Swift Chat: Marketing Trends for Financial Advisors Who Want to Stand Out with Angel Gonzalez and Jonny Swift
In this Swift Chat video interview, Jonny Swift of Impact Communications speaks with Angel Gonzalez, Chief Marketing Office and Co-Founder of Snappy Kraken, a marketing automation and growth platform for financial services professionals. You will learn about what's working for advisors today when it comes to digital marketing and what trends we are seeing on the horizon for advisors who want to stand out.
In addition, Jonny and Angel discuss the upcoming Jolt! Marketing Conference for financial services professionals, hosted by Snappy Kraken, Snappy Kraken's new podcast, "Steal My Strategy", and other developments on the horizon for Snappy Kraken.
To register for the Jolt! Marketing conference, visit www.JoltConference.com. Jonny Swift will be on site to offer complimentary consulting services and advice during the interactive sessions and Marie Swift will be leading a panel discussion on how to use credibility marketing and authenticity to enhance your brand and grow your business.
SAVE 15% OFF YOUR JOLT! REGISTRATION BY ENTERING THIS CODE: SWIFT15
+ IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN SPONSORING, REQUEST THE SPONSOR PACKET BY EMAILING MARIE SWIFT
To learn more about Angel Gonzalez and Snappy Kraken, visit www.SnappyKraken.com.
To learn more about Impact Communications and Jonny Swift, visit: www.ImpactCommunications.org.
Pull the out-of-the-box thinking from other industries and don't get caught up in an echo chamber just within your industry." ~ Angel Gonzalez, CMO, Snappy Kraken
Jonny Swift: Hi and welcome back to another Swift Chat in the Financial Services Industry. I'm Jonny Swift of Impact Communications and today I'm joined by Angel Gonzalez, Chief Marketing Officer and Co-Founder of Snappy Kraken, which is a marketing automation platform for financial advisors. Angel, thanks so much for joining me today.
Angel Gonzalez: Thanks Jonny. It's going to be fun to spend some time with you.
Swift: Of course, as always. So, tell us a little bit about your personal backstory. How did you get into the business of content marketing for advisors?
Gonzalez: Ooh. All right, well, I'll make it succinct. So backstory, I had a previous web design marketing agency with one of our co-founders Brad and we served a range of businesses.
We served a clothing brand. We served an ADA compliance trainer. We served a financial advisor and one of our other clients was actually a marketing firm for financial advisors and one of the founders of that firm happened to be Robert Sofia. So, he quickly became our favorite client and it just made sense to go all in on one business rather than serving, you know, a lot of different clients across all these different industries.
We certainly learned a lot and found a lot of the through lines and the common threads throughout all those industries. You know, one of the things that drives me is interesting projects with interesting people. So, it just made sense all around to work with him and I'll stop right there cause the rest is history and we have a lot more to talk about.
Swift: Well, I do want to dig a little bit deeper there. How did you end up teaming up with Robert and how were the beginnings of Snappy Kraken?
Gonzalez: Oh, man. All right. So, with Robert, we worked with him at his company for a couple years, at some point, you know, just didn't make sense for one of my co-founders and I Brad to be there anymore. We wanted to leave. We wanted to do our own thing. We want to figure something out. We wanted to, again, just create something. So, we ended up, I guess you could say flying the coop, sending in a resignation letters and we started building.
At some point, you know, Robert ended up leaving his company and joining with us. Some of this is actually pretty public. I won't go into the details. There’s actually a few articles out there so I'll let anyone interested do a little Google search and find out a little bit more about that narrative, but, yeah, we'll keep sharing that with others and just about our backstory and how we started.
That's awesome. Well, you guys have come a long way in a relatively short period of time. So glad to hear a little bit about that and now let's dig into the meat of our conversation a little bit. So, what's working for advisors today when it comes to marketing and what trends are you seeing on the horizon for advisors who want to stand out?
TIPS FOR ADVISORS WHO WANT TO STAND OUT
Gonzalez: All right. I love this. So I'm going to reframe this a little bit because I know I see articles that come up this way that asks, hey, what are the trends? We talked to a lot of advisors, a lot of advisors send us emails or, or hit up our chat on our platform and they're asking, hey, what's working right now. What are some trends?
We certainly pulled together all the data from our campaigns and we put together some reports, but I actually want to issue a challenge right here. So, I want to reframe this question, Jonny. I want to go from what's working today or what are the trends to what has always worked that you just ain't doing right now?
Because I think if you're not doing that, if you're not thinking strategically about your business, if you're not thinking about who you serve, how you serve them, how you're going to stand out and really putting that together into a big holistic strategic plan, then you could end up chasing your tail looking for hot new trends or hot new tactics and you could get caught in this tactical marketing hell, getting frustrated and you know, burning a lot of cycles there. I'm sure you've seen this before. So, I'm always really careful about that and it's not that I'm avoiding the question cause we certainly write content about trends and we point these things out and we do talk about them in our reports, but I want to challenge our listeners.
The biggest problem? What has always worked that you just ain't doing today. If you're trying to get healthy there's no sense in bringing up a study like, oh wow, 26 cups of green tea will boost my metabolism and do this, that and the other for my body, but if you're not getting enough sleep and you're super stressed out and you're smoking five packs a day, maybe then we've got to focus on something else.
Swift: I think that's a great distinction. You have to have that strategic plan. You have to find your niche, develop your target audience and start there with that strategic plan before you start developing your content and determining how you're going to stand out. But you know, at the same time, Snappy Kraken does develop great content that allows the advisors who use the platform to stand out from the crowd so can you tell us a little bit more about that.
Gonzalez: All the stuff that we do doesn't revolve around one-off events. Marketing is a process. It's an ongoing process and you have to make sure that you're frequent enough with it that you're consistent enough with it and that you don't let too much time pass where you're just exhibiting radio silence.
We do find that that's where a lot of advisors and up dropping the ball. They might get some leads, they might get some email addresses or contact info at an event and then maybe they follow up once and if they don't get that immediate appointment, it just collects dust on a list and that's actually one of the, you know, one of the biggest wins that you could actually get with some of this marketing is dust off that list and start reaching out, actually commit to yourself, commit that you are going to market and that it's not going to be a one-off event, that it's not going to be a Hail Mary and that you're actually going to give yourself into this process and you're going to work that process, you know, all in service to your prospects and clients.
Swift: Exactly. Consistency is definitely key. So, we kind of touched on this in the previous question, but have you been reading anything lately about adviser marketing that's resonated with you or reading anything that's annoyed you or that you really disagree with?
WHAT'S ON ANGEL'S BOOK SHELF
Gonzalez: And you know, this is what's interesting. Some of the best reading is from other people who are annoyed. So, I read pretty broadly. I don't just stay within the industry. I read as much as I can related to marketing, marketing best practices, business building, because at the end of the day, marketing is a big business lever anyway so if you're not going straight to the source, you could go into it blindly, but I really think the best overall articles, anything related to advisor marketing are the ones that actually aren't directly related to marketing, but that challenge the establishment, or that challenge some type of best practice or that challenge advisors to think differently.
Some of my favorite articles that I might come by, or the opinion pieces or thought pieces that are like, hey, can we all just stop using this word? Or, hey, can we all stop thinking about, you know, one-off marketing or living in tactical hell, can we think more strategically or can we stop using these words because they, it's an industry insider word. It's a little bit jargony, a little bit buzzwordy, but it's not really serving your prospects or clients or getting them to think a little bit more deeply about what they can benefit from working with you, Mr. or Ms. advisor. So those are some of my favorite pieces.
It's I guess maybe that's part of my nature where it's like, all right, well, I want to challenge it. I want to challenge something. I want to challenge somebody to think a little bit differently and more strategically and actually think, you know, outcome first and take a look at the stuff you do say, the stuff that you do put out there and ask yourself, is this weird?
Does this miss the mark? Is this a little bit too insider-y and not really going to appeal to my target audience? I think this goes straight to your previous question about thinking about who you're serving first, what are their needs? What are they interested in? What do they want? What do they expect from you? And just acting in line with that.
WHY ATTEND THE JOLT! CONFERENCE THIS FALL
Swift: I agree completely. Those kinds of articles where it kind of challenges the status quo a little bit, always help shake things up. So next I want to talk about the first ever Snappy Kraken conference coming up this fall, that Jolt! Conference for advisor marketing, it's going to be held October 20th to 22nd in Las Vegas.
I know Marie and I are both really looking forward to attending and I wanted to ask you what you're most looking forward to about the conference and what can advisors who attend, expect to take away from the conference?
Gonzalez: Sure, sure. So, obviously it's going to be great to get out of the house. It's going to be great to meet up with other like-minded people who are interested in growing their business, who are interested in finding marketing strategies and tactics and techniques that they could be using to grow business, but really at the heart of it, one of the things I'm looking forward to the most is really the gathering of a diversity of people and a diversity of experiences.
One of the big things that we did with putting together this event was we made sure that the topics we're going to talk about, the examples we're going to use and even some of the main keynote speakers we're going to have, we wanted to make sure that they were outside of the industry. We didn't want a homogenous event.
In addition to that, we wanted to make sure that this was a marketing only event, not a financial advisor practice management event with just little bit of marketing. We wanted it to be 100% marketing focused and have it be as, you know, cross industry as possible when it comes to taking strategies and cribbing principles and strategies that work for others and then helping codify those in how they'll work for our advisors so they can actually walk away with a plan that works for them. I feel like that's kind of a driving force in a lot of the things that we do at Snappy Kraken. The way we consume information, the way we try to synthesize information. I know it's a driving force for me is read widely, read, broadly, pull what works great.
Pull the out-of-the-box, thinking from other industries and don't get caught up in an echo chamber just within your industry. So, I don't know if this has happened to you, you have kids don't you don't you, or do you have a newborn?
Swift: Yeah, he's 10 months old.
Gonzalez: Okay. So, I've noticed this pattern. I don't know if you've ever noticed it.
Have you ever noticed some people who are extreme germaphobes with themselves or with their kids where they don't let their kids play in the backyard or play in the dirt? They're dumping sanitizer all over their kids, even if it's at home. I'm not talking about if it's at the busy airport or anything, but I've noticed that people like that who really limit those inputs and who are just are afraid of just introducing anything. Notice how those people are always sick?!
What I relate that to is like, okay, well, how can I create, what are the probiotics for brilliant thinking or the probiotics for thinking creatively, and it's like, okay, well introduce, don't take garbage obviously, go and get high quality insights or high quality ideas, but go to great sources, not just in your industry.
You've heard of garbage in garbage out. I would say you have to be careful if you only take in homogeneous ideas, you're probably going to have a dull output or you're not going to have a very creative output.
Swift: I agree completely. Well, you know that being said, you are going to have almost all of the best marketers in the industry at the conference on the schedule in some capacity, but tell us who are some of these keynote speakers from outside the industry that will be here.
Gonzalez: Okay. Well and this is great, cause we're actually going to get them on our podcast when we can talk about that in a second, but we have the Executive Creative Director of Adobe, Adam Morgan. He wrote a book called Sorry Spock, Emotions Drive Business, which we thought was fantastic and in line with our industry because, you know, a lot of business owners, a lot of financial advisors.
It's kind of like that show Dragnet, you know, just the facts ma'am. I know that's a flashback. That's a show from before I was born, but it's not just facts that drive decision-making it really is emotion. So, Adam Morgan is fantastic and the way he ties that together, in a way that's not woo woo or too fuzzy and too fluffy, he actually codifies it and shares and shows in a business sense why this actually matters. Our other speakers are, let's see, marketers, authors, keynote speakers and Catarina Walter. She wrote a book called Think Like Zuck. There are several books that she's written I don't have them off the top of my head.
Crystal Washington, futurist author, you know, great marketing mind and Andrew Davis, another, great marketer, author, and keynote speaker, but you know, it's not, we didn't pull from the first people that you might think of. Like okay, marketing and the financial services industry, or just who are the top marketers that you can think of. We really want it to find people who are great in their own right and who have accomplished something fantastic, but who are outside of the industry or outside of what you would normally search for that way and that's where the best ideas are going to come from.
You have to have that strategic plan. You have to find your niche, develop your target audience and start there with that strategic plan before you start developing your content and determining how you're going to stand out." ~ Jonny Swift, Vice President, Impact Communications
Swift: Yes, definitely. So, if you want to learn more about the conference or register, you can go to JoltConference.com, learn more about all the awesome speakers and everything and you just mentioned that you're going to have these speakers as a guest on your podcast, which I know is something Snappy Kraken launched recently. It's called "Steal My Strategy." So please tell us more about that.
STEAL MY STRATEGY
Gonzalez: Sure. All of this is in line. You'll see that there's a common thread here. Steal My Strategy. We interview people who've accomplished great things. People who have made big feats in marketing, in business and who aren't just people within the financial industry.
We have them tell their stories, talk about their techniques, talk about their strategies and then we basically, you know, they invite our listeners, our audience of financial advisors to steal those strategies, to mold those strategies for their own business so they can accomplish great things.
Swift: That's awesome. I'm looking forward to hearing more episodes of that.
Gonzalez: We're on our fourth episode and it's not just the keynote speakers that we have at our Jolt Conference, we have a whiskey distiller on our first episode, we have Adam Morgan, the Executive Creative Director of Adobe, is on the second episode, we have Carolyn McClanahan and we felt that we almost broke a rule because she is in the financial services industry, but she has a history as a medical doctor and we're like, oh bingo. That is actually in line with the, the mission of our podcast to get insights from outside of the industry.
Swift: That sounds like a great lineup and I'm sure you'll continue to have great guests on the podcast. So, what is next for you and for Snappy Kraken? Are there any other interesting developments on the horizon you want to tell us about?
SNAPPY KRAKEN IS HIRING
Gonzalez: Oh man we always have a bunch of things going on. So we have, well, first off, I'll let you know, we have, we have 10 positions open Snappy Kraken. We're growing fast. We're looking for talented people.
We have 10 positions open. I know that this may not be for our audience there. They're happy. They're happy where they are. They have their own practice to run, but the reason why I even mentioned that is because, you know, your product can be great. Your service can be great, but your people also have to be great too.
If you don't dial that in, if you don't nail that, it's going to be really hard to grow a business. It's going to be really hard to acquire clients. So that's why I even mentioned that I'm always asking people, hey, don't just listen to the words that I say, listen to the message beneath the words, watch out for the subtext of what people are saying again, that goes back in line to stealing people's strategies and looking for the deeper meaning and then asking yourself what's the bigger strategic picture here.
So yes, we are hiring, you know, we've won a couple awards for, great, places to work in FinTech, SnappyKraken.com/careers if you are interested or if you know anyone who's interested and would like a career change go ahead. It’s there. Second is we'll be releasing, I know it's in beta right now, but we have an app that we're releasing.
COMPLIANT TEXT MESSAGING
It's a text messaging app strictly for financial advisors. Compliant text message marketing and engagement for financial advisor. It's called Convos. We'll definitely have a lot more information about that as time goes on. I don't know when this episode is going to be scheduled Jonny, but we're really excited about that. And obviously our event our Jolt Conference in Vegas, October 20th of 22nd.
Swift: I'm really excited to hear and see more about the new text messaging app because that's, something that's kind of lacking within the industry and will be a cool new feature that advisors can use to communicate with their audience.
I'm also looking forward to just following the growth and progression of the Snappy Kraken platform. I know you guys are always adding new features and developments and so how can people learn more about you and Snappy Kraken and continue to keep up to date with all the new developments?
Gonzalez: Sure. If you want to get in touch with me, if you want to rap about your favorite podcast or a book that you recommend, or even your favorite sandwich, I live in Florida so I'm partial to Publix subs, you can find me on LinkedIn, just search for Angel D. Gonzalez, COO and Co-Founder of Snappy Kraken.
And if you want to learn more about Snappy Kraken and what we do for advisors and a little bit more about our automated growth program, you can go to SnappyKraken.com.
Swift: All right. Thank you, Angel Gonzalez of Snappy Kraken thanks so much for joining us today.
Gonzalez: Thank you, Jonny.