How to Use Facebook for Prospecting
Episode 7530th June 2022 • Human-centric Investing Podcast • Hartford Funds
00:00:00 00:26:02

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When financial professionals think about Facebook, they ultimately want to know how to get more business from it. Stephen Boswell returns to the podcast to give helpful tips on how to utilize this network as another marketing strategy.


John Diehl: [:

Julie Genjac: [00:00:02] and I'm Julie. [00:00:03][1.3]

John Diehl: [:

human centric investing podcast. [00:00:08][3.4]

Julie Genjac: [:

inspiring thought leaders to hear their best ideas for how you

can transform your relationships with your clients.


John Diehl: [00:00:19] Let's go.

John Diehl: [:

about the ways that financial professionals go about prospecting. I

remember the old days when they used to want to put an ad in the

newspaper or invite somebody to the, you know, the dinner that was

going to last three hours and you got everybody who came to eat but

not do much else. And I'm sure you've participated in those client

events where, you know, the adviser really hopes to get 40 or 50

people in the room and three of them show up, but they still have to

pay for the room and the food. So oftentimes prospecting can be

really frustrating for advisors, but it seems to me like prospecting

through these social platforms, especially like Facebook may have

some great trade offs in terms of cost and benefit. I don't know.

What's your experience been? [:

Julie Genjac: [00:01:14] I wholeheartedly agree, John, I think

oftentimes the planning and mechanics of some of the physical

prospecting events can consume an adviser or a team or a practice,

and it seems to me, although I'm a novice in terms of social media

prospecting and I'm excited to learn more like there are some

efficiencies in some ways that a team could leverage this so that

they can continue to reach a broader group of prospects through their

their current connections, but don't have to spend an inordinate

f time and dollars doing it. [:

John Diehl: [00:01:51] So, Julie, it's for that reason why I'm really

excited about sharing this episode that we recorded with Steven

Boswell Press in the Oxley Institute because I think it will give

financial professionals some really practical, practical steps to

implement in terms of maybe a new way to prospect. So with that,

let's go. [:

Julie Genjac: [00:03:29] We're delighted to be here today with Steven

Boswell. Steven is the president of the Oxley Institute. In addition

to overseeing the Oxley Institute's ongoing research on the affluent

consumer financial advisers and insurance agents, Steven delivers

workshops throughout the U.S. on affluent marketing and practice

management. He is also the author of a bi weekly newsletter for

wealth management. Dot com. Stephen, thank you so much for being here

with us today. We're delighted to chat with you about Facebook.


Stephen Boswell: [00:03:59] Glad to be here, thanks for having me,

Julie and John, as well. [:

John Diehl: [00:04:04] So, Steven, I have a question for I know when

Facebook first started coming on the scene, advisors were kind of

questioning how do they use it to communicate to existing clients and

kind of show them what their practice is about to learn a little bit

more about them as a person, not just a financial adviser. But it

seemed like and still seems to me a little bit, that advisers are

unaware of the prospecting potential that Facebook brings. Is that

see at the Oxley Institute? [:

Stephen Boswell: [00:04:35] We do, and I think more and more

financial advisers are learning the intricacies of Facebook

marketing. And we also see it from the other side as a consumer. If

you're on Facebook, you are seeing advertisements periodically and

you are wondering how all that works. You know, it's effective. You

see it in your newsfeed and you're wondering if you're a financial

advisor, how do I embrace some of this for our business? How do I

make myself in the palm of people's hands on Facebook?


Julie Genjac: [00:05:05] So I think the million dollar question is if

I am a financial professional and I haven't embraced this process.

What what do I do to get started in terms of using Facebook as a true

keting tool for my practice? [:

Stephen Boswell: [00:05:23] When you're thinking about Facebook, you

begin with the end in mind that if ultimately you want to get new

business from this network, which is what we all want, right? We want

it. And actually you all want it as financial professionals. You've

got to think about how do we get there, right? And no different than

any other marketing strategy. If you were to think about traditional

marketing, let's say that you were going to be a good networker. You

would first have to get out and meet a lot of people. You'd have to

build relationships with them. You'd have to ask for the business in

a compelling manner and ultimately you lose some and you'd win some.

And ultimately, those are good prospectors. When we apply that

mentality to Facebook, it works the same way. We've got to walk

before we run, we've got to build first, some awareness of who we

are. We've got to get some conversations rolling and ultimately we

hope to have some, some real life prospects in the door. And

Facebook's advertising, like if you were to go in behind the scenes

and look at ads manager and Facebook, which is how you know you, this

is how you would go about advertising in a more traditional way on

Facebook. The objectives there are just that. It's awareness,

engagement or conversion, and you've got to really understand the

three before you start to advertise. Awareness is just what it sounds

like that I want to make people in my area know exactly who I am. And

there's certain benefits to that. Like if I'm a good financial

advisor, I want everybody with money who lives within twenty five

miles of here to know exactly who I am. Not just to see my face, but

perhaps to see me and recorded video to hear my podcast, to see

something I've written. I'd like them to see it every day, if I

could. And that raises awareness. It starts to build some followers

on our page. The engagement phase is really about getting people to

interact, letting them visit our website, letting them watch a

significant portion of our videos, which is all good stuff. They're

building familiar familiarity with us. They're building trust. And

finally, the conversion aspect of it is I'd love to have their

contact information. I'd love to be able to reach out to them, by

phone or by email to start the nurturing process. And so when all

that's working in succession, you've got a growing audience that's

responsive to your offers and ultimately you're able to follow up

with them. But there's a real difference between lead generation and

demand generation. If you come into social media in general, Facebook

right now and you're thinking more lead generation, it tends to be a

short term focus where you may have a high volume of leads, quote

unquote emails of people who want to engage with you. But they're low

quality, perhaps lower net worth, perhaps less interest. They're

harder to close. And it's not the ideal setup, right? When you're

looking at demand generation. It's a longer term play to where you're

making people aware of you. You're building relationships, and

ultimately, when the timing is right for them, they're coming to you

for financial advice. It's a model that we had actually been playing

for 15 years. It's exactly how we grow our business in terms of

offering up free content for people to engage with. And as they like

it, there may be becoming. There may become a need at some point for

our services. And it's it makes it to where you shift from making

outbound calls, trying to find business to where people are calling

ing to engage your services. [:

John Diehl: [00:08:29] Stephen, when we think about prospecting, is

there a reason why Oxley says that Facebook is really the social

platform of choice? I mean, does it does it have to do with the

potential audience we can reach? Is it the flexibility of the

platform? Is it both? Why Facebook versus Instagram or LinkedIn or

ny of these other platforms? [:

Stephen Boswell: [00:08:53] Yeah, Facebook has not only a larger

audience than those other platforms. It is slightly older audience

and an audience that engages that network more often. So LinkedIn

thing, for example, if you're a recruiter or if you're in sales.

LinkedIn is a network you'd use pretty often if you're a consumer, an

affluent investor. LinkedIn's not something that you go onto all the

time. It's still a great network. We can get into that in another

episode. But but Facebook is something they're engaging with

constantly. You know, the average Facebook user is on their multiple

times a day. It's not as if they're they're logging in once and

checking it and moving on. So they're a more receptive audience to an

awareness building campaign if you want to be in front of people.

Facebook's where it's at now, over time. Will that migrate? You know,

obviously the trends you're in favor right now of networks like

Instagram. Yeah, we'll be there too, right? You want to embrace the

networks as they evolve to match your ideal client profile. But for

most financial advisers, the ideal profile is a client of that.

That's on Facebook. [:

Julie Genjac: [00:09:56] Stephen, I really liked your analogy of how

you went through the sales process, and it's one drip planting of

another seed, another drip, another seed and and I've never thought

about Facebook in that way in my mind, I've always thought about it.

It's it's quick, it's direct. It's sort of a one hit wonder. And then

we move on to the next activity. And that's really opened my mind to

the possibilities and really kind of walked me through how this can

be a really interesting longer term sales cycle, especially to target

the right clients that truly fit the practice that I have built. I'm

curious. You mentioned something called lead generation, and I

admittedly am not a Facebook aficionado. I will admit I'm not even on

Facebook. Right, right. This moment, that will change soon. But how

does that work? What is lead generation? If you're if you would

would be very appreciative. [:

Stephen Boswell: [00:10:51] Yeah, absolutely. So let's say you're in

a position where you've already built the following you already have

a robust presence, you put out good content and you're saying, you

know, what would be great is if I got some actual names of people who

have interest in my services from Facebook. Well, they love to make

that happen for you. And Legion on Facebook would work as follows

typically would work as follows that you're going to offer up. If

you're the financial adviser, you're going to offer up something of

value to the consumer. And if they think it's valuable enough,

they'll give you their information in exchange for it. So that thing

of value may be your time that you're willing to offer up a 30 minute

consultation with them. It may be a recorded webinar that is valuable

enough for them to want to offer up their contact information for it.

It could be a physical copy of a book. We've seen all different

varieties of this, but the way it works in Facebook is that may come

through your News Feed, you know the number of posts that you're

scrolling through and it may say Download this white paper today on

X-Y-Z for business owners and you're thinking, Well, hey, I'm a

business owner. This looks pretty enticing. Well, Facebook, the

mechanisms within Facebook make that really easy. Facebook obviously

already knows your name. They know your email. They often know your

phone number, so they will pre populate those lead forums for you. So

if I click, download this white paper! Facebook will already pre

populate my name and email and phone number, and all I've got to do

is hit submit in order to download that white paper. So Facebook, as

a platform, has made it fairly frictionless for the consumer to

download those kind of things and to serve you up as the financial

advisor that person's information. Now the real key point there is a

lead in that context. I put it in quotes for a reason that these are

people who've raised their hand and said, necessarily, I've got money

and I want to do financial advisor. You've got to sort through it.

But what you're able to do when you gather there, contact information

is moved from rented space to own space and without getting too far

into the weeds. I own the space. When I have your contact

information, I can reach out to you whenever I want. I'm at

Facebook's mercy when I only have you through advertising. I've got

them to get in front of you. [:

John Diehl: [00:13:03] Stephen, you mentioned earlier the difference

between lead generation, which you said is usually kind of a short

term engagement and demand generation, which you said is maybe a

longer term process. Can you just elaborate on that? So you just

talked about lead generation. How does that differ from demand

generation? And how should I, as a financial professional, be

ing about demand generation? [:

Stephen Boswell: [00:13:28] Yeah. If I were thinking lead generation

as a financial adviser, let's say I get right into the network and I

think I want business out of this. I want to put in hundred dollars

today and get five hundred out in terms of return. I would be

thinking a short term strategy, like offering up a quick video. You

can watch the extended version if you give me your contact

information. I'd get a handful of low quality leads back and I would

try to nurture them into something significant is typically a failed

strategy. I mean, there are ways to make that work with a more

significant lead offer lead magnet, bigger budgets to make that work.

You certainly see some success stories out there, some bigger brands

making it happen. But if I if it's if it's my money on the line here,

this is what we do at Oxley. I'm playing the demand gen game too,

where I'm putting out consistent streams of helpful content that have

you attached to me until the timing is right. Until if you're a

consumer looking for financial advice, you've changed jobs, you sold

your business, you have something in motion that might warrant you

reaching out to a financial advisor. I want to be in your head. I

want to be the one you're thinking about when you're thinking

financial advice. [:

Julie Genjac: [00:14:35] So you mentioned the word content, and I

know that's a conversation that I have very frequently with financial

professionals, no matter what platform they're considering in terms

of putting themselves out there to ultimately grow their their

practice, where what is the best practice for gathering this content?

I always bristle a little bit when I hear advisors saying that

they've spent a month writing their own newsletter or, you know,

creating all of this content. And of course, I'm sure there's a

balance so that it feels personal. But could you share with us some

great sources for that content that are maybe efficient and effective

for a financial professional that again has so many moving parts

within the practice that they can't sit down and stop the clock for a

month and create a whole bunch of content for themselves.


Stephen Boswell: [00:15:22] Yeah, I mean, years ago, we would have

given the exact opposite advice of what all about to give you right

about to give you right now. Years ago, I would have said, do not

waste your time writing articles and books and stuff because we would

have a lot of people coming to us and saying, Yeah, marketing

strategy. This year, I'm going to ghost write a book and this is

going to be my big hit, and I've never seen it be a big hit for

someone. So a lot has changed and I would say when you're thinking

about the way consumers find financial advisers now. Sure, many of

them do it traditionally, and they ask a friend or family member, Who

do you recommend? And then look you up online. But they're even more

now than ever that go to the web initially to look up and find

financial advisers. So if you don't have a presence there, that

includes some personal content from you articles or videos, you're

not going to make the kind of impression that leads to new business.

So, you know, it used to be that having a basic website and a

LinkedIn profile would be enough credibility that people could look

you up and see who you are. Nowadays, there are so many options out

there that if you don't have some compelling content that you've

actually had a hand in, people pass you by and you can tell

immediately if you look through your LinkedIn or Facebook feed right

now, you can tell immediately the difference between a piece of

content that the adviser had their hand in creating versus one that

was found elsewhere. And it's not to say that you never use third

party content content that you find from Hartford Funds, content that

you find from your firm. All that stuff is great, but you also just

want to have at least a splash of your own personal, your personality

that that's thrown in there. Because as you're thinking about

establishing that demand, part of it comes from being knowledgeable.

The other part of it comes from being likable that they see your

content regularly and think I can see myself working with this

person. [:

John Diehl: [00:17:10] Steven, can you think off hand of any success

story specific advisers or financial professionals who kind of made

the commitment to demand generation and I've seen it make a

ifference in their business? [:

Stephen Boswell: [00:17:25] Yeah, we've got a I've got one that's

fresh in my mind because I heard about it yesterday. This is from a

financial adviser who'd been in some video programing with us, and

his takeaway was that he's landing more business right now through

his videos that he posts through his social channels than any other

technique he's trying. Then getting referrals through hosting client

events or webinars. He said his videos are getting passed around from

his clients to their friends. His videos are bringing in people that

would have never met in real life that he's meeting through his

Facebook page. So when you start to hear stories like that, you know

where the future is headed. You know, people of the the, you know, a

certain generation are spending a lot more time and younger people

are spending a lot more time on their phones then than other

generations. So when they start to make more money, when they start

to get inheritance, what are they going to do? They're looking on

their phones to find financial advisors. So a person like that who's

doing the regular video content is in a lot better position this

year, five years from now, 10 years from now to gain market share

who's just not embraced yet. [:

Julie Genjac: [00:18:31] So, Steven, let's take that example, because

I think that's a great success story. That adviser puts the video out

there and receives a list of individuals that where it's been passed

around to friends of clients, they have this list of names, numbers,

emails. What do they do with it? How how? What are some best

practices on how that adviser is reaching out? Are they saying, I see

you watch my video on Facebook or is it a little more finessed? I'm

curious. I think sometimes, you know, I'm thinking about this big

picture, but tactically, when I'm picking up the phone or pulling up

that blank email, what am I saying after I receive these leads?


Stephen Boswell: [00:19:08] Well, you're hitting on a good point,

which is just lead nurturing, and it doesn't often come on the heels

of a video video would be more of demand. Gen that you watch my

video, you think enough of me? Maybe it was sent to you by a friend

of yours who uses my services and you think enough of it to call me

or reach out. But let's say it was a more traditional legion

mechanism, like offering up a white paper in exchange for their email

information or their phone number. You're going to look at a sequence

of nurturing them that very few people on the heels of reading that

white paper are going to call you and say, Hey, I'm in like that.

Where do I sign up? Like, you want to maintain and, you know, some

positioning in front of them. Some of that will be through engaging

with them on social, right? Some of that will be adding them to your

email newsletter. And ideally, the same takes place there, the

trouble to educate them through that newsletter, but also to let them

get to know you a little bit through some personal things happening

with your team or your own personal insights about what's happening

in the markets, for example. There's a blend of phone calls like

you're trying to think of a variety of ways to stay in front of

somebody until they tell you they're not interested. Which isn't a.

There's a difference between that and hounding them, but you want to

stay in front of them until the timing is right. It's a lead

nurturing. [:

John Diehl: [00:20:22] I was going to ask you about that topic of

lead nurturing if if we rush in too quick. Is there a concern about

that thin line between cool and creepy, right? Like how did he know

this about me and when? When does the financial professional know too

much information? Is that something we need to be sensitive of,

especially if we haven't worked with these platforms before?


Stephen Boswell: [00:20:47] I think you want to be mindful of your

target market, and if you're targeting, I'll give you. Here's another

example So there's a financial advisor that we worked with who had a

book that he really liked and he would say, If you fill out this

form, I'll tell you the book. And people would fill out that form.

You know, a lot of people fill out that form. But he would say, I'm

not going to just send it to him. I'm going to make sure they have a

conversation with me. First, I'll call it under the premise of like,

I want to verify your information, but I'm going to make you have a

phone call with me first. And the key to his success per him was I

would call them as soon as I got the lead. Like, I see it coming in

on my phone and I'd call them. And he said otherwise people would

forget that they even filled it out. They wouldn't remember. And so I

would call them immediately, and it worked for him now. He was

focused on a lower net worth market, a good good client for him. Two

hundred and fifty thousand, maybe five hundred thousand investable. I

would make the opposite case for those who were five to 10 million.

We'll say that that's your space. You don't want to call those people

up immediately. You don't want to help them by email. You want to be

a little bit more soft in your sales skills. You want to give them

the opportunity to come to you by putting your video content in front

of them, for example, by perhaps inviting them to some webinars where

you have experts from your firm on the line. But the things that are

a little softer. [:

Julie Genjac: [00:22:05] I've heard throughout what you've shared

with us today that for those financial professionals that are

engaging in this, that personalization of their content is very

important. Consistency of posts nurturing the leads are obviously

really crucial ingredients in this recipe for success. Are there any

other best practices that advisors should consider if they're looking

get more leads on Facebook? [:

Stephen Boswell: [00:22:33] Yeah, I would say that you're only, you

know, you're only going to be as good as those you follow. And so if

part of the strategy is you want to get better at Facebook marketing,

follow other people who are really good at it, take note of what they

post, how often, how much energy they personally put into it, because

there are financial advisers who do a really good job of this. Keep

in touch with what they're up to. And it's a good step towards

getting better yourself. [:

John Diehl: [00:22:59] So, Stephen, let's just say, as we think about

upcoming marketing initiatives, that I make a commitment to improving

my my presence in Facebook, establish my business page. Now I want to

make that commitment to demand generation, which probably starts with

lead generation. I've got an idea of what I'd like to do for content.

What's the first step? Getting started with Facebook lead generation?


Stephen Boswell: [00:23:28] Yeah, it is taking note of what you've

done previously, that has had some impact. And the reason I say that

is when you're talking about lead generation, that's the hardest part

of all this, right? I would personally, I would be a financial

adviser if I had the perfect formula that worked every time that

could double my investment and put it into Facebook. And all of a

sudden you're spitting out clients out the back end. It's not that

simple. It takes a ton of trial and error. And one of the things that

helps in trial and error is an understanding of what you've done

previously that had some success. So if I were going to get into a

big Legion campaign and I was going to put in hundreds or thousands

of dollars to make this work, to get a volume of names at the top of

the funnel that lead to some good business down at the bottom. I want

to do that with some historical perspective about the topics and the

audience that have performed. So for example, if I can look back and

say all the things that I targeted at business owners were really

effective. I'm going to go after that market if I can look back and

say, Well, it's really the dentist content that I put out or the

content that was on millennials and Gen Xers with money that that

worked better for me. That's the audience. Then I'm going to target.

So, you know, it is. It's interesting when you ask, like, where do

you start? It's a constant experimentation day. I look at I talk a

lot about our marketing here at Oxley, just because not because we're

perfect at it, but because we spent a lot of time on it. And I can

say every month, still, to this day, we are experimenting with styles

of ads, video versus graphics. The length of video like we experiment

constantly as a means to finding some things that are going to be

igh performers for this mom. [:

John Diehl: [00:25:03] So it sounds to me like if we're going to make

this a priority, our Facebook marketing that we need to make a longer

term commitment, not just think we're going to post one thing here

and there and expect to receive, you know, all these all this

feedback. But regardless of the feedback, what you said about trial

and error means that we need to commit for some period of time to put

a consistent effort into generating good content, personalizing it to

have an effect and and letting it go for a while before we begin to

some of the harvest, right? [:

Stephen Boswell: [00:25:38] Yeah, and I'm not saying going in blind

and that, you know, we're going to put money into this indefinitely

and not expect any tangible results out of it, cause that's not the

case. You want to be getting business from this. But but I do think

it takes a mindset of experimentation being willing to waste a little

bit of money and not. And what I mean by that is you you can't expect

every ad, every boosted post to get a media payoff and you've got to

be OK with that as part of the process. No different than, you know,

hosting a client event. You don't expect all of them to pay off a new

business. But in aggregate, they do. And I think when you go into

that long term mindset that says the future is that people are

interacting online. The future is that people are finding brands

online that I want to be there and the most compelling way possible.

Whatever my firm will allow me to do, I want to be into it.


Julie Genjac: [00:26:33] Well, for those of you that are excited to

continue to learn more about lead generation within Facebook and

hopefully to cut through a bit of the trial and error through Stephen

and his team's hard work and diligence throughout many years and

working with so many financial professionals in our industry. Feel

free to visit Harvard funds dot com slash Facebook for many best

practices and tips, and in terms of engaging Facebook in the most

efficient and effective way. Thank you again, Steven, for sharing all

of your insight and words of wisdom with us today. I know that I

continue to learn so much. [:

Stephen Boswell: [00:27:07] Yeah, thanks again for having me. These

are always so much fun. [:

Julie Genjac: [00:24:37] Thanks for listening to the Hartford Funds.

Human Centric Investing podcast, if you'd like to tune in for more

episodes. Don't forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts

inkedIn, Twitter or YouTube. [:

John Diehl: [00:24:51] And if you'd like to be a guest and share your

best ideas for transforming client relationships, email us a guest

booking at Hartford Funds dot com. We'd love to hear from you.


Julie Genjac: [00:25:02] Talk to you soon. [00:25:02][0.0]


Prior to implementing any of the strategies referenced, please consult with your

firm's legal and compliance teams about social media policies and programs