Accelerating Financial Advisors’ Influence

There is an art and a science to building and wielding influence. Having that kind of gravitational pull with clients in your industry does not come easy and has to be earned with hard work, massive generosity, and deliberate attention to your messaging and outreach.

Robert Cialdini outlined the behavioral and social science behind this vital skill in his seminal book Influence and now ProudMouth, a done-for-you podcasting service provider for industry experts and leading influence accelerator company, just launched their PodRocket Academy to blueprint the art of applying this level of engagement to your business.

We reached out to new Institute members Kirk Lowe and Matt Halloran Co-founders of Proudmouth to explore the learning experiences they designed into their academy and how they turn financial services professionals into subject matter authorities through original thought leadership in the form of podcasts.

Hortz: What was your motivation and purpose behind launching your new PodRocket Academy?

Halloran: I define my motivation for starting the Academy as wanting to help liberate the world’s experts from the torment of sales, allowing them to get back to their passion. We want to advance the marketing mindset of advisors and the firms that serve them. We also want to humanize financial influence by giving these financial professionals and companies a green light to be themselves. 

Lowe: As an experienced financial marketer, I see the impact that our misguided industry teachings have had on advisors. Few understand that influence building is marketing and achieving sustainable momentum is the path to success. It takes a different mindset and set of behaviors to achieve and most advisors have not been taught this.

If you think about household names in financial services, you think about Michael Kitces, Hannah Moore, and Josh Brown. None of them changed their strategy every 90 days when the leads did not pour in. None of them stopped consistently producing and sharing their thought leadership after 12 months, 3 years, or even 5 years. Right? None of them stopped blogging or podcasting when things “got busy”, they were tired, moved offices, or had writer’s block. Influence is marketing and this is the way. We have designed a process that will teach you how. 

Hortz: What were the biggest lessons you both learned over your collective experiences that you built into your new Academy?

Lowe: Even if advisors get the long-term focus and discipline they need to build influence, they don’t know where to start, how to build over time, what outcomes to expect, how to accelerate, and so on. We’ve turned influence marketing into a system they can understand. Our academy guides their strategy and tactics to help build marketing skills, leverage proven marketing resources, get introduced to experts through their courses, enjoy face-to-face access to digital marketing experts, and more.  What’s interesting is that the same discipline it takes to be an influencer is the same discipline it took to get this academy up and running. And it will be the same discipline and grit for us to make the academy a success.

Halloran: It’s about process, generosity of wisdom, discipline of consistency, and constant improvement. Short term marketing will only ever end with short term results. The brightest and fastest growing advisors recognize that sustainable momentum is the holy grail, not the “next best 90-day lead program”. We teach them what, why, how, where and when of attaining that sustainability of effort. 

Hortz: What are the various components of the PodRocket Academy?

Lowe: PodRocket Academy is loaded with marketing courses and resources created by professional podcast (content) producers and digital marketers. But most importantly the key component is that it is a community. It’s built for advisors who: 1) want to get their marketing right, 2) want to boost their assistants’ marketing mindset and capabilities, and 3) be part of a community of marketing-focused advisors they can grow with and learn from. 

Halloran: There are 15+ podcasting, marketing and business courses, “office hours” that provide access to our team twice per week, and specialized courses taught by vetted industry experts, including myself as the podcasting guru, referral coach Bill Cates, and advisor branding coach Stephen Wershing, More courses are being added regularly.

Hortz: How did you design all this knowledge into a learning system and experience?

Lowe: What advisors fear most is anonymity; that their audience doesn’t know they exist, what they do, and how they help. What distracts advisors from solving this is understanding that marketing success is about long-term discipline, not short-term hype. We’ve essentially used what we know advisors need help with and provided the mindset, system, resources to be so much better. 

Halloran: We’ve designed the academy to serve both advisors and/or their marketing assistants. Our main focus was building a great learning experience that really delivers on “what do I need to do” and “here’s how you do that”.  We’ll teach you a lot about marketing and influence. We don’t hold back on our best tactics and tools. 

Hortz: What are the key skills and approach needed to command influence with your clients and in your community?

Halloran: Be as generous with your expertise as possible and make it incredibly easy for your audience to experience what you know and care about. This sounds a lot easier than it is because most advisors have been taught to only give advice once prospects have become clients. Advisors have also been taught to build influence in person, at a boardroom table. 

Today, influence needs to be built much wider, deeper, and longer. Just before sharing these ideas with you, we confirmed a new client who I shared LinkedIn messages with 12 months prior. I looked back and all I did was answer questions, provide links to more information (specific podcast episodes that answered his questions), and let him know to keep in touch. 

Hortz: Why do you see podcasting as the perfect delivery system to engage and build influence?

Lowe: While owning a marketing agency supporting advisors and financial firms, my biggest challenge and widest gap was convincing clients to produce more thought leadership. This is key to building influence but so few put in the effort or even considered it. What we have found is that podcasting is the easiest, and best way for influencers to produce valuable, intimate, honest, and personal content that their audience enjoys consuming. 

When we consider how a podcast comes across to listeners, consider that podcasts are the most versatile medium. You can listen while you walk, commute, or cook dinner. Since listeners have control in consuming the information, they tend to be more relaxed and open to information being shared. Listeners can hear how much the podcaster (advisor) cares, what they know, and how they communicate.  When Matt and I meet new advisors at events or virtually, they already know us, like us, and care about what we do. We have turned skeptics into fans and they do the selling for us. That’s how we all win. Influence works. It’s magic 24 hours a day.

Halloran: Think about it, most people either don't like or don’t make the time for producing blog posts or recording videos. Yet, I have never met an advisor who did not like to talk. So this can be a natural progression. We recommend preparing with an outline of key points and stories to tell. In fact, we have courses and vetted experts in these areas to walk you through this process and progression within the academy. 

For advisors who work with ProudMouth, after their episode is recorded, they drop the mic and we produce and promote their podcast. But there’s still more marketing that needs to get done, and so we introduce our podcast clients to our academy also. Many of our clients are enrolled in the Academy, office hours, and our peer podcaster mastermind groups. We teach them and their teams other important tactics to accelerate influence. For advisors who would like to build their own podcast and influence marketing team, we teach them the tactics and skills sets required in the PodRocket Academy. 

Hortz: Any final thoughts or recommendations you would like to share with advisors on building influence?

Lowe: We welcome financial services professionals to #BeYourOwnLoud by starting a podcast that attracts your ideal prospects. Building influence is such a powerful competitive tool and community engagement strategy for the development of your business that we recommend, at minimum, that you explore the key principles of how to strengthen your influence by signing up to our free Beginner membership for the PodRocket Academy.

Related: Will AI and ML Revolutionize the Financial Services Industry?