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Most financial advisors hear the advice to niche down, and pick doctors or dentists or business owners. While these niches are great, many financial advisors avoid Christians as a niche.


Well, many believe that Christians aren’t as interested in building their wealth as other potential niches. But this is dead wrong. In fact, Christians can be a broad and profitable niche, especially if you’re a fellow Christian.

That’s why I invited Leo Marte from Abundant Advisors onto this podcast episode. Leo helps fellow Christians build financial freedom and wealth. Not only will you discover some tricks about marketing to Christians, but Leo shares tips and tricks that will help create better results in any niche.

Listen now.

Show highlights include:

  • Why including your personal values into your financial advising business attracts better clients and grows your piggy bank (3:20)
  • How to easily convince Christians to work with you (even if they believe wealth in and of itself is wrong) (9:03)
  • The counterintuitive way “Faith-dumping” on prospective Chrsitian clients can repel them away (11:15)
  • How giving your prospects their own DIY financial plan actually makes them more eager to work with you as their advisor (23:25)
  • The ad copy trick for calling out your intended audience without offending them or breaking Facebook’s rules (27:31)
  • The sneaky “Image Secret” for ads so you only attract your ideal clients (29:35)
  • How productizing your financial advising services can double the amount of clients you can serve (34:17)

If you want to connect with Leo and learn more about creating a Christian-based financial advising company, visit his website here: https://www.abundantadvisors.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, I hope you're doing well. If you're a new listener, welcome to the show, I'm glad to have you here, and there's a lot of episodes for you. If you are a returning listener, welcome back.

I have another guest in this week's podcast episode, and we're going to talk about niche-marketing tips. I have Leo Marte from Abundant Advisors, and I wanted to have him on the show because he is an example of niche marketing and niche marketing done correctly. He's doing a lot of things that I really like, from his website to his email marketing sequence to his LinkedIn profile. He's really dialed in. You can tell that he knows what he's doing and he loves his target market, which is Christians, and we're going to talk about that. We might get into some biblical wisdom as well. [01:12.2]

But I will let you take it from here, Leo. Introduce yourself. Who are you? What do you do? And how did you get where you are today?

Leo: James, thanks for having me on your platform. I really appreciate the opportunity to talk to your audience and have a great conversation with you today. As you mentioned, my name is Leo. I've been in the business for almost 15 years. I started my career in a large investment firm in a variety of roles, whether it was beginning with technology, which was my formal university education, and then transitioned into the financial side of the house, and then, eventually, into financial advice. So, I've been through this journey over my adult life, where I've kind of discovered my love for planning and investing, and made some career moves to get me closer to that. [02:00.0]

Then, in 2020, shortly after the pandemic started, I decided to start my own firm that was focused primarily on serving Christians, which I believe were underserved in the general financial planning and investment market. Many people in the U.S. identify as Christians, but there aren't a lot of offerings out there in the large firms and the people, the places that people most likely go to that are geared specifically towards believers. So, I felt that calling there to start a business around that concept, and that's where I'm at today.

I am a father of three, recently three because my third child, the daughter, was born not that long ago, just a couple of months ago, and my wife and I live in Huntersville, North Carolina. So, we spend a lot of time in Pennsylvania, and before that the northeast, but now we're really glad to be down south enjoying the balmy weather during the winter.

James: That's awesome. I'm near Pennsylvania, for financial advisors who are listening, near the Philadelphia region. Delaware is my home state. Fastest internet in the country. I learned that last night, so that's pretty cool. [03:06.5]

Leo: Nice.

James: For those listeners who don't know, in financial services, what are some examples of things that would be different for Christian investors, specifically, versus the average population?

Leo: When I look at financial planning, in general, I would say that the principles and things that you're taught as an individual are primarily based on biblical wisdom. You just don't know it. They've been genericized and commercialized enough that you don't see the undertone of the faith under those terms of things like save money for a rainy day, taking care of your necessities before you go out and take care of anything else, looking out and preparing for the unexpected, for disasters, building generational wealth. [03:59.0]

All of those are concepts that actually come from the Bible and have been written down for thousands of years, and we've genericized it enough that people can now see those in a marketing brochure or a TV advertisement and then we don't necessarily associate it with its source.

When it comes to financial planning, I see my work with Christians as being less about this really technical side of things which we do a lot—we have a robust, comprehensive financial planning process. We have a solid, risk-based investment management process—but, eventually, you get to conversations once you get past those technical core items about to what end are we saving money? To what and are we building wealth? What is the value system that we want to transfer into the next generation to manage the wealth that we put together? What is my role, as a believer, in changing the world that I live in, my community, my city, my state, my country, through the wealth that God has given me? [05:02.3]

Those are conversations that you'll never have in a generic financial planner’s office, because the ultimate goal is really the wealth-accumulation journey and process, but the value system doesn't necessarily take center stage. When you're working with a Christian financial planner like me, those conversations are going to be a big part of our journey together or time, once we solve some of the low-hanging fruits and the initial steps to get your money journey in the right direction.

James: That's awesome, and that makes perfect sense, because they can come to you with questions about Christianity, about the beliefs. They can make sure that you're guiding them in the right path or they're being guided down the right path. And you're absolutely right, the Bible is full of wisdom and people follow this wisdom either consciously or unconsciously. Especially in America, we have a Judeo-Christian society, for better or for worse. It's been developed over hundreds of years, and you're living under that umbrella. [06:03.2]

One of the things that got me interested in the Bible was just recognizing that I live in this society, that the Bible was the bedrock of this society, and I hadn't read the entire thing, so I started getting deep into it. I realized a lot of stuff, for example, the phrase “going the extra mile,” for the longest time, I was like, Oh, yeah, that's self-help, maybe it came from Napoleon Hill or Dale Carnegie. No, that comes from Jesus Christ in Matthew. He's talking about going the extra mile. If a Roman soldier asked you to carry his equipment, you go for two miles, or 2,000 paces is what it is, instead of 1,000.

That's just one example. You have several throughout your website and on social media. Do you have a specific principle or a specific Bible verse that you love?

Leo: The one that I always refer back to when people ask me why my firm's name is Abundant Advisors has to do with the words of Jesus talking about how He came to give life in abundance and stating His mission very clearly, very upfront about it. [07:08.6]

In my own spiritual journey, as I've studied the scriptures, I get sort of really captivated by some of the key moments in Jesus's life and things that He says, and that was one that really stuck with me. When I was trying to decide the name of the business, I wanted to use something that had a powerful symbolic connection to scriptures, and that's why Abundant Advisors, as a name, was born, and as a brand.

James: That's incredible. That verse, I've thought about that a lot, too, where it says the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But what's interesting is, if you think about this—and I don't want to turn this into a Bible class, so we'll get back to the marketing, financial advisors, I promise, but I want you to understand, if you're listening to me—the word “steal” is a word of lack. [07:55.6]

If something is stolen from you, you no longer have it. If something is killed, it no longer has life. It lacks life. If something is destroyed, that thing is no longer in existence or able to be used. It is that now you're lacking the ability to use that thing. So, steal, kill and destroy our lack of words.

The opposite of that is abundance, so if you embrace abundance, you think that there's a higher power that is controlling, if you believe this, that you have a kingdom that you're living in that is meant to be abundant. Do you believe that that includes material abundance as well? Is there anything in the Bible to support that?

Leo: I think that there are many aspects of wealth that are discussed in the Bible, different people, different periods of time. I think if you look at the story of the patriarchs, God clearly shows us evidence that the wealth of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob had in large part to do with the fact that He was individually blessing them for a particular purpose, and that wealth is not wrong, in and of itself. [09:06.0]

God, it was sort of part of the package deal. “Hey, I will make your name famous. I will give you a bunch of descendants, and, oh, by the way, here's all this wealth that I'm bringing along because it's part of the package deal that you get with me. And, oh, by the way, you did nothing to deserve this deal. I made it happen on my own, of my own volition.”

But we also look at stories like Job's, where Job goes through a period of time where he goes from being very wealthy to having nothing, and one of the themes in the Book of Job that is buried in these back-and-forth arguments between him and his friends is that we have to be really careful not to conflate wealth with blessing, and poverty with curse, because we live in a broken world that doesn't necessarily work the way God intended it to be. [10:02.8]

So, in this world, we have great, faith-filled believers that are doing great work in the world and they don't have anything to eat for dinner, and then we have thoroughly corrupt people that have a lot of money. You can have that also flipped. You have fairly corrupt people that have nothing to eat for dinner, and then you have Bible-believing Christians who are extremely wealthy. So, wealth cannot be necessarily tied to one thing.

I think that the lesson that I get from scriptures is that wealth, in and of itself, is not an indicator of your spiritual condition, which I think is very, very important for Christians to know.

James: That's an awesome point. I'm glad you brought that up. I'm sure I'm going to get a lot of questions about that. Financial Advisors, if you have any questions, just send me a LinkedIn message. I could talk about this stuff for days.

When you're identifying these principles within people, I'd like to focus on your initial meeting. What does your initial meeting look like? How do you integrate your niche, these values into the first time you meet with someone? [11:03.1]

Leo: When I meet with someone, I typically try to probe first without assuming what their spiritual journey looks like along with our financial journey. I ask questions, for example, “Are you plugged into a church? Do you attend church regularly? Are your values or your belief system a part of your financial decisions?”

Those are sort of broad open-ended questions that I asked people and I try to ascertain kind of how deep into that spectrum you are, because there are a lot of people who are friendly towards the faith and they may attend church, but they haven't necessarily thought about all this stuff, so you don't want to turn off a prospect or a client by sort of faith-dumping in your first interaction without understanding where they're coming from. Once you figure that out, then you tailor the message based on their beliefs and their maturity level they have around their beliefs and money at around that time. [12:06.7]

Another question that I like asking is “In your background, what is your money script? What is the story behind how you look at money today?” and depending on which Christian denomination you grow up in or if you didn't grow up in the church at all, there is a certain diversity of stories and narratives that people bring to the table, and I think that's a very important aspect to know.

Another aspect that I cover in those conversations, and I would consider not only the initial meeting while trying to figure out a fit with a prospect, but also the initial onboarding meeting, it’s also getting an understanding of where their giving is at that point in time. Some people come to me and they give zero and some people are fervent about their 10% tithe benchmark.

I think it's trying to figure out, Okay, so where are you in this spectrum? How much does giving play into your life, into your decision-making? How can we get you to really fulfill that call towards generosity over time and help you really grow in that area? [13:17.4]

Those are some of the ways in which I integrate that into my process. It’s asking open-ended questions, seeing where people are coming from, understanding their background, and then identifying opportunities where I can help them move the dial to align their money with their beliefs.

James: I'm going to get a little selfish here. Giving was probably the easiest and the hardest thing for me to do, and I know that sounds kind of weird to say, but I am a naturally giving person, but I didn't start the tithing process until I had a relatively large income and all the good stuff that comes with it. It is very, I would say, it's significantly more difficult to give a car. You could buy a car with the money versus a phone or something, I don't know. It's much harder to give a big sum of money when you've never given before. [14:12.4]

But I tried to take the text as it is and I'm reminded of Malachi 3:10, I believe. It's like, Bring the tithe into the storehouse and I will open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing. I think it's the only time or one of the only times in the Bible where God is specifically asking the reader to put Him to the test. “If you tithe, then this is going to happen. I'll rebuke the devourer.” It’s just an incredible promise, and I was like, Well, I gotta do it, right? I have this gift of just reading something and not trying to add to it, not trying to twist it, so I'm very blessed to have that. I'm thankful to have that.

How do you get people to give more? Because I wish I had somebody like you five years ago.

Leo: It’s never too late, James, so we can talk after the podcast, if you need help. But I think that the key Question here is not necessarily “How do I get you to give more?” It’s “How do I get you to understand or figure out your understanding of generosity?” because everything comes sort of out of that, right? [15:16.5]

When we talk about Malachi, one thing that I engage in conversation about tithing with a lot of people and have over the years is there's this sort of bad rap that that tithing has gotten over the years, because it's kind of associated with this slimy, commercialized -

James: Totally.

Leo: - transactional preaching in certain churches that has become sort of notorious for being clearly off base, right? And then people, when pastors preach about tithing, there's a material level of attendance drop. Anytime the pastor announces, “I'm going to talk about money in a week or two weeks from now,” there's actually a measurable material drop in church attendance -

James: That’s wild. [16:01.2]

Leo: - because you’ve just got to get the ache, like, Argh, here's my pastor reaching into my wallet. When you look at Malachi, I think it's really helpful to be contextual around what God is trying to say there. Malachi is talking to a people that have prioritized their own welfare over God's temple and over God's storehouse, and, actually, it’s not the only time that God has said this to the Israelites, to His chosen people. If you look at as far back as Exodus and you look at the basis, the foundation for the covenants that God made with His people, they were subject to their obedience, so “Hey, if you do this, I will do that. But if you don't do this, this is what's going to happen to you.”

And if you look at the promises that God is making to His people, those are not new promises. God says, “Hey, if you prioritize me, if you follow the structure, given the generous structure that I've set for you as a people, all of these things are going to come because I'm going to be there to protect you. You're going to have great harvests. Your crops are not going to get eaten away by pests. You're not going to get sick.” All these things are tied to a strong set of rules and covenants that God had made with His people. [17:21.0]

Now, in the New Testament and in the modern time, I'm not a Jewish person, I'm not part of the, quote-unquote, “chosen people.” I come into the picture because the gospel is preached to people who are non-Jews, and those rules and those promises were not given to me in this new context that I live in. So, now I have to look at they may not have been given to me, but there's something about God's character that I can learn out of this story. And when it comes to tithing and giving, I try to be really careful to help people understand, a) God doesn't need your money.

James: Correct, yeah. [18:00.2]

Leo: God is not here like the IRS to take withholding out of your paycheck to fulfill a legal obligation. That is not how it works. God is making you a co-participant in His work and the tithe is the economic vehicle for God to operate in the physical reality that we live in.

In the Old Testament, it was about feeding the priests and feeding the poor, and doing all sorts of things with that money, and in the modern context, the Church has to replace that old model as the way to deliver God's generosity and mercy ministry to His people. Focus on that, and everything else comes with it, because once you get past the hardness around our heart that all of us have around generosity, then how you give becomes less relevant. It just sort of flows. [18:54.2]

God will wake you up in the middle of the night and say, “Hey, you need to write a check to somebody.” It’s like, What? Is this God? Is this ? I don't know, but I'm going to listen to this voice and I'm going to go write that check to this particular family that is in need and I'm going to trust that God's going to figure it out, and God does. I think that that is something that we need to keep close to our hearts as believers that it's not a legal requirement. It's not a rule-based system. God doesn't need your money. He is making you a co-participant in His redemptive work on Earth and that's what giving is all about.

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: And that’s actually a perfect segue into the next question I wanted to ask you. I noticed on your website that you have a lead magnet, a video lead magnet, specifically, for advisors who are curious, like, I want to do a PDF, I'm going to do a checklist, which I wouldn't recommend, a checklist, but a PDF or a quiz or a video. Leo has a video and it is titled “3 Secrets to Manage Money God's Way.” What happens when someone joins your email list? How does the process look like and how does that work for you? [20:19.8]

Leo: When somebody joins the list, the first thing you'll see, and we'll get into more like this is where we transition from the theology to the practical application of the niche, right? I use the email marketing tool, Mailchimp, where I have a form, and when you go onto my website, you hit access to video, it takes you into a landing page where you give me your name, your last name, and your email address.

You hit submit and you technically join my email list, and you get a welcome message automatically as a welcome message that contains the link to the video, which is hosted as a page. You cannot reach it on my website's navigation. It’s just on a linked page that has an embedded video, which is a webinar and it's about 45 minutes long. [21:12.1]

You fall, after that welcoming message, I have an automation that says, “Hey, send Leo the welcome message and tag him so that the next automation kicks off,” and that next automation is a welcome series, a series of about seven or eight emails that are sent out over a period of time, probing and asking and showing different elements of value around the offer and other things that I have in my business. I recall, James, listening to a recent podcast in which you were featured, interviewed. It was the Client Stampede.

James: Yeah.

Leo: And one of the things you mentioned there is that you like daily emails, sort of daily sequences, if I recall correctly. [22:02.1]

James: Right.

Leo: Did I quote that right?

James: Yeah, sure. It's not that financial visors are sitting down and writing an email every single day. That is not the case. You have better things to do with your time. There is a law of diminishing returns that kicks in with any marketing strategy, no matter what it is. But I do believe that autoresponder sequences should be set to daily, especially in the first seven to 10 emails.

Leo: I did not follow the James Pollard gospel on this one, and through a lot of experimentation, I decided to do it weekly, and I kind of pinged and checked with some of the people that have been in my email list for a while and sort of the niche and the sub-niche that I target, which is professionals tend to get overwhelmed with daily emails because their inboxes are always packed with stuff. Other niches may be different, but that's just what I found through feedback with the people that I communicate with.

But I have a weekly email that goes out and it tackles different aspects of my offer. First, it asks, “Hey, in case you haven't watched it,” because some people have that issue, they miss the welcome email. “Hey, in case you haven't watched it, sent you an email a couple days ago, you might want to look at the webinar.” [23:15.0]

Then I invite them to offer any feedback, any insights, any thoughts that they may have about that, and invite them also to follow us on social media so they can continue getting some value. After that, I bring back something that I talk about in the lead magnet, which is an online course that I created for DIY, individuals that want to build their own financial plan with those biblical principles. I invite them, too. “Hey, want to check it out, and maybe get a discount on that course? Click here.”

Then I start talking about all the things that I do in my firm, like, “Hey, I offer one-time plans. Maybe this is a good fit for you, if you're in XYZ situation. We also offer ongoing relationships and this is designed for people that fit this type of criteria. Are any of these options attractive to you? Would you like to spend some time talking with me over Zoom?” [24:07.2]

That's kind of like the sequence that I go through as I start really high-level with a webinar as a starting point, and then I dig deeper into my own offer by presenting options and ways in which people can engage with me.

James: That’s the beautiful part of email marketing. It’s that people can self-qualify. You can say, “I have this. Do you want it?” Now, you would be more elegant than this, but you say, “I have this. Do you want it?” People say no by not doing it. “I have this? Do you want it? I have this. Do you want it?” and it goes on and on, and people will think that's very crude. It's the opposite of crude because it's a self-selecting process that people opt in at their own time. They read emails at their own leisure. They watched a webinar at their own leisure. It's not intrusive at all because they're signing up for it.

In my experience, email marketing is the most effective appointment setting strategy ever. There are different things for getting traffic and getting people to different pages, but as far as setting appointments and having calls to action, email is just, by far, number one. [25:09.8]

You mentioned that you use Mailchimp for email. I like Mailchimp. I haven't gotten a chance to play around with Mailchimp as much since it was acquired by Intuit. But for webinar, do you use EverWebinar, WebinarJam? What is the service you use for webinars?

Leo: I thought about using that, but I decided not to, because when I looked at the volume of attendees that I would be getting into it, it’s just that the ROI just wasn't there for me as far as the cost of the tool and the some of the sophisticated features that you have there.

The whole genesis of this “3 Secrets to Manage Money God's Way” webinar had to do with a marketing campaign that I did last year. It was a Facebook ad campaign and I wanted to expose my message to some newer people to add them into my funnel. So, what I did was I hired someone to help me write some ad copy and I created an ad campaign that was connected to an event. I did these live for a few tries to get the sort of practice, the ad bats, presenting this particular deck. [26:13.1]

Then, towards the last one, I decided to shift my focus from doing it live to doing it prerecorded, so I took the recording of that last one. I added it to my website as a magnet lead, and then I also ran a few campaigns on the prerecorded video so that people could access it and go to my page and watch it.

I learned a ton of things about that in the process about Facebook ads and you know how that plays out with my niche, which it shouldn't be surprising that, at least for religious factors, advertising has been substantially curtailed from what it was possible in the past. There are ways in which you can get around that by adding very specific copy, but still the ability to select audiences is not as powerful as it used to be back in the day, and back in the days prior to March 2022. [27:06.4]

James: Yeah, exactly, and then the iOS, the 14.5 stuff. I will tell you, so I have an Inner Circle member who also targets Christians and I'm going to see if he's willing to share some stuff. I really want him on the podcast, we'll see. But I've had other Christian advisors in the past and then you. I have three people who serve the same niche in a row on the podcast. It's like, do I really want to do that?

But, anyway, what he does is he targets, let's just say, people who are interested in, drawing a blank, Joel Osteen, T. D. Jakes, other preachers, pastors, televangelists, for example, people who like Joel Osteen, and he will begin his ad with a Joel Osteen quote and then have the copy of the ad expand on that and lead directly to a landing page, so he's not calling out the niche, because you can't do that. [28:00.8]

You can't say, “Hey, single mothers.” That's bad. You can say, “A lot of single mothers have asked me this question.” Then you can say, “I was recently reading something from Joel Osteen and it said this. I read in T. D. Jakes’ new book,” so on and so forth, and that is a way to call out the people without saying, “Hey, fans of T. D. Jakes,” or whatever.

So, he has had some good success with that. But, yeah, you're right, Facebook ads have changed a lot and it is difficult. I don't even think there is an option anymore for just targeting based on-- yeah, it's gone.

Leo: Yeah, yeah.

James: Housing, politics, religion. Those days are over, unfortunately.

Leo: It used to be the case, for example, that if you had a [designation], like I could target with an ad someone who had designated Christian or evangelical in their Facebook profile. Facebook has notified everybody that that's going away, but for advertising, that's been gone for almost a year.

James: Yeah.

Leo: You also used to be able to target followers of certain pages, so I didn't even have to necessarily use the copy for it. I could just target people who are followers of Joel Osteen’s page on Facebook. I get to say, “Hey, I want to have this audience look at this content because I believe it's relevant to them.” [29:11.8]

Then as Facebook has gone through years and years of issues with regulators in Europe and here in the U.S. with election interference and all sorts of issues, they've made some decisions about just closing the door on a number of targeting criteria that are no longer available.

For example, one thing that my ad specialist helped me do is the image in the ad plays a big role, because now I cannot target somebody who has a certain belief, but I can use the image in the ad to be very clear that this is a Christian-based message. You don't get the same quality and the same narrowing of the funnel that you did before, but something is something. [29:55.0]

You also don't have, at least for our small advisory practices, we don't have the website volume to be able to create, sort of imitate the audience of our website or imitate the audience of our Facebook page, because most advisors probably have a too small a number in terms of traffic to be able to replicate that audience in their advertising set. You have to get kind of smarter around that.

But one thing that I've noticed, and this could be just my own perception on my own journey, but when it comes to niching, I think relationships matter a lot. I mean, advertising is helpful, certainly, but I think most people would see their highest level of success in the first three to five years of their practice, based on people that they're directly connected to, first or second degree. That's where usually most of your clients are going to come, because you're just unknown, right? Nobody knows who you are, what you do. There's a trust element that comes with tenure as well in your own firm. Then as time goes on and your firm gets larger, there's more bandwidth and there's more dollars. You can definitely get more sophisticated around advertising. [31:03.3]

Again, that's just my perception, but you're the expert at that. That's just what I've seen in my own journey.

James: I love advertising. I run a bunch of online ads. I help financial advisors with online ads. I think you're spot on. You either have time or you have money. Your time does cost money. If you're paying yourself, at least you should be, once you get to a certain point in your business, obviously, you have to factor that in as well.

Online ads, it's like an amplification mechanism. You can't multiply zeros. I love what you brought up about the image, because you're not paying for people to click who aren't necessarily qualified, so that's brilliant. But the advertising just amplifies something that is already working.

I think if more people understood that, it would save a lot of headaches and it would save a lot of heartache, because people just try to spend a bunch of money on ads. They either don't know what they're doing or, even worse, they know what they're doing, but they still don't have a proof of concept. [31:55.2]

I would rather have someone with a proof of concept who doesn't know what they're doing and just trying stuff, because if you have a starving crowd or people who are severely dehydrated and you just have water, they're going to find a way to get the water from you, because you have a proof of concept that is going to work if people actually want. I'd rather have that.

But if the ads are awesome, you could spend a couple 100 bucks, find out which image works. You spend a couple 100 bucks more, find out which headline works, do a couple 100 bucks and do a landing page. But that does take money and people have to be willing to invest.

You brought up another great point about replicating. The audience look alike is what it's called, and for financial advisors who are listening, Facebook lets you input, you could say, your clients, your appointments, people who are on your email list, and it will find people who look like that audience. However, there's a required minimum that needs to be met and, I'm sorry, but you really shouldn't have 1,000 clients, and it is very unlikely that you're going to have 1,000 appointments to draw from.

Aside from that, they have to be what's called matched, meaning, the email addresses that are used and the names and the information has to be matched with a particular Facebook user. Just because you have the data doesn't mean it's going to be matched. That is just you're two steps behind with that. [33:13.0]

Unfortunately, that is something that isn't really available to advisors. I dream about that all the time. If they could just upload a list of clients and have Facebook find people who look like clients, that would just be amazing.

We talked about your lead magnet that's on your website. You have the webinar. That's awesome. I wish more financial advisors did that. Another thing I noticed on your website, which I love is that, number one, you have transparent pricing, and that is amazing, and you have tiers between your pricing. You have something called starter, builder and premier. Can you elaborate on the differences between your plans and how you're able to serve clients through them? [33:52.2]

Leo: Yeah, I’d love to walk you through that. First, my inspiration for this was a colleague who is also a financial advisor. As a member of XYPN, at a conference a couple years ago, he gave a talk about this. I'm talking about Kaleb Paddock who is a great contributor into the advisor community. Many of your listeners probably are either connected or have seen some of his content, and he really helped me understand the power behind productizing your services.

When people go to websites, they're looking for a product lineup where they see themselves fit, and then they make a choice based on the options that they see in front of them. When I was designing or redesigning my pricing page, I wanted to be very clear about who I was looking for, what services I was offering, and the price points of each. I created sort of a pricing ladder so that people would find a place that was the best fit for them. [34:52.2]

The tiers that I have on my website right now there's a starter level or tier, which is really a one-time plan. My initial pricing on that is it starts at $2,500. It's billed as a project that could go up in price based on your complexity and the things that you bring to the table in terms of what needs to be done for the plan itself.

The second tier is what I called the builder and that is an ongoing relationship that has a $5,000-a-year minimum flat fee. If you come in with assets over 500,000, the assets would cover the fees for the financial planning work, but if you don't have enough assets like many young professionals that have great incomes, but don't have any investable assets, the flat fee is there to be able to compensate for the amount of work that's done at that tier.

That's really typically designed for people that have under a million in assets, usually have less than $250,000–300,000 in income, so they're kind of below that mark, but have a lot of complexity and a lot of things they need help with. They're starting to get into their high-earning years of their career. Maybe they're married; there's a dual-income couple dynamic. [36:11.4]

Then the third level is the premier level and that one has a minimum $10,000-a-year flat fee, or if you have a million dollars or above in assets, it would cover the fee for the planning. That is sort of, for lack of a better term, the premier offer where I do things like take care of your tax return in partnership with a third-party CPA. We work through equity-compensation complexities. We help you with some analysis on things like real estate, your business. Things that kind of fall outside of the box are kind of in that second segment of the offer. [36:56.7]

If somebody were to go on my website, I feel like, at this point, they could very easily find where they fit based on the complexity and their needs, whether it's one time, was relationship, and what level of a relationship they need, and of course, we talk about that in the intro call while we were doing the consultation and figuring out what's the best fit for their family.

James: I wish for people who are listening, let's just say that you're a potential client, and you have searched Leo's name somewhere and you found him. I want you to understand that financial advisors and financial planners, it's very easy for them to pay for themselves. Obviously, none of this is financial advice. You should always do your own due diligence. Always speak with a professional who knows you and your specific situation. However, throughout every stage of life, I've noticed that there are ways for financial advisors to reach into their bag of tricks and pay for themselves. They are incentivized to keep you as a client. You need to understand that. [37:51.8]

If you're someone who's going to have a child, the financial advisor can help you pick the right health care insurance and look at your options there. If you're going through a process to get a house, you can look at your mortgage options. They can help you decide which type of structure to use in relation to the interest rates you want to pay and your down payment, if you should pay some points to avoid PMI, and so on and so forth. They can do cash flow analysis. Retirement planning is obviously a big one. Investment allocation, the amount of fees that you're paying in your investment. There are so many things that they can do to pay for themselves.

So, if you're listening to this and you think, Wow, $5,000 is a lot of money, or $10,000 is a lot of money, it is and it isn't. It's a lot of money and it's also not a lot of money because you haven't compared it to anything. $10,000 is nothing compared to $100,000 behavioral mistake you could make.

I personally pay a lot for financial advice and I'm absolutely thrilled with what I get. I think it's worth every single penny. Even little things, like last year, I was looking at the Tesla Model X because the curb weight is over 6,000 pounds and the tax code lets you do some things with that vehicle. I was like, Does this make sense based on my projected income for next year? And we had a 10-minute chat, wonderful, absolutely wonderful. [39:07.1]

That's not something I could do by myself, and even if I had the inclination to do it, it would still take me a lot of time. It's like a 15-minute phone call versus two hours of YouTube videos and trying to put the pieces together. I really love the fact that you're transparent about your pricing and you have productized your service, so that's amazing.

Leo: Let me give you another very simple example. I was having a conversation with a young family. They live in the state of Colorado and they've been my clients for a couple of years, and we were working on some education planning work that had been going on for a couple months at that point.

It turns out that Colorado has a special plan. It's called the First Step Program that was willing to match your contributions up to $1,000 a year for five years, and there was a timeframe that the legislature put around that program and the end of that timeframe was 12-31-2022. So, if you didn't sign up by then, the program changed and the match was reduced. [40:09.6]

If I hadn't brought that opportunity up to that couple who are sitting on their desk at work or at home, looking for special programs from my state government to help me save money? And because I brought that up, they were able to net-- Over a five-year timeframe, they'll be able to net 5,000 extra dollars of free money that was available there for them.

Another couple that had a significant AMT, alternative minimum tax liability potential because of exercising equity compensation. I was able to show them a number of options that saved them way into the five figures in terms of tax liability. When you look at it, it's all about is what you're paying a match for the complexity that you're dealing with? And if it is a match, you're going to see a ton of value. [41:03.1]

If you're paying a lot and your life is not very complex, you're going to start going like, I don't know where my money is going, right? But, ideally, when the match exists, you're going to be receiving more value than what you believe you're paying for it, which is the situation that you were sharing just a couple of minutes ago about your own advisory relationship?

James: Yeah, there are lots of things that come up. There were some weird tax things in 2022 as well. Delaware didn't have this, but I know some other states had it, where if you voluntarily paid this tax, you got to credit. I know it was in New York. It may have been in New Jersey. My accountant who is in New York and based out of New York, he contacted me. He was like, Hey, I'm just going to let you know that this thing is coming up, and I was like, Cool, awesome, thanks for looking out for me.

Even though we couldn't do it because Delaware, I guess, didn't participate in the program, I don't really know all the details, but he was like, Sorry, I can't do it. I was like, You're showing me that you're looking for these things and that is worth it to me. So, if you're a listener and you're on the fence about paying for financial advice, just take that to heart. [42:10.5]

So, Leo, this has been incredible. I'm going to shut the podcast down now. How can people get in touch with you, if they want to learn more about what you do and how you can help them?

Leo: Yeah, so the best way is to go to my website, AbundantAdvisors.com or follow me on LinkedIn, just “linkedin.com/in/leomarte”, and you can see my work there. We have some really neat things on the website that might be of interest to people listening to this, so number one, you can go and check out the webinar “3 Secrets to Manage Money God's Way.” It's completely free. We have the online course for people that are DIY and there's a price to that course. [42:51.0]

But we also have started this year a new program where we are partnering with churches to offer that course for free to their members. So, if you're listening to this podcast and you go to a church that needs financial literacy, please follow up with us. Send me an email to info@AbundantAdvisors.com because we're looking for churches that want to take that material. We've developed small group materials. We've developed all kinds of neat things for churches to promote that to their members completely free. So, free of charge, we're not charging anything. I'm not making any money out of that. I’m just doing that as a service because I know there's a big need out there.

And, of course, as you mentioned, you have the pricing and offerings in our financial planning and wealth management side of the business, which I believe are very attractive, and we do a lot of really valuable work for our clients that I'm really proud of. Thank you for having me here today.

James: Absolutely. Listeners, AbundantAdvisors.com. Take them up on the offer for the course, how to build a Christian financial plan. I know a lot of you need it. Even if you don't think you need it, you should probably go through it, because even if you learn one thing, it's absolutely worth the money. That is my philosophy, and you're supporting someone who does great work. It's really a win-win situation. [44:06.8]
So, financial advisors, I hope you enjoyed this podcast episode, and I will catch you next week.

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