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You’ve probably heard of the power of your mind: If you’re pessimistic and lazy, you’ll sabotage your own success. At the same time, optimism and discipline let you fast-track your goals.

But if you think without taking action, you’ll never get the clients, business and lifestyle you want. The bridge between mindset and action? Mental models.

In this episode, you’ll discover the exact mental models that help you turn your thoughts into actions that attract clients.

Ready to use mental models to supercharge your business and your life? Listen now!

Show highlights include: 

  • The “Falsification Principle” that lets you beat your best marketing strategies by getting rid of your ego. (3:06)
  • The weird way of asking “how?” all day helps you create marketing breakthroughs that magnetize clients. (6:23)
  • How an Austrian Mathematician’s quote turns your marketing into a client attraction machine. (13:40)
  • Why your best marketing ideas often get the worst results (unless you know “Alder’s Razor”) (17:22)

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: Welcome to part three of the four part, How to Think Better series. The first episode was a bit of a foundation and in part two, which was last week, I was able to cover a few general ways of thinking you can use to improve your business. I wanted to create this series because learning how to think is it really is the greatest skill you ever learn. We live in a world where there is so much stuff. It's just information overload. It seems like everyone and their dog has a podcast or a blog or whatever. YouTube has hundreds of hours of video uploaded every single minute. That's a lot to take in, but none of the information matters if you're not able to use it. And in a world of information overload, the people who become victorious are the ones who know how to research, organize, analyze, and make decisions based on the information. [01:22.5]

And one of the reasons you should strive to become a better thinker is because it will allow you to remove blind spots. Imagine how many mistakes people make every day that could have been avoided if they slowed down and thought about what they were doing. Because while becoming a better thinker can help you solve problems, it can also help you avoid problems in the first place. If you take a minute and think about what you're doing, you can get things right from the beginning. And if you do make a mistake, being able to reflect and think clearly about the mistake will prevent you from doing it again. Confucius said, ‘a man who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it is committing another mistake.’ And I also think it's timely, I received this testimonial from an inner circle member about thinking better, because as I'm recording this, none of the episodes are released yet. I'm just taking it as a sign that I'm doing the right thing. [02:15.2]

He writes James, I have been an Edward Jones advisor for the past five years. Even though there are parts of your newsletter I can't use, he's talking about like email marketing. I, I include online advertising campaigns, stuff like that. That's what he's talking about. I still look forward to getting it every month, because the way you think is so refreshing, your writing has changed the way I think too, I look at my business through a whole new lens. And then he goes into detail about some of his income and metrics, and I don't even wanna share those cause even if I did, you probably wouldn't believe them anyway, so what's the point. If you haven't already subscribed to the newsletter, go over to the TheAdvisorCoach.com/coaching. Now let's talk about some hot, sexy models, mental models that is. [02:59.5]

The first one that I want to talk about this week is falsifiability. And this comes from Carl Popper and it's known as the Falsification principle. It, it suggests that for a theory to be considered scientific, it must be able to be tested and conceivably proven false. For example, the hypothesis, all swans are white can be falsified by observing a black Swan. Just because all you see are white. Swans does not mean that black swans don't exist. And this happens in marketing all the time. Financial advisors stick to one or two marketing strategies, which they think are the best, even though they haven't tried to beat them, they haven't tried to false their own marketing strategies. They haven't tried to kick their own buts. [03:43.9]

I recently saw something online, which was talking about the best email subject lines for financial advisors. And let me tell you, they were trash. I have sent and tested literally millions of email subject lines and or millions of emails with subject lines and test, test, and AB test and ABC test and multi-variable test and all this stuff. I, I can tell you, I could have beaten those email subject lines in my sleep. So, I really worry about people who read articles like that, and then take them as gospel without trying to prove it false. One of the things that separates me from other marketing consultants or marketers or whatever is that I embrace falsification. I love it. I begin with my hypothesis and then I try to falsify it with evidence. I I'm so proud of the things I do because they can be backed up with evidence, with research case studies, surveys and so on and so forth. I don't mess around with this stuff. If you're a long-time center to this podcast, you've heard me cite my sources. You've heard me tell you to look up the stuff and verify it for yourself to prove what I'm telling you is true. I don't pull things out of thin air. And when I encounter disconfirming evidence, I change my mind. I don't just sweep it under the rug because true science is about falsification not confirmation. If you can't something wrong, you can't prove it right either. [05:03.5]

The next mental model is all about first principles and first principles thinking it's about getting rid of your assumptions. It's about actively questioning every assumption you think you know about something. Every assumption you're making, you're breaking down a topic into its elements, and then you're rebuilding it from the ground up. If I wanted to do this with direct mail marketing, for example, I could do it like this. Does my message have to be written on paper? Is this a first principle? Yes. Do I even need to write it on paper? No, not necessarily. I could send a tablet through the mail and that tablet could automatically play a video when it's powered on, but that could get expensive. Does my mailer have to have a headline? No, not necessarily either. One of the most mailed letters of all time, which was Gary Halbert's Coat of Arms letter that didn't have a headline. So, if I'm thinking with first principles, I don't want to assume that I need a headline because that's not true. [05:57.1]

Another example would be, do I need to use an envelope? No, not necessarily. I don't want to assume that I need to use an envelope because another incredibly successful mailing from the marketing world is a mailing that used a bank bag, a literal bank bag to contain his message. If we never take things apart, we become bound by what people tell us and we make constantly mistakes along the way. An easy way to get to first principles is to use a technique called the five whys. This isn't a lot of management books. They talk about getting to the root cause of something. It's like, we need to do this. Why? Oh, because of this, why? Because of this, why and so on and so forth. And it challenges your assumption about what you believe and what you're doing. In marketing, I like to change it to the five how’s to get to the first step of something. For example, I need to get more clients, how? By getting in front of more perspective clients. How? Through social media. How? By becoming more active on LinkedIn. How can I do that? Sending perspective, clients a message. How? By recording a video and sending it to them. So, I can break the activities down. I can get to first principles and I can use the five how’s to get to my first step, to get to the thing that I need to do right away. [07:12.1]

The next mental model. It's the veil of ignorance. And this is one of my personal favorites. This is one I use a lot in my personal life. It was originally proposed by John Rawls in his Theory of Justice. I want you to imagine there are two children, Billy Bob and Billy Joe. They each want the last cookie. They only have one cookie; they ate a bunch of cookies. There's one cookie left. So, the fair thing to do is to split that cookie. But if you ask Billy Bob to cut it, he'll cut a bigger piece for himself. The same thing goes for Billy Joe. The solution is to have whoever cuts the cookie, choose his piece last. If the person doing the cutting doesn't know which piece he will get, then he will try his best to be fair and make sure the pieces are cut evenly. John Rawls proposed that the fairest way to structure a society is to have the designers of the society operate behind what he called a veil of ignorance, where they could not know who they would be in this society. [08:11.9]

If they designed a world without knowing their economic status, their ethnic background, talents, interest, gender, whatever, then they would have to be as fair as possible in order to guarantee the best possible outcomes for themselves. This is a great way to structure, not just a marketing campaign, but your entire business as well. Think about it this way. What type of policies would you have if you didn't know what your role would be in your business? If you have a virtual assistant, how would you structure things, if you, you were the virtual assistant. Put yourself in their shoes, put yourself in your perspective. Client's shoes, put yourself in your client's shoes. Take a look at your business and through the veil of ignorance. And you'll be amazed at what you think of. [08:52.3]

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. [09:14.9]

The next mental model is Occam’s Razor. This is a really popular one. If you've read philosophical books, or sometimes I, I think they're in, like, I don't wanna say management books, but like leadership books sometimes is Occam’s Razor. And a lot of times they get it completely wrong. Occam’s Razor states that end to tease should not be multiplied unnecessarily. When I say that people get it wrong, it's because sometimes people inaccurately describe the razor as meaning, the simplest explanation is usually the best one. A more accurate description would be among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. And the actual writing directly from William of Occam, it says this and, and I quote, this is literally from William of Occam himself. “A plurality is not to be positive without necessity.” Those are his words, not mine. [10:10.8]

Every time you make an assumption, you're increasing the likelihood of making a mistake, that's why evidence is so important. My marketing ideas and my campaigns work well, not necessarily because I'm some wizard or genius or whatever, it's because I'm using Occam’s Razor all the time. I'm methodically eliminating assumptions from what I do to help financial advisors. And as I eliminate assumptions, I'm more likely to be accurate, which leads me to be accurate than other people. The reason it gets misinterpreted all the time is because sometimes you have to make an assumption, you have no other choice. And when you have to make an assumption, the simplest one typically is the right one. Imagine you walk outside and you hear hoof beats coming your way. What animal would you think of? Assuming like you're in the United States, of course, probably a horse. You wouldn't think of it, Zebra. [11:01.7]

Doctors use this all the time. If someone has flu-like symptoms, the doctor is probably going to treat the flu because it's common. The doctor is likely not going to assume the patient has a rare disease. If your stomach hurts, you're likely going to assume it's something you ate instead of cancer, more complicated explanations are less likely to be true. And I hate just saying this. I, I can prove it to you mathematically. Okay. Take two explanations. Both of which seem equally true. If one requires the interaction of three variables while the other requires the interaction of variables, all of which must have occurred in order to create the explanation. Which is more likely to be the right one? Well, if each variable has, let's just say a 99% chance of being correct, then the one with three variables is only 3% likely to be wrong or 97% likely to be correct. The second explanation with more variables would be much more likely to be wrong. And sometimes I get criticized for keeping things so simple, but again, I'm using Occam’s Razor. People complain all the time. James your marketing advices, too simple. Re I, I present simple explanations to things because they're more likely to be true because they require fewer assumptions. There are fewer variables when I tread on the Razor's edge, no pun intended of course. I like to keep it simple because it's more likely to work. [12:30.3]

For example, if you're a financial advisor and you wanna get more clients, I can almost certainly solve your problem by starting from first principles, which is another mental model we just discussed and getting you in front of more people. Do you agree that getting your message and your company in front of more people is a way to get more clients? Of course, people can't do business with you if they don't know about you. So, I begin with that in the mind, I'm combining first principles and Occam’s Razor. But if I want to help a financial advisor, get more clients, I need to suggest ways for that advisor to get in front of more people. I wouldn't throw a bunch of unnecessary assumptions in there right away. I would begin with this idea and then adjust as I go along. I would say, we need to get you in front of more people at is the variable that we can control. If you're getting in front of 100 people this week, I wanna make sure that you get in front of 150 next week, or if you're running an online advertisement and you're spending $25 this week, then I'm gonna make sure you spend $50 next week, and we're gonna track the results. We're gonna see if you were results are better. If they've improved and we'll go from there. And I'll give you one more example of a razor and I'll wrap up part three of this series. [13:40.3]

This one is called Alder’s razor, and it comes from Australian mathematician, Mike Alder. And it states that, ‘that which cannot be subtled by experiment is not worth debating.’ I am, I'm constantly experimenting, constantly split testing and you should too. Stop worrying about things that you can't test, because there's not much you can do to improve those things. Anything you try to do is what an assumption. And we've already talked about assumptions. If you must make them, make as few as possible. You build your business by constantly settling things. And remember Alder’s razor says that which cannot be settled by experiment is not worth waiting. So how are you settling things? You are experimenting. If you have two direct mail pieces, you can test them against each other and settle the experiment. There will be a winner it's just up to you to find it. If you're testing LinkedIn messages, there will be a winner between the two messages, you have to find it. I could go on and on and on. That's the basis of what is called scientific advertising. Most people don't think like this, which is why they don't get good results. [14:50.2]

And in marketing and business, if you pay attention, you'll notice that I'm using Occam’s, razor and Alder’s razor at the same time, because I'm trying to make as few assumptions as possible AKA Occam’s, razor, I'm not positing unnecessary things. And I'm also using Alder’s razor because I'm constant experimenting. I'm experimenting with these simple things. In one of the episodes of the financial advisor marketing podcast, or maybe it was multiple episodes, I talked about how I can get five to 10 times the clicks from online ads at five to one fifth to one 10th of the cost. And I got a nasty gram from somebody at a marketing agency talking about, oh, you can't do that. I think you're full of crap that we don't even see that, that type of a click through rate that type of cost per click. Like how can you do that? So on and so forth. [15:41.6]

And I actually recorded a video going into my Twitter ads and showing people I put it on LinkedIn. And I showed, I think that my click through rate was like 13 point something. I don't even remember, I'll say 13%. And the average clickthrough rate for a Twitter ad is 1.64% okay. So, I am literally doing like, what is that? Eight or nine times better than average. And in that video, I refresh to page people what you have to realize financial advisors. If you're listening to this, want you to know that a lot of these gurus’ agencies, whatever they can fake screenshots. It's easy to fake screenshots, all you have to do is you have to right click on a page. If you're in Google Chrome or a Chrome based browser, like Brave, which is what I use you do, right click and you click inspect and you can modify the code to say whatever you want. And then you just take a screenshot and you can post it on a line and say, look at me, look how awesome I am. I got this, this and this. But if you take a video and you actually log in and you refreshed a page and people see you doing this the whole time, and they see that you haven't done an inspect element or whatever, they know it's real. They know that you're showing them something that's true. So that's what I did. I logged into my Twitter account, had the video going, refreshed the page. So, people saw that it was real. And they saw that my click through rate was 13 point something. And they saw that my average calls per click was 6 cents. And that particular day, I think I got 420 clicks. [17:07.6]

And if you watched a video, you saw that there were two advertisements. I did that cause I am select testing. And that is Alder’s razor, ‘that which cannot be settled by experiment is not worth debating.’ So, if I had an idea and I thought that advertisement number two would do really, really well and I didn't have a way to test it. Well, I don't wanna waste my mental energy on that. I don't wanna lose sleep over it. Also, I'm using Occam’s razor because that particular advertise link to my podcast page on my website. And the advertisement wasn't cute, yt wasn't fancy. I didn't, you know, shake my butt, do a lot of crazy things like these people are doing to get attention in their advertisements. I literally just said something like, The Financial Advisor Marketing podcast has more than 150 episodes designed to help financial advisors get more clients. If you wanna listen, here's the link. That's it. One of my marketing principles is if you're selling chocolate chip cookies, you want to advertise chocolate chip cookies. Don't try to get cute. Don't try to find some weird hook or weird angle that doesn't really make sense. And doesn't go with what you're advertising. Keep it simple. [18:12.2]

If you're a financial advisor and you have a lead magnet and your lead magnet is called 10 things dentists should know before selling their practice and retiring your advertisement should be something like if you're a dentist, who's would like to know more about selling your practice. Or if you're a dentist who would like to retire as soon, this guy can help you. You don't want to have some long windy, terrible drawn-out thing. Copywriters call it burying the lead. You wanna get to the point right away, you don't wanna bury the lead. [18:41.4]

So that is it for this week. I hope that opened your eyes a little bit, especially the part about combining the two razors, Occam’s razor and Alder’s razor. If you like this series, do me a favor and share it with someone. It would help the show. It would help Financial Advisor Marketing and it would help me. It doesn't cost you anything to share it. I appreciate you. Thank you for listening and I'll catch you next week for part four. [19:04.3]

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