In today’s conversation, I’m talking with my friend and special guest Jason Lahita. Jason is the president and co-founder of FiComm Partners—they are a PR firm that focuses exclusively on the independent advisory community and to my knowledge still the only PR firm out there that deals just in the financial advisory space.
Jason is seen as one of the most respected PR professionals in our industry and we do a deep dive into all things PR. We get into how he got his start as the first employee of an entrepreneur named Joe Duran of United Capital fame who’s firm manages over $17B of assets currently. From his beginnings as United Capital’s marketing manager, he’s since built FiComm Partners and has nourished relationships at outlets including the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, CNBC, FOX Business, Forbes, Financial Planning, Investment News, and Financial Advisor Magazine, to name just a handful.
Here are a just a handful of the things that you’ll learn:
- [04:22] How financial services PR has changed since Jason entered the industry just over a decade ago and why it’s important to have a strategy that addresses both traditional media and the emerging digital frontier.
- [07:13] What needs to be in place within your firm BEFORE you even think about spending a penny on PR.
- [15:07] Financial Advisor Public Relations 101: What a firm’s 1st PR campaign might look like, what makes a good sound bite during an interview, how PR strategies differ between a billion dollar RIA vs a sole advisor practice, and a lot more!
- [01:19:20] We go completely off topic at the end and close with our challenges as parents in the digital age and the battle of controlling screen time for your kids.
- [04:22] How financial services PR has changed since Jason entered the industry – and why social media is now a vital PR tool
- [07:13] How Jason helps his clients navigate the new PR landscape—and why marketing, landing appointments, and bringing in revenue has to come before the first campaign.
- [10:33] Why opening the doors too soon could have hurt Jason when he was at United Capital. You’ll find out how the firm set themselves up for a much higher chance of success (and an incredible feature story) because they waited.
- [15:07] What a firm’s very first PR campaign might look like.
- [17:54] Why getting in front of a journalist is a 100% unique experience, no matter how many times you’ve spoken to them before—and the essential do’s and don’ts of press interviews
- [19:02] How Jason sets his clients up for success by establishing them as credible people that writers love to feature. You’ll learn how to earn—rather than ask—your place in high quality articles.
- [23:43] What makes a soundbite good—and what clients absolutely must avoid!
- [25:56] How bringing on PR at the right time helped Carson Wealth Management’s business skyrocket.
- [29:41] How Jason’s strategy differs when working with billion-dollar firms and brands as opposed to smaller, individual producers.
- [35:26] Jason’s strategies for financial advisors to use books to promote themselves, establish their credibility, and drive new business.
- [37:43] An all-too-common trap that many publicists fall into—and how to get big wins by doing the opposite.
- [44:44] Whether local or national PR is harder to get and how to best utilize both.
- [01:03:12] Why competition in this field isn’t just between financial services firms, but amazing client experiences—and what you can do to stay on top.
SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE
- Connect with Jason Lahita
- FiComm Partners
- United Capital
- Fox Business
- Financial Advisor Magazine
- Wealth Management
- Carson Wealth
- The Wall Street Journal
- The New York Times
- New York Yankees
- New York Giants
- New York Knicks
- Citizen Soldiers: The U. S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany
- Accountable Kids
- Zig Ziglar Family
PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE
- Joel Bruckenstein
- Joe Duran
- Brooke Southall
- Diana Britton
- Ron Carson (also check out Ron Carson on the podcast)
- Jon Acuff (also check out Jon Acuff on the podcast)
- Jim Pavia
- Scott McKain (also check out Scott McKain on the podcast)
REVIEWS OF THE WEEK
Thanks for checking out the latest show, special thanks to all of you who have been leaving reviews as have seen a massive jump lately, so this week we’re going to feature 4 rather than just 1 to try to keep up! The first one comes to us from Sean Wenger who says:
What’s both fun and completely humbling about a podcast is once you put it out there, you never know who’s listening in, so this review means a lot as Sean and I first connected at a Jon Vroman’s dad’s retreat out in Philly back in 2016. Great guy and the reason I actually now often put my cell phone in a gun safe during family dinners to make sure I’m fully present. Thanks for the review and the kind words Sean, hope life is good for you out in Cleveland!
The next review comes to us from R. Heath who says:
Thanks for the kind words R. Heath, they mean a lot! Have some more amazing guests just around the corner and I’ll try to keep asking the right questions to bring the most value possible for all of you out there listening in!
Next up is JShermanFA says:
I love it, short and sweet, thanks for encouraging others to subscribe to the show, much appreciated!
And the last featured review for the week comes to us from Scott I who says:
Love it Scott, thanks for the 5 star review and the passionate endorsement, it never gets old hearing how our show is making an impact for you financial advisors out there listening in, we’ll keep it coming!
Already heard it once or twice? Please leave a short review here, and tell me which guests I should have on!
- Listen to it on iTunes.
Welcome to this episode of the Elite Advisor Blueprint Podcast with your host, Brad Johnson. Brad’s the VP of Advisor Development and Advisors Excel, the largest independent insurance brokerage company in the US. He’s also a regular contributor to Investment News, the Wall Street Journal, and other industry publications.
[00:00:25] Brad: Welcome to the Elite Advisor Blueprint, the podcast for world-class financial advisors. I’m Brad Johnson, VP of Advisor Development and Advisors Excel, and it’s my goal to distill the best ideas and advice from top thought leaders and apply it to the world of independent financial advising.
If you happen to hear fire crackling in the background, that’s because I’m recording from a cabin near Table Rock Lake in Missouri as I prepare for our team’s 2018 planning meeting. So, apologies if any of the acoustics are off or if you’re catching an echo in the background. But by the way, if any of you ever get a chance to visit Big Cedar Lodge out here, please don’t pass it up. I highly recommend it. This cabin it literally makes me want to spend a month sipping coffee in the morning, reading, journaling, pretending I’m a writer but anyway, I digress.
Okay. Let’s get on to today’s episode. In today’s conversation, I’m talking with my friend and special guest, Jason Lahita. Jason is the President and Cofounder of FiComm Partners. They are a PR firm that focuses exclusively on the independent advisory community and still to my knowledge the only PR firm out there that deals just in the financial advisory space. Jason is seen as one of the most respected PR professionals in our industry and we do a deep dive into all things PR. We get into how he got a start as the first employee of an entrepreneur named Joe Duran of United Capital fame whose firm currently manages over 17 billion of assets. From his beginnings at United Capital as our marketing manager, he since built FiComm Partners and has nourished relationships at outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, CNBC, Fox Business, Forbes, Financial Planning, Investment News, and Financial Advisor Magazine to name just a handful.
Here are a few of the highlights of what we get into. We start out with how financial services PR has changed since Jason entered the industry just over a decade ago and why it’s important to have a strategy that addresses both traditional media and the emerging digital frontier. Then we dive into what needs to be in place within your firm before you even think about spending a penny on PR. I love the surprising and candid advice coming from a guy who makes his living running a PR firm, and I couldn’t agree more.
[00:02:26] Brad: From there, we get into financial advisor public relations 101 including what a firm’s first PR campaign might look like, what makes a good sound bite during an interview and what to avoid, how PR strategies differ between a billion-dollar RIA versus a solo advisor practice, how to properly promote an upcoming book, local versus national PR for advisors, and a lot more. And what I love about this conversation is we go completely off topic at the end, enclosed with our challenges as parents in the digital age and the battle of controlling screen time for your kids. So, for you, financial advisors out there that also happen to be parents, be sure to stick around to the end for some tips and tools that can help there.
Lastly, Jason, Megan, and the rest of the team at FiComm were kind of enough to gift all of our Blueprint listeners their financial PR starter kit. It covers three simple tips to establishing a low-cost high-value media relationship. It’s available as a free download right at the top of the show notes at BradleyJohnson.com/39. As always, links to all the books mentioned, people discussed, and a full transcript of the show can be found there as well. So that’s it. Thanks for listening and without further delay, my conversation with Jason Lahita.
[00:03:38] Brad: Welcome to this episode of the Elite Advisor Blueprint podcast. I’m here with my friend, Co-Founder, and President of FiComm Partners, Jason Lahita. Welcome to the show, Jason.
[00:03:48] Jason: Thanks for having me, Brad. It’s great to be here today.
[00:03:50] Brad: So, it’s been fun because what started as a random connection at an industry conference where I think you’re actually up on the panel speaking on just PR and financial services, we connected from there. You’ve helped me on the PR front and then it’s been cool because I’ve seen you doing some really big things out there in the PR world as far as financial service is concerned. So, it’s good to actually get a chance to just sit down here and have a phone conversation on PR and as it applies to the world of financial services. So, thanks for carving out some time here. What I want to kick off the conversation with is I think like everything in financial services right now, everything is evolving at this incredible rate as is what I see happening in the PR world. Can you maybe start like 30,000-foot view of for all of the financial advisors out there? Maybe define like what was PR in financial services, what is it, what is it becoming and just kind of give us like an industry update as far as your world’s concern. I’d love to start there.
[00:04:47] Jason: Sure. Yeah. That’s a great question. So, when I started out in this industry, in the independent wealth management industry doing PR in-house at United Capital Financial Advisors, PR at the time was pretty basic and it was pretty fundamental in nature. It was all about creating a message and that still applies today, create your messaging, define your value proposition, define how you differentiate from your competitors. We were very good at doing that at United Capital and then create a robust news pipe so make sure that you have something that you’re putting out to journalists on a regular basis via conventional channels, press releases, byline articles. Some of those basic things will always be a part of any PR program, and in finance, they’re very important. What we’ve seen over the last five years, in particular, is the rise of social media as a PR tool, podcasting as a PR tool much as you’re doing right now at this moment, blogging as a PR tool.
And things are getting really interesting in the media landscape. So, all of the reporters that I’ve known or worked with for a decade plus are still out there. They’re still doing great reporting and practicing journalism on a regular basis in the industry but now you’re seeing Twitter as a vehicle for PR. Every single reporter is compelled to be on Twitter, reporters I never would’ve thought to be on Twitter in a million years. Some of the old school cats who have been out there doing this for a long time are now on Twitter and they’re actually enjoying it. You can tell they’re engaged and they’re enjoying it. That’s a great role of forum for PR. Blogging too. And now we see bloggers. So, Joel Bruckenstein, Tim Welsh, Michael Kitces, Bill Winterberg, all of these guys are out there blogging consistently, and they’re sort of getting into the zone of journalism. Our own PR team will pitch them as if they’re a reporter because many times they are a reporter at various conferences and they’re covering news and things in the industry with great frequency.
[00:06:48] Jason: So, the landscape has gotten a lot more interesting. It’s not as black and white as it used to be, but this presents a lot of opportunities for those looking to capitalize them all the ways you can get your message out there.
[00:06:59] Brad: So, to me, it’s kind of like your iPhone is like media today is this black hole and it’s like which rabbit hole am I going to get sucked down here? Well, so, how do you help your clients navigate if it’s kind of the man who chases many rabbits catches none. So, what are the high priority like if I said, “Hey, I manage $100 million, $200 million,” because typically you’re playing in the large RIA space, Jason?
[00:07:21] Jason: Yeah.
[00:07:22] Brad: What’s like the basics? What’s the 101 that I need to get started out of the gates to have a successful PR campaign?
[00:07:28] Jason: Yeah. So, the first thing that you need to know if you’re a firm in the 100 million, 500 million, sub-100 million range is that you should be thinking about dipping a toe into PR, but PR is a subset of a good marketing plan. It is not the thing that you lead with as a part of your marketing plan in my opinion. We know everybody wants a piece of the spotlight. You want to get your messaging out there. It’s exciting when you have that third-party credibility marketing. That’s how we view PR. It’s credibility marketing. When you’re generating that and you’re getting reporters interested in your message and interested in talking about you and your firm, that can be invigorating. It can be an adrenaline rush and it can be very exciting, but you’re putting the cart before the horse if you get started in that too soon. I mean, even at United Capital when we started out, the first four firms that the company acquired immediately put us in about the 500 million range, comes with AUM but we held off on PR.
I mean, we did some announcements based on some of the deals that we were winning, and I would say that if you’re an advisory firm and you brought on a strategic new hire, if you’ve merged with another firm, you acquire a smaller firm. Now, these are things that are newsworthy but at FiComm we would recommend you dip a toe in and really get a feel for PR itself. It is in my mind a sport and it’s something that you really have to learn and get comfortable playing over time. You don’t just dive into the deep end and start swimming. That’s when you could find yourself in a bit of a pickle pretty quickly but doing a project, a press release, seeing how that goes, reaching out to some reporters on their own, have to talk with them and engage with them about what you’re doing, that’s a very viable strategy, low cost, relatively low risk, and that’s where we’d recommend that most advisor start, the good examination, what PR is, and whether or not it’s for you because frankly, it’s not for everyone.
[00:09:22] Brad: So, dipping your toe in the water by hopping on live TV out of the gate is not recommended?
[00:09:26] Jason: Yeah. Jumping right into CNBC in the bright spotlight, you may very well be qualified to do that. You may have all the confidence in the world. You may just step up into batter’s box and crush it. Odds are it’s going to be a little clunky and you’re going to feel a bit uncomfortable. It’s a pretty intense experience. Particularly, broadcast television, that comes later. Now don’t be in such a rush to get out there and be on CNBC and Fox Business talking about the markets or talking about the global economy or planning. All these things are very important that you should want to talk about. Hone your messaging. Start slowly. Get out there and start working with your internal team and try to find some opportunities where even if it’s just a couple of times a quarter, getting out and talking to a reporter about your view as a fiduciary advisor and how you’re planning for clients and why that’s important in the current environment, start there, start with some print opportunities, maybe pen a byline article or two, work on that and then sort of work your way into more intense aspects of PR.
[00:10:33] Brad: Okay. So, I want to rewind because I love the honesty in what you just said a little bit ago and I love that fact that it’s the exact same advice we give all the time. Because I think when you said, “Hey, before we hop into this PR thing, before any of that comes, it’s marketing your actual business, getting appointments on the calendar, actually getting revenue coming into the company.”
[00:10:52] Jason: Absolutely.
[00:10:53] Brad: Well, what’s cool about that is, I mean, United Capital that’s one of the most successful RIAs in the country. They really it sounds like didn’t even started cracking that up until 500 million or so on the books.
[00:11:03] Jason: It started around there. I mean, the urge, the temptation is to sprint out of the gate and when we acquired the first four firms at United Capital, yeah, we did put an announcement out. We were very excited about what we were doing but it was until a couple of years later, it was around 2007 when Joe Duran was on the cover of Financial Advisor Magazine. That was the first point at which we really opened up the doors to PR and to journalism and to journalists in general. I don’t think there’s anything to hide. But to your point, we wanted to make sure we had the storefront squared away, the website was great, that we’re supporting the advisors that we had brought on, that the model was functioning efficiently and effectively. And if you do that, if you do all the blocking and tackling and you’re squared away in a sense that you’re ready to go out and engage with reporters, your confidence level is going to be up, your messaging is going to be crisp. You’ll feel really good about your business and that matters.
I mean, again, to the sports analogy, it is a lot like sports. You prepare, prepare, prepare. When you get out there on the field, it’s game time and anything can happen. PR is not advertising. It’s not 100% certain. You don’t get to form every single word, know exactly what you’re going to say, but you have to be ready to get down the field and play the game. If you do that, you’re going to be much more successful. I would always recommend to get the basics done first, get that website ready to go, get your marketing collateral good to go, make sure your quarterly newsletter is squared away, email campaigns, things to that nature. PR should be an add-on to marketing plan. It should not be what you lead with, with your marketing plan.
[00:12:42] Brad: It reminds me of advice from one of my good friends, Michael Hyatt, that very successful online blogger has built a massive platform for himself and he says, “The beauty of when you start out, you can fail while nobody’s watching.”
[00:12:54] Jason: Yeah.
[00:12:55] Brad: So, I think what’s interesting in financial services and I think just to be good in financial services, you have to have some level of ego, some level of self-confidence, and I think anytime you want to see your name in lights on the billboards or TV or in print, that feels good to the personal ego. One of the things, we’re coming up on Christmas, so the way that we really start to explain PR and branding to our clients is it’s kind of like the shiny wrapping paper on a beautiful present. And so, if you don’t actually have the present figured out what it is, how to deliver that, and how to scale and make sure that every time you build that present it’s still the same amazing present, you probably should go out and buy the expensive wrapping paper, yes.
[00:13:38] Jason: Absolutely. I mean, imagine what would’ve happened in 2007? And it was Jeff Schlegel was the reporter that we worked with at a time. He still works for Financial Advisor Magazine. And imagine if we had said, “Hey, Jeff, why don’t you come have a look at United Capital? We’re going to let you in, talk to as many of our team as you want. Look around, let’s talk about the model, let’s talk about the future, five years from now, what are we going to look like. Everything’s on the table, Jeff. Come and have a peek.” And we were just a hot mess. I mean, that wouldn’t have been good. I mean, it would’ve turned him off. He would immediately say, “Okay. These guys are getting over their skis here. I don’t think they really understand that the landscape of competitive factors or forces that are at play.” But we have done all of that prior. So, when we were ready to get out there on the field and play the game, we were very, very ready. And in doing so, you give yourself a much, much higher probability of getting the result you want. In that case, it was a feature story on the company with Joe on the cover and it sort of launched United Capital’s PR progress and they’re very much a PR fan to this day.
[00:14:46] Brad: Okay. So, let’s backtrack there and one of the things that’s really cool about this podcast is pretty much we’re playing in the independent financial advisor space but that’s a broad range. They could be a solo practitioner with maybe an assistant. We’ve got some offices capturing 200 million, 300 million and 400 million a year with very, very large staff as well. So, let’s just start from scratch. Let’s say you walk into my office. I have zero PR other than maybe we do press announcements on some public events we’re doing locally. What would be one-on-one like you mentioned print a couple of times but let’s kind of lay out a roadmap for three years or something that makes sense to you.
[00:15:27] Jason: Sure.
[00:15:28] Brad: What would that marketing plan look like just high level if you laid it out?
[00:15:31] Jason: So, from a PR perspective and if FiComm works with advisors on websites, on collateral, we have a whole marketing division as well, but my primary focus and core competency is on the PR side. It’s what I’ve always been doing in the space and my partner, Megan, is much more on the marketing side. And again, it has to be well-rounded but there’s one thing that’s consistent regardless of where you start, whether it’s PR, whether it’s marketing, if you just want to do a video or something from a creative capacity. There is one commonality that regardless of where you’re starting in the marketing world and that is to get your messaging right and to make sure that you know what to say and to say it right. And it’s of absolute critical importance. At FiComm, we won’t take a client on unless they’re willing to spend about three or four weeks with our team, full discovery session, all the cards out on the table. We want to know your origin story. We want to know what makes you tick, what gets you up in the morning, what are you proudest of with regard to your business, what got you here from where you started in the industry, where are you going, and we spend hours and hours of time with every single client that we work with identifying their unique messaging.
And we say at our homepage of our website, “Like people, no two businesses are ever the same.” And the reason we believe that is because businesses themselves are made up of individuals. They’re made up with people all with unique DNA. And if that’s true, then it naturally follows that every single business is very unique, and this applies to every advisory firm that is out there, every service provider to advisory firms. No two CRM firms are the same, no two portfolio accounting firms are the same, no two RIAs are the same because they have people behind them. So, you have to identify those key messages and you have to know what you want to say consistently when you get out there on the field, be it with a journalist or just to build a website. Whatever you’re going to do, make sure that your messaging is good to go and that leads to success in all facets of marketing.
[00:17:38] Brad: So, Jason, on that congruency, I get it. I hear it. It’s something that definitely needs to work in financial services. How deep do you go there? Is it kind of high-level hears? I heard story, I heard origin story which I think is key with anybody. That’s how you connect with people. But I think one thing that you helped me with and your team helped me with that I thought was super valuable was kind of here are the two or three things in any print keys interview that I can make sure a piece of the conversation where I’m going to show up differently, I’m going to show up unique. I don’t know what you officially call those if they’re taglines, what they’re officially called in the business, but can you speak to that and really maybe some of the best examples of people you’ve seen pull that off in financial services?
[00:18:23] Jason: Yeah. So, every time a client of ours gets in front of a journalist or is going to create something from a marketing standpoint but particularly for PR, so every time you’re getting in front of a reporter, that experience is going to be 100% unique to that moment in time. You can speak to the same reporter twice in the same day on the exact same topic, but you might get different questions. They might be in a different mood. You may have a different energy level. You’re never ever going to have the exact uniform set of variables every time you speak to a reporter and that’s why there’s never 100% certainty on any of the outcome. We can only give ourselves the best possible chance to succeed. So, we prepare an interview briefing sheet for every client before they sit down with a journalist and in that brief is what are the key points that we think you should hit upon in this discussion? Now it’s a two-way street. So, if the reporter is looking to put something in front of their readers that’s interesting, they come with an agenda, they come with a list of questions, things they want to talk about.
But for every one of our clients, we ask them, “Okay, it’s a give-and-a-take so we’re going to answer those questions but what do we want to talk about?” But the key is you can’t just get on with a reporter and start giving them a sales pitch. You can’t start talking about why X Advisory Firm or X Wealth Management Firm is the greatest on earth and why you’re better than everyone else because of X, Y, and Z. Remember, they’re talking to advisors at a pretty high frequency and they’ve heard it before. So, you have to get something out that’s relevant to your business within the context of the conversation at hand and the only way to be successful in doing that is if you know your messaging, you prepare before the interview, you know the topics that are going to be asked and you come very engaged and with a bit of a view on who it is that you’re talking to. How long have they been a reporter? What are their four most recent articles that they’ve written? What were those articles about? Is there a way that you can loop back to something that they’re focused on right now that they’re interested in or something that you read from that reporter and make a connection?
[00:20:29] Jason: And so, these are the types of things that are absolutely vital, and we always joke around with our clients in almost every interview at the end of the interview you’re going to hear the line, “Okay, it’s been great talking to you. Is there anything that we haven’t covered today? Anything else that you want to tell me about your business that you think I should know about or that you’re working on?” And if you’re not prepared for that softball pitch and you’re not ready, you’re going to miss a huge opportunity to leave a great impression with that reporter and that’s absolutely key. You want two things in every interview with a journalist. Ideally, you want some coverage. You want to make into the article that they’re working on and if they’re going to print in the next couple of days.
But you really have to take a long-term view primarily and you’re looking to build a relationship to establish trust, to establish rapport and I don’t care if you don’t make it into the next two articles that Charlie Paikert from Financial Planning is working on. What I care about is does Charlie actually think that you’re a credible source, someone interesting that he enjoyed talking to? And if I can check that box, then that means that you will ultimately appear in an article that Charlie is writing, not because he feels compelled to put you in but because you have earned your place in that article and that’s what a lot of people don’t understand. Just because you speak to a reporter, it doesn’t guarantee you a result. You have to have the messaging, you have to understand what the journalist is focused on and then operate accordingly by way of great messaging and something interesting to bring to the table that that reporter can then take to their readers.
[00:22:03] Brad: You know, what’s interesting is you just described what a first appointment should be in financial services with the prospect.
[00:22:10] Jason: Exactly.
[00:22:10] Brad: Actually, bring value to the person across the desk, look to solve the need of theirs, and anybody that walked into a first appointment as a financial advisor and just started spewing out why their firm is so amazing, they’re closing percentage is going to be about 0%.
[00:22:27] Jason: Exactly.
[00:22:28] Brad: Not like the LinkedIn messages I get every day where they connect with me and then they’re like, “Hey, nice to connect. Check out my service I want to pitch you.”
[00:22:35] Jason: Exactly. Yeah. Nothing more frustrating than that. People want to be listened to. They want to know that you’re there to help them. And what we tell our clients is the reporters that you talk to, the journalist that you’re speaking with, they don’t owe you anything like they’re coming to the conversation because they’re hoping to have an interesting chat about a topic that’s interesting to their readers. So, they don’t owe us ink in their publication. They don’t owe us the opportunity to have a video at the publication. They owe us nothing. They’re coming to the table looking for a good conversation and something interesting.
We owe them the interesting soundbites. We owe them some aha moments, some type of educational tidbits that they can bring back to inform their readers. And if that’s the mindset that you have going in, they’re going to be much more successful and you’re just going to have better conversations. You’re going to click with these reporters much more effectively than if you go in with the arrogant view of my time is valuable and I’m spending this 20 minutes with this journalist and they better cover me. That is absolutely the wrong attitude and PR is absolutely not right for you if you’re going to take that view.
[00:23:43] Brad: What makes a good sound bite in an interview?
[00:23:45] Jason: To be succinct. Paint a picture. Everyone thinks in visual form. So, if you’re creating a metaphor, if you’re helping the journalist to visualize what it is that you’re talking about by way of analogies, by metaphors, by feeding something into a story that’s interesting, is there an amusing story that you can tell, a serious story that you want to tell but bring them into the moment by helping them to picture something. But when you fall back on jargon, that’s where you start to get into trouble. If you talk to veteran reporters in the industry like Brooke Southall from RIABiz or Diana Britton from Wealth Management, you’re going to sit there with these reporters and what soundbites across them but if it’s jargon-laden, yeah, if everything out of your mouth is a value-add or the cherry or things that they hear a hundred times during the day, you’re instantly turning them off. If you’re giving them an interesting story to fall back on, some color to that story, something personal in there, they’re going to connect much more quickly and they’re going to find more value in the conversation and think that you’re more interesting as a result, and that leads to good media coverage.
[00:24:57] Brad: Make sense. Speaking of painting pictures, let’s go ahead and do that right now. So, maybe pick, I mean, you’ve been doing this a bit. How many years of experience in the PR world especially as it pertains to financial services, Jason?
[00:25:08] Jason: Yeah. I’m going on 14 now in the industry doing marketing and communications work for advisors on the in-house side then I went to an international agency, built their LA office and introduced them to their registered investment advisory community in the IBD space and then formed FiComm in 2012. So, I’ve been at this for a while.
[00:25:31] Brad: You look too young, man, to have that much experience.
[00:25:33] Jason: Oh, come on. I don’t know. I’ve got some white hairs growing in here. I don’t know if this beard is such a good idea. It’s my wife’s idea but it’s giving me away in terms of how old I actually am.
[00:25:42] Brad: My wife, I think this is just her trying to make me feel good. She says, “It kind of looks like George Clooney when it comes in with a little gray.”
[00:25:49] Jason: Yeah. I fell for that line too and then now I’m like, “It just itches and it’s annoying and I want to get rid of it.”
[00:25:54] Brad: Yeah. So, let’s go back. Maybe share like a prolific story as far as you saw a firm at this level going back to the package and the wrapping analogy. You saw a firm at this level. They had a great package. Number one, I think we’re on the same page here, if you don’t have a great product and a great package, no amount of PR can do anything for you anyway. So, let’s say the package is kind of dialed in, and where have you seen in your career somebody that they got the package right, they got the financial services right as far as what they’re doing for their clients? They added PR and their success skyrocketed. Do you have some examples there and some key takeaways?
[00:26:34] Jason: I do. I have one primary example of a firm that I think that do exactly right. So, I’ve been working with Ron Carson and Carson Wealth Management on and off since 2009. I think it was the first PR person that Ron ever hired to work with him and work with his businesses and at the time it was Peak Advisor Alliance. Now it’s Carson Group Coaching and they rebranded into the Carson Group so well beyond just Carson Wealth. But that company has just consistently gone through transformations and improving the branding, improving the service model, improving the look and feel, growing the business exponentially by way of bringing firms in and going out and deploying an M&A strategy, the B2B strategy in the industry. And Ron’s always been a fan of PR, but he’s understood the other factors that go along with it and understands that you have to have a marketing team. You have to have people buying in internally who are driving the growth of the business.
So, the marketing team and the marketing machine I should say at Carson Group is pretty substantial and when they do PR, they do it to supplement all the things that they’re doing on the marketing side. So, back in 2009 with Ron and Carson Wealth, it was more about let’s really amp up the visibility because you have a fantastic wealth management practice that you built, and this is going to be a component to that that’s going to help drive that. Now it’s more like, “Okay, we have this visibility, this recognition, and a great brand and everyone understands who Ron is but now it’s about promoting the brand and the various brands of the business and focusing there.” Ron’s always going to be a star. He’s going to be a celebrity in the industry but now how do you focus on scale and bringing PR to many spokespeople within the organization to highlight what you’re doing on a much broader scale? That’s something that he’s doing very well.
[00:28:35] Jason: Knight Capital is another example. Over the years they’ve continuously done outstanding work and PR. Joe’s always been a huge fan and advocate of PR but now they’re spreading the ball around too and that you’re seeing a lot more of United Capital spokespeople out there. Their messaging has changed, and the same thing applies to Joe. He’s always going to be very a well-known expert in the space. But who else is at United Capital that needs to have a look? And the same thing goes for every firm that we work with. So, every RIA no matter how big or small, you want to start and focus in at a very micro level. Okay. What do we need the most right now in a PR capacity? And it may just be posting visibility, highlighting credibility that already exists going back to that credibility marketing definition of what PR is. Let’s focus in there. And then as we grow and we build the marketing team and we have more need, then we can advance things from PR capacity and get a little more advanced with regard to our PR push.
[00:29:37] Brad: Cool. So, you’re naming some large RIAs. So, let’s segue from there and let’s go to the difference in strategy that you see in a multibillion-dollar RIA versus what it’s more of like a brand versus an individual and the different strategies you would take say if you are dealing with a smaller call it a sole producer with five staff but still say they’re doing great numbers at that size. Say they’re 100 million of AUM that they’re doing some fixed business on the annuity side or life insurance side. What would the difference in strategy be? Would it be dramatically different or just on a smaller scale?
[00:30:16] Jason: The difference there is it, again, you have to get your message right. You have to identify what you want to say that differentiates you. What is your unique value proposition and how are you going to communicate that effectively and understand what that is, and where you want to focus. You’re focused on a certain niche as your target market, your target audience. Why? And who are they and what do you do that’s so special that this group is going to benefit tremendously from your services? So, get your identity right, understand why it is you’re doing what you’re doing and what you’re bringing to the table. And then don’t feel like you need to swing for the fences. Again, if you’re a solo practitioner or a practice or in 100 million in AUM, less than that, slightly more than that, around that level, you really want to focus in on getting some credibility marketing under your belt. So, go out there and get some advance with reporters, have a good conversation but think of it as practice. Think of it as the way in baseball you got AAA before you get to the majors.
Now get out, take your practice swings, you can actually go and play against some real professional pitching, but you don’t have to be on CNBC every other week. You don’t have to be quoted in the Wall Street Journal on day one when you’re going out to get your message out there. So, it’s very important that you start at a reasonable place that you’re looking to slowly accumulate some of that credibility marketing and what we mean by that is these advisors, even if you’re a smaller level advisor, if you’re a solo practitioner that’s been running a successful business for a number of years, a decade-plus, sometimes 20 years but it’s a lifestyle business. You’re comfortable, you like what you do but it is time to grow. You want to think about growing a bit. You’re looking at how can I add some things onto the practice that wasn’t there before. Or you have, you want it to succeed out of the business. You want to transition out of the business and you have an advisor who’s hungry. You get that PR exposure who wants to use social media more.
[00:32:22] Jason: These are points where you can say, “How do I need to get on some journalist radars? How do I just need to make a good impression? And bring something back to the table for the business by way of credibility marketing that I can put on the website, put our media section of our website that says, “Yes, I was quoted in Financial Planning. I was quoted in the Wall Street Journal.” If you can bring back some of those small singles and doubles and you’re leveraging them properly, then those can be very, very helpful when people are coming in to take a look at the practice and whether or not they want to work with you. Now that’s why we call it credibility marketing. Earning your credibility on display, prospective clients coming in say, “Well, I think there’s more trust inherently because I’m seeing the logos of these publications that I recognize so, therefore, this advisor is worth my time as someone I should seriously consider sitting down with.”
[00:33:15] Brad: And I know there are some ethics when it comes to reporters and how they connect with sources and obviously having credible sources. What are some ways maybe on the starter side of that to connect with reporters? Is Help a Reporter Out, is that website even around? Or what sort of recommendations would you have there?
[00:33:31] Jason: Yeah. Interestingly enough, our team utilizes tools. I shouldn’t say utilizes. Maybe that implies with me frequently, but we find out to help a report out, there’s a service called ProfNet that you can sign up for that’s relatively inexpensive. These services bring back a whole basket of media opportunities and we shortened that and just calling them ops that may or may not be relevant for you as an advisor, relevant for our clients. We use that just to know what certain journalists are thinking of or how wide they’re casting a net when they’re looking for stories. What we do is much more proactive in nature rather than something like HARO that I consider reactive. You’re waiting for something to come into your basket rather than knocking on the door with something interesting to say to a reporter after having done some homework. That’s much more effective. But if you want to go and just dip a toe in and see if you can get a nibble or two with HARO, there’s no harm in doing that.
If you like the topic, if you’re an expert on that topic, you think you have something to say on the topic, by all means, get out there and raise your hand and see if you can engage with the journalist and do so staying in your lane, don’t get out there and talk about things you don’t know about, never act like you know more than you actually do. It’s always okay to say, “I don’t know, I can come back to you on this, or this is really not my field of expertise.” Again, back to the analogy of PR being a sport, it’s a contact sport. So, when you get out there and start playing the game on your own, it’s somewhat representing yourself in court. You can absolutely do it and it’s okay for a parking ticket or maybe a minor moving violation but once you start to get into the more advanced stuff, probably a good idea to get a professional to help you out, prepare you, sit with you during the engagement with the journalist and then help you to get better post-game.
[00:35:22] Brad: Awesome. Okay. I want to go a couple of different ways. I’m going this way first, though. So, as we get into let’s go with writing a book as a financial advisor and a number of our clients have written books. I’ve seen some great books, I’ve seen some not so great books over the years as far as written by financial advisors but one thing I’ve seen almost universally is books written that are like they write the book and then there’s no promotion after the fact. And working with some people that live and breathe in that space and some New York Times bestsellers and some that have been on this podcast as well but really, it’s interesting people that live in the book world, that’s like writing the book is like step one and then it’s the book promotion and how does that drive their business depending on what business they’re in. So, I’m just curious on your side working with a number of your clients that have written books, what are some of the best strategies you’ve seen when it comes to actually promoting the book and in turn driving business from the book?
[00:36:16] Jason: Well, the number one maybe to consider what the book is, what’s the topic, and how many have come before you that are written on a similar topic? So, you have a very interesting angle or topic. So, we had a client not too long ago who wrote a book, an advisor who works a lot with expats, who had a good deal of money in the United States but also receives in the UK, in Asia and their needs are very, very complex from a tax perspective, from what’s keeping you up at night perspective. This advisor has a pretty unique angle on how to work with this particular set of clients very effectively and that book was extremely interesting for journalists and it absolutely got out there and got some really good traction and some good looks by reporters. If it’s more of a vanilla, let’s keep it down in the middle of the fairway-type of book, a personal finance book, something along those lines, that’s fine but you have to be realistic about your expectations with regard to the press and that’s not to say their book is not an excellent PR tool. It’s not an excellent credibility tool, just like some hits in the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal or Financial Planning or Wealth Management Magazine.
If you’re getting into these publications quoted or mentioned or featured, that’s very good credibility marketing. A book is one of the pinnacles of credibility marketing because it proves that you’ve taken the time to put your thoughts down and if you’re also thoughtful about how you’re leveraging the book then it can be very powerful. But typically, a book should have a press release that announces what’s the content of the book, why is it different, why is your perspective important or interesting. You should send the book to certain reporters. But like anything in PR, do your homework, understand the reporter that you’re sending the book to. Have you done your homework? Have you researched who they are? Is it appropriate for their beat? There’s a trap that even PR professionals can fall into is you cast a very wide generic net.
[00:38:17] Jason: Just thinking I’m going to buy a list of reporters and I’m going to send out 100 books to all of these reporters with a stock cover note and that’s absolutely not going to get you as much mileage or interest as if you took the time to look at the reporter for whom this book is very, very relevant, you’ve done your due diligence on what they’re writing, what they’re saying, and you tailor your message to them specifically, personally, and get them engaged with what it is that you’re doing. It takes time. It takes a lot of patience and energy, but it’s absolutely the best way to get some traction with the book and a book is a gift that keeps on giving. So, we talked earlier about contributed content or byline articles for publications. There’s a lot of shelf space out there for opinions and for good thought leadership when it comes to finance and if you’ve written a book, guess what, you just gave yourself a giant repository of thought leadership that you can break down at the small digestible bits and put out to third-party publications.
[00:39:15] Brad: What are your thoughts as far as so let’s say you select 8 to 10 journalists you want to connect with, you just wrote a book, is this a pre-release copy of the book? I’ve been fortunate enough I’ve had a couple of people that were coming on the podcast. Jon Acuff is the one that I think of. He sent me a pre-released book. The thing wasn’t out yet. And I don’t know if this is part of the marketing strategy for big publishing houses or not but makes you feel pretty special when you get one and you’re like, “This doesn’t exist in the world other than these 50 copies of which you have one of.” So, is that a strategy when it comes to connecting with those individuals you really want to make an impression with when it comes to a reporter?
[00:39:53] Jason: Yeah. Absolutely. And again, just keep it personal and make it relevant to that specific journalist. It doesn’t take a lot of time to quickly go and read some articles and understand what their interests are, where they’re focused. And if your book is relevant with their general realm of covering the world at large, financial world at large, consumer world, make your pitch. It doesn’t even have to feel like a pitch to say, “This is something that I thought you would be interested in. I just wrote this book. It releases in two weeks. I wanted to give you an advance look. I think you’ll find so-and-so sections of the book particularly interesting given your interest as a reporter.” Just to take that little bit of time to understand what might interest them about this book goes a very, very long way. Now, we just actually had Jim Pavia from CNBC came into our offices recently and was talking to our whole PR team about some dos and don’ts about how to work with journalists and particularly the CNBC reporters and Jim himself.
And one of the things that he said which I think is universally true with all the journalists is they hate a generic pitch. If you’re sending an email out that this like, “Dear All, here’s a book on XYZ and it’s fantastic and I know you’re going to love it and please do enjoy and now I hope that you’ll feature it in your magazine.” And that’s how you and your “pitch”. They can tell in two seconds that you sent that out to about 200 people and if there’s very little thought behind it, you’re just trying to save yourself time. If you really want the coverage, if you want the true value and, listen, if you’ve taken the time to write a book, why not take the time to market it properly. You’ll leverage what’s in that book properly. Doesn’t make any sense. If you’re spending the hours and hours and days to create that product, take the time to put something to Jim Pavia and others who know that you’ve actually thought about what’s important to them.
[00:41:52] Jason: And it’s important for PR people to know that, for people who are doing it themselves to know that. Never get generic. Always tailor things to the specific reporter/journalist at hand and that applies to books. That applies to press releases, to byline articles that you write, that you’re pitching into publications. I don’t care what it is. You need to make your approach specific and valuable to them and remember that they have an audience. And listen, as advisors, our clients think that they’re pressed for time. You know how many stories Jim and his team cover in any given day? It could be 80 different stories and articles that they’re focused on writing in any given day and that’s something they actually told us. It’s about 80 sometimes. And that’s almost incomprehensible but they were a very large team, but it also means that they do not have a single minute to waste during the course of their day. So, help them to help you by tailoring your pitch and your approach to that specific person, you’ll have a much higher degree of success.
[00:42:53] Brad: You just gave me an idea, something I practice. I’ve been doing probably the last year or two. I mail out a lot of books. I get exposed to a lot of books, a lot of offers on here so it’s made me a more voracious reader just having to make sure I stay up on whoever is coming on the podcast. So, the one thing, I mean, and these reporters they probably get pitched books probably if there are 80 stories, probably five of those are on somebody releasing a book. It wouldn’t surprise me.
[00:43:17] Jason: Right.
[00:43:18] Brad: An idea I got from a friend is when he got a book sent to him and besides the personal note on the front cover, this individual actually going back to the sections that would impact him personally took a sticky note. Maybe it can be a classier version of that, a nice bookmark or something, and actually tagged a couple of pages with handwritten notes on there and just like, “Hey, right here,” with a little arrow pointing, “I’d thought you’d appreciate this section and this section,” and if you think about something that’s incredibly busy, even if they’re incredibly busy and they get a book just human curiosity is going to have them crack that and say, “Well, what the heck do they think I would think was important to me?” Right?
[00:43:57] Jason: Absolutely.
[00:43:58] Brad: There are some goal ideas. I think if nothing else, think of how many unread books we all have sitting on our nightstand. At least point out the two or three sections that they’re going to at least take 30 seconds to read that you really want to hit home.
[00:44:10] Jason: Yeah. And if you’re going to take that time, it shows that you’re thoughtful and that you’ve actually put the time in to try to make an impression and it goes a very long way. And you may get someone to look at the sticky notes and send you a note back just because they understand the effort that’s gone into it. If they’re just getting a stock letter with a book that looks like it’s been mailed to 200 plus people with the same FedEx package, they’re just going to chuck it in the drawer and there it will stay. So, do put the time in. If you take the time to create something like that, take the time to do it right and get it in front of people the right way.
[00:44:44] Brad: Awesome. Okay. Local PR versus national PR, thoughts?
[00:44:48] Jason: Great topic. So, what’s very interesting is that most people think it’s much easier to get into local newspapers and publications than it is to get into the Wall Street Journal or the Barron’s or the Times or get featured in Bloomberg and some of the larger entities that everyone knows. Universally these are the brands that everyone recognizes. And very interestingly, the opposite is true. And the reason for that is because the local reporter is wearing five or six different hats. Now they’re covering personal finance with one. They’re also covering sports. They’re covering all business. They’re covering gardening. Whatever it is, they’re all over the place and they’re very distracted. So, you’d think the regular journalist over at the Wall Street Journal of which they have hundreds, if you think they’re maxed out, just picture the reporter that has a very, very limited amount of shelf space and is wearing five or six different hats.
So, when you go in to pitch a local reporter, you need to be micro-focused and also understand what’s the readership of that publication. So, I live in Brentwood in California and the Brentwood News, the publication, I’ll always find sitting around on my kitchen counter. I very seldom see an article in there that has anything to do with advisors for personal finance. If I did, it would make quite an impression. But the publication itself has about seven or eight pages worth of space, and one editor working for the publication. So, the odds of getting in there are very, very remote. If you do, it could be high-impact but you’re going to have to work at it, keep chipping away, chipping away over time. And we’ve had some success in local markets just by making personal introductions, by being, again, putting a journalist’s needs first and thinking about what they want and what their readers want and how can you help them to help their readers. So, if that’s the approach that you go in with, you’ll have better success.
[00:46:48] Jason: But it’s actually easier in a lot of respects to get into some of the mainstream broader business and finance publications because they have armies of reporters and they have massive online presences and they need to fill up online space with good content and with interesting people, and the journalists are working hard or at least they’re focused on a certain beat and they need sources. They need people to talk to. They need fresh sources and fresh voices. So, you have an advantage because there’s more shelf space and they’re more specialized but either way you have to make sure again that same token we’re talking about with the books, you have to make your approach inbound, personal, relevant, something that they’re going to find valuable and do it the right way and you’ll get a much better result. Both are valuable. Now from credibility marketing standpoint, I think it’s more impressive to be featured in the New York Times or The Journal or Barron’s than it is to be featured in a local publication or I’m not sure the circulation, but both do have merit and they’re just different degrees of difficulty.
[00:47:52] Brad: Okay. So, you mentioned the old-school newspaper sitting on the counter which I remember reading an article like seven or eight years ago. It’s like what’s the one thing that existed with your parents that won’t exist in your generation? And I’m already seeing it with my children where everything is digital, iPad. Actually, my son made this little arts and crafts thing at school the other day and he said, “Grandpa Tom will like this,” and my wife, Sara, is like, “Why?” and he’s like, “He likes newspaper.” It’s unique to have.
So, let’s shift there and where a print piece in a newspaper say I love what this individual advisor is saying and I’m like, “Okay. Well, I guess I can somehow like take his name, google it, whatever.” Now times in digital articles, a lot of times you’re going to have your name linked as the author or it’s a much easier to now interact and take the next step. What are some strategies you see? And I know it’s different by publication on what they allow you to put in as an advisor as far as your website, your author page, whatever that may be, but what are some strategies you’ve seen for financial advisors that were taking the PR placement from placement to website traffic directly to their website where ideally obviously they’re capturing prospects that could potentially be their ideal clients?
[00:49:16] Jason: Yeah. Really, I mean it varies from publication to publication wildly in terms of what they will allow for your byline whether they were linked through your websites, put a hot link to your bio page in the article. It’s like your email address even at the end of the piece so don’t even allow something as simple as that. So, it varies quite a bit. What I would say is if you’re going to contribute content to publications on a frequent or even semi-frequent basis, keep something in mind. So, most of the times the publications are okay with you offering them the content first. They get it exclusively for about 48 to 72 hours, some maybe take a little longer, maybe they want it for a week. And then they’re okay with you putting in on your own blog. And what you can do there is actually put the hotlink to the article on the publication site and most of them are perfectly fine with this because you’re actually increased in traffic the other way.
Now, while they may not always play ball with you and put a hot link back to your website in their article, anyone who’s online with the proper resources if they copy and paste the name of your specific wealth management firm or the name of you, the advisor, or the principal or the company and they do quickly put that into Google, oftentimes, they’re going to go to the right place and will be able to recognize some of the similarities between the two. But what’s very important is it doesn’t end just because your article gets published in Investment News. When it’s published there, they’re perfectly fine with you having a bad article which you wrote and they’re just repurposing for their audience. So, put it on your blog and to make sure that you’re doing everything possible to get more eyeballs there. What you can then do is say is as seen in Investment News. And once you’re doing that, that immediately gives more credibility to your blog post. It’s not like you’re just anyone can blog and write on their own website. Your stuff is now getting picked up by a publication read by hundreds of thousands of advisors and that’s powerful.
[00:51:18] Jason: So, interesting thing there and just backing up to a second on the general print versus online debate, it’s fascinating because you’re absolutely right. Online is where it’s at. Publications are shrinking. Staffs are shrinking but the need for content is expanding. Now this offers a huge opportunity for advisors and thought leaders that captures a share of voice and get out there and get heard because they’re looking for content. There aren’t enough people to write all the articles that they should be writing at any given point in time. So, if you’re helping them to fill up that shelf space, you’re going to get covered more effectively. But what’s fascinating is the psychological effect of something that you can touch and hold in your hand. It’s amazing. We get asked consistently by every single client, “That’s awesome. Thanks for the link. Thanks for socializing. Is it going to appear in print?” Just consistent question that is asked and it sort of boggles the mind from a PR perspective because you are extremely limited in what you can to.
If you open up Wealth Management Magazine, you’ve seen your article in the middle of the publication, it’s awesome but what can you do with that? You got one of those. So, other than buying a whole bunch of Wealth Managements and mailing them out to everybody, why don’t you just go online, grab the article and email it to everyone, put on your LinkedIn page, read it, do everything you can be doing. But it’s the psychological effect of having something you can put your hands on, on your coffee table that people can pick up and read, for some reason that makes it more real or just carries more weight and gravitas with clients and they love that too. So, I don’t think print’s going anywhere in the immediate future. Everything’s flipping towards digital but there’s still value to be had in the current realm.
[00:53:04] Brad: All right. So, I want to circle back something you said earlier on the conversation. It was this kind of intersection of what I would call your typical, we’ll call it old school print, The Times, The Wall Street Journal and how that’s intersected with really thought leadership on the digital side. Michael Kitces, Bill Winterberg. This podcast I mean what’s really been crazy is this started out as an experiment and now it’s a wealth management column where we’re recapping top takeaways.
[00:53:33] Jason: Yeah.
[00:53:33] Brad: So, speak to a financial advisor out there and just putting out great content whether that’s blogging, podcasting, videos, whatever. How have you seen the traditional media side start to embrace that side and what are some things if you’re an advisor out there putting out just great content on a consistent basis of how to like make that leap where somehow that connection can happen, for lack of a better term?
[00:54:02] Jason: It is tough. I mean, you got to really look at what these guys are doing so you look at your Josh Browns of the world, your Michael Kitces of the world, your Joel Bruckenstein. They are writing at a pace and a clip that is I’m going to say like an Olympic marathon champion. I mean, they’re cranking stuff out almost every single day and in the case of Michael and Josh, they’re on Twitter so much and putting out so much content, you’re wondering how are they even possibly focused on anything else that they’re meant to be doing but yet you see Josh Brown pop on CNBC all the time, owns a successful advisory firm. Same with Kitces, he’s running at this point, sort of lost track but I think it’s at least three or four different businesses in addition to blogging. And it is really, really hard to be that focused and dedicated. So, trying to be those folks in the blogging realm, in the media realm and the PR realm is sort of like trying to be the Michael Jordan of the industry, very, very tough. They’re the all-stars. But what you can do is just help yourself out by deploying some process and some best practices.
So, listen, you won’t have to be putting out a blog every week and Michael does that the weekend reading or the industry every single beat and it’s not light reading. I mean, he is aggregating scores of articles and links and opinion. And what I’m going to say about all of these pieces that he’s actually in-depth examining every week. If you try to be him out of the gates, you’re going to fall down and it’s going to be a pretty steep learning curve and you’re going to feel like you’re expanding a lot of energy for a very little return. But you can do the little things to help you sort of incrementally get to that point. So, my partner, Megan Carpenter, she blogs once a week, but she maps her blog out weeks in advance.
[00:56:03] Jason: She breaks pieces of it down into five-part series. She’s a huge fan of what she calls snackable content. So, if you read her blog, you’ll notice that it’s 400 to 500 words maybe maximum and it’s driving you towards a specific actionable thing. So, it doesn’t take her a tremendous amount of time to create the blog itself or write the piece. It takes her a lot of time to think it through, plan it out and make sure it’s relevant to what we’re doing as a business but if you put that type of time in, you apply process like she does to her blog, it can be very successful. And you might not get the 100,000 Twitter followers or 25K plus Michael was at or maybe it’s 30 now at last count but you can certainly make an impression and some of her blogs have been picked up by publications in the industry, by Investment News, for example. And that’s exciting.
[00:57:00] Brad: And also, now happen to know good PR people too.
[00:57:04] Jason: We might say she has a slight advantage on the PR side of the house but, I mean, look at your own podcast picked up by Wealth Management on a monthly basis. That’s awesome and if you put the time in and you take the time to really think it through and just make sure that you’re putting something out that’s valuable and that’s interesting for the industry, the rest will follow but if you set the bar too high and say, “I’m going to be Josh Brown and I’m going to start tweeting all kinds of stuff that everything that pops into my head,” and well, actually clients ask us like, “How can I deploy Donald Trump’s Twitter strategy for my practice?” And we say, “Just forget that that thought ever got into your mind like you need to erase that from your brain. Like he’s literally the only person that can ever pull off being that insane on Twitter with little to no damage overall to what he’s trying to do and that will not apply to anyone in financial services. I guarantee it.” So, stay in your comfort zone where you’re able to go out and put something out in a regular basis and then the rest will follow.
[00:58:10] Brad: Cool. Okay. So, I’m going to turn the tables. I guess I can’t really do that. We’ve been having a conversation here but something we talked about before we went live here that you said you’re happy to share is really you’re on your own search right now, Jason, for to acquire a financial advisor or find somebody to work with that’s a fit for you. I would love to hear a guy that’s basically grown up in our industry. What’s a successful entrepreneur, a guy that’s super busy? What do you find attractive in a financial advisor or what characteristics would they need to have for you to eventually find a home there?
[00:58:44] Jason: I’ve got to tread very carefully here, Brad, because we have a lot of advisors on our roster and we love them all. They’re all great. And my search for an advisor has not begun in our place. It’s about to. And I’m at the point now where five years in as an entrepreneur or five years in business and being pretty confident that we built something that’s going to last, now I’m really starting to seriously consider where I need to be from a savings standpoint, from an investments standpoint. I have a 10-year-old and a seven-year-old. It’s not going to be too long and then considering how quickly my daughter gotten 10, she would be at 18 and heading off to college in a blink of an eye and that’s keeping me up at night. We’re nowhere near where we need to be to be able to put a kid through four years of college with costs these days that you incur.
As a business owner, one of the major things that I underestimated when I started the company was accounting for taxes as a pass-through business, as an LLC. You have to be all over your finances and be allocating money to pay Uncle Sam on a consistent basis. And I quickly learned that that was the case. And fortunately, I have a great accountant and a great business accounting firm as well but those are things where you can have that like “whoa” moments where you really didn’t think through what was going on or you just didn’t know what you didn’t know. So, knowing that and now knowing that there are some things that I needed to correct course on pretty quickly, I’m wondering what it is that I don’t know coming on the track for the next 10 years of my life, the next 20 years of my life. I’m nowhere near retirement and finally the successful place as an entrepreneur, business owner and in my career where I’m kind of proud that I can qualify to work within an advisor but it’s sort of interesting because we worked with advisors here at FiComm for so long, everybody typically once you get to the larger side in the independent advisory land, the minimums are really high.
[01:00:44] Jason: They’re looking for you to have a pretty significant chunk of assets to invest. A good friend of mine who’s a financial advisor, our kids go to school together, is not even a FiComm client but I talked to him and I said, “What would you think about my wife and I putting some assets with you?” And we’re good buddies and still friends to this day and he actually said to me, he’s like, “You know what, you have enough right now to even qualify to bring across the table.” He’s like, “We’re an active manager so you have to bring X number of assets to our shop for us to work together.” And that was like an okay moment. A really good friend of mine is telling me that I’m not ready to work with him yet and they’re about I think 500 million in assets. So, I mean, in general advisory landscape, in about the midrange, but we didn’t qualify to get in the doors. So, those are things that I talk about or think about I should say, and I want to look at all the options.
I know because we’re an independent firm that works with independent advisors, I think it’s a pretty safe bet. We’re going to select an independent fiduciary-oriented financial advisor. I’ve seen enough from the clients that we work with and working in this industry for a very long time to know what questions to ask of my advisor. So, a great question that you ask, and we also have to think about from the digital capacity so what am I going to expect from the advisory firm that I work with? I think the reality is even though I’m not a millennial, I’m a GenXer, I still want a digital experience. I’m still going to expect to have an app on my phone that I can touch and go immediately to my financial information. I mean, I had that with our banking relationship with Chase. I can get the app and see exactly where we stand there. We’re with USAA for insurance and for some other things and quickly go there and see where we stand.
[01:02:37] Jason: So, it’s important no matter who you are if you’re an RIA, an IBD, rep, but it’s very important that you have a digital presence and that you’re making people these days especially myself and maybe from my generation, certainly for the millennials, make them feel like they’re only a push away from seeing their whole financial picture. If they feel like the only way they’re going to get a handle on their finances and know what it is that they have is by a quarterly meeting or a paper statement that comes their way, that’s going to be problematic I should think, if not already, quickly down the track.
[01:03:12] Brad: Yeah. It’s interesting way back when I remember Scott McCain came on and he said, “In today’s day and age the issue is you’re not just competing against other financial services. You’re competing against basically anybody that creates an amazing client experience.” And that is today’s day and age I expect like if it’s anything financially related, it’s a push of a button away. It’s call my advisor or wait for the next statement to show up in the mail.
[01:03:36] Jason: Well, let me tell you. I mean, at FiComm, we’re doing the same exact thing. We put quarterly reports in front of our clients every single quarter, but we know that’s not enough. So, if I’m getting you a PDF quarterly and telling you about all the results the PR team is generating on your behalf, that may satisfy you for that hour in time and you may be good to go for the next week knowing that we did what we said we’re going to do. I guarantee you that the following week, you would have forgotten every single media result. You won’t know what the number is. You’ll just have no idea what your whole media picture looks like. You’ll be focused on what are we going to do for you next week. And that’s okay, but you have to be able to know what has happened up to this point because in doing so, you’ll be able to make better decisions with regard to your media profile, approaching journalists, engaging in PR. So, we know we have to get there too and we’re actually working on an app that we’re going to be bringing to our clients that’s going to be able to do just that.
[01:04:35] Brad: Is this the mysterious FiComm Communication Dashboard we talked about?
[01:04:40] Jason: It is and…
[01:04:41] Brad: I thought that’s what you were describing. I don’t want to make any assumptions here though.
[01:04:45] Jason: A shroud is lifted now, Brad, so actually we announced this in August. We put it in a press release. We also announced the head of our New York PR team, Kirsten Plonner, joined us from Fidelity Investments. Very happy to bring her on to lead our PR team. In the same announcement, we announced our dashboard and what’s very exciting about the dashboard is, yes, at the end of phase one of the build, it will culminate in an app that all of our clients will have on their phones and we’ll give them push notifications when they’re covered in the press. Right now, what it does is it actually tells you, so you as a FiComm client will be able to see exactly how many media hits and pieces of coverage you received since becoming a client of ours and this takes reporting and transparency from the quarterly level and the monthly level and it brings it into the real-time realm. So, every 12 hours it gets updated. You met with a client last week. Since the beginning of the year, they’ve received 160 media hits. And as of this week, it’s up to 168. Next week it’ll be well passed 170.
It’s growing before their very eyes and not only do you see your media profile built before your eyes, you can analyze where you’ve been and where you need to go. So, just by looking at the screen together, our PR practitioners and our clients can ask the right questions. How many times was I in Wealth Management Magazine? How many times have I spoken to Dave Armstrong and Diana Britton and Mike Thrasher from Wealth Management? Okay. I’ve spoken to Diana six times in the past year, but I’ve never spoken to Thrasher and I know he’s been in publication for a number of months. Maybe we should get to know each other. “Hey, PR team, do you think you can make an introduction?” Before, you wouldn’t be able to ask that question. Maybe it would hit you one day that you just hadn’t spoken to Mike but now you can drill in and see exactly which publications you’re getting in front of, exactly which reporters, what’s the status of media opportunities.
[01:06:45] Jason: So, you’re getting into the batter’s box to work with the publication. What was the result of that opportunity? Was it a hit? Miss? Did you pass on it? Did you not respond to it? We can immediately call that up and watch your PR profile built before your eyes in real-time and it’s very exciting.
[01:07:01] Brad: I think what’s interesting to that, it hits on the number one thing I’ve found for our financial advisors and having success with their clients, it all comes down to communication and frequency of it and expectation. And all you’re doing at your firm the same thing that a model financial advisor should do, making that an easier avenue to go down.
[01:07:23] Jason: Yeah. I mean, a true story. We’re going into Omaha to report to a client and just is a couple of years ago. And just before the meeting, I asked one of our associates, people at every bit of media coverage that we’ve had since 2014 for this client. I had no idea what the number is. She didn’t know what the number is. I know the client had no idea what that number is. It’s really pretty big and immediately pulled it out of Salesforce, our CRM that we use working with clients. We plugged salesforce into a digital interface that now shows you all the same data and information that our PR team has access to every day and now you can see it in real-time and now we can all connect and look at your program built and it’s really exciting. If it culminates in the app, shouldn’t say if. When it culminates in the app, it’s going to be fantastic. I mean, you’ll get a notification. You’ll, “Oh a buzz. Sorry. That’s not a text. That’s just my PR firm letting me know I just appeared in the Wall Street Journal. Sorry about that.” The natural question is, “Ooh, let me see. Let’s look at that together.”
So, we think it’s going to be very, very cool. We’re going to keep building the tool, make it more interactive so it’s an interface with the team and our clients to work with every day and it’s exciting stuff.
[01:08:35] Brad: Okay. As we wrap here, this has been a fun conversation so thanks again for making it happen.
[01:08:40] Jason: Thank you, Brad.
[01:08:41] Brad: I’ve got a few let’s call them philosophical questions. I think you’ll especially appreciate this first one. So, being a guy that’s based and you still I believe have offices in both New York and LA, correct?
[01:08:53] Jason: Correct. And San Diego now too.
[01:08:55] Brad: San Diego now too. You’ve just taken over the US, man.
[01:08:57] Jason: Yeah. I was creeping all over the place.
[01:08:59] Brad: Before you know it, it’ll be in Kansas. I mean just someday just imagine you can have an office in Kansas.
[01:09:05] Jason: One dares to dream, Brad.
[01:09:08] Brad: So, alright. So, I have to ask you this. LA or New York?
[01:09:12] Jason: Wow. That’s a tough one. I was born in Manhattan. I was raised in Manhattan until I was 12. My parents drive me across the Hudson and north of Jersey where I grew up, went to a regional high school in New Jersey and only about 14 years ago when I started United Capital and my future wife at the time dragged me to Southern California kicking and screaming. So, I will always maintain a love and affinity for New York City, for upstate New York, for Jersey. A lot of family and friends all up and down New Jersey. I do really love Southern California now. I mean you can quickly get used to the weather out here. Aside from the fires, the occasional earthquakes, it’s pretty pleasant in the day in, day out basis typically this time of year. So, I love both. I mean it’s one of the reasons why since the company started, we’ve had people in Manhattan. I think if you have a financial PR business and you don’t have people in midtown Manhattan, you’re missing opportunities. You’re missing an opportunity to engage with the media and with clients that visit the city. So, I got to go 50-50 on that one.
[01:10:16] Brad: Okay.
[01:10:16] Jason: I’m going to cop out of you.
[01:10:17] Brad: I have offices in both places and I guess I’ll let you dodge that one. What about when it comes to baseball?
[01:10:23] Jason: I maintained all of my New York loyalties and there there’s absolutely no question. It’s Yankees. It’s Giants. It’s the New York Knicks. It’s the Rangers. Those are my four teams and that will not change despite the fact that, well, we won’t talk about the New York Giants this year. The LA Rams are decent but the Giants we can forget about in 2017.
[01:10:46] Brad: Fair enough. All right. Since you live a lot of your life in the world of print, I would love to hear the favorite book that you’ve ever read and how that impacted your life.
[01:10:56] Jason: Wow. That’s a good question. I’d have to say Citizen Soldiers by Stephen Ambrose. So, it’s a book about World War II about the Airborne in World War II, their origins as folks who grew up all over the United States and they’re called upon to serve their country as part of the greatest generation. I’m a bit of a military historian. I have a navy background. I was enlisted for four years in the navy but then I ended up at NYU to finish my undergrad and I focused on military history. So, I have a passion for that type of reading for true stories, stories of heroism, dedication, honor, patriotism. I just love that. And I think there are so many lessons that you can bring into your own business and into your life if you really look at how the most honorable people have lived theirs. So, when you talk about the greatest generation, the sacrifices that they made, my grandparents were in the military, World War II, and did some amazing things for this country.
So, just a massive level of respect. I have to admit that every single time I watched the movie, Saving Private Ryan, I cry at the end and I’ve already seen it 20 times to this point. But I’m one that likes to take things from other fields and bring them into my field. So, I’ve learned a lot of military process and jargon into FiComm and you can ask people at FiComm, how many times does Jason gets squared away in the course of a week? It’s ridiculous. I mean, I’m probably mocked endlessly behind my back but trying to bring that discipline, that process, that military mindset to PR of what I’m doing here. And I think when you look to the military and the best folks in the military, the bravest people, you can bring a lot of things and incorporate them into your own world. So, that book I would highly recommend as with all of Stephen Ambrose’s other books on the subject of World War II and those that have served this country. So, that’s one and there are other things I bring in like you pointed out, I’m a big sports fan.
[01:12:55] Jason: So, I like to bring sports analogies in and use those with great frequency. So, I think if you’re looking in other examples and ways that you can bring things in whether it’s by reading at a great book and understanding what these folks meant to this country and us getting to where we are being a relatively young country but the impact we’ve had on the world and in shaping global events, I think is very, very important and you can take those lessons into your life and into your business if you really think about it.
[01:13:26] Brad: Awesome. Thank you for serving our country too by the way. I appreciate it.
[01:13:30] Jason: Thanks. Thanks. The navy, when I joined, I enlisted, it did as much if not more for me than I did for them. They got me sorted out. That four years was phenomenal. Got me back on track with my undergrad degree. I instilled discipline, a sense of purpose, and a drive that was missing. I was a little disorganized and hazy in terms of what I wanted to focus on out of high school. So, they really allowed me to zero in on the right path even though I didn’t know that path was going to lead me to this industry in financial services at the time. It did leave me to getting my act together from an educational standpoint and then the rest followed suit.
[01:14:13] Brad: I think whatever path you’ve taken, served you fairly well to this point. So, this is one that’s becoming one of my favorite go-tos. What is something you would like to see as absurd or considered absurd 25 years from now?
[01:14:27] Jason: Something I would like to see considered absurd 25 years from now?
[01:14:32] Brad: Wide open question, whatever you want to take that.
[01:14:35] Jason: Like something that exists now that in 25 years is going to be absurd?
[01:14:39] Brad: So, something like smoking was 25 years ago where it was kind of common practice and now it’s like, oh, it gives you lung cancer. That’s kind of absurd. So, something like that looking out 25 years.
[01:14:49] Jason: So, you got super deep with that one and go the lung cancer route and smoking or just something maybe more frivolous.
[01:14:56] Brad: Yeah. I’ve had Frosé answered on this question before from…
[01:15:00] Jason: Frosé?
[01:15:01] Brad: Frozen Rosé. The wine that people turn into a slushy. I’ve had that. So, you can go as deep as you would go, or it can be fun too.
[01:15:10] Jason: Yeah. I didn’t know that was a thing, but I would definitely like to see that become obsolete quickly. Let’s see. Man, that’s a good one. Now, what would I like to see become absurd in 25 years? Well, one thing I can tell you that I hope never actually comes to fruition, so I think this was absurd when it was attempted, and I think it needs to remain absurd and never come back but the concept of wearables. And so, okay, I think the iWatch isn’t a proper watch. So, the Apple Watch, it’s cool. I’ve heard it’s pretty awesome. I don’t have one, but I heard you need to charge it every day. Okay. You also got your smartphone on you. Google Glass came out for a minute and then you have people with a microchip digital thing in front of their face. Here’s one thing that I find absurd right now that help remains that way and it never comes to bear. I think if people are working around with like virtual reality helmets and/or goggles and are seeing digital stuff in front of their face while they’re walking down the street, I really hope that doesn’t happen.
I mean, everyone right now is focused on their phones and we’re all getting neck injuries because we’re looking down so much. Vision is going because you got the phone in front of your face the whole time but let’s try to find an easier way than having a visor or anything ridiculous where you’ve got little characters dancing around and you don’t know if someone’s talking to you or if they’re talking to someone that’s in their little goggles in front of them. I can’t imagine that happening. I find it so ludicrous and in 20 years I’m probably going to sound like ancient and ridiculous myself because everyone’s probably going to have like microchips in their eyeball, but I really, really hope and maybe that’s the solution like make a contact that’s like a smart lens, so no one can tell but I think you’d still be distracting and weird. If you’re like looking up, looking around and they’ve got things on your eyeballs.
[01:17:09] Jason: It’s just that’s not where we want to go technology wise. So, I think just keep it simple, keep evolving the AI stuff, the series, the Alexas of the world but stop short of like making people semi-cyborgs. That’s where I come out.
[01:17:29] Brad: I appreciate that answer. I don’t know if they’re going to slow that down, but I do love the fact. Here’s what I took from you saying that. Pick a world you want to live in like be in the real world or be in virtual world but don’t interact with people at the same time where they can’t really – it’s kind of like the original Bluetooth headsets if you remember those where you’d like think somebody at the grocery store was talking to you but they really weren’t.
[01:17:55] Jason: Exactly. And we’d have to find a way to connect more as human beings and what I’m really paranoid about is my kid spend way too much time on iPads and they’re already texting and they’re in this whole digital realm that wasn’t even available when we were kids and they seem to be doing fine, socializing and making friends and interacting with other kids. A lot of it centered around the technology so maybe just inevitable and everyone is just going to get pulled along to that point until we find ourselves in the Matrix, but we’ll see.
[01:18:27] Brad: Yeah. It’s going to be interesting there. What’s interesting is we grew up in a much more digital world than our parents did and it’s just accelerating incredibly fast. Tim, just completely off PR or financial services, but AccountableKids.com, check that out and we can talk about it offline but that’s something where we’ve kind of tried to monitor the technology and the screen time with our kids.
[01:18:53] Jason: Well, I definitely have to get that, and our daughter is we somehow, I don’t know if it’s smarter or extremely dumb, but we promised that she would get a phone when she graduates fifth grade going into middle school. A lot of her friends already have a phone and some of them had it in fourth grade. So, we’re holding out as long as humanly possible but she’s going to be on a phone soon. And we have to have eyeballs on what’s going on out there. I mean, it’s starting to freak me out all the possibilities and the app, she knows about it already that I’ve never even heard of that she’s actually interacting with like musically just I had no idea where it was until the last year and now she’s sharing videos I think only with her friends, so we think going on there. It says friends only but how do you really know unless you’re in there and you have some way to measure and check in? So, that’s a good tip.
[01:19:45] Brad: Yeah. We’re turning this into a dad podcast but it’s cool. There’s a lot of dads probably.
[01:19:49] Jason: Get a spinoff, Brad.
[01:19:53] Brad: Actually, it’s funny. I have a good, good friend, Mark Timm and he actually runs Zig Ziglar family. So, basically, the branch of Zig Ziglar’s company that just deals with families and a tip, it’s funny because my wife and I are just talking about this last night, same thing. We’re getting our boys iPod so they’re seven and six. Still all the access to all the apps you’re talking about and what he did with each of his kids is he’d literally wrote a physical contract. So, a legal contract that basically says here’s what you get but here are the requirements in order to have the ability to use this and if you break any of them then basically mom and dad get it back and one of the things that will be in our contract is we have full 100% access to monitor at all times. So, if you would like me as a parting gift, a thank you to this podcast, I’ll just shoot you over the contract we’re building out in our house.
[01:20:47] Jason: That would be fantastic. Definitely, need to implement that ASAP.
[01:20:51] Brad: Cool. Okay. So, last question here, Jason. This has been fun. What is the one piece of advice that you can share that has led to your success to this point with the listeners here?
[01:21:03] Jason: Yeah. That’s a great question. Don’t be afraid to shake things up and in that drastic change when you need it. There was a point in my life before when I walked into the recruiter’s office for the Navy and it was in Hackensack, New Jersey and I said, “What’s the soonest you can get me out of here? I’m ready to go either now or tomorrow.” And I go through a bunch of tests and everything first, but I was stuck in a rut and things were not working the way I envisioned them working and I thought I had some semblance of a plan when I was younger. It turned out I didn’t have any plan and I was in a sort of a vacuum and a spin cycle. And that was a scary decision and I have no idea what it was going to be like to go to boot camp and get beat up for nine weeks of boot camp and then I have to go out to the fleet. I didn’t know what I was going to be doing for them when I walked in the recruiter’s office. So, it could be anything and I was fortunate that it was something that was relatively fixing aircraft which is great. It took a lot of brain power and you’re in an avionics shop all day.
So, I enjoyed it and I got to see a lot of the world. Then there was a point in my life where I was with United Capital and I needed to say to Joe, “Look, I need a career path or I need to tap out. I can’t just be coming in and doing whatever it is that you want me to do every day. I love working for you. I love the company. I think I understand the vision but how can I do more? How can I have more focus and more structure?” Which led him to giving me a shot at PR and marketing. And then it was when FiComm was formed too. I had an opportunity there to pick on either way. I could’ve stayed at my last agency and done what they have wanted me to do but we looked at Silicon Valley and start trying knocking on VC and private equity doors and focusing in on technology in Silicon Valley or it could’ve stayed with this space.
[01:22:57] Jason: But the only way I could stay in the independent advisory committee was if I was willing to do it myself and taking a gamble, jumping as many wirehouse advisors do when they go independent. You’re taking a huge leap of faith that the independent community is going to be able to support your business and that your clients are going to come with you and that’s extremely scary. And I had all kinds of contingency plans for how long I could survive if no clients came and did they believe in me or did they believe in the brand? There are all these giant question marks, but the fact of the matter is you live one life. So, you have to make the most of it and it moves really, really fast. As you know as a dad, once you have kids, it starts to move even faster. It’s like all of a sudden like how did my baby girl become 10 years old in the blink of an eye? And oh my God, like how old does that make me? So, you really have to go for it. You have to and do it in a structured smart way. Think it through, plan, but don’t be afraid of drastic change. It’s really helped me.
I mean, partnering with my business partner, Megan, and that was a big decision for both of us. We’ve mapped it out. We talked about it. We weighed the pros and cons and we realize we both had complementarity skill sets. And so, we merged our companies together and we became a lot stronger and faster and better because of it. So, when you’re faced with a really big choice, think it through but do not be afraid to make a bold calculated decision. It’s going to shake things up, get you a little out of your comfort zone and typically it’ll pay off.
[01:24:29] Brad: Great advice. Well, Jason, I just want to say thank you. I was thinking back before this conversation. I think the last time we actually like hung out was at Dodger Stadium like it’s been way, way overdue.
[01:24:40] Jason: Tommy Lasorda made an appearance if I do recall.
[01:24:43] Brad: He did. There’s a funny story. I won’t take the time but there was another famous baseball player that also entered our suite. I had no idea who he was and so that’s kind of embarrassing, but we’ll go there some other time. So anyway, next time our path gets a chance to cross, looking forward to it. It’s long overdue but thanks for carving out some time and sharing your PR expertise with the listeners here. I really appreciate it.
[01:25:05] Jason: My pleasure, Brad. Thanks for having me on and I look forward to getting together soon. We are overdue, so you need to get to LA or I need to get to Kansas in the near future. Are you going to be back here?
[01:25:17] Brad: This time of year, I’ll pick LA for sure.
[01:25:19] Jason: Yeah. Please, come down to LA. It’s great. It’s warm.
[01:25:21] Brad: All right. Cool.
[01:25:22] Jason: Thanks for having me.
[01:25:23] Brad: Until next time, Jason. We’ll see you.
[01:25:24] Jason: Thanks a lot, Brad. Take it easy.
[01:25:30] Brad: Thanks for checking out the latest show. And special thanks to all of you who have been blowing up my review page on iTunes as we’ve seen a massive jump lately. So, this week we’re actually going to feature four rather than just one review to try to keep up with you all. The first one comes to us from Sean Wenger who says, “Five-star review. Great podcast. Great content to take your business to the next level. Brad is a serious professional and continues to deliver with exceptional guests. Highly recommend sharing with anyone in the industry.” So, here’s what’s fun and completely humbling about a podcast is once you put it out there you never know who’s listening in. So, this review means a lot as Sean and I actually first connected at Jon Vroman’s Dad’s Retreat out in Philly back in 2016. Great guy and the reason I actually now often put my cell phone in a gun safe during family dinners to make sure and fully present. So, thanks for the review and the kind words, Sean. Hope life is good for you out in Cleveland and hope to catch up soon.
The next review comes to us from R. Heath who says, “Five-stars. A must-listen. With my busy schedule, there are very few podcasts that I listen to regularly – never missing an episode. This is one of them. Brad Johnson has amazing guests; ask all the right questions; and provides relevant content for the advisor that wants to build a hugely successful business. Subscribe today! You will be thankful you did.” Thanks for the kind words, R. Heath. Mean a lot. I have some amazing guests just around the corner I promise, and I’ll try to keep asking the right questions from my side to bring the most value possible for all of you out there listening in.
Next up is JShermanFA who says, “Subscribe Now! Five-stars. Consistently great discussions which are filled with motivational and actionable ideas.” JSherman, I love it. Short and sweet. Thanks for encouraging others to subscribe to the show. So much appreciated.
[01:27:15] Brad: And the last featured review for the week comes to us from Scott I. who says, “Five-stars. This show is a MUST listen for Financial Advisors. Brad is an excellent interviewer and has done an amazing job of pulling insights out of some extraordinarily insightful people to help financial advisors take their game to the next level. If you’re not yet subscribed to this show. Do it Now!” Love it, Scott. Thanks for the five-star review and the passionate endorsement. It never gets old hearing how our show is making an impact for you financial advisors out there listening in. I will keep it coming. I promise.
One last thing before you go, as a special thank you for checking out this episode, if you haven’t already, make sure to check out the show notes at BradleyJohnson.com/39 for Jason and his team’s free gift, the Financial PR Starter Kit. It covers three simple tips to establishing a low-cost high-volume media relationship. So, that’s it for this week. As always, so much appreciate you listening and I will catch you on the next show.
[01:28:12] Brad: Thanks for listening to this episode of the Elite Advisor Blueprint. For access to show notes, transcripts, and exclusive content from our show’s guests, visit BradleyJohnson.com. And before you go, I’ve got a quick favor to ask. If you’re liking the podcast, you can help support the show by leaving your rating and review on iTunes. Not only do we read every single comment, but this will help the show rank and get discovered by new listeners. It really does help. Thanks again for joining and be sure to tune in next week for another episode.
The information and opinions contained herein are provided by third parties and have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by Advisors Excel. The guest speaker is not affiliated with or sponsored by Advisors Excel. For financial professional use only. Not to be used with the general public or in a sale situation.
This is provided for informational purposes only. Producers are ultimately responsible for the use or implementation of these concepts and should be aware of any and all applicable compliance requirements. Results from the use of these concepts are no guarantee of your future success.
AE12174221 For financial professional use only.
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