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: Financial advisors, Welcome to another episode. Another week of the financial advisor marketing podcast. This episode is going to be really cool because I have Brian Ouellette, you're going to read his name in the show title I know. And he is the founder of AskMyAdvisor. The website is AskMy Advisor.co and I think we're going to have a really sexy title for this show as well. It'll be something like, ‘how financial advisors can generate referrals or get referrals without asking,’ because not only is he in the head of financial advisors, he understands how they think, you know, how they speak, how they walk everything, right. He also knows exactly what to do in order to get financial advisors, more referrals, and he leverages technology to do it in a unique way. So, without me rambling on any more buy-in I'm going to let you have the floor. You can talk about yourself, your background, anything you want, you can have at it. [01:25.7]
Brian: I like that, it's a pretty good intro right there, straight into the point. I'll just give a quick background, just kind of my professional experience and how I got to where I am now. In college, you know, I knew I wanted to be in a financial advisor early on in high school. We had career day and we had a couple, movie Wall Street had just come out and we had some, some stockbrokers from Dane Bosworth at the time, but changed a bunch of names since then, but I committed to that. So, through college I got in the business, worked with some family, friends that were in the business, moved out to Chicago, I'm born and raised in Seattle, so it was the first time I moved away. I moved out to Chicago, started working on the Chicago Board of Trade and then got all my licenses, my seven, my six, my 63 65, all those things and got in the business. And my goal was to build my private client business back in Seattle. So, I was out gone for about a year. Moved, came back and started up with PaineWebber. PaineWebber is a firm I worked with in college. They had just acquired Kidder Peabody at the time, so it was no Kidder office I was in. So, some people will know those names, old school names. Now it's UBS, being represented as UBS, but I was in the business for a decade. And the benefit of being in the business in 95 is when I started in production was the market was starting to re starting to, to ramp up, it was starting to go to the moon. And the benefits of being someone in your mid-twenties, when the market's going straight up, there's a rising tide, raises all boats. And I was growing a business pretty rapidly and probably getting referrals of somebody new in the business that had no business getting, but you know, when people are, are happy and jolly with the market it happens. [02:55.4]
So, I quickly grew my business referrals became a big piece of my business. And what I noticed quickly was, you know, how referrals work is, it's kind of a passive marketing campaign where they happen and there's things you can do to trigger them. I always kind of cringe when I see the PS that says, Hey, the greatest compliment you can give me is to refer me, but it's better than, you know, you've got bait in the water at least, but I think there's other better ways to bridge that gap. So, I was in the business for a decade, you know went, through the bust in 2000 and kind of lost my taste for the business a little bit and in 2004 I started a sports apparel company. You know, exactly the same, you know, go from financial advisor to sports apparel company and still run that in the background to this day. But it was in 2010, I was talking to a sports agent buddy of mine. And he was at the time developing a database of athletes. And I was, I was like, well, this isn't interesting. And he goes, yeah, it's you know, mostly most of these athletes, the sports illustrated article come out in the prior year, how and why athletes go broke. I had not seen that article. We'd always heard over the years that athletes have these big problems with their money. [04:05.2]
And I had just never looked at the details, and you realize from this article, I don’t know, you've seen this James, that you know, 60% of pro athletes with a couple of years have major financial issues and this was a light bulb moment for me. And I began to look into it, I spent about three weeks research in the industry a little bit more. I'd never considered working with athletes or working with celebrity clients. Being out here in Seattle, you had the first wave of Microsoft millionaires, when I got the business, you get bone retirees, all that, that's really who you targeted. And this was intriguing to me because I realized with athletes, they have a gatekeeper that is in place to hear from financial advisors. So, it became a great center influence. And we, I started Pro Athlete Direct of 2010. And what I did through Pro Athlete Direct was sold the database that my sports agent partner at the time had created. And quickly when we got traction pretty quickly got featured in a lot of the, you know, Investment News a financial advisor magazine on Wall Street. All we got picked up a lot, got a lot of immediate attention and I quickly began getting asked by these advisors. This is a great access to this database, now what do I do with it? [05:16.1]
And so, we began developing a coaching program around that, and that's essentially what I became was a coach to these financial advisors, a lot of retired pro athletes, Olympians, we got super bowl winners, major league baseball stars, turned financial advisor, turned a tourney, turned real estate, you know, on the, on the real estate side. And I began coaching them over the last decade. And I learned, you learn a lot of things. You invest, you know, 20,000 hours doing anything, you're gonna pick up some things. And as we developed this system to develop those relationships with the sports agents, I began to notice something. I began to notice, you know, a lot of these top financial advisors, you know, we had Barron's top 100 advisors, Forbes, top some of the best in the business. We're really not doing a whole lot with their top clients. They were looking to develop new business. And as we looked at this model, we created, I began to realize there was a center of influence as good as sports they just are is as a center of influence relationship to have. There's one that was superior and that was the clients of the advisors. And not just any clients of the advisors, the top 10, 15, 20 clients of a given financial advisor. And, you know, it's the Pareto principle, the 80-20 rule. Your top clients is an advisor, any business, the top 20% account for the bulk of your revenues. And I began to develop that in the last two years. And it really, you know, James and last year was went well, it's been over a year now. This idea came together and we created this software app. And so, I asked my advisor method, the software app referral app, actually. And that's, I think what we're going to talk about here as we get into this. [06:49.9]
James: Totally. I mean, I think the reason that we jive so well is because, well, there are two reasons. Number one is because you embraced 80-20 rule. And, you know, I do too, I totally all the way through with everything. And I even break down businesses into different parts and I apply the 80-20 rule to each subsection. It's interesting to see someone apply that to referral marketing. Yeah, we're going to talk about that. The second reason I think we jive so well is because referrals are awesome. I love referrals. A lot of people think that I'm anti-referral. I'm not necessarily anti-referral. I'm anti-investing a lot of time into getting referrals when your time is better spent elsewhere. But I think that the way that you approach it, it helps minimize the advisor’s involvement and it still gets better results than traditional methods. I mean, I'm not, I don't want to dig too deep and like be against the traditional methods because they obviously work. But because we both are on the same page about the 80-20 principle, I'm looking for the top 20%, most effective way to get referrals. And it seems like you've dialed in on that. So, can you explain more about that process or what AskMyAdvisor does what it looks like? [08:00.9]
Brian: Yeah, that's a great point. You know, really, as we continue to develop this, we, we begin to look at the, the simplest form. We're a connector. We, we create a connection. Cause when I, what I did, when I look back at my business as an advisor and then coaching, you know, all these advisors over the last decade, I realized sometimes it's literally the simplest nudge turn into the biggest payoffs. It could be literally bumping into someone on the street or a simple email text, a conversation, whatever triggers, these big moments. So, we began to define was, what is connection? Connection is that first moment you create any communication with someone else. And so, we began looking at what can we do if your top clients, we know one layer beyond. Here’s, here's a stat that, that we've you know, the benefit of social media, the average person right now is connected to about 600 people between family, friends, work, school, hobbies, social media, social media is the big one there. The average person's connected 600 people. That means one client is to connect to the past 600 people. Well, who most closely resembles those clients in the realm of people that they've gotten their you know, their, there's fear of, of friendships. It's those people, those 600 people. So automatically, if we already know your top clients, your top clients, for a reason that the people you enjoy working with the most, they're the people that create the most revenues for you. They're the people that you've developed your business around. Why not replicate those clients? So, what can we do to tap into one degree way those 600 people? So, we look at just the mathematically, your top 10 clients are connected over 6,000 people. So, using that mindset, if we agree with that, now there's no need to ever market outside of your top client. It's again, because it is such a large pool of people that if you set in motion a way to connect the dots, you know, this, you can automate most of this and that's what we've done with the software. [09:47.0]
And the goal with it is the benefit of COVID is there's benefits and negatives to everything in life, right? And there's the benefits of COVID. It's moved a lot of people online to communicate. A lot of people are doing zoom calls that, you know, grandparents are doing zoom calls. I, I doubt they would have adopted that technology without COVID and same with parents and kids and all these people. And so, what that's done is people have bit big COVID has raised a bunch of questions. And we have driven this since Q&A is such a great it's the purest way of identifying a pain and then finding a solution. Because if you give someone a chance to ask you a question and I'll talk about how the app works. If you give them a chance, if you give your clients or a friend of your clients, a, a channel to ask a question about finances, about insurance, about whatever, if they got their list of top 10 questions, they're most likely not likely going to ask their 10th most important question, they're going to ask their number one question, it's their number one pain point. [10:46.5]
So going into this, we've created a channel online to where an advisor has their private Q&A landing page, it's a place designated for Q&A. So instead of when you make, when you've got a connection, you've got these, you know, you were having a conversation this week and you're like, you know what? You got to call my financial advisor. We just were talking about this, give him a call. Here's his email, here's his phone number. That works. But a lot of times it falls into the abyss. It gets weeks go by months go by, Hey, do you ever contact up? I forgot to I'll do it this week, and just never happens. But if you had a dedicated place for Q&A, now, now the people know, the clients know, and the people in their lives to get access to this Q&A landing page, they know it's designated for questioning. It's it's, it's designated for one specific thing. [11:30.2]
And I was talking to, there's a friend of mine, longtime Barron editor for Barron's. And we were talking about this. This was November of 2020, and we're running over some things and talking about this. And his light bulb moment was he's like, oh my God, my in-laws they're afraid to call their financial advisor. He goes, I referred this advisor to them. They're afraid to call him. They don't want to bother them. They don't want to pester him. And he goes, I told them, you're paying them 1%, give him a call. He goes, this, having a place that was designated for Q&A, they absolutely would use. And that for him was his light bulb moment. But for us, what we wanted, you know, for a connection, we're about creating connections and tapping into this thousands of people one degree beyond your top clients. This channel now becomes a place where your clients is by invitation, you only invite a small, you know, 10 to 25 clients, not 26. We want you focusing on your top clients, it's by invitation. So, there's a bit of a velvet rope effect here, right? The getting access to something by invitation. And it's a place for their clients that were invited to Q&A, and then also the golden ticket for them is they can share it with anyone in their lives who's got questions too. So that kind of makes sense how that works? [12:38.8]
James: Makes sense. I obviously am a little biased because I've seen behind the scenes and I have my own little landing page. Financial advisors, if you want to see what that looks like, I'm sure that at some point I can record a zoom video. I'm going to get emails about this. And I would just say, Hey, here's what it looks like. Here's where my landing page is. Don't get mad at me if I don't send it to you right away though financial advisors, I think the, the beautiful part of this is in the simplicity, because it seems so obvious to people like me and to smart marketers, like you who have been in everything from John Lee Dumas’s podcast, working with Frank Kern, so on and so forth. It seems so obvious that the answer would be in simplicity. A lot of financial advisors run in the other direction though, where they try a million different things and throw stuff against the wall to see if it sticks. And here you are just saying, you're actually like forcing financial advisors to be successful. And speaking of the success part, you mentioned to me that the product we're a service works best with advisors who are already successful. What does that mean? [13:38.5]
Brian: Good question. So, we, this is designed for some of it's been in the business that has a book of business and ideally a successful book of business. So, we kind of, the benchmark we have is people that have been in production for themselves, for team within, for at least three years. Although, the average financial advisor has been in the business over a decade or two, so that's not a big problem. We want people that have a strong base of clients, and this is a premium service you're going to offer your top clients. We talked about briefly a moment ago. COVID brought up all these questions, we didn't have two years ago, right? These are new questions we're having and trying to plan for things. So, there's never been a more important time, at least in my lifetime years, James, for a financial advisor, for experts to help guide people through right now. So, if you give now, if we've got a lot of questions and we know advisors are the experts in answering these questions and finding the solution, this, the idea with this is provide a simple platform to go to, to ask your questions and create those connections and then advisors do what they do. [14:37.3]
The biggest thing, it's like it's you know, meeting somebody, a spouse, meeting their husband, a gentleman meeting his future wife. At some point there was a connection and then they developed the relationship from there. It's the same thing with advisors, we’re about to accelerate and increase the amount of connections through your top clients. So, the cool thing about this and all the questions that come through the Q&A land pages, number one are coming for your top clients so, they're high value. Number two, they're coming from people referred by your top clients, so they already know a little bit about you going into it. This is not your average referral coming through these landing pages. Every question that comes through is we always say its gold. These are gold to treat like, treat like gold. And one of the things too, I found there's a lot of, you know, James, you know, I've talked about this before. There's great ideas all over the place. And there's great ideas for marketing. People have all, you know, lots of things work. If things do not get implemented, it doesn't matter how great it is. It's not going to, if it's not, it doesn't get used, it doesn't matter, it just collects dust. So, we really, the thread that's run through the software and you've seen it when you've operated with the editor, we say it's third grade simple. It's fill in the blank. [15:37.5]
We literally want advisors to be able to, to sign up. We have a masterclass, we run this, the sales engine of this, of the software. And then you can join as a founding member that you can have your live Q&A landing page, ready to share with your top clients within 15 minutes. We did that by design because we felt that there were too many obstacles in the way. It doesn't matter how great idea we've got, if you can't get it implemented and put into to work, it doesn't matter. So, it's literally fill in the blank, hit publish, and your URL, your custom URL is live and ready to share and take questions. And the cool thing about that is everything, every question that gets come comes in is you've got a dashboard and everything's tracked. It's already tracked for you. You can track your, we got real-time analytics. So, every time that page gets open, we see how many questions come in, so we can start measuring the success of your landing page. And the beautiful thing is we have to keep reminding our members this, if people were teaching, how to use this, is sharing this with your top clients where there's no SEO on these pages, which is very important because we only, this is my invitation. [16:43.3]
So, we don't want, we've had some people I had a, actually a pretty significant influencer that was really excited about the idea. He's like, okay, I want to share my social media. I want to do all these things. I'm like, Nope, Nope, Nope, Nope, Nope. That's not about that. You're only sharing it with your top clients. And number one key reason for that, it avoids overwhelm. Because if you look at this, I'm going to get this out to hundreds of people that a lot of times people are during headlights, don't do anything. But you can focus on your top 10 clients. You can hand write a note to invite them to this, to your top 10 clients, take 10 minutes, right? And that's what it's all about. We want simplicity. We want people to take action and put this to use. And we believe putting into use is going to create some big results for people. [17:20.8]
James: Well, I mean, you don't want the SEO benefits either because it can cannibalize your own content. It's funny that people will jump on that bandwagon and be like, I need to write this and create this and do this. It's like, well, are you going to cannibalize your keywords? I guarantee you that most of the people who are listening to this have no idea what that even means and to their detriment. Now I'm thinking as a financial advisor who is listening to this, and I'm trying to put myself in a space where I have no idea what this, what this is or anything. The two questions that come to my mind are number one, what is to prevent people from just pestering me with questions, essentially being tire-kickers is the term that financial advisors would use? I don't really like that term, but they use it. And number two, what happens after they ask a question and you answer, I suppose? [18:01.4]
Brian: Yeah, no, that's perfect. That's perfect. And this goes back to, we have to remind our members that people using this, again, it's only being shared with your top clients, right? So, we know number one, your top clients are going to reply to you in any way, right? Because they're your top clients. You're gonna to take care of them. And it's the people in their lives that have been invited to Q&A that they shared the link with. Hey, they, they're free to share the link by text, by Facebook to, you know, message to somebody who they can, they can share it any way they want, but remember who they're coming from, they're coming from your top clients. It's not even just your average client. So, the idea that may be a risk and it's, you know, I think someone may have want to have, you know, manage their clients better, but this is only coming from their top clients. So, it's an elite group of people that will be asking questions for the page. So, we feel that qualification should filter out most of the riff raff that would be, you know you know, burying some advisor with too many questions. [18:52.8]
And then the other thing going back to, we are a connector. We're about creating that connection. You know, funny story. I'm going to share this with you. I can't, I don't know if I have before, but connect a story about connection. My wife, I met her in a coffee shop. I was having coffee with my uncle; she was next to me. I noticed her when I walked in and we're in the middle of talking, she sneezed, I turned around. I said, gazunite. She said, thank you. And she goes, what does that mean? And I started laughing my uncle, what does that mean? Kidding me, you don't know what that means. I still tell her she was trying to hit on me. That's why she said that. But at that moment, that was a connection, right? And you can't build a business around sneezing and saying, gazunite and it's about, we made a connection and from there we developed a relationship. It's the same thing here. We're simply in the timeline of developing a relationship. We're about creating that connection with a thousands of people, right beyond your top clients. There's a gatekeeper to thousands of people right now. It's your top 10 clients. It's those clients, right. We know if the average person is connected to 600 people, 10, your top 10 clients are connected 6,000, your top 25 clients are connected over 15,000 people. So that pool of potential clients is as big as you will ever need because each client you add, you're gonna add another 600. So, it's endless. [20:07.7]
So, we're solely focusing on developing that client base your top clients of tapping into those thousands of people and who most closely resembles will top those top clients. No one more than the people in their lives. And that's, what's so key. They're going to have people with similar, there's the same you know, levels of where they are with their children, where they are in their career, network, all these things, you've automatically qualified these people. You know, the old birds of a feather flock together, right. And so, when we look at it at, you know, it'd be hard to debate me that your number one, someone's number one center of influence is not your top clients. And someone might say, well, I've got this, you know, account that refers a lot of businesses, state planning, attorney, whomever. It doesn't matter because until people put money with you and trust you with their money, you can't beat that center of influence. And again, we're not just talking about average clients, we're focused on the top clients. That kind of makes sense. [21:00.5]
James: That makes total sense.
Brian: Yeah. And so, so our goal, so back to your question, our goal is to be a connector from where now the advisors do. If you've been in the business for more than a few years and for a good decade or two, you are a master at developing relationships. You just need those connections.
James: And just to your point, exactly the proof that comes from being saying something like I am a client, this is who manages my money rather than, Hey, here's someone that I think can check out your IRA or whatever. I mean, I'm not knocking that it is effective, but you're right. It's nowhere near as effective as, Hey, this is who I work with. This is the person that I trust with my finances. So, I love that content. [21:43.0]
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Head on over to TheAdvisorCoach.com/coaching to learn more. [22:05.5]
James: I want to get into the meat of the show or the marketing part of the show. Since it is the financial advisor marketing podcast, we got to cover at least a little bit of marketing. So, you can answer this question from your perspective as from your entire career or just within this software specifically, but I want to know what marketing strategies have been successful for you personally.
Brian: It comes, it's referrals. I mean, literally it's, I think of all the different things, you know, between I was a financial advisor, I went to a completely different industry and, you know, with a sports apparel company and then back to coaching at financial advisors. So, I really the financial advisor side I see really well. And when I, what I did, when I launched Pro Athlete Direct, I began looking at my business and what were the highlights of my business? What did I enjoy the most? I think a lot of this, I think COVIDs brought up a lot of things. I think people are taking a step back to their lives and realize what I mostly enjoy about life, right. We, we get so caught up in the day-to-day stuff that we've been able to take a bag. It goes back to the benefits. There are benefits to COVID. One of them is I think people are reflecting on, I want to be in business that I enjoy and working with people that I enjoy working with. [23:12.8]
So, there were, you know, it's tough to beat referral business because you're working with, you're replicating your best clients, work with the people you enjoy. You've got the same interests; you've got specific things. You know, if you've got specific niches, you focus on and specialize in, these are the best people to target and work with are the referrals. So, the key way, you know, in my business about relationships, about referrals. The other thing, you know, I think media, you know, getting attention to a story and getting third-party media has been another big driver of business for me. And that's part of what the membership, this is going to get a little, probably beyond it. You know, our, our core business is the software app that creates, the Q&A landing page. The Trojan horse of our business is every member, founding members now signing up, get access to the network. And I know we've talked about this briefly, James, but what the network is, we first launched the software. [24:06.9]
We were going to do a Facebook group and run out, you know, run concept through the newsfeed and, and coach through the Facebook groups. And as I looked at that a little bit more that's a lot of people do with their businesses. I realized, you know, number one, a lot of people are getting away from Facebook for various reasons. And number two, I wanted more control of how the content was delivered to our members. So, what the network is, is we decided from that day on we built from the ground up our own, it looks like a Facebook group that we own the software, a hundred percent, we built it from the ground up. And through that newsfeed in the network is we look at it's a think tank of our advisor members. And within that think tank advisor members is where all the coaching is going to run through the newsfeed. It's where we'll bring experts in. We'll bring experts like you and James and other people to communicate to our membership. And under that umbrella is where that becomes an incredibly valuable asset for our business as cause here's a key thing with me, coaching financial advisors that work with, with athletes the last decade I had a problem. [25:06.9]
And the problem was this, there's only about 2,500 sports agents that have real businesses. There's probably 10 or 20,000 people that say they're sports agents, but really a small number of them. It's proto principle again, right? A small percentage of the, the 20% of them that really have a real business. So, I had all these advisors going after a limited pool of sports agents. The problem with that is I couldn't bring everybody together because they're going after the same people, we flipped that whole business model here. You, as the financial advisor are targeting only your clients. So now we can bring everybody together because you're developing your own business from within, right. So, we bring people together, this becomes incredibly powerful when we have best practices, people are there in the streets using their Q&A landing page URL to share with our clients. We're really big and tagging it in email signatures on PS. So, it's running 24/7 to those best clients. So, at any time around the world, people have access to that URL, they can connect with you. And, you know, within the network and our business is this app is solely for trusted advisors. So, under that umbrella, it's financial advisors, attorneys, accountants, real estate agents, venture capitalists, everyone that fits under that umbrella. So, within the network, it's going to be a powerful network of people. And this is a great way for financial advisors to extend their reach. And I'm kind of getting beyond a little bit where you asked, but this becomes a key driver when you're talking about what drives business to develop those relationships and to expand your reach. The network is like I said, it's our Trojan horse for people that access the software. [26:37.0]
James: That's incredible. I don't, I'm talking about that in last month's inner circle newsletter. I don't even know if you read that. Financial advisors, if you are an inner circle member, understand that if you can create your own network, that is going to be far more effective than what I discussed in the newsletter. However, if you don't have the time, you don't have the inclination. What I discussed in there is going to be more than enough for you. So, moving on, that's been very successful for you. What hasn't been successful? Has there been anything that you've done that has completely flopped? [27:08.3]
Brian: Yeah. You know, it's interesting. That's a good question. We're working on the, the, the, the ad campaigns, you know, online, the social media ad campaigns. We're trying to get the word out and that's, that's a bit of a tricky beast. And over the years, we've dabbled back and forth in it. Our, our business has grown through referrals and organically from within, and I'm happy with that. But now we're in this funny, we're in a funny fork in the road right now. We've got a tool that I have reason to believe. It's going to completely flip upside down how established advisors forever build their businesses. We're going to really work on, and just from the education side, not just with using our software, even though our software is designed to be an all-in-one solution. The AskMyAdvisor method is all about reaching out into further developing your top clients. So, getting away from working on developing strangers, where we know it's much harder to develop a stranger into a client than it is to further develop an existing client. There's statistics in every industry to prove that. [28:04.6]
And Roland Frasier talks about that. The value of, you know, developing a current client versus trying to bring a new one. It's like a 4 or 500% multiple. It's an incredible multiple. So, the AskMyAdvisor method is about focusing all your attention, moving forward on developing your existing clients. And the good thing about that is you strengthen those relationships; we use the word unbreakable. We make those relationships unbreakable by focusing on them, more, giving a higher level of service. And then also opening yourself to the people, right one degree beyond those clients to offer your help. You're here to help it's Q&A is a great way, we talked about earlier. When you have Q&A, you instantly as advisor, you eliminate all the fluff of any back and forth. I get to identify someone. If I'm the advisor, identify someone's number one pain point, and now if I can provide it, I can really begin building the solution from the get go. It's almost like you have a key into this person already because they're sharing something of, Hey, I've got a problem with this. You know, everyone's got questions about their, whether it's taxes there, you know, markets are through the roof right now. What do you do to protect your wealth? All these things. There's endless questions, right? [29:08.0]
And so that's what it's all about, providing a place for people to come together. It's a, like I said, a safe place to Q&A it's designed for Q&A. What happens when you hand an email off to somebody or a phone number, those all work. Sometimes they get lost in the shuffle. And there's just so many times I look back at my, you know, back with me in the business and people I've coached were weeks and months go by nothing happened, right? And we're working to eliminate that by giving a place that's specifically designed for Q&A. There's no, it's not about having a chat box or having, you know, it's simply design. We people get, they know going into it, it's for asking questions. That's it. So that, that safe place to do that is we think is a very high value piece of the overall business. [29:55.6]
James: It's funny, you mentioned that because I was out to dinner with my wife last night, when you sent me your email and then you sent me a video and I was watching it or trying to watch it over all the noise. And it was really cool. I liked it a lot. Thank you for that. Maybe we can talk about that in a minute, but I was watching it and she's like, oh, well, who's that? I was like, oh, this, this guy, Brian, he runs AskMyAdvisor. And then she started asking, well, how does that work? And I was like, I said, that pretty much the same thing that you said where there you're getting people who look like your top clients. And then she was like, well, isn't that all marketing? And I was like, wow, you are way smarter than I am, cause yes, that is pretty much all marketing. I was like, that's pretty much what I do. Like with everything from Facebook to email, whatever. Cause like, why would someone come into your business if you, if they didn't match that avatar, if they didn't feel comfortable, that's the whole idea of having a niche. It's so doctors flock with other doctors, it's it goes beyond everything that thank you for that, my wife. And the, the other question, I think I already know your answer to this, but what is one thing that you would tell advisors who want to become more successful within their business? [31:02.3]
Brian: You know, the key thing, and this, this is going to go back to the AskMyAdvisor method that we talked about this in the webinar, we share to do it yourself, ways to do it. You don't need our service and you can do it right now, is give people an access to you to ask you questions. So, emails, signatures, and PS’s, you know I agree on the PS’s that are very important. Eyes tend to move to the PS no matter what, right? So, work a PS into your practice that is specifically focused on a something that's a current question people have. Do you or someone, someone close to you or someone you know, where to, however you want, have a question about blank. Open the access to ask that question and you'll be amazed. What happens? You open up, you open up, it's a light bulb moment for people like, yeah, do you have a question about that? Or actually I was just talking about, I was out with my buddies this last weekend and we were just talking about this. And it's about giving that hope because too many times, you know how this works. If it's a gray area, a lot of things don't get done in the gray area. We need things black and white. [32:01.9]
So, so many times this, this conversation has happened since we've sent, especially the last year, cause I've been paying attention to it. How many times people there's a gap like that? I don't want to, you know what, my best, friends got a question about blank, but I'm not gonna bug my advisors, he’s not even their clients. So, I'm not going to ask, I'm not going to have him ask, he's not their client yet, right? And that gray area is missing, you're missing the boat on lots of people that have needs that you can help. And we're driven, we're in business. We're driven to help people, right. You know, the money follows. We help people first and money follows, right. And the idea here is when I got this place to ask questions, it's specifically designed to ask questions. And you've seen the landing page. You've got a landing page, James. You know what they look like, that's very focused on, ask me the question right here. I'll get back to you if I, you know, if I can answer great, if not, I'll find someone that can answer for you. It's all about creating that connection. And then from there, the connection develops into, you know, adding more clients like your wife said that look just like your best clients. [32:58.1]
James: It gives people permission / an excuse to reach out to the financial advisor. It eliminates a lot of the resistance and it eliminates the hesitations. Just like you're talking about where people. One of the things that really shocked me about referrals when I started doing a lot of the research and digging into the data, we at The Advisor Coach, we do a lot of surveys like behind the scenes that people don't really know about. And a lot of times prospective clients would say some, well, I shouldn't even say that. Current clients would say, I don't know if my advisor's taking on any new people. They just don't know. That's not something that you really ask and I'm guilty of it. I don't really ask my service professionals, whether it's an accountant, financial advisor, attorney, whatever. I, it, I have never in my entire life ask them just straight up. Hey, are you taking on new business? I don't. Have I referred? Yes, but I'm a little bit of a different person that, you know, figuring this is what I do for a living, but “normal people” who aren't like me, wouldn't refer. Cause they'd be, I don't know. I don't want to do that. I don't want to put my friends or my family member, my colleague in this awkward situation. So, the thing about the landing page and the place to ask questions is that it just eliminates that resistance. And I think financial advisors are going to be pretty shocked to see how well it works. [34:12.1]
Brian: Well, I think the word you use, the permission, people have permission. So, all of a sudden that gray area is eliminated because you have permission. It's designed for Q&A. And especially when the advisor introduces this to their clients, they know that what is designed for them. And one of the things too, you know, oftentimes we think that you can introduce something once and the people are either adopted or they won't. It's a continual conversation. We coach our members, you know, a specific system, how to stay in front of your clients a first, introduce it through an email welcoming email. You know, you've been, you know, I've selected a small group of my favorite clients to access this. And you go into that same day, snail mail, you and I both know suddenly snail mail. There's a great meme out there, that's the, you know, 15 years ago and you got a notification or email, you got excited and you got something in the mail. You kind of toss aside. That's flipped. Now we get hundreds of emails a day. We, we miss a lot of things and you get a handwritten envelope in the mail gets read, especially when it's coming from, you know, you're an advisor reaching out to your clients. [35:12.6]
So, we have that introduction, a message go out the first day, same message in the email goes in the snail mail, you just drop in the mail. And the idea is to get them, coach them, to use this, not only for themselves cause clients don't always ask all their questions too. You know, there's a lot of times they'll, you're, you've got a pain in your stomach. Like I don't want to bug my doctor, I'll ask them when I got my physical, you know, six months, it's the same thing are we, we think our best clients are asking all their questions. We're not. And so, we can identify other needs they have that we didn't get at that lunch meeting or the last quarterly meeting or whatever. When you have a Q&A in place where they feel, Hey, this is made for Q&A. I can ask this question? And there's something about opening, getting permission and opening, you know, having access to that, a place to Q&A.
James: You mentioned sending stuff in the mail that made me think. I just want to say thank you so much for being an inner circle member. I want to wrap up the show in a little bit, but just my own selfish question here is what is your favorite part of the newsletter? I just want to know I'm getting feedback. [36:10.7]
Brian: You know, I got to tell you why I've told us there's gonna be some advisors that aren't too happy. I'm saying this right now. But the first thing that came to mind is you're undercharging for that content. It's a very valuable piece. And I liked the way, the way it's organized. I think as I've developed and grown in business, and you go through a lot of experience, the trade-off of value of what you get for your invested dollars. I invest in you every month for that newsletter. And it's well, just what I got, we just talked about this yesterday, the we added the calendar feature under the Q&A, because of your newsletter. That upgrade, we just add it to where now people can ask their question, they get the thank you page. And now on the PS, there's a button you can click and access the advisor's calendar to avoid all the back and forth and immediately get booked a calendar that came from the newsletter. That potential, the return on investment from just me getting that from your newsletter is worth multiple, multiple multiples potentially. And that's what I, you know, so the, the insight I it's, it's a great format great. And I'm content is, I found myself the first month I didn't get to the second month I got to, I was like, oh, this is interesting. As I'm in my fourth, fifth, six month, it's something that I've, when I see it in the mail, I look forward to it. [37:23.0]
James: Well, it's like pieces together. People who aren't subscribers, they just don't get it, tt's so hard to describe. There are topics that thread through all of the issues. December issue is going to be ridiculous. I don't know for sure yet. I mean, this episode is going to air in December. So, if you're hearing my voice, now, it's too late for you, sorry about that. But the December issue is probably going to be the biggest one I've ever done like lengthwise, this stuff, just it threads together. And you really can't get enough if you're only in there for three or four months. That's why I act, I try to push people away if they're not serious, they don't want to make the commitment because they just won't get enough from it. What is interesting though, is I don't claim to, and I've never made any claim that someone will be able to use a 100% of the newsletter 100% of the time. That that would be foolish. That would be naive. I'm subscribed. I spend over a $1000 a month in newsletters. Like I just do. [38:17.4]
And people look at that, just like you say, they, this is a lot of money. Yes, kind of, sort of, but I get more than a thousand dollars back. The reason I bring that up is because there are advisors from Edward Jones and Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch and every company. And then you have the independents and like RAs and there's LPL. So many different types of “advisors” and every single subsection I've noticed, they all wonder is this for me. And the answer is yes and no, a 100% percent no. No, a 100% of it is not going to apply to you. I guarantee it. But all you need, just like you said, is one thing applied in the right way and you are good. Everything else is gravy. So, I really appreciate that. Thank you for that. [39:02.0]
Brian: Well one more note on that too, is I, as I just, cause I hadn't thought about it. I think of my progression or like I said, the first month I didn't read, in the second month I dabble up more than the third as I got into it, it pulled me in. And that, that ties into what you said, you know, just don't, don't sign up for just a few months. I think, you know, our model with AskMyAdvisor is we want, we, we believe the way we built this, the way it's growing is once you sign up until you retire, you'll always have a need for our software app. And I think same thing with your newsletter, you're, you're bringing content that people aren't getting any place else. And it's the same thing, there's no, as long as you're in the business, you're going to want that newsletter. And that becomes really important. I learned this from Tim Ferriss reading, I'm trying to think what book of his it was, but he talks about treating the book as a buffet. You know, sometimes we feel like we need to read the entire thing and get everything out of it. Now you really don't. Sometimes it's the simplest little things you get and if that's all it provided you, it's, it's worth its weight in gold. And that's kinda the way I look at the newsletter. The perfect idea is that we literally added a feature of the software within 12 hours of me reading that literally added a brand-new feature. That's a significant, significant upgrade of the software.
Brian: So, thank you for that. [40:13.6]
James: You are the gold standard and implementation. And I don't want this to be the newsletter issue, but I will share something. When I first started writing it. I tried to, and looking back, this is dumb. I don't know why I ever did this. I thought it was the smartest thing in the world at the time. I tried to have themes for every newsletter. I was like, this month is going to be the productivity issue. YOO…HOO. And then this month is going to be the referrals issue. It did well. Like, I mean, nothing I do within the newsletter has ever bombed or failed completely, but we got more complaints because financial advisors were like, oh, I don't, I don't need this productivity issue. So, we have shifted to make it a buffet, but exactly how you've said where, and until you're a subscriber, people who are listening to this, you just don't, you can't picture it, you don't know. I don't offer free samples. I don't do anything like that. I've had people ask and I'm never going to do it. At least not on a public scale. [41:06.9]
The newsletter is set up to where maybe two or three pages will be on topic a then the next two or three pages will be on topic B, the next two or three pages will be on topic C and that's what I'm talking about over the course of several months, it threads together. Because you see a little bit of topic B in July and then a little bit a topic B again in October, and then a little bit of topic B again in December. So that's the best way that I can describe it without giving too much away. But Brian, you've been great. This has been wonderful. Is there anything else you'd like to share? How can advisors get in touch with you specifically? [41:40.3]
Brian: Yeah, the, you know, the main websites AskMyAdvisor.co. I mean, that's, you know, our standard website we've got on there though. What I recommend is we've got a, a five-step blueprint that shows three ways to use the ASCA and my advisor method. Two of them are, do it yourself. You know, one way is PS in email signatures, and we provide the template. Another way is plugging in, you know, there's a lot of services around, you can plug them all together, do it yourself. And then obviously our option, we prefer our option, but the third option is using our service, that's all done for you. And you know, your page can be live within 15 minutes and it's third grade simple for a reason. I needed to be third grade simple just for myself, but just for members, we want it super easy. So the best place would be, go AskMyAdvisor.co and then on there, we've got a pop up window that you can access the master and the. So that's the blueprint you can get. And then also there's a masterclass running and that's our prime sales engine. Everything runs, you have to participate in the masterclass and it lasts right now, it's running about 35 minutes. It's it's you know, unbiased, but it's, it's a good class, covers a lot of things. And you've got an opportunity to the end of it to be a founding member of our, of the AskMyAdvisor out. [42:48.5]
James: So financial advisors, you heard the man AskMyAdvisor.co that's incredibly important. Just like people forget THE, and TheAdvisorCoach.com. It's AskMyAdvisor.co not.com. And even if you don't use AskMyAdvisor, just like he said, you will get something from it, you will benefit from it. So, there you go, that is the little self-interest piece to get you interested. So, head on over, and I will catch you next week financial advisors. [43:17.1]
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