Last month I had the pleasure of speaking at Potomac’s Remix Conference in Omaha, in front of roughly fifty advisors and about a dozen partners. I wouldn’t accuse it of being a planned talk, one of our guest speakers (through no fault of her own) wasn’t able to make it at the last minute, and Manish offered selected me to take her place.
I won’t pretend it was a burden. Sure, I only had about 48 hours to prepare, but it is something I sincerely love doing and is one of the few things I am genuinely good at.
The crux of the talk was a pitch, an idea we have for 2024 that I’m not quite ready to share publicly yet (I owe Manish a budget 😬). What I do want to share is everything that led up to the pitch, what we’re not doing.
Maybe you’ve noticed, maybe you haven’t, but the list is noteworthy:
• Industry Gossip
• Who Charted?
• X (Twitter)
So, like, why? Aren’t these some of the things that made our marketing “famous?”
I titled my talk, “Kill Your Darlings” a phrase I found best defined by Masterclass as:
“’Kill your darlings’ is a common piece of advice given by experienced writers. You kill your darlings when you decide to get rid of an unnecessary storyline, character, or sentences in a piece of creative writing—elements you may have worked hard to create but that must be removed for the sake of your overall story.”
Though originally a literary term, it is one I believe any successful marketer should, and must, follow.
Industry Gossip is a show I loved to make. It was clever, short, and the bulk of my responsibility was trying to make Manish laugh at the end of his rants. I understand why it caught on; it was bold in an industry that never is. Manish is a great on-camera personality, and the content was always fresh. Homerun.
You know what else it became? Not a good use of my CEO’s time. It may have seemed like an easy show to produce, but quite a bit of prep went into each episode–especially for him.
The same can be said for Who Charted? It was a popular little market show that had a good following, but again–a market show for the sake of a market show isn’t really the best use of my CEO’s time.
So, what of X (Twitter), wasn’t that just a distribution channel? Yes, and no.
While a community that was, for a time, a joy to be part of–it became a time suck with a stagnant audience. Lately, it has felt like what is left of the financial advisor audience on X is mostly 20-40 something planners with little to no business and loud mouths. An X account does not an expert make.
In that way, it was similar to why we left Facebook. The engagement wasn’t there because our audience wasn’t there. We have roughly the same number of followers today as we did in November of 2022.
By contrast, we’ve over doubled our followers on LinkedIn in the past year.
I am grateful for the success we had on X and the role it played in promoting our campaigns. I’m grateful for the connections and the fun, even when it came at my expense.
But here is the super important fact that drove the decision: all those people are also on LinkedIn. AND they’re more likely to engage and potentially share with other people who are our primary audience.
The late Patrick Clarke, the founder of what is today Orion, once told me, “Marketing tactics are like a shirt. What fits you at five probably isn’t going to fit you when you’re ten. It doesn’t mean it’s a bad shirt, it just doesn’t fit you anymore.”
Use what you’ve learned and create something new. Something better. We have new shows, new campaigns, and new ideas to get “eyes on brand” that is unlike anything you’ve seen from us to-date. I can’t wait for you to see them.
Find your audience and double down. Then double down again. Liking something isn’t a reason to keep at it. Kill your darlings.
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