In this conversation, I talk with David Meerman Scott, a Marketing and Sales strategist who’s authored a number of books, including The New Rules of Marketing & PR, now in it’s 6th edition which has been translated into 29 languages and is now used in universities and Business schools worldwide. One of his most recognized books, Newsjacking talks about some of the strategies Donald Trump utilized to hijack headlines and generate free press in our most recent election. David has also spoken in over 40 countries including on stages for companies like Google, Ford Motor Company, DOW Jones, Nasdaq and for you Tony Robbins fans out there, he’s a regular at Tony’s Business Mastery event.
For Financial advisors looking to generate attention in ways that will grow your business, this is one you’ll definitely want to pay attention to!
Here are a just a handful of the things that you’ll learn:
- How the internet and social media has transformed business today and how that impacts you as a financial advisor.
- David lays out an Australian Bank’s strategy to winning media for their annual rate change meeting and how that very same strategy can be applied to Federal Reserve meetings right here in the USA.
- The step-by-step “newsjacking” strategy that financial advisors can use to grab the attention of clients, prospects and major media outlets.
- How to tap into the power of serendipity to create a media strategy that pays off BIG—David’s client used this same strategy to write a random Lindsay Lohan article that resulted in closing $250k in sales in less than 2 weeks!
- 5 questions that every financial advisor should ask to determine where they should be focusing their future marketing efforts.
- For you music fans out there, stick around to the end for a couple of very cool stories you won’t want to miss—you’ll find out why the first 2 stills in this Bob Marley trailer were taken by David!
“Real time marketing is essential for financial advisors.” – David Meerman Scott
“Real time marketing is essential for financial advisors.” – David Meerman Scott
- [04:00] Why so few financial advisors are capitalizing on real-time communication to market to prospective clients—this is a major content marketing opportunity that can establish advisors as the go-to expert!
- [15:22] How to use “newsjacking” to leverage the media and establish yourself as an expert in the financial services industry.
- [22:16] The real-time marketing tactic Donald Trump used to leverage the biggest speech of Hillary Clinton’s life. You can apply this exact same strategy to grab the attention of your prospects.
- [24:38] David shares a step-by-step game plan that financial advisors can implement to create and push out real-time content that gets noticed!
- [30:32]How to uncover news stories that go beyond the financial world and use them to your advantage—David calls these “happy accidents” and they are key to standing out!
- [34:11] The Lindsay Lohan article that paid off big for one of David’s clients—in only 2 weeks he was featured in major publications, received over 8,000 inquiries for new business and closed $250k in sales.
- [37:56] Are traditional marketing channels on their way out? 5 questions that advisors should ask to determine where they should be focusing their future marketing efforts.
- [46:48] Find out how David got connected with his current financial advisor and how you can acquire super successful clients just like him.
- [52:26] The #1 thing he learned from sharing the stage with Tony Robbins.
- [53:26] The first person David thinks of when he hears the word ‘successful’ and why.
- [55:53] Find out what book has made the biggest impact on David’s life.
- [57:21] David shares some really impressive music stories that you won’t want to miss!
- [01:01:13] The one piece of advice that has led to David’s success.
“I think of success in terms of the number of people I can help.” – David Meerman Scott
“I think of success in terms of the number of people I can help.” – David Meerman Scott
SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE
- Connect with David Meerman Scott
Website | Facebook |Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn
- The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly
- Newsjacking: How to Inject your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage
- New Marketing Mastery Course feat. Tony Robbins
- Dean Witter (merged with Morgan Stanley)
- Dow Jones
- National Australia Bank
- Google News
- Google News App
- The Boston Globe
- Cash for Purses
- How Music Works (David Byrne)
- Marley Documentary (2012)
- Thomson Reuters
- David Byrne
- Red Rocks
PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE
- Tony Robbins
- Cody Foster
- Lindsay Lohan
- Talking Heads
- Bob Marley
- Jerry Garcia
- Brian Halligan
REVIEW OF THE WEEK
Thanks for checking out the latest show, here’s this weeks featured review! This one comes to us from bkolowski111 who says:
Bkolowski, thanks for listening in! Regardless of the name above the door in financial services, I promise there are things you can be doing to set your firm a part. Check out the episodes with Joey Coleman and John Ruhlin for some ideas. Also, if you haven’t listened to the last episode, my very first in-between-isode is really the game changer I see 99% of advisors fail at and it’s the key to being the only solution in town. For those who’ve given it a listen, let me know what my next solo episode should cover, I’m out on Twitter, @brad_johnson, love to hear what could be valuable to you all.
Already heard it once or twice? Please leave a short review here, and tell me which guests I should have on!
- Listen to it on iTunes.
TRANSCRIPTSClick here to Read the Transcript
[00:00:23] Brad: Welcome to the Elite Advisor Blueprint, the podcast for world-class financial advisors. My name is Brad Johnson and I’m the VP of Advisor Development and Advisors Excel, and it’s my goal to distill the best ideas and advice from top thought leaders and apply it to the world of independent financial advising.
In this conversion, I talked with David Meerman Scott. He’s a marketing and sales strategist who’s authored a number of books including The New Rules of Marketing and PR, now in its sixth edition which has been translated into 29 languages and is used in universities and business schools worldwide. His more recent book, Newsjacking, talks about some of the strategies Donald Trump utilized to hijack headlines and generate free press in our most recent election. David has also spoken in over 40 countries including on stages for companies like Google, Ford Motor Company, Dow Jones, NASDAQ, and for you Tony Robbins fans out there, he’s a regular at Tony’s Business Mastery events.
So, let’s get to it. Here are a few highlights from my conversation with David. We dive into how the Internet and social media has transformed business today and how that impacts you as a financial advisor. Next, David lays out an Australian bank strategy to winning media for their annual rate change meeting, of all things, and how that very same strategy can be applied to our very own Federal Reserve meetings right here in the USA and how you can benefit. From there, David lays out the step-by-step strategy he’d implement if he were a financial advisor to prepare for the next market correction to communicate with clients, prospects and be prepared to newsjack the media headlines and stories that will be sure to cover it. Then we get into why every media strategy should include serendipity or, as David defines it, the ability for happy accidents to happen and how a random article on Lindsay Lohan paid off big for one of his clients. Towards the end, we discussed the difference between buying attention and earning attention and why that matters as a financial advisor. David even shares five questions to ask yourself about your business to tell the difference.
[00:02:24] Brad: Okay. And for you, music fans out there, stick around to the end for a couple of very cool stories you won’t want to miss. I won’t ruin the surprise. Just listen to the end. All right. Before we get to the show, David was nice enough to include a video highlighting the key strategies he covers in his keynote presentations. It’s available for access right at the top of the show notes at BradleyJohnson.com/34. You can also find links to everything else we mentioned there too, books, people discussed, a full transcript of our conversation and everything else from the show.
So, that’s it. As always, thanks for listening and without further delay, my conversation with David Meerman Scott.
[00:03:07] Brad: Welcome to this week’s episode of the Elite Advisor Blueprint Podcast. I’m excited to welcome David Meerman Scott to the show today. Welcome, David.
[00:03:16] David: Hey, it’s great to be here. Thanks so much, Brad.
[00:03:19] Brad: Well, I know we’re working on a limited time schedule today so I’m just going to dive right in. There’s so much out of your recent book that I’ve got right here, I’m holding up on camera, and obviously, with you being a speaker at Tony Robbins’ Biz Mastery, I mean, actually it’s cool. You’ve shared the stage with one of the founders of our company, Cody Foster. I’ve been to those events. Those are the real deal so if Tony’s ask you to speak on his stage, I’m honored to have you on the podcast.
[00:03:45] David: Hey, thanks very much. It’s an honor to be here and it’s an honor to speak on a Tony Robbins stage so all good. Happy to be here.
[00:03:56] Brad: Okay. Cool. We’ll dive right in. So, first question I wanted to hit you with right out of the gates is and I’m sure we’ll get into some of your background but basically you saw the Internet grow up and right out of your most recent book, I want them to get the title right here, The New Rules of Marketing and PR which is I’m actually holding the sixth edition. Side note, the first one came out before Twitter existed and Facebook was just for college students so that’s how long you’ve been doing this but…
[00:04:21] David: Yeah. Right.
[00:04:21] Brad: You saw the internet grow up. As these things evolved, the social media has come to the forefront of how businesses grow and communicate with their audience. I’d like to dig in, what was that like seeing it grow up? And then knowing that this is a show for financial advisors, how can financial advisors benefit from what you’ve learned along the way?
[00:04:41] David: Okay. Cool. So, first of all, I was incredibly lucky in my early career to be able to have an opportunity to have two different jobs that allowed me to see what was going to happen way before other people saw what was going to happen. Because my first job was actually in a bond trading desk. I worked at Dean Witter in New York City. I worked actually in the World Trade Center, got my Series 7, got my Series 63. And so, I was on a bond desk and I was watching the real-time newsfeeds. I was watching the Reuters and the Dow Jones screens to see what was going on. I was watching real-time charting applications and that was what we used to trade the markets. I did that for a couple of years. I hated it. I was terrible at it and that was actually a good thing because it led me partly to where I am now.
But then I went actually to the other side of the screen. I worked at financial information companies like Dow Jones and Thomson Reuters and that experience after coming off working on a bond trading desk got me to understand how real-time news and real-time data is all put together. Now all of that was pre-web. And so, I had this incredible fortune to have an opportunity to experience how people use information, number one, and then number two, how people put together information, both of them real-time financial information. So, that when I was and actually this goes back in 2002, I was actually working for Thomson Reuters and I got fired and I was like, “Oh my God, what am I going to do now?” And that actually led me to start my own business and it was the perfect timing because I was able to see, “Oh my gosh, this idea of marketing is going to be transformed by the idea that you can create your own content, all of us can.”
[00:06:45] David: I can. You can. Every financial advisor in the world can. Every entrepreneur in the world can create their own information whether it’s in the form of a YouTube video or a blog or a social networking feed, Twitter, Facebook, whatever it might be. And I was able to see that before anybody else. I was able to see what Twitter might become before Twitter even existed because of the screens that we used. The Dow Jones Telerate Screen had a rudimentary blog capability. Bloomberg had a rudimentary blog capability as well as instant messaging back and forth before smartphones existed. And so, it was an amazing experience to be able to have seen the world before the world knew that the world was going to change. And that led me to be the first person to write about this topic and the first person to speak about this topic.
It would change a heck of a lot since The New Rules of Marketing and PR first came out in 2007. In fact, I wrote a book even before then in 2005 and it allows all of us, you and me and everybody watching this, to be able to reach our buyers, the people who are doing business already or might be doing business with us, reach them in a way that they can appreciate. Now it’s really interesting around people in the financial services business and because we, and I include me because I was in the business, are real-time. If the Fed changes interest rates, if the stock market goes up for some reason, if there’s some disaster somewhere from – if there’s something that happens in the marketplace, we know it instantly like within a second and we get this idea, real-time information, yet there are almost no financial advisors on the planet who are truly real-time in the way they market.
[00:08:49] David: So, there’s a huge disconnect there and I’d like to close that gap of disconnect so we know it’s real time. We know that if the markets change, we should alert our clients, but we don’t do that in real-time in terms of our marketing.
[00:09:04] Brad: If there was a simple actionable tool like, hey, if you’re only going to do one thing as a financial advisor to start to close that gap, what would it be or what tool would you recommend using?
[00:09:15] David: Well, probably not thinking about tools necessarily but do think about when there is a change in some way and you have a particular area of expertise around that change, you have a very distinct, an opportunity to create some content on the web that serves to market you personally as well as your business. And all of us do, not just financial advisors but certainly because we are dealing in a real-time world and things can change incredibly quickly that we have an opportunity to do something. So, without getting into specifics around what’s the best tool, you could create an instant video.
So, for example, I’m just going to grab my smartphone here. With just this device sitting in your pocket, you’re able to create a real-time video using a tool like Facebook Live and some of the other social networks have similar tools. So, I could be creating a video instantly right now to reach my existing and potential customers. You could also do a little bit more elaborate video and post it onto YouTube. You could create an instant blog. You can do a tweet with a hashtag. All of these are ways that you can get that information out. But what I’d found is that so few organizations actually do that in real-time. And I’m talking about instantly right now, this second. So, few organizations do that in real-time. I’ll give you an example of an organization that does that I find to be fascinating and it comes out of Australia. I spoke in Australia two weeks ago and I had a chance to really dig into National Australia Bank and they’ve got a bunch of financial advisors who work at National Australia Bank.
[00:11:14] David: Now what’s interesting about them is that in Australia there’s this very particular way that the Australian federal government releases its budget. They do it on a particular night at 7:30 PM and in 2017 it was on May 9. So, May 9, 2017, that’s when the federal government says, “Here’s the new budget,” and it comes down. It’s available digitally and the whole country scrambles to figure out what’s in that budget and what it means for the different markets. Now what National Australia Bank does is they have all of their economists, all of their researchers, all of their social media experts, their video experts, everyone’s immediately at work to analyze what this budget means.
And so, they create a particular set of content for what does the budget mean for small business. What does the budget mean for wealthy individuals? What does the budget mean for agriculture? What does the budget mean for the industry? And there’s videos and PDF documents and blog posts and all kinds of things that are created instantly and throughout that night starting at 7:30 PM so that anybody who’s watching for what the budget means right then can get an instant take. And then when everybody wakes up early the next morning, there is a bunch of research reports that are available as well as some in-person meetings that National Australia Bank holds for people in cities throughout Australia. So, that’s an example of what can be done, and it doesn’t have to be a big bank like National Australia Bank. Any financial advisor can do that, can figure out, “Okay, well here’s something that’s going to be interesting for people.” Now what’s interesting about that is everyone knows it’s going to be 7:30 PM, May 9, 2017 and an equivalent date coming up in 2018.
[00:13:19] David: So, that’s something you know is going to happen but there’s also things that you don’t know are going to happen and the same opportunity presents itself perhaps even more so because people aren’t prepared for it. So, I don’t know, right now as we’re recording this, there are wildfires happening in California. What does that mean for a particular business in California? I don’t know but perhaps there’s something that could be done around that. So, this idea real-time is essential for financial planners. It’s essential for people in all aspects of the financial business, yet so few people are taking advantage of the opportunity it presents to serve as a marketing content.
[00:14:08] Brad: That example from Australia is interesting because, I mean, we know when the Fed meetings are going to happen in the US. I mean, I know that’s going to be news of some sort and it’s going to affect our markets. So, just prepping for that. It’s interesting as you are explaining that, it’s almost like it’s a launch for financial services where you’re prepping for this launch of, okay, go live with blogs, go live with video, go live with whatever else you want to distribute out there. So, I love that concept.
[00:14:32] David: Yeah. And there’s a bunch of benefits to this. So, benefit number one is you’re reaching your existing clients with information that will be valuable for them. So, you’re seen as someone more than just an order taker. Number two, you’re presenting valuable information for potential clients. So, an existing client might get your instant analysis of the Fed or whatever is going to happen here in the US and they might say, “Oh, that’s pretty interesting.” I’m going to send this to my friend or my colleague. So, you’re reaching people you don’t even know who exist now.
And the other thing that’s incredibly beneficial is that you can also reach the media this way and I call this concept newsjacking. The idea of newsjacking is that when you create something that puts your take into the marketplace right now this instant, you have the opportunity to get quoted in the media. And we in the financial markets know this happens all the time. Who do they quote? Why are they quoting this particular economist at this particular bank? Well, the reason they’re quoting is either there’s already a relationship set up between that economist and that particular reporter or that economist put out a take into the marketplace that the reporter liked and said, “Well, gee, I need to get this person in.” Any one of us can do that. You and me and everyone watching in here can do that. You can do it in your local newspaper, your local television station, local radio station. If you have a take on a piece of great news and you push it out there in the form of say a tweet with an appropriate hashtag or a video or a blog post, a reporter might find it and then they might quote you or you can tag a reporter who you know is going to be writing about this and they may quote you.
[00:16:34] David: Sometimes they quote you without even contacting you and that’s happened many, many, many times to me. One of my secret weapons for my marketing is that I do this technique as well. Most recently, I’ve had enormous success leading up to the 2016 presidential election. I analyzed the marketing aspects, not the political aspects, the marketing aspects of the presidential election. I live in the Boston area and I’m only one hour from the New Hampshire border so New Hampshire, of course, being the first primary in the nation and New Hampshire in this cycle being also a swing state, there were tons of rallies happening in New Hampshire.
So, I went and I saw Hillary Clinton speak three times. I saw Donald Trump speak a couple of times. I saw a bunch of the other candidates, Bernie Sanders and Marco Rubio and John Kasich and whatnot, deliver presentations up in New Hampshire and then I analyzed their live events. I analyzed their electronic marketing whether it was Trump’s Twitter or the other candidates’ websites, how Hillary Clinton is using social networking. I did that all that analysis. The first time I predicted Trump was going to win was in August of 2015, 18 months before the election and that was based on his use of real-time marketing, the topic we’re talking about in this video series. And so, I was able to do this prediction where I’m going to say, “Hey, this is going to happen,” and this guy has got a better command of modern marketing, again, not the politics of it. Not what he’s saying on Twitter but the fact that he is able to use Twitter in a better way.
[00:18:25] David: This is during the election, not currently as president, using Twitter better than any other candidate and that’s gotten him billions of dollars of free media and this has potential to get him elected because he is generating way more attention for his candidacy than anybody else. And people laughed at me. They thought I was crazy. Yet, I was written about in a lot of different news stories as a result of doing this and it generated a lot of business for me personally because I became the go-to expert about how Donald Trump’s marketing is working because he’s using these modern marketing techniques. And that’s something anybody can do. You can do it, I can do it, anybody watching into this can do it, but it requires that idea of real-time communications.
[00:19:16] Brad: So, David, I want to get into the newsjacking and it’s funny here. It’s like you’re reading my questions off my page that I haven’t asked them yet.
[00:19:23] David: There you go.
[00:19:23] Brad: But I want to rewind because there was something that hit home with me just a little bit ago on the Fed kind of example from Australia. There was a couple of things that were powerful there. Number one, it’s a massive news story that everybody wants to know how it impacts them, which we’ll go into newsjacking in a second, how to take advantage of that. But the other thing it made me think of is I’m an Apple guy. I just recently, the most recent Apple launch with the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X or whatever it’s called, and I didn’t have two hours to watch the launch. So, what did I do? I googled the next morning difference between iPhone 8 and iPhone X and it was some media outlet that basically had a, “Here’s what you need to know. Here are the key takeaways.” And so, the other piece of that puzzle there is in a constantly stimulated, you just held up your iPhone, constant simulation from everybody these days, there’s huge power in distilling key takeaways and then putting your spend, your angle on them and providing that so it’s like the CliffsNotes version. So, can you speak to that? I mean, I’m guessing that’s a piece of your strategies that you coach on as well because I think financial advisors could be taking advantage of that.
[00:20:34] David: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. And it is and particularly if you have an expertise around what that news story is. And again, in the case of the iPhone launch, what are you going to do by the way? I’m holding out for 10. I’m going to preorder one on the 26th or whatever date it is that the preorder starts. My daughter, I got my daughter…
[00:20:59] Brad: I’m on the same boat with you. I’m holding out, man.
[00:21:01] David: You’re doing the same thing? My daughter got an 8. She really likes it but I’m holding out for the 10. But that’s another example of a news story that we knew was coming. Everyone knew that the launch was going to be such and such a date. There are rumors leading up to it then there was the launch and then there were a bunch of people who had their take on it. So, Australia budget night, the Super Bowl, the Academy Awards, the iPhone launch, these are all things that we know that are going to happen and, yes, this is a really great way to create a piece of content that’s going to be valuable and certainly it is worth doing if you have a particular area of knowledge that would be in demand when that news story breaks, when that item that you know is going to happen is actually happening.
But I think the greater opportunity comes from the news that’s surprising that we never thought was going to come, that is like, “Wow. Where did that come from? That’s really interesting.” So, back to Trump, I’ll give you an example of what Trump did that I thought was fascinating. I’ve blogged about it and I said this is the sort of thing that’s going to get this guy elected. And again, people laughed at me. But when Hillary Clinton was giving the biggest speech of her life which was the Democratic National Convention Acceptance Speech, biggest speech of her life prime-time for a full hour and all of the hoopla going on behind her, introduced by her daughter Chelsea. During this speech, Donald Trump tweeted in real-time and he was giving a running commentary of Clinton’s speech.
[00:23:02] David: And that had never been done before by a presidential candidate ever. And we had Twitter over the last couple of cycles, so anybody could have done it, but no one did do it. Trump did. Now, what does that do? That ensures that the media will cover what Trump said as well as what Hillary said where normally it would just be here’s what Clinton said in her speech and here’s some of the reaction to it. Now they’re obligated to provide running commentary of what Trump said. So, he basically stumped her on her speech.
And again, I’m not talking about politics. It doesn’t matter who I supported or didn’t support for president. Trump was the better marketer. And again, this was leading up to the election, not commenting about his use of Twitter now as the president of United States. So, that was something that was surprising to a lot of people. And so, what does that mean for all of us listening in in terms of what’s the surprise that might happen? If the Dow Jones drops 1,000 points today, oh my gosh, what does that mean? Nobody knows. But if you put your take out there really quickly, perhaps your local newspaper will pick that up and you’ll get quoted and that’s great. If a particular stock moves…
[00:24:26] Brad: So, David, real quick on that, because I mean you’re a consultant. You help companies like prep for this type of stuff. So, if you’re a financial advisor out there right now, we know there’s going to be another correction. It’s just a matter of if and when. So, what would you be doing today? Would you have kind of a campaign prebuilt for when it happens? What would that look like?
[00:24:45] David: Yes, I would. I would be prepared. Now the first thing that you need to be prepared for is what are you allowed to do? And I know that in many organizations there are compliance departments. In many organizations, there are rules about what you can and can’t say. In many cases, people are extremely cautious and in my opinion overly cautious about what they can and can’t do. So, what I would do today first, most important by far, is to figure out if there is an issue that I want to provide some real-time commentary on, what am I allowed to do today? If I’m handcuffed about what I can do, can I change the rule somehow? If I have to run this thing by a compliance officer before I push it out, how can I ensure that it will be reviewed in 10 minutes, not 10 days so that I can push it out when the time is right?
Now I’ve worked with a number of different organizations to make that happen. What it requires is that you need to describe this technique of how marketing has changed and how important it is for us to get our information out there quickly when the time is right. And that, okay, compliance has to review it. Fine, but can we please set up a system so that compliance can review it within a few minutes and not sit on it until it’s not important anymore? So, that’s number one and I believe the most important thing. Then secondarily I would say, “Okay. Well, how are we going to get that into the market?”
[00:26:42] David: And some of the ways you can get into the market are text-based so it could be in the form of a blog post. It could be video-based so you can do something using one of the live streaming video services like Facebook Live or you could film it sort of in a little studio in your office or a home studio if you work from home and post it onto YouTube or it could be pushed out on Twitter or some of the other social networks or all of the above. So, that’s the next thing is how is that going to get out. And then get a sense of what are the sorts of things that you have the ability to comment on and that would be appropriate for the people that you’re trying to reach?
And so, I would suggest there that if your business is very local, your clients are people that you know personally, you golf with them, whatever it is, then I think you want to focus on some local stories. If you run a business where you have clients all over the United States or even all over the world, then you can probably broaden it a little bit in some ways to look at other kind of stories. Because I live in the Boston area and if I were somebody working in the Boston area and all of my clients were in the Boston area, I mean, the Boston Globe as well as the Boston television stations would be where I would focus and they’re probably more likely to be quoting you if you’re talking about a local Boston story. So, what I’d be on top of right now is, just as one example, is that Amazon is looking for where it’s going to have its new headquarters.
[00:28:35] David: And so, is there a take on that story that somebody local here in this market in the Boston area or any of the other cities that are up for consideration for Amazon’s new headquarters could talk about? “Oh wow, there’s a take on what the personal financial implications to Amazon moving its headquarters to Boston. What’s going to happen? Well, real estate values are likely to rise. How much are they likely to rise? Well, there’s 50,000 high-paid jobs coming into Boston. Boston has,” and I’m making this data up but, “Boston has 2 million homes, 50,000 more people trying to compete for those homes. The only thing that can happen is that prices will go up. There is no other result to what’s going to happen there unless there’s some other external force of course.”
And then someone could make a prediction. I believe that housing prices in Boston will go up 10% based on Amazon coming into this marketplace and bringing 50,000 high-paid jobs. Oh my God, you just put out a quote that everyone’s going to want to quote you on and you get invited into the TV studios and whatever it is. Now I just made this completely up but that’s the kind of thing you want to think about. In this case, it’s for a local story. So, you’re prepared, number one, to make sure that the powers that be and the compliance department, anybody else that you’re dealing with is prepared to let you say something quickly. And number two, you know your area of expertise that you can quickly create something that’s going to be interesting and quotable for people. And number three, you push it out in some way, video, audio, text-based that will get it noticed.
[00:30:23] Brad: Awesome. Okay. So, as I was thinking, you literally wrote the book on newsjacking. So, you’ve got to be a guy that stays up with current events. As I’m thinking through how financial services business would implement this, there are some guys that maybe they’ve got a 5 or 10-person firm. Small, right? We’ve got some of our bigger clients. They’ve got literally a Chief Marketing Officer. They’ve got a person that all they do is oversee this type of marketing initiative. How do you stay up on all your news? If I was an advisor just trying to say, “Hey, here’s the news feed, here’s how I can insert myself in this newsjacking,” what’s your best tools there?
[00:30:57] David: Sure. So, I’m just one guy. I’ve got some people who help me virtually, but I run a company of one and I am in my office right now. And so, I think what I personally do, and this is important, and this is something that a lot of people don’t do, but I invite serendipity into my life. What I mean by that, the word serendipity more or less means happy accident. And I invite the idea of serendipity into my life by exposing myself to new stories that I didn’t think to ask. So, in the financial world, we have access to multiple sources of news but what most people do is they set up personalization in that news. I only want to know about stock market news, I only want to know about this particular industry, whatever it is. And for your business, that’s probably pretty cool but for the idea of newsjacking and understanding what stories are happening out there, you never would’ve thought to ask whether Amazon is going to be considering your city for their new headquarters. I mean, nobody would’ve thought to have any personalization that would surface that story.
So, you have to be aware of what stories are out there that you didn’t think to ask for. So, the way I do that where I recommend others do that is I look at Google News between three and maybe even ten times a day but very quickly I just scan it really quickly. I scan it on Google. There’s a Google News app for smartphones. I have an iPhone that I use for my iPhone. There’s a Google News app site. Actually, it’s news.google.com that I use on my notebook computer and I just I go there with no personalization turned on because I just want to see what surfaced.
[00:33:01] David: The second thing I do, I read a daily print newspaper. I live in Boston. I read the Boston Globe when I’m here. I travel all the time and I read the local English language newspaper in whatever city I happen to be in because I frequently will find an interesting story in the local newspaper in the city I happen to be in. I also read a couple of weekly and monthly magazines, news magazines again to sort of surface stories that I never thought to ask. So, that’s what I do. The Boston Globe I’ll probably spend 10 minutes, 15 minutes with it before breakfast. The other thing is just a minute at a time. So, if I’m looking at it five times a day, it’s five minutes. That’s all. Again, no personalization. Now I know everybody who’s watching this looks at news all the time. It’s part of your business. I get that, but the problem is that it’s frequently only financial news. You’ve got to open yourself up to writers, scopes of news that might be able to be helpful to you as you’re thinking about something around the idea of newsjacking.
[00:34:04] Brad: What’s your favorite story? I love the serendipity. And plus, it’s fun. It keeps things fresh in your business.
[00:34:10] David: Yeah. Yeah. It does.
[00:34:11] Brad: What’s your favorite story either personally from your own business or one of your clients where that paid off huge for them? You have anything that comes to mind?
[00:34:20] David: Yeah. So, I mean, I have a bunch of different cool examples but just completely different industries than yours. A guy called Trent Silver who’s become a friend, and I’ve actually spoken with him on a stage, learned this idea of newsjacking from me and he runs a business called Cash for Purses. What Cash for Purses does is they buy people’s used handbags online, fix them up and then sell them either through boutiques or through eBay. And so, Trent’s biggest challenge with this business is getting more stock of used handbags to be able to fix up and sell. So, he uses newsjacking and he shared with me one example of newsjacking, just one example that he learned that Lindsay Lohan was having money problems.
And by the way, Lindsay Lohan having money problems is also an interesting story that anybody listening in on this podcast could have newsjacked as well but what Trent did was he said, “Oh okay, Lindsay Lohan is having money troubles. She’s not getting any movie deals. She might have to sell her house. I know. I’m going to offer to buy her used handbags.” So, he pushed out a blog post and said, “Hey, Lindsay, I’ll buy all your used handbags.” And then the media found that story and they loved it and then one media outlet wrote about it, another one did, another one did. He was in the Huffington Post. He was in Heat Magazine. He was in the Inquisitor. He’s on Radar Online. I think TMZ did it. And he told me that within the two-week period that all of these new stories were breaking, he generated 8,000 online inquiries. He closed about 18% of those online inquiries and he generated a quarter of $1 million over two weeks from one newsjacking which is, by the way, free.
[00:36:20] David: What he did didn’t cost him any money. And so, he just was clever. He figured out how to tie his business to a breaking news story and then pushed it out and had an incredible success with it. So, I may have tons examples like that but it’s just a matter of being fast, being clever. Some of the things that you can be thinking about if it involves a celebrity, that can sometimes be interesting. If it involves humor, it can sometimes be interesting. Politics is tough but there are occasions that you can think about a story that involves politics. Be very, very wary of any story that involves death and destruction. You need to be very careful of that. You don’t want to be seen as exploitative but if you do have a take that’s valuable, it can be used. If you can have a combination of several of those, it can be really interesting which is why Trent Silver’s example with Lindsay Lohan worked because, number one, it involved a celebrity. Number two, it involved humor. So, it’s two out of the four and that worked really well.
[00:37:31] Brad: Okay. So, I want to get your take on this. This will be fun. So, most of our advisors are going to market more traditionally so traditional radio, traditional direct mail to seminars or dinner events. We’re starting to see a trend and I feel like financial service is always like a decade behind everybody else. But we’re starting to see a trend where Facebook ads drive seminar attendance. Just basically that transitioning to digital. You live in this world. I would just love to hear your take. If you’re a financial advisor, you’re going out there, you’re starting up a practice, how would you just right out of the gate start marketing to take advantage of social and digital and where all of this is going?
[00:38:09] David: So, okay, that’s a good question. So, the first thing I would think of is that in today’s world it’s extremely difficult to break through by buying attention. And by buying attention, what I’m referring to is any way that you spend a whole lot of money to try to get people to pay attention to what it is that you want to do. So, you talk about this example and I get these letters all the time because I live in a proper zip code here in the Boston suburbs. People always inviting me to some kind of seminar and frankly, I don’t even open the mail anymore. And so, I actually tweeted a couple of days ago that junk mail that you just put in the recycle bin was somebody else’s lovingly created direct mail campaign.
And so, what I do to try to wake people up about this is and this really works great in a live event. So, I do this at a lot of my life events. The answers to these questions are always 2%, 1%, 15%, 100% and 80%. I predict the answers and it’s uncanny how the answers work out. So, I’m going to ask everyone here to just silently to themselves think whether they’re going to answer yes or no to the following questions and I will predict that of our audience right now there’s only going to be 2% who answer yes to the first, 1% who answer yes to the second, 15% who answer yes to the third, 100% who answer yes to the fourth and 80% who answer yes to the fifth. The first question being, in the last one to two months either for your business or for yourself personally, have you bought a product or service as a result of receiving a direct mail campaign?
[00:40:07] David: The answer to that is 2% of the room. The next question is, in the last one to two months privately or professionally, have you bought a product or service as a result of receiving a cold call from a salesperson? The answer to that is 1%. Now think of that. Only 1% of a room in the last two months have bought a product or service as a result of receiving a cold call from a salesperson. Yet what is the one other primary tool that the financial industry uses is soliciting business. The third question that answers 15% is, in the last couple of months have you bought a product or service because you saw a paid advertisement in a magazine, newspaper or television, radio, whatever? The fourth question, in the last one to two months have you bought a product or service as a result of searching for a product or service that you might want to buy on Google or another search engine? 100%.
And the 80% one is, in the last couple of months have you bought a product or service because you wanted to ask your friends, colleagues, family members for advice on that product or service and you did that through some kind of s