October 14

Episode 6: Lynn Evans, Founder of Women of Substance


All right. Welcome to the essential financial advisor marketing show brought to you by FAFSA advisors.com. The consumer friendly advisor driven, comprehensive marketing service for independent financial advisors. Today I’d like to introduce welcome Lynn Evans with women of substance.
Welcome Lynn. Thank you. Good to be here. Then the first question on my mind is how long have you been an advisor and where are you located at? I’ve been an advisor for more than 35 years. And I’m in Northeastern, Pennsylvania, Eastern Pennsylvania. Okay. Scranton is probably the closest thing I can think of.
Scranton, Pennsylvania, the office and all that other good stuff. That does Daimler miss you next to Dunder Mifflin then I guess it’s right around the block. Yeah. So Lynn are most of your clients in the area or across the country? Yeah, they are mostly in this area, but a lot of them have retired and moved to different places.
That this there’s a smattering of them everywhere. Yeah. I have a question for you since you’re the managing director of women of substance. Why after 30 years in the business, did you decel decide to sell your practice and start an entirely new niche practice? I had the business that I sold for about 15 or 20 years, and it was a very robust, wonderful business generating.
A lot of good revenue. And everybody told me I was crazy for doing this, but I felt something inside of me saying I bored to tears. I need to do something else. So I sold the business to my primary I would say. Advisor for lack of a better term, but he was someone that I brought on about 10 years ago and he developed into an excellent financial advisor and was very well received by the clients.
So I had, that was an easy transition for me to say to myself, what are the things, what are the parts about this business that I like. And I think the thing that just popped out was I loved the relationships I had with many of the women clients who I’d been with for, in some cases more than 25 years.
And I realize that their relationship with me was one of absolute trust. And it’s nice to have that level of trust with people. And so I thought I’m going to carve out about 15 households from that particular business that I sold. And that’s what created women of substance. I, with the exception of two people, they’re all women who are, I would say baby boomers.
And that’s exactly who I wanted to work with because I realize I wrote a book too called power of the purse and the subtitle to that is fear-free finances for baby boomer. And so it was logical for me to just walk into that world and say, that’s the niche marketing that I really want to get involved with because I know them, I am one of them and I understand the issues that they face.
And so I thought originally it would just be a small, comfortable little practice, but interestingly enough, three or four years later, it’s now doubled in size. And that’s only because other women found out that I was in the business or they were ready to retire or their circumstances changed and they needed the help of someone like me.
[00:04:00] So it’s worked out really well. So we’re there from referrals then? Largely. Yeah. Yeah. Excellent. Okay. Yeah. It’s all been referrals. It’s a nice thing to say that and I don’t mean it in an arrogant way, but I think that what it looks like to me is that it’s actually a representation of that level of trust, because if someone would say that to me, and usually when I get a call from someone who’s a referral, they’ll start off by saying so-and-so sent me.
And I, okay. So it’s an absolute done deal. It’s just, it’s nice to have that level of that’s the power of niching too, as well, is that by niching it also helps to convey that additional level of trust. And when when somebody is looking at making a buying decision the know and trust factor is huge.
And yeah. Good for you. That sounds like a wonderful niche. It [00:05:00] is. And it’s very personally rewarding because in most cases, those women who are coming to me are usually not necessarily in a crisis mode, but they are very it’s the need is acute and it is either. I’ve been widowed. I’m getting a divorce.
I need to think about retirement. So all of them are right in their face faces. So there’s an urgency to it. And that’s what makes it really special because I’m not really selling and selling me. I’m selling them on the need to do something. And then. In this might dovetail on the response you just gave the, let me ask the question anyway, what is the central issue for baby boomer women in your opinion?
I think it’s a leftover Jim. I think it goes from our parents and our grandparents where the assumption always was [00:06:00] that women were the money was not anything that a woman had to be concerned about, nor should she. Because husbands fathers, they always took care of it for them. And they either did a great job or they did a lousy job, but the fact is that’s the only option we had or if we went to.
Any kind of advisors, they were mostly men. That would be my, my husband’s attorney who we played golf with. It would be my husband’s accountant who will always sit our taxes and put them in front of me on April 15th and said, sign them. And I. That’s just the way it was. It wasn’t necessarily right or wrong.
It’s just, that’s the way it was. And then I think what’s happened is because women have been forced to be financially independent, whether it’s through death of a spouse or a divorce, we call them gray divorces because they’re usually, well after [00:07:00] 25 years of marriage, Or retirement. They have to make decisions.
They’re forced to be in a position where they themselves have to make those decisions. And that’s a whole new territory for most women. They’re so afraid because in many ways it’s a language they’ve never learned and they felt disenfranchised on the whole subject. I think the biggest problem is how do I find somebody that I can admit my fears and my ignorance of money and not make them look down on me or criticize me for not doing what I should be doing with my money.
And that’s where it’s an obvious thing for me to step into that whole w with the adverts, that’s a good, that’s a good answer. One that needs to be heard by a lot of women in there. If they’re in your particular marketplace, they’d be women, men, gym too. [00:08:00] But I can, I’m old enough to remember that the only reason my wife got her first job at general foods was the fact that the the company ordered that women be hired.
So that’s how well that’s what happened to me when I first started, I started in the insurance business because they had, they were told they had to hire a woman. Yeah. And it’s one of the funniest stories ever because it was at the time when this was metropolitan life insurance company and they were in a transition between what they used to call the debit eight.
Where the guys had the little roots that they went to and sat and had coffee and picked up the corners or whatever it was routine. It was the way they did it. And then they started bringing in people like me. And of course I was the only woman there, but all this, these other young men who were told that you’re going to go out and sell big stuff.
We don’t want this little stuff anymore. They didn’t quite know where to physically put it. [00:09:00] Because in the office, there was this big open space, which they used to call the bullpen where a lot of these debit guys would just hang out and they were across from each other on desks, metal desks.
There were no dividers. There was nothing. They would have lively conversations and use a couple of words that probably you shouldn’t use in front of a woman, but they didn’t really care. So the manager thought he can’t do that. He can’t put me in the midst of that and there really was no other space.
So what they did is they converted a linen closet and they, which had glass on the door and they put in a desk and they bought me a red shirt.
And I was kinda like and the aquarium, everybody walked by, looked at me, Highland. I, but I never got to socialize with anybody because honestly they really didn’t know what to do with me. So when I [00:10:00] finally, I left metropolitan life and went on to other things, but I was still whatever. I went to, whatever conferences I was one of maybe a handful of.
That were there for this purpose. Thankfully, now it is much different, but we still are only 20% of the certified financial planners in the country. And we need to up that, what that number has been growing lately. That’s good. Yeah, that’s a. Yeah. So I would think that even just thinking back it’s it really hasn’t been all that long ago before.
With women weren’t even able to get credit cards. And there’s a generation generational gap of understanding there that people younger people today take that for granted your ideal clients they’ve experienced it, they’ve lived it.
You know what I mean? You described it. I would [00:11:00] assume that working with a woman advisor really resonates it does. I think they, they honestly feel that they won’t be ridiculed for asking questions that may seem to them as being stupid. It’s just, there are actually women that I years ago who were widowed, who had never written a check before, and they didn’t even know how to do that.
Wow. So it’s really starting with very much the basics and explaining how these things work. That was the intention of the book that I wrote, because it was designed to try to take women from that space and move them gradually. And what we all call daily steps, moving them forward with a level of knowledge of a business.
I’m sorry about finance. That would make them feel at least comfortable in asking the questions and not being afraid to say, please tell me that again, because I [00:12:00] didn’t understand. Yeah. Yeah. So speaking of books, how has that worked out for you? And did you have a go-to market strategy when you launched.
No. W when I, the book was written and produced and sent out to the world published in 2015. And at that time really all I thought I was doing is just using it like a business card. It was really just something that gave me credibility and it was something that was designed to say, okay, there is something out there that we might call it.
And say, this is very helpful for women. So what I ended up doing was on my podcast, power of the purse, which was named for the book, every guest would get a signed copy of my book, which means I was buying the books and not too many other people, because there was no marketing plan. Nobody really understood how to do it.[00:13:00]
Yeah. Yeah. But even that is marketing because getting the book in the hands of somebody who. Even if they’re a guest they’re still likely to need your services in that book. If it helps them inform them in any way, they they may wind up contacting you potentially to be their advisor.
That was the idea. Yes. But I think I’ve reexamined it. The whole idea of marketing the book, because I think the book now is probably more relevant than it was even six years ago when it was published.
Say that I think that there is a greater level of comfort now about admitting that I need help and I want to, and I’m searching for something and a lot of. And the baby boomer generation still like the physical book they like to [00:14:00] look at it, feel it, touch it, go back to it. And it was designed that it would be something that you could read and every 15 minutes you would learn something.
And you could put her down after that or, and then come back to it at some point in time, but there are actually exercises at the end of every chapter that helped to reinforce the basic points of the chapter. So it was really, as I said, a primmer that I designed specifically for baby boomer women, but I’ve had a lot of women say to me, I gave this to my daughter because she doesn’t know anything either.
And she’s not a baby boomer, but I guess it’s something that. It’s primal knowledge of how finances work. Yeah. Interesting. I was talking with a potential client who’s in bankruptcy law. And we were talking about the fact that, again, that’s something where [00:15:00] a lot of people have a hard time rightfully expressing.
Th their issues and their situations. And so I think something like a book and making it easy for people to find your book or driving traffic from various means, as people are seeking out information, because these are delicate topics and people are embarrassed.
Sometimes whether they should be or not is irrelevant they are. And I think it’s really important to you. Information to them, because I know if I were ever in a situation where I had to consider bankruptcy I’d be waking up at three o’clock at night, I’d be doing internet searches. I’d be trying to figure out what do we need to do to solve this problem.
And if I found something that served as a guide to help me figure that out, that would be invaluable to me. And and a book is very much a tool that could, that you could use in that way. Yes. That was the idea. [00:16:00] Yeah. Speaking of marketing. I have a question for you. And everybody, since this is the financial advisor, essential fascia advisor marketing show what type of marketing challenges do you have Lynn with this new four year old five five-year-old company called women of substance?
To be honest with you, Jim it’s a different world. And that was part of the difficulty I had. I was used to very traditional marketing, which was that we would do we do annual client events and ask people to bring friends. And then we would do maybe some email campaigns. There were always some things that we were doing.
By all standards at this point would be considered traditional marketing. What I discovered is that I have to find out where the baby boomer women are on social media. Because social [00:17:00] media is where I need to reach them, not necessarily in an email campaign. So I’ve been looking at LinkedIn and working with people who know how to find these women and doing some marketing.
That’s really targeted specifically to them. I also understand that many of them are now on Facebook. And so I find that doing things like quizzes, Are really very good for people who are baby boomers, because they really want to know without any kind of not prejudice but judgment. They want to know how are they doing?
And if they fail the test and they don’t have to share that with anybody, but at least they know where they are. So that’s been extremely helpful and difficult for me to make that trip. Yeah, quizzes are great. We have this term in the marketing world called a lead magnet and classic lead magnets are webinars or [00:18:00] seminars the in-person events they could be a book, an e-book that somebody could download quizzes or.
They’re really one of the highest converting things that we’re seeing happening right now is that kudos to you for doing that, or hopefully you’re also taking anybody who takes that quiz. You’re dropping them in, into an email nurture sequence sending them key pieces of information to help guide their journey of arriving to the point where they need to raise their hand and say, okay, I’m ready for some help because that’s really powerful.
So yeah. Quizzes are really amazing. And I all I tell you this, because I know for sure that it works, but I’ve had a radio show for 13 years. That’s a local radio show. And one of the things that we always get the most feedback from is when I bring a quiz to the episode and my partner who [00:19:00] has been a bank.
Years and years ago, she loves to take the quiz and wants to get a hundred percent and she doesn’t always get a hundred percent, but, and then that frustrates her, but it’s one of those things that people really love to know, where do they stand? They want they’re competitive and they want to ACE this, or at least pass it.
But it’s just interesting how much interest there is. Every time I say. We’re going to do a quiz. We’ll be right back. People come right back. They want to hear the quick they’re also great for self-diagnosis and then you can you can have recommended action steps to help people to take depending on how.
Profile, they wind up having from the quiz results, you can make recommended actions and people love that kind of stuff because it gives them some guidance and direction. A lot of people, one of the things we’re saying happening more and more is that maybe it’s [00:20:00] because everybody phone handy or they’ve got all of these smart devices throughout their house, but people are asking questions now when they’re doing searching and those questions frequently, or because they don’t know how to really describe their problems.
So they’re trying to ask questions to figure out what is my situation, what is the best recommended next step, or how do I find more information to help me down that path to to take care of the pain that I’m dealing. Yeah, it is.
Now we know about the challenges and so forth and the bars social media has always been getting stronger and stronger, although I’m not sure what happened to Facebook yesterday. That was strange, but coincidentally, after the, a whistleblower. Episode 60 minutes. So the timing is not good.
Absolutely. Because not only Facebook, but was the Instagram and the WhatsApp. And what’s [00:21:00] app is that is the juice of that, because that goes all over. That’s used in Europe, mostly exclusive. So that was real hit to him. But it’s I don’t believe in conspiracy theories, but the timing of that is you just have to ask yourself if he’s wondering he, if he has any enemies in high places.
I think he’s received as answer.
What besides the social media can you give us some more, a little bit more, a little tidbits about what’s working well in your practice at present and what will continue onto the future? Yeah. One of the things that I thought, Jen when I left and went out on my own, I thought I don’t think I have sufficient revenue.
To hire staff, or I just didn’t want to go through that whole thing again, I just gave that up. And in looking at how do you still function in a practice that is not as big as it was before, [00:22:00] but it keeps growing almost in spite of. I still need something else. And so I decided that what I wanted to do to make this work was to use outsourced virtual assistant.
It was very difficult to find virtual assistance in, in our particular niche, yes. They could do stuff for business in general, but things for people who were in the financial services field and to understand what compliances and how that works it was like a needle in a haystack, but fortunately.
I was speaking to someone who had contacted me through LinkedIn. And I mentioned to him that’s something I was looking for. He happened to know of a group that was in North Carolina and of course I’m in Pennsylvania and I thought that’s good because at least they’re on the east coast. So we don’t have to worry about the time difference.
And I’ve been working with [00:23:00] them for two years now. And they do the quick books that I need done. They do that on a bi-weekly basis. They also do some of the the marketing email blasts that they send out to clients. The one woman that I’m working with specifically gets all the stuff prepared for client meetings, which are mostly done by zoom, which is something I never had to do before.
And. And we generally have everything I need in that context from one place. And they’re not my employee. And I think that’s great. And then the other side of it was how do we do this same kind of thing in marketing, especially through social media, when I don’t want to hire a local firm to do it, I want somebody who’s already got this.
And so I went to another group that works specifically with financial advisors because. The owners of the company are financial advisers. So they [00:24:00] understand compliance. They understand all of that. And that’s another group that I’m very happy to work with. And then I thought what am I going to do for financial plans?
Because I used to have a desktop type thing. Now I’m using something that’s on the. And it’s easy for me to share that with clients and we can do some what ifs right in front of them. If, as long as we’re on zoom, and even if we’re in the office, we can do the same thing, but it’s it was hard to find all that and that, and it was just really digging through so many different things that people would say why don’t you go on a five R and I think okay.
But the problem with that is a lot of the people that I wanted to use. In Singapore or something else. And so we had time differences, so there are more and more support services coming online for people to be able to efficiently run financial planning practices [00:25:00] without the traditional space and people, and all the headaches that come from being an a.
Since just around the subject of virtual assistance in marketing would you and where are the essential financial advisor marketing show? Would you be able to give a plug for these companies? Who, what were their names and so far, yeah the company that is the virtual assistance in the admin side is a company called all back office.
And they are, like I said, they’re in a small town in South Carolina. And then the marketing group is F as in Frank, M as in mother, G suites.com. And I believe they’re in the Midwest. Th they’re they’re the 800 pound gorilla based in San Diego. Yep. Yep. That’s them. And who was the other one?
I said that’s marketing admin [00:26:00] and financial planning. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. That’s right. That’s the one capital. Yeah. That’s yeah. They’re in Connecticut, I think. Or Massachusetts. Yeah. Yeah. I really liked them and I think they’re very responsive. Whenever you have a question, you put that in that chat room and within two minutes, somebody answers your question.
So you’re not hanging on forever. Yeah. Are you active with. Creating podcasts right now. I am not at the moment. I am. I have one as power of the purse, but I haven’t recorded anything since November. A lot of that’s been because of having had COVID and my husband had COVID and we had a lot of medical issues that I just didn’t feel like it would be fair to anybody to really bring them on as a guest when I wasn’t up to.
Yeah, but it is something I want to get back into if not by the first of the year, then maybe second before. Yeah. Okay. [00:27:00] Yeah. Another great strategy is being a guest on podcasts. The nice thing about that is you don’t have to do nearly as much of a work, the hosts afternoon. It’s true. And then they’re going to focus on the promotion and get you in front of audiences that.
You don’t already have so that, that could be a really nice thing as well. So what about blogs? Do you do any blogs? I do through FMG suites. Yes. I think we’ve probably put something out at least three days. Okay. Now, do you know, is that original content or is that syndicated content that they’re just pulling from a library?
I think that it’s original content from them, but I also, because I’ve done writing, I sometimes I write things up and send them in and say, would you please post this? Yeah. And the thing, the format that I love to do the most is it’s a story. So it’s Jane came in to see me because blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Here’s the problem. [00:28:00] Here’s the solution. The end. Yeah. Yeah. Ultimately marketing is about transformation. So if you can describe that transformation then people can self identify with that. And so the story is story and transformation is really powerful. Okay. So you talked about digital marketing.
You’re starting to use social media now because that’s a, it sounds to me like that’s all. And I agree with you. I think that’s a great way to find your ideal customers or clients. How’s that going for you? And are you doing any paid ads on social media at this point? No. I tried that a while ago and I just didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere with that.
So I’m not sure what the next step is going to be, but we’re looking at revamping the marketing campaigns that they’ve been using. That’s probably something we’ll just launch by the beginning of next year, or are you doing anything with Instagram? Okay. Never did. Yeah. Yeah. Instagram is super popular, but for the age group that you’re targeting maybe less but Facebook is really powerful, but but Instagram is coming on strong.
So that’s something to keep on your horizon. Yeah. I also want to do more on my YouTube channel too, because I think that makes a lot of sense. And we’re going to really get to see who I am. What. I am how I’m being and gives you a lot more than just a stagnant shot of something. Yeah. And video’s great because you can repurpose it.
So that original video, you put it on your YouTube channel, you upload it to your Facebook page. You don’t want to link to a YouTube video that gets different reach because that’s considered to be a link by Facebook. So you want to upload it natively to Facebook so that Facebook sees it as a video on face.
That gets that’s the best performing content right now. That’s out there. Then you can take your video content. You can break that out into little segments or pieces. You can turn a lot of that into social media content. That’s highly engaging and it’s just a real powerhouse. You can take the transcript from a video and turn it into a blog post.
So video right now is the top performing. Yeah, the content, but it’s also great because you can repurpose it and reuse it in so many different ways and across so many different plan. And I think it’s also very helpful for plastic surgeons and speaking of that, I think that one of the reasons why Lynn’s on the shows, the fact that she’s a, one of our advisors on financial advisors.com and one of the things that I want to point out to Linda.
Whatever you’ve been doing with regards to your social media or any type of blogs or future media that you want to do, those are all available to you through your site because our website, fascia visors.com offers what I say, a consumer or an advisor driven site that no one else has. So the beauty behind this is that you can also take all that future marketing and do the blogs, your videos.
Any type of podcast, introductory videos of lens, women, or substance so forth, that’s Raul be part of your profile on dot com and it’s all connected on the back end through digital marketing services. That the only once again we started this broadcast was about two weeks ago with Ken. And that’s the addition of what financial advisors the profiles bring is that now it’s all wrapped into one.
So they work in again, can integrate to. And there’s nobody else out there that’ll actually can offer that for just specific advisers. Cause you mentioned that you could hire a digital marketing guy down the street. What you do is FMG is exactly our business, but what we bring to the table now is not [00:32:00] only this suite of digital marketing services, they’re integrated with your profile.
And Jim, that’s the conversation I’m having on next week with my advisor at FMG. So we’re gonna do that. We’re going to get that connection made, right? Definitely. When you’re publishing original content sometimes it makes sense to post some of that original content under your financial advisor profile.
As opposed to all of it and being on your own website or your blog, because one of the challenges that everybody has when they’re working on search engine optimization is how do you get quality inbound links? And so if you post your blog directly to your website first, and then you take a copy of that and you post it on financial advisors.com, it’s still great because it’s getting eyeballs that are being that are.
Financial advisors.com, but it’s not necessarily helping you from an SEO perspective. You can build, you can use content that you post on financial advisors.com to generate quality inbound links back to your website, which can be a really valuable asset. Okay. So cool. Very good. This has been a great live session with Lynn Evans, with women of substance.
We really appreciate your, your coming on the show today as a guest Lynn, and really like your niche market, working with baby boomers. Oh, that’s something that is going to just get larger. So you, if you thought you wanted to retire, you probably picked a bad areas. Retired to, I’ve been told by several of the clients don’t you dare think about retiring because people like yourself are few and far between.
And I know there’s a lot of people at work when I was a broker at Merrill Lynch, my favorite people to work with were women. I was a young guy that was. Early thirties, but women over 60, 60, like the work with me too, because I would actually listen to them and not come from the point of view of that.
You’re the little woman type stuff. And so many advisors back in the eighties did that to their to their defeat because They just didn’t like it. So I was always, I know, personally I was white to dress both parties, the husband and the wife. And after a while, like you want to call. Point to the husband, because I would just lock, touch, talk to the wife because that’s it choose be known.
That’s where the power lies Lynn. And absolutely. I know, as an ex Merrill Lynch broker that’s as a hundred percent true. So absolutely. And that’s because we usually outlive you. That’s true. That’s where the power lies. Okay listen, thanks. Thanks again for coming on. Can you have any final, no comments?
No, I think I’m good. Lynn kudos to you. I love your niche. I love what you’ve already put in place from a marketing perspective and and I’m just excited to see where you. Thanks. It’s been a pleasure to be with you guys. It’s so much fun to be a guest on a podcast. It really is.
Thanks. Alright. Thanks so much. Thank you, man. All right.


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