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Throw out everything you’ve been told before. This is where you need to focus your efforts if you want great results with digital marketing in the insurance and financial services industries, according to veteran marketers in this space.
In the exciting, inaugural episode of the Advisorist podcast, you’ll learn:
- A scientifically proven hack for reducing anxiety and stress in your practice
- Why everything you’ve heard about how to get started marketing online is BACKWARDS
- How to create a website that generates real ROI
- What you need WAY MORE than visual branding appeal when marketing online
- Why Ken Fisher’s simple landing pages generate MILLIONS, and how to replicate his success
- Where to spend your dollar so you make more than a dollar back, RELIABLY
- The #1 Social Networking Platform you NEED to be utilizing for more valuable prospecting
- One simple email that can bring dead leads back to life in under a minute
- A powerful marketing hack to generate leads for PENNIES if you’re in a pinch
Jeremiah: Hi, this is Jeremiah DesMarais. Welcome to episode number one of Advisorist. I am so grateful and excited to be with you here today. This is something that has been going on in the background for well over a year in planning and structuring and I couldn’t be more excited to be with you here today. I’m on this podcast with you today with my good friend, Devin Ambron, who is, in my humble opinion, one of the top digital marketers in our space – kind of a guy who flies under the radar. Devin, say hi.
Devin: I’m blushing. Hi. Nice to meet you guys.
Jeremiah: If this is your first time listening to an Advisorist podcast, welcome! Let me just give you a quick high level of who we are. So Advisorist is the premier educational platform for financial advisors and insurance agents in the industry.
Jeremiah: We have a community and a tribe of well over 500 insurance and financial advisors from all over the world. We have people from Belgium, Australia, Singapore, Canada, the United States – who get together every single day in our private group as well as our online membership area with full of courses and insights and strategies to really help grow your business and also your personal life. We’ll talk about that a little later.
Jeremiah: If this is your first time meeting me. Hi, great to meet you. My name is Jeremiah DesMarais. I’ve dedicated the last 15 years of my life and countless millions of dollars in trying to solve one single problem and that is how do we help insurance and financial advisors grow a business they love. After helping start a startup company in the insurance space that went onto become number 17 in the fastest growth companies on the Inc500 list, I then went to help a very large insurance technology company double sales in less than nine months, which then went on to be sold for over a billion dollars.
Jeremiah: I’ve dedicated my last four years of my life particularly to creating an agnostic platform, meaning we are not associated with an FMI / IMO carrier. We are not here to recruit you today into our down lines or anything like that, but simply to provide the value and the knowledge and the tactics and strategies that nobody really seems to be talking about in our industry today and so that’s a little bit about me along the way.
Jeremiah: I have a beautiful wife, that I’ve been married to for 10 years. We love to travel the world and one of our core values is to be a force for good in the world. So sometimes if you follow me on social media or you’re on my email list, I will share a few pictures about our personal life and the work we do in our philanthropic projects. We have some cool projects running in Haiti right now in northeastern United States where we’re working with refugees.
Jeremiah: We’ve lived in the Andes for a several years where we were working with indigenous people there, so that’s really our passion and what fuels that passion and gives us the ability to do that is to provide awesome trading in content to the insurance and financial services community. Okay. That I promise is going to be the last time I talk about myself. It’s actually kind of awkward and not my style, but if this is episode one, I honor you the fact that you’ve got time to invest and I want you to be sure that you know, the people you’re gonna invest it with, are really going to help you.
Jeremiah: And to that point, my life has really been centered around results in this space. I think between all the people that work with me that I’m so grateful for here at Advisorist, we’ve generated well over 60 million leads for insurance and financial services firms. Well over $300, million dollars in commissions and fees that have been generated probably more than any other elite team on the planet. And Devin, that’s where I stopped talking about myself. Why don’t you tell our listeners today a little bit about yourself?
Devin: Yeah. Thank you. And so the last 10 years, as Jeremiah said, I’ve been working in digital marketing. And one thing is when I joined the Advisorist team was “how we can crack the code” on how to market for the financial services industry. And so that’s really what we’ve been focused on here is heads down in the laboratory figuring out what works, getting the tips, the tricks, and we’re actually doing a lot of the things that we’re telling you about on these podcasts.
Devin: So everything that we’re going to talk about, it’s very actionable and we’ve actually tested it on the road. And so a little bit about me on the fun side. I lost a rap battle in highschool and even beyond my skills behind the computer, I also play the piano and I play the keyboard …meaning the one on my laptop. I always make a joke about that. But I absolutely love working with the financial services industry because there are so many opportunities to innovate in this space that I think what’s really enjoyable about it and you’ll find through our podcasts, is that there’s a lot of opportunities to try new things, to learn and also lean on each other. And I contribute to the, to the membership community, helping our members learn more about what they can do and also learning from them. And that’s me in a nutshell.
Jeremiah: Awesome. So glad to have you here, my friend. So because this is the first time that you’re listening to this podcast, I want to kind of give you an overview of how each podcast is going to be structured. We are doing something I believe completely different and in my humble opinion, game changing for the industry and that we’re not looking at you as a listener today, as somebody who only sells policies, we know that you’re a human being. You may be a father, a mother, a brother, a daughter, a and you have other people in your life that you are doing this business for and you have passions and you have goals and you have desires. And we want to be a platform to support you and to be your champion. So one of the core values here at Advisorist is “Strong mind, Strong body”. Everybody on our team must embody that core value. That’s one of the five we will tell you more later. But “strong mind, strong body” – in every single episode of advisories that I host, you’re going to hear a mind and body hack or a mind and body tip. So whenever you hear this piece of music (music)
Jeremiah: That means you’re about to hear a mind and body hack. So without further ado, we’re going to kick it off with a quick mind and body hack. Right now.
Jeremiah: Mind and Body Hack: When you’re dealing with setbacks in your insurance or financial practice, sometimes all you need is a little perspective. That’s what Oxford University researchers found in a study on pain in wounded patients. They showed the patients their wounds using inverted by knocking colors that made their wounds look much smaller than they actually were. And here’s the interesting thing. The patients in turn reported less pain. It’s like their brains were assessing the wound visually and telling them how much pain to experience. Beyond just slip up with a kitchen knife, it’s useful for day to day life. When we’re faced with something that’s bringing us pain or anxiety, try taking a step back. Focusing on the source of the pain only makes it hurt more. But regrouping, reassessing and yes, even walking away from the problem for a while can actually bring relief and a smarter perspective.
Jeremiah: Okay. Now, Devin, I know a lot of people are excited and anxious to get going about our marketing strategy, what we’re going to talk about today, but just really, really quick at the high level before we get started. This Advisorist podcast is specifically designed for insurance and financial advisors. I’m sure you get that by now. You can find us on all the major streaming locations, itunes, Google, play, stitchr, and so forth. These podcasts will be kept typically about 20 minutes or so of highly valuable strategies with tactical tips that you can actually use today. Our objective and why I’m so grateful you decided to join us here today, dear listener, and if it’s okay, I’m going to call you my friend from now on, my friend is we want to be the most loved podcast in our industry around the world. Not the biggest, not the best, but the most loved because we believe that this power of love can help influence so many more people to help live a more stable economic life and provide what they really want to do for other people and the why did we start this?
Jeremiah: Well, we want to make a difference. Our real vision in life is a united world where all people, regardless of color, feel economically secure and have their basic human needs fulfilled and our purpose, cause and passion is to be the market leaders in useful and fun business growth tools to insurance and financial professionals so that you can thrive in business and in life. And that’s really what we’re all about. So Devin, let’s get started. As we do in all of our meetings when we’re not podcasting, we always kick off our meetings with a moment of gratitude. And the reason we do that, and you might want to try this at your next meeting, is Ivy League studies show that when they looked at the brain in a state of gratitude, it was literally kicking up endorphins and other positive chemicals – I won’t get into right now – that mimic almost what drugs create in terms of getting that feeling of euphoria. And one thing I’ve learned in my personal life as I’ve worked on being a more grateful person, not that I’m perfect right now, I’m still working on it, is that when you show up to any challenge or an opportunity with an attitude of gratitude, what happens is that all of a sudden everything looks so much better.
Jeremiah: So Devin, let’s kick it off today. What are you grateful for today?
Devin: Today, I feel even in light of this podcast, I would have said this anyway. The one thing I’ve been thinking about this week is how grateful I am for the people that I have in my life. And that includes you, Jeremiah, all of the folks here. I imagine you listener as well, are a amazing person different than someone else who I may run into on the street and I think it’s so powerful that we have the opportunity to choose and consciously create the type of experience we want and I’m just very grateful for that.
Jeremiah: Awesome. On my end, I’ve recently started a new workout program, so I’m somebody who’s always been into fitness, not only of the mind but of the body, and in the past two weeks I hired a personal trainer to work with me on certain areas of my fitness and this morning actually, and as I was getting ready for this podcast, I went to the gym and I had a personal session and I was just really grateful for the fact that I have somebody who cares about my body the way I do and who’s on my team as it were on Team JD to help me.
Jeremiah: You don’t have a better body because what I’ve learned is when I take care of my body, I can show up better for my wife, for my parents, for my brother, for my family, for our tribe, and our whole community. So I’m really grateful that I have somebody on “Team JD’s Body” as it were. Now let’s get started. Devin, I want to dive into this concept of a hierarchy of marketing performance for insurance and financial services. I’ve structured it in such a way and we spend a lot of time doing research around this that when most advisors want to get into the digital realm of marketing, they typically start at the wrong end of the hierarchy. So we’re going to start with social media. What, what is that? Well, that would mean facebook posts and engagement. It would mean posting to Linkedin, sharing news items on twitter, posting videos to Youtube, uh, related to your practice or the type of insurance you sell. I would say that that is what we’re talking about when we say a social media marketing activity. It does not include paid ads, which we’ll talk about in a little bit. Is there anything else we might put in there, Devin, as it relates to when people say you should do social media, what else do they mean or is that pretty much it?
Devin: Yeah. And what happens is they’re thinking “I need people to be aware of what I do”. And so social media is, has its place when you’re already well known in the market and you have an audience. And so a lot of times I see people with facebook pages that have 10 people on them and most of them or their family and so just being thoughtful about that and understanding there’s an audience for every one of these pieces that we’re going to talk about on the hierarchy.
Jeremiah: Great Point. I didn’t mention instagram and snapchat as well and those are fine for what they do. In my experience though, most advisors are really not engaged with that. There is a subset of folks in the property and casualty space that are hyperactive on instagram as well as in the. I’d say there’s a certain group that sells life insurance house to house and they’re pretty active on instagram and a private facebook groups as well. But that would be pretty much the extent of it. Let’s move onto the next one, which is websites. Man oh man. If I could write a book just on websites for insurance agents and financial advisors, I don’t think it would ever end. My first job was actually building websites for insurance agents and advisors and I’ve seen stuff changed so much from 2001 to today. I mean it sounds like an eternity, but it really is, you know, from simple templates to all the fancy widgets that you can do now.
Jeremiah: It’s not just enough to have a website. You got to have intercom on there. You got to have an ability to chat with people. You’ve got to have an optin page. You got to have a hello bar. You’ve got to have all these different things, you know, video to make it compelling and engaging in my number one best-selling book Shift, which you can pick up on Amazon. That wasn’t really a commercial. I was just letting you know about the book. There’s a whole chapter in there where I just talk about how one financial services firm used a short video of a financial advisor. All the advisors in their firm did a short video on themselves, like their philosophy, but also little funny things about them. Their sports team, they liked the weird hobbies they have if they have a family and they use that as a way to connect with prospects.
Jeremiah: In fact, that idea was so loved by a very large, well known financial marketing organization (or FMO) that they brought in all of their top advisors and they did that for everybody in their office because they love that idea so much. In fact, I’ll post that video on our site of the so you’ll have to guess who it is, but they’re really cool guys and I love working with them. So really what we talk about websites we were talking about, you know, a site that in most cases is simply brochureware, right? Devin, like most of the websites in our industry, especially those who are run by Finra compliance, have to be very stoic and guarded in what they do. Um, but you know, really it’s, it’s something that advisors spend tens of thousands of dollars on in some cases just to have a pretty website. But what have you seen, Devin, in terms of the effectiveness of a pretty website?
Devin: Pretty websites don’t sell. Most websites are made by non-marketers, so they make really nice designs or even just have the functionality that seems like it would make sense, but it’s not written again with the audience in mind, your ideal customer, the folks that you want to work with and the lives that you impact, speaking to them and then having intentionality behind it. And Jeremiah, I love that you brought up your experience all the way from Y2K to 2020 of just seeing that even just adding a simple video can make such a huge impact on conversions and I think pretty websites are, have their place as what I would consider your Internet real estate, but when it really comes down to it, the intentionality behind it and then they’re not built by marketers. And so that’s what we really want to help you understand today.
Jeremiah: And you may already be doing this. Well. Um, so like I said, we’d love to even hear from you. So that’s what I think about websites as a general high level. Yeah. And because this is about marketing performance, right? If you calculate the ROI of spending $5,000 on a website and how many deals do you have to close to justify the ROI? That’s why it’s more on the lower end of the scale of ROI. Jumping down now to landing pages, this is where we kind of start seeing better ROI. A landing page is simply a page where the only thing you can do on that page is fill in your information in exchange for an asset. So this could be a three step video series on how to plan for retirement. It could be a cheat sheet on how to save 53 percent on your next homeowners policy.
Jeremiah: It could be a retirement planning guide, five things to ask your advisor before you hire him to develop a financial plan. You know, Ken Fisher is probably the best example I would throw out there and we’ll put a link in the show notes to the Ken Fisher funnel. If you want to study a multimillion dollar funnel that is working right now, you can study that funnel where it’s simple landing page. You put in your information, you agree to get a call, and that’s how they’ve built their entire business. They’re spending millions of dollars a month to drive people to a simple landing page. Next we go into paid ads and I think, Devin, this is where we really start to see return on investment for our personal members, right? We have several courses and advisors where we specifically paid ad strategies. We’re going to do an entire actual, probably do several episodes just on paid ads, not only featuring our members and experts, but also what we’re seeing working, but Devin, when we say paid ads, what do we mean by that?
Devin: Paid advertising can be on any of the social media platforms that we’ve talked about. Typically what we try to focus on with our, with our members is giving them the High ROI, low cost ads to get started on doing, on driving traffic to landing pages like Jeremiah said, and you’ll see the concert of everything that we’re doing as we talk about it, but paid ads really are taking. A lot of times it becomes pay to play, so with social media, having a a post or a blog article or a video or something that you post and we’ll get more into the weeds there later, but being more intentional and then thinking about what types of Roi activities were very, very Roi centric and so paid paid advertising really covers how we can get someone to view something we want them to see and then take an intended action.
Jeremiah: Absolutely. So this, so tactically that looks like running ads on facebook. You can do ads on twitter, you can do ads on Youtube, you can do ads on Instagram, you can do them on LinkedIn and you could do search engine marketing, so google ads being Yahoo, all that is called paid ads and you know I would even throw in there, Devin seminar marketing, right? So if you’re trying to fill a financial seminar or an estate planning seminar or a tax planning seminar, paid ads is really where you would start. And actually several examples in my book talk about the success of that.
Jeremiah: The next layer down is LinkedIn and I’ve isolated LinkedIn simply because for a lot of advisors who are getting started or agents, especially if you’re going after high net worth affluent professionals or you’re in commercial lines or group benefits where you’re doing business to business marketing and you want to get access to the decision makers, the controllers, the cfos, the HR directors, hr managers, the ceos, Linkedin, hands down, hands down is the number one network for business to business marketing and it works really well for life insurance as well.
Jeremiah: IUL’s retirement planning because those are the people that have a higher net worth. In fact, recent studies show that the people on Linkedin have three times more money than those that are on facebook, so if you’re looking for affluent prospects, that’s where you go and it is a professional network, so you have to engage and interact in a different way. But when I’ve seen members go from zero to hero on Linkedin, typically they’re doing activities that take 25 to 45 minutes a day. Now there’s a whole bunch of bots and things you can use to automate. All that activity that you can use, but within that period of time, we’re typically seeing an increase of their connections of the ideal prospect, increased biting whereby 100, 200 percent and less than 30 days and in some cases I have people who have booked appointments less than 48 hours.
Jeremiah: In fact, for you members of advisors, you should check out one of the quick win courses that we put in there where one of our members was using a texting type strategy on LinkedIn and was getting three out of five people to say yes, I agree to meet with you. I mean, it’s actually unbelievable for free, so I mean, it really can’t get better than free, right, Devin? That’s right. Yep. We love free especially with Roi. And then finally, why don’t we talk a little bit about email today and I’d love to give you a tip that you can use right away now if you’ve attended any one of my live trainings that I do with carriers where they have me as a guest or you’ve seen me keynote. This is consistently one of the tricks or hacks that I shared that I get the most amount of fan letters from where I have people from all over the world send me emails and slash or social posts about the success they’ve had.
Jeremiah: What I recommend is you take your list of people who might be 30 to 60 days old or more in your database. So if you, let’s say, have 100 people you can sort by, you know, recency there and you’re going to take the people who they came through your office or your process, they must know who you are. You can also use a newsletter list on this, uh, but do not buy a list and send this to you because that’s outright spam. And what you do is you’re going to send a simple one line email in the subject line. You’re going to write either the first name, right? So if Devin was on the list, you’d used the form field, you know, first name and say, Devin or me, Jeremiah, and, or you could try quick question all in lowercase inside the body of the email.
Jeremiah: You’re going to keep it super simple. You’re going to put the first name, Devin, comma, and then you’re going to write this following line. “Do you still need help with” _______ and then whatever it is you sell, do you still need help with insurance? Do you still need help with your retirement plan? Do you still need help with life insurance? Do you still need help with your auto insurance? Do you still need help with your homeowners insurance? Whatever it is that you sell, you do that with a question mark and then you put your name and then your standard signature line. That’s it. And Devin, I know a lot of people ask us about what’s the right CRM to use? Do you have any recommendations on a CRM they can use to just load up 100 names or 500 names and just get this done today? That’s really easy?
Devin: Yeah. The best thing I would say for anyone getting started, if you don’t have something already set up would be Mailchimp and as you get further along it, it’s a free service and you can also manage some simple things with the contacts. If you’re going to get more complex, there’s other recommendations that we give to our members, but that’s the best way to get started.
Jeremiah: Outstanding. So before we close out our episode today, we do have another element that you’re going to hear in every single one of our podcasts, and that’s marketing tip of the cast. And whenever you hear this piece of music (MUSIC) that means that it’s time for the marketing tips. So in addition to the tips the Devin and I already gave you, we want to give you another one. Again, our goal is to just keep delivering massive value to become the most loved podcast in the insurance and financial services space. So here you are. Here’s Today’s marketing tip.
Jeremiah: Marketing Tip: If you don’t have a lot of money in want to generate life insurance leads for almost free. Here’s a $2 water bottle hack to get life insurance leads. It comes from Mark Rosenthal, an agent and advisor out there in the field who’s very enterprising. So here’s how he does it. He goes to Sam’s club and buys small water bottles and then prints basic information of his agency onto size #5160 Avery labels and sticks them on the water bottles. Then he goes to the local walking track in Griffin, right by the airport where he chooses that track because the people they’re trying to lose weight or stay healthy and a lot of them aren’t great shape. Then he starts doing something that he learned from his church recruitment days. He just walks up to people and offers them a bottle of cold water. Most people accept – and he doesn’t try to stop them or take up too much of their time.
Jeremiah: He just does that because they’re out there exercising. They might be able to get a discount on life insurance. Then he asks them if he can show them what type of rate he can get for them. One lady had just lost over 40 pounds. She went from a Table II to Preferred. If someone had given her a quote before she lost weight, she would have been quoted a Table II, instead of her new class, which would save her a lot of money. One lady was super healthy. It was hard to keep up with her pace. After talking to her for a minute, he knew she was Super Preferred. He was able to get three appointments out of just two hours of walking and talking, and around $6 worth of water. You might have to step out of your comfort zone for that one, but if you want to generate life insurance leads for a lot less, you can try the clever little $2 water bottle marketing hack. Thanks for checking out this Marketing Hack. In each episode of Advisorist, you’ll get a brand new one to supercharge your business.
Jeremiah: Awesome. Well, Devin, I thought that episode went pretty good for a couple of newbies. What do you think?
Devin: Sounds great to me. I can’t wait to hear what everybody else thinks.
Jeremiah: Absolutely. If you loved this podcast, we would greatly appreciate it if you would do us the honor of leaving a positive comment on itunes. This really helps new podcasters get up and going and you know, it’s really part of our mission to share the knowledge, share the wisdom, and share the love in the industry. So if you liked this, we’d love it if you could download the episode, preferably the first three episodes would be great, and then just leave us a quick comment (a five star review would be awesome) of what you thought of this podcast. We’d greatly appreciate it. On behalf of Devin and myself, thank you for being a member of the Advisorist family and we’ll see on the next podcast!
Jeremiah: Hey Advisorist Nation! Are you ready to take your insurance or financial services practice to the next level and are you prepared to fill your calendar with high quality appointments and bring so many leads that you get to pick and choose with whom you’re going to work with? If yes, then be sure to check out our Advisorist premium members only community of insurance and financial advisors who are striving to excellence inside this community. You’ll learn the strategies and tactics that most successful service providers are using and you’ll be able to implement them. And see results faster than you ever thought was possible. Get all of the details here at Advisorist.com/membership. That’s Advisorist.com/membership. We’ll see you inside.
For more strategies and tactics, join our exclusive community of insurance and financial advisors at advisorist.com/membership