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: Hey, financial advisors, hope you're doing well. In this podcast episode, I'm going to give you a big-picture overview of exactly what I would do if I had to build an overall marketing system in 30 days.
This obviously will not dig deep into the nitty-gritty details because it's just a 20-minute podcast episode. I mean, come on, what else can you expect? However, my intention is to give you an idea of what the business would look like and how I would approach it, and how I would think about the entire process. I feel like that would be helpful for people to see how I think about this sort of thing. [01:05.3]
If it's Day 1, the very first thing I would do is get clear on exactly who I want as a client. I have an entire video training designed to help financial advisors choose niches over at TheAdvisorCoach.com/niche. Having a niche is so important and everything I do throughout this process will be made better because of the niche, of having a niche.
Let me tell you how legendary marketer, Gary Halbert, would explain this point. He would ask his students, “If you and I both owned a hamburger stand and we were in a contest to see who could sell the most hamburgers, what advantages would you like to have on your side?” and the answers would always vary. Some people would say they wanted a superior product, superior, be it better food, like sesame seed buns. Others would say bright colors, children's stories. Some people would say having a great location. Others will talk about having the lowest prices. [02:04.8]
But Gary would look his students in the eyes and tell them he would beat them all, because the advantage he would want in a hamburger business is a starving crowd—and that, my friend, illustrates why having a niche is so important, because being able to serve a specific target market will increase that markets metaphorical appetite for your services.
Through specialization, you can create a starving crowd. People don't know that. Yes, it's great to go out and find an audience, and if the audience wants something, then you should give that audience what it wants. I'm not saying that you shouldn't, because it is a great idea, all else being equal. However, good marketing channels exist in desire.
People already desire to have more money, have more freedom, and have more fun. People already want to live life on their own terms. Good marketing takes those desires and shows people how to attain them, and if you're running a good, honest, moral, ethical business, then people purchase your services to have better outcomes in their lives. Explaining that your services are specifically for certain people will make them pay more attention, if they're those sorts of people. [03:19.2]
One thing I would not try to do is reinvent the wheel as far as language and messaging is concerned. I would look at other companies that are serving my niche and I would pay close attention to the words they use, the colors they use, and the overall feel of their services., I would actively ignore, hear me correctly, I would ignore other financial advisors, because I wouldn't want to be influenced by whatever Joe down the street is doing. I would look at other industries that serve my niche.
For example, if I think my niche is going to be female executives, I would look for companies that serve female executives and I would make notes of what they're doing and why. I wouldn't look to copy any of their marketing, though. I wouldn't look to build a, quote-unquote, “swipe file.” Doing that is dumb. [04:07.8]
I would look at it to get a feel for any patterns that emerge, any trends that I see. Are there any unspoken rules? Is there some etiquette that I don't know? These are important things that you should be aware of. I would then let my findings influence my marketing materials while still being smart enough to be my own person.
You cannot have a unique value proposition unless you offer something unique, and if you're copying whatever Joe down the street is doing, you're not going to be unique. I would not, would not, would not copy other financial advisors. I think it is a terrible idea. If you copy 10 financial advisors and you're going to get the average result of those advisors, and you do not want to be average, and it's just a terrible idea all the way around.
Next, I would focus on doing outbound marketing and inbound marketing at the same time. Lots of people mistakenly do one or the other. For example, some financial advisors believe that you should get out into the world and shake hands, kiss babies, knock on doors, make cold calls, just go get them, Tiger. That kind of mentality. There are other financial advisors who believe that all you should do is post on social media all day long and do nothing but create content. [05:15.8]
Both approaches have their pros and cons. Essentially, I’ll boil all of this down to this. Outbound marketing can get you clients today, but inbound marketing can get you clients tomorrow. To give you an analogy, it’s like building wealth. If you're starting from nothing and you have a zero net worth, you need to start by getting some money.
Whoa, isn't that a novel concept? You need to earn some money. You need to have that thing flow. Most of the time, this is going to come from working or someone else. Ah, I know that's bad. Everybody wants to be an entrepreneur and be their own boss and just live life on your own terms, and, yay, financial independence. But most of the time, you’ve got to start somewhere, you have to work for someone else. You will either get a fixed dollar amount per hour or a fixed salary every two weeks, in order to work on someone else's business. You are building someone else's dream for a certain amount of money. [06:12.4]
But if you want to get real wealth, you almost certainly need to invest, because unless you have a job like a professional baseball player or A-list actor, you're not going to build wealth with a job. That's not a bad thing, though. Everybody has to start somewhere. You need to take the money that you earn from your job and invest it in a vehicle that can grow your wealth, no matter what you do.
Think of dividend-paying stocks. These stocks will pay dividends no matter what, all else being equal, assuming that the company is healthy, right? I'm talking about whatever you do in your life. If I have a dividend stock, it doesn't matter what I'm doing. I could be on vacation in Hawaii, I can be at home watching movies, the dividends will still come in. I can't think of any jobs that will pay me to sit at home and watch movies. [06:59.0]
Outbound versus inbound marketing is very similar because outbound marketing can get you that foundation, like the job, when you earn money. If you have a job that pays $100,000 per year and you just go hard for a couple years, and you save $100,000, you save $150,000, and you put it to work, then you have such a strong foundation. I know people are going to criticize that they're going to say, “How can you save 50% of your income. It's so hard.” Just go hard. If you want exceptional results, you have to do exceptional things, period.
But nothing can truly replace one-on-one time spent with your target market, aka outbound marketing when you're reaching out to them. At least in the beginning, right? Eventually, you're going to have a machine that works for you and gets people to come to you, so you can have that one-on-one time, and I'm talking about building a marketing system in 30 days.
When you have that one-on-one time, you get to know your market’s fears, desires, worries, challenges, and more. You have a much higher likelihood of converting each person because each person can look you in the eyes and see that you're a competent, trustworthy, professional. I was going to say expert, but I guess at this point, you're not an expert, right? [08:06.9]
The same cannot be said for inbound marketing. I know I love inbound marketing. I'm on LinkedIn. I’ve got email marketing, I’ve got online ads that run to, at this point, over millions of people, which is strange because there aren't even a million financial advisors in the United States, which means my ads are just getting shared, I guess, I don't know. But inbound marketing doesn't do that. It doesn't have that same connection where you reach out, you shake your hand, you say, Look, here I am. I'm someone who can help you. I have this specific target market accomplish this specific thing.
But—but–once you have that foundation, you can get dividends. Clients from inbound marketing are the metaphorical dividends that continue to get paid no matter what. One of the things that makes me different from all the other coaches, gurus, agencies and consultants out there is I want financial advisors to build assets they own and control. I know that wealth comes from assets, and I want financial advisors to have marketing assets. [09:06.8]
If I had to build a marketing system in 30 days, I would plant the seeds of my marketing assets and I will put together a game plan for how I will build them. A lot of you aren't harvesting what you want, because you're not planting what you want. Yes, you have to plant. You can't just harvest, harvest, harvest. You have to plant.
And guess what? You don't harvest immediately after you plant. You plant. You have a little water, a little sunshine, a little time, make sure it's in the right soil, and then you harvest. This is a law of nature. A lot of you just plant your seed and you're like, Gasp, is it time to harvest yet? Is it time to harvest yet? Is it time to harvest yet? No, take a chill pill, bro. Building assets doesn't happen overnight. Examples of marketing assets include an email marketing autoresponder, a strong LinkedIn profile, a high-converting lead magnet or a good landing page, a good website, maybe a podcast or YouTube channel. [10:00.3]
I'm recording this episode months before you listen to it. You could listen to it in 2023 when it comes out. You could listen to it in 2024, 2025. Who knows what I'm doing when you're listening to this? I could be anywhere. I could be in office. I could be in St. Louis. I could be in Chicago. I could be in Las Vegas. I could be doing whatever I want with whoever I want however I want, and this asset, my voice that you're listening to right now, will continue to work for me. There are so many possibilities. But I want you to begin seeing these things for what they are. They are assets that you should build so you don't have to depend so much on your manual labor in the future.
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.
Most people … I shouldn't say most people, I shouldn't generalize like this. But there are a lot of financial advisors who are so resistant to outbound marketing, and it is powerful. If you just get off your butt and go out there and meet people, the data that you can get is invaluable. [11:14.3]
When people object to you and they reject you, and you find out why, that's gold, if you use it correctly, because you can prevent yourself from making the mistake in the future. And guess what? If you're an inbound marketer and your heart is really there, you have the data from your outbound marketing that you can put into your inbound marketing.
If you have a conversation with someone and you have a cold prospect that you're talking to, or I should say, a cold lead that you turned into a prospect, isn't necessarily a qualified prospect yet, and you have a conversation and that prospect brings up objections and fears and “Oh, I don't want to do it because of this,” or “I don't have the time right now,” or “I have to think about this,” you can take that same objection and put it in your email autoresponder sequence. Because guess what? People are still going to have that objection. Why not handle it on autopilot? So, something to think about. [12:00.1]
Now, what would I do exactly? Again, this is me I'm talking about. You can make your own decisions. But this is what I would do. On Day 1, I would identify a target market. Then on Day 2, probably still on Day 1, to be honest with you, I would look for places to rent a mailing list of people in that target market. I would then send a specific type of mailing in a specific sequence in order to get their attention.
I talk about this in one of the bonuses that Inner Circle members get immediately after subscribing to the James Pollard Inner Circle Newsletter. That bonus is called “How Financial Advisors Can Get Clients with Direct Mail,” and it is absolute gold. It's better than gold. It’s platinum. It’s absolute diamond. It's a conversation with a man who has mailed more than 300 million pieces, so he kinda sorta knows what he's talking about. You could literally rent a list of 1,000 people today and send out the mailing today or tomorrow, and that's actually how I began getting consulting clients through the Advisor Coach. [13:05.1]
I would send financial advisors something in the mail and I would let them know that I could help them get more clients. It was really simple, but it made the phone ring. Financial advisors got my letter, called me, asked about my services, and we set an appointment, a later appointment, so I could explain everything in more detail.
At the end of that call, I would ask advisors to give me some money to help them. That's called providing a service for people. Some advisors gave me money and reaped the rewards. Others politely declined or gave me an excuse and didn't get any clients from my methods. It was really simple.
Think about that. Isn't that awesome? You could send a letter in the mail to someone. They read your letter. They read a little bit about you and how you can help them, and if they're interested, they can call you. What? How cool is that?
And that would actually be my first, I guess, you could call it, inbound marketing strategy I would work on, even though, technically, it's outbound, because you're going out into the marketplace. So, that's Day 1, possibly Day 2. On Day 3, I would bust my butt doing outbound marketing, maybe some phone calls mixed in, and then at night, I would begin working on a lead magnet tailored to my specific target market. [14:13.3]
If I only had 30 days, I would probably outline a video script and record a video for them, because I can create videos way faster than I can write PDFs. Maybe that's true for you. If it's not and you write PDFs faster than I would do a PDF, whatever you can get down quickly. Remember, this is just getting your foundation in 30 days. Action is paramount here. You're just getting a bunch of stuff and you're getting a bunch of data that you can make informed decisions in the future. So, I would probably outline the video and I would record it over the next few days.
If we're on Day 3, I would say the lead magnet would be done by Day 7, and I go hard. I don't take 50 weeks to create a lead magnet. I don't take three years to create a landing page. I'm proud about it. I go hard. I get the stuff done, and I think more people could benefit by doing that. [15:00.0]
On Day 7, I would rest, because we all need rest, and then on Day 8, I would continue my outbound marketing. Remember, I'm outbound marketing the entire time. I want to make that clear. It's not like I'm doing outbound marketing one day and inbound the next. That's absolutely not the case. I'm doing outbound during the day and I'm working on my inbound system at night because people aren't going to answer the phone at night, for example, and mailing houses close at night. They work nine to five, and they print your stuff and ship during the day. You're not going to get much outbound stuff done at night.
So, this whole time, I'm connecting with people on LinkedIn. I'm messaging people on LinkedIn. I'm engaging with them on there. I would post on LinkedIn every day so I would get data about what people want to see versus what they don't want to see. Even if I'm only reaching out to a couple people, even if I only get 90 views and that's it, it doesn't matter, I'm getting data. I'm getting something. I did an entire episode about how to get the LinkedIn algorithm to show your content. That's Episode 209, if you want to go back and listen to it. It's titled “How to Force the LinkedIn Algorithm to Show Your Content.” [16:01.3]
You can tell I'm not very creative with these titles, the “How Financial Advisors Can Get Results with Direct Mail”, “How to Force the LinkedIn Algorithm to Show Your Content.” Oh, what's that about? It's about forcing the LinkedIn algorithm to show your content. So, I have really simple titles, but it seems to work well for me.
Every workday would have that sort of stuff, calls, letters, handwritten notes, because I will be following up with the letters, anyone who didn't call back. Actually, what day? We're on eight and nine, so people should be calling on this day. I would respond to phone calls from people who called, because if I sent the mailers on Day 3, I should begin getting phone calls on about Day 8 or 9.
On the eighth and ninth day, I would also set up a landing page for my lead magnet. This could be very simple as well. I would hook it up to my email autoresponder, obviously. That way, when people opt in for the lead magnet, they get an automatic welcome email, and then a sequence of emails that goes out no matter what I'm doing. [16:58.0]
I would also voraciously seek feedback from people about how to make the lead magnet better, and I actually did this not too long ago. One morning, I created a 10-page PDF, showing financial advisors a cool way to use artificial intelligence, specifically, ChatGPT to create marketing campaigns and I made a post on LinkedIn, and I asked advisors to let me know if they wanted it.
I sent it to the ones who wanted it and I told them my only request was that they send me feedback, tell me what they liked, what they didn't like, along with any questions they had, because if they had questions, chances are other people have those same questions,
I got a few of the same questions over and over from financial advisors. Specifically, a couple of them thought it would be a good idea to just copy and paste the content and use it on the blog. That is not a good idea. I know people can make arguments that A.I.-detection software isn't that good, but I personally would not take the risk and put A.I.-generated content on my blog word for word. [18:00.8]
It is an asymmetric risk to the downside, meaning, if things go wrong, they go really wrong, and you get slapped with a Google penalty and you see your traffic vanish overnight. You're an adult and you can make your own decisions, but it is not worth it for me. I would not do it.
But I want you to know, back to the lead magnet thing, I literally sat down and I wrote the rough draft in about an hour, and then I launched it. I got feedback the same day. Remember, I go hard. The next day, I made it better. It was 15 pages. Then I shared it more and then I got more feedback, so it's a cycle here.
At the time of this recording, it's actually 20 pages, I think, and if you want to download it for free, you can go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/AI and get it there. So, TheAdvisorCoach.com/AI. You will join my email list. You will get daily emails, because, hey, this is exactly what I'm talking about in this podcast. After this point, it's pretty much rinse and repeat. [18:59.7]
Now, of course, there's only so much detail I can cover in a single podcast episode. There is a lot more I didn't even touch, but that's because I want to give you a foundation you can use. I would think about my long-term plan. I would begin thinking of other marketing assets I could build and work on those assets during the rest of the 30 days, in addition to continuing my outbound and inbound marketing purchase.
I would also track my numbers the entire time. Every so often, one of my Inner Circle members will ask, “When should I begin tracking my ad’s data?” or when should I begin tracking “My activity from LinkedIn.” My answer is as soon as possible, because the more data you have, the better. If your life is threatened due to Type 2 diabetes, how quickly would you like to know your blood sugar levels? If you could extend your life by 10 years by improving your blood pressure, how quickly would you like to know your blood pressure? How often would you like to know your blood pressure so you can track your numbers? Your business is in danger if you don't try your numbers and your business can thrive if you do know your numbers, so track early and often. [20:06.6]
I hope this helps and I hope it helps you get an idea of what you can do to improve your business and your marketing systems. This stuff isn't that complicated. I like the simple approaches. I know I get criticized for my marketing approaches being too simple. They are simple, but it isn't easy. It requires effort, and it requires thought, but if you're willing to put in the effort, then you can reap the rewards. Don't quit. Keep going. And I will catch you next week.
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