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I started a new YouTube channel where nobody knew me. And without even making content on financial advising marketing, I generated 19,030 views in my first 28 days on YouTube.

So, how did I do this? And more importantly, how can you “mimic” my YouTube strategy to fill your calendar with appointments with hungry and qualified prospects who crave your services?

I reveal this—and a bunch of other helpful tips, tricks, and mistakes—in today’s episode.

Want to leverage YouTube to fill up your pipeline?

Listen now.

Show highlights include:

  • Why you don’t need a ton of YouTube views to leverage YouTube to fill your calendar (and how to get more views anyway) (1:54)
  • The cold, hard truth about why most financial advisors struggle with YouTube (3:58)
  • How creating your title and thumbnail before you create your video surges you with relevant views (4:20)
  • The counterintuitive reason blindly writing your YouTube titles for search suffocates your views (and what to do instead to boost your views) (4:49)
  • How to leverage YouTube’s algorithm to force them to show your videos to your target audience (6:45)
  • Can you actually use YouTube to generate inbound leads to your website and email list? Yes, and here’s how… (7:22)
  • A few examples of terrible YouTube titles that financial advisors probably think are great (14:33)
  • Trying to build a YouTube channel as a financial advisor? Here is the single best opportunity to get lots of views (16:33)

Financial advisors make 3 lethal mistakes when writing emails that sabotage their efforts and results. Want to see if you’re making one of these three mistakes? Then head to https://theadvisorcoach.com/mistakes.

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.

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: What's going on, financial advisors? It's the Financial Advisor Marketing podcast. I am your host, as always, James Pollard. This week, I'm going to chat about how I got 19,030 views in my first 28 days on YouTube. I actually uploaded my first YouTube video 33 days ago, and as of right now, at the time of this recording, I have more than 25,000 views. [00:53.4]
I wanted to try this experiment because I figured if you have good marketing knowledge, then you should be able to apply it in multiple areas, and I actually chose to record videos that had nothing to do with Financial Advisor Marketing because I didn't want my existing audience to find them. I basically wanted this to remain a secret for a little bit. I didn't want anybody to say, “Of course, he got those views. He already had an audience.”

So, I recorded videos where I reacted to personal finance TikToks. Some of my video titles are “TikToks of people buried in student loan debt,” “TikToks of people making terrible financial decisions,” and “TikToks of real estate investors sharing their regrets.” As you can see, those titles have nothing to do with financial advisors and nothing to do with marketing. That way, nobody can make the argument that people found me by searching Financial Advisor Marketing or anything like that. I started a YouTube channel where nobody knew me. [01:46.2]

Another reason why I did this experiment is because I see several financial advisors trying to do the whole YouTube thing and, quite honestly, it's just not working that well. Now, to be fair, you don't need a ton of people watching your videos to have an impact. This is the same philosophy I have with all of marketing. You don't need a big email list. You don't need a ton of website traffic. You need the right traffic. You need the right email subscribers. However, you're not naive, or at least I hope you're not. You know, all else being equal, having more of the right traffic is going to be better for your business.

One of my Inner Circle members sent me this tweet from a financial advisor talking about how he didn't even get 7,000 views in the first five years of doing videos. That's crazy to me, because that means this guy spent five years banging his head against the wall, posting videos that nobody was watching.
At any point, he could have googled “How to get more views” or “How to make my videos better.” But instead, he chose to do the same old things and get the same old results, and honestly, I shouldn't be that surprised because that's what most people do and that's why they get the results that most people get. [02:53.5]

To be fair, I know that 19,030 views and 28 days is not that impressive. It's laughable to some people. They would be disappointed in themselves if they only got such a small amount of views. This episode is not for those people. Like I said, this was an experiment for myself to see what would happen, and now that I see what's possible, I want to report back to the financial advisors who are posting video after video and not getting much traction.
I also didn't want to record a podcast episode where I did something like “10 YouTube tips everybody should know,” and even though I haven't been on YouTube, I'm trying to pontificate as if I know what I'm talking about. Heck, I'm not even pretending that I know what I'm talking about now. I'm only reporting what I have found. I am not a YouTube expert. I am not saying I know everything, because I absolutely do not. But these are real, verifiable results, and if you're someone who is struggling with video content, then perhaps this episode can help you. [03:49.6]

Also, please do not skip this episode merely because you don't have a YouTube channel, because a lot of the things I'm going to talk about will apply to other areas of marketing. I like to route my marketing and strategies, not tactics. Truthfully, many financial advisors struggle with YouTube precisely because they focus on tactics. They don't think about the big picture, and that's why they have video after video after video and they can't crack 100 views on each video.
Here, let me give you some of the most important things I’ve learned. The very first thing is that you should begin with the title and thumbnail. Don't create a video and then try to figure out what your title should be. You should only create videos that have good titles and good thumbnails, and in order to do that, you need to begin with them, because if they suck, you shouldn't make videos for them. And I'm still learning here. My thumbnails look pretty horrible, but my titles are okay. The reason these two things are so important is because they are the things that drive the clicks. [04:49.4]

Sometimes I will see people telling financial advisors that they should blindly write their titles for search. That's so dumb. Don't do that. If you already know that you're going to record a video that happens to align with a search term, that's fantastic. Go ahead and do that. But do not try to pigeonhole your titles into a search term, because chances are it'll come across as clunky and weird.

Another specific reason why you don't want to blindly title your videos for search is because YouTube cares a lot about viewer retention and unless your video delivers exactly what your title says it's going to deliver, then they won't stick around, and if your viewers don't stick around, then YouTube has no incentive to promote your videos.
Let's say you make a YouTube video about the Roth IRA. I feel like there has to be some law on the books somewhere that says, if you're a financial advisor with a YouTube channel, you are legally obligated to create a video about Roth IRAs because I see them all the time. But let's say a good search term is “average Roth IRA balance by age.” In order for you to maximize viewer retention, your video needs to be solely about people's average Roth IRA balances, because that is what people are expecting when they click on it. If you know going in that your video will be like that, the more power to you. But that's not the case most of the time. [06:10.44]

For instance, I can pretty much guarantee you that not a single soul on planet Earth was searching “TikToks of people in overwhelming card debt.” Yet that video got more than 8,000 views in the first week after I uploaded it. But that's more than that financial advisor got in five years. But what do I know? It probably happen because it has a good title. It has a decent thumbnail, and I deliver on the videos promises. If someone were to watch that video from beginning to end, that person would see TikToks of people in overwhelming car debt.
Besides, sometimes the search demand just isn't there. Maybe you want to create YouTube videos about financial planning for dentists. I'm pretty sure that there aren't that many searches for those sorts of videos, so writing to the search engine would be a mistake. [07:00.2]

What you should do instead is create thumbnails that appeal to dentists, then create titles that appeal to dentists, and let YouTube shop your video around to dentists. They know a lot more than you do. They can find your audience a lot better than you can. And guess what? If YouTube sees that dentists click on your YouTube video, what will happen? It will show it to even more dentists, and that's how financial advisors can get inbound leads from YouTube.
I actually used a unique tracking link on my YouTube channel that sent people to my website, and it says that link has been clicked 98 times in the past 33 days. Keep in mind, I didn't mention my business at all. Zero. I never mentioned my business. I never said, “Hey, go click the link in my channel.” None of that. I didn't put any links in my descriptions anywhere. These are people who clicked through to my channel, and not only that, clicked the link to visit my website, 98 People in 33 days. [07:57.2]

If I were a financial advisor serving dentists, continuing with that example, how hard would it be for me to build my email list? All I would have to do is send that traffic to a landing page, and even if I only converted a third of those people into email subscribers, that would still be 32 new people on my email list. If I were the one running the email marketing machine the way that I teach, I would probably get two or three appointments, at least two or three appointments, from that traffic.
This is not that hard, and the 98 in 33 days, that's with a brand new channel with me not even trying. I really want to stress this, I did not put my link in any descriptions. I didn't say anything about my business, like, “Hey, I run the Advisor Coach. Visit TheAdvisorCoach.com.” None of that, so I wasn't even trying. It's not that hard. You just have to embrace proven marketing principles. [08:46.8]

Now, I want to take a minute. I want to pause. I want to make it clear that views are not everything, because, again, views can be a vanity metric and views don't matter if you have a strategy outside of YouTube. For instance, you could create some YouTube videos answering common questions that you get from prospective clients and then send them the videos when they ask. In that case, you wouldn't be creating the video for search. You wouldn't even be creating it in the hopes that YouTube would recommend it. You would be creating it specifically for people who ask questions. In that case, views don't matter.

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.

But back to the thumbnail and headline thing. I have the same philosophy with email marketing. I start with the subject line, because if the subject line is awful or if I can't think of one, I don't create the email and I don't send the email. [10:00.3]
I also have that philosophy with online ads. The majority of your effort in online advertising should be in the headline and the image, because that's what people will see. That's what grabs attention. Lots of online ads are terrible because the people running them treat the headline and the image as an afterthought.

If you're a financial advisor and you're in the United States, and you have an internet connection, then there's a near 100% chance that you have seen one of my ads. Isn't that cool? And if you're active on social media, you have probably seen my ads multiple times. That's because they work.
Right now, as I'm recording this, I'm running ads to a new landing page with a free 56-minute video where I walk financial advisors through my process for writing emails that set appointments. I also reveal three of the biggest mistakes financial advisors make when writing emails. If you want to see that landing page, if you want to get that video, go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/mistakes. Those ads are doing extremely well. Do you know why? Because I focused on the image and I focused on the headline. [11:06.3]

The image is me standing in front of a TV monitor, pointing at the landing page. That gets people to stop. I didn't try to get cute. I didn't use a stock image. I didn't go to Canva and do clip art or any of that. Literally, I just pulled out my phone and I took this picture. It might not sound like much, but it actually took me years to do this, because it took years and years of testing to figure out exactly how to do it, how to position myself, what to wear, what to look like, and more. I am now being rewarded for that diligence. My ads are crushing it because of that. The same is true elsewhere in marketing. There is no shortcut, and I can try to help you move a little bit faster, but I can't give you a shortcut, because there is none.
I also want to emphasize that viewer retention is critical. A good way to increase viewer retention is to let people know that they're in the right place and that you're going to deliver on your video’s promise. What you want to do is tell people exactly what you will cover in the video at the very beginning. If you're extra ambitious, you will also give people a reason to stay until the end. [12:09.6]

If I were to record this podcast episode as a YouTube video, I might say, “In this video, I'm going to share with you three key strategies that have helped me get more views on YouTube. If you stick around until the end, I’ll reveal a secret tool that I use to gauge viewer engagement.” That's copywriting 101.

But many coaches, consultants, gurus and so-called experts have no clue that this is even a thing because they've never actually written the sales letter in their entire lives. They've never had to put their own money up to make their marketing work, so they have no real incentive to make it work. I, on the other hand, built two six-figure businesses and one seven-figure business where my marketing had to work or else I didn't get paid. That made me learn copywriting pretty quickly and it made me take it very seriously.
In copywriting, this is called your lead. Some people call it a hook. Internet gurus and coaches love to call it, “You have to have a hook and your social media posts. You’ve got to hook. You’ve got to hook people.” Whatever it is and whatever you call it, it's the reason why someone should watch your YouTube video. [13:12.6]

This does not have to be giving value either. You could make it fun. You could say, “If you stay until the end, I’ll tell you a story about how my grandmother got drunk on Christmas Eve and nearly burned down the house.” You might laugh and think I'm not being serious, but I am being dead serious right now. You need to do something to get people to stay and watch the video—and that brings me to the next tip I have for you, which is, be entertaining.
A few podcast episodes ago, I talked about how one of the reasons the Financial Advisor Marketing podcast has been so successful and has resonated with so many people is because it is entertaining. I lean into my personality. Because I have shown my true self and because I have cranked it up a little bit, people want to hear more people want to listen. I am, for lack of a better term, polarizing. Some people like me. Some people absolutely hate me. But what you cannot say is that I'm not entertaining. [14:07.3]

Entertainers get paid millions. Teachers don't. I don't know how I can express this. I legitimately want to scream and rip out a car door. Every time I see financial advisors teaching in their marketing. You are not a teacher. You can have the heart of a teacher, sure. You can be eager to answer questions and you shouldn't be open to helping people when they ask, but please, for the sake of car doors everywhere, do not try to posture as if you're some teacher going through a lesson plan. The world does not need another one of those stupid videos.
Let me try and guess. I'm going to start naming off YouTube video titles that I think are just overdone. I'm going to act like I'm going to put myself in some financial advisor’s head and I'm going to think, Okay, I'm going to create a YouTube channel. What should I name my videos? If your videos are even close to these types, please, please, please, I beg you, stop. [15:02.1]
Okay, okay, let me try it.

“Understanding the basics of asset allocation.” Hmm.
“Five tips for successful retirement planning.”
“How to maximize your 401(k).”
“Annuities explained: pros and cons.”
“Smart ways to reduce your debt.”
“Why every parent needs a college savings plan.”
“Understanding the basics of bonds and fixed income.”
Please make it stop. They're just terrible. So, I'm going to give you one more tip and then I'm going to end this podcast episode, and I'm going to go take some Tylenol and lay down because I have such a headache right now.
Don't try to be a personal brand at the beginning. Nobody cares what you have to say. With my YouTube channel, nobody cares about James Pollard. Nobody knows who I am and nobody cares. They want what's in it for them. What you want to do is to latch on to other things. [15:56.1]

One of the shorts I uploaded was about Charlie Munger. That got 2,300 views while the shorts I have with me talking only got a few 100 views. That's because people care about Charlie Munger. People don't care about me. Your viewers don't care about you either. Sure, maybe your mom does, and if you're lucky, maybe your spouse does. But the person who clicked on your video because it was recommended by YouTube does not care about you. You are not a celebrity. You're not Kim Kardashian, and if you are Kim, why in the world are you listening to the show?

Strictly from a marketing perspective, you should not try to start off with some personal brand. In fact, I'm going to give you what I think is a huge opportunity for financial advisors who are interested in building on YouTube right now. I shouldn't even give this away for free, but here goes nothing.
I would react to news stories. That way you can ride the wave of current events and you can get in front of people that way. You could do something like, “Financial advisor reacts to interest rate hikes” or “47% of Americans can't cover a $1,000 emergency,” or something like that, or whatever news story you can find that you can talk about that you feel comfortable with that you're confident that you can just see a headline and you can rattle on. You don't really want to really want to script these out. You don't want to make it feel like you're just a robot looking at a camera. [17:14.6]

So, if you see a news headline and it really speaks to you, and you think to yourself, Wow, I could really have a conversation with someone about this topic, then that is your video. That's what you want to do, and it's something that other people are interested in. You can tap into that. People can click the video, watch it, and if they like you, go to learn more. In my opinion, that's a much better way than just cranking out boring educational content as if people already know who you are and care about you.
But enough about that. I gave you an incredible tip. I'm done for this week, and I'm going to go lay down and take that Tylenol. If you want to get the free 56-minute video about how financial advisors can write emails that set appointments, make sure to go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/mistakes, because I talked about mistakes financial advisors make in email marketing. And I will catch you next week. [18:08.3]

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