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25 Digital Marketing: Yes, It Takes Time But You CAN Do It!

Steve Seid & Kurt Dupuis
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The Whole Truth Podcast Episode 25


Kurt Dupuis:
Welcome to The Whole Truth. Where two wholesalers help financial professionals build great practices and thrive in a rapidly changing industry. We'll bring you the stories and voices from those on the front lines of this change. And we’ll have some fun along the way.

Steve Seid:
This is more than a podcast. We're building a community of financial professionals who are growing, forward-thinking and want to get better. Thanks for listening and contributing to the discussion.

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

Steve Seid:
Welcome everybody to The Whole Truth in the Bay area, California. I am Steve Seid.

Kurt Dupuis:
And from Atlanta, Georgia, I'm Kurt Dupuis. I like how you said that, "I am," like you're an Avenger or something.

Steve Seid:
Each time I say... Did I sound like an Avenger? I guess that's a compliment. I'm trying to figure out different inflections to that intro. Because sometimes I hear it-

Kurt Dupuis:
Changing the cadence up. 

Steve Seid:
Sometimes I don't like myself based on my inflection, so I'm trying different inflections. Although that could just be the massive head wound I just had, which I wanted to mention to you on.

Kurt Dupuis:
What? 

Steve Seid:
So I mean, it's nothing big.

Kurt Dupuis:
I like how you suddenly throw that in there, "I have massive, subtle brain trauma, no big deal."

Steve Seid:
It's a really stupid story, but so I'm outside, I'm working on my house and this is really the dumbest story. My house, it's a 1950s it's built in. And I only mentioned that because it's got these weird, dangerous overhangs. And when I say dangerous, it's not like, Oh, the overhang is just above your head, there are parts of my house that will take you out by the neck. You know what I'm saying? Just ridiculous. They wouldn't build them like this anymore.

Kurt Dupuis:
Because people were six feet tall in the fifties or something.

Steve Seid:
Exactly. They were only sold to short, 1950s people. But it's just oddly dangerous. So I'm working on my house, I don't even want to tell you what I ran away from, but something happened and I made a sudden move.

Kurt Dupuis:
You have to tell me. 

Steve Seid:
It's so stupid dude.

Kurt Dupuis:
Well, that's why I want to hear it.

Steve Seid:
Oh my God, I can't believe I'm telling this on a podcast. So I was messing with the timer on my sprinklers. So the sprinklers go on. And it hit me, "Oh my God water, right?" I couldn't take a little sprinkler. It's ridiculous. 

Kurt Dupuis:
I thought you were going to say a bee or a wasp. Okay. Well, that's a little prissy, but it's even worse than that, it's water.

Steve Seid:
It's way worse than that. I'm actually very symbiotic with the bees. I'm cool with the bees now. I actually like them.

Kurt Dupuis:
Muy Simpatico. 

Steve Seid:
Oh, yeah. I don't know why everybody told me when I was young to run away from bees. Bees are cool. Anyway. So I go turn to run away from the sprinkler. And when I tell you, I smashed into an overhang in my house, I'm telling you impact and force. And so I'm sitting there-

Kurt Dupuis:
Did it lay you out?

Steve Seid:
Oh dude, major impact. So when that happens, you know you've hit something really hard, you don't know what, you don't know if you have a concussion. I mean, I'm talking right into it. Okay. This is-

Kurt Dupuis:
We're talking potentially concussed.

Steve Seid:
I'm surprised I did not have a concussion, very surprised. Because that's originally what I thought was going on because I was just like something happens, you have a trauma, you're taking stock and you don't know what's happening. And so, okay. Do I have a concussion or am I hurt? And then I don't know, this is going to be gross to everybody on here. But there is a lot of blood in your head. I don't know if you know this because things get weird. I'm telling you the amount of blood, you realize, you look at your hands and it's just covered and you feel the top of your head, and it's like... I don't want to tell you what it feels like, but it was not connected, okay?

Kurt Dupuis:
That'd make me queasy. 

Steve Seid:
Really, really rough stuff. So I call my wife, I'm like, "Becky hospital." She's like, "What?" I had a towel on my head, we didn't want to look at it, but I'm just like, "I think this is bad, but you don't know how bad so you're driving to the hospital." And so you don't know, so they drop me off at the emergency room and the nurse is like, "Let me see it." And I'm judging how bad this is based on the reaction that I get from said nurse. And she looks at it, she goes, "Ooh you got yourself pretty good there." And I'm like, "I haven't looked at it."

Kurt Dupuis:
I don't know how I would take..." An ER nurse, they see some stuff right? But you have no way to gauge. If your neighbor saw it, they would probably pass out. But a nurse in the ED, is like, "Oh yeah, that was a pretty good one. Good job."

Steve Seid:
Yeah. And she was like, Ooh and so then I've got to interpret, okay, she's saying something, how bad is it? So they put me back in the waiting room, I've got the towel over my head. And then the doctor comes in and just essentially says, "Pretty bad cut, we've got to give you these staples. As long as you can fix it. So what's interesting what's going on in hospitals these days is you can't even get a Tylenol out of these people because of how bad the opioid epidemic is and the painkiller thing. And so they don't want to give anybody anything. So literally they didn't numb me, they didn't give me any... And I'm like, "It hurts, man." When I'm telling you this hurt, it hurt like your head split open. And so the-

Kurt Dupuis:
That baffles me. 

Steve Seid:
Listen, this is anecdotal, but this is the way that I'm observing it, right? So the nurse comes in, says, "Okay, we've got to clean it before we do the staples, but I don't want touch that until the doctor numbs you up." Okay. Fine. Doctor comes in. "Oh, we're not going to numb you up," but whatever. So long story short, they didn't do anything, but clean me without any kind of numbness and just stapled it. No numbness. Seven staples in my head, just-

Kurt Dupuis:
Not even a shot of whiskey just to take the edge off. Oh gosh.

Steve Seid:
So yeah. Anyways, that was my story. Everything's good. It's healing up fine. 

Kurt Dupuis:
But you're still alive. You seem to be coherent, so that's good.

Steve Seid:
It's just a really dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb thing.

Kurt Dupuis:
Well, yeah. So after you get the head stapled up, then the reality of having to tell this story, dozens of times starts to creep into your forefront and be like, "Oh my goodness, I'm never going to live this down."

Steve Seid:
What am I going to tell people did I do? Saving and something heroic? No, I ran fast away from water. That's what happened.

Kurt Dupuis:
"Water was chasing me from the sprinklers"

Steve Seid:
But I'm all good. I got an excuse to wear a hat in meetings for a little while, which is really what I want to do anyway, so-

Kurt Dupuis:
There you go. 

Steve Seid:
But I'm all good, thank you for letting me tell my story. All right. 

Kurt Dupuis:
Thank you for the giggles. 

Steve Seid:
Yeah. We've got James Pollard on the show this week. A very, very good discussion. Kurt, will introduce him in a moment. Really enjoyed that interview, but I wanted to talk if I could Kurt for a couple of minutes here, there was a Cerulli study that came out on the value of advice. And I have four statistics, I did not tell you I was going to be quizzing you on this, but I'm going to. This is the percentage of advisor-reliant clients believe that the advice they are receiving is worth the price. So you're going to advisor’s clients, you're paying X percent, what percentage do you think is worth it?

Kurt Dupuis:
Multiple choice? Or are we setting over under or how are we-

Steve Seid:
Okay, I'll do over or under 70%.

Kurt Dupuis:
I'm going to go over.

Steve Seid:
82%, you're exactly right.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yes!

Steve Seid:
Despite seemingly continuous warnings about the pricing pressure in the wealth management space, investors’ willingness to engage in paid advice relationship has increased substantially in recent years. So listen, I think you're probably getting some upside because people that pay the price of advice, probably a lot of them think it's worth it. So if you brought this out to the general population this probably comes down some, but most people feel like they're getting a good value. So this idea that we've got to cut fees to zero, just doesn't bear out in the numbers.

Kurt Dupuis:
Well, and we've talked about that conclusion - that no, if you are valuable to people, you articulate that value. But that just says to me, it's less of a pain point than most people think it is. Because I thought that number would be over 70, but I would not have been surprised if it was under 70, like a 50-50 call but yeah, I pay my guy a percent, but I don't think I'm getting a percent worth. I could see people coming to that conclusion. But I think as the industry has really reinforced telling people what you're doing for them, tell them why you're worth what you're charging, I have to assume that message is being heard and being articulated to clients, which probably helps that number.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. I just think if you can't communicate your value in a way that justifies the average industry fee, come talk to us and we'll help you sort of get ahold of that. And I don't say that sort of off the cuff, there's a lot of people that struggle with value proposition, but no listen, you guys are earning your fees, no doubt about it. So if you communicate, you're clear about it, shouldn't be an issue. Okay. Here's another one for you. Second one, percent of affluent investors who feel somewhat secure in their retirement. So these are the people that said, "I'm secure in my retirement, or I'm mostly secure. I feel pretty good about it." These are affluent investors. So what percentage would you guess? I won't give you an over under here on this one, unless you really want one.

Kurt Dupuis:
So counter-intuitively, I'm going to say the minority, but I only say that because I'm thinking that it kind of doesn't matter how much you have. A lot of people tend to want more. I'm going to say 30% of affluent people.

Steve Seid:
It's more than that. So 59% feel secure.

Kurt Dupuis:
59, okay.

Steve Seid:
But listen, some of the 59% are working with financial professionals right now.

Kurt Dupuis:
Right. And affluent suggests they're not scraping by, right? Yet they still don't have security. Yeah. The fact that, that number is not in the eighties or nineties, that's wild. Yeah, what else? 

Steve Seid:
And I'll go through these relatively quickly because I already took up our entire intro with my head wound story, but let me just read a couple of stats with you which I think are interesting.

Kurt Dupuis:
You're actually drooling too. There's drool starting to come out of your mouth.

Steve Seid:
I have no sense of time anymore. I've lost the sense of time. That was one of the things I lost with that crash. 80% of investors express satisfaction with their advisor. That's a high number. That's a high number. And then the second part of this, which is the last statistic I'll read for you, only 10% of investors plan to switch, which is interesting. I would not have guessed those numbers. So what this study is suggesting is you want to get with them early and things like that, because most people are pretty satisfied with their advisors. I don't know how much there is to draw from that data just that's a little bit higher than I might've guessed.

Kurt Dupuis:
So the takeaways are find clients early--

Steve Seid:
Yeah. So these are some interesting things. Again, if you want to see the full summary, I just kind of cherry picked a couple of statistics off this. The report is called The Value of Advice. I should say, by the way, I'm going to give credit to our friend, Doug from Oakland. And yes, we're going to start naming people on this show. I'm going to talk about this more next time. I want community members that participate a lot to have-

Kurt Dupuis:
You're going to name names?

Steve Seid:
I don't want to say their last names. I don't know why we've chosen not to say their last names, but we can do things like Doug from Oakland or Rick from Orinda, people that always kind of chip in... So anyways, I'm not going to expand on that, but that's going to be more part of the show. So thank you, Doug, for passing along this study. So with that Kurt, probably best to introduce our guest.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. So I first came in touch with James Pollard, I think, from his podcast. And then I quickly found his website, which is theadvisorcoach.com. He's got tons of material. He's got podcasts, blog posts, he's got different packages because as we found out, because I didn't know this, he's a recovering coach. He used to do one on coaching and now he just puts together kind of these bundles which is his business that he runs. Where I am most impressed with this guy, because I've been signed up for his newsletter for 12 to 18 months, he sends an email every day and there's always a cool anecdote to talk about what he's doing. And I just know, as a person that sends a lot of emails, that takes a lot of work and a lot of creativity and really a wide base of knowledge.

So really impressed with that. And I think a lot of his expertise is in the email marketing space, which he talks a little bit about. But he also talked about being the Hulk in your niche. So he's really big on developing your niche and then taking over it. And we also talk about a few things about digital marketing. Most importantly, if you have zero footprint on LinkedIn or online or any kind of social, how to get started, which I think a lot of people will find useful because a lot of the people that we talk to don't have much of a social presence. So got some ideas and tips on how to get started there. So really a great chat. We're really fortunate that he was so liberal with his time with us. So up next, our interview with James Pollard.
All right. And welcome back to The Whole Truth. We're here with Mr. James Pollard, really excited to have you on James both to learn more about your business and what you do, but also kind of see how that intersects with how that can help our clients and the financial professionals with which we work. So I don't think I will do a better job of introducing yourself, so I'm going to ask you to give us your background. But I came across your stuff months ago and if nothing else, I've been impressed with the fact that you send out emails every day. But I know you do a lot more than that. So tell us about The Advisor Coach.

James Pollard:
Well, so I am the founder of a company called The Advisor Coach, the website is theadvisorcoach.com. Also the host of Financial Advisor Marketing Podcast. Got a lot of different projects, different things. You mentioned the email thing. I have been emailing daily for years, I am fairly well-known for my emails. I probably have the biggest email list in financial services. I love what I do and just have a ton of fun. 

Steve Seid:
How did this get started? How did you even know there was a need there? Where did this come from?

James Pollard:
That's a really good question. And I think you're one of the only people who have asked me, how did you identify the need? You have to think about it this way, in the financial advice or financial planning, financial services industry, you have a failure rate of depending on the study you read anywhere from 80 to 90% in the first three years. So that hasn't changed. The sales and marketing training is still the same, and those stats have got to go up now that people are working from home and everything's virtual or whatever, it just blows my mind. And it blew my mind at the time to just come across that stat because I was friends with a lot of financial advisors. I was involved in the world and I saw that and I was like, "Well, I'm pretty darn good at the marketing and so let me work with people one-on-one.

And that's why the business is called The Advisor Coach. So got results with individuals, more individuals and I was like, I kind of don't like the coaching thing. So I decided to pack everything up and productize the information. And now I have a business where I can reach more advisors at a lower cost. I have a ton of content that's available for free. I mean, you can't get lower cost than that. So it now hopefully with my effort, the dropout rate or failure rate, isn't so high.

Steve Seid:
I haven't heard of a lot of coaches that have come from it from that type of entry point. That's actually pretty refreshing. So let's just get into some of the marketing stuff. That's where we really want to spend time with you. And one of the things that you talk about is the idea of having multiple marketing strategies as being sort of a core philosophy. Can you talk about that a little bit?

James Pollard:
It's important that you said it is a philosophy because it truly is. If you are a financial advisor, you're probably using maybe three or four, if that, marketing strategies in your business. And even if you're using those marketing strategies, they're likely not talking with each other, they're not reinforcing each other. If you stack multiple marketing strategies on top of each other, it becomes so much more effective, because there's an overwhelming body of evidence to support that the majority of appointments are set and the majority of clients are converted after like the fifth to 12th touch. Whether that be email, phone, LinkedIn, seminar, webinar, whatever. The idea behind multiple marketing strategies is the fact that you can't just call the same person five to six times with the same message, it just doesn't work. 

And that's one of the reasons why, when I say that the failure rate was so high, it was because that type of thinking was pushed. It's like, "Oh yeah, the money's in the follow-up." Yes, which is true, but you can't follow up the same way the same time. So when you have a LinkedIn profile, if someone Googles your name or your company name, the top two places they're going to look is your website and your LinkedIn profile. Well, why not integrate your LinkedIn profile with your website? Something magical happens just as an example, when someone gets to your website, they read about you, maybe there's a blog, maybe the call to action. They see that little LinkedIn button, they click on it, they go to your profile, they see that you're a real person, maybe they can connect. It's just so much more effective than just one marketing strategy, trying to get everyone on the first or second try.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. So I mean, your point here is if you had multiple strategies, maybe they didn't necessarily talk to each other, so to speak and you want it to be one ecosystem that sort of feeds off of each other. Is that a fair interpretation?

James Pollard:
Correct. Because…

Steve Seid:
Got it.

James Pollard:
Here's another example. Let's say you're running paid ads to a webinar. There are a lot of financial advisors who are hopping on the webinar train because it's something that's new and exciting for them, even though it's been around for over a decade at this point. Well, there's a certain segment of your audience and the population that you're targeting, quite simply not going to respond to a paid ad. You also have people like me who block ads, and they're not going to see them. So I'm not being tracked by Google. We learn that off air because I use the Brave browser. So by definition, I am not going to be someone who converts on a Google display ad because I'm literally not getting them, I don't see them. So I will never, ever convert on one of those. But if you send out a little postcard, little handwritten note and you say, "Hey, I know we talked two months ago, I'm actually doing this webinar, the link is xyz.com/abc." Very easy, that's another touch point that not only increases your follow up, which statistically increases your chances of getting the client, but B gives you a chance to get someone who wouldn't have converted otherwise. Like in my case, I wouldn't have converted at all with an ad, but with a note, there's a chance.

Steve Seid:
Kurt, I want to continue going down the path of marketing but I think one of the things we've learned from James and our editor before this is I think me and you are just sheep that just get tracked by everybody because they're like, "Well, I don't use this browser." And I'm like everything they say they don't use is exactly what I use. So clearly we need some more coaching beyond the marketing stuff here, but continue.

Kurt Dupuis:
We need tech coaching for sure. Well, and James, I don't know if I've heard anyone articulate it that way. The idea of stacking them on top of each other and using them to talk to each other, I think is really interesting. And I think that's clearly the way of the future rather than doing seminars and LinkedIn, which may or may not talk to each other, but somehow finding a way to integrate those. Another thing I've heard you talk a fair bit about is you talk about value and the cost of things, but you also give a ton away and you articulate that you're giving stuff away. So, I mean, I've heard you say you give 90% of this stuff away for free, and I even have seen that your newsletter, which is subscription only, the first month, you also give that away. So I'm just curious why that is. 

James Pollard:
Well, that is opening a can of worms for me, because I also have a podcast episode, the four-letter word I despise and “free” is that word. Free is like a stick of dynamite because it can be very powerful if you use it correctly, but it's also extremely devastating if it's used incorrectly. It's same thing with any real powerful tool. People typically use “free” incorrectly where they think just because they give a bunch away for free, or just because they create content, they're going to get a ton of clients. It almost never works and they end up frustrated.

The key is you have the free content with a next step, that's the multiple marketing strategies thing again, you're always moving to the next thing. In my video ads in the first 15 seconds of the video ad, I make sure I say, "If you don't know me, my name is James Pollard, I'm the host of Financial Advisor Marketing Podcast. We have more than 100 episodes designed to help financial advisors get more clients." I make sure I put that in the first 15 seconds because I get billed on Facebook only when someone watches the first 15 seconds. So here's the thing, at the beginning of that ad, I'm telling them about something outside of the ad. I am not trying to keep them in the ad itself. If they stay in the ad and they watch the whole video, they're going to be taken to someplace else, most likely my email list, they're going to be shown a different product, a different service, there's going to be a way for them to stay in touch with me, maybe a webinar. 
But even if they don't watch the full 15 seconds and I don't get billed for it, they're still seeing that I have the podcast, they're still getting exposed to that. So free in that sense, yes, the podcast is free, but all I'm really doing with the giveaway stuff, as far as content is concerned is to get people to the next step. I do not do content marketing for content marketing’s sake. I'm glad you brought up the newsletter, that's just because I like the charity. Surprisingly, that has decreased my conversion rates. I am a little upset because you would think… 

Steve Seid:
Is that right?

Kurt Dupuis:
Really?

James Pollard:
Yeah. I don't know... The reason I leave it up is because there's a part of me that hopes that maybe we'll revamp the copy or something, and it will increase conversion rates, but it is pretty crazy to see that me saying, "Hey, I'm giving the whole first month's payment to charity," has actually led to fewer people signing up. That's so weird-

Kurt Dupuis:
I would not have not guessed that. Wow.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. Well, we're going to come back to conversion rates at the end when we're talking about LinkedIn, because just the fact that he knows that metric, I think let's revisit that topic in a bit. I was listening to one of your podcast, I really loved this concept. You talked about the idea and this is a niche marketing concept of being the Hulk. You got all fired up about that, it was fun to listen to. What does it mean to be the Hulk for a specific audience?

James Pollard:
It's more or less the idea of being a big fish in a small pond. If we go back to what I mentioned about follow-up and the body of evidence that suggests that the majority of people convert after between five and 12 touches, but you've got to get to that point. If you don't have a target audience that can be defined, that is let's just say 10,000, for example. It's going to be really hard to track your follow-up and even do it in the first place. If you're a financial advisor and you target people who are aged 65 and older, I don't remember the exact stat, but I think it's like 49.2 million people in the United States who are 65 and older. As a marketer, you are never, ever going to blanket those people with your small business. I mean, you're going to have a hundred million dollars plus to get in front of these people.

But if you have 10,000, I can do a direct mail campaign tomorrow for a dollar each. If you give me 10 grand, every single person is going to get a letter from you. That's powerful stuff. If you have an email list of 10,000 people, you can upload them to an ad network and show your ads to those 10,000 and it'd be a lot cheaper in absolute terms to go after those people than to just pick this broad space with... It's like throwing a pebble in the Pacific Ocean, it doesn't make it make a difference at all. 

Steve Seid:
Yeah.

Kurt Dupuis:
So we talk a fair bit about niches. What's your view on is a niche something that should almost be self-evident by the types of folks that you have historically serviced, or can you just pick one? Let's say you're a new financial professional, can you just pick a niche out of thin air or which is the better method?

James Pollard:
Neither. That's a difficult question to answer. If you're a new financial advisor, you've got essentially, I mean, I could spend all day on this, but you just have to find a foothold. And that's actually what a niche is, it's just a hole in the wall. It's something you... That's what the actual definition is. So you're going to find that and grow from there. When you're brand, brand, brand new, I tend to recommend trying at least maybe two or three different groups, because you're going to find one that you like more than the others, but that's something that's beyond the scope of this podcast.

Steve Seid:
But is it almost like it doesn't matter? There's some that are not-

James Pollard:
No.

Steve Seid:
It doesn't matter. Got it. 

James Pollard:
Some are better than others and some are just naturally... Because of their previous career, because of some sort of advantage they have, some people are going to find it easier than other people. And some people are going to be more effective at it than other people, but you can still begin.

Kurt Dupuis:
We serve a group where there's a really wide spectrum, particularly with the idea of digital marketing. So I want to take kind of the concept of digital marketing talk like 30,000 foot view. So digital marketing, we're talking about everything we've already mentioned, your website, email, virtual engagements, LinkedIn, videos, all of that -anything that's digitized. But let's say you only have a website, if you believe in the power of digital, where would you suggest people start?

James Pollard:
I will start on LinkedIn because it opens the doors to everything else. You can build real relationships with real people, as long as you don't forget that it's a networking site. It's not a, "I'm just going to log in for 15 minutes and post my content." But if you're just starting from nothing, there is an entire database of people who are waiting to be helped. And if you believe in what you do, if you understand that you're actually providing real value to the world, that's tangible, I mean, there've been studies like Advisor's Alpha that advisors quite literally provide more than 3% of value to clients. So if you're going out there and you're explaining that, and you're getting that point across, that's where I would start. Just one foot in front of the other, doors will begin opening for you if you build relationships.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. And it's a nice transition point to questions about LinkedIn. You made a comment at one point calling LinkedIn a little bit of a gold rush phenomenon. This thing came, it became the natural place for financial advisors to congregate, talk about what you mean by that.

James Pollard:
That happened, well actually a year ago today. So we are recording this, I don't know if you like to date these or not, but we're recording-

Steve Seid:
That's okay. Yeah. 

James Pollard:
We're recording this one year almost to the day that... Well, I think it is the day that the CDC announced that the coronavirus was a global health pandemic. When that happened and people started realizing that they had to be virtual, and that they had to get clients virtually, a ton of advisors and that's a scientific term, actually a ton, right? No. They hopped on LinkedIn and just started scrambling and it's almost as if someone had said... I mean, it's really what happened is you have to go on LinkedIn. You have to get clients this way. They just threw stuff against the wall to see if it stuck. The bad part of that is you have prospective clients and specific target markets. Everybody goes after doctors and physicians for some reason, even though the data isn't there, they're not prodigious accumulators of wealth necessarily. 

Steve Seid:
Oh, that's interesting. 

James Pollard:
But they just go after these people and they're like, "Oh my God, not another financial advisor messaging me." The good side of that is that everyone who's actually good at LinkedIn and actually builds relationships with people in a way that's not automated and scummy kind of, for lack of a better term, they stood out more than ever before. I actually got a little scared because one of the products that I offer is how to get clients with LinkedIn and that had been working really, really, really well since 2017. And right around that time last year, I was like, "I think this may not work as well anymore." And I started getting scared about it. Well, it worked better. As long as advisors had a target market and they just followed the system, it worked better than ever. Now we've revamped it. But the reason it worked is because of what I like to think is the contrast of that, everyone else was just so bad because of the gold rush that the people who took the time and understood the pain points and understood what people wanted, they just stood out. And I was shocked.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. We won't get into a lot of questions on LinkedIn. James has got a service that he sells on that. Check it out if you want to get some feedback on LinkedIn. But one of the things we did want you to expand on is the idea of metrics, and you talked about this earlier. You know exactly what your conversion rates, talk a little bit about what you should know from a metrics perspective.

James Pollard:
So the big three are your connection acceptance rate. Now, there are alot of strategies that you could go into, but just assuming that you're just trying to build your network and you're treating it as a networking site. You've got your connection acceptance rates, so if you said 100 connection requests to people, out of that 100 how many accept? Then you have your appointments setting rate, so as you engage with these people, as they see your content, whatever you decide to do, how many people end up setting appointments with you? And then out of that, it's up to you at this point, it's your appointment conversion rate or your client conversion rate or whatever you want to call it. Essentially, if you have 10 appointments, how many people are going to say yes to become a client? The good thing about something like LinkedIn is you're given someone's headline, you can see what they do, you can look at their profile. Did you go to the same school? Did you use to work at the same place? You can find a connection point. Almost nobody does this, even though it's on almost every single LinkedIn advice, blog and LinkedIn course, everybody talks about it, but no one does it. If you just reach out to them, build rapport that way, track your metrics, you will begin to see a pattern that can be repeated and repeated to your advantage.

Kurt Dupuis:
I was listening to a podcast, you'd interviewed a financial professional that's completely virtual and then after the podcast, I reached out to him on LinkedIn to tell him, "Hey, I just heard you on this podcast." He's big into traveling, which is a big part of my life. And not only did he connect right away, he was like, "Hey, well, so what's your favorite country? What do you like to do?" So that thing we had in common became a real... This is a guy I would really have a beer with now that I didn't even know 12 hours ago. And that's what so many people miss is that it really is just a digital networking site, but use it like you'd use a regular networking event and connect with people on a real level.

James Pollard:
Well, what's interesting is, so the college thing specifically, that did... I'm really giving stuff away. Now the college thing, right before the gold rush thing happened, 2017 to 2020, and that's when I was tracking it. So it may have been really good before then, I just don't know because I just wasn't tracking. If you sent someone a connection request and like, "Hey, I see we both went to University of Delaware." It worked and that's what was in the trainings and the programs and things that people pushed about LinkedIn. But when that gold rush thing happened, my hypothesis is that everybody went to all the same trainings, everybody went to all the same programs, watched the same YouTube channels, and saw all the scripts that were like that. So now people are like, "Oh my God, I know what's coming. There's this pitch, this is automated." Something like that.
So if it even seems remotely automated and it's unfortunate because there are advisors who aren't automating it and really do want to reach out to people and be real human beings. They still say stuff like, "I see we both went to LSU," that if it seems automated, it doesn't work as well anymore. So what you just said is absolutely spot on when you reach out to Derek and you're like, "Hey, I heard you on this podcast." It couldn't have been automated. But that's the shift now is you really do need... It takes more time. I get it. It takes more effort, but you really need to find something that cannot be replicated with a hundred other people using a LinkedIn automation tool that's actually banned by or against LinkedIn's terms of service anyway.

Kurt Dupuis:
So James, I'm going to be selfish for a minute. And I'm going to talk big picture and I'm happy to receive an invoice for your time later. We're in a weird position. So I'm thinking out loud here, the financial professionals we work with would kill to be in a position where they have the contact information for everyone that they want to reach for their entire target market. We have that because we know where financial professionals sit. We have their phone numbers, we have their email addresses. If you were me, how would you think about having that information and utilizing it to your advantage? 

James Pollard:
Well, first of all, you have to qualify people who are interested versus people who are not interested. You just have to reach out like, "I have this thing, do you like it?" Or "I'm thinking about doing something like a podcast on this topic, is that something that interests you?" Just figure out if there's interest there and then start categorizing. And then now you can begin a sequence, you can put it in your CRM or something like, "Reached out to Joe two months ago, wasn't interested in this." And now that informs your next touch point. You reach out to Joe, you say, "Hey, Joe, I know two months ago I asked you about this topic, we're actually trying X now. Is this something that you would be interested in?" 
And you're just going to start filtering. People are going to come out. I mean, that's what prospecting is, like from gold prospecting, where you shake the little pan and the gold comes out. Every time you reach out to someone, it's a little shake and some people are going to be interested. You do another shake, some more people are going to be interested. It's not going to happen overnight, and it never does. But if you have that, that's all you need to do is just rip out the people who are interested and you work with them for a little bit, and then whatever you want to do, you just get more interested people. 

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. I love that concept. That's fantastic. Maybe a concluding question for you is where are you spending most of your time these days? I mean, we talked about all the different avenues that you're taking to get your content out there. What's the most critical topic? Is it LinkedIn or what's most pressing these days?

James Pollard:
LinkedIn and email as a combo because people, when they're on LinkedIn, they want to learn more about you. So they go to your website and they kind of do digging and they do their own research. But email is where the magic happens. There's stat after stat, like McKinsey and Company email is 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined. I can't remember the exact stat, but it's more effective than search engine marketing or SEO and Facebook combined. People are more likely to sign up to your email list than they are to engage with you on Facebook. It's just so mind blowing that even sometimes I can't believe it. Once you get someone on your email list and you have a sequence where you can follow up something magical happens. And it's still a qualification mechanism because people who aren't interested and don't want to hear from you and think you're the worst person in the world, they just unsubscribe. They take care of it for you. They get off your list for you. That's cool in my eyes. I mean, people will still say, "Oh, unsubscribes hurt," and I guess they kind of sort of do, but you are going to be qualifying people anyway, why not do it through email? 

Steve Seid:
That's really interesting because I totally feel that way about email. Like for me, my preferred method of communication is email, but sometimes when we talk to our audience they're like, "Oh man, we get a quadrillion... So is it really something that's as effective when people have such a hard time managing it? But you're here to say, no, no, it's still the right method. If you get to that point, that's really where we want to focus your energy. That's really interesting.

Kurt Dupuis:
Well, and Seid, we both just kind of asked out to the audience, whether they prefer to get these types of communications by email or other. I got zero responses that wanted other.

Steve Seid:
I know.

Kurt Dupuis:
So I mean, that just corroborates what James was saying, that email is king. 

James Pollard:
You know what's interesting? Is if you ask people what their favorite book is, they'll say something, I mean, the Bible is number one, but they'll say, To Kill a Mockingbird, they'll give you Shakespeare or something. But if you go to their house and you look on their bookshelf, what they're actually reading tends to be a little different. Or if you ask people, what are your favorite apps on your phone? And they try to appear a little bit more professional like, "Oh, well, email. I use my calendar. I'm using my phone as a productivity tool and of course I call people and I text people," but then you look at the stats, it's Facebook or LinkedIn or Twitter or social media. So what people say and what they do are completely different things. I've run my own in-house surveys because I'd be a terrible marketer if I didn't, and I don't believe them at this point because everyone is like, when I say how many emails would you like to receive? People say weekly or monthly. And every single time, weekly is the winner and then monthly and then daily. People will be like, "Oh, daily's way too much. I don't want daily." But they open them and they engage with them and they respond. And what people say and what they do is just... You've got to take what people say with a grain of salt.

Steve Seid:
Wow, that's fantastic. Man, we can't thank you so much for coming on the show. This was just a great insight on a topic that just matters so much to our audience. So where can people find you? What's the best way to find you?

James Pollard:
theadvisorcoach.com is the website and that will take you to, just like I said in the podcast, and like I recommend financial advisors to do, you'll see all different ways to get in touch with me and all different ways to get in my roll.

Steve Seid:
Awesome. James, thanks so much for being on the show. We'll be right back with the Costanza Corner. This is The Whole Truth, stick with us.

Steve Seid:
And welcome back to The Whole Truth, we are in the Costanza Corner, Kurt is up for today.

Kurt Dupuis:
So, you know when you go to Dave & Buster's and they have that video game with four or eight squares that you step on to dance, to mimic the moves that are going, Dance Dance Revolution I believe is the name of the game, do you know what I'm talking?

Steve Seid:
I do. Thankfully. I was like, when he started, I'm not going to know what he's saying, but I do know, yes.

Kurt Dupuis:
Okay. I mean, nice plug for Dave and Buster's to have a few bevies and play some video games, always a lot of fun. So scientists in Europe created a regimen that put pre dementia and Alzheimer's patients together, and it is a phase one study very early on. But the treatment was to do a version of Dance Dance Revolution for 15 minutes a day for eight weeks. And they found freaking unbelievable results that the people that were engaged and engaging their brain, not only did they slow the deterioration, they actually increased memory capacity versus the control group that didn't. So I think there's a lot of life lessons in here, dance more, your brain works, live, love, laugh, and all those cheesy posters that people put inside their house. So have fun with life and you'll probably live longer. But I saw the headline and then I saw the video of this older person play a version of Dance Dance Revolution…

Steve Seid:
That’s awesome,

Kurt Dupuis:
…connected it with higher brain functionality and thought it was really cool. You could even watch a YouTube video it's called Fighting Dementia With Play. So I think there's a lot going on with science related to that and just having people play and use creativity, that's extending their mind lifespan.

Steve Seid:
That's awesome. It's great research. I've read stuff like that as well. I wonder if it's more powerful to do something that's outside of your element versus something that you're comfortable with. I'd be interested because I read a ton, it's just, I like to read. So if I keep reading my whole life, yes that makes your brain work, but I wonder if I need to be doing something that's outside of what I normally do, because they always talk about the value of new experiences and muscles you haven't used and so I wonder if that's part of it as well. I’d guess it is.

Kurt Dupuis:
I would venture to see if it is... I mean, obviously my expert clinical opinion, but they talk about that with exercise, muscle confusion, there's going to be the same kind of thing for your brain.

Steve Seid:
That's right. Yeah. You've got to confuse and play around with wires up there or whatever. I appreciate on the episode where I talked about damaging my head, how you helped me to fix it. So with that, thanks everyone for listening, we'll see you next time.

Kurt Dupuis:
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