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Reade Milner

Reade Milner is founder and chief marketing strategist for Rogue Pine Creative, a digital marketing agency based in metro Atlanta, Georgia. During the course of his 10+ years in digital marketing, he has generated millions of views, leading to thousands of leads, leading to hundreds of clients, leading to millions in revenue. To learn more about Milner and his agency, visit where you can sign up his weekly newsletter. Milner can be reached at Rogue Pine Creative, 75 N Broad St., Winder, GA 30680. Telephone: (678) 863-0982. Email:

Digital Marketing Myths Busted (And What To Do Instead)


The industry is full of marketing “best practices” that guarantee all sorts of riches and glory. And, as you may have learned, most are bogus. In this article, I’m going to debunk a few marketing myths that are holding your business back. Not only that, but I will give a few truths that actually do work.

Let’s get started.

Myth #1: Marketing = Advertising
There’s an unfortunate conflation between marketing and advertising. Specifically, that marketing is something that should have an immediate return on investment (ROI). Of course marketing should ROI over time. But, there is at least as much, if not more value to be gained by your business in general.

In fact, an immediate sales bump might not be a realistic expectation at all. The reason, to put it simply, is this: Advertising buys attention, marketing earns it.

We are in the media age, and every business is a media company. Something like a video podcast is an excellent way to build trust and like-ability. You have an open forum to show your knowledge, skills, and personality (and/or that of your team).

This is nearly impossible with advertising alone.

Let me be clear—marketing can and should make money. But the cumulative benefit of 100+ podcast episodes or YouTube videos can compound for years to come. Each of these is a tiny beacon to those interested in the problem you solve (and how you solve it). This increases the inherent value of the business. Not to mention that, over the course of one to two years, it creates sales opportunities at a lower cost (of both time and money).

Myth #2: Marketing is Expensive
I’ll forgive you for thinking this. Sure, the amount of money you will pay for great marketing will cost you quite a pretty penny. In some cases, more than a pretty Lamborghini. You’ll have to pay for things like:

  • Web design;
  • Social media management;
  • Video production;
  • Email marketing; and,
  • A few more specialties.

These can and will easily cost in the neighborhood of $5K-$20K per month. But the true cost to your business may be zero. If you do it the right way. In fact, if done right, it has an infinite return on investment.

Consider this hypothetical case study
Let’s assume your marketing budget is $100K on an annualized basis. (Super conservative, by the way.) And you are doing all the things listed above. For that investment, after a year, you’ve got:

  • 50-100 podcast episodes
  • 100+ marketing emails
  • 200+ youtube videos
  • 250+ social media posts

Let’s also assume a modest result from that output. It should have resulted in 100k-1M+ new online eyeballs on your brand. Keep in mind, I’m only focusing on your brand’s exposure.

Let’s talk about the value of that exposure.

To invest $100K into marketing, I’ll assume you are doing at least $1M in top line revenue. With a modest profit margin of 25 percent, you’re netting $250K in profit. On a 3X multiple, your business is worth approximately $750K on the open market. Brand value accounts for about 20 percent of company valuation.

Let’s say you take your brand from practically non-existent to having the results I described above. In that instance, you easily increase your valuation from $750K to at least $900K, or a 20 percent improvement. That’s a 50 percent return on your marketing spend!

Myth #3: Leads Cures All
It’s all about leads, leads, leads. I understand the math problem so many advisors learn. More conversations = more sales. Unfortunately this isn’t always the case. In fact, it can break your business. In truth, you need the right leads. Here’s how you determine what that is.

First of all, how would you define a lead?

  • What are their pain points?
  • What is driving their urgency to make a change?
  • What do they know about you?

Next, what’s your system for qualifying and working those leads?

  • How do they come into your ecosystem?
  • What communications do they receive after doing so?
  • What info do you need before talking to them?
  • How do you structure your first meeting?
  • What happens after that?

Marketing Truth: Systems Beat Tactics
A great marketing system consists of tactics, sure. But to have a truly effective marketing system, you need to know a few things:

  • Who your customer is and where they are.
  • What problems they have and what it means to them.
  • How to get their attention and drive them to take action to solve it.

Not only this, but the system should be able to create the necessary assets on a consistent basis and the ability to measure the results and make improvements over time. This is what I mean by great marketing vs everything else.

Systemize, then scale
If you’re getting started with marketing, be it video, social, or written, you’re probably not very good yet. Even established brands have a hard time distilling valuable insights they can share.

It’s easy to get stuck just listing all the features of your product or service.

More often than not, you might just be over-thinking things. A wise course of action is to create a content marketing system that gets the right attention. And those people raise their hand to learn more about how you can solve their problems. Then, those people have a clear path to taking advantage of what you offer. Next, there should be a predictable follow up process that qualifies and nurtures.

Then, and only then, should you scale your efforts.

In conclusion, these myths are floating around the internet like wildfire. There is also a bit of “conventional wisdom” that is just plain outdated. Following these proven principles will help you make a real impact with your marketing and grow your practice in the process.

Don’t waste your time with ineffective marketing tactics.

Leads While You Sleep: How To Build A Digital Marketing Machine


Digital marketing tactics don’t matter. You need a system. This should work for you day and night to generate traffic, leads, and new customers as long as you keep it running. If you are struggling to do this then you may want to search “marketing agency near me” in order to find a professional service to assist you.

Visualize a funnel. A great marketing system should get people to discover you for the first time.

Next, it should be able to convert those casual visitors into leads who “raise their hand” to ask for more information.

Finally, it should lead those interested leads to reach out to you for a discussion.

This is a high quality marketing system that can help you scale your production through the roof. Often, people will hire SEO Agencies to handle this for them.

Here’s how to build your own.

1) Digital Foundation (your website)
So the first component of the awareness stage that you’ve got to get right is your website.

It is 2019. There are no more excuses for not having a great website.

Does it need to be the most beautiful website in the world? No.

Does it need to clearly show who you are, what you do, and why you are different? Yes.

Do not worry if website design is not your forte as there are plenty of companies out there such as Ram Digital that specialise in Web Design Cannock.

Ultimately, your website should have four main components:

Component 1: Unique value proposition. Right away, your website has to tell me what you do. Not only that, but it better do so in a compelling and unique way. You have about two seconds to make an impression on your visitor. It’s too easy to hit that “back” button.

Use this formula:
What you do + who you do it for + differentiating statement

Example: Financial Advisor for Physicians Who Want to Understand What’s Happening with Their Money

Component 2: Show trust and credibility. Show this in a few ways. Pictures of you and your family or team help a lot. It shows you are a real human being. It also helps to show images of brands you represent, certifications you carry, or awards you’ve won.

Finally, testimonials from smiling clients are a huge help here. Bonus points if you get them on video!

Component 3: Make a clear offer (lead magnet). You need a way to get their contact information. They should be able to find this quickly and easily. Don’t make them hunt for it. (More on this in section 3.)

Component 4: Mobile responsive. If you only remember one point from this article, make it this one. Your website has got to work perfectly on mobile devices. Visitors will bounce away immediately if it isn’t. Also, Google will penalize you and keep you off the first page of the search engine results pages.

I repeat-get this part right. Or you’ll pay for it.

2) Create Traffic and Brand Awareness
There are two main tracks for getting people into the top of your funnel-organic and paid.

Paid traffic comes from, well, paid advertising. This is best done using social media ads. Google Ads (formerly Adwords) has a powerful tool as well, but financial services-related terms are the most expensive keywords on the planet.

Facebook and Instagram ads are still the most cost-effective form of paid advertising. You are able to target an audience by characteristic and location. That makes it possible to create highly targeted ads that resonate and get clicks.

The concept of search engine optimization (SEO) has changed over the years. These days, the long and short of organic traffic comes down to good, quality content. Blogs, for the most part, makes up the bulk of content that drives traffic. There are professional SEO services, like SEO SaaS from Victorious, that help to boost your search rankings and overtake the competition.

Video and audio are also effective mediums for growing organic reach and brand recognition.

You’ve got to have compelling content that is keyword-focused. Please don’t misunderstand. That doesn’t mean it should be chock full of the same phrase over and over. But it should be focused around the keyword or phrase you want to rank for in Google.

My recommendation is to publish a written blog post at least once per week. Then, make sure to do that every single week. That is a pace just about anyone can sustain and will keep you top-of-mind to your prospects. Write about industry news. Write about company updates. Write about best practices that would help your target audience. Just write. Bonus points if people share it on social media.

Social Media
Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin are the heavy hitters. Before you say, “My market doesn’t use social media…” You are wrong. Yes they do. There are more than 2 billion people on these platforms.

Facebook is the best platform for older demographics.

Instagram is very popular for anyone under 40 (and it is quickly getting older).

LinkedIn is king for professionals.

There are three simple rules to live by on social media. Follow these and you are safe:

Rule #1: Be intentional. There is no difference between personal and professional social media use anymore. You may feel a little uncomfortable with that. It’s Ok, I’ll give you time to cope.

Over that yet? Good.

Everything you put on the internet can and will affect your business either positively or negatively. Post about religion and politics at your own risk.

Rule #2: Be consistent. I recommend you post at least once per day. I also recommend you spend at least five minutes per day on social media as a consumer. Like five posts and leave five thoughtful comments.

You’ll be amazed at the good will that creates.

Rule #3: Be relevant. Make sure the content you share is relevant to your target audience and your customers. You should know what is important to these people. Find and share content that would interest them. Make sure to add your own take on it. Include your own comments about it when you share.

3) Convert Visitors into Leads
How can you capitalize on attention and traffic? Use landing pages that offer free value in exchange for contact information. This is sometimes called a “lead magnet.” This is technically a component of your website, but it deserves its own section. While the page design itself ought to be great, the offer is the most important component. The offer and form questions must be an equal value exchange.

For example, asking someone to sign up for your blog notifications might be worth their email address. It is a low value offer in exchange for just a little information.

If you want their first name, last name, company name, number of employees, annual revenue, and favorite pet, then you better be giving them something of tremendous value. For instance, this would be an equal value “trade” if the free content is a long-form asset like a white paper, e-book, or free video training.

4) Nurture Leads into Ready-to-Buy Prospects
It is not likely that a visitor will be ready to book a meeting with you right after becoming a lead. For those new leads, they enter into a lead nurturing stage. The primary “weapon” we use for this is email marketing. And no, your monthly newsletter is not enough to turn those semi-interested leads into hot prospects.

How do you decide what kind of content to include? Here’s a three-step process:

Step 1: Diagram the planning process you go through with each client.
Write this out on a whiteboard or in a notebook if you don’t already have it documented. This should clearly outline every step you take in providing top-notch service. Once listed, define each step in as much detail as you would to a client or prospect.

Step 2: Write one email about each step in the process.
When you have about 500 words for each step in your process, add it to a marketing automation tool like MailChimp or Hubspot. The design of these emails should be simple, concise, and text-based. Fancy images and large logos just scream “marketing.”

Set it up to send at 5 day intervals starting from the time they first sign up.

Step 3: Include a Call-to-Action (CTA).
In each email, include only one action for them to take. That means only one link in the entire email. That link should send them straight to a landing page where they can schedule a call with you. The more choices you give someone, the more likely they are to do nothing.

Bonus Step: Use a calendar scheduling tool.
Using a tool like or Acuity Scheduling will make it that much easier for prospects to schedule calls with you. Connect your Google, iCal, or Outlook calendar so that only open times are available.

Email marketing and lead nurturing get prospects to a point where they’re interested and are contemplating a buying decision. We’ve got to be top-of-mind when that happens.

Putting It All Together
There you have it-a complete marketing system from end-to-end. The best part about it is that most of what I described can be created upfront and then automated. Keep creating new content at the top of the funnel and the middle and bottom are completely automated.

So get this built and start generating leads using this complete system.

For a complete video breakdown of everything listed here, plus bonus walk-throughs of all the technology mentioned, go to

How To Effectively Market To Millennials


You hear about them all the time, and for very good reasons. Millennials have created a buzz among financial marketers. And it looks like the buzz is not going away anytime soon. After all, millennials represent $200 billion in annual buying power. So when youre marketing financial services, they should be right on top of the list.

Millennials are born between the early 80s to the mid-90s. This is the generation that graduated in the new millennium. They are also called Generation Y. For context, they are of the age of moving into middle and upper management in business and entering their prime earning years right now.

There are unique aspects about their personality we havent seen before. This is why marketing to them can be tricky. This makes it even more important to get to know them better.

The Truth about Millennials
Millennials are a misunderstood bunch. But if you want solid insurance leads, its important for you to break the barriers. Millennials may be tough to figure out. But with the right mindset, youll start to see why they are who they are.

To start your exploration of the millennial mind, here are a few facts you should know:

  • Millennials represent the largest demographic in the US workforce. Thirty percent of them are holding management positions.
  • Millennials are in higher debt at this age compared to preceding generations. However, they are also more educated about their finances. This is why they save at the same rate as their parents.
  • Millennials are extremely charitable84 percent of them make annual charitable donations and 70 percent make use of their time and talents as volunteers to worthy causes.
  • 22,000,000 of the millennials in the US are parents, even though they are getting married much later in life.
  • Millennials do not just look at the price. They give more importance to a product or services value. This means that if they think its worth it, they are open to paying a premium for it.
  • Millennials are loyal to the brands they choose. And when they choose brands, they do so through informed decisions.
  • Millennials are the true digital natives. Yet they are also better at unplugging from technology than other generations.

The bottom line is this: Millennials are financially educated and they speak the digital language. This means that without a digital approach, you might as well forget about them. And in doing so, youll see a steady decline into nothingness in the next five years. This is a virtual (nice pun, huh?) guarantee.

How to Market to Millennials
This generation can be the key to your successonce you find the secret of how to make them say yes.

Doing the same thing over and over again will not work with millennials. They move fast and they change fast. This much is evident by the way trends change nowadays. It is even more doubtful that traditional marketing would work on this generation. Their easy access to information makes it easy to find alternatives.

Here are 10 tips on how to market your services to millennials:

1. Use social media as your primary tool.
A better term for this group is the connected generation. If you want to get to them, youll have to connect. The primary tool for this is social media.

Did you know that about 65 percent of millennials press the like button for brands on Facebook? They also actively follow their favorite brands on Twitter. Moreover, in recent months, TikTok has soared in popularity.

But its more than just being active on these social media channels. Millennials actually use these platforms to make buying decisions. They want to do their own research before making a purchase. Specifically, they look at what others have said about you.

This is why it is very important to know what specific social media platforms your audience uses. You also have to understand that each social media network has a culture of its own, so you’ll have to use your platform in different ways to ensure that you can build a successful social media profile. The content that you post has the ability to grow your followers or take them away from you, and when this happens, you may want to check out something like this Upleap and combin review to see how growth services like these can help you to reach a successful number again.

But if you wholeheartedly understand how the specific platform works and the needs it has, then you shouldn’t go far wrong. For example, your Instagram audience will have different needs than your Facebook audience. That’s why it’s important to create your content for each social media platform. Obviously, most businesses prioritize their Instagram accounts as this is more widely used by millennials. In order to grow their Instagrams, most businesses will use Ingramer to organize scheduled posting and generate hashtags to get more people over to their account. This can help businesses to market to millennials.

The key to success is to learn the ins and outs of each platform. This could include becoming educated on how you can grow your social media following so that this particular age group has a better chance of being able to find your profiles.

For example, getting more followers by using sites like socialfollow can also prove to be beneficial to your own business as this can help you to grow your business further, therefore becoming more successful in your chosen industry.

Again, that being said, knowing your platform inside out is crucial. For instance, if you are going to be using TikTok to promote your products and services then you need to be putting out content that can help you to get Tiktok views. Without a high number of views, your TikTok content is unlikely to make an impact.

Ultimately, by researching your chosen social media platform, and creating content that is tailored towards your intended audience, your posts can get the reach that they deserve.

2. Make it mobile-friendly.
Fifty-five percent of millennials rely on their mobile device to connect to the rest of the digital world. Suffice it to say, missing out on your mobile strategy would be a big loss for you.

What does being mobile-friendly mean? For starters, you have to look at the difference between a regular desktop and a mobile device. It is essential to have a responsive design website that displays well on all screen sizes.

From there, youll realize what matters. Formatting, readability, and faster load times are things you have to pay attention to. A mobile audience is also less patient. You have a few seconds to catch their attention with your content. Otherwise, theyll just continue scrolling down their feed.

3. Educate, dont sell.
Millennials are smarter. Theyre not just going to swallow anything you feed them. They have a trust radar that can sniff out when theyre being sold.

What you can take advantage of, however, is the millennials nature of sharing. They share posts. They share insights. They take full advantage of the fact that communication is easier in this digital era. As such, instead of pushing your own products and services, collaborate.

Show your audience that youre willing to share the gains. Prove that its not just about you. Partner up with a blogger. Look for a brand that rallies the same principles. Then, create content that people can share.

Dont just promoteinform. Dont selleducate. Dont do all the talkingengage with the audience.

4. Stop focusing on the price.
Remember the list of facts mentioned earlier? Millennials do not care as much about the price. Sure, they may cringe at a high price, but when they realize that the product or service is valuable, theyll buy it. ($5 coffee, anyone?)

This is why you need to stop promoting low prices. What you need to focus on are the reasons why your products are of value. Discuss what solutions you provide. Tell them how these can solve their problems. Share stories about why you have an edge over the others. Look at their lifestyle and show them how your products fit them.

5. Engage in real conversations.
One thing millennials hate is being neglected and ignored. After all, they grew up knowing that communication is easier now more than ever. The moment you start paying attention to them, thats when you start earning their trust.

How do you start communicating? Well, lets go back to the basics. Listen.

Visit pages and groups where millennials can be found. Observe how they interact with each other. This will show you what language they speak and what they talk about the most.

Do close monitoring of your own social media pages as well. Encourage your audience to share their thoughts. Then look at each of their comments and reactions. Create responses that specifically target each concern. This will show the millennials that youre going out of your way to actually listen to them. Thats where the conversations start. Thats when the trust starts building up.

6. Make customer service accessible.
Millennials dont just sit back and let things slide. They give feedback when necessary. And they enjoy it when you make it easier for them to leave feedback.

This is why it is essential to keep your customer service lines open. Allow them to send messages to you on whichever platform they prefer. This is perfect in this day and time. You have so many options considering the numerous messaging apps available. You can also have a chat box on your website. Being responsive to all these channels, of course, is a given.

7. Enrich their customer experience.
Customer service is a single part of the whole. You may have perfected how to respond to your customers issues. But what happens all the other times youre not engaging with them?

This is where customer experience comes in.

How easy is it to navigate your website? Are the FAQs easily accessible? Do you have a mobile app that allows your customers to enjoy added perks? Part of this experience is gauging how their needs are addressed as well. Is your content easily searchable on search engines? What about your physical stores? Can they be located on the map?

You may not be talking to a specific client at the moment, but that doesnt mean they arent exploring your pages. That doesnt mean they arent trying out your services. Make sure that their experience can be rated top marks.

8. Give something back.
Dont just expect your audience to buy your products. Sure, they get your products and services in exchange for their money, but they have to receive something more.

Think about different promos you can launch. Would you like to raffle off a prize? Your audience may even appreciate a few discount coupons here and there.

Adding a few extras like these will make your target audience realize that youre not just after the profits. It shows that you give importance to them as well.

9. Find brand ambassadors.
Youve probably given the same advice to somebody else. Give the best experience to your current customers. This will prompt them to recommend you to family and friends. But did you know that millennials actually trust strangers more?

Sixty-six percent of boomers rely on recommendations of family and friends. But only 49 percent of millennials do so. As for recommendations from strangers, only 34 percent of boomers trust them, but 51 percent of millennials do.

So how do you use this to your advantage? You have to start creating brand ambassadors. These are people who will champion your business. It can be an influencer in a specific field. It can even be regular, everyday people. The point is, these ambassadors will be able to influence others to trust your brand.

10. Share stories, and not sales pitches.
So youve perfected your elevator pitch. Hooray for you. But millennials arent easily swayed. Again, they hate hard selling. What they crave are connections.

This is why you have to give more importance to stories. Gather testimonials from your existing customers. How were your products and services able to help them? What made them realize that they needed your products?

Through these stories you can find a way for your leads to relate with the scenario. Find common ground. Is your potential client a homeowner? Then share stories about other homeowners who have purchased your product. Is your lead a husband and father? Sharing stories about similar people would greatly help.

Millennials may be challenging to reach. But this doesnt mean its impossible to do so. Stop being part of the crowd dedicated to misunderstanding them. Instead, step out of your comfort zone. Get to know them. Know what their interests are. More important, apply the tips above to your financial marketing strategies. This will help you get better numbers and hit more targets.

We’re All Millennials Now: Marketing Insurance In The New Economy


Before you read any further, I invite you to look up from this article. Perhaps you are sitting in a coffee shop or an airport. Look around at the people in the room. What are they looking at right now? Spoiler alert: They aren’t looking at televisions. They aren’t reading newspapers. And they aren’t looking at each other. They are staring deeply into the luminous blue eyes of their closest companions-their cell phones.

Welcome to the Millennial world, and we’re all Millennials now.

Take social media as proof. There are 192 million social media users in the U.S. alone. That’s more than the entire Millennials and Baby Boomer generations combined.

Next, take a look at recent research, which shows that over 2 billion consumers use a smartphone1 and that more than half of Google searches are done using a mobile device. In this generation, there are over 90 million people who collectively spent nearly $1 trillion dollars last year. Compare that with 77 million Baby Boomers and you’ve got the largest generation in American history. Also, by 2018, they will control more wealth than the Baby Boomers-making them the most valuable target market.

Due to their inherent mistrust of the financial system, which they feel has failed them, many of them do not yet have a financial advisor. With such an underserved market moving into their prime earning (and spending) years, it’s time to ask the question-what are you doing to earn their business if anything at all?

Advisors that are able to make their mark using modern digital marketing strategies will dominate the profession.

If you want to reach this group it is more important than ever that you are able to speak to them using the methods they already use to connect, and that you are able to be relevant concerning the issues that are important to them. An effective marketing strategy aimed at earning Millennials’ trust must include a solid online ecosystem, which begins with a responsive, mobile-friendly website, and effective use of social media.

Here’s a brief introduction to the major social media platforms:

This platform has the best targeting and ad creation features of any social network. With their in-depth analytics, you can track your results on a granular level. You can target people based on their geographic locations, interests, and demographics. You can also opt to just get your post in front of those who have liked your page, or even friends of those people.

New features like Facebook Live and Facebook Notes gives you even more firepower. Facebook is also the quickest and, arguably, the best way to interact with your target market. Constant interaction with potential insurance leads results in actual conversions. It might be worth while reaching out to digital marketing agency los angeles or somewhere that is local to you to help you make the most out of marketing strategy.

If you’re thinking that it’s just for Millennials, you’re wrong. In fact, the 55 and older crowd is the fastest growing cohort on Facebook.2 Nearly 50 million of the 192 million users are over 50 years old.

For a more in-depth look at Facebook’s features, check out this post on three Facebook features you should be using right now (

LinkedIn is an important social platform that can improve your professional network. It’s unwise to leave it out of the equation as it has a formidable reputation in the insurance industry. LinkedIn is the “professional” in the social media world. It differs from Facebook and Twitter because it’s more business-centric. It’s practically an online resume. This means it requires a different approach to ensure that you make the most out of it.

This visuals-driven social media platform may seem like an uncommon choice. But, if you get clever about it, it can work well. People are visual creatures. Most retain information better when presented with an image or a graphic. Use Instagram to share interesting infographics, statistics, and the occasional fun picture. Soon, you will begin to see your following grow. If you don’t see a movement in followers, there are always tools like Nitreo that are willing to help.

With over 8 billion daily views, Snapchat has surpassed Twitter in the social media hierarchy. Gary Vaynerchuk has been touting SnapChat for years because of the attention it receives. The reason it gets so much attention is because each snap (a photo or video) automatically deletes just seconds after it is opened. This creates a sense of urgency to take in the whole piece during that short window. Also, you’re pushed to be memorable and easily digestible in the time you have. The limitations will drive you to be clever about not only your ideas, but in how you present them. This is a far cry from other visual-based social media platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, where the audience can take their time absorbing any content as well as revisit it whenever they wish to. However, businesses that choose to market using social media platforms still need to deal with audience visibility and engagement, as they are not only competing with other companies but also popular users. To ensure that their business stands above the other users, they can use social media growth services, which allows them to buy Youtube clicks and extend their online reach on the platform.

A social media list is incomplete without Twitter. This microblogging platform is your gateway to a broader market. The speed with which you can interact and react on Twitter makes it ideal for delivering content to a target audience. Apart from Facebook, it’s also the platform where users go to find answers to their questions. Use hashtags to tell other followers what your post is about and to organize your posts for searchers.

Think of Twitter as the ticker that goes across the bottom screen of ESPN. It’s a constant stream of information. Most users don’t mind seeing content more than once, so don’t be afraid to share quite often. Now that you’re armed with the basics of the major platforms, here are the skills you’ll need in order to speak to Millennials more effectively.

Teach, Don’t Sell
One of the mistakes advisors make on social media is to continually push products or services. Being overly-promotional is a quick way to get ignored. Keep it educational. Effective social media marketing is all about delivering compelling stories (content). These stories trigger emotions that can affect potential leads. If social media is a vehicle, the content is the gas. Without it, your social media marketing will take you nowhere.

Use social media as a platform for educating your audience on the need for what you do, as you grow your audience, be it by opting to get Tiktok followers cheap or by naturally growing your viewership. Create helpful content that answers questions. Also, it’s okay to share content from sources other than your own blog if it would add value to your audience. This shows that you are up-to-date with industry trends. It also shows good will on your part. Followers will appreciate you for sharing a good, informative article, no matter where it’s from.

Use Compelling Images and Video
Social media platforms have become much more focused on visuals. Sites like Instagram, SnapChat, and even Facebook are full of interesting graphics. Use images and visuals that are relatable, thought-provoking, fun and informative.

If a picture really is worth a thousand words, think of how much you’ll say. If photos can bring unspoken or unwritten messages and thoughts, videos can do a lot more. Create video content for YouTube, Facebook, SnapChat, Instagram, etc. All these have popular video platforms.

You can also summarize your blog content in video form to get more engagement.

Have a Purpose for Every Piece of Content
Why did you sit down to create this content? Was it to get readers to subscribe to your blog? Follow you on Twitter? Sign up for a product demonstration? Whatever your purpose is, make your content lead up to this. In many cases you can ask the viewer to take the desired action. For example, place a call-to-action at the bottom of each blog post that tells readers to subscribe to your blog or schedule a consultation.

Note: It must be a reasonable next step. Don’t expect a new LinkedIn connection to sign up for a product demo. Try going for lower commitments before asking for business.

Social media marketing is definitely uncharted territory for many insurance and financial advisors. But, if you can apply these principles, you’ll do well.

To summarize:

  • Millennial culture has permeated the entire economy. It is vital to adapt to new mediums of exchange in order to compete.
  • Know the difference between platforms. People go to different sites for different reasons. Learn about each one and how to use it.
  • Take the right approach. The digital world is not just another place to blast your message. Be educational, not promotional.
  • Be mindful of the visual nature of digital marketing. Use images and video effectively.

The new story of insurance marketing will be in 140 characters or less. Get ready.

2. Ibid.

Millions Of Millennials Are Without A Financial Advisor. What Are You Doing To Earn Their Business?


Millennials represent the greatest opportunity for insurance and financial advisors ever. A large portion of a generation that encompasses over 90 million people, and spent nearly $1 trillion dollars last year, are potential clients who do not have a financial advisor. With so much financial help out there, including a small business financial advisor for those who own companies, it seems a no brainer that millennials would appreciate the advice.

With such an underserved market moving into their prime earning (and spending) years, it’s time to ask the question what are you doing to earn their business if anything at all?

If you want to reach this group it is more important than ever that you are able to speak to them using the methods they already use to connect, and that you are able to be relevant concerning the issues that are important to them. An effective marketing strategy aimed at earning Millennials’ trust must include a solid online ecosystem, which begins with a responsive, mobile-friendly website, effective use of social media and highly targeted email content.

But before we get too deep into the tactics, let’s learn a little about what makes this generation tick.

Understanding Millennials
Also known as Generation Y (Gen Y, Gen Y-ers) they were born between 1980 and 2000, with the exact years varying based on who is doing the research. As I mentioned above, they are the largest generation in American history, roughly 92 million strong. Yes, that’s even bigger than the baby boomers, who come in at around 77 million according to research compiled by Goldman Sachs.

Millennials are the most educated generation ever, with a huge percentage of them having bachelor’s degrees or higher. Tragically, those diplomas come with nearly $30,000 in student loans, also the most in history according to The Institute of College and Success.

Millennials will soon be the richest generation ever. They’re expected to pass baby boomers in total wealth, earning $3.4 trillion by 2018, according to research by The World Economic Forum.

A Generation of Dreamers
They are quickly becoming leaders in business and communities, likely due to the entrepreneurial attitude that is so pervasive among twenty- and thirty-somethings. In fact, 67 percent have a goal to start a business, according to a study by Bentley University. In contrast, only 13 percent hope to climb the corporate ladder.

This is partly by necessity. The Great Recession occurred either during or just at the start of their careers. This made it necessary to be more self-reliant, as the hopes of a corporate job right out of college just didn’t exist. They also know what happened to their parents and relatives during the financial crisis in 2008.

However, it would be incomplete to ignore the effects of the generation’s economic influencers. For example, entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) are Steve Jobs’s of the era. Instead of hardware, which was the mark made by 20th-century business moguls, Gen Y is the software generation. And instead of building billion-dollar businesses in their garage, now they start in dorm rooms. For better or for worse, this is a generation of big dreamers.

The Connected Generation
With 85 percent owning smartphones and nearly as many having social media profiles, they are better connected than any other generation. In fact, on average, they touch their phones 45 times a day, mostly to check text messages or social media notifications according to research by Nielson.

Speaking of that connectivity, nearly all millennials (95 percent according to SocialChorus) rank their friends as the most credible source of product or service information, highlighting the importance of social media-their most used source of connecting with those friends.

According to the previously cited study by LinkedIn, more than half of millennials will use social media as a part of their decision making process for big financial decisions. For example, most people in this age group are likely to ask friends or read blog posts before deciding to buy life insurance. This makes them highly valuable, not only as potential clients but as potential evangelists for your brand, since they are highly connected via social media.

Marketing to Millennials
You will be shocked to find out how many financial advisors haven’t even looked into financial services marketing. So how does one begin? Well, let’s get two things down first. Pay attention, because this is important.

  1. If they don’t trust you, they will never do business with you. Period. Full stop.
  2. If you don’t convey a sense of trust and competence online, they will never trust you. Period. Full stop.

Since millennials’ lives have been so affected by the financial crisis of 2008, there is a heightened level of suspicion regarding those in the financial services sector. While this may be unfair, the unfortunate truth is that the perception exists, so you’ll have to overcome it right away.

To inspire trust online, you must do a few things.

Be Visible
Do you have a solid web presence? Is your platform mobile-ready? Are you on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter)? You need to be found online. Like I said above, if what they find about you online doesn’t inspire trust, don’t expect their business. If they can’t find you at all, it makes that first step particularly difficult.

It bears repeating that the most important marketing trends for 2015 and beyond are social and mobile. In fact, Americans spend 60 percent of their digital media time on smartphones and tablets. Among millennials, this is even more drastic, with 1-in-5 exclusively using a mobile phone to access the internet. You read that correctly. Nearly 20 million people use their phones to access the internet. You’d better make sure your website and other content are mobile-friendly.

Give Value
The information age is the millennial age. They created it (unless you ask Al Gore) and they thrive on it. They are literally wired to seek out information, and the technology in their pocket makes sure that no answers are out of reach. There is no question to which the answer isn’t “Google it!”

They ask questions. They do their own research. They know their rights. So indulge this behavior. Engage in conversation via Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Respond to and ask questions. Create content regularly via a company or personal blog.

The simplest way to start blogging is to use LinkedIn’s new publishing feature. While not yet available to everyone, find out by looking for the “Publish a Post” icon on the homepage. If this isn’t an option, Medium is a no-frills blogging platform that takes minimal technical skill. If you’re ready to graduate to a more advanced option with more ability to customize and capture leads, move up to a self-hosted WordPress website. Or you may find yourself not really knowing where to begin and that’s alright, especially as there are many online tools and resources that can guide you down the right path. It could be as easy as doing a quick google search into something like Slickplan on Wix just to get an idea on what this particular platform can offer you and your website. You never know, this could be the platform for you to start blogging! Plus, with sites like WordPress and Wix being free to use, it may also be beneficial to try these out for yourself before making a decision. This will give you a strong start once it comes to deciding on what you want to post. Just take your time and do the research.

When it comes to the content, don’t be stingy about what and how much information you share. Aim to give as much value as possible with every post. Hold nothing back. Do this and you’ll be rewarded with trust.

As a pro, a great way to cultivate a thriving online community is to start a debate. A successful blogger once told me that the best way to get attention online is to start a fire.

Be Respectful
The most tired, fallacious, and ill-earned criticism of millennials is that they are lazy and entitled. The media, especially financial news stations, perpetuate this myth. Marketing to millennials is about showing that you understand their worth and that you know that they have the ability to make sound judgments and great business decisions.

Suggest, don’t demean. Inform, don’t patronize.

Remember, they have the biggest potential to become richer than anyone else before them. That fact alone deserves respect.

Finally, it’s time to retire the old methods.
Direct mail, billboards, phone books, fliers, and cold calls just do not resonate anymore. Go show a phone book to a millennial. They’ll probably look at it as if it were a relic in a museum. Call them up on a random Tuesday morning. Straight to voicemail.

They have quite simply, and most-assuredly turned their brains off to these methods. They don’t work. Don’t fight it.

In summary, to reach a generation of over 90 million people, who are expected to control over $3.4 trillion in wealth before the end of the decade, create an online brand that is uniquely your own. Use the tools that the information age has made so readily available, like social media, blogs, and email. Convey trust via the quality content you give away for free.

If you do these things effectively, you’ll reap the rewards of creating a referral engine full of tech-savvy, well-connected evangelists who can use the same tools to spread your message even further.