Can You Hold My Attention? Samantha Russell

Samantha Russell has been named to Investment News’s “40 Under 40” and to’s “10 to Watch” list for her work in creating dynamic websites and digital marketing strategies for Advisors.

Our conversation about why digital marketing matters and how to measure return on investment moved me from being slightly skeptical to being excited to try some new things in Kingswood’s marketing strategy.

  • How to leverage both business and personal messages most effectively across the different social media outlets
  • Why it is important to engage on social media rather than simply post & wait for followers
  • How you can gauge what the most effective digital medium is for your message
  • How you should be measuring success in your digital marketing efforts

Resources: Kingswood U.S.  | Can You Hold My Attention Archive on LinkedIn | Twenty Over Ten, an FMG Suite Company



Samantha Russell, Derek Bruton

Derek Bruton  00:08

Welcome to can you hold my attention? I'm your host Derrick Bruton. Today, I'm going to challenge my guests to not only hold my attention, but also convince me that I and many other advisors and professionals in the wealth management industry, are not wasting our time on social media and digital marketing strategies. . .

But if anyone can convince me of this, it's one of the most foremost experts in digital marketing. And the new chief evangelist at FMG. suite. Samantha Russell, Samantha made investment news is top 40 under 40 list, and she was also named wealth management's top 10 to watch in financial services. Welcome, Samantha.

Samantha Russell  00:49

Thank you so much for having me. That was a lovely introduction. I appreciate it.

Derek Bruton  00:53

You're welcome. Well, these are exciting times for you. I'm sure. You just sold your company, you're starting off a new job with a really cool title. What are your most happiest about right now?

Samantha Russell  01:06

Yeah, and I should just I always correct everyone, technically, it wasn't my company. So my husband, and he had it, he was a co founder with a couple other folks, I was employee number one. But since we're married, we sort of get, you know, group together, there. But right now, I think what I'm most excited about is just so much of what I have been preaching for the last. So we started 20 return in about five years ago, this February, for the last five years, people have more than ever really understood. And the points have been hitting home for them, you know, since this pandemic started. So the need to go digital the idea of a digital referral shift, the idea that 1000s more people meet you online than ever meet you in person. And yet, we still pay more attention to what we were what our office looks like, we're a physical location is and we do our digital presence. And people are finally paying attention to that message. So it's, it's really exciting.

Derek Bruton  02:02

Well, Samantha, I look at social media and digital marketing. And may I ask you to define some of these things a little bit later. But I look at it the same way I look at that little tumeric vitamin I take every day. I know it's probably good for me. My doctor says it's good for me. I'm always reading about all its benefits. But can I sit here today and actually say I truly I truly can measure the benefits of it? Is my left shoulder feeling any better? Because the tumeric? Or is it from the constant stretching and physical therapy. It's supposed to help stave off depression, and I'm not depressed. So maybe it's working? I don't know. But my point is, I don't know whether that little dose of tumeric every day is producing any legitimate results. But I keep taking it. Because I know I'm supposed to. And it's the same way. I and I'm sure many of our listeners today feel about digital marketing and social media participation, we do it because people like yourself and others in the industry say it's good to be on Twitter, it's good to be on LinkedIn, and that we should be writing blogs and doing podcasts and producing killer websites. But I think very few of us can measure the effectiveness of this strategy. And it's a strategy that can eat up a lot of time and money. So So I'm looking for you to convince us today that works, that it's worth our time and money. And I'm also going to ask you to give us a way to measure the return on this investment. So you up for this challenge.

Samantha Russell  03:32

I am Yes, absolutely.

Derek Bruton  03:34

All right. All right. So let's start at 30,000 feet in the wealth management space. And my experiences that evolved advisors kind of fall into three basic classes as I look at the advisors with Kingswood, and across the industry, I've worked with one class one is that they understand that they're using it and they might have mixed results. class two is they're very aware of it and realize they should be leveraging digital marketing and social media, but haven't a clue how to get started. And then there's class three, and I'm talking to an advisor in LA right now that falls into this class. He doesn't know anything about it, and he doesn't plan on learning anytime soon, he'll probably retire before he learns how to use it. But is smart enough to know there's other people out there he wants to bring into the fold that will help him. So would you agree that most advisors kind of fall into these three classes? And you know, just for our listeners, roughly what percentages If you agree, fall into each class? Yeah,

Samantha Russell  04:34

it's interesting. So by nature, because 20 over 10 is more of a modern, progressive looking platform. A lot of the people that I interact with personally tend to be maybe leaning more towards the first or the second group. And also our market that we've served historically at 20 or 10. was independent ra but even in the time since I've joined FMG suite because they are really have a strong focus. foothold in the IBD space, I'm seeing a lot more people in that third group. And a lot of times it's because it's not only because they for the reasons you mentioned, but maybe just from a compliance standpoint, they couldn't use it in a way that was effective. And if you feel like you have handcuffs on, you know, you can't even leave comments on other people's posts. It's really hard to be effective. So is it worth your time at all. And so I think, you know, putting putting numbers on it is a little difficult. But I think overall, one point that I want to make sure people understand is, there are very few, maybe less than three, four or 5% of advisors that are using social media and using it in a way that I would say is up to par with the way other industries use it. You know, we say wealth management is often years behind the curve when it comes to marketing. And a lot of times, again, it comes back to compliance. But there's very few people I would say some of the people who think they're being incredibly effective and strategic using it, still are really missing the mark. And why I say that is because these types of folks, what they're trying to do is fill their social media feeds with posts about their expertise. So they're talking about financial planning topics, they're talking about retirement strategies, they're tired talking about, you know, capital gains or minimum distributions. But the problem is that what social media is meant to do is to replicate online, the interactions we have offline. So if someone came into your office to meet with you, you want to just jump right into a conversation, you know, the meat of what it is, you're an expert at, you'd ask them, so where do you live? Where did you go to high school? Oh, they see a book on your shelf. So they talk to you about it. People forget to include in their social profiles, all those little, you know, tangible elements that make up for social interaction. So if you're just posting blogs back to your website, or pre approved content, that you're allowed to post, but you're not saying, me and my son did this this weekend. And here's a picture of us doing it, or here's a great book I read or commenting on other people's posts, you're missing the mark and 95% or more of advisors that I am aware of. Don't take that other element into consideration.

Derek Bruton  07:13

Yeah, that's, that is really interesting. And now that you say it, you don't have an advisor. I'm not sure if you know, Ross Gerber. But he's probably tweeted about five times since we started this podcast this morning. He's an avid tweeter. But you know, he now that I think of after what you said, he actually does a really good job of mixing and what he thinks about what's going on in the markets, what's what's going on the economy, in throwing and things about his kids about what he did on the weekend about a fine wine he had what have you? Is that what you mean?

Samantha Russell  07:48

Yes, absolutely. And, you know, there's, there's lots of different ways you can do this. And obviously, not everyone's going to be comfortable talking about the same level of personal things. But you know, I'm a working mother, I'm a young woman. And so some of the things I might talk about are a lesson I taught my kids over the weekend, or a fun thing we did, as a family. And oftentimes, those posts get the most engagement more than anything else, when it's something that you can tie, tie it to, that's personal. And you can still we actually, like let's say you had a great weekend with your kids. But in a conversation about allowance, you had a great conversation. And now you can make that connection right about a financial planning topic for your own clients. So it's just how do we again, recreate the conversations we have offline, online, because really what our world is moving to whether people want to accept it or not, is a place where the majority of our interactions do not happen in person, even think about, like, you know, somebody's asking someone for a financial advisor or recommendation these days, how many of them are going to wait till they see someone in person, more likely, they're going to text a text chain, or ask, you know, a community group that their neighborhood association on Facebook, and then they'll get a bunch of recommendations. And oftentimes, those recommendations might be a link to your LinkedIn profile, when the person is going to click it, and then they're going to go check you out. So it's so much more interwoven than people realize.

Derek Bruton  09:16

So So do you have to actually draw that connection if you're if I'm posting something about my children, and my next post is about what I think about GameStop. And the stock that happened yesterday? Do Do I have to lead my followers all the way to water in terms of that connection? Or? Or can I just post those two and really hope that the draw is what my I'm talking about with my kids, but the followers are going to stick around are going to come back and read what I have to say about GameStop?

Samantha Russell  09:47

I think it depends on the platform. So on LinkedIn, I would say I very rarely get personal without making a connection in some way. But on Twitter, yeah, you could do that. You know till the cows come home because it's It's a different medium, and the life of a tweet is so small and it's much more conversational in nature. So it needs to, you know, you need to be thinking about which platform that you're on. But there is no hard and fast rules. I mean, some of the most successful people on social media, they share everything. They're an open book, and people follow them to your point for yes, maybe their commentary on investing or the stock market, but for all the other things that just make up who they are as a person.

Derek Bruton  10:29

Do you think that the people that you see most successful and useful using digital marketing, is there? Is there a certain personality trait or talent or something like that? That advisor almost has to have to be a solid Digital Marketer? Or can it be learned?

Samantha Russell  10:45

No, I don't think so. Just the same way. I mean, to me, again, I keep I'm gonna keep probably reiterating this till people are not just but if you think about in life, like is there a certain personality trait that makes a good financial advisor? I mean, we have financial advisors from all walks of life, extroverts, introverts, tech savvy, not tech savvy, focused on behavioral investing focus just on the hard numbers. trendy versus not right. And the same exact thing is true for being online. What medium that you get active on could vary, right? So if you think of even like YouTube as a social network, and it's the second largest search engine, that there is, getting yourself on camera, and going on video is going to be more enticing to certain personality types than others. But you know, look at, like Morgan housel, right, he has these these crazy long editorial blogs, he writes the collaborative fund, and he gets 1000s and 1000s of readers, and he never goes on camera and does live interviews or anything like that. He's just sharing his thoughts there. So you know, you can find a medium that works with your personality type.

Derek Bruton  11:53

So a complete introvert in person. So if I'm, if I'm an advisor, and I'm kind of a techie, and I don't really particularly enjoy being in front of clients, but I know it's part of part of the business, and I get it done. And I bring in new business, and I'm happy that introvert if you if you mirror that on to social media, how does that person become successful through means of getting out to, you know, 1000s and 1000s of people, when a person he or she's also an introvert is more introverted. And just as that's not their personality?

Samantha Russell  12:30

In some ways, it might be easier, because you don't have to have a lot of conversations, right? So maybe you love creating graphs and charts and looking at numbers and making correlations between between things. So you have an amazing, every Friday, a report that you run talking about different correlations, almost like a Freakonomics style thing. And then you go online, and you comment and posts. So if someone's talking about GameStop, as they are, you know, everywhere online right now, you you know, comment in the thread saying something like, interestingly, you say that, you know, I discovered this, or these numbers are really interesting to look at, and then link to your post, one of the things that people get wrong about social media is wanting everyone to come to them. So they think I'm just going to post something, and then everyone's going to start following me. If you have never commented on a stranger's post on social media, then you are doing it wrong.

Derek Bruton  13:21

Hmm. Interesting. Because why? Because once you comment there, what's going to happen beyond that?

Samantha Russell  13:27

Because if let's say you have a social you're, you know, john Brown, and you join Twitter tomorrow, and you don't have any followers and you post something? How? Who's going to see it? No one, right. Oh, you need to and the way that you build followers and get people to want to follow you. I mean, there's lots of strategies, but one of the best ways is to be somebody who shares commentary that other people want to see. So and, you know, if I go and I comment on, you know, Josh Brown, he's the reformed broker on Twitter, right? He's, everybody knows him in this space. If I go, and I leave a really interesting comment, a bunch of people might see it, they might like it, and then they start following me because when they check out my profile, they see all these other great, you know, thoughts and ideas that I've shared. So commenting on strangers is a really, really big way. And it works for your business, too. So let's say you have a client and they comment on your Facebook post. And they leave something about oh, you know, it was it was great talking with you about this in our last meeting, then everybody in their network can have the potential to see their comment on your posts. So if one of their friends who you know, we know our clients, often their own friends and social circles, our best potential new clients and prospects, one of their friends sees, hey, you know, my friend, Jane commented on John's posts. Now I'm going to think, oh, who's john, I didn't know Jane worked with that financial advisor and I can see it. So those second degree comments are how you really grow

Derek Bruton  15:00

So Samantha drilled down on that a little bit for me. Okay, I get what you're saying that if I comment on somebody else's post, especially when I'm trying to gather followers, that my comment may attract somebody to follow me. Is there anything? in particular about my comment? Does it have to be visited have to be argumentative? Or is there anything in particular that if I'm trying to get followers out there, that should be part of my comment that would actually attract somebody to follow me.

Samantha Russell  15:29

It should be like, if you were having a conversation with somebody in person, and they made a comment instead of just saying, oh, great point, you know, you don't want to just comment, great point, because that doesn't do anything. It doesn't lend anything. It doesn't say anything about your expertise, or your intellect or your humor. You want to have your comment be substantial enough that someone would say, oh, wow, I didn't think of it that way. Or Yeah, right on, I agree with that. And then they click on your profile. So it needs to be adding to the conversation, or it can be an argument against a point that the person made. But it can't just be what I see a lot of people do is like, I love this or great point, or Yes, this is so true. That's not going to get you anywhere.

Derek Bruton  16:11

Yeah. To ask you this question. And as I was reviewing it before the show, I realized you probably answered it with a well, Derek, that depends, but I'm going to ask you anyway, what's the most effective medium for advisors, articles, podcasts, video webcasts? That, you know, as you're, as you're searching for followers, as you're, as you're trying to get your message out? How would you answer that?

Samantha Russell  16:40

It does depend. But what we are seeing right now is a shift away from the very long form editorial content, that to shorter, shorter content. So if we think of like the TIC tock, right, it's 15 seconds. That's what people's attention is, these days. If you look at ads before YouTube video anymore, they're like five seconds long, we have been conditioned to have really short attention spans. And the more we see of something, you know, the mere exposure effect from psychology tells us that the more we see something, the more likely we are to rate that we like that thing because it feels more familiar to us. So instead of working for a month on one super long piece of content, and look, unless you're Michael kitsis. You know, there's always exceptions to the rule that prove it. But for most people, it's better to have a lot more shorter bursts of content throughout the month. So if you can commit to recording a video a week for a minute, then you can also repurpose that video, have someone on your staff, you know, turn it into like a summary, a written summary. But we are in that scroll and scan generation and mindset. And it doesn't matter how old you are, everybody's being conditioned to do this, just look at anybody at the grocery store on their phone, what are they all doing, they're taking their finger and scrolling up quickly through whatever platform they're on. So it's less about what medium you use, but keeping it short and concise, unless you really, really have something of incredible value to share. And you're going to make you know, like the definitive guide on topic x. And it's going to be basically a mega mega article. There's very few people who can do that and do that. Well, though.

Derek Bruton  18:19

So short and impactful wins the game, it sounds like it does that by you the right if people are reading your short and impactful posts, and begin you begin to generate this following. Does that is that the ticket for them to then tune into the longer pieces that you do the white papers, things that go beyond five minutes, that you want somebody's attention, does that kind of buy you the credibility, if you will?

Samantha Russell  18:47

Absolutely. So, you know, I did a video a couple weeks ago on the SEC new add rule and what the five biggest opportunities that are going to come out of advisors for that. And then we had a link, hey, sign up, if you want, we're going to do a full blown webinar with an RA compliance attorney, answering all your questions and diving deep into all five of these and what you need to know, compliance wise, if somebody's not interested enough, in that first five minute clip of me talking about it, they're surely not going to be interested in an hour long webinar. So it 100% works that way. And using those shorter pieces, really help you find the qualified prospects or potential new clients that are interested in that subject. You know, like if if you really want people to self qualify, again, we want to move from a sales culture to somebody coming to you and wanting to work with you begging to work with you because of your expertise. And to do that, you need to prove to them that you are someone who is going to teach them something is gonna you know, be the person they can rely on and so that is the perfect way to do it.

Derek Bruton  19:51

You know, I I read something from you that maybe was on one of your webcast, I'm not sure but that the best content to share is original. content. And I think I started off in LinkedIn and Twitter. And all I did was take Michael kitsis article or, or some research from somebody and simply simply retweeted it or share it. And naturally, I got nothing out of that. So so you know, I think the original content a lot of people talk about that needs to be genuine, authentic, really come from the heart. That isn't that the way to go. I mean, it takes more effort, I think it does, and certainly retweeted somebody else's stuff. But isn't that the most effective.

Samantha Russell  20:35

So it depends on your ultimate goal. So there is a there is a good use, though, for sharing other people's content, a couple of things. Number one, if you talked about that consistency, remember I mentioned before, you need to be doing this regularly, I suggest at least daily, you post to social media, again, if you want to be in that top 5%. That's actually reaping the rewards. And so if you wake up in the morning, every morning, and you read the Wall Street Journal, or the New York Times, then make it a habit that every morning, whatever piece you're reading that you find interesting, tweet it or, you know, share it, I wouldn't say necessarily share it on LinkedIn. Because with LinkedIn, you don't really get more than one posts a day that the algorithm is gonna push high in people's feeds. But for Twitter, it's great to share it there. And what you can do is give your take on it. So read this this morning, really interesting quote from, you know, the Fed Chairman, or crazy what you know, a bunch of people on Reddit can do to the stock market, whatever your take is, right? Trying to make it original or interesting, or this is the best piece I've read on this topic this week. But then, you know, at the same time, the original content is going to be serving the purpose of showing your own expertise. So why would you do both, there's a couple reasons. Number one, it's too hard to post your own original piece every single day, like nobody's got the time to do that. But the other reason it's great to post other people's content is because you can tag them. So if you wanted to get on the radar of a local CPA, and you'd love for him to know who you are and start sending you business, you could share if he has some great in, you know, interesting blog posts or videos or a webinar coming up and tag him and say, for all my friends, you know, interested in this topic, my colleague, you know, and CPA, this person has this and that person is going to be flattered, and they're going to pay attention, even if they've never met you before you can do this, it doesn't have to be someone you have a relationship with. So that is why sharing other people's content is huge. Every Friday at 20 over 10. We do a roundup where we retweet, we call it the best things we read. And then we do it on Mondays, actually five little things for your Monday, where we compile five articles that we think our audience should read, we put it in our own blog post. So we summarize the article and link out to it. And then when we share it on social media, we tag all five of the people who wrote those pieces. And we get more followers from doing that every week, then probably

Derek Bruton  22:59

you said something reaping the rewards. And I want to shift to that, because that's that, in my opinion, is why we're doing all this is to reap rewards. And it often comes in new business, or that's that's the yardstick by which many people measure results, new assets, new accounts, new clients, and you just mentioned something that, you know, I hope my listeners heard, and that's that tagging somebody, especially somebody that you're looking to develop that referral relationship with is so important, so many ways to connect more with them, to show other people that you're connected with them. versus just like, like I used to do simply retweet something, which probably doesn't have, you know, in and of itself doesn't have a lot of value. But let's stay on on that topic of reaping rewards. And let's say I'm an advisor, and I live in a place I know you love Samantha and that Siesta Key, Florida, right. And my prospect base is, you know, wealthy baby boomers and Gen Xers down in Siesta Key. Are these people, you know, the I often think of my father, for example, he uses an advisor, but if he wasn't happy with his advisor, when he go to Twitter or LinkedIn, to find a new advisor, so so I'm not quite sure how the actual investors, the people that you measure your success by how they are finding out about you through LinkedIn and Twitter and some of the common mediums that that most advisors are on so can you can you connect that for me?

Samantha Russell  24:39

Yes, Twitter should not be a platform that you use to get clients. So Twitter should be where you go to connect with other advisors to build referral relationships or the biggest one is to get quoted by the press. So if you want to build a relationship so that a Wall Street Journal reporter will call you, that's where you want to hang out is on Twitter. It's also a great place to if you want to speak at more conferences, right? It's an industry hangout spot, that's where you go for that. If you want your you want clients to find you on social media, Facebook is still the best platform for that. That's the biggest group of 55 and older hang out on Facebook. And if you're, you know, looking at especially an older demographic, that is where you want to go, if you are working with a lot of entrepreneurs, or people that are middle management or a certain segment of the working population, then LinkedIn is the best place to go. So but then beyond that, no, you shouldn't just use social media and think I'm going to create all of this content, I'm going to post it and then the clients are going to find me there. If somebody was looking for a new financial advisor, they're going to do a Google search. But guess what, if they do a Google search, they might land on three different businesses in the local area. And as part of doing their research around those businesses, oftentimes, people click on social media links on those websites, because that gives them the best real understanding of a firm or a person beyond what they put on their, you know, formal, professional website. So it's all again, tied together. It's very interactive. And it does depend on your demographic, there's a lot of people who say, Well, I target people that are, you know, 60 and older. And so it doesn't matter so much for me. And that's probably true to an extent, but are you building a business for the next 10 years, next five years, the next 30 years? You know, what is true today will not continue to be that for very

Derek Bruton  26:33

well by and large advisors don't do a very good job connecting with the next generation. So we know. Well, I don't even know if the next generation is on Twitter and LinkedIn as much as they're on tik tok and Instagram and other other mediums. But But certainly, what I'm hearing from you is this is all a means to an end. Your point about you go on Twitter to get to get recognized so that your local newspaper or local podcasts or what have you picks you up because they've seen something, something insightful, perhaps that you put down that they pick you up, and then that's what your prospect sees, which then leads them to call you Or perhaps you, like you said, or that you connected with a CPA, the CPA saw that. And then when they have a prospect for you in their office, they connect to you. So all of this is interrelated. But one thing in and of itself may not produce the results. Is that what I'm hearing?

Samantha Russell  27:32

Yeah, and I also want to just point out, you talked about, like, kind of, I think we've had a lot of people who focus on Well, my clients aren't using some of these mediums, and they're talking about maybe the 55 and older and then there's a lot of talk about, well, then to get to the next generation, you got to be on Tick tock, there's a whole group of people that are more my age that are in their, you know, 30s and 40s, that are on social media every day, and they're on Instagram, and they're using Google. And they're often the ones that their parents are saying, like, I gotta have somebody help me with this. They help their parents, they go online, and they help them find what it is that they're looking for. The other really interesting thing, Putnam Investments, they do a survey they've done in the last few years called the social advisor survey. And in 2018, when they did this survey, the average age or the I should say, Sorry, the median age of a new client that a financial adviser got from social media was 35. So that's what the age was in 2018. They ran the same survey A year later, and the median age had gone up to 40 in one year. So we're only going to see that trajectory rise, right? I can't wait for them to release that data for 2020. Because I'm sure it's going to be even even higher. And, again, this stuff is happening at lightning speed. So if you wait to say, well, not yet, finally, all my audience is using social media every single day, it's too late. It needs to happen proactively, you need to build, you know, build it so that when somebody is then going, they get a list of recommendations, and they clicked on your LinkedIn page. They're not seeing a blank canvas, but they're seeing a history of things that you've shared that make them say, Oh, this person works with people just like me to solve problem x.

Derek Bruton  29:13

Yeah, I guess in your position, you're often beating back frustration from a lot of advisors who, let's say for six months there, maybe they're posting daily on LinkedIn, they're tweeting, they're doing all these things. And after six months, they're like, Samantha, I haven't generated a single lead from this.

Samantha Russell  29:32


Derek Bruton  29:34

So what do you what do you tell these folks, I guess it's probably a little bit of the art is messed up in the way they're approaching this versus the science of how often they're doing it. But

Samantha Russell  29:48

yeah, the biggest analogy I can give that most people are like, Oh, I get it is how many people do we see on a daily basis that have worked for years to get healthy, and they go to the gym every day and they say, Oh, I i've been dieting. And they're taking all these action steps to get towards a goal, but it's not producing the results they want, right? We can all think of a lot of people that have experienced this, maybe even ourselves. And the reason is the way that they're going about it isn't the right way, just because they show up at the gym and walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes. They feel like they can check that box like, yep, went to the gym today. But it's just not enough. And it's the same thing with social media, people share a link from their blog to LinkedIn. And they think, well, I shared a social media, why aren't the leads just knocking my door over? It doesn't work that way. It's much, much more nuanced, and time consuming. And there's a lot of thought and strategy that needs to go into it, then what people understand.

Derek Bruton  30:42

Right? So let's talk about results. Because in measuring results, more specifically, you know, I, there's an advisor in Southern California that used to be a client of mine years ago, and she had about 150 million under management about eight years ago. And she has, according to her Twitter handle here, she's got 300,000 plus followers. And I often wonder if I got 20 investors in a room when any of them know who she is maybe even 20 other advisors. But I also looked at her form, add, and she's at 100. And she went from 150 to 175 million over eight years. So I don't think those are great results. But But how should, how should advisors be measuring the investment that they're putting into social media and digital marketing?

Samantha Russell  31:34

It can be a little bit tricky to measure the same way. Like if you took out a billboard, and you stuck it on the side of the road. Yes, some people might say I saw your billboard, but a lot of people might not, they might just call you. So with any marketing initiative, it can be really tricky. And what we find is that typically, it's not just one message that does it for someone, they see a post that you have, they hear a friend, say your name they see on Facebook, CPA mentions, you know, a webinar they're doing with you, they, you know, see your name mentioned somewhere else. And then finally, one day, they're like, oh, man, I really got to take care of this problem, I need to work with an advisor and they start, your name kind of resurfaces to the top of their head because of all those touch points. So it can be incredibly hard to measure. I think we're entering a new era, though, where in the next five years, being able to measure these things will become incredibly easier for small businesses. So right now, at larger institutions, there's a lot of tools we have at our disposal at our disposal to connect things like what are, how does it social media posts, what kind of views does it get that then translates to email opens, that then translates to a landing page visit, then we can retarget them with an ad. But for the you know, small business owner, typically, they can't do that. It's one of the things I'm most excited about for our own business 20 over 10. And, you know, the acquisition of FMG suite is building out a lot of these more predictive analytics, and the ability to track things, you know, through all the touch points, and we've got a little bit of that started, in certain ways for people using specifically our lead pilot system. But I think more to come because right now, for a lot of small businesses, again, they just don't have the manpower to really dig into the data.

Derek Bruton  33:24

Well, you're right. And I think that's very important, because I think the skepticism is gonna continue out there with advisors around, around the money that they're spending and really the time the opportunity costs on social media and digital marketing. They're frustrated that they're not seeing the results from this. And, and a lot of them know, they're probably not doing it the right way. But it you know, takes time energy and it takes hiring folks like FMG suite and talking to you to discern really what it is. But I think if there's ways that FMG or others can show people a clear path to there's a results. I think the people start looking at this more as an investment versus an expense. And

Samantha Russell  34:10

oh, yeah, I mean, when we hear from, you know, advisors we work with because we do have a system built out where you know, it kind of notifies you and says Dean, you got a new lead from a social poster, an email you sent, somebody booked a time on your calendar. I mean, every single time pretty much someone will forward those emails to someone on the team saying how excited they are. And when it happens the first time, you know, there's no feeling like it because you're like, this actually does work. I always just caution people, you know, some because you didn't get results or something doesn't mean that it doesn't work. It just means the way you're currently doing it either isn't working or you haven't given it enough time. So it's like an investor coming to you giving you a bunch of money and saying, okay, I want to, you know, invest in the stock market and these are my goals and then they come back a week later and they're like, wait, why why hasn't anything changed yet? You know, it's it's a long term value proposition. But that was one of the things that happens all the time. If someone comes to me and they'll say, Well, I need to update my website, and my social profiles, I'm never going to get any clients from there. But I know it's just something I need to do. And the reason you haven't gotten any clients in the first place probably is because of the fact that it's outdated or you're not doing it right not because it doesn't work. So it's really a shift in it's like, we wish we could capture, you know, through AI or something. Look at all these 1000s of people in your Google Analytics who visited your website, and who never called you who never booked a time on your calendar, what were they thinking? Why didn't it resonate for them, and capture that like, you know, consumer sentiment, that would be a dream, but there's something to be said there, you know, look at your analytics, how many people are visiting your website that you never hear from, those are real opportunities that we can capitalize on, hopefully, with tweaks to our marketing?

Derek Bruton  35:52

Well, and the repetition. I mean, you're right, I mean, I probably get an email a day from whatever automotive provider out there, whatever, you know, Porsche or BMW or whoever it is trying to sell. And I always delete, I delete, I don't take the time to unsubscribe. And one day, I'm going to be in the market for a car, and I will have seen about 1000 emails by then, or seen 1000 ads on Twitter, whatever it is, and that'll be fresh in my mind, up until then, it'll probably be a nuisance to me. But right then and there, I will remember, whatever is some feature of a car, whatever it is that I want, or I need. And so that repetition part, I think is important, and you stress that you mentioned websites, I want to I want to move to that here. In full disclosure, we are happy customer of 20, over 10, I guess FMG suite. Now. We love our website, you guys did a wonderful job. But let's talk about websites. Because I see advisors out there with some of the worst websites a month. I mean, basically, it's it has a phone number and address, and it just screams out, just call me if you want any more information, but I'm not going to give it to you on this website. And then I see other websites that are just unbelievably beautiful, a lot of them produced by 20, over 10. And just just awesome. But I know these advisors aren't growing their business and so so what are the you know, sometimes I feel that if you just had where for people to contact you, and also who you are, you know, kind of, I think people go there for websites to see, you know, who's the CEO? And does he or she know anything about anything? I think those things are important. So why should advisors spend any other time on the rest of their websites, the value prop and all that? Maybe you can drill into that for me a little bit?

Samantha Russell  37:48

Yeah, I mean, I think we put a lot of pressure there. It's like a double edged sword, we put a lot of pressure on, like, if we spend a lot of money on a website, then we expect it to perform for us and produce all this results, you know, immediately. And at the same time, there's a lot of people who don't put any pressure or pay any attention to it, and they're losing opportunity. And you want to, you know, yes, you want to prioritize it. But you also have to have real expectations, which is just that the website is just another part of your marketing, overall marketing plan. And no one part is like the key, right, they all work really together, if you're doing it right to produce results. So you really shouldn't, as a financial advisor, have more than five to seven pages of a website like so you can have, especially in the main navigation for from a UX perspective, we find that consumers feel overwhelmed with more than five pages in the main nav now that people are going to be allowed to have client testimonials with the new FCC add rule, it would, I would suggest even having a page that's just about, like social proof that way, because people want to hear from other people. So you may need to condense even more. But you know, it could be what you need to remember is that you have two different people visiting this website, people who are visiting for the very first time. And your whole goal with them, is to get them to read your site and say, yes, this firm works with people just like me to solve a problem I have, you want them to opt in to self qualify to feel they've come to the right place so that they will continue to read more, because they may not be ready to book a meeting with you yet. But they we want them to know they came to the right place. But then for people who are aware of you who are now starting to learn more who want to know more, you want to give them as much information as you can without them having to book a meeting because at the end of the day, most people still feel like if they're booking a meeting, they're having a sales call and they don't want to be sold to so you want to use your website to make the sale. And we do that through blog posts. So if you only have five main pages, you might have a homepage, a you know eventually here a client testimonials page, a services page and then like a Get Started page and then a blog and the blog is where you can really dive deep into topics. that you want to make the case or, you know, sell your services for you. Right?

Derek Bruton  40:06

Yeah. It's, it's interesting, especially as you go back and talk about the younger generation, and what why they're going to the websites, and do they get turned off? You know, let's say that the children have, have one of my clients, and you know, they're thinking about is the money passes through generations, whether they're keep me as an advisor, and they're going to my website and seeing essentially a virtual brochure, no calls to action, no real good information, nothing that validates why I as the child will want to keep this person as my advisor. So that's that person is going there for a different reason. But But like you said, as long as you're you're it's up to date, that it's professional, that there's a call to action that's very clear in there. You can you can sort of straddle the younger generation, but also a piece in the maybe the older generation who's coming there for validation. So

Samantha Russell  41:08

it's your chance to show your value, right? Because there's really, there's really becoming this commoditization of investment management and financial planning. And so, especially people, you know, I hear this all the time from my peers in their 30s and 40s, saying, Well, why would I get an advisor right now, you know, I have a 401k at work, or I take my money, and I just invest directly through a trading app. And why would I pay somebody you know, some basis points to do that for me, when I can do it on my own, you need to show all the other things you do outside of that investment management that makes the case for why you're valuable. And there's a site I love, Allison wealth management, where they have this great graphic right on the homepage. And it's it shows, you know, a person who feels overwhelmed, and it shows them with like tax documents and financial documents and bills and a budget, and they're feeling so weighed down. And then right next to it, it says, Why go it alone, when you can have a trusted partner who acts as your family's CFO. And it shows like a caricature of someone sitting at a desk and then like little bubbles above them with all the things they do. And that one visual just illustrates very concisely the value that they provide without someone having to read a bunch of paragraphs to get it explained to them.

Derek Bruton  42:21

Yeah. Well, hey, Samantha, this has been great. I want to a couple takeaways I have from the from our podcast today. First of all, the way you interact with people on social media should almost mirror the way you interact with people if you were in person. And I think that's a great lesson to be learned that, how you would ask somebody a question, what you would comment on? As an answer to somebody's question your office can easily kind of translate and convey to to social media. Second, that, you know, posting daily in these places, and being repetitive is is going to help and short impactful wins the game. I like that as well. And then, you know, lastly, that, you know, from a website perspective, which I know a lot of advisors want to look at updating their websites, and you all should reach out to Samantha and to get help as well. But that, you know, having five to seven pages and being up to date, being impactful is going to win in that space, too. So would you agree with my summary list there?

Samantha Russell  43:27

Yes, absolutely. And, you know, again, you're you are not a if you're not somebody who has a natural awareness or knowledge or knack for marketing, you know, work with somebody who can help you. It's the same advice you give your own clients, right? Yes, anybody feels like they can be a marketer, just like anyone feels like they can be an investor nowadays. But if you really want to do it, right, you know, get the right help or educate yourself more so that you really can have the knowledge to do it effectively.

Derek Bruton  43:57

Well, Samantha, I'm gonna keep I'm gonna keep taking that tumeric pill, I think and I'm gonna keep posting on LinkedIn and Twitter, because I know it's good for me, and you really held my attention today. So I appreciate all of your time. Thank you for doing my podcast. And thank you all for listening today. You can subscribe to can you hold my attention through our LinkedIn page with the same name. Thanks again, Samantha. Thank you. Have a great day and stay safe everyone.


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