You're listening to “Financial Advisor Marketing”—the best show on the planet for financial advisors 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 advisors grow their businesses more rapidly than ever before. Now, here is your host, James Pollard.
James: Financial Advisor marketers, my fam, what's going on? Let me start off by saying, if you haven't gotten the “How to Get Clients with LinkedIn” video training yet, make you get it. Go to TheAdvisorCoach.com. Click on the Get Clients with LinkedIn tab.
In my biased opinion, of course, it is “the” best LinkedIn training for financial advisors because it focuses on concepts that will work through space and time. It's not just training about changing your profile picture or updating the skills section. In fact, there's very little about your profile in it at all. There's almost nothing about profiles. It's about how to use the platform to get in front of more prospective clients and how to turn them into booked appointments and paying clients. Not just prospective clients, but paying clients. The prices $195. [01:19.0]
There are five videos. Video No. 1 is the LinkedIn marketing framework. Then you've got the proven direct-outreach method. This is critical: 94% of financial advisors seeing success with LinkedIn do it in the messages section. You need to understand this.
Video No. 3 is personal branding on LinkedIn. No. 4 is how financial advisors can create content that works. So many people out there talk about content marketing and you just create, create, create, create, create, and you never see results with it, or even if you see results, it's just a little bit. It's because they're missing what is in Video No. 4.
Video No. 5 is the multiplier. This, in my opinion, is the most important video in the entire series because it shows you that LinkedIn should not be a standalone platform. It should not be a standalone marketing strategy. It should be used in context of other things, like your website, email marketing, so on and so forth. Plus, there are some pretty cool bonuses in the “How to Get Clients with LinkedIn” training. [02:16.3]
I also want to mention that the guarantee is conditional. It's a 100% money-back guarantee. I want to say this up front. I want to be transparent with you, because unlike a lot of my other guarantees, there are strings attached to this one. The guarantee says, if you show me what you did or you followed what I teach, you did what I teach in the program and you didn't get any results, you'll get your money back.
I added that condition because there were a lot of gurus, coaches, consultants, agencies, who would buy that program and just asked for a refund, literally within minutes, and I found out a lot of them were straight up stealing my content. I mean, I'm being dead serious. They would take the stuff that I have proven that works, that I’ve tested since 2016, 2017, stuff that I’ve been working one-on-one with financial advisors with, and they were just stealing all of my hard work. [03:02.2]
I revamped it with all new content in January of last year. I added that conditional guarantee. Things have been hunky-dory ever since because these little consultants that don't have two nickels to rub together, but are trying to teach you how to make money, right? They know that they can't just ask for a reef within five minutes and steal my content. Go get that.
Here are the 10 things I wish financial advisors knew about LinkedIn marketing.
Number one: being a generalist makes things difficult. If you're hell bent on being a generalist, just know that things will be way, way harder for you. LinkedIn is a beautiful platform because people can view your profile. They can view your headline. They can see what you're all about, and if your profile is tailored towards baby boomers and you're targeting baby boomers on LinkedIn, well, guess what? They're going to see that they're going to be attracted to that. This is so obvious. I can't believe more people don't do it. I've been screaming about it for years. [03:59.8]
In my LinkedIn account right now, I think my headline is “Host of the Financial Advisor Marketing Podcast”, and when I put that in there, guess what? The podcast got more downloads, and so it makes perfect sense, but people still put, like, Financial advisor at XYZ Wealth Management. They don't put, really, any call to action, any way for people to engage. It's goofy. A long time ago, I had my phone number and my LinkedIn headline, and guess what? I got more phone calls.
Number two: LinkedIn now has a connection limit of 100 connections per week, and this happened last year because LinkedIn started cracking down on the number of connection requests people could send, and, eventually, they limited it to 100 per week. Before this, the maximum number of connection requests that people could send was dependent on the all-knowing, all-mysterious algorithm, but it was generally accepted to be about 100 per day. [04:53.3]
There were some coaches, consultants who recommended doing 50 per day. I fell into that camp because I'm a little bit more conservative. I told people to do per day or up to 50, work the way up to 50 and then stick with 50, but some people like to push it to the limit and do 100 per day. But now it's one-seventh of what it used to be. Instead of the 100-per-day limit, it is now 100 per week.
Lots of people were freaking out about this when this first happened because they thought that LinkedIn was dead, LinkedIn was going away, and it didn't. I think it was one of the best things that LinkedIn ever did because it greatly reduced the number of accounts spraying and praying on the platform. It kneecapped all of these slimy LinkedIn agencies that charged financial advisors thousands of dollars just to automate their activity.
And I had, I might still have my email address on my profile with a typo and that typo is there on purpose, because when these agencies go through profiles and they scrape email addresses, which is actually against LinkedIn's terms of service and they're literally violating LinkedIn's terms of service, they don't get the correct email address. When they try to spam me with cold email, they can't get through. [06:05.3]
I did this on purpose because LinkedIn used to be, oh my goodness, just a honey pot that people could dip in and take all these email addresses out and cold email. Just ugh. It's like a pot of data that these little agencies would use and they just email you and say, “Hi, I can get you more backlinks. Would you like more backlinks?” “Hi, I'm a virtual assistant. Would you like to hire me for my virtual assistant services?” It's like, holy moly, can I catch a break?
What's cool about the “How to Get Clients with LinkedIn” program is that it actually started working better than ever before because a lot of these activities stopped. The network quality on LinkedIn dramatically increased. Again, that is a good thing. Whenever quality increases, that is good. That's what you want.
Personally, when it comes to connecting with people, I suggest maximizing the connection request you're given because you can't go back in time or you can't roll them over. It's like an IRA contribution window. Once it's gone, it's gone, so use them or lose them. I must admit, I am going to be a hypocrite here because I do not connect with people pretty much at all. [07:09.2]
If someone is hiring me for something or they do the private consulting, they'll “force me to help you price” kind of thing, then I will connect with that person on LinkedIn. If someone joins the Inner Circle newsletter and I see them in my feed, like somebody comments on them and I see, Hey, that person just subscribed to a newsletter, then, yes, I will send a connection request, but I'm not sitting down every single day and connecting because I'm focused on other things. So, I get it. I get it. I'm a total hypocrite, I know.
I want to be clear that if all you're doing is connecting and messaging, then you're doing it wrong, because, yeah, those things are important and they do have their place. You do need to do them at some level, but those things must be done within the context of other things, which I reveal in the video training, so let's move on.
Number three: the pandemic changed a lot of things about LinkedIn, and this could be an entire episode by itself, but I want to focus on one thing, just to give you something tangible that you can take away with you today. It's the contrast effect. [08:10.7]
I don't want to get all scientific and technical here, so I'll describe the contrast effect in layman's terms. It means you perceive things currently based on what you've experienced before. For example, if you stick your hand in ice water, very cold, frigid, 33-degree water, and then you stick your hand in lukewarm water, the lukewarm water will seem hot, much hotter than it actually is. If it's room temperature, 77, that's kind of a hot room temperature, but if it's 72 degrees, it's going to seem like it's much more than that. If you stick your hand in hot water, first, the lukewarm water will seem cold by comparison.
The contrast effect was working and it is still working for advisors by making them seem even more awesome when compared to all the crappy advisors who hopped on the platform back in 2020 and they just rushed and rushed, and they’re like, Oh, crap, everybody's working from home. Everything is virtual. I need to get on LinkedIn. They tried to use it because the world got flipped upside down, they were desperate, and desperation helps a situation. [09:16.0]
The reason it's working for financial advisors is because human beings need contrast to make a decision. Marketers exploit the contrast effect all the time. Whenever you see the typical example of an ad with a before and after picture, rest assured, the contrast effect is at play.
It's an effective technique because it helps nudge people into making decisions. Contrast helps people understand why they should take a certain action such as setting an appointment with a financial advisor, and advisors are benefiting from it right now on LinkedIn without even knowing. I guess, you know now. Pretty cool, huh? [09:56.2]
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 $1,000 worth of bonuses, including exclusive interviews that aren't available anywhere else. Head on over to TheAdvisorCoach.com/coaching to learn more.
Number four: different posts have different reach, and I gave my personal numbers away in an Inner Circle newsletter issue. I broke down what I'm getting with text posts, image posts, polls, videos, articles. I shared all of that in an Inner Circle newsletter, so I'm not going to give away any of that information here. If you want that, then you're going to have to pay for it. But I will give you a piece of advice. I'll give you something.
I want you to try a bunch of different posts, so video, image, poll, share post, articles, etc., and track your numbers for each. You will see a difference between them and you will see that a lot of the gurus who say certain types of posts, ahem, video, get big reach. They're either incompetent or they're straight up lying through their teeth. [11:07.8]
Let the data speak for itself. Run your numbers and look at the numbers and see with your own eyes what posts do what, so I'm not even going to talk about this. I'm not even going to postulate about certain things. I'm going to let you see the numbers for yourself. Just try different posts. Take me up on this. Try different posts and see what happens.
Number five: complete your profile, and I mentioned that the “How to Get Clients with LinkedIn” training doesn't really focus on profiles at all, but I will admit, having a complete profile is important. It could be as simple as adding a cover photo with your website in order to officially complete your profile or it could be featuring a couple of posts on the top of your profile, and, ideally, these posts, when you feature them, they should be related to your niche so people see you're actively involved in their world. [11:56.1]
I did a little googling and I found out that apparently only 50.5% of LinkedIn users have complete profiles. You can put yourself in the upper half by filling out all the spots and you will see this on LinkedIn when you log in and you check out your profile. They'll say, Do this in order to complete your profile, or like, You're an all-star, stuff like that. I don't know if they still call it all-star, but I know they used to and they used to guide you on completing your profile.
If you just follow that process, you follow the sequence that they've already outlined, where they say, “Fill out your skills section. Fill out where you went to college. Fill out your jobs,” if you just do that, then you will eventually end up with a complete profile because LinkedIn's onboarding sequence is designed to get you to complete the profile, so just follow LinkedIn's instructions.
Number six: engagement is nice, but it's only one measure of success and you cannot go to the bank and you cannot cash engagement. I can't say, Yeah, give me 100 bucks because I got 15 likes on this post. It just doesn't work like that. Money is money is money, and money in the bank is money in the bank is money in the bank. [13:03.4]
Seeing behind the scenes of other people's profiles really hammered this home for me. There are some people who get dozens or hundreds of likes on each post, but they don't get any messages. They don't get any appointments. They don't get any clients. There are other people who get virtually no engagement at all, but get one or two inbound leads with every single post.
I had an Inner Circle member email me, talking about the results that he was getting on LinkedIn, and I was blown away. I was like, holy moly, let me check out this guy's profile, and I checked out his profile and there was almost nothing there. I'm not talking about the profile itself, but I'm talking about the updates and everything. He's got like nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing. Really? Are you really getting these results? Sure enough, he was.
I noticed this with my profile, too. There are some posts that don't lend themselves to high engagement, but they do lend themselves to getting messages, and here's what I mean. The post that I use or the post I post, I guess, is a way to say it, that get messages, they typically call out a specific person. [14:05.7]
For example, I can post something saying, “If you're a financial advisor who has purchased leads in the past, can you message me and tell me about your experience. I have a few questions.” That won't get much engagement, but it will get messages. One post I did was about Old Forge pizza, the tray that comes in cuts instead of a pie and slices, that got hundreds of likes and it ended up being viewed, I think, more than 100,000 times, but I only got two messages from it and nobody did anything with me. No sales, no new Inner Circle subscribers, nothing, no business activity.
That's 100,000 real views from people and no real results versus something that will get 2,000 or 3,000 views and it'll probably get over a dozen messages that will lead to money in the bank, I guarantee it, because we'll be talking about leads. I’ll say, Hey, there's a way for me to help you with this, and they'll take me up on that offer, so there's a big difference. [15:05.6]
Number seven: Sales Navigator does help, so when you get Sales Navigator, you do not have to get it, but I will tell you that it does help because, first of all, it gives you a little badge on your profile. It says “Premium”. That adds some more credibility. People know you're active on LinkedIn. They're more likely to connect with you. They're more likely to accept your request. They're more likely to follow you. It just increases your conversions because it is a credibility mechanism.
It's very similar to, on checkout pages, when websites put the SSL certificate or 100% secure, or the little money-back guarantee badge. They're just all things that are designed to increase conversions. Sales Navigator is one of those things. I have Sales Navigator right now. Over the years, I’ve had it sometimes and I’ve canceled, and I’ve gotten it back again and I’ve canceled, and I’ve gotten it back again. I've kept it for the past few years. I think I'm paying $80 per month and it's worth it. There are a lot of enhanced features. There are search features. You can search more. You can dial down into your target market a lot more. [16:07.5]
If you're going to seriously use LinkedIn as a prospecting tool, you should get Sales Navigator, and if you're going to get the “How to Get Clients with LinkedIn” training over at TheAdvisorCoach.com, Sales Navigator is not required. It is nice to have. Yes, you are going to get better results as you dial into the prospecting features, the search features, but everything in the training itself is 100% free to do.
Number eight: human connection makes LinkedIn work. I don't really know how to explain this any better than I already have in the past, because every time I try to explain it, some people get it and some people don't. I feel bad for the people who don't get it and they feel like they need to post super-buttoned-up, super-stiff, robotic messages that are very long and they send 14-paragraph messages. It doesn't really work that well. [16:59.2]
Some of the best posts that I’ve made on LinkedIn, they got no results right away, but eventually people ended up messaging me. They ended up connecting with me. They ended up doing business with me because they saw that I do stuff just like them. I'm talking about a post about furniture, where I posted something like, Hey, has anybody gotten a Lovesac couch? because I purchased a Lovesac couch and loved it. I love it. It's an awesome couch. And people messaged me saying, “Hey, I got a Lovesac,” and they sent me a picture of it with their little dog on it, because it has the washable covers and people let their dogs get all over it. They sent me the pictures of their couch. That's awesome. I'm building a real human connection.
I posted stuff about my Traeger. I've got a Traeger Ironwood. I love that darn thing. I've smoked fish, ribs, pork shoulder, brisket, chicken, beer can chicken, everything on the Traeger. I've done pizza. I've done cheesecake, and people relate to that. They say, “I love smoking meat. I love making pizza on the Traeger. I love doing that sort of thing,” and I relate to these people. It's not necessarily about business. [18:06.2]
I'm not hammering people with business stuff all the time. I love selling. I love pushing. I love promoting. I love letting people know about what I do and how I can help them, because I believe in myself, I believe in my message. I know I can help financial advisors. That's why, for example, I talked about the money-back guarantee thing. It just works, period. So, I know I can help financial advisors, but, at the same time, I don't hammer it every single time. I'm not posting on LinkedIn, “Hey, if you're a financial advisor, then I can get you, blah, blah, blah,” every single time.
Sometimes I’ll post about the Traeger. I'll post about my couch. I'll post about sports. I'll post about something that I'm watching. I'll post about something that I'm doing that people can relate to on a human level. I’ve heard so many similar stories from financial advisors who try this approach. Just be a real person and it makes LinkedIn more effective. [18:53.0]
Number nine. This is something important. I need you to listen up to this. Use automation at your own risk. It is literally against LinkedIn's terms of service to use automation. I know the tools are out there. I know the Chrome extensions are out there. I know there are agencies out there that will automate it. I am not naive. I know they exist, but use them at your own risk. Google “automation LinkedIn terms of service” and you will see it for yourself that automating processes on LinkedIn is against the rules. Do not be surprised if you get hammered with it, okay?
Number 10. This is the final thing and it's something I'm not going to reveal here in a free podcast episode. I would be silly if I did so. It's something I call my “Network-Amplification Effect” and I discuss it in my “How to Get Clients with LinkedIn” product. But I will tell you the idea behind it.
The idea behind the network-amplification effect, it led to 29 clients out of a list of 167. Yes, that is a whopping 17.3% conversion rate. Put it in your calculator: 29 divided by 167 is a 17.3% conversion rate, which is higher than nearly all the marketing methods and strategies being touted out there today. [20:11.3]
Some of the programs out there, some of the courses, whatever, they use a spray and pray approach, where you message everyone you can. You ask for a meeting. And can this work? I guess so. If you message 1,000 people, you may get three or four positive responses. I don't want to say it's a numbers game, but, I mean, you’ve got to message a lot of people just to get a couple of people to get back to you. But when you do that, you damage your reputation in the process, so that's not good.
The network-amplification effect, it bypasses the spray and pray methods. It works with a smaller number of people, but it tends to have a much, much, much higher conversion rate, which means you get more clients with less effort. If you want to get that, go to TheAdvisorCoach.com. Click on the Get Clients with LinkedIn tab. Click the add-to-cart button. Make your purchase, $195. I may raise the price in the future.
And with that said, I will catch you next week. [21:08.2]
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