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07 Digital Marketing for Financial Professionals with Mark Fujiwara

Steve Seid & Kurt Dupuis
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Guest E7

Steve Seid:
Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Whole Truth. We have our first financial professional on the pod today.

Kurt Dupuis:
Oh, good job, you're learning.

Steve Seid:
Yes, I'm learning. I think that's what we're supposed to call everyone now like FA is...

Kurt Dupuis:
Don't say the other, it's a bad word.

Steve Seid:
It's a bad word. Yeah. We're really excited to have Mark Fujiwara from Baird and he's doing some really unique things around digital marketing, which is how he got on our radar. We cover that plus a lot more. We need to figure out how to navigate at each firm, obviously, but we plan to have a lot of financial professionals on. We are the facilitators, but this show is about you and our community. And anytime we have a financial professional on, what we're looking to do is pull out insights. Things we think will be valuable to you all.

Kurt Dupuis:
And get excited because in this episode, we're getting into the mailbag. The interaction from all of you in the community has been absolutely awesome so far. So keep the questions, keep the interaction coming our way. That's why this show exists. And just as a show note, we're skipping Costanza Corner today, don't be too upset. And a few other points, to learn more about us and listen to past episodes visit touchstoneinvestments.com/thewholetruth. We're really starting to get the flow of releasing new episodes, which you can expect every other Tuesday. And as always, you can reach out to us directly at thewholetruth@touchstonefunds.com, for any reason, including getting added to our distribution list. And if you haven't already please consider subscribing on Spotify, Apple podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. Without further ado, let's get into it.

Disclosure:
The views expressed herein are those of the participants and not those of Touchstone Investments.

Steve Seid:
So we're going to get into the mailbag today, which I'm really excited about, but I wanted to start, Kurt, with a story that just happened to me over the last couple of days. I got a call from one of our audience members, financial professional that's in Walnut Creek, California. She had listened to a variety of our episodes, the client service series, some of our others. And it's spurred her to think about a lot of different things in her own business and she wanted to share those. She just called and I talked to her for a really, really long period of time.

Kurt Dupuis:
Nice.

Steve Seid:
The second part is one of the mailbag questions today, I got submitted from one of our other audience members and the conversation that I had, she had touched on a topic that directly related to that mailbag question. So I got to connect the two of them together to talk about the topic that this other financial profile...

Kurt Dupuis:
Oh really?

Steve Seid:
... related address. Yeah. And I stopped and again, we're early on in this show on this podcast game. And I just thought to myself, "Wow, this is really what it's all about."

Kurt Dupuis:
That was the vision, right?

Steve Seid:
That was the vision, right. We're addressing some topic that spurs discussion and thinking and all that engagement from our audience. We get better content that we can report back to the community and we're connecting you guys with each other. I just thought that that was just an incredible outcome of this show that we expect.

Kurt Dupuis:
It's a beautiful proof statement for what we've talked about for months and months and months now for what we wanted this to be. So that's incredible.

Steve Seid:
Let's read the question about what he submitted. This is my friend Keenan up in Eureka California, beautiful area of the country actually. And he says, "How do you determine if you should add staff to your team?" And I get this all the time. It's [crosstalk 00:03:33].

Kurt Dupuis:
[crosstalk 00:03:33] the question of scale.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. In the Bay area, people are always like, "I don't have enough support staff. Should I pat in my pocket? How do I think about that?" So Kurt I'll let you take the first crack on how you think about this. What are your metrics? What are your thought process on whether you should add people to your team?

Kurt Dupuis:
Well, we talk a lot about is, you can grow by getting more efficient or you can grow by adding numbers. So I think because added personnel is a fixed expense for a significant period of time, knowing what the roles responsibilities of that person, what you actually want them to do in quantifying the value of that in the practice is really important. So I don't know, you probably have a better opinion of like, if there's a finite number, but I would just think you want to do so much work on the beforehand to make sure you know the type of person you're looking for and what that role is worth in the practice.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. I mean, obviously the right person is everything, but I'll tell you... Here, let me share with you what I observe. What I observe is people are very, very hesitant to add costs to the business.

Kurt Dupuis:
And rightly so.

Steve Seid:
I think it's very shortsighted in a lot of cases because if you were to take, and this is again, coming from a conversation, I just recently have, if you were to take an activity log. So you look at what you do all day long as a financial professional, you could fill it with all kinds of stuff. It's really easy to stay busy, but are you doing the right activities? So you could spend all day going through your emails, responding to emails, doing that. You could spend all day being on the phone, trying to schedule different appointments with clients, busy work, operational work, et cetera, et cetera. The question is if you offloaded that and only focused on the stuff that you are uniquely qualified to do, think about how much that would actually unlock it. And if you could think about it in that regard, yeah, it's scary. You got to grow the business, but you know what think about if you're dedicating so much of your time, more towards the activities that really matter, how much more business you could be generating, and it's not just cold calling, right?

Steve Seid:
It's like I can spend more time with my clients and providing a better experience. Like where do you think referrals come from? They come from that client experience. So I didn't give you any tangible answers, Kurt, because I'll talk about that in a second, but I will tell you, I think people really think about it the wrong way. And this is again, back to my conversation with Elizabeth, who was talking me through how she thought about it. She made the investment in support staff, where she almost had to pay her entire earnings to do it, but she said, "Listen, I'm not going to [crosstalk 00:06:28] business.

Kurt Dupuis:
[crosstalk 00:06:28] saw the values.

Steve Seid:
I'm not going to grow the business if I'm going to sit here, spending 20 minutes, going back and forth with a client about when's the right time to get together. I mean, think about how time schedule things. So anyways, you could certainly look at it by this number of households, should get this number of support staff. But I would definitely think about it from an activity log and I'd be less held up by the expenses and more think about what is your time worth? You don't think about it that way.

Kurt Dupuis:
And I'll double down on an analogy that we've used before regarding this, which really does kind of invert the way a lot of practices are run. But you think about your interaction with the dentist, right? Are you doing the scheduling? Are you doing the prep work? Are you doing the rescheduling, the appointment on the back end? No. You see the dentist for those five minutes when they come in and [inaudible 00:07:16]. They're in they're out because their time is really valuable. Not to say the others isn't, but if you're running a business, when you think about, you said it, those skills that you are uniquely qualified to do, it makes sense. There's myriad examples of other businesses that are run that way.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. And you can put a number on it, but I think my general feedback to you all is to, don't be scared to go into your pocket, to invest in a business where you could get yourself focused and doing on the right activities. Anyways. Let's move on. Let's go to question two.

Kurt Dupuis:
Okay. So this question is from Christie here in Atlanta. And Christie actually works in the institutional consulting side, and it's some I've battled with for awhile, but she asked a while back, what designations are most applicable and fruitful for financial professionals today? And are there new ones that maybe people don't know as much about. My comment to her, because this is a person that has her CFP and her CIMA. So Steve, you have your CFA, I had the CIMA and I think they're both worthwhile efforts if you have the time and energy to put in into those. the one that we suggested to her was the AIF. Have you heard of that one?

Steve Seid:
No. What's that?

Kurt Dupuis:
The AIF is an accredited investment fiduciary. So as rules and regs continue to change and kind of go more towards the fiduciary standard, it's a designation that kind of stamps that saying, "Look, I treat my clients as a fiduciary." So especially in the institutional consulting world, in which she lives, she has private clients as well, that is coming up more and more. So that may not be applicable to everyone.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. I mean, I'll start by saying, I don't really think designations in our channel really separates you in any way. I mean, CFP is the one that I think most people probably should try to pursue.

Kurt Dupuis:
But you don't think that separates people, even CFP, folks that have the CFP?

Steve Seid:
To most [inaudible 00:09:14] clients, maybe not. What really matters is do you have the knowledge that that can produce a differentiated experience in a more valuable experience? So what does the CFP do for you? It allows you to do more robust planning? That planning in itself is what separates you as an advisor, not the three letters CFP. Is that going to matter to some people? Yes, but to me, I would more think about what are the things that you can take that gives you a differentiated skillset. So I'll give you an example of one, there's something called certified divorce, financial analyst. And there's a couple of other ones, if you as a financial advisor are going to want to specialize around things like separations in your practice, like I would look towards that. But the way I've always thought about designations is not, what does it make me look like on a page or to market myself?

Steve Seid:
It's what is the skill that it gives me that uniquely separates me from lots of others. Think about this also in terms of niches, I've seen people started to get like ESG type certifications and impact certifications. Like just think about what it is your business trying to do and pursue the best knowledge you can for that. And if that comes with a designation, that's fantastic. This is a tough one I'm going to throw at you Kurt, because I've thought [crosstalk 00:10:35] about this and, okay. So this is from Doug [inaudible 00:10:39] in Oakland, question on clients' standards. If we commit to live by our standards of integrity, competence and empathy, then what are our minimum best standards we demand from our clients? So he listed a bunch of different things, but here's the question. The question is, should you demand that the clients, you have hit certain standards?

Kurt Dupuis:
Wow.

Steve Seid:
Do you want me to list some of the things that he was thinking about in terms of clients standards?

Kurt Dupuis:
Sure. I'm curious how, first of all, how he articulates this and then how you actually enforce something like this.

Steve Seid:
So the first one he put in was an example, nice and rational. So those are two things that their clients need to be. Should there be a dollar minimum and what is it? Should they agree to adopt minimum digital engagements? Should we expect referrals? Do we insist that they give us all their liabilities? Yeah, so it's things like that. The question is, should you create standard for your clients?

Kurt Dupuis:
My thinking is just that I find it walking on eggshells to tell a financial professional who's had a client for decades that suddenly we're going to implement something new. So what I would say is I think legacy clients might be a different conversation than new clients. New clients, if you want to be selective of who you take on, I think this is absolutely appropriate. But most advisors are not just starting with new clients, they have a significant number of legacy clients as well. And those are tougher seas to navigate.

Steve Seid:
Well, agree, but let me throw this out to you. So let's say I'll give you a specific example. Let's say we are a full planning practice and that's a big part of our value proposition. And we want to work with clients that take our advice. We want to work with clients that are good to our support staff and they work with us and all those things, right? You get a client that comes to you and let's say he has a lot of money, but he's not interested in planning or doing what your practice brings to the table-

Kurt Dupuis:
[crosstalk 00:12:43].

Steve Seid:
[inaudible 00:12:44] revenue. Yeah. Generally we've all come across, like not a good person. Right? All those things. The question is, do you accept them in your business? Now my immediate thought about this is which popped in my head was, well, it depends on how much money we're talking about here. Is this like an AA plus client? I'm not going to necessarily... I'm just sharing and being honest, if it was me and there was like, it was one of those things where it'd be a top 10 client, I probably would take that client, outside of that, I think having standards for what you accept, I think is unequivocally the right way to go.

Kurt Dupuis:
Well, and all that kind of feeds into the ecosystem of a practice that's thought through what those values and what that mission is, makes it easier to articulate that, which I think is going to draw those type of people to the practice. So what I mean is, if you put in that kind of effort on the front end, you have a vision of what you want the practice to look like. And you're more likely to identify those people down the road. And those kinds of decisions are probably much easier because you're not going to attract the jerks that don't fit into your criteria.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. And even though I gave you an out by saying, top clients you could take, I bet you wouldn't look back or regret it if you really did have those client standards and stuck by them. I don't think you'd regret it, especially nowadays with all the complexity of our business, I don't think you'd regret it.

Kurt Dupuis:
But you're right. A lot of people would have a number that they would entertain people outside of that.

Steve Seid:
Of course. Yeah.

Kurt Dupuis:
So thank you so much everyone for sending in questions and we'll be sure to get to all of them over time. So keep the questions coming and if you have different answers, send them on and we'll talk about those on the show as well. Coming up next is our conversation with Mark Fujiwara. This is the whole truth. Stick with us.

Steve Seid:
Well, welcome everyone. We're here with Mark Fujiwara, which apparently we're supposed to call you the Fuji, is that correct?

Mark Fujiwara:
Bring it back, right?

Steve Seid:
Yeah. So Mark, thanks very much for joining us. We're really excited to have you on. This podcast as we keep sharing with our audience is less of a podcast and more of a community. So we want to have, we're just kind of leading the conversation and bringing people on that we think can bring some interesting insights to the table. And really where I got to see you was in the social media world. I'm connected with lots of folks on LinkedIn. Most of what comes across my feed is very generic in nature and not impactful and what I saw you doing was different. So we're going to ask you about that, but also when you and I got to talking, you're doing some podcasting and I want to ask you about that. So for those reasons, we're really excited to have you on, so welcome.

Mark Fujiwara:
Thank you so much for having me on, super excited.

Steve Seid:
Yeah, no, it's great to have you here. And so why don't we just jump right into it and tell us a little bit about yourself.

Mark Fujiwara:
My business card says financial advisor with the... there's so much. Financial advisor director at Baird, but there's so much more if you dig deep down on that, FINRA requires us to put that on our cards, but that's pretty much what I've been doing my whole career. I think where I truly found it was when I was intern over at Merrill Lynch. That was when I was 20 so it's at 31 years ago. Just completely loved all aspects of this business. At one point I thought investment banking was going to be... it just sounded cooler but then I discovered what exactly that was. And the fact that you actually don't deal with a lot of people and being a financial advisors is purely where I focused on and then portfolio management at the beginning of my career.

Kurt Dupuis:
So, Mark, I Googled you, did some hard hitting research on you did to figure out what your story is. And I came across a website slash blog that you had online from a few years ago.

Mark Fujiwara:
Yeah. Oh boy.

Kurt Dupuis:
So give me some background on this website.

Mark Fujiwara:
All right. So this was when I met my wife. Oh, back up to, so I have just a little bit, where I am and stuff. I had two kids from a previous marriage. They're soon to be 17 and 15 girl, Izzy is 17, [inaudible 00:17:14] is going to be 15. Also have a little girl who's going to be one in a matter of just about nine days.

Kurt Dupuis:
There you go.

Mark Fujiwara:
My wife, Amy and I have been married for almost two years. So back up to the website. So before I met Amy, I was kind of in a funk. I talked to one of my coaches. I'm one of those weirdos who always has two or three or sometimes six different coaches. So my prime coach, I said, "Hey, Val." Things actually weren't going too well for me. I was newly divorced and just felt really overwhelmed. And my business was pretty much flat. So I made a commitment to her and I said, "I'm going to go out of my comfort zone 100 times in 100 days." So I get this from a guy named Jia Jiang who wrote the book Rejection Therapy, who I'm now really good friends with. But anyways, the point was is like, prepare yourself to go out of your comfort zone. It could be for anything personal, fitness and dating, because I was single at the time.

Mark Fujiwara:
And also my business, because she was just like, "Look, you're that true definition of insanity." So now the tweak was this, she had me go to a Starbucks and write down 200 ways I can get out of my comfort zone. So I did that and it didn't take me that long. So day one, I wake up and then I go and I'm like, "Okay, I'm going to jump in a lake." And it was freezing cold at the time. So I jumped in a lake for 10 minutes and I actually thought I really was going to die.

Steve Seid:
That was number one on the list.

Mark Fujiwara:
Yeah. So to somewhere along the line, I think number 60 something, it was... so I was on dating apps at the time and I would always have like 10 miles from my house and just dating people within a two year. So at the time was six, 44 to 48 and that's it. And then I finally said, 'You know what, I'm going to date someone like much, much younger." So I put it down to 10 years younger and 100 miles, what the heck? And this woman pops up the next day and she's like, the magic of the day is it was on eHarmony and it's Amy. And it was like-

Steve Seid:
Your now wife.

Mark Fujiwara:
And I was like, okay, she's out of my league. She's 10 years younger and she lives like 80 miles away from me. But what the heck? So that was one. And then so after Amy and I started dating, she's the one that actually created this one site for me. I also got my... one of the things was to speak in front of a group over 100, which I did. I used to like literally get sick before I spoke in front of groups. So I got rid of my public speaking fears. I went up in front of CEG Worldwide 250, top financial advisors, did a 10 minute talk and won the whole thing. And I won $5,000 for her charity. So just a happy ending. So that's a long story of how that website came about. And I'm one that doesn't like to finish things as you can see.

Kurt Dupuis:
I can relate to that.

Steve Seid:
That's pretty impressive, jumping right into doing all those things that couldn't have been easy. Yeah.

Kurt Dupuis:
Well, I love the idea of just doing stuff outside your comfort zone. That's been a feeling that has driven me my whole life. Not just my career was just you take that next step and it's almost always good on the other end. It's almost like skydiving too. It's like, once you realize, you jump out of the plane, you survive and invigorates you. It was like, "Oh, well how big can I make my circle? And how wild can I make this?" I do have to make a point though. Number 13 is host a party for 50 of my kids' best friends. Are you insane? That many kids at a party.

Mark Fujiwara:
Yeah. So I was like-

Steve Seid:
It got real serious right there [inaudible 00:21:18].

Mark Fujiwara:
So let me put this in context. So I really wanted to be the single dad that just totally delivered. And I'd always ask my kids like, "Hey, how can I make it happier?" And then so like, my son and daughter are completely different. My son just like, "Hey, man, just provide me with Xbox tokens and I'm a happy guy. Let me have a friend over once in a while." Now Izzy was more like, "I want to have a bunch of people over." So I said, okay, well, so no one else just me. And I said, "Okay, Izzy, if I have all these friends over, you have to make one deal to me. You have to make sure that..." We have a rule in the house which is when you borrow something, you bring it back just the same or better. And I said, same philosophy here.

Steve Seid:
Love that.

Mark Fujiwara:
[inaudible 00:22:15] you have to do, if you need help on which friends, that will be the ones that will stay around and clean it up and make it better, I'll give you a list of eight or nine. So she goes, "Cool." So I started listing off friends and I said, "They're really good friends of yours. You have them stay. And if it's not the same or not better, then we're never going to do this again." So in fact, which was cool, it was very in tune with her friends and both of my kids' friends and I would pretty much know what each of them were all about. So she would come to me and say, "How about this friend? How about this friend?" I didn't realize it at the time until people started dropping their kids off. And just saying what you just said right now, Kurt, which was, are you insane? If the house goes up in flames, here's my cell phone. And then they jumped in the car and like screech off.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. Nice to know you.

Mark Fujiwara:
But delivered, the house got cleaned afterwards and just another way to connect with one of my kids.

Kurt Dupuis:
[crosstalk 00:23:25].

Steve Seid:
That's pretty incredible. So back to the business side of things, what does your practice look like today? If you give us a current state of what you [crosstalk 00:23:36].

Mark Fujiwara:
Guys it's really changed, actually. I think one of the big things is I always had a major, major warehouse before this, the biggest one actually out there. So what  happened was I came over to Baird, almost about two years ago and it was one of those things where I started to see, some of the things that you see, Steve, just in terms of the digital media stuff, the digital marketing stuff. I was a lot more free with all of that. And also I also was more free to utilize all the professionals in my network. Kind of like I refer to sometimes as like a family office structure and now compliance is like, Ooh, don't use that term, but it's such a wide variation of a term. So that's kind of what I run right now. So starting at Baird, I utilize the people within their structure.

Mark Fujiwara:
Like Chris Dolan is an amazing, amazing tax person who pretty much can look at a return and say, okay, these are some of the things that you might want to do the coming year. You might want to do this type of retirement plan with business sale. It's crucial because he's the one that kind of lays the groundwork. There's probably about 11 key individuals at Baird that I use and all the rest are external. So if clients are like, "Oh, what exactly do you do?" Well, pretty much if a client comes in and says, "I want to go from A to B and I want to figure out a way to get these three things done, that's what I do now. I don't personally do every single one of those things. I'm a certified portfolio manager.

Mark Fujiwara:
And just actually this whole process came about just because I started to realize that it's not a matter of just gathering a lot of research. It's a matter of who you talk to. So I've developed some amazing [inaudible 00:25:31] new relationships with some key people in our business. A couple of hedge fund managers, a couple of money managers, just knowing who to talk to and gathering as much dirt on them so that they will talk to me anytime I call them up. I'm just kidding.

Steve Seid:
I like it.

Mark Fujiwara:
Yeah, so started to realize that there's more important things than just managing the portfolio, like in the situation of, I always go back to this, because it's a wonderful case study of a client came into me one day. This is a while back and just said, "Hey, I need you to help me out on this. I need you to help me sell my business." So he comes in and says, accountant says that I have a right on my board actually. Accountant says that I'm going to walk away with just about $11 million. Nice, nice amount of money there considering he took this from zero to that amount. I said, "Why 11 million?" And he says, "Well, I'm going to have to pay about 4 million in taxes." I said, okay. And I said, "Well, why 15 million then?" And he says, Well, that's what I got an offer for 15 million.

Mark Fujiwara:
Okay. Those are baseline numbers and I'm going to start taking that up. So there's probably about 12 key people we talked to in the process. Won't bore you with all the details, but we got the valuation up. We had an M and A advisor increased that valuation. We turned in and instead of one buyer, now, all of a sudden we had more interested parties, more private equity firms, another buyer in the industry. We cleaned up his insurance stuff as a whole, decrease the risk, all that good stuff. All of a sudden he had a valuation that was much higher. And then we turned around and used some tax strategies, combination of three different complex tax strategies and walked away for just a little over 31 million.

Steve Seid:
Wow. That's beautiful.

Mark Fujiwara:
[crosstalk 00:27:34] taxes. So we did that in about...

Steve Seid:
After taxes.

Mark Fujiwara:
After taxes, 18 months. So I say that, and it's just like, people were like, "Oh, do that for me." And it's like, no, no, but that's-

Kurt Dupuis:
[crosstalk 00:27:46] no problem.

Mark Fujiwara:
Because he did not come in and say, "Hey Mark. Look, I really would like to beat the S and P by about 1% this year. And then [inaudible 00:27:57] my risk by 10% of the standard deviation." No, that's [crosstalk 00:28:03]. That's like number 14 on the list. So anyways address, whatever they need.

Kurt Dupuis:
Having both internal and external resources makes it kind of a fuller value proposition, right? Like we're not at all keeping this in house and claiming that we have all the best ideas and the best subject matter experts here, but we can actually piece meal together, a tailor-made process for you to go to. To me, that's much more appealing than having it all either or...

Mark Fujiwara:
Absolutely right. I think one of the things that started to really hit home was how blessed I was to have these people, literally I have their cell phones, I can call them up. Had a couple of guys help a client out with a Nissan plan and they never ever received a dime. The only people that receive any compensation of course is investment banking. Now this is something that's super, super rare, and I'm almost getting choked up saying this, but I have an investment banking group within Baird that is dealing with a sale right now. And it's a complicated one because we're taking multiple companies and putting into one, this group has done valuations, advising and has probably put in about $50,000 worth of work and have not got paid for it.

Mark Fujiwara:
Now, they turn it around and they engage them as investment bankers then they will make money. But there's an understanding that there are a couple other bankers out there specifically the one that the tax person has and I've had great links of the conversation. I said, "We as Baird, you guys might not get this deal." And the response has been this, it's just like the only objective is for us to make it easier for your client to sell or three clients now three and one, three clients to sell their businesses so that you can reap the rewards and in terms of [inaudible 00:30:00] their assets. Everything else that we play the numbers.

Mark Fujiwara:
In fact, there's someone else that could probably send you a lot of business if you went through them in terms of the bank banking relationship. So if that happens, then we're okay with that too, because we know you're going to keep bringing us deals. We're willing to play the numbers, and we are not here to try to sell your clients on Baird Global Investment Banking. We are here to actually help your clients so that they can help you.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. It's doing the right type of activities and over time that tends to work regardless, and you don't have to worry about each and every one. We get that with some of our value adds that we do, we have this thing called PA which is practice analysis. And we'll do it for teams, they're like, "Well, how much are you getting paid?" And we're like, "Nothing, we're doing this for the relationship." Well, what about this? And we're like, "Don't worry about it. Let's just do this. Let's find some value. We're not worried about squeezing every investment dollar out of you. That's not why we're doing it." It reminds me of that.

Mark Fujiwara:
You guys right here, I want to say that that's a good point that you make, because of course I'm in the business where I hear your competition, if you will. And you hear the same thing. It gets muddled and I learn a lot from guys like you, because it's like, who right now is actually doing things to help me and all the other advisors? It's who you guys are and that will go a huge way, a long way. So just wanted to say that.

Steve Seid:
No, we appreciate that. It's always been striking to Kurt and I like, there's a lot of folks on our side of the industry. And there's some good folks, but it's pretty easy to differentiate. It's not that hard. That's a piece of advice I always try to give advice on that side. Yeah. There's advisors out there, but I was thinking about doing things a little bit differently, going after a different market, approaching it a little bit differently. Some of the things you described about your network and things like that, and you can be an entirely different... You can bring an entirely different value proposition. So with that Kurt, I think we want to transition probably into the digital marketing stuff, right?

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. So clearly that's something that all of us are interested in. We're here talking about this and that's how you and Steve originally got acquainted. So let's set up the opportunity. Why is digital engagement... Let's just speak broadly. Why is digital engagement for financial advisors important now and going forward?

Mark Fujiwara:
Well, I think a lot of financial advisors get the digital marketing wrong because it's like, it's not... I think a lot of them will say, "Well, I want to put this thing on LinkedIn and then people will knock on my door." I use it a little differently because what digital marketing is, and you have to use different platforms I believe, it's you're building critical mass. You're building critical mass. I think what happens, and this is what I'm seeing right now, especially the kind of put the full press on digital marketing during this time especially, is that you might not know who's looking at you on these different platforms. But I've started to see people, prospects, clients, professionals, that I didn't even think even looked on LinkedIn are saying, "Oh wow, that's..." I just talked to one who never used to answer my calls and then I texted them just a few days ago and he picked up the phone right away.

Mark Fujiwara:
And he says, "Hey, great stuff you're doing here. I love that article you put on here. I love this thing. And I love the fact that you're doing podcasts." It's like, holy Moly. I didn't even know that I even existed in your digital media world. So I think it's important though because 10 years ago they used to say, "Well, get a website and so you have a have a presence." Now, everybody has a website. Now, everybody has a LinkedIn profile, but now it's like, you kind of have to raise the game and you're right, Steve, you said that, you said he hit it right on the head. I have contacts on LinkedIn where literally at another firm, there was the same thing being said by 14 of my financial advisor friends.

Mark Fujiwara:
The same thing. And you look on their feet and it's just like this. This is my favorite though, which is that day that the market went down 10%, all 14 of them at 1:05 Pacific time, 4:05 Eastern, this thing goes out and says, the market is down 10%. That's the headline. It's like, great. It's kind of like you broke her leg now, why don't we watch it over and over again on how you broke your leg?

Kurt Dupuis:
So tell us about the podcast.

Mark Fujiwara:
Okay. So it's funny because I think I've been wanting to do a podcast and Steve, you and I talked about this. It's like you have it in your head and you're just like, "Yeah. One of those days, one day I'll do it." So I used to belong to a mastermind group and they would have get togethers and they would have people like, Dave Asprey, the Bulletproof guy, very prominent people. Cameron Harold was another guy. So I was always thinking, "Hey, that'd be really cool to get one of their friends on my podcast," because I was too tired to re really ask them. So it happens I start developing relationships with these people and I was like, "Yeah, one day I'm going to have a podcast." So I think what happened was I a coach that is just very, very hard, but good.

Mark Fujiwara:
A guy named Nick Peterson and Nick and I were chatting one day and he's part of a mastery mode and it's kind of a select mastermind coaching program. But one thing that he mentioned was, so I started giving people... So I have a guy in my network here. And I said, "Here's a list of 25 people that I can have that can be on your podcast." So he's part of the same group and he looks at, and he goes, Holy Moly. There's like a couple of Olympic gold medalists, bestselling authors. Just like best of the best people or you've got that major physician on here. So they asked me, they said, "Why the heck aren't you interviewing these people?" And I said, "Yeah, you know how that goes."

Mark Fujiwara:
So they just said, "You're going to do it and you're going to do it and you're going to reach out to these people and you got to have that fire, ready fire, [inaudible 00:37:09] it. Don't even aim, just fire right off the bat." And that's what I did. I just like, and one silly thing was why don't have the music, the beginning music, got to have the beginning music before I do anything.

Kurt Dupuis:
How many songs did we download side before [crosstalk 00:37:26].

Mark Fujiwara:
Yeah. I want to know.

Steve Seid:
I paid a lot of money in intro music to get copyrights. [crosstalk 00:37:30].

Mark Fujiwara:
[crosstalk 00:37:30] I think.

Kurt Dupuis:
It's like you bought that's another one. I'm like, yeah. I spent another [crosstalk 00:37:39].

Steve Seid:
The first five were fine.

Mark Fujiwara:
Yeah, exactly. So I just started interviewing people and the cool thing was, and what I discovered was, so the way that I've got like probably a dozen of these interviews and some of it me, so the plan here is it's going to be interview and then I'm going to get on and just kind of do my spiel interview, kind of stagger it like that. But the name of the podcast is, Everyone Wins Podcasts, Everyone Wins. And there's a book out by one of my other consultants who has helped me greatly with building a family office type of structure, Russ Alan Prince. I don't know if you guys have heard of that guy, but he's kind of a guru in our business. And he wrote a book called Everyone Wins. The premise around that is helping others right, exactly what you guys are doing. Exactly what you guys are doing. Not saying help me, and then I'll help you. It's I'm going to help you, but not necessarily just help you, but I'm going to help you get exactly what you want.

Mark Fujiwara:
And then what follows is 90% of the human beings out there will reciprocate and get us what we want. So that's the premise around it and just getting all the best of the best that I know within my network to get on there and explain what they are seeing, how they are becoming best of the best. And it gets down to... no wait, T-A-C-H, Teach, T is the tribe like gold, E stands for everyone wins. A stands for adversity. The way they battle adversity is typically a make or break. C is for the Anthony Robbins acronym C-A-N-I, CANI, constant never ending improvement, even though the best of the best to keep going, they keep becoming better and better. And H is for health, mental, spiritual, fitness, all kinds of health, and very, very much aware of that. So I try to address two or five of those with every single guest. What they've done in their life, what they've done in the career to give examples of those five qualities of all successful people.

Kurt Dupuis:
So how's it going? Are you gaining traction or is your audience responding? Are you getting good interaction with not just clients, but COIs or maybe some acquaintances? What does that look like?

Mark Fujiwara:
So that's a good question, because I think before the podcast started what I was doing. So day one of the lockdown, I started doing these daily, these two o'clock again, by my good old coach. It's at 12:30. I talked to him [inaudible 00:40:23] I say, I'm saying the same darn things in my clients and COIs. What are you saying? Saying like, don't watch the news. This is the COVID-19 update. This is what's going on the market, but not like, Oh, we're down 10%, but this is kind of calming them down, telling them like unbiased stuff about that stuff. And the last thing I always say, which is my favorite part, during this time, you got to make sure that you're taking care of yourself. Something up to make themselves better. Whether it's health, energy, fitness, mindset, whatever.

Mark Fujiwara:
So I started doing these dailies and I asked him, I said, when should I start? And he says, "Well, it's 12:30 now, you're going to do them every day at two o'clock. So one hour and a half." So from that point on, it was just every day at two o'clock, every week day at two o'clock, I started these and the traction I got, which was what he predicted was like, you're going to come back to me on Friday and say... this was on a Monday and say, you absolutely, you're making me do this weird thing. And I'm uncomfortable and no one's listening. And he was right. I think the first day I looked on my Zoom and there was four people. And I knew who those four people were. My wife, my cousin, and my assistant and myself. So then four got into eight to 14 to... it started to spiral, but I didn't know exactly who was tuning in.

Mark Fujiwara:
So I go back to that where people will get on the phone. COIs, I just talk to a COI yesterday. And I had no idea he was watching this. He goes, so Headspace and I'm like, "Yeah, what about it?" He goes, "Headspace is the meditation app." I said, "Cool." And he goes, "You said that two and a half weeks ago. And I've been doing it since that day. And thank you so much." I was like, "I had no idea-

Steve Seid:
[crosstalk 00:42:13] awesome.

Mark Fujiwara:
... you were listening to that stuff." He goes, "Are you kidding me?" He goes, "I typically will move things around so I can listen to it at two o'clock." And now I have it in, it's going to be happening in the podcast form. So it's much easier for people to listen to that, but it's just, like I said, I go back to the critical mass, people start to put two and two together. And what they want to know is, is this guy who he really says he is and put a human element in it. And all of a sudden they said, "Yeah, I can jive with this guy. I like this guy or I don't find them [inaudible 00:42:48]. We're not going to work together anyways." But what the COIs are starting to do now is saying, "Well, I can describe Mark, but once you watch this podcast."

Steve Seid:
Exactly. [crosstalk 00:42:59]. Yeah. It's amazing. And even if that took longer for you to get that traction where people have jumped on for you, it sounds like it's been a pretty seamless process, but just preparing to do that show, do you get better? It's a leading question, but do you get better just preparing, just to do a show?

Mark Fujiwara:
Steve, the first day, I literally my stomach just tightened up, you know the whole thing. And I'm like, "What the heck I've spoken in front of groups." I was so nervous. And the funny thing was, it sucked because I was trying to do 30 minutes and then I had three points that I was making and I was at 20 minutes and I had 10 more minutes and I just started like rambling about, I don't know... I actually have not looked at that since I did that, but then it got a little easier. My coach said, "Just simplified things, don't make it 30 minutes. You know you're talking about COVID-19. You know you're talking about the markets and you know you're talking about better bettering yourself. You have every hack in the book in terms of bettering yourself. So you can think about that on a fly, but just write it down in the email that you send out."

Mark Fujiwara:
The markets, there's certain principles that you already always abide by. You go back to that or bring up a conversation you've had with one of those hedge fund managers. And then COVID-19, it's one of those things where you literally can go on and just say, "Okay, bring them something that is unbiased information." And by doing that, that's allowed me to like I used to like prepare for a while and now it's literally, sometimes it's like, "Oh, it's almost two o'clock, I should start getting on this thing."

Kurt Dupuis:
So I should start getting together. And it gets easier and easier. Yeah. But we brushed over what you're doing on social media. So can you in a little bit more detail share what you're actually doing? We talked about how most of the industry is doing the same stuff and you're doing different things. What are those things?

Mark Fujiwara:
Okay. So it kind of started on LinkedIn and this is before, oh, well, before COVID-19... He's using our social media department at Baird and we had a really in depth talk and he just said, "It's all about consistency, man. You can't like..." He says, "I notice your profiles you'll have like four posts on one day, and then we don't hear from you." And he just says, and I said, "Wait, I know but some people like don't thumb up and hurts my feelings." He said, "Get over it and try to do something every single day." So typically what I do is I look for stories that kind of describe who I am. So I'll look at medium is a great channel that's where a lot of writers go. A lot of great writers will write on medium and I'll go on medium and say, "Okay, very timely. We're going to put that on there. And I'll type a little bit about them." Or there's certain people that I'm connected with on LinkedIn. I always go back to Cameron Herold, Double Double guy and I'll go to Cameron, Harold, Dr. Carlin, and Dr. Lang, another good people.

Mark Fujiwara:
And then I'll sometimes even do videos. I should be doing them every day. At one point I was doing it every day on LinkedIn, where I would say, hey, this is a thought bomb for today. Not sometimes a little investment related and sometimes completely not. So I do that and I also build with the followers, our connections on LinkedIn, doing the dailies, which is by Zoom and which is by Facebook live. So I literally will use two devices. The Zoom is for clients and the professionals within my network and their clients and prospects and friends and family and whatnot. Another thing that I should be working on right now, back there is I'm writing a book on business sale that should be coming up pretty soon as well. So that's one that I've been delaying because I'm a perfectionist when it comes to writing.

Mark Fujiwara:
So those are the different avenues just in terms of the media stuff. And then the podcasting, of course, which I think for all of those put together, I think the podcasting is where the focus and the biggest opportunities is. For not only myself with the family office professionals that I deal with, because the plan there is to have every single one on there. So let's say a client comes in and says, "Okay, I got to talk to these 11 people. And I just want to know a little bit about them. Don't give me a whole book on them." Well, listen to this 30 minute podcast on them, that'll give you the best description right there.

Steve Seid:
So two of the main things I've picked up one is you have to get outside of your comfort zone. Two is consistency like that coach was saying, you got to keep showing up. And as another guy that sometimes has difficulty finishing things, that can be challenging. But we have a couple of questions that we're going to want to ask to advisors that we have on the show. So if you will indulge us, we're going to throw a couple at you, get your take. So we talk a lot about practice management and practice related type ideas, and we have a previous series on client service. What's one of your favorite or unique client touch points, whether it's an event or just an idea, some sort of communicate, what's one of your favorite ideas that you use to communicate with clients?

Mark Fujiwara:
Right. When we went into lockdown, this is actually super, super timely, and it works extremely well. I don't do this with every client and I do this with my top COIs and the business owner clients that I have, because it's kind of a scary time for especially business owners. And so what I've done is every few days, this is straight from John Rulon by the way. Every few days I send them something. Now it's not a golf ball with bear on it but it's something that I think could help them. It's also written by, like books are written by people in my family office or my wife. So the first book that went out was Cameron Harold's Double Double. And I put a bookmark in there and I said, read chapter 11 on what to do and how to grow in a recession and chapter 12, what specifically for entrepreneurs and small businesses and [crosstalk 00:49:29], few days later-

Steve Seid:
Fantastic.

Mark Fujiwara:
... best energy hack out there, athletic greens, right? That's the best energy hack I use every one of them gets that, few days later, a book JT McCormick who had the roughest childhood I know and now is amazing, he lives in a gated community. I mean, as successful as can be. It's like, you think adversity right now is tough, look at this guy's adversity, great bio. So there's, I'm looking on my whiteboard right now. There is about 11 to 12 touch points. And I'll tell you why this is special, because when you go to your mailbox, what's on the side of the mailbox? Amazon package. You see Amazon kind of know what that is, more whatever sanitizer and stuff like that. But I'll never forget someone, just one of my friends actually just sent me a note in the mail and just said, "Hey, I love all the things that you're doing, blah, blah, blah."

Mark Fujiwara:
And I ignore the Amazon boxes and I went for that handwritten note. And it was just so special, made my day. And I said, "That's how these people feel." We get their home addresses and we send them things. Now it's not, it goes back to John ruins philosophy, which is not, I'm not going to buy him a Lamborghini and park it outside, but it's something that's meaningful. And I'll tell you sometimes I shifted a little, right. Sometimes I will shift it a little in terms of, well, that person maybe has already read this book. So I'm going to change it up a little bit. And then one of the things that I'm finishing it off with is a engraved knife for them because they're cooking so much. So it's like, and it's not Baird financial or Mark and his team it's exclusively handcrafted for the Smith family.

Steve Seid:
Because they know.

Mark Fujiwara:
Oh yeah, they totally know, but yeah that's what we've been doing. Then the other thing is getting them on the podcast, more airtime for them. So something every few days, and it doesn't have to be that prevalent, I'm just doing this because I'm just kind of nuts. It can be just one thing. And something is as cool as a little handwritten note during these times and not saying, "Hey, buy my fun or put more money so I can get more AUM." But it's more of just like, "Hey, I'm thinking about you." That conversation we had made my day and I'm appreciating our relationship even more. So just those personalized touches, whatever it is, I think are so important right now.

Kurt Dupuis:
It's fantastic with all of the information that's out in our world, product specific, investment specific, firms specific. One of the most challenging things I think for any of us is separating the signal from the noise, tell us for you, where do you get your information from? Practice related, investment related, news-related?

Mark Fujiwara:
Okay. So practice related is more so and this is something that I learned early on. So one is you go find someone that represents your future self, someone in the business. For me, it was a guy back Smith Barney, just amazing guy, an amazing producer, humongous producer, ran his business the way I would want to run it. And I just, I called him up one day and then all of a sudden it's like, when Coby Brian wanted to be Michael Jordan, it's like, "What do you eat? Who do you talk to? Who's your coach? What mastermind group are you in?" And I just followed what he did. So I think that the in terms of, oh, what coach or mastermind group, I think the one that has helped me most and I've been through a lot of them is the one in our industry, which is CEG Worldwide.

Mark Fujiwara:
CEG Worldwide is doing everything remotely right now. But in terms of content, that's kind of their best of the best for advisors who want to grow their practices, accomplish exactly what they want. The other thing is in terms of stemming off of that is I think the difference also is looking at outside of your business, outside of our business, I should say, so CEG Worldwide is great, but that's all for financial advisors. So I will talk to coaches that have never dealt with a financial advisor before. Like Nick Peterson has dealt with other financial people, but never a financial advisor. And just say, "Hey, from an outsider's point of view, how does this look?" So if you have a coach that deals with another industry and they're good, and they've had results, that's who you want to lean on at this point, guys like that. Or you don't have to join 100,000 dollar mastermind groups.

Mark Fujiwara:
There are coaches out there who have done great things for a lot of other industries. So you have that financial side going. And actually what you guys are talking about, I think is an amazing resource. You really don't have to join CEG or hire the coach when it comes to practice management within our business, you guys are hitting it right, but then if you want to start doing even more amazing stuff and see some other ways that you can grow faster, then that's where that outside coach comes into play. So [crosstalk 00:55:16] guys like Ben Hardy, willpower doesn't work guy, Dan Sullivan, a bunch of others.

Steve Seid:
That's fantastic. I can't thank you enough for doing this. I've got so many takeaways. I was writing the whole way. So let me see if I can sum this all up. First, everyone should check out the Everyone Wins Podcast. I assume you can get that Spotify, the usual places, the same place you can get our podcast, but here are some of the things we talked about. So one just starting off getting out of your comfort zone. I admire you Mark for writing things down that are difficult to do, and then go in and do it then. That just kind of surprised me and kind of shook up my thinking. But I think it's a really good practice. Having a coach, you mentioned that a few different times, not everyone has that. I think the point you made about having it outside the industry, some in the industry.

Steve Seid:
If you don't have a coach get a coach because you can get some really good ideas. Your concept of network of resources, I think was really fantastic. So having all these different ways to add value to our clients, that may not be you, it may just be a way, and that's more ways we can add value. Social media, I wrote down easy to differentiate, because everyone's doing the same thing but you got to be consistent, creative. Don't get yourself in trouble with compliance, but you can do it. You don't have to just be a lemming and do the same thing that everybody else is doing. And finally podcasts, I'm not going to tell everyone on that's listening to this to start your own podcast, but we've certainly are getting a lot out of it. Mark's gotten a lot out of it. Don't be afraid of it. It's a really cool way to connect with the audience. So with that, Mark, I just want to thank you again for coming on the whole truth. We really appreciate it.

Mark Fujiwara:
Hey, my pleasure. This is a lot of fun guys.

Kurt Dupuis:
You can find the whole truth and subscribe for free on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app. We'd love it if you took the time to rate and review the show on Apple podcasts, it helps others find the show. And for more episodes of the whole truth, go to www.touchstoneinvestments.com/thewholetruth. That's touchstoneinvestments.com/thewholetruth, all one word.

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