yeah.

James: Oh Boy.

Jonathan: Oh, well. [14:31.1]

James: Yeah. Well life goes on. So financial advisors, how can you protect yourself from this decline in organic reach? Well, there are two specific ways. So this is going to be the “value of the podcast.” Number one is to diversify your content. Some people might be listening to me, talk about how LinkedIn's algorithm favors, video and come to the conclusion that they should only do video from now on. That would be a mistake. Honestly, the videos that I'm posting on LinkedIn are getting less organic reach than the text only post and a photo post, just being a 100% percent clear with you. Their videos are getting less reach. However, I'm going to reuse the videos elsewhere, so you don't see the full picture. Me posting videos on LinkedIn is not necessarily, Oh boy, LinkedIn has got a bunch of reach with video now. No, no, no, no, no, sir. I'm using the videos elsewhere. [15:28.2]

So if you're just focused on LinkedIn for right now, you want to diversify your content in the same way that you should be diversifying your marketing strategies and your investment strategies. Your money, just like you tell your clients diversify, you want to do that. Why? Well, there are too many reasons to get into on this podcast episode alone, but one of them is that not everybody engages with video. Some people engage with texts. Some people engage with articles and stuff like that. Another reason is because video takes time to create, and that is opportunity cost. Thinking as a business person here, I want to minimize my opportunity costs. Even if the other content hypothetically has half the reach, if I can create it in one 10th of the time, basically anything less than one half, it's still a net positive for me. So thinking as a business person, I'm looking for the net positive, I'm looking to minimize my opportunity costs. You've got to, you got to understand that. [16:20.7]

And then the second reason number two is that you want to focus or the second thing I would recommend did you want to focus on the assets you can control. This is primarily going to be your website and your email list. I have said this forever, get people off, rented land and move them to owned land. You own your email list. You can do what you want with it. When people are on your email list, you've essentially got them. Now I'm not saying that LinkedIn is totally dead to recap here, but it is slowly, slowly, slowly, slowly dying at the way it currently is. Now my, my real guess here is that LinkedIn is going to change their business model, they're going to adapt. Microsoft as a smart company, Linkedin is amazing, they're going to adapt probably. But at the current state and based on the history of how social networks change I'd estimate, you've got between three and five years to seize this window of opportunity while it's still viable and while it's still working for financial advisor. And if you're interested in learning more about how to get clients with LinkedIn, the training that I mentioned, go to TheAdviserCoach.com and click on the tab at the top of the website that says, get clients with LinkedIn. And that is a wrap. [17:35.3]

Jonathan: I am going to throw an endorsement there because I bought your LinkedIn product and I used your LinkedIn product and it worked. And I'll tell you a little secret, I've improved upon it by adding podcasting into it, but that is a story for another episode. That is a wrap fam. Thank you for tuning in. We will be back in your ear buds next week with another Financial Advisor Marketing. [17:59.6]

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