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, you ever have a day where you look at your to-do list and it's just piled with stuff? You've got so much stuff you need to do. I'm definitely having one of those days, feeling like a freight train, first one to complain, leaves with a-- Now, let me stop. If you get the Limp Bizkit reference, then kudos to you.
But I have a lot of stuff and I thought to myself, You know what I would rather do? I would rather record a podcast episode for the loving listeners of the Financial Advisor Marketing podcast, so that's what I'm doing, and I want to talk about how financial advisors can build an email list. [01:06.8]
I want you to imagine that I own a soap store, maybe something like Bath & Body Works. Meh, my wife loves that fricking store. We have more soap than we'll ever need. Sometimes I wash my hands three times in a row because I can, and I just roll up my sleeves, I wash my arms, too, and then I get to my shoulders. I mean, every time I wash my hands, I go ahead and wash everything, because soap is so abundant in our household.
Now, imagine that I would like to build an email list of potential customers to buy my soap. What if I ran a campaign which went something like this? “Hey, get a free bottle of soap in exchange for joining my email list.” Hmm, very simple, right? But don't you agree that it would probably work? Why would it work, though? Because it's something the audience, people who would buy soap, want, and it's also something that other people non-soap-buyers won't necessarily want, which means right away it qualifies the people I'd like to have on my email list as a soap store owner. [02:15.0]
Next, I want you to imagine I was offering washcloths or loofahs in exchange for joining my email list. That might work well, too, because those things are complementary to soap, but they might not work as well as soap itself, because it's not as tight of a match.
Now, let's switch gears a little bit and imagine I offered a video game. That probably wouldn't work nearly as well as the other two things. It probably wouldn't work well at all. It probably wouldn't even work as well if I offered two video games, plus, an Xbox. Why? Because it's not aligned with the audience. Even though a video game console by itself is a valuable thing, soap buyers are probably more interested in soap than video games. [03:03.8]
And you might be wondering, what in the heck is James talking about? I'm talking about donning an email list. One of the most common questions I received from financial advisors is “How can I build an email list?” because they hear me talk about how effective email marketing is and how it is “the” most effective appointment-setting strategy I’ve ever seen, and they want to know how they can get more people to subscribe.
First, let me tell you a few ways not to do it. Please, for the love of all that is good and holy, do not buy an email list and try to use it in an autoresponder sequence. That's bad. Many of these email companies like Drip and Constant Contact and Mailchimp, they don't even allow it anyway. Doing that is explicitly against the terms of service. Buying an email list and emailing it is reserved for cold email. That is completely different. Cold email is sending an email to someone who has never heard of you. [03:56.6]
I prefer warm email, which is when someone voluntarily subscribes to your email list and looks forward to receiving emails from you. That has a much better success rate, percentage-wise, and it's a lot more fun to do. Plus, it can be systemized so it becomes hands-off on your part, because an email autoresponder works for you no matter what you're doing, which means you can predict exactly how many people within a certain range are going to become clients, and that is powerful stuff.
If your email autoresponder converts 5% of subscribers into appointments, that means you will get five appointments for every 100 email subscribers you add. If you typically get two out of every five appointments to become clients, then it means you will get two clients, on average, for every 100 email subscribers.
The other way you should not build an email list is by slapping together a meek opt-in form on your website that says something like, “Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.” If you do that, then don't be surprised when you get subpar results, because very few people want to subscribe to another email list. Nobody wakes up in the morning and thinks, Gee, you know what I'd like to do today? I would like to subscribe to another email list, yippee. People already get too many emails. [05:07.1]
“Subscribe to my weekly email list” isn't enticing, and it's even worse if you do something like, “We won't email you often. We'll only send you one email a month.” It's like you're apologizing. Don't apologize to me. Give me something that I want. I can't imagine Walmart would come up and say, “I'm so sorry for giving you these groceries. I’ll make sure I give you just a little bit instead of a lot. Even though you want groceries and you come here specifically for groceries, and you're willing to spend money on groceries, I'm going to be meek and apologize.” They don't do that.
So, how can you build an email list? Here's the secret. You need to offer something your niche wants in exchange for subscribing to your email list. I know that sounds deceptively simple, so I would like to explain it in more detail.
Offering something your niche wants is the reason why cookie-cutter lead magnets do not work. Even when I offered a lead magnet to my Inner Circle members—so I gave them this, it was a gift that I gave them—I did it as a template instead of a fully finished one, because in order to maximize effectiveness, newsletter subscribers had to tailor it, and newsletter, in this sense, the physical paper-and-ink newsletter, not an email newsletter. [06:17.7]
Second opinion, Inner Circle members had to tailor it to their niches. I have subscribers who work with teachers, nurses, sales executives, Christians, Jewish people, engineers, fast food franchise owners, e-comm owners, agricultural workers, like farmers, and so much more.
Imagine there's a template which is titled “Seven Money Mistakes You Should Avoid,” and then I change it to “Seven Money Mistakes Drop-shipping Business Owners Should Avoid.” Imagine I began putting that lead magnet in front of people who own drop-shipping businesses. Don't you think it would convert better than “Seven Money Mistakes You Should Avoid”? Absolutely. It wouldn't even be close. [07:00.0]
It kills me when financial advisors search for cookie-cutter marketing solutions, and then turn right around and rally against people who provide cookie-cutter financial solutions and financial advice. Can you say hypocrisy? I don't want to get all metaphysical on you either, but I want you to consider the psychological damage that comes from seeking out the very thing that disgusts you. If you don't like cookie-cutter financial advice, why are you looking for cookie-cutter solutions in your business?
The same thing happens when financial advisors refuse to invest in themselves, and then they go out and try to convince people that they should invest more money and they should invest early and often. There's tremendous psychological damage that comes from that. There's also damage that comes from not investing in yourself in the first place when the opportunity arises, because it signals to your entire being that you are not worthy of investing in.
But I digress. Your lead magnet, which is the thing people get in exchange for subscribing, if that wasn't clear, that's what it is, it must be good. There is no shortcut for this. It must be something your niche wants. If you aren't getting email subscribers, it is because you either have a market and/or message mismatch. [08:15.2]
You are either offering the right thing to the wrong audience. This would be like offering delicious smoked brisket to vegetarians. It might be incredible brisket, but it doesn't matter. You're either offering the wrong thing to the right audience, so you might have a great niche and be committed to that niche, but miss the mark about what that niche wants.
Let's say that someone is committed to dentists and begins sharing information about how to get sleep apnea patients. This is based on the assumption that the dentist wants sleep apnea patients in the first place. You could also offer the wrong thing to the wrong audience, and this would be really missing the mark, and it would demonstrate you haven't done enough work determining your ideal market or the messages your market wants and that's pretty bad. I mean, if you have a complete message and market mismatch, you have screwed up pretty darn hard. [09:07.5]
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.
I'll give you an example of an email marketing campaign I'm personally running. This is something I'm actually doing, so it's not just a vague idea or a theory. I created a 47-minute video detailing a proven six-step process financial advisors can use to get more clients. I'm calling it the CLIENT Method and every letter in “CLIENT” is a step in the process. You can find that video over at TheAdvisorCoach.com/TheCLIENTMethod. [09:58.5]
The fact that it's a 47-minute video should be a lesson by itself. It's not a little cheat sheet. It's not a checklist. It's not a little itty-bitty guide that took me five minutes to slot together. It is a legitimately valuable piece of information that can genuinely help financial advisors, if they apply it. That's why people want it and that's why people are snatching it up.
Here are the results I got from the very first day I started promoting this lead magnet. I made a LinkedIn post and I received 42 opt-ins, and it took maybe five minutes to write the post and share it online. I ran some Twitter ads and I received 134 opt-ins with $450.24 in ad spend, and what's interesting is that my ads in… I’ve been running more and more Twitter ads and there's a period of five days where I had over 100,000 impressions on Twitter to a relatively small audience and a couple people blocked me because they saw the ads so much, and I do kind of feel bad because I understand it can be annoying to see ads, but, hey, I'm not going to stop running the ads simply because you don't like them, if they're profitable. Sorry, that's called running a business. I can't just call Coca-Cola or Pepsi or Apple, and just say, “Hey, I'm tired of seeing your ads. Can you please turn them off?” No, you can control your own circumstances. [11:16.1]
I'm reminded of the Billy Mays meme where Billy Mays says, “But wait, there's more.” I mean, if you block me on Twitter, imagine what's going to happen when I'm on a podcast and when I'm in the email list, and when I'm on Google Display Network and when I'm on LinkedIn, and when I'm on Facebook. I will be everywhere.
But, anyway, so 134 opt-ins on Twitter, $450.24 in ad spend. I also ran some Facebook ads and I got another 14 opt-ins for $21.84. The reason the ad spend there is so much lower than Twitter is because I wanted to test the proof of concept on Twitter first before rolling out to other advertising platforms, and you can see I didn't advertise on LinkedIn at all. I didn't advertise on Google Display Network at all. I just did Twitter and then I rolled out to Facebook on the first day. [12:00.8]
The cost per click tends to be lower on Twitter, at least for me, especially around this time of year because the spend is so much higher, and since the advertising on Facebook—and Twitter, too, but Facebook—is the auction model, it tends to bid itself up, and that's not good either.
Also, Twitter tends to approve my ads a lot faster. Facebook might take several hours to approve an ad while Twitter takes maybe a few minutes, and that's the first version of my ads and it's the first version of my landing page, too. I will methodically test all of this stuff and I will boost the conversion rate, which means they're going to get better over time and the results will only improve from here.
It also means I got 190 email subscribers on the first day. Let me double-check my math, so 42, 134, and 14, yep, 190, and the amount of subscribers I got is neither here nor there because the benefits to you will vary based on your business and your specific situation. A hundred and ninety is, generally speaking, a lot for professional-services-based businesses, like accountants and financial advisors and attorneys, and so on and so forth, assuming they have a niche. It's very, very tiny for other businesses, like e-comm. [13:14.8]
Again, this lead magnet would not work if I didn't have something worth offering, because you cannot multiply zeros. Assuming you have something your niche wants, building an email list becomes easy, because people will practically beat down your door to get it. In my experience, actually writing the emails is the hard part because you need to know exactly what to say to get someone to set an appointment with you.
The reason that's a little more difficult is because it requires knowing psychology mixed with marketing. It requires more than just knowing your niche. You can build a good lead magnet by just knowing your niche, but when it comes to writing out emails that set appointments, you do need something a little extra, and that does require, like I said, marketing and psychology blended together in order to build trust, credibility, and rapport. [14:05.7]
That's what I help financial advisors with in Appointments on Autopilot, which is the email marketing system I offer. That program talks about how to write the emails, because that's something I can teach you. I can show you how to write emails based in human psychology that will work no matter what your niche is.
I cannot show you how to get people in every niche all around the world to subscribe to your email list. I can't do that and neither can anyone else, because, again, teachers are more likely to subscribe to a teacher-specific lead magnet. Nurses are more likely to subscribe to a nurse-specific lead magnet. You have to do your own research into your target market to figure out what it wants. [14:46.6]
I would be doing you a disservice if I tried to posture as if I had all the answers or if I could give you “the” solution for building your email list, because it doesn't exist. I can show you some tactics, sure, and I do that. The very last video of Appointments on Autopilot is a video about building an email list. That's a short video, but it does cover some tactics, like ads and forums and social media, and so on. Those are the tactics, but you have to have something worthwhile in order to use the things like those tactics, and the coolest part is that by the time you build your lead magnet, you will know if you've got a winner or not, because if you have a winner, people will already ask for it and they will attempt to subscribe.
Also, now, before I go, I want to make sure I explain this. You don't need thousands of people on your email list to build a thriving business as a financial advisor, especially if you serve a specific niche. I know I’ve said niche so many times in this episode, but it is very important. It does make email marketing and building a lead magnet way, way more effective, and I’ll prove it to you here that you don't need thousands.
Answer these two questions.
First, how much money do you make per client? Let's think about it. How much money do you make? Hmm, okay. [16:01.5]
Now, how many clients do you need to reach your income goal?
Imagine you make $5,000 per client and you want to add an extra $25,000 to your business from an email marketing campaign. You can reverse-engineer your email stats to figure out how many subscribers you will need. For example, you only need 500 email subscribers if your email marketing campaign converts 1% of subscribers into clients. So, you need five clients. If you convert at 1%, then you need 500 email subscribers. If your email campaign converts at 2%, you only need 250 email subscribers.
You can google average email-marketing-conversion rate. You can do your own research about conversion rates and come to your own conclusions. You don't have to believe anything I'm telling you. That's the wonderful part about the internet, which is that you can verify. You know the old saying, trust but verify. You don't even have to trust me. You can just google “average email marketing conversion rate” and then take a look at the averages, because my stuff is not average to begin with, but you can just assume that it's average and see that you can make money with average stuff. [17:06.8]
You can perform your own due diligence and plug in your numbers, because your mileage, I guarantee you this—this is the guarantee I can make—there are no guarantees, and your mileage will, for sure, vary. The bottom line, the message I want you to take away is that you cannot multiply zeros. You really can't. You have to have something people want. That's the big secret. That's how you build an email list.
I'm sorry to disappoint you if you were looking for some super, sexy tactic that you could use to get a dopamine rush to trick yourself into thinking that you're actually accomplishing something, but that's not how I roll. I give you the real information that can actually benefit you—and speaking of real information that can benefit you, make sure you join my email list by going to TheAdvisorCoach.com/TheCLIENTMethod, so T-H-E, C-L-I-E-N-T, method, M-E-T-H-O-D. [18:01.2]
Whew, this feels like I'm in a spelling bee here, but I want to make sure I spell it out. I want to make it as easy as possible for you to get to TheAdvisorCoach.com/TheCLIENTMethod, because that's where you can get the 47-minute video where I outline what I call “The CLIENT Method”, where each letter of CLIENT stands for a step in the process designed to help financial advisors get more clients. It's a big-picture overview, designed to get you thinking about how to apply the principles to your business. I know you're going to love it.
And, with that, I will catch you next week.
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