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Episode 41: 
Q&A Series Part Two - Where Do I Start With Marketing?
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Show Notes:
In this episode of The Ultimate Advisor Podcast, we jump into the second question in our 3 part Q&A series. In this weeks session, we address the question: Where do I start with marketing? We talk about how having a clear vision on what you want your business to look like will essentially help you make the best marketing decisions. We discuss the importance of starting with a singular action marketing strategy so that you do not fall into the Shiny Object Syndrome trap. We go over some of the unique marketing techniques you can use to differentiate your business from its competition. So, push PLAY and join us as we dive into generating more referrals, clients, and revenue with a clear and effective marketing plan!
Read The Transcript Of The Episode:

Intro: 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?
Intro: Let's jump into another amazing episode of the Ultimate Adviser Podcast.

Brittany A.: Hello, Brittany Anderson here, and welcome to your Ultimate Advisor Podcast. I have got with me Mr. Bryan Sweet and Mr. Draye Redfern. I am really pumped to share this next topic with you. If you did not tune in last week, you absolutely need to because we kicked off essentially what I'll call a little three part mini series where we are addressing the top questions that we are getting from you, our audience members, and also from our Ultimate Advisor mastermind participants and our Ultimate Advisor coaching members. What we're doing is we basically rolled into three separate topics.

Brittany A.: The top questions that we are hearing, the things that you guys are frustrated with, that you are experiencing roadblocks with, or where you are experiencing the most opportunity overload, which is absolutely what we are talking about today, because the second most frequently asked questions that we're vetting from very successful financial advisors just like yourself is where on earth do I start with my marketing? Now, if you have any sort of entrepreneurial spirit to you, you are well aware of what it feels like to have the shiny object syndrome. It is so easy to fall into the trap, especially with something like marketing, that at face value, it's exciting, it's new, it's different. There's so many different roads you could go down or paths you could take.

Brittany A.: That's what we're talking about today is when you are faced with in this world today so many different opportunities to market your business, how do I choose what's first? Where do I start? To kick us off today, I thought, well, who else would be better suited to talk about this than Mr. Draye Redfern, who gets to be the one that helps provide some direction. I know this was a really big topic at our last mastermind session where we really dove into some of the biggest frustrations people have around how do you choose what to tackle when it comes to your marketing? Draye, I'm going to pass it on over to you just to open this one wide up.

Draye Redfern: I love this stuff. There's all sorts of things that advisors feel like they need to do, and there's a certain amount of this that comes down to ego that I want to hopefully take a few minutes to blow up and destroy so that you can realize like some of the levers that will actually help and actually help move the needle instead of just what everyone says there are things that you should do. The first one is social media. Everyone says or thinks or feels that they need to be on every platform, your Google, your Pinterest, your Instagram, your Facebook, your LinkedIn, now your TikTok, and everything else under the sun. It's just not true. Realistically, if you're going to do anything, you could, should pick one platform and be more active on that.

Draye Redfern: But I say that with a caveat. I haven't had a conversation with an advisor ever who has said that we are really crushing it with blank social media platform. It's just a conversation that never comes up. Yes, we've gotten some leads from it. Yes, they feel like they need to be doing it. Yes, it's good as a credibility piece to show that if someone were to google you and your Facebook page comes up, that you're actually relevant. Like the last post wasn't in 2009. That you're actually relatively current. But that's about the extent of it. It's basically showing that you're relevant, sharing maybe some interesting stuff, and that's where a lot of it just stops for advisers. I think that's completely fine for the most of the advisors that we talk to and that we work with and that we have in the mastermind.

Draye Redfern: Staying current, that's a great thing, but what I encourage more people to do is just focus on some of the singular actions. It's something I talk about a lot is just what's one thing, just one thing, that you could do that you could do once that's like buying a dividend stock? You buy that stock and that dividend keeps paying you in perpetuity as long as the company's still around and as long as you still own it. What is that one thing that can keep paying dividends for you over time? For a lot of advisors, that's investing in something like on the front end, like maybe it's their website. For example, there's a lot of advisors out there who use their broker dealer domain name and they have like a forward slash and then their branch or their firm name after that.

Draye Redfern: That doesn't really do you any favors. That does the primary branch more favors because you built more credibility with their company and not yours. That's one thing that you could do to automatically start showing up more organically in search rankings and all of these sorts of things by having your own piece of internet real estate. It makes Google easier to find you. It makes it easier to put content out there that makes you more searchable, and you can rank higher and do all of these sorts of things. That's a website. Is it costly? It could be. Could it not be? Could it be more affordable? Sure. But that's one thing, a one singular action that I encourage a lot of advisors to take first because simply that's just an easy starting place.

Draye Redfern: The second part of singular actions that you could do is basically just a basic automation sequence. Every BD is going to have different rules about which services you can use and can't use. I don't want to probably go too deep into like all of them. The big ones are HubSpot Infusionsoft, GetResponse. Those are all the big email providers out there. Many of them are approved where you can basically have a sequence where someone opts-in in exchange for a piece of content. They leave their name and their email address. Then over a period of time you drip this email sequence onto them that you write once, you set it, and then you basically forget it. Those are two things that are two singular actions that I think are pretty fast that are worth looking into if an advisor hasn't necessarily done that lately.

Draye Redfern: But then taking that to the next step is, okay, I've done some of those things. We've already invested in some of that stuff in the past, or we have someone on our team that's rock and roll on this sort of stuff. Then what? That's why I more or less break it into a T where if you were to draw a T on a piece of paper and on the left side we had our free options and on the right side we had our paid options. Well, our free options are great because they're free. The problem is almost anything marketing wise that you do for free, it takes longer to get that to actually play out. On the paid side, you can get it spun up. You can do a lot of things a lot faster, but you obviously have to pay for it. There's obviously give and take to both.

Draye Redfern: On the free side, one of the things that we see working a lot just because it's the nature of the beast are blogs for the financial services industry because blogs allow you to have long form content. Long form answers will get very granular on a particular topic or pain point or something that if someone is searching, it can show up and it can start ranking in Google or in your area depending on where you are at and all these sorts of things. There's a lot of factors around it. But that being said, it's a wonderful way to sort of widen your internet footprint with your financial services firm to have blogs that are original that you write that answer the pain points that your particular customer base is feeling or experiencing. Sweet Financial does this amazingly.

Draye Redfern: There's blogs about women in transition, or women who are experiencing divorce, or women who just lost their husband, and like the things that they need to consider, and like what steps do you need to take, and what are you potentially overlooking? There's all sorts of really valuable information out there that they rank for in a variety of different categories with that particular content that helps their niche or one of their three niches. That's great, but it takes a long time for that stuff to be picked up and ranked by Google and then rank higher and higher and higher to eventually show up on page one. Usually it's anywhere from six months to 18 months. It's free, but it takes a long time. That's the left side of things.

Draye Redfern: Blogs is one. Obviously you can do a lot of referral campaigns for marketing to start generating more referrals. There's all sorts of software tools that can help you send voicemails out to your existing client base asking for referrals. You could do handwritten notes out to them. You could do more client events. I mean, there's a thousand different ways to generate referrals that we could probably dedicate an entire episode to. But again, most of those options are free or very inexpensive on that left hand side. If we were to look at the right hand side of this T, on the paid side, you could do traffic media, some form of advertising. I encourage you probably not to do billboards or yellow pages simply because that's the old way of doing things.

Draye Redfern: I can't even tell you the last time I had a physical yellow pages in my hands. I'd probably recommend that not doing that, but there's a variety of things out there that you could potentially do or advertise on or in in your particular market or demographic. We were having a conversation at our last mastermind meeting with someone who lives in a rural area, in Oklahoma, not too far up the road. One of the things that they do is they advertise in a local sort of information Gazette for their little town. That way they always are making impressions and they're always sort of in the little local Gazette and they get business from it because it's a long-term branding play. It costs money, but it sort of keeps them top of mind with a lot of their small community.

Draye Redfern: The other side on the paid sort of thing that you could do is direct mail. It's not difficult to spin up a direct mail campaign. You don't necessarily, at least in this day and age, you don't have to go spin up a list broker or service and you don't have to go pay five or 10 or 25 or a dollar per contact information from your list broker and then have to worry about the list being accurate. You don't have to do that anymore. There's a free service from the U.S. Postal Service called EDDM, Every Door Direct Mail. If you wanted to start something small and you are on a smaller budget, you don't want to spend thousands of dollars off the get-go on a big marketing campaign, EDDM allows you to go target specific streets or specific zip codes or maybe there's a really wealthy or affluent area in your neighborhood and it's a gated community.

Draye Redfern: You can say you only want to send mailers to just the people in that gated community, or you want to send them to everybody in a zip code. You can get pretty granular with some of the ways in which you can target your direct mail people to these individuals. It's very affordable. But the kicker is you just got to know what areas you really want to target. In most instances, in most geographic areas, most people know where the more affluent areas are. In the more affluent areas, they tend to have more money. Is that always the case? No, not always, but oftentimes it is. Those are a couple things that are paid, but also a couple of things that are free that you could use to spin up your marketing. But again, I wanted to sort of like cover both aspects of this is where do I start with my marketing?

Draye Redfern: I would start with singular actions. I would start with something that you could do once, do it really, really well, that could keep paying dividends. Whether that's getting your website spun up, maybe it's optimizing your SEO or getting some sort of automation sequence built in and doing that first and focusing on that for your marketing. Then if you have some of those things that are already done, you already have them in place, then you could talk about the stuff I used to talk about on the T. But that's where I would recommend at least as a jumping off point for a lot of advisors to get started when it comes to their marketing.

Draye Redfern: But that being said, Bryan, there's a couple things I think that would be worthwhile when it comes to how you can actually use your vision, which you talked a little bit about in the last episode, and how that can sort of relate to the message that you want to convey in your marketing.

Bryan Sweet: Yeah, thanks, Draye. I think when you do your marketing, you want to portray who you want to work with and repel everybody else. I think that's really critical that you know who you want to help, what's your avatar, if you will. Whenever you create an ad or do anything that gets your message out in the marketplace, it lets people know who you will work well with and who you won't work well with. I think that's a really, really good point. I wanted to just maybe take a little turn on this. Since I'm the old person in the group and this is my 41st year of doing this, I'm going to tell you just maybe a couple of things that if you do these and you do them religiously will get you some really good results. There's nothing earth-shattering about them, but I think they're very helpful.

Bryan Sweet: The first thing is in today's marketplace, do more with video. It's like you being there in front of them at any particular point. Sending them a video, happy birthday, anything in an email sequence. Just anything you can do on video is excellent. We've had great results with that. I think the other key thing is you really want to make sure that whatever it is you're doing on marketing truly differentiates you from your competition. What do I mean by that? Well, one of the things that we've done pretty religiously is if somebody else in my marketplace is doing something, we will absolutely never do the same thing because I never want Sweet Financial to be perceived the same as any of my competition. We will do everything different so we stand out differently.

Bryan Sweet: Also, anytime you can automate your marketing to add consistency is greatly helpful. I think one of the biggest problems that advisors have is they'll start something and then immediately it doesn't work. They go, "Oh, okay, well, I guess that isn't good." What you need to be doing is saying, "Well, that didn't work in that version and what tweaks can I make in it and run it again to see if I get better results?" Because the issue is that you got to continually get your message out and you got to have your message out there at all times so that when people are in the mode where they might need your service, they're hearing your message. If you just do it in a very short period of time when they need to hear you and you're not there, they're going to think of somebody else.

Bryan Sweet: The other thing is we as advisors spend so little on marketing and it probably should be the number one budget item that we spend money on. I know we're allocating a significant amount more in 2020 to our marketing budget than we ever have before. Because if you think about it, until somebody knows you exist, they're never going to have the opportunity to do business with you. I would allocate seven or 10% of your income to the marketing budget. It's a lot of money, but what other activity can you have that would give you as big of a return potentially if you consistently do that over time? I think maybe the final comment is don't rely on just one method of marketing. For years and years, we relied only on referrals.

Bryan Sweet: Now, referrals are amazing and we get gazillions of them and that's a significant way that we grow our business, but it's a very limiting in the way that you would get additional clientele. Doing simple things, like Draye had mentioned before, and just continually doing it and reaching out and trying new things, but always having your name out in front of that target audience and being proactive and consistent. I will tell you is amazing what happens when you do those few things. Brittany, any thoughts?

Brittany A.: Have I got some thoughts for you. I think this has been so good. I think, Bryan, you touching on the budgeting aspect, I'm going to circle to this and really give a handful actually from this particular episode. I'm going to give a handful of takeaway is just because I think that there are... Let me just back this up. There was a lot that both of you guys covered in a really positive way. What I want to do is I want to simplify this to say, "Here are the handful of things that you could focus on in your business," and just give a little bit of definition and clarity to maybe each one. The first particular takeaway from today's episode is to decide on your singular action. Now, Draye talked about how this could be a simple automation.

Brittany A.: It could be something with SEO, which SEO if you're not familiar with what that is, it's search engine optimization. It's using particular words that are most highly searched by your target demographic on the internet so that they can find your stuff. Because you can have amazing content out there, you can have great blogs, you can have stuff that's written so eloquently. But if it doesn't have the keywords people are searching, that's going to be a problem because it's going to be kept a secret. The thing to keep in mind here is that when you're thinking about differentiation, when you're thinking about... Let's just use the blog thing for example. You think about titling in a blog. People get so hung up on having to be creative, having to be different.

Brittany A.: Because what do we talk about all the time? Differentiation. But the thing is is that you have to keep it simple because you're not trying to attract them, especially through just organic traffic. You're not trying to attract them because of your catchy title that's never going to be seen because nobody's searching it. You need to hook them in and then have that catchy stuff in your article that differentiates you. You just have to be so careful with what you're doing with that SEO, or search engine optimization for those that aren't familiar with it, to really decide what's going to hit with the people you want to attract. Again, a singular action. That's what we're talking about as a takeaway right now. The other thing that you can implement right away is the whole video thing.

Brittany A.: At Sweet Financial, we set up a web room and for less than I think it was a couple thousand bucks, there's a full green screen, there's lighting, there's a camera in there. It's set up so that we can shoot video and do it right on site so you don't have to bring somebody in and hire. Now, there's this other really cool thing. I don't know if you've ever heard about it, but it's something that most people have with them. They carry it all the time. It's this trusty thing called a cellphone. Cellphones, they are so amazing. They have cameras on them. You can actually shoot video right on your phone. Take any sort of complexity out of it. Again, last week we talked about how we need to eliminate excuses or eliminate limiting beliefs, and that's another thing.

Brittany A.: If you don't have space for a web room, that's okay because I bet $1 million you've got a phone. Again, that phone has a camera. That's what we're talking about with being able to choose one singular action that can take you and move you forward, can get your toes wet in this whole marketing concept. The second key takeaway here out of all the good stuff that Bryan and Draye shared is you really need to decide who do you want to attract and who do you want to repel. Now, I highly recommend that you go back and find our episode, do a search on Jennifer Hudye of Conscious Copy. She's exceptional.

Brittany A.: She's exceptional at what she does, has a business built on creating and writing copy, but the reason I tell you you should go back and listen to it is because she has a whole methodology that she can walk you through on how you actually go about that attract and repel process. That's an exercise that we have done at Sweet Financial that we have actually done through our Ultimate Advisor programs or platforms. Because the bottom line is is that we can't help every single advisor. Every single advisor is not necessarily going to benefit from the mastermind or benefit from our coaching. But the ones that are an ideal fit, we're going to rock your world. I'm not being boastful here, but that's true. That's how you should feel about your clientele.

Brittany A.: The people that are best suited, the clients who are best suited for you, you know that you can change their life in a really positive way. You just need to decide and define who it is that you want to attract and who it is that you want to repel. To make this a really simple way, because again that could open things just wide open, that could really create a project for you. To make it really simple, think about things like this. When you look at your client base, what are characteristics of some of the clients that you enjoy working with most? Are they delegators? Are they just really nice kind people? Are they people who work in maybe a certain field because they are easy to deal with or they trust you? Trust is such a huge factor.

Brittany A.: If you think about characteristics and how you can do that, how you can actually decide who do I want to attract, what kind of person? Now, most of us have certain asset targets that we want to attract when it comes to our ideal client. We spend a lot of time on that because we know what's profitable and what's not, but we don't spend enough time on thinking about the individual. That's really a huge takeaway. If you've not gone through that exercise, I highly encourage you to do it as a takeaway from today's episode. The third one is that D word we talk about all the time and it's differentiation. Figure out what really differentiates you in your business.

Brittany A.: Last week if you tuned in, we talked about how you should differentiate when it comes to attracting talent into your organization, when it comes to recruiting individuals to work for you. Well, you got to do the same thing when it comes to your business. You've got to do that to attract the right clientele. When you've decided who it is you want to attract, well, then differentiate yourself so that those people are like, "Hey, that's my gal. That's my guy. That's who I want to work with. That's who I see as my financial advisor because we are so clear and so darn aligned." The fourth thing and this is the budget topic. That is the fourth takeaway from today because this is another one that we do get asked about quite a bit is, how much money do I throw at marketing?

Brittany A.: What does that magic number? The thing to think about is you almost have to break your marketing budget into different silos because there's the long game and there's the short game. There's going to be certain things that you invest in that will give you immediate return. That might be in the form of I'm going to put together, I'm going to throw money at a seminar that I'm hosting and how we market it because I know what that's going to do is it's going to put butts in seats. That's an immediate effect. Then from there, you know that there's a little bit of a long game because you may not convert every person. Now, after a certain period of time, you'll start to learn the numbers behind it as to how many butts in seats you get and then how many of those people typically convert.

Brittany A.: You'll start to see that. But in our industry, I think how the industry used to be is we were comfortable or used to that immediate gratification because you bring a client in. It's more transactional in nature. Bam, there's your results. Now it's a little bit different than that. Now with how we charge fees, with how our businesses are structured with the planning being such a necessity in our business, that's something that creates more of a long game strategy. When you're looking at your budget, again, Bryan, throughout the percentage of seven to 10% sometimes especially if you're in the two, three, four, 5 million plus category of production, you might look at that and go, "Holy smokes. I don't even know what the heck I'm going to spend that on. How am I even going to decide what I spend?"

Brittany A.: Here's the thing, this is what I want to point out is that when you're just determining and allocating for your marketing budget, it's not just stuff that Draye was talking about. It's not just the stuff that Bryan mentioned. Part of marketing and part of really learning the tricks of the trade is to surround yourself with people who know what the heck they're doing, with people who have done it before. At Sweet Financial, for example, part of our marketing budget is actually in some of the masterminds that we attend. When we are going to something that is strictly geared towards learning how to market in an effective and efficient manner or learning from people that are expert marketers, that's how we met Draye is through a mastermind.

Brittany A.: When we're looking at allocating our funds, we're also saying, "Hey, we need to stay up to date and we need to stay educated on how we can even market in an effective way." The only way to do that is absolutely not to just sit in our office and read articles online and hope we can figure it out, but to surround ourselves with people that can actually do it and that can actually help you get the tracker, the path that you want to go down that can actually help you make traction. Again, that's why we started working with Draye. That's why we actually brought him onto our team at Sweet Financial on retainer because we knew that we don't know what he knows. That's a huge deal for us at Sweet Financial. Again, when you're looking at your marketing budget, it encompasses so much.

Brittany A.: I would encourage you to break it down into silos as an actionable takeaway from today. Maybe you look at what are some short game things, those are things like, hey, maybe I want to implement a video sequence. I want to do videos for my existing clients. Maybe there'll be some sort of a referral program built into that. There's one thing you can focus on that you can actually go and implement. Maybe the second thing is more of a long game. When Draye was talking about some direct mail or maybe you have that whole seminar example that I gave a few minutes ago, that's more of a long game strategy where you know you're getting your name out there and you're trying to draw people in to get them to convert. Then finally, you have your education component.
Brittany A.: You have to absolutely allocate funds to surround yourself with the people who know what the heck they're doing and can help guide you so you're not making blind decisions. All of that being said, that wraps up today's episode of the Ultimate Advisor Podcast. Catch us back here next week because we are going to go over the third most frequently asked question that we are hearing from you, our audience members, that we are hearing from our Ultimate Advisor mastermind and coaching participants. You are not going to want to miss next week's topic, so catch us back here. We'll see you next week.

Brittany A.: Hey, Brittany here. We hope you got a lot of value out of today's episode. To access the key takeaways, the show notes and any deliverables, go to ultimateadvisorpodcast.com. While you're there, check out the Ultimate Advisor Mastermind if you want to learn ways to maximize your income, your impact, and your legacy through an automated practice, a self-managing team, and a killer culture that clients can't stay away from. We look forward to seeing you back here in next week's episode.

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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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