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What You'll Learn In Today's Episode
  • Clarity is king. Don’t settle for saying “I do tax planning.” Refine your niche and promote what you do for them, specifically. Especially by email, play up how you provide value that others can’t.
  • Marketing your tax planning practice involves multiple marketing strategies. Focus on productivity first. Next, apply leverage and then focus on scale.
  • Remember the Dishwasher Rule: If no one sees you’ve done it, you won’t get any credit for it. This applies to how you market your tax planning (and how you provide value through it), too.
  • Make sure every year to get tax returns from every prospect and client. If they hesitate, respectfully explain that you can’t provide maximum value for them without them. Tax planning without them is more like fortune-telling than advising.

Executive Summary:

Welcome back to the Retirement Tax Services Podcast! Steven’s guest today is advisor James Pollard, the host of Financial Marketing Advisor. James brings practical advice on how to market your tax planning by email.

Obviously, there’s more to financial advising and tax planning than selling your services. There’s more to marketing than just email, too. However, both are still important if you’re out to grow your practice.

Word of Mouth is Good, But…

Steven often talks about using tax planning as a way to differentiate yourself. It’s a sound strategy.

At the same time, if you want to expand your client base, saying, “Hey, I do taxes,” isn’t enough. In fact, there are whole demographics who won’t enter your brick-and-mortar practice to hear it.

Make a favorable digital impression first. Otherwise, you’ll never meet them. After you’ve gotten their interest, you can do face-to-face (or at least virtual) meetings.

In the meantime, market your tax planning. James Pollard has surveyed the better approaches. He boils it down to two factors: what you do and who you are.

We know. It sounds simplistic. Nonetheless, he comes from a psychology background. Complicated pitches don’t sell (especially when taxes intimidate many people, to begin with).

What you do is just that; your specialty(s). This could be helping survivors with estate taxes, small business concerns, or a long-term financial strategy.

Although you know it by heart, potential prospects don’t. Failing to get it across early means failed connections; missed opportunities.

Who you are is even more straightforward. At the same time, this must be articulated carefully, as well. There’s more to it than what your email application keeps adding to the “from” blank.

Email marketing often involves something called autoresponder sequences. These are sequences of emails sent by bots at predetermined intervals. If someone signs up for your newsletter today, they get a new email… and then another 24 hours/1 week/1 month later… and so on.

For best results, the content has to be evergreen. As a matter of fact, the best evergreen content details what you do and whom you help. Ideally, it’s presented in a way that’s both factual and likely to be true for years to come.

Email Expertise from Advisor James Pollard

The often-cited dishwasher rule applies here, as well: If no one knows you did it, you don’t get credit for it.

For instance, mention that you review tax returns every year. Stating that you actively seek tax planning opportunities conveys a sense of value. Even if capital gains tax rates change, the message is still appropriate.

By the same token, if you’re doing a broadcast email, you don’t have to stick to evergreens. If you’re composing an email today and scheduling it to run tomorrow, you’re better off with current events.

The Superbowl, award shows, and scandals are all basically instant subject lines. Additionally, since tax laws change from administration to administration, the subject is often fertile ground.

Like taxes, marketing can have subtler nuances. James Pollard is quick to point out that people can find almost anything with search engines today. Therefore, define your niche clearly. Some advisors may think, “I just want to serve Millennials,” but that’s too vague.

Similarly, examine what you really mean when you say you do “tax planning.” Steven knows someone who specializes in helping clients who have stock-based compensation.

Prospects need to know exactly what you’ll do and what you’ll refer them to an expert for. For example, that specialist can help with stock options. Consider your specialties and use them to your advantage for the client’s value.

Your Action Items

  • Start using more permission-based marketing. Spamming doesn’t work anymore. Messages that start the conversation asking to share a funny or related video, for example, are preferable. Nobody responds to a hard sell.
  • Share timely videos by email. If there’s a breaking headline about tax changes, record a short touchpoint. Don’t use fancy HTML. Just compose a plain text would-you-like-to-see-my-thoughts message. Paste that, with the link into your mass mailer.
  • Go to James Pollard’s website for links to his podcast, his blog, his books, and other resources.
  • Leave Retirement Tax Services a 5-star review where you get your podcasts (please). Your feedback helps us grow. That, in turn, helps us deliver more value back to you.

Steven and advisor James Pollard examine email marketing further in this edition of the Retirement Tax Services Podcast.You can contact Steven at

Are you interested in content that provides you with action steps that you can take to provide massive tax value to your clients? Then don’t wait to sign up for our powerful online training sessions. Click on the link below to get started on your journey:

Thank you for listening.


Steven Jarvis:

Hello everyone and welcome to the next episode of the Retirement Tax Services podcast Professionals Edition. I’m your host, Steven Jarvis, CPA, and in this show, I teach financial advisors how to deliver massive value to their clients through tax planning. Today, I’m really excited to have on the show with me, James Pollard, who is the host of the Financial Advisor Marketing podcast. And while we’re going to talk about taxes a little bit today, I’m excited to have James here to talk about really getting specific on what some of the marketing tactics look like, so they’re really taking advantage of this differentiator that advisors can have of using tax planning. So, James, welcome to the show.

James Pollard:

Thank you so much for doing this. You’re an absolute beast when it comes to tax planning, it’s an underrated value add for financial advisors; it is something that can, I know you like to say deliver massive value, but it really is true — it delivers massive value to the prospective clients and clients and who doesn’t like to save money on taxes. I mean, really.

James Talks About The Detailed Marketing Tactics In The Finance World [1:29]


I have yet to meet the person who doesn’t like saving money on taxes. Uh, money is emotional to begin with, taxes even more so. For most people, they’re going to be way more excited about saving a thousand dollars of taxes than getting an extra $2,000 in earnings in their stock account. All right, so we want to talk about marketing with tax planning — on this show, we talk quite often about using tax planning as a way to differentiate yourself as a way to help convert prospects to clients. But James, you spend all your time, not all your time but you spend a lot of time working on the actual mechanics of “here’s how you should be doing marketing”. So maybe you could just start with kind of an introduction of what led you to wanting to spend so much time on marketing and then we’ll start weaving that into using taxes, in some of these tactics.


So it’s always been an interest of mine. I come from the copywriting world, so I’ve studied a lot of your, , Gary Bencivenga, Gary Halbert, Dan Kennedy, Eugene Schwartz — I mean the list goes on and on, I could list a bunch of other names that financial advisors listening to this show won’t know. Uh, but I do come from that world and it’s just so cool for me to see the intersection of psychology and money, economics. So I started off as, not to get into like super duper early college years or whatever, but I actually started off as a psychology-economics, double major because that’s really what I like. And I dropped economics and I was like, okay, I really like psychology a little bit more and then I was like, darn, I really missed that money stuff. So being able to do the psychology stuff inside of the financial services industry was my calling, like it really was. I know that sounds cheesy where people are like, oh, this is what I’m destined to do, but there’s no other way to explain it. And I started getting into, like you said, the mechanics, so: what does a direct mail piece look like, that works? What does an email look like, that works? And that’s my specialty today. What does social media look like, that works? And I started pulling all that stuff together and creating like a war chest of what worked and what didn’t and started just networking relentlessly with financial advisors, started a company called the Advisor Coach and did one-on-one coaching, thus the name of the company. It turns out I’m not really a fan of one-on-one coaching. [Laughs] So I structured all the marketing pieces together into information products and different systems and walkthroughs that financial advisors can have both free and paid. We got free blog, the free podcast, a lot of paid stuff, and that can benefit more advisors than me working with them one-on-one because I only have so much time in the day, but that’s the short of it.


So like I said, we talk a lot about in this podcast that tax planning can be this differentiator for advisors, but I certainly don’t get into detailed recommendations of “here’s how you should word this in an email” or “here’s how it should look on your website” — mostly because I’m not an expert in that area. I try to focus on what’s in my lane. So whether it’s specific to taxes or just some general context that will help us with tax planning, what are things that advisors should be thinking about when they go to write that email or put it as a service on their website or whatever it might be instead of just saying “hey, I do taxes.”


The two biggest things are what you do and who you help. And if that sounds too simple, I’m sorry, but that’s really what it is. If you can master those two things — what you do — it could be you help people save money on taxes, it could be you specialize in, I don’t know, backdoor Roth or something, or you specialize in a certain financial strategy, you specialize in helping women navigate their finance after divorce. I don’t know that is the what and the who, but you can start putting that in the area, above your fold, on your website. When people get to your website, they see immediately what you do and who you help and it reduces bounce rate, so people don’t leave right away, it makes it more likely that they will consume more of your content on your website. And I could go on and on and on with this, but let’s apply it to a different marketing channel like LinkedIn. What happens when you go from Financial Advisor at XYZ Wealth Management in your headline on LinkedIn to Financial Advisor, serving dentists or something, that sounds super basic but if your profile was going to get viewed anyway, and people are going to search for a financial advisor on LinkedIn, and there were studies that proved that that’s the case, it’s the second most used search tool after Google, if people are going to use it, they’re going to look at the person who serves dentist, if they’re a dentist; and not only it makes it very easy for the financial advisor to know where to go to find dentists, because there are blogs, podcasts, YouTube channels, magazines, there are so many different things that become clear when the financial advisor becomes clear on what he or she does and who he or she serves. I hope that’s like, that makes sense because that’s like a really broad overview.


No, that totally makes sense because now I need to go change my headline on LinkedIn because my mine says CEO and head CPA at RTS, and now I need to go think about CPA for financial advisors or something to that effect — who am I serving? I feel like we can kind of commiserate sometimes between taxes and marketing of the people want really complex, like these magic answers of, tell me something I’ve never heard before and give me the secret formula, when there certainly is valuable content to be — valuable knowledge to be shared, but so much of it is actually taking the time to apply these things consistently and be willing to refine and improve what you’re doing, both, if you want to attempt tax planning, and if you want to get better at marketing. It’s because, and you can correct me if I’m wrong but when, when you talk about your free blog or your paid content, it’s, I’m guessing that it’s not that you have something — this one thing, this one big secret that no one’s ever heard before. It’s that you have — you’ve practiced and spent so much time on this, that you have a way of distilling it to people and helping them be accountable and do it consistently, that they get results from what you’re putting out. Is that a fair generalization of what you do?


So there are certain people that I admire and certain people that I considered to be role models, where I would describe them with something like this, I’ll say, when that person speaks a sentence or writes a sentence, you can tell that that sentence has two or three books behind it, you’re taking that book and you’re just putting it there. Someone recently used not that exact term, but something very similar to describe me, I felt like I was going to cry because I was like, holy crap, this is the biggest compliment I can ever receive and it is true — I’ve distilled these very complex marketing things down to something like — use multiple marketing strategies, focus on productivity first, apply leverage, focus on scale. There’s just little sentences here. People will be like, “oh yeah, multiple marketing strategies, got it”. Like if you haven’t really gone deep into what that means, you do not get it. It’s just that we could spend days talking about that alone, its just how your LinkedIn talks to your email and your email talks to your website and the familiarity principle and the mere exposure effect, it’s just incredible. Now I can get into specifics and I would love to, if you would allow me to talk about that with tax planning, I’d be grateful to do that, but yes, absolutely just taking reams of information that quite frankly, financial advisors – a) don’t time to go through and b) might not care about because let’s just face it. They’re not marketers. And most of them aren’t, they don’t want to be. That’s cool. I get it. So it’s my job to do that for them and give them the most important stuff that they can use right away.


Yeah. I love that description. As I talked to advisors about, you know, the, the value of work with RTS, I kind of describe it this way — it really, when it comes to tax planning, and this probably is the same for marketing, you’ve really got three options. Option one is you can hope and pray that what you’re doing is going to be good enough. Uh, good luck, not my favorite option, but you can do that. Number two, you can grind this out on your own, because I mean, at some point, James, you didn’t know any of this and then you spend a lot of time really dedicated time becoming an expert in what you do, and advisers are smart people, if they wanted to dedicate probably more time than you did, because you’re really passionate about this, but they could spend the next 10 or 15 years trying to figure out these things that you already know. So that’s an option too. I have full competence, their ability to eventually do that. Now with both taxes and marketing, it will have all changed seven dozen times between, in that timeframe. But that option is available. Option three, which happens to be my favorite is you work with a resource who spent that time for you, and we’ll distill it down into what you need right now and whether that’s taxes and working with a resource like RTS or that’s marketing and working with someone like James, that’s really where that power comes from is this isn’t, “hey, you probably couldn’t figure this out on your own” It’s “Do you really want to spend the time? Do you even have the time to dedicate, to figuring these things out? And would you get the same outcome?” Because probably not. So, yes, I would be happy for you to dive into some of the, the specifics on what’s this look like for, as it relates to taxes.

James Explains The Applicability Of Tax Planning As A Marketing Strategy [10:50]


Okay. So I will get pretty specific. I love tax planning as a marketing strategy, because let me boil it down to something like email marketing. So in the email marketing world, you have something called an auto-responder sequence. Now, people who are marketers, this is marketing one-on-one. This is entry level kid stuff. And auto-responder is basically a sequence of emails that get sent out in a predetermined time based on rules that you set. If someone signs up for your email list today, and let’s say you set up a rule where they get an immediate email and then 24 hours later, they get another email, 24 hours later, they get another email, so on and so forth, you could do it weekly, you could do it monthly. It’s basically you set it up once it works for you on autopilot automatically. It is an incredible, incredible tool. Now because you set it up once, now you can make changes to it, but I’m assuming you set it up once and let it work for you — it is in your best interest to make sure that it contains evergreen content and the best type of evergreen content goes back to who you are or what you do and who you help. So your first couple of emails would be focused around that. Some people will give you wrong advice and say that, oh, it should be 100% customer focused all the time. Yes, that’s true but in the financial services industry, people are trying to reduce their skepticism and in order to do that, they need to know a little bit more about the financial advisor, in my case, it’s financial advisors. So having evergreen content that introduces you as someone who can help with tax planning and give a couple of specifics about that, that will be true a year from now, that will be true five years from now — that is what you want to do. The second beautiful thing about tax planning as a marketing strategy is the tax laws change all the time. Things change as new administrations come in, different rules happen, even stories with celebrities come out and you see this celebrity avoided taxes by using a Roth IRA, a self-directed Roth IRA, Mitt Romney did it, celebrities die without wills and trusts — they’re just different topics. Those are not evergreen. They are pieces of content that are hot today going tomorrow. But with email marketing, if you’re doing what’s called a broadcast email where you are typing up the email that day and scheduling it for that day or tomorrow, these can be incredible topics. Some of the most successful emails that I have personally ever sent have to do with current events. These are things like the SuperBowl, different award shows, if there’s a scandal, scandals are great because I can take a headline that has already been proven by the scandal, like in Google News, like I can take the most clicked headline, I can use that as my subject line and it it’s a no brainer, it gets opened. So with tax laws constantly changing, that is like, spoon-feeding email content for your broadcast. So tax planning works as both your evergreen auto-responder content and email marketing, and it also works as your broadcast style emails.


Yeah, that’s incredible. I love how you’re describing that. And for any advisors who are thinking, okay, well, wait a second, if you’re talking about tax laws changing all the time, how do you, how do you keep that as your evergreen content because  I’m assuming by that, cause I’m not a marketer, I’m from Washington state, I’m thinking of evergreen trees. They’re consistent. They’re always there. So evergreen content would be the things that you can confidently say about yourself or your services that you know are going to be there. And even though tax laws change all the time, there are things that you can say, if these are true for you, uh, things like, you know, “we review tax returns every year to look for a tax planning opportunities, we work proactively with your tax payer to make sure these were reported correctly.” There are ways that you can phrase those services that they will always be true, even if capital gains tax rates change in the next year or there’s other tax law changes that come into effect; if you can focus on the ways you deliver that value, that’s always going to be true for you.


Well, if you hear a phrase from your client or prospective client or a friend or family member or heaven forbid your spouse, if you hear something and they like this, they say, “I didn’t know you did X” with the subtext of that phrase, meaning I would have done that or I would have given you referrals if I knew that that is something that you kind of sort of want to put front and center of all of your marketing, a common example is when a client will tell a client or a client would tell a financial advisor, “I didn’t know you were accepting new clients”. Well that’s because the advisor didn’t make the fact that he or she was taking on new clients, present in the market, and marketing at all, like email website, LinkedIn, they didn’t make it known or even client meetings, they didn’t bring it up, they didn’t make it known. So again, this goes back to what you do, who you help. You want to make it very clear because people are going to skim most of your marketing. They’re going to scroll your website very quickly. They’re not going to pay much attention during your meeting because they’re focused on what they want to have for dinner that night. There are just so many different things going on that you want to be clear. And another amazing thing about tax planning as a marketing strategy is that tax revolves around numbers and laws and yes, our interpretation of those opportunities, as you like to say, and our interpretations of what you should do and what you shouldn’t do based on your situation. But for the most part, you can be clear about what you’re doing when you’re adding value through tax planning and that is a huge asset in marketing.


Yeah, definitely. We like to talk about what we call the dishwasher rule, which is you only get credit for doing things you tell someone else you’ve done, which I think fits in with what you’re talking about as far as people not knowing that you offer something. So as much as I talk about tax planning, being a differentiator, it’s only going to be a differentiator if people know you do it, if you’re including it in your marketing, if you’re making it clear – ‘this is something that I do for my clients and here’s how I add the value here’. And being able to quantify where it makes sense of working with me and implementing the strategy could potentially over the next 5, 10, 15 years, whatever it is, because over time is usually where we can find the most tax savings; being able to give that to a prospect, especially is going to do wonders for you being able to close those prospects and bring them on as clients.


Well, let’s get something that’s also pretty specific. We’ll go back to the LinkedIn headline thing. When you say something like I’m a financial advisor, helping a certain niche, save money on taxes or whatever financial specialty you want to talk about. If you get someone who follows you on LinkedIn or someone who connects with you on LinkedIn or someone who responds to your message on LinkedIn, they’ve all seen one thing for sure. They’ve seen your headline. So it eliminates the, the chance that that question or that phrase gets uttered – ‘I didn’t know you did X’. Oh, they know because it was right there the whole time and marketing is about or good marketing is about knowing what to say. That’s awesome. There are a lot of people who know the right things to say, but they don’t necessarily know the right places to put those words. And specifically like the LinkedIn headline is a great place to put those words, because if you’re using LinkedIn as a marketing medium or a marketing channel, marketing strategy, they’re going to see it and it provides that clarity.


Yeah and knowing the right place to put those words is certainly going to be dependent on who your niche is that you’re trying to get to. You started with, uh, you know, who you serve and what you do for them, and so getting really clear on who it is, because if the only people you’re accepting as new clients are people who are currently retired or people who are within a year of retirement, maybe you’re, they’re not in that statistic of how they’re searching for advisors on LinkedIn but that doesn’t mean these principles don’t apply to how you are approaching your potential clients. And so understanding how your potential client base is going to be looking for these services is really, really important and that goes back to what I was saying before of you could probably take the time eventually to figure out all the nuance of that, or you find a great resource as someone who can distill it down for you, because anytime I try to get involved with my marketing team and contribute, I just constantly learn so much of the nuance that goes into all of this and having great resources is going to make all the difference. Just like you tell your clients to come work with you because you can help them do these things that are going to be really challenging to do on their own even though there are tools for them, they could, they could set up their own brokerage account or work with a robot advisor or do their own taxes on H&R Blocks website. Those options are available to people, but there’s a reason that they want to come and work with an expert and with some of these topics, there should be a reason that you want to go work with an expert as well.


There are a lot of reasons. Eliminating complexity is one of them, distilling, just like we talked about, that you can find the information, we have search engines, they have compiled almost all of the information in the history of humanity and it’s available at your fingertips, and yet people say this society is getting dumber every year. I don’t know how that’s possible, but it’s true and I’m glad you mentioned niche-ing because one of my pet peeves is when I talk with a financial advisor and they say something like, “Oh, I have a niche.” “Oh, cool. Great. Who do you work with?” “Small business owners.” “Oh, okay. Do you have, is that like a geographic area, like limited just to Chicago or something? Cause that’s better than just the entire United States.” They said, “oh no, I don’t want to limit myself” is like, you’re missing the point. This is smaller to, to a point smaller is better. Now, if you’re in the middle of a town and you want to be geographically restricted and that’s a small town with a thousand people, and you say, you work with doctors in that town, yeah. It’s not going to work, but more often than not financial advisors, they don’t realize how much harm they’re doing to themselves and their businesses when they say that they work with baby boomers or millennials, just millennials with no type of layer on it; millennials with student loan debt is something that I know two advisers were absolutely crushing it with that particular niche right now but I would wager that if they were focusing on just millennials without any sort of layer whatsoever, they’d still be struggling. So that’s something for advisors to consider as well.


Well, and to make a correlation there to, to tax planning, um, you should–you really need to narrow down your focus and make it really clear to your clients, what you mean when you say you do tax planning, because you shouldn’t be trying to cover every tax topic that’s out there and you should make it clear to your clients of what things you are willing to help them with and what things that you’re going to help them work with an expert to address. I recently had a great conversation with an advisor who does tons of work with clients who have stock-based compensation, that is a very specific tax topic and so that’s great for him to let his clients know, “hey, I’ll do everything, I can help you with anything related to stock options.” But if that’s not something you focus on, you should be just as clear that that’s not something you do. Maybe you don’t put it as a headline on your website, but get clear on what it means to the client that you offer this really generic term called tax planning. It’s going to be so much clear to the client that, yes, this is the person I want to work with because they’re going to help me in my situation, not thousands of pages of tax code that no one really wants to commit to.

Clearing Myths on Alienating Clients In Relation To Picking A Niche [21:54]


Well, I think the biggest fear that financial advisors have when they get specific in their marketing is that they’re going to alienate people — they have this belief in their head that, there were people out there who were just about to work with them and they were just about to pick up that phone, they were just about to fill out the contact form on the website and the financial advisor changed the LinkedIn headline, or they changed the website banner to a certain niche and that person, that imaginary person out there who was just about to say, yes now says, oh, no, forget it. Um, I don’t know. I don’t think I mentioned it on the show or at least on the air that my personal accountant specializes in working with attorneys and I’m not an attorney or at least last time I checked, I wasn’t, something’s terribly wrong if I’m an attorney now. But yeah, I don’t dislike him for having a niche. I want him to, and I want him to grow, I want him to expand, I want him to bring on more resources, I’m rooting for this guy, I want him to do that and I push him to niche even more and I give him some strategies because I want him to succeed, but it’s not like I saw that he worked with attorneys and then was turned off and I was like, no, I don’t want to work with him cause I’m not an attorney. I saw that he was doing amazing work. So I maybe the exception to the rule and probably I am, but I didn’t alienate him at all and the same is true with financial advisors — you can have front facing marketing material and client attraction material, where you’re trying to attract a certain demographic, a certain psychographic, a certain market — that doesn’t mean that you still can’t take on other people if they ask, because if you’re marketing the right way, you’re going to get inbound leads. Anyway, that’s I found my accountant. I was an inbound lead for him. I had to practically beg him to take me on. So that speaks volumes and the same thing can happen with financial advisors. It’s just that you, as you’re creating your marketing plan and your marketing machine, you are doing it around a certain universe and even if you think you’re niche-ing down to something like teachers, for example, if you, I keep saying layering, I feel like I’m a broken record, but it really is true when you layer that with something like Miami, you now have a defined audience where you can take specific measured actions that quite frankly are going to be within a financial advisers budget. That’s something that a lot of people don’t consider, but let’s just say that there are 5,500 teachers in Miami and there are millions in the United States. Well, your budget, isn’t going to reach the millions. But if you give me $5,500, I can have a direct mail piece in their mailboxes in seven days, I can literally guarantee you that I can get you in front of every single teacher in Miami in seven days and you have a defined quantifiable goal upon which you can measure your results later. Now that I know that was like super high level, but it’s really what it is


No, that’s a great point because, uh, in addition to, you know, your personal example of not alienating someone because of their niche, uh, you got to think about this of most advisors are what looking for maybe a 100 clients they want to work with, a 100 to 200, advisors aren’t looking for thousands of clients typically; and so would you rather sit through the entire United States looking for your a hundred clients or would you rather narrow it down to teachers in Miami, so you have 5,500 that you have to sift through. If you’re looking for a needle in a haystack, how big do you want your haystack to be?


So earlier today I shared something on LinkedIn about a landing page that generated $50 million of revenue in the past 20 months. So there’s a guy named Alex Horn Mosey. He runs a company called Gym Launch and his landing page is just, it’s ugly, it’s gross, it’s not a good looking one. There are so many people who want to sell website kits and fancy design or whatever, but his landing page is a little rectangle, doesn’t even take up the whole page, I’m not going to comment on, whether I think it should take up the whole page or not, but his headline is this: How Our Average Gym Gets 10.1 New Members Every Month With $0 Ad Spent Using Automated Outbound Messages. Very like not complicated headline, but there were two things that make this work. He has a specific type of person that he’s going after — gym owners, and he has a specific offer and I’m bringing this up. Not so financial advisors can doze off and think, oh, well, I’m not a gym owner. I can’t do that or I’m not marketing to gym owners. Just take the principles here. There’s an offer there that they want, that other people will not want. If you’re not a gym owner, you don’t want more people joining your gym because you don’t have them. So you’re disqualifying people and that is an amazing thing to have, especially when you’re marketing and you’re putting your own money on the line, for example, if you’re running an online advertisement, you don’t want people who aren’t in your niche to click on it, because guess what you pay for that anyway, you pay for those clicks, you pay for every single one. So I would rather have you get fewer clicks from the right person. So Alex takes this landing page and he puts it in front of people who are likely to be gym owners on Facebook or something. Well, the reason it’s working super duper well is because only gym owners are clicking on it. And if you can get that as a financial advisor and put that on everything, multiple marketing strategies, you’re going to lift your conversion rates up almost always. You’re going to lift your conversion rates up by more than any alienation that possibly occurs. And when that happens, it means you make more money. That’s how math works.

Actionable Steps According To James [28:14]


Well, we always appreciate math lessons here. So James, we want to make sure that anything we talk about on this podcast, we turn into, okay, what an advisor can actually do and take action on this. So what’s your recommendation to advisors, listening to this, an action or two actions that they can take from this information and do something right now about this?


Start using more permission based marketing. When you want to network with people online, for example, um, a lot of LinkedIn trainers and sales gurus, and people like that will say to just spray and pray, message people, connect with them. I will admit yes, that used to work in 2016, 2017, kind of, sort of 2018, but the world started changing in 2019 and then in 2020, it really changed a lot of financial advisors realized that they had to do something in order to keep their businesses afloat and to get new clients, or they all hopped on online and specifically LinkedIn, and just started going through these trainings where people were like, oh, just messaged a bunch of people in joint groups and all this other stuff and it became less effective. So during that time, what started becoming really effective and it sounds silly, but it is, it’s just, it is what it is, is when you just message somebody and you say – “hey, I noticed you’re a dentist. I have this thing for dentists.” It could be a resource. It could be a video you created, it could be somebody else’s video. You don’t even have to create the content. You could go to a popular YouTube channel or something for dentists, and it could be a funny video or something. “Hey, I saw really funny video for dentists; would you like to see it?” When they say yes, you now enter a conversation. It’s a lot easier to enter that conversation than, “hey, I’m a financial advisor who helps dentist and we have this process and here’s my website, you can book an appointment here.” Very rigid, you might get one out of a hundred to talk with you, you’re probably not going to get one out of a hundred to set an appointment, unless you’re really, really good on the website side, but I don’t want to get into that. But if you start the conversation the way I’m describing it to you with permission-based marketing, you might get seven conversations out of a hundred, eight, nine, ten, and that might not sound like much but when you realize that there was an approach that was working and that financial advisors were just grinding through at like one out of a hundred. And now all of a sudden I’ve set an X that I’m eight X. That’s a pretty good deal. So that is one way that is just a great way to get started. Another specific takeaway and this is a beautiful thing with tax planning, this is something that I’ve seen some financial advisors do, my personal accountant does this, he uses the heck out of video, but not in the way that most gurus or whatever will say, oh, you have to record video with your phone and you have to upload it to LinkedIn or whatever. No, no, no. He uses it with email. So he will record a video like a loom video, or Screencastify, there are a bunch of Chrome extensions and apps out there that will let you record video and then just stop recording and then send a link. It takes like 30 seconds outside of your video recording time. So he will record something if there’s a breaking headline about tax changes. This happened a lot in January when Joe Biden took office, people were freaking out. They were getting a little scared and whenever he saw a headline that was getting a lot of traction, he would record a video about that and use it as a touch point. So his plain text email, well, first of all, I need to explain. He used plain text email. He didn’t use fancy HTML. He didn’t use a bunch of JavaScript. He didn’t try to get fancy. He literally wrote out his email in a Microsoft Word document, copied and pasted that email into, I don’t know which I think he uses Drip, but you could use Drip, MailChimp, his auto, um, his email marketing service. He would copy and paste. He would say, “I recently recorded a video about this topic, here’s the link, if you want to watch it.” And people watched it, it was just him taking five minutes out of his day to look at an article that was circulating on the web and add his 2 cents to it. Now, financial advisors, if you’re listening to this, I know you see this all the time. We’re recording this July for so in June, there were two big stories that broke. Number one was about how much money Elon Musk, Warren buffet, Jeff Bezos, how much they pay in taxes that came out and people were freaking out. Their wealth grew by this much and they only paid this much in taxes. That’s an opportunity for you. Another big story that broke was this self-directed IRA, Peter Teal, $5 billion to $2,000 to $5 billion in a self-directed IRA. And he didn’t pay any taxes and you Mr. Jarvis, we were talking about him, are people freaking out about not paying his fair share, but that’s a story for another time. That is another amazing opportunity. So if you’re a financial advisor who emails biweekly, there you go, your content is created right there because you can take those amazing in-depth articles that people are already sharing. There’s some of the most shared articles on the internet, people are going to recognize them and if they don’t recognize the article, they’re going to recognize the name, they’re going to recognize the process or the concept. And there’s your touch-point. You don’t have to be a genius. You don’t have to be creative. You’re just adding on to what is already working. That’s it.


I love that. Well, that’s, that’s some really great advice, James. I really appreciate you taking the time to come on and talk about this. There’s just so much good stuff in there for advisors and yes, there’s some things specific to, or we can use this alongside taxes as the topic, but a lot of great information there. So really appreciate you coming on, uh, real quick, before we wrap up, if people want to learn more about what you’re doing or, or the resources you have, where should they?


So Financial Advisor Marketing is the name of the podcast. The website is the and on the home page, I basically have links to a bunch of different ways you can interact with me. So go to the


And we’ll make sure that gets in the show notes, James. Thanks again. Thanks everybody for listening today. Good luck out there. And until next time, remember to tip your server, not the IRS


The information on this site is for education only and should not be considered tax advice. Retirement Tax Services is not affiliated with Shilanski & Associates, Jarvis Financial Services or any other financial services firms.

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