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 advisors, hope you're doing well. Welcome to another episode of the Financial Advisor Marketing podcast, your favorite podcast. I know it is. Don't you dare say it's not. This should be Episode 185. Isn't that wonderful, 185 episodes designed to help you build your business and get more clients? And in this episode, I'm going to do something I’ve never done before and that's to give a 30,000-foot overview of what financial advisors should be doing to get more clients. [01:00.0]
One of the most common criticisms I receive is that my marketing approaches are too simple. To that, I respond, are they too simple or are you seeking complexity? Because I don't like making things more difficult than they need to be. I bring that up because if you're someone who doesn't like simplicity, you will want to skip this episode.
Now, I want to begin by saying that I’ve been seeing a lot of “actually” people floating around the interwebs. These are people who have never made more than $40,000 per year at their desk jobs, but they love to tell you how to make a million dollars, or they're the people who can tell you all the different ways to make a woman happy, but they can't get a date for Saturday night.
I'll give you a good example. I watched the Ronnie Coleman documentary, The King one on Netflix, and I liked it. I like Ronnie Coleman. I like Jay Cutler. I follow these people. Obviously, I'm not a bodybuilder. I'm not even close to being a bodybuilder, but I love these people because I love their dedication. I love the passion. I love how much they are involved in their craft. [01:58.6]
Ronnie talked about how he paid cash for a house after winning his first Olympia and I saw a comment online from someone who said that it wasn't a smart financial decision. Ugh, this kind of stuff pisses me off. It really does, because I guarantee you, Ronnie Coleman made more money than the person commenting and it just … I'm not even going to get down this. I'm just sick of pocket watchers, man, because you could make the smartest decisions with your money, but if your net worth is only $100,000, then that's it. The person making dumb decisions could be worth $10 million and keep it forever.
I know some of these “actually” people will say, Oh, just because they make a bunch of money doesn't mean they keep a bunch of money. Okay, let's say that somebody makes $10 million and they keep all $10 million. Are you going to be a keyboard warrior? Gosh, darn it, stop being a pocket watcher. Let these people live their lives.
I see this sort of thing happening in the marketing world, too. I can run an ad that generates hundreds of leads per week and is highly profitable, and I’ll get somebody who tells me, “You should change the image.” What? The ad is profitable. We're already testing it. It makes more money than you and it generates more leads than you. Results don't lie. I can pull up the screenshot. I can take a video. I can refresh the page. I can prove it. I can put my money where my mouth is. [03:14.8]
Somebody will say, “Oh, your emails will be more effective if you change the font.” Huh? I've sent and tested millions of emails. Don't you think I’ve thought of these things? Come on, pocket watchers.
Now, I also brought up the Ronnie Coleman documentary because one of the businesses I’ve owned in the past is an e-commerce business, which sold clothes to fitness enthusiasts. It was a company called Bull Strength Clothing. It doesn't exist anymore, but I think the Instagram is still up @BullStrength. On that Instagram, you can even see a photo of me stretching while wearing one of the shirts. I'm not making this up. When I tell you I have created multiple businesses, I mean it. I'm not a one-trick pony.
I have marketing skills. I use those marketing skills to build businesses. I'm not just someone who's telling you what to do. I'm someone who uses these skills to build my own stuff and put money in my own pocket. My marketing approaches work, so, of course, I'm going to use them to build my portfolio of businesses. I am not someone who just sits here and does coaching. I'm not going to try to get coaching clients where I tell you what to do. [04:16.3]
Why? Listen to me. Why in the world would I charge a couple hundred dollars per hour, if that, to sit down and coach someone, when I can take my marketing skills and build a business with real revenue, real profit, real equity that I can sell later in the marketplace? Hmm, explain that, explain that. Why would I sit down and coach somebody? Come on, get real. If you see these people coaching, I love … I'm not going to say I love the coaching model. I do not like the coaching model at all, but really, really, really, really think about this.
If I have a financial incentive to go into a business and make an extra dollar, knowing that I can sell it, at a 5x multiple later, if I go into a business and I make $100,000 in that business and I can sell it for $500,000 and I divide that by the number of hours that I’ve worked, I guarantee you it's going to be more than what I would make coaching. [05:08.3]
That's literally it, I'm just applying my marketing skills, which make me more money. I'm giving you the marketing skills in the Financial Advisor Marketing podcast. I've got the Inner Circle Newsletter. But just, I'm keeping it 100 with you. I'm using my marketing skills to build businesses because that's literally how I make money.
When I tell you about marketing strategies and I tell you what to do, this is literally based on experience, literally based on real results. I'm not just coaching you. I don't have a financial incentive to coach. I don't make my money from coaching, okay? And the process I use to build that business, again, a real business which made real money, selling real products, is very similar to how the most successful financial advisors get new clients.
For starters, I had to know the industry. I had to know the lingo. For example, one of the terms that got thrown around a lot back in the day was cardio bunny. Women who lifted weights would say things like, “I'm not just a cardio bunny.” So, we put that on a t-shirt. We sold it to women who lifted weights. One of the reasons I tell financial advisors to niche down is because, without a niche, they can't learn any specific lingo to show people that they're part of the group. [06:12.5]
When I put out a shirt about being a cardio bunny, it immediately got recognized and women could signal that they're part of the group. They're not just on the treadmill constantly. They're not just on the elliptical constantly. They're lifting weights. They're putting in work in the gym. They are not cardio bunnies. Also, by having a clear target, I knew exactly where to run my advertisements.
Let's continue with the shirt for women who lift weights. Would it have been smart of me to run that ad to men? No. Okay, how about women? Yes. Now, what about women who do cardio? No. That would fail, too. I had to run ads to women and then layer it with women who lifted weights or who were interested in weight lifting, powerlifting, Olympic lifting, and so on. That was how it was done. [06:58.2]
Oh, and guess what? I was doing influencer marketing before it was cool. I would get messages from influencers and amateur athletes and people like that, asking for free clothes in exchange for social media posts, and I did a few of them. What would that be called in the financial services space? Hmm, referral marketing. Oh, okay. People share information about you, your products and your services. Wow, it's almost as if I kind of know what I'm doing, right?
We had multiple marketing channels and Bull Strength and, honestly, that's one of the only reasons I was able to stay in business. It wasn't the best business in the world, but it also wasn't the worst. It was just a decent one, and we survived a long time because we did the multiple marketing strategies thing.
Some people in the same space who played only on Instagram got wrecked. People who played only on Facebook got wrecked. SEO in the fitness space was uber-competitive. It's even more competitive today. New content was being made all the time. But I did a mixture of all that, plus, email marketing and influencer marketing, and it worked well. I had a healthy mix of, gasp, inbound marketing plus outbound marketing. [08:07.7]
None of this stuff is new. I'm not just making this up to sound cool. I'm telling you what works. I'm not interested in winning a popularity contest. I'm interested in actually helping financial advisors, so let's start with this big picture overview.
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.
The first step is to get clear on who you want to attract. All businesses have a specific type of person they want to attract, even like oil change companies. Do you think that they want people with electric cars? No. They want people who own cars that require oil changes. [09:03.5]
Now, your target market won't be that broad, but I want you to understand that being a generalist isn't normal. It's not something businesses do. Even huge businesses like Amazon and Microsoft have little subdivisions that appeal to different groups.
If you don't believe me, think about Xbox and LinkedIn. Both are owned by Microsoft. Do they serve the same people? Hmm, no. Both of those things, despite being owned by the same company, are set up in different ways and have different business strategies to serve their respective target markets.
I actually have a few podcast episodes about this. If you're a new listener, thank you for being here. You can start with a recent podcast episode, which is “5 Niche Marketing Tips for Financial Advisors”, and another recent one is titled “The Best Type of Content to Create for Each Age Group.” That episode will show you how different content works for different audiences. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach and this is especially true when you get people with different demographics and psychographics. [10:00.3]
The next step in this big-picture overview of how to get clients is to begin working on a healthy mix of inbound and outbound marketing, just like I did, just like I do in these businesses. If I buy a business and I'm putting different inbound strategies in there, I'm putting outbound strategies in, I need you to understand, let's say that I'm looking at a business. It's an e-commerce business, okay, and they don't do any email marketing. I start salivating. My heart flutters. I get so giddy.
I get excited, because I know I can go in there, add email marketing and, boom, make it more successful, increase the value of that business. If I find someone who is doing only outbound marketing, I get so excited because I can add inbound. The same is true if somebody's only doing email marketing, for example, and that's all they're doing, I get excited again, because I know I can add something else. I talked about this in a recent podcast episode, too. That episode is titled “How Financial Advisors Can Create a One-Page Business Plan”, because part of the business plan was actually putting together inbound and outbound marketing strategies. [11:02.7]
Now, I’ve seen this pattern repeat itself again and again and again. The best marketers in the financial services industry are the ones who embrace one-to-many marketing, but are still open to having one-on-one conversations. They embrace things like social media, but they're not afraid to have back and forth messages either.
They're not afraid to talk with someone and have a real conversation. They love podcasts, but they want their listeners to email them so they can have a conversation. They enjoy webinars, but they take those webinars to an appointment page so people can have one-on-one appointments. That is the difference.
But I'm not just talking about having inbound marketing strategies to lead to a one-on-one. I genuinely mean that the best marketers embrace both. They reach out to their market by simultaneously creating scenarios where their market reaches out to them. This is also one of the most prevalent success signals I’ve seen among Inner Circle members, especially the newer financial advisors, because what they will do is they will reach out to people during the day, outbound marketing, and get home and work on their inbound marketing materials. [12:09.5]
Unsuccessful financial advisors will spend 100% of the time doing either/or. They will either make endless cold calls and never build any assets, or they will work on an inbound marketing strategy because they're afraid of reaching out to people. They're afraid of having that real conversation. They're afraid of doing the one to one to one to one, and since they're stuck creating inbound marketing materials, they either burn out of cash or they quit because they don't get clients quickly enough. It just doesn't end well a lot of the time.
Now, is it possible that you could stick it out for years until your stuff takes off, until your parachute opens? Absolutely, sure. I'm not saying that. I'm just saying that your journey will be made a lot easier if you embrace both inbound and outbound.
However, I also want to make it clear that these financial advisors, they are not just throwing stuff against the wall and seeing if it sticks. They are making high-probability bets because another part of the big-picture overview of the marketing strategy is they are going where their market is. [13:10.2]
This is a major piece of this big-picture overview because successful financial advisors will identify a target market, put together a healthy mix of inbound and outbound marketing strategies, and go where their market is. This seems so obvious, but I still see people making this mistake. They will do what feels good to them. They like TikTok, so they get on TikTok, even though they're targeting people who are approaching retirement.
What's that? You don't like seminars? I don't care. If your market likes seminars, you either do seminars or you pick a new market. I'm sorry, I don't make the rules. You need to make content your market wants.
Again, I gave an example of this in the “How to Create Content for Different Age Groups” episode. For example, older people are more interested in how to protect their information and prevent identity theft. Look, these people think every time you ask for the last four of their social, that you're going to ruin their lives. [14:04.0]
There are customer service reps who work for banks and they go through the routine security process. “Oh, and the last four of your social?” and the older people will be like, Gasp, what? Are you trying to steal my identity? I mean, I don't want to be ageist or anything, but it's just funny. Honestly, it is, I don't care who you are. I don't care who you are. That's funny right there, channeling my inner Larry the Cable Guy.
If you're trying to appeal to that market, you can do well with that sort of content where you can teach people how to avoid identity theft and how to give out the last four of their social safely. Also, you need to read what they read, listen to the shows they listen to, watch the TV shows they watch. If you're targeting older people, you need to read the AARP magazine. If you're targeting doctors, you’d better read The New England Journal of Medicine, stuff like that. Just get in their world, okay?
This is a short episode. I'm going to wrap it up. This is probably one of the most basic episodes I’ve ever done. Those of you who have been living in Planet Pollard for the past few years are probably thinking, Wow, tell me something I don't know. This episode has been pretty lame. [15:09.8]
But I want to thank you for sticking through this episode because I’ve been getting a lot of new listeners, and I want those newbies to know that even though my message is simple, it works. You want to find a target market. You want to create a healthy mix of inbound and outbound marketing strategies, and that's something the Financial Advisor Marketing podcast can help you with, and you want to go where your market is. Don't try to find penguins on the North Pole because they aren't there. If you want to find penguins, you need to go to Antarctica. I don't care how you feel about it. I don't care that you wish it was some other way. Penguins live in Antarctica, so if you want to see some wild free-range penguins, that's where you need to go.
Now, with that said, I'm going to wrap it up for this week. If you haven't subscribed to the newsletter, make sure you do that. This episode is scheduled to come out in late-July, and I'm telling you, you do not want to miss the August issue, which ships out on August 1. Go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/coaching to lock in your spot. [16:10.2]
Typically in these episodes, I’ll talk about past issues, and you will be out of luck, because if an issue came out in June and I talk about it in July, obviously it's too late. This time I'm telling you in advance so you have a chance to subscribe. One more time, that's TheAdvisorCoach.com/coaching. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Until next time, thank you.
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