- Who: James Pollard
- Website: theAdvisorCoach.com
- Course Topic: How financial professionals can get more clients
- Interesting Stats: Offers a dozen training products in this niche
Who are you and what courses have you created?
I'm James Pollard, the founder of theAdvisorCoach.com. I have created quite a few courses.
Perhaps the course that I am most well known for is “Appointments on Auto-Pilot”. It is an email marketing course designed specifically for financial advisors to help them get them more clients with email marketing.
What market do your online courses serve?
My courses serve financial advisors and financial service professionals who want to get more clients with email marketing.
What is the biggest benefit of taking your course?
The biggest benefit of taking the course is these advisors can actually automate their prospecting almost entirely. Once their prospects go to the email list, they can have an auto-responder system like Convertkit or Mailchimp automatically send out these emails to people. That way they can follow up with them and see if there is any interest in setting an appointment with the financial advisor.
The reason it's so powerful is that most businesses don't follow up at all. They have no follow-up system in place. So by incorporating any follow-up method, it increases the number of people who end up doing business with them and they get more clients and make more money.
How did you get into the market?
I've always been interested in marketing. I was one of the original people who did Google Adsense back in the day in 2004/2005. I've always been into online marketing, email marketing, and financial services. I've just found a way to blend all of them together. Financial services and financial advisors are not exactly known for being tech-savvy. So they like that I can come in and break everything down in a way that is easy to understand, where they can just plug and play. I make it as easy for them as I possibly can.
And that is one of the pieces of advice I have for course creators. Make it as easy as possible for your end-user to implement the advice. If they don't implement the advice and they don't see any results, they are not going to come back, remember you or recommend you to their friends. Sure you might have gotten the sale, but it doesn't mean anything because you missed out on the long term potential. So make it as easy as possible.
So for me to come and do this for people who aren't exactly tech-savvy is a big, big deal and I wrap it up and I give it to them.
Why did you decide to create an online course in the first place?
It's simple. I saw the need for it, I knew that I had skills in online marketing, I had skills in email marketing, I had personally been doing email marketing for years before I even thought of creating this course. I had thousands of subject lines that I've tested, thousands of pieces of content that I've tested, different layouts, HTML, pics, everything. I've tested it all.
As far as I know, there's no one else in the entire world with the level of scrutiny when it comes to email marketing for financial advisors than me. I had the most knowledge and the most experience and I decided to put it together in course form.
Did you have any moments of doubt before you created/launched it?
No, I have had doubts about other products and moments of doubt with other products, but with this particular course, Appointments on Autopilot, I did not have any doubt whatsoever, because it took me quite a while to put all the data together and I knew it worked. I had the numbers to back it up. I knew I was getting overrates, I knew I was setting appointments, I knew that it was working so there was no doubt.
What's your online course like?
It's 4 hours and 49 minutes of video content.
You have all these videos, it's like 15 videos with 4 hours and 49 minutes of content, but the cool thing is I give you 20 sample emails you can plug and play. Then I give you some cool bonuses.
I mention “Years of my hard work handed to you on a silver platter”. It's true since I offer an email marketing critique which is $1,000. I literally charge $1,000 for an email marketing critique.
I have a look over my shoulder video because a lot of advisors wanted to see me write an email and that really gets people enticed to purchasing it.
How long did it take you to create your course?
It actually took me about 2 months to put everything together. That's not that long when it comes to creating a course. Other products have taken months or years, but this one was easy for me to put together in a package because I already had the bulk of the system designed. I was using it myself, in my own business and I was helping financial advisors privately with their email marketing so I knew what worked and what didn't. I just packaged it together in course form.
Tell us a little about the process of launching your course and getting your first sale(s).
I actually have a podcast, I have a blog, I have an email list. I've been featured in all kinds of places online. I'm on LinkedIn, I'm pretty popular there and I am relatively well known in the financial services space. It only took me mentioning my course on my podcast and on my email list to get my first sales.
Do you have a lead magnet?
Yes, I do. It's called 57 Marketing Tips for Financial Advisors. People can opt-in and they get 57 marketing tips for financial advisors. It's really popular.
What's the traffic strategy that works best for you?
No surprise here, it's email marketing. I get leads through SEO and Facebook ads, they get in here, but as far traffic to the actual product and the course, it's email.
What online course platform are you using?
The online platform that I'm using is my own platform that I built.
What other tools do you use to run your online course business?
I use Drip for my email marketing software. I use Opt-in Monster for my opt-in's and I use Thrive Cart for my check out the software.
What books or training programs have you found useful on your journey to a successful business owner that others might find valuable too?
My favorite book of all time is “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.
I read that book at least once a year, I have read it twice in 2019 again and it just makes sense for me. He writes about having a strong desire, about being persistent about having a vision, all of that stuff applies to course building.
Do you have any big mistakes you’ve made along the way that you’d be willing to share?
Yes. Not asking my audience exactly what they want and failing to survey my audience. One of the biggest keys to creating a successful course or any successful information product is to give people what they want.
You've got to know what challenges they have in their daily life. With the email course, the daily challenge is prospecting. They hate prospecting, they hate having to have their time committed every single day to hit the grindstone. So for an email marketing tool to come in and automate that for them, it takes a lot off their plate so it's extremely valuable. I am solving a major problem.One of the biggest mistakes that I see, and that I have personally seen with other products is failing to survey my audience and to make sure I am giving them what they want. -James Pollard Click To Tweet
There's nothing worse than spending months or even years creating a course only to figure out that it doesn't really solve a problem or solve it in the way that your market wants you to.
Please tell us a little about what the money you've earned from your course has done for you.
I do a lot of charity work through DonorsChoose.org. I donate a portion of the money to charity and find classrooms to support their low-income children all throughout the United States. The money that you donate on DonorsChoose.org goes directly to the classrooms and you can choose the classrooms. So that's what I do.
What has creating your course done for you personally?
I have a lot more recognition among financial advisors. Now that I am solving one of their biggest problems they're like “holy cow, this is amazing”. That's when they start telling their friends and coworkers, managers, and VP's about me.
What advice do you have for people just starting out?
Survey your audience, get to know your audience, do tons of market research. Take your time.You don't want to launch a mediocre product. If you do you're cutting yourself off at the knees for any long term success. -James Pollard Click To Tweet
You've got to make sure that every course you release is good enough that people don't regret their purchase. Instead, they tell others about it, they remember you. You want them to think of you in such a way that you have made a significant impact on their lives and they come back.
Learn more about James Pollard and TheAdvisorCoach.com:
- Website: theadvisorcoach.com
Resources mentioned in this interview:
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