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Ep. #15 –  The Truth About Social Media for Financial Advisors with Kristen Walker


What is your relationship with social media?

Social media for financial advisors means different things.

Some advisors have embraced social media as a concept, posting content and occasionally engaging with others, but wonder why they bother because they haven’t seen any noticeable results.

Other advisors have embraced social media as a way of strengthening their client relationships AND can see a straight line from their activity to acquiring new, in-segment clients.

In this episode, Bill Cates invites Kristen Walker, vice president of marketing at Michigan Financial Companies to discuss several marketing ideas, including how advisors can implement social media and target marketing into their marketing plan to increase client engagement and attract new clients.

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Bill and Kristen discuss:

  • How much time and energy should advisors dedicate to social media—and where they should be focusing their attention
  • The importance of targeting your in-segment clients
  • What virtual and in-person events are producing results these days
  • Other best practices you can employ in terms of social media for financial advisors
  • The creative methods her 90 advisors are using to engage with clients


Connect With Bill Cates:

  • Show Transcript

    Welcome to the Top Advisor Podcast brought to you by ProudMouth’s Influence Accelerator Academy. I’m your host, Bill Cates. In each episode, I interview one of the financial service industries top performers to learn their secrets to sustain success. These short interviews will get right to the heart of what each top advisor is doing to acquire more right fit clients.

    You’ll be reminded, renewed and inspired to take powerful action. You’ll impact more lives and increase your income at the same time. Now, onto the show.

    BILL: Welcome! Before we get started, I wanted to let you know about a guide that I’ve created that brings together some of my latest thinking around referrals and introductions and communicating your value. The guide is free to you, but I think you’re going to find it quite valuable. So just head over to

    So here’s a question for you, what is your relationship to social media? You’ve probably never been asked that question before. But over the years of interviewing and coaching so many financial advisors, I’ve seen quite a range of activity and results of how they’re using and what they’re getting from social media.

    Some advisors just delegate the entire process to an assistant. They feel like they should be doing something, but have no real plan or strategy in place. Some advisors have embraced social media as a concept. They post content, occasionally engage with posts with others, and they tell me they wonder why they bother because nothing seems to come from it.

    And other advisors have embraced social media. And they see a straight line going from their social media activity to new clients, new incitement clients. So it seems to be all over the map. Where do you fit into this continuum of activity and results? You can be, I think highly successful in this business without making social media posts, without engaging in others. I don’t think it’s a critical key to success.

    And yet some people are having some good success with it. So it’s clearly worth exploring. I think that if you can add it to your process and increase client engagement, it can be part of your client loyalty and client attraction process.

    My guest today, that’s a big lead up, is Kristen Walker. She’s the vice president of marketing at Michigan Financial Companies. And Kristen works with about 90 advisors to help them develop and implement their marketing plans, including target marketing and social media. So Kristen Walker, graduate of the prestigious Stephen M. Ross school of business at the University of Michigan. Welcome to Top Advisor Podcast.

    KRISTEN: Thanks Bill. I’m so happy to be here.

    BILL: Well, it’s great to have you. I like to set the stage for the main part of our conversation with two primary questions first, and then we’ll kind of ramp up with these you and I are both advocates of employing the strategy of targeting a specific market. I’ve interviewed other guests and I will continue to do that on Top Advisor Podcast.

    So from your perspective, what are the benefits that you’ve seen your advisor’s derived from doing a good job in identifying and pursuing a clear target market?

    KRISTEN: Yeah, so I think that target marketing is so important in every stage of an advisor’s career. And I think that for a lot of advisors kinda get off their path as they see success in their practices growing and really prospecting isn’t as big of a component to their practice and their marketing plan is they tend to get away from really target marketing, but I really encourage them even more so at that stage to put up a special focus on their target markets, because their times will be better spent if they’re more targeted in their approach. And so for experienced advisors, you know, figuring out where you want to focus your energy, where do you want to focus your marketing dollars? Who of those clients are the ones that you most enjoy working with? Because I want our advisors to get to the point where every time the phone rings and it’s a client they’re excited to talk to them and hear from them.

    So working with target markets that they truly enjoy working with is very important. It’s also very important for young advisors to put some sort of process into place. A lot of young advisors, they just say, I’ll work with anyone. I’m just going to take a shotgun approach to it. Throw a whole lot of darts at the wall and hope a couple of them stick. Right?

    Well, their time is valuable too. Sure, they’re probably working longer hours than the most more experienced advisors that we have. But those hours can be so much better used if they take a targeted approach to their marketing and they really figure out who they work well with, who wants to work with them, what personalities mesh well, who they have ins with.

    And then when we’re building out their marketing plan, if we can be very targeted to those markets, then we don’t really have to just do a catch all approach to marketing. We can be very specific with it.

    And that means any dollars we’re spending on marketing are better used, time spent marketing and prospecting is better used as well. I’d say, you know, once they find one or two target markets that can be profitable, I do really see advisors light up more. They’re enjoying what they’re doing more they’re loving the people that they work with.

    And that’s what’s most important to me is that our advisors are having a great time when they’re in work mode, because a lot of advisors, they don’t have two modes. Right? What you’ve done for a living is your lifestyle and so it’s not like you’re just flipping a switch when you get home from work. At the end of the evening, you’re always a financial advisor.

    So that’s why I think it’s really important that they signed markets of people that they truly enjoy working.

    BILL: You know, sometimes when I deliver my programs and coaching, I often call this reputation marketing because it’s hard to create a reputation for oneself and begin to attract more and more people to you.

    If, as you mentioned, you have a shotgun approach or you’re throwing darts against the board, but once you’re niched there’s a lot of things you can do to create a reputation. And I think personally, what I’ve seen at least is, less prospecting and more attraction. They’ll always be a place where we have to do a piece of prospecting. Someone’s interested. We still have to pursue that to a degree, but it gets easier and easier over time.

    So I know you work with a range of advisors in both in terms of tenure and success levels. And so no two marketing plans are the same. What are some of the things that you take into account into consideration in developing an advisors marketing plan?

    KRISTEN: Yeah. So like you said, I work with about 90 advisors give or take and no two advisors have the same marketing plan. So when we meet with our advisors, we really want it to be a conversation with them about what their goals are for the next 90 days. What are they trying to accomplish within their practice? Where do they want to be spending their time, focusing their energy?

    And then from that conversation, build back into a marketing plan. So, their marketing initiatives. I’m not just putting into place the same initiatives for every single advisor. And I know a lot of advisors come to me and they say, well, what have other people been doing that’s been working. And I say, well, it’s not as easy as that just because it’s working for them. Doesn’t mean that it’ll work for you just because you know, this event was really successful for them and their client base doesn’t mean that, who your clients are or who your target markets are, are going to react just as well to that.

    And then the means of which we market changed too. So not everyone’s going to respond well to email, not everyone’s going to respond well to physical mailers. Not everyone’s going to want to attend events, not everyone’s going to want to go places in person, not everyone’s gonna wanna do things virtually, not everyone’s going to be on social media.

    So, I really want that marketing plan to be very specific to who are the core demographic of people you’re trying to get in front of? What of your clients are those clients that if you could clone them, you would, how do we build a marketing plan that’s going to speak to those specific target markets.

    So if you have a younger demographic, that’s going to look a little bit differently. If your clients have families that they have small children, their time’s gonna be spent a little bit differently. A lot of my older advisors that I work with, they have the problem where their client base is aging as well. It tends to be aging with them.

    A lot of times you’re the average age of your clients are going to be pretty close to your age as well. And so if that’s the problem that they’re facing, I’m going to suggest maybe let’s revise your marketing strategy in terms of how do we now get in front of the next generation of clients? Because either you still have plenty of years left in your career and you want to keep building it, or you’re looking to someday sell your practice. Your practice is going to be worth so much more. If you already have built into the practice, those relationships with the next generation where the money is going to be moving somewhere down the line.

    So the marketing plan for them is, how do we get in front of those adult children? Maybe let’s do a couple of things that they can bring their children. So your clients are inviting their grandchildren and their parents. You’re having a family friendly events. Let’s speak to that plan. So it’s not just who are your existing clients and what’s going to work with them, but also where do you want to get your client base to? What should we build in your marketing plan that’s going to work with where you want to be.

    BILL: Yeah, I work with a lot of folks who do want to bring more youth, if you will, into their book of business either for them to sustain like you say, to sell, to make it more profitable, or if they have a junior associate advisor for that person as well, a lot of ways to look at this and why it’s important.

    All right. So the reason I wanted to start with target market, because I know that when we get it, as we get into talking about social media now. We know that anything we do with social media, be it LinkedIn or any other form usually works better within a target market, because our message is more relevant to those people. It’s more targeted. It’s a more empathetic to their situation. They’re going to resonate with our message when we’re narrower in our focus. So I wanted to start with that.

    So on social media you know, I mentioned in my introduction that some advisors continue to see social media as a shiny object and a waste of resources. Others, social media is an integral part of their marketing efforts.

    So how much time and energy should an advisor put in the social media? And based on your last answer, I’m guessing you’re going to say it probably varies, but give me a little more than that.

    KRISTEN: True. It does vary, but I don’t think that social media always has a place in an advisor’s marketing plan. So yes, it is this shiny object. It’s probably what I get asked most about from my advisors.

    And as a millennial marketer myself, I seek a lot of advisors just automatically assume I’m going to say, let’s go really heavy into social media, but that’s just not the case. So we start with target markets. Once I have an understanding of your target I’ll let you know whether or not I think social media can fit into that because not every target market is going to be on social media are going to be responsive to social media.

    That also comes into play when deciding what social media to use. So a lot of advisors are active on LinkedIn. I think if the advisors I’m seeing, if they’re active anywhere on social media, it tends to be LinkedIn. But I really encourage them to take a look at who their target markets are, because unless they’re in general, generalization, unless they’re white collar people who have a need to network themselves, they’re either not going to be on LinkedIn at all, or they have a profile but they’re not checking it. They’re not going on there and worrying about what you’re posting or responding to messages that you’re sending them on a regular basis. So it can be a waste of time if the people you want to see it, aren’t seeing it. But for those advisors who there is a place in inside of their marketing plan, where social media could fit in for them, I say start small.

    So I think why a lot of advisors either don’t jump into social media at all or start, and then very quickly get rid of any kind of social media strategy is because of the time that it takes. And that’s because social media is built, they have coded it to hook you in and draw you in and keep you there.

    They make more money the longer you’re on their platform, right? So it can be so easy to get lost in the minutia and just get lost in your new seat on whatever social media platform it is. Walk away two hours later and think I have no idea what I just spent the last two hours doing that was such a waste of time.

    So I start all my advisors with a game plan. And first I figured out within their realistic work schedule, how much time they can actually dedicate to social media. And if they’re just getting started, I’d say, let’s start with 30 minutes. Maybe 30 minutes, Friday morning, before you come in the office, when you’re having your cup of coffee at home and you dedicate 30 minutes to it. Then I give them 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 things that they can do on social media in those 30 minutes. I’ll give them time slots for each of those five things. And I’ll say, start yourself a timer. You might not get through all five of the items in your game plan during that 30 minute time slot. And that’s fine. But when the timer runs out, you shut it down, you move on with your day and then you’ll feel like you’re actually progressing towards where you want to get with social media.

    Because if you don’t have a game plan going into it, if you don’t know why you’re logging in the first place and what you want to get out of it, you are going to feel like that’s taking up way too much of my time.

    BILL: And you know, it’s my understanding that I think with LinkedIn, it may be true with Facebook as well, that whenever you do a post if you’re lucky, a small percentage, a few percentage points of your contacts are actually going to see the post.

    So we have to just be realistic and know that, yes, we will touch some people. We will engage with some people. But it’s not going to be the end all be all to your business.

    It supplements and it impacts, but not in a huge way. I have seen some exceptions. However I interviewed a gentleman by the name of Joe DeSena. I’ve actually interviewed him twice. The first interview has already aired. It’s one of the first episodes in this podcast and I do recommend people check it out.

    It’s about the retirement parties that he puts on for his clients and how that’s been significant in the growth of his business. We have an interview in the can that hasn’t aired yet. So depending on my listeners, when you’re listening to this, look for Joe DeSena’s second interview, it may or may not be there yet, but where I’m headed with this is he’s done a tremendous job with Facebook, he’s opened his personal Facebook page to his clients, to prospects, he’s gone in a direction that I never saw anyone go in this business and he’s getting new clients from this.

    He’s engaging with his clients, their engaging with him on more that personal/ business friendship place and his client’s friends see that they work with him. And then they asked the clients about how you’re working with Joe. Do you like your advisor? And they go, “Yeah”. And they make the introductions sometimes right on Facebook.

    So, it can work. There’s no question about it. And it surprised me. So I do recommend, everyone listen to the Facebook interview on I have with Joe DeSena.

    So I wanna switch a little bit here. I know that when COVID hit, you guys started doing some interesting things. Some things that initially was the response to COVID, but they work so well that you’re probably going to keep doing after the pandemic, God-willing knock on my wooden head that it begins to recede. So what are some of the things that you started doing and may end up continue to do moving forward.

    KRISTEN: Yeah, one of the easiest and most fruitful things that a lot of my advisors started doing were what we tend to call quick calls. But they can also be referred to as FORM calls, which is an acronym that will help walk you through the calls. But they’re just quick three to five minute calls.

    They’re check-ins with your clients, maybe pick five, six clients that week that you’re going to do quick calls with. They can be weeks after you met with them to review their accounts. It can be months after you’ve last met with them, but they’re just quick check-ins with them to see how they’re doing and the client’s response to it has been great.

    They’ve really appreciated that. They’ve felt like they’re more than just an account number for that advisor, that the advisor truly cares for them. And really with that and social media, I think what’s really important is to get across your personality and build that relationship because why are clients working with advisors over robo-advisors or doing it themselves? A lot of times, it is because of that relationship. And so the FORM calls are a good way to help you guide you in what you want to say on those calls.

    Form stands for Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Money. So you start with family, you ask them how their family’s doing, maybe something that you already know about going on with their families. The other kids are doing their grandkids. They’re doing their spouse. Then, that doesn’t take forever.

    Move on to occupation what’s going on in their work life. Then move on to recreation, extracurriculars that they’re doing what they’re doing to keep themselves busy during the pandemic. And then if you have time, move on to talking about money, to talking about finances, but in most cases, our advisors in that three to five minutes, they never get to the money and that’s what sets the calls apart from any other reason your advisor would call you?

    I think most clients assume when they see their advisor calling them, that’s going to be something to do with one of their accounts, their finances, their retirement plan. But I get a call from an advisor that’s really just a check-in to see how they’re holding up, to see what’s going on with them.

    That really goes a long way. And I really recommend taking notes on those calls, but what’s great about these calls is you can do them from your car. On your way to work in the morning or on your way to your kid’s soccer practice, whatever it might be. A lot of my advisors, if they do those calls from their car, which a lot of them do, they’ll use some sort of service, like talk where they can just dictate the notes of their call and it goes right into their CRM, whatever client relationship management tool they’re using, but having those notes are really important because then the next time you talk to that client, whether they’re coming in for a financial review or you’re giving them a call about sending out, you can take a look back on those notes, see that they were going to Europe or they’re working on a big project for work, ask them how that project went and they’re going to really feel like you really care. You really do listen. They’re not just another client in your day-to-day that you really do have a relationship with them. So those go a long way.

    We’ve obviously done a lot of virtual things as well. I don’t see those going anywhere. And we can get into that in more detail if you want to later. But I say the one thing that’s probably easiest, it doesn’t cost you any money, just costs you a little bit of your time, are those quick FORM calls.

    BILL: And are your folks planning on continuing those? Even when the pandemic seems to subside, are they going to just keep doing these check-in calls and having these personal connections?

    KRISTEN: Oh, definitely. And, you know I think not in all cases, but what we’ve seen is that a lot of clients, even if they do live near the office, they still prefer to meet virtually. Even if a pandemic isn’t a concern, the simplicity of it to not have to go into an office.

    I really don’t think that’s ever going to go away. I think it might lessen, but I think it’s here to stay and to look at it in a good light, the benefit is you don’t have to live within driving distance of your clients. My advisors are able to really expand their reach of who they work with because they are more comfortable meeting with clients virtually and clients are more comfortable meeting virtually.

    So those calls, especially if you’re not meeting in person and shaking hands with a person, those are even more important.

    BILL: You know, I’ve often been asked, especially when pandemic hit is, can you get referrals without being face to face? And initially it was well face-to-face is better, but yes, you can do it over zoom or similar platform and what I’m seeing over time, as both sides of the fence, if you will, the advisors and the clients are getting more and more comfortable with this. Even being able to talk about referrals, introductions, and all that, it’s just getting easier and easier because it’s becoming more comfortable, more normal for people. In-person will probably always be the best.

    And we don’t want to let the fact that we’re not in person, stop us for doing certain things. You know, in a minute, I know you guys do a lot of client events. It’s a big part of your marketing, virtual obviously with the pandemic. I want find out what’s working for you guys. But before we get there, let’s hear a quick word from our great sponsor.

    [SPONSOR MESSAGE] This podcast is sponsored by ProudMouth, the influence accelerators. If you’re like our clients, you want to spend more time educating people and less time selling. That’s why we turn main street experts like you into trusted mainstream authorities. We help you amplify your influence over a growing audience of magnetically attracted fans who will chase you down instead. Visit to learn more.

    BILL: Welcome back, by the way, I do offer listeners of Top Advisor Podcast, quite a few free resources, all geared to help you multiply your best clients.

    Right? It’s all about client multiplication. Kristin said clone your best clients. Just go to While you’re there, make sure you sign up for our weekly tips, free weekly tips, I should say. And we’re always sharing best practices and we’ll also notify you of our newest podcast interviews as they go live. With me today is Kristen Walker, vice president of marketing at Michigan Financial Companies.

    Kristen works with about 90 financial advisors, helping them create and implement their marketing plans. So Kristen, we’ve talked about social media. We talked about target marketing. Let’s talk about client events. What are some of the types of events that have been successful for your advisors? I can’t tell you how many times I get asked. “So, what are people doing for events these days?” So give us a few.

    KRISTEN: Yes, of course. So most people we’ve had to make a big switch to virtual. I’ve loved it because I’ve gotten to be even more creative in the planning process behind it. So you really want to think about who you want to attend those events?

    One of the biggest things that we ask about is, is it going to be adults only, or are people going to have small children there? And then we plan events around that. Virtual events with children is a litle more complicated. But not impossible. So one of our advisors did cooking classes, but they did a few different options.

    So they did one that was kind of for those younger professionals that don’t yet have children. And they did cocktail creation classes with it. And for some of them, they even sent them the supplies to create the cocktails. Or we sent them the groceries to cook whatever meals we selected, and those were more adult friendly.

    But then we also gave clients the option to bring in their kids or grandkids into the kitchen. They set up on zoom and they made fancy macaroni and cheese and meals that were more apt to the younger generation. And those are so much fun to see the kids and their little aprons cooking up with grandma or his mom and dad.

    And they were just loving it. And we really, you know we have to be careful because kids can kind of run away with it. If you’re on a virtual event, you kind of have to have control over the audience, but it was really, really fun. And I think with all of those events, that’s really important is to share it. So take pictures, share those pictures on social media.

    Those are the types of things that when you post on social media really get across the relationships you’re building with your clients. It also makes them want to engage more. So if your clients are in those pictures, if they were at that event and they see them in there, they can share them. Especially if they share them with a comment on it and their friends are thinking, they’re like, man, my advisor doesn’t do that kind of stuff for me. That’s awesome.

    So we’ve done quite a few things with virtual events. Cooking classes, cocktail making classes, wine pairings, we’ve done virtual trivia where we brought in a trivia Jockey to ask different questions. So I do recommend if you don’t have someone on your team, that’s really tech savvy and able to handle all the backend parts of the webinar that you work with a third-party vendor that can handle that for you.

    Because like I said, it can really get away from you. But then in-person as well when we get back to it. Some of the ones that have been really well received as we’ll rent out a bay at top golf, we’ll do family day at the zoo and we’ll hire a photographer to take family pictures over there. We’ll get them printed, put them in nice frames and mail them off to people afterwards.

    We’ve done in-person cooking classes. We’ve done events where clients will send us in one of their family favorite recipes, and then we get them professionally printed and bound into a cookbook that we then send out to all of our clients. So we’ve done a lot of really fun events like that.

    And those are what I think are the most fun, but you really want to make sure that you’re doing them in a format that makes it easier for people to share it with the other people that they know and love, that’s really going to help you and the reach of what you do to the family and friends of the people that you work with.

    BILL: Yeah, I know some people are probably listening right now and thinking, “oh, all this social media, what are we, in the entertainment business? Are we event planners? Why are we doing all these events?”

    I was at a conference a few months ago, I guess, part of a panel. And these are all very high level advisors.

    Everyone in the room was doing a million or more of revenue. And so much of the conversation was about events. “What are you doing? What are you doing?” And so if anyone’s wondering why. It’s the business friendship part of the relationship. Who gives referrals, who makes introductions, who stays with their clients?

    It’s when you’ve made a value connection and a personal connection and the secret sauce to creating advocates for your business, is that personal connection, that business friendship that developed. So this is not just fun for fun sake. This really creates this feeling of engagement.

    Even if you don’t use the events for the purpose of introductions, which you may, but just the strengthening of the relationship and think about it this way, too. The more you learn about your clients, the more you’re able to interact with them in different types of contexts, the more you get to know them. And so you actually become a better advisor. You hear things, learn things that you might not have learned in a regular, you know, sitting in your conference room for a zoom review meeting, and all of a sudden, there’s another way to help them.

    You didn’t even know they might have a dream, a goal, a bucket list item and you can help them fund it. Or maybe you have a connection that you can introduce them to. So, please don’t poopoo the personal connection stuff we’re talking about here.

    I love the photograph ideas. That’s what Joe DeSena does. I’ve even seen advisors that going into their office they’ll have a wall, either their office or the hallway to the office, photographs from their events, with their clients. And so the prospects and clients who come in and see Oh, look at the relationships, look at the community, the comradery here, it goes a long way into creating that culture of introductions.

    So, tell me, you know, how you react to what I just said, Kristen, what benefits have you seen your advisors accrue from doing these sorts of things?

    KRISTEN: These are the types of things that make clients stay with you forever. That’s why your clients aren’t leaving you to go with the next greatest thing up the street, is the relationship that you build with them.

    I loved what you said about posting the pictures that remind me, I do have an advisor who does something similar, but they put pictures of their client’s dog up on the walls in their office. And man, does it get a reaction? Clients love it. They love looking for their dog on there. They love looking at all the other cute dogs on there.

    So that’s just a really fun thing for them to do, but I really, it goes back to the importance of building that relationship. Maintain your clients, keep them clients forever. Get your team involved with you if you have a team. If you have other advisors that work on your team or administrative people, get them involved at these events as well, or get them involved on your social media as well, because if you do ultimately retire, it increases the likelihood that they’re going to stay with that team as well, which increases the value of your practice as, as well.

    Also going back to it, it really helps to meet other people in your client’s circles when you do these fun sort of personal things.

    Because like I said their advisors aren’t doing it and that’s what’s going to make them make the jump over to you.

    BILL: And I know that when you meet a prospect in a social setting first, then if you sit down for more of a business meeting, then you’re further ahead. There’s already a little more trust, a little more knowingness, likeability. They’re a little more forthcoming with things that they need to tell you about, et cetera.

    So Kristen, now you’re going to ask me a question about podcasting.

    KRISTEN: So Bill, I have a question for you because I know you’ve asked me a lot of questions about what I’ve seen work with social media and with virtual events.

    I want to know what you’ve seen work with podcasting. I get questions all the time from my advisors about if that’s the next thing they should build into their marketing plan, if they should start their own podcast. So, do you find that has value for advisors? And if it does, how much time realistically, do you think an advisor would need to dedicate it to actually make it successful?

    BILL: Yeah. So, you know, just like no two marketing plans are alike. You know, everyone’s different in terms of whether a podcast will fit an advisor’s practice. I get the same question. I just had, it was on a call yesterday with a gentleman I’m coaching and he says, you know, I think I’m going to do a podcast. What do you think? Will help me, et cetera?

    I’m interviewing more and more advisors who are doing podcasts. They’re glad they did it. There’s a few things that happen with podcasts and I’ll give you a few ideas of what I’ve seen tends to work best. But there is no one way to make this work. So, first of all, there’s two main reasons for doing a podcast.

    One is for listeners, meaning your clients will listen. Prospects may listen. It’s a way for clients to introduce you to someone and say, “Hey, check out his podcast, check out her podcast first.” And so it’s kind of a soft way to introduce. And so you want to get the listens. You want people listening, you provide value to them through the podcast, and they get a sense of who you are.

    You make a connection with prospects, with clients. So it has a value on the listener side of things. It also a tool. They often call it the Trojan horse and, you know, the Greeks put the Trojan horse and I forgot where it was. Anyway, my history is not good with it, but it was all the soldiers that were in a horse. Right. And they came out and won the battle. So in this case, what it is, is you’re interviewing people who could be great prospects or clients for you or influencers. So it’s a way to start a relationship with someone who doesn’t know you and you don’t know them very well, but you’d like to, and they have something of value to share to the listeners that you do have, and we can get both of those things going, then it can be very effective.

    I found generally speaking, the advisors that I’ve talked to and met who were having the most success with podcasts are those who have a bit of a target market. So, Adam Schmale, I interviewed earlier one of the very first ones, his market is optometrists and Malcolm Etheridge has a very successful podcast.

    I also interviewed Malcolm. You should check out his interview. He says, when his prospects come to him in person, Zoom, whatever, he says they can pretty much finish my sentences for me because they’ve heard him, they’ve heard what he talks and his philosophy around things. And there’s a real connection there.

    His market is IT Professionals out on the west coast. So now do you have to have a target market like that for a podcast to work? No, you don’t. It’s certainly a way to establish a certain level of expertise. And doing a podcast, whether you’re pontificating in front of a microphone or you’re interviewing someone either way you’re able to share your knowledge and show how you’re an expert in a certain area and build that credibility as a great credibility builder.

    So, I am more and more in favor of these days of podcasts for the right people. I don’t think everyone is as suited for this. The guy I was talking to yesterday was a journalism major, so he just loves to write and he loves to develop ideas.

    It just so happens if you haven’t figured it out, that the sponsor of our program is ProudMouth. And what does ProudMouth do? Well, it helps financial professionals create their own podcast. And so what I love about what ProudMouth does, and they by the way produce my podcast, is that rather than doing it every week, they recommend that advisors do it every other week.

    And when they said that to me, it was like a feeling of relief. It’s like, “oh, you know, I don’t have to really prepare everything every week?” It’s like, okay, I can be a little more relaxed about this. And if you’re interviewing folks, it’s also a little bit easier because you prepare a little bit for the interview for sure.

    But it’s that guest that’s taking a big piece of the content that you don’t have to sit there and talk and wax poetic for 20, 30, 40 minutes. So I think everyone should consider it. I think everyone should see, does this fit me? Does this fit who I’m trying to reach? Will they listen to a podcast, et cetera, et cetera.

    I’ll give you another example. Another client of mine works with, his market is Verizon employees. And it’s a lot of the line workers. A lot of the folks that work on the lines, telephone lines, et cetera. And we’ve determined that those people don’t listen to podcasts much. So for him it would be questionable.

    Now we starting to move into the the executive suite, if you will. And the executive levels at Verizon, in which case, then a podcast would probably make more sense. Cause those folks, the demographics are such that they do tend to listen to podcasts more. So. Thanks for asking. I could probably go on and on, but then in the interest of time, let me ask you a couple more things and we’ll be done.

    So, give me a sense of what are you most optimistic about for your advisors, for your firm, as you know, we’re again, praying that the pandemic doesn’t last forever. What do you see coming in for the horizon? What gets you excited?

    KRISTEN: Well, I’m loving everyone’s embrace of technology. I have so many more advisors that are really embracing it, that previously were afraid of it.

    I think you can do a lot more in terms of marketing for a lot less monetary investment now, which is great. And I also think that advisors have an opportunity to really expand their reach. They can work with so many more people, as long as they’re comfortable with meeting in a virtual setting than they previously could have, because they felt stuck to a specific geographic area.

    So it’s not all bad, you know, sometimes it seems that way. But I think that there’s a lot of good that’s come out of it that. That will be here to stay for a while and we’ll continue to help advisors in building the practice that they envision for themselves.

    BILL: Yeah. I think the days of bragging that you don’t know how to turn on your computer. That you used to hear people do that. You know, there’s no reason to brag that you’re not keeping up with technology. Okay? It’s not a good thing. If you say, “Oh, I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to do this.” We’ll get good at it. Just open your mind. And because it is here to stay and it’s not going to get easier, it’s supposed to make our life easier, but sometimes we got to reorient our brain. So I’m glad you said that about technology.

    Kristen Walker. Thank you for the great ideas and the insight you brought to us today. I do appreciate you being on Top Advisor Podcast.

    KRISTEN: Thank you so much for having me.

    BILL: Yeah, you bet. Then for those listening, if you haven’t already done so head over to to sign up for our weekly tips, free weekly tips and access, lots of free guides, scripts, videos, all kinds of good stuff there.

    This is Bill Cates, reminding you that ideas do not make you more successful. It’s only acting on those ideas that will lead to the success that you desire. Thanks for tuning in.

    This is Bill Cates and you’ve been listening to the Top Advisor Podcast sponsored by ProudMouth. Be sure to click the subscribe button so you don’t miss the latest show and feel free to share this and other episodes with your colleagues.

    And if you want to learn more about the work I do with other top advisors, Just go to

About Our Guest

Kristen Walker is the VP of Marketing at Michigan Financial Companies.

Her purpose is to help advisors become successful business owners by providing the sales and marketing support, materials, training and expertise to generate new, and retain existing business. She works closely with the marketing department to ensure each of their representatives have their own unique marketing plans that are customized to their specific goals and objectives.

As the VP of Marketing, Kristen also oversees the brand image for our firm to increase awareness of Michigan Financial Companies and its affiliates. She places a special focus on the growth and development of their marketing initiatives to help the firm stay ahead of the curve throughout the financial services industry.

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About Your Host

Bill Cates, CSP, CPAE, works with established financial advisors to speed up their growth without increasing their marketing budget. Advisors tap into Bill’s proven process to multiply their best clients through introductions from advocates and Centers of Influence (such as CPAs and attorneys), communicate their value proposition more effectively, and create a reputation in a profitable target market. Bill helps advisors move from push prospecting to magnetic marketing – to attract more Right Fit Clients™.

Bill is the author of four best-selling books, Get More Referrals Now, Don’t Keep Me a Secret, Beyond Referrals, and Radical Relevance. Bill is a highly sought-after international speaker and coach, as well as the founder of The Cates Academy for Relationship Marketing™.


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