A Letter from a Marketer to an Advisor

Dear Frank Maselli,

Re: “A Letter from an Advisor to a Wholesaler

I loved it.

(To other financial advisors… Please read Frank’s post here before you go any further. This won’t make sense otherwise.)

To your comment: “What I need…and I’m being totally honest here…are more clients. Not many…just a handful of decent ones.

That REALLY hit home.

I’ve been sharing marketing guidance with financial advisors for 17 years and this is exactly what I’ve been preaching.

Every time I post a “get more prospects…” article or podcast my views peak. It’s obvious this is a pain point and that your peers (and I suspect you too) really like these type articles.

You’d expect a guy like me, a “marketing person”, would work that hard, but I don’t. Advisors don’t believe me when I say, “prospecting begins with branding”.

I’ve been telling advisors the same story for most of those 17 years in financial marketing, “you need to have a brand, to be seen as different and better in a way that is relevant to the people you want to attract. That’s the bare bones price of entry for attracting more ideal prospects.”

Yet, when I tell this story, advisor-after-advisor ignore the fact that a brand “is” your marketing. Your story is everything. Otherwise, you’re a commodity (just like wholesalers are to you) and you will be treated accordingly.

Frank, you said it, there is only one way to grow – referrals. You don’t need train loads of them. To use your words again, you need a handful of good ones.

Referral coaches almost always focus on sales tips and techniques and programs that are “solutions” aimed at the train load.

Referrals scripts and asking don’t work for most advisors and most clients. They are uncomfortable, just like you suggested and they aren’t things that “make you feel good when you do them”.

Most marketers work in silos, just like many advisors. They are good at one thing and they are even better at selling you at that one thing. They attribute value to that one thing.

An email newsletter service is the perfect example. Why, in the name of good marketing, would you want to share someone else’s content to your audience? It has no personality whatsoever. It won’t help you much – if at all. It may actually be negative. No client is likely ever going to tell you this though.

How about website companies? They know websites (sort of) but they don’t care if you have a story, visual proof of concept, or a clearly defined niche expertise.

Frank there’s only one way to get more prospects, ideal prospects, and that’s to have a great story that speaks to your strengths and your audience’s needs. A story that proves you’re the expert and that you get your audience. Then, share that information across a broad network (social, email, publicity, search engines, blogs, podcasts) – connecting with your audience on their terms, not yours.

That’s how you let your financial and life experience, your professional generosity, your personality, your story, and your expertise shine.

That’s right, you don’t need re-targeting adds, facebook ads, SEO gurus, canned email newsletters (although you’re encourage to send out your own every other month), stock investment articles, cookie-cutter websites with calculators, an educational video library, or seminar invites via direct mail post cards.

Frank, what you need is simple and it works…provided you run a great financial practice.

Attract, Intrigue, Engage and Influence your ideal audience organically through your own wisdom, with your own story in a way that resonates with your ideal audience.

If you stick to this simple and cost effective blueprint, you’ll enjoy sustainable success. I can’t overemphasize the importance of the word “sustainable” here. This isn’t a silver bullet one-shot-deal. It’s a comfortable, be yourself, approach to building more great long-term client relationships. It’s also an approach that “modern clients” relate to and appreciate.

It won’t bankrupt your practice. It won’t be wasted or sunk dollars from advertising that once spent is gone and useless over the long term.

Frank, here’s the most important part of my message: I left it here for the truly dedicated advisors, organic marketing inspires referrals like no other marketing approach I’ve ever come across. You need simple solutions and simple is all I’ve got.

It’s so simple most advisors don’t believe me – or they don’t have good enough practices to deliver.

I’d love to help you create a brand that screams, Frank Maselli.

Let’s create content and concepts that scream, “This Frank guy knows his ^&%$”.

Let’s build a website with a purpose; to intrigue and engage your ideal audience. No calculators or article libraries, I promise.

I’d love to work with you to find a way to produce ongoing content, that you enjoy producing and that builds long-term influence in your community/network.

Then, let us slowly but surely add value to your audience then watch as they help you expand yours with ideal prospects and people who really care about being connected to an advisor who is a niche expert. An advisor who is generous and not salesy. An advisor who is not afraid to build trust before ever expecting a referral or meeting. An advisor who, when the time is right, will be open to next steps on their terms.

Frank, this is how you build momentum in your business. It’s not fancy, it’s not complicated, and it’s not expensive. You don’t need 5 different marketing experts and you’re more than able to take it over when your team is ready.

I’m here when and if you are ready to talk. I’m happy to grab an oar with you and start rowing.


PS: Frank, if you want to dig deep on how you can get more ideal referrals and still hold true to who you are, you might be interested in this paper I recently wrote, “Death By Referrals”. Would love to hear your feedback.