Why your prospects are being stolen: YCDBSOYA
By Joe Simonds
Advisor Internet Marketing
Did my title confuse you?
My guess is that you are probably wondering if I accidentally hit a bunch of random key strokes into the title line before I sent this article to ProducersWEB. Or perhaps you thought that my two-year-old daughter jumped on my keyboard while I was typing and her big toe simultaneously hit send. Or maybe you figured that I was having my Wednesday evening glass of wine with my wife, which became an entire bottle, thus turning me into a drunken goon that can’t type or spell coherent words.
Well, the truth is that none of those is true.
You see, YCDBSOYA is actually an acronym with a very real meaning.
In fact, it's a meaning is incredibly importance to me and something that has been passed down through four generations of men in my family.
I can still recall the day that my grandfather gave me his cherished family cufflinks that had the mysterious YCDBSOYA engraved onto them. And just like you, I thought to myself, what in the heck do these letters mean?
It was then that my grandfather let me in on a very important Simonds family mantra.
After staring at my new cufflinks for a minute while wondering if my grandfather just gave me something of significant family meaning or if the letters stood for a funny joke (which he was known for), I finally looked to my grandfather and asked him what it meant.
He proceeded to tell me that the letters YCDBSOYA stood for the single line that personally helped him through some tough years; a single line that eventually helped him start and sell his own company. The single line that helped him provide for his family, and the single line that he claimed could help me achieve any goal that I wanted in life.
So, with great anxiety, he finally revealed to me the secret meaning behind the family cufflinks. YCDBSOYA stands for “You can’t do business sitting on your ass.”
I'm still amazed today when I say these lines.
Something so simple, yet very few people in America truly live by this saying. And the ones that do (and keep it top of mind in all that they do) end up as the richest, most successful, most influential, and most deserving of all Americans.
So, how does this apply to you and your practice?
Although this could apply to all aspects of your practice, there is one area in particular that I witness each and every day where I believe it could really pay off. Here's an example of what we hear on the other end of our phone lines on a daily basis:
Agent: “I want to be the next ____________ (insert one of the four fastest growing annuity producers online). If you can just show me how they do it and get me in front of the Internet lead, I will close them.”
Digital consultant: “Great news! I have the secret. It has two different keys to unlock the magical solution. The first one is free, and I have the exact blueprint to build a $25 million+ per year digital practice. It will take some work, but it is proven and has been replicated by a couple of advisors.
The other will cost you upwards of $25,000 per month in terms of ad spend. It, too, will take some work (and a ton of money), but the good news is that the leads will come in much quicker than the free version. Which one would you prefer?”
Agent: “The free one. I can’t afford $25,000 per month.”
Digital consultant: “Excellent! Let’s begin by creating your first blog/article/video and letting me do all of the search engine optimization (SEO) for free. In fact, I will even build, host, pay for and drive thousands of people to the website to see your content. Of course, this results in traffic and leads for you (assuming you have interesting content), which in turn, should result in new clients (because you told me that if I got you in front of them, you would close them). Sound good?”
Agent: “Yes! I will work on getting you my first article this week.”
Digital consultant: “Perfect. I look forward to reviewing it.”
What happens in the real world?
About a week goes by, and your list of things to do grows. And before you know it, the note about writing a new article or blog somehow gets lost in the shuffle of papers on your desk or slowly gets moved down the list of things to do.
After a few weeks, it is nowhere to be found and you are back to your old routines, wondering why digital marketing isn’t working for you.
I am here to tell you that this sequence occurs every single week with advisors like you.
I will also tell you that not being found online is costing you tons of money.
Even worse, the handful of really successful financial advisors who own most of the current online traffic are literally stealing your “half sold” prospects that have met with you personally, and have cost you time and money to feed and educate. Your prospects are finding your competitors’ content online when they go home and start researching the ideas and products that you presented to them.
If you don’t think this is happening, then I have some bad news for you. I am personal friends with a few of the largest and fastest growing digital advisors who tell me that over half of their online prospects are already most of the way sold on a certain annuity because someone else has already started the selling process. In many cases, consumers who find them online have annuity applications in hand that were given to them by advisors like you during face-to-face meetings. In a few instances, the paperwork is literally filled out and just waiting for the final signature before the consumer does a little last-minute research.
All my digital advisor friends have to do is create a slightly better story to win. Due to their instant credibility from being the first thing that your prospect found online when looking for educational information, their job of taking your prospect isn’t all that tough.
Have you been wondering why your seminars, workshops and mailers have been less profitable lately?
Sorry for the bad news; however, I am also here to tell you that this isn’t entirely your fault.
You see, there is a huge credibility gap that has been breached between you and digital marketing. There have been so many articles, success stories and “posers” selling you on how great digital marketing is, but no one actually giving you a proven path to run or showing you how to do it.
Of course, one important element is that you actually get off of your butt and write content, but an equally important element is having some trust and confidence that your time will be well spent and that your article will actually yield results (besides hand cramps).
Over the past year, I have seen countless fly-by-night SEO and digital marketing "experts" come and go, taking thousands of your dollars while killing any confidence you might have about digital marketing at the same time.
There have also been (and still continue to be) numerous large companies that specialize in website development. The problem occurs when they insinuate that all you need is a good-looking website to somehow start receiving leads out of thin air.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
All of this has added to the reason you might have a bad taste in your mouth or don’t fully believe in digital marketing.
Remember, the only way you will ever receive a steady flow of Internet leads is to do one of two things:
1. Spend upwards of $25,000 per month on ad spend and digital lead systems for your site
2. Write consistent, congruent and powerful content to get organic traffic and organic leads
You don’t see “Have a nice looking website” anywhere on the list.
In fact, some of the highest lead-converting sites in your industry have been websites with two total pages featuring very simple but powerful calls to action that were driven by either tons of advertising dollars going towards banner ads, pay per click marketing, etc., or tons of original articles and blogs on the second “blog page” of the site where each blog had a call to action for the consumer to opt-in their info.
Simply having an incredible-looking website would be like having the nicest set of golf clubs but no idea how to play golf, no golf coach, and no idea where the closest golf course is. So what should you be doing?
Well to start, get off your butt and do some digital marketing. But do it with a system and a proven blueprint in place. Trying to drink out of a digital fire hose or to hire any one of the numerous fly-by-night digital marketing agencies that are waiting to prey on unsuspecting annuity producers' wallets is a recipe for disaster (and more distrust).
My expert recommendation would be to start off for free.
That’s right, there are free, already-built, no-strings-attached ways to get your feet wet in the digital marketing space. The best news is that this is already proven and as I mentioned above, the SEO, the website, the hosting and all of the other numerous digital variables that stress you out are taken care of.
All you need is enough fire under your butt to write an actual article or a blog. Usually, 250-500 word articles work the best.
And honestly, if you can’t make this a priority and write a single blog each week, then digital marketing isn’t for you. You should go back to doing your seminars, radio, direct mail or other forms of marketing.
But keep in mind that although you are converting new clients from your old efforts, a big chunk of your prospects are being taken by your competitors online. And that isn’t just a guess. The numbers speak for themselves, and it is the reason that 75 percent of the advisors who are personally writing $35 million or more per year of new business are using digital marketing as their number one marketing source. Moreover, it is the reason that they want you to continue doing what you are doing.
Now that you've made it this far, you want to know how you can start seeing a digital transformation in your life, how you can start creating Internet leads from your content and stop the flow of prospects to your online competitors.
Here is one of the best ways to start free organic traffic that I would recommend trying today:
All you need here is a free Google account, the ability to form coherent sentences and, at worst, a $9 URL from godaddy.com if you want to link up your blog to an actual URL that you own. This allows you to start blogging to the world immediately. Thousands of people across the country have learned blogging with this platform.
There are quite a few other free blogging, article submission, and press release platforms out there built for financial advisors.
Start today, and remember that you can’t do business sitting on you’re a$$.
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