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When you think of businesses that stand in your way, you probably think about competitors. And it’s easy to box out a financial advisor, especially when they can’t market themselves.

But right now, a big tech behemoth is threatening to kill your marketing strategy: Google. If you’re marketing online, there’s a good chance a corporation can wipe out your lead flow whenever they push the button.

Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you have to start going to networking meetings, knock on people’s doors or cold-call strangers. But you have to adapt.

In this episode, you’ll find out how to win clients online without depending on a corporation (and without rich competitors copying your strategy).

Want to claim back your freedom in your online marketing? Listen now!

Show highlights include:

  • Why lead-selling agencies will probably go out of business (and how to get leads in the future with a 50-year old technology). (5:15)
  • Little-used lead-generation channels that will survive after Google’s new policies take effect. (6:58)
  • One question which weeds out all freelancers and agencies which won’t get you results. (9:10)
  • Why you shouldn’t limit your marketing budget, even if you don’t have any cash to spend. (10:24)
  • What SEO “professionals” won’t tell you about rankings (and the cheap, high-ROI channel that gets you clients without paying an agency). (11:27)

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.

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, I'm just going to get right into it. This may be the most important episode you ever get from me depending on whether or not you're buying leads, or if you're focused on trying to rank in Google. Now a quick disclaimer, when I talk about Google eliminating cookies in this episode, I'm only going by the sources I have. So don't take this as gospel because sometimes companies can change their mind. At the time of this recording, to the best of my knowledge, all of this is correct, but things can change and Google can decide they're not doing this anymore. And I talked about this in more detail, and I think it was the September or October inner circle newsletter. So I'm not going to give away too much proprietary information I gave to inner circle members, but I do want to do a public service for financial advisors because I love them and I care about them. And I want to make sure that they get the, basically the best information to help grow their businesses. So let's get into it [01:21.3]

Back in January, 2020, Google announced that they were going to end support for third-party cookies that track users in Chrome, within two years. There’s an article from CNN.com. You can Google this yourself. I know in the last episode, I went on a little bit of a rant or a tangent about how you can verify everything I'm saying, I'm telling you the article was called, ‘Google wants to change the way cookies work from CNN.com.’ There was an article from the verge.com called Google to phase out third-party cookies in Chrome, but not for two years. So if you don't know what a cookie is, it's not chocolate chip. I mean, I get it, it isn’t chocolate chip.

Jonathan: Oh its delicious

James: It's not oatmeal. At least not here. A cookie is a small piece of data that gets sent by a website and stored on your computer to remember information about you. I mean, have you ever looked at like an article on how to train your dog? And then all of the sudden got a bunch of ads for dog toys and treats that's, those are the cookies at work. The cookies are signaling to advertisers that you have been browsing stuff about dogs. [02:23.5]

I mean, have you ever looked at something on Amazon and then immediately you saw an ad for the same product on Facebook. That's the result of a cookie. If you see it on Facebook, it's the result of the Facebook pixel tracking you and the company is using the pixel to retarget you. So once again, cookies track your online activity. And that may seem a little creepy at first, but I'm personally speaking. I would rather live in a world with cookies because I wouldn't, I want my advertising to be relevant to me. If I'm interested in coin collecting, I want to see ads about coin collecting because that's what I like. [02:57.6]

I don't want to see random stuff. If don't like fishing, I don't want to see fishing ads. If I don't like, I don't know makeup, if I'm, you know, not a female using makeup, I don't need to see the makeup ads. I want to see coins. If that's something I'm interested in, I want to see stuff that's related to my hobbies. So personally speaking, I know there's this big movement like, Oh my God, I can't believe these companies are using our data like this. If you're Joe Smith in Iowa and you live in your mom's basement, you don't do anything with your life. Trust me, these companies, don't, they're not tracking you, Joe. You're not tracking Joe Smith in his mom's basement. They're not worried about you as an individual. The millions, millions, and millions and millions of people who are aggregated together to get data about people's hobbies and interests or whatever. And yeah, I mean, I'm not saying it can't be used for evil. There are things that you need to be worried about with big companies tracking your data. Absolutely, you need to be worried about some of these things, but from a marketing perspective, like come on. I would rather live in the world where my advertising is tailored to my knees and my interest. [03:57.6]

So the CNN article, it describes an effort by Google called, Privacy Sandbox. And they say that the aim of this project called privacy sandbox is to, to improve user privacy while also protecting them businesses of publishers and advertisers. But here's the thing, a huge amount of online advertising the business itself, it depends on these cookies. It's massive and Chrome accounts for more than 60% of the web browser market today. Now I personally haven't used Chrome as my daily driver in years, but 60% of people do. That's huge. All of those cookies gone 60% of the web browser market, which usually is cookies to deliver relevant, targeted advertisements, to people will be gone. [04:50.9]

And let's assume that this happens and cookies are obsolete and somehow advertisers are able to survive. There will still be some that are late adopters companies who can't figure it out. They can't adjust to the brave new world, that would be devastating too. So at this point, if you're a financial advisor or an insurance agent or someone listening to the show and you're thinking, Well, I'm not an online advertiser, what does any of this have to do with me? Well, if you buy leads from a lead generation company, or if you use any type of marketing service, you were almost certainly going to be impacted by this. Because guess where most leads companies get their leads? Through online advertising, and guess why these ads perform so well because of cookies. If you eliminate cookies, a lot of leads will stop flowing. And some of the lead gen companies are going to be squeezed out of business is just basic business and supply and demand. And when you cut off the source where the companies are getting their supply and the demand is still there, they're going to get squeezed out. They going to go to zero because they don't have anything, not for you anymore. This is also why I keep beating the drum of multiple marketing strategies. [06:00.4]

Because as of right now, this recording, when we're recording this podcast episode, this is going to happen. There's no like question here as at this time. Yes, things can change, but you've got to be prepared for this. A lot of people in the financial services space right now are worried about maybe taxes going up. And they're like, Oh, well, what if the tax plans change and we've got to be worried about this. You're preparing for a tax increase.
You're preparing for the worst, hoping for the best. So if you're running a business where you do marketing and as a financial advisor, trust me, you're going to be impacted by this. Even if you don't buy leads from a league, a leads company, even if you don't do online advertising, you're going to be affected because the industry as a whole is going to be effective. But you want to have multiple marketing strategies and things can change, but you've got to prepare for this. If you're dependent on this stuff, you've got to stop. You must move to areas you can control like your website, like your email list. [06:58.8]

Heck even social media is better than depending on cookies, because at least people there can stay in your social network. I mean, they don't, they can't really freely leave as easily, they just take it and follow you. And yes, they can infringe you or whatever, but it gets them to a place where you can show up again and again and again. Because cookies allow people to do that through retargeting. They show up again and again, again, you want to get them to a place where you can do that. So very important public service announcement for financial advisors be put your antenna up, be very cautious moving forward if you're dependent on this stuff, just I'm putting it out there. I'm telling you because I'm the person who tries to help you grow your business to help you get more clients. I'm just putting that out there. [07:43.6]

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. [08:06.4]

James: So let's talk a little bit about, since we're on the Google train here, let's talk a little bit about SEO because a lot of financial advisors want to “Rank in Google.” And Jonathan, I remember we were on a call. This is a long time ago, but there was someone in the call who was asking you about SEO or whatever. And I was just like casually, like, well, I rank for a bunch of these terms, so.

Jonathan: Yeah.

James: I know a little bit about SEO. At least, I think I do. I rank in the first page for Financial Advisor Marketing, rank in the first page for Financial Advisor Prospecting, Best Financial Advisor books, rank for Financial Advisor Content Marketing, Financial Advisors Social Media Marketing I rank for, Financial Advisor.

Jonathan: Podcasts.

James: Virtual, I think. Financial Advisor lifestyle practice. So entry-level financial advisors. I'm a number I'm in the first page, Google for all of those terms at the time of this recording, at least. [09:02.7]

So if you're going to listen to someone, maybe you should listen to the guy who actually ranks first page in Google, because there are some people out there who will just go to financial advisors and say, Hey, I can help you rank first page in Google. And you say, this is what you need to say. When you get approached like that, you say, Awesome, send me a report of the pages you rank for…hmmm silence, crickets, get them, get them to send something back, say, Oh, awesome, send me a couple of terms where you rank, Hmm. Interesting. So you have people who are like, Oh, you should do SEO. Are you doing SEO yourself? Are you using that as marketing strategy, ask them really drill. Ask for, ask for the, the proof. I mean you can just Google financial advisor and marketing tips right now. You can Google financial advisor prospecting tips. You will see TheAdviserCoach.com on the first Google. So there you go. [09:55.3]

And I got this question from a financial advisor back in February, let me find it here. It says, I am committing $5,000 toward a marketing strategy for the rest of the year and it got it whittled down to SEO and email. In your professional opinion. Oh, professional opinion. Nice. Which one should I choose? And why? Well, this is the wrong way to approach marketing for several reasons. The biggest reason is that you shouldn't really have a budget for marketing because marketing should make you money. It shouldn't be like, Oh; I'm going to spend $5,000. What if marketing works? What if you spent $5,000 and you get a $100,000 dollars back. Or, you get just going to limit yourself to 5,000 and you got to wait a whole another year in order to invest $5,000 again, like it just stupid. Don't do it that way. And another reason is $5,000 is a lot to spend on either of these strategies. Just being objective here, just as an absolute number, $5,000 on history, SEO is a lot of money. I mean, unless you've got a massive website with a bunch of pages, but most financial advisors shouldn't spend anywhere near that. [11:04.1]

Unless it's just a consultative thing where they come in and they say, fix this, this, this, and this. And then you do the work and it lasts you forever. Right? But as an ongoing service, like $5,000, even for an entire year, they're not going to be doing that much. You can get better results elsewhere for a lot less money. But let me give you a straight answer because I know that people aren't gonna be satisfied until I just pick one, right? I would choose email. And here's why? SEO is a bloody bare knuckles fist fight. There is literally only one first page and there is literally only one number one spot, that's it. And page one, the results are they get something like 95% of all search traffic. That means if you aren't on the first page, you really don't stand a chance. Sure, there are some financial advisors out there who beat their chest about how they rank for terms like financial advisor, Wichita, Kansas, like congratu-frickin-lations. No, nobody's searching for it. They like, Oh, I rank for financial advisor for dentist in Fort Wayne, Texas. [12:08.7]

Jonathan: Hmm.

James: Fort Worth Texas is like, Hmm. You mean the term that gets no searches. Great. But when it comes to the money terms, the stuff that actually drives business, you're fighting against some very deep pockets. Now, here are some of the companies that are dumping money in finance terms, allegedly. So allegedly these companies are dumping money into finance terms. You've got JP Morgan, American Express, Investopedia, The Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha, et cetera. So pardon me for being so blunt. But most financial advisors don't cheat. They don't stand a snowball's chance in, you know, where, when it comes to ranking against these companies. Even if you do get lucky and you rank for some of these terms, all they've got to do is outspend you or hire some whiz kid to unseat you over night. Because these companies like Investopedia, they will reach out to somebody like me. They say, Hey, James, we want to rank for financial. This is crazy. But like, this is what's going on. [13:04.7]

They're like; we want to rank for financial visor near me. And we want to do it in New York City. Can we pay you $10,000 to make that happen? And as someone like me would say, Absolutely. They'll get to work. They will create a where they will have the geo tags on it in New York City. So it shows up in New York City, whenever people search that way as like a “legitimate” website for New York City. They will rank that for financial advisor near me.
And they will well just, just crush you, it's that easy. Financial advisors are building their houses on sand. You need to build your house on a strong rock solid foundation, because if you're in an, in a marketing arena where all it takes is a company to reach out to someone like me. It takes one email, just one email, now, obviously, I wouldn’t take them on as a client right now, because I mean, I'm not taking on any clients. But if I were, and they send an email, these, Hey, here's $10,000, can you create this page? And can you rank us in Google? It would literally take; give me one day tops, maybe two days to make it happen. [14:01.6]

So compare that to something like email. It's something you control. Nobody can take your email list from you. You can build it to your own liking with zero dependence on SEO with zero dependence on cookies, it's yours, but we will talk more about email marketing in a future episode. Uh know this has been a very, very, very short podcast episode, but I wanted to do it. It's more like a public service announcement. So to recap, if you're doing any online advertising, if you're buying leads of any sort, start preparing for when cookies go away, you still have a little bit of time, but it's better to get started now. And if you don't believe me, just Google cookies going away, Google, Google, eliminating cookies and Safari has already done it. Firefox has already done it. Like it's going to impact the financial services industry. If you have any specific questions about this, if you're an inner circle member, you know, you can email me at any time. And if you're not an inner circle member, go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/coaching sign up, and I'm here to help you.So that's it. [15:01.8]

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

James: So next time I am not sure. The one that I've got written here is, ‘Is LinkedIn still working for Financial Advisors? I'm going to continue on the whole LinkedIn thing, but I may or may not have an interview that pops up in between this episode and that episode.

Jonathan: All right, all right. Well, another episode is in the can. Thank you fam for tuning in, we'll be back in your ear buds next time. [15:28.0]

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