Are you struggling to figure out who you serve best and the type of clients you want to target with your marketing?
Do you need help identifying a viable target market and creating a message that resonates with that group?This new webinar is the answer to the question I get all the time from advisors, which is: How do I figure out the best niche for my firm? To answer this question, I’ve brought in Bill Cates, bestselling author of Get More Referrals and Beyond Referrals. Bill’s top-rated new book, Radical Relevance, is the definitive resource on how financial advisors can choose the best niche for them and sharpen their marketing message to cut through the noise.
- How to figure out what you do best
- Considering the clients you love serving
- Identifying your potential niches
- Evaluating niches based on how viable they are
- Deciding who you want to attract and who you want to repel
- Creating a clear vision to grow your firm
- Drafting a marketing message that resonates with your ideal prospects
- Real-life examples from top advisors that work!
- Your core mission: Which critical benefits do you deliver?
- Client-centered why: Why do you go to work every day?
- The problem you solve: Which urgent problem do you solve for a specific group?
- Your ideal client: Who do you serve and where can we find them?
- How you solve the problem: What is your unique solution?
- Proof that you can solve their problems: Using social proof without testimonials
- Your points of distinction: Why do clients choose you?
Claire Akin, MBAClaire Akin runs Indigo Marketing Agency, a full-service marketing firm serving top independent financial advisors. She works closely with several of Barron’s Top 100 Financial Advisors to grow their AUM using digital marketing.
Bill Cates, CSP, CPAE, Referral Coach InternationalBill works with organizations and individuals who want to acquire more clients/customers through word of mouth, referrals, and personal introductions. All of our systems and programs have one overall goal in mind – to increase your revenue without increasing your marketing expenses.
Read The Transcript Below
Hi, I’m Claire Akin with Indigo Marketing Agency and today I’m so excited to have Bill Cates joining us. Bill is an industry veteran and he’s really an expert on helping financial advisors like you to get more referrals. And through his process of I think three decades of working with advisors, he’s really honed his skills. And what he started thinking about recently is how to help advisors to get more referrals when maybe they aren’t that referable. And so his new book is here, it’s called Radical Relevance and it really is the go-to definitive guide on how to be more relevant and more referable with your prospects. So I just want to welcome Bill to our webinar. Thanks for joining us, Bill. And why don’t you tell us a little bit more about your book.
Sure, Claire, I appreciate it. Well, the book was born out of the fact that I was teaching a lot of people how to ask for introductions, how to get introduced. And these days we need to think in terms of introductions, not just the word referrals. But you’re right. A lot of people weren’t as referable as they needed to be and or the borrowed trust that the introduction did for them didn’t carry them far enough into that new relationship, how they talk about their value, making sure they’re talking about their value in a way that’s very relevant to that prospect. Now the way to be most relevant to a new prospect, someone who doesn’t know you, is to get introduced to get referred. So there’s a clear relationship between being more referable, how we talk about our value, being introduced and all of that. So this is just the next step in how I’m helping advisors.
Awesome. Well, I’m super excited to have you here and today we’re going to talk about how advisers watching can actually go through this workshop process and figure out who they serve best, what is their radically relevant message and why should people refer them? And that’s really the core of what we’re helping to give a lot of real life examples and helpful, actionable ideas for advisors listening. So let’s jump right into it.
All right. So thank you so much for joining us today is choosing your niche and creating a radically relevant marketing message. And basically we’re going to teach you how to embrace the specialty to supercharge your marketing. I’m Claire Akin with Indigo Marketing Agency and we’re joined by Bill Cates, author of Radical Relevance, and his business is Referral Coach International. So if you don’t know, let me just give you a little bit about my story and my passion and why I care about this topic. So I started Indigo Marketing Agency to help independent financial advisors to tell their story. So it’s so important with a business like this that’s built around trust and around something so personal as finances to tell your story in a really authentic way that connects with prospects. I wrote the LinkedIn guide for financial advisors and my new book is The Marketing Guide for Financial Advisors and over and over, if you watch my webinars or read my books, you hear me talking about the riches are in the niches.
And so I teach advisors to embrace this specialty with their marketing so that they can identify exactly where their target clients are, the important problem that they solve for people and how to connect with people and resonate with those prospects. But the problem for me was I was coming across advisors all the time who wanted us to do their marketing for them, but they didn’t have a compelling message. So maybe it was we help to deliver financial planning for individuals and families. Well that doesn’t compel people to act. That doesn’t make people want to talk to a stranger about their financial life. You need a compelling message through your marketing and before you get started working with us or any other marketing firm, it’s really important to make sure that you know who you’re going after and you know why they need to work with you and why you can solve their problems. And so that’s really what we’re going to talk about today. And so I’m so excited to have Bill on the program.
So Bill and I have been friends for years and I follow his work. He’s a super smart guy and he has kind of an interesting past. So let me tell you about this awesome story. So Bill started a publishing company way back in 1983 and it started with a strawberry cookbook. He went ahead and was touring the… I think you were on a road trip and you were seeing strawberry stands and selling this strawberry cookbook to people who were running strawberry farmer’s market and stands out there. And so if you took this book, strawberries and recipes for strawberries and tried to sell it to an average person. A small, small fraction of people would ever be interested. But if you took it and you put it at a strawberry stand where you have people who are buying large amounts of strawberries and they don’t know what to do with them, then this cookbook becomes radically relevant.
And all of a sudden the people at the point of sale have this huge need for this book. And so that’s what we’re talking about, Radical Relevance. How can you solve a problem at the exact point of time that people have the urgency where they’re looking to solve this problem? And so I thought this just was such a cool message about relevance and Bill ended up developing a whole publishing company around different cookbooks. And I know you did one for peaches, one for apples, one for tuna, and it ended up being sold to I think, Chicken in the Sea. So it’s a really cool story that just demonstrates this concept. And so Bill, why don’t you tell us a little bit about your story, your books and kind of your philosophy?
Sure, yeah. Well that business for many, many years ago did grow into a pretty nice business. We were selling probably about 10 to 15,000 strawberry cookbooks a year. And then an apple book, like you said, peach, vegetable honey. We were selling about 80,000 books a year. And what I wanted to do, I wanted to be a specialty publisher, a cookbook publisher for equipment manufacturers, blenders and smokers and grills and that sort of thing. And I wasn’t having a lot of success at the time my company name was WRC Publishing, William Richard Cates didn’t mean much to anybody. And then one day I had this little epiphany and then changed my company name to the American Cooking Guild. So who would you rather buy a cookbook from? WRC Publishing or the American Cooking Guild? And that’s when my business around doing specialty books for manufacturers really kicked off.
And you’re right, the largest sale I had was 400,000 books. And that sale changed my life because I was the sales rep. I got a nice commission. I was the company owner and got all the rest and I used that, build a business, eventually sold it and another publishing company that had started. And then slowly but surely, I turned my attention to teaching folks what I had learned around building a business. And that got me into the world of helping financial advisors of all sorts grow their business. It’s a long sort of story. But my first book Unlimited Referrals came out in 1996 and so 24 or 25, 26 what, a years later, whatever the math is, I’ve been helping financial advisors build their business through referrals, really through introductions these days. We’re focused more on the introduction than just the referral, “Hey, call George, use my name.” Well, George doesn’t answer his phone and he’s wondering why his friend gave his name out. So we’ve got to get connected, we got to get introduced.
Yeah, and that’s the story leading up to the Radical Relevance.
Yeah. And I love the book. I recommend if you haven’t already read the book, order it on Amazon, it’s a pretty quick read, but I guarantee it’ll give you some great ideas for your business and your marketing. And so I really enjoyed reading it, so thanks Bill, so much for joining us. But today, advisors, I know the thing that you care most about is your story and what’s in it for you. And so there’s 300,000 financial advisors in the United States. What you have to answer is this question, why do clients choose you? There’s so many advisors they can work with online or even in your neighborhood or advisors they may know or they could have their brother-in-law manage their money. Why should they work with you? And so you really need to specialize your marketing. And that’s what I encourage advisors to do and the benefits of becoming a specialist are that you can charge a premium for your work.
You can do what you love, you can work with more of your right fit clients, and you can create a marketing strategy that actually resonates with people and works to drive new people into your marketing funnels. And so when I see advisors do this, when I see advisors go through this process and really think through who they want to serve and why clients should choose them, that’s where I really see the rubber hit the road. And people actually start enjoying their career and bringing on new clients, growing their business, growing their assets under management. And really loving what they’re doing. And so if you’re an advisor that’s burnt out with marketing, who’s overwhelmed, who does not really understand how you’re going to grow your business in the future. Maybe you’ve tried being all things to all people, maybe you don’t really know which clients you should turn away and which clients you should focus on. This is a webinar for you. And so I hope it’s really helpful to you.
So one of my favorite quotes from industry leader, Ron Carson is this. “So many of the advisors I meet say that they have a better investment strategy and they charge lower fees than another advisor. The problem is that not only is this not true, it’s not what clients care about.” And so I talked to advisors every single day on the phone who tell me they want to work with more clients who have 500,000 in investible assets. And what makes them different is they have this unique investment strategy that lowers the risk in their client’s portfolio and delivers higher returns. That does not compel people to act. It doesn’t make people know, like or trust you. And it doesn’t create an urgency where people take action with you. And so we really need to differentiate your marketing and start talking about the things that clients actually care about.
So today we’re going to cover what is radical relevance, why you need a radically relevant message. And we’ll go through seven steps to actually create your own radically relevant message and real life examples from top advisors. Because I know it’s one thing to tell you how to do this and what the steps are, but we’ll give you the actual examples of messages that work for advisors out there. And then we’ll workshop your radically relevant message. And so, Bill, why don’t you talk to us just about the goals of a radically relevant message and what that means to you?
Sure. So where do we communicate our value? Well everywhere, right? A website, LinkedIn profile, a new literature and people who work for you. If you have associates that work with you, they’re communicating your value, the firm’s value everywhere. And so what’s the purpose, right? The mistake that most people make when they talk about their value be it on their website, LinkedIn profile or anywhere else, is they make themselves, they present themselves as the hero. Look at, “We’re the number one advisor in the area. We’re Barron’s 100. We’re this, we’re that.” All about you, all about your greatness, all about you being the hero. But it’s your clients that should be the hero. They want to be the hero of their own story. Now you can be the guide, right? And you have to create your credential. I get that.
But when people see you for the first time, anything related to your messaging, it should be about them. It should relate to them. It should show empathy for their story, their situation. Once you draw them in, then you can talk about why perhaps you should be their guide to help them. So have you fallen into the trap of just with your messaging, “See how good I am, see all my credentials, see why I should work for you.” And so I want to flip that for you guys and make your clients the hero. And then what we’re doing in all of this is number one, we’re trying to attract the right prospects to us, right? Unless you’re brand new in this business, not anybody fits your business. So you want to make sure you talk about your value in a way that attracts the right people and repels the wrong people.
I know repel is a strong word, but you know what I mean? Right? If someone’s not a right match for your business, then you’re not the right advisor for them. So we don’t want to be wasting their time and our time. And then of course we have to create action. If in your messaging, you’re not compelling people to act, whether it’s to answer your email or return your call or follow a recommendation, whatever you want them to do. If they’re not doing it, then you’re not giving them a compelling reason. Right? And so that’s something we could dig deeper into today is how do you actually compel people to move forward? If you send the message an email to someone and, even if you’ve been introduced to them and it’s not been returned, well there’s something about your message that either wasn’t relevant enough, it didn’t spark interest or it wasn’t compelling enough, there wasn’t a reason for them to follow up.
And then of course, how you talk about your value with prospects, with clients, how they internalize that value and then talk it back to you that will help them tell your story to other people. Will help them refer you to other people because they get it and they see it and they can communicate it in a way that’s effective. So those are some of the goals of our messaging, attracting, repelling and moving people to take action.
Absolutely. Yeah. And so let’s talk about when you need a prospect, so say you are introduced, like Bill said, an introduction is the best thing. Say you’re introduced by one of your A plus clients to one of their friends who needs your help. What do you say? And more importantly, what do they hear from you? And before this introduction even happens, your client has to say something to their friend, family, or coworker to encourage them to meet with you. So what are your clients saying about you to a referral? Have you coached your clients to understand who you serve and how you help so that they can introduce you in a way that actually compels a little bit of credibility and a little bit of urgency. And so that’s hopefully what your radical relevant message is going to create.
And so a radically relevant message is really a message that will be irresistible to the right prospects, compelling them to act by simultaneously repelling prospects that are not a right fit. And so it doesn’t mean that you need to be talking about financial things. It doesn’t mean that it’s all business. I have clients who have radically relevant messages that talk about we work with hardworking families who are nice people and save money first. That could be who, what your clients have in common. It could be that you work with Intel executives that need to take some chips off the table and diversify their stock options. It should be just the whatever it is for you. It’s going to be unique and it should be compelling to your right fit client. And so, Bill, why don’t you walk us through some of the steps to creating a radically relevant message and then we’ll dig into and go deeper into each of these.
Yeah. And by the way, as we get into these, because I know you have a slide for each one. You also want to be thinking not just about how you personally are communicating this message for anyone who works for you or with you. If you have associate advisors, if you have support staff, you want to make sure everybody gets on the same page with this. Some of the work I do with advisors is not just developing the message, but it’s making sure it’s congruent throughout the entire organization so that everyone is talking in the right way and so that you’re bringing in the right people. It’s just not as effective obviously, if there’s these disparate messages going on with the people who work with you. So I think we have a slide for each one if we not, if we don’t, do we not? Claire, it’s a core mission would be the first one.
Yup. And so let’s talk about your core mission. So this point is really about what critical benefits do you deliver to your clients? And so I’ll let Bill kind of walk you through what this means.
Yeah. So the mission is your reason for being. That’s the mission. And when you have a clear, specific mission, your reason for being, everything flows from that. And some advisors have gone through training around what your mission, your vision and your values and all that. And they go, “Oh it’s nice to do but it has no impact on what we’re doing with our clients.” Well, you got to make the connection. And in fact, this is your why, right? This is hopefully your client focused why, it stems from your mission. And there are a lot of advisors that I’ve worked with over the years Claire, you have as well that as soon as you talk to them you can tell that they have a mission driven business that there business is really connected with the emotional side of how they really help people.
And so for instance, I was working with a gentleman Oscar in Canada and he works with women who are in transition, but he doesn’t just help them with their investments. He helps them with all kinds of decisions they need to make around being in transition, whether it’s from a divorce or a death of their spouse. And so there’s this emotional connection to what he does and that stands out. That resonates with people. We have to understand that at the heart of every decision that every human being makes is emotional, right? It doesn’t mean that the statistics and the illustrations and all the things we do aren’t important. They are, but at the end of the day, they elicit an emotional response. So being clear on what your mission, your purpose, your reason for being is fundamental to you developing your great value proposition.
Absolutely. Yeah. And just to tell a quick story, I have one advisor client that’s really, really interesting because they are the advisor that we work with that has the most leads, the most new clients and the fastest growing business of any of the hundreds of advisors that we work with. But what’s really interesting about their data is that they also have the lowest referral rate of any of our clients. And so they’re bringing on all of these new clients, new prospects, new leads, thousands of people a year added to their email list, but they don’t have clients referring. And I think one of the problems is that their core mission doesn’t have anything to do with what they’re doing for people. Their core mission is to grow their business. It’s to become the biggest RIA in their state. Their core mission is all about growing their own business.
It’s not about helping people, it’s not about serving people. And so I think that’s really shown in their data that they have incredible business growth and new leads, but no referrals. And so it’s important to really focus on the people you help and how you’re helping them. And so here’s a couple of examples. So the first is from Indigo Marketing Agency, my company, and we help independent financial advisors serve more people by embracing a specialty through their marketing. And so one advisor that we worked with, here is their core mission. We help business owners, sells their businesses to a family member and retire with financial freedom, now that is a huge problem that business owners face as they grow their business. It’s really big, but they’re burnt out. They’re older, they need to be able to pass the torch to a family member, but they don’t understand how financially they’re going to take some chips off the table and retire with financial freedom.
And so this is a huge problem they face. And this advisor has figured out a way to value their business, to help them transition, to lay out a framework for a two year process with which they pass the business to a family member. And it’s really an amazing process that he goes through. And then a third example is I help women use their divorce settlement to create income for life. So you may help women with their investments or you may be a certified divorce financial analyst. But this advisor has combined all of these specialties to help women plan for their divorce, get the most out of their settlement, and then use that settlement to create a plan that gives them income for life that they feel confident in. And so that’s a really emotional, tangible benefit for this advisor’s clients. And so think through your own core mission and figure out exactly how you’re helping the people that you serve. So let’s talk about number two, your client-centered why.
Yeah. So this stems from the mission obviously. If you have a client-focused mission as opposed to you being the hero. And so you know that illustration you just gave of that from that now they’re probably making some good money, but it’s certainly not as profitable as it could be. Right? Most companies who bring me in, they’re actually doing pretty well, but they’re not getting as many referrals and so they therefore know their cost per opportunity is much more expensive than it needs to be. And what we know about referrals and introductions and the things I teach is we can help folks increase their revenue without increasing their marketing budget, in fact, decreasing their marketing budget. So onto the client-centered why this, this is again not why you got in business. The fact that you like working with finance and investments and you can have freedom on your schedule and you can make a lot of money.
That’s nothing wrong with any of those things. But that’s not what I mean by a client-centered why. What I mean is why you really believe in the value that you bring. So I’ll give you one example. Greg is an advisor who was in one of my workshops and we were working on this topic and he realized that his why stemmed from when he was early on in the business. He was a finance major, but he didn’t want to just stare behind a computer screen and do analytics all day. He wanted to be out meeting people. And his first client was like, many of you is a relative in this case, he was his father, right? And God bless our relatives for helping us get started. And so his father was actually a very smart, very successful business person and, but he, early on within the first month in business realized his father was getting a little bit of bad advice, kind of incomplete advice, and he was able to help his successful, smart father very quickly.
And that’s when he realized that business owners smart, successful, but it doesn’t mean that they have the right plan in place and they’re doing the right thing. So that gave him the confidence. And so now when he sits down with business owners, which is his focus, he says, “One thing I’ve learned about business owners is you love doing your business, you love making money, and there are some things that perhaps you don’t know, you don’t know.” And that’s where I step in, right? I found that very successful, very smart business owners often have incomplete plans. They don’t have the right plan in place. So therefore they’re not taking the right actions and they’re bleeding opportunity, they’re missing opportunity. And so that’s his client-focused. Why, why he’s in this business, his personal mission to help other people.
And so that’s very important that this comes out very quickly early on in your new relationships to do with prospects. Don’t even wait for prospect to become a client. If you want someone to be able to exercise influence on their current and future financial world, then they have to know who you are. Obviously they have to like you, trust you, but they have to get a sense of who you are and what drives you. And having that client-focused why can make all the difference in winning the business and then making you more referable more quickly.
Absolutely. Yeah. And if you’re having trouble with this concept, I recommend Simon Sinek book Start with Why or watch the YouTube video that’s the Ted talk of the same name. And it really comes down to what’s your passion, your mission. And so for me, I wouldn’t be in this business, it’s not an easy business to be in working with financial advisors and being a financial advisor is hard work. It can be difficult. Your clients can be difficult. There’s a lot of liability involved. But I believe that financial advisors do critically important work. My dad’s a financial advisor and I’ve seen him his 37 year career helping so many people. But I know advisors are tired. They’re burnt out, they’re frustrated by their marketing, they don’t understand marketing. And so instead of them thinking about closing up their business or selling it or giving up, I want to help them reach more of their ideal clients.
So they can help more people and do more of what they love. So another example for an advisor that we work with is this advisor that serves business owners. I understand that business owners are burnt out and feel trapped. They’re unable to take chips off the table or enjoy what they’ve spent their life building. So he works with these business owners that owned between five and $10 million businesses, but they weren’t constantly, and they’re not enjoying their life. Maybe they’re 65 years old, they have no pathway to retirement. Their wives are tired of them working constantly and they need a solution. And so that’s why he works with these people. The third example is my mother left her divorce with nothing and spent the rest of her life working on jobs and worrying about money. And so that is the client-centered why of this particular advisor. And so you really have to do some soul searching. Take some time, think about this, maybe think about reading the book. Start with why and figure out why you’ve chosen this to spend your entire career helping people.
So let’s talk about the problem you solve. This is kind of the next step. So once you figured out why you do what you do, think about the problem that you solve for people. And so Bill has this great graphic in his book, so I’ll let him kind of walk through what this is and how to think about this graphic.
Yeah, I learned this from a gentleman by the name of Michael Skok. He’s a very successful venture capitalist in New England. And I read an article that he’d written and then I interviewed him for the book. And I liked this model of thinking about the problems we solve and making sure we’re solving the right problems, the problems that people will actually invest time, money, energy in doing. And once real quick, I have a chapter in my book called the neuroscience of relevance. And there’s a lot of things in there that’ll help us. But the one thing I want to come in here is that the brain, every six seconds is thinking, hard to say thinking, is just reacting. Where am I? Am I safe? Where am I? Am I safe? Right? It’s trying to avoid problems trying to keep the organism alive.
Three times a second, it’s thinking is there an opportunity for me? The brain loves to take action, but only when it feels safe. And so that’s why it’s so important that when we talk about the work we do, we’re not just talking about the opportunity we provide. People don’t want to make more money unless they feel that it’s safe and how they’re going to be making more money, right? That has to fit their risk profile. So there’s a concept called loss aversion. If you’re not familiar with this, you want to learn about this. Most human beings, their emotional response to losing $100 in the market is twice that than their emotional response to making $100 in the market or in any other fashion. So that that loss aversion is a big part of this. So we’ve got to make sure, again, we’re going after the right problems.
So the problems that you solve and or the main problem that you solve, is it latent meaning they don’t know they have it. And if they did, it’s aspirational. Nice to do. I would say for most people, having a financial plan is not critical. It’s aspirational. What the plan does for them is what’s critical. Now, if it’s blatant, they know they have a problem. But again, it’s aspirational, right? Then they’re not likely to take action. Where we want to hit the bullseye for us here is the top right hand corner, right when it’s blatant and critical. So for instance, around insurance, quite often insurance people have a problem that’s latent in critical, right? They don’t have enough life insurance in place or disability insurance or long-term care insurance or whatever else. And so it’s incumbent upon the advisor to educate those folks as to why this is important.
And so that non-critical, that almost aspirational situation becomes critical. And now they know. So when you’re talking to your clients about the problems that you solve, do they fall into the category of blatant and critical? And if they’re not blatant, can you help them become blatant so that they will see them? That’s where people will invest time and money and energy and resources to solve. So I just found this to be a fascinating way to look at our business and how we talk about our value to make sure that we’re speaking the problems they know they have and that we’re helping them understand this is important, this is critical. This is not just something to do someday when you get around to it. These are critical issues.
Yeah, I love it. And I think that’s one of the reasons that financial services is one of the most difficult industries to do marketing is the problems tend to be latent and aspirational. People maybe don’t understand what they’re missing out on in their finances and they think they’ll do it later. And so part of our marketing and part of why we help advisors do webinars is because explaining a complex problem to somebody helps to bring it into that blatant higher awareness. Once you explain the complexity of the problem, what they’re missing out on, why it’s costing them money, not to take action, we try to get up to that upper right hand corner where the people watching understand this is critical and this is blatant. Now that I understand it and it is critical, I will take action. And so that’s the challenge for all of us marketing in this industry.
So talking about giving some examples of the problem you solve is what one urgent problem do you solve for a specific group? And so for me, we do your marketing for you so you can serve more clients. We know that you’re busy, we know that you’re not a good marketer. We know that you don’t want to be logging into your website and your social media accounts every day. So we do it for you so that you can do what you do best. Another example is we help business owners maintain majority control of their business and cash out so they can enjoy life. So there’s a lot of business owners, this guy serves that don’t want to completely sell their business to a family member because they’re afraid they’re going to run it into the ground. So they want to maintain majority control, but they do want to take about 49% of their chips off the table so that they can high have a higher standard of living and work less.
And so the third example is I work with your attorney to help maximize your settlement and then create a plan so you can enjoy income for life. And so you can tell that these are critically emotional problems that people are solving for their clients. So let’s talk about your ideal client. So who exactly do you serve, what do they have in common and where can you find them? That’s the core of our marketing. And when I get calls from advisors saying, “Hey, I have this really cool investment strategy and I need to get in front of people.” And I say, “Okay, but who is it appropriate for?” And they say, “Everybody.” “Okay, but where do we find them?” And so this is a critical piece of the puzzle. Don’t skip this step. And so we need to kind of think about who your perfect person is, what they have in common and where we can locate them. And so Bill, I’ll give you a chance to kind of chime in here.
Yeah. So in the book we talk about a right fit client. It’s even more than ideal. It’s the bullseye of our business. The people that we were meant to serve, the people who were meant to be served by us, the people who appreciate the value in what we do for all the reasons we want to be appreciated. One of my coaching clients last week, we were actually talking about clients that bring us joy. And you don’t hear that a lot in this business. And he’s gotten to a point and his team where that’s all they want. They just want clients that bring them joy. And so that’s a right fit client for him. Everybody’s definition is going to be a little bit different. There’s going to be the demographics, right? The financials and the family structure and income and all that sort of stuff.
And then there’s going to be the psychographics of this and what are their fears, what are their doubts, what are their insecurities and what are their aspirations and opportunities? And then the more we know the bullseye, sometimes people in marketing call these personas or avatars, the more effective our messaging is going to be, right? The mistake that I see most people make is they kind of, they broaden in that they err on the side of being more inclusive when they really should be less inclusive and more exclusive because then their messaging is going to be more effective, more powerful. It’s going to draw the right people and repel the wrong people. Now you can have more than one ideal client, more than one persona. I don’t recommend more than three. I was working with one advisor, extremely successful, top of her firm and she had five.
Okay. Who am I to judge? Because she was doing very well. And it evolved over time but generally not more than three. And then you can articulate each one very clearly if you’re a physician, click here. If you’re a small business owner, click here. If you’re retired or about to retire, click here. I don’t know what you do if you’re retired physician, but nonetheless, and so the message that flows is perfectly relevant for that person. And that’s what we want to get. That’s what all the big businesses are doing with big data. They’re creating messages that are micro targeted. And guess what, because of that, our prospects expect us to be perfect. They expect us to know something about them and be able to talk in ways and in value, in solving problems that they say, “Yeah, yeah. Finally somebody gets me.” That’s what they want. So we’ve got to make sure we focus on this.
Yeah, absolutely. When it comes to money, most people actually think money is more important than their health. And when it comes to choosing a doctor, would you want to go, if you had a life threatening problem, would you rather go to a generalist or a specialist who specializes in the problem that you’re facing? Of course everyone wants to work with a specialist and if you do work with 100 clients that are in the same boat where you solve the same problems, your client service can be better, your referrals can be higher, your client’s satisfaction is higher. You’re doing what you do best and it’s easy to attract more people that are just like your A plus clients. And so at Indigo Marketing we help independent financial advisors who don’t want to waste their time figuring out their own marketing.
I’ll give you some more details about our ideal clients. So we work with positive, optimistic advisors who trust us to do their marketing for them and who are happy to outsource it. And so we don’t want kind of advisors who are negative or disrespectful or unhappy. Those are just not people we like working with. And we don’t want to work with advisors that are going to micromanage their marketing because if they have the time to do that, they should really do their marketing on their own. And so think about all of these characteristics of the people that you love working with and how you can approach them. So some other examples are we help people that own a business worth between five and 10 million who want to sell it and cash out and enjoy life.
I serve divorced or widowed women whose biggest fear is running out of money. And so think about your ideal client. And I know it’s a little bit of a leap of faith to kind of narrow your focus here. But what I will say is you don’t need to narrow your focus with your entire business just with your marketing. We just want, if you’re spending money on your marketing, we want it to work. And so by narrowing your focus with your marketing campaigns, we can cause them to be more effective and have a higher ROI. And so narrowing your focus helps your marketing work better. But that doesn’t mean that if you get a referral to somebody who is an engineer and you hate working with engineers, but this is a referral from your A plus client who is his brother-in-law. It doesn’t mean you can’t take him on.
It just means that’s not who we’re going after with your marketing. And so let’s move on to step number five. So how you solve this big problem that people are facing. What is your unique solution? And you should be able to articulate this in one sentence. And so it should be something more than what we have, the unique process or we have a five step plan. It should be kind of a simple solution that makes sense to your target market. And so I’ll give you a couple of examples here. So at Indigo Marketing Agency we create radically relevant marketing campaigns for financial advisors using webinars, email marketing and social media. So we help tell your story. We help you to embrace a specialty through your marketing, especially using webinars and social media so that we can get your message in front of more people that belong to your target market.
A second example is we help business owners sell their businesses to a family member using a unique recapitalization strategy. And of course they have a whole webinar on how they do this and what it looks like and all of the legal stuff involved. And so if you’re somebody facing this problem, you’d be interested to watch that webinar. And then the third one is as a certified divorce financial analyst, I help your attorney create a case to maximize your settlement. And invest it to last a lifetime. And so if that’s something you’re facing, this looks incredibly appealing to you. And so articulating how you solve the problem is a big step in this process of creating a radically relevant message. So number six is proof that you can solve their problems. So using social proof without noncompliant testimonials. And so Bill, why don’t you walk us through kind of what this means or how you would kind of explain this to people?
Yeah. So the social proof is a term that actually was introduced to the marketing world by Robert Cialdini in his book Influence. And there’s studies that show that people look to other people to help them make their decisions. A lot of theaters actually have curved seating and one of the reasons they have curved seating is not just to be able to see the stage in a different way, but it’s also to get laugh cues from other people. Because like in a movie, right? If you go to a movie and there’s other people laughing, it can trigger your own laughing. So all of this is kind of subconscious, but it’s going on. This is why testimonials are great. Now you can’t use testimonials generally speaking. So you have to find other ways to create social proof.
So an introduction from a trusted source, right, referrals, introductions, that’s a form of social proof, case studies, examples, compliant approved of course. Now another way you can do this is you can show photographs of you with your clients. So we’re going to show a website just a little bit from Todd McDonald and I’ll tell you about the recommendation I have for his and his website that will add some social proof to this. So a website where you have photographs of your actual clients or photographs of you with your clients is another form of social proof, client appreciation events and bring a friend events and special invitation events, celebration events. Again, another form of social proof. When people who like you and trust you gather together with other folks who like you and trust you, the net result is they all leave liking you and trusting you more. So there are a lot of ways for you as a financial advisor to use social proof other than just the testimonials that you’re not allowed to use.
Right. Yeah. And a way we do this from a marketing perspective is we do case studies and examples and stories and clamp profiles for our advisors to show kind of how they’ve solved problems. And so for us, we double the traffic to our advisor clients website and triple their new leads with less than one hour per month of their time. And each one of my webinars, I go through examples of how we’ve done this. For our clients we create basically a report or an article or a story. And so for this advisor that we’ve been talking about, we created an article called one entrepreneur story from burnt out to financial freedom that has photos. And it talks about they came across this client who had this great business, but it was really running him and they helped him to get evaluation, to find somebody to sell it to, to sell it to take some chips off the table and spend some time enjoying the rest of his life.
And so that’s a very powerful story that proves that you can solve the problem they’re facing. And then case studies. So for the third advisor, it’s three women I’ve helped create income for life and we talk about what they’re doing and the travels they’re taking and have photos of them traveling with their grandchildren. And so doing these kind of client profiles one of the first questions we ask when we interview advisors clients, so that we can write these client profiles, is why did you first decide to get a financial advisor? What problem were you facing? And then we talk about why they chose this specific advisor and then how this specific advisor helps solve their problem. And that is the social proof we’re after. So even though you can’t use testimonials, you can’t have all these five star reviews. I wish you could. It doesn’t mean that you can’t have social proof through your marketing.
So the last step of this process is your points of distinction. And so we want to talk about what makes prospects choose you instead of competitor. And so for Indigo Marketing advisors choose to work with us because they want 100% custom marketing campaigns done by someone who understands compliance and minimizes the investment of their time. And so that’s our differentiator. That’s the things that are different about us that actually matter to our prospects. The second example is business owners work with us because we can help them maintain ownership, control of their business to keep that healthy but still cash out and enjoy life.
And so that’s critically wealth into people who are facing this problem. And then the third is women work with me to have a trusted financial partner to support them during their stressful and complicated divorce process so they don’t have to worry about running out of money for the rest of their life. And so thinking about why people choose you instead of competitor, is kind of the last piece of this puzzle. And being able to articulate why people should work with you instead of somebody else is kind of the last, the icing on the cake of your marketing. And so I recommend if you haven’t done a client survey, this is a good question to ask your clients as why they chose to work with you. And so that’s always a good place to start. To really kind of answer this question.
Can I comment on that real quick, Claire?
Because one of the rules of relevance in my book, Radical Relevance is only differences that matter, matter. Meaning when you talk about what makes you different, it better be in a way that people get it and it matters to them. And I say this because I see a lot of advisors and other business owners they like horses. So they have horses on their website or they like lavender. So their website is lavender or they like dogs or they like fishing or hunting or cars or whatever. And look, there’s nothing wrong with allowing a little bit of your personality to show through and creating that personal connection. In fact, that can be very good, but that’s not a differentiator that’s going to make you stand out in the market, right?
Well, you’ve got to talk about your value in a way that actually has a benefit to those individuals. So these are great examples of those that what makes us different, a way to do this, by the way, when you survey your clients like Clara has recommended and you say why do you do business with us? Why did you choose us? Why did you move from your other advisor to us? What do you like about working with us? Et cetera. They will tell you and then you can say, our clients tell us what make us a little different is this and this and this. And so make sure that only differences that matter, matter. Otherwise, it’s fluff. It might grab someone’s attention momentarily, but it won’t keep them moving in your direction.
Yeah, I think that’s great advice. So here’s where we’re going to talk about how to figure out what you do best. And so like we said, run a client survey and this is something, if you’re a client of ours at Indigo, we run a client survey for you. So you can just let us know that you want to do a survey. We’ll put it together for you. So some of the questions to ask are, why did you choose to work with us instead of someone else? What do you think we do best? How do you describe us to your friends and family? Ask your top clients, write down your top five to seven favorite clients to work with and ask them these questions and then work with your team. Your team members have really different insight that can be incredibly valuable about what makes you different.
And so let’s talk about the question that we get a lot is what about alienating people who don’t fit your market? And so Bill, what is the answer to this question, how do you answer this for people who are afraid of alienating anybody who has more than $500,000 of investible assets?
Yeah, it’s a very simple way to do this actually. All you have to do is think in term of is what is best for that prospect, right? What is best for them? So I would suggest that if that prospect that is interested in working with you is not right for your business, meaning it’s not a right fit client, that you won’t be able to do the great work that you like to do for them. They probably won’t appreciate you for what you bring. Because you can’t even bring all the things that you do for them. They need to be working with someone who’s jumping up and down, excited to work with them. If they’re not a good prospect for you, you’re not the right advisor for them. Period.
Now my rule of thumb, maybe a little different than what Claire stated earlier but she probably won’t disagree with this, is if it is a close family member, a parent, the child, a child, the parent, brother, sister, well, okay, it’s part of the family, a part of the household, the family. That’s fine. But beyond that, no, you should not take on people that don’t fit. It’s great to have a relationship by the way, with other advisors, whether it’s in your firm or outside your firm so that you can move those people to someone who can take care of them so they get their needs met. And one way to think about this is or the conundrum that advisors face around this is what if a client refers them to you, right?
Do you feel some sense of obligation to take them because the client referred them to you? And I would suggest that you should not. And first of all, you want to teach your clients that not everyone is a good match. You appreciate it when they send people their way and you’re never too busy to see if you can be a resource for those people. And if it’s a great fit, wonderful you will serve them as best you can. If it’s not the right fit, perhaps you’ll find someone else who can serve them.
And so everybody should know that not everyone they send your way is going to be a fit and slowly over time with your A clients. You teach them who is an A client, who do we serve the best? Who do we want to replicate? Right? And so they know to only send you the right people. And if someone sends you the wrong person, let’s say someone calls you and says, “George Smith works with you and he said, I should talk to you.” And say, “Great, I appreciate that. I Love working with George. I know I’m not the right advisor for everybody. We’re not the right firm for everyone. Let’s talk. Let’s talk a little bit now, see if it makes sense for actually us to get together in person, right?”
And so you start to describe a little bit of what you do, who you serve, a little bit of financials thrown in there along the way. And they will self-select out if they don’t fit and then again, if you have someone else to introduce them to, that’s wonderful. Immediately get off the phone and call your referral source and let them know that you talk with their friend Bob and at this moment in time that the timing isn’t right for you guys to be working together. Now, some of your clients could get a little bit peeved if you don’t help their friend. And again, you’ve got to let your clients know that you’re going to make sure it’s the right match period. What’s right for the prospect, what’s right for the client. That’s your highest concern. And so they know going in that their friend may not get you, they may get someone in your team, you may watch over it, maybe a little closer than you might have otherwise because it’s a great client that sent that person to you.
But it’s really important that we build our business in direction that serves us, serves our clients. It’s kind of one in the same.
Yeah. And I’ve definitely made this mistake before where somebody refers to somebody that’s not a right fit client. We take them on anyway. And the only thing worse than turning away a client that was referred to you by one of your top clients is taking on that client and having them be unhappy because you’re not the right fit for them. And then you have a disgruntled client who is friends with one of your top clients and then what do you do? And so that’s where it gets sticky. And so it’s best to kind of recognize this early and recognize that you’re not the right fit for everybody and be able to turn away those people and feel good about it. And so I think this is really where the rubber meets the road for this presentation is creating your radically relevant message.
And so Bill has this great framework that’s in the book and it goes into even more detail in the book. But here’s kind of the steps that we’ll take to create your radically relevant message. And I encourage you to print out these slides and write down some ideas until you’ve kind of perfected your message. And so the first thing we start with is I specialize in, we work with, so the first step is I specialize in, we work with blank, who want to blank, for example, blank. And so I’ll walk you through a couple of examples to give you some ideas about kind of how this works. But this is the basic framework that works really, really well for this process. So here’s my relevant message for what I do and how I help.
So we work with independent financial advisors who want to embrace a specialty through their marketing so they can serve more clients. For example, we help one advisor create a webinar marketing funnel that runs on his website 24/7 to deliver two new prospects per week that he truly loves working with. Leads from specialty marketing campaigns are better qualified, more educated about what you do, easier to close, and more enjoyable to work with. So this is my message using the framework that we’ve presented on the last slide. So let’s go through kind of Bill’s message. And Bill, why don’t you go through how you came up with this and your message.
Sure. So I like to start off with the word expertise or specialty, specialization. Now, technically, most compliant legal departments won’t let advisors call themselves experts unless they have special credentialing, special education certification. But funny enough, they do allow advisors to say, my expertise is in, and I found advisors actually feel better with that word because it just softens it up a little bit. But whether you say specialists, specialization, expertise, and I want you to lead with that rather than I’m a financial advisor, I’m a financial planner. Because you know what, who knows what that’s going to trigger in the minds of a prospect? Maybe they’ve had great experiences with other advisors. Maybe it’s going to trigger a Bernie Madoff in their head. We just don’t know. And so your title is almost immaterial. Let that come in later.
So in my case, I just say my expertise is in business development for professional service firms. We work with businesses who want to acquire more high level clients and increase their revenue without increasing their marketing budget. And so this we work with, defines the market, right? High level clients, high level professional service clients, and then what do they want speaks to the benefit. Whatever your target market wants is a benefit that you bring. And for example, we help one firm use our system, go from 100 to 1000 clients in seven years. In fact, I just talked to that client this morning, Nancy McKay out of Canada. So this is a very simple, easy way to articulate what you do. If you’re being introduced with an email, you can use something like this. If you’re on the phone with someone, you can say, this is a little bit of what we do, how we do it.
What’s great about this is it answers a lot of questions, right? Who you serve could be how you serve them. Your process could be added into this a little bit. And since you work with money and there’s always emotion tied with money, there’s always an emotional component in this, which is important because everybody makes decisions based on emotion. So that’s a little bit of that process. Like Claire said, there’s a lot more book in the book about it, a lot of examples from financial advisors and some of the things that they’ve done to articulate their value using this formula.
And so let’s jump into how you can create your radically relevant message. And so here’s just a couple of examples using the same format. So my firm specializes in financial planning. We work with busy professionals and executives who want a financial personal trainer to keep their financial life in perfect shape. For example, most successful business owners are laser focused on their business goals, but they neglect their own financial lives. As their financial personal trainer, we create a plan, hold them accountable, and manage their financial team. And so this is something that you could say to prospects that you meet at a party or at a business networking event without feeling like you’re salesy or you’re pushing. You’re just explaining what you do and how you help people in a way that answers a lot of questions and can help them picture somebody who they may know who needs your help.
And so let’s give you a couple more examples here. So my firm specializes, this is actually my dad’s message. And so I think this is really cool because it’s near and dear to my heart. So my firm specializes in the University of California benefits package. We work with scientists and researchers who want to make the most of their benefits without incurring a lot of risk. For example, we help employees at the University of California to maximize the contributions to their 457 and 403b accounts and minimize the investment risk by using outside investment vehicles. And so my dad loves working with these super technical scientists and engineers and researchers who ask him a million questions about his investment philosophy. That’s not for everybody, but for him, he enjoys, his pride and joy is his investment strategy. And he lights up when he talks about it and he loves it when people ask questions about how it works.
And so these are the perfect clients for him. It’s people he loves working with and he has tons of people that work at the university. He gets referred all the time because he knows their benefits package inside and out. And so this was something that he could if someone says, “Hey Tom, what do you do?” Well, here’s what he does. And if they know somebody who works at University of California they can refer and explain what he does in a way that makes sense. And so here’s another example. This is a advisor that we work with. “My firm specializes in faith-based financial planning. We work with Christians who are good stewards of their money, who want to manage their money in a biblical way and give back. For example, we help families to live within their means, invest in socially responsible investments, give back to their church and the causes they care about in a tax efficient manner.”
And so this is a message that really cuts right through. And if you’re somebody that fit this target market, it makes a lot of sense. You feel like this advisor is going to get you, they’re going to get your goals and certainly this advisor gets tons of referrals through kind of their faith based financial planning courses that they teach and the networking that they do through their church. And so putting your message into action. So once you have this message, you’ve gone through this workshop, you’ve kind of figured out what you do and how to articulate it. This is kind of next steps. So training clients on your message, training your team members on your message, training everybody you know, your top referral sources, your centers of influence, the people that you work with on your message, what you do and how you’ve helped updating your website and SEO.
And so if you’re doing faith based financial planning, you want to come up for a keyword search on Google for faith based financial planning in your area. So updating your website, your SEO, and then creating a specialist marketing campaign to reach the people who fit your target demographic. And so we’re going to go through a couple of examples of specialist advisors. And Bill, I’ll let you kind of jump in and walk through these examples here.
Sure. This is the website of Todd McDonald. It’s actually changed a little since we’ve put this up. But if you ask Todd who he serves, he’s going to tell you that he serves family owned, closely held heavy construction firms, right? Pretty clear. And you go to his website. This is not like the normal websites that you see for financial advisors. I don’t know about you, but I kind of missed the couple walking hand in hand on the beach. But if someone comes to his site, guess what? They know that he’s either right or not right. If there’s someone who is in his niche, then they can see this guy gets us right? Or if they’re not in his niche, this guy doesn’t get us.
Now, one of the things I’ve recommended is that he has some photos of him on the work site with some of his clients in the hardhat and stuff. And that’s that social proof. So he’s showing pictures of his actual clients, he’s there standing next to them, et cetera. So that’s Todd’s very successful and very crystal clear. He’s got a national reputation, right? He has people calling him from all over the country who are in this type of business, a closely held family owned heavy construction firms. [crosstalk 00:56:39].
That’s his new site. Okay. There we go. And that’s where you could see it would be great to have a photo of him and a client in that, makes the photo more interesting. This is prime real estate. So he should have a branding statement on this picture that demonstrates and, or a picture with him and a client, which also shows that social proof. So he’s missing a little bit of the power of this, and we’ve talked about that. Go ahead.
Yeah. But I love it. It’s just so refreshing to see a website that’s different. It’s going to connect with people where they’re going to say, “This guy’s going to get me. He’s going to understand.” I’m not going to have to reinvent the wheel explaining to him what construction is like and what the industry is like, what the trends are like and what problems I’m facing. He’s going to understand. And so I think that’s so cool. And this is another great example. So Bill, tell us about this plan.
Yeah, this is Adam. I’ve actually got an interview scheduled with Adam coming up where I’m going to go into more depth with him on this. But about two years ago he made a decision to focus just on optometrists. And he tells me that he wished he had made this decision years and years ago because it’s just the floodgates for him, for more clients, more right fit clients. And you can’t see it. But in the green box there, of the four boxes, one of them talks about the fact that he’s working with people across the country. He now has established a national rep or is establishing a national reputation for himself among optometrists. And now you may not want to work with people around the country. Maybe you do, it doesn’t matter. You can make a choice on that, but it’s expanded the market.
It hasn’t narrowed the market, it’s actually expanded the market for him. It makes it much easier for him to figure out who to serve and for them to figure out whether he’s right for them or not. The next slide I like as well because this is his LinkedIn profile. See, most people make a mistake on their LinkedIn profile where they say under his name where they’d say, financial planner, financial advisor, dah, dah, dah. No, create a little branding statement there. This is prime territory for you on LinkedIn and he’s putting a stake in the ground working with optometrists, helping optometrists purposely plan their professional, personal, professional, financial life. I think personally you should talk with something about creating a clear vision for optometrists, but maybe he thought that was too khaki. Another example.
Seeing somebody embrace the specialty in my mind gets going about, I know how we could take one of his webinars, he said he had a couple of webinars on a page before and target optometrists. Maybe we could go to the optometry associations, get him speaking engagement, we can do targeted ads on LinkedIn only to people who have an optometrist credential. And so then you really start to figure out how you can get in front of new people and you know your message is going to be relevant to them because as information that’s not available anywhere else online about their specific situation.
Yeah, this is reputation marketing, right? You’re creating a reputation in a market where it draws people toward you. It’s not always a push. It’s a pull towards you.
Absolutely. Yeah. And so once you’ve gone through this process and you’ve figured out your specialty, then you want to create your specialist marketing campaign. And so what this means is you want to have consistent messaging across your website, your email marketing, your social media, just like you saw the last slide about his LinkedIn, talking about how he helps optometrists. And so from there you want to have a custom webinar or at least a report that tells the urgent problem that you’re solving for your client base. You want to intentionally reach your ideal clients on a regular basis and follow up automatically through your marketing. And so that is what we help advisors build. Once you figured out your specialty, we help build your specialty marketing campaigns.
All right, so let’s talk about how to learn more. So if you want to learn more about Bill’s process, I recommend buying his book on Amazon and I will link it below so you can take a look at that. It’s well worth the investment of your time and money. You can then get access to Radical Relevance Toolkit for the Resources and some of the planning resources in his book. And then you can learn more about programs. Go to referralcoach.com coachcates.com and take a look at some more information about the different online trainings he has. He has tons of information and programs for financial services individuals.
And so if you do want to help on specialty marketing campaign, we can create that for you. We put your custom marketing on autopilot. You can save $300 on your setup costs today. So if you’re interested in working with us, go to indigomarketingagency.com/getstarted to take advantage of that offer and save $300 on your setup cost. And I want to thank everybody for watching and thank you so much Bill, for being part of the presentation. I will link all the appropriate resources below. You can ask a question in the chat box or email us at any time if you have any questions about this presentation. Thanks so much for watching and have a great day.