This is The Perfect RIA, in case you didn’t know. Bringing you all the strategies to help your business grow. Are you happy? Are you satisfied? Are you hanging on the edge of your seat? Sit back and listen in while you feel the beat. Another myth bites the dust…
Matthew Jarvis: Hello everyone. Welcome to another episode of The Perfect RIA podcast. I’m your cohost Matthew Jarvis, and with me today is not Micah Shilanski, but rather a different man, myth, and legend Benjamin Brandt of the podcast Retirement Starts Today. Benjamin, how are you doing today, buddy?
Benjamin Brandt: First time caller. Long time listener. Thanks for having me.
Matthew Jarvis: We first met at FinCon several years ago as we were taking it and then our real first date together if you will, was the museum where the guy shot JFK from in Dallas, wasn’t it?
Benjamin Brandt: That’s right, yeah. The Dealey Plaza.
Matthew Jarvis: Dealey Plaza. Yeah, which was pretty intense. If you haven’t ever done that, tour’s obviously a bit dark. But if, if you’re not prone to conspiracy theories, you will be after, I think going through that museum. If there wasn’t a bigger conspiracy there, I don’t know what happens. So conspiracies aside, I’m excited to have Ben on the podcast today because Ben your podcast Retirement Starts Today has been a very successful driver of business to your own financial planning practice and you’ve even created a course for advisors who want to learn to podcast the advisor podcast accelerator. So I’m excited to have you on today, but maybe give us a little bit of your background, how you got into podcasting and how it’s working for you today.
Benjamin Brandt: So the reason that I got into podcasting is because we had a really good dialed in niche here locally with working in natural resources, coal and oil. And coal and oil tend to be generational hires where you’d hire during the early 80s they hired everybody to work on this power generation, this coal mining plant. And we were getting to the end of those 30 years and they were hiring the new people. So I saw that this generational shift was happening and they all have fantastic benefits, lump sum pensions and things like that, 401ks at Vanguard. And it was fantastic business, but I saw that it was coming to an end at some point and I looked down the road and I said, I need it to do something. So I fell in love with content creation. I thought that I was going to be a blogger for a little while.
Benjamin Brandt: And then I followed along at FinCon on Twitter in 2015 and I saw some of these advisors, Joshua Sheats, who’s not an advisor anymore, but wasn’t advisor. Jeff Rose, also not advisor anymore. Roger Whitney, the retirement answer man, who’s now a friend of mine, still an advisor. And I saw these guys with these podcasts and it just occurred to me, I’m a podcast consumer, I think I’m subscribed to 29 different podcasts right now.
Benjamin Brandt: I don’t know why it took so long, but it clicked and I said I got to I got to figure out a way to make a podcast and you can still go listen to my episode number one. It’s really, really terrible. If you listen closely, you can hear me turning the pages on my legal pad as I read aloud 10 pages of handwritten notes. It’s in my closet at home. It’s really terrible. But thankfully nobody was listening to my first shows cause no one knew I existed, so. And now, here we are five years later, we’re one of the top financial advisors shows on earth. In fact, we were among the top 10% most downloaded shows of all time.
Matthew Jarvis: Wow. That’s really cool. And that’s really just been you cranking out regular content. So your first couple of episodes, were you just essentially reading what you had written out in your closet? Probably not with a fancy Yeti microphone.
Benjamin Brandt: No, just a refurbished microphone I got off Amazon into a digital recorder that was also refurbished from Amazon and wouldn’t even need that. I mean now that cell phones are good enough that you could just use that, I mean that’s close enough. Yeah. I just knew that podcasting was going to blow up and become huge and I wanted to be a part of it. I didn’t know if I had the chops or if I could grow an audience, but I just knew that I think content marketing is the future. This is the section of content marketing that speaks to me. I’m a talker. I’m not a writer. Obviously I’m not a video guy. I mean this is what I got going on here, but I am a talker. So podcasts just seemed like a good fit for me.
Matthew Jarvis: But you’re also a big podcast consumer, so it was a channel that you said, I’m kind of drawn to just as a consumer and like I said, it also kind of fits your personality and where your strengths are. I really liked that. So now having gotten this far in being in the top 10% of podcasts, would you have started essentially the same way that you start or are you giving different advice to advisors who are thinking about using this as a content channel?
Benjamin Brandt: You got to start. I mean the scariest episode is episode number one. You just got to start. I mean, people will say, yeah, Ben, you’ve got the early mover advantage. People will say, what’s the best time to plant a tree? 20 years ago? What’s the second best time to plant a tree? Well, today. I went to Podcast Movement in Orlando back in September, October of last year, and the head of Google podcasts was one of the breakout speakers and he said, Google has promoted podcasts to be a number one content citizen, a first class citizen. Matt, you probably know with your show, 80% of your downloads probably come from iTunes. Google doesn’t like that. Google says they’re going to double the active podcast audience over the next few years. So if you start a show today, you’re going to be taking part in that doubling of the podcast audience from Google, and I can tell you all the ways that they’re going to do that if you’re interested, but Google when they set out to do something, they usually accomplish it.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, they seem to have a pretty good track record there so that, that’s interesting. So the podcasting ship hasn’t sailed. Even though there’s tens of thousands of podcasts out in the world, you’re still very much of the conviction that, hey, if you get on that bandwagon and start producing content on a regular basis, it’s not too late to get into that channel.
Benjamin Brandt: Actually, as we record this today, the 900,000 show was uploaded to iTunes today. 900,000.
Matthew Jarvis: that’s amazing. That’s a big show. Man, I got to say, I completely agree with you that the content marketing has to be the thing, right? If you’re in some monster firm and you have unlimited marketing budget, which if you do, I’m not sure why you’re listening to this show and you can throw monies at buying stadiums and buying the top search results and everything, that may work. But I think you’re right, then you’ve got to have a content that speaks to your niche, to your market. And I liked that, that you went for a channel that works for you. Right? I’ve never done a client facing podcast. We’ve only got the advisor facing one. I had always done written content cause I love to read, I read extensively and I love to write. And so that was the channel that I went through for content production. But yeah, so for advisers that if you like podcasts, which you must if you’re listening to a podcast, it seems like a natural channel to pursue.
Benjamin Brandt: Absolutely. And the referrals that you will get are unlike any other referral that you’ve ever had in your life because podcasting is incredibly intimate, right? You’re speaking directly into your prospect’s ears, you’re living on their phone incredibly intimate. When I finally get to talk to someone, one-on-one over the phone or over a Zoom call. Oftentimes they’ve been listening to me for a year so they know exactly what I sound like. They know what it sounds like when I breathe cause you sort of breathe and you try to avoid it, but you breathe into the microphone. Incredibly intimate. So when I sit down with a prospect they can literally finish my sentences. I had a conversation with a prospect maybe a year and a half ago and she said, “Well I’m going to move to Bismarck when I retire but I want a second house in Colorado.”
Benjamin Brandt: And I said, “Oh well we help clients do that all the time. We recommend that you-“, and she finished my sentence for me. She already knew my opinions about a second house in retirement because she’s heard me talk about it on the show and the best part is if she disagreed with me about that, she would have never contacted me in the first place. So you have to work half as hard to go twice as far. Once you finally get that prospect in the room, either actually in the room or digitally in the room with you.
Matthew Jarvis: That’s interesting. Now, when you kicked off that first episode, did anybody besides your mom listen to the episode? I mean, did you immediately get a thousand downloads to it? What’s a realistic expectation of those first handful of podcasts?
Benjamin Brandt: I had two listeners, my mom and my sister, and I’m pretty sure my sister was lying.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. You had mentioned when we were doing the pregame for the show that you don’t necessarily send your podcast out to your client base, so it’s not like you’re Ron Carson and you had 10,000 clients and you said, boy this would be a great way to promote Ron Carson is to blast out a podcast, everybody. Those are really separate audiences for you, is that correct?
Benjamin Brandt: Yeah. My email list, I have a weekly email and I have a weekly podcast. Very few of my clients listen to that. And now my clients that have come from the podcast continues to listen to the podcasts, which is great. It’s going to help them be extremely sticky, cause I’m talking to them 104 times a year in addition to the appointments that we have. But yeah, the podcast is, I like to say I teach people how to retire. It’s fully educational and when clients work with me, I expect it to be a collaboration versus a delegation. So I like to teach. I liked that interactiveness of it.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah I really like that. So you started the first couple episodes doing it out of your closet and it sounds like you’re, you’re really recommending for advisers, they can start the same way. Maybe not in their closet or wherever you can find a space. How do you start getting traction for your podcast? Right? So your mom and your sister and maybe your sister didn’t listen to it. Well, I guess that’s what I’m going to ask. How do you get traction and how do you know… I think it’d be easy to get discouraged, right? With any content channel, hey, I’ve made my first dozen podcast or blog posts or YouTube videos, no one’s watching them. Maybe I should quit. What do you think is kind of the threshold for that?
Benjamin Brandt: Don’t record episode number one unless you’re willing to record episode 100. I mean, just like SEO, just like podcasting, just like YouTube, it’s going to take you a while to get some traction. So if you think that you’re going to write three blog posts or publish five podcast episodes and you’re going to get some clients coming from that, you’re not. I mean, you’ll definitely find some SEO teams that’ll charge you $50,000 a month and will tell you that that will happen, but it won’t. Or you could just do it and get the reps in and do a hundred episodes and do it that way. Cause that that way will work too. But I would say record into your phone. I give this advice to advisors all the time. They contact me that want to start a podcast. Record three real episodes into your phone.
Benjamin Brandt: If you’re going to do an interview show, call up one of your buddies on Zoom and record that. If you’re going to do a monologue or a segment type show, do that. Do three episodes and then analyze how you feel about those three episodes. If you had a lot of fun and you’re willing to commit to the medium, then you could probably do a 100 episodes. If it felt like a hassle and you didn’t really get any good vibes from it, move on to the next thing. Podcasting is not for you. So I would say do three episodes for real. You don’t have to show them to anybody or do anything with them. You don’t have to put any money into it or hire anybody. Record three shows into your phone and analyze how you legitimately felt about the process.
Matthew Jarvis: Well, I really liked that Ben, this idea that whichever channel you’re going to use, commit to 100 of that. Write 100 blog posts, 100 episodes, 100 videos, and I liked how you said with the threes, kind of solve for your energy almost, right? Was that fun to do? And correct me if I’m wrong, it’s not so much about analyzing, well how did it sound and is that, does that compare as good as Ben’s show or is it as good as Jocko’s show? It’s really just are you having a fun time? And if you had to do 100 of these, would you have a fun time doing 100 of them?
Benjamin Brandt: Right? You can always pay an engineer to make you sound better, but you can’t pay somebody to make your content for you and make you feel better, right? So if you’re already like podcasts, if you already subscribed to a dozen shows and you get excited when your new favorite podcast publishes, that’s a pretty good indicator that maybe like the medium, try it out for yourself.
Matthew Jarvis: I like that. So if you do the three episodes and you say, hey, this is really a lot of fun. And again, for our listeners, this applies whether you’re thinking about doing a podcast or a video series or blog posts, whatever the case may be. So you do the first three, it sounds like fun. Is there a frequency you recommend? Like a minimum, a maximum frequency? Of course you want to make sure they don’t burn out. One a day, you’d probably burn out pretty quickly.
Benjamin Brandt: There is no right frequency. I mean Hardcore History is one of the most popular podcasts on earth and sometimes he publishes one a year. Sometimes he publishes four a year. So frequency doesn’t matter, but consistency is everything that matters. So you want to build your show into your prospective client’s life. I listen to the perfect RIA podcast when I’m cutting my grass on Saturday mornings, I know that they’re going to be there and I don’t even have to look at my phone. I know it’s going to be there when I grab my cigar and my black socks pulled up to my knees and my sandals, like a good North Dakotan and I pumped on my cigar and I listened to Micah and Matt while I cut my grass.
Matthew Jarvis: I just got this mental image of you mowing your lawn and for those of you who don’t know Ben, you’ve got to look up a picture of he’s got this great North Dakotan beard and I can just see you with a cigar mowing your lawn. Socks up to your knees. That’s awesome.
Benjamin Brandt: Yeah. Hey, I’ve got to protect this pale skin. So that’s coveted time. I often use the example of the show, The Office or Friends. Thursday night was must see TV. That is absolute coveted time. I mean that was next to the Superbowl as far as ads go with companies that were willing to spend big money cause they know exactly where you’re going to be. They know they have your attention. You can create that with a podcast in your client’s life. I produce, I have a retirement focused show. I produce and publish episodes Monday morning. You know, they just got done with the weekend. They’re probably listening to me in their commute on their way to work and they’re counting how many Mondays they have left before they pull the plug in retirement. So I’m competing with 900,000 other shows for that specific time for that specific person. Now the average person does listen to seven shows, but hopefully I’m the one they’re listening to on Monday mornings because that’s the time that I think is the most appropriate for them to hear my message about retirement.
Matthew Jarvis: Interesting. I want to draw two things out of that and sort of time together. One is how closely or how specifically your avatar is identified, right? So there’s someone they’re driving to work that Monday morning. I know your avatar is even tighter than that, but if you could speak a bit to that. And then also kind of related to that, if you’re committing to 100 episodes, I got to be honest, right now I couldn’t think of what I would talk about for a hundred episodes. How do you match that avatar to this idea of a hundred episodes?
Benjamin Brandt: I got good answers for both. So I have an avatar. He has a name, his name is, oh I won’t to share his name, cause he’s a real person, but he is 60 years old. He is smart enough to do this himself, but he chooses not to. He’s a collaborator, he’s a delegator. He’s natural resources adjacent. He has worked for the same company for 30 to 40 years and he’s never worked with a financial advisor.
Matthew Jarvis: And so this is a real person. So your avatar is not just a hypothetical. Seems like that would help. So then do you find yourself, when you’re doing your podcast, do you feel like you’re speaking to, let’s call him Dave, do you feel like you’re speaking to Dave in that?
Benjamin Brandt: Yes. You should pick your favorite client and talk to them.
Matthew Jarvis: That’s great.
Benjamin Brandt: And with podcasts and you can have 100 of your favorite client, that’s why podcasting is perfect for the lifestyle practice.
Matthew Jarvis: Sure. Yeah, you can keep it super narrow, but it’s so important to have it that narrow because that’s a lot of criteria you listed off. You didn’t just say people over 55 with $1 million, which would be like half of the baby… not half the baby boomers, but it’s millions of people. I mean that was a really specific demographic and it’s probably to be a real key to your success when that demographic, when that avatar listens to your show, they think Ben is talking to me because you are in fact literally talking to them.
Benjamin Brandt: Yeah. And they’ll self-select. So I’m speaking to this person who is an engineer and he’s worked for this energy company for 35 years. Never worked with an advisor. I’m talking to him. But there might be an interventional radiologist in Massachusetts that also resonates with that message. And if he’s close enough to the avatar client, he’s going to eventually call me whenever he’s ready to do so. And it costs me nothing to nurture him 104 times a year, in the meantime. Cost me almost nothing. I outsource everything now. But if you’re doing yourself it cost you nothing by the time.
Matthew Jarvis: Sure. And so I’ll have those 900,000 podcasts in the world. Right? We’ve got to think that it’ll mainly be yours that speaking to that demographic or just a handful, right? A mutual friend of ours has a podcast that’s strictly for optometrists, right? So we think, well, there’s probably 100,000 retirement podcasts in the world. And to just narrow that down that tightly, that’s pretty awesome.
Benjamin Brandt: Well, you’d be surprised. I mean, there are 70 million baby boomers. I mean, we serve the same audience. There should be 500 shows like mine. There are probably 20 good ones. And baby boomers are the fastest growing podcast segment.
Matthew Jarvis: Are they really?
Benjamin Brandt: Yeah.
Matthew Jarvis: Interesting. So I guess, if you’re an advisor and you’re trying to think of a content channel and you’re targeting baby boomers, which like that old saying about why do you rob banks, that’s where the money is. Yeah. If that’s the fastest growing segment of podcasts, that’s a real channel to consider.
Benjamin Brandt: Well, and think about your clients. What do they want to free up their time to do? Well, they want to work in the yard. They want to go fishing, they want to hit the gym, they want to walk more. What do you do when you do all those things? Listen to podcasts. So listening to your show might get them there a little bit quicker. You asked about content creation. We are already in the content business. We just haven’t trained our brains to hear content yet. So when you’re in an appointment with a client, I have a rule of five, 10, 15 content creation rule. Five, 10, 15. So if you’re in an appointment with a client, you just write down all the questions that they ask and you’re going to meet with 10 different people a week.
Benjamin Brandt: You just trained your brain to write down those questions. When you hear the same question five times, that’s your next podcast episode. When you hear the same question 10 times, that’s a new lead magnet for your website. Cause we all need to be growing our email lists. That’s a lead magnet, which is a free download. Five questions as an episode. 10 questions as lead magnet. 15 questions is a webinar. So there’s enough energy around that. If you’re 15 questions in close proximity, you should do a webinar, which is diving deeper with your audience on the same content. Do a webinar. So right now there’s probably market volatility webinars or coronavirus webinars because there’s a ton of energy around that very, very specific area. So five, 10, 15, you’ll never ever add a content.
Matthew Jarvis: Oh, I love that rule. How are you tracking that? Do you have to keep a notebook or you just sort of keep a sense for it? I mean, are you literally like, oh, that was number five?
Benjamin Brandt: I don’t anymore, but I did. So content begets content. Right now my show is large enough that we’re recording this on a Thursday morning. March is all about living off your savings series on our show. So I said, who has questions about retirement income? And I got within two hours, I think I got like 12 or 15 listener questions. So I have more content now that I could ever cover. I’ll never be short on ideas.
Matthew Jarvis: I like that.
Benjamin Brandt: But you don’t get there overnight. I mean we’ve got 150, I don’t know how many 100 episodes out, so.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah. Well I remember Mike and I, when we first started doing the perfect RIA podcast, we would really rack our brains. All right, what’s episode number five going to talk about? And the first handful we really kind of had to plan those out. And now to your point, we get so many questions in from our audience and start listening for what are people asking about. That really helps. I want to go back to something that you sort of mentioned before we started talking, but I thought about it as you were talking about these episodes and that is how much your message gets refined just by speaking it out again and again. I would think this has to impact your ability to communicate with prospects, your ability to communicate with clients because you’ve refined it so much and it’s such a different way of getting the reps and then just thinking that through.
Benjamin Brandt: Yeah, I get grief from other advisors sometimes they’d say, oh, you spend all this money or you spend all this time on your show. Shouldn’t you be caring about your current clients rather than trying to find new ones? And they’re probably right, except for the fact that I’m going to talk to probably 40,000 people next month with my show. If you’re going to put me in the forum in Los Angeles, there’s 40,000 people. You’re going to put me up on stage. You’re going to talk about Irma, Medicare, taxes. If that’s two weeks from now, I’m going to be the world’s best Irma expert? By the time you put me on stage in front of those 40,000 people. Because there’s intense accountability when humiliation is on the line. Right? So my clients benefit from that. I’m going to be an expert in Irma, even if they never hear my show, even if they never read my email newsletters, because I’m putting the reps in answering these other listener questions and I’m going to be an expert in that, which directly benefits them, even if they never hear my show.
Matthew Jarvis: Well, I liked that. That could really be a forcing mechanism. Right. Sometimes it’s easy to say, well, if I’m just talking to one client, I guess I’ll kind of ad lib through that. I’ll sort of muscle my way through whatever it is. But yeah, if I’m in front of an audience of 40,000 or even 40, I don’t want to blow that. I’m not just going to kind of mumble my way through that.
Benjamin Brandt: Yeah, and you don’t need a big show. You mentioned Adam Shamila, he’s always my number one go to example. His practice is probably going to four x over the next few years just from his show and he’s talking to several hundred people probably. I don’t know what his numbers are. I know it’s not 50,000 people a month. He doesn’t need that because he is one inch wide and 10 miles deep with his content. He’s talking to one very specific type of person and he is getting… We’ve had some conversations. He’s getting amazing results from his show better than me.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, he’s really doing a great job and we mentioned Adam who’s a good mutual friend of ours. If whatever channel you’re interested in, seek out those people that are really crushing it in that channel even if they’re just crushing the stance. You say, well, I really like listening to Ben’s show. Great. Listen to Ben’s show every week and kind of digest it and say, great, here’s the things he does that I really like. Maybe here are the things he does that I don’t like and then apply them to your show. You’re obviously not going to repeat Ben’s content. That’s its own kind of thing, but you can get inspiration from other shows. I listen to other podcasts, I read other advisers blogs. I want to see what other successful people are doing that. Then I’m going to mimic that as best I can.
Benjamin Brandt: Yeah be a student of the game.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, for sure. For sure. That’s really great. Obviously you’ve gotten a lot of questions about podcasts because of your success. You’ve, we mentioned this at the beginning to show what, I want to talk just a little bit about your adviser podcast Accelerator, because I know the TPR nation’s going to have questions. So that’s a series of videos that you’ve put together, trainings on launching podcasts.
Benjamin Brandt: Yeah. It lives in Teachable and we teach you how to grow an audience, how to nurture an audience, and how to have those select audience members raise their hand to become clients. So it does contain the content of plug this wire into this microphone and things like that, but there’s people that do that on YouTube a lot better than I do. I’m teaching you about SEO, I’m teaching you about how podcasts are the new blogs in the eyes of Google. They’re identical now. I could talk about that if you’d like to, but teaching you how to build an audience over time, grow that email list, create lead magnets, have your podcast to have Google fall in love with your podcast, all of that kind of stuff. And we also have a private Facebook group for only advisors that have podcasts that we have a lot of fun conversations in there as well.
Matthew Jarvis: That’s awesome. So, Ben’s a good friend of mine and so this isn’t just cause he’s a buddy of mine, but if I were considering doing a podcast, I would… Is it 497 for the Accelerate course right now?
Benjamin Brandt: It’s like 500 bucks.
Matthew Jarvis: Drop the 500 bucks and then do what he said to do. Right. And do it with this lens of, I use this example of one of my first coaches. I thought, I’m paying them a lot of money. If they tell me to wear a purple suit with pink underwear, that’s what I’m going to do because they have the success that I want to have. Ben has the success that you want to have in podcasts, so just buy the thing, listen to it and then just implement it and if you have any doubts, just say, hey look, this worked for Ben in North Dakota with black socks pulled up to his knees wearing sandals, it can work for me. Now and that’s not to discredit Ben at all. I’m just saying have that mentality like I know this works. It’s a proven system run with it.
Benjamin Brandt: And it’s a proven system that works because I stole it from blogging. Blogging. You could think of all the financial advisors, the famous financial advisors that started a blog 10 years ago and they sold their financial advisory practice because the blog was paying them 10 times as much. That is because blogging was a first-class content citizen for Google. Now Google says podcasts and video are first-class content citizen, so they are transcribing your audio. They’re doing it for the big shows now like the Gary Vaynerchuks of the world, but they’re going to do it for every show where if Matt asked, how do I attach a trailer hitch onto a 2020 Cadillac Escalade? Five years ago, they would have showed you a 17 minute video on how and everything you need to know about a Cadillac Escalade. Now, they’ll show you the four minute segment of that 17 minute video.
Benjamin Brandt: Here’s exactly how you install the trailer hitch. Because Google, videos are first-class content citizen. They’re transcribing that video. There’s not someone actually watching the video and taking notes. The algorithm is doing that or not. They’re going to do that for podcast as well. So two years from now, when you say, how do I avoid the Medicare surcharge? There could be a video, or it could be a snippet of my podcast specifically. That’s the number one way that Google is going to double the podcast audience is because they’re going to trick people into thinking. They’re either watching a video or reading a blog post. If you ask your phone on an Android phone, recommend for me an automotive podcast or recommend for me a retirement podcast. There’ll be a tiny little carousel that pops up that’ll be my show or somebody else’s show that you can scroll through.
Benjamin Brandt: So you don’t even know you’re listening to a podcast. Just the same way you didn’t know you’re using YouTube, you just, oh, there’s this website that’s playing videos. Oh, there’s a little red button that says, subscribe. Now I’m getting alerts on my phone, notifications when a new video pops up. So Google is incredible at driving engagement and getting you to come back, so they’re going to trick you into becoming a podcast listener, whether you know it or not. So financial advisor need to be in a position where they can take full advantage of that.
Matthew Jarvis: That’s awesome. Well, with that, speaking of taking advantage of that, let’s jump into some action items for the TPR nation. I would say action item number one, I would go out and if you haven’t yet record those three episodes that Ben talked about earlier, just do it on your phone. Don’t worry about a headset, don’t worry about a Yeti microphone. Just pick three topics, record three episodes of whatever length, and then like Ben said, see if it feels like fun and if it feels like fun, pursue it further. And if it doesn’t, then figure out a different content channel that works for you.
Benjamin Brandt: I would agree. I would say start to train your brain for content, whether it becomes YouTube or Alexa or blogging or whatever it is, or podcasts or who knows what it is. Train your brain for content because consumers are no longer limited to the best financial advisor on their street. They are unlimited to the best financial advisor for their very specific need wherever he or she exists on the planet. So you need to be in content creation so that Google can fall in love with you. And that’s so clients can find your content and you can nurture them over time and they’ll raise their hand to do business with you one on one. So train your brain for content. Think about five, 10, 15, and the world’s your oyster.
Matthew Jarvis: Yeah, I would specifically add to that. Give yourself a forcing mechanism or an assignment that each day you write something on your content list so you can have it on Evernote on your phone. You can keep a notepad in your pocket, but I would just give myself the assignment, Hey, I’m not going to go to bed each day until I’ve written down one or two content ideas. Even if they feel super generic, like how do I keep my client from paying the Medicare surtax? That feels generic to you. It’s not to the end user. Just to Ben’s point, get your brain trained for that.
Matthew Jarvis: Benjamin, you had mentioned another action item, which is to start slow. Would you mind talking about that, how that applies to our action? I know there’s going to be, some advisers are going to say, great, I’m going to go out and buy all this equipment. I’m going to pay 2,000 bucks a month on an editor. I’m going to crank out 10 episodes a week. What’s your advice to that? That advisor.
Speaker 1: that’s a great recipe to get burned out and I only know that because I did it to myself. So I came out of the gate, oh man, weekly episodes is going to be great and I hit three episodes and then I totally cooled off. I lost all momentum. I don’t think I published an episode for a month or two. And that’s the worst thing you can do once you finally build a little bit of traction or a little bit of momentum with your audience is to just leave them hanging. It’s so hard to build an audience and then you just wash all that progress away. So start slow. I don’t know, what’s the slow, so you could do one episode a quarter and get those reps in and then do one episode a month. And then get those reps in for awhile. No one’s ever going to slight you or be insulted that you’re giving them more content quicker and better than they expected.
Speaker 1: So you’re always increasing with reps, you’re never decreasing and losing your momentum. So one thing I really love for financial advisors talking financial advisor topics is publish it on the first and the 15th just like payday, that’s two a month. You’re never doing five episodes when there’s five Mondays in a month, like in March. It’s always first and 15th just like payday and people will learn to expect your content on that time. So that’s what, 24 episodes a year. You could probably knock that out in 10 Fridays if you’re segmenting your calendar and being super motivated, super efficient with your time.
Matthew Jarvis: That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Well, Ben, I really appreciate this episode. Any other parting wisdom to advisers on podcast or just in general? I know you’ve got just this amazing lifestyle practice and a great family. Any other parting words of wisdom for the TPR nation?
Speaker 1: My words of wisdom is just a thank you for all the time, all the stuff you’ve done for me. I was in one of your programs for the last two years and it’s definitely changed how I’ve run my practice in the time I’ve been able to spend with my family, so my words of wisdom is keep paying attention to what these guys are doing.
Matthew Jarvis: Oh, thanks a lot, Ben. I got to confess, we talked to this, our last parting thing, we talked before the show that you are tracking the hours that you spend in the office and I love that. I’m always so inspired by that to get beyond just, oh, if I’m here for a day, I guess I’ll just hang out for the day. No, if I’m here, these need to be valuable hours or I got to get the heck out of the office.
Speaker 1: That’s right. Yeah. You got to set a forcing mechanism, so challenge yourself, hold yourself accountable with some friends on Twitter or a Slack channel or whatever it would be, and say, I’m going to be in the office under 40 hours this week. You got to start somewhere. 40 hours. And track it. And if it’s 39 hours and 40 seconds, you better get out of the office. You’ve got to force yourself out because we’re creatures of habit. Well, my kid gets done at 4:30 I’m just going to hang out. I’m a play spider solitaire and I’m going to play on Twitter or whatever. Matt reads the Wall Street Journal. You got to force yourself out. So force yourself to go to the flower store and get your wife something, force yourself to go to the library and I don’t know, whatever it is, get yourself out of the office. You’ve got to start somewhere. That’s a great place to start. You should not be working 60 hours a week as an advisor.
Matthew Jarvis: I love that. I love it. So our final action, start tracking the hours that you’re in the office. Pull that number down. It doesn’t need to be 60 it can be 40 can be less than that. Ben I know your target is 20 is that correct?
Speaker 1: Under 20. Under 20 per week. Sometimes it’s more, but then you just balance it out. So I have a Google sheet on my phone. I love Google sheets cause you can do it on your phone. And I update it every day. So if you want to email me, I’ll send you the last year plus of every day, every hour that I’ve been in the office, I share that with as many people as I can cause that holds me accountable.
Matthew Jarvis: That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Well, Ben, thanks so much for your time. Remember everyone, check out the advisor podcast Accelerator. We’ll put that in the show notes. And until next time, happy planning.
Benjamin Brandt: Happy Planning.
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