067: Michael Kitces on Building a Digital Platform That Attracts Your Ideal Clients

067: Michael Kitces on Building a Digital Platform That Attracts Your Ideal Clients

Bo Eason

Today, I’m talking with Michael Kitces. If you’re in financial services and aren’t familiar with Michael, my guess is you haven’t been on the internet recently as he has one of the most prolific platforms in all of finance. Michael creates content deconstructing some of the most complex financial planning topics out there and he shares much of this on his blog, Nerd’s Eye View – which is actively followed by over 36,000 subscribers.

He’s also a partner in a number of other businesses including: Director of Wealth Management at Pinnacle Advisor Solutions, co-founder of XY Planning Network with past guest Alan Moore, and he currently produces 2 podcasts, Kitces & Carl (which he co-hosts with Carl Richards, creator of the NYTimes Sketch Guy column and the Behavior Gap blog) as well as Financial Advisor Success – one of the most highly rated podcasts for financial advisors on the internet. As a self-titled life long learner, he’s also collected a number of graduate degrees and designations including a Master of Science in Financial Services, Master’s in Taxation, CFP, CLU, ChFC and numerous others.

In typical Kitces fashion, this is an expansive episode, so if you are travelling for the holidays, no worries, we have you covered!


Here are 3 of my big takeaways from this episode…
  • #1: We cover the story that led to Michael becoming one of the most prolific content creators in financial services and how financial advisors can use his framework to build their own digital platforms. Michael shares the secret behind why his only business goal on social media is to get people to his website and explains how this philosophy of not “building his foundation on borrowed land” has spawned multiple businesses. [10:57]
  • #2: Why Michael sees digital trends like podcasting starting to shift how geography has dictated today’s brick and mortar financial advisor business models and how he sees the future possibility coming for clients to seek out the “best financial advisor” to solve high-stakes, “fly across the country” type problems from the comfort of their own homes. [01:04:58]
  • #3: Towards the end of our conversation, we venture into a sensitive topic in finance as we discuss the definition of what it actually means to be a true “fiduciary” as the worlds of insurance and asset management continue to merge. Although Michael and I share some different beliefs on this front, it was refreshing to have a healthy conversation on something that can be debated as contentiously as religion and politics. [01:24:21]



  • [7:49] Why it was better for Michael’s business to turn the Kitces Report from a paid premium service into a largely free blog.
  • [16:24] How Michael got the confidence to negotiate higher rates for his speaking engagements – and how he grew his speaking business alongside his work as an advisor. 
  • [18:58] Why following hardcore gamers on Twitter convinced Michael to relaunch his blog to greater success than he’d ever experienced before, bringing in several multi-million dollar clients along the way.
  • [23:38] How Michael organically started building new businesses based on his blog – and why customer retention in online work is hugely different from financial services.
  • [38:21] Michael’s philosophy for creating content – and how he built a small team so that he can continue to keep his focus on writing and recording.
  • [42:26] How Michael writes, edits, and publishes an article every day – and how to find a production model and schedule that suits your strengths as a presenter and resource. 
  • [44:49] Why financial advisors should be as wary of people promising to grow their following by producing videos for them as they should be of get rich quick schemes. 
  • [57:36] How Michael has coped with social media algorithm changes – and why they’ve led him to retool his social media presence to focus solely on capturing email addresses. 
  • [1:04:58] How financial advising is shifting from a local business to a national one – and how producing great content can help you establish yourself at an international level.
  • [1:24:21] Why being a fiduciary is a great thing, but a terrible marketing strategy – and why you don’t need to serve everyone in order to succeed. 
  • [1:30:17] How advisors can disconnect and offer the best tool to solve problems most efficiently – rather than the products they’ve been trained to sell – and why so many RIAs fail to understand how skewed their perspectives are. 
  • [1:49:28] How Michael currently has his money managed.
  • [1:58:53] Why Michael believes so deeply in the power of investing in yourself.




Thanks for checking out the latest show on to this weeks’ featured reviews.

This weeks’ first review comes to us from claytonvance.

michael kitces review

Really appreciate the review! I think one thing to always keep in perspective as an independent advisor is remembering the whole point of why you ventured out on your own to start a business in the first place. To have the freedom to offer the solutions you believe help your clients at the highest level and to create a business that serves you, not creating one that you are a slave to… so glad you are getting help on these fronts from the show, that’s what it’s all about! Thanks for listening in and taking the time to share your thoughts Clayton.

The next review comes to us from user HoustonThom.  

michael kitces review

Appreciate the review and glad the show is helping you stay ahead of the industry! If this conversation with Michael Kitces didn’t motivate you to invest in your digital platform and the benefit that can provide in financial services, not sure what will ?. I’ll do my best to keep seeking out guests that continue to explore the leading edge of where our industry is going, thanks for taking the time to leave a review!

The last featured review for this week comes to us from user srefsnid1.  

michael kitces review

One of my favorite things about having an interview format on the show is the merging of different audiences based on having rockstar guests on. Donald Miller brought some incredible insight during his episode that applies perfectly to financial services, so glad that’s how you found the show! James Clear was another guest with a massive online audience that’s well-deserved and love how he deconstructed many of the ideas shared in his book Atomic Habits. Thanks for listening and reviewing the show, much appreciated!


Take the 1st Step to Building Your Ideal Practice: Apply for “Virtual Discovery Session

For those of you that have interest in diving deeper or figuring out how you may be able to have our team help you implement many of the ideas shared on the show, my day job happens to be consulting financial advisors from all over the US on how to grow their business and design a practice that serves them, versus them serving it. Yes it’s possible to grow your business and work less, this is a model we’ve replicated over and over in markets all over the country… So, if you’d like to apply to see if it makes sense for us to have a 1-on-1 conversation on how to overcome what may be getting in your way, you can do that at bradleyjohnson.com/apply. It takes about 5 minutes to fill out the application so we can understand what your business looks like, what challenges you may be facing and how myself and my team may be able to help. We then dive into a Discovery session where we ask a lot of questions based on your survey. We do a lot of listening, and take a lot of notes to build a rough draft of our proprietary Elite Advisor Blueprint – 90 Day Plan™. Taking the first step is as simple as applying at bradleyjohnson.com/apply 🙂


Already heard it once or twice? Please leave a short review here, and tell me which guests I should have on!

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