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How to Plan Your Podcast Topics (And Never Run out of Ideas!)

Have you made the exciting decision to start your own podcast? Or maybe you’re a little hesitant. Many aspiring podcasters wonder how much work will be involved — specifically, how will they ever come up with enough topics for every single episode? 

I have written this short guide to provide you with useful tips so you will never run out of things to talk about on your podcast.

Let’s jump right in…

 

Listen to the people around you

Are your clients asking you the same questions frequently? If so, address those questions on your podcast. If your clients are often asking about mutual funds, for instance, plan to have a “Mutual funds 101” episode. As another example, if your clients are constantly asking you about the differences between wills and TODs, build an episode around that topic. Of course, you can also ask your clients directly about what they would like to learn and use those requests to form topics.

Topic ideas abound outside of the office too. Think about the industry events you’ve attended recently. What were the presentations and workshops about? Grab those topics and run with them! And you don’t even have to have attended the event; check out an upcoming conference’s website to see what topics they have lined up. Those ideas are yours for the taking.

Now think about networking events. What were the hot conversations topics amongst your centers of influence? Are they offering a new service or product? What client challenges are they solving right now? Consider having COIs on your podcast as a guest and let those hot conversations unfold.   

Use your expertise

Part of what makes you a great advisor is the vast array of financial knowledge you possess. If there is a particular area of financial planning you enjoy the most and have solid expertise in, use it as inspiration. For example, if you specialize in estate planning, think about what you enjoy the most about that aspect of planning.

What do you offer your clients that other advisors don’t? What do you excel at? What makes you different? Share that knowledge with your clients. People love to know what other people are passionate about.

Keep an eye on current developments and new laws

Tax season, new bills, and other developments will generate many questions from your podcast audience. Put yourself in their situation and think about what questions you would have about that subject. Next, plan a podcast episode that answers these questions and offers solutions during times of change. 

On a similar note, consider how people need to prepare for significant personal-finance events, like tax season. Develop a checklist for your audience, lay it all out during your podcast, and become your audience’s go-to source for getting prepped.

Think outside the box

What do you and your clients have in common outside of financial services? If you enjoy golfing and you know your clients do too, talk about that in your podcast. How does golf resemble financial planning or business opportunities? What lessons can you learn from golf that also apply to your financial life?

Another idea: Have you watched any of your acquaintances make bad financial decisions due to market volatility? Make a podcast about the emotional cycle investors experience and how to make better decisions.

Organize topics and subtopics as you go

Topics like budgeting, 401(k)s, and retirement are pretty broad. These are examples of main topics that you can draw millions of subtopics from. 

For example, if you would like to talk about budgeting in your podcast, here’s an example of how you can make the most of that topic:

Main topic: 

Budgeting

Subtopics:

    Benefits of budgeting

–     5 reasons people hate budgeting (and how to overcome them)

     Top 10 things a budget should include

    How to balance savings vs. fixed expenses

    How to manage debt (does the debt-snowball method work?)

To stay organized, plug your main topics and subtopics into mind maps through MindMeister. Alternatively, you could simply keep a list on your computer or in a notebook.

 

My parting words for this guide? Whatever method you use to brainstorm podcast topics, always keep your audience in mind. This is your opportunity to educate people, help them solve their biggest challenges, and showcase your expertise.

 

Related: 4 Things Really Great Podcast Hosts Do

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The Truth About Marketing ROI for Advisors

Marketing is often critiqued or questioned about its ROI. But to be honest, it can be very difficult to measure the TRUE effect of marketing. 

In the past, advisors got consistent results with marketing initiatives like seminars, running ads, or launching referral campaigns. But as marketing evolves, advisors are faced with the reality that one marketing tactic does not make for an effective marketing strategy. Advisors need to look at more metrics and the wider impact of marketing. 

advisors spend too much time chasing the next best marketing tactic because they didn’t allow time for the other tactics and strategy to work.Measurable marketing initiatives like seminars have been successful in the financial industry for a number of reasons. However, as marketing shifts into a more personalized, relationship-focused experience for consumers, more advisors are adopting digital and content marketing initiatives to reach their audiences and bring value to their clients 24/7. 

But because new marketing initiatives do not always equate to provide immediate measurable results, advisors often abandon them before they can see the results they were expecting. In other words, advisors spend too much time chasing the next best marketing tactic because they didn’t allow time for the other tactics and strategy to work. 

The absence of marketing results backed by hard numbers is why many advisors flock to tactics that they think are most measurable. Even if the ROI isn’t remarkable, they know (or think they know) what they can expect. 

 

Try synergistic tactics

 

In many cases, advisors need to consider synergistic tactics that together create more momentum in their businesses: some which create obvious ROI and some which create better businesses. For instance, just doing seminars when you need to fill the pipeline doesn’t generate long-term momentum. Why not pace the seminars, build better credibility by having attendees listen to a specific podcast episode before the event, ask them for topics on a form during a break at the seminar, connect with them on LinkedIn before they leave (or the next day by invitation),and then update them through social media and email every time you publish a new podcast. 

There are tremendous synergies from combining successful traditional marketing tactics with content marketing, social marketing, and email marketing. They complement and build off each other. 

In all my years of doing financial marketing, I’ve seen that the biggest indicator of success is a well-executed idea that is consistently deployed. Even good ideas won’t succeed if there’s no commitment to keeping it going long enough to yield the ROI you need. 

 

This is the truth about marketing ROI: 

 

There are different approaches to marketing for today’s advisor, and you should not expect the same kind of results from all marketing strategies. Some strategies will create short-term results, but if you take the time to see your marketing through the long term, the outcomes will be much more significant.

What can advisors do to get into the right mindset and generate more successful outcomes for their relationship-oriented marketing initiatives? 

 

    • Think beyond the numbers.

When you implement certain digital marketing initiatives like websites and blogs, you might not gain significant revenue from those mediums, but you’re getting a different kind of ROI. You are portraying yourself as a professional, building your credibility, and telling people who you are, what you do, and who you work with. You are enhancing the client experience just as you would by having a nice office reception.

    • Be consistent and patient. 

It takes time to build a recognizable brand. If you are consistently creating content that is unique and resolves your clients’ biggest challenges, it’s only a matter of time before you start seeing results. Even when you think you are not getting results, there is someone who is listening to your podcast or reading your blogs. They are getting to know you and your expertise, and they’re likely to tell their contacts about you.  Consider the long-term results that will come from your consistency.

    • Be proactive and involved. 

Don’t shy away from promoting your work. If you have a great blog, a podcast that you’re proud of, or a resource-filled for your clients, let them know. Take every opportunity you have to promote yourself and your brand. If you meet someone new, add them as a contact to your social networks. If you’ve decided to start a blog, a podcast, or host webinars, find ways to interact with your audience and make them feel like they’re part of the process. For instance, you can ask new contacts about what topics they would like to learn about in your blog and podcast. 

Of course, not all marketing strategies will work for everyone. But before you decide to quit, ask yourself these questions: 

  1. Is your strategy helping prospects experience what it would be like to work with you?
  2. Is your strategy helping you stay top of mind with your contacts? 
  3. Are you providing something that’s useful to your audience? 

If the answer is yes to any of the above, then you should probably keep doing what you’re doing.

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4 Things Really Great Podcast Hosts Do

A while ago, I was given the gift of interviewing Celeste Headlee for our Top Advisor Marketing Podcast. Celeste is a well known public radio journalist, news reporter, podcaster, and author. Considering that her book Heard Mentality has been a go-to for me — my reference manual to being a podcast host — you can imagine how excited I was to interview with Celeste!

During our podcast, Celeste gave our listeners advice on how to be a great podcast host. She started by saying that just because someone is generally a great conversationalist or public speaker, doesn’t mean they will be a great host.

So what makes a podcast host great then?

Read on to find out! Celeste had a lot to share with us! And it’s all good stuff.

Practice these 4 techniques:

1. It is never about you.  

You should not talk a lot as the podcast host. If you cannot remember when you started talking, you have been talking for too long. Your goal is to shine the light on your guest. If you’re getting long-winded, end your point and re-direct with a question or statement for your guest to take and run with.

2. Listen with more than your ears.  

Don’t be limited to using only headphones and a mic for communicating with your guest. Video conferencing is a great way to help you focus on their facial expressions, gestures, and micro-expressions. But, if you do not have access to the bandwidth or they don’t want to turn on their camera, there are other things you can do: Visualize them during the recording and gesture along with the gestures you imagine they are making. 

3. Make them comfortable before you hit record. 

Setting clear expectations after a polite conversation is an effective way to set your guest at ease. I have a script that I use to demonstrate our professionalism, preparation, and to help guests overcome common mistakes that guests tend to make. I would be glad to share them with you if you email me directly. 

4. When the interview is over, ask them for feedback on how the podcast went.

Ask your guest if there was anything you could do better and what they liked about the interview. Showing humility and a willingness to improve will help your guest continue to feel like the expert, and if you want them back as a returning guest, they will be more likely to accept. 

 

What is the greatest thing about being a podcast host? You always can learn, always get better, and hone your craft. Be encouraged! 

Practice these four tips from my interview with Celeste Headlee and listen to the full episode here to get more proven techniques.