Welcome back to another exciting edition of Connected!

Get ready to dive into the real problem with marketing your advisory firm, uncover the importance of subtle details, and discover some survival tips for the back-to-school season.

So grab your coffee, sit back, and let’s get connected!

Why Financial Advisor Marketing is Broken & How To Fix It

Achieving Operational Excellence in Wealth Management – Matt Sonnen 🎧

The Acquired Podcast Covers Costco

Mammoth’s Alternative Universe Newsletter

Let’s get into it.

Why Financial Advisor Marketing is Broken & How To Fix It

Are the canned emails you send from FMG or Broadridge not landing?


Is your clipper ship-themed website with boring stock photos failing to turn an emotional corner for your website visitors?

Visitors. What Visitors?

How about those marketing funnels? You know – the marketing that works for you 24/7 and constantly nurtures no one.

Surely, the conversations are going great? You know, the conversations that come from a trained member of your firm within minutes of a prospect filling out a form.

Record Scratch. Freeze Frame.

I bet you’re wondering how we got here.

Here’s the reality.

Historically, Financial advisor marketing has been terrible because it was fundamentally outsourced through the Broker-Dealer channel.

Advisors needed that CYA for their CCO. The CCO found it easiest to authorize only the lowest common denominator solutions and welp. Here we are.

Today the Broker-Dealer model has become even more fractured with RIA aggregators, roll-ups and platforms added to the fray – all with their own version of a more independent existence.

The trouble is that financial advisors are often left with mostly terrible, outdated marketing.

But what if I told you that all the tools and tactics aren’t the real issue?

The real issue with advisor marketing is your brand and its story. The minute your firm stopped communicating who you are and why you exist, was the minute your marketing died. As soon as you inked an agreement with an outsourced provider of canned content, your brand voice was swallowed up in the echo chamber void. No third party will ever capture your passion or purpose unless you’re giving them direct direction. Without your passion and purpose, marketing devolves into soul-less content.

Did I overstate that? Maybe. But this topic I’m probably the most passionate about. So, what’s the path forward for all the clipper ships?

When I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday, he was describing the stages of building a wealth management firm.

Stage 1: You’ve left a wirehouse, and you (finally) have a real business. It’s profitable, and you feel the illusive sense of pure accomplishment. You feel purposeful. If you have team members, they are bought in to the same passion and purpose as you.

Stage 2: Growth has come your way but hasn’t made you happier. The team struggles to stay together and you desperately need to find scale and efficiency. The path to liking your business takes you through an absolute mine field of things to solve. You’re outsourcing many core functions but keeping some items on your desk.

Stage 3: You are ready to take the business to the next level: sell, partner, acquire, etc. You keep pushing up the numbers of households you serve and then falling back down a bit, unable to leapfrog into the next stratosphere.

So many firm leaders I know are stuck in Stage 2.

You have a solid business, but scaling it may kill you in the process. In the middle of the solution minefield, did you lose the passion for growth, marketing, and sales?

You can find it again.

It starts with remembering or maybe, for the first time, finding your Just Cause.

Simon Sinek captures this well as part of the Infinite Game.

There is a reason you run an independent firm, provide the services you do, and stay committed to a niche, community, or point of view.

Does your team understand that? Do your clients understand that?

Once you start to really circle that cause, you can start to breathe life into how you talk about what you do again.

You can start to give life to your marketing and sales experience.

Fundamentally, the top reason that firms are not growing organically is that the passion and cause that led you to start your firm is no longer leading it at scale.

It’s the rare breed that stands apart from this.

The advisors who have created everything about their unique cause and mission are finding breakthrough success.

What about your firm?

What sets you apart and what is the cause the drives you to make your firm better every day?


On the Pod

Achieving Operational Excellence in Wealth Management with Matt Sonnen

In this week’s Milemarker’s Connected Podcast episode, Kyle & I talk with Matt Sonnen, COO at Coldstream Wealth Management. We talk through challenges and opportunities in the financial services industry, including the impact of consolidation and the need for better technology integration.


The episode is available now on your favorite podcast platform. While there, please don’t forget to Download, Like, and Subscribe.

The Acquired Podcast Covers Costco

If you’ve spent much time with me, you know how much of an affinity I have for Costco and its business model. Thankfully, I’m not alone. David Rosenthall and Ben Gilbert recently broke down Costco’s business model on the Acquired podcast.

This episode is a fun journey down the paths that business owners take that twist and turn and sometimes change the world. I especially loved learning about where all those chickens come from.


Listen to this episode from Acquired on Spotify. Costco is not only Charlie Munger’s favorite company of all time (he’s on the board, natch), it’s an absolutely fascinating study in how seemingly opposite characteristics can combine to create incredible company value. For instance: Costco has the cheapest prices of any major retailer in America — and also the wealthiest customer base.


Mammoth’s Alternative Universe

This last week, Mammoth Technology, an alternative investment tech and service company I helped found, released the first edition of their monthly newsletter.

My colleague, Steve Zuschin, talks about what you can expect from Mammoth’s Alternative Universe Newsletter, unicorn companies and an unforgettable coffee recipe. I’m really excited for what he has on deck to talk about in the coming months.

Check out the first edition and subscribe while you’re there.

Mammoth’s Alternative Universe Newsletter

The newsletter for Fund Managers, Financial Advisors and Founders who want to enhance investor experience through collaboration and tech.



Enjoy your weekend!

Written by Jud Mackrill

Edited by Amy Simpson and Kim Mackrill