Today on the More Cheese Less Whiskers podcast we're talking with Rebecca Hourihan from San Diego, and Rebecca helps financial advisors with their marketing, branding, and content strategies.
We had a really great conversation about all of the tools she’s able to help people with, and some of the strategies she can apply right now to increase the number of people they can help.
When we got to the bottom of it, we figured out that the thing that's going to make the biggest impact for Rebecca right now is working on some Profit Activator two steps of collecting more lead. Opportunities that are going to get her in conversations with people, and then, in Profit Activator three, begin to educate and motivate those people by increasing the frequency that she’s adding value and always using that as the opportunity to present her super signature and ways to get started.
This is a really fun conversation. Rebecca's very enthusiastic and I love talking with people who love marketing.
Want to be a guest on the show? Simply follow the 'Be a Guest' link on the left & I'll be in touch.
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Transcript - More Cheese Less Whiskers 133
Rebecca: Hi, Dean. How are you?
Dean: I'm so good. How are you?
Rebecca: I am good. Thanks so much for talking with me today. I am super buzzed about this.
Dean: I am, too. Where are you calling from?
Rebecca: I am from sunny San Diego today.
Dean: Oh, love it. Okay, cool. Are you right in San Diego, or are you in county somewhere?
Rebecca: We are downtown San Diego. For four years, we were in the heart of the Gaslamp District.
Dean: Oh, nice.
Rebecca: Last week we moved locations, so now we're up on Broadway with all the rest of the more corporate offices.
Dean: Wow, look at you. Moving on up.
Rebecca: Well, my team's really excited because the lunch options around Broadway are more exciting than some of the lunch options that were in our former area. More taco stands to try out.
Dean: Okay, perfect, and food trucks everywhere. Right. I love it.
Dean: Well, we've got the whole hour here to hatch whatever kind of evil schemes we want to talk about. I always like to start out, I want to hear the Rebecca story and where we're at so far and where you'd like to focus.
Rebecca: Excellent. First off, can you hear me okay?
Dean: Yes, hear you perfectly. Thank you.
Rebecca: If at any point these earbuds cut in or out, just let me know, and I can switch over to the receiver. Maybe I'll share with you some of the background of our company. We're called 401(k) Marketing, and we're a niche branding and marketing agency, specifically for the financial services industry. What that means is, within financial services, there are different financial advisors that focus and specialize on different midgets, like a doctor. Some doctors, if you think of them, they're specialists on ear, nose, and throat. Some of them do your elbows and your knees. Well, in financial services, some advisors focus on estate planning, college savings, divorce. Others, our clients, focus on corporate retirement.
Dean: I like it.
Rebecca: We began about four years ago, a little over that. I started our firm after working in the financial services field for about 10 years. I noticed that the clients I was working with at a previous company, when I asked them, Dean, "What do you do for marketing?"
Dean: What did they say?
Rebecca: They looked at me and they shrugged their shoulders, and they said, "Nothing!" Over time, that little tiny light bulb of entrepreneurial started to grow brighter and brighter. Then I changed my question, and I said, "What would you like to do for marketing?"
Dean: Ooh, that's a good lesson right there. A better question gets a better answer.
Rebecca: Yeah, so that question then started a series of notes and beta tests and study groups and for about a year, I basically just asked that question and wrote notes and notes. Then I asked that question across other advisors who were coming up with similar problems or hiccups or hurdles within their business and then to steal one of your isms, we came up with schemes to solve those problems.
Dean: Right. I love it. How long has this been going now?
Rebecca: 401(k) Marketing, we have been working with our clients for about four and a half years now, rounding the four up to five.
Dean: Okay, perfect. What's the thing that you helped them do? What is it that they are coming to you? We didn't get to hear what they said when you asked them, "What would you like to do for marketing?" Did they have a better answer for you?
Rebecca: I think this is a really interesting time that we live in today when it comes to marketing. A lot of times when people think of marketing, especially in more established type of organizations or industries, the mind immediately goes to cold calls. It goes to that. You've got to be working hard in order for this to be working. Right from the beginning when we started we said, "We're not doing call calls. It's not part of our philosophy. We're not doing it." What we do for our clients now is we have two sides of our business. The first side is the agency side where everything we do is custom to that unique organization, so marketing strategy, brand development. Some of those scopes of work include websites, digital campaigns, landing pages. We're targeting illustration blog to social media integration, infographics, videos, the gamut. It's all specific and custom and unique to those clients.
Dean: As a creative agency, in a way. You're helping them with all the creative.
Rebecca: Yeah. Then on the other side of our business is the prescription side. This is where we provide content with content marketing for advisors. That includes a calendar on how to implement the step-by-step instructions, monthly blog articles that are specific to the plan sponsor, the decision makers within a retirement plan, so you ask what are some of the pieces that we've created. Before, there really wasn't a writer or series of content that spoke to employers about the troubles they were going through when offering a 401(k) plan or a company-sponsored plan. Our content solves that niche with little short explainer videos 60 to 90 seconds, email campaigns, social media, infographics.
Hey, what's a 401(k) plan loan? What are some best savings ideas on working towards longer financial goals and other different ways across the spectrum that our clients can get in front of those people and start to help them organize their company's plan but most importantly improve it so that way their employees can actually reach toward retirement and have a goal and are working towards a better financial future.
Dean: Right, so are you helping them integrate all of those and create a result, or are you helping them support the things that they're already doing, like in the education part?
Rebecca: It's both. It depends on which client. Some of our clients have robust marketing offerings already, and they have a set service model. Other ones are more conversational, and we act more in a coaching capacity.
Dean: I guess what I'm looking for is the result that you're helping them to create. How do they? What's the dream come true for them?
Rebecca: Oh, my goodness. When we started this, internally you know marketing works. You feel like it. You're comfortable in your gut that marketing works, but you only realize it when you hear it from your clients. So three immediate things happened for pretty much all of our clients, and then the fourth one I recently learned. The first one is that the amount of inbound referrals that our clients received doubled. Their time that it takes to close more business, which on average in our business on the 401(k) side is a 14-month sale cycle, so it's down by half, so from handshake to business contract signing, it's about seven months now. Their closed ratio almost doubled. If they had a 20% closed ratio, now it's 40%, which is just insane to me. Then the fourth attribute that I learned in talking with some of our clients and I thought this was really cool. They said, "We just feel better."
Dean: That's an interesting thing. Yeah. I've often when I've had people in the design world on the podcast, what I've always been an advocate for them doing is creating some way of establishing a return on design. That would be the thing because everybody and you just said it yourself, that people intuitively know that it works, design. I think what you're talking about is on the design side of marketing in a way, from what I've read of what you've shared with me. There was a study that was just done by McKinsey Consulting. They have a big reputation for real data-driven things. They did a very in-depth study on design and how it affects revenue and profitability, the whole thing. What they found was that companies that are design-led, as they called it, did 30-something percent more revenue, like 36% more revenue and generated 50+% more profit to shareholders. It's an interesting thing that compared to their non-design led peers, their peer group of companies that were similar, in similar industries and similar client sets.
That's an exciting thing to see that a company like McKinsey, who's really got a bottom line management in metrics approached the stuff, has come out and now put some numbers on something that we intuitively know. We intuitively know that good looking people have an advantage over less good looking people in sales and in everything. It's just we see that happen, and we see that really nice design makes a difference. I think it's really the important thing is to figure out how to convey that messaging to people in a way that correlates to the things you're able to help them do. I think those numbers that you were sharing where their referrals go up and their closing rate goes up and their time to close goes down. All that stuff is valuable, especially if you can establish a metric that is there to prove it. You know?
Rebecca: I love it.
Dean: Yeah, because that becomes a really... When you've got case studies and infographics and all of those things. I do a lot of stuff in the real estate world, and one of the most powerful things I have is a five-year case study infographic that shows the ROI on doing one of our programs, our getting listings program. It shows the cumulative spend of how much you spent each month for the 16 months of the test and how much cumulative commissions he earned and when he earned them, all along the way with trailing lines that show when people actually responded to his postcard.
Dean: Yeah, it shows the longevity. It shows the gestation period of people. It was really funny because September of 2018 was the five-year mark. In 2018, he had closed transactions with people who responded from 2013, '14,'15, '16, '17 and '18, so the long-term value of that, of maintaining that prospect pool.
Dean: I think those kinds of things would be very helpful for your stuff, for how you are presenting that information to your prospects. Tell me about your marketing now. What do you do to get new people?
Rebecca: Let's see. For our own internal marketing, I don't know if it's a deep amount, but I feel like we're pretty active in the marketing space. We have an email list of around 3500 qualified prospects, clients and centers of influence. We send out a weekly email.
Dean: How did you get that?
Rebecca: It's a combination. I do a lot of events so business cards, social media integration, organic traffic from our website, opt-ins.
Dean: Okay, perfect, so that's your list. You email them once a week you said?
Rebecca: Yes, every week, and some type of value-add piece, blog and infographic, something that we know that could help them from a business development standpoint.
Dean: Do you make offers on there? How does that turn into new clients for you? What do you do with the emails?
Rebecca: I've been listening to your podcasts now, and every time we get to the Super Signature card, I think my palm goes directly against my forehead. Thank you for that brilliant idea. We will be implementing that next week. It was going to happen.
Dean: I like it.
Rebecca: We do not do that today, so Super Signature is coming here, not just in the weekly email but across all of the team. We have our respective. You've got to think about us here.
Dean: That's great. Okay, so at least you're familiar with it. That's good. At least you know what we're talking about.
Rebecca: Yes, coming soon! We post daily on social media and when I say social media, I mean on LinkedIn and Twitter. For our clients, it's the business to business world, so we haven't migrated into Facebook or Instagram. We have talked about those internally, and we just haven't. We stay more pure in the traditionalist way and just on those two business platforms at the time.
Dean: Got you. When you do get new clients, how does it typically happen then? Let's take your email, for example, that you're sending out every week. Are you making offers to people on there, aside from the Super Signature that's coming soon, or is it you're just sending content? If you've got any questions or anything we can help you with, give us a call, or we're here to help, stuff like that, being available to them.
Rebecca: It's the second option. It's just the availability at the moment. We'll change that.
Dean: Okay, and that's fine. Part of it, it's hospitality, is what it is, in a way. Uh-oh. They're not coming for you, are they?
Rebecca: Uh-oh. They found me.
Dean: They found you.
Rebecca: Our new Broadway office, the sights and sounds of downtown.
Dean: Oh, that's so funny. I often say to people like in describing why we do this Super Signature the way we do it is, imagine if I brought you into my home and I sat you in the living room and I said, "Hey, Rebecca. I'm really happy you're here. If there's anything you want to eat or drink, there's lots of stuff in the fridge. Go ahead and help yourself." I would really sincerely hope that you would feel comfortable enough to do that. I don't really know you, but just in talking with you and the interactions that we've had, I would feel like if you brought me into your house and you said the same thing, that you would sincerely mean that, that you would want me to feel at home and to be able to help myself.
Yeah, but here's the thing, is that neither of our mothers would ever allow us to do something like that. We would never impose on somebody, right, because even if they said that, nobody will go and help themselves in somebody's fridge, right? It's awkward, and it's uncomfortable because we've been brought up to not impose on people, right? It's more likely that we don't want anybody to go out of their way for us, so even if I said, "Would you like a coffee?" you might say, "Are you having one, because if you're having one, I'll have one, but don't boil the kettle for me."
Rebecca: No, I love that.
Dean: Yeah, exactly. "I'm good." We know that's true that the best thing to do is if I sat you down in the living room and I went into the kitchen and I came out with a freshly baked plate of cookies. I came right up to you and I said, "Would you like a cookie?"
Rebecca: "Absolutely, thank you."
Dean: Now it would be very difficult for you not to take the cookie because I've clearly made the cookies. I've got the cookies right there. I'm standing there with the plate and it would be awkward for you to refuse them, in a way, right? You do that, and it's just an automatic reaction. It's something there, especially if you like cookies, and I've got these fresh baked cookies. You're going to really be excited about that, and I know that if I give you the cookie, then in a couple of minutes when I come back out with the milk, you're probably going to be excited to have the milk, as well, right?
Dean: I know that it's starting this path, but you would never in a million years if I sat you in the living room and said, "Is there anything I can get for you?" You would never say, "You know what? Would you bake me some cookies? That would be super right now." You'd never want to impose on anybody to do that. It sounds super exaggerated, but that's what we're expecting our clients to do, our prospects to do. We're saying to them, we're sending them information. We're just being hospitable, sending them something valuable. Then we might say, "If there's anything we can help you with, please feel free to reach out or to email us. We're more than happy to help or answer any questions you have," trying to be of service to people but what it's really doing, Rebecca, below the surface what it's really doing is it is pushing the responsibility for taking the initiative onto them because if we don't take the initiative, there's no way to be rejected, but if we're waiting for them to answer, ask a question, so we can jump to service, we can jump in to serve them, that's safer.
This is all happening below the surface in every human. That's why we call it. It's no difference in B to B marketing or B to C. It's all H to H, Human to Human. We all have the same brain, and we're all wired the same way. Our mothers all brought us up the same way to be, "Don't impose on people and be polite," and all that stuff. Deep down, we're societally wired to conform to that, so knowing that, the best thing that we could do is to really make it easy for people to take the first step. When you look at it, it's a very different dynamic with me offering you the cookie that's already baked because you're going to accept it, of course, because you want it and it's right there.
Rebecca: Yeah, love it.
Dean: Yeah, what we try to do is anticipate. We try and create these cookies that we're going to serve on the platter of our email that goes out every week. Our Super Signature is going to have those cookies right there that are going to be delicious to them, so you start to think, what would they really want? If they were going to take some action here, if they were going to respond, what would be the thing that would get them to respond? What would be the easy thing for them to do? Now that's an exercise in thinking through where would be a move forward.
I always use real estate examples where if you came to my website as a home buyer, and you opted in to search all the homes and do all of that, and we've got your email address, then every week when we send you out the updates of all the new listings, we're going to say in the Super Signature, plus whenever you're ready, here are three ways we can help you. Now I know that if somebody is looking for a home, there's going to be three main tracks that they might go on. They might want to learn all about the process first because they don't know how to buy a home yet, or they might want to just get out and start looking at homes. That would be one group of people, and there might be another group who they want to get all their money ducks in a row first. They want to know how much they can afford and all of that.
Those are the three basic drivers that are going to move somebody forward, so we start to think, "Well, how can we address those? If somebody wants to go look at homes, rather than have them have to take the initiative and ask me to start showing them homes, what if we sent out an email or in our Super Signature we said, "Join us for a daily tour of homes. We do home tours every day at 10:00 and 1:00." Now that feels like, oh, I've already boiled the kettle. It doesn't feel like I'm asking somebody to go out of their way for me. I can jump on this tour, and it sets the context. It gets them thinking that they can go at 10:00 or 1:00, so basically we're saying morning or afternoon. It's not that we're looking to have a group tour of people. We're just making it out there that if you want to look at homes, 10:00 or 1:00. We give people choices. That feels like it's already earmarked. That time is already earmarked. They're not asking anybody to go out of their way for them, and that's an easy thing for them to respond to.
Now if they want to get educated about the process, then what would be a cookie that would get them excited or get them to take action? We may say, "Join us for a home buyer workshop. We do home buyer workshops on the first Thursday of every month at the library, and we go through the entire home buying process." That would be a cookie that we could offer, or we said that they may want to get their money right, so we'd say, "Get a free home loan report," and every month we monitor hundreds of different loan programs to find the best zero down programs, the best low interest loans, the best total interest loans. We put all our findings together in a custom home loan report. If we're saying to those three things, we're addressing the three biggest triggers that are going to move somebody forward, we've got a way for them to let us know that they're ready.
There's something interesting and powerful about starting it out whenever you're ready because whenever you're ready is a responsibility word. It's like, "I'm here. We're ready to help you at any time." Right now, you've seen it. We're standing by, but the only thing standing in the way of you getting what you really want is you being ready, so whenever you're ready, here's what we have for you. I'm not trying to foist these things on you or to convince you to do any of these things. It's your responsibility. You get to take the complete ownership of this.
Rebecca: I love it. I love it.
Dean: Now let's work it for you. How does that land for you? What are you hearing?
Rebecca: Oh, this is great. Here are three ways we can help you: brand awareness, thought leadership, attract new clients. Join us on two different dates and times for a 100 Points of Marketing workshop that will give you a custom marketing plan for your unique business.
Dean: That's good.
Rebecca: We did a workshop last year. It's a 55 minutes run time, and it comes with about a 16-page workbook. From the beginning of the presentation to the end of the presentation, every person sitting in that room goes through a marketing assessment, and they score themselves because it's called 100 Points of Marketing, and there's literally 100 points, and we give them a score at the end. It gives them a diagnostic of where their business is today, where they want to go, and then an action plan. Every single person, regardless of where your business is now, they walk out with a marketing plan that's specific and unique to their retirement plan practice.
That presentation took me like six months to create and no sleep at all, so I think this could be our call to action, and it helps them because it identifies any weak points in their business and based on what we've created, we hopefully, fingers crossed if we're doing this right, should have some type of solution or partner that we can refer them to that can provide the solution to whatever that soft spot is.
Dean: Right. Good for you. That's a good idea there. Then the other thing is we might want to pull out your scorecard where that might be a way of getting people initially to take action Like you've got to think about it that what happens from if we go from the end backwards? If somebody comes to your 100 Points of Marketing workshop, where do they go from there, and how does that play out for you? What do they do? How does that work out for you right now?
Rebecca: It usually leads to a phone call with one of our teammates, and they walk through the worksheet with them. Each section there's a maximum score, and we always say that marketing builds on marketing, just like when you were in school. You didn't go into your first day of school and you're in college. No, you went to youth school, then middle school, and high school and so on. The same thing works with marketing. Start with your foundation. Make it as strong as possible through your brand, and then continue your trajectory upwards, so my team normally will talk about, "Okay, well, how did you score on the base section? How did you score on intermediary? How did you score on advanced, and how did you score on expert?"
Then they walk them through if they were based on branding, for example. Do you have brand guidelines? Do you have standards around that? Let's talk about how you can. I know we have a worksheet that can help professionalize brand guidelines internally. We also do that as an agency side, but we try and assess based on the client what makes sense based on their business, and we always try and be helpful, so if they're an agency client, we'll walk them through it on the agency side, how to professionally do that. If they're more of a subscription-based client, we give them the tools and resources. That way they can do it, and we provide guidance and coaching, but we don't actually take the reins in that engagement.
Dean: Okay, so yeah, I get it. Is there another tool or cookie that you could think of that would be a suitable thing as well that you could package up here?
Rebecca: Yeah. This is something that we're in development with right now. Based on our clients, there are various conversations. I think in terms of our business model, we might have put a cart before the horse, so we created content marketing. In order to do content marketing really well, you need to have a pretty solid brand to begin with or at least the elements of a foundational brand. In talking with a lot of our clients who said, "I need help with our website. I need help with business cards, stationery, brochures, PowerPoint presentations," but their budgets weren't quite the budgets that would be necessary for the agency side, so right now my team and I since October have been workshopping and putting together the business units that we need, the plans, process and the procedures so we can offer that on a subscription-based model.
Dean: I got you.
Rebecca: We'll create the advisor. We'll walk the advisor through a series of questionnaires. We already have them. We're beta testing them, as we speak, to understand their voice, their brand, their palette. Then we have six different options for website motifs, brochures, PowerPoint and then a little bit of a copy. We've already fixed the copy, but it's flexible in terms of the plug and play nature that our clients can use it. It's going to be different based on the clients, but the copy internally, the way the mechanics work, we've templated it so it should internally have a pretty tightened process around making sure that when our client is onboard from start to finish we've got a production calendar. Long-winded way of saying that's the middle that I think we might have skipped over before because we went straight to content and we didn't focus on brand, so that could be that second carrot or cookie to get them as a client.
Dean: Yeah, it's interesting because if you're creating a road map or you're creating a blueprint or you're creating something that you can overlay on their business, and they can easily see where they are and what they need, that would be a very useful thing for you, you know? One of the things that's really great for us is our Profit Activator Scorecard. When people go to profitactivatorscore.com, well, you went through. You did the scorecard, and you get a chance to see that often there's insight in just even considering where you are on each of the elements in the scorecard. Sometimes that awareness is an insight on its own, but more importantly what it does is it gives you the opportunity to know where somebody's self-assessed need is. You can see where they have a desire to be a higher number than they are right now. That gives you a chance to start the conversation with that, especially if it's something that you can help people with, which it should be because you're the one creating the scorecard, right?
Dean: The whole thing is to support the helping somebody identify their need for the things that you can help them with.
Rebecca: Dean, I love that scorecard. Going through it, I haven't thought about those questions in years, and I actually responded on some of them. I was like, "That was fun. I never ran this out before." I emailed my team a bunch of times and I asked them, "How many Amazon leads do we have? What are we spending on LinkedIn ads? What are spending on Google ads?" That's just ballpark numbers that I know from the accounting side of the biz, but the actual tangible. Then I asked. I knew our open rate on our emails was about 15%. I want a conversation on that. I got the whole team talking about it.
Now we've got this new excitement going into this podcast and coming soon I'm going to go through. I'm super excited about Dan Sullivan's coaching program. As a team, we're all going through the journey together and we're talking about it, so if anyone who is listening hasn't gone through the Profit Activator Scorecard, I wholeheartedly recommend it because it is a self-assessment and then you learn. These are my own weaknesses and my own insecurities. I got really fired up and inspired afterwards.
Dean: Oh, that's great.
Rebecca: It was a brilliant conversation, your insights, so thank you.
Dean: You start to see that. You start to recognize and get good at interpreting the scorecards. I noticed for us the patterns, that the people that we can help the most are people who are strong on Profit Activator 1. They know who they want to attract. They are strong in Profit Activator 5 where they can deliver the "dream come true" results for people, and they are weaker in generating leads, in educating and motivating and making offers, so they need to bridge that marketing gap between we know who we want and if we can just find them we get great results for them.
That's exactly what you're describing to me. You're 100% confident that you're going to get great results for people, and it's just, if people just knew about you. That's really where we can have the biggest impact. Then, of course, the after-sale and the referrals are always an eyeopener for people that they're not probably maximizing the opportunity there. It's very helpful because then it forms the basis for the conversation about you can ask somebody, "What are you doing for lead generation right now?" That is going to sound like you've tapped into exactly what they need because they're going to say, "Oh, that's our biggest struggle," or "I'm glad you asked about that. Here's what we're doing," especially if you can help them solve that problem. If you can solve that for them, they're going to be very open and receptive to that.
Rebecca: Love it, yeah. One of the questions I had going into this conversation with you was I mentioned earlier how we have a subscription side to our business. On the subscription side, you did a podcast with Joe Polish on a yoga studio. I was listening to it. You talked about how in a yoga studio, once the class is over, the profit of that class is done. It's gone. It's a perishable item. The time has disappeared. Every quarter, my team and I have worked very hard to create brand new content. Every quarter we refresh our content so it's always timely, relevant and what's happening today. Any past materials, though they have somewhat of a shelf life, they're really not a maximizer anymore. It's an old hat.
What I was hoping to garner some wisdom from you is, our average sales cycle today is six months, so our pipeline is six months. How can we use marketing and maybe some email scheme to get people faster into the subscription model and implement it most importantly to impact their business? How do we chip away at that six month hurdle, maybe down to three months or in an ideal world, probably closer to a month? What are some of your ideas on how you get folks off the block?
Dean: Well, first of all, you're saying that it takes people six months to warm up to the idea, to get to where they realize that they need that?
Dean: That means that at that point, they know you. They like you. They trust you, and they decide that, "Okay this is the right thing." We're wondering how to speed that up. One of the things that I would say is let's focus on solving that six months from now by getting more people in right now upfront. Six months is not a long time for people to gestate, so what we want to look at is the volume of it. If you had more people, we can solve it in six months. If you were to all of a sudden generate three times as many leads as you typically generate in a month right now, six months from now, you would have three times as many people reaching the point of being open to trying your subscription model. That's like setting the cap on it there, first of all.
That's a great opportunity, and that really is what I would say is the first job of it, just getting clear on how can we get more people in the world like that, more people into our situation. They're going to be a better fit because often it takes a little while. I've been saying how we all look at this know you, like you, trust you as what the destination is. We read it, though, as one thing. Know you, like you, trust you. Like that's the definition, but the reality is that it's a progression that they know you. To go from not knowing you to knowing you is a big jump. Then as they start to see what you're about, certainly one way that you could speed up that process is to mail three times a week instead of once a week because if you truly are adding value each time, that it would be a welcome email.
You are speeding up the process with which they get to know you and to like you because each time you resonate with something that is the way they think about it that they go, "Oh, I like her. I like this company. I like them." The like is a very interesting thing because what it really means is that it's agreement. They're like me. I like them because they're like me. They're similar to me. I agree with what they're saying. That is really you're getting that on there. They start to see the consistency of it. You're demonstrating that you are consistent and that you are not pushy, and they're seeing through the case studies and the contentimonials that you're sending that you are valuable. They start to trust you as an authority. Do you have a podcast?
Rebecca: Funny you should mention that. We do not have a podcast at this time. Three things, I guess, we're working on which will be up by March. Number one, we've had about four this year, the blog posts. Every month we do a blog, and we're thinking now in our new space we're going to do a video. We're thinking about having a video. We're buying video equipment and having a blog, so turning that blog into a video blog. That was one, posting this video on our website.
Dean: That could be another thing. That could be one of your emails. One of your emails could be your regular email that you're sending. One could be a weekly video that you send that could be short and educational and valuable because I think just even talking to you, your personality, you can't contain that. You shouldn't be containing it in just an email. People need to experience it more. You sound like your default setting is happy, and you're very enthusiastic. That's, I think, going to come through in either a podcast or video form, so that people like you because you're likable.
Rebecca: Thank you. That was so nice of you. I really appreciate that. I'm smiling now. We're going to do a video this year, hopefully. I've just got to get the logistics around that but a video series and then actually listening to and hearing a Joe Polish podcast, I was thinking, "Why don't we do a podcast?" Then I reached out to some of my super smart industry friends and said, "Hey. We're thinking about doing a podcast. Do you want to be a guest speaker?" These two friends were like, "Yeah, of course."
Dean: Yeah, of course.
Rebecca: We're working on an editorial calendar for the podcast and an editorial calendar for a webinar series, which will be prerecorded. Then we'll repost that on SlideShare and on YouTube and then on our website and their website, and we'll do all the promotions around it as well. The reason I was thinking of doing the webinar was twofold. One, it acts as a platform for us to talk about the subscription-based model and what we're working on and what's in the pipeline.
Dean: Of course.
Rebecca: It's a little bit of a veiled sales pitch. Then two, for our industry friends, they all do amazing work and more people should know about them, so giving them a spotlight to talk about what their products and services and initiatives are, as well. Those are the three things that are in development at the time. What do you think about them?
Dean: Yeah. I like all of that. I think that's really the thing that you become a celebrity in that way. You become an authority if you are the host of this podcast, and you get all the people who you would want to have as authorities or whatever on your show. They're more than happy to come on board. Everybody wants to because it's free media exposure for them, too.
Rebecca: Sure. Yes, I think so. Okay, yeah, definitely. We've been talking about it as a team. I had a call actually yesterday with a gentleman who does dynamite work on LinkedIn. I shared with him the idea, and he said, "When? Do you want to do it right now?" "No, no, no. Let's wait a day." I talked to my friends, Jason and Tom, who are attorneys. I was like, "You guys want to do your section?" They also were like, "Yeah, absolutely. Next week?" "No. It's probably going to be in April or May." Both of them, you could hear the smiles on the other end of the phone. I'm like, "Yeah, let's do this." I'm super excited. Surround yourself with smarter people than you.
Dean: Ah, see. That's great.
Rebecca: I'm super excited about this.
Dean: There we go. I think that'll be a nice thing for you because that way, you're also then creating really great content options from that, too. In my world, I send three emails a week that go out. They're all from the podcast. They're all from the transcripts of something that I've said on the podcast. I don't have to write these content emails. I've got three opportunities right away. I get to send out an announcement for the new episode of the podcast. I get to send out two additional emails that are all derivative of the content from the podcast itself. Every one of those three emails that goes out is a carrier for the Super Signature, so every time we're saying to people, "Whenever you're ready, here's four ways I can help you."
Rebecca: Milk and cookies.
Dean: That's what it is, exactly. That's part of the thing. That was where I was going with the thing when you were saying, rather than trying to shortcut the process or to make it happen faster is let's just relax and make it happen in higher volume rather than happening faster. Right away, if you're only sending one email a week, there's a big acceleration that's going to happen by sending more frequently. I think doing that alone, you're going to cut it down from six months to three months probably, if that's what it currently is because those people are going to have more exposure, more impact, an accelerated rate of getting to know you better. It's like if you're starting to date someone or get to know someone. If you're only seeing them once a week, it's not going to be the same velocity of getting to know them as if you saw them three times a week.
Rebecca: Dean, I think that's a different podcast. We could talk all day long about the dating scene.
Dean: There you go. Okay. You are in Man Diego. Isn't that what they call it?
Rebecca: That's what they call it. Yeah, Man Diego. I don't know. There seems to be a drought where I'm standing.
Dean: Oh, that's so funny. You get the idea? You get what I'm saying, right?
Rebecca: Absolutely. I have a question on the emails. We do LinkedIn and we do digital ads. We've got landing pages. We've got a YouTube advertisement, as well as the emails that I mentioned. Do you think that we spend about 500 bucks a month on Google ads, 500 bucks a month on LinkedIn ads. I definitely can up amp the volume of emails we send to our current prospect list, but do you think it makes sense to add more marketing gasoline to YouTube and to Google, the display ads and then to LinkedIn ads as well, to can expand our audience? What are your thoughts there?
Dean: I think what you want to do is the way you're describing it, I want to guide you towards making a different distinction about how you spend your budget because you're saying you've given me a dollar amount that you spend on each of these things, as if you're very conscientiously spreading out your thing to do a little in all of these things, but what I would prefer to hear you say is that we generate leads from Facebook. You're not on Facebook, from LinkedIn or from Google AdWords for $3 or for $5. Whatever that is, I'd rather get you thinking in the outcome more than the budget.
We want to look for where can you get in front of your audience for the most volume opportunity of generating leads? The only thing that I would be spending that money on is Profit Activator 2, which is getting people to raise their hand, turning invisible prospects into visible prospects. I would be counting how many new people are we bringing into our list. You've got 3500 right now, and you want to measure that we generate this many leads with our budget. If you say we're willing to spend $5 per lead or $10 per lead or whatever your happy number is because you've got a pretty high price range for new clients, right? A relatively high ticket so you don't need to worry about keeping your lead costs low.
That's what I would look at is how can we start new relationships and then knowing that we're going to gestate those in Profit Activator 3 with our weekly email, with our weekly podcast, with our video. Every week we send three pieces of valuable content, all with the Super Signature that lead people to a scorecard or a workshop or whatever it is that's going to be the next step for them. That's what I see for you that would be the biggest impact there, you know? Something that what would you say would be your best opt-in magnet, if you want to count it like that? What would be thing that you exchange for names and emails kind of thing, people are happy to respond for?
Rebecca: We have I think at the moment five different lightboxes on different landing pages, and we're testing them right now. One of them is called Content Marketing Like a Blast, Seven Ways to Maximize Your Content Distribution. Another one is the 100 Points of Marketing workshop. Another one is How to Write Case Studies in the Retirement Plan Industry, which is a big one because you can't use testimonials in financial services, yet you can use case studies which demonstrate results. What's the other story? The Advisor's Guide to Social Media is when to post, how to post, and how to share on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
Dean: That's great, so these are all PDFs that they can download?
Rebecca: They're all short PDFs.
Dean: Yeah. Do you generate leads with those, like do people opt in for them, or is that up and running yet?
Rebecca: We just started landing pages about a month ago, so we had bought a bunch of different URLs thinking what people would be Googling, so we purchased those domains. Then we created landing pages around those that link to our infusion class at the back end, which then opts them into our different respective email chains. Then we use the diamond feature of LinkedIn so depending on whatever one of the three things that they chose, brand awareness, lead generation, something else, it then sends them content specific to that, to whatever they self-identified as their business need.
Dean: I got you. Perfect. Yeah, I think that would be a good first step for you is to really dial in and focus your attention on how to do that with your Profit Activator 2, how to focus on a lead generation strategy for it. Then you're offering your cookies, because you've got your ability then to keep people in the loop, that you're adding value three times a week. You're offering them cookies, and they're going to jump out.
Rebecca: All right. Well, I've got some tasty fresh baked chocolate chip cookies and some milk here, so sign them up. I love it.
Dean: That's super exciting.
Rebecca: All right. I've got pages full of notes, and I'm all motivated to go chat with the team and see how we can implement this immediately into our business and talk to you again about how much you've helped us, so thank you.
Dean: Oh, I love it. I can't wait. Thanks. You've been a delight. This has been great. I loved our talk. It went very fast but I think you're going to get some good action out of this. I think these things are the right things for you to focus on. I know you're an action taker, so I can't wait to see what happens.
Rebecca: Thank you again, Dean. This was wonderful. I truly appreciate the podcast and everything that you're doing for entrepreneurs.
Dean: Thanks, Rebecca. We'll talk to you soon.
There we have it. That was a fun episode. Rebecca is really excited to get started, and I can't wait to see how everything unfolds for her. Now for you, let's talk about how you can get going here. I think that it's a very important step to be crystal clear on the state of the union as far as your marketing goes. The best way to do that is to really go to ProfitActivatorScore.com. You can try our Profit Activator Scorecard and see exactly how the eight profit activators are either growing or slowing your business right now.
It'll give you a good idea of where the big opportunity is for you, so I think that would be a good start. If you want to continue the conversation here, you can go to MoreCheeseLessWhiskers.com and you can download a copy of the More Cheese Less Whiskers book. If you'd like to be a guest on the show, click on the Be a Guest link, and we can hatch some evil schemes for you. That's it for this week. Have a great week, and I will talk to you next time.