Financial Planning Pioneer Turns to Video Marketing

Longtime RJ advisor Margaret Starner shows her team’s personality in holiday video.

By Laura Garfield
Laura Garfield
Laura Garfield

Imagine running your business on the east and west coasts. Big corporations do it all the time, though any advisor operating this way will admit it’s not easy. Just ask Margaret Starner, CFP, of the Starner Group of Raymond James. She opened an office in Miami, then expanded to Los Angeles. Those 2,700 miles create challenges for any business. Coronavirus compounded those challenges.

Boundary-less Marketing

Video marketing was one solution for the Starner team, and it started in a small way. “I’ve been wanting to do videos, but it was easy to say, ‘later,’” explains Margaret. By the end of 2020, ‘later’ didn’t cut it. “Trying to stuff and mail holiday cards with everyone working remotely was a challenge. Doing a holiday video with cheers from each team member just seemed more fun. Clients/friends loved the holiday video.”

Watch Margaret’s team holiday video here:

The goal behind the Starner holiday greeting was two-fold. It was a personal way to greet clients, COIs and prospects. And it gave the team a chance to let their personality shine through.

You might not be bridging a 2,700-mile divide, but with less face-to-face interaction these days, it can still feel like it. In the same way a Zoom meeting adds personal connection to your prospective client calls or internal team meetings, video can help you connect with clients and prospects.

The COVID Catalyst for Video

Many advisors who had considered video marketing in the past, launched into it with urgency because of the pandemic. A full stop to in-person meetings meant finding new ways to nurture relationships with clients. And the pandemic made it harder to engage prospects when you couldn’t shake their hands. Which is why video became a communication and business-building tool for advisors trying to build and maintain trusted relationships.

Bruce Chaco-Negrete, CFP®, who leads the Starner team in L.A., says the pandemic was their final push across the video marketing finish line. “We had discussed doing videos for years, but since we couldn’t see people in person anymore, we wanted to create an easy way for people to see our faces and hear our thoughts.”

Getting Results with Video

David Pulcini, managing partner of SixPoint Financial Partners, says he was motivated to use video both by COVID and an urge to look back over his shoulder. He explains he worked hard to get where he was in his career, but he always was aware of “22-year-old Dave running behind me with a briefcase.” He knew that other advisors were using video in their marketing strategies, and he didn’t want to get beat. Besides, he adds, if you use video right, it makes you look organized and professional.

More important than how it made him look, was what it did for his business. Video helped Dave build relationships that led to closing new clients and bringing in millions of dollars in assets.

Read more about how Dave got results and watch his story here:

While many advisors assume the key target for video is campaigns on social media, the success Dave had with two other tactics may surprise you. His first tactic was to send personal, individual emails including the video to each of his top clients. He asked for their feedback, then reminded them that they could forward the email  to a friend or family member who had a financial question. The email effort landed 10 new prospect meetings and 6 new clients.

Next, Dave added video to key points in his lead funnel. His “Why” video is now a standard step in the SixPoint process. The video is emailed to everyone who schedules a first meeting. “Our prospects come in and say they feel like they already know me. They’re closed before they come in.” Instead of starting from square one with a new prospect, Dave says he’s now in the position of figuring out if his team is a good fit for them, and they for SixPoint.

Additional Reading: One Advisor Gets Thousands of Views Talking About Retirement Depression

Build a Successful Video Strategy

 Whether you’re trying to figure out how to connect with your existing clients who you’re seeing with less frequency or building trust with potential clients, just launching headlong into video isn’t your best bet. You need a plan.

What kind of video marketing strategy will work for you? Here are three key steps that many content creators miss:

  1. Clearly identify who you are trying to reach (clients, prospects, COIs). Your message may be different for each audience, so know who you’re targeting before you hit record.
  2. Set some measurable goals. If ROI has crossed your mind, you’re headed in the right direction. Decide what you want to accomplish with video marketing – then write it down. You might want to establish yourself as a thought leader. You might want to make your clients feel connected to you. Or you may have a specific revenue target or new client number in mind. Make sure you attach a way to measure those goals and set up a regular check-in on your progress. Try scheduling check-ins at 6-month intervals.
  3. Give it time. Many people abandon marketing initiatives after a few months – or even a few weeks! Set a realistic timeline and expect it to take 12 to18 months to get traction.

You can also borrow some tips from advisors who are already creating content. When someone asks Dave about his video marketing secrets, he says their first question is usually, “How much does that cost?” Dave chalks video marketing up as an expense that is the cost of doing business.

Bruce suggests talking about the stuff that makes you and your team unique. “Video is a chance to show your differentiators.” He also encourages anyone recording videos to practice their scripts before filming! “I feel about as smooth as the Tin Man from Wizard of Oz on camera. I am getting better though!”

A fear of making mistakes or being anything less than perfect can stop you in your video-making tracks. Margaret’s advice to other advisors: “You will make some mistakes, but you can’t let that hold you back. Just Do It!!”

Laura Garfield is co-founder of Idea Decanter, a video marketing company that creates custom videos remotely for financial advisors like Margaret, Bruce, and Dave. To find out more about how to create videos remotely visit or email


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