Have a podcast in 30 days

Without headaches or hassles

Today, marketing is almost impossible without modern technology: 

LinkedIn, email, marketing automation and other technologies all help you attract qualified leads without leaving your house. 

But relying on technology is dangerous. When a company decides to lock you out of your account, your business evaporates. 

But you don’t have to be dependent on big tech companies. You can build a business that thrives under any conditions. 

In this episode, you’ll discover how to build a successful financial advice practice without depending on tech companies. 

Want to make your success more sustainable? Listen now!

Show highlights include: 

  • Why you need contingency plans for business emergencies (even if you never expect to use them) (15:42)
  • How to use backups keep your profitable marketing assets safe (16:52)
  • An unlikely characteristic of business software that shields your business from account shutdowns (17:28)
  • One question that reveals if your business will crumble after a single account failure (18:30)

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/Coaching and pick up your free 90 minute download called “5 Keys to Success for Financial Advisors” when you join The James Pollard Inner Circle.

Discover how to get even better at marketing yourself with these resources:




Read Full Transcript

You're listening to Financial Advisor 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 TheAdvisorCoach.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: What’s going on financial advisors? It's another week, which means it's time for another Financial Advisor Marketing podcast episode. My voice is shot today because I have had meetings with financial advisors all day long, talking about their marketing, how to get them more clients, how to help them become better business owners. Stuff I love to do, I can't get enough of it, but because I have been talking all day, my voice is pretty much gone. So, if my voice starts to crack like a 12-year-old going through puberty or something, I apologize, but there's nothing I can do about it at this moment. Maybe tomorrow I'll be back on my game, but I wanted to record this podcast because something important happened. And I think it's critical that I share the lessons from this. It's a story about my personal email account, getting disabled and what you can learn from it. This is going to be a crazy story. And I'm going to sprinkle in quite a few marketing lessons along the way. So, make sure you pay attention. [01:36.5]

On July 23rd, I spent the morning in Boston, Massachusetts, and got ready to go back to my home state of Delaware. I got some Kane’s donuts, which were pretty good, I got the classic honey gypped. If you're ever in Boston, go to Kane's donuts, get the honey dipped and it will blow your mind, it was awesome. I was staying right down the street from Kane’s in the Hilton hotel. And I had my car valet parked. My wife, called the valet to get them to bring the car back to the hotel because they, for some reason, they actually parked the car several blocks away. This was the darndest thing. So, when we originally got to Boston, I'm sorry if I'm going to go off on a tangent here, but I think it's important that you know the details. So, when I got to the hotel, I pulled in front of the Hilton and I saw across the street that there was a parking garage. So, I said, awesome, there's a parking garage directly across the street from the Hilton I'll park there. And then I can take my bags and everything and go into the hotel. Sounds easy, right? Wrong! Because the easy way didn't work. [02:38.1]

It turns out that that particular parking garage wanted you out, every single night is 7:00 PM, which is, I'm just not used to it. I'm not a city slicker y'all. I'm used to the country. We don't even have parking garages out here. But I've been to New York, Washington, DC, Nashville, Chicago. I mean, you name it. I've been to big cities. And I don't think I have ever seen a parking garage where they want you to get out at a certain time. Apparently, it's a thing in Boston. My wife says she's seen some in Wilmington, Delaware, but Hey, me the country boy, I have not seen any. So, I thought that was strange. So, we had to valet park the car and they took the car all the way down, like five or six blocks or something to park it at a Wharf, whatever, right. We'll move on. [03:25.7]

Now we had our bags packed. So, my wife calls, the valet says, Hey, we're going to be okay, coming out, can you just bring the car up? And they told her that it would take about 20 minutes before they could get it to the hotel. So, point we were standing out in front of the hotel. We were ready to go. So, I figured I would do what any red-blooded normal millennial would do. And that's pulled out my phone and start staring at it while I was waiting. Now, before you judge me understand that I wasn't just mindlessly scrolling through social media or watching videos. I run a real business from my phone. So, I opened my web browser and I logged into my email automation software, which is Drip. I typed out a quick broadcast email, press send and went about my day. Both my wife and I got into the car and headed back south. So, the first sign where I thought something, the thing was wrong was when I checked my email again, and I didn't receive any automatic replies because I have such a large email list. I get all the replies pretty much every time I send an email, there are always financial buyers, users who are out of the office or on vacation or something. I haven't had a day without automatic replies in years. [04:49.0]

So, the fact that I didn't have any on that particular day was very strange because especially at this time, everybody's doing their revenge travel is what the media is calling it, where they didn't travel much in 2020, if, if at all. And now the traveling a bunch in 2021. So, the fact that I didn't get any automatic replies at all was really weird, but I didn't pay attention to it. I was focused on the drive home. I just wanted to get back to the greatest state union Delaware. So, I did think it was weird, but it didn't concern me that much. On our way home, we stopped, we charged the Tesla. We got stuck in traffic in New York, of course. And we went out to dinner so we didn't get home until maybe six or seven o'clock. I unpack the car, turn the AC back on in the house because I'm frugal and whatever we leave for vacation or business travel for work a week or so I cranked that AC up or down. I don't know which way you say it. I I made sure it was 79 degrees is what I'm trying to say instead of 72 room temperature, I made sure it was 79. That way I pinch my pennies even harder. [05:58.5]

And so, I did all that. I went back down to my office and kissed my computers, told it that I missed it, turned it back on and checked my email marketing software Drip. And I saw it was disabled. And I was in shock because I have been sending emails every single day for years, and I never missed a day. I hadn't no idea why my ability to send would be taken down because I have changed anything. I was literally on a business trip and I hadn't changed any opt-in forms, any email settings, nothing. I didn't do anything to my email sequence, to the software, nothing changed. And yet I still got disabled. So, I was confused and Drip had a little survey thing where they wanted me to fill this out. And I gave some details about my business and basically said that I wasn't spamming people or anything. And I got a message that said, your account is being looked into. This typically takes a day or two. And I thought, great, now I'm going to miss two, possibly three days of email because I've already missed Friday that day. Now I'm probably going to miss Saturday and maybe Sunday too. If they don't get back to me until late Monday, it's just going to be worse and worse and worse. [07:19.2]

I then sent a support ticket to be doubly sure, I got in touch with someone. And then I began wondering about their support hours. So, I Googled it and I saw a tweet from 2019 where drip said that they have 24/7 customer support nanny. I also found a page on a website that said they had 24/7 support as well. But I also saw a page that said the only has support from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. So having my email go down on Friday night was quite literally the worst time for this to happen. If they only had support 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. So confused about their support times I even, I go above and beyond. I'm trying to get some help. I'm trying to make myself available. There's a lesson right there. When you need some help, make yourself available to people who can help you. So, I posted in the Drip community, there's a Facebook group called Drip community. I'm a member there. I posted in that and I saw that people from respond, although I couldn't really see when they responded, I thought maybe they could respond at any time. But it turns out after the fact, I learned that they only responded 9 to 5 Monday through Friday. [08:34.8]

But when I posted in the Drip community, I didn't get a clear answer there. Some people said, yes, some people said no that they had support over the weekends. And I just didn't get a clear answer. So rather than spend all night worrying about it and getting myself, all worked up, I decided to go to sleep and hoped that when I woke up the next day, everything would be okay. Well, I woke up the next morning and everything was not okay. Everything was exactly the same. And I thought to myself that I would give it a few more hours. I would just wait a little bit more good things to come to those who are patient, right? So, I began working on the August issue of my inner circle newsletter, which was straight fire by the way. If you weren't subscribed in time for that, I legitimately feel sorry for you because you missed out on epic greatness, but don't worry. You can still subscribe for next month's issue over at TheAdvisorCoach.com/coaching. [09:36.6]

And during the day, I remember thinking that I wish I just had an answer. You know, I wish I wasn't just wondering, do they have weekend support? Do they not have weekend support? Am I going to be permanently banned? Or is this just a mistake? I wish I had an answer. I wanted them to say either, sorry, our bad you're all good now or your banned forever, whatever it was, I didn't even care at that point. I just wanted to have an answer so I could move on with my life and get back to my daily emails. [10:09.8]

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. [10:32.3]

And I know I said, I would, didn't want to worry about this. I didn't want to get worked up, but I run a business that is known for email and Drip is a fairly good company, when it comes to customer support. I've never had a problem with them before. And it's just that they were unavailable. But because I send emails every single day, if you got to think about it this way, if I miss three emails out in a month, that's basically 10% of the emails gone. When you're running a relatively large business with a large email list, that's a pretty big chunk that's gone. So, it became an urgent issue for me pretty quick. So, I sent a message on LinkedIn to the CEO of Drip. And here's what I said, I'm going to read this to you verbatim. “John, I know it's a long shot to message the CEO of a company, but I have no idea what to do at this point. I've been a Drip customer for years and found out yesterday evening that my account's ability to send was disabled for some unknown reason. I haven't changed anything. So, I am truly in the dark. I saw a tweet from Drip that they have 24/7 customer support. Then I saw a frequently asked question on the website saying it's only 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. I even posted into drip, Facebook community, trying to get some help all to no avail. All I want is to a) get my accountability, to send re-instated and or b) figure out what went wrong, so it doesn't happen in, in the future. I know this is probably bottom of the barrel stuff to you, but it's incredibly urgent for me and my business. If there's any way you can help, please let me know. My account email is, and I'm not going to reveal my account email on a podcast. If that helps. I've already submitted two support tickets, one at 8:23 PM. Yesterday when I completed the survey to enable my sending again and another at 8:55 PM to make sure someone got it. Thank you for anything in advance.” [12:31.9]

So here I am, groveling on my hands and knees begging the CEO to get something done on a Saturday night. And I, like I said, in the message, I know it was a long shot. It was a Hail Mary it's just like, please let me just get this back up so I can message again and or email again on Sunday morning and then Monday morning, and guess what happened? Within two hours, I got an email from an employee named Evan and Evan said this, I'm going to read his email to you verbatim. “Hey James, Evan here from Drip, getting back to you on this with a weekend update.” So, he's already given a little clue that this is unusual, right? “My apologies here for the confusion around your account. First things first, your email sending is reinstated. The block was unintended to occur with your account, but was caught up due to a spam checking system, we recently made some changes to. Sadly, the company and term DHL.” And I'm going to explain why this happened in a minute. “The company and term DHL has been used in a massive amount of spam, trying to get out the door and our system would them being as widely used name and company as they are. We were initially quite hesitant to block the term altogether, but it was quite literally one of the only consistent terms was coming up within this spam. Due to that, the nature of how our spam checking tools work, we knew some real customers caught in the crossfire and have been manually reviewing and checking these accounts as they got blocked by spam. This change was made almost two months ago. However, so we had in this case wrongly that the majority.” So, he must've meant, so he thought in this case wrongly that the majority of folks who were legitimate customers who have been with us for a while would have already gotten through the system, if they were using DHL as part of their terminology regularly. We flied count, so it won't get blocked for this again. No need to go back and edit any emails or change any copy. [14:43.9]

So, here's what happened on that Friday, I wrote an email where I talked about competition and competitors and how email marketing software, they are constantly innovating because competition is just fiery in that space. And one of the examples I gave in the email was about the United States, postal service USPS, the great individuals that they are. And I ask, do they have any competition? Well, not really. All I can think of is UPS, FedEx and DHL. So, when they saw the term DHL the incorrectly flagged me and disable me because a lot of spammers are using that term. So that's what happened. So now, you know my story about how my email account got disabled, how I got it back. So, let's jump into some of the lessons here. [15:40.8]

One is the most dangerous number in business. I think I did an intro prior episode around this concept before, but I'm going to stress it again. You want to make sure you have a backup for all the systems in your business. If your calendar goes down for some reason, can you switch out to another one? Can you do it quickly? And my situation, I was going to wait until Monday. And if they gave me the bad news that I wasn't going to be able to email anymore, for whatever reason, sometimes email services and email automation companies, they just freak out sometimes. I understand that it happens, it's extremely, extremely rare, but if I've been emailing every single day for years, something like this was bound to happen. It's just within the realm of statistics. [16:30.2]

Now, I already had ConvertKit ready to go. I was going to switch over to ConvertKit and be done with it. I want you to start thinking like that. If you depend on your computer for business, do you have multiple computers or at least different, different ways to access the internet or to access what you need. You never want to get caught without a backup. And speaking of backup, that's another lesson. If you're doing email marketing, it is critical to backup all your stuff on a regular basis. Backup your email list, your sequences, your metrics, and so on, because you do not want to wake up one morning and see that all your hard work has gone up in smoke. The same is true with a lot of things you do online. If you're tracking your social media post, which I recommend you want to know what works and what doesn't, you want to have a separate record of everything. That way you can recreate the stuff, should the worst happen. Another lesson that most people don't really think of until it happens to them is the importance of having tools that can easily integrate with multiple things. [17:33.3]

For example, the opt-in service that I use is OptinMonster. OptinMonster can work with Drip, ConvertKit, MailChimp, Constant Contact, and more. It easily integrates with nearly all email automation services. If OptinMonster couldn't easily integrate, it would be another problem for me to solve and another fire for me to pull it out. It would take longer for me to switch to another service like Drip, to ConvertKit and that's not good. As a business owner, time is my most valuable asset. I want to make sure that I'm minimizing the amount of time. Once I have a system set up, I want to make sure that I can just replicate it fairly easily. And if OptinMonster goes down, that's the only thing I have to fix. I don't have to fix any other associated tools. I can just get another tool, my backup for OptinMonster, I can take that backup and I can plug it into the machine. So, if you're using specific tools or software within your business, I want you to ask yourself, can those tools be easily integrated with other things, your backups, it could save your butt one day. [18:41.1]

So that's it for this week's episode, hopefully this serves as a cautionary tale for you. And not just with email either. I want to stress that again. I want you to take this lesson or the multiple lessons in this episode and use them wherever you might be vulnerable within your business, because it's my job to make sure your business can grow and get more clients in order to do that in the most effective way possible, you want to have everything streamlined. [19:08.3]

Thank you for listening. I appreciate you. If you haven't connected with me on LinkedIn yet, make sure you do that by searching James Pollard, financial advisor, and I should pop up. I love hearing from you. If you have any show suggestions, let me know, I'm open to hearing them. This show is nothing without you, the dear listener. I’ll catch you next week. [19:29.7]

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