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How To Stop Feeding Plate-lickers Once And For All

Plate-licker: noun \plate licker\ Definition: A baby boomer or retiree who attends a financial education workshop with the only intention of getting a free meal. Used in a sentence: “My workshop is half-full of no good plate-lickers!”

One thing that has always baffled me is how financial professionals can moan and grown so much about how much they hate feeding “plate-lickers”, yet they continue to keep feeding them at rates more alarming than kids throwing food to zoo animals. Even worse, many of you continue to keep feeding the same people over and over again expecting to get different results.

Well another word that we have all seen defined before is insanity: doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results.

Stop the insanity!  There is a better way.

However, it is important that you understand that what I am about to show you DOES NOT replace seminars. And by no means am I implying that you should stop doing seminars or discontinue what is working for you (especially if it is giving you an incredibly strong ROI). What I am going to show you will ENHANCE your current seminars or workshops. More importantly, I am going to show how to market smarter, market faster, and give a turbo-boost to your seminars… enabling you to tell your message to countless amounts of people 24 hours per day.

But before I give you an incredibly exciting (and proven) solution, let’s briefly discuss why plate-licking has gone on for so long and why it continues to be a big problem for financial professionals like you.

financial seminar plate-lickers

We will view the financial seminar “plate-licking” issue from the perspective of both parties.

Consumer: The consumer is not dumb, and they certainly know that they are going to be “sold” or “pitched” something at your event. Some of them feel bad about enjoying a nice meal on someone else’s dime when they have no intention of doing business with you. While some others sadistically enjoy taking as many free meals from you as possible, and try to maximize their free dinners by going on “dinner tours” where they actually strategize out their week based on what financial advisors free dinner they will be getting each week (this really happens).

Financial Professional: For years, financial professionals have used dinner seminars (aka workshops) as a prime form of marketing. The strategy is simple:

  • Mail out thousands of seminar invitations offering a free meal and some solid financial education.
  • Hope that approximately 1% of the people getting the mail respond and show up at the venue.
  • If you are good, you get appointments with the majority of them.

This cycle continues as long as the ROI (return on investment) continues to be positive, because all it takes is a couple of new clients, and very quickly the workshop, the meals, the mailers, and the plate-lickers are all paid for. And you, the financial professional, quickly forget your frustration about feeding plate-lickers, and ironically, get excited about doing it all over again soon.

You might have caught my article that created a bit of a stir called “Video Killed the Seminar Star” a couple of week ago. In the article, I discuss how video has opened up some incredibly exciting doors for financial professionals who use seminar marketing in their practices.

And my solution to the plate-licker problem in this story ties in closely with that article; however, I will be providing a new secret that I have never revealed before today.

Besides simply recording your actual seminar and putting the first few minutes of it live on your site where you make visitors opt-in their information to see the full presentation (as I outlined in the “Video Killed the Seminar Star” article), this idea is even easier to implement.

In fact, the entire process of creating powerful presentations online, never having to worry about feeding a plate-licker, and even creating qualified prospects, can all be done in 7 easy steps.

Here are the Joe Simonds “Say Goodbye to Financial Seminar Plate-lickers” 7 Simple Steps:

  1. Create a retirement story that you are passionate about and truly believe in. Something that would normally take you 3-8 minutes to tell from start to finish. It could be about annuities, life insurance, long term care, medicare, Obamacare, the need to save, etc
  2. Build your story in a PowerPoint Presentation using no more than 7 slides and try to limit the amount of text. Pictures work great.
  3. Use any type of screen capture software like Screencast, Camtasia, etc (click here to learn about some great options – we use Camtasia) and record your screen while you “give your brief presentation and actually go through each slide” while telling your powerful story
  4. End the presentation and screen share with a call to action for the viewer (usually give them something in return for reaching out or giving you their info)
  5. Upload the video to YouTube or Vimeo
  6. Optimize the headline and body
  7. Share it and spread the word with all of your different digital outlets such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, blast email, press release, etc

Finally, watch leads come in if optimized properly.

Now I can only imagine that some of you doubt that it is this simple to do this in 7 easy steps. But I also know that many of you truly believe that videos work, and know that videos can be an incredible marketing platform when used correctly. The problem is that most of you have no idea how to do good videos or where to start.

And that isn’t your fault at all! There has been no one to teach you these things. Personally, I had to learn it the hard way by spending tons of money and failing over and over again until I got it down pat. It was painful at times, but well worth it today looking back.

Recently, I have seen some of you spend countless thousands of dollars to get just 1 or 2 professional videos done. They certainly look nice and give credibility, but most of the advisor videos that I have seen don’t ever offer a call to action.  And some of you are spending thousands of dollars just to “rent” other people’s videos to put on your site! You better have a ton of traffic coming to your site to make that deal work in your favor.

Understand that you can have the very best retirement video in the world on your site, and if no one comes to see it on your site, it is worthless. It would be like Bear Grylls being blessed with the funniest joke in the world, but only a few coyotes and snakes to tell it to out in the wild. Note: the wilderness is not a very ideal place to tell a joke (and if you don’t know how Bear Grylls is, shame on you).

Instead of harping on why you should never blow a ton of money on video unless you have an actual proven plan for traffic and a solid call to action, let me show you 2 real life examples of how I implemented this (cheap to free) video idea myself.

Let’s start off with one that I did on Social Security. This one is a bit longer than I like to do (coming in at 14 minutes), but I needed that time to get my point across and tell the appropriate story.

The title of the video that I went with was “Top 10 Must Know Facts About Your Social Security Benefits”. I knew from research that this was a hot topic (meaning a lot of consumers were searching online for information on this), so I took about 1 hour and did enough research myself to come up with my own Top 10.

Before I go into the details of precisely how I created this, how long it took me, and what kind of results that I received, here is the actual video so you can you visualize what I am about to describe.

Here are the details on how long it took me to create this Financial Seminar Plate-licking repellant video:

  1. The research for this project took me about 1 hour. In that one hour, all I did was Google different topics on Social Security and take bits and pieces from different sites and put them into my own brief words.
  2. Next, putting all of the information into a Powerpoint presentation took me approximately 1 hour as well, so now I am in this thing for a total of 2 hours.
  3. Once it was in PowerPoint, I fired up my Camtasia screen recording software and it took me about 17 minutes to record this as I took a few minutes out in editing when I went on a tangent.
  4. Finally, it took me another 10 minutes to upload to YouTube, followed by an extra 10 minutes to type the description, tag words, and upload a featured picture.
  5. And then it was finally live! Just as important, it only took me 2 hours and 27 minutes to do this entire thing!

Not sure if you can see how many views it has but it is now officially over 6,200 unique views!!! And many of them went to my website and opted in as I asked them to do in the description. Would you believe that I have received well over 45 unique (legit) consumer leads from this one video in just the last handful of months!!!

And I didn’t even have to feed any plate-lickers, didn’t have to spend ANY money, and took less than 2.5 hours of my time.

You can be doing this EXACT same thing with your expertise on any subject. You can do this exact same thing simply recording your current seminar and breaking it into smaller chunks. Moreover, you can be knocking these out as often as every week on any kind of topic that you enjoy talking about. And because you want these videos to be under 10 minutes, you can even break down longer topics into different episodes where you link them all together in a YouTube playlist (think of a playlist like a specific channel on TV that plays only similar shows – like a fishing channel or the Home Garden channel).

Let’s look at another video that I did which took me only about 1 hour of total time to create. The video is called “Why Annuities are Lousy Investments” and it has over 900 views with ZERO advertising costs, etc.

Steps to create this video:

  1. The idea was super easy as I had this conversation with a consumer friend of mine the day before
  2. The longest time commitment was just putting it all into a easy flowing Powerpoint presentation (this took me approximately 35 minutes)
  3. Next was the screen recording (5 minutes)
  4. Then uploaded to YouTube (which took a couple of minutes)
  5. Finally, writing up a brief description and tag words for the YouTube piece of it (15 minutes)

Finally, let me tell you a couple of crucial points to getting the traffic to your video once it is live on YouTube. By the way, what I am about to share here is where I see 90% of financial professionals screwing up.

  • You MUST have a captivating headline. Simply saying “Indexed Annuities” or “Social Security” or “Indexed Universal Life” is a huge mistake. Treat these just like something as important as a direct mail piece for you seminar or a book title. The headline (aka video Title) must create intrigue, curiosity, and give some benefits to the viewer.
  • Make sure to ALWAYS use the description box and write a brief summary about the video. The search engine spiders can’t read your video so they are coming to the title, description, and tags to find out what this is really all about. I continue to see financial advisors post decent videos and leave the description completely blank.
  • ALWAYS put a link back to your site, your blog, or somewhere that you want the visitor to go next in your description. And don’t forget the full URL with the
  • Don’t forget to use the tag word/tag phrases tool at the bottom. This is your last chance to tell YouTube and Google what this video is about. Use primary and secondary keyword and keyword phrases that you are hoping to “get found” on here.

And keep in mind, this is NOT meant to replace your current dinner seminars.  Especially if they are giving you a positive return on investment. I would be doing you a huge disservice to tell you stop anything that you either A) Enjoy and are great at B) That makes you a solid ROI.

However, my ultimate goal is to ENHANCE your presence, let you tell  your story and spread your message to countless more people, and give you at least one opportunity to give your seminar story (via a YouTube video) without ever having to worry about “no good plate-lickers”.

You too can be a video star… even without any camera or fancy equipment.

Much video love,


P.S. – If this stuff really interests you, I have created something called the Ultimate Digital Marketing Recipe that is basically letting you look over my shoulder every day to see EXACTLY how I create so much free traffic.  And if this quick idea above impressed you, then you will be blown away with the digital marketing secrets that I give away and share in this step-by-step guide for “Going Digital” and creating free traffic that converts.  Find out more how you can get your hands on my Digital Marketing Recipe here.

P.P.S. – Please share this blog using the social share buttons below if you thought this blog was valuable information. Thank you as always!


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Fernando Godinez

Fernando Godinez is the CEO of Advisor Internet Marketing. He’s been the architect behind some of the top financial advisors online presence in the country and help them triple their practice through online lead generation. Over the past few years he has been responsible for generating over 500k leads through online marketing and lead generation campaigns for independent financial advisors.

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