How to Quit Your Job, Take the Leap and Get Paid to Do Financial Planning that Matters

leap

After all, that’s the dream, right?

We want to quit our jobs, spend more time with our families, and finally have time to do the “real” work. We want our financial planning to help people, to inspire them, to change them from the inside out.

It’s a modest dream, a dream that deserves to come true, and yet a part of you might be wondering …

Will it?

Do you really have what it takes to be a self-employed financial planner? Is it realistic to think you can make enough money from this to quit your job, or is that just silly? Can you really expect people to fall in love with what you do, or is that just wishful thinking?

Sure, it’s fun to dream about your financial planning service taking off and changing your life, but sometimes you wonder if it’s just that: a dream. This is the real world, and in the real world, dreams don’t really come true.

Right?

Well, let me tell you a little story…

How I Quit My Job

When you ask people if you should quit your job, they mostly say something like: “Why don’t you quit your job and follow your heart? You’ll be fine, you have tons of experience and all the qualifications. Don’t worry, you’ll make it”.

But I was never a fan of this “strategy”. Despite taking calculated risks, I don’t believe people should ever jump off a cliff without a parachute and figure out how to build that parachute on the way down.

I remember telling my plans to quit my job to another blogger, and he said something like: “You already have a parachute, why don’t you use it?”

My parachute?

It’s my blog. I actually don’t remember much about the start back in 2013. But I do remember the hours I put into it. I spent most of my time in my tiny, tiny attic. Writing, writing and writing.

Boy, it was hard. The English language is tough when you haven’t written in decades. And on top of that: I was a really bad writer.

For months I endured the pain of writing really bad stuff and thinking: “Why on earth am I doing this?”

aha

But for some reason, I pursued. I pursued because it felt right.

And looking back, I didn’t just tinker around with writing. I dedicated myself to it. Every weekend, Monday-night, and Tuesday-night, I did the work. I didn’t watch television. I didn’t see my friends, I didn’t exercise. Every spare hour, I was writing, reading, and connecting with other writers and bloggers. Nothing else.

And here’s what happened.

Within a year my top article hit 59,000 readers. Within two years 2,000 financial planners subscribed to my blog. And the craziest things happened to me. People from all over the world started asking me to speak at their conference, contribute to their blogs, and wanted to meet with me in person.

And that’s actually the beginning of the story…

Have you ever woken up one day and realized you secretly don’t like the work you are doing?

Because the compliance is horrible. Because the rules are flooding you. Because your organization doesn’t care about you anymore?

While in the meantime, people from all over the world (people you haven’t even met before) cheer when you write a little piece of text, give compliments, and even compare you with one of the most inspiring writers in history.

Hill

Now, that is fantastic, right?

Well, not to everyone.

Last year, compliance officers advised me to reduce my blogging. What they really told me is to stop caring about our beautiful profession …

So I asked myself:

Is it so bad to explore our beautiful profession by digging a little bit deeper? Is it so bad to take a little leap (in my spare time)?

I asked myself why? Why don’t they (try to) understand what I’m trying to do? For a short period of time, I tried to answer that question. Fooling myself that I was going to get the answer. A couple of days later, I decided to quit my job.

The only problem: at that time I didn’t have a rock solid plan to earn a decent living if I quit. I didn’t have a killer-strategy to pay my mortgage and other bills.

So, there was work to do. After all, I’m a financial planner. It would be quite stupid if I didn’t have a plan

How I Took the Leap

Looking back, I already took it. Back in 2013, when I started my blog.

I already decided in 2013 that my job wasn’t to focus on Assets under Management or to produce as many plans as possible.

That wasn’t my job anymore. My job was to search for a spark. Because buried deep down inside, people have hidden fears, dreams, desires and goals, and every once in a while, those emotions will leap to the surface, giving a clue about how to bring them back.

You’ll see when you pay close attention to the people you serve.

One moment, their eyes are dull and glassy. The next, they’re shining with emotion. One moment, their skin is gray and waxy. The next, it’s a glowing pink. One moment, their body is stiff and awkward. The next, it’s full of vitality.

It’s like watching people come to life, although that’s not exactly true, of course. They were always alive. It’s like they just forgot for a while, and they need someone to remind them.

I wanted that “someone” to be me.

And you might think: that’s quite foolish Ronald.  Searching for a spark doesn’t pay the bills.

And you’re right! But what might surprise you is I left out a piece of the story.

It’s a piece about money. Because a lot of people think I’m a fool. Because to most of the world, having a blog like this is a joke. A joke that costs a lot of spare time. It isn’t a career. It isn’t a way to make money. It isn’t a tool to do work that matters.

It’s a hobby, a diversion, a fad that’ll come and go.

Try telling your family or friends or coworkers you want to quit your job and make money blogging. They’ll smile politely and ask, “Does anybody really make money from that?”

I’m hesitant to say this, but …..

I earned $21,000 from my blog.

How?

People paid me for my online teaching.

FPF

Getting paid feels good. Because when you run out of cash, the euphoric feeling you get when people say nice things about you, will soon turn to panic if you can’t pay your bills.

So when I decided to quit my job, the next thing I wanted to  know was if I could earn money on my own. All by myself. Without any help.

The result?

I did it. I earned my own money.

That was the most reassuring feeling I’ve had in a very long time. The thought that I could earn money without the help of someone else. People paid me, because of me. Not for someone else. Just for me.

It made me feel confident to take the leap. And I did.

How to Get Paid to do Financial Planning that Matters

So, here I was. I quit my job. I earned some money.

Now what?

The most important thing I struggled with was how I was going to earn money. I mean, money is the lifeblood of every entrepreneurs’ business, right? I figured that if I didn’t earn any money, my new business wouldn’t be worth anything.

But is this really true? Is money really the lifeblood of an entrepreneur’s business?

Because when I think back to February 2013, I didn’t think about earning money from my blog. I started it because I loved what I was doing.

The irony?

Within two years I did earn money from my blog. Not because I intended to do so from the beginning. No, because I was doing things I loved, and people paid me for that. So, I asked myself:

Why should I spend my time doing self employed financial planning, just to get paid?

Because the pitfall of this idea is that, in order to monetize my work, I’ll probably corrupt it, taking out the magic in search of dollars. That’s why I’m continuously asking myself why I shouldn’t spend my time doing financial planning, even if I don’t get paid? Is it ok to do financial planning, even if I don’t get paid in money?

Because maybe I get paid in community. Maybe I get paid in the psychic benefit of making a difference. After all, that’s the benefit I “earned” when starting my blog. And the beauty is, that not too long after starting, I actually got paid in money. 

Will the same strategy be possible for my brand new financial planning service?

Now, I’m quite sure that 95% of financial planners who read this, will wrestle with this idea.  Because starting a business with the strategy of NOT getting paid for your work (at first), seems like the world has turned upside down.

But let’s think about this. Wouldn’t it be a great strategy to build a connection with your audience first? So that people get to know, like and trust you?

Imagine if you had a direct connection with hundreds, maybe thousands of prospects for your financial planning service? How would you feel, knowing that every time you push send, you already know that you are reaching lots of people you want to serve?

How to Build Your Audience (and Get Paid)

I’ve learned that there is no better way to build a responsive audience for my (future) business, than with the classic workhorse of the internet, the email list.

Many planners unfortunately don’t know about email marketing. And to some it might even strike as “old-fashioned”. More fashionable venues like social media and mobile marketing get all the attention. And some marketeers will even try to tell you that email marketing doesn’t work for our profession.

Unfortunately, reality doesn’t agree. In fact, with a strong and smart approach, email marketing is more powerful than ever. I know, because I’ve build this blog from scratch. From zero to 2,350 financial planners from all over the world.

So, why is email so powerful when building your audience?

Because it moves the conversation about your financial planning service to a more personal environment – the inbox of your prospect. Email provides you the most direct line of communication for conversion to sales.

So, what makes email marketing so effective?

  • Email marketing is – by far – the most cost effective way of promotion
  • By consistently offering valuable content, you build loyal followers
  • More followers drives repeat traffic through referrals and word-of-mouth
  • You can track email data easily and watch your response rates as they climb or fall
  • Higher engagement means higher conversion rates that boost your bottom line

What makes email content work?

Via copyblogger.com:

All of us are too familiar with email newsletters that waste our time, pitches that annoy us, and downright spam. Those don’t work. What works is value exchange – your valuable information for your prospect’s valuable time. Your subscribers need to know they can trust you … that you’re not a soulles self-promoting spam-bot.

Not convinced yet?

I understand. But I want to help you. I want to help you to understand the power of email by giving you 5 Simple Email-Templates That Will Make Your Life a Whole Lot Better

This sounds crazy, but science proves that when you send 5 simple emails, it can increase your happiness big time.

Now, I’m about to give you the free PDF. The only thing I would like you to do for me is to answer this question:

What’s holding you back when it comes to using email marketing for your financial planning service?

Please, answer this question by leaving your comment – here below – and you’ll instantly receive a free PDF with 5 Simple Email-Templates That Will Make Your Life a Whole Lot Better. 

After reading this free PDF, you’ll understand the power of email. Trust me.

Thank you for your comment.

Let’s make financial planning matter,

Ronald Sier

»918x read

Comments

  1. mostly self doubt. it is usually our worst enemy.

  2. Welcome back!

    Think it is the unknown and potential spam nature of email marketing that is holding us back

  3. I myself dont read all the mails that comes to me , Why would my prospects read…

  4. Gary Watts says:

    Interesting idea!

  5. We already use email marketing through chimpmail. We appreciate your interesting tips & tricks!

  6. Great article congrats on the success!

  7. Email marketing, if effectively carried out, to me seems like producing a lot of high-value content, which takes a lot of time.

  8. I haven’t found a “how to” process for sending out value added content and following up with it diligently. All marketing has to be consistent if done right. I haven’t found anyone that’s provided a effective template for follow up to the first “blast”.

  9. Most people (inc prospective clients) already receive too many emails and most get deleted without ever having progressed any further than having read the headline, let alone actually opened the email. I know that because I do the same myself as soon as I log-in everyday.

    • So, why did you read this long post and even commented on it Mark 🙂
      Thanks by the way: I believe that’s what most planners think when it comes to email. Unless, unless … people care about you Mark. Then your email DOES get opened.

  10. Why would people pay if they think they can get it for free?

  11. I don’t have a big email list to send to

  12. How do I find sufficient engaging high-value content to write regularly?

  13. Time and unsure how to do it successfully in this age of spam folders and unread emails.

  14. Have I reached my target market with this email campaign? Where do I get the email leads that will let me reach my market. Increased regulations may make this a marketing approach riddled with obstacles.

  15. Hi Ron,

    Nice to see you back and congratulations on your move. I went through this myself in 2010, giving up a “job” that grossed $2mm per year to strike out on my own, and for the same reasons you did.

    We use e-mail marketing, but in a little different way. Becuase our serivces are designed for the affluent, we first “micro-target” our audience by hosting small group events to talk about “real” financial planning bersus the “free” financial planning provided by the sales forces of securities brokerage firms and insurance companies. Planning that is designed to sell you what they were going to sell you anyway.

    After meeting potential prospects, we get their permission to send them educational or interesting material via e-mail or (soon) through our website. We trust that when a real need arises, they will think of us.

  16. I worry as does the other Joseph about compliant emails. The rules seem to constantly change.

    • Please write about stuff that compliance can’t judge. Don’t write about tax. Write about how your audience experiences tax. Because people will recognize themselves in what you write.

  17. I haven’t made the time to create a regular email. Also, I’m not totally sure what I would email about.

  18. Our broker provides several “compliance approved” emails, but they seem so generic and impoersonal that I don’t use them.

  19. My biggest challenge is content. If I were to use email marketing then I would only send out topics that are relevant to my intended audience. The problem is that without the research, and assuming that you know who your intended audience is, I have no idea what they want to read! Or how to position it in an email!

  20. Discipline and prioritization

  21. Want to make sure the marketing we do is right and not going to turn our clients off!

  22. I use generic compliance approved content but am looking to provide more targeted/ specific content in a systematic way

    • So, write about stuff compliance can’t say no too. Don’t write about numbers, tax and analytical stuff. Write about what people care about. Thanks for the reply Mike.

  23. The idea of mass producing work for people with different financial situations doesn’t seem possible.

    • Thanks for your reply Ernie. However, I do think that there are ways you can deliver valuable content. Ask yourself: what does your audience care about besides high returns and low costs?

  24. We are in the process of starting an e-mail marketing campaign but we are mere novices at this. Therefore any pointers and suggestions would be appreciated from you Ronald as I subscribe to your writings and theories and value these greatly. Keep up the great work. Thank you.

  25. Want to learn using email effectively!

  26. Ronald, I felt your pain when you mentioned that compliance were trying to silence you, well done for making such a big decision.

    We’ve been publishing content to our niche for 10 years now, mainly promoting by email, and I can definitely say that it’s worked well!

    The other interesting point to note is that, looking at the numbers of comments above (and I assume that everyone became aware of this post via email), email is alive and well 🙂

    Keep up your great work…

  27. Because junk filters are so good nowadays!

  28. Congrats on making the leap, Ron.

    I’ve used email marketing regularly for the past 7 years and always am looking for ways to improve the value it provides to those who receive it.

  29. Not knowing what to say in the emails. How often should they be sent? Really just where to start. Thanks for all you do. Keep up the great work.

  30. Dan Suiter says:

    As a small office, other tasks seem to overtake my day. I have good intentions of using email marketing it just doesn’t get realized.

  31. Building out the list and ensuring that you are marketing to the right audience.

  32. I am not sure I could produce great quality fresh content regularly

  33. Getting sufficient content in the tin to maintain the drip feed.

  34. struggle with building the list with great content.

  35. Compliance and creating valuable content are the main reasons.
    Thanks

  36. Hallo Ronald, welcome back and welcome to the club.
    That’s holding me back when it comes to using email marketing is lack of time and choosing the ideal client in an niche market.

  37. Already use a newsletter service for my clients .I am interested into to do better or otherwise

  38. Stephen Carpenter says:

    My issue would be who to email and subject matter, as I don’t want my email address blocked as spam.
    Welcome back Ronald, you continue to inspire me and help me build stronger client relationships.

  39. The Right Advice, at the Right Time, to the Right Audience can deliver a World of Difference to your lifestyle in retirement.
    Please show me how we can use email/internet delivery to cut through the “Noise” to Target, Identify and consistently Deliver this important message in a cost effective manner so we can all serve more clients efficiently.

  40. Great to hear from you again Ronald.
    The challenge is to stand out and have credibility in a very crowded space.
    Done badly you not only waste time but can damage a brand.
    Well done – you have clearly stood out!

  41. need to be automated.

  42. Seems like there is never enough time to focus on an initiative and get it done.

  43. Setting it up to be efficient, and more importantly relevant to our clients has been a challenge. We are working on segmentation to help but advice is always welcome.
    PS welcome back

  44. I know the potential is there, but the fear is stopping us. Spammer, salesman, etc.

  45. Making sure my clients open it. Which I guess largely comes down to providing consistent valuable content. Thanks Ronald.

  46. Information is everywhere, standing out in that crowd to get ROI.

  47. Welcome Back Ron,

    I hope you managed to have some time off with the family in this time!

    My reason is this is another job that will take a lot of time to do correctly that is not on the urgent list

  48. Ron, Welcome back.
    As you said, they will read you if they care about you. but when you start, how do you get them to care about via your emails?

  49. A lack of personal confidence.

  50. I don’t have a big enough list and concern about permission given anti spam requirements.

  51. Having the time to write great content is a challenge, as well as knowing exactly what great content is! Ie. Not talking about tax and numbers.

  52. Glad you are back was worried that I was dropped from your email list! What you are doing now is life planning a much more satisfying relationship to have with clients. I have always worked “beyond the numbers”. Takes a while to make a name for oneself but once it happens it snowballs. Best of luck to you and your family as they are your anchor and reason.

  53. Lack of interest

  54. More often than not, what holds us back is ourselves.

  55. Trying to come up with relevant content for my audience.

  56. Very keen to find out more. Thanks

  57. Hello Ronald, i’m very proud of you taking this step and follow your heart. Keep positive en let people know you are in tha house, your name is your brand! E-mail and also social media is indeed a good way to let people know you’re there. Keep asking questions like, who is my client, what kind of advise does he/she want, where can i find my client…etc.. Greets, John Schilder

  58. Led to believe that email isn’t an effective form of communication these days.

  59. Ron,
    Thanks for your insight and input. Yes email marketing is the most effective. I am just starting out with this. I have created my own membership website in life, career and college planning. It is an outside business activity, fully approved. There is no securiteis or investments going on this memberhsip site. I am slowly building my email list and membership. They will be getting huge content and information on quick and easy to do courses on life design, behavioural analysis, career and college choice. It will even introduce parents into planning for their childrens college without destroying their future financial life. The seque would be any family that wants to engage me on a deeper level as their advisor will be able too. So yes, Ron, you are on the right track.

  60. I don’t know where to start and to create engaging, relevant content requires creative writing skills I don’t have ATM

  61. I will need to create more quality write-ups, consistently. Definitely email marketing is more personal and allows potential clients to reach us directly if they have immediate needs.

  62. Great article. Looking forward to learn more.

  63. Stephen Buckle says:

    What holds me back?? Not sure what to write or whether it’s worth the time & effort.

  64. I struggle with finding the time to develop and manage an email marketing platform

  65. Hello Ronald,

    Great to have you back! Congratulations with this huge Step and welcome with the club of Selfemployed small entrepeneurs. It takes courage to take such a step after compliance warning. But if you take yourself seriously and don’t want to losse yourself it’s the only right decision you could make.
    What hold’s me back? More than enough work, private family problems (temporary, missing the believe that people really would be interested in what I have to offer and als want to pay for my services. But still I would like to sell part of my business and concentrate fully on financial (life) planning, so I am interested in this email marketing. Any tips on how to make my email list longer and longer? How and where to start?

    Keep up the good work Ronald and all the best!

    Theo

  66. I am new to the industry and all the emails that I sent to prospective clients did not provide results. I would like to see how this new template works.

  67. Chris Galanis says:

    Coming up with appropriate material to engage clients is challenging. As has been mentioned in this forum, most clients see such emails as spam and don’t bother reading.

    Thanks.

  68. I have a small boutique practice with less than 50 clients. I want to develop a list of emails for potential niche prospects but am having a hard time finding the right subset of people to email to.

  69. Not having time and resources to develop quality content is holding me back from using email marketing .

  70. Once I’ve discovered your blog, Ron, now I try to make my service more remarkable than ever before. That is what holds me back. Really. Influnced by your articles, I’m rediscovering a new marketing starategy and turning 180 degrees toward more valuable service for my clients.

  71. I started my own company in the beginning of September, and therefore do not have an extensive e-mail list yet. To be honest, I also find it hard to make a start: ‘ where to begin?’ and ‘what to include in the mailing?’.

  72. Hi Ronald, I believe your quote above from copyblogger.com hits the nail on the head… I myself have been a recipient of too many soulles self-promoting spam-bots whose emails I delete immediately… This experience on the receiving end seems to have killed my faith in the effectiveness of email marketing, but I am still open minded enough to explore it, based on your article above…

  73. Paul Jansen says:

    Hi Ronald, my challenge is being original and smart and playing hard to get, because i am looking for a specific group of clients. I started with my own company last summer, and the heat is on from 1st December 2015. Wow, personal contacts in my own built network first of all, an out-of-the-box website and than email

  74. Hi Ronald, thanks for your article.
    We are also using email marketing for our financial planning services, but in a wise way (not too many, good subjects, etc.) I would be very happy to receive the email-templates to see what you exactly send them. Thanks and all the best.

  75. Like many of the others I have created a barrier of a lack of time, also not knowing where to start and once started how can I deliver an ongoing consistent and worthwhile read

  76. I guess there are a few things holding me back from an email marketing campaign. First, I’d say it is the “chicken or the egg” scenario. By that I mean, how can you use email marketing if you don’t have a decent list of email addresses, and in order to get a decent list, you probably need to have something compelling enough for people to want to give you their email address. Next is the challenge of personalization. You mentioned no one likes to get spammed, but how do you send out mass emails that seem relevant and personal to your audience, when everyone’s situation is at least a little be different. Third, is the compliance challenge. Making sure the messaging is interesting/compelling enough to engage, without being so watered down by compliance that the desired result is unobtainable.

  77. I’m interested to read about your 5 emails to improve my current email marketing. I must be doing something right since a current newsletter subscriber scheduled a prospect call this week.

  78. I would like to have a systematic approach to enhance my prospecting.

  79. #1 Worried about compliance
    #2 Creating an e-mail marketing plan (what works best?)

  80. Seems to be clever idea!

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