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6 Ways Podcasting Makes You a Better Advisor

Do you know the similarities between being a great podcast host and a great advisor?

We’ve seen firsthand that podcasting makes advisors become better:

  • Listeners
  • Marketers
  • Communicators
  • Leaders
  • Networkers
  • Human beings

But how does that happen?

If you’re ready to take your advisor skills to new heights, this Influencer Academy Webinar is for you. Matt Halloran, CEO of Top Advisor Marketing, uncovers why podcasting drives advisors to flourish in their field and beyond. 

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The Difference Between Podcast Channels & Communities

Podcasting is trending upward at an increased pace. These are a few examples of the growth podcasting has had in the last few years.

  • Active podcasts rose from 550,000 in 2018 to over 750,000 in 2019. 
  • 70% of Americans are familiar with podcasting.
  • 50% of the US population have listened to a podcast.
  • Listens on iTunes rose from 47 million (2018) to 60 million (2019). 

You may already be familiar with the numbers and the increasing popularity of podcasts, but it’s only natural to have many other questions about how podcasting works. 

One of the most popular questions I get is:

What’s the difference between a channel and a community?

A podcast channel allows you to design your own page where you upload and host all of your podcast episodes. Most channels provide you with an RSS (Real Simple Syndication) feed. You can copy that RSS and set up syndication feeds in podcast communities that don’t offer hosting services (e.g., iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher). 

Designing your channel takes time. However, after the initial work is done, it’s fast, simple, and affordable to publish each new episode, which will then auto-publish to all syndicated communities that are set up to use that RSS feed. 

There are many syndication-only channels, so you’ll need to choose five to 10 that work best for your target audience. You could just go with the most popular channels (or communities), such as iTunes, Podbean, and SoundCloud, and hope for the best. But it’s better to do research to see where your target audience “hangs out.” 

Podcast channels are not one-size-fits-all, and different audiences can choose different communities. Podcasting is about finding the right “house” for your podcasts and captivating an audience in that house. Who will listen to and share your podcasts and where do they go to be informed or entertained? 

Here are some tips for your research:

  • Ask your clients which services they use. You can ask them in person or in a simple survey using a service like SurveyMonkey.
  • Do research about what kinds of audiences different services reach. 
  • Look at what the different services offer and the fees they charge. Many sites are free, but they usually contain ads and pop-ups, which could result in listeners tuning out. Paid sites will provide statistics and more detailed information about how your podcast is doing—information that can help you grow your audience.

Popular podcast channels/communities in alphabetical order:

Hosting Channels & Communities:

Syndicated Communities:

  • Aha
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Android
  • Apple TV
  • BOSE
  • GooglePlay
  • iHeart Radio
  • iTunes
  • Kindle Fire
  • Spotify
  • StreamGuys
  • Stitcher
  • SONOS (upload via TuneIn)
  • TuneIn
  • vTuner
  • XBOX ONE
  • ZenoLive 

Each site has different requirements for uploading a podcast. Some sites use RSS. Others use direct uploads. Both methods are relatively easy to use. The final choice on what works for your podcast is, of course, yours.

After you’ve set up your podcast channel, remember to also set up a feed to your website so that all new podcasts are automatically published onto your website, too.

Have any other questions? Feel free to send me a message.

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How To Step Up & Serve During and After COVID-19 Part 3 of 3

It’s a crazy time in the history of the world. A health and economic crisis for the ages. 

Your marketing will have to change, this time faster than most of you would like. Marketing has evolved but the time you have to embrace just evaporated. 

Let me explain. 

  1. Seminars have been increasingly difficult on growth and budgets. How many people will be lined up to greet you and others in the coming year? 2 years? 
  2. Networking events including conferences and breakfast meetings will stop. Who knows when and how they will resume. 
  3. Meeting clients and prospects face-to-face will continue to change as virtual meeting will be a preferred method going forward. 
  4. The way you stayed top of mind with your COI’s will evolve too. People will be less inclined to stop by with treats or just to say hi, at least not for a while. 

Why do you do any of these things?

You have planned to conduct seminars, attend events, and connect with people face-to-face so you can expand your network, start new relationships, establish credibility, and hopefully inspire advocacy or engagement. 

Marketing is about to change drastically. Are you prepared?

If you don’t already know it, you compete in the Expertise Economy. People expect you to share your expertise generously, and on their terms. This is just a simple fact. 

One of the hottest new marketing strategies to market yourself in the expertise economy is the Micro-Influencer Strategy.  

A Micro-Influencer is an advisor who owns a specific expertise, with a specific audience, in a specific region. 

We developed the micro-influencer approach. That is why our micro-influencer program is a perfect tool to put in place now, to continue your marketing, education and client acquisition. 

For many years several marketing tactics have dominated the ROI conversation; seminars, mailouts, referral programs, cold-calling or lead buying. Tactics that didn’t make measuring easy got overlooked, such as thought leadership, blogging, social media, video and podcasting. The micro-influencer approach is proving to be the best method of attracting, engaging, and building ideal relationships for mid-to long-term success. In fact what it does best is scale your credibility

Consider this as you prepare for a new marketing reality – scaling your credibility. 

Take the money you have allocated to all of the in person marketing strategies and re-allocate it to a strategy that will have long term results. For a third of the cost of a seminar/workshop, you can begin your Micro-Influencer Strategy. Begin creating momentum and begin taking control of how to market in the expertise economy. 

#RiseAboveTheNoise, #BeYourOwnLoud

You now know you need to reduce costs and increase your ability to attract, develop, and nurture relationships with ideal clients, in the medium they prefer – while they are there.  

Over the last two years, we have developed and tested this proven solution. 

Click here to arrange a brief conversation with either Matthew Halloran or Kirk Lowe. 

To your health and continued success,
The Team at Top Advisor Marketing

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How To Step Up Serve During and After COVID-19 Part 2 of 3

Your clients need you now more than ever. How are you communicating with them?

At Top Advisor Marketing, we’ve been helping advisors be their own loud. We produce and promote podcasts for them. Last week, we offered all of our advisors the opportunity to record a free C-19 podcast episode. Most took us up on it. Their clients were extremely grateful, reassured, and response rates were very high. That’s what advisors are supposed to do – communicate and guide. In fact, half (1.5%) of the 3% alpha advisors add to their client relationships are based on behavior management, as per Vanguard Advisor’s Alpha Report

It might seem strange but, this is one of the important reasons behind why we created this podcasting service; so advisors can communicate and educate clients (panicked or not) in a personal and intimate medium – when they have time to listen. 

This is what advisors get paid for and very few advisors have invested in a communication system that helps them provide consistent, timely, intimate and credible information for their clients, advocates and followers. 

“…so advisors can communicate and educate clients…when they have time to listen.”

For many advisors, their current approach isn’t working like it could. I’m not trying to be hard on your here, just realistic. You can’t be great at, or have time for, everything required of you to run a high functioning practice (business). 

  • Email is personal but it might not be getting opened and read enough unless you send one at a time versus through an email tool such as Constant Contact or ACT. You’ll need both. 
  • SMS doesn’t work well as a content vehicle. It’s great for alerts but noting of substance. Although, a quick, “Hope your family are healthy and safe!” would work perfect. 
  • Video can be highly effective, especially if shared on social media but many advisors don’t seem to have the confidence, know-how, or budget.
  • Blogs can be moderately effective but most advisors don’t do them consistently, nor are they typically skilled enough at writing to efficiently do this and convey personality and concern. In my 20 years in financial marketing, there are only 2 advisors I’ve seen consistently publish blog posts; James E Wilson, and Andrew Rosen at Diversified. 

“…very few advisors have invested in a communication system for their clients, advocates and followers.”

  • Did the C-19 episode amount to new clients or new assets? Not immediately, but it may. 
  • Does it really matter? No. Communication is meant to establish credibility and enhance relationships. 
  • Did it achieve that? Yes, and then some. Will that result in retention and referrals? Absolutely. 

Now imagine you scale your credibility using this same system. It’s no longer a communication system, it’s a business development system. One you own. 

“Podcasting is a boom. And that boom is only getting louder.” – Miranda Katz, Wired.com

Now is the time to communicate with your ideal audience, in the medium they prefer, while they are there.  

Click here are several podcasting resources when considering it as a possible communication system for your business going forward.

We can have your C-19 podcast done in 24 hours from the day you sign up and then you can send it to your clients.  That is a great way to kick off the use of this wonderful medium.  

To your health and continued success,
The Team at Top Advisor Marketing

 

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How To Step Up & Serve During and After COVID-19 Part 1 of 3

The federal, state and local authorities are acting appropriately in the interest of public safety for all, however, these precautions also carry grave social and economic implications for businesses, including your own.

Your clients need you now more than ever.

We’ve been assisting advisors who we produce podcasts for to create a short-term communication strategy for COVID-19. They all have a long-term communications strategy we implement for them but in this global health and economic crisis, we need a short-term action plan.

Here are some of the best practices we’re seeing from advisors we’ve been working with.

  1. Know Your Client
    • Talk only about what’s relevant to them, not you, or your practice, or your other clients
    • Make sure their families and communities are safe first
  2. Establish communication across multiple mediums:
  3. Content for Communication
    • Understand the facts of COVID-19 – don’t downplay crisis, focus on controlling what you can
    • Express your operational plan for coming weeks and months
    • Confirm how they can reach you and when 
    • Create FAQs on all the above
    • Interview a local Doctor about what they see and what they think you should do. Be resourceful if possible and find relevant experts who can help provide perspective and reassurance – who will also be honest
  4. Add COVID-19 FAQ page to your website
    • Lean on your broker dealer for approved messaging – they should have provided
    • Make it a link in your main menu (highly visible)
    • Reiterate information from “Content for Communication” above
    • Link or embed to podcast/blog/video
    • Add local and national links to trusted COVID-19 resources (3-5)
  5. Work your ass off 
    • Find opportunities to help clients recover
    • Don’t be too proud – ask for help 
    • Keep a journal of what this felt like and what you could have done better to prepare your clients, practices, employees and your own family
    • Be available to all who need your thought leadership and guidance
    • Mentor other advisors – help each other
    • Ask if your clients or their friends and family have had the same level of communication from their advisor. If not, call you. 
  6. Support local businesses, not national chains
    • Buy gift cards
    • Get take out
    • Take advantage of deliver or curb side pick up
    • Share your list of local businesses you’ll be supporting in your social networks – profile them, tag them

To your health and continued success,
The Team at Top Advisor Marketing

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Advisors, Don’t Let These 5 Investor Biases Derail Your Strategy

In 2008 we were faced with a black swan event. Fast forward to 2020, we are now in the midst of another one.

But no one saw this black swan event coming.

Naturally, most people are feeling some degree of panic. We are being bombarded constantly with new information and the rate at which new events are developing doesn’t help either. These situations can bring out the best in some and the worst in others. It’s only natural to start questioning everything.

It may be hard for advisors to focus when they’re hearing from clients who are feeling increasingly anxious about their investments. But I want you to avoid falling into the same behavioral biases that might be clouding your clients’ judgment.

These are the biases that I believe are most prevalent right now, for investors and advisors alike. 

 

#1 Loss Aversion Bias: The pain of loss is twice as psychologically powerful than the pleasure of gaining, according to Behavioraleconomics.com.

During a market crash, investors are more willing to take risks by pulling out their money if it means avoiding a short-term loss. Unless you have sold out of positions, you have lost nothing. Most of you have created a plan that’s strong enough to withstand a situation like this!  

 

#2 Mental Accounting Bias: Rather than thinking of their money in terms of the “bottom line,” people treat money differently depending on factors like where it came from and its intended use, according to Richard Thaler’s theory of mental accounting. 

I bet you are totally falling into this bias right now! You are looking at accounts individually instead of as a part of an overall plan. 

 

#3 Snakebite Effect: “Once bitten, twice shy” captures the human reaction to this bias. Investors who have a negative experience with an investment might take on an ultra-conservative approach going forward. 

We are all feeling the sting of a bite here, but anyone who went super conservative with their investments after 2009 missed a lot of amazing growth that the stock market has had since then.

 

#4 Illusion of control: People who fall into this bias believe they have influence over random events that they have no true power over. Factors that strengthen this bias include the familiarity of the situation, the type of outcome, and people’s personalities and moods. This illusion of power can spur investors to take unnecessary risks.

Let me ask you this: What can you actually control in this present situation? How is this really going to affect the long-term plan you created?

 

#5 Recency Bias: This bias is a psychological phenomenon in which people can most vividly remember recent events. People are then prone to using recent events as a baseline for making decisions. 

We are living in this bias right now. investors have already forgotten that their portfolios have been screaming straight up since 2009. In the last three years, what has the real rate of return been?

 

Final notes, keep your head, communicate a lot about what you are doing, remember doing nothing is something. If there is anything I can help you with, please message me on LinkedIn

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5 Steps to Creating a Powerful Value Proposition

Businesses that fail to quickly and clearly articulate their uniqueness and value have failed at the most simple and critical business requirements — defining why you. This is holding many advisors back.

Download our workbook and learn how to create a powerful value proposition in 5 simple steps.

Download Now

 

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5 Reasons for Advisors to Differentiate Themselves Right Now

Are you subscribed to iris.xyz? I believe that iris.xyz is an invaluable source of advisor-focused information that features some of the best writers in this space.

I was particularly impressed by Don Connelly’s article: How to Eliminate the Competition Because You ARE Different. Considering how saturated the advisor-space is, it’s no longer enough to be “client-focused” or “comprehensive” because so is everyone else! 

I’m going to quickly expand on Don’s excellent points on why it’s critical that advisors differentiate themselves.

 

“Clients don’t want average, they want excellence.” 

Today’s clients expect attention and communication that is highly personalized. They’re also asking more questions and expecting to be involved in the planning process. Clients clearly want an advisor that surpasses “average.” 

So how do show your clients that you’re an excellent advisor?

There are three things I recommend:

  1. Make advanced education a priority. Sharpen your skills and offer more value to your clients. 
  2. Consider hiring a coach who will push you to become an unrivaled expert in serving your ideal clientele’s unique needs.
  3. Tell your clients what you learned at the latest conference — and share it with enthusiasm. This is an effective way to show your clients that you’re at the forefront of industry trends and will use that newfound knowledge to benefit them.  

 

You can’t get referrals if you are not referable.”

If you cannot explain what makes you referable, your clients can’t either. And if you don’t offer anything that is truly unique and different, you are not referable. 

Do you have a real difference-maker in your practice? Do you help a specific kind of person? Spend time answering these questions. Find another advisor who you can have as a sounding board and accountability partner.  

We also have a guide that can help you boost your chances of getting referrals.

“Technology is commoditizing the industry.”

Are robo-advisors a real threat? AI can help replicate many processes, but not relationships. Do you have real, deep relationships with your clients and COIs? Are you super focused on performance? This is something you have to ask yourself. Do I do a good enough job that I am irreplaceable?

 

You can no longer be all things to all people.”

We have said it before on our podcast and repeat it every time we have a chance: It’s more efficient to replicate your ideal client and target that audience than to spend all your time and efforts trying to be all things to all people. 

You cannot be a generalist unless that is your company’s model. Edward Jones is a perfect example, their brand is being a generalist. It works for them —, they are on every corner. But this company is a rare exception.

Niche marketing can be intimidating for some advisors. Get started by listening to episode 161 of our Top Advisor Marketing Podcast: The Top 10 Arguments Against Niche Marketing and Why They’re All Wrong.

 

“Sharpen your differentiation message.”

All of the above in Don Connelly’s article leads to this final point. You need to create a compelling elevator statement. A powerful value proposition you strive to live up to every day. What is your story?  Who are your favorite clients? Why should I do business with you?

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to develop your value proposition.

Don nailed this article. I found myself nodding, smiling, and cheering for his points. I just wanted to support his message!