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: 1, 2, 3 into the 4 … Financial Advisor Marketing is going to help you get the dough. What's going on?
It seems like everybody wants to be a content marketer these days, and it's easy to get swept up into all the hype. People want you to write this, share that, record this, edit that. We are drowning in content. It's like businesses are in a content arms race, and I have a life philosophy of zigging when everyone else is zagging or I zag when everyone else just zigs, whatever you want to call it. That's why I haven't been posting as much on social media. It's also why I haven't been adding much to my blog at TheAdvisorCoach.com/blog. [01:14.6]
That's not to say I won't ever ramp up my content production again, because unlike a lot of people who view content production as a chore, I genuinely enjoy it for the most part. It’s just that the marketing I do is so far ahead of the people who were living in 2017 or 2018 who think content marketing is the next big thing. What's that old joke like, hey, 2017 called and they want their marketing strategy back.
But I understand there are financial advisors who listen to this podcast who want to create content, so I will do the gracious thing and create content in the form of this episode to help them do just that—and when I say content marketing, I mean all forms of content, video, audio, the written word, and so on. It could be content on your website, on your social media profile, or in your emails, I don't care. What I’m talking about in this episode will be applicable to everything. Let's get right into it. [02:11.7]
Number one, content should advance the conversation. One of the bonuses I’ve given Inner Circle members in the past is a lead magnet template or a white paper template that they could use to get more email subscribers. Let's have thoughts and prayers for everybody who didn't get it, everybody who wasn't subscribed in time. Thoughts and prayers. The reason it was a template was so they could add in their own niches, phone numbers, websites, and scheduling links. They could really make it their own.
Obviously, me creating a lead magnet custom for one financial advisor would cost thousands and thousands of dollars. Me creating a template to give it to Inner Circle members who pay $99 per month, that's an incredible value because they can tailor it to their business.
Aside from that, I did everything for them, and what made that lead magnet different from all the other swipe files and canned content out there was that it was written from a copywriter's perspective, a.k.a. me. I wrote every word and I wrote it so it could advance the conversation between the prospective client and the financial advisor. [03:13.7]
This doesn't have to be a tactical thing, even though the specific words and the phrases I used in there are tactics. If you want to benefit from this, all you have to do is to embrace the philosophy that your content should naturally lead to a next step.
A lot of people brainwash themselves into thinking that all they have to do is create amazing content and that's it. They think if their content is good enough, people will go out of their way to content them. That's not true. People have to be told what to do. Heck, people have to be told what they want.
Steve Jobs once said, “Some people say, ‘Give the customers what they want.’ But that's not my approach. Our job is to figure out what they're going to want before they do.” I think Henry Ford once said, “If I asked customers what they wanted, they would've told me a faster horse.” People don't know what they want until you show it to them—and this is true with the best content because the best content is supposed to show people what they want. [04:13.8]
This is how all adoption curves happen. A new product or service is released; people have no idea if they want it or not until they see how it works and how it can benefit them. If you use your brain and really think about this, you'll understand how true it is with literally all the adoption curves. Computers, the internet, the lightbulb, modern toilets, indoor plumbing, microwaves.
When the microwave was released, people likely had no concept of the microwave. Today's content marketers, the ones that just treat it like it's free, like it's never-ending and all they have to do is provide information, what they would do is they would probably just show people the metal box and that's it. They wouldn't demonstrate it. They wouldn't ask people if they're frustrated with long cooking times to amplify their pain to lead to a solution. They wouldn't ask people if they wanted it. They wouldn't do anything to create a desire for the microwave or what looks like just a random metal box. They wouldn't just make the desire stronger. [05:13.8]
Now let's apply this to hiring a financial advisor. If people wanted to hire you as their financial advisor, they would do it. That's the big secret. Assuming your scheduling link and contact information is on your website, people can contact you at any time. The reason they're not is because they're not fully convinced that contacting you is a good idea. If your content keeps them in the same place, you are making a mistake. I cannot stress this enough, your content must advance the conversation.
Number two: pay attention to what people do, not what they say. People say they want information. People say a documentary is better than reality television, but here are some of the most popular television shows of all time. The Real World, reality television. The Bachelor, reality television. Keeping up with the Kardashians, reality television, and Flavor of Love, also reality television. [06:16.4]
Do you remember Flavor of Love? Somebody was watching that show and somebody's watching all of these shows. People call reality television trashy. They say they don't like it, but millions of people watch Keeping up with the Kardashians, so what is it that people want? People say they're interested in getting the lowest price, but phones do they have? iPhones, probably. Is that the lowest-priced phone? No.
So, what's really going on here and how does it apply to your content? You want to create content that is based on what people do, not what they say. One specific example is basing your content on entertainment instead of information because it's obvious that people prefer entertainment. [07:00.7]
I'll give you an example from the Advisor Coach. Not too long ago, I did a webinar with an audience of 300 financial advisors and decided to deliver nothing but pure content, no entertainment. I shouldn't say pure content because content can be entertaining. I mean pure teaching, like I was just giving information. There was no entertainment there, just statistics and data that can genuinely help financial advisors become better business owners. Amazing information, by the way.
Then I made an offer. Not a single person took me up on that offer, not one, and I’m okay admitting that. Being the Financial Advisor Marketing guy, I share my wins. I share my losses. I'm completely transparent with you. I did a webinar, 300 financial advisors on that webinar. I made an offer and no one took me up on that offer. I failed. I fell completely flat on my face.
But then I did another webinar with 300 financial advisors from the same traffic source and I gave the same presentation, but added a lot more entertainment and humor in it. Then I made the same offer and I had people say yes. Is that a coincidence? I don't think so. [08:12.0]
There are several benefits to adding humor and entertainment in your content. There are far too many to discuss in this one podcast cast episode, but I’ll give you an example. If you add something entertaining to your blog articles, it gets people to stop scrolling. If they're skimming along through your article and they see a funny image, they will stop and think, Wait, what? What does that have to do with this? And then they'll scroll back up a little bit to keep reading. It keeps people engaged.
If you read my emails, you'll see that I may have two sentences and then a four-sentence paragraph and then a six-sentence paragraph, and then one word, all caps with “!!” like “STOP!!” People will skim through the email. They’ll be like, Wait, what? “STOP!!” Stop? Stop what? And then they'll go back up and they'll read the text above it. [08:57.4]
Speaking of email, a reason my email marketing system works so well is because it's rooted in entertainment, not information. If your emails do nothing but give information, you are going to get smoked by someone who entertains. And this doesn't necessarily mean you have to sing or dance or shake your butt either. It could be the way that you write emails is entertaining. Like I just told you about, your format is different, whatever.
But no matter what you do, don't believe people who say they just want more information, because I guarantee you, they don't. People are craving entertainment. There's a reason why all these streaming services are coming out. You’ve got Paramount+. You’ve got Disney+, Hulu, Netflix. It just goes on and on and on and on. Are these information companies that are just providing information and giving you content about Roth IRA versus traditional IRA, or how to correctly use your 401(k) or what you should know about your 403(b)? No, they are entertaining people with their entertaining shows. [09:58.2]
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 three: content marketing can make you lazy and this happens because people think content marketing is free or at least very low-cost. They think it costs virtually nothing to send an email or to post on social media, or to write on their websites, so they don't put in the effort that's required to make it do well.
For example, I’m a big proponent of daily email. Sometimes when I talk about emailing every day, people get shocked and they think I’m talking about sitting down and physically writing an email every day, and that's not what I mean at all. When I talk about emailing every day, I mean having an email autoresponder that sends emails out for you automatically every single day. [11:01.4]
The idea is to get your autoresponder sequence to be very, very good, and then let it run for you on autopilot so you have time to do other stuff. If you want to work on building other marketing assets like I recommend, like I talk about, you can do that. If you want to take the time off to golf, to fish, to lay on the beach, to just, I don't know, whatever you do with your free time, I don't want to get too deep into what you do in your personal time. What you do on your own time is your business, sir or ma'am, but you can take it and do whatever and that's incredible.
There are people who dream about having lifestyle businesses, but they can't get them because they don't have their heads screwed on correctly. I consider myself extremely fortunate because I cut my teeth studying direct mail marketers and that's an entirely different game because it costs money.
Let's say you have a big promotion that costs $2 to send to each person in the mail, so you’ve got your envelope, your big, fancy FedEx-style envelope. You've got a little grabber or a piece or a lump in there. It's called lumpy mail or something like that and it costs $2 total. [12:06.2]
Compare that to your 100 visitors to your articles every month for your content. Would you pay $200 for that traffic, $2 for every single person? If you have 500 email subscribers, would you pay $1,000 to send that email? Five hundred times $2, that's how I’m getting to math here. Really think about this because it will help you treat your marketing more seriously.
Direct mail marketers had to get their stuff to work because they would go back bankrupt if it didn't work. You won't go bankrupt if you send an email and it's just complete garbage and nobody does anything, so you don't have much of an incentive to do better. But if people were putting $10,000 on the line to mail out a promotion, that promotion had to work.
Not only did direct mail cost money, it was more difficult for people to respond, so that's like a double whammy. Picture if you had to pay to send an email and it was actually more difficult than it is for people to respond to that email. [13:04.5]
With direct mail, here's what people had to do. They had to get the mail, open the envelope, read the offer, get physical cash or write a check, put it in the return, and then put it back in the mailbox, take it to the post office, however they got the mail out. Yet financial advisors worry about getting someone to click a scheduling link and schedule an appointment? Are you serious? Are you being real right now? You don't know how lucky you are.
And the reason I love studying the old direct mail marketing stuff is because, if these concepts worked in direct mail, then they’d likely work online, too. It's kind of like being able to bench 315 pounds for reps. If you can do that, then dropping down to 135 will be a breeze. That's how I feel about online marketing. I've worked with stuff that had to work because it cost money. Start thinking about that whenever you create content. [13:57.4]
When I first started the Advisor Coach, the reason the Advisor Coach is called “The Advisor Coach” is because I started off as a coaching and consulting service, because I thought that was the way and that's what I wanted my life to be, and then I realized I hated consulting and I hated working one-on-one and just literally repeating myself all the time, because had a basic simple system that worked almost every single time, as long as the person just listened to me. So, I found myself repeating the same stuff 10 times a week. It was crazy. I’m not even going to bring it up, but, yeah, just trust me, it was not what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, so I stopped doing that.
The reason I bring that is because I got consulting clients by sending them something in the mail. I would put my own money on the line and send mailers out to financial advisors with a strong headline, a strong opening, strong body copy and a strong call to action, and guess what? They reached out to me and they said, “Hey, yeah, I’d like to learn more about your services. I would like to learn more about what you do, how you can help me get more clients,” and they would work with me. [15:00.8]
It wasn't like I just posted stuff online. It wasn't like I just went to these free marketing avenues. No, no, no. I had to have something that worked with my money on the line. I was depending on these promotions to work, because if they didn't work, then I will be out of the money. So, when I moved that thinking, that philosophy, to online marketing, to Facebook ads, to social media, to email, to websites, to webinars, I just crushed it. Everybody who is starting with the, quote-unquote, “free” or the very low-cost stuff and they're struggling, boy, they have no idea what it would be like if they got in my world a couple years ago.
Number four: the best content connects to other content. This is a wonderful tip. Most people are probably going to ignore it, so don't be most people. I’m going to keep this brief. But let's say that you have content on your blog. That content should link to other stuff. If people are consuming your content, they obviously like it. Give them more of it. Give them more op opportunities to take you up on whatever you're offering. [16:14.6]
The most successful companies in the world follow this principle. Spotify does this when it suggests music for you. YouTube does this when it gives video recommendations and Amazon does it with product recommendations. These companies don't just give you whatever you're consuming and call it a day. They push more. They link to more content. The content is connected to other content.
If you haven't been through my “How to Get Clients with LinkedIn” program, I encourage you to get that. In Video 5 of that program, I talk about this concept in detail with LinkedIn in mind. The stuff you do on LinkedIn should be connected to your other marketing assets. It's a highly-advanced marketing strategy that the top 1% of entrepreneurs and business owners and companies use to dominate. If you haven't watched it go to TheAdvisorCoach.com, click the Get Clients with LinkedIn tab at the top, and you are welcome. [17:07.0]
Number five: data should inform your decisions. I used to do these website reviews for financial advisors and one of the things I would tell them is that they should purposefully simplify their website so they don't have that much stuff to track. For example, if they only had three buttons on their homepage, all they would have to do is track those three buttons and approve them over time, or if they had one solid landing page, they could test the headline there, the body copy, the call to action, over time to constantly improve that landing page.
You could start with a landing page converting at 25% on Day 1. Make improvements over the course of a year and just constantly test and test and test, and track and track and track, to get it to 50%. But you can't get there without data and I’m going to give you some little specifics here. [17:57.2]
I strongly encourage that you get a heat map and or split-testing software. I like Crazy Egg. There's been a bunch over the years like Hotjar, and basically these services allow you to ac the visitor activity on a certain page. You can see where people scroll, where their cursors go, how they interact with your site.
If you see that people are focused on the left side of your website and all your content is on the right side, then you can just do a switcheroo right there and increase your conversions. If you see that people are clicking an image that doesn't go anywhere, you see click, click, click, you can put a link there to open up a new tab. If people are clicking on it, give them something that actually works when they click it. I could go on and on. Maybe I’ll do a podcast episode about this stuff in the future.
I also want you to get some tracking software. I don't really care what it is. You could use basic google analytics. I want you to see how many people click the links, how many people do what you want them to do, how much traffic are you getting to a page. I want you to compare your numbers today with your numbers six months from now, when you make a change. [19:08.7]
If you landing page has a headline and you got 100 people to that landing page and three people opted in, that's a 3% conversion rate. You change your headline and you mark down the date. Let's say the date today is June 2, okay? You say, “I changed my headline on June 2 and I’m going to test it or take a look at the data on September 2,” based on your traffic, however long it takes you to get a statistically-significant number.
You come back on September 2 and you see that you've gotten 500 people and you've gotten 50 opt-ins. That will be incredible, by the way. That would be a huge change. But you see here that you've gone from a 3% conversion rate to a 10% conversion rate, and you would know based on the data that the second headline is far more effective. [19:58.1]
Those are my five tips for financial advisors who want to get better at content marketing. I produce a lot of content. It's near and dear to my heart. I love content. I love marketing and I love content marketing. Data should inform your decisions. The best content connects to other content. Content marketing can make you lazy. You have to be careful. Pay attention to what people do, not what people say, and then content should advance the conversation. Content should get people to do something.
That is it for this week. Thank you so much for listening. I appreciate you. If you haven't left a review, make sure you leave a review wherever you listen to podcasts. It costs you nothing to do and it means a lot to me and it helps out the show. Don't you want to help someone? Don't you want to spread positivity into the world? With that said, I will catch you next week. [20:47.7]
This is ThePodcastFactory.com