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Episode 3: 
How to Make It About Them Not YOU
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Show Notes:
In this episode of The Ultimate Advisor Podcast, we discuss how to make your marketing and messaging impactful by focusing on your target audience. We will also discuss the importance of your messaging strategy. So push PLAY and let us walk you through how to make it about them and not you.

Read The Transcript Of The Episode:

Announcer: This is the Ultimate Advisor podcast, the podcast for financial advisors who want to create a thriving, successful, and scalable practice. Each week we'll uncover the ways that you can improve your referrals, your team, your marketing, and your business operations, helping you to level up your advising practice, bring in more assets and create the advising practice that you've dreamed of. You'll be joined by your hosts, Bryan Sweet, who has more than half a billion dollars in assets under management, Brittany Anderson, the driving force for advisors looking to hire, improve their operations and company culture, and Draye Redfern who can help you systematize and automate your practice's marketing to effortlessly attract new clients. So what do you say? Let's jump into another amazing episode of the Ultimate Advisor podcast. 

Brittany A.: Welcome to the Ultimate Advisor podcast. I am Brittany Anderson ...

Draye Redfern: I'm Draye Redfern ...

Bryan Sweet: And I'm Bryan Sweet.

Brittany A.: Today we are going to talk about why nobody cares about you, right? That's a little punch in the gut, but we're going to get real here. We're going to talk about essentially how do you make your marketing and your messaging impactful? And that is my making it all about your target audience. I'll speak from experience here that literally it does not matter what kind of awards or accolations or accolades you have behind you, what matters is that you're solving people's problems. So while you can use some of the recognitions that you've had over the years as a credibility build, what it boils down to is people don't care about that. They care about how you can service them, how can you serve them and how can you help solve their biggest problems?
 So today that's what we're going to dive into and talk about the importance of your messaging strategy. Before we get into anything about engaging your team, before we get into anything about building up a second in command, anything about automation, marketing, systematization, you really need to understand this core principle when it comes to delivering your message within your business. Bryan, I want you to talk a little bit today about how this has been such a differentiator for you within Sweet Financial, and just for how you communicate to prospects and clients by focusing on them, versus what matters most to you.

Bryan Sweet: Yeah. Thank you Brittany. Yeah, I think, focusing on the client just makes you look so much more attractive because the reason clients or prospects come to you is that they've got a problem and hopefully you can be a resource to solve that problem. But today what happens is if you look at everybody's websites and advertising, everybody looks about exactly the same. We all deliver great service. We all have diversified portfolios. And to the client, it doesn't look any different because you're selling products, or you're selling an investment process, or you're selling service.
 And so when you start leading from what's in it for them versus, here's why you should come to me because I'm so great, that's a differentiator and it really stands out. And so one of the things that we really try, and we've actually got filters that we run things through, is in our communication is it about the client? And you want to make sure it's all about the clients and their problems and getting them to understand, "Yes I do have that problem, and yes it would be great if I could find somebody that would help me solve that problem." That's where we spend literally all of our marketing efforts on trying to be that differentiator and look different, sound different, speak different, but making it all about the client and how we can be their resource to overcome whatever issues that they have.
 Draye, I think you've got some interesting examples that might share that better with others.

Draye Redfern: Yeah. I think that having worked with a variety of types of financial advising companies in sort of a different perspective. And no, I think Bryan, you're exactly right. Everyone thinks that they're doing something that is unique. But if you would really take a step back at it, almost everyone is saying the exact same thing. And I say this, but no one necessarily believes me. So at a recent conference, I won't say which one, I had done a basic Google search for financial advisor ads, and I think we pulled up about half a dozen ads. All of these ads said practically the same exact thing. It was, "Plan for your financial future." I mean that's great and you want to help people do that, but there's not enough of a pain point addressed to that. You're just sort of blanketing the market hoping that this planning for your financial future is enough to compel someone to work with you. In reality, all of these ads we pulled up, they all said the same thing.
 The people were different. Maybe the skin color was different on some people. The headlines was basically the same. The pitch was basically the same and the supporting copy was basically the same. And we see this all the time across the financial advising industry because yes, there's FINRA, and yes there's compliance, and you don't want to push back, and you don't want to upset the apple cart. We've got to abide by all of the rules, but just because you have to abide by the rules doesn't mean that it has to stifle the creativity. And this is a real important thing when it comes to really creating that differentiation in the marketplace, making it about the client and not you, and really taking it to the next level.
 And so another example here that Bryan sort of initially touched on, is that most advisors' websites are just really pretty and often really expensive business cards where they say how great the lead advisor is, or how great the firm is, and it's essentially all about them. Now, that was okay five, 10 years ago, but it's not okay anymore. And to really just call it what it is, it's an ego play where the lead advisor or the company wants to say or beat on their chest of how great they are, but it's not really doing anybody any favors whatsoever.
 If we take that and we flip it on its head and we really start to address the fact the potential clientele, the prospects don't give a darn about you. They want to make sure that they're going to be diversified, yes. They want to make sure that they're going to be teed up for retirement. They want to make sure they have a good financial plan. Yes. Any advisor can do almost all of those things pretty quickly and easily. But how do you make it about the client? What is the real differentiation? Not just like we have a planning session and that's great.
 How do you use your website and your marketing to initiate that conversation and make it about them and not about you? And whether that's a story process, whether that's a client onboarding process or prospect onboarding process, whether that's free downloads or complimentary downloads you can have on your site, where you can start educating the client about the pain points they might have in the future that you already know about. And so as a perfect example, if you are working with one of your niches was women in transition, wonderful. Well we know that if women in transition, they are maybe recently divorced or maybe recently widowed, having seen many cases of this you most likely know the emotional journey that this woman may be going through down her path. And as such, if you can take her by the hand via your website, digitally or in person for a meeting, you can walk her through. This is one thing you may want to consider next. Or, "Having this just happen, after working with people just like yourself, we know that you may be experiencing this or feeling this next."
 Now, if you take that approach, right just like that in an initial prospect meeting and you compare that to the Joe Blow advisor down the street who says, "Well, we help with planning and we're diversified," and all of the other jargon that most advisors throw into this. And then they have someone who's addressing where they're at, who's talking about their experience, who knows what they're going to be feeling or experiencing next. It's a game changer difference. And all that really happened was, is changing the sort of dichotomy and moving it away from the traditional all about us as an advising practice, and switching it to more about the client, their emotional needs, where they need to go next, and how you can help them execute on their visions. And if you can change it that way, it becomes a complete game changer in your business by making that very simple and subtle shift to really take it to the next level.

Brittany A.: You know, Draye, you said something interesting to me the other day. We were talking about our messaging strategy within Sweet Financial Services and what's on the website for our target audiences. And you made a comment, you quoted that a website isn't necessarily going make you money, but it can cost you money.

Draye Redfern: 100%.

Brittany A.: Right?

Draye Redfern: Yeah, there's a lot of stats these days and analytics that we have to support this, and is not necessarily the website, but the homepage. Most websites, like I said, are just very pretty business cards. But if your homepage doesn't do a really clear and succinct job very quickly of saying who you are in like a sentence, but more importantly how you can help your target market achieve their dreams, goals or their ambitions, those people are gone. And so if your homepage, it may not necessarily make you sales, but it will absolutely positively cost you sales and we have the data to back it up, and it's really worth advisors, like we've talked about already, having that conversation be more about the individual, not about you, about them, and then having that reflected in your website and your promotional materials.

Brittany A.: I want to touch on something else too. Draye, you brought up a point about making sure that the ego doesn't get in the way. That's one thing that I've seen as I've worked with other financial advisory practices all across the United States, so it doesn't matter what part of the country they're in. But that can be a big obstacle to overcome because they think that well, in order for a prospect to trust me, because trust is so huge in this industry, I need to show them up front what I'm about, who I'm about, what my strategy is, how I can help them, right? I need to-

Draye Redfern: Yup.

Brittany A.: ... [crosstalk 00:11:14] who I am as a person. But the bottom line is, is an order to build trust in this industry because as you well know, as an ultimate advisor, if you're listening to this, you know darn well that you have to build trust in order to get prospects, even if you're a high referral-based business. So if you get the majority of your business from referrals or word of mouth, it's because you've built trust with your existing client, and they're then transferring that trust onto somebody else that they love and care about because they know that you're going to be able to help them, right?
 It's all about, hey, your client, your niche, your prospect base, they have a need you need to address. I can't stress enough. You have to set ego aside and understand that speaking to your target market, you have to address their fears and their biggest concerns because that's the only way they're going to engage with you. If they feel at all like you're being salesy, if they feel at all like you're trying to pressure or to really tout your own ability or capability, that's going to be a problem, that's going to be a blockade for you.
 I want to give an example. I'm going to use Bryan as an example today. We actually, for the past couple of years at Sweet Financial, Bryan has made the Forbes Best in State Wealth Advisor List, so actually he is the only advisor outside of a metro area that was recognized and put on this list, which is huge, right? That's a huge accomplishment. But here's the deal. He's not walking around telling everybody in his path about how wonderful and how smart he is because he made this list. So literally when we create our messaging strategy and we're putting things out there, all that that is, that little Forbes logo, that little recognition, it goes at the bottom of an ad. It goes in the email signature. It goes on some of our collaterals, it goes on direct mail pieces.
 But you know what that is? All that it is is it's a credibility build. That is absolutely not what the message that we're delivering is about, so we're not sitting here writing an article saying, "Hey, guess what prospects? Guess what community? We made this list. We are so great. You need to work with us because we're clearly the best, we're clearly the best for you." That is not the message.
 The message is geared towards, "Hey, Mr. Prospect, here's a fear that we know you have. This is something that's been stewing in your mind. Here's a concern you have. You're afraid that you're not going to be able to retire and do all the things that you want to do in retirement. You're afraid that your advisor maybe isn't diving as deep as they should. They're not doing as comprehensive research or their due diligence. You're afraid that you're not saving enough money in taxes because you're paying so much every year." Whatever the case is, whatever is their underlying fear, that's what your messaging strategy is about. So when you talk about your website, it's all that value-add up front, right?
 I mean, you're not giving away the farm necessarily, but you're giving them valuable information that's going to help build trust, because they're looking at and saying, "Wow, Mr. Or Mrs. Advisor, you gave me some awesome information before I even had a chance to meet you." All of a sudden I'm trusting you before I even have that handshake. So that's something to understand is that ego thing, you have to set that aside. And we know, I mean you've worked hard and you've built this business and you've poured your sweat, your heart and soul into it, so we want to acknowledge the successes that you've encountered and acknowledge the accolades you've received, but have that as a secondary and a support to your credibility, and not what your messaging strategy is all about.
 So again, Bryan, I don't know if there's anything you want to add there just with how you've really mastered this, especially in recent years. I mean, we've shifted our whole mass messaging strategy. I think that's where we've seen some major success in some of the things that we've done at Sweet Financial, so if you want to talk on that a little bit.

Bryan Sweet: Yeah, I think you've had some great points Brittany. Most of us obviously get referrals because people react or interact with us one-on-one, and that's a great way of building trust. But if you're trying to attract people via automated marketing, social media websites, it's really critical that that's set up and established correctly, because that's a whole different medium, and if they can't gain trust or confidence in the initial impression that they get, or that you're different, or that you solve a problem, they're never going to get to the second step where they give you a call even to test the waters.
 And that's why this is so important that you really think through that because you got a short period of time to make that first impression. And if that's not a positive where they want to dive deeper, you've just lost the opportunity. And so always thinking and having filters that we have actually created that force you to make sure that, "Is this about the client? Is this about the problem that they have?" Really does make you stand out, and when you stand out, people like that difference. People like that ability to go someplace and know, "Hey, I've got that issue. Here's the only person I'm hearing that's talking different and talking about how I can do that, and not tooting their own horn. They're tooting about what I have got wrong and what I want to have different."
 And so it's just being extremely conscious of it. And Draye has been great in helping us automate that so that that message gets delivered continuously. So I don't know, Draye, if you've got any other add-ons you want to make to that, but so, so, so important.

Draye Redfern: I can't stress it enough. And I think the interesting thing here is that ... let's call a spade a spade. What we're talking about now there's going to be a certain contingent of people who would just say, Well, I don't need this, or it's not important or whatever else. Let's just start talking about culture or your second-in-command so I can take more vacation, or tell me about the marketing or automation so I can automate this whole stuff." And that's great, and we're going to get to all of that in the coming weeks. But the problem is that if this part right here, the part that we're talking about right now of changing the conversation about them and not you, if this is not figured out, then all of the marketing, all of the automation, all of the technology, all of the other systems will fall flat on their face and you'll most likely have wasted a ton of money on stuff that would work, but you didn't take the [inaudible 00:17:57] or the time and the lay the groundwork up front to actually get this stuff dialed in ahead of time.
 Because you want this to be the golden thread across all of your marketing or automation or technology. You want it to really appear, not only appear, you want it to be the real thing that you care about them and not necessarily about yourself, and if we can really help you dial that in ahead of time, then that golden thread, whatever it may be for you and your practice, could be the same thing and the same piece of content messaging used through the marketing, and the messaging, and the automation.
 That can trickle down into so that your culture really embodies that, so that really anyone, whether they come in for the first time in for a meeting, or they come in for the first time on your website via some funnel or marketing or automation, they feel like, "Ah, I'm home. This is what I've been looking for. This is the type of advisor that I've wanted my entire life. Where was this firm when I needed them? I've got so many bad experiences, but oh my gosh, I am so glad that I found you when I did and I can't wait to tell all my friends about you."
 That is the conversation that we want to have. We want them to feel like they are an extension of the family. We want them to feel like you have taken them under your wing, that you're not only their financial advisor, you're a trusted advisor and they can look to you for all of their financial needs, whatever that may be, regardless of where they are in their frame of life. And when we change the topic of that, we change the conversation, it opens up so many possibilities and it really gets a lot more of those word of mouth referrals, which we know is the lifeblood of this business for many of our listeners.
 But also we use that, like I said, to really leverage it through all of the marketing technology and then sinking it down into the culture so that this whole process, everything that we're talking about, literally just oozes that you are client-centric. You care more about that client first. And that comes through with your team, your marketing, your website, and everything else that we'll talk about in the coming weeks.

Bryan Sweet: Yeah, let me give you an example of that Draye, and it's a personal example, and I'm saying this to make a point, not to, say, brag, but we've really focused on this the last year or two, and prior to that we were okay at it. I think we're getting exceptional at it. But because of the focus on the client and their problem and not necessarily us, we had the best year in bringing in new assets, and actually it was just mind-blowing from my standpoint, but we brought in over $170 million of new assets. I know this stuff works because that's the result that we got, and that's a lot more than we've ever brought in before. And literally, that's one of the major changes that we made and everything else that we've been doing is literally somewhat similar. So I can't tell you it's 100% attributable to that, but that had a big, big effect on generating that many extra new assets that we were able to manage for clients.

Brittany A.: And Bryan, I want to add to what you just said to. Draye, as you were talking about making sure that it's all about them and having this such an integral part, I liken this to the courtship period when you're dating somebody, right? Or you're trying to date somebody. If you go on a first date and you're with somebody and they literally talk about themselves the entire time, I would guarantee that just about everybody listening has had an experience like this, whether it's with a significant other or you're in a courtship period with a potential business partner, whatever the case is.
 But when they talk about themselves the entire time, you're literally ready to pull your hair out or itch your skin off because you're like, "Get me out of this conversation." Right? But on the flip side, if you go on a date with somebody, or you're in a courtship or whatever that is, and they're talking all about you and they're asking you a ton of questions, trying to get to know you, really trying to peel back the layers per se, right? That's a different experience. And that's what you're trying to do in your messaging. You're making it all about them.
 When Bryan was talking about having our best asset year ever, one of the things we really drilled down on for our existing and for prospects, is figuring out what was most important to them, and consistently delivering that experience. That is the whole point of today's podcast, is really trying to get down to that what matters most to them.
 And I thought of a quote as Bryan was talking, the quote goes, it's something like this, I'm sorry if I butcher it, but it's something along the lines of, "People will forget what you do. They will forget what you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel." So that is the core of this message, right? Make it all about them, appeal to what their needs are, appeal to what they are wondering what's keeping them up in the middle of the night, stressing about when it comes to their finances, when it comes to their money, the thing that they've worked so hard to accumulate over the years. Those are the things you need to focus on in your messaging.
 All right, so that sums up what we were going to talk about today in today's podcast. So you're going to want to tune into the next episode because we are going to drill down even further on how you can get the right person in the right seat to be your implementer. How can you be sure that you actually move some of the things forward that we talk about? So before we even get into the marketing, the automation, the systematization, we need to make sure that we have the right people in the right seats. So tune into the next episode where we dive into how you can get the right implementer for you and your business.

Draye Redfern: Hey there, Draye Redfern here, and before you go, we just wanted to say thank you for listening to this week's episode of the Ultimate Advisor podcast. If you enjoy this episode, then please subscribe to the show on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or Spotify, and be sure to rate us five stars on iTunes. Because when you do, you'll be entered into a monthly drawing for our Ultimate Advisor Coaching Program, which is a $2,000 value. And if you would like to access more of the show notes, additional resources in our free premium content, then please visit UltimateAdvisorpodcast.com. We look forward to seeing you in the next episode of the Ultimate Advisor podcast. We'll see you there. 
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About The Ultimate Advisor Podcast:
The Ultimate Advisor podcast is a business podcast for financial advisors who are looking to grow their advising practices with greater ease and effectiveness. Ultimate Advisor was developed to help financial advisors master their marketing, sell their services with greater authority, generate repeat clients, and additional revenue in their business.
Each week, your hosts Draye Redfern, Bryan Sweet, and Brittany Anderson will share some of the closest guarded secrets from successful financial advising practices across the U.S.  

Draye Redfern

Draye is also the founder of UltimateAttorney.com which helps Attorneys go from “Surviving” to “Thriving” in their business.  In addition, Draye helps to provide insurance solutions to more than 8,600 law firms across the United States annually.

Bryan Sweet

Founder of Sweet Financial, CEO, Wealth Advisor, RJFS
Creator of The Dream Architect™
Co-founder of Dare to Dream Enterprises
Creator of Elite Wealth Advisor Symposium
Author of 3 books – Dare to Dream: Design the Retirement You Can’t Wait to Wake Up To, Imagine. Act. Inspire. A Daily Journal and Give & Grow: Proven Strategies for Starting an Running and Effective Study Group

Brittany Anderson

Director of Operations at Sweet Financial, Office Manager, RJFS
Co-founder of Dare to Dream Enterprises
Author of 2 books – Imagine. Act. Inspire. A Daily Journal & Dare to Dream: Design the Retirement You Can’t Wait to Wake Up To
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