How to end plate-lickers once and for all
By Joe Simonds
Advisor Internet Marketing
Plate-licker: noun \plate licker\ Definition: A baby boomer or retiree who attends a financial education workshop with the sole intention of getting a free meal. Used in a sentence: “My workshop is half-full of no good plate-lickers!”
One thing that has always baffled me is how financial professionals can moan and groan so much about how much they hate feeding “plate-lickers,” yet they continue to keep feeding them at rates more alarming than kids throwing food to zoo animals. Even worse, many of you continue to keep feeding the same people over and over again, expecting to get different results.
Well, another word that we have all seen defined before is insanity: doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results.
Stop the insanity! There is a better way.
However, it is important that you understand that what I am about to show you does not replace seminars. And by no means am I implying that you should stop doing seminars or discontinue what is working for you (especially if it is giving you an incredibly strong ROI). What I am going to show you will enhance your current seminars or workshops. More importantly, I am going to show how to market smarter, market faster and give a turbo-boost to your seminars, enabling you to tell your message to countless people 24 hours per day.
But before I give you an incredibly exciting (and proven) solution, let’s briefly discuss why plate-licking has gone on for so long and why it continues to be a big problem for financial professionals like you.
Let's view the plate-licking issue from the perspective of both parties.
Consumer: The consumer is not dumb, and they certainly know that they are going to be “sold” or “pitched” something at your event. Some of them feel bad about enjoying a nice meal on someone elses dime when they have no intention of doing business with you, while others sadistically enjoy taking as many free meals from you as possible, and try to maximize their free dinners by going on “dinner tours” where they actually strategize out their week based on which financial advisor's free dinner they will be getting each week. (This really happens).
Financial professional: For years, financial professionals have used dinner seminars (aka workshops) as a prime form of marketing. The strategy is simple:
- Mail out thousands of seminar invitations offering a free meal and some solid financial education.
- Hope that approximately 1 percent of the people who receive the invitation respond and show up at the venue.
- If you are good, you get appointments with the majority of them.
You might have caught my article that created a bit of a stir called “Video killed the seminar star” a couple of week ago. In the article, I discuss how video has opened up some incredibly exciting doors for financial professionals who use seminar marketing in their practices.
And my solution to the plate-licker problem in this story ties in closely with that article; however, I will be providing a new secret that I have never revealed before today. One option is to simply record your actual seminar and linking to the first few minutes live on your site before making visitors opt-in their information to see the full presentation (as I outlined in my previous article). This idea is even easier to implement.
In fact, the entire process of creating powerful presentations online, never having to worry about feeding a plate-licker, and even creating qualified prospects, can all be done in seven easy steps.
Say goodbye to seminar plate-lickers in seven simple steps
1. Create a retirement story that you are passionate about and truly believe in. Something that would normally take you 3-8 minutes to tell from start to finish. It could be about annuities, life insurance, long-term care, Medicare, Obamacare, the need to save, etc.
2. Build your story in a PowerPoint presentation using no more than seven slides. Try to limit the amount of text; pictures work great.
3. Use screen capture software like Screencast or Camtasia to record your screen while you give your brief presentation and tell your powerful story.
4. End the presentation and screen share with a call to action for the viewer (this often involves giving them something in return for providing their contact info).
5. Upload the video to YouTube or Vimeo
6. Optimize the headline and body
7. Share it and spread the word with all of your different digital outlets such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, blast emails, press releases, etc.
Finally, if it's done properly and optimized, watch the leads come in.
Now, I can only imagine that some of you doubt that it is this simple. But I also know that many of you understand that videos can be an incredible marketing platform when used correctly. The problem is that most of you have no idea how to produce good videos. And that isn’t your fault. There has been no one to teach you these things. Personally, I had to learn it the hard way by spending tons of money and failing over and over again until I got it down pat. It was painful at times, but well worth it.
Recently, I have seen some of you spend countless thousands of dollars to get just one or two professional videos done. They certainly look nice and provide credibility, but most of the advisor videos that I have seen don’t ever offer a call to action. And some of you are spending thousands of dollars just to “rent” other people’s videos to put on your site! You better have a ton of traffic coming to your site to make that deal work in your favor.
Understand that you can have the very best retirement video in the world on your site, but if no one comes to see it, it's worthless. It would be like Bear Grylls being blessed with the funniest joke in the world, but only having a few coyotes and snakes to tell it to out in the wild. Note: The wilderness is not a very ideal place to tell a joke (and if you don’t know how Bear Grylls is, shame on you).
Instead of harping on why you should never blow a ton of money on video unless you have an actual proven plan for traffic and a solid call to action, let me show you two real life examples of how I implemented this (cheap or free) video idea myself.
Let’s start off with one that I did on Social Security. This one is a bit longer than I like to do (14 minutes), but I needed that time to get my point across and tell the appropriate story.
The title of the video that I went with was “Top 10 Must Know Facts About Your Social Security Benefits.” I knew from research that this was a hot topic (meaning a lot of consumers were searching online for information on this), so I did enough research myself to come up with my own top 10. Before I go into the details of precisely how I created this, how long it took me, and what kind of results that I received, here is the actual video so you can you visualize what I am about to describe.
Here are the details on how long it took me to create this “Plate-licking repellant video”:
The research for this project took me about one hour. All I did was Google different topics on Social Security and take bits and pieces from different sites and put them into my own brief words.
Putting all of the information into a Powerpoint presentation took me approximately one more hour, so now I am in this thing for a total of two hours.
Once it was in PowerPoint, I fired up my Camtasia screen recording software and it took me about 17 minutes to record it.
Finally, it took me another 10 minutes to upload to YouTube, followed by an extra 10 minutes to type the description, tag words and upload a featured picture.
It only took me 2 hours and 27 minutes to do the entire thing, and it now has over 6,500 views. And many of those who viewed the video went to my website and opted in as I asked them to do in the description. Would you believe that I have received well over 35 unique (legit) consumer leads from this one video?
And I didn’t have to feed any plate-lickers, didn’t have to spend any money, and it took less than 2.5 hours of my time.
You can do this exact same thing with your expertise on any subject. Simply record your current seminar and break it into smaller chunks. Moreover, you can knock these out as often as every week on any kind of topic that you enjoy talking about. And because you want these videos to be under 10 minutes, you can even break down longer topics into different episodes and link them all together in a YouTube playlist. Let’s look at another video I did which took me only about one hour to create. And it already has over 1,000 views.
Steps to create this video:
1. The idea was super easy, as I had this conversation with a consumer friend of mine the day before
2. The longest time commitment was just putting it all into an easy-flowing PowerPoint presentation. This took me approximately 35 minutes.
3. Next was the screen recording. 5 minutes
4. I then uploaded to YouTube, which took a couple of minutes
5. Finally, I wrote up a brief description and tag words
Finally, let me tell you a couple of crucial points to getting the traffic to your video once it is live on YouTube. This is where I see 90 percent of financial professionals screwing up.
- You must have a captivating headline. Simply saying “Indexed Annuities” or “Social Security” or “Indexed Universal Life” is a huge mistake. Treat it just like a direct mail piece for you seminar or a book title. The title must create intrigue, curiosity and promise benefits to the viewer.
- Make sure to always use the description box and write a brief summary about the video. The search engine spiders can’t read your video, so they are coming to the title, description and tags to find out what this is really all about. I continue to see financial
advisors post decent videos and leave the description completely blank.
- Always put a link back to your site or blog in your description. And don’t forget the full URL: http://www._________________.com
- Don’t forget to use the tag word/tag phrases tool at the bottom. This is your last chance to tell YouTube and Google what this video is about. Use primary and secondary keywords and phrases that people will search for.