When it comes to making money, one advisor has the following message for prospective millennial clients: "You gotta work!"
Los Angeles-based planner Brittney Castro delivered that message in a rap video about saving that she wrote, produced and starred in. The two-minute video urges its audience to think smartly about saving. As she appears in several costumes -- and at one point wearing serious bling -- Castro articulates simple money lessons, such as reminding viewers to save at least 20% of their income, while 50% should go to expenses and 30% is money "for you to blow."
"Millennials do not want to watch a one-hour finance video," the young planner told Belay Advisor founder and president Steve Sanduski about her approach as a guest on his podcast.
In an industry where a big night for prospecting can involve a steak dinner, how have other advisors reacted to Castro's performance? So far, reviews have been mixed, Castro says. After all, haters gonna hate.
Castro takes it in stride, saying her efforts are aimed with precision care so others may not like it so much. "I really limit who I connect with on a regular basis when it comes to the industry because I do think so differently," she told Sanduski. "A few advisors wrote comments and whatnot like 'this is not good.' I'm like, 'well, it really wasn't for you.'"
Castro says she doesn't make marketing decisions around the opinions of other financial advisors.
"I'm marketing to my clients and the millennial demographic and even the teen demographic," she said. "The fact that they don't get it was actually a compliment because I was like, 'perfect, you're not supposed to get it actually.'"
THE RIGHT APPROACH?
Sanduski commends Castro's model as being part of "the future of [the] business." But is her approach really appealing to fellow millennial advisors?
"I think it's fun," says Brandon Moss, vice president of Wealth Advisor Management at United Capital. At 36, Moss is on the cusp of the millennial/Gen X borderline. "When I think about enjoying my financial life and connecting with people on a human level, that's what she's doing. I'm fairly certain more people have watched that video other than other advisors that have the typical 'hello, work with me because I'm client-centric' video on their site."
Planner and marketing expert Winnie Sun of LPL said that a millennial on her team showed her the video.
"She found it entertaining, but didn't take the content seriously," says Sun. However, Sun noted that Castro could be lauded for her approach to branding in both the video and on her website. "I really appreciate Brittney's honesty and straightforwardness," she said. "It's refreshing. I think it will appeal to younger women looking to invest."
Kim Brown, president of JNBA Financial Advisors in Minneapolis showed the video to her millennial team members. "The general consensus is that the rap video takes her strategy a little too far and diminishes her credibility," she says. "Either way, I think it is great she is thinking outside of the box!"
JNBA marketing communications manager Leslie Helmbacher agreed the video itself was "a bit much:" "I am not a millennial so I am not the expert, but even young people take their money seriously."
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