Financial advising with a

EP 71 | LinkedIn101 for Financial Advisors with Brendan Barca

11.17.21 | 0 Market Scale

Brendan Barca is a coach, speaker, and consultant specializing in helping financial advisors enter the digital age. Through his live workshops, webinars, and online courses, Brendan teaches financial advisors how to grow their businesses by modernizing their websites and embracing digital technology. In addition to his work as a consultant for financial advisors, Brendan is also Co-Founder of Brema Solutions, a firm dedicated to creating a more intentional, aware, and mindful world. 

Brendan joins me today to share his advice on how financial advisors can leverage LinkedIn and other online tools to expand their businesses. He shares why and how he shifted from working in the financial services industry to starting a consultancy business. He discusses how content marketing can help prospects find financial advisors and explains why networking on LinkedIn is a gradual process. He also shares his advice for optimizing your business’s website on Google and underscores why financial advisors need to embrace the digital world.

 

“LinkedIn is a gradual and strategic process.  It’s a slow burn: you connect, build rapport, and then ask for a meeting.” - Brendan Barca

 

This week on The Model FA Podcast: 

        Why some financial advisors feel like LinkedIn doesn’t work for building business

        How optimizing your LinkedIn profile separates you from other financial advisors

        Using content for marketing and keeping prospects interested in you

        The power of niching in business-building and how to position yourself as a valuable resource on LinkedIn and other networking platforms

        How long it takes to reap the benefits of networking on LinkedIn

        Why financial advisors need to embrace digitalization

        Brendan’s advice for financial advisors who are hesitant about taking their businesses online

        Online meeting best practices

        Optimizing your Google ranking to get more prospects to your business website

 

Resources Mentioned: 

        Book: The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferris

        Book: Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Tim Ferris

 

Our Favorite Quotes: 

        “People get to know you by the amount of experiences they have with you.” - David DeCelle

        “You want to create content on LinkedIn. Even if your content doesn’t get a huge engagement, you can still repurpose it.” - Brendan Barca

        “Advisors should create valuable content on a consistent basis on LinkedIn.” - David DeCelle

 

Connect with Brendan Barca: 

        Brendan Barca Solutions

        Email: [email protected]

        Brendan Barca on LinkedIn

 

 

About the Model FA Podcast 

The Model FA podcast is a show for fiduciary financial advisors. In each episode, our host David DeCelle sits down with industry experts, strategic thinkers, and advisors to explore what it takes  to build a successful practice — and have an abundant life in the process. We believe in continuous learning, tactical advice, and strategies that work — no “gotchas” or BS. Join us to hear stories from successful financial advisors, get actionable ideas from experts, and re-discover your drive to build the practice of your dreams.

 

Did you like this conversation? Then leave us a rating and a review in whatever podcast player you use. We would love your feedback, and your ratings help us reach more advisors with ideas for growing their practices, attracting great clients, and achieving a better quality of life. While you are there, feel free to share your ideas about future podcast guests or topics you’d love to see covered. 

Our Team:

President of Model FA, David DeCelle 

 

If you like this podcast, you will love our community! Join the Model FA Community on Facebook to connect with like-minded advisors and share the day-to-day challenges and wins of running a growing financial services firm.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Brendan Barca  00:07

We all saw last year with the onset of COVID-19, everyone essentially was forced into their Zoom world or WebEx world, and the same with clients and with advisors and prospects. And so I think there was a bit of a learning curve for all those folks of different ages who are coming onto the platform trying to learn how to communicate, and many might have found it ineffective and harder. And of course, that's because there's a learning curve of trying to sell or communicate through technology versus trying to do it in person, which many of us were doing for years and years before all this happened.

 

David DeCelle  00:41

Welcome Model FAs. I am very excited to bring you our guest today who is also a coach, speaker, and consultants in the industry. And actually a quick shout out to one of our good friends, Peter Neal, who had connected us a while back. So without further ado, Brendan Barca is a coach, speaker, and consultant, as I mentioned. He specializes in helping financial advisors leverage technology to build their business. Brendan built his own business remotely by using tools such as Zoom, WebEx, Google, and LinkedIn. And now he teaches advisors how to seamlessly enter the digital age through live workshops, webinars, and online courses that he's built as well. For some additional context, he's worked with a bunch of different advisors and financial institutions such as Ameriprise, LPL, UBS, and Edward Jones. So Brendan, welcome to the show.

 

Brendan Barca  01:36

Thanks so much, Dave, for having me; excited to be here.

 

David DeCelle  01:38

Awesome. So I know that before you got into the consulting space, you were actually in our industry. It's not like you had come from outside, but I don't think you were a financial advisor; you were in more of a role that supported what advisors were working on. So tell us a little bit about where you came from and what ultimately prompted you to launch your business.

 

Brendan Barca  02:02

Yeah, absolutely. So to kind of take everyone back to the beginning, I started my career at John Hancock Retirement Plan Services originally as a sales admin, essentially creating 401(k) proposals that wholesalers would use with advisors to try to win business out in the field. Then from there, I became an internal and hybrid wholesaler for the John Hancock investments team, essentially helping advisors both with their mutual fund and ETF selection, but also with their business building. So for the first five years of my career, I was really focused on that, doing hybrid wholesaling, helping advisors through their business building needs, as well as their product needs. But then what happened was about five years ago from today, I decided I didn't want to go the traditional wholesaling route, instead wanting to do something a little bit more entrepreneurial. So I left the industry at that time; I did a stint as a tech salesperson, but ultimately was able to go out on my own. And what originally started as coaching, both from career coaching and business coaching, really outside of financial services, more back into finding ways to help financial advisors as a consultant. Basically what happened was back in early 2019, I was talking to an old friend of mine who was a wholesaler at the time, and I told him how I was getting a lot of my clients through LinkedIn. And he said, wow, really? Like, you got to teach my advisors how to do that. So that really started my foray into the industry as a speaker and consultant. My initial presentation was about how to use LinkedIn to grow your business, and now I teach a myriad of things such as how to use Zoom for client facing meetings, how to get more prospects to your website through Google. So it's been a fun ride. I've been doing this specific gig for about three years, and I've helped a lot of advisors so far at all those firms you mentioned.

 

David DeCelle  03:32

Awesome. So let's dive right into the digital aspect of things. So I hear conflicting reviews, so to speak, on leveraging LinkedIn for business building. And I've heard advisors who have had an unbelievable experience in doing so. And I've heard advisors that flat out say, you know, this doesn't work, or it's not working for me. So I guess, help me understand what you think is the difference between those two experiences from a high level, and then we'll kind of dive deep into what really makes an online, specifically a LinkedIn strategy work for folks, because I think it would help clear the air for a lot of people out there.

 

Brendan Barca  04:15

Yeah, well, I think the biggest thing that is separating the successful advisor from LinkedIn from the unsuccessful advisor on LinkedIn is the successful ones have a system and a repeatable routine, use LinkedIn to consistently get in front of prospects and to land meetings. What I mean by that is, if they have for example, every week they're trying to do more emails and cold calls to get in front of clients, they have to have LinkedIn as a part of that repertoire. So certain things on LinkedIn specifically that have worked for some of the top advisors are first of all, finding a list of prospective clients, whether you're going for plan sponsors for 401(k) plan, or you're going for high affluent clients. Finding a list of those people in your area and then coming up with a connection script that's going to get a bunch of those people into your network. And then once they're in your network, you then have to then start building rapport with them. That happens by creating valuable content that speaks directly to them. But then also by sending valuable things through private messaging, and doing all that before you try to ask for a phone call or a meeting. I think the biggest mistake that a lot of advisors that aren't successful or doing is, first of all, they don't have a consistent strategy. And second of all, they're probably trying to sell too fast. They try to connect and ask for a meeting, which is a really ineffective way of trying to use LinkedIn; it's going to be much more of a gradual and strategic process. And that's what the successful advisors have been able to do. It's much more of that slow burn of connect, build rapport, and then ask for a meeting.

 

David DeCelle  05:33

So I'm glad that you hit on that. I'll share a similar sentiment said a little bit differently with folks who may not have a good experience, whether it be with LinkedIn, or really any other social platform. But if I'm hearing you correctly, there's a few different things that you hit on. So number one is LinkedIn isn't necessarily the end all be all. So you mentioned coupling that with email and phone call strategies, perhaps cross pollinating your audiences to other platforms as well, like a Facebook or an Instagram, to ultimately maintain and increase your relevance while becoming omnipresent along the way. Because people get to know you based on the amount of experiences they have with you. So if every time they're logging onto a platform, and they see something valuable that you're posting, that's only going to elevate you and in their minds, from my perspective. In addition to that, which I just alluded to, is most of the advisors, quite frankly, if not all of the advisors who I come across, they're not having a good experience on LinkedIn; they're doing or they're not doing exactly what you said they should do, which number one is creating content on a consistent basis. I don't think once a week, or once a month is nearly enough. You need at least a few times a week and something valuable not positioned as an advertisement. And then also, we've all been on the receiving end of those messages from folks on LinkedIn where we just connect, and then they're immediately asking for our time or asking for something without ever giving us a chance to get to know them at all. Am I'm missing anything with my interpretation of what you just said, or is that kind of spot on with what you're saying?

 

Brendan Barca  07:10

That's right in line with what I'm saying, what I usually preach to advisors. I mean, one simple example of a successful story from an advisor that kind of touches on all those different elements you mentioned is first of all, this specific advisor used to be in the pharmacy industry and targets pharmacists in his part of the country and people in the executive teams at those companies. So his profile is branded specifically towards helping pharmacists and pharmaceutical executives reach retirement. It says that on his headline, it says that in the about section, so that way anyone knows, if you need an advisor, you're in this field, who are you going to go to besides individuals. So that's the first thing is branding is on point. But then what you can do with that branding is you can start connecting with different pharmacists, and you don't connect from a sales angle, but more of a networking angle. So it came across your profile through our mutual industry connections, so and so, would love to connect on here, thanks, Brendan. Something like that. Then you get them into the network, which is just the first step, then once they're in there, this advisor would create content that's geared towards pharmacists in his space, and then ultimately reach out over email a month or two months later to try to ask for the meeting. So, this advisor was able to land a half million dollar client eventually from this strategy by having the brand set up correctly, connecting with the right folks, and then using the content as a way to kind of serve up what he's trying to offer, and then come with email for the actual meeting ask.

 

David DeCelle  08:31

So I think optimizing the profile is super important, because what's going to differentiate you from any other advisor who's perhaps trying to connect, and if they have five advisors who have connected with them, and one of them says, I do financial planning, the other one says, I have a wealth management practice, the other one says, I do comprehensive financial planning, and then the other one says something specific to pharmacists; they're probably going to pay attention to that one more closely, is what I found anyways. Now, how do you, when you say building up some rapport, and waiting a month or two or three to actually reach out for the ask, how do you ensure that they've actually been paying attention to you over that time frame, so it's not like connection on day one, meeting ask on day 60, and no engagement in between? How are you kind of prompting them to get their eyeballs on you more consistently?

 

Brendan Barca  09:25

Sure. So the two primary ways that after a prospect accepts your connection on LinkedIn is going to be through one is your content, which essentially your marketing arm for LinkedIn. And then two is your messaging, which is a little bit more of that sales and communication are. So, yes, if you put content up on LinkedIn, let's say it gets five likes, there's a big chance that your prospects and clients may not see that because it's going to get buried in the LinkedIn feed.  Only those posts that get over 100 likes are getting seen by everyone in your network. So content is part of it. You want to be creating that content, but don't be afraid, or don't be worried, I should say, if your content isn't getting huge engagement. Because what you can do with that content is you can repurpose it into private messaging. So one of the biggest things that I teach advisors is let's say you're posting about, take the example of the financial advisor targeting pharmacists, let's say you post an article about how pharmacists can reach retirement easier. Now, if you get five likes, that's great. Maybe some people saw it, but essentially, you want to be then sending that exact post in a private message to all the prospects in your current network. So saying something like, hey, John, I don't know if you saw this article I posted up about pharmacists going to retirement, thought you might really find it beneficial. Have a great day, Brendan. So what we're doing there is not just using the content as that marketing, which may not be seen, but we’re bringing it right into their LinkedIn, and they're going to see that much more easier. And that's going to keep you top of mind for them, and that way you'll know in a month or two months, when you reach out for the meeting ask, there's a higher percentage chance they actually saw the value you sent them.

 

David DeCelle  10:51

So it’s funny that we're talking about pharmacists as the example because when I was an advisor, I was an advisor for seven years, and the last few years is when I primarily like niched down to pharmacists. So working with them on the clinical side in hospitals, retail, it be like the CVS and Walgreens of the world, and then industry, which are more the corporations with research and things like that. So the other thing that they can be doing, too, is trying to be like hyper specific. So one thing that I did with all those folks who I worked with is I got their benefits package, for all the different companies, and I position myself as more of a resource beyond financial planning. So as an example, if I knew, I'll use financial planning as an example, and then outside of financial planning. So, I would say, hey, did you know that CVS over the last few months just recently rolled out the option to opt into a Roth 401(k) instead of a traditional 401(k)? I've been working with a lot of folks in that transition, would love to chat with you to see if that may make sense. So it's essentially going into a particular pain point that they may not have been aware of that's specific to their business, as opposed to a general, hey, we'd love to talk to you about your financial planning. It's a little bit too intangible. So it's just going in almost like a sniper approach as opposed to a shotgun approach. And then even outside of financial planning, positioning myself as a resource, as hey, John, I see that you're working over at CVS. I work with a number of pharmacists, both at CVS and a bunch of the other retail, clinical, and industry companies out there. Out of roleplay, it's important to use your niche’s terminology as well. So they're like, okay, this person actually knows what they're talking about. And I would just say something to the effect of, primarily, I help folks with their financial planning, however, I also am privy to, based on the clients that I work with, to understand the compensation models and the benefits packages and the folks who do the hiring at all these various companies. I think it would make sense for us to connect over the phone to just learn more about what you have going on, and see if we may be a resource for one another, either now or at some point in the future. When they see that you have another angle outside of just financial planning, you're positioning yourself as a valuable resource in general, as opposed to just with financial planning. So I think it's important, again, continuing to build off of what you said, to become an expert in those industries of the folks that you're connecting with, and just making sure to continually follow up with valuable pieces of information, because you never know which ones is going to hit them at the right time.

 

Brendan Barca  13:29

Yeah. And that's where the power of niching down is important, not just on LinkedIn, but really just in business building in general. And that's where people are going to see the most success. And the more you can cater your language and use some of the industry jargon, they're going to see, okay, this person knows my situation, they work with people like me, maybe they were someone like me before. So they'll be much more inclined to accept your message and probably get back to you, if you can show in a very short and concise message what the needs are, and how you can provide value to help solve those. And it doesn't always have to be a way of getting their 10k roll over right away, but it could just be a way of helping them first. And then when they have something they need later on, you're the person they go to. So again, that slow burn more of a approach of service rather than approach of selling, I think is a really big way of being successful through using LinkedIn. But all these things can be used on email, too. LinkedIn is just a tool to get more information about people, have a different way to reach them through messaging. But really, the skills can be used through messaging on both email, phone calls, and LinkedIn.

 

David DeCelle  14:23

Before we entirely move away from the LinkedIn portion of the podcast, one of my questions in terms of how you communicate this to advisors, but I feel like an advisor who has a bad experience on LinkedIn, they do something kind of haphazardly for a few months, and then they give up. But this is a longer term play, right? So what do you share with advisors in terms of like a rough payoff timeframe, if they're fully, fully committed to the process?

 

Brendan Barca  14:55

It's gonna depend on their output. Just like anything, if you are making five cold calls a week versus 50 cold calls a week, you're gonna see a different return. So the biggest things is you have to set realistic goals for yourself every week on LinkedIn. With the advisor I spoke of earlier who's having success on LinkedIn in the pharmaceutical space, his goal every week was twofold. First of all, to send 25 connection invitations to prospects in his niche. And the second one is to send 25 value add messages to the prospects who have already accepted him in his network. So through those two metrics, he was able to get more of the right people in his network; and the people that came into his network, he was able to provide value or ask for meetings. So if you're doing something like that, where it's about maybe 50 per week of different touchpoints through LinkedIn, you can expect to pay off of getting some meetings within a month or two months’ time. So, just a matter of being consistent, going with the right people, and then those meetings, that's where you get to kind of essentially learn how to close the business, which is a different conversation. But, that would be a consistent approach, and you can get there if the volume is high enough, just as you would over email or phone calls. It’s just you're using LinkedIn because email and phone calls are saturated, and people aren't picking up the phone or returning emails anymore. Whereas LinkedIn, you can get some higher replies.

 

David DeCelle  16:12

So to transition over to, as I stated in your bio, how you teach advisors how to seamlessly enter the digital age, I guess speak to that. I know you've benefited from and I've benefited from running our businesses this way. I feel like every time we chat, we're in a different location and trying to explore as best as we can. So there's some benefits in terms of flexibility or more time with families if you're cutting out the commute, but I know that there may be some advisors who are hesitant to make that change, either because they feel as if their clients really want to meet in person, or they just haven't really embraced going fully digital. So I guess how do you speak to that in your workshops with advisors, regarding that topic?

 

Brendan Barca  16:55

Yeah, well, as we all saw last year, with the onset of COVID-19, everyone essentially was forced into their Zoom world or WebEx world. And the same with clients, and with advisors and prospects. And so I think there was a bit of a learning curve for all those folks of different ages who are coming onto the platform trying to learn how to communicate, and many might have found it ineffective and harder. And of course, that's because there's a learning curve of trying to sell or communicate through technology versus trying to do it in person, which many of us were doing for years and years before all this happened. I think the biggest thing though, that advisors have to understand, is that just because the world is opening back up right now, and it's going to continue to do so, it doesn't mean that this type of technology and this type of communication is going to go away. I think the biggest thing that clients and advisors have seen over the last year and a half or two years is that we all have more time in our day, as you said, but also it's just much more efficient, in terms of how to share materials with clients like sharing things to your website, you can do it through Zoom. So, it actually creates sometimes an easier platform for both client and prospecting conversations. But more importantly, I think both prospects and clients, as we go into more later generations of millennials, and the Gen X, they're going to be more inclined to take meetings through here. I know, for example, myself, I wouldn't even consider going to an office to meet an advisor I don't want to meet over the phone or through Zoom. So I think it's important to adapt for the next generation, but also understanding it can be more efficient for you, as long as you're savvy on the tip. And I think at this point, a lot of people know the basics of Zoom, but it's more of how to communicate effectively, how to sell through here, is really the next evolution of Zoom and WebEx communication.

 

Patrick Brewer  18:29

Hey, Model FAs, I know you're enjoying this conversation, but I wanted to take a quick break to talk to you about the Model FA Accelerator. This is a unique collaboration between us and you, where we help you build a financial advising practice that you can be proud of. We focus on the foundational concepts around how to pick a niche or a specialization, how to price your services, how to construct an offer that people are going to buy, and then how to market it and sell it in a way that will get people to sign on the dotted line and become clients of your firm, all while giving you the information to scale and set up workflows and operational processes that will allow you to reclaim your time and build a practice that doesn't run you. So if you'd like to hear more about that, go to www.ModelFA.com/accelerator or www.ModelFA.com. Hover over Work With Us and click on Accelerator. Hope to see you in the program.

 

David DeCelle  19:19

So I guess in your presentations that you share with advisors, are there any specific like tips and tricks that you're sharing in terms of integrating the technology into their practice beyond just like, hey, you should use Zoom? Are there any best practices that they should be exploring?

 

Brendan Barca  19:35

Absolutely. So one of the top things that we picked up from a top advisor team of a wirehouse last year, who was actually doing successful Zoom calls before the pandemic started, was using a virtual meeting agenda. So just like you may have had an agenda in your office that you'd slide a piece of paper across your office to be able to show your client what you wanted to cover that meeting. What they're doing is the client comes on a Zoom call, they'll pop up their screen share and have like a Word document or a PDF that has the client's name on it, it has a four part agenda of what the topic’s going to be for that day. And then in the agenda itself, there's different lines available where they can type in notes that the client is saying. So for example, if the top question is, what's top of mind for you and your family, then the client could start typing in, or excuse me, the advisor would start typing in as the client with speaking: well, we're really worried about the new president, how it's gonna affect our portfolio, our 401(k), we moved to bonds but the market’s going up. So you can actually make an interactive experience through Zoom, and that way it's a better and more immersive learning experience for the client and yourself. And the other thing too, is with this agenda, is you can have items on there that are going to point a client to different resources you have. So depending your broker dealer, you might have an asset aggregation software on your website, you could have it on the agenda, take the client in there, into the website, and show them different things they're learning on the call, but it also could be an opportunity for you to identify new assets that they may have at another shop down the street. So those are some different ideas. I think the biggest thing that we've seen top advisors, especially a wirehouse, adapt has been the agenda through the virtual screen share.

 

David DeCelle  21:09

So I think number one, because I have some friends of mine that I know in the industry, and they'll use a Zoom or a WebEx, but essentially, it's just, they just use it for the audio portion. And they'll use it for some screen sharing type functionality to go through the financial plan or whatever, but they'll leave off video. And sometimes they say, well, you think the clients would be more comfortable, yada, yada, yada. But at the end of the day, I think video is an absolute necessity for these meetings. And what I'm hearing is leveraging documents that are living and breathing, so to speak, and sharing your screen makes it a little bit more interactive with the folks that you're that you're meeting with.

 

Brendan Barca  21:50

It's a good point, I didn't even bring up the point about the video, but yes, you need to have your video on for trying to be a better communicator with clients and prospects. And what did we used to do when we're in person? People would see our face, they’d get to know us a little bit. That was part of the reason why over time, they’d get to like us more, they want to work with us more. So you need to have facetime, and just doing old school phone calls isn't going to give that same experience. So, for example, you and I have never met in person, but we've met over Zoom five times, but I feel like I know you. But if it was just over the phone, I’d be like I don't know, who's this Dave guy? Maybe I should talk to him, maybe I shouldn't. But Zoom, it's like we're in the same room almost, so you need to be able to get comfortable with that as an advisor. And if you feel like your clients aren't comfortable, I would challenge that thought. One advisor I heard from Edward Jones last year, he had some clients that were in retirement, maybe 70s, and 80s. And he was like, I don't know if they're gonna want to do Zoom. So one of the things he did was he set up a little one on one client happy hour, where he said, we're going to come on, we’re going to each drink of beer, and then we're going to just go through the Zoom thing together, so we can learn, and you'll be able to learn a few things. They had the video, they had some fun, and then he ended up closing business from that call, all because he was able to kind of teach them technology. That's a whole other element that you could do for your clients who aren't as technically savvy is show them how to do it, and they're going to like it more than you probably think they would.

 

David DeCelle  23:05

Are there any things that folks should be avoiding as it relates to video calls or structuring meetings in that sense? Any, hey, do not do this, or is it pretty much make sure you get your video on, make sure you're doing some sharing along the way? What are some of those best practices or things to avoid?

 

Brendan Barca  23:23

I would say one thing to avoid is having a distracting background or having a video angle that is not, for lack of better words, glamorous for you. So for example, we want to have our video at a good level where we're speaking to each other directly, rather than having it up our nose, or like coming down at us too far — exactly, you're moving your screen. So we want to avoid that. And I think the easiest way to do it is to prop your computer up on some books or have an elevated desk, and that's gonna be a good way for it to be at eye level. The other thing too, is I did see some people using the virtual backgrounds in the beginning because it seemed fun to be on a beach or to pretend you're in front of the Golden Gate Bridge. But I think that those can be distracting, sometimes unprofessional, depending on what they are. And also sometimes your face can get lost in the green screen and your hands will get come out of nowhere. So I'd be really careful around those and only use them when you're in a pinch, maybe say a call from your basement or from your bedroom, then you can maybe pull it up. But ultimately, what you want to do is have a good natural background that's not going to be distracting, where people can focus on you, your face, and what you're communicating, rather than what's going on behind you like a crazy bookshelf or the beach.

 

David DeCelle  24:31

So you had mentioned before in terms of using Google to be able to help grow business as well. What do you mean by that?

 

Brendan Barca  24:37

Yeah, so one of the biggest things that I've been working on in the last four or five months with advisors is teaching them how to optimize their Google ranking to get more prospects to their website. And as you may know, as a former advisor and a small business owner on Google, you can set up what's called your Google My Business listing, which essentially is a free service that allows any small business to have their profile up on Google, with their photos, with their link, their phone number. Just like almost having a Yelp listing if you're a restaurant, you can do the same thing on Google. So one of the biggest things we've been teaching this summer to advisors is how to make sure that your page on Google is showing up ahead of other advisors in your community. So for example, if you are in Oak Park, Illinois, which I think is a suburb of Chicago, then you want to make sure that if someone types into Google ‘financial advisor near Oak Park, Illinois,’ that your branch is going to show up higher than the other competitor broker dealer down the street. And the way you would do that is through a few simple optimization tips that I teach in some of these seminars. And we can kind of go into those if you want, but essentially, that's what we're teaching. It's not really a prospecting play, like we're not actively going out and prospecting through Google, but rather a marketing play of trying to get more discoverable and get more people to your website so they can get familiar with your brand. Which is important for both the vetting process if people are trying to check you out, but also for prospects who may want to look for an advisor in their area.

 

David DeCelle  25:59

Is there anything that you're helping advisors with regarding the transition to more of the digital age that I have not asked yet?

 

Brendan Barca  26:09

That's a good question. I think the primary items that I've been working on in the last year or so have been LinkedIn, have been virtual meetings, and it has been the Google, which has been the newest one. So those are the three primary focuses that I've been sharing so far. So I think we've covered them.

 

David DeCelle  26:24

Awesome. So one of the things I want to transition to before we end up signing off is, as you know in working with advisors, advisors typically spend a lot of time learning and staying up to speed with current events and planning topics and investment strategies, and a lot of their learning is within the confines of our industry. But, as we know, there's a lot of other great ideas that are not related to our industry that can ultimately be applied to our industry. So part of the reason why I ask our guests what your favorite book is, or one of them at least, is to promote learning outside of the industry. So the one that you had made a note on is The 4-Hour Workweek, and I'm pretty sure that's Tim Ferriss, and I had read that; that was a beast of a book. It's like the size of the Bible. But I guess with that being said, what made you pick that book and tell me a little bit about the impact that it's had on you?

 

Brendan Barca  27:14

Yes, so I was reading that book, I think about five years ago, when essentially I was trying to figure out what I want to do with my career, figure out how to maybe start a business. And, for me at that point in my life, I think the book really opened up a lot of information and ways of doing business that was different than what I traditionally been taught both from school and also from sort of the corporate world. And essentially, if you haven't read the book, what Tim Ferriss teaches is how to start what he calls like a lifestyle business. So essentially being able to work and run a business fully remotely, and to be able to mix and marry work life with personal life. And he also gives a lot of strategies, essentially how to do that. So whether you are an advisor who's trying to get more time back in your day because you have so many clients to work with, or you're someone who's trying to start their own practice or their own business, I think this book could be really impactful as it's going to really teach you some new ideas that probably you haven't thought of before. I know for me, it really was the beginning of starting to think differently and create something from scratch. And I still bring that book with me on my travels. It's funny you say it's as big as the Bible because actually, I don't think it's that big. It's just a normal size book. You might be thinking of a different one of his; he has some bigger ones. But it's something you can travel with pretty easily as I take it with me to Costa Rica and back. So it's worth getting.

 

David DeCelle  28:28

Because that book has what like orange and yellow sort of color scheme, if I'm not mistaken. I think it's called Tools of Titans. That's the one that's really big. Just to clarify.

 

Brendan Barca  28:39

Tools of Titans is Tim Ferriss, one of his more recent books. The original book he wrote was The 4-Hour Workweek. So that was back in 2008, I think, but this one came out maybe a decade later. So that was more of a brick that would be hard to travel around. The 4-Hour Workweek is much more digestible. So I'd start there, for those of you trying to look for new creative ways to either run your own business that exists now or a new business.

 

David DeCelle  28:59

Well, what I think is cool, just for everyone listening, haven't gotten to know Brendan a little bit over the past four or five months or so. But it's been cool to see remembering what I do from The 4-Hour Workweek that you're actually to a degree living that. Not literally working four hours a week, but the idea of flexibility, the idea of leveraged products and services, the idea of speaking to a group of 100 people at a time as opposed to 100 different meetings with individuals. So it's just cool to see that there's ideas outside the industry that you've consumed, taken action on, and are now benefiting from the flexibility in this case. So for those of you who are listening, whatever aspects of your life that you think you can improve or that you want to maximize, go and learn about it and take action on it and in a short amount of time, you can start living that to a degree. So it's just been cool to see that from my perspective, Brendan.

 

Brendan Barca  29:52

One more thought around that from the book itself. I was talking to advisor from a wire house recently and one of the challenges he's had, he's had a really successful career, over a billion dollars in AUM. But one of the things is that all these different clients, whether it's 401(k) clients or its individual clients is that he's lost a lot of time in trying to manage the entire book of business. So, one of the concepts they talked about in The 4-Hour Workweek is the 80/20 principle, which comes from actually a few centuries ago, which essentially says that 80% of your happiness, or 80% of your income, comes from 20% of your output. So if you think about as an advisor, that 20% of your book that's probably getting you the 80% of your income, what you should be doing is doubling down on those folks and working on ways to almost offload the other people that may be weighing you down from a time standpoint, or aren't giving you the income that you want to create the life that you desire. So that's just one great concept you can get from the book, or just Google 80/20 principle, and you'll learn all about it, because it's really from another philosopher from a few centuries ago.

 

David DeCelle  30:51

Love it. So if some folks would like to learn more about what you have to offer, maybe dive deeper on some of the stuff that we talked about today, where would you like to direct them?

 

Brendan Barca  31:01

So people can find me in two places. First of all, I am as LinkedIn advocate, I'm all over LinkedIn. So you can just search for my name, Brendan Barca, and you'll find me there, or my website is just BrendanBarca.com. And on the website itself, there's probably two ways to get to know me a little bit better. First of all, I do have a blog that is actually unrelated to LinkedIn or Google; it's more just about personal development, and different ideas. Like just like those ideas we talked about with the 80/20 principle. So I do have a blog from our website you can subscribe to. I also do have a LinkedIn online course for those who are looking to try to go deeper into LinkedIn and learn on your own. So either LinkedIn or my website, BrendanBarca.com.

 

David DeCelle  31:39

Awesome. And those will be linked in the show notes as well, if you scroll down on whatever platform you're listening to. But with that, for everyone listening, we appreciate you taking the time to do so. Please go ahead and click the Share button and share this with some folks that you think may find some value in this as well. Any folks out there who are still resistant to becoming a little bit more digital, this may be the episode to share with them. So we'd really appreciate that, and we'd love your feedback as well. So with that being said, Brendan, I appreciate the time today, and I look forward to our continued collaboration.

 

Brendan Barca  32:15

Yeah, thanks so much, Dave. This has been fun and hopefully everyone gets some great tips out of today's episode.

 

David DeCelle  32:20

Awesome. Take care.