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Podcast Website Resources

Episode 85 – WOW Website Formula

Today, Matt Halloran and Kirk Lowe discuss what it takes to make a great website. Great websites are made up of multiple components. To get that great website feel you have to want it, and understand the crucial role it plays in any business. You need to spend time to make sure your website has clear communication, and is focused on inspiring and driving referrals. Matt and Kirk are here to give you the proper keys to unlocking your websites potential.

Tune in to find out how you can use the WOW Website Formula to form a stronger communication to your clients and potential customers!

Top Advisor Marketing | WOW Website Formula

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The Cost of Doing Business

There are some hard facts to face when running your own business. Over the years as a business coach, I’ve been trained to spot the flaws in an advisor’s system. Whether it’s personal to the advisor, a hiring error, or structural mistake I’ve seen it all and helped fixed it all.

But no offense, there is something that advisors tend to get really prickly about fixing, and it’s one of the fastest ways to grow your business.

Few, if any of you, spend the right amount of money on your business.

You spend money on your team. Some of you even pay well

You spend money on events. I can’t guarantee they’re well attended or profitable, but you do it.

You spend money on some sort of canned commentary and communication to your clients.

You spend money on your tech, trading and RIA or BD fees.

And quite a few of you have so much money left over that you use your business as your own piggy bank.

Few of you spend money on what matters most.  Real service. Real marketing.

I wish I knew who convinced our industry that some crappy email commentary was an actual desired piece of communication.

You know this from your open rates, since 80% or more of your clients don’t read emails from you. They’re straight to the trash. And honestly, that’s probably because they know you didn’t write it.

These emails make them think too much about the market. Which is the exact opposite of what they want to do (they hired you to do it for them, remember?).

So even though it may be hurting your business, you still send it, which means you’re still paying for it. And you’re not providing a service.

Many of you also host that once-a-year or once-a-quarter client appreciation event believing that’s enough to keep you top of mind. I have a family reunion once a year, and let me tell you, the moment I leave I instantly forget whatever inappropriate comment Aunt Gladys made.

Then to top it off, you phrase these events as “Bring a Friend.” Translation? Bring us more clients, or we don’t appreciate you.

Marketing + communication = service

Few of you spend the average of  7% of your gross budget on real service. Gartner research says companies that want to grow should spend 10.2% of their gross budget on marketing and communication.

So let’s do some math!  I love math! You love math. And we can’t argue with numbers.

A firm that grosses: $500,000 should spend 10.2% of that on service:  $51,000! Now that is some walking around money!

Some of you are thinking that’s crazy!  What would I spend 50K on when it comes to service?

To be clear, cost is entirely relative due to location.  But let’s look at a breakdown of what you could do with a service budget of 51K based off of some of the firms we’ve worked with.

10K should be donated every year to sponsoring an event that your firm cares deeply about. This should be to help that organization raise money for their charity. You could even run the event yourself, but this is your charitable contribution budget.

13K should be spent on outgoing communication that is tailored, created for and by your company.  This is not for a canned commentary about the markets.

13K should be spent on social media communication specifically.  This can be a part-time person or having your social media outsourced.

Why 13K? Well, social differs from regular  communication due to frequency of posts. For every one financial services post you need to have 2 personal posts about your office. These can be action shots, posts highlighting things your team does, the advisor does, things outside of work, local news, motivational sayings, things about a book you are reading, the weather, whatever, just skip the number talk.

3K X 3 should be spent on nice things for your clients.  Holiday events, movie events, cookouts, golf, wine, whatever (if you want to know more download the book: http://a.co/3WOua7C )

So we are at 48K for real service. None of what I just described could be labelled as sales. All of the money went directly into deepening your relationship with your clients. The firms that do this grow faster than firms that don’t. Just common sense.

And guess what?

You still have $452,000!

And if we take ½ of that for all other expenses.  The advisor keeps $226,000…

A 45.2% profit.

Where else can you get that sort of profit that is legal? Nowhere.

You have to spend money on your business.  And just like the cost of your groceries, the cost of doing business increases every year.

If you want to grow, make the investment in your business.

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Podcast

Episode 83 – Karim Rashwan – Digital Age Marketing!

Today, Matt Halloran and guest Karim Rashwan from Advisor Stream discuss the growth of Advisor Stream and how the digital age is an important outlet to grow you practice. Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook to name a few are the newest tools to take you to the next level. Karim dives deep on digital marketing and the scalability of this digital age for advisors and how you can execute properly and keep up with the times!

Tune in to meet Karim, and how you can grow your practice with digital marketing!

Top Advisor Marketing

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Podcast

Episode 82 – The 7 Dynamic Digital Prospecting Techniques: Part 7

On this final installment of the series, Matt Halloran and Kirk Lowe talk about that sought after level of internet success – going viral!

One of the best way to do this is to pay attention to how other viral pieces are blowing up and grab those important pieces content to formulate your own. But even with great thought leadership, you have to get your blogs out there! So, the most important part to going viral is setting  up your nurture sequence so that you can show value to your prospects. The goal is to engage an audience and become a positive marketing piece to leverage yourself. Social media is also a very important piece to your prospecting and you will want to utilize all the features on all platforms. Tagging, mentioning, and hashtags are just the few that can help you target your audience, and engage them in your practice.

Tune in to find out how you can set yourself up to engage audiences and set yourself up to be a viral hit. You don’t want to miss out on this powerhouse of an episode.

Top Advisor Marketing

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Podcast

Benefits of Podcasting

10 Website Makeover Solutions-part1Last week I published an article that generally criticized financial advisor (and RIA, BD and IMO) websites. I even went to far as to claim most were useless. In the true sense of the word useless, I stand by that. I did however receive several comments specific to providing solutions. To that end, this is the first in a series of 5 posts that will deal not only with the problem resident in most financial advisor website designs but also with solutions to overcome them.

Let’s get started this week with the first two solutions:

 Improved Focus and Flow & Continuity.

 # 1 – Improved Focus

 CHALLENGE:

Many websites have a lack of focus in their design and message. They jump from one idea to the next or one service to the horn-of-plenty with a solution for everyone. It’s as if they forget whom they are talking to. Your site (both the design and the content) and its message need to be highly relevant to the audience you want to attract. If not, you are wasting your time. Your prospects will not waste theirs – they will just move on.

SOLUTION:

Fine-tune your offering to what your target audience cares most about, versus just listing what you do best, and certainly not listing everything that you can do. Figure out what would add value to “best clients” and speak to that specifically. Every once in a while, I like to use TactiBrand as an example. We are branding experts but we are also great at website design and video production. Marketing ourselves as a one-stop-shop would never be as effective as promoting what we do best for our niche market. This has proven itself as being very effective for us. The clients we prefer working with want to start from the beginning; their brand. Although we provide a wide variety of marketing services, we don’t promote ourselves as a “Marketing Company”. We are a “Branding Company” and we reach out – and resonate –to clients and prospects that know they need to start at the beginning and define their brand first and then fix or create their marketing second.

Try these:

  • Jim Collins’ Hedgehog Concept: what you’re most passionate about, best at and make the most money at. Make your list then find ideas (taglines for instance) that meet all three criteria. Where they intersect could be your focus and your message.We love branding. We are best at building boutique brands from the ground up and then getting results. We are most profitable serving successful independent advisors or boutique financial firms. Our tagline is “Tactical Branding for Results”.
  • Download our Tactical Branding Guide a do it yourself list of thought provoking questions to get you on your way to building your brand.Branding is about finding your uniqueness and what it means to your audience and then marketing (proving) it. This guide will help you begin to uncover and understand this about your firm.

# 2 – Flow & Continuity

CHALLENGE:

Website layouts and advisor website designs have improved significantly with the advent of content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. The downside of that is that it often appears as though advisors are putting their “ideas and content” into a template that isn’t suitable for their audience, message and purpose. In essence, they are trying to “fill in the blanks” to meet the needs of the template instead of focusing on the needs of their audience.

The second issue with mass produced advisor website templates is that they continue to lack good design and intuitive navigation. Even with their recent upgrades in content (generic financial videos) and social media integration. Your content needs to drive your design – not the other way around.

SOLUTION:

Avoid the temptation to use CMS templates. There are almost always limitations that force you to make or create content that is not part of your brand. If you do decide to work with a CMS template, I’d highly recommend using Joomla or Drupal over WordPress. Joomla and Drupal are website content management systems that have blog capabilities whereas WordPress is a blogging platform that has some website capabilities. I’d also recommend using the more basic templates first and adding to them as needs arise.

Financial firms such as RIAs, BDs and IMOs have the luxury of being able to use a custom website provider but for most independent advisors, they need to {cough} “use one of their BD’s approved website vendors”. This is where it gets really dicey. Most of these service providers are technical experts, not marketing experts. They are built to provide low cost, low maintenance websites that are compliance friendly. They are not built to make a significant impact on your business.

Options:

  • Build your own but start with the most basic and build to suit.
  • Outsource to approved website template provider.
  • Outsource to various marketing experts. Find experts who can work together; a website designer who is open to working with a writer and a social media implementer. Not easy to coordinate but there’s plenty of talent out there if you have time to search and do your due diligence on each. You’ll have to be the lead project manager, the creative director and the content writer as they likely won’t have had experience working with a financial firm.
  • At the risk of sounding self-serving, hire TactiBrand, a step above the first three options, diverse talent at manageable prices.
  • Hire an ad agency that have diverse talent; this will cost you a pretty penny.

Part II of this series on the Advisor Website Makeover Tips Series will deal with the challenges of Purpose and Depth

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Podcast

Episode 81 – Don Whalen: Precise Advising!

Today, Matt Halloran introduces the Top Advisor Community to Don Whalen. Don is a registered CFP and Co-Founder of Precise FP. Don isn't your ordinary CFP, and provides a unique view of working with advisors. His inspiration for work? Engaging his audience while also helping his clients do the same. Don strives to help financial advisors step-up their practice, and paving the path for those that want to present great content to their desired communities.

Tune in to find out more about Don, what he does, and how he can help you reach your advisor goals!

You don’t want to miss out on this episode!

Top Advisor Marketing

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Marketing Using Podcasting

We are going into some uncharted waters for financial advisors. Realistically, the reason you went into financial planning involved a lot of personal characteristics, but one of them was likely that you’re pretty good with numbers. Heck, you may have even been the “numbers-kid” growing up.

As a result you understand your value and your worth because you’ve got the bottom line to prove it. However, you’ve likely learned from experience that those values simply don’t draw in customers the way you would have expected.

So that leaves you with marketing. Which in all likelihood hasn’t been your area to shine (think of the arts kids from your grade 5 class… you didn’t understand them then, and it’s likely you don’t now).

However, this is where you will take your ability to prove me wrong to the next level.

For many years you’ve heard that CPA’s and estate planning attorneys are the key to a steady stream of referrals. But most of you have never been able to really break into that market.

Guess what? We have the golden key to open those doors and getting you in front of and top of mind with any COI you want to woo.

There are five steps to make this key open doors:

  1. Create a list of COIs you really want to connect with
  2. Create a list of FAQs about the service you provide to clients
  3. Invite COIs to be on your podcast
  4. Tag them in the podcast on social media
  5. Send them the link to the podcast, thanking them for being a guest

You might be thinking, this is crazy talk, no one will be on my podcast.

WRONG!!!

Remember that saying, all news is good news? Well COIs in your area crave that same exposure you’re looking for. But, very few of them, if any, have their own podcast.

You can use this podcast to deepen those connections, as well as create a simple marketing piece that’s shareable across so many platforms. Tweet about it, email it, heck, if you’re really craving the good old days, burn it onto a CD and blast it in your retro car.

Remember those bottom line numbers you wanted to market with before. While they may not have pizzazz on paper, you can make them come to life through stories and discussions with your COIs. Adding real world scenarios helps you sell your services and confirms your expertise.

Now if you’re asking yourself… who do I invite?

Well, I believe in practicing what you preach. And at Top Advisor Marketing Podcast we’ve had incredible success with all types of guests, and so have our clients.

To scratch the surface, here are few ideas to get you rolling:

  1. Estate planning attorneys
  2. Divorce attorneys
  3. Auditors
  4. CPAs
  5. Mergers and acquisitions specialists
  6. Small business coaches
  7. Real estate agents
  8. Car dealers
  9. Insurance professionals
  10. Board members of favorite charities

We love working together with our guests. And our advisors do too.

Podcasting is marketing that works.

(PS. If you’re looking for more information on how to leverage COI relationships with podcast, head over to Kirk Lowe’s latest blog post!)

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Podcast

Episode 80 – The 7 Dynamic Digital Prospecting Tactics: Part 6

Today, on the sixth instalment of the 7 Dynamic Digital Prospecting Tactics, Matt Halloran and Kirk Lowe discuss the importance of writing a blog!

Kirk has been writing blogs for years and knows the ins and outs of a blogs success. He's got some tips for you to ensure your blogs are read and shared widely. The importance of blogging is that you can receive great feedback from your community, but also gain more traffic to benefit your SEO. Invite guest bloggers, and share conservatively. Your thought leadership matters and blogs are a great way to showcase what you know.

Tune in to find out how you can benefit from starting a blog!

Top Advisor Marketing|9 Best Practices For Your Advisor Blog|5 Steps to Creating Great Financial Content|

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Episode 79 – Joseph Merlino & Value Creation

In today's episode, Matt Halloran introduces Joseph Merlino who is here to guide you through value creation. When you think of the word value what do you think of? For many financial advisors it can be difficult to identify values, let alone share the with others. But there is help! Joseph wants to show you some effective ways to show more value to your clients and potential prospects so that they know their getting the best services possible.

Tune in to find out how you can create more value, and sharpen up your processes with your clients!

Emergent Business Website|Email Joe| LinkedIn

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Episode 78 – The 7 Dynamic Digital Prospecting Techniques: Part 5

Today, on the next instalment of the 7 Dynamic Digital Prospecting Tactics, Matt Halloran and Kirk Lowe discuss the value in a white paper. A white paper is a persuasive, authoritative, in-depth report on a specific topic that presents a problem and provides your solution. This is an important part to practice, as a white paper can establish credibility, and attract more traffic to your website and services. It's important to share the white paper, and make it a downloadable piece so that prospective clients can view and solidify your position.

Tune in to find out how you can use a white paper to spark some movement in your practice!

Top Advisor Marketing