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Blogging, social media and networking are great ways to get clients. But they take time to get results: You’re always creating, but you might wait for months before anyone calls you up (if it ever happens).

But there’s a strategy that gets results now: Paid ads. 

If you run ads the right way, you can get appointments with red-hot prospects fast. 

In this episode, you’ll find out how to run paid ads that magnetize clients and skyrocket your business. 

Want to use paid ads to fast-track your marketing results? Listen now!

Show highlights include: 

  • Why creativity can kill your marketing results and scare clients away (even if it makes your prospects laugh) (5:35)
  • Why not having a niche makes turns your online ads into a money burning machine (7:41)
  • The odd reason hiring a marketing agency can destroy your marketing results (even if you’re getting appointments) (11:33)
  • The “5 Second Rule” for YouTube ads that can turns money-burning ads into client magnets (13:55)

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 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: Hey, financial advisors, I'm recording this episode in a hotel room in Old Forge Pennsylvania. I've been told that this place has the best pizza in new United States. I'm not sure if that's true or not, because I haven't hit any of the piece of joints yet. I've been spending all my time on the slopes in the mountains, just enjoying myself, having a lot of fun. And my virtual assistant texted me and she was like, Hey, you gotta record one of your podcast episodes. I'm looking at this, we keep track on an Excel spreadsheet. She's like, you're cutting it pretty close on this sheet. I was like, oh crap, you're right, I really do need to record one of these podcast episodes. So here I am, I was looking through the episode list and I realized that I only had one episode about online ads for financial advisors, even though it's a subject, a lot of people have asked me about inner circle members, non-inner circle members, people on social media, they message me about this stuff. You, you, it goes on and on and on. I have several episodes about email marketing, LinkedIn marketing, et cetera, but only one about online ads. So, I'm going to talk about how financial advisors can get better results with their online ads. Sound cool? And I'm gonna try to keep it down because it's kind of late as I'm recording this. And I don't wanna be that guy in the hotel room next to somebody who's trying to sleep. And I'm just like screaming or whatever. I've been on the receiving end of that with crying babies and couples, let's just say exercising in bed and I don't like that. So, I'm not gonna do that to other people. [01:54.3]

Anyway, why should you listen to me about this stuff? I've spent a literal fortune, like really, like big money on ads for my own business. Meaning personal money is being spent. There are people out there who would say things like I've managed 1 million, $2 million in ad spend, but that's managed. They haven't been able to, well, I don't wanna say they haven't been able to, but they haven't put up their own money, I have. Now with that being said, I have also managed ads, ad accounts, few online ads accounts by advisors. Back in the day, I also did some work with legal services and attorneys, and that's an extremely competitive space and I was very successful in that. If you know anything about online advertising, you know, that the insurance keywords and the insurance space, and then the legal keywords and the legal space are the two most competitive spaces in all of online ads. [02:42.9]

So, if I was able to, to go immerse myself in those bloody waters and defeat the sharks at their own game, then I can do it anywhere. Most recently in 2021, I ran an offer to financial advisors specifically where I could critique their ads. And I had the great privilege of being able to see behind the scenes of what's working and what's not. Anecdotally, I have my inner circle newsletter, many inner circle members, they are running online ads. We email back and forth. I see what they're doing, I see what doesn't work, I see what does work for them. I have the great pleasure of being able to do that. I also have a video online over at TheAdvisorCoach.com/ads, where I literally prove that I'm running ads to generate 10 times to click at one 10th of the average cost. Like I show you inside my actual ads account, you get to see the proof. I say all that to let you know that I kind of sort of know what I'm doing. Also, I wanna let you know this on January 1st of this year, I cranked up my online advertising spend. And so far, the few ads that I've been running have already generated more web traffic for TheAdvisorCoach.com than all of my social media post combined from last year. [03:53.2]

And keep in mind. I post almost, I, I might have missed a couple days, but I wanna say every single day or almost every single day, technically. So, let's just say that's 350 post, okay. Combined from last year where I have to think of something, write it out, type it out, create a video, create an audio snippet, something like that. 350 of those combined and a few ads in the first month of the year have already crushed that. Now don't get me wrong, I love kind content marketing. I love social media marketing, both are effective and you shouldn't really abandon them, especially if they're working for you, but numbers don't lie. I've literally gotten a year's worth of results in about a month with online ads. Because when you advertise online, you can scale things up. With something like organic LinkedIn marketing you're limited to your network. Sure, something may catch on and you may go viral. But with online advertising, you can force it to go viral. You can turn it on and off at will, you can spend more, you can spend less it's up to you. And that's what I like about it. So, I'm gonna tell you exactly what some high-level stuff I'm not gonna get into the nitty gritty because quite honestly, these advertising platforms change all the time. I'm gonna give you the high-level overview that you can apply either today, 10 months from now or 10 years from now. This is the stuff that is going to continue to work. [05:07.4]

The very first thing I wanna stress is that you should keep it simple. If you've seen my ads, you'd be blown away at how simple they are. There's something that I like to call the chocolate chip cookie rule. If you want to find people who want chocolate chip cookies, advertise chocolate chip cookies, it is that simple. Don't try to get fancy. Don't try to get cute. Don't try to get creative. I've talked about in the podcast and I can't remember which episode it was, but it was about David Ogilvie, one of the greatest advertising minds of all time, basically the inspiration for the TV show, Mad Men. And he hated it when his employees tried to get creative, he wanted them to keep it simple. He wanted them to stress features, stress benefits, let the customer know what it, what is in it for them, for him or her. And that's exactly what you should do with your advertisements. Don't dance, sing and dance and shake your butt for oatmeal raisin cookies. And then when people click on your ads, they get presented with chocolate chip cookies. Make it congruent, something called ad scent, meaning it matches you want to match the ad scent. [06:13.9]

And that means if your exactly, like I said, chocolate chip cookies equals chocolate, chocolate chip cookies. If you're branding, for example, is black and yellow like mine is no relation to the Steelers, no relation to Whiz Khalifa, then when people click on my links, they want to go to a website that also matches that matches the scent it's black, it's yellow. They feel comfortable, they know that they're in the right place. Also, I want you to keep it simple with your targeting, not just your ad itself, but you’re targeting. Don't try to, I don't wanna say over complicate it because it's, your kind of, sort of want to get more detailed, but with your targeting, the biggest mistake that I see financial advisors doing is they go too broad because they've been sold the idea that Facebook or LinkedIn or Twitter or Google would do the heavy lifting for them. And they will find people who are most likely to click their ads. Yes, that is true. But the person who is most likely to click may not be the person who is in your target audience to begin with. [07:12.1]

This is especially true for financial advisors that go broad stuff. It might work for e-commerce. If you're selling shoes, like most people have feet. If you're selling gloves, most people have hands. If you're selling glasses like sunglasses or something, most people would like to own a pair of sunglasses. But if you're a financial advisor and you have a specific niche, or you have an asset minimum, you have a certain person in mind that who you wanna work with, then make sure you put that in your targeting. It, it is incredible to me to see financial advisors either don't have a niche at all, which totally wrecks online ads and it just, it doesn't make them competitive at all. Because let's say you're in Denver, Colorado, and you are trying to advertise to anybody with a pulse or anybody who can fog a mirror and there's a competitor of yours in Denver, Colorado who works specifically teachers, for example, and that person is advertising at the same time you are. And that person is advertising to teachers while the segment of your advertising budget that is allocated towards teachers because you're advertising everybody, it's gonna get wrecked, and it's going to cause you're spend to go up in your effectiveness to decrease. [08:15.9]

I don't have time to get into the specific details why that had happens, but just know that it does happen. If you're tar, you wanna make sure that your targeting is tight. If you know, for sure that your best client is age 45 to 54 and that that person is a small business owner and is from a certain area, maybe you wanna stay within a certain geographic region, then include that in your targeting. Please don't like, try to ignore it. Don't try to get too fancy. If you know who you want, then put that in your targeting. Direct mail has been doing this kind of stuff for years. A letter sent to dentist can be tailored to dentists. A letter to other small business owners can be tailored for them, so on and so forth. You wouldn't send a direct mail piece that is specifically for seniors and use it with an every door direct mail campaign where it's sent to everybody in a certain zip code. You wouldn't do that. You would only send it to seniors. Does that make sense? And do you also understand that a direct mail piece sent to seniors and it's tailored to seniors, that's going to work better than a general direct mail piece sent to everybody in a zip code. That is just common sense. That's what happens, especially online, because there are other people who are competing with you. [09:26.3]

At least with something like direct mail, your costs don't really change. If your direct mail piece cost a dollar per mailing, and there are 10 people advertising in your area, it doesn't change the cost of your mailing to a dollar 50, but with the online auction model, it does. If there are more people competing, it drives up your cost. So do that, keep that in mind as well. And speaking of cost, the other thing I wanna bring up is don't automatic assume that you have to go with Facebook ads because Facebook has a lot of competition. There are lots of agencies. There are lots of businesses that are selling financial advisors on the idea that they need to use Facebook ads. And Facebook ads are awesome if they're used correctly, but gosh, darn it. They are competitive. And they do have the auction model and it seems like everybody is trying to go after as certain group, namely executives is really popular for these companies to target executives on Facebook. [10:22.2]

People who have higher incomes, they've gotten really fancy with the way that they do it. They correlate certain purchases with high incomes. Like if somebody likes BMW or Tesla or Mercedes, then there's a strong correlation with income there that, or at least they think there is the data might say otherwise. For example, I remember reading a stat and I'm, I'm rambling here, but hopefully this will help you. I remember reading a stat that the average BMW driver only makes $45,000 per year. So, take that for what you will, but a lot of these agencies are, are using that. They're using this backdoor method to try to target people with money for financial advisors. [11:02.9]

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. [11:25.6]

Now that's not bad in and of itself because if you're getting appointments and you're making money more power to you. But what happens when 10 more agencies get involved in the space in, in the next year and they try to gobble up these financial advisors and sell, sell, sell, sell, sell, and they convince 10 or 20 financial advisors each. Let's say they convince 20 financial advisors each to go after this market. So now you have 10 agencies, 20 financial advisors each that is 200 new competitors who are advertising and what's crazy is that these marketing agencies, a lot of times they get paid on retainer or they get paid as a percentage of money spent. So not only are there 200 new people in the space who have been convinced that they need to target this group of people on Facebook, which drives up your cost, what's even crazier is that these advertising agencies are convincing them to spend more and more money. And the more money they spend, the more the costs go up because it's so darn competitive. [12:25.7]

You can advertise on LinkedIn, right? If you're targeting a certain occupation, LinkedIn is absolute gold because people put their occupation on their LinkedIn profile. If you're targeting, I go back to teachers, right. If you're targeting teachers, if you run an ad on LinkedIn, you can literally just filter for teachers. That's what I do for financial advisors. I target financial advisors, financial planners, people with financial planner in their LinkedIn profile. I'm literally just targeting that because I want to know that ad is only going to be served to people who have financial planner in their LinkedIn profile. And the only reason somebody you would put financial planner in their LinkedIn profile is if their financial planner, hopefully. You can also advertise on Google. A lot of people sleep on Google ads. And I'm not just talking about the local network ads or the three or four ads that show up on the first page of the searchers all either, because guess what? Google also owns YouTube. You can advertise on YouTube. You can advertise on niche specific channels. [13:22.4]

Let's say that there's a really popular dentist channel. You can literally, and again, just Google this. If you have good Googling and fingers, I, I don't have time to get into every single step. But the general idea is you can, can use your Google ads to target specific YouTube channels of occupations. Anything that you want really. If I wanted to target a certain podcast that puts its episodes on YouTube, I could do that. If I wanna target a certain YouTube channel and entertainment channel, whatever I could do it, whatever I want. And I could say only run my video ads on these channels. So, guess what? You could get a list of 20 to 25 dentist channels and only run your video ads in front of those channels. And the most important part of a, an effective YouTube a is a good hook because I mean, if you've been on YouTube, you've seen this where you can skip the ad after five seconds, those first five, five seconds are critical. So, you want to, that's the part you want to test. That's the part you want to get down. You wanna do whatever you can, your, your money needs to be spent to get those first five seconds, right. [14:25.7]

If you create 10 different videos, make sure you have 10 different, 10 hooks, 10 different ones. That way you can see which one works the best. You can advertise on Twitter. There is a way to target it, follower lookalike. So, if there's a popular dentist, Twitter page or Twitter person, I'm not really that active on Twitter itself, but I do want a lot of Twitter ads. If a Twitter account, I guess I should say, or Twitter handle. Then you can advertise to people who follow that Twitter handle. Let's say there's a really popular dentist, influencer, dentist guru, whatever you at, you know, @dentistguru on Twitter, you can target the followers of that account of that handle and that gets really crazy, really fast. [15:06.4]

Another thing I wanna tell you, I've got two more things that I'm gonna tell you in this episode, and then I'm gonna wrap it up. The next thing is to track your entire sequence. Oh, my goodness. This is so important. Back in, I think it was like June or July of 2021, when I did the offer to critique people's Facebook ads accounts, I saw this mistake more than anything else. There were financial advisors who were so focused, just the ads, they ignored everything else. So, I say, okay, the, this ad kind of sorta looks good, but in order for me to confirm that it's performing for you, can you show me your Google analytics? They were like Uhhh…no. I was like; this ad looks good. Can we confirm that it's working well by looking at your email account? They were like Uhhh…no. because they didn't have the metrics from there. I've had ads personally in my own business. I've had ads with terrible numbers. Like if you looked at these ads, you would say, these ads are horrible, they're not working at all. But then when you look at what's going on in the bus, in the business and you look at the numbers behind it, you say, whoa, this is crazy. When you get the entire sequence, like they just crushed it. [16:09.5]

I've also had front end ads that looked amazing where it's the best ad, it's got an amazing headline. It's getting a lot of engagement, a lot of clicks. It's got a high click through rate. Everything's going for it. It looks like it's cranking on all cylinders, but then it's terrible on the back end. You need to look at every step of the process. I talk a lot about email marketing and here's a little secret I wanna give you. You can get away with mediocre ads if your email marketing is on point. Because your email would do the heavy lifting and it will wreck your competitors. If somebody just gets on your email list and then you have the follow up sequence, do the work for you. Like I talk about over at TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar. You don't even need to have incredible ads. Obviously, if you have incredible ads and an incredible email marketing secrets, you are going to be so far ahead of everyone else, but truth be told you don't really need the best ads in the space if your email marketing campaign is doing all the work for you. That's one of my biggest secrets. I have been so fortunate to, I hate saying mastering something, cause I believe we're always improving, there's always room for improvement. But compare or two, the majority of the population I have mastered both online advertisements and email marketing. And when I put the two together, it's just like nitroglycerin. Just BOOM! Incredible! [17:23.7]

The other last thing I wanna tell you is if you're hiring an agency, focus on dollars in versus dollars out. Don't let them try to give you the smoke and mirrors. A lot of these age agencies, they are masters at bluffing people at bs-ing people. They would say, oh yeah, the conversions are down, but Hey, your cost per click is down too.And that's great. Or Hey, your CTR is up. Look, you don't care about the CTR. You don't care about the cost per click necessarily. You care about dollars in versus dollars out. If you have an agency, this is some of the most important advice I can give you. Insist, absolutely insist do not move forward. Unless they provide you with reports, with proof of how much money you are spending on your ads compared to how much money you are generating. There is no excuse for them not to do this. At the time of this recording, two of the services that exist that provide online ads tracking down to the dollar amount, meaning they track people. [18:17.8]

Let's say that John opts into my email list and four months later, John spends $47 on a product that I offer, they, even though, well, whatever. He spends, $47 on a product that I offer, I can log in. I can see that John spent this money and I can see exactly where he came from four months ago. I can see the exact ad set. So, five or six months could go by for a particular ad and people could not make a move. They couldn't spend any money. They couldn't get involved in me, in my world, something like that. And then when they do the ad goes from, I'm profitable to extremely profitable. And if my cash flow can last those five or six months, then I should keep it running, because it would be a, it would be silly for me to turn off an ad that is profitable. Does that make sense? There's also a way when, if you're tracking your numbers and you know exactly who is coming in from where and how much money you're generating from that person, you can prune your business over time. [19:11.8]

So, let's say that you want to transition to a lifestyle business or a lifestyle practice as a financial advisor, you can go to your online ads account and you can just trim some of the less profitable ads, the ones that aren't making as much money. You can just say, Hey, I'm just gonna turn these off. So, I can focus on the 20% of ads that are generating 80% of the results. One of the things that I used to teach financial advisors, that was a part of my philosophy is that as long as an advertising account or an advertising campaign or, or an ad itself is making money, you should let it run. But honestly, if you, you don't have to, if you don't want to. If you wanna work fewer hours, this is an option for you. Two of the tracking services out there that you you can look into are Segmetrics and HYROS..So segment is S E G metrics and HYROS is H Y R O S. [19:59.8]

And back in the day, this is like a few years ago when HYROS first came out, you had to spend a minimum of $20,000 per month in order to even be considered for the service. And thank goodness I was was, and I was one of the first people in the entire world to use HYROS, to track my ads and to make sure I knew where every dollar was going in and where every dollar was coming out. And I had this attribution that just worked. And I could see what was really working because a lot of people don't realize that the numbers Google gives you and LinkedIn gives you and Facebook gives you, they can be really off. There have been cases. I've seen cases where Facebook is off by as much as 50% where they say that you've gotten, let's just say 150 people opted into your, your email list. But in reality, it's only 100 and HYROS will give you the real numbers. [20:49.1]

So, I was one of, thankfully I was one of the first people to use that because I did meet that $20,000 per month of advertising spend. And today you can get in for only a couple hundred bucks, you just create an account. And quite honestly, you do have to spend a lot to make it worth it because it is still up a hundred bucks per month just to track your ads. However, if you are going to commit to this or you're gonna be in this for the long haul, then it's a drop in the bucket because you will be operating with accurate numbers. And if you're operating with accurate numbers, you can scale up. [21:20.7]

So that is it for this week's episode, I am going to shut this baby down and tomorrow I'm going to eat some delicious Old Forge pizza from Pennsylvania and from there's a little town, it's got like 9,000 people and it's got like 15 piece of joints in it. So, I'm gonna be NOM, NOM, NOMINGno on pizza all day long. So, I'm living life. I'll catch you next week. [21:42.8]

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