089 – Essential Website Tools For Financial Advisers

089 - Essential Website Tools For Financial Advisers
089 - Essential Website Tools For Financial Advisers

Alex:
Hello, and welcome back to the Advisor’s Assemble Podcast previously known as Lead Generation Financial Services. That’s me and Tom back again, due to pop I was going to say due to popular demand, but that is not always the case. But we put a little poll in the Facebook group and I asked people or should send my phone off, not professional. I’m going to do that. Now. We asked everyone I will I asked everyone what their sort of favourite is it kind of links into what we’re talking about today. So we’re gonna be talking about website tools and looking at stats and things like that. And if I just went from the data, I would get a different result from actually asking the people so if I go look at the top 10 downloaded episodes of all time, you and I feature on there once and the other nine are advisors or people that are brokers, advisors, etc. But having asked the community what they like marketing experts comes top on this new marketing experts in the top 10. So it’s not always the amount of downloads that is there the right answer.

Tom:
Are they also kind of the advisors wants the oldest ones as well though.

Alex:
No, not necessarily.

Tom:
Okay, I was gonna say that because they’re the oldest so they’ve had a lot they’ve been on for longer so therefore naturally, I guess you download.

Alex:
I guess you download some of them, some of them are but there was one from January this year. Now that is in the top 10 it was like fourth I think.

Tom:
Oh, wow. Okay, yeah.

Alex:
Not necessary. Yeah, not necessarily. So it’s interesting. I always struggled with getting those guests on whether people, because the numbers were never as good one, got a guest on So what could be is that an advisor who’s never maybe never been on a podcast before tells all their friends and their friends have never heard seen them on a podcast before. So they’ll go download it and then never listen to anything else. And that’s where you get like a maybe a spike for that particular episode. So we’re gonna link into a little bit talking about some of the tools we were talking about. It’s not always about this qualitative and quantitative, but dude, definitely, we should pull out really nice comments on because you’re quite good apparently but a bit of a fast talker.

Tom:
Yeah, too much of a bass fitter is a problem, isn’t it. My long-ago rap career I’d come back to home in more ways than one.

Alex:
So what we’re going to we speak gonna speak to the editor and reduce your audio speed by 10 so that you’re more coherent makes this just God blah blah blah blah blah blah

Tom:
He won’t meet you as I’m going to speak like this. I’m gonna make a conscious decision. Yeah.

Alex:
I think we both to be fair, I think we both do especially well, like canonical does as well.

Tom:
I’m particularly bad yeah, I am particularly bad,

Alex:
But we’re all good. So we’re gonna try our best today this is gonna be our best ever episode and we’re talking about website tools. So I know a lot of people have been looking at getting a new website or even if you haven’t, just making sure we’re going to talk about three particular tools one slash two are essential and one is good to have but I think even Yeah, I mean the amount of times that we will work with a client no matter what size it is often interesting how to like some of them don’t have Google Analytics on there already be like the absolute must-have, I think.

Tom:
No, absolutely. Yeah. I think no one’s going to look at our Google Analytics, Google Search Console and a program called Hot Jar. So yeah, Google Analytics is we would say, probably the most important, that’s the one that shows you what’s going on with your website. So basically, I can show you some of it’s you can get as little as basic or as deep into it as you want. But broadly speaking, it shows you who is visiting your website, obviously, not actually who but it gives you an idea of kind of the audience that it’s attracting how they’re getting there, the channels we’re using, whether that’s social or Google or direct or paid advertising, the behaviour shows you what they do when they’re on the site that can be the pages they visit, how they move through the site. So if they visit one page, where do they go after that, and also, probably one of the most important things it gives you is it tracks where your website leads and conversions come from a form that can track conversions whether it’s through a button click or through a thank you URL it basically you can say, Okay, yeah, we can see you’ve had five leads yesterday to it from Google paid ones from organic, and another two from social. So it just basically gives you a really good overview. And what I like about it is you can go as in-depth, you know, even if you were just sort of quite wanting to look over it from a basic point of view, you’ll get a lot out of it. But at the same time, if you sort of wants to get into the really really granular detail of attributed conversions and things like that, then you can do that as well.

Alex:
Absolutely. And a big plug for my Free Online Lead Generation Start Course which I released this week. I do do a crash course on Google Analytics just looking at what like the one of them if you do if it looked really confusing because the amount of all the settings there are and all the different views there are of just the kind of the basic stuff they’ll look at just to let you say just see where traffic’s coming from. Because I mean we’re going to do I think the next one we’re going to record whether it’s released in this order is called Social Media is Sexy but SEO Pays the Bills. We love the catchy title off because a lot of people you know if you’re spending a lot of time or people ask, you know, should I be on LinkedIn should be on Facebook actually just having a look at Google Analytics will tell you specifically for you what’s been working what’s not what’s kind of good, what’s not in terms of getting traffic to your website won’t it

Tom:
Yeah, absolutely. In terms of one of the one, I say it’s not frustrating per se if you are getting a number of leads to your website and you’re doing a lot of things whether it’s social, organic, or paid or paid advertising and you don’t know where they’re coming from, it gives you a real sort of headache in terms of understanding what’s working well and what isn’t having a properly configured analytics, which again, doesn’t really take a lot of work Google does most of the hard work for you until you get the tracking code on there and it tracks most of it without you having to do too much you need to set up your goals obviously ultimately it kind of tells gives you that inflammation that insight of what’s working what isn’t so you know, okay, well I can either invest more in this whether that be time or money i can see this is working or okay, so this is working well. So I’m just gonna let that run but my money you know, organic social I do a lot of that, but I don’t really seem to get much out of it in terms of leads the stuff I post, I don’t get much traffic from it. So you may want to think about how you structure those social posts. Or maybe you get a lot of clicks, but the bounce rates are really high. So that’s people that will land on the site and golf straight away without doing anything. So you could start saying, Okay, is there a bit of a disconnect, than between either my ad or my post? And the destination that people land on? Is it or is there a problem with some potentially how it looks? Does it not load on mobile particularly? Well, people often have a habit of looking at their own website on a desktop, because they do it when they’re at work, or whatever. And it’s quite easy to forget to look at it on mobile, which, you know, we tend to find it’s so 50% of users join, so 50% of users use to view websites. And also you can see that in analytics, how many people actually look at your website through various different devices.

Alex:
No. Absolutely. I was gonna say a lot of this is you can people sort of asking us our opinion, you know, you know, how many people do you think will go on my website on mobile, like, well, if your analytics installed, you can see rather than just assuming, and some people are different, like beat a lot of b2b stuff. We’ve got b2b business and there’s more predominantly on desktop, and we find actually little things like because we track all the way to a sale, do the best applications or leads come from mobile, or desktop. And if you’re running ads, you can then adjust your bidding, eradicate any mobile users in terms of ads, if you want it to if the data is telling you that they’re not as good as you, your desktop stuff.

Tom:
Yeah, absolutely. And we do do that for a number of campaigns, we’ve switched mobile off, in some instances, it can produce a lot of leads, but for the product that it is those people that sort of maybe coming through mobile, sometimes they’ve been, it’s been a struggle to get hold of them afterwards. Whereas those on a desktop as soon as the lead drops in, they know they’re sat down, they know they’re, you know, in front of the computer, delivering them straight away and the contact rates great, whereas on the mobile that may be a bit out and about or certainly in particular times as well. That’s the other thing. You know, you’ve often seen that particularly from a b2b point of view. The use of desktop is obviously peaking sort of during those nine to five hours, but then mobile and tablet takes over then in the evening, which is completely unsurprising when we think about you know, What we do ourselves?

Alex:
Absolutely.

Tom:
So yeah, the device thing is really important because it gives you a lot of insight back on, you know, if your website is performing well, or not well, on various devices, whether it’s desktop, mobile, or even tablet, it also gives you information on things like where people are searching from the ticket if you’re focusing on local stuff you’ll be able to see in terms of I think you can see is down to the town and city within a reasonable radius, where were people landing on your site from which still can be useful. If you saw between a few different towns and cities and all that for you. Maybe you’re in a satellite town, maybe, and you want to get more traffic from the city, maybe you can see if that is or isn’t being successful.

Alex:
We can tell you a lot of the people I can see why people do get overwhelmed with it, but a lot of people will want to see all that information. So I guess the basics then, do you think for someone that is, you know, not really look, they’ve got it installed. They’re not really looked at it before. I probably look at, obviously, how many people session duration and we probably should explain. I know a lot of people don’t know what the bounce rate is, we should probably explain what the bounce rate is, what that means and what implications that have Do you think?

Tom:
Yeah, so so that bounce rate, it’s one where it’s essentially someone landing on the website, and then going off without interacting with it, it basically sorts of gives you an idea of what has the basic idea of the quality of your website for the traffic that’s coming to it. So if you have a high bounce rate as a percentage, so say if you have organic traffic, you’d probably want to bounce rate of around, so maybe, I don’t know 50%, which may sound quite high, but it’s almost like a numbers game. I always think people may find that a website conversion rate of 5% is really low, but it’s actually pretty good. It’s just the nature of humans and how we sort of engage with stuff online. But yeah, that’s basically what the bounce rate is. One thing is worth mentioning, I think, because I think that’s something that you use before as well in terms of you can if people if someone scrolls on the website, then that doesn’t count as a bounce because you can land on a page digest all the information by actually clicking on anything you know, had a long time on the site gone straight away and some configurations may class as a bounce, which is maybe a little bit unfair.

Alex:
Yeah, exactly. I was gonna make that point that someone could if they’ve seen your if you’ve linked out from abroad posts off something about a specific topic. And they’ve gone on and they’ve read all that and they’ve digested that information just happens that they don’t, they’ve been on your website before, they don’t need to go and look around, look at anything else and leave, that’s still a good user that’s maybe spent a minute or two reading. So there are, you can set up events on scrolls or scrolls down to percent as your page. So this is probably for people that are getting, you know, thousands of visits a week and need to look at this like the bigger, bigger plays, I’d say to add that so more detail if you get like real return on investment or a really understanding whether campaigns working or not, but yeah, you’re right. So bounce rate is you could have a page that’s got 100% bounce rate doesn’t mean it’s not a good, good page, people are just getting everything they need there and leaving. So it’s not all sort of be all end all. But you’re right. Yeah, I think the having that benchmark of like 50% on the organic side, certainly. And sometimes you find me like paid traffic, you’ll get high bounce rate because you’re actually choosing what page you want them to go to, and then that should match exactly what they’ve done. In fact, there’s an instance where a high bounce rate can be better than the lower one because if you say you’re doing a, an advert for a remortgage for home improvements, and you send them to your homepage, rather than your remortgage or home improvements page as they go on the homepage, and they can see every mortgage page or something, they may click on the homepage. And then they may get to click a few times never find what they actually wanted and go away that will not have a bounce over if the if you send them to directly to the page that they want this just as a thought, well, that’s good. I might come back to that later and contact a person, later on, then that will collapse as a bounce, but it’s obviously a better experience

Tom:
Yes, this is strange is a strange one, isn’t it? Yeah. And then we sort of look at, we look at things like bounce rates as a bit of a kind of in-between metric and that in terms of pages per session and sort of session durations. Obviously, the first one we look at is what’s the conversion rate of traffic to leads. Then we also consider the opposite of cost of that traffic and that’s how we’ll get rid of an idea of the cost per lead. And then further on from that, what’s the cost per sale but yeah. Those sort of metrics just gives you a bit of an idea of the quality of the traffic that’s coming through. So you may have some campaigns that we run, and we sort of look at everything, the conversion rate isn’t quite what we want it to be. And we still want to look at why the next step is we’d sort of look at that those bounce rate pages per set per session and the average session duration. And sometimes we sort of sit and think, okay, the conversion rates, not quite what we want it to be. But these behavioural metrics, bounce rate pages per session, average session durations are all quite good. So that suggests that the content is right, but they’re just not ready to turn into a lead yet. They’re finding the information they want or they’re quite happy navigating the site, but they’re just not ready to make an inquiry. So you start to think, okay, depending on where that traffic’s coming from, if it’s a paid campaign, you’ve also got to marry up Okay, so we’re providing the right information, but they’re just not in that purchase point yet. You have to make a bit of a call of Okay, is the traffic worthwhile in the sense that we can then get them into the remarketing list and then potentially catalogue or pick them up and maybe you know, in the neck in the following weeks and months, or is it a case of Okay, this traffic is actually a bit expensive for something that’s not ready to convert yet anything, Okay, we’re gonna have to have a look something else.

Alex:
I mean, it’s a great is an absolute, an essential tool that I think is great. No matter where you are in your business just starting out, you know, is good, even if you think I’m not going to have time to look at this, get it installed now Is it okay? We’ll capture that data and keep it forever. And it’s a great benchmark, especially if we’re going to start hiring someone to work on the marketing, you can actually clearly see and compare what they’ve been doing to what you’ve done. If you’re paying someone you know, whatever it is a month to work on something and those results have not been you can go and compare back to when you were managing it and say, Oh, hang on a minute, I’m paying you x y, z, and these this were the stats before here they are after this, something’s not going quite right that may actually lead quite nicely on to a search console, in terms of if you’re investing in SEO and things like that, because search console is another Google tool, but it rather than showing how people are performing on your website. It’s more how your website is performing in Google search results, right?

Tom:
Yeah, absolutely. So, yeah, as you’ve just said, Google Analytics is about what’s happening on your site. Whereas search console is about how your site is performing on Google. We mentioned other tools as well that we use that complements that when we talk a lot about sem rush, which is very useful for us and there’s a few others but Google Search Console is very useful because it’s sort of it’s it’s kind of your only sort of, I’m not sure the right term is almost a window into Google and how your site performs on Google so it gives you a lot of really useful information so a lot of the ones will a lot of the pieces of info we’ll look at things like impressions and clicks so impressions map shows how many times you know your you’ve been seen in a search result on Google and for what search terms the clicks opposite shows, where your clicks are coming from, and the various keywords the click-through rates, etc. And also it gives you like an average position as well which is used we like to use sem rush for the average positions only really because it’s just easier to see and easier to digest. But you can get that same information in Search Console. It also shows you first of all any problems and any coverage errors. Is there anything that’s stopping your site from being sure Shown on Google as well as it can be, could be issued with a sitemap or pages not being indexed when they should be. And it basically just gives you that window into and that that insight into if your site isn’t performing as well on Google as you’d want it to be, is there any kind of really obvious errors, that sort of holding it back? It won’t give you sort of all the answers for good SEO, but it basically highlights your performance and any problems is probably the easiest way to show it. It’s not like an SEO SOP instruction manual. But it basically tells you are there any problems and basically, how your website performs on Google search? I think a lot of people sort of know about it internally. I know, people really know of analytics, a lot more is more commonly used. But Search Console, I think is much rarer, rare, really, if that’s a word. So we know like a lot. There’s some Google Analytics are not installed. But I know that the percentage of Google Search Console is being used is much, much lower. Yeah, definitely. And it’s and it’s arguably more important. Well, it all depends in terms of you’ll probably get in if you don’t have Search Console set up but you have analytics set up, you can get to the data from analytics. But if your website isn’t performing well on Google, what data are you really going to have to look at where Search Console isn’t even something as simple as making sure there are no errors and making sure you have what your what’s known as your XML sitemap submitted really so basic stuff, which without you having that properly set up, yeah, could cause could cause you a real hindrance in ranking reasonably well for stuff. So in terms of just making sure those basics are done on search console is really important. So you can actually see what’s so at least that gives you some traffic then that you can actually review in analytics.

Alex:
I think we’ve even taken on clients who have used an SEO company that didn’t have Search Console set up or set up properly.

Tom:
There have been a few strange ones that haven’t really had the access to it and some of them haven’t had for example, like the XML sitemap, which is really basic nice. It’s Yeah, there’s an old gold with is always been around. But it’s just as important as always was.

Alex:
I think, just a pointer next setting these ones up. So with Google Analytics you get pretty much when you create your account. instructions to add a bit of code to every page of your website. Nowadays, pretty much every website has got like a header file that is used across every page. So you put it in there once or if you’ve got views WordPress that the WordPress plugins where you can add it and you just add your Google account number. And then you can also tie in and hooking together and integrate connects analytics and bringing in some of the Search Console data into Google Analytics as well currently, so you can once you’ve got Search Console, so if you do it in the order of set up analytics, you can use your analytics ownership once that’s installed and set up to add Search Console. And then you can link those together and preview some of that data in Google Analytics as well, can you?

Tom:
Yeah, really useful because it basically keeps everything in one place and into the search console is good. It’s not that user friendly. So it is actually easier to pull the data into Google Analytics and look at it in analytics. That’s what we tend to do. And it’s also worth mentioning the if you run Google ads, you can pull your Google Ads data in as well. So you’ve basically got everything all in one place. In your analytics and yeah it’s really really useful.

Alex:
Cool so now would be probably a good time just to chat about the sort of we sort of briefly mentioned Hot Jar the start because all that is kind of showing you like numbers stats and things like that but I think again I think people may not be so aware Hot Jar you can actually watch back as almost like a video how people have been sort of interacting with your website sort of which probably sounds a bit scary and a bit big brother to a few people.

Tom:
Yeah, so it’s where analytics can tell you the what’s in terms of people are sort of bouncing on this page or they when they land on the homepage, they don’t go through to the other night the wealth management or the remortgage page, so can tell you what people do and don’t do but it doesn’t really show you why then that’s what Hot Jar gives you and as you’ve said Hot Jar gives you back things like session recordings. So you can it’s all anonymous, and you might just need to check that it’s mental but your privacy policy, but you can’t see who they are. It’s essentially data-wise, it’s no different than analytics, which basically shows you which pages users use Hot Jar basically just shows you how to use it. So you can actually have session recordings so you quite literally see how people whether they’re on desktop you see how where they move the mouse, what they click on and what they actually do during that session. And so if you’ve got a page with a high bounce rate, it’s you can sort of like go look at that page, a target that page in Hot Jar and watch that what the sessions that people do on it, and then you may find that okay, people seem to get to a certain point halfway down the page and just sort of disappear or it could highlight an error on the page on certain devices. And yet, it’s really really useful what it also gives you is something called a heat map which basically shows you visually what people click on which links which buttons and whereabouts on the page. So analytics tends to show you in terms of the pages that people click on that doesn’t necessarily show you the right links. So for example, you may have you know, get a get an inquiry page that you can you know, that converts quite well but you may not know the actual link people click to get there. If you’ve got a few buttons on the page, maybe in your sidebar, maybe your website banner or header where it’s Hot Jar gives you that more qualitative information and it’s really, really useful.

Alex:
Yeah, I think it’s if you’ve got the I suppose a lot of people thinking it got time to watch it back. But it’s maybe just that, once you’ve, if you’re in a position where you aren’t getting you analytics is telling you you’re getting loads of website visitors but you’re not getting any leads through. And that maybe then a good time to just have a look and then get those setup and just watch them back. And you may just discover something that just because you know how to use your website and you know how to click do this out of that it may be that it’s just not that’s not very clear to other people come into view. And I think sometimes as well with websites, people will want to sort of reinvent the wheel and do something like different and jazzy and sometimes that’s not the best way to go. Like you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to do you need to, once you’ve got them to your website, and you’re sort of engaging with them. And you follow the principles that people if you follow the principles that people buy from people and love specialists, etc. You’re giving that information in then in terms of differentiating itself with jazzy design or, you know, complicated bits and pieces on your website. Is that actually helping you or hindering you? I think Hot Jar will clearly show you that.

Tom:
Yeah, absolutely. At the end of the day, more often than not, when people are doing web searches, they’re looking for information, whether they’re gonna watch it or read it. And it’s a case of just making it as easy as possible for people to do that, then if they want to get more information or get your advice, or turn into a lead, as we said before, with the web forms, just make it as easy as possible to do it in terms of yeah, make sure you have enough sort of call to action buttons, that does not just happen everywhere, have any form at the top and bottom of the page. So it’s easy to do, and just essentially make life as easy as possible that can be for people to get in touch with you.

Alex:
And I think they’re what we sort of discussed earlier, we’re not going to cover up every single tool that is available for your website. I think they’re the kind of three if you’re really kind of serious about wanting to generate more business wanting to sort of doing it yourself. I mean, there are other tools like you know, you’ve got mortgage brain 27 tech and a rate we’ve discussed at length and while we do not sort of massive fans of showing rates, you got chatbots, for real discuss that you know that the whole sort of form top right on the theory section works better. So there are all sorts of tools, other things for your website, I think like embed in your reviews we’re going to we are planning on to a whole episode I’ve said that I’ve teased this particular reviews that episode like for ages, we are going to talk about that as well. But in terms of kind of essential tools in terms of from a lead generation perspective, I wouldn’t sort of going too far outside these three for getting your bases covered, would you? Is there anything else you can think of in terms of

Tom:
No in terms of yeah or as far as we still say yeah, and analytics is the main one search console if they have it. But yeah, you’re right, in terms of getting analytics, if you don’t already have it on your website, as soon as possible, even if you don’t have time to look at it now is really, really useful. Because when you do have time to look at it, you’ve actually got something to look at. If you saw a thing, I’m not gonna look at it for a couple of months, then put it on, because you’ve got time to look at it will you have nothing to see. So it’s important to get on straight away. And then you can see what which parts of the website are performing well and which parts aren’t. But yeah, and it’s just great for showing where the impact and the effects that you’re sort of time and money has, whether it’s Facebook ads, organics, social stuff, SEO also thing called referral links, if you’re so you know, if you’re doing other kinds of advertising or having your self to appear in certain directories or whatever, you can see if you’re actually getting anything from it, it basically just stops you being blind, essentially, and just helps you make the decisions on your website based on data rather than just sort of assumptions which are, which is what we like we referrals, we like to do everything based on the information, everything based on the data, because then it takes people’s sort of assumptions out of it or, or, you know, the subjectiveness out of it. It’s almost like if I and you don’t agree on, you know, something, or how a website should be put together. The beauty of it is we can split that both and the numbers will tell us which ones right or which campaigns gonna work better or anything else like that. It’s but it just gives you that platform to be able to do it.

Alex:
And one thing I was gonna says I’m in we got asked by can’t say no, I’m spending this amount of money advertising on this website. I’ve got like a banner and a link back to ours. Is it worth spending that money? It was really quick for us to just check what they were actually getting out of it. It took a minute. Just to go back. Look, here’s this. This is the original website, how much traffic are we getting from that? How many leads we’re getting from that? How much is the cost of the traffic? How much is the cost per lead? And it was a really, really easy to give that information very quickly because analytics was set up. And then if they had not set up analytics, even though they weren’t using it, we would not have been able to give them that that answer really straight away. So one thing I would say as well is set up analytics yourself, create the account yourself, don’t get the web development company to do it. And if they do, make sure you are an admin of it, and you can, if you were to stop working with that web company, or that SEO company or the marketing, whoever you’re using, make sure you own it so that you can take them out and put your other person in. If you switch providers, it will be easy with your first website to get just say, Oh, can you do it for me, but I know there are a few people, I mean a few times where they’ve just not had the proper access or not been able to add someone new. And then we’ve had to set up a new Analytics account and we lost all that historic data, which can be frustrating for both sides. And I know we’re not talking about it. Now. Same with domain names as well don’t get the word company too because we but we’re having to do a transfer at the minute and it’s you get problems with like your email provider is kind of set up with your domain name if you have to transfer it you got to make sure they things come across sure when you’re doing websites like try to make sure you the domain and your tools and things like that that your you own it you set it up and then you provide access to the third party is one bit of advice I would definitely give.

Tom:
Yeah, definitely. Yeah, no you are I can be cancelled delay things or it can be so like a real headache making sure you have that kind of control and ownership. Even if somebody else does set it up just to make sure that you’re that you ask them to make you the admin which wish they could absolutely do that we will always do it for you know, analytics and everything else. We always give access like the admin so they can add users as they want to. Because the last thing it says is your website should be your data.

Alex:
One last thing to just cover off on these tools is the cost and Google Analytics and Google Search Console 100% free you never need to sort of pay anything for those Hot Jar is a product where there is a paid option but there is also a free option as well on the free you might find the free option will give you the info you need. Some of the paid stuff is where you want to sort of specifically find out detail, maybe you’ve got a big website and the specific stuff you want to test and things like that would probably be where you’d be more on the paid side, I can’t remember the cost of my head.

Tom:
I think it was like 25 quid a month. But more often than not, the free one will be fine. But it’s basically you can only sort of doing so many recordings at once you store so many recordings at once. You can only have things like heat maps on I think maybe three pages to start with. So you know, once you’ve got enough views on that you sort of got that then you can set up a new one, but you only have three running at the same time. I’m quite impressed with the free version of it. To be fair, I think it’s it’s more than fair what you get from it. But if you do need the paid one, it’s not exactly a bank breaker. It is good.

Alex:
Cool. Excellent. All right. Well, I think we’ve covered up nicely. So just to recap, Google Analytics that will tell you what is going on on your website, definitely get that installed straightaway. It should be fairly quick to do set up the account yourself and you can get your web developer to install it on your website. If you’re worried about getting involved in code Search Console, you can set up after you’ve set Google Analytics up and you can hook those up together. And then Hot Jar is like a separate sort of company on its own. And they’ll give you just a bit of code that you can put on your website. That’s really easy to do. If you give that to your developer as well just check your privacy policy, that you’re letting people know that you’re using that tool. And then yeah, that’s it. So thanks, Tom. I thought your speed of voice was was was on point today. We’ll have to ask Colin.

Tom:
That’s right. Yes. Colin. If you are listening, Colin, then I really do value the feedback. So I’m being genuine, genuinely.

Alex:
I think, to be honest, is one of the things like I always learned. That is the great thing about if anyone’s setting up their own podcast, definitely set up an accompanying group or community because you can just ask for feedback and it’s just a good reminder. Otherwise, you just go ahead and do what you normally do.

Tom:
And normally people are too nice as I’ll say anything.

Alex:
Yeah, exactly. And I expect God he’s actually genuinely nice Bloke as well as long as he does. mean it? in a nice way? Yeah. So feel free to leave your feedback in the group. I can actually delete it if I don’t like it. So don’t worry about it.

Tom:
The job of any admins. Yeah. So don’t worry. Don’t worry about it.

Alex:
Just even if you don’t think you’ll get approved, just let us know. And then we’ll all the good stuff all it will make visible to everyone. Yeah, no, it Yeah, to be fair, if people want us to talk about specific topics as well. Or if you have still got further questions about Google Analytics or search console or Hot Jar or any of the other episodes we’ve done before, that is what the Facebook group is for. So advisors assemble, or you may still find it under Lead Generation for Financial Services as well. Yeah. Any feedback on topics on the speed of the voice.

Tom:
Yeah

Alex:
Should I get on the microphone that I’ve got? Do I sound much better?

Tom:
Yeah. Well, yeah, you know, you’re much nicer voice than I did.

Alex:
It’s like Ron Burgundy

Tom:
From the south coast.

Alex:
I think a lot of it is the microphone, and I was debating the other day do I get one ship? shipped over to the sunny climates, Sleaford area.

Tom:
Okay. The heart of Lincoln chiming

Alex:
Yeah, absolutely.

Tom:
Yeah. Okay. Yeah, so we can see well because when I look at our solar software here then I can see I look quiet on this.

Alex:
Yeah, wavelength.

Tom:
Your wavelength is a lot thicker.

Alex:
Let’s stop there because that’s just gonna, That is not gonna be compliance or not gonna approve that. But we are not under the governing. We have no governing body so we can say like, excellent. Thanks very much. Leave your feedback. In summary, leave your feedback in the Facebook group.

Tom:
Yeah. See you soon.

Alex:
See you there.

Tom:
Bye

Alex:
Bye Bye

088 – Recruiting Advisers – Craig Skelton – CS Mortgage Solutions & CS Retirement Solutions

088 - Recruiting Advisers - Craig Skelton - CS Mortgage Solutions & CS Retirement Solutions
088 - Recruiting Advisers - Craig Skelton - CS Mortgage Solutions & CS Retirement Solutions

Alex:
Hello, and welcome back to the Advisor’s Assemble Podcast this week I’ve got Mr Craig Skelton from CS Mortgage Solutions and well newly sort of form CS Retirement Solutions as well. Craig, how’s it going?

Craig:
Yeah, thanks Ale, and you?

Alex:
Yeah, no, I’m really good. I’m really good to sort of have you on here because I was gonna say to you off air, but I bet there’s a few people who listen in that would love to be sort of in the position you’re in, where you were kind of saying like, your main sort of job now is you’re not advising anymore, or they used to be.

Craig:
Yeah, it used to be yes.

Alex:
Yeah. Well, we’ll talk through that. But you’re now it’s kind of like you’re recruiting more advisors. And you’re sort of your recovery response. That was like your main sort of job you were saying your main sort of concerns of kind of recruiting training, retaining advisors, but and then doing the marketing stuff as well. So you’ve kind of grown And got yourself into a position where you don’t have to advise anymore, which I bet there are quite a few people that would love to. So how long has it been now than that you’ve not sort of done any advice work.

Craig:
Probably about two years ago, probably about a year ago now since I’ve sort of done in proactive advising, I’ve done so advising up until probably the end of this year for existing clients and just reviews coming up and things like that, from a new client point of view. It’s been about 12 months ago, so also now.

Alex:
And was it always the plan when you set up the business to get away from and just grow it and grow advisors, or how did that sort of was it always your sort of dream to do that.

Craig:
It was ultimately that’s what I wanted to do in terms of timescales and business plans. And so that probably happened sooner than I thought in terms of the numbers and where we’re at. However, they say it’s always was my ultimate goal to have a team of advisers because that’s what I knew that was my background. That’s what I’ve always done is sort of managing a team of advisers always have been ultimately being employed and self-employed. But yeah, that was the ultimate goal.

Alex:
Nice. Yeah, I know. Well, I am because you introduce me to your BDM openwork. Julia and she was saying is rare for it’s normally she works with businesses that have been running for longer as key accounts, but you got there quite quickly. And she was kind of saying it was rare that that would happen so quickly. So she was kind of like saying you have grown pretty rapidly compared to a lot of other businesses.

Craig:
Something exciting, exciting times and still enjoy every minute, just a different concept to, to what I’ve known and but yeah, it’s, I’ve been very lucky to fail. So I have to say I’ve been very lucky in terms of the advisors that have joined the firm have not really gone out there and proactively sort of recruited, so I’ve never had an email, maybe they wanted to but never really productive recruitment campaign or anything like that. It’s just been more of it. organic growth and through word of mouth and people that I’ve known in the past that I’ve wanted to call self-employed and never thought of doing it before or people that I’ve known that have never solved the mortgage forward wanting to get into our, to the industry and so people that are that I knew when a new person from my past So yeah, I think I’ve just been lucky from that they shot a groaner that ***

Alex:
Well, let’s talk about how I sort of want it back then. And it looks on your snooping at your LinkedIn profile. And it was 2017 like 13 years ago, you’re working at William H. Brown. And that was a kind of you were looking after the team there is that right?

Craig:
Yeah. So 13 years ago, before I was always in I was in financial services, but banking world so High Street banks, in some ways, your roles and then decided to leave the banking world and get into the estate agency mortgage services. So yeah, that was then so I started out initially, myself and you then advisor, and then also as well managing a small team of advisors and self-writing business and then responsible for a few people just in that the height of the recession just as the bubble burst, really. And so that gave me a good ground, but that’s how it started. And then I think then six months, I was no longer doing the advice and then and managing the team, apparently, in various areas that I’ve worked in, in your domain. So where, where it wasn’t for the next rounds for a start out.

Alex:
And then nice little stint at countrywide as well. I think most people in front of services well, a lot of the mortgages have got countrywide on the CV as well.

Craig:
Yeah, I think it’s just either got the sequence call sequence or you’ve got control over locating a house and looking over our land looking at a to have both because that’s put me in touch with people that I work with today. So it should be I can never say it wasn’t time well spent, because it was in total and *** time, sort of sequence and country. Why? Because I learned a lot. I learned how to as a crew as an individual and how to lead teams really.

Alex:
Yeah. Because he was senior sales manager as well, country wise, and then went on to sort of managing a region for key retirement as well.

Craig:
Yeah. So that was the end of summit 2014. I left countrywide and went into equity release key, and it was a really, I’ve always had sort of quite a negative view about which innovation, which was very naive of me really, that at that time, I didn’t really know much about it. I just have seen the negative press and things like that. So as always, we’ll also I think *** got activity on the things I need to look into and find out more about it and was looking to manage the team of self-employed advisors in keen so they have a reason pointing in key or they’ll have a self-employed as well and I managed that team and I was also advising there as well so I did about advise in a key which only enjoy I also enjoy managing the team as well and it really opened my eyes to the equity release well at that time and where it was and where it was growing and how it was growing and how life-changing the world for individuals when they saw again that’s just a bit of a better mix into my past that’s helped me with my business today.

Alex:
Yeah, no, absolutely. I mean I similar similar sort of thing on the equity release for me just like the more I get to understand it, the more I really like it as a product. But yeah, it’s crazy, though, so that the general public Joe public’s view of it is pretty not great.

Craig:
And I think again, that’s, that’s just down an agonist on that because that’s I was using the word naive because that wasn’t a because I didn’t really look into that about it. But when you start to see people and so I experience what people are experiencing them from a personal point of view and by releasing equity in that home is life and it really is life-changing for these individuals, then you struggle not to buy integrated into so I say, don’t get me wrong I understand it’s not for everybody. It’s only about for the right people but for those people they are suitable for his testimony they will life-changing for those people without a shadow of a doubt.

Alex:
Yeah, no, definitely. What did you always want to set up your own thing that while you were working for like key and wouldn’t William H. Brown and countrywide, were you always in the back your head? We’re like, I’m definitely gonna create my own firm or how did it come about?

Craig:
He was always there in the back of my mind and quite a controlling person, or possibly I think that so I was always aware that I was not in control of my own destiny. I was always I was not 100% control of where I was going and what he’s doing and that could change at any moment in time. I’ve always been a quiet believer of whatever happens, happens and nobody will take my skills and my ability away from me. So whatever cards you get dealt, then you were in the employed well, then you just deal with that and then move on. Whereas obviously from a selfish point of view you, you are in charge of your own destiny, you are in charge of your own diary you in charge of your own world, whatever your commitment you put in, you do get a return it down to the hardware consistency, I knew that I knew that that was going to be something that I eventually wanted to get into. It was just, I think it’s just one of those things where there’s never a time is that there’s never a time within God that I’m going to do that in five years or three years or anything like that. I think. And that’s similar to the conversations I have with people that are looking to join the firm right now or looking to join in the future or who have joined their families. It’s a very sad opinion that there is never a right time to do it. You’ve just got to pay yourself the best you can and get things in order. And then just get on and do it. And if you’ve got the right mindset in attitude behaviour, then you will make it work, you will make it work. And that’s the thing is the opportunities are out there. It’s just actually about being brave and sort of making it work.

Alex:
Yeah, no, absolutely. I think well, there’s a lot of people setting up. I’ve seen lots of kind of mortgage businesses setting up a sort of during lockdown or just before spoke to quite a few people that started in January or literally, like now, there was never, you know, you can’t predict what’s going to happen. And you know, baptism of fire definitely, I think, people starting out and then I saw someone on LinkedIn, never say no, we’ll just have my one year anniversary my business I thought, wow. So Brexit and the global pandemic in your first year, like hats off, and you’re doing really well. That’s like, I’m pretty sure it’s not gonna get much worse than that. You’re riding through, you’re doing all right.

Craig:
Yeah, you would hope not. I think that is quite funny the world that we’re in today. Get some new to set up a year ago and gone through what the experiences they’ve gone through I think will appreciate things a lot more, I think is because they have been down with the sort of city in tech and real doubt in their business and setting up a year ago. What time is that? I’ve got people in the firm that have set up to go within the firm and got into some new thinking, wow, I think to talk to the advisory firm this week, we do have quite a bit of a laugh and joke about it. I think, well, like we won’t complain anymore about the little things I used to complain about. Because we cut here we have we’re all crying out to get back to how it was and what that looks like. But then yes, I think the I think hats off to anybody that’s making it stick and make it continue to have these tough times will certainly come out the other side and certainly benefit from that hard work and the drive they’ve put in and the systems during the rails are tough times.

Alex:
How quickly did you start recruiting when you set up it was like, what was it July 2017? Did you bring people in straight away? Or was it just you at the beginning?

Craig:
Yeah, the beginning there was myself and two other advisors, so two advisors that I knew, and that we’re working for employers, mortgage advisors and came along for the ride really, at that time, that was after we set up a new business, there were no promises, there was no sort of things that we had set up an agreed and going, concrete sort of things and what we were going to do from the start, we knew what the plan was and how that looked. But we knew we had to be very adaptable on how things would change day in, day out week in week out. So yes, we started me and two advisors to experienced advisors. So we sat between three of us. It’s who then became four within the exit experience advisor. And that was sort of I think we ended 2017 with I think there were about five years in the end, so another advisor into it never been in an object before newest age and so ever sold the mortgage in his life before him. And that’s how we ended in 2017. So yeah, we so quickly got from three to four to five in the first six months.

Alex:
Thanks for that, it’s super quick, tell me through then it saved someone like me. I’ve never given mortgage advice to anyone. And if I know enough to be dangerous, if they say I was in a, I was a state agent, or I was always a salesman, I suppose whining about what do you look for in terms of so that person or anyone else that’s kind of can you get a few people listening really early on in that they’re thinking about getting into it, and maybe they were an estate agent? What do you particularly look for? What sort of qualities do you think makes a good advisor?

Craig:
It’s about having the talent and what that talent looks like, for me is really, somebody. We’ve got quite a core values of a business and somebody joining the firm has to have that sort of have those two core values really so and these are things that I’ve picked up over the years and learn from mistakes as well, I think that’s the thing is they learn from the mistakes of recruitment advisors and try to think from having a great will, they’re going to make a great advisor, but what’s nice about their advisors’ core values, so for me, it’s having that sort of drive and persistence motivation, the right mindset is not about experience. I think that’s the big thing for me is I’ve done a very rarely look, tactical recruit for the experience. So we have to be in something the other day was just from an overall financial advisor, you know, just mortgage advisor, the foreign financial advisor point of view in the contract. Now there’s a population of 27,000 financial advisors, like include including launch advisors, it’s shocking. Suppose it looks like that they took averages and they expect 15,000 of those 27,000 advisors to retire within the next 10 years. So there’s gonna be a massive, massive gap. In the market, and then what I also looked at was that when you look at any recruitment, financial advice, mortgage advice, point of view, generally speaking, is that experience required this experience that people look for experience. So it doesn’t make sense in a world where we’ve got fewer advisors coming through, we’ve got advisors that are going to retire. And companies looking for experience. Well, that naturally to me shows there’s a bit of an issue there that have fewer advisors in a world that does need financial advice and ****. It’s a just a natural, there’s a gap there that I can sort of think and see that this is going to be causing an issue in the continuing now from for years to come. So that was my starting point with the recruitment and then looking at the way that our start is just looked at from a talent point of view. So the thing I do, first of all, is just have a chat with them over the phone. Have a very informal, no structure, no agenda, let’s just have a chat about them, what we are how we work, and what they’re about. It’s just a conversation because the thing for me is how they can build rapport with me, initially, in that first 510 minutes on the telephone, on a call them to prove to me that with the right training, they can build rapport because building rapport and having a conversation is not something you can really teach and train and you just been born with that ability. And obviously, that sort of gross, he was very much about that. That’s how just having a conversation, we’re sort of seeing what their values are and it starts from there. And if that’s an agreement from both myself and the advisor, that we’ve had a good conversation, then I’m sad about the firm and how I work because I think that’s important as well, it’s very much when you sort of go to any recruitment event or when you have to look to the past, it’s always sort of been very much about sort of selling the role to a candidate whereas I’ve just never done that. I never do that. It’s just really just a conversation about how that’s about them and as much as I possibly can about the role of mortgage adviser if they’ve never done that before. And I think that’s the just start from there they have they got that sort of raw talent to have a whole conversation with me and just really build that rapport for them, for them, and then are they interested at the end of it for them follow that up with a pitch was a meeting face to face? Are they interested in that? And is that am I interested enough to then sort of mingling with those people as well, but it’s not this is not the actual experience of I’ve done launch advising for this long or this is, for me, it’s about that ability to build rapport, deliver the service that we’re expecting, and the costs our customers expect. And that’s, that’s the key thing to me.

Alex:
So if someone was looking and not even done, start doing qualifications or anything like that, how early on are you looking for sort of someone that’s good, like, especially if it’s not about experience what stage if I’m just thinking about it should I get in touch with someone like you or someone local?

Craig:
If he’s within an organization the fact that we’ve had to provide a network. The good thing, the one thing about overwork is that they’re very much about the academy. So whether you’ve got no experience whatsoever in the mortgage world, no qualifications or anything, you can come become part of the firm and work through open works Academy so you’re part of the third working with on isn’t the interaction with myself and the rest of the advisors in the business. But then the same Tasha you understand in the mortgage world, but then at the same time, open work for you through your mortgage qualification, so and do more than the academy stuff to get you through the qualification. So it doesn’t really matter it from that point of view, where you don’t have to have any qualification whatsoever if you thought you wanted to get into mortgage services or finance advising in and you can do it with no qualifications whatsoever. We just take you through that process and put you in that position where you will become a qualified advisor within the firm within the network, point of view or a financial advise point of view.

Alex:
When you’re recruiting before on sort of you made good decisions, you make bad decisions, what advice would you give to anyone else that he’s kind of recruiting at the moment in terms of is it literally like, just think about the person and like, get you, make sure you know what your values are, and look for someone that matches that and then work on the skills later or any other advice or anyone else recruiting?

Craig:
I will say, absolutely. In terms of your core values. I think if you tend to recruit that person and work well with a person that has similar values to yourself, that’s a natural thing that will happen. So the more that you do, the more do that you tend to be more successful. The one thing that I’ve always said, I rely on now more than anything I’ve ever done before. It’s just my gut instinct. It might sound very corny, it might sound very stupid actually. But go ahead Instant has always been buying this proved to me in this world that just when you’re thinking, if you’re an advisor that’s running a firm with yourself and possibly another one, we’re looking to prove that advisor for the first time, you will have a gut instinct about that person. And why to be true to that gut instinct because that gut instinct will be right. Whether you find out day one or one six or 12, you’ve gut instinct will be right, and you will look yourself in the mirror in whenever that happens and say, Craig, you’ve arrived in the first place, he should have just trusted your gut instinct. And I think that the more you do that episode, the more you do recruit them, they tend to get things right. And I think you always have to look at the size of the candidate and think actually, they’ve got to have it installed in them from the start in terms of the right ethics, you try and if you’re looking for to recruit and you’re struggling to recruit, you’re sorted, then be you will act on certain things. So you’ll cut corners and things that well. This is what you start with your staff. So they must have this must-have that must have that. And then when you say we want to start very eager with that, that’s what they must have. And then by week three, and if you’ve not found somebody or the people that you seem to know doesn’t quite fit what you’re looking for a stick to your guns. That’s what I’d say because it will come back to home to upset and I’ve learned that from experience and where I’ve thought to myself are just like that once at that big slide or let that be. I’m not too worried about that. But we’re actually I was bothered about it because it did bother me in the first place. You just have to be true to yourself. And I think that’s the same from a candidates point of view, I think as well. Like I say to all the candidates is the biggest issue decision for them as it is for me, so they’ve got to be true to themselves as well. And that’s why I’m quite truthful in when I meet people face to face. I will tell them all about all seven Look, I will try and put you off from doing this role because it’s a tough role. You will get days of real high you’ll have days of *** don’t pay for that nobody can actually from mortifies point of view we have we talked about that, but nobody can actually prepare you for those days, it’s just gone. So I think I’m always honest with the template from the start. And given as much information on how we work as a firm. And as and how they fit that and their role within that firm, then it’s going to be fit right for them. And I say, as a candidate, I would say stick to what you’re looking for in that next role. And if it doesn’t fit, don’t cut corners, don’t make it fair. Just actually stick to what you’re looking for. Because guarantee in three months, six months, 12 months time, two years time when things start to get a bit tougher, then all of a sudden you think actually, I didn’t want to do this anyway, because, for this reason, I didn’t like this because this anyway, and those will eat away. So I think it’s just about people being true to themselves.

Alex:
How many is too many to recruit? Or is that is that not an issue? Do you would you become overwhelmed if you had if you brought on 10 people in one week or something?

Craig:
Yeah, I think 10 people more would be maybe ***, Alex ***

Alex:
The challenging session

Craig:
Yeah, I don’t think that is, it’s never going to be clear to too many that there is a sort of too many sorts of a pivot within this, you know, from a business point of view, I would then look at recruiting somebody or to fulfil certain aspects of the role to then continue the growth of the firm. So, bringing somebody on board to develop the relationships or advisor development, all of those things are doing so they say they recruited the trade and in between and then one of those codes like bit delegates something else or keep jumping, something that you trusted to run that party. So I would sort of say, there’s no such a limit on the path, I think because you’ve just got to be so the thing for me within this firm is that we’re all very, very lucky because we’re all good friends within the firm. So I think that really helps. as well. And if you get too many then obviously that can so I think then if you stick to the core values you’ve been through in the first place, I think you’ll just recruit more quality people within the ad into the quality team that you have already and answer your question. No, there is never too many all at once. Yes, definitely. But I think that’s it’s just getting the *** is that and getting those skills that need to get out there and flourishing and that’s what we do.

Alex:
How do you guys like manage your admin? Do you have to your advisors do that on themselves? If you got like an admin team? How does that work for you guys?

Craig:
All the advisors do their own admin to the fair we do have an administrator that just runs everything from a central point of view, but actual day to day if I saw administration, from an advisors point of view, advisors do the wrong because I think dislike me is that the control and can aspect we did things on the administrator intertext with the administration from the advisors, and they never used it because they will not use to have it as administrators, so what they intended to do with no doubt to use their facility, I just thought at that point, there’s no point in us having that facility, their advisors aren’t with us. Because again, I think it just comes down to the controller, if they are all responsible for their advice, their customer, they enjoy taking the customer through the journey through the ups and downs, really. And I think that’s the thing, of course, was part of the data experience. Some of the feedback I received when I was looking at this is that the customers wanted to speak to their buyers and have a sort of contact with the advisor on a regular basis, and vice versa. The consultant wanted to know where the customer was from their point of view as well. So all our advisors do their own administration to a certain extent because they just don’t feel in control. And so it’s positive from their point of view. And it’s also positive as well from the customer’s point of view because that’s the feedback they gave me as well.

Alex:
Nice. Yeah, it makes sense. Makes sense with your you did, obviously Some equity release stuff with a key but you’re sort of doing a bit more sort of wealth, pensions and things like that. And remember, we spoke before and you said personally, you don’t want to know the ins and outs of it, you’ve got the advisors. But in terms of business perspective, what was the what When did you kind of decide I want to do mortgages and the wealth side.

Craig:
Web server, something that I always wanted to get into even when we started out on this journey three years ago, I think the thing for me is that customers buy from a brand so once you’ve got a brand they trust to know, the more they tend to buy more from that brand. So what was frustrating for me as it has a customer there was CS Mortgage Solutions clients testimony solutions customer who needed pension advice, we would then refer on to another business or they wanted equity release advice. We will refer to another business. There is nothing wrong with the businesses we’re referring to because they gave good service. However, what I found was the customers are more likely to buy into you and take on that service. If they’d already bought into the branch or was referring to a third party, they already see that as a third party don’t they didn’t see that as CS Mortgage Solution. So say somebody we just referred onto, whereas now they sort of see actually as part of a brand new this one brand. So, for me, that was the thing, the long term goal of the business was within anybody’s financial need, we would be able to facilitate it and services within the business. So they said pensions, investments, equity release, and we’re looking at sort of commercial mortgages and things like that at the moment as well. So that’s something else we’re looking to do. So if that’s the thing is then because I see I think the firm belief for me is that the customers buy into that brand and more likely to users from a pension point of view, investment point of view or will or whatever the case will be from a financial need the boys’ band already we’ve not got win them over to buy into the brand we’ve already done that it’s them it’s just an easy win to then sort of getting into that thing is that the clients like it as well that they have the deal because some advisors do the mortgage on the pension as well so the advisors the clients like it that they’ve just been with one person from all the financial needs, they get great service that’s the tick box from that point of view that all their financial services are looked after by this one person.

Alex:
What’s the best way to build that brand and make sure that is that all down again, probably comes back to your advisors I’m guessing in terms of that brand like because it’s a lot of it’s all kind of it used to be more sort of face to face is your people are kind of representing your brand and that’s got to be a really good experience for them than to want to use you guys again, on the wealth side.

Craig:
Yeah, definitely it goes back to service so they understand that they are representing the brand and the advisers represent the brand and they don’t want to let the top of the brand nicely. They don’t want to let the team down. Sorry. they pride themselves on the five-star reviews if they don’t, they don’t want to get four-star reviews and if they did get anything less than five stars they would feel as though they’re letting the brand down but also as well letting the team down within the brand which is nice if those were looking for me because I have got that sort of team ethic that they want to deliver that great service because it just doesn’t wanna let the brand down because we just don’t want any sort of negative feedback or negative incidents against the firm and those as an as individuals.

Alex:
What can you do that to make sure your team are always so you’ve got that obviously getting the right people? Is it culture then do you think to make sure your team are all pulling together and you do not sort of doing your own thing? What’s the key? Do you think..

Craig:
Cultures the right I think you’re absolutely right with culture then that is the culture is a big thing within a business. I think that the thing that I struggle with the beginning was that the advisor works remotely in terms of advising the North East in Lancashire now and in *** place in Yorkshire, so they’re all very well, they are all very well. And I think it is about that culture of helping each other and very much. So that’s what I was always keen to do was on like in the past where we’d have monthly meetings because we’re all employed and in that environment, we’d have an office to go to and think that I was very much a different way of working whereas now we have monthly catch up calls for whatever medium we want to do. We normally have an on the CFP advisor, at least face to face once a month, just sit down in some coffee establishment or something some way and just have a chat about their world in the business and what they’re doing. And then we get together once a quarter as well and just go out and have a good time as a team and as a business. So whether that’s going through races or an hour in the town or the city or anything like that. That’s interesting to build out a relationship between the advisors. I mean, the thing is, they know they’ve got each other’s backs. I know that I know. Some of you have got an issue in a complicated case, we’ve got a Whatsapp group set up where somebody will put on there a little bit about their supply circumstances, obviously keep in GDPR, and not their names. But just give the class scenario on there. And I think you get people to get a response. So the more people if you post something on there, and you get a response, you they’re more likely to respond next time. If somebody put something out there, you know the answer to the question. So it’s very much a team, so a culture going on that. They know that even though they’re all remotely, I know, some advisors still have unhappy like still afternoon sessions now where they might have met all the ones that live close to each other. They might have met up once a month and just have a chat about the world and somewhere to vent and somewhere to take out the frustrations have been a motivator, but then it’s doing that, too, but I think it does create that culture of so everybody’s in this together and we really so they want into the business to grow it. It’s it goes back to the To me in my beliefs, I’ve always trapped people as I want to be trapped myself. And I think that’s the core thing is that particularly now the people, everybody in the firm of self-employed as mortgage advice, or financial advisors is about dealing with treating people as people. That’s how I know how I want to be treated as an individual. And that’s how I ensure that I treat the individuals in the business and vice versa. So we just do get on well, from that point of view, because we do treat each other like adults, we do understand each other’s frustrations and what makes them explode, makes them sort of motivated wherever they can to be. So yeah, is creating that sort of culture. I think it goes back to the recruitment in the first place. So you’ve got a recruitment person that shares your same values and ethics and then that they will just naturally fit into your culture because you created that culture in the first place. So the culture that so myself and totally advisors created from the start. just added to that and added to that, and other than that, allowing that and then learning that. So it’s just fun for us to do that. Once you have got that culture, as long as you’ve got the vibe included in the first place.

Alex:
Excellent. Well, I think we’ve covered like, if anyone is recruiting or thinking of getting a job in the industry, I think we got it. Is there anything else that you would that we’ve not discussed that you would either someone looking or someone looking to recruit, you’d want to share? Or I think we’ve covered it off? We have literally, almost given the manual. Is there any last bit of advice that you would give to anyone that is recruiting or looking to recruit? Is there anything that we haven’t covered off today do you think?

Craig:
Nothing to summarize is just made sure you don’t cut corners in terms of recruitment have a strict recruitment policy, stick by that and making sure that the candidate fits right with you and what the profile you want within your business and shares your core values.

Alex:
Love it. Brilliant Craig, I’m looking for work or I just want to get if there’s something that I’ve not asked you and there’s someone that wanted to ask you anything when’s the best place to sort of getting in touch with us at LinkedIn or drop you an email or…

Craig:
However, they want to is absolutely fine. So LinkedIn on there so Craig Skelton is fine on LinkedIn or my email address is craig@CSFG.co.uk, so and you can give me a calling mobile as well.

Alex:
Thank you so much. Great. Thanks for spending your time with us. And yeah, really appreciate all that as there are loads there for anyone I know specifically, a couple of people that are recruiting as well as I’m sure they’re going to be listening in. So yeah, appreciate it. Mate. I will speak to you soon.

Craig:
Thank you.

Alex:
No worries. Bye.

087 – Advice for Start Ups

087 - Advice for Start Ups
087 - Advice for Start Ups

Alex:
Hello and welcome back to the advisors assembled podcast formerly known as lead generation for financial services always feel a bit like Prince Tom when we do that I really like Prince formerly known as ** the prince formerly known now, Prince again. So if we ever do well, so, but yeah, it feels a bit weird. We’re in that transition phase of trying to get everything across to advisors assemble

Tom:
How long until you just change your name to that symbol.

Alex:
Take No, I’m enjoying the playfulness of the brand. Who was it? Dave Corbett didn’t realize it was a play on Avengers Assemble.

Tom:
Oh, yeah, I suppose.

Alex:
Shook my head. So for anyone that didn’t know that I’m a geek. Obviously, the Avengers are comic book characters who are heroes and we believe all people in front of servers are heroes and we want to assemble them together. That all works, isn’t it?

Tom:
Yeah, that’s good.

Alex:
And it gives me an excuse to use Marvel gifts all the time in the Facebook group.

Tom:
Yeah. Nice. And it gives me more context of those magnets you bought.

Alex:
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So obviously, if you’ve seen any of my webinars or anything or stuff, I’ve got all sorts of I’ve got and people think that’s a fridge by the way,

Tom:
I can see why. Yeah.

Alex:
‘ve got the we’ve got this old retro metal filing cabinet that I’ve from the office that brought home and people and people thought it was a fridge and I thought I’d start working in the kitchen but the fridge magnets and I’ve got like yeah loads of like Thor, Iron Man, all sorts but I’ve got like the better future I’ve got loads of cool ones.

Tom:
And next to that filing cabinet, you do actually have a fridge.

Alex:
Which was what we had in the office we were having like sandwiches and stuff now I’m gonna be honest, does have gin and tonic not have that to be consumed during work hours. Obviously, I genuinely ** and there are some diet cokes in there. But yeah, that’s my office for everyone that didn’t care. But this week, Tom, we want to chat. So I got asked on LinkedIn DM for any advice for startups, basically, we get a lot of inquiries and people just starting out because you know, they want to get some leads, you know, they’ve just opened a mortgage business or protection or started doing activities or whatever and the first thing, you know, who am I going to advise I need people to speak to and I think a lot of people have their immediate, especially with the mortgage thing and protection. You’ve got your immediate family network and referrals. And I think people kind of get started with them, but it’s like, what can they do next? We’re kind of on this mission to disrupt the whole, you know, lead purchasing market because we think it’s easier to do yourself, but I can see if you’ve, I know a lot of people we spoke to they’ve like if they’ve worked maybe as a mortgage broker or advisor before and they’ve always been given leads. It’s kind of like we’ve got this whole new thing of like a new business, all these other things to think about. Like how do you get them? So I can imagine it being a bit of a minefield for people that don’t know what they’re talking about? Would you agree?

Tom:
Yeah, it’s pretty much starting up, who’s having the conversation where it’s, you’ve almost got to think in terms of where your resources are best placed. And I think that’s why we do a lot of what we do in terms of the, the advisors assemble community, in terms of trying to get people as set up as they can to market themselves as efficiently as they can I think efficiently is quite sort of the key word.

Alex:
Yeah.

Tom:
Making use of the best of their resources, whether it’s money or time and turning that into something that will actually give them that genuine output.

Alex:
I think it’s fair to say that we rarely work with startups people just starting out, because I think that a lot of the value that clients get from us is when they’re organically jumping Google for something, which is not an overnight thing. And so if you were to just invest in that you could be paying out money month a month waiting for that to happen. You’ve got no sort of back book to rely on. It’s a corner and it’s really hard for us to predict Had some had some calls today with people, you know who we’ve on boarded them, but having to say to them, yeah, I don’t know, this could be three months, it could be six months, the quickest we’ve done is six weeks. That is the exception, not the rule. And but put yourself in a start as a person starting out, I wouldn’t do it.

Tom:
No, there are no guarantees of it. And then you think about the Okay, so the other side of it’s like the paid outside, then you do need a bit of a bit of budget for that. And then when you think Okay, so then there’s a cost of goods on top of it. If your budget is perhaps on the lower side, then you’ve got then there’s the cost of those sort of things we perhaps better off potentially using the resources in advisors assemble. maybe haven’t yet taken the hits on your own time to do it yourself. But then using that budget that way.

Alex:
Because the way our pricing structure is at the minute we June 2020. At the moment we’ve got you would if you want to run out and you’ve got to pay us more because it’s more of our time to manage those ads for you and an advertising budget as well. So the costs are going up. If you’re starting out. A lot of people need the revenue. I think everyone’s in the mindset that if it’s working, I’ll get business in. I’ll put more money in, there’s no question. It’s like, how do you get to that? I think a lot of people need to maybe get via referrals or introduces, or ideally, like social media, or, I mean, we’ve done the whole Google Maps crash course that is a bit of a quick way to get something in first get the ball rolling, before sort of investing in someone else. So it’s a Yeah, it is difficult, very, very difficult. But on the flip side of that, that person, we did it in six weeks, they had an exit the domains, their URL, the website address had been around for, I can’t remember how many years but it’s an established site, although it wasn’t really ranking for anything had some age on it. I remember like one of the guys, someone we were talking about using the analogy of like, it’s like a fine wine. A domain name is like a fine wine that gets better with age. So it’s much easier for us to do what we do and do it quickly. Whereas we could do the same work with a brand new domain and have no effects.

Tom:
Yeah, not like that we defined in terms of getting Speaking the oldest domain, Google does like a domain that’s older because it suggests that it has a bit more authority. It’s been around for longer, it’s not sort of brand new. And that is one of the indicators Google uses in its ranking factors. And unfortunately, if you’re starting out and you just got a new domain, that untended that side of it, there’s not much you can do. To speed that up the entire iron has dissolved and does its thing with that.

Alex:
Absolutely. And then if people haven’t heard our bull seen one of our videos before, where we talk about this lead’s triangle, and as well as those who want to put it so when I do, so I do onboarding training. There’s one of the networks when they’ve got new recruits coming through and one of the things I pull out a triangle and sort of do is a bit of a warning that if someone’s selling cheap, fast leads, I would doubt the quality. It will be what you’re expecting there is that I suppose it’s kind of like someone’s selling remortgage leads for a fiver or something. I can imagine that being quite tempting. Mm hmm. I can also imagine it being a bit hit and miss because yeah, you can’t What out but I don’t think anyone that is ranking on Google that selling leads would sell them for five quid or they’ve got to make a margin as well so like how are they getting those details that can’t be from Google?

Tom:
No, that’s right. Yeah, as I say when you think in terms of in terms of So Google advertising for re mortgage keywords the absorb talking anywhere between 6 and 10 pounds a click so you’re definitely not gonna be selling the leads for five quid so it’s Where’s where are they coming from? Now there’s lots of other kind of like genuine sources, but it’s almost a bit like and you’d like to think these days are sort of behind in terms of what was like the old fashioned lead generation practices where people have loaded data during GDPR so I’ll put paid to this but we will just have a lot of data we email it farm it out, file links to it and everything else like that, that click that maybe will be used for this thing about survey data people would complete a survey so to win a competition and then the like that after answer a few questions at the bottom saying are you interested in mortgage advice and so on, just go Yeah, or whatever. And then that would actually classed as a mortgage loan which is scandalous, really when you think about it is in terms of the Is yeah crazy and they were they were the kind of leads and data that people itself anywhere between sort of 20 P and two pounds of lead they used to be the whole thing in terms of you could have for like data that have been sold once was like a pound sold twice with 50 P and the third times being sold was like 20 P or something. And it was just crazy. Yeah, unbelievable. So yeah, so people have to buy in bulk and then have like a dialer system anything yeah, no, I think for the most part those those days are behind that that kind of old fashioned lead generations result died out and it’s not something that we’ve we’ve ever really done thankfully for that suddenly quality over quantity in that respect.

Alex:
We’ve painted a bit of a dreary picture, Tom.

Tom:
Yes

Alex:
Probably let’s look at the bright side of things that you’ve got opportunities like I’ve done a Google Maps Crash Course it’s in the Facebook group, you can find it you’ll be able to find it under advisors symbol or lead generation financial services on Facebook, where it talks through the steps of what you can do the term mortgage broker, I think it’s searched for across the UK like over 100,000 times a month and everyone around the country gets a different result, depending on where they are, and then get and Google Maps is shown above that the top of Google Home doing the *** is the process that we’ve shared there that where you can be anything to. There’s some of the people with the feedback we’ve got they like within a week or so, they’ve been featured and they’ve not been featured before. Just following that process. I think we found anything between like four, four to six weeks of consistently following that process. So that’s a bit of a quick win. And then if you want so if you are a mortgage broker, if you are an IFA, if you do something that Google deems as a local service, whatever it is, if you don’t do mortgages or say life insurance, it doesn’t intrigue sounds like a national thing, doesn’t it?

Tom:
Yeah, it says things like say mortgage broker, mortgage advisor, financial advisor, they’re also clusters, kind of like local searches. And yeah, that huge value in terms of the Google My Business thing because the map comes above the search results.

Alex:
Yeah.

Tom:
So if you’re sort of doing you need to have a good website, everything else that goes with it, if you’re so active on the Google My Business, it pushes you up more on the maps and basically it pushes you to the top For the search term mortgage broker, because everybody’s search results for the term mortgage broker will be different depending on where they’re sitting. So yours will be wearing a different platform, obviously, we’re in different places, we’ll see a different search result. So we can basically capture the search result for the term mortgage broker, as you say, it’s 10s of thousands of searches a month, obviously, in each location might be shown 10s of thousands of times, but you aren’t where you are. If that makes sense.

Alex:
If you’re in a densely populated city, there’d be more people that see that whether you’re in a town in the middle of nowhere.

Tom:
Yeah. And if that all becomes an issue, then you think well, you might have to move.

Alex:
To get a virtual office in the city center. A lot of people do that as long as you for me when people ask me about that, there’s like if you’re in say, Bournemouth and you’re you can commute to Southampton, and Portsmouth. I don’t see it as dodgy practice to have a virtual address in or an address in each three of those cities. But if you’re in Southampton, and you want to get a virtual dress in Newcastle to get local leads I find that a bit not quite right.

Tom:
Yeah, that’s right, cuz you’re never gonna drive up. You’re never gonna be that local mortgage advisor. somebody did something contrary. So yeah, absolutely.

Alex:
That’s a bit of a quick win, I think. So you do need to, like say the website is so we’ve never been able to, we’ll never try and help anyone do that without a website. And then I doubt someone’s just going to, again, just call you off that Google without checking you out first as well. So I think a website for me is probably the most essential thing for new business. Would you agree?

Tom:
Yeah, definitely. Definitely. Definitely. In terms of because yeah, you everything else can be great. You know, you can be doing a low stance on social media and everything else like that and doing the Google My Business. But ultimately, they are well with Facebook, slightly different because people can do messenger, whatever. But I would say so nine times out of 10 somebody is going to land on your website. It’s really a case of if they don’t really like what you see they’re just going to bounce off. And so it’s kind of like that top of the funnel sort of side of everything else can be great if your website is really quiet, so lots of scratches. Maybe you perhaps like it to be Yeah, that is that is a huge blocker.

Alex:
Absolutely. And we found working with clients of all shapes and sizes that we can there are quick wins on the website that we can make that work. with existing visitors, we can increase the amount of leads that are coming through just by changing elements on the website. So it is really, really important what kind of things go on the website, where and how people can contact you, imagery, all sorts of different things. You sometimes like one word can make a massive difference. I agree. And I think there are people that do get leads from social media. I mean, I think Jim Smith would agree that he’s actually taken out the new website builder product, so he will have a much better looking website, but he’ll probably be the first to admit that his current previous website was not great. Putting it politely but he was getting leads through social media because he was very active on it doing lots of videos. I think you can do that. But you’re but the minute you stop, if you get busy and you haven’t got time, then that the taps are gonna turn off.

Tom:
Yeah, yeah, sure.

Alex:
So I think that’s why we want to get to the top of Google, it’s a little bit easier to sustain and keep that tap on with less efforts. I think that’s why we kind of pursue it a lot, don’t we?

Tom:
Yeah, no, actually And yeah, your websites will give you that kind of sustainability. But yeah, in terms of talking about the Facebook thing in terms of, you know, postings regularly, I’d almost say the website is the most important thing. And the second thing, if you’ve got time to work on it is producing good quality content. And that’s not the same as just pushing stuff out on Facebook, it’s actually spending the time with the content, whether it’s on the site, whether it’s on video, and think of it, get your content right first, and then use the channels, whether it’s you’ve got an email database, the compliantly use for pushing out and things like Facebook, LinkedIn, but just remember that Facebook, LinkedIn, the channels, and it’s what you’re putting out there, and what you’re saying is what counts making sure it’s, you know, it’s informative, people could trust it and really care about showcasing the expertise and they find it interesting and useful. Rather than just posting anything out just to make sure you hit the note three or four posts a week or whatever it is, some look to be more than that, but but focus more on the quality of the content that goes out rather than the quantity because otherwise it’s just step by step, just a bit bit of stuff like wasting time.

Alex:
Absolutely. And some of the mortgage networks will help supply content. I did these webinars for over a month and they had a loaded little content that you can use, and all these articles and things like that. I was like saying, you know, you got I got one of their PDFs, and I pulled out 5,6,7,8 social media posts, rather than just saying I’ll read this remortgage guide, I was like, well, this quote out of the copy of the bulk of the content, pulling out quote from it, did you know, blah, blah, blah. So it gave me a little bit and then like, how can you know if your network or the company working with is providing you with some content? How can you put your own spin on it? Like, could you even use that as a script and deliver that information on video as yourself or on audio or however, just to differentiate yourself from everyone else? Because if one of the networks is giving that to everyone in the network, then they’re all just thrown out. So how, you know you’re going to be chasing the same ever, you know, there’s no differentiation so why should they it’s that comes back to the slide that I use with all the agents Smith’s from the matrix is kind of like you’re all the same if you keep putting out the same content. So yeah, I would agree like spending a little bit of time putting out some quality content because you want people to trust you. And with all the time that no one’s no one wants financial advice from a stranger not going to do. It’s the biggest transaction of my life. Whenever I do it, the biggest amount of money, I’m not gonna do it with a stranger, someone I don’t trust or someone that I can’t get to know. I just wouldn’t do it.

Tom:
Yeah, that’s right. And it’s interesting, the point we’ll make in terms of sort of the network’s content, which is great. But yeah, it is important to add your own kind of comments and analysis on it in terms of what’s you know, in terms of it’s almost like factual news that’s come out in terms of for example, you always say when like the the base rate gets put up or down that sort of news, but then in terms of giving yourself a bit of a bit of opinion on why it’s good, or who it’s not potentially good for. And in terms of giving that a bit of extra adding value to it makes it yours. And also is worth saying that it when those kind of things come out and those kind of updates do come out, because I think some networks as well maybe provide them as links to content as well for them to sort of the contents got to be on your own site, and you’ve got to sort of turn it into something that is that is original as well. It’s just coming straight off, then Google sort of sees straight through it, and I’ll have no value. So you’ve got to go through the effort of making your own putting on your own site. Because the other thing is, is that a lot of people on so like, a lot in social media, they just share, like the BBC News link or whatever, because they think, Oh, yeah, I’m getting that news out there. But it’s pointless, because no one’s no one’s really engaging with your brand. If they click on the BBC News link, you know, no one’s gonna pick up the phone to you from the BBC news website. So that it’s all got to be everything’s got to be going back to your site. And that’s why we don’t really do too many posts. The only exception is from the social media side when we will post reviews as we’ll always tend to put the URL on there. But But always every post that we just try and push out always directs back to a certain piece of content, because we sort of think Yeah, you’ve got such a better chance of So building that trust and that online rapport for us have a better on the website, than you have necessarily just stuck in Facebook. So when someone gets distracted, go somewhere else. But once you’re on the site, and you can do a lot more with it, you can then if you had a bit of budget, you could remark it to them, which is something that we I think we’d probably agree on that if you have a really small budget that you can potentially pull out even you know, you’re looking as low as one or two pounds a day, put it into remarketing people that land on your site that don’t turn into leads, they’ve already engaged with you once so you’re not you’re sort of maybe targeting a lot of smaller amounts of people, but you’re getting in front of them more times. So yeah, that’s one of the other things that I would probably recommend to start with if you’ve got a spare sort of 30 quid a week, or 30 quid a month sorry, investments and remarketing.

Alex:
So yeah, that’s one of the other things of that I would probably recommend to start with if you’ve got a spare sort of 30 quid a week, or 30 quid a month sorry, investments and remarketing Well, if you compare that the 30 pounds a month cost to actually be remembered, say like people been to your site and actually come back and remember against for free posting that link sending people to BBC, here are your like, there’s no comparison to what you’re wasting time. You know, no one’s going to remember a bit. Ah, thanks, Dave for sharing their boozy news. This is not going to happen. So yeah, I think the two of the most important things and then get the website sorted and then we probably need to talk in a little bit more detail the options there would have thought because all we’ve said is Yeah, have a nice website.

Tom:
Yeah.

Alex:
And then again, sort of like spending Some time on your content as well. So with the website options, I think when we spent years trying to work out a service to offer people that were starting out, I mean, we’d like it was a difficult one I think we’re I think we’ve cracked it now with the new sort of website builder but you can have that we’ve got like these templates that are based on work that we know kind of work so when we’re talking about having a website that works we’ve got the templates that you can use with the tutorials that go with it, but there are cheaper options than that as well. You can use I mean, like GoDaddy have a website builder, which is super cheap. I got the zombie you’ve got Squarespace, Wix all of those.

Tom:
Speak of is really we paid about seven quid a month for this I think.

Alex:
Yeah, Google My Business do have like a website on my phone is going to go off. Now I’ve said the G word. They have a thing that you can build a website in there as well. So if you just want a digital business card, and you’re not going to get it I’m like guys yet the content sounds great. I’ve got no time for it. This for free or much much cheaper options to get something that just looks because someone like someone knows me some today they had a GoDaddy website and he was saying no no it doesn’t look good on me I’ve seen a lot worse a lot worse so there’s plenty of options there you don’t have to spend a lot of money.

Tom:
And also I think we’d always almost say the first it’s almost make you make your site set up to convert as well in terms of because because unfortunately, some of the the best design websites aren’t like ours don’t always convert into leads that way they look fantastic and they maybe have some sort of you know, great features and everything else like that but sometimes it’s harder and and we and we find as we do with kind of the the website builder stuff in terms of you can’t really believe beat sticking a form in the top right of the banner. There it was. It doesn’t look amazing. There are better looking websites. They look pretty good but they’re out there you know, you can’t deny that. They’re off to fancier websites, certainly, but they’re not functional. They don’t. They don’t turn, learn, visit and delete as well.

Alex:
If we let our designer just off the shackles just make our clients look beautiful. We would be sacked within a couple of months for not generating any business because they would look amazing. But I’d rather not look as good and have more clients. And I’m sure I presume everyone else is the same.

Tom:
Yeah. And it seems like the sites would be slow, because of the way they kind of like that lack of the kind of that kind of stuff in the sites but aren’t they probably the minimalist content as well. It wouldn’t rank for anything, they’d look amazing, but they just they just would not perform.

Alex:
So plenty of options with the website stuff. I’ve got the I haven’t published it yet. So I’ve got a link or anything but I have converted those webinars that I’ve done during lockdown for the network’s into an online course. And there was a quite a large section about website wins, and that I’m making that completely effort free. That is very soon. So I did for one of the networks. I did four and a half hours worth of webinars with them. And I’ve pulled out the best bits and streamline that into an online course to really generate startup costs and there is definitely a section on the website with the examples of the form in the top right corner and all the other bits as well. So actually, we probably should have just made this episode about that whole process. But in fact we do cover off the Google Maps in there that’s in there trying to get people to use their personal brand. Because I think as I said, it means no one to buy anything was stranger so if I had to go back to the guy who asked me on LinkedIn, he’s got himself out there. So I would like one thing I’d say is get like when the world gets back to normal and you’re comfortable being around other people, I think the best investment would be like a photo shoot, okay, and some quality images so you don’t have to use stock images on the website. I think that’s one of the things I would do.

Tom:
Yeah.

Alex:
One of the things that I’m probably gonna get we’ve got our own cameras and stuff like that we’ve got decent ones, but I’m probably going to invest in doing like a proper going into the studio and get some stuff done. I hate like I say someone again, *** like I would you know, I’m an introvert at heart. I’d be quite happy like for people not to know who I am, or see me like ever, but trust is what builds relationships, relationships build sales, and I think all the financial services, the financial advisors, that’s what if they build trust, they’ll make sales. So **, can you do that? So rather than looking if you’re just starting out, rather than looking at what are the best quick like tips for best what the best practices actually just think what can I do to build trust before unlike online at scale? And then that should, everything should follow. There’s all like sort of tactics and stuff, but I think that’s ultimately the key.

Tom:
Yeah, let me run in terms of thing about like you mentioned earlier about the whole Agent Smith thing in terms of the good thing about your personal brand that put your personality across is that that is what differentiate can differentiate financial advisors and mortgage brokers because a lot of them who else obviously some focus on different things, but to kind of consider consumers eyes, the majors look and think lots of people look the same or lots of brokers seem the same. But putting your personality across it’s it’s quite a differentiator in terms of sort of the type of person you are, what they expected that if they were to call or to deal with you, and essentially kind of, you know, the conversations you’d have and ultimately how you’d get on with each other to a degree. So yeah, I think that that personal branding element is very important in the absence of an end, sorry absence of any kind of loads of real negative branding budget using your own personality is a great way to do it.

Alex:
But it’s really difficult. It’s no it’s one of the things that’s easy, but it’s really difficult. I remember just starting like you have to take I’ve taken baby steps baby steps, baby steps and still feel like there’s loads more I could do but I remember like first doing videos and feeling really awkward with it and feeling really awkward put my photograph on the website. So I think it’s like don’t try and copy you know, someone like Poland or Alex Curt or someone like that who’s already comfortable with it, like try and try and do those little baby steps because it is really it is really awkward. And then even a year or two of doing that then actually brings out the personality out more so actually, like now people know that I love Batman Benjin like I would have been afraid to be that much myself. Even like six months ago probably.

Tom:
Yeah.

Alex:
It is a difficult thing.

Tom:
Yeah. And I think it’s just like just not being afraid to practice. Even if you don’t do your own videos, you think no one is ever going to see these instead of just just do a few and just see how it goes. You’ll eventually and I think, yep, you’ll eventually just become more natural. Okay? It’s amazing. I find it quite bold. So all right when we say when we’re in the office instead of doing the videos there, but if I saw, I have to sit on my own and do like a screenshot for somebody and then comment on the screenshots, show them how to do something that’s a nightmare. After about three or four things I’ve done millions of times, but it’s all in the start again. Yeah, and it’s just because I’m not used to it. I mean, standing in front of a camera and also having the conversation and something is arguably probably better suited to an introvert, doing a screen share. Again, just talking and actually talking to anybody, you just sort of explaining what you’re doing and pointing and clicking like you do anything. Now. I guess we’ll get really tongue tied with it. And it’s just practice. Yeah, it’s just practice and then start, you know, do a few videos, show them to, you know, family and friends or whatever. And I think they’ll probably be surprised at the feedback and will probably be better than you may think as well. And that’s just people being nice.

Alex:
Yeah, definitely. And also So I’m just going to, I’ve had an email from one of our clients who did their first podcast interview with me and I want to get her exact words if I can. Yeah, listening to the podcast that he sent across was pleasantly surprised as I had worried I hadn’t prepared and that it would all sound awful. So yeah, listen to it back. And that’s the benefits. I suppose we, our editor will cut out arms and arms and things like that we think but you always think you’re gonna be worse and you’re always over analyzing. It definitely says you’ll be pleasantly surprised when people don’t care. They don’t expect you to be like an actor or act or sorry. They just came out like they’re, they’ve got a problem and they need your help. Can you help them? Do you seem like a genuine person? Who cares? You know that the last thing they’re looking at is your performances. You will analyze it more than anyone watching.

Tom:
Yeah, that’s right. It’s about the content first, and then I was like the showmanship of it. Second, if the content is good, it’s interesting and it answers problems or queries or if the requirement for information that people have is yeah, you probably do need to have come across, you know, in a reasonably engaging manner. But that comes with practice and it’s and people will get it.

Alex:
So social media platforms for people like starting out I think another reason why we
sort of don’t really work with startups is they don’t really have any content to begin with. Yeah, we’ve got to create the content to then be able to create the social media posts, and then you’re starting from zero following so even if we’re putting something out, no one’s gonna see it. So it is like, where do you start? So for me, if I was starting out, if I was a mortgage broker or equity release advisor, I would leverage my friends and post out as me on my personal Facebook page and say, like, hey, I’ve just qualified as a mortgage broker is how can I help people? Could you, you know, share out this is what I can do. And this is why I think LinkedIn works really well because I don’t if they’ve done this intentionally or not, but posting out your company on LinkedIn is terrible. Like you just get no reach but you get loads of reach posting as your itself and that’s what it’s designed for. And then I think that’s because it is you rather than a logo sending it out, I think that’s why people comment more. There’s more conversations happening on LinkedIn. But I think people use their Facebook page too much rather than, in fact, one of the guys on one of the webinars, you know, that three, four part series on the first one I talked to, I made this comment about using yourself and he’d been posting out on his company page for ages and then he posted out as himself, and then he got a life insurance lead from it. Someone had quoted more Khurram, how much it was through the estate agent. He quoted less. He got a really chunky life insurance deal, I think was like 70 or 60 pound a month. Just and the reason he got that was because of pushing out on his personal Facebook rather than the company one.

Tom:
Yeah, great.

Alex:
And he was like it was Alex is just for that. I was like, Well, I didn’t do that. You just did it because he was just before he was posting out as he has his logo, there was no low as it was, there was no personality, there was no who is the person I’m going to speak to, you know, it’s nothing. It’s just so much more powerful coming from the person.

Tom:
Yeah. 100% Yeah, without any kind of like the resources to really sort of push like a, you know, a heavier advertising strategy. Using your own personal brand is a really good way to differentiate.

Alex:
So I think Facebook is good as a person as art. That’s what I would do and LinkedIn. I find with Instagram, because you can and we were talking earlier about linking back to your website, you can link out and other than in the DMS there is a strategy you could use with Instagram stories, get them into your DMS by their link out with a lot of heavy lifting. Whereas with I think Facebook and LinkedIn, they obviously want to keep people on their platform rather than on your website. So don’t do it all the time. But that’s, as you said earlier, that’s the ultimate goal. Get them back to your website again, have a look around and this is why I guess come back to why you want to create content so they can get to know you a little bit more and then inquire m uch warmer lead. So I think that’s where I would go, would you Facebook and LinkedIn it?

Tom:
Yeah, definitely, definitely have Yeah. And then the good bits of different ways, Facebook’s quite good in terms of sort of the reach and everything else that goes with it. And LinkedIn is quite good. If you have good quality content on LinkedIn, it sticks around the guy I see. So a lot of weeks. Yeah, yeah, literally four weeks. And which makes it almost good value in the sense that it’s face to face with a probably a bit of a shorter lifespan, whereas I could have gone LinkedIn and I see something. Yeah. So two weeks ago, you think that’s crazy. But yeah, both of those are quite good news is levering that kind of a your own sort of personal network as best you can start with, and I think, particularly Facebook, if you’re starting out as well. And it’s something that I think I’d be almost too shy to do to start with, but he’s asking people to share your stuff. And I don’t think that people want to do that. Do they want to meet people? Surprisingly nice.

Alex:
Especially your friends.

Tom:
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And then it does. It does work and in terms of when you actually think in terms of five shares, I don’t know The average friendship of any sort depends on who you’ve got but in terms you know you’ve got potentially thousands and thousands of impressions there just from like immediate friends and family they can make a huge difference and also it’s kind of a way of getting almost like a call for referral it’s almost say if I my my other friend who asked me to there was a mortgage broker asked me to sort of show stuff and I was happy to do it then I’ll do it and then all of a sudden the mind network mental sees that I think up will Tom trusts him to do whatever and then we’ll go that way then it’s kind of it’s almost like that that kind of it’s the the endorsement side of it from somebody that they perhaps trust which sort of gets you halfway in the door it’s almost it’s obviously not not as good value as a referral because you need somebody referral obviously someone’s in the context of needing a mortgage now but it’s certainly someone someone that all peace of mind that you know, yeah, if such and such as use him, then I’ll do that because he has a mortgage and he has a house.

Alex:
Yeah, exactly. And I think as I know, a lot of people don’t want to bug their friends and they Yeah, when this comes up, there aren’t normal friends. I just don’t do it too often, but there’s just that they will forget. They will forget what you did. So, gentle reminders, you can also with Facebook exclude a list of friends, if you want to as well. But yeah, don’t overdo it, don’t try and sell it. But if it’s stuff that’s interesting, like, did you know or have you heard and it is genuinely interesting, then why would that bug them?

Tom:
Yeah. And that’s and that’s where it goes into that quality content. And if you’re not, not in terms of bits in terms of actually putting that information out there on social channels, it’s easy for people to share, because people are happy to share it to their network and think, oh, that’s pretty so inoffensive. And it’s actually pretty useful. So I’m going to do that. Whereas if you just put out a post saying, oh, call me for mortgage advice, you’ll think Well, I’m not sure I want I’m not sure I want to spam my network with that was it was just running information, then it’s a really good way to do it.

Alex:
So the other thing I would say to avoid, and I hope this doesn’t happen anymore, with like, GDPR is like and we sort of touched on earlier, like, I think people like a ton of people sell data anymore, but like if anyone’s offering you a like a database for you to email out to feel like people do actually try and sell that to me all the time, actually. So they might say like, I just Don’t think that’s a great your that’s spam you know your spam whether it’s in I’m doing bunny ears whether it’s opt in data they haven’t opted in for you specifically to email them but don’t waste your time or money on on emailing people they’ve never heard of you before. is one bit of advice I’d give to anyone. Stop or not stop or not don’t.

Tom:
Yeah, absolutely it’s it’s it’s kind of the time and effort that goes into it. They don’t know who you are. It is unsolicited. I’m not really trying to get away with selling that data anymore because I think I thought it was a case of you had to consent for that exact company. Yeah. Your personal data so I have to you have to consent that exact company to talk to you not just partners have to Yeah, no, I yeah, I’d say I agree with you, then I wouldn’t I wouldn’t go near that.

Alex:
Is there anything else that you would definitely avoid? Or definitely do? Starting out very mindful budgets and things like that.

Tom:
Big one for me, I think is as we touched upon, but Google My Business came up is a really good way. Get on those maps and just keep doing it as frequently as you can. It’s a great way So push yourself right to the top of rankings are relevant search terms, our mortgage broker mortgage advice financial advisor at gate costs you nothing to do and just puts in the time.

Alex:
And it’s not a lot of time either.

Tom:
Yes, that’s right.

Alex:
When the quick genuinely one of the quickest wins and no one no one bothers doing it, like so do it. I know some people that are like in very busy cities that I absolutely live off the inquiries that they get off. Yeah, of those because they’re there, you know. So even if it accounts for 10%, or gives you an extra deal a month or or whatever, it’s, it’s worth the small. It’s an app. And there’s a process that you can do weekly that will take you 30 seconds to a minute.

Tom:
Early does I think I’d put something out. Yeah, even more more frequently than that. If you can just yeah, just just google on Google. My business is a great way because he talks about things like the remarketing. Yeah, obviously the website is important, but you need a bit of resource to sort of have a bit of money to do this. So the site builder we tried to we made that as cheap as we possibly can, I think Yeah, but in terms of Yeah, and because because we still talk about remarketing, but you use remarketing You need to remarket to to start with and so you need a bit of traffic from somewhere it’s just thinking what’s the most cost effective way of getting through it.

Alex:
So check it out it’s a so that Crash Course is in the Facebook group is a Google Maps Crash Course is part of my lead generation start course I will share the links out for those and then I will put the link in the show notes as soon as we’ve published that that is literally happening I think I’ve done it all now so I’m not stuck or still a little cheeky intro for us that is going to be published I literally just don’t have the link as we record now but that is available so if but all just join the Facebook group just ask where’s the where’s the Google Maps course because the Google Maps Crash Course sorry because that is a 10 minute video that it will be worth the 10 minutes watching it. On the percent on the website stuff we’ll monitor weather again that is in the starter course I suppose when we need to do a crash course on that really because it was as we were recording that episode. earlier. I think in all we’re just saying do a good website but what actually is What are the fundamentals of a good one?

Tom:
We sort of touched upon it very briefly in terms about into the data capture in the form stuff. So yeah, no, I think you’re right in terms of what a good website is, I suppose a little bit you almost need visuals to go with it. Is it?

Alex:
Yeah, so I’ve got to create some sort of PDF again, it is in the startup course. Yeah, I do some of that. So maybe I just need to share that to people. But yeah, hopefully we’ve covered why it’s difficult for an agency or even a freelancer to help someone starting out you kind of need to get the ball rolling yourself I think to make it to leverage someone else to come and help you think is that’s the it’s really difficult bit and it’s just time consuming thing but you know, with I think using your your personal brand on social and Google My Business and just a little bit on the website, you can get yourself in a position to start generating your own business and then when it’s not do or die in terms of your budget, you’ve got that room to kind of invest and grow then then it’s good time to start looking at a partner to help you, I think.

Tom:
Yeah, I think well, when Yeah, when you’re ready to sort out the next one, I think I think one of brokers only bid too busy to do this themselves. You have to think that then in that they’re eventually going to get to that point where the pipeline starts to move through. And that’s not making enough money from the deals that they’ve got. Maybe it’s all about getting outsourced that side of things. So they can just focus on the mortgages.

Alex:
But if you’re investing when you’re marketing, you need to pay off in the same month, I’d say you shouldn’t invest that.

Tom:
Yeah.

Alex:
As a rule.

Tom:
Yeah, there’s no guarantees. And also it does tend to take time to get going, whether that’s in terms of finding the rights or what formula is going to work because it’s different each time with different brands. And then the SEO Yeah, vary, you’re definitely not going to get any SEO benefit in that first month.

Alex:
Cool. I think we have covered off war, some advice for startups, it’s applicable for everyone. I think the rules are almost the same. And so yeah, I think that was a good one. Any final thoughts? Have we summarized it brilliantly? Yeah, that’s amazing.

Tom:
Actually, only one little additional thing I thought was in terms of actually getting on into the early as you come with reviews, what is Google reviews or saying have a free trustpilot account or something in many cases and obviously real reviews because Google and trustpilot do see through FIFA.

Alex:
And we’ve probably mentioned this on the podcast before Do not you can hire actors to do fake reviews and they are so fake. That’ll do more damage than good. But we have scheduled our whole episode on which review platform to go for and other if you do watch Joe lice, it’s got your back and if you watch that as there was a whole thing about trustpilot on there like how easy it was to set up a fake business. It was a water filtration business but it was a sieve. And it was so easy it was for me to get position one in all these categories for reviews for something that is a sieve a colander It was a colander, okay, he’s selling it and he said yeah, as I say he was kind of like how it was like, I presume people have forgotten about it. Now at the time I thought all dears you trustpilot was going to become less trustworthy, but it is a good one. Yeah, that’s going to be coming up very soon a whole and we’ve actually got input from listeners on that. And we’ve got some audio clips from listeners on. Some of the people that have been around for a while why they use trustpilot or why they use or any of the other’s company many of top my head unbiased, FIFA or whatever. So yeah, that is coming soon. So yeah, definitely get those reviews in our, for me, I like the Google ones for SEO, but I think we’ll save that conversation for another day.

Tom:
Yeah, agreed. Sounds good.

Alex:
Cool. Nice one. If you’re not in the Facebook group, join it advisors assemble or lead generation for financial services. We’re in there. Say hello. Come say hi.

Tom:
Yeah.

Alex:
See you next week.

Tom:
See you next week. See you in the group.

086 – How We’re Using Podcasts For Our Clients In Financial Services

086 - How We're Using Podcasts For Our Clients In Financial Services
086 - How We're Using Podcasts For Our Clients In Financial Services

Alex:
Hello and welcome back to the Advisors Assemble Podcast, formerly known as Lead Generation for Financial Services. So you’re in the right place if that was what you were expecting. You might be able to hear rain, slash hail, in my background. I’m not sure if it’s coming through, Tom.

Tom:
Can’t hear it, mate. But you’ll be pleased to hear blue skies over here.

Alex:
Yeah, I’m not actually. You did just say that, and that’s a bit annoying.

Tom:
Yeah. I’m [inaudible 00:00:35] 30 miles as the crow flies, so yeah, that is a bit unfortunate.

Alex:
So hopefully the wind is blowing in your direction and you can get it. We’re recording on a Friday, rather than having a nice cold beer on a Friday night outside, you can have some hail.

Tom:
Turn the heating on, yeah.

Alex:
Excellent, right. So this time around we wanted to share our strategy for using podcasts for clients. And I guess it might be worth explaining, talking about how it came about, how we started doing it, and how it’s very, very different from how we use a podcast ourself, isn’t it? Completely different.

Alex:
Because normally when you think podcast, you think it’s something that I subscribe to that I listen to every week. We’ve got, obviously, this podcast goes out weekly, people subscribe and listen in.

Alex:
And what we do is completely different, I think. Most of our clients are mortgage brokers. That’s like, not a one-off purchase, it’s maybe every couple of years, isn’t it, with your remortgage and stuff. I think most people would be thinking, “Well who’s going to subscribe to a podcast for mortgages?” And I think they’re right, that people won’t. But that’s not how we’re using it.

Alex:
So we’ll explain all that, if I’m talking any sense. How we’re using it for social media, and it’s become quite a big part of our service now, hasn’t it?

Tom:
Yeah. It’s really good for a number of reasons, from what you said. But it helps brokers do something a little bit different. That’s the thing, to whilst, say if we’re doing podcasts with a reasonable number of them, the content is different for each one. And the stuff you get out of each one, and one remortgage podcast is different to another one. It’s amazing really, how each one does different between them.

Tom:
We tend to get, it takes, what, about a 10, even if it’s a 10, 15, 20-minute conversation. We can get upwards of 10 to 20 social posts out of that, from just the snippets and little value bombs. And also the content, once we get them transcribed, the content is great for SEO, because it tends to flow quite nicely, as you would expect it to, because it’s quite conversational. And all the content is completely original. And it’s also up to date. It ticks quite a lot of boxes.

Alex:
And we found it obviously very useful during lockdown for when there’s an immediate change in circumstances. So we did quite well with people explaining what their … We did bits on the payments holidays, we did bits on what your options are if your deal is coming to an end, or if you were thinking of moving already.

Alex:
There was someone talking about, rather than going on the SVR, there was, I think it was a building society that had a no redemption penalty. And the interest rate wasn’t amazing, but it was lower than the SVR. So that was a temporary solution. The way that advisor explained it, and it wasn’t, again I think anyone that’s listened to us for a while would know that we don’t do sales pitches, or we don’t believe you should be pitching it as a sales proposition. If you educate people, show that you are actually interested in them and care about them, that they’ll make the decision to call you.

Alex:
So during lockdown really, we’ve gone into overdrive on doing these, haven’t we?

Tom:
Yeah. And as we say, the more we’ve done, the more value we’ve been able to get out of them. In terms of, like we’ve said, the content, the social stuff. It’s just a really efficient way to get that sort of information. So yeah, it’s been really, really good.

Alex:
And then I think it was 15 minutes of conversation as well, that transcription will get us … What is it coming out? It’s at least 1000 words article as well.

Tom:
Yeah, I was going to say, at least. In terms of if you were writing that, and that could easily take you at least … I know on the transcriptions we have to optimize them and whatnot, but to get 1000 words written, depending on what you’re doing, you’re talking anywhere between a few hours to half a day. And we get that in a 15, 20-minute, half an hour conversation.

Tom:
So there is a bit of work obviously that needs to go into getting it doctored. Because obviously the way we speak doesn’t necessarily naturally transfer over to the way it’s written. So whilst it can be quite conversational, there’s lots of things like erms and ands and likes, and you know what I means, stuff that’s naturally right, but just comes as part of conversation without you noticing it. There are a few changes that obviously go with it, but on the whole it’s a really efficient way to get a lot of good quality content.

Alex:
Absolutely. Much easier than starting from scratch, certainly. Like getting a blank canvas.

Tom:
Yes.

Alex:
I think there’s two ways we’ve been looking at it. If it’s part of the content plan, if we’ve identified a search term, like if somebody’s googling something, and we want to create some content, part of our SEO strategy is to create Q&A. They ask, you answer. It’s as simple as that in terms of content for SEO.

Alex:
So it’s like we’re doing, before lockdown and as part of our SEO strategy, we were fine doing the basic keyword research. Now we’re taking the opportunities to answer and create the content. Not just get one of our content writers to write an article on it, we’re getting that information from the advisor themselves.

Alex:
So it’s kind of like it’s all normally compliant, because the advisors know what they’re talking about. And then I think like you said, it’s unique for each person. We’re getting that personality across. And I think we’ve spent years trying to get advisors to do videos. And some of them are. You see people are, especially now. You’ve got your Thomas Honors. Obviously Ash was a machine when he was a mortgage broker. Loads of them doing it.

Alex:
But there was still … I think everyone’s still a bit like, you put a camera in front of someone, they behave differently to normal life. And what I’m finding doing these interviews with the advisors is that you haven’t got that apprehension, or you’re not worried so much about how you come across. They’re used to talking all time.

Alex:
So I find it pretty much every one, haven’t you found everyone, they’ve all come across really well on the podcast episodes? Whereas sometimes with the videos it’s easy … Especially I remember when I first started doing video, it was really wooden.

Tom:
Yeah, definitely. In terms of taking that visual element out of it, just totally removes so much of the fear. And a lot of the podcast, it’s almost no different to how a client call may go. If someone was to ring up a broker and ask them some questions, the broker should obviously always be able to reel off the answers seamlessly, and it would be really natural.

Tom:
And it’s exactly the same here. We’re not asking brokers any difficult questions. They are difficult questions in the sense for normal people. For mortgage brokers, they just know the answers, and they just reel it off right off the back of their hand. It’s really good from that perspective. It just totally removes the fear, all of them have been good.

Tom:
And I think people are sometimes surprised at how natural they feel on a podcast. They almost forget that they are just having a conversation, as if it was with someone face to face or on a phone.

Alex:
And then from a listener’s point of view, and we’ll talk about, I think people are probably thinking, “Oh, how am I going to get my clients to go on iTunes or whatever?” These podcast episodes are embedded, just like you would embed a YouTube video. So it’s on your website.

Alex:
So on your web page you go to … The last one I did was a Help To Buy thing. In fact, you gave me the questions, because people asked those questions on Google, didn’t you? You sent me a list of five or six questions. [Visik 00:07:27] knew all the answers. And we done it in like 10 minutes.

Alex:
Then what we’ll do is create a page on their website, what you need to know about Help To Buy, or the Help To Buy, whatever it is. The podcast player is embedded on the page exactly the same way you would do a YouTube thing. So in terms of the user thing, they’re search Help To Buy. If we get that page position one for Help To Buy, they’ll click on that, land on that. And they’ve got the opportunity to read the article like they normally would. And/or listen in to the advisor answering those questions.

Alex:
And if you’re searching it, it means you’re looking into Help To Buy, so why wouldn’t you spend 10 minutes listening? And then the other benefit over a video is, I think they can listen whilst still looking through the website or doing something else. I think that’s the big key, for me. Because people listen to podcasts during the gym, or driving or whatever. They can stick that on and then open another tab and look at other stuff. And you can multi-task with audio, can’t you?

Tom:
Yeah. And I think whilst we say we don’t expect anyone to necessarily subscribe to a podcast, podcasts and audiobooks are just becoming more and more popular. So people are just getting used to doing that.

Tom:
I use myself, not that you should always take examples from your own experiences, but in terms of I listen to audiobooks. I’m not huge on the podcast side of things, but I’m used to listening to audiobooks now, and I’m used to listening to some podcasts. And if I then now see that as a medium, it doesn’t strike me as odd. I find it a more natural thing to do now.

Tom:
It’s just one of those things, that people get more and more used to it. But yeah, it is very convenient to anyone. Like you said, reading the article, sticking the headphones in and listening to article, and navigating the site, it is quite good from a usability point of view.

Alex:
And then I can’t stress it enough, it’s so much easier for a consumer, who’s never heard of your brand before. Because we do have some building societies and things like that listening to us, but the majority of the listeners are an SME or self-employed, or a solo broker or whatever. The more they get to know you as a person, and they can hear you having this conversation, your knowledgeable, you know what you’re talking about, the barrier to making that phone call, or wanting that phone call, is vastly reduced.

Alex:
Because they’ve built a bit of trust, a bit of rapport, by listening in to you for 10 minutes, helping you helping them out on what they need to know. And then when they’re ready, they’re more likely to just either ask the question, if there’s a form on that page. Or if it’s a few days later or a couple of weeks later, they’re more likely to remember you, because they’ve listened to you, than just all these stock-image-heavy websites that they go across.

Tom:
Yeah, it’s a huge credibility piece with it, isn’t it? In terms of that’s why we do a lot of the question and answer site, so people can feel comfortable if you have a question. Or sorry, if a customer has a question, that you are going to be able to answer it. And then in terms of when you think that complements it with any review stuff you do, if you do the Google reviews or the TrustPilot and everything else like that.

Tom:
It all forms part of that trust and credibility that we need to build. I mean I remember we started talking about it ages and ages ago. In terms of start building that trust before they’ve picked up the phone. And this just totally complements it. To a point it actually becomes a really big part of it. They know you, they know who you are on the phone.

Tom:
And I think you’ve probably seen it, Alex, a bit from your own podcast. Conversations that you have when people ring us about whether they want to chat through what they can do with us, or just asking for advice. It’s a much warmer conversation. People have a much better idea of what we do, what we’re about. They know what to expect on the call.

Tom:
And it’s such a better conversation to have, rather than someone just stumbling around a bit, not really sure what to ask. It’s just a much better conversation on both ends. As the user, who’s also the potential customer, is already half-armed with the information anyway. It’s actually the point where they actually know what questions to ask. Rather than coming in and saying, “Well, I don’t really know what I’m doing.” They’re armed with a little bit more knowledge. It just produces a much better initial conversation with a potential customer.

Alex:
Million percent for us. When we were working together where we first met, you hired me as a contractor. I didn’t have any staff, I was self-employed. And I was in fact, I got the contract from you because I applied for, you had a job out.

Tom:
Yeah, that’s right.

Alex:
And I applied for the job by saying, “I can’t come in full-time, but I’m …” This was how I got clients at the time. It’s like I was waiting for jobs, my pitch was, “I’ve got this experience.” Because at that point I had over 10 years experience. So you can get me for one day or two days a week for less than someone full-time, I’ll get a lot more done, it will be much easier.

Alex:
Because I didn’t know how to get clients myself, because I was doing the same thing. I had the Lead Engine brand. And I think at one point I had an illustration done of me. Someone even had my photo. I think I did an animated one as well, which was quite cool. But I was just getting nothing.

Alex:
And the conversations that I was having, people were like, “Can you do PPC?” And I’ll be like, “Yeah.” And I’ll quote, and they’ll be like, “Well, I’ve been quoted less. Someone else, like Dave, will do it for less.” And I had nothing other than, “Yeah, but I’ve been doing it for 10 years. How long has he been doing it?” “I don’t know, but he can do it, and he’ll do it cheaper. So I’m going to try it with him first, and then maybe I’ll …”

Alex:
I was easily forgettable. Whereas now, like you say, people know who I am from the podcast. We’ve just been giving lots of … Like we’re doing now, we’re just sharing our experiences and our knowledge. Because we specialize, we let people know our personality, things like that. So yeah, you’re absolutely right. The conversations I have are so much easier. And they already know pretty much what we do, and that we’re pretty good at it, if we do say so ourselves.

Alex:
So we’re just trying to replicate that same thing for advisors. Obviously it’s toned down. Like we’ve had people listening to podcasts for a year. And then they’d ring up and say, “I’ve been listening for a year.” Whereas with the mortgage ones they’ll search, listen and inquire. So they’ve listened a bit, so it’s slightly toned down.

Alex:
But they still get just as strong, I think. They’re searching for that specific thing, and that specific moment. You’ve proved to them, you’ve earned the right to the conversation, because you’ve proved to them that you’ve got the knowledge and you can answer the questions they’ve got.

Alex:
And I think that’s what a lot of websites at the minute just don’t do. They just say, “Look, we can help you remortgage, we can do your protection.” I don’t think enough websites earn the right to have the conversation.

Tom:
Yeah, that’s right. And yeah, interesting you saying how it works for us, and it’s different. In terms of when you think about what we do, ours is sort of in a way providing essentially marketing advice on the podcast. Business and marketing advice.

Tom:
So it’s really case of, people are always going to want, or want to do more marketing, or understand how to do more leads. That’s going to be an ongoing basis. Whereas in terms of needing or wanting a mortgage, that is probably once every two to five years. And that’s almost the difference.

Tom:
That’s why ours is positioned slightly differently. Oh, you’ll be pleased to hear it’s hailing over here now.

Alex:
Brilliant. Yes! And it’s stopped here now.

Tom:
Yeah. Positioned slightly differently in terms of that’s why ours is slightly different, in terms of trying to get those subscribers. There is more of a value to us in having those subscribers listening almost week in, week out, which is very different to how the brokers potentially do it for their podcast.

Tom:
Because it’s just a certain period of time, or a certain moment in time. Every two to five years, or whatever it is. So ours is positioned slightly differently from an objective point of view.

Alex:
I think it works, like the easiest way to generate a lead using a podcast is following that SEO model, or using Google Ads. So finding what people search for. They think of it as Q&A. They’re searching for a question, essentially. Whether the question be “mortgage broker London,” or whether that be, “Can I get a mortgage if I’ve got CCJ?”

Alex:
If on that page they can find the answer to it and build some trust and rapport with you, why wouldn’t they? If you’ve come across as a knowledgeable, friendly advisor, rather than a salesperson, why wouldn’t they speak to you over anyone else?

Alex:
But then for social media you can use that same content, repurpose it, to not build that following, but the more consistent you are getting content out there, you are likely to pick some up as well. But for me it’s getting people on search and ads, really, is the big one.

Tom:
Yeah, definitely. But I know we have touched on it, but in terms of using that podcast, in terms of that content for social. For us, in terms of the people we work with, it helps us to get them in the right frame of mind.

Tom:
In the sense that, one of the things we often get asked, and it’s probably my least favorite question, is how many times should we post on social media? And the answer is, as frequently as you can produce good quality content. It’s important to remember things like email and Facebook, they are just channels. I say “just,” they’re powerful. But they are channels, they are tools. What really matters is what you’re putting out there.

Tom:
It’s almost the equivalent of saying, “There’s a billboard over there, I’m going to put something on it.” Why are you doing that? Or what are you putting on, is it valuable? Do you know what I mean?

Alex:
Yeah.

Tom:
And it’s remembering that the key to all of this, podcasts, and then feeding out to the social and then obviously a big part of the SEO, is the content plan. It’s thinking about what are you talking about, what are people searching for, what are their problems that they need answering.

Tom:
And have that start, that’s the base, and then it filters out over everything else. The SEO content that goes on the website, podcasts, and everything else like that. But yeah, the podcast is a great way for us to get a lot of good quality social posts out there in a reasonable amount of time.

Alex:
Absolutely. And then you can bring this all the way back. This is probably one of the reasons why people go on about niching a lot. Because then it makes it really easy to identify who your client is. People call it an avatar, I’m doing bunny ears.

Alex:
Because then when you know exactly who your client is, you know exactly what problems they have, you can tailor those answers. That is exactly why we do lead generation for financial services, rather than lead generation for everyone.

Alex:
And because I think we have got less competition now than we would do if we did it for everyone. Because we work with, all of or clients are in that space, we get to know them. So it’s easier for us to create this content, because we’ve tailored it.

Alex:
Again, it’s the same thing. I was just speaking to Omar, who was on the podcast a few weeks ago, he has specialized in helping people with adverse credit, bad credit, credit issues. He knows exactly who his consumer is, so it’s really easy for him to create content.

Alex:
I suppose, hopefully that provides a bit of context on why people say you should find your niche. Because it just makes it easier. And then you could start, and someone said to me, go out hunting with a spear, but your website can still be a net. You don’t have to do what David Sharp has done, he’s got CISmortgage.co.uk. You don’t necessarily have to do that.

Alex:
But when you go hunting, when you’re creating content, try not to make it for anyone and everyone. I think it’s less powerful, less people will listen. So it’s kind of like by trying to catch more, you catch less I think.

Tom:
Yeah. We like it from an SEO point of view in terms of it is a case of fighting battles that you’re going to win. Or more likely to win, should I say. You think about a niche maybe that gets 5000 Google searches a month. If you can get 10% of that traffic, if you can rank well for it, get 10% of that traffic, 10% of 5000 is better than 0% of a million, if you were trying to do a general remortgage. Because chances are you aren’t going to rank for that.

Tom:
So yeah, we certainly like it from an overall digital marketing point of view. Whether that’s SEO, or from a branding point of view. It’s easier to brand yourself as a specialist in a certain area. And it does, again talking about websites and digital marketing, it does improve website conversion rates. Those websites that we work with that are a specialist brand for specialist keywords, unsurprisingly turn visitors into leads more efficiently than more general websites.

Alex:
I still think people struggle with that. I can’t remember how much I struggled with it in the beginning. You’re hesitant to close off customers, aren’t you? But the funny thing is, we picked up a cricket manufacturer after officially we only work with lead generation for financial services.

Alex:
Because people will say, “Can you do what you do for me in my business?” Because we met in the canteen at the business center. Your black book aren’t going to be like, “Oh, he doesn’t do remortgages for me anymore.” I don’t think you will.

Alex:
And you can always communicate to your existing client. If you were anything and everything and you’ve got a black book of people that you’ve done anything and everything for, you can still communicate with them differently, on email. I’ve rebranded the Japanese knotweed mortgage expert, but just so you know, I’m still going to look after you, et cetera. You can put that email out there, can’t you?

Tom:
Yeah, that’s right. And this comes down to a bit in terms of understanding the size of your niche. I know we talk about this a lot, but it’s the size of the niche. For us, we could essentially do what we do over any industry, but we like financial services because it’s what we have the most experience in, before deciding to niche into it anyway.

Tom:
And then we think, yeah, the potential customers we could work with are probably the size of the businesses and have the potential for income from what we do to make it good for everybody. Whereas if you thought, okay, there are other niches. Let’s say, off the top of my head, horse box manufacturers, that niche is too small for us, most likely.

Alex:
I love that niche. That reminds me of Cover My Wheels.

Tom:
That’s exactly why I said it. A niche which was too small, because we did have to try. So I can tell you now, from a digital marketing perspective, it is too small. And it is a case of that’s why we like looking at search volumes. Because it lets us know what people search for, in terms of various niches. Or certainly perceived niches, where people think they might be ripe for a specialized product. That specialized product may not exist, but it doesn’t stop people searching for it anyway.

Alex:
I think we’re slightly veering away from the topic of the podcast, but it’s all good stuff. And to be honest, a lot of these things, podcast is just a form of content. So one thing I wanted to pick up, there’s a guy, I’ve forgotten his name. But he created, it was one of the most popular articles on Quora.

Tom:
Yeah.

Alex:
Or something. And the article, it was quite a short one, it said best practice should be called average practice. And his point was that, like you said, when people look at the best practice of how many times should I post a day, and people say seven on Twitter, it’s the content that’s important.

Alex:
Like I post on LinkedIn at most once a week. But then, I don’t want to sound arrogant, Tom, but I get quite a few likes and stuff. But I see other people hammering stuff out daily, and they don’t. So for me it was more impactful to get one out and get X amount of likes, rather than tumbleweed on sending out seven.

Alex:
Because I think people should spend more time focusing on what they’re going to create, what they’re going to say, rather than all the, I’m doing bunny ears again, “best practices.”

Tom:
Yeah, you’re right. But best practices is just what everyone else is doing.

Alex:
Average practices, we’re going to call from now on. So what kind of reaction, we’ve had some decent … I know in our proposal we’ve got a case study of one of the early podcasts we did where it went out, I think it was talking about the remortgage options for the COVID stuff.

Tom:
Yeah.

Alex:
And I think on average, I’m pulling these numbers off the top of my head, I think on average they were getting interaction rates of 4% or something like that.

Tom:
Yeah.

Alex:
In terms of likes, shares, comments, whatever. And then I think that particular one got a 17% interaction rate.

Tom:
Yeah, that’s exactly it. Sorry, 17% up from 4%. 4% was the average over all of their content stuff. But that COVID remortgaging podcast, it was very current, very topical. The topic of the content was, as we say, very relevant, so that helps.

Tom:
And then yeah, in terms of the medium of the podcast. And obviously you can put stickers of podcasts in social posts. But basically you would click on the post and it would take you to the page where the podcast was. And it was as simple as that. So the actual construction of the post wasn’t really much different from other posts we’ve done. We’re just saying that this content is in a podcast.

Tom:
Had we said, we’ve done a guide, or we’ve written an article, not that we’d obviously word it that way on the post, but in terms of saying we’ve driven … Or put the post out with a link to just the content, without mentioning the podcast, we probably would have had engagement rates of maybe just slightly more than 4%. But it wouldn’t have been anywhere near the 17% we did see.

Tom:
And it’s almost like it feels like it’s because the podcast almost makes it better quality content also. Because people feel like it’s more well invested. You know, people think, “Oh right, a lot of effort’s gone into that, it’ll be good.”

Tom:
And also the podcast, we know how to do it, but a lot of people perhaps wouldn’t. So it feels like it’s quite a technical thing to do. Just the overall engagement rate on the podcast posts do tend to be a lot better.

Tom:
And on emails as well. My open rates on emails are really good. The thing that people are always guilty of on email marketing is just trying to sell in an inbox. I’m not sure anyone has ever bought anything from an email. But they do buy them from websites. Whether that’s clothes or anything, or mortgage advice.

Alex:
Certainly from a stranger.

Tom:
Yes, that’s right. Certainly from a stranger. In terms of it’s all a case of you’ve got to drive them back to the website. And doing that, putting it out as content, the same we do with social posts. Not selling in the inbox, put them to the website, and then if they turn into leads on the website, then great.

Tom:
Which we see they actually quite often do when we put podcast content out there, because the podcast drives them onto the website. The click rate is higher, the open rate is higher. And even if the conversion rate may be slightly lower than some of the other sales emails. And the output of leads is greater, because the funnel is bigger. More opens, more clicks. Maybe a lower conversion rate to lead, but the output’s always far, far higher.

Alex:
The benefits of getting more people to the website as well. So let’s say we’ve got 17% of people that’s seen it have either liked it or, can’t remember what the actual click-through rates were, but let’s say we’re getting more clicks to the website. That means we can get more people in our remarketing audience, and we can readvertise to them very, very cheaply on things like Facebook, on LinkedIn.

Alex:
So that’s why I love one thing Chris Tucker said as well. [inaudible 00:25:18] One guy was asking me on one of those webinars, I don’t want a website, I want to use my LinkedIn profile, and I don’t like this idea of building on rented ground. You own the website. Anyone going there, you can create those audiences and you own them.

Alex:
And he wanted us to do SEO stuff for his LinkedIn profile. With things like Tik Tok emerging, I said to him, “What happens if there’s like a Tinder for business?” Like someone makes an app that really simplifies LinkedIn, a bit like Instagram did to Facebook. It just took one element of Facebook, the images, and made an app out of it. WhatsApp took one element of Facebook and created WhatsApp. Although Facebook’s still around, what happens if someone creates a better LinkedIn and that comes out next week, and you’ve invested a load of time in SEO?

Alex:
So again, I’m steering away from the point. But if we get more people to our website, then there’s more things we can do. I think remarketing is such a strong way of keeping in contact. Yes, you are paying, but it is not a lot. I think we’ve talked about this before. The majority of people that listen to our podcast I would say only need to spend 30 to 60, less than £100 a month on remarketing, that the return on investment I think is pretty good.

Tom:
With remarketing it’s one of those, particularly we find it does, because the lead time between someone first seeing our website, listening to our podcast, and actually potentially becoming a client, can be months. If not longer.

Tom:
We’ve had some that say, “Oh yeah, I’ve been following what you’re doing for a year and a half or something.” And you think, wow, that’s a long lead time from start to finish. And with mortgages, it could be a similar sort of thing. Maybe not quite as long. Particularly if somebody’s in the market, or their deal is ending, they’ve got six months.

Tom:
That’s six months, potentially, from them getting their letter from the banks saying your deal’s up, to them actually needing to think, “Right, this needs to be sorted by then.” That’s a long time to be able to capture them within that six months timeframe. And that’s a lot of content you can get in front of them within that timeframe.

Tom:
And yeah, you just almost need to, with remarketing from that point of view, just trust the process. And it does come quite good. It’s not one where you look at it after a week and think … Even if you’re remarketing on low budget, one to two, £3 a day. And looking at it after a month and saying, “Oh, I’ve had nothing from that, so I’m going to stop.”

Tom:
I sort of recommend almost treating it as a bit like a discretionary budget. You just almost need to trust it for about two, three, four, five, six months. On a really low budget, because it will pay for itself.

Tom:
And the other thing, again we’re going way off topic here, but then it’s understanding the touchpoints people have with your brand before becoming a lead. It’s reading the podcast, going away, maybe seeing remarketing, going away. And then almost searching for you and then ringing. There’s a lot. You may have no idea that they’ve listened to the podcast before.

Tom:
I know some people ask where did you hear about us, but sometimes you don’t always get that honest an answer, you just say, “Oh yeah, I found you on Google.” Which is true, because that was the most recent way that they found you. It was actually maybe from a podcast that you did, or some remarketing that you’ve been doing for the past six months.

Tom:
It’s understanding that it’s … What do we call it? The not going on the last click mentality. In terms of don’t worry so much about the last click, but how have they engaged with your brand over the period of however many months. And it’s how best to track that. And it’s not easy.

Alex:
Absolutely. And then just thinking about, right at the beginning we said there’s about 12 posts that can be created off one 15-minute podcast episode. I think the one thing that’s annoying about remarketing is having the same ad over and over again. This gives you that variety. Just one.

Alex:
So if you were to do one a month, in month two you’ve got almost 30 different posts, 30 different adverts if you like, promoting your content, to get them back. And it just gives you so much content from that short amount of time.

Alex:
So I think if anyone’s struggling to write articles. I haven’t published my book yet, and I do need to revise it for the current climate we live in. But I wrote that by just talking into Otter, the app, for an hour, half an hour a day, over a month.

Alex:
So the biggest thing I think is just the sheer volume of content, the quality of content that you get out of it. Because it is you and your personality. I think if I try to write something, like an email, I’m a dull writer. But when I edit what I’ve talked about it, and I’m really invested in it, I think it just comes out a lot better.

Alex:
And then all the different ways that I can use that content, I think that’s why we … Although we don’t do half of that for our podcast. I’ve barely had to … I think I’ve made a couple of social media posts out of the other one. But if we really needed it, if we really needed clients, and really needed to ramp it up, run some ads, we’ve got so much content that we can use.

Alex:
But for our clients, the amount we’re creating now, I’m just interviewing them once a month. It’s just giving you and the team much more ammo to market their business with, isn’t it?

Tom:
Oh, 100%. That’s the thing, one podcast a month almost gives us a full month worth of social posts. Say if we get 15 posts out of one article. I know we don’t say how many posts would you do a day, but in terms of 15, that essentially gives you the ability to do one every other day. Which for most people, they think that’s quite good. If they are worried about how many posts there are going to be.

Tom:
Like you say, just automatically going to that remarketing funnel, is really, really good.

Alex:
I didn’t think we were going to be able to talk for 40 minutes about podcasts, Tom.

Tom:
And we didn’t.

Alex:
I definitely think we could fill three more minutes worth. I was talking to someone just before about the whole Google Ads thing. Like if someone searched for Japanese knotweed mortgages.

Tom:
Your favorite.

Alex:
Which is my total favorite. So we got the content, and then they’ve searched that. They’ve obviously had … Not obviously, we don’t know this because we’ve not actually tried it. But we assume they’ve been declined for the knotweed.

Alex:
And then you’ve got a whole 15 minute, or 10 minute … Like they’re in dire straits. They’ve gone through the whole process, it’s fallen through, they’re searching that because they need to get a mortgage, because they’ve been declined, or whatever it is.

Alex:
And then you’re saying, “Well actually, there are these building societies that will look at it, depending on the grade of the knotweed.” Why wouldn’t they ring, do you know what I mean? I think it’s more powerful than you just putting that in bullet points, is the point I’m trying to make.

Tom:
It’s an interesting one with the podcasts, in terms of Google Ads. Because it depends how conversion-focused, or what we probably call in terms of what’s the intent of the search. And typically, keywords with a high conversion intent, like I don’t know if someone was just to bid on the term “apply for a mortgage,” the click cost of that will be pretty high.

Tom:
Whereas you have some, and a lot of first-time buyer ones are like this. A lot of first-time buyer keywords are dirt cheap.

Alex:
Like how much is stamp duty or something.

Tom:
Absolutely. Those kind of keywords are absolutely dirt cheap. The reason is because they don’t convert very well, because it’s for people just looking for information. However, if you think that is cheap, but you can get that kind of traffic to your website.

Tom:
Great example, if you did a podcast on something about stamp duty, so you’ve got those in as an entrant. They listen to the podcast because they’re looking for the information. And they’re probably not going to convert into a lead, but you know there’s somebody in the market there, or at various points in the house-buying process, when they might be quite early on.

Tom:
But then you get them into the remarketing list. Say if they are a house purchaser, they may be ready to buy a house in three, four, five months. You think, “Okay, so I’m paying less than a pound a click to get them into that remarking list. They listen to the podcast, and then I’m paying a pound a day to keep in front of this person until they’re ready to actually buy the house.”

Tom:
It actually could be a really profitable way, even though it’s a bit more long-term, to use Google Ads. We typically use them in terms of trying to drive the conversions straight off.

Alex:
But you could do both.

Tom:
Absolutely.

Alex:
You can do. Absolutely do both. And perfect example of the quality leads triangle that you came up with. With quality at the top, time on one side, time and cost as the other points of the triangle. Like you can only have two.

Alex:
And then that’s a perfect example of using … But you don’t have to use the same two all the time. If you think of them as campaigns, I’ve got one campaign that’s a slow burn, much lower cost. But I do need some leads now, I can go …

Alex:
And then get yourself to a point where all you’re doing is the low-cost stuff, because you’re getting those in. It’s like a snowball effect. And then we’ve got clients that are just spending nothing now. They’ve got really high volumes of leads coming in, because they started off using ads, and they’ve got to a point now where there’s enough organic traffic where they’ve got more than enough what they need. They don’t need to spend the ads on. So they’ve used both together, and then merged into the slower one.

Alex:
We’ve gone over 40 minutes now, Tom. I thought that was pretty good.

Tom:
Yeah, nicely done.

Alex:
Pretty good value right at the end there, without the need to pad. Hopefully we’ve covered that whole strategy of why we do it. We don’t even put them on iTunes do we, the client ones?

Tom:
No, we just almost have a central Mortgage and Protection podcast that we almost give out to them. It’s their podcast. They’ll obviously say, if for example they want to do something else, then it’s theirs. It wouldn’t go off the site or anything like that.

Tom:
But yeah, it goes through, a nice central podcast. And I think there is actually a bit of a value in almost … So it is John Smith from John Smith Mortgages is on the Mortgage and Protection Podcast. It adds a bit of clout and a bit of credibility. In terms of they’ve been invited onto an external podcast. It sort of gives them another little bit of credibility.

Tom:
But yeah, I think we’ve covered it off. I know we did digress in the content side of things, but that is important.

Alex:
It is content, yeah.

Tom:
It is really important that you do do that content research piece first. Otherwise you fall into the trap of just putting something on the billboard. Or just putting something on Facebook. And it’s the same with the podcast. You just end up talking about something that perhaps isn’t really that interesting or relevant. But you just feel like you should do it, because it’s there to be done.

Tom:
So take the time, do the keyword research, understand what people are searching for, what their problems are. So the podcast is a really powerful mechanism of turning your knowledge into content. And then that content into social posts, or stuff for ads, or SEO.

Tom:
It’s really, really good. Think of the podcast as a mechanism, and a vehicle for getting from A to B. Rather than just thinking I’ve done a podcast, and that’s it.

Alex:
Talking about vehicles, nice little segue into what I was going to say. You’ve got car finance on one end of the his spectrum, and pension investment advice on the other, wealth management.

Tom:
Yeah.

Alex:
I think if we had a car finance client that was interested, we’d still do it, so we could create the content for email. We know that value-driven content works really well on email for that. But I don’t think they need it as much in terms of the building the rapport side of things.

Alex:
Whereas I think on the other side, we’re doing a lot more now with pension investments. That is all about building that, earning the right. You’ve got to really earn the right more. And I think mortgages and protection probably sit in the middle. But maybe there’s a smaller gap between mortgage, protection and wealth, than there is car finance. If that makes sense.

Tom:
Yeah, definitely. Car finance is very transactional, isn’t it? Where with mortgages … And even then with mortgages. In terms of what we like about the advice piece is that in terms of giving out that podcast and that advice like that, it encourages people that need advice. There’s only so much value, we think, to mortgage brokers getting people that are just chasing for a rate.

Tom:
If they just want the rate and that’s all they’re interested in, they’re not interested in advice, then they’re probably just going to go on Compare The Market anyway. Whereas the people that actually need the advice, that need, “I’m looking to put my mortgage, I’m not sure what I want to do. I want a bit of a 10, 15-year plan into my mortgage, and beyond,” or whatever. They’re the real value ones.

Tom:
And that’s where giving that advice up front encourages people that are actually looking for advice, rather than just rate chasers, or tire kickers, should we say. Again, another vehicle pun.

Alex:
So I’m going to put the brakes on now, Tom.

Tom:
How do I get off this?

Alex:
I’m going to pull the handbrake out. I’m going to put my hazards on and say, thanks everyone for listening. If you’ve got any questions, if you want us to cover off anything on the podcast, if you’ve got any specific questions about this particular episode that didn’t make any sense, best place to find us is in our Facebook group. You’ll most likely find it on Lead Generation and Financial Services. Or you can search of Advisors Assemble.

Alex:
We’re both on the LinkedIn. Just give us a shout, we’ve got a really nice community in there, we do the virtual coffee thing. Tom, you joined it this week, didn’t you?

Tom:
Yeah. I’m on hand to answer any questions that may arise.

Alex:
Yeah. But normally in there they chat amongst themselves.

Tom:
Yeah, that’s good. It is good. Yeah, it’s a good friendly group, isn’t it really that?

Alex:
Yeah.

Tom:
And I do enjoy it. And you learn a lot.

Alex:
Yeah.

Tom:
It’s great for us in terms of finding [crosstalk 00:37:33]-

Alex:
That’s exactly what I was thinking.

Tom:
Like ear to the ground. Because we read things. We get the email bullets from Mortgage Strategy and things like that, and also we talk to brokers. But actually it’s almost like listening in on brokers speaking amongst themselves. Their either opportunities or concerns for the future. Particularly with what’s going on.

Tom:
Really, really interesting. Dispelled a few myths that I was thinking. Some of their concerns I was thinking, “Oh wow, I didn’t really think about that.”

Alex:
I genuinely left that. Because they were asking me about some lead gens. But I got on to the point where I was saying, I don’t want people to be able to just ring me straight away. I was like, I’m too busy. And then I got off that call thinking, they must think, “Why has he just spent an hour with us if he’s so precious about his time?”

Alex:
But I was like, I took so much from that thing. So things that I knew, one of the guys was struggling. Like none of them were using automation for follow-ups on first-time buyers. They were like, “Oh, I should keep in contact.” I know one of them was using an app, but that was just reminding them to contact, rather than actually doing it.

Alex:
So in my head for our website builder thing, the Advisors Assemble, if I built an automation that was really easy to help them do that, that was a product that is a need. So I was like, they probably don’t know how selfish I’m being by giving that hour up a week.

Alex:
And just hearing about their thoughts on the loan-to-values and things like that. Not that we just set that up just for us to learn. We do chat nonsense and give a load of advice as well. I think we get as much out of it as everyone else, I think is the point I’m trying to make.

Tom:
Yeah, it was originally set up in terms of when lockdown started.

Alex:
Yeah.

Tom:
So people could have a bit of a conversation that they [crosstalk 00:39:12].

Alex:
Exactly. It’s kind of like now we just talk about … It’s like catching up with our mates now, isn’t it?

Tom:
Yeah.

Alex:
And there are some really nice people. And everyone actually genuinely wants to help each other. The amount of times that, I think there was someone coming on saying, “I’m not sure I to do video.” And everyone clubbed together. Although technically competitors, wanted to provide solutions.

Alex:
And then there’s some people that are really experienced, so they’ll say, “Speak to so-and-so. Or let’s find out from so-and-so, because they’ve been doing it for longer, what do you think?” And they talk about all sorts of stuff. Stuff that we can’t help with, that we don’t get involved in, the sales process. We’re marketers, it’s all the front-end stuff.

Alex:
So yeah, there’s a nice little advert for our Facebook group and [inaudible 00:39:53]. So hopefully we’ll see some people next week.

Tom:
Yeah, looking forward to it.

Alex:
Awesome, right. Speak to you soon everyone. Bye bye.

Tom:
Bye guys.

085 – Data Capture Options On Your Website – Forms, Chatbots, TypeForms, Full Applications

085 - Data Capture Options On Your Website - Forms, Chatbots, TypeForms, Full Applications
085 - Data Capture Options On Your Website - Forms, Chatbots, TypeForms, Full Applications

Transcription

Alex Curtis:
Welcome back to the Advisers Assemble podcast, formerly known as Lead Generation Financial Services. I’m with Mr. Maplethorpe. Tom, how’s it going?

Tom Maplethorpe:
Afternoon, mate. Yeah, not bad, not bad. How are you?

Alex Curtis:
Good. I’m all right. Haven’t put you off-guard, getting the name wrong or anything you sort of still in the zone?

Tom Maplethorpe:
No, I’m still getting my stride. Yeah, don’t worry about that. Seamless.

Alex Curtis:
Yeah, no, definitely. Definitely, as per usual. We want to talk about data capture on websites. What are the options, what we’ve learned and found and know about sort of capturing data in different ways. I think for me is, with a lot of these podcast things, there’s not a straight answer, because if you take one example where someone is… They’ve got a website, they’ve got a specialism, let’s say it’s Japanese knotweed mortgages, because it’s my favorite niche. They have got videos talking about what all the different lenders will treat it. What you got to do, blah, blah, blah. Almost give you all the information you need to go and do it yourself, building trust and rapport, et cetera. And they do it in a non salesy way.

Alex Curtis:
Then I don’t think it matters as much how that person asks for the inquiry than someone that is a whole of market, hides behind stock and a logo, doesn’t put the names of their advisors on or anything. There’s a big difference between the other one, whereas you’d probably have to do more sort of tweaks and look out how people interact and worry a bit more about the customer journey on the latter. Would you agree with that?

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah, definitely. I think you’re right. The specialism thing, that counts for a lot. That sort of takes out… Well, when you just we’re talking about like the data capturing a lot of it comes down to like psychology and we call it CRO or Conversion Rate Optimization.

Tom Maplethorpe:
But when you think about your specialist in something, that overrides an awful lot of that psychology, if you know what I mean in terms of, because he was [inaudible 00:01:58] from a branding point of view in the mind of the user that you are the Japanese knotweed mortgage expert, why wouldn’t they get in touch with you?

Tom Maplethorpe:
But then, if you’re a bit more, you cover a lot more bases, then you do need to think of maybe a little bit more carefully about how you do or get the kind of data capture that you’re sort of looking for. And a lot of it comes down to, well, generally that we found is to just make it as easy as possible for people to get in touch.

Alex Curtis:
Absolutely. And I think it’s no, it’s kind of easy to see what we suggest because on our new website builder, all the templates, all, bar one, actually just, but we’ve only put that in there just because of a different option rather than a recommendation, but the three main templates and pretty much the three that people are using, the form is on the top right-hand side, underneath the menu in, we call it like that hero space on every single page.

Alex Curtis:
And we don’t put a title at the top. We don’t say, “Call. Arrange of callback,” or anything. It’s that’s kind of left open and we ask for name, email, phone number, message, submit. And we kind of leave it at that. I guess, that’s what we recommend if we don’t know the backstory of your specialism or whatever. We found that to be quite a good one. People sort of unpack their problem in that sort of message box, don’t they?

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah. We’ve tried so much stuff with it. I know we’ll, I’m sure we’re going to talk about landbots in a bit, but or chatbots in a bit. But yeah, we’ve done multi-stage forms, some of the capture details that go along, some that don’t because this will be the theory that in terms of okay, if you capture more of the information, is it a better quality lead that comes through? But then, chances are, you might not get as many through because there’s more steps to follow, but then where are they going to be a good lead, anyway, if they’re not really that…? There’s so many kinds of permutations [crosstalk 00:03:34].

Alex Curtis:
Yeah, because they could be desperate. Like you could be the last, how you’re my last hope, so I’ll fill in whatever you want. But it’s a rubbish lead because I’ve been declined by every single other broker, every single lender.

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah. On the other side of it, as well. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. It’s kind of, we find it just generally works and then it just go back to like we said it. It did just become a bit of a numbers game. The longer that your, say your form, for example, it is, the less likely, the less number of people will fill it out. And then, if you’re not getting loads of traffic to your website, you can’t really afford to have a low conversion rate. If you’re getting loads of traffic, then you can still say, “Oh, okay, well I can afford to have a more complex form to get better quality leads, even if it converts or one or 2% less because I’m not doing as much like work on the other side. And once the lead drops in.

Tom Maplethorpe:
But if you’re not getting much traffic, it’s almost 1% or 2% conversion rate of a 100% isn’t sort of amazing, depending on what your, that’s obviously depending on your timeframe.

Alex Curtis:
I was going to say, as well, it depends how many advisors you’ve got, as well. Because if you’re just like a one person outfit, you’ll want all the inquiries coming to you. Whereas, you might want to filter some inquiries because you don’t want a manual process. Like, you want to be able to then to tick remortgaged buy-to-let, whatever, so it filters off to that particular advisor or that admin or that person that would call them back, as well.

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah.

Alex Curtis:
There’s all sorts of things to think about.

Tom Maplethorpe:
Should we talk about then, the different options that we’ve got?

Alex Curtis:
Yeah.

Tom Maplethorpe:
And then, the kind of main ones. You’ve got, like your standard you box standard form, which we find works very well. And then, you’ve got your chatbot, you’ve got chatbots like these landbots. In fact, on our own website, we use landbot type forms, as well.

Alex Curtis:
A bit like, is it Trussle that use a sort of type forms sort of thing. Or is it Habito? Hard to explain what a type form is. I’m just trying to think without the visual aids.

Tom Maplethorpe:
A type form is essentially a form that once you’ve completed one of the questions, it then disappears and shows another one. The first one will be your name, you write your name, then that disappears. Then it sort of like scrolls down to the next on and what you’re looking to do. Whereas, it’s quite similar to a chatbot, where the chatbot is a bit more, it shows in more of like a conversational output, if that makes sense.

Tom Maplethorpe:
You can see the questions or when it comes to the question and then the answers are sort of an answer and it’s almost typed as if you were doing like a sort of like a text conversation. I think Trussle at the minute have gotten like a sort of a type form situation. If anyone’s sort of listening at the time.

Alex Curtis:
But like, I know and we’re going off topic, but it really annoys me when people just want to copy what Trussle or Habito are doing. When that person is a one person, solo broker and they want to copy what a company does, who’s got like hundreds of advisors. It just, it’s not the same business model. It’s like, don’t just copy Trussle or Habito just because they’ve got lots of money and they must be working out. It’s a completely different strategy. [crosstalk 00:06:23].

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah, and the important thing to remember is like you said, they have a lot of money. A lot of there where you’ll be getting a lot of good quality traffic. The good quality traffic they put through their lead capture mechanism. You don’t know, but it may not convert as well as it would say, if you just had a basic form, arguably, but then that’s not how their model works. They want to capture the information that will be resourced to deal with that based on the amount they spend, if you know what I mean. It’s so slightly, but yeah, it’s not the same. It’s not comparing apples with apples because they’ll be getting huge amounts of great quality traffic.

Tom Maplethorpe:
But even if that sort of that type form doesn’t convert as highly as maybe other forms, other kind of more simple forms would, they get the level of information they need for it to be profitable, you would imagine. Whereas, if chances are the vast majority of other brokers won’t be spending that kind of money, won’t be seeing that amount of traffic. They need to get a higher conversion rates from their website to make more of it. And that’s where a simple form is probably more appropriate.

Alex Curtis:
And then, the other thing we probably want to, there is those options of is it like Mortgage Brain, that Twenty7Tec, they’ve got like rates tables with an inquiry now, which essentially would be a form, sorry, a rates table in front of a form, which is another way of going it. I think I’ve made, well, you were on my… I sound like I’m old-fashioned, you were on my webinar this morning. I don’t know if you saw, but I was talking about this. How I don’t like rates-

Tom Maplethorpe:
On the YouTube.

Alex Curtis:
Yeah, so I’m not a fan of rates before form. I think, well, I mean, if anyone’s not seeing that presentation, it’s in the Facebook group, I asked the advisors, “What’s the most important part of their job?” It is the advice, not the access to the products, so why are we trying to advertise the access to the products, ie., having rates before? For me, rates is secondary. It’s we want to sell the advice. It would come back then to if you sell the advice well, that form with the little message box, if you can get them to a point where they’ve decided they know that you can help them. You’ve got the knowledge, you’ve got the expertise you come across in a way where you want to put my situation before yours, I can tell you what to help me.

Alex Curtis:
Oh, I just want to tell you what the problem is on the form and then expect the call back and all good. Especially, coming back to, I suppose, the original point that I made. I’m not fond of rates tables, Tom, do you? Are you?

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah, no, I’d agree. I would just say people are looking for like, in terms of even on the search, for things like mortgage rates, they’re not, like you said, they’re not actually looking for the advice. Then they immediately become a tough sell as soon as they land on your webpage. Because they’re not looking for advice. The chances of them turning into a lead are probably going to be minuscule because all they’re looking for is the rate.

Tom Maplethorpe:
And if they want a rate, they can find that on sort of comparison sites, do it that way, go straight through to the lender and that’s fine. But the real value in a mortgage broker and a mortgage advisor is sort of coming up with that kind of, that strategy of okay, what’s the right product? What’s the right product for me now? And what’s the right product for me next? And what’s sort of going to happen, what are the things going to happen in the next two to five years? And it sort of helps you sort of find what the right product is, and also thinking about product incentive.

Tom Maplethorpe:
You might have a higher rate mortgage, but it potentially has a no upfront fee. And then, that mortgage advisors can help you work out okay, what’s actually financially going to be the best for you over two or five or a six year period or whatever it is with all those things taken into account?

Tom Maplethorpe:
Whereas, if you’re just a rate shopper, you’re just looking for the lowest rate, then you’re not really open to that advice of finding that kind of like mortgage strategy, for use for a better term.

Alex Curtis:
And then you’ve got like, I suppose we did a bit with, I suppose it was more in the life insurance side. It was that whole kind of full on application online, which I don’t know if it kind of leads people, if you’d have like a massive form, like to where it kind of makes people think that they’re going to get a result at the end, rather than are they disappointed when they don’t get a rate at the end. It’s just, “Oh, we’ll call you back.”

Alex Curtis:
It’s just like, “Oh, I’ve just filled all that in just to get a call back.” Like, I think that’s another reason why to simplify that form, as well.

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah, definitely. Because I think people in a lot of ways, they’re sort of used to getting, like you say, with insurance, and it’s a great example. And also, with things like personal finance, personal loans. People are used to filling out something online and getting a result back immediately. And if they’re sort of in that sort of frame of mind with a mortgage, you think, “Oh, okay, I’m going to get a mortgage sorted at the end of this web form.” And they’re not, it’s a bit like, “Oh, well that’s not ideal.” And that’s were we try and be sort of like upfront about what’s going to happen. Because there’s no point capturing a lot of leads, trying to do dupe them in thinking they can get something else when they’re not.

Tom Maplethorpe:
Because they’re just not going to pick up the phone. And all you do is waste the money getting them in and waste the time trying to ring them when they’re not interested in a phone call. We’ve sort of think, okay, be best to be up front about it, even though not being as up front about it may get you more leads in and you may be sort of get more attractive cost per lead or whatever else. I think ultimately in the backend when to see what actually goes through and converts and how much time you spend actually working those, you’re probably better off just being upfront, seeing a high cost per lead, seeing fewer leads through, but it tends to be better quality.

Alex Curtis:
And it’s all about that. Cost per acquisition.

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah. Exactly, exactly. Cost per lead is just like a metric on the way to a number of other metrics. We also look at things like cost per click, which is when the whole is, in the grand scheme is really fairly irrelevant. It’s important to us because we need to sort of it’s one of the indicators that shows us what is, or isn’t working as part of various campaigns. But if you’re going to measure one thing, don’t do a cost per lead. Yeah, do it absolutely on cost per acquisition.

Alex Curtis:
I suppose one, if people are, so I suppose a lot of people listening will just be like, “Guys, just tell me what to put on and I’ll put it on.” But other people will want to kind of, we’ll have some marketing people that will want to sort of test different things. And I guess the most important thing is to set up in Google Analytics, a goal. You can easily see firstly where it’s coming from, but the rates at which it converts, because it can kind of tell you a lot of information that from every 10 people that go, is there one person or two people or three people, or is it six out of a 100 or whatever it is? So that you can then work out. But also, it’s not just how many leads you get.

Alex Curtis:
Again, it comes back to that cost per acquisition. Isn’t it? You want to report back as far as you can go, because what we found with the chatbots, I suppose, we were getting cheaper leads more through, but less converting to sale.

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah, absolutely. That’s where like you said, your reporting is really important because you chances are a more lengthier form, if that’s something that you wanted to do, would probably convert better on things like organic traffic and maybe some Google Pay traffic. Particularly, on organic traffic, you’d expect it to, but then it may not convert very well from Facebook traffic, for example. If you’re doing a paid Facebook campaign or even just your, what we would call organic social stuff. But then, those those metrics tell you what converts best and what doesn’t.

Tom Maplethorpe:
And then, you may want to think, okay, well, so, okay, so this page converts really well on organic and Google PPC, but not on Facebook. You may want to consider changing something else in your Facebook one. Having a shorter form or something that makes it easier for people to get in touch. Or like, I would say like the one in the box, maybe a landbot or typeform could be better in its place.

Alex Curtis:
I guess some people are thinking, why would Facebook Ad traffic behave in a different way? And I guess it’s the someone’s searching on Google, they’ve like, “Right, I’m going to solve this mortgage thing out. I need to remortgage or I’ve got this buy-to-let offer,” whatever it is. They’re in the zone. They’re doing it. They’re searching online. They’re in that moment. They want to achieve something and get it done. Whereas, we’re on Facebook because pretty much we’re bored or we’re stalking our ex-girlfriend or boyfriend or whatever.

Alex Curtis:
You all know I do that, or have gone. But it’s a completely different mindset. Isn’t it? Your, so that’s why, and then you can get in front of people on Facebook who have been recently interacting in like remortgaged content or they’ve been on remortgaged pages. They are in the zone of if something’s going on, they, or they’ve completed that. Or something has put them in that audience.

Alex Curtis:
But in that minute, when they go and view your website, the mindset is slightly different as-

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah, exactly. Exactly that. We started with Facebook and Facebook Ads. It’s, it’s done on interest based, but you can’t necessarily get that context right, of them wanting it now, then that’s what Google gives you. What’s typically, sort of Facebook traffic is cheaper and you can get cheaper leads through Facebook. Nothing does quite beat that Google Ads element of people searching for it there then wanting it now.

Tom Maplethorpe:
There’s almost a difference between what you call, and being content marketing and context marketing. Context being in terms of, okay, what does somebody want to read or listen to or do right now? We find Facebook can be a bit better, further up the funnel, in terms of providing the content, finding the information and getting them to a place where they’re ready to convert. That’s when they tend to do the searches on Google and that’s where you need to be there for when they’re ready to essentially turn from interested traffic into leads.

Alex Curtis:
In terms of also, the other thing I wanted to talk about was, I can’t remember if we’ve mentioned already. Is someone was asking me the other day about like, “What should I put in my magnet?” And they were talking about having obviously like a PDF locked behind a form. And then, actually I was doing some, because I’m so famous now, Tom, some of the mortgage networks have been asking me to spill the beans and do some webinars.

Alex Curtis:
And then, one, I was reviewing some websites and one, there was one person who had lead magnets on there saying you would have to fill out a form to download this remortgage brochure or whatever it was. But he was asking for the phone number and I’ve seen, not necessarily, but in my sort of history of seeing in different industries, people asking for like name, address, phone number to download a PDF, which is mental.

Alex Curtis:
For me, I would either most ask for name and email in that situation and not expect and not necessarily even have to do that. I mean, we don’t do like lead magnets for clients, do we?

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah, that’s right. And then, the thing to remember with lead magnets is whatever is behind that wall, that login wall, that where you’ve got to put in your, sorry, your name and your email address. Whatever’s on the back of that, it’s got to be really good and really sort of really kind of a one off piece or specialized or piece of content because there is so much content out there elsewhere. For me, I sort of look at them and think, “Okay, yeah, you can get this guide. You can get this PDF, but you’re going to have to enter your email, as well.” I’m pretty sure I could just get this from anywhere else without having to do that on a different website, particularly with things like financial services, where there is a lot of content out there.

Tom Maplethorpe:
But yeah, it’s with lead magnets in general, it’s a bit of a tough one in the sense that with a lead magnet, you tend to maybe need them because you’re not converting people into inquiries yet or the traffic that’s going to your website, isn’t yet ready to become an inquiry.

Tom Maplethorpe:
And that is so in that instance, I think for us, we, I’m not sure we’d do too much really where in terms of driving that kind of traffic, when you know you can get people that are [crosstalk 00:16:36] ready to go through Google Ads. Again, it might be a bit more expensive, the cost per lead, maybe. Well, it probably will almost definitely be higher than the cost of getting somebody on a lead magnet.

Tom Maplethorpe:
But then, the outcome is going to be far more positive, a lot quicker. And the thing with the lead magnet is there’s a lot of nurturing that needs to go on after that, to turn that actually into some business. A lot of tweaking and a lot of sort of changes here and there and make sure the right emails go in the right timeframe and have someone click on this email.

Tom Maplethorpe:
No, they haven’t. Okay, then let’s see this one or if they have, well, then you’d see a different one. The lead magnets and the flows like that do need to be really intricate to make the most out of them. And it’s a lot of effort. A lot of time does need to go into them. And then for us, I think we would always sort of think that that time when you convert it into money, it’s probably better spent some more context-focused ads of people being in the place ready to buy.

Alex Curtis:
Do you know what I think? The other specialism that I did a lot of work in historically, randomly, was sports products. We found that sort of the brochure, PDF behind the form. We would go, on the product page, we would have, book a demo, get a quote, download the brochure, and there would be different forms for each.

Alex Curtis:
And that would be like each stage of the buying cycle was covered off. And then, what we would find was people will go in, download the brochure and then 10, 15 minutes later, get a quote or book a demo. That works for that. And it worked really well. But and then there will be, so then there’ll be a lot of marketers who work in all sorts of industries who will bang on about how great lead magnets are because they are and they have worked in other areas. I mean, a lead magnet would work for us for example, because the people don’t have to. A lot of the time, a mortgage is at a certain point and then they stop and then it’s parts of people. It’s different to wanting leads or marketing.

Alex Curtis:
If you’ve got a business, you always want to market better. In our situation, a lead magnet could work well. Yeah. It’s, I think that’s a problem. There’s a lot of marketers saying, talk about lead magnets because they have worked in other industries. But in mortgages, I don’t think you necessarily, well, I know you don’t necessarily need them because you can get inquiries through like good content. If someone wants help in that moment, and you can get across that you are trustworthy, build rapport with them, make it really transparent about what you do that they want. They need the help. They want your advice. They just want to speak to someone they can trust and someone they know that can help them that’s not going to waste their time.

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah. And also, yeah, because I think on that sports products side, well, it wasn’t also the products, as well, like very specialized.

Alex Curtis:
Oh, yeah, a 100%. Yeah. Things like it was like portable floodlights.

Tom Maplethorpe:
That’s right.

Alex Curtis:
It was like, literally, if you are… Because you were looking at them for your football thing.

Tom Maplethorpe:
That’s right. Yes, that’s right. When we first started working together before yeah, that’s right. We were interested for [inaudible 00:19:24] ourselves. Yeah, they were really sort of specialized products. There wasn’t loads of racks of information out there on other sites, either. But yeah, interesting.

Alex Curtis:
There were two competitors, it was really unique product. It’s a completely different thing to like there’s more mortgage brokers than there are houses, almost. But there was only two players in that specific market, so that strategy worked really well for them. But you can’t, even with, we find with different brands, like you can’t just copy and paste a website and it will work for another one. This, I think the principles that I bang on about, about people buy from people, et cetera, they work. But it’s like, you can’t sometimes if you will work, and we’ve seen that on Facebook.

Alex Curtis:
We’ve run an ad. You could run an ad with one brand that is exactly the same, the image and the content, but it wouldn’t work on a different brand. Because there could be one word and that’s, I think that’s the same with like forms and things like that. It just depends.

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah. 100%. And we do see that. We do see ads in terms of we have seen, okay, so similar-ish websites in terms of like that the structure of the page, the brands are quite different, but with them saw similar amounts of similar quality traffic, but one converted really well the landbot, one converted really well with the form. The important thing to do is remember is to test it. That is sort of what we have done. We like to start with something like a simple form, because we know broadly it tends to convert the best. On your answer it’s quite easy or reasonably easy to sort of split test.

Tom Maplethorpe:
Whether you’re doing Facebook, Google and send things to different landing pages and compare and see what the conversion rates are like. And then also, it’s not just the conversion rate of what turns from click to lead, but then what are the types of leads that they bring? Because that’s a big one that we had in terms of sense of what business finance.

Tom Maplethorpe:
We found that we had switched from a form to a landbot, we generated a lot more inquiries. Say if we’re talking conversion rates, previously converted at say 13% from click to lead. We then, switched that from a form to a landbot. That conversion rate went up to about 17%, but overall the leads weren’t as good. And it was almost like out of that, 100 people say take a 100 people, the 17 that we were now converting were different from the 15 people that we were doing before. About 13 or whatever, in terms of, if you imagine them as conversion rate.

Tom Maplethorpe:
That 17% was a totally different segment from the 15% that were converting before. And it all came down to the psychology of it. While we were getting high numbers through, the people that actually use the landbot for whatever reason, weren’t as good at quality in this instance, on the business finance side to people that were, that ended up using the form.

Alex Curtis:
I think that’s why we, and with that particular client, we do a, like a metric of cost per good app, that we’ve made up ourselves. CPGA, where we get reports. It will be obviously, if the client would say to us, “Yeah, this is good. We can do some of this or it’s not.” So it was very, what’s the right word. I can’t think of the right word. It’s not like a machine, it’s the client saying based on the conversation they’ve had, it’s good, it’s not.

Alex Curtis:
And then, that helps us create a cost with good app. And we can link that back to specific search terms, specific pages that they’ve gone on, specific forms of data entry that they’ve used, whether it was like you say a landbot, or the form and get a cost per good app for the landbot, for that particular keyword. The cost per good app for the application form for that particular keyword, et cetera.

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah, and once we started doing that, once we got, started getting that feedback, I think we reallocated about 40% of the budget.

Alex Curtis:
Oh yeah, we did. There was one particular-

Tom Maplethorpe:
Particular keyword.

Alex Curtis:
I can’t remember the keyword that was bringing in and we were like, “Oh, cost per lead is awesome.” But then, when we started doing the cost per good app, it was like-

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah. And it was nothing. And on the face of it, you would never, so it’s not like they were polarizing the different. There was a variation.

Alex Curtis:
It was a finance rather than a loan [crosstalk 00:23:01].

Tom Maplethorpe:
It was the difference between the loan and lending between them.

Alex Curtis:
Yeah, yeah.

Tom Maplethorpe:
That was the difference between the loan and lending. Lending we got, yeah, decent volumes of… The cost was a slightly cheaper than it was for loans, but in terms of not amazingly different. But the volume is right. We’re getting, yeah, great volumes for it. But then, we actually went back and fed them through. And so, okay, so what’s actually turned into business? And the lending [crosstalk 00:23:22].

Alex Curtis:
Yeah, we [crosstalk 00:23:22].

Tom Maplethorpe:
With all the notes. Which, we just, yeah, that day. We just switched it all over. Because it was data from a good few months. Then we switched completely over to the other side. It was such a good use of spend.

Alex Curtis:
Absolutely. And this is why I like don’t envy the guys and girls that are listening that are, just have the brokerage and got no black book and want to get some leads. Want to do it quickly, and we’ve just talked about 30 minutes and basically not told them the answer on the phone. Like, there’s no answer, depends.

Alex Curtis:
It’s I don’t envy their situation at all. And I’m not surprised and why people turn to them purchasing leads, because people are saying that it’s 25 good, 30 good lead, here’s a remortgaged lead for 50 quid. Or because it’s that much less complicated than worrying about all these different forms and things.

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah. Nothing, yeah and the form. The forms is just a small percentage of it. It’s how we say, the rest is the quality of traffic. I don’t know where you get that quality traffic. And sometimes, you can think you’re getting quality traffic, but it’s not converting. You think well, why? There are so many, so many permutations and variables. But yeah. Well, it’s basically, so I suppose, what keeps us in a job. It is say full-time job.

Alex Curtis:
Yeah. And I was going to say, yes, to be honest, if it was mega easy, you wouldn’t need, nobody would need us. But I think coming back to it though, that we have got that kind of entry level, we know that there is that basic form that make it really easy.

Alex Curtis:
Also, give people options, like give people the phone number. If you’re happy to do the WhatsApp, give people the option to tap to WhatsApp. If there is a general rule, if like you just want a website, you don’t, you haven’t got time to be looking at and you don’t even know what analytics is, that basic form name, phone number, email, message. Don’t even put a title on it at the top of like request a call back or ask more info. Just have that form on there, on every single page. Before they, when their mouse has got to go over it to exit and close the tab. It could be the difference. Oh, actually, I will just actually ask this. And a bit more about like, it is sometimes it’s the way our brains work. It’s can be as simple as that. If we have totally confused you for 30 minutes, follow that and do that. And that will, in most cases, I think get the best results you’re looking for.

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah. 100%.

Alex Curtis:
But don’t forget those principles. You know, if you are going to hide behind a logo, if you’re not going to show people who you are, tell people who you are, if you’re only interested in, if you want to lock away information, rather than share it, then you’re going to find it more difficult than those that do. I think.

Alex Curtis:
I suppose the form is only, like you said, only one element. It’s not the be all and end all. There’s no shortcuts. You have got a lot of options, but just do this. To be honest, like the rule for all of it, like we normally find we’ll test everything. It’s normally the simplest thing is, well, what works.

Tom Maplethorpe:
Definitely. Definitely. And that’s the thing. And it has come down to that. Yeah. Like you said. Make it easy for people to get in touch with you. The amount of websites you go on and you think, “Okay, so I’ve got a nice, nice message in my sort of homepage banner and you scroll down. I’ve got forms of right in the bottom, a useful thing. Okay. That does have a value because if people sort of read through the content, they start to think.” Would it convert better with that form at the top? In terms of, because then people can scroll up or scroll down to get to it or they can just so that points to the details and straight away if they know that’s what they want to do.

Tom Maplethorpe:
And then, that’s the thing. Because some things sort of forms if it’s on banners can seem a bit not unsightly, but then they’re not as aesthetic as some of those awesome home or web page designs that don’t have a form at the top. And I’d agree. I think that there’s a lot of sites that look better without the form in the banner. But they don’t convert as well.

Alex Curtis:
Yeah, yeah, exactly [crosstalk 00:26:59].

Tom Maplethorpe:
The harsh realities of website design and website build is that often the best designed websites don’t really convert all that well.

Alex Curtis:
Yeah.

Tom Maplethorpe:
That’s when you sort of go through, if you’re on Google and you’re looking at kind of like sort of really high volume keywords, things like say like take like remortgage, for example, the stuff that gets the highest volume stuff. If you click on those ads and the webpages, they also follow a similar template, that didn’t look that good. You sort of, if you’re going to say, “Is this the website, the best website I’ve seen that’s bidding on some of the highest click cost keywords?” You say, “Well, no, definitely not.” But they do tend to convert better. Because they just make it easy for people to do it. And making it easier for people to do it, isn’t the same as a website looking great, unfortunately.

Alex Curtis:
And the problem is we, I think a lot of the time we get a new business, we start out, get a new, nice new website. We’ll get a designer to make something look beautiful and then we’ll share it on LinkedIn. And our friends will say, “Oh, it looks awesome. Brilliant.” They tend to be the ones that don’t convert that well. The ones where you’re kind of like you say, “It’s not as good looking.” It’s just and there, it’s kind of, I use the example in, I don’t know if I mentioned this, Tom, but some of the mortgage networks have been asking me to do webinars. But using cars, it was like sometimes actually the, how is it? The I was at the Dacia Sandero is better than a Ferrari in terms of, if that Ferrari’s got no engine and you can’t drive it and no one can see, like what’s the point?

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah.

Alex Curtis:
Sometimes it’s like, an efficient, not that the, I probably should have used like a hybrid vehicle or something. The more efficient, less jazzy website will convert better.

Tom Maplethorpe:
We see it all the time. And you know, you just sort of see websites that have things like, videos in the banner and things like that. And think, “Oh, yeah, because it looks smart.” It’s like well, yeah, it does, but it doesn’t turn views into leads is the problem. And that’s the point of the vast majority of websites, really.

Alex Curtis:
Yeah, yeah, no, it is, really. I think some people will want to get and like we’ve had, since they’ve launched their site, I think people were just like, “Oh, I just want an online business card. I just want to look smart.”

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah. Yeah, yeah, that brochure website. Yeah.

Alex Curtis:
Okay, cool.

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah. [crosstalk 00:28:54]. And then, there have been instances, and I think you did mention earlier on. I think that’s why we do have that option in the site builder. Or it doesn’t necessarily have a form in the top. Because for some people, it is like you say, it’s just that the online business card, with that online point of reference to prove that they are a real business.

Alex Curtis:
Yeah, that’s right. [crosstalk 00:29:11]. I had this guy this morning. He was like, “Look, I don’t want to try and generate leads through the site because I don’t want to… What I’ve found historically was people just asking me like loads questions that were too early on. They were like, they had no deposit.” Or it was like, he literally just wanted a website to look good for his referrals.

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah.

Alex Curtis:
Like, “I don’t want people coming to my website who don’t know me. I’ve been going for quite a while. I’ve got a really good black book. I just want to look smart, Alex, I’ll leave it to you, you… We’ll go over the template.” He’s like, “Maybe, which one do you think is best?” Boom, boom, boom-boom, boom. Yeah, it’s if you want to generate leads off of strangers, because you haven’t got that black book, then you’ve got to think about it more. But you can. Yeah, there’s nothing wrong with having a good looking website to impress people. Especially, maybe if you’re doing a lot of high net worth stuff or you’re doing investors bridging or something like that. And it is all going to be off referrals, it just needs to look, yeah. They look like the [crosstalk 00:00:30:00].

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah. That is a good point. Like the high net worth stuff. That like you say, that does tend to be, that’s not all necessarily as much of an online search. That is sort of going to be more through referrals. We know from the keyword, the keyword research in terms of those. There are searches there for high net worth mortgages and like a reasonable number, but probably not as many searches as you would expect people are looking for them, if you know what I mean.

Tom Maplethorpe:
Because it will be a doctor on ridiculous salary will ask his doctor mate [crosstalk 00:30:27].

Alex Curtis:
Or something like that. Yeah. But there is such that we’re not as opposed to say, for example, the general public that they tends to sort of search for mortgages online. And like you say, they sort of don’t necessarily search in that space. In terms of turning them into leads on a website, is it actually a different sort of proposition than it is from perhaps some of this or maybe a more regular mortgage applicant. And we see a lot with things like wealth management, as well, regardless of like the psychology and sort of the structure of your websites, trying to encourage someone to get in touch. They’re not going to do it unless they trust you. And that’s why we still pay those kind of wealth management sort of websites, they do need to perhaps look a bit better.

Alex Curtis:
Maybe not be so quite so heavy on the conversion rate, optimization of squeezing every visitor into a lead or to that maximum percentage because no one’s going to get in touch. And sort of have that conversation because, well, it’s particularly wealth management. Because they’ve still got something to lose. With mortgages and mortgages we find that you don’t normally have too much to lose by having sort of that conversation.

Alex Curtis:
But if you make a bad decision with some of your investments and it can be really, really sort of costly. Obviously, it can be costly if you make a bad decision in your mortgage. But if something doesn’t go ahead for whatever reason, then you know, potentially no one’s out, that the user is necessarily out of pocket. Yes, it’s slightly different when the stakes are a bit higher, that it comes more into sort of like the brand, the perception, the trust and credibility that go into it, rather than the psychology of the webpage builder.

Tom Maplethorpe:
I think we’ve covered a lot of grounds home. I do feel like we’ve not given people an answer. But we didn’t do that with, what was the other one we did recently? And I got those really good feedback on it.

Alex Curtis:
Oh, okay. Good. Well, I think the overriding thing is if you’re not sure, simple form. And I think that will be the right answer for 90% of the listeners.

Tom Maplethorpe:
Do those principles can’t encourage people enough to get themselves out there. It’s the advice that people are paying for, not the access. It’s like, I hope there’ll be a day when we don’t, we could Google a mortgage thing and none of the 10 websites on page one have mentioned that they’ve got access to 50 lenders at the top. Then, I think we can [crosstalk 00:32:28] possibly. Well, we’ll no longer be needed.

Alex Curtis:
Yeah.

Tom Maplethorpe:
We’ll go and work at something else. We’ll go X-Craft on it.

Alex Curtis:
Yeah. [inaudible 00:32:37].

Tom Maplethorpe:
It’s a whole different colored fish.

Alex Curtis:
Doing something different. Open a sausage factory.

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah. We’ll do sports products, yeah?

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah, nice. Get those-

Alex Curtis:
Those portable football floodlights. Design our own.

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah, we could do. Get the lead magnet back out.

Alex Curtis:
[inaudible 00:32:52]. Yeah, sorry. Cool. Right. We’re going to be back with more, the feedback I got Tom that people actually liked our episodes.

Tom Maplethorpe:
Oh, really?

Alex Curtis:
We’re going to still, yeah. Someone actually said, oh, what was it? I can’t think of the right phrase, but it was like, “They were not in the mood to hear about what another broker was up to.” It did go kind of heavy on the, because they were quite popular. Those episodes, finding out what other people are doing. We are going to even out a bit more and talk a bit more about this, as well. I think variety is the spice of life. I’ve got some good catch up episodes with people coming up soon.

Tom Maplethorpe:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), nice.

Alex Curtis:
And they do get a really good reaction and but we’re going to be doing more of these, as well. We’ll be back. Speak to you soon. Let us know, actually in the Facebook group, if someone wants a topic covered off, I mean, and we, I sort of pick this up from, we do the virtual coffee, the Facebook group and the whole sort of lead magnet thing came up for conversation in there. Shout us if you want, if you’re stuck on anything, give us the ideas. We’ll, me and Tom can chat all day.

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah. And we’ll try and give you a hard answer when we can. It is difficult. I think we’re doing quite well giving a firm answer oN what we would [crosstalk 00:33:57],

Alex Curtis:
Well, it’s like saying, oh, it’s like someone doing an episode on what mortgage should I have?

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. You can’t answer that in a one in a one sentence thing, obviously.

Alex Curtis:
No.

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah, no, good analogy.

Alex Curtis:
Yeah. If we get any reviews where saying, “Oh, these guys just talk nonsense, they don’t give us a proper answer,” and you were a mortgage broker, then shame on you.

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah. I was going to say, “What mortgage should I have?”

Alex Curtis:
Yeah. We’ll just, we’ll actually set up a bot just to send you emails every day. What mortgage should I have? What mortgage should I have? Leave nice reviews [crosstalk 00:34:28].

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah, very good.

Alex Curtis:
Nice one.

Tom Maplethorpe:
Yeah.

Alex Curtis:
And we will see everyone soon, glistening next week. See you later.

Tom Maplethorpe:
Reach your later, bye.

Alex Curtis:
Bye.

084 – Mark Pittaccio – Anchoring Your Fees & Positioning Your Service

084 - Mark Pittaccio - Anchoring Your Fees & Positioning Your Service
084 - Mark Pittaccio - Anchoring Your Fees & Positioning Your Service

“Price is only an issue in the absence of value”. Mark Pittaccio pretty much gives us the script we can use to position our price and service.

We also discuss the concept of anchoring when it comes to fees and why “Free” isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

082 – Omar Ghafoor – The Adviser

082 - Omar Ghafoor - The Adviser
082 - Omar Ghafoor - The Adviser

Omar called our office in January 2020, at the time we couldn’t really help him but we gave him as much advice as we could.

He wasn’t on any social media platforms as a business or personal. He didn’t like having his photo taken and flat out refused to do any video content.

4 months later he recently caused a stir (in a good way) when he released his first video for a brand new YouTube channel.

This is what Omar has learnt so far.

081 – Lee Flanagan On Lockdown

081 - Lee Flanagan On Lockdown
081 - Lee Flanagan On Lockdown

It hasn’t been that long since we spoke to Lee Flanagan but a lot has happened since then!

During lockdown, Lee has a big team to motivate and he kindly invited me along to every session Bespoke has held. Each time I spend time with the Bespokers it gives me a massive lift so I wanted to share that with you all.