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Ep 160 – The Decommodification of Your Services with Kirk Lowe

Today Matt shares the mic with Top Advisor Marketing's Brand Guy, Kirk Lowe, to discuss one of the most important factors to separating yourself from your competition – decommodification.

With any service you're forever fighting the fact that there is always someone cheaper. Price tags commodify who we are and what we do in a way that can make our businesses and our brilliance feel small. And it's easy as a business provider to blame your investors or clients for failing to understand just how impactful your services can be. Making them more than just a price tag.

Kirk and Matt dive into how you can break down your services and prove your worth to incoming clients, AKA decommodifying your offering so that your ideal client understands who you are, what you do, and what makes your truly unique and different.

If you're ready to show your ideal client the true worth of your services, be sure to tune in today!

Links: There is Always Someone Cheaper |

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Ep 159 – The College Money Academy with Kelly O’Connor

Today Matt welcomes life long insurance specialist Kelly O'Connor to the show to discuss one of Kelly's incredible creations  – The College Money Academy.

The College Money Academy was designed to help parents reduce the cost of college. As one of life's major expenses, you as advisor know what your clients go through in order to ensure their children have the best opportunities for the future. And with Kelly's resources, this get's a whole lot easier. You can help your clients save up to 86% off the sticker price of attending college!

So if you're looking for a way to differentiate yourself from the advisor down the street and help your clients save a LOT of money on those college tuition bills, Kelly has the solution for you.

Tune in today to learn more!

The College Money Academy: A one stop shop for the best education you can get when it comes to reducing the bottom line on your college tuition bills. Whether you're looking at your own family, or ready to get educated to help your clients, The College Money Academy has all the resources you need for one low cost!

Links: Kelly O'Connor LinkedIn | Kelly D O'Connor | The Three Secrets of Reducing College Fees

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How to Write Social Media CTAs That People Actually Respond To

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What is a call-to-action (CTA)?

Frankly, a call-to-action tells people what you want them to do.

Sound bossy?

It isn’t. Or maybe it kind of is, but people want to be told what to do, especially when they’re going to benefit from taking that action.

Worried about being too sales-y?

Don’t be.

Focus on creating high-quality content that offers people value. And then direct people to it.

How to know you’re bringing value

Before you create any content, whether it’s a podcast, blog, or infographic, create it with the purpose of solving your clients’ internal issues (i.e. pain points). The bottom line is that people don’t buy services — they buy outcomes.

To pinpoint your clients’ internal issues, consider how they feel before enlisting your services. They might be anxious, overwhelmed, or bored.

How do they feel after receiving your service? They are confident, relieved, and reinvigorated.

To learn how to articulate what your clients HAVE and FEEL before and after working with you, I strongly recommend that you go through an exercise called “The 8-Question ‘Before/After’ Grid” in this article.

Keeping your clients’ before-and-after experiences at the forefront of your mind is not only important in your approach to content creation. It’s essential for writing social media posts that people actually act on.

What does a CTA look like?

No one wants to write a blog that doesn’t get read or record a podcast that people don’t listen to. I reiterate that nobody wants that! So don’t let your efforts drop after creating high caliber content that solves your clients’ internal issues.

Go all the way. Lead people to your content with a compelling CTA.

When you start using CTAs, you will be in good company.

CTAs are everywhere, prompting us to act. They’re on website landing pages, email newsletters, and social media posts. They often appear at the end of webinars, seminars, and podcasts when the host encourages their audience to contact them and tells them exactly how to do it.

Here’s a little roundup of CTAs you’ve likely seen before…

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Most of these examples hail from social media posts, which is what I’ll focus on in this blog. The first and last examples are from our friends at Twenty Over Ten who know their way around a good CTA. Check out their website and any of their social media channels for CTA inspiration.

Did you catch that CTA I just gave you?

(Ten points for me if you click on the links.!)

Your CTA vocabulary

Can you spot the CTAs that appear in the images above?

A few of them are Get started, Join now, and Get Tickets.

Here are CTAs that financial advisors and their marketers are probably familiar with…

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Call our office today

Let’s talk

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Book your appointment today

See how we plan

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Discover our planning process

Find a financial advisor

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You may have included some of these CTAs in your digital communications, especially on your website. And I bet if you’re an advisor, you’ve sent an email or LinkedIn message that said something like, “Let’s set up a time to meet.”

Right?

That’s definitely a CTA.

Now let’s expand your CTA vocabulary. These are keywords that you can use in your social media posts, but don’t feel limited! There are hundreds of CTAs out there, but I think these ones are most relevant to advisors.

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Call today

Click for more

Comment below

Download for free

Download now

Click here

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Find out more

Get exclusive access

Get your copy today

Immediate download here

Learn more

Listen now

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Register today

Reserve your spot now

Start here

Tune in today

Visit our

Visit us at

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State the benefits of following your CTA

Write social media posts that pass what conversion copywriter Todd Clarke calls the

“So what?” test.

Your audience only cares about how they can benefit from your content. What’s in it for me?

So don’t waste valuable space by using jargon or talking about what your business does.

Tell people what they will get out of whatever it is you want them to do — read your blog, listen to your podcast, download your new white paper. So again, focus on how people will FEEL, plus what they will HAVE after they follow your CTA.

In other words, highlight the incentives for people and then give them a clear direction to click on your link.

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In this example, business coach Kelly Roach piques her audience’s attention by asking a question that addresses what people will get out of joining her Facebook group: They will learn how to write a book, which will enable them to generate passive income and attract high-end clients.

And then Kelly tells her audience how she’s going to deliver that information: “I’m opening a popup Facebook group to help you…Check it out!” ←CTA

Nice one, Kelly!

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Spark a sense of urgency

Plug in power words that inspire people to act NOW.

For example, instead of saying Call us, say Call now.

If you’re promoting your webinar, seminar, or e-course, create a sense of urgency in your audience by saying, Register now and save your spot.

After all, no one wants to miss out!

Here’s a post that urges people to act quickly and brings into play some of our favorite tech concepts — emoji .

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Writing CTAs for your podcast

Now I want to talk specifically about writing CTAs for your podcasts. It is not enough to post your episode on social media and then just use a quote from the podcast as your copy (in other words, no CTA).

I know, a lot of people do it.

But would you click on that link?

Maybe if the podcaster is a celebrity you like (or love to hate) or someone you know.

Otherwise, you probably wouldn’t.

Instead, tell your audience what they will learn from listening to your podcast. How will they benefit? Remember, your post must pass the “So what?” test.

Let’s Practice

Do you write outlines for your podcasts before you record them? These could be in the form of mind maps (perhaps by using an online tool like Mindmeister) or in a series of bullet points in a Google document.

Or if you’re the type to wing it, we can make that work too.

Just jot down your key points after the recording. If you have a mind map or transcript, highlight them.

At the end of the day, all you’re looking for is a collection of deliverables (i.e. How will listeners benefit? What will they learn?), which you will incorporate into your social media posts.

Keep in mind that you will write multiple posts to promote each podcast episode. So mix things up with your copy; experiment with listing ALL of the benefits a listener will receive in one post and emphasize ONE big takeaway in another.

Let’s try a couple of posts…

Example #1: Your podcast is about allowance and at one point in your recording, you give guidelines for how much allowance to give children based on age.

Listener’s point-of-view: “I feel stressed because I don’t know if I’m giving my teenagers a realistic amount of money for their allowance. One of them is 14 years old and the other is 17. Is $10/week reasonable? Agh!”

Social media copy: Put your hand up if you’re a parent who’s trying to figure out how much allowance to give your kids. As parents, we wonder if we’re giving them too little or WAY too much. Solve your dilemma once and for all. Tune in now and learn how to set your kids’ allowance: [add your podcast link here]

Example #2: Your podcast is about options for employees who’ve maxed out their 401(k)s. You emphasize that people can continue saving money for retirement and then discuss pros and cons for each option.

Listener’s point-of-view: “I maxed out my 401(k) for the year, but I want to keep saving for retirement. I don’t know what to do now. Help!”

Social media copy: Have you maxed out your 401k for the year? Congratulations! Now it’s time to explore other retirement-saving options. Click the link to discover your next strategy: [add your podcast link here]

Be a problem solver for your listeners. They will appreciate it and keep coming back for more!

What now?

Dive in and start adding CTAs to your social media posts! Remember to clearly express how people will benefit from your content and what they should do next. You’ve got this!

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Ep 158 – Creating Compelling Business with Amit Dogra

Matt welcomes Amit Dogra, CEO of Third Seven Advisors to today's episode. Some of you may recognize Amit from his appearance on Permission to Succeed Podcast. where he shared his knowledge on what it means to succeed as a CEO.

For today's episode, Matt and Amit are taking this conversation deeper into the world of running a business. The two explore what makes Third Seven Advisors truly unique and different, with an emphasis on how they are able to attract their ideal clients.

Three major areas of focus for Third Seven Advisors are:

We believe human interaction is the best way to invest in order to achieve your life and wealth management goals
We believe in putting investments back in investing
We believe in value creation

Amit is an executive with over 20 years of experience in helping investment advisors, Family Offices and wirehouse firms grow through business leadership, practice management, investment management, sales and relationship management.

Links: Amit Dogra LinkedIn | Third Seven Advisors |

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Ep 157 – Provoking Brilliance with Machen MacDonald

Your host Matt Halloran welcomes long time friend of Top Advisor Marketing Machen MacDonald to today's podcast. Machen is the founder of Pro Brilliance Leadership Institute and is renown in the financial sector as one of the best leadership coaches around.

The basic definition of leadership is bringing out the best in ourselves and others. As a business owner are you able to help others to perform at their full potential? Would you define yourself as a successful leader? Or do you even have qualifiers for being a successful leader?

Today's podcast will help you to discover what true leadership in business means, what areas you might be lacking in as a leader and the next steps to becoming a better leader.

If you're looking to improve the quality of your offerings and your office culture, listen in today to learn how you can provoke the brilliance around you!

Exclusive Offer: If you love what you'r hearing from Machen, you can sign up today for a FREE 45 minute Strategic Breakthrough & Clarity Session. This 45 minute session will help you get the clarity, confidence and focus you want for yourself. Are you ready to take charge of your business? Schedule your 45 minute session today!

Links: Machen MacDonald LinkedIn | Pro Brilliance Leadership Institute | MindScan Assessment

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Podcasting Timeline

Curious about the podcasting process? Learn about the process starting at day one through to monthly podcast production.

Download Now

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Ep 156 – Education Planning with Priscilla ONeill

Today your host Matt Halloran is pleased to welcome education planning expert Priscilla ONeill to today's episode to discuss what you can be doing as an advisor to assist your clients with education planning.

Priscilla is the president of Summit Scholar and a Certified Educational Planner. At Summit Scholar, Priscilla has designed software and a four phase college strategy process for highschool aged students so that they can have a thorough understanding of their financial AND educational situation in order to make the best choices for their futures.

If you're looking to give your clients and their children a true analysis of all the aspects of college, acceptance, and funding this episode is for you! Tune in today and be sure to connect with Priscilla for more information!

LINKS: Priscilla ONeill LinkedIn | Summit Scholars

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Ep 155 – Defining Global Leadership with Jodi Morris

On today's episode of Top Advisor Marketing, we're stepping away from the US economy to look at the big picture of global connection and wealth. Your host Matt welcomes Jodi Morris, founder of Connecting Growth Globally, to discuss what it takes to develop global leadership and how it's possible to connect your global growth.

Jodi's mission in her work is to help motivated, curious, globally-minded individuals and teams define and harness their values, strengths and story to better maximize their life impact. Her two main avenues to achieve this is Success Coach and Global Leadership Trips. In an industry where people often feel they're unable to be themselves, Jodi's work enables financial service professionals to add the WHY to their business model and professional lives.

If you're interested in learning more about global leadership, or how your business model could benefit from a bit more WHY be sure to listen in today!

Links: Jodi Morris LinkedIn | Connecting Growth Globally |

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Time & Space : Placing Value on YOU

Many of you have been entrepreneurs longer than I have. 

For the last 15 years, I have been running my life and businesses like I was going to die tomorrow. Many of you know that is how it feels with being an entrepreneur.  You are only as good as your last meal (sale). There is a feverish pace that many people cannot maintain. To even have a shot at maintaining it, you need time and space. 

Last week, I tried to unplug.  

Since my merger and partnership with Kirk Lowe, we made a decision to make a company, not a small business.  Going long stretches without getting a real paycheck has been tough. And my creativity has been waning.

Time and space are hard to find when you run everything all the time.  Thankfully we have built a strong culture of professionals who embody the value we’ve created.  One of those values is to be unconditionally supportive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was at a place where I needed the support that I ask the team to give each other daily. I needed time and space.  

They accepted my desire with major support.  

So here is what happened while I was communing with my own time and space: It allowed me to clarify direction, make decisions on focus, and it allowed me to hit a hard reset.

There are always so many opportunities, so many rabbits to chase. There is an old saying, if you chase two rabbits, both will escape. So what is the rabbit?  Which one do I chase?

Figuring any of that out starts with asking yourself the right questions:

  1. What can I do to make the biggest impact on my community?  
  2. What is the highest and best use of my time?
  3. What will not only feed my business but also my soul?
  4. Can I do it?
  5. Will I be able to sustain it?

How would you answer these questions?  

I sat in the middle of a field with my dog and considered the personal and professional ramifications of these questions. Since I had taken the time and space, the answers came with amazing clarity.  As the wind blew across the field the answers were just there.

  1. What can I do to make the biggest impact on my community?  
    1. Help professionals use their voices to educate and influence their marketplace to help their community make impactful decisions about their lives.
  2. What is the highest and best use of my time?
    1. Finding new markets who want to make that impact.  I need to speak about the power of the voice to as many people who will listen.
  3. What will not only feed my business but also my soul?
    1. Speaking. As much as it is a huge exertion of energy, I love it.  
  4. Can I do it?
    1. Yes!  I have an amazing team, business partners, and energy.  I can be out meeting new people, telling them about my passion, and the power of that passion.
  5. Will I be able to sustain it?
    1. Yes!  One thing I have implemented when I speak is to go to the location early and do something fun, local, and experiential.  

So why am I writing this?  To encourage you to give yourself the gift of time and space.  Take a self-assessment by asking yourself these five questions at least annually.

Why?  

Because you are your greatest asset.   

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Social Media Changes – March 2019

The social media world is constantly changing. It can be hard to keep up with all of the latest features and policy updates, so we’ve made it easy for you to stay in the loop by creating a monthly roundup of what’s new on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

This month, Facebook changed some of its advertising metrics, while LinkedIn made it easier to schedule meetings through Messenger. Meanwhile, Instagram made an exciting shopping update and Twitter continued to test a host of new features.

Read on for more noteworthy social media changes that happened in March 2019.

Facebook

New Ad Metrics

This month, Facebook announced  changes to how it will measure the relevance of ads. Before, Facebook used a relevance score to measure whether ads were relevant to the audiences they reached. Facebook has now broken down the relevance score into three categories to help advertisers get a better idea what tweaks they need to make to improve their ad’s performance.


The new relevance score will include:


  • Quality Rank — How your ad’s perceived quality compares with ads from your competitors.
  • Engagement Rate Ranking — How your ad’s expected engagement rate compares with ads from your competitors.
  • Conversion Rate Ranking — How your ad’s expected conversion rate compares with ads from your competitors.

Watch Parties

Forget live tweeting, Facebook is making strides to become the place to be for live chatting about televised events! This month, Facebook announced plans to expand its Watch Party feature to allows users to watch and discuss TV shows in real-time. Facebook will begin testing the new feature with live sports events like UEFA Championships League soccer matches so fans can have the chance “to cheer, debate and commiserate on Facebook while watching their favorite match-ups.” More features that might be added to the experience in the near future include trivia questions, fun facts, and live polls.

Facebook Outage

Did you survive the Facebook outage? In mid-March, Facebook and its other owned networks, including Instagram and WhatsApp, experienced their longest outage to date, or at least since Downdetector began tracking Facebook’s service levels in 2012. According to BNN Bloomberg, the sites went down at around 11:15 a.m. EST on Wednesday, March 13, and continued to be down until Thursday, March 14 — leaving users with little choice but to head over to other social sites like Twitter for online social interaction. Facebook has since cited the cause of the outage as “a shift in the setup of its computer servers.”

LinkedIn

Scheduling Meetings

Scheduling meetings online can be a hassle, especially when it comes to coordinating calendars — after all, we’re all busy people! But now, LinkedIn is making scheduling easier with their newest update to LinkedIn Messenger. Now when you’re chatting on LinkedIn Messenger to schedule a meeting, you can share your availability through a new “Availability” calendar button. LinkedIn will then access your local calendar to find available times and can also help you find a place to meet by allowing you to find and share locations in your chat.

Advertising

LinkedIn is continuing to refine its advertising tools. Just this month, they launched three new advertising tools to help advertisers increase the scale of their advertising and improve ROI.

These new tools include:

  • Lookalike Audiences, which combines the traits of your ideal customers with LinkedIn’s member and company data to reach new audiences similar to your existing customers.
  • Audience Templates, which provide more than 20 predefined B2B audiences with characteristics like skills, job titles, and group memberships to help you set up your targeting faster.
  • Interest Targeting With Microsoft Bing Search Data, which allows you to target people based on your audience’s professional interests on LinkedIn and according to the professional content they engage with through the Bing search engine.

Instagram

Checkout

Are you ready for some late-night impulse shopping? This month, Instagram expanded its shopping capabilities with a new Checkout feature, which lets you make purchases directly through the app. To buy products on Instagram, all you have to do is click the “checkout on Instagram” button on brands’ product posts. Once you click the checkout button, Instagram will lead you to color and sizing options before taking you to payment information. To make the checkout process even easier, you’ll only need to enter your name, email, billing information, and shipping address the first time you check out. You will also receive updates about your purchases right in the app, including shipping and delivery notifications. Brands set to roll out this feature in the coming weeks include Adidas, Burberry, H&M, Nike, Dior, Uniqlo, and with more to come. I don’t know about you, but my wallet is definitely not ready for this!


Username Changes

Have you outgrown your Instagram username? Well, now you’re in luck! Instead of having to create a whole new account, Instagram might soon let you choose a new username. The platform is currently testing a feature that would allow users to test out new usernames while keeping their old ones on reserve for 14 days — just in case you change your mind again.

Twitter

Twttr Prototype App

This month, Twitter launched its prototype app, Twttr, which they will use to test updates before officially rolling them out. Some updates currently being tested include nested replies in threads, hidden engagement statistics on tweets (like the number of likes and retweets), and the option to hide side conversations in threads. If you’d like to sign up for twttr and test out the newest features before they’re official, you can find the application for the app here.

Video Analytics

Twitter will soon debut an analytics tool that measures video engagement, called Timing is Everything. According to newsX, the tool is meant to help publishers “perform more efficiently and generate large revenue” and will show statistics like video streaming numbers and what time of day videos are getting the most views so publishers can maximize engagement and viewership. The more analytics, the better!

That’s it for now! We’ll be back next month with more social media updates. In the meantime, you can read our full Social Media Changes Report for March 2019 on AdvisorU.