Have a podcast in 30 days

Without headaches or hassles

Mark Hansen, today’s podcast guest, is a brand-new financial advisor. Just 6 months ago, he was in a completely different industry and field.

But he’s been able to accomplish more for his financial advising business in 6 months than most advisors do in 6 years.


Well, that’s what Mark and I chat about today. You’ll discover how Mark leverages the fundamentals to grow his business, and how you can do the same for your business—no matter how long you’ve been a financial advisor.

Listen now.

Show highlights include:

  • How to know if you’re in the right career or not (and what to do if you realize you’re in the wrong career) (3:23)
  • The sneaky sales strategy that helps even brand-new financial advisors close new clients with ease (9:52)
  • 3 dirt-simple steps to make your clients enthusiastically tell all their friends about your services (without even needing to ask them) (11:15)
  • The single biggest mistake financial advisors make when selecting their niche (and how to avoid making this mistake) (12:26)
  • How hard teaching in emails actually repels your target market away (even if you think it’d help you land new clients) (18:55)
  • The weird website page to look at before meeting with a prospect that doubles your chances of turning them into clients (20:25)
  • The one thing that will increase your conversions more than anything else (and why most financial advisors shy away from it) (22:30)
  • One book that has nothing to do with financial advising that will make a direct impact to your business’s bottom line (31:31)

Want to make your emails more persuasive, profitable, and fun to write? Join my 7-Day Email Marketing Challenge here: https://www.theadvisorcoach.com/challenge

Want to become an expert at niche marketing and put growing your business on “easy mode?” Then join my niche marketing program here: https://www.theadvisorcoach.com/niche.html

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: Financial advisors, welcome to another episode of the Financial Advisor Marketing podcast. This is going to be a great episode because I’m speaking with Mark Hansen and he is a new financial advisor. I don't think I’ve done anything like this, because what I want to do with this episode is I want to document this for posterity. [00:50.0]

I want financial advisors who are listening three years from now, 10 years from now, whatever it is, to hear Mark's voice, his words, his thoughts, his experiences, because he is roughly, as I understand it, six months into his financial advising career, and I want to document this. I want to ask him, what he's thinking, what he's feeling, what his challenges are, what his goals are, because financial advisors in the future can listen to this and then think, Oh, this is what I can expect, or, Oh, this is exactly what I went through. It is something that can benefit them.

The reason why I’m doing it with Mark, and I’m not doing it with a financial advisor who has 10, 15 or 20 years of experience, because it's very hard for someone to go back in time and recollect certain thoughts or patterns or behaviors, because the human mind is very fallible. We forget a lot. There are psychological studies, which have found that people who give testimony even in court, it's completely different if you grab one person versus another. Our perspectives are different. I’m sure Mark will look back in a year or so and think, Wow, I was so silly for thinking that, or, Wow, I was a genius for thinking that. We'll figure it out. I'm going to talk with him. We're going to all listen together and learn.

Mark, thank you so much for being here. I'm going to let you introduce yourself. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey to becoming a financial advisor? [02:03.0]

Mark: Absolutely. Thanks for having me on. Mark Hansen, the company I work for and I own actually is the Second Comma. I think that was a great way that I’ve learned about how to explain what I’m talking about to people, so I went with that name, Second Comma, which is we're not talking about turning $5 into $10. We're not doubling and tripling. We're talking about life-changing mentalities and that's really what drove me into this from my previous corporate life.

Let me kind of start. Getting out of college, I went through a sales role. Then I was at a three-person wine company, which was pretty fun, lots of hair on fire in those situations. Then I switched into supply chain, which is my actual degree. Half the people that listen will be happy to know I went to Texas A&M University. The other half now don't like me, so that's just one of those divisive things that's from my past.

From the supply chain industry, I went into hotel renovations, and the real big trend there is that every job change pushed me further and further and further into Excel. Super good at Excel, I call it my love language. It's what I enjoy talking about. I like teaching people about excel. But what I realized is I don't like staring at the computer screen and not having face-to-face interactions. [03:11.4]

So, through a series of events where I’m learning more for my personal finances and I’m learning more about Excel, I’ve started helping people in my last role in the corporate world. It was at the hotel renovation company and I was helping people long enough and to the extent that this company-wide email came out that said, “Whoever is giving financial advice, please stop.”

James: Oh, no.

Mark: And I just kind of sat back in my chair and I thought, I must be in the wrong role. I must be doing something bad. I must not be using my skills and abilities the right way. So, I thought back and, ironically, a couple of weeks ago or previous to that, I had been interviewing a new financial advisor for my wife and me, and halfway through that interview, he stopped me and he just said, “Mark, what are you doing? You're in the wrong industry.” He's like, You need to be a financial planner. And he was like, You probably--

James: Did you tell me that? I feel like somebody told me that. Did you share that with me at a certain point in time? [04:04.7]

Mark: I might have sent it in. I might have sent it in a previous communication, yeah.

James: Okay, cool. That’s a cool story.

Mark: With him stopping me and saying, “You're in the wrong industry,” and then I get a company-wide email two weeks later that says, “Stop doing that.” I'm thinking, All right, I’m going to start listening to God. I feel like he's trying to tell me something.

James: Okay.

Mark: I stepped back and said, “Hey, what does it look like to really step away from the corporate world that I’m used to and step into this financial-planning industry?” And that's probably the 30,000-foot view of how I got here.

James: That is awesome. That's a sign if there ever was one. “Hey, what are you doing? Maybe you're not in the right role.” The reason I wanted to have you on the podcast, the most important reason is because you are relatively new and, like I said in the introduction, I want to document your thoughts and your feelings and your challenges right now, and I’ll start with, I guess, the hard stuff. What are some of the challenges you faced in your first six months as a financial advisor? [05:00.4]

Mark: When I stepped into this, I was able to lean on-- I went to work with the financial advisor. He became a mentor, right?

James: Oh, that's cool.

Mark: He shared a lot with me about how he has gone through the broke first few years. He has gone through working for the big whatever-name-on-the-wall, and then he switched finally into being an independent financial advisor through the company that we work with now together. We both worked for the same company. That's what I meant.

I just decided I’m going to skip all that stuff at the beginning. I’m going to skip the big companies, and that's really been the hardest part for me. It’s because stepping into this, okay, I’ve got a mentor who's got 30 years of experience, but all of his experience of Year 0, Year 1, Year 2 is now 30 years old. Technology is different. Clients are different. I'm focusing on different people. [05:54.1]

That created a little bit of a knowledge gap that I was trying to fill in, and as I turned around and tried to fill that in, I realized, Oh, wow, I stepped away from all the big corporate structure, so every single question that I had didn't have a direct answer. There was no playbook. There was no “This is how you do that. These are the people to call.” So, the hardest part for me was documenting “What are the actual questions I’m trying to ask?” and then getting kind of the corporate team, which is allowing us to operate 1099, so there’s no structure to lean back on.

So, what that took was a lot of phone calls and “Let me transfer you to this department, let me transfer you to that department,” and things that I think are, this is 10, 15 minutes, three, four or five days, if not weeks, to try to get some of this resolved, and that just felt like being stuck in the muck, making no progress, and I needed outside voices to remind me, “Hey, you're going from here to there. This is not a journey of 10 minutes, 15 minutes, three weeks. You've got to see the larger journey that you're on.” [06:53.2]

I would say, even in the first six months, it's not that I wanted to give up, it's not that I wanted to quit, but I absolutely needed voices in my life to remind me, “There's years of experience that led to this decision to pivot into this industry to get started. It is super hard. You knew that going in. Now you're experiencing it. You need to keep moving forward,” which puts me back to my list of priorities. “Okay, what do I actually need to get done? What do I need to do today to try to get things moving forward? What's an actual important task and what's a wasting-time task?” but that just would scratch my itch.

James: It sounds like you're a planner and you plan out your day.

Mark: Yeah.

James: What does your typical day look like?

Mark: Typical day. We do have a little bit of a different lifestyle, I would say, and this is what we wanted and is part of what makes it hard to operate. It's my wife and I. We have three children. All three of our kids are the age of four and under, so they're all very young and they all stay home. We have a nanny that comes into our house, and we don't have a big house. It's a 1,800-square-foot house. It is wonderful. God has lavished on us with this house, absolutely. But you can hear every single noise. [08:04.6]

James: Yeah.

Mark: And so, typical day, I get to wake up, I get to eat breakfast with my kids. I get to play with my kids for about an hour, and then we step into the office and we start getting stuff done. I’ve got a list. I kind of break it down into “These are things I’m focusing on right now. These are things that I want to focus on, and then these are my long-term dream ideas,” and so I categorize those lists and I say, “Okay, for this client, Client 1, Client 2, Client 3, this is their one big task,” and that's how I’ve had to--
Because my time is so crunched, because I could get called away to be Dad any moment, I needed to figure out the one big thing that each client was working on. So, every client has one big task and they've got long-term goals, and I’m trying to match today's one big task with that client's individual long-term goals.

James: Do they know what the task is? Do you share it with them or how? Do they know what the process is? [08:57.3]

Mark: I give them a 10,000-foot view, like, Hey, we're going to look at insurance, or, Hey, we're going to look at retirement planning. But I don't overwhelm them with the nuts and bolts, and the reason I don't overwhelm my clients is because most of my clients, by intention, by design, are young families, just like mine. They've got people who are maybe staying at home.
That's part of my niche, or that actually is my niche. It’s single-income, dual-parent households, and so I know that they don't have a lot of time for me to overwhelm them with the details. I say, “Hey, we're going to look at insurance,” and then on my end, I’m trying to figure out, what does term life insurance look like? Do we need disability insurance? Is there a kind of a medical history where we need to be later on looking at long-term in-home care or something like that?

I'm doing all that crunching and I’m bringing back to them the summarized details, but it isn't enough for them to make an educated decision, and I do push back on my clients to say, “Don't listen to what I say and then say, ‘Yeah, let's do that.’ I need you guys to take it back, husband and wife, talk about it, make an informed decision together,” because then I know they're going to be more bought into that. [10:03.8]

James: Oh, that's a low key one of my most powerful sales strategies. It’s to actually just let them lean into whatever objection you know they're going to give you. I know the sales trainers say, like, Oh, I’ve got to talk with my spouse, as an objection, but people really do mean it, and in the financial-services industry, absolutely, doh.

Mark: Yeah.

James: You're not going to talk to your spouse about a shoe purchase or something, maybe like getting new tires for a car, but when it comes to insurance and financial planning and advice, absolutely, of course, and why not lean into that? How are you finding people in your niche?

Mark: It is amazingly--

James: And network?

Mark: Yeah, so network is going to be word of mouth. That's what I’m working on. What's been hard is, in the beginning, I didn't have a website, so the first six months, four to five months of that was getting the website up on the internet. I mean, that was a whole debacle in itself. I love the compliance department, but trying to get something from a third party to the compliance department and get everyone on the same page—I mean, just anybody who's starting out, just get ready to embrace the compliance department and understand they're there to protect you and protect the clients, so just try really hard not to get frustrated with them. And I say that also to remind myself. [11:09.5]

But the clients, what I’ve realized is, if you find a niche and you match exactly what they need, and you can give them powerful moments of interaction, they are naturally excited to tell other people. And so, marketing-wise, I’m not doing Facebook. I’m not doing internet targeted ads. I'm not. I'm not doing anything except for word of mouth, and I’m not even asking for word of mouth. I'm just coincidentally getting people excited enough to where they're like, Hey, I went to work and I was talking to the lady who sits next to me and she was saying, Oh, that sounds pretty great, and then my clients are handing out my contact information for me. I can't explain it.

James: Oh, you're killing me. As the ads guy and the marketing guy, I’m crying over here. So, it has been working for you.

Mark: I’m hoping to add and build. Yeah. [12:01.4]

James: Yeah. I think that niche would be-- one of the reasons that I like occupational niches so much, and I’m not trying to convert you into doing occupational niches—what you're doing is working, and please keep doing it—but one of the reasons as a marketer, for the people who are listening, I want to make this clear because it's a question I get all the time.

One of the purposes of a niche—I call it a niche. Neesh, nich . I like riches in the niches, whatever—one of the purposes of having a target market is that you can find them, and as obvious as that sounds, there are people who ask me, “Oh, I am going to target one-legged Iowa potato farmers. How do I find them?” Don't. Don’t do that. That is the wrong strategy. You want to be able to find these people.

One of the examples I gave is my father in law who is a car guy and he loves cars, fixing cars. He's got car clubs. He's in the networks. He's got the magazines. If I told him, “Hey, you're a financial advisor now. You've got to find some people to help,” he would say, “Okay, who do I know? Oh, yeah, people in the car clubs, people who are car enthusiasts. I can relate to them. I can build trust, credibility and rapport immediately. I can find them.” [13:12.0]

So, you have the ability to find these people and I don't want that to get lost on people who are listening, because they might hear your voice and what you're doing and think, Oh, single-income households with children, that sounds lucrative. Whether it is or not is a story for another day, but they might think that and say, “Oh, I’m going to do that,” but have no idea how to find them. That is the wrong approach. You want to have a target market that you can find and I think that's important to highlight, to put a pin in that for people to understand.

Mark: Yes, and I think it would only be fair if I say that is what I’m now switching into, directly targeting my market and trying to bring more of them in. I'd say, the first six months, that's just amazement that people are even coming to me, coming out of the woodwork or the kind of the woods almost. Just where are they coming from? That's word of mouth. But I don't expect to build an entire company on that. Nor do I expect that to lead me to any kind of financial success. [14:07.1]

What I’ve switched into now, which is me leaning a lot on the marketing piece, is finding-- there are areas where people in the life stage that I’m talking about the neesh, the nich, niche—we don’t have to argue about that. I'll probably switch back and forth, honestly. I have no preference—but it's a “Where do my people hang out?” Right?

I’ve not done, but I’ve done a lot of “Who is my client? What are they doing? Where are they doing it? Who are they doing it with?” and what that's led me into is stay-at-home moms and stay-at-home dads. That's a big section that is heavily targeted by very specific people, and so what I’m trying to take now, my new marketing pieces, take my very-defined marketing words, my verbiage, and I had an e-book that was written. I took a lot of ideas and put it in to an e-book, had a website or a graphic designer put it together. It looks extremely high quality. [15:06.5]

People really are reacting very well to it and I’m trying to take that and push it into these stay-at-home-mom blogs, stay-at-home-dad podcasts, things like that where it's fine. Maybe your audience is only 5,000, 10,000, but those are people who are doing exactly what I’m trying to do. I view that, when I am a small company, when I am just starting out when every dollar is very important. I want to fish--
If I’m trying to catch a bass, I want to go to a bass pond and I want to use bass fishing gear. I don't want to be trolling around with some stinky bait that you would catch a catfish with. I want to be intentional with everything that I’m doing. So, it's not me just blasting things out via Google Ads, Google AdSense, with no direction. I’m trying to be as intentional as possible, holding everything open-palm, super loose, so that if I find out this isn't working, I’m able to switch directions as easily as possible. [16:06.0]

James: Sure, and I think a lot of financial advisors get hung up on the numbers, because that's something that I say a lot, too. It’s like, find your niche indirectly. Go where the fish are. Go to people who already have your audience. It is really, really, really hard to build an audience.

Now, can it be highly profitable? Can you build a business? Absolutely. People have done it all day long. But it's extraordinarily hard. Financial advisors make the mistake of looking at content creators and influencers in other niches, or other not niches, other industries, like fashion and ecommerce and you name it, and they don't understand that the same models don't necessarily apply, but nor do the metrics or the dollars behind it.

If you get in front of an audience of 5000, yes, that's very tiny for an ecommerce standard, and if you're following an influencer who's trying to sell a tangible product that is $20 or $50, that person would never bother with the audience of 5,000, because it's simply not worth his or her time. [17:07.0]

But as a financial advisor, if you get 0.5% of the audience of 5,000, it’s 25 conversions, whether that's an appointment or lead or to your email list, whatever it is. If even a third of those people end up working with you, that's eight, so the scale might not be there, but the leverage is enormous, and I’m glad that you're picking up on that.

Mark: Yeah, that's what I’m switching into. That's all brand new. That's literally since I got back from vacation with my wife. That's two weeks I’m into this. I’ve got a list of people that I’m going to be reaching out to. I’ve got an email sequence trying to get them warmed up and I am just trying to lavish information on top of them, like, Hey, I’m assuming everyone is pretty busy, so it's at the top of my emails. Too long, don't read. Here's four bullet points. I'm this guy. I do this. Here's an e-book. Read it, if you're interested. [18:01.6]

I’ve got just about five or six emails that I’m going to try to drip everybody through and I’m slowly going to bring people into that list, so I don't overwhelm myself. Again, one-man show. It doesn't make sense to take 300, a list of 300 people and hit all 300 at the same time. I’m not going to be able to be intentional with that and follow up. Things are going to fall through the cracks or I’m going to stop being a husband and the dad, or something. Something's going to give, so I'm stepping into it slowly. Again, soon to find out am I stepping into it too slowly? I might need to step it up, and, again, holding everything as open-handed as possible until I find a strategy that's going to work with this new marketing venture.

James: I'm very hesitant to give advice on the Financial Advisor Marketing podcast, I rarely do it except general terms, but if I can tell you because we're speaking one on one now, if you're doing email marketing—and which I commend because email marketing is the best appointment-setting strategy bar none—I would be very, very, very careful hard teaching in your emails. There are cases where it can work, but it's so rare, it's typically not worth trying. [19:05.6]

In your scenario, if you're open and you are looking forward to sharing stories about you, your wife, your children and your family, do that. Do that. Share. “This kid did this today. This kid made a total mess. The kitchen is a mess.” I know it sounds cheesy when people do this because they do it on LinkedIn all the time—they say, like, “Here's this paperclip and here are 10 lessons this paperclip can teach you about financial planning”—but for some reason, if you can tie it into your target market, which you can because you are them, then it will work where you can say, “Life is not always perfect. You can fix the mess,” or “You may not be prepared to handle a financial mess.” “I've had a financial mess,” whatever, then “If you're interested in learning more, here's an appointment.”

As crazy as that sounds, that is what works the best, and I have looked. I’ve left no stone unturned. But there are certain things I wish worked that don't, and that is what I would do. I'd be very careful. I don't know if that's what you plan on doing, but I would not hard teach. [20:09.3]

Mark: No, I definitely don't want to overwhelm. Again, I’m assuming everyone is pretty busy, whether I’m reaching out to my target market or people who are speaking to my target market. I’m assuming there's kind of a chain of lifestyle that's going to be similar, and so when I’m reaching out, I’m trying to say-- That is a good point about sharing stories about my kids.

What I’ve been doing is actually reading their website and not just sending such a cold email. I was reading through one lady's About Me page and she says, “Look, these are my priorities, and it was God, my spouse, my kids,” and then she says, “Just so you know, you're after that.” I mean, she’s on my list to email this week. I’m going to take a screenshot of my phone, because my phone background is exactly that. It says God, my wife's name, it's got all three of my kids’ names, and then it's “6. Everything else.” It's like, hey, we can act on that, because in the worst-case scenario, she's seeing that someone else is reading and acknowledging and connecting. [21:05.6]

I think it's super interesting to read other people's stories. I'm not sure why other people don't enjoy it so much. It is slower, but it is so much more intentional and I got into this business to be intentional with people, and so it's a natural part of my day-to-day functioning, if that makes sense.

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: Yeah, it absolutely does. I think one of the biggest deceptions that financial advisors buy into is this idea of outsourcing everything, The 4-Hour Workweek, The E-Myth. Look, those are phenomenal books. Michael Gerber is great. Tim Ferriss is great. They make great points. But you have to take these sorts of things with a grain of salt, because, quite frankly, again, not to sound like a broken record, but the financial advice industry is, quite frankly, different. You can't just purchase a Google ad and sell 50 tee-shirts in a couple of hours to test which-- It's not realistic. [22:16.8]
What's interesting is, and for financial advisors who are listening, what I mean is that the actual tactics are not necessarily realistic. Working a small amount of time and working on your business is obviously realistic. But trying to get in front of 500 people at once and automate your LinkedIn messages, for example, is never going to be as effective as what you're doing where you're sending something personal and you're making the personal connection, and you're showing that you are a real human being who is actually sending this specific message to this specific person.

That's one of the things that has increased conversions more than anything else, and I’ve looked at a lot of LinkedIn data. If you can literally just pull out your phone or if you have the ability to take a video, financial advisors, please do, because the point is to show that your message is for that person, because people don't respond to messages because they think, whether they think it consciously or not, that you're sending that message to 100 other people, so they absolve themselves of the obligation to respond. [23:18.3]

But if you are saying, “Hey, John Smith, I was looking at your About Us page and I saw that you have these three things. Well, here, let me show you this,” and you share your screen, then John Smith is now thinking, Huh, that was specifically for me. Even if I say, “No, I’m not interested,” I still need to respond, and that’s the beautiful part.

Mark: Yeah, and I put that at the very top. I do put that, like I said, “Too long, don't read” piece up at the top, but the first bullet point is always what I noticed about them or what I learned about them, or why I feel a connection with them. [23:52.5]

I think a healthy piece to do, when you're doing marketing, you have to assume it. The other person is not there to have the conversation with you. You have to assume that you're having a good conversation. You have to assume that it's going well and it's “Hey, I was reading your website. I love your tips and tricks about taking young kids to Disneyland. I remember when I went to Disneyland with my parents. That was really awesome and I’m super excited to take my three kids to Disney World, Disneyland. (Fill in the blank).” But it's trying to assume that it's a good conversation you're having with the other person who’s got a smile on their face. I think if you can assume that, it's going to come across in your verbiage and that's going to make your emails feel more warm.

All of these are assumptions, but these are all things that I’ve tried to put into practice as I’m reaching out to people to attempt to make a cold email feel like a warm email, who, maybe it's like a casual conversation and you start thinking, Hey, this guy's not horrible, you know?

James: I love that. It's all about the framing and you’re helping yourself think positively, and it's incredibly important. I want to pivot a little bit, though, because I want to document what you're thinking as a new financial advisor. Has anything surprised you, business-wise or marketing-wise, in the past six months? [25:04.6]

Mark: Definitely, one piece that you mentioned about outsourcing. I fell into the outsourcing trap. That is a wide and deep trap, and it's so easy to fall into it. Case in point was I got my website put up. I think I already mentioned it was kind of a debacle. Once it was up, it was super ugly and it needed to be redesigned, so I was going to hire somebody to redesign it for me, just to make it a little more lively and make it look like it does now.

I spent weeks trying to pay somebody to do this process when, in reality, I just did it myself in about six or eight hours. That's where I wish I could have that time back because I just feel silly. That's me trying to be Mr. Businessman and outsource things and feel like a big, important person. In reality, it was six, eight hours of work and I did it myself, and so that's just maybe a reminder just to say, James is right, don't try to outsource everything there. [25:59.3]

James: Yeah, I got hate from an email that I sent one time. I think it was doing my own tire rotation and financial advisors were like, Oh, well, you say that you should outsource in your personal life first. That's one of the things I share with Inner Circle members. That's one of the tenets that I really like to try to hammer in their heads, because Superman doesn't outsource his superpowers, so if you have superpowers in business, you shouldn't outsource them, but you should outsource your personal life first. That's like a revelation for some people.

But I wrote this email about doing my own tire rotations and people were like Oh, you said outsource your personal life, but you're not doing it there. But they failed to realize, I’ve got four jack stands, I have a 2.5-ton jack. I can get it done in 20 minutes. It takes me more than 20 minutes to drive to a place or it takes me more than that time to schedule an appointment for somebody to come to my house, so it is a net positive if I do it myself.


James:It's not necessarily that I don't want to outsource. I absolutely do want to outsource the tire rotation and the oil change and the air filter. Those are the easy ones that you can just do in a couple of minutes. It takes you more time to get somebody else to do it than it does for you to do it. [27:07.8]

Those are like the little itty-bitty things where people just, it goes over their heads where they don't see. They don't see the forest for the trees and they start to think, Oh, you're not outsourcing in your personal life. It's like, I kind of am, I’m getting a net positive with this. It's a very important principle for advisors to understand.

Mark: Yes. Yes, it's only been six months for me to have this company up and running, but I would say, surprises galore. When we were on vacation, we were out of the country and I bumped into somebody, and we had actually already met previously on LinkedIn. It was a very strange coincidence.

James: Yeah, exactly.

Mark: But we part ways and then we come back to see him the next day and he's like, Second Comma, man, I love it. He had wound up finding me on LinkedIn going to my website. He read the entire web page and then repeating back to me my business model, who I talk to. [28:01.4]

What happened in that at the end of that discussion was he thought I served low-income households, which the strategies that I put out are for people with excess cash flow, not really for someone trying to make it from the first to the 15th or however we're going to structure that kind of phrasing. What I serve are six-figure single income households, but this is probably the fifth person that I bumped into who said, “Oh, man, what you're doing is so wonderful, serving the low-income community,” and I think that's because people hear single-income household and they think single mom, secretary, $50,000, two kids, trying to make things work.
So, I did realize. I’ve actually kind of revamped this marketing and I had to update that, and I put on the landing page on my website to where now it says, “Money habits to help you be more intentional, a virtual advisor for six-figure single-income households,” because I realized if I didn't clarify and say, “This is who I’m trying to talk to,” then I let other people have their natural assumptions. [29:08.8]

And then maybe they're excited. They're doing some marketing for me, some word of mouth marketing, but they're doing it to the wrong group. So, I wanted to get rid of that as fast as possible. I want to help everybody. I just understand that the strategies that I have are for a certain income threshold, if that makes sense.

James: Yeah, that's awesome. That's just a classic marketing change and people trying to interpret your business in a way that you don't want it to be interpreted. That's really a huge blessing, though, to find out as soon as you did, because I know advisors who have been in business for a long time who email me and they're like, This isn't working. Why? And it's immediately obvious to me. What's interesting is that the single-income thing, I personally think of higher incomes -
Mark:Okay, yeah.

James:- with single income, and I’m sure you do, too, because that's why you did it, and it is interesting to get that feedback. But there are advisors who have been in business for a long time and say, “This isn't working. Why?” and it's immediately obvious to me, like, It seems like you're talking to somebody else. [30:09.7]

I can't think of any specific examples now, but it's something like-- Actually, I can think of an example. There was a financial advisor who wanted to target police officers on Facebook and he was running Facebook ads. His intentions were great. His landing page was phenomenal. His ad was wonderful. His images were awesome. The headline was great. Check, check, check, check, check. Everything checked out. But he was targeting people who are interested in the Police, the rock band, and everything fell apart.

So, there are a lot of details, I mean, that even someone like me can just totally miss, because I don't know what the targeting is, I can't get in your account. But that's why I think it's important, again, for people not to outsource their superpowers. You need to know if you're targeting police officers for the police.

Are there any resources or books, anything that you would like to share that has really helped you in your career so far? [31:02.3]

Mark: I mean, resources, okay, this podcast has been phenomenal. I can't say that [what] -

James: Oh, thank you.

Mark: - I’ve learned is not from this podcast. I’m a little bit of a completionist, so I started back at the beginning and I’m listening through. I’ve got a couple more episodes to be fully caught up. But, I mean, the stuff that you share here is absolutely phenomenal. I've listened to a lot of episodes two times, three times, and I’ll start there. I’ll definitely say thank you for everything that you've put out there.

Above and beyond there, there's a couple books that I’ve really enjoyed. The one book would be The Power of Moments where it's “How are you structuring learning?” I view it as learning instances for somebody, so I'm thinking of there are moments where I’m talking to a client or potential client, and you see people talking about body language a lot and what I’m looking for is that complete body language shift where somebody, something happened in their brain, and they hit the reset button. So, that's a moment for me where I have taught them something. They are forever different, forever changed. They cannot go back to being who they were because of something I was able to help them understand at their level, on their terms. [32:08.3]

That's what I took from The Power of Moments where I’m trying to create that for people and I view that as my responsibility. They want to learn about finances. I’m trying to help them learn about finances, but I’ve got to do it in their verbiage, on their terms.

There’s a couple other books that may come to mind, but I would say, there's not a lot of financial-advisor books where I’ve said, “Oh, here's my playbook. Here's my play-by-play.” There's nothing against the Nick Murrays of the world or anything like that. That's all great content. But I’m trying to talk to people in their terms on their level, and so it's mainly non-financial advisor books that come across.

James: I would imagine that the best books are the books that your market is reading.

Mark: Yeah.

James: What is single-income household reading? What are the books that Christian households are reading? People who are in that age range, maybe 30s to early 40s, I imagine. I’m just kind of taking an educated guess here, but what are they reading? And if you say, “Oh, I’m reading this book now,” they are going to be more apt to contact you or to reach out to you, or to at least have some sort of rapport with you than any financial-advisor book. [33:19.3]

I know that that is kind of a letdown for people who listen to this podcast, who are really expecting this step-by-step “Here's what to do.” But it doesn't exist, because someone who is targeting dentists is going to be different than someone who's targeting police officers. Someone who's targeting retirees, or in Florida, a certain income level, it's all very different and it's all about the human relationship.

I know that sounds kind of cheesy and it sounds kind of trite when people say, “Oh, it's all about the relationship.” It is, and in order to build a relationship, you need to have things in common. There are basic foundational principles that are established in every single relationship. If you go to people in your market and you're writing an email in your autoresponder sequence, and you say, “I just finished reading Nick Murray's Game of Numbers, which I love. It's a phenomenal book, a must read for anyone who wants to improve prospecting. But the market isn't going to like it. [34:11.8]

Mark: Right.

James: But if you say, “My kids recently did this,” or “I enrolled him in this preschool or daycare or something, and it cost this much, and I’m starting to think that money could be this over time. They relate to that more than “I’m reading Nick Murray.”

Mark: Yes. I phrase it sometimes as you've got to take the step and say the quiet part out loud, right? You meet somebody, you're having a conversation. There's those surface-level ideas that everyone is willing to talk about. “Oh, how's the weather? How are sports, local sports team, this thing that was in the news?” What I try to do is “Hey, let's talk about real stuff,” right?

When I was meeting with someone, we were about 35–40 minutes into the first conversation and I knew that single-income household, his wife stays home, three kids, they want a bigger family, and I just kind of sat back in my chair and said, “Man, isn't it wonderful, those 30 minutes a day where everyone can be in the same room and they're not? The kids aren't fighting and things aren't stressful. I mean, those 30 minutes just kind of make the other 23 and a half hours worth it.” [35:14.8]
His face, when I said that, it just melted. He was like, This guy, this guy just said the quiet part out loud. That is like the best part of my day when my whole family gets along and we enjoy being around each other, and he knew that I knew how special those 30 minutes are. So, it's learning about your target market to that degree where you can pick anything you want, but you've got to know who they are. It's working so far, but I’m assuming that it's true.

James: It is totally true.

Mark: If you can say that quiet part out loud, that is super powerful for people.

James: That is marketing wisdom right there. I want to wrap up the podcast, but I have one more big question for you, and there's more for you because I know you'll probably listen back to this. What are your goals for the next six months? [36:03.4]

Mark: In the next six months, I’d like to understand how this marketing thing that I’m doing now, if it's going to work, and if it's not going to work, I need a backup plan, but I need to figure out how I help encourage the company to grow. How do I not get ahead of myself? How do I not push too hard, but how do I stay motivated at the same time, because I’m balancing this with my family at the same time?

But what I need to do is step in and give it a good intentional effort and course correct as needed, and I need to stay-- Too many buzzwords. I feel like I’m using too many buzzwords there. But I need to step into this, give it a good shot. They'll be ready to change directions, because over the long term, I need this company to grow. Revenues have got to go up. Expenses have to stay down. Profits need to be what they need to be. But I need to do that at a rate and a pace that doesn't make me sacrifice my family. That's kind of my testing ground, which is “How do I do this without sacrificing my family?” Because I stepped into this career to be with my kids. I got tired of only seeing them for 45 minutes a day on a good day. That was devastating. [37:10.5]

James: Keep your financial advisor hat on, meaning, think about this as a time where you are investing, let compound interest take hold, invest in marketing assets. People say, “Oh, what are marketing assets? That's kind of silly. That's goofy,” but, no, this is content that you're creating.

People are probably going to search your name and they're going to find this show, and they're going to listen and they're going to think, Wow, this person really cares about his family and he’s savvy and he knows what he's doing. I kind of want to reach out to him.

If you do that again and again and again, you now have an ecosystem of things that are working for you. I commend you for that. I appreciate you for being on the show. I know it has helped a lot of financial advisors. Is there anything else you want to add? Where can people find you? The floor is yours.

Mark: If you want to find me, I don't do any social media, so don't waste your time there. Do LinkedIn. You can find me on LinkedIn, Mark Hansen, H-A-N-S-E-N. It's a little different than the mid-90s band that sang the - [38:05.6]

James: MmmBop. Yeah.

Mark: That’s right. You can find me on our website, which is www.Second-Comma.com. Then on there, I have an e-book testing the strategy where you don't even have to give me your email address. If you want, you can find it on LinkedIn. You don't have to give me any contact info or you can download it from the website, but I will need an email address so I know where to send it to.

But I think the e-book is really helpful, even if it's just-- For another advisor to start off their journey, you need something to tell people who you are, and if you want a good example, I do think I have a really good example with what your e-book can look like, what it can sound like. I do recommend people check it out. Probably that's everything I need to say there.

James: Awesome. You heard the man, Second-Comma.com. Get the e-book. If you are a potential client, go to the website. If you're a financial advisor and you want to check it out, go to the website. Go to the website. Go to the website. And with that said, financial advisors, I will catch you next week. [39:03.7]

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