Attracting Next Gen Talent and Clients w/ Dan GrahamAFO|Wealth Management Forward
Attracting Next-Gen Talent and Clients w/ Dan Graham
In this episode, Rory engages in a conversation with Dan Graham, the Founder of docVinci and Head of Marketing at Next Gen Planners. Together, they explore strategies for attracting next-gen talent and clients through financial planning. Dan delves into the evolution of financial planning, emphasizing the importance of personal branding and having a unique service proposition (USP). He shares valuable marketing tips and tools from Next Gen Planners on how to enhance the client experience. Discover how innovative firms are servicing clients through a subscription model, similar to Netflix or Amazon Prime, as a way to better meet client needs. They explore the significance of understanding clients’ values, motivations, and emotions in addition to their financial goals. Find out about the impact relationships have on retirees, particularly men whose social circles are often tied to their work. Dan also talks about the influence of social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, highlighting the increasing reliance on peer recommendations and advice. Don’t miss this enlightening episode on financial planning, marketing, and effective engagement with the Next Generation with one of the UK’s financial planning thought leaders, Dan Graham!
Speaker1: [00:00:00] I want to have you talk a little bit about relationships and the importance of that, especially for the the the younger generation in regards to how to live life.
Speaker2: [00:00:09] Yeah, I mean, perfect position to talk about this given the the community that we have. You know, we’ve got over 1100 financial planners in there and all of them are in there paying that monthly subscription, whatever it is, because they want to make those relationships and they want to make friendships and that and that community element of it. And one of one of those people in the community has just launched a podcast on this and he’s talking about that. Exactly that kind of stuff of when you get to retirement and you transition, you lose those relationships. And that’s ultimately one of the biggest reasons why people go back to work when they’re in retirement is because they miss those. We would call it banter across here in the UK. They miss that work banter of going in every day and seeing people having that social aspect to their life, and then it just completely disappears the day after they retire.
Speaker3: [00:01:08] Welcome to Afar Wealth Management Forward, a podcast about finance, accounting, technology and entrepreneurship. We apply our decades worth of experience and insight into what makes businesses work so we can help others grow both personally and professionally. In this ever evolving marketplace. We help accounting firms and financial advisors grow their practice through the adoption of holistic wealth management services, learn from industry leaders and subject matter experts to unlock the secrets of their success. A podcast that shows people and companies the transformative power of technology so they don’t fear it, but instead harness it. Don’t fight the robots. Team up with them. And here are your hosts, Rory Henry, director of business development and CEO Rob Santos of Arrowroot Family Office Finchy.
Speaker1: [00:01:52] He’s also the chief marketing officer at NexGen Planners. We’re here to talk about a number of different topics, not next gen talent getting next gen prospects. So without further ado, let me introduce our esteemed guests all the way from the UK, Dan Graham. Dan, welcome to the show.
Speaker2: [00:02:12] Thank you very much for having me. Rory It’s a pleasure. If I look like I’m smiling a lot, it’s because it’s half four on a Friday afternoon when we’re recording this here in the UK. So I know that we’ve just been talking before we started, didn’t we? Rory And it’s actually morning there for you, so I’m just going to keep on, just I’m just going to keep on gloating throughout the whole of this podcast. Love it.
Speaker1: [00:02:30] I love it. I told you before we got on, I said, Dan, you’re going to carry me here. I never usually do a podcast this early in the morning, but you have the great energy, So you know, I love I’ve seen your work on LinkedIn and I’ve listened to some of your podcasts. For those in our audience though, can you kind of give a background on on who Dan Graham is and the work you do at Da Vinci and next gen planners?
Speaker2: [00:02:50] Yeah, 100%, man. So I didn’t have a background in finance. I didn’t even know what a career in finance looked like. I did English language at university, which was fun, taught me wrong. Doesn’t really set you up for for for a vocational career, though. I just kind of heard about it. And then I started working at a financial planning firm, got qualified and everything like that. And then kind of I’m not open, I’m sorry, I’m not closed to being to showing vulnerability. I kind of wear my heart on my sleeve a little bit, and I was kind of going through a lot at that time. Nothing in personal life, but just it wasn’t for me. The career in financial planning just wasn’t for me just yet. And I put up with it for so long that eventually it just kind of just popped. And I realized that it wasn’t for me just yet. But I loved the profession, financial planning. And it just so happens that the person I was working with at the firm was at also started next gen planners and a lot of the kind of work crossed over. I was desperate to get into something about marketing and I loved marketing. I love marketing now and then the kind of it all just worked perfectly. I was very, very lucky. So yeah, then next gen planners worked there for a working there for about 4 or 5 years now, but then in lockdown, everybody has a side hustle. Well, not everybody, but a lot of people had a side hustle that they started. Mine was Doc Vinci. So you can probably if the people who are listening are watching to this can imagine the documents that financial planners give to their clients, you can probably imagine what those look like. Very, very white, 100.
Speaker1: [00:04:20] Page financial plan. The dreaded.
Speaker2: [00:04:21] Exactly those. They’re 100, 100 page whatever it is, very white, very times new Roman font, you know, stock images of of old couples walking on the beach and all that kind of stuff. And I just kind of think, you know, today, if we want to stand out, if we want to really show the value of financial planning, we can’t look like that anymore because it doesn’t represent the exciting, amazing things that financial planners can do for their clients. So we started just kind of taking people’s documents and just, you know, churning them out, making them look better, making them look branded, all that kind of stuff. But then eventually we actually formed it into a proper business. So yeah, documentary is part of next gen planners now, but we’ve now got, you know, loads and loads of financial planning businesses in the UK working with us and we just kind of we do unlimited document packages, so that’s making every single thing that financial planners give to their clients make look nicer. But then on the other side, we also help people bring their marketing into the 21st century as well, because that’s another another massive topic that we’ll probably talk about.
Speaker1: [00:05:18] Well, let’s dive into that, because I know on another podcast you talked about USP, and I remember right after college I got into a sales job and I remember my sales manager talking about the unique selling proposition or unique service proposition. And in this day and age, with marketing and social media, everybody has a brand, there’s a personal brand and there’s a corporate brand or business brand. Can you talk about this US USP and what you’re doing from a marketing perspective and helping financial advisors and financial planners out there develop their brand and their voice?
Speaker2: [00:05:52] Yeah. So it’s I mean, you’ve said it their unique selling proposition or unique service proposition or something, or whatever we want to call it, basically. And then brand comes into that as well. I always kind of define it as the gap that you fill that. Nobody else is filling. So the gap in people’s thoughts, minds, hearts, whatever it might be. And the problem is, is that are you.
Speaker4: [00:06:16] An accountant looking to generate more revenue and secure your future? Success as automation and artificial intelligence revolutionized the accounting profession? If so, contact us at AFO Wealth Management Forward. We specialize in helping accountants and advisors, just like you build a custom brand to pinpoint your optimal clientele, generate highly qualified leads through our data driven digital marketing and execute wealth management growth services to bring more value to your firm and your clients life. Our strategic approach to branding, marketing and wealth management is carefully tailored to attract ideal clients, increase customer retention rates and cultivate lasting relationships with clients across generations. Visit Wealth Management Forward.com to book your free consultation to find out how you can elevate your practice.
Speaker2: [00:07:05] A lot of the financial planning, in fact, it’s not a problem. It might be an opportunity actually, because a lot of financial planning businesses and you know, Rory, you probably agree with accountancy businesses as well, they all look exactly the same. You cannot separate I mean, most of them sorry, not all of them, but most of them look exactly the same. You can’t separate them. They’ve all got the same color schemes. They’ve all got the same messaging, they’ve all got the same target audience, all of these things. So it’s actually quite easy to to stand out. So what the work that we do with financial planning businesses is basically just trying to help them identify what is that gap. And I think a lot of people that we talk a lot about niche or niche which you guys which is right.
Speaker1: [00:07:44] Yeah.
Speaker2: [00:07:45] And you know, people are terrified to do it. They’re absolutely terrified to go niche or go niche and a niche is just a target audience and he should just sell it. Telling the world who you want to work with. It’s not saying I’m closing off. You might close off certain parts of society, but you don’t need to. A niche is just saying these are the people I want to work with. This is my brand message. This is what I what makes me unique from everybody else, because I understand what you’re going through and I absolutely love this kind of stuff because now actually I’m not working with businesses who don’t have a really clear target audience because unless you’ve got that, I don’t think you’ve got any chance of marketing successfully, really. And I think that’s where we need to bring ourselves up. Certainly financial planning as a profession does. I love the profession so much, but I think we need to be a bit less scared about telling the world who we want to work with, right?
Speaker1: [00:08:33] Yeah. I always say marketing and your brand is really holistic, so it’s from your email signature to your social media presence to your website. And it’s all really is is how you present yourself to, to the world out there. I just had on Hal Hershfield, who wrote the book Your Future Self and he talks about. So I wanted to kind of put in this perspective because I saw recently a post that you did that you come out, you came out with a financial planning journey for clients. And so that’s the visual vivid plan that you can show to people that really can differentiate you from somebody else out there in the marketplace. So maybe let’s dive into this concept of really maybe helping. So showing your differentiation, differentiation, differentiation, sorry, showing your differentiation early in the morning, showing your different right through some of your marketing materials. And in essence, it seems like what I saw on your LinkedIn post is that financial planning journey allows you to really capture a prospect or a client’s attention by painting a future vision of a life that they can get to.
Speaker2: [00:09:52] Yeah, and it’s not just it’s not just that. It’s pretty much everything. I mean, I’m stealing this completely from and talk about this quite often, but we had Robert Sophia from Snappy Kraken on our podcast about I think it must be three years ago now. It’s crazy. And he kind of, you know, said about this thing about pulling out all of your marketing stuff and putting it in front of you and comparing it to what other people look like. And if it looks exactly the same, then change it because then you’re not unique, you’re not different to everybody else. And then kind of, you know, have kind of coined that, not stolen it basically, and started calling it a brand audit, which is basically exactly that. It’s pulling out every single thing. But not just your materials. It’s pulling out your message. It’s pulling out your your website, your team, every single thing about your business and saying, how does that look different to another business? Because if it doesn’t look different, people aren’t going to work hard to try to differentiate you from everybody else. That’s that’s ultimately it’s your job to try and differentiate yourself from everybody else. But that’s where things like that journey can come in. But there’s tons of things you can do. And I think we might want to talk about this later on, Rory, but I’m going to mention it here is um, there are so many things that that financial planning businesses can do to stand out that nobody else is doing.
Speaker2: [00:11:05] Like, for instance, if. I was a client. Now, I mean, I’m on the younger end. I’m in my 20s. But if I was a client of financial planning business, I wouldn’t want to go to a meeting with a financial planner and have them interview me about how much I spend on my council tax, how much I spend on my gas and electric every month. And it’s just a waste of time. When there is technology and there’s automations, automations that you can do nowadays to get that kind of information from your clients. So I’m working with businesses at the moment, for instance, to turn that boring meeting, which would take an hour into simple digital fact finding that clients can do at home where they can fill in all the information. It’s interactive, it’s personalised, it’s fun for them to complete. And what that does is you can integrate videos as well, by the way. But also what that does is it completely separates you from what everybody else is doing, because hardly anybody else is doing that. So you can have a big impact with your service as well. And that’s where Unique service proposition comes into this. You can offer a really unique service that nobody else out there is doing for your clients.
Speaker1: [00:12:07] Yeah, and speaking of automation and what you’re talking about, Dan, you can do a lot of this work and doing tutorials, using video and showing you how to fill out a form, right? Or answering various questions of what’s the difference between a Roth versus a traditional 401. K, like answering the question. You can have a library of content and you can send that out to your clients, and so you can serve the one to many instead of that 1 to 1 type of relationship.
Speaker2: [00:12:36] Yeah. And mean could yabber on all day about how amazing video is. I think it’s about keeping it short nowadays. You know we’re always we’re so bombarded with everything. Even people who are listening to or watching this will probably have either another screen open or they’ll be scrolling through something or something like that. We’re just constantly just being bombarded with information and people trying to grab our attention. And you have to get into that nowadays, I’m afraid. Like you have to completely buy into that atmosphere. So everything you should do should be quick, should be to the point, should be no time wasting and should just be simple, basically. And that’s where your thing there of you know I mean I don’t usually recommend people talk about products in their videos. I think you can talk about much more interesting things but if you want to go on the educational side, then absolutely you could focus on, we call them pensions here in the UK, focus on the benefits of pensions versus other investment vehicles or whatever you might want to call it. But yeah, I mean, video is definitely the way forward that we’re going nowadays.
Speaker1: [00:13:35] Yeah. And let’s talk about that because you touched on a couple of points here in attracting or working with next gen prospects. You know, they may not have investable assets at this point. They might not have high income so many times for financial advisors, it’s tough to have alignment there because they may not have the monetary value. So sometimes they’ll do it as a favor to the parents. Right. But it’s really setting yourself up for that future client and it’s maybe being more educational. That’s why I say accountants and CPAs here in the States are uniquely positioned to attract that next gen talent because many financial advisors aren’t servicing that clientele. But CPAs and accounting firms are because they’re helping them start businesses grow their businesses, right? And so from that early that early age, they can they can have that relationship with that client. And then once they start accruing some money and some assets, they then can then service them in and manage their assets and do more financial planning. But I think that’s a unique opportunity for CPAs accounting professionals to really deepen that relationship with that future generation because they’re helping them start and advise on businesses.
Speaker2: [00:14:51] Yeah, and I think the the issue with this has traditionally and I think still today it is that service model, isn’t it? And it’s the ultimately it’s how financial planners get paid. And I mean, that’s just being honest. That’s the way it is. It’s ultimately these people don’t have.
Speaker1: [00:15:06] The lack of incentive.
Speaker2: [00:15:06] Yeah, yeah. And but if you if you were to rethink that and there’s tons of people who you know, I’ve chatted to who’ve said, yeah, we’ve tried that in the past and it didn’t work, so we’re just going to not do it again. Okay, okay, okay. But there are so many people in the UK who are doing fantastic stuff on this where they are just amending that business model, coming up with creative ideas where they can serve those clients, use things like automation, use things like education, use apps and all the different tools available nowadays to service those people and still make it affordable for those clients. So personally, I mean, I’m going to put this into pounds, by the way. I’m almost the same as dollars nowadays, but personally I would pay. I would happily pay. I mean, I’ve paid £100 for the gym before. Yeah. You know, I would happily pay £100 for somebody to tell me that I’m okay. £100 a month. That is, that I’m okay. That I’m going to be fine in the future, that I’ve got a plan in place that it’s kind of investing in myself. Yeah, I would happily pay that. It’s just about it’s just doesn’t exist out there because people don’t. Haven’t been really creative enough with their business models yet, but I think it is coming.
Speaker1: [00:16:11] That’s that subscription model though. Dan That’s that Netflix, that Amazon Prime, that that subscription model that I think some of the more innovative firms are moving in that direction because that’s what the clients seem to be wanting 100%.
Speaker2: [00:16:24] And it’s not about, you know, it’s almost it’s not a loss leader as such. You know, it’s not saying you’re going to lose me money now, but in the hope that you’re going to make me money in the future. But it’s certainly not you know, it certainly is a case for these people who are, you know, innovative enough and who are kind of ahead of the game enough to pay £100 a month to their financial planner in the future. The guarantee, the almost guarantee is that they’re going to pay you more in the future and they’re going to need more help in the future. And if you want to see it that way from a completely selfish perspective for yourself rather than for trying to help younger people, then if you start to think more creatively, it does work. It does start to work.
Speaker1: [00:17:01] And that’s where developing courses and online content and communities really helps out to start, you know, offering that service. As you start producing content, you put it in an educational library course, they then can subscribe to that and you start that that flywheel.
Speaker2: [00:17:18] Yeah. And you know, we’re, we’re, we’re, we’re, we’re both are you stood us I don’t know we’re both stood here whatever it is trying you know making this sound like it’s very very simple for these financial planners. I know that the people who are listening to this and I know that you guys are going to be sat there thinking, Oh, you telling me how to do my book, Grow my Business now or whatever. It’s not that. It’s just that I think that we can become a little bit more creative, and that’s what we’re trying to do at next Gen and with DaVinci is just trying to help people think outside the box a little bit more because like, you know, you said about their starting courses and everything like that, that’s not an easy task. Yeah, but if you’re passionate about it enough and you enjoy it, then it doesn’t become easy. But it certainly becomes achievable because you bought into the idea. But I’m not hosted here, by the way, and just saying that it’s easy because it’s definitely not. It’s almost like fighting the industry at the moment, right? Yeah.
Speaker1: [00:18:12] Well, so let me ask you this then. You you’ve built that helped build that next gen community. What are some of the first steps that you advise firms on when they’re starting to grow their practice or trying to be more innovative?
Speaker2: [00:18:27] Good question. Um, I mean, certainly there’s.
Speaker1: [00:18:31] Probably not one answer, but I’m sure there’s a common theme.
Speaker2: [00:18:35] There are definitely. I mean, we’ve got people I mean, I’m actually working with a few people right now who are literally launching their businesses as we speak. Um, and one of the first things we absolutely have to cover off is who do you want to work with? I mean, that is like the, the, the gold standard that if you don’t have that really you can’t have anything else, even if it’s not perfect yet. But it’s but it’s somewhere to start. That is much, much better than than anything because without that you can’t really get anywhere. And then the other thing I’ll do, talk to people a lot about is saying yes to pretty much everything. So when you’re launching your business, you don’t really have the opportunity, you don’t really have the comfort, you don’t really have the luxury to say no to things like. And that’s just unfortunately, that’s the way it is. You know, saying no to things ultimately is a luxury that that comes as a perk that comes later down the line. So something I learned was you just have to say yes to every opportunity that you get, whether it’s whether it all work or whether it won’t. You just have to take the opportunity and say yes to things. You’ll be absolutely shattered and it will be hard work. But that is unfortunately just what you’ve got to do to get noticed, to get out there. And that doesn’t mean saying yes to every single networking event that’s out there, because, you know, a lot of them are absolute garbage if we’re going to be honest. But it’s saying yes to anywhere. That gives you the chance to tell people about your business and tell people about you and your story and and all those those those kind of things as well. And there’s so many more that that we work with people on. But I think those two are the most important things that we work on.
Speaker1: [00:20:13] Yeah. And let’s say we’re a little bit here, Dan, about talking about attracting next gen talent because. I have had so many people on the podcast, behavioral finance people, financial therapy people, the psychology of investing. And I know that’s a big push over here in the States. I’m assuming it’s the same over there in the UK and people are starting to really, you know, yearn for a deeper, more meaningful relationship, more the human side of advice. So not just the technical skills, but really diving deeper and uncovering people’s values and then helping them get to where they want to go in life.
Speaker2: [00:20:55] Yeah, no, it definitely is on the rise over here in the UK. I’m still seeing, you know, shall we say, less of that thing than than I would than we would necessarily want to. Yeah, but it is definitely on the rise. And you know, we’ve had tons of we’ve had people like Ross Moreno and stuff like that on our podcast and Brendan Fraser. The stuff that those guys talk about is exactly what I would now define as proper financial planning is true financial planning, Right. Um, because unless you can really understand not just objectives of a client, you know, we can all get objectives out of people, you know, want to go on holiday four times a year when I’m 65 or whatever, that’s fine. But then the next natural question to ask, which not, you know, I never asked when I was a financial planner or training to be one was why? Yeah, why do you want to do that? And then you get deeper and deeper and you go into the values and you go into, you know, what really their purpose and what really makes them happy and all those kind of things. And once you know them, once you know that you can test them on every single thing that they that they say they want to do, you can say, well, is that going to bring you back to your values? Is that going to make you happier? Is that going to fulfill your purpose? And for instance, I’ve been chatting to the guys at Luminate, which I think, you know, I don’t know if you know the guys at Luminate, um, who’s the Santiago Burridge? Is the, the CEO there? And then they’ve.
Speaker1: [00:22:20] Got. Yeah, it rings a bell. I don’t know them but.
Speaker2: [00:22:22] Yeah, yeah. I mean fantastic tool if you haven’t had a demo of it. Anyone I don’t know if I can, if I can promote stuff on this podcast but I’m going to of.
Speaker1: [00:22:30] Course.
Speaker2: [00:22:32] Check those guys out because they’re in the US and they’re also in Australia. They’re coming to the UK as well and they’ve got an amazing tool which keeps the finances almost completely out of it. I think there’s only maybe one section on finances. Yeah, the rest of it is purely those human elements of what makes me happy, what is fulfilling my purpose, what do I actually actually want to do when it’s when they take the money out of the equation? Because that’s obviously a big one as well. Yeah. And then it really, really does change the complete financial planning process because it’s less of trying to make somebody’s life fit into their money. Yeah. The other way around, it’s trying to fit their money into what they want to do in their life and saying and then that is where the question of am I going to be okay and am I going to be happy? That is where you can then answer that question because you know what’s going to make you happy. You know what’s going to make you okay? Yeah. How can the money help that? And then something else that I’ve been kind of talking to people about is if I could go back, this is just a personal opinion, by the way, because there’s arguments for both sides.
Speaker2: [00:23:31] But of course, here in the UK you can do the level four qualification and then the level six qualification, which gets you to chartered in the UK and know that you can then do the CFP and all those kind of things. But I think in those exams and in those qualifications, realistically and again, some people might disagree with me on this, you don’t learn how to sit in front of a client and listen, ask them great questions, how to identify what they actually want to do with their lives. You learn about the products. You learn about the things to sell. And you know, that’s not really what 99% of your day job is. 99% of your day job is talking to people. So actually said to people like, go and do some of the other amazing courses which are out there, like the Kinder course, for instance, the the.
Speaker1: [00:24:14] Shaping wealth, the.
Speaker2: [00:24:16] Shaping wealth across here. We’ve got association, we’ve got Paul Emerson’s inspiring advisors. We’ve got tons of different things that you can do that really focus on that human thing, you know, the human side of financial planning that will then start to unlock a lot of things in your brain and start to make you become a better financial planner. And then there’s nothing else to stop you from coming. I think that everybody should be as highly qualified as they can be. You know, you should never stop learning. You should always pick up new bits of qualifications and new bits of learning and all that kind of stuff. But there’s nothing stopping you from coming back to those things in the future. But I think to be a proper true financial planner, you really again, this is a strong opinion, but I do think you really need to understand how to associate yourself with somebody on a really human deeper level. And it sounds quite hippy when I’m talking. Now say it out loud. I know that a lot of.
Speaker1: [00:25:07] People in the audience, my audience hears me say it all the time and I just trademarked the the term advisror or for return on relationships, because I think that’s what’s going to win out in the end. It is going to take over a lot of the. Critical aspects of compliance, work, tax returns, financial planning and estate planning insurance. It’s going to be the human side of advice that’s going to win out. I mean, people are sharing intimate knowledge about their business or about their, you know, fears or their aspirations and their life. And so it’s having the ability to actively listen, like you mentioned there, Dan, being able to uncover somebody’s values, that’s going to be vitally important in tomorrow’s economy. I was listening to. Dr. Daniel Crosby, and he had Dr. Michael Fink on and he talked about in retirement, there’s really three pillars. The first pillar being health, because if you’re not healthy, you know, what’s money going to do for you? Money is also an important aspect. You need money to be able to do things. And he referenced the study that everybody always talks about how happiness is in regards to money above $70,000 or $80,000 diminishes. Right.
Speaker1: [00:26:20] It plateaus. But actually, they went back and looked at that study. And when they extrapolated out, people were unhappy to begin with. Up to 70,000 made them happy, but anything more didn’t make them any happier. But people who were happier in general, more money actually made them happier. Yeah, So it was interesting. So you said money was the second aspect and then third was relationships. And so I am big on that. And it’s about your social circle. I know you talked about you’re going to go to the pub later and meet up with friends and and I think we talked about this on our last call, the importance of having those relationships and, you know, spending time with people who are meaningful to you. He actually said that men have a difficult time in retirement because their social circle many times was tied to their occupation. And women are more successful because they have relationships outside of work or they’ve developed those. And so it’s an easier transition for them. So maybe I want to have you talk a little bit about relationships and the importance of that, especially for the the the younger generation in regards to how to live life.
Speaker2: [00:27:33] Yeah. I mean, perfect position to talk about this given the the community that we have. You know, we’ve got over 1100 financial planners in there and all of them are in there paying that monthly subscription, whatever it is, because they want to make those relationships and they want to make friendships and that and that community element of it. And one of one of those people in the community has just launched a podcast on this and he’s talking about that. Exactly that kind of stuff of when you get to retirement and you transition, you lose those relationships. And that’s ultimately one of the biggest reasons why people go back to work when they’re in retirement is because they miss those. We would call it banter across here in the UK. They miss that work banter of going in every day and seeing people having that social aspect to their life, and then it just completely disappears the day after they retire. Um, and yeah, relationships are enormous nowadays. If if social media showed us nothing else, it’s been that it’s been the, the human relationships are what ultimately is the best sales technique ever. Because I will always, always, always ask my peers first before I buy into an advertising campaign or I buy into a marketing campaign or anything like that. And that’s that’s me who’s on the, shall we say, the later end of being young. Right? But people who are younger than me, they’re even more into that kind of thing. Everything that that they know, not everything, but most things that they pick up nowadays are because their friends using or because, you know, their tribes that they’re in they all use it and recommendations referrals. Although I’m always on the side of you should venture out of just getting recommendations or referrals from your clients. You know, they are still massively, massively important to financial planning businesses.
Speaker1: [00:29:23] Yeah, yeah. And it got me thinking social media and TikTok and I saw one of the podcasts that you had, Dan, you talked about, I believe, a pattern interrupt. So if you’re just doing more of the same, I mean, people are inundated with content all day long. So it’s really those who can stand out in purple hair or, you know, having a cool background behind you. So can you talk about maybe some of those marketing tactics and really being original or being unique as we started the podcast with.
Speaker2: [00:29:54] Yeah, God, social media. I mean, could we could do it a whole three hours still?
Speaker1: [00:29:59] I don’t know. There’s, there’s stats somewhere that talk about people getting their financial advice from TikTok and it astounded me. Yeah.
Speaker2: [00:30:06] And that’s kind of a bit different to what I talk about normally because that’s obviously that’s personal finance. Yeah. Influencers who talk about that kind of stuff. It’s not it’s not usually actually financial planners who are advising people on TikTok. It’s usually people who have maybe been in debt before and then have had, you know, a wake up where they think I need to get out of debt and then they’ve saved £30,000 or whatever it might be. So they’re not in the best position to talk about financial advice. And I agree with you, I’m quite terrified by those statistics. But on the financial planner side, for for on social media, I mean, first of all, the gap is enormous. So the opportunity is enormous as well, because if you think about the amount of financial planners who post regularly on social media, a tiny, tiny percentage would love to know what that percentage actually is. But it’s very, very, very small because what a lot of people do is they start it and then they see it as just part of their marketing arsenal and they don’t get anything from it in the first three weeks, and then they’ll leave it and kill it because they think this isn’t getting me anything. Yeah, if you want to have a really, really, really good impact on social media, it’s going to take at least 12 to 18 months, maybe even longer in a lot of circumstances.
Speaker2: [00:31:24] And that’s consistently posting not every day, but at least every week at least. Just kind of. Keep it in front of people’s minds and think that’s what a lot of what why a lot of people get frustrated with it is because it’s so slow. But if you can withstand that slowness, if that’s a word, if you can withstand that, that the organic stuff that comes down the line is 100% worth, that slow burn that the start, because not only are you going to be producing much better content and ideas in 18 months time, but also you’ll have built that audience by that time. So practically you can just kind of let that social media vehicle just churn out new people, new ideas, new audience, new getting in touch with you all the time. They might not even look at your stuff. They might not even look at your content, but they see your name all the time and they think he looks interesting or they look interesting. Maybe I might get in touch with them and see what this is all about. And that’s where a lot of the stuff that next gen get or Doc Vinci gets nowadays is simply just because we’ve just been banging on so much for the last two years. Yeah.
Speaker1: [00:32:30] I mean that’s why I reached out to you, Dan, I saw you had Brandon Brendan Frazier on the podcast and I said, I like your background. Yeah, your podcast. What’s, what’s the rapping that you do there? And so that started the conversation conversation. So I believe that that people should podcast if they can take that leap of faith and get out there because it’s so rewarding. We get to develop relationships like this. Like I can now, you know, email Dan or and say, Hey, Dan, I got a question for you. And you know, we we can build, you know, some type of relationship from there. So I think it’s so beneficial to put yourself out there, especially.
Speaker2: [00:33:03] I think, on the on this kind of content side, on the social media, obviously podcasting is amazing. I saw a stat last week when I was putting some content together for an event we were doing. It was nine, I think it’s 90 or 95% of podcasts don’t make it past the first three episodes, which, you know, Rory, you are now in that elite club of people who’ve made it past that thing. I am as well. We’re on episode 197 now and that tells you how hard it is, but it also tells you about the opportunity that is there. Like there’s a although you might think podcasting is crowded, it’s definitely not as crowded as you think. If you’ve got the right thing to say, if you can come up with a really good idea and if you can be consistent with it, the opportunity with that is massive, but also separate from podcasts. On the content side, again, it comes back to this thing of just keeping it as short as you possibly can. So I often talk about how financial planners will just post a link to their blog on LinkedIn or Twitter or whatever it is, and they’ll just have that. Where’s the incentive for me to read that blog? You’ve spent maybe a good two hours, three hours writing that blog, posting on your website, all that kind of stuff. The content is amazing, but then it’s completely wasted because you don’t promote it properly. So you can still post that blog. Absolutely. But what I often say to people is just summarize it in 150 words or a 92nd video. And then if you say in the comments down below is the blog, if you want to read a little bit more, if it’s if it’s sparked your interest, read the full blog in my comments below. That is such an easy change that you can make on Monday next week when you’re posting your blog instead of just posting a link to it on your LinkedIn and saying, Ah, there we go. That’s done. Yeah, summarize it, get to summarize it 150.
Speaker1: [00:34:43] And, and put it in the blog and say give me a 32nd or 62nd or 92nd script.
Speaker2: [00:34:48] Yeah, there’s tons of tools out there nowadays. Be careful with it. Obviously you want to make sure that it’s personalized as well, but you can make that change on Monday and kind of guarantee that you’ll see results immediately. But over time that will start to help your content get viewed more. Your ideas flow a little bit more. And there’s I mean, there’s tons of stuff that I could talk about on social media content.
Speaker1: [00:35:09] Yeah. I mean, I’ve in, I’ve used a couple different apps for video creation. I video creation. There’s super creator. I’ve seen caption, there’s cap cut that I know that integrates with TikTok. Is there any video editing tools or mobile video editing tools that you use here? Dan that that are effective?
Speaker2: [00:35:30] So I don’t know if I’m quite old fashioned, but I actually just still use iMovie, which is on MacBooks, and then put that into Canva, which Canva pretty much all day because of because of our design business. And then I also put it into something called video, which is for captions and auto captions is about captioning videos even three years ago used to take like a good 20 minutes per video. Now it takes 20s. If if if that really. And it’s almost always perfect. So we’ve got no excuse now. Sorry we haven’t got no excuse. We’re running out of excuses to not post, you know, even short, very simple videos. But I know that the biggest hurdle to videos everybody can associate, everybody can agree with this is getting it done in the first place. It’s that being in front of camera, it’s that, you know the thinking about what you’re going to say. It’s the hearing you, the sound of your own voice. Those things are the biggest hurdle you’ve got to get over. And all through all the years I’ve been. Can with people. The the the biggest the best way to get over that. Honestly, I know this sounds ridiculous, but it’s just to do it. It’s just to practice. Just do it. It’s just to just to give yourself a little bit of a shake and say, you know what? I’m going to do this today. It might be uncomfortable, but I’m just going to do it. And if you can do that consistently, eventually it just becomes a little bit easier. Yeah, but I know that that’s me saying this for somebody who posts videos all the bloody time. I know it’s very easy for me to say that, but that’s the biggest. Speaker1: [00:37:00] I haven’t done it yet, but I want to almost go back to my first podcast or first video and repost it because I know it’s I mean, the microphone was was my my computer microphone was horrible. Wasn’t one of these nice microphones. So it’s like, that’s just getting started. But that’s what.
Speaker2: [00:37:15] Sorry, That’s what you want though, isn’t it? You want that. You want to look back because if you look back and it’s exactly the same as it is now, then you haven’t progressed, you haven’t moved anywhere and it hasn’t got better. You want to be able to look back at your old stuff and say, Oh, that was shocking. I think I.
Speaker1: [00:37:29] Saw something from like five years ago. Dan I’m like, Dan’s a little kid.
Speaker2: [00:37:33] Yeah, yeah, it’s me. And I was actually with a client yesterday. I was looking through our we use something called video ask, which is an amazing tool. If anybody hasn’t seen that, go and check that out as well. Um, but I was looking back on when I was asking four years ago for people, for feedback on our community, literally I was cringing, my hairs were standing on end looking at it. I was like, I cannot believe that I used to send that out to people. But then the other side of me, the Angel of Montreal, that was saying, That’s what you want, you want that kind of stuff because that means you’ve moved forward. That means you’ve got better. Yeah. And unless you’re going forward and getting better, there’s no point in doing anything.
Speaker1: [00:38:06] Simon Sinek, BrenÃ© Brown and Adam Grant, they have a podcast they sometimes do together and they talk about the shitty first draft, the SFD, but they call it the the first pancake. The first pancakes never good, right? Yeah. But to get to that third, fourth and fifth delicious pancakes, you do need to have that, that first pancake or that sfd that and.
Speaker2: [00:38:29] And it’s not just your videos, it’s everything that you do. So, you know, if you could go back to your first blog that you wrote, it’s probably can I swear on this podcast, I don’t know. Yeah, probably not very good if you could bleep it out, you know what I’m saying? But also if you could go back to your first social media posts or your first anything first financial plan that you wrote, it’s all going to be terrible in reality, maybe not terrible, but it’s not going to be what you want it to be now. And so it is just a process of getting better and you do get better over over time. You definitely do.
Speaker1: [00:38:58] I agree. I agree. Well, you talked about events and I absolutely love this about the next gen platform. You have conferences here and you implemented a policy that says it must consist of 50% male and 50% female. Can you talk about that philosophy and what you see as far as the benefits of that?
Speaker2: [00:39:17] Cool. Yeah, so we think so. The stats across here at the moment are 16% of financial planners are women, which is not acceptable at dread to see what the percentage of clients of financial planners is in terms of that demographics. But I would imagine it’s still not great, to be honest. Um, and the percentage of people that we hear from in our profession, in terms of the people that we see on stage, the people that we see on panels and stuff like that, we were getting so tired of it being maybe not even anything to do with women, all things that make it diverse. You know, there’s we across here, we don’t have any figures at all. This is terrible. This any figures on how ethnically diverse the financial planning profession is here in the UK? Haven’t done. We haven’t. We don’t know. We just simply do not know what percentage of people from ethnic minority backgrounds, which is terrible because unless we we know where we want to get to, we know where we want to get to. But unless we know where we are now, we can’t get anywhere. So yeah, I mean, sorry, you asked about the, the, the, the women part. It it kind of comes from that thing of going to those events and just seeing the same people on stage for we are two white men here, Rory, but seeing four white men on the stage saying the same things over and over again.
Speaker2: [00:40:39] So although it might seem like we’re doing this because we want to just kind of even the playing field, it also is great because it brings diversity of thought as well. So it brings new fresh ideas. Women have got different ideas and different things that they want to to portray to the world. They’ve got different ways of expressing their views and opinions. So it’s amazing when you see, you know, the the diverse lineup on panels and with our speakers and stuff like that. So I always get really frustrated when you say you can’t force diversity. I think you can. And it’s not by simply just plucking people and just putting them on stage and saying, You’re doing this because you’re a woman. It’s giving diversity of opportunity, basically. So it’s saying to people, You can do this and it’s open to this because you’re from a diverse background and you have that message and we want you to share it and stuff like that. So yeah, we do aim for. A red line of we have to make sure that every year when we do our speaker influencer program, it has to be equal and it has to be. It’s not, you know, one way or the other. It has to be equal. Um, because ultimately that’s going to bring diversity of thought, diversity of opinions, but also that diversity of opportunity on stage as well. Yeah.
Speaker1: [00:41:49] And I’m.
Speaker2: [00:41:50] Sorry. I was just going to. Sorry. Sorry, Roy, you were just saying something. But that’s one of the things that people love about our conferences is because it’s different. So they come to them. And I think one of our sponsors said it was 40% of the audience were women. So you can see there that like, just by doing just by changing the representation of the people who are speaking and on the panels, that also brings in more audience members from those different diverse backgrounds as well, which is exactly what we want to do. So some people might agree with it, some people might disagree with it. But we personally that’s we think that’s the way that we’re going to go, that we can take this forward. Yeah.
Speaker1: [00:42:29] Yeah. No, I absolutely love it. And I think it’s some stat here by these by 2030, I think over 30 trillion of assets here will be with women. And so and they’re looking obviously for advisors that they can connect with. I had Julie Johnson on who works for XY Communications and she talks about intergenerational and gender communications, and she’s phenomenal. And so it’s really bridging that gap between generations and between genders. And that goes back to the human side of advice and really being more empathetic and getting to someone. I always say getting to someone’s there. They’re one of my favorite authors is Dr. Mark Goldstein. He’s a UCLA psychologist and he has some famous books. One of them is called Just Listen, and the other one’s called Real Influence. So he talks about really, you know, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. I always talk about it. It’s not the golden rule. Do unto others as you want done unto you. It’s really do unto others as how they would want done unto them. So, you know, putting yourself in their shoes and finding out where they want to, where they want to be in life, understanding their concerns, their fears, their aspirations. So you can really help them lead the life that they they want to live.
Speaker2: [00:43:43] Yeah. And the guys at Lumion sorry to talk about them again. I’ve pretty much spend all of my podcast nowadays talking about them because I love them to bits. Um, but they have their tool is literally designed for the non, they call it the non CFO, which is the non chief financial officer of a family because ultimately those are the people who are driving a lot of the decisions that the people who are you know, I’m saying that this is women obviously in a lot of cases it’s actually the man. But but it’s they’re the people that that really drive the decisions in the family. And they’re the people who ultimately have been left behind unfairly. But they’re the ones who, if you talk to them, they’ve got all the dreams, they’ve got all the desires, they’ve got all the aspirations that you want to talk about with them. And that’s what they do really well, is they focus on that non CFO because they’re the people who don’t want to really talk about the finances. They don’t really want to talk about the pensions, the Roth IRA, IRAs, the 401K’s, all that kind of stuff. They want to talk about the real life stuff, the human stuff that actually makes a difference on their daily day to day lives. And that’s where they’ve got really, really well.
Speaker1: [00:44:48] I mean, they’re they’re the the chief family officer. We talk about that all the time. You know, they are chief Financial officer. They’re the chief family officer. Yeah.
Speaker2: [00:44:57] Yeah. And like I said, that they’re the ones for that reason who are driving all of the decisions and who are pushing everything forward. And it’s really powerful when when people start to look at it that way, because and this is something that really annoys me is even still in the UK, a lot of the fact finds that we have across here even something as simple as fact finders they still have. You know, even if it’s subconscious, they still have a male as client one and a female as client two. Now, not only does that, you know, even subconsciously put a hierarchy there, it also completely ignores people who are in same sex relationships or people who don’t identify as certain genders or whatever it might be. And it’s just still even just small things like that. It still shows me that we’re not really serious enough about making this industry professional, whatever you want to call it, as inclusive as it can be because it can be amazing. We just need to do a bit work on it.
Speaker1: [00:45:53] Yeah, and you’re doing great work to make that happen. I absolutely love what you’re doing. I always ask, Is there anything that we didn’t touch on that you want to share with the audience here?
Speaker5: [00:46:03] Oh, that’s a.
Speaker2: [00:46:04] Big question, isn’t it? Um. I don’t really know, to be honest. I think we’ve covered so much there. I can’t believe we’ve been talking for nearly 50 minutes now. It’s absolutely mental. Um, yeah, I guess. Firstly, just thank you so much for. For letting us to have this conversation. Um, I could talk all day about this. The social media side of things, the document side things. Well, we didn’t really touch on the document side, so let’s talk.
Speaker1: [00:46:31] About real quickly. We touched up briefly to start the conversation. I know you have some really great stuff you’re doing with the financial journey. Do you want to touch on that real quickly?
Speaker2: [00:46:39] Yeah. Guess it’s, um, it’s hard to to to cover it, but I think it’s, it’s mainly just the, it’s more the deliverable side of, of financial planning. So I know that we had Brendan Frazier, for instance, on one of our workshops in the community and we had Mark McGrath as well, who’s also an amazing financial planner from Canada, show kind of examples of one page, two page financial plans and inspired a lot of people in our community. But that is really where I think nowadays where we are heading with this kind of stuff of, you know, not giving clients a 50 to 100 page report and saying there’s your financial plan, because that’s just not a financial plan. It’s just not it’s just never it was never intended for that purpose. So if we can distill that information again, it’s coming back to the ideas of making things simpler and quicker and and faster. Nowadays, if you can distill all of that information into a two page, lovely, nice modern financial plan for your clients, you might think that they’re going to think, Geez, I’m paying this person a lot of money. What is that for? It’s never that is never the case. It is always, Wow, They’ve distilled so much complex, difficult concepts into two pages for me, which makes my life easier, simpler, nicer. To go forward. I can view it. I can stick it on the fridge and look at it every day and all that kind of stuff. So although you might think that it’s actually not showing your work, it really is. It’s showing your work and showing how good you actually are at distilling this difficult information to your clients. Yeah.
Speaker1: [00:48:13] So, I mean, even just the little aspect of having someone’s values on there, family, community, travel, it’s a really remind them, as you know, of of why they’re saving money or, you know, why they’re working. Yeah.
Speaker2: [00:48:29] One of the firms, one of the clients that I work with, they have a whole page of their, their financial plan. It’s weird to call it a financial plan because there’s actually hardly anything on finances. But it’s it’s like they focus a whole page on simply your values, your statement of purpose, your dreams and desires. And if we could take a take a snapshot back to 30 years ago, that is not what financial planning looked like, which I actually really love because it proves how far we’ve come in those decades. Even ten years ago, that wasn’t really a thing. So it proves how far we have moved forward nowadays.
Speaker1: [00:49:06] Yeah. So I went through this exercise, Dan and, and maybe because it’s top of mind for me, my sister, I think we told you. I told you my sister’s the head coach of the UK national softball team and they’re playing here shortly to see if they can go to the Olympics in LA in 2028. So I was going through this exercise and I talked about wanting to to be at the Olympics, watching my sister be the head coach of Great Britain and them winning a gold medal and having my parents there, a family of my own and kids of my own cheering on my sister and having a tailgate at one of the softball stadiums and having that vivid visual picture of the goal that I want to get to, because I do. I value my family so much and I want a family of my own. And so that gives me a North Star to to hopefully get to and get those goals and aspirations of my own.
Speaker2: [00:49:57] See that? That’s deep, isn’t it? And that’s really what, like, drives everything. The thing is, is that for a lot of people, this kind of stuff is is subconscious. You were talking before about those really intimate relationships and loved it. It’s what I used to discover when I used to work in a financial planning business was we’re having conversations, not we. But you people in the audience are having conversations with clients that they’ve often never had with their spouses. They’ve certainly never had with a stranger before, which is one of the things I can’t get over, by the way, of how you guys in the audience can get such intimate information out of somebody in less than knowing them for half an hour, which is just amazing. But also, they’ve probably never thought about these things themselves before, and that’s what the real value is in Financial planning, is helping people to identify things that they’ve never even realized consciously that they want to do. And that’s when you start to have those things where clients start to leave the office crying and people start to leave the office. Yeah. Or jumping up and down with happiness because they’ve now had this massive mental block removed because they didn’t know what they were doing. And now all of a sudden they have a really razor sharp focus on what they. You want to achieve in their life. You can’t. You there’s no other profession out there that can do that. Like, there’s just nothing.
Speaker1: [00:51:14] No price tagging, helping people uncover what matters most to them.
Speaker2: [00:51:17] Yeah. Which is, you know, you could I mean, you know, we don’t mean to sound silly here, but there is no like, you know, lawyers can’t do that. Yeah. But with respect to accountants, a lot, a lot of accountants, when they’re focusing on the tax and stuff, can’t really do that, right? Doctors can’t even do that. Yeah, they can save lives, but they can’t really go deeper than that and figure out what people actually want to do with their lives. So I know it might sound silly, but the financial planners is just our ultimate, ultimate one of the best professions out there. Definitely.
Speaker1: [00:51:45] I agree. That’s why I say for the accounting professionals who adopt financial planning, they can go from the most trusted advisor to now the most transformational advisor so they can help transform their clients lives through their business and through their personal finances.
Speaker2: [00:51:59] Yeah, and that’s where sorry we’re going on a little bit here. Rory, I know you want to get away to your morning, but that’s where the real kind of difference nowadays is. Financial planners not seeing themselves as portfolio advisors, not seeing themselves as the people who someone goes to and say, Oh, I want you to invest in the best stocks and all that kind of stuff. If you can completely differentiate yourself away from that, if you can, if you can get that as far away from yourself as possible and you’re the person who focuses on somebody’s life, when those big events happen, like when coronavirus happened, for instance, the best financial planners in the UK, none of their clients phoned them on that day saying, What’s going on? The people who really put the value on the investments, pretty much all of their clients were getting in touch and saying, Hang on a second, what’s going on here? And then they were having to educate them. Then the best financial planners have been educating their clients for years, saying the investing is not the valuable part. The behavioral management, the human management, that’s the really valuable part. And as a result, hardly any of their clients got in touch with them because they expected it. Yeah.
Speaker1: [00:53:01] I agree. Well, Dan, thank you so much. This is incredibly rewarding. I really appreciate you coming on. If anybody wants to get in touch with you or next gen planners, Doc Finch, what’s the best way to do so?
Speaker2: [00:53:14] Yeah. So next gen is next gen dot. We’re talking today as Threads has just been released on as a competition to Twitter. So we are on we are on threads at next gen planners. We’re also on all the social media channels. So check us out on next gen planners. Doc Vinci is Doc vinci.co.uk, so please go and check that out as well. And I’d love to connect with anybody on LinkedIn so you can find me on there and just search Dan Graham and I’m sure I’ll come up eventually somewhere. All right.
Speaker1: [00:53:44] Appreciate it, buddy. Thank you so much.
Speaker2: [00:53:45] Thanks so much, Rory. Cheers.
Speaker3: [00:53:47] All opinions expressed by Rob Santos and Rory Henry on this website podcast interview are solely their opinions and do not reflect the opinions of Arrowroot Family Office, LLC, or their company or affiliates and may have previously disseminated on television, radio, Internet or another medium. You should not treat any opinion expressed by anyone as a specific endorsement to particular investment or follow a particular strategy, but only as an expression of their opinions. Past performance is not indicative of future results.