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YouTube is one of the most lucrative and effective marketing strategies for financial advisors.


Your videos attract your ideal clients, repel nightmare clients, and YouTube will even pay you to show your videos to your dream clients.

No other social media is half as powerful as YouTube. And no financial advisor knows the ins and outs of YouTube like Dave Zoller from Streamline My Practice.

In this episode, Dave shares how to grow your account from 0 to thousands of subscribers, how to get people to sign up for your services after watching your videos, and why YouTube is the single best marketing channel for financial advisors.

Listen now.

Show highlights include:

  • The only 5 ways financial advisors can grow their business (and how to pick the one that skyrockets your growth the fastest) (3:31)
  • How being a financial expert actually hinders your marketing engine and stifles your growth (6:49)
  • Why you won’t land many appointments from your YouTube videos (and the “micro-ask” trick to reverse this) (9:39)
  • How to start making high-quality and valuable YouTube videos that grow your business using nothing more than your iPhone (17:52)
  • How to get YouTube to pay you to bring your ideal clients to you (21:15)
  • The weird way writing a few sentences on LinkedIn can morph into 261,000 YouTube views (31:22)

If you’d like to learn more about Dave Zoller and how he uses YouTube to grow his financial advising business, sign up for his email list at https://streamlinemypractice.com.

Need help getting more clients as a financial advisor? I created a free, 47-minute video outlining the steps to my “CLIENT Method,” which helps financial advisors land more clients. Watch the video before I take it down here: https://www.theadvisorcoach.com/theclientmethod.html

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.

Want to transform your website into a client-getting machine? Go to https://www.theadvisorcoach.com/website to get The Client-Getting Website Guide.

Want a masterclass training in running effective Facebook Ads? Head to https://TheAdvisorCoach.com/ads-training.

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 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, what is going on? Another week, another episode of the Financial Advisor Marketing podcast, and I have a very special episode for you. I know I say that frequently, but I really, really mean it on this week's episode, because there are over 200 episodes of the Financial Advisor Marketing podcast, and I don't have a single one about this topic: YouTube marketing. [00:53.2]

That's going to change today because I have Dave Zoller, who has a YouTube channel called “Streamline Financial”, and you can go to YouTube, you can type it in. At the time of this recording, he has 23.8k subscribers. He's got some amazing videos, super high-quality. It's cool to see his evolution over the past couple years with his YouTube channel, but I'm going to let him take the floor and explain his background and how he got to where he is today.

So, Dave, thank you. You can take it from here.

Dave: Yes, thanks so much for having me on. I am delighted to be the first YouTube advisor on this podcast. That's pretty cool. Hopefully, there's actually going to be a lot of helpful things for people, whether they do these YouTube videos or not. It's really anything related to content marketing. If that's of interest or an idea in your mind, this is going to be useful for you. I think so.

My name is Dave Zoller, like James said, and I own Streamline Financial with my business partner, Tim Meisenheimer, and we are approaching about 300 million in AUM, and one of the biggest breakthroughs we had the past two years was when we started to figure out this marketing engine and, really, this content engine. [02:00.7]

I’ll give you some numbers, I guess, up front, and it's not for bragging purposes, but it's just for the purpose of knowing that this stuff can work. If it's of interest to you, this past year, 2022, we were able to bring on four times AUM, bring on four times any previous year in the 24 years’ existence of Streamline that was close to 60 million, and that's between two advisors who are bringing on new clients. We have, right now, five advisors. We hired a new advisor these past couple of months and there's two main advisors who are bringing on new clients.

So, that's just some facts, I guess some stats, but, yeah, that's what the results have been. We started this in 2019 in July, and we started on LinkedIn, simple text posts, just to see, because at that time, we had a great-- we had built a great team and we still have a great team at Streamline. Now eight people client-service associates, advisors, and then operations. We hired an operations person last year, kind of head of ops. [03:03.2]

But in 2019, Tim and I had freed up some time and we wanted to turn to some growth ideas and start to actively market. Before that, we had a CPA relationship that would refer some people. We'd had client referrals. But it wasn't very controllable and it wasn't really consistent for the growth that we were looking to achieve.

And, James, interrupt any time if I just am rambling too much or if there's questions to add on.

But we looked at in 2019, we looked at the five ways that advisors grow their business, and I think there's only five, and you would probably know more than I do. But there's one we definitely didn't want to do, which was cold outreach, right? Cold calls, door-knocking, or even seminars. I know a lot of advisors do that, but we weren't that comfortable with it.

The second is CLI. CPAs are attorneys and we had that one relationship that was pretty good, but not consistent, and then client referrals, kind of the same results. We were getting maybe two to four intro calls per month at that time, or before, up until 2019. [04:05.7]

The last two are paid marketing or free content marketing. Right? That's the only five that I know, and I wanted to test out paid marketing and content marketing. I think a couple of weeks ago, Mark Ford, if you've heard him, of Castor Abbott.

James: I love Mark Ford.

Dave: Yeah.

James: And Michael Masterson. He's got a couple names. Yeah.

Dave: No, it was Mark Ford of Castor Abbott who helps financial advisors. I don’t know if you’ve seen--

James: Oh, different Mark Ford, but, yeah, cool guy.

Dave: Yeah, popular name.

James: Yeah.

Dave: But he said, let’s see, “If you've got no time, but you have money, then use paid marketing. If you have no money, but you have time, then try content marketing.” But I was in the fortunate position of having both. We had time and we had money to test, so I wanted to try both—and after the first 18 months of testing, since July 2019, we tried all of these methods except for cold-call outreach, and I can say at least conclusively for Streamline Financial, content marketing delivered the best results. [05:02.5]

Again, we talked about the financial side, but that's about 40 to 60 people a month reaching out to request an intro call from us, mostly all coming from YouTube now. So, that's kind of some of what's been going on in the last few years.

James: But I think it's important to note that this wasn't overnight and, also, I agree that there's paid marketing and then marketing that costs a little bit less, but you're still paying with your time. I think people aren't willing to put in the effort, because if you spend, let's just say, two hours to get 10 views, people are saying, “Wow, I spent an hour of my time to get five views?” But then it gets 50, then it gets 500, and you haven't invested any more time, meaning, the video is still working for you, whether you're sleeping, whether you're working, whether you're on vacation. This is an asset that you own and control.

Now, I know it's on YouTube. People can make the argument that you don't necessarily control it. But you still have it in your library somewhere. It's still on your hard drive that you can repurpose.

I want you to take me back to your very first video. What was going through your head? What was your setup? And how did you get over that hump? I know the first video people typically say is the hardest or the first piece of any content is the toughest for them. [06:09.4]

Dave: Yeah, there were definitely nerves and worries about being judged, not so much from people or potential clients, but from other advisors, I think. The fear of being judged and putting yourself out there and being critiqued, of course, it's a normal feeling that is uncomfortable, and that's why most people, most advisors, probably don't do it.

I think they fall into one of two groups, when they're hesitating to try anything by putting themselves out there, meaning, they have something to say and they know they have something to say because they have clients who care about what they say, but they don't want to put it out into the open marketplace where anybody can see it and judge it. [06:49.5]

But I think Group 1 hesitates because they are a financial expert. They've been doing this for years and they have expertise in what they're doing, and it's really hard to test out a new idea that they have no experience in and become a newbie, a brand new newbie, start from zero, where they're way up here and then they’ve got … I know you can't see me right now, but you start from the start and that's hard, and it's an ego and fear of starting with zero posts and zero views when you put something out there and just kind of looking like a failure. So, really, they probably will never start if that's what's stopping them and they'll just keep getting the same results, whatever they've been getting.

Also, that group, they might also think they have nothing good to say. But, again, clients care about your advice. There's other people that you've never met that could help, and if you did a post and got five views, that's five people you've never talked to before that could get something or maybe one of those people might help them in some little way, answer a question that they had. That's kind of powerful. [07:51.8]

The other group is open to posting. They want to do it and they tried it, but they didn't get any results, and maybe they've even tried it for three months and nothing happened and it was just crickets. I think for that person, again, if they're getting very little views kind of like we're talking about or say they got judged by someone or had a negative comment, you’ve got to think like, are you creating it for the critics that are out there or the people that are saying the negative things, or are you creating it to help people? Right? There's always going to be people who disagree with you and it's just part of this game I guess.

So, yeah, it's knowing that there's going to be disruption that follows your intention. If you make an intention to do this, there's always something disruptive that follows, and just be aware that's going to happen.

James: There are always critics for anything. There's a Kobe Bryant quote that I love, which is “Boos don't stop dunks.” I don't think a boo has ever stopped Kobe’s dunk. He's making the shot, period. He doesn't care if you're cheering, if you're booing. It doesn't matter. Boos don't stop dunks. [08:55.8]

But I love what you've done with your channel. Again, I highly recommend financial advisors to type in “Streamline Financial” and watch a couple of these videos. Some have hundreds of thousands of views and you can even sort by “recently uploaded”, go all the way to the beginning and see the start of Dave's journey and it's just a beautiful process. His videos today are so much better than the ones in the beginning. And guess what? The ones in the beginning weren't even that bad. They were pretty good videos and I'm very impressed.

When it comes to someone watching a YouTube video, let's say there's a prospective client, someone types in something about social security, for example—you can do whatever topic you want—into YouTube and then watches your video. What is the process after that? Does it lead to an appointment, to a landing page? What happens once you give the call to action?

Dave: Yeah, so I made a big mistake in the first probably year of doing YouTube videos, and it was pointing people to an appointment. It's hard to go from a YouTube video, I think from a viewer, a potential new client, to go from that to, all of a sudden, spending 30 or 60 minutes with someone on the phone. That's still a big ask. [10:03.3]

What I figured out was, if you can create these little micro-commitments or maybe micro-asks along the way that give them more and more introduction to you and your process and how you work without having to book a meeting, that worked a lot better. I'll give you an example. I think, again, once we started the YouTube videos, we were asking for appointments, and some people would do it. Actually, here's the first 10 months: May 2020 is when we started YouTube and we had zero subscribers, and then at the end of the year, we were having a Christmas party and we had a grand whopping 70 subscribers.

Each video, I did one video a week, and just stayed on that pace, and I was kind of getting teased or felt like I was getting teased for this new initiative we were going to try and there were no results coming from it. But I made a commitment and I was going to continue it, mainly for the purpose of becoming better on video. That was one of the goals, so I wasn't tied to the results or the outcome. I was tied to “I want to become a better communicator via video,” because I think that's where a lot of this is going and that's a way for people to connect. [11:13.5]

But anyways, after that 70 subscribers, the following year in January, so a month later, one video took off and that one video was actually created two months and posted two months earlier, which is kind of interesting with the YouTube algorithm. You never really know when a video is going to get put or I don't know when it is, but it just happens sometimes.

James: Do you remember what video that was?

Dave: Yeah, it was the one that probably has the most views on the channel and it was the “How much do I need to retire?” I believe.

James: There you go, yeah. I'm looking at that right now. “How much do I need to retire? Why I disagree with fidelity.” Wonderful, wonderful title there.

Dave: That one. There was also another one similar to it. That was in January. I believe it was January 2021. Similar title, a lot of views. But, anyway, that one, in one weekend, it got 20 people to reach out and request at that time what we had, not to request for a meeting, but they requested a not a guide, not a “Join our email list.” It was a quiz that we created. [12:15.3]

The quiz was called “How much do I need to retire?” and it walked people through eight questions where they gave all their information. I got the results and then I created a custom reply that took about three minutes to record, and then a follow up of “Hey, we talked about some of the big general things for people in your position.” They may be thinking about Roth conversions getting close to or once they do retire and moving more to tax-free or post-tax, and then they also are thinking about blah, blah, blah. Whatever it is, three things or two things. If you want to talk more about that, let me know.

The main goal was to help them answer their question about “How much do I need to retire?” and, again, not get super specific, but big picture and give them ideas, show them. I was at the time using a Riskalyze roadmap, which is a really simple retirement planner where you plug four or five numbers in and you get a nice visual. I screen-shared, sent that to them, and about 25% of people who saw that would ask for a first meeting. [13:09.6]

So, that's where it started. The question was “What's the process after the video?” The answer was we had a quiz that people would start to engage with and it was a micro-commitment, small questions before we ever met, and they got a lot of value before they ever talked with me in the intro call, if that makes sense.

James: I think that's a big secret that a lot of people miss is that micro-commitments work. My philosophy is more or less sprinkling those sorts of commitments all throughout your entire process, whether it's your website, whether it's your social media profile, your email. People don't realize one of my most successful ad campaigns was actually a long video, meaning, that people could watch right away, didn't have to opt in, no email, nothing. They just watched the video. Then there was a retargeting campaign sending people to an email list. [13:56.2]

Today, a lot of people see, Oh, James is just running ads directly to his email list and he's just hammering people with email lists. Yes, that's true, but it's also because there's 200-plus podcast episodes. There's a lot more content. There are so many more ways that someone could get involved in my world. But before I had that, I had the video. People committed to the video, and on Facebook, you can see like, watch 25%, watch 50%, so on and so forth, and then we targeted based on that. So, I love that approach. I agree with you that it, more often than not, is a mistake. It's a big ask to send people to an appointment page right away.

Dave: Yep, yep, agreed. Hopefully, that saves someone 10 months of their journey -

James: Oh, totally.

Dave: - of when they started to create content. Don't go-- I mean, yes, you're going to have a scheduled meeting on your website and you may point people that way, but look for something else that is a small ask for their email address that will give them value in some way. And, everyone, it could be the quiz example. But, anyway, yeah. [14:57.1]

James: There's also something that I talk about called the pepperoni-pizza rule and I want financial advisors to pick up on this. Basically, the idea is, if people want pepperoni pizza or, in this case, if they're responding to pepperoni pizza, don't try to give them pizza with anchovies. Don't try to give them a salad. Don't try to give them Buffalo wings. Literally, just continue to give them pepperoni pizza. I swear to you, people overlook this like it's too simple.

What did Dave do, financial advisors? He has a video about retirement and “How much do I need to retire?” What did he give them? A quiz about how much people need to retire. He's literally following this rule to a tee. People try to get it so complicated where they talk about Roth IRAs, and then they send people to a landing page that talks about, and it may be a good landing page, but it's like “Seven mistakes engineers make” and they say, “Wait a minute, weren't you talking about Roth IRAs?”

Now, yes, it does take a lot of work to make multiple landing pages, but you showcase that you just record a little video. It may not be super professional, but you get the job done, and people actually respond to that, like, Wow, this guy cares. He cares enough to respond to me and share a screenshot with me, to record a video with me. I'm going to respond in turn because I'm interested in this topic, and I want to send an appointment with you. So, I love how you did that. [16:10.1]

Dave: Thank you.

James: Since you began, though, I want to talk about actual video quality. I know these things because I'm in the marketing world. I noticed that your video has improved. I noticed that you're doing a couple of subtle, smart things, like having a warm light in the background. I know you're doing that right now and that's a wonderful tool to improve your visual. As far as the technical side of your YouTube channel, the actual recording, how have you improved over time?

Dave: The main goal when starting, really, anything, starting LinkedIn posts, small, short text message, yeah, text-based posts, the goal was speed, to provide something valuable and do it quickly, because we didn't have any results and we didn't know if it was going to pay off. Really, for everything, whether it was writing text posts or recording video, it was always “What's the fastest way possible to do this?” [17:02.8]

I can give you kind of the setup I’ve got and how I do it quickly, which is helpful, hopefully, for advisors, but for, really, kind of the phases I think I went through when starting video on YouTube, number one was just reps. Just doing it. I would write up the script. I would have an idea. Okay, I want to communicate just one thing that's helpful or answer a question that someone just asked me.

Whether it was a client or a prospective client that asked me a question, I want to answer that in video form and I’ve got my own unique spin. I have a different way to communicate. People who are attracted to the way I communicate, there's going to be 99 out of 100 that are not attracted and then they'll never watch the next video. They'll never call me. So, it's a great way to kind of prequalify people with video. Only the ones that are attracted to you will reach out.

But anyway, Phase 1 was just doing the reps and having one piece to communicate. And get comfortable on camera. I started with an iPhone, and then this little lapel mic that would plug into the iPhone, and that's what I was using. At the time, I think it was the iPhone 7, and the video was fine then. The video is now I don't know how many times better with the iPhone 13, but I started with the iPhone. It's simple and the lapel mic gives you good audio. [18:15.4]

Phase 2 was really practicing not so much the looks or the camera, or what was in the shot, but it was around simplifying the lesson and the way that it was communicated. So, it's kind of a different [way]. I don't know if that's the normal way people do it, but I just wanted to, again, the goal was to become a better communicator via camera and that's what I focused on next.

After that was when I really started to look at some of the numbers and some of the results, and then what videos were doing well, what other people were doing that was doing well, and started to put my own spin on some of it. There's a video out there, “The Roth conversion sweet spot.” I wasn't the first person to make that up, but I do have my own ideas and my own spin on it, so I made a video like that that did pretty well at the time. [19:01.0]

Over time, I think it was—trying to think—so starting in July 2019, it took 10 months before it was May 2020 and we were all stuck at home, right? We were all in our basement or home office, most of us, and I found my wife's old DSLR camera, so a nice camera from 10 years ago, so kind of dated. Set that up, that's what we started with the YouTube videos, and little by little, I think it was just a process, you don't worry about what's behind you and then you look at the video and see, “Oh, it could be better here,” or you see another video and “Oh, that person has the warm light behind them. Maybe I should get that.” It was kind of slowly adding on until it looked a little bit better.

So, I don't know if that answers the question about the style or the look. Tim, my business partner, is the design guy. He's got the eye. He helped even design our office. I don't have any of that and he thinks I think he thinks it's funny that the videos, for a long time, were just a talking head. No graphics, and there are still pretty much no graphics. There's really nothing. It's just me in front of the camera, but they somehow did well, and I think a lot has to do with the content of simplifying it and making it easy for people to understand. [20:14.6]

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.

James: You have a gift for explaining things well, so I think you have a super team here. If he has an eye for design and making everything look good, and you have a gift for explaining concepts well, then you're just like a dream team, and you can't argue with the results. What would you say to financial advisors—I'm trying to think of some objections here—financial advisors who would say, “Oh, the YouTube subscribers or leads that come from YouTube, they're not worthy of my time or they're not high quality”? [21:04.5]

Dave: I would ask, “Where did you hear that? Where did you get that data?” because YouTube advisors or YouTube clients, here's the thing about YouTube. It is the only social media that will take a video that you make, search for your ideal client, if you're focusing on one niche—we focus on retirement content—and within that 10 months, it knew to only show it to people who are 55-plus or about 80% were above the age of 55.

So, they take the video, give it to that person, have them watch it, and then they even pay us when they watch the video. It's the only social media out there that pays you to grow your audience and to get to have more clients come to you, which is pretty wild. [21:55.7]

The thing I was saying about connecting via video, a whole bunch of people never reached out to me because they watched a video of mine and they did not like my style or the way I communicate, or any of it, and that's great. That just saved me a half-hour of time in talking to them and the intro call where we wouldn't have connected most likely. Right? So, that just helps really prequalify and get the people who match your communication style and people that you just gel with.

It's amazing, we’ll take everyone through our entire process, always, but there's people in the first-- Sometimes I'm driving in my car and we're having an intro call, and within the first 15 minutes, they'll say, “You know what, Dave? We've been watching you, your channel, for a year. We think we're just going to go with you guys. We didn't even talk about the process. Thankfully, we're good at what we do and we take them through it, and they become a client. But that's the power of video. [22:51.1]

James: Some advisors will tell me, “I prefer to get in front of. And prospecting is a numbers game. I just want to be in front of more people.” Huh? YouTube does that. There's no way I'm looking at your videos now. Number one, 261,000 views, 222,000 views, 187,000 views. Let's just put those together. There's no financial advisor out there, so it’s like 4 minutes, 10 minutes, and then 7 minutes 35 seconds. Do you know how much time you would have spent, if it was one-on-one?

The beauty of what you're doing is that it's scalable. Dude, it’s separate from your time, and you're totally right, I didn't even think about that, that the YouTube algorithm will actually recommend to the ideal person. If you're a horse channel, they'll show people who watch other horse videos. If you're a bodybuilding fitness channel, they're going to show based on what you have consumed in the past. The algorithm is really popular. I watched a video with basset hounds one time and I got nothing but basset hounds on one stream for a week. I'm like, No, I shouldn't have done that. But this is absolutely, absolutely incredible.
Have you noticed any overarching themes or patterns between your videos that tend to do well versus the ones that don't? [24:02.7]

Dave: The overarching, I’ll give you one of the negatives, for people that are thinking about YouTube. Because of the success, we've had to get very selective, again, only having really two main advisors and then Tim is taking on maybe five clients a year. We've had to get really selective with who we can work with, so that means just the majority of the people who are reaching out, we're not able to bring on as clients. We're finding ways or places to point them and other advisors and things like that so they can get help.

But the negative for maybe any sort of marketing is that, when you take 100 people who watch the video, maybe 98% or 99% of them are not ideal clients. The videos that will do the best will be the ones that are mass-appealing, meaning, if you were to create “How much do I need to retire?” if you wanted to make it mass-appealing, you wouldn't be using numbers in the millions because people don't have that. The majority of people in the U.S. don't have that for retirement, which is just some of the facts. [25:11.8]

If you wanted to get the most views, you'd focus on what is appealing to the most people. We’ve found that we can do both. You can help the masses, which we want to do, and we want to educate and help them, even though they're never going to become a client. But then we also want to target the right, ideal fits, too, so there's kind of a balance there and I don't know if that's making sense.

But the videos that do the best are like that one, “How much do I need to retire?” There's another type of video that I don't like to do, because it's the enemy of contentment and it's the comparison videos, “How much should I have at age 60? How much should I have at age 65?” Those videos do really well, because it's just maybe in our nature. It's appealing to people to click on that and watch it, so that when we do, if we did want to grow views, we would do those, but we would try to throw in something that is different than the average video and try to throw in something encouraging or something like that that speaks to their soul versus just comparison of straight numbers, if that makes sense. So, yeah, it's the mass-appealing stuff. It's a balance. [26:16.2]

James: The mass-appealing stuff gives you credibility, too, so it's not really the worst thing in the world. I mean, things could be a lot worse and I'm totally guilty of watching the “How much should I have at 20 and 30, and 40 and 50?” I like to watch them and I'm like, Yes, beat the 30s. Yes, beat the 40s. Yes, beat the 50s. I'm so great. I'm better than everyone. I mean, hey, we all have our shortcomings. I guess that's one of mine.
What are some reasons why I guess financial advisors shouldn't use YouTube as a marketing channel?

Dave: Whoa, shouldn't use it? If you don't want to. I mean, if you do not want to be on video and the thought of it makes you cringe, then it'd be really hard to continue the process of creating videos, even if you were finding success, right? [27:07.5]

It's for the person that says, “You know what? I think I could do that. I'm a little bit nervous about doing it because of the judgment, because I'm not good at it. I'm starting from zero. I’ll look like a fool because I’m a CFP and now I'm getting zero views, and it just looks bad.” But you just have to get past that and really focus on the ideal, not the outcome of a new client, but the outcome of one getting good on video to helping someone you never met. Because that's really the one of the secrets with marketing, right? I can't remember who said it, but you will probably know the quote, “Prove that you can help someone by actually helping them.”

James: That’s Frank Kern, yeah.

Dave: Okay. Do that. And it's cool because people have more than, I'd say, more than five times I have said on the intro call. “You know what? I’ve been watching you for some time and I was thinking, Man, you helped me this much for free. I wonder what he’d do if I talked to him?” That's what they're thinking, so you have to have some interest to do it. [28:10.4]

If you don't have more than an hour, ideally, two hours a week, to commit to it, I might not do it yet. I would focus on freeing up your time, hiring someone to do some of the other activities that you might be doing now so that you could free it up. That's what I did, and it paid off. But, yeah, those are two thoughts, I guess.

James: Financial advisors, I want to point out something that I’ve seen from anecdotal evidence, because a lot of people tend to get confused with the “give value, provide stuff for free” content. What Dave is doing is something I would absolutely recommend, and the reason that the, quote-unquote, “free content, give value” stuff is working so well for him, in my opinion, and based on what I’ve seen is because, by default, he doesn't have any neediness attached to it because he doesn't know the other person on the other side of the screen until that person reaches out. [29:01.0]

Financial advisors don't get results with the free value stuff when they constantly harass people on LinkedIn messages, “Please download this,” “Please look at this video,” “Why aren't you looking at this? I'm sending it to you,” or they send cold emails and they just try to give them a bunch of stuff. It's because you're interacting with that person directly. But with a YouTube channel, with a podcast, you don't know who is listening and who isn't.

So, I totally applaud any financial adviser who is providing information and valuable resources or whatever, but doing it in a completely non-needy way. Because there are going to be hundreds of people over the next 12 months, perhaps thousands who reach out to Dave and ask for his stuff. He's not hounding these people. Even if it is an amazing guide, a book, whatever, he's not trying to shove it in people's hands. I just want to point that out, if that makes sense, too.

Dave: Yeah, that totally makes sense, and one thought is you do want to have, every once in a while, the call to action, as you know, right? But not the neediness call to action. Here's the best one that has worked for us that seems to … I don't know, you be the judge. It seems to work. [30:07.6]

As you're doing the YouTube intro, you say why it's important, what the video is going to be about, and then introduce yourself. “I'm Dave and I run Streamline retirement firm. If you're thinking about retirement and you want to talk to someone, reach out to me,” or something like that, something as short as that. “If you're just thinking about it, reach out.” Then get into the helpful info, and that was it.

The other thing that worked was, “If you are getting close to retirement, but your advisor is mainly focused just on the investment stuff and they're not thinking about retirement income or a tax-efficient withdrawal strategy,” or the things that we do, right, “or if you've got questions about Roth conversions, give us a call for the planning session,” or something like that, where it's like putting the things in their head that they're probably thinking about already. We get a lot of intro calls where it's like, You know what? My advisor hasn't called me in a long time and he was good for the last 30 years, but I know these next 20 years are going to be different with retirement planning.

Yeah, those two things have worked. [31:06.0]

James: And my advisor sends me one birthday card a year and is probably going to retire before I do.

Dave: True.

James: We talked about maybe the cons of YouTube marketing and if you don't have two hours a week to commit to it. I think those are all valid points. What would you say if there's an advisor who is on the fence about starting a YouTube channel, can't commit to it yet? What would you say to encourage that advisor?

Dave: Yeah, I would say, don't start the YouTube channel, if you're not doing any content marketing. I would say, start writing three-sentence or four-sentence posts on LinkedIn and just starting to get the idea of there's a problem that causes pain and here's a possible solution. With whatever your niche or focus is, if you can follow that framework and then you start to see what gets views and what doesn't or what gets engagement and what doesn't, that's what I would do to kind of test the content. [32:05.5]

If you're not doing any content, don't go straight to YouTube. Start at LinkedIn or maybe Twitter or one of the text-based social medias, and then the Step 2 would be take the ones that were popular that maybe got five views where the rest got one, take the five-view one and then just turn that into a 30-second video.

Practice video with your iPhone and a lapel mic. Do that and get used to it, because it's really hard, if you haven't done it before, to look at the camera and to talk, but if you can start doing reps, that's great. And here's the good news, it's not going to waste. I used to think that for social media, when I do a LinkedIn video, two weeks later, no one would ever see it again, and that's kind of the reason why I started a YouTube channel, too, because I wanted a library of content.

But you can take those videos that you've done for LinkedIn and still post them later, right? Like you said, you've always got your own little library. You can use that. But I would start doing that and it's a low time commitment. It helps you practice. It gets you on video. Do that and then if you can do that consistently for three months, then start doing the YouTube stuff. [33:08.8]

James: That's absolute gold, because it gives you data. It provides a proof of concept. It eliminates a lot of guesswork. You get better. There are just so many benefits to the approach you just described.
Let's end this podcast episode here talking about you and your goals. What are your goals for the next six months for YouTube or maybe the next couple years? What's in the future for you?

Dave: For YouTube, specifically, the ultimate goal is to help people so that we can help them Streamline, right? Streamline is growing faster than it ever has before. We have to be very intentional and very specific with who we can help. We've got this awesome team, doing amazing things, helping people, so to do that. The main way we're doing that is just make one video a week. It's an input goal. Let's keep doing one video a week and I’ll keep trying to make it better and better, and again, not too tied to the outcome, trying to help people. That's the goal. [34:05.4]

The second thing that I'm doing is I want to start, and I'm kind of telling you first maybe or I’ve got a few of these lined up, but I hope to start speaking on stages to help other advisors. We've got the “Streamline My Practice”, which is for advisors. It's where I take the things that are working at Streamline Financial and then share it at Streamline My Practice, which is a website and there's a YouTube channel as well, Streamline My Practice. So, I want to start speaking on stages as well. If you're going to a conference or if you're a conference person, and you want to meet up, then recommend me to speak so we could go to the same conference.
Those are two goals for this year, one video a week and then speak on some stages.

James: I love the conference scene. A lot of these conferences are just so far. I mean, I was looking at stuff in Los Angeles literally this morning, and from PHL to LAX, it's 5 hours 53 minutes, at least on American, the one I was looking at. That’s a lot to go and then come back. [35:03.1]

I understand that there's a business aspect of it. Maybe you will understand this because you're on YouTube and you have scalable marketing assets. I start to think to myself, Hmm, six hours, a couple thousand bucks, and even if I get reimbursed, it's still like you're spending time, energy and money for everything you do to hang out with 300 people or my ads can show to 300,000 over the course of a weekend. And that's more or less how I think.

Now, if a conference is in Baltimore, D.C., New York, Atlanta, Chicago, you bet your butt, I’m there. But when it starts to get like, West Coast, West Coast, West Coast, I'm like, Man, come on, come to the East Coast conferences. So, conferences, if you're listening, please, please, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., come to those areas.

Dave: What about Chicago? Someone come to Chicago.

James: I love Chicago. Chicago will be incredible. I can't wait to get back to Chicago, have deep dish pizza, have the-- what do they do there? It's the hotdogs, but they call it something else. I'm going to get crucified for this. [36:00.5]


James: I'm going to get crucified for that, but, hey, whatever. This has been awesome. I am so glad that I can finally say I have content on the podcast about YouTube marketing from someone who actually knows what he's talking about with 23,000 subscribers at this point. By the time this episode comes out, you're probably going to have 25,000, 26,000, 27,000, and you're going to move on. You've got Streamline Financial. You've got Streamline My Practice for financial advisors where you're also doing YouTube there, so you're doing something that works for one business and implementing it into another. That's incredible.

How can people get in touch with you? If they love what they hear and they want to learn more about you, where do they go?

Dave: Yeah, I would go to StreamlineMyPractice.com and then sign up for the email list. I'll send out weekly, mostly weekly, things that are working at Streamline Financial, tips, communication, marketing, things like that. And the way to actually contact me is just reply to one of those. People do it. Advisors do it every week, and we'll chat via email. [37:02.8]

James: That's awesome. I love that. I wish I could do something similar, but I will be at my computer all freaking day. It is what it is. I wish I could do it because I love the personal approach. I really want to do that. I’ve just got a lot on my plate now and have had a lot on my plate it seems like for the past couple of years. Thank you, again.

Dave: Yeah.

James: This has been incredible. Financial advisors, I hope you got a lot out of this. I hope you got as much as I did out of that. I've learned a lot from this. And I will catch you next week.

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