073: Phillip Stutts on Marketing Your Business During COVID-19 – The Virtual Financial Advisor Series™

073: Phillip Stutts on Marketing Your Business During COVID-19 – The Virtual Financial Advisor Series™

Bo Eason

Welcome to The Elite Advisor Blueprint – The Podcast for World-Class Financial Advisors. I’m Brad Johnson, VP of Advisor Development at 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.

Hey Blueprint listeners, hopefully quarantine life is treating you well and you and your loved ones are safe and sound. I’ve been safely working from home for almost a month with the whole Johnson crew and the good news is that the podcast can go on, even if my podcasting studio is currently a spare bedroom ?

Today I’m excited to announce a brand new series on The Elite Advisor Blueprint podcast. Times like this call for those that can offer a helping hand to step up and I want to serve all of you (even more) that have helped me build this show from the ground up and have been kind enough to listen in over the years.

So, I’m starting The Virtual Financial Advisor Series™, which will be episodes coming to you directly here on the show, just more frequently where I bring on experts that can help us all navigate the jump from bricks and mortar to the 100% virtual world we are all trying to serve our clients in now. I’m also going to begin live streaming interviews as they happen so you all can gain access to them immediately and don’t have to wait for editing or production as time is of the essence during these COVID-19 times we are all living in. If you’d like to join the Virtual Advisor community, you can do that at www.bradleyjohnson.com/virtualadvisor.

So with that… today’s episode is the first of our official Virtual Advisor series and it’s a timely one… In today’s conversation, Phillip Stutts returns to the podcast with a groundbreaking study on consumer behavior post COVID-19! I don’t know that I’ve ever asked more questions in a podcast interview, as this data was fascinating and applies to all of you advisors out there trying to adapt and connect with prospects right now.

For those who may have missed last year’s conversation with Phillip, he’s one of the masterminds behind the curtain of political marketing…

Phillip is the best-selling author of Fire Them Now: The 7 Lies Digital Marketers Sell, has worked with multiple Fortune 200 companies, has over two decades of experience working on campaigns with billions of dollars in political ad spend, and contributed to thousands of election victories, including U.S. President George W. Bush, among others.

Most recently he’s guested on ESPN, James Altucher and Gary Vaynerchuck’s shows, and had a conversation with billionaire Mark Cuban to share this same data.

Today, Phillip is here to share groundbreaking COVID-19 Market Research that sheds light on the psychology behind how consumers are thinking during the pandemic. This data will change how you market as a financial advisor.

Here are 3 of my big takeaways from this episode…
  • #1: The 3 most important messages you need to communicate to consumers when marketing your business right now – and why the messaging you used pre COVID could end up completely tone-deaf and actually offend prospects and lose you business [11:49]
  • #2: A recent case study from a pest control company Phillip’s company works with, that put these 3 marketing messages to work and has actually seen a 20% increase in their business since the pandemic started. So much of this applies directly to how financial advisors should be thinking about their marketing message right now. [14:52]
  • #3: The biggest consumer insights uncovered from Philips 30-page market research study, and how you can use this information to position yourself as an expert to attract and retain clients. [55:42]


  • [11:49] Why Phillip predicted a “moral collapse” in our economy around social media – and why ego-centric, high status messaging is now dead. 
  • [15:36] The reason Phillip pulled and retooled an extremely successful client campaign for a national client as soon as the crisis took hold – and how this repositioning grew their business. 
  • [19:20] Why now is an incredible time to reposition yourself in the marketplace and grow your customer base with low ad spend rates as your competitors are hiding. 
  • [22:00] Three marketing messages that worked incredibly well six months ago that will now actively lose you business. 
  • [26:47] Why Phillip is recommending advertising on local TV networks, Facebook, and local newspapers, and through direct mail to reach prospective new clients right now.
  • [30:00] Why podcast listener rates are down and YouTube viewership is up. 
  • [32:00] How OTT consumption has exploded, how this provides advertisers with incredible power to run highly targeted campaigns, and how Phillip used this data to run a counter ad against an NBC Nightly News story about one of his clients. 
  • [41:00] Why safety, trust, and help are powerful, can’t-miss messages right now – and how to use client-side video messaging and inexpensive ad spend to reach new prospects. 
  • [48:20] Why now is the time to give people value for free to build authentic client relationships and see 2-10x return on investment in the years to come. 
  • [56:05] Big takeaways from Phillip’s reporting on retail, delivery services, streaming services, and politics. 
  • [01:04:20] How Phillip doesn’t let his fight against achalasia fill him with fear or consume his thinking.
  • [1:11:00] How writing down a question in a notebook, without any devices, and taking 45 minutes to answer it without interruption became Phillip’s breakthrough technique.




This week’s featured review comes to us from user Saflochat who said…

Thank you! That means a lot and is a big reason why I started The Virtual Advisor series. I see a big need out there for you financial advisors who are trying to navigate this unforeseen situation with COVID-19. It’s times like this that true financial advisors stand up and if I’m preaching it to my clients, I want to be doing the same on my end, which is why I’m trying my best to bring value and over deliver during this time. It’s reviews like this that really keep me going.


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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