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8 Podcasting Formats to Grow Your Audience

Are you curious about starting a new financial podcast but feel overwhelmed with all the information online? Learn the basics of choosing the right podcast formats from podcasting expert, Matt Halloran, CEO of Top Advisor Marketing.  

 

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How Good Advisor-Marketing Happens in the Expertise Economy

A visual representation of how and why good marketing happens.

 

Have you considered that you’re competing in the expertise economy?

All financial advisors are. 

You have the expertise to solve the challenges that your ideal client needs help with. You fill that gap, as illustrated below, by offering financial planning services of your design: investment planning, retirement planning, estate planning, business succession planning, and combinations herein. 

In simple terms, this should mean that prudent advisors would employ “expertise marketing,” also known as Micro-Influence. But in my 20+ years in financial marketing, expertise marketing has not been the accepted mindset nor has it been well executed when it is. 

Over the years, many forms of “expertise marketing” have succeeded, failed, and evolved. 

As you can see below, marketing has evolved. Most of you have used many, if not all, of these tactics in your careers. Alone, these tactics have probably had vastly different degrees of success for each of you, which is largely a product of consistency of implementation (or lack thereof), efficacy of tactics employed, synergistic tactics, momentum created, your ability to close, and the revenue generated. 

Two very important terms above are “synergy” and “momentum.” 

What’s critically important to the success of your marketing comes down to the coordination and consistent implementation of your marketing. Simply put, synergy plays an important, if not critical, role. 

Can you make 1 + 1 = 3? You can. There are many variations. These are a few. 

Momentum is equally important, especially for advisors or firms who want high efficacy from their efforts. Momentum marketing has two sides: sunk or lasting. Does each marketing input and output result in a sunk cost or lasting momentum? And, how long will each marketing output last and produce?

Sunk marketing is a singular marketing tactic that, once completed, generates ongoing value that declines significantly or becomes nil. That doesn’t mean it’s a worthless tactic. Some forms of sunk marketing are the most powerful strategies that advisors have ever employed, such as seminar marketing.

Sunk marketing examples include:

  • Seminar marketing (highly effective but its value typically dies once completed)
  • Digital ads
  • Email blasts
  • Postcard or letter mailers
  • Public relations (if it’s not done frequently or consistently)
  • Brand or value proposition (if it’s created but not executed)
  • Referral marketing (when you need to ask for referrals)


(FYI, I  don’t count “brand awareness” as a worthwhile outcome because effective brand awareness rarely happens in advisor marketing.) 

Sunk marketing is the most common form of marketing execution among financial advisors and RIAs. Most advisors have good ideas. Many employ sunk marketing tactics that are individually executed. Few advisors have coordinated strategies that create synergy.

 

Momentum marketing is when each marketing output creates lasting value and, when combined, compounds over time. 

Momentum marketing tactics create more value when they multiply. For example, 50 podcast episodes on your podcast channel are worth more than 10 episodes. You could say they’re worth at least five times the credibility, which has an important impact on your audience. The more expertise marketing you do, the greater each episode’s (i.e. piece of content’s) value. 

Momentum marketing examples include:

  • Authentic content creation
    • Vlogs
    • Blogs
    • Podcasts
    • Books
    • White papers
  • Social media (when done consistently)
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Website
  • Inspiring referrals (when you don’t need to ask for referrals)

 

The macro-strategy that I use for my Top Advisor Marketing clients is centered around synergy and momentum. There are many combinations that financial advisors can use, but don’t overlook the synergy and momentum your strategy generates. Synergy and momentum are two defining characteristics that drive great marketing for sustainable results over long periods of time. 

What’s really important to note is that the best sunk marketing tactics and the best momentum marketing tactics can make for an incredibly synergistic macro-strategy. For example, consider one of the most powerful tactics advisors have known — seminar marketing. Combine the influence-nurturing power of podcasting along with social media and you have one of the most powerful short- and long-term strategies this industry will know for decades. 

My firm has recently partnered with White Glove (seminars) to do just that — employ a synergy-rich, kick-ass marketing strategy that builds incredible momentum year after year by using seminars, podcasting, and content multiplication (i.e. snippets of long-form content) on social media.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expertise marketing, or Micro-Influence, as introduced and described above, are really just how we define “marketing” these days. 

If you own a successful practice, you likely have a number of tactics in place but no real strategy. Consider adjusting your tactics by looking first for effective synergies and then cost-efficient synergies. 

Ask yourself:

  • What tactics best complement each other?
    • Which tactics (existing or new) will feed one another? For example:
      • Podcasting feeds social 
      • Podcasting becomes a nurturing tactic for seminar attendees 
      • Seminar attendees attract warm-hot prospects in the short term
  • What tactics best fit my ideal client’s (MIC) needs and style?
  • What tactics can I be consistent with for 24+ months? 
  • What tactics best fit my business model? 
    • Do I need more staff/talent or should I outsource?
    • What can my compliance handle?
  • What tactics offer the best value for effectiveness?
  • What suits your marketing style? What should you leverage or avoid?

 

By answering these questions, you’re on your way to launching a synergistic, powerful marketing strategy that builds momentum and, most importantly, positions you as the indispensable expert to your ideal client. 

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The Financial Advisor’s Quick Guide to Using LinkedIn Hashtags

What used to be known solely as the “pound sign” is now social media’s most ubiquitous little symbol.

The mighty hashtag: #

Whether hashtags are used on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn, their main function remains the same — to categorize topics of social media posts. 

In this blog, I will uncover what financial advisors have to gain from including hashtags in their LinkedIn posts, how to choose which hashtags to use, and best practices to guide you.

First things first… 

 

Why should advisors use hashtags?

Did you know that a single keystroke can help more people discover your content on LinkedIn? 

That’s right — adding hashtags to your posts might be the easiest way to increase the visibility of your expertise. 

This perk is made possible by LinkedIn’s option for people to “follow” hashtags.

Say you decide to include #PersonalFinance in your post. Now your post will show up in the feed of everyone who is following that hashtag, regardless of whether or not you’re connected to them. 

Even people who aren’t following #PersonalFinance could discover your post if they search for that specific hashtag. 

Here’s a glimpse of what happened after I searched for #PersonalFinance.

Although my screenshot only includes one post, LinkedIn gave me numerous posts to scroll through. I can now choose to sort the #PersonalFinance search results by “top” or “recent.” 

As I mentioned earlier, using hashtags might be the easiest way to organically expand your reach and gain new followers of your expertise. Adding hashtags to your LinkedIn posts automatically makes them searchable and discoverable to potential clients who are looking for information on the specific topic that you cover in your content. 

There are also benefits to following hashtags. For example, if you have a podcast, you can keep an eye on hashtags that might introduce you to potential podcast guests. 

For instance, if you’re looking for a subject expert on long-term care insurance, you might follow the hashtags #LongTermCareInsurance to scope out potential guests and then strike a conversation with them through LinkedIn messaging. 

How to choose your hashtags

There isn’t a magical way to choose which hashtags to use. Unless you consider looking at your content from your audience’s eyes to be a bit of magic. 

When considering which hashtags to include in your posts, ask yourself: 

 

  • What is the main topic of my content? What are the subtopics?
  • Does my topic cover any current events or financial news?
  • Who is my audience?
  • Is my topic meant for a specific demographic? Is it related to a specific geographical area?
  • What keywords might my audience use to search for information on this subject? Are there popular abbreviations? What are the layman’s terms? 

 

If I were to write a post that promotes this blog, I would consider using any of these hashtags: #MarketingTips, #LinkedInMarketing, #DigitalMarketing, #FinancialAdvisors

During your hashtag hunt, use LinkedIn’s search bar to see how many followers different hashtags have.

While the number of followers for most hashtags will fluctuate, we notice that #FinancialAdvisors tends to have more followers than #Advisors. In order to get the highest visibility possible, we tend to use the former in our LinkedIn posts.

 

 

As you can see in this example, Top Advisor Marketing’s founder, Kirk Lowe, chose three popular hashtags for maximum reach. 

Another approach to choosing hashtags is to mix it up: Use some hashtags that are extremely popular with millions of followers and others that have a modest number of followers in the thousands. Include hashtags that are well-followed, but don’t waste time scrutinizing over numbers.

 

Best practices for using hashtags on LinkedIn

You can probably tell by now that using hashtags on LinkedIn doesn’t have to be complicated. First and foremost, it requires you to be thoughtful about your content and how to make it discoverable for your audience. 

Style and formatting is another important piece to consider. 

Make your LinkedIn posts ultra readable, clean-looking, and appealing by following these best practices:

 

  • Use 3-5 hashtags per post
  • Do not place spaces between words in hashtags
    • ✘ #Personal Finance
    • ✓ #PersonalFinance
  • Do not include symbols or punctuation within hashtags
    • ✘ #401(k)
    • ✓ #401k
  • This one’s a matter of preference, but we recommend capitalizing multi-word hashtags for easy readability and to ensure they’re read correctly
    • Example: #EstatePlanning
  • We suggest adding your hashtags to the end of your posts, as Kirk did in the example above, rather than as part of your text
  • Only use hashtags that are relevant to your content’s topic
  • Use a branded hashtag in order to build a following for it, but do not use only that hashtag. To help more people find your posts, use your branded hashtag in tandem with well-known hashtags, as shown in the example below with our branded hashtag #BeYourOwnLoud

The mighty hashtag is certainly your market strategy’s friend; it’s a no-cost way to get your expertise in front of more and new people on LinkedIn. 

Whether you’re completely new to hashtags or looking to make refinements, I hope this blog has served as a helpful guide to you. I wish you great success as you boost your visibility and uncover new opportunities by using LinkedIn hashtags.