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: Welcome to Financial Advisor Marketing. This is, in my opinion, my obviously biased opinion, the best show on the plant for financial advisors who want to ramp up their marketing, and I feel really good today. I spent this morning working on my monthly paper and ink newsletter, and I must say that my Inner Circle members have some good, good stuff coming up. And, speaking of good stuff, I should mention that this podcast is going to be chock full of good stuff, Jonathan.
Jonathan: As always. [0:01:01.1]
James: And I have another announcement. I recently released a brand new product called The Big Book of Business-Building Secrets for Financial Advisors, and it's my newest product. It's a physical book. There is no digital download component whatsoever, there's not a PDF of it, there's no instant download like I normally do, nothing like that. It's a physical book, and it's over 400 pages; it's 429, to be exact.
James: Well, like 430, 431 if you count the intro, yeah.
Jonathan: Hardcover, leather bound?
James: Well, it, it, no-
Jonathan: Bible marketing?
James: Yes. It's softcover, though. And I actually did a survey. I said, would people prefer hardcover or softcover, and the overwhelming response was actually softcover. It was not hardcover.
James: So that's a lesson in knowing your market and getting their opinion, because I honestly would have assumed that a hardcover book would have been preferred, but-
James: It wasn’t, and I'm glad I didn’t assume that. I'm glad I asked my market what they wanted, and they said they want softcover, so here it is. [0:02:04.0]
But the thing is, it's not cheap. The Big Book of Business-Building Secrets is $595.
Jonathan: How dare you charge that for a book, James.
James: How dare I charge what it's, very, very, a fraction of what it's worth? Because, and you have to think about it this way—I got an email from a financial advisor, and he was asking me something completely different, but his business is set up where he charges a monthly retainer. I mean, he does a fee-based structure with assets under management; but for people who have less than like, I think it was $250,000 in assets, he charges them like $250 a month. So you have to think about it this way: If he bought The Big Book of Business-Building Secrets at $595 and he got one client, one, at $250 per month—and this is someone who has less than $250,000, so I'm not even assuming that they have $500K or a million dollars; I'm just assuming that his bottom-of-the-barrel fee, the lowest he charges, $250 per month—all he needs is one client and to keep that client less than three months, and the book pays for itself. It's not that difficult, Jonathan. [0:03:13.8]
Jonathan: Not at all, when you break it down that way.
James: And the truth is, it blows my mind when I get resistance to pricing like this. And, and I have to be transparent here. I want resistance. I mean, if I don’t get resistance, it means I'm not charging enough. But the thing is, you have to look at it from an ROI standpoint. What are you getting in return? How easy would it be for someone like me to get you one client? You have to really look at that, and to be completely honest, if I couldn’t get financial advisors one client, just one, I wouldn’t be doing this-
Jonathan: Shoot yourself.
James: Like use your common sense, use your common sense. Would I really be on Episode #22 of a podcast called Financial Advisor Marketing? Don’t you think I would have figured it out by now? Hey, turns out I can't get financial advisors more clients; ready, I should pack it up. [0:03:59.7]
I've been doing this stuff for years, years, literally years, and people still, they're like, oh, well, I don't know if it's going to make a good return on investment. It's $595. This guy charges $250 a month, needs to keep one client, one, for less than three months, and then after that everything's sheer profit. And if he keeps his client for a year, he'll 4x his money, over 4x. But hey, who am I, what do I know, right? What do I know? This book is unique because I've only made 2000 copies; that's it, and that represents less than 1% of all the financial advisors in the United States. So I've done it on purpose. There's actually like 271,000, so it's significantly less, but rounding up it's about 1% of all financial advisors, and that's the goal. I want to get this thing in the hands of only 1%. I only want the 1% of financial advisors who have this book to learn from it, to get the secrets from it. [0:04:59.2]
That's the whole idea, and that's part of my marketing plan, Jonathan, is to restrict this to the most serious, the most committed, and the most growth-oriented financial advisors.
Jonathan: For only $600? I'm going to get one.
James: Only. It's only $600. And shipping's free. I didn’t even mention that. Shipping's free no matter where you live. You could live in Uzbekistan—I don’t know, you could live there—and shipping's free. But enough of the shameless plugging. If you want it, you want it; if you don’t, you don’t. I really couldn’t care less. I know all 2000 copies are going to sell out. It may take some time, and I've priced it high enough to where the 2000 is going to last me quite some time, just being transparent; but eventually they will sell, period. They will sell, it will be gone, and it will be too late. So get it if you want, or if you don’t, either way. But today, we're going to talk about-
Jonathan: James, James, hang on one second. I think that right here, this particular spot, is a good time for us to read a review:
Jonathan: "Don't waste your time. If you like to listen to a long sales pitch, this podcast is for you. Nothing new or insightful here; don’t waste your time." Do you think this guy would spend $600 on a book? [0:06:03.9]
James: No, never, ever.
Jonathan: Of course not.
James: Because pessimists like that, they don’t, they don’t invest in themselves. And sure, there's a sales pitch here, and I make no bones about it. Yeah, I have a sales pitch, at the beginning, and the sales pitch is there because I want to help you. This material can help you, and I just broke it down for you. I gave you the math behind the situation to where it could benefit you. So if you're offended by a sales pitch where I literally outlined that all you need to do—in this advisor's case with what he's charging; I don't know your particular circumstance or situation—but I broke it down where you could clearly see that if I got you just one client, it would pay for itself many, many, many times over. And if you don’t like that, you're obviously not a good fit, and it's just the truth. So, and by the way, the guy said that there's nothing new or insightful. I'm sorry, but I didn’t hear any other podcasters talk about Tony Soprano's business lessons.
James: That seemed pretty new to me. I don’t really, I haven’t heard any other financial advisor marketing experts talk about deep sleep and upgrading your machine and how you can hack your brain and get the most out of your business that way. [0:07:08.3]
I haven’t heard any people talking about that, so that's pretty new, right?
Jonathan: Sure, sure.
James: So hey, you can't please everyone. Bill Cosby said if you want to please everybody, you got to be ice cream, and I sure as hell ain't ice cream, so moving on.
Jonathan: All right.
James: Today, we're going to talk about gun-to-the-head marketing, and I was reading some marketing literature years ago—this is not recent for me—and I came across this concept, and it was used by some copyright writers. And these are the people, if you're not familiar with the term copywriting, these are people who write marketing literature like sales letters, sales emails, stuff like that. And they were talking about writing a sales letter that had to work, and they called it gun-to-the-head marketing because they would ask themselves, if someone put a gun to my head and forced me to write a sales letter that worked, what would I do? [0:07:59.0]
And I thought, gosh, that's a brilliant idea. So I started thinking, if someone put a gun to my head and dropped me off in a new city where I didn’t know anyone and told me that I had to get clients as a financial advisor, what would I do? And in this podcast, I'm going to answer that question. Now, before everyone gets all happy and excited that I'm giving away some value, I want to preface this by saying that I'm going to tell you what to do; I am not going to tell you how to do it. And again, here's a little sales pitch here: If you want the nitty gritty about how to do it, you've got to buy my products and subscribe to the newsletter. It's that simple. If you think I'm giving the most valuable information away for free on a podcast, you're sadly mistaken. And this stuff is valuable. It really is valuable information, and I am giving away information for free, but I'm not giving you the most valuable stuff. But you could still learn a lot from the podcast. So listen up, pay attention. I'm going to tell you step by step exactly what I would do if I had to get clients. [0:09:01.1]
So first, I would pick a niche. That's step number one before anything else because without a niche, the rest of the stuff becomes less effective. Next, I would plant the seeds with some centers of influence in my area, and by centers of influence, I mean CPAs and estate attorneys. I would not try to do anything with them right away because I wouldn’t have any clients yet; I kind of need clients before I do the stuff, but I would start educating them. I would start helping them in any way I could. And if you listened to the last episode, I talked about this at the end, how you need to understand how important these relationships are. So what you should do is make a list of centers of influence, and by that I mean estate attorneys, CPAs, realtors, real estate agents, luxury brokers. Just start reaching out to them. It's simple, and there's a certain sequence that you want to follow, and there's a certain way you want to approach it; but that information is reserved for customers only, and there's nothing wrong with me saying that. [0:10:01.2]
But I just gave you the goal. The goal here is to make a list of centers of influence. So far, so good, Jonathan?
Jonathan: I'm on it, buddy, writing notes.
James: Ooh, that's nice. I'm telling these people what to do, but not how to do it.
Jonathan: I keep biting my tongue because I want to ask you at the end of each one, how, how, but how?
James: I will, I will grant one how question. What's one how question that you are thinking of?
Hey financial advisors, are you ready to take your business to the next level and get more clients with less stress? I invite you to join the James Pollard Inner Circle of Paper and Ink Newsletter that gets delivered directly to your door every month. When you join now you'll also get a 90-minute instant download called, "Five Keys to Success for Financial Advisors", a $97 value for absolutely free. All you have to do is head over to TheAdvisorCoach.com/newsletter and join today.
Jonathan: All right. When you're reaching out to the attorneys and the centers of influence, how do you start that when you don’t have any clients?
James: You explain who you are, what you do, and you just, you're just transparent with them. You're completely honest. You say, I'm a financial advisor in this area, I intend to work with this person, I know that you may have people in your book of business as your client base who match the type of people that I'm trying to work with. My goal here is to end up working with you in the future. It doesn’t have to be right away, but I would like to form a relationship. And it's actually more important for you to do this if you're like in a small town because everybody knows everybody, and you're all mixing around, and you see your prospects at church and the grocery store and different areas. You want to take it slow. A lot of people try to rush in and they try to do like a joint venture or something—I mean, that's what marketers call it—but a joint venture right away. You have to focus on the relationship. Like, hey, if you don’t mind, I would like to keep you in the loop with things that I'm doing. If you don’t mind, I would like to send you some information about how I could help your clients or what my specialty is. [0:12:02.9]
If you ever run into people like this, please send them my way. And that's like a 30,000-foot overview, but that's essentially what you want to do, so.
Jonathan: Nice. Very, very generous, James.
James: Hey, thank you. And after that, after I've built my list of centers of influence, I would hop on LinkedIn, and I would start building my pipeline. And LinkedIn is an absolute goldmine for financial advisors. It's amazing because what you can do is you can choose a niche, like I said, step number one, choose a niche. Then you can target that niche exclusively. And there's a right and a wrong way to do it, and I even have a standalone product literally called "How to Get Clients with LinkedIn." But LinkedIn itself, even if you don’t get the product, LinkedIn is by far one of the greatest tools ever devised for financial advisor marketing, and I would spend about 30 minutes to an hour on LinkedIn every single day, and I wouldn’t miss a day because it's something you want to do consistently. And I would be tracking my activity, and I would be measuring the results I got from it. [0:13:02.9]
For example, if you're sending out a certain message or a certain connection request, you want to track the percentage of people who accept. And in that product that I just mentioned, I literally give you the word-for-word connection request. I have tested that, I've refined it over the years. So if you want to shorten your learning curve, make sure you get that; otherwise, you're more than welcome to do the stuff yourself. And while I'm on this topic, this morning I actually got a connection request from a financial advisor, and the connection request read something like this. It said, hey, James, I see that you're a member of this group, like XYZ Group. I'm also a member, and as a fellow member I would like to invite you to be part of my network. Not bad, right? I mean, it's okay. It obviously could be a lot better, and it's way better than the default connection request where it isn’t personalized at all, you don’t say anything, you don’t demonstrate how you can help or who you are. So he, it's better than nothing, and I can't really talk too much trash about that because I actually used to do that. [0:13:59.7]
But then I started testing that message, and I tested it against some other things and some other things and some other things, and I found something that just completely blew that out of the water. But again, that's customers-only stuff. Next, I would start building marketing collateral, and if you're taking notes, you'll want to write this down, the two words there: marketing collateral. This is the stuff that may not help me get clients right away, but it's stuff that will make people much more likely to become clients in the future. I'm going to repeat it because it's extremely important. Marketing collateral will not, or usually does not, help you get clients right away, but it does make people more likely to become clients in the future. This is all the stuff like writing articles for your niche, building a website, setting up an email marketing machine like a sequence or an auto-responder, or putting together a direct mail piece. When you put a direct mail piece together, the act of doing that doesn’t get you clients right away in the traditional sense that just reaching out to someone through a phone call does, where you just reach out to someone, you call them up, and you set an appointment. [0:15:09.5]
It's not direct. You're spending your time on the activity that's building your marketing collateral. So your direct mail piece would be a part of your marketing collateral. Then later you can send that thing out 100 times, 10,000 times; the thing is, you’ve only created it once, and you only have to create it one time because once you make that marketing collateral, it will continue to work for you and it will continue to bring you in new business. And this podcast is an example of marketing collateral because I'm recording this once. I'm getting my message out there once. And 10 days from now, 10 months from now, two years from now, people are going to listen to this podcast and gain information. They're going to get value from it, and they're going to be more likely to do business with me, to have me help them to become a part of their world because they listened to this piece of my own personal marketing collateral. Any breakthroughs, Jonathan? [0:16:07.7]
Jonathan: No, you know what's funny? I'm listening to you say this, and I'm thinking about how I just signed a client that listened to my podcast in 2013, right? And we're recording this 2019. So six years later, but that was the thing that brought him into the world, and the emails nurtured him, and then when he was ready and the timing was right, he's a client.
James: Sure, and it happens all the time. And I spend a lot of my time and energy with email marketing, and I'm not trying to humble brag or whatever, but I'm probably one of the best email marketers in the world for financial advisors, I mean, just being honest. And a lot of data, an overwhelming amount of data, suggests that people do not do business early in the email sequence. They tend to wait, and this applies to lots of professional services like accountants. Attorneys don’t do it as much. Financial advisors definitely do it. Mortgage brokers and a lot of real estate agents-[ 0:17:03.1]
James: In the email sequence. Clients tend to sign on and look at houses with them later. Even in my own business, somebody might join my email list today and not any action until four months later. But if I didn’t have that marketing collateral that would allow me to continue building a relationship where like a week from now I would say, hey, check out this piece of content. And then two weeks from now, I say, hey, here's another piece of content. Two months from now, say, hey, subscribe to my podcast. And then the person listens to every single episode, and then they decide to do business. And that’s the magic of it. So the fact that Jonathan had a podcast back in 2013, that was a piece of marketing collateral that worked for him for six years, and it's amazing how this works.
James: A lot of financial advisors, the reason they avoid creating marketing collateral is because they don’t see the immediate payoff. They're addicted to instant gratification, and hey, who can blame them. The world has literally engineered people to seek instant gratification. [0:18:00.5]
In everything from microwaves to faster internet to on-demand streaming to overnight shipping, people want stuff to happen quickly. I do, too. I like fast stuff, but it takes a little time to build marketing collateral. So what you're doing is you're building the machine that will interact with your clients and prospects. When someone is checking you out and thinking about doing business with you, that person's going to go to your website. What's that person going to see when they get to your website? That's important. If they see that you're involved with a particular niche, that's important. It tells them that you care and that you're not going away anytime soon. And I do this in my own life. I create a ton of material for financial advisors. I have this podcast, my website, my email list, my webinars, my article. I do all that because when financial advisors see it, they know that I'm serious, they know I want to help them, and they know that I didn’t just spend five minutes setting up this funnel-
James: Which supposedly makes me a financial advisor marketing expert.
Jonathan: The funnel.
James: No funnel. No funnel for me, Jonathan.
Jonathan: Damn it, man.
James: And that's what kind of is a head scratcher for me, because I know that using some of the popular marketing software, you can literally create a landing page or what some people would call a website—it's not a full website; it's just a couple pages—you can create this stuff in like five minutes. [0:19:15.6]
So within five minutes, someone could create a funnel and have it set up and running to try to position themselves as a financial advisor marketing expert. But you know what doesn’t take five minutes, Jonathan?
Jonathan: What's that?
James: Building an authentic relationship with the people who interact with you. Like this podcast, we're already way past five minutes, I think, way, way, way past. And writing the articles. I've got like 100+ articles. It takes way more than five minutes. So that's marketing collateral, and it does take time, but it's one of the most important marketing concepts that you can have in gun-to-the-head marketing. And even though it's counterintuitive like in a gun-to-the-head marketing situation, I'm not going to go out and desperately try to get clients right away. A lot of people might do that if it was a gun-to-the-head situation. [0:20:02.3]
But if I absolutely had to make it work and I absolutely had to create a system that would bring in clients, that's what I would so. And the final step is I would take the pipeline that I've built, and I would start putting it through my marketing machine. Again, this is simple stuff. I've talked about this before on previous podcast episodes. People think they have a complex problem, so they look for a complex solution. Getting clients is not that difficult, and it doesn’t have to be as long as you know what you're doing. What you want to do is you want to take a group of prospects, essentially your pipeline, and you want to start introducing yourself to them and explaining how you can help them. Your marketing machine can do that for you. Your marketing collateral will help you seal the deal. I take my marketing machine, for example, email marketing—we'll go back to email marketing—email marketing is an example of my marketing machine. Every single day, I sit down, I type an email out, and I sent it out to my email list. The email list itself and the auto-responder, all that, that's part of the machine. [0:21:03.0]
Then the people who go to my marketing collateral as a result of my machine, and they say, wow, you know, maybe this person can help me, and they do business with me. And it doesn’t really matter how you reach out to your prospects. You could do cold calls, you could do direct mail, you could do social media, you could do whatever you want. But the point is that by building this foundation, you will have set yourself up to succeed, and I can virtually guarantee that if I reach out to prospects after doing those things, they would be significantly more likely to set an appointment with me and eventually become a client of mine. So I dropped some gems in this episode, Jonathan-
Jonathan: Too much-
James: Absolute gems.
Jonathan: Too much. Giving it all away.
James: And there's some value. Get it out of the way?
Jonathan: No, giving it all away, man.
James: Oh, giving it all away. I'm not giving it all away. I've got some secrets up my sleeve, but there's some value. So for the people who say it's nothing but a sales pitch, hey, a big part of it is a sales pitch, but you can't-
Jonathan: You better believe it. [0:21:59.4]
James: Yeah, you can't honestly go through this episode that we just had and say that there wasn’t anything there that you could use. Like literally almost everything is directly applicable, and I just gave you the secret sauce, the formula. I just didn’t show you how to do it. So, amazing, we're pretty much done here.
Jonathan: Cool. What's up for next time?
James: So next time, we're going to go back to my early days, and we're going to talk about three things casinos can teach financial advisors about marketing, because I used to work in a casino. I did the marketing for the casino and I was part of the marketing department, and in a lot of ways it was the most important marketing education I ever got because you're taking people, you're basically getting people in the building and making them lose money. That's really what the business is. So if I could get people to come into a building and throw money away, surely I can help you get more clients. [0:22:52.4]
Jonathan: No kidding. All right, another Financial Advisor Marketing Podcast is in the can. We will be back in your earbuds next time. Thank you for tuning in.
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