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Many financial advisors think they must sacrifice everything they love in order to build a successful business. For example, they’ll take another prospect call instead of spending the afternoon with their son.

But this is the wrong way to build a business. Your business shouldn't require you to sacrifice anything. Because your business exists to serve you, not the other way around.

Why do financial advisors sacrifice everything they love in life for their business? Well, it’s probably because they aren’t making enough money–or because they haven’t created a marketing plan that aligns with their unique personality, business and lifestyle goals.

In this episode, you’ll discover how to create a marketing plan that not only generates more cash flow, but creates more freedom and happiness too.

Listen now.

Show highlights include:

  • The insidious “Altar of Convenience” trap financial advisors fall into which makes their family split at the seams (0:43)
  • How to build a business that doesn’t rely on sacrificing time with your children (without worrying about going bankrupt) (1:18)
  • The “Nike Approach” to building a business that generates more wealth and freedom to enjoy your newfound wealth (2:38)
  • The single biggest mistake introverted financial advisors make that drives them from their business to a job that pays them a fraction of what their business did (7:39)
  • Why videos don't work as well as text on LinkedIn (and the case for posting videos on LinkedIn despite this) (8:11)
  • How to spellbind your ideal clients and “ethically force” them to become your client by simply thinking strategically (14:47)
  • Why Lorena Bobbitt and Jack the Ripper prove that the service you provide is not your product (and how this unlocks more appointments and clients) (15:28)
  • The 3 questions you must answer so your business doesn’t morph into a time-devouring, family-ruining monster (17:26)

If you’d like to connect with Anna, you can find her LinkedIn page here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anna-kareis/ or visit her website here: https://www.ameripriseadvisors.com/anna.kareis

Need help getting more clients as a financial advisor? I created a free, 53-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: One of the things that makes me different than most of the marketing-business-building and practice-management people out there is that I make it clear your business should serve you, not the other way around.

A lot of people are living their lives, turning their businesses into idols, and they sacrifice stuff for their businesses. It's funny to me that people can read about ancient cultures, making sacrifices to their gods, and talk about how barbaric it is or even how silly it is in the modern context, but turn around and neglect their children so they can have one more meeting with a prospective client. Do you realize that you're sacrificing time with your children for your business? You're the one making sacrifices. You're sacrificing on the altar of convenience, that's really what's going on here. I would say sorry, if that offends anyone, but I'm really not sorry because I care about families and I care about children. [01:17.4]

I think people who sacrifice a lot for their businesses do so because they don't have the skills to build a business without sacrifice. They haven't been exposed to any other reality. This is just how they think. Let me give you an example. I've been using a standing desk for months now and I love it. The desk I have is from a company called Uplift and it's really nice. I like it a lot.

A friend of mine bought a desk from Uplift also and he had it delivered either last week or the week before. He put it together himself and it took him a few hours, because he has what's called a left-return desk, which means that the L-part, the part where you rest your arm on, that's on the left side. I have a right-return desk, so that part is on the right side and the instructions are actually written for the right-return desk. He realized about halfway through he had everything backwards and had to start from zero. [02:10.3]

If you've ever put together a standing desk, you realize it's not very easy, especially if you have an Uplift desk, because they're very heavy. They have a lot of screws. And if you have a bunch of cables like me, because I have monitors, microphones, speakers, a light, a camera, the computer, and more, you need some pretty crafty ways to handle your cables.

Think about this. How long do you think it would have taken a professional who has put together 100 of these desks? Nowhere near as long as it took my friend, right? That's because the professional knows what to do. He already has the experience. He doesn't need to slowly or consciously think about what his next move will be. He just does. So, it's possible for a human being to do tasks more efficiently and effectively, sometimes far more than what you can do. [03:07.4]
We all need to start there. We need to acknowledge that it is possible for that to happen, because if you're working long hours and sacrificing family time to build your business, you need to look around and see if there is another human being, or two or three, or four or 10, or 100, who is getting the results you want without those sacrifices. Chances are the answer is yes.

That's one of the reasons why having my Inner Circle Newsletter has been one of the trickiest experiences I’ve ever had. It has made me a much better person. I know it helps financial advisors, because I get feedback all the time, but I’ve got to tell you, it's helped me, too, because I will try so hard to make sure only high-quality financial advisors subscribe, but every so often, someone who isn't a good fit will squeak through.

Hey, it happens when you're emailing tens of thousands of people and you're posting on social media, people are just going to subscribe because they see “Ooh, a shiny object. I need to have it.” And when that person inevitably cancels, typically, without ever asking a single question or engaging in any way, these people, I don't know what it is, they don't engage. They don't ask questions, even though Inner Circle members get direct email access to me for the questions. [04:13.8]

He or she will give some lame excuse. “Oh, well, things are too hard. It's difficult to read 20 pages a month,” or “The information is irrelevant.” I've never understood that one, because do these advisors have crystal balls? Can they predict the future? How in the world can they tell if information in the newsletter is going to be irrelevant before I’ve even written it? I've never understood that, but I guess they can predict the future.

But there have been times where I’ve gotten those emails, the lame-excuse emails, and right after them, there will be emails about how advisors are succeeding, how they're winning like you wouldn't believe, how they're making money. Just this morning, I received these two emails from financial advisors. I'm going to read them to you. Here we go. [04:53.6]

“Hey, James, hope you're doing well. Your March newsletter was fire, as always. Can't believe it's been four years since I’ve been a part of your Inner Circle.”
Some marriages don't last four years. This guy has been involved in my world for four years. Typically, when people subscribe, they stay subscribed for years, because they realize how valuable it is and they want to stay part of my world, and to be completely fair, I set that expectation up when people go in. I say, “Don't subscribe unless you're willing to stay subscribed for a very long time, because information compounds.” There could be one piece of information in one newsletter issue one year from now that could pay for the entire thing 10 times over.

That's just the nature of the beast when you're talking about different concepts and different topics and it's just a continuity program. That's how these things work. So, if you're expecting to get all of your business problems solved in one issue, it just doesn't work that way. That's not how the business model works.
Here's another email.
“James, I opened the March newsletter issue.”

This is the feedback I'm getting from the March issue. I'm recording these episodes well in advance.
“I immediately went to work to revamp my entire social media presence and marketing. Today in a matter of three hours in between running errands, packing for a trip and a little downtime, I've rewritten my personal website bio, my LinkedIn profile, ‘About’ copy, and prepared over 40 new social media posts between LinkedIn and Facebook.” [06:14.8]

“Your insight, examples and guidance have already paid big dividends for me in time-saving alone. Eager to see what other good fruit comes from it as I implement these changes and continue to use the technology today.”

In the March issue, I talked a lot about artificial intelligence and tools that financial advisors can use to increase your productivity.
“Once again, the newsletter is a value-add to my practice and my lifestyle. Thanks for all you do. FYI, I'm an Edward Jones advisor. You know how our firm is with things. Use this as you see fit for future purposes for yourself.”

Cool, thank you so much. Obviously, I'm reading it on the podcast and it's just a blessing to be able to get this stuff. It's a blessing to be able to help financial advisors. I'm not confused, I know that the stuff that I have is a gift, not just to financial advisors, but also to me. My ability to think, my ability to communicate, that is a gift. Again, I'm not confused. I'm thankful for it. I'm grateful for it every single day. [07:06.5]

But these are examples of financial advisors who are winning and they will continue to win. If there's something they want, they have the resourcefulness to get it. Notice I said “resourcefulness” and not “resources.” We all have resources. We have the same 24 hours in the day. Hopefully, we have energy, food, water, Internet, and more. We have resources. Resources, typically, are not the problem for financial advisors who want to get clients, grow their businesses, and meet their personal goals. But not everybody has or develops resourcefulness, and that makes the difference.

Besides, the reason why people shouldn't try to use the same resources or do the same things is because they have different personalities, business goals, and lifestyle goals, and I want to talk about all three, so let's start with personalities.

An introverted financial advisor will have a hard time trying to follow an extroverted marketing plan. I've seen it so many times, and I can't believe people still try to attempt it. Your personality is a gift and it is unique to you. Why would you ignore your gift to chase something else? [08:09.0]

Let's take video marketing, for example. Videos don't tend to work as well on LinkedIn right now as text posts or even text posts with images. Does that mean you should avoid video? Absolutely not, because if you're someone who loves being in front of the camera and your personality shines through the screen, then your video post will probably do better than someone else's textbooks, because that is your gift. It may not be someone else's gift, but it is your gift. You have been given that.

I frequently say that dogma is dangerous, and I mean it. People will quote me on that. They'll say, “‘Dogma is dangerous.’ – James Pollard,” and I appreciate that. I love that. If you want to share something on social media about dogma being dangerous, please give me credit. If someone dogmatically says you must use a certain marketing strategy, and then you should ignore it because nothing is absolutely true one hundred percent of the time. Of course, there are some things that I would argue are best for most people. [09:04.1]

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.

For instance, many people would agree with me that index funds are typically a good idea for most people in most situations. I feel that way about something like email marketing. I think email marketing is good for most people in most situations. Yet it doesn't mean that you should dogmatically listen to me when I talk about email marketing, because it may not be right for you.

So, that's the personality aspect. Next we have business goals. People have different business goals. You may want to grow a massive business, or you may want to grow a lifestyle practice or a lifestyle business. Both are perfectly fine. I've helped advisors build both. [10:01.1]

If you're someone who wants to build a big business, then you can take my marketing information and marketing ideas, and keep growing and do it at scale. If you're a lifestyle entrepreneur, then you can scale things back, not do as much. You can pick and choose. You can treat it like a buffet. It's really that simple. But understand, not everyone has the same business goals as you, and your marketing plan should reflect what is right for you, your circumstance and your situation.
In my case, I strongly dislike getting emails from people who need constant hand-holding and a dozen questions answered in order to buy a $20-product or a $37-product. I simply don't jive with that mindset. I don't want it anywhere around me. It's not like this marketing gimmick. Sometimes people will come up to me and they'll say, “Oh, I really love that, the irritable-grouch brand that you’ve built.” No, this is really me. I really don't want that. Nor do I want to pay a virtual assistant $40 to $50 an hour to answer questions, in order to make, essentially, the same amount of money back. That would be a dumb business decision on my part. So, I only respond to questions from Inner Circle members. That is not the right move for everyone. You should not copy me if your goals are different, but it is the right move for me and I'm happy to do it. [11:11.3]

I also don't do coaching because I travel a lot and I live pretty spontaneously. If I had regular weekly meetings with people, then I wouldn't be able to do those things. Also, I'd rather build real businesses with my real marketing skills instead of coaching people on how to do certain thing, but, hey, that's a story for another episode.

Then, finally, people have different lifestyle goals. Again, I think your business should serve you. That means building your business around your lifestyle. If you're a morning person and you like churning out a bunch of work as soon as you wake up, then you can build marketing assets around that idea and force your business to mesh with it. If you're someone who wants to work from home, you can have a virtual business. If you travel a lot, you can have a virtual business, too.

Hundreds of my inner circle members work virtually, and it's a blessing that we live today, because we have Zoom, Acuity Scheduling, email autoresponders, webinar software, and all these tools that allow them to do so. It would have been much harder to work virtually 15 years ago, but, today, it's possible. [12:11.0]

If you work virtually, then your marketing plan should reflect that. Your marketing assets, like your lead magnets, your website, your LinkedIn profile, those things should clearly state that you work virtually so there is no confusion when prospective clients book a meeting with you. It would also be a mistake for you to do things like door-knocking and cold-calling. Maybe not cold-calling and networking and giving people the wrong impression, because it would be kind of weird for you to meet people in person and then say, “Oh, yeah, I work virtually.” “Well, can't we just meet up again?” “No.” It's tricky. I guess it couldn't be done, but it is tricky.

This also means that you shouldn't mindlessly swipe some marketing plan from someone who works 80 hours per week, if you only want to work 20, because you're going to end up frustrated and discouraged. And not just because of the work difference, but for a number of reasons that also flow into having different business goals and different personalities, because someone who is built to work 80 hours per week and is just a grinder, and just wants to go get it and go hard, is a different person than someone who just wants to make $300,000 per year and coast. They're just different. [13:12.3]

One of the most difficult lessons that I’ve ever had to learn as a human being is that everyone is different. We all have different personalities, and they are gifts. I am not confused. I understand I did nothing to get my core personality. Can I change my personality traits and shift them around a little bit? Yeah, I can. Personality is malleable.

There are some people who discount the Myers–Briggs personality test because it has poor test-retest reliability, which means people get different results when they take it a couple years later. But to me, that's a beautiful thing, because it means we're not stagnant. We can change. But I'm talking about the core.
The core personality traits that I have were given to me. I didn't do anything to receive them, and neither did you. I think I’ve talked about this on a podcast episode before, but I can get into this stage where I will basically be like a robot or I’ll have monk-like discipline. If I say I'm going to do something every day, I will do it for thousands of days in a row. Not a dozen, not a hundred. Thousands. And there's almost nothing that will stop me from getting a task done. [14:17.7]

Part of this comes from growing up on a farm. When you have farm animals, you quickly realize that they need food, even if it's your birthday. They need water, even if your mom died that morning. They need medical care, even if you're pregnant and you're going into labor. They still need medical care. Unless you're an inhumane piece of human garbage, you will take care of those animals and you will make sure they get the care they need, because they didn't ask for you to own them. They're your animals and your responsibility, period.

All this stuff is another reason why I constantly preach the difference between tactical and strategic thinking, because it takes strategic thinking to apply marketing to your specific goals. People who think tactically all the time, and I like tactics. I understand that tactics play a role, I get that, but I’ve never seen a financial advisor succeed using tactics alone. [15:07.1]

People who think tactically, they're typically looking for the right buttons to push or the right words to say on social media, in order to get people to become clients. People who think strategically understand that there's something about them, specifically, that attracts other people to them, and their strategy is to let that shine through, because, in many ways, you are the product, and if you don't believe me, try this on for size.

If you're listening to this and you remember who . . . I'm just going to say the name and you think about if you know who this person is, Lorena Bobbitt, if you recognize that name, then it's time for your nap, Grandma or Grandpa. Lorena Bobbitt was this woman who achieved notoriety. Oh my goodness, she was all over the news for cutting off her husband's penis. Yeah, that's a real story. She just, woo, cut it off, and I think she threw it out the car window, too. There's a lot more to it, but that's what I want you to know. She, woo, cut it off. [16:01.8]

Imagine you're going for a full-body Swedish massage. Would you rather get said massage from Lorena Bobbitt or Beyoncé? Hmm, what if Lorena Bobbitt offered the massage for free and Beyoncé’s massage was $1,000. Now, assume that they're exactly the same.

And for you ladies, imagine Jack the Ripper versus, I don't know, the guy who plays Thor. What is his name? Women love that guy. Is it . . . I think it’s Chris Hemsworth. It's Chris Hemsworth? That may be the brother. One of them was married to Miley Cyrus I think. The guy who plays Thor, okay? Let's say that he's charging 1,000 bucks and Jack the Ripper will give you the same massage.

No, let's scratch that. Jack the Ripper will give you a better massage than Chris Hemsworth for less money. You will probably still say no, though, because there's a lot about Chris Hemsworth that you want to, I’ll say, experience. It's a mistake to think that the massage is the product in that case, because I can assure you that you wouldn't really be paying for the massage. You would be paying to get a massage from either Beyoncé or Chris Hemsworth. [17:05.7]

That's also why financial advisors who tell stories about themselves, they talk about their hobbies and they share details about themselves, they tend to get more clients than those who don't, because prospective clients can relate to them and see them as people they'd like to work with. That's not a button you can push. That's not a template you can swipe. It has to be one hundred percent genuinely you.

So, to wrap up this episode, when you're making your marketing plan, make sure to include information about these three things: your personality, your business goals, and your lifestyle goals.

I actually have a six-step process that has been proven to get more clients for financial advisors. I call it the “CLIENT Method” and you can watch a 53-minute video explainer over at TheAdvisorCoach.com/TheClientMethod. T-H-E, CLIENT Method, M-E-T-H-O-D, and each letter represents a step in the process. [18:00.4]
So, “C” stands for “craft your ideal vision,” and I talk a little bit more about this concept because every person has a different vision for his or her business. This is something you must do. You must craft that vision. No coach, guru, consultant or practice-management expert can do it for you. It must be uniquely you.

Now, is the CLIENT Method guaranteed to work in every single situation all the time? No, because, say it with me, dogma is what? It's dangerous. So, watch the CLIENT Method. One more time, if you want to watch it absolutely free, go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/TheClientMethod, enter your email address, and you will receive an email with a link to watch the video.

Again, I will point out “theclientmethod” is all one word, so no hyphens or anything, just “theclientmethod”. I hope you enjoy it. And I will catch you next week. [18:47.2]

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