James Pollard is the founder of TheAdvisorCoach.com, a marketing consultancy which helps financial advisors get more clients. He is also the host of the “Financial Advisor Marketing” podcast. He is perhaps best known for his monthly paper-and-ink newsletter, The James Pollard Inner Circle, which is read by financial services professionals all over the world.
How did you start out as a marketer?
I’ve always been interested in marketing, even from a young age. I had a few entrepreneurs in my family, so I saw how important marketing was to get people into their businesses. It wasn’t until Google AdSense came out in the early 2000s that I started doing marketing for myself by building websites and monetizing them. It was then when I saw how powerful the Internet was going to be for marketers in the future.
Looking back, what is your hardest struggle when it came to delivering results?
When it comes to helping financial advisors, it is a lot easier to make their marketing work if they have a niche. Back when I did one-on-one coaching, I made having a niche a requirement. So, financial advisors who didn’t have niches made things harder on me (and them).
What do you find most rewarding about what you do?
Because I help financial advisors build their businesses, my work is directly correlated with their incomes. Having advisors write me and tell me they’ve made extra money this year always makes me smile because I see the different things they do with it. I’m indirectly impacting families, churches, charities, and more.
If you were given the chance to build your career all over again what would you do differently so that you will achieve your dreams faster?
I would have started my monthly paper-and-ink newsletter subscription a lot sooner. That’s been able to help far more financial advisors at a lower cost than one-on-one coaching ever could.
How is your typical work day structured?
I will typically get up between 7 and 8 a.m. and make it down to home office within fifteen minutes and start writing. My first project varies between my newsletter, my podcast (the “Financial Advisor Marketing” podcast) and my daily emails. After that, I will work for a few hours in my business, take a break, and then respond to any emails my assistant wasn’t able to respond to during the day.
Sometimes I will come back in the evening to see if there are any more emails or things I can do. Advisors are pleasantly surprised when they get a response from me at 9 p.m.
Can you tell us about a time where you had to put in significant effort up front and then wait a long time for success?
Yes, absolutely. I have been testing and tweaking email marketing campaigns for financial advisors for many years now. At this point, I’ve tested multiple millions of emails, so I know what works and what doesn’t. I worked on my process for years before releasing it to the public in the form of a course called “Appointments On Autopilot”.
What do you do to stay up to date with new marketing techniques?
I read a lot. Some people call me superhuman because of how much I read. At this point, my network is also fairly large. I have the blessing of being able to send out an email to my list and ask them to give me ideas about what’s working for them and what’s not. People will respond and we will engage in conversation so we can learn from each other. It’s an incredible experience and I’m thankful to have that sort of access.
Which one book would you recommend every marketer should read?
My favorite book of all time is “Think And Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. I’ve found that you could have all the tactics in the world, but if you don’t have the inner drive for success, none of it matters. You’ve got to begin with your foundation.