Bigger Picture

Brand Enthusiast

When I set out to start a blog, I had no idea where it would lead me. My hope was it would be informational for readers, help me stay sharp and up to date with changes in the profession, become a better communicator, have fun, and ultimately help me grow my advisory business, RLS Wealth Management.

I think I’ve had success in all of these areas, but starting my blog has led to much more than I could have ever expected.

I’ve had the opportunity to grow my network of like-minded professionals beyond my wildest dreams. I’ve been able to collaborate with some of the financial services greatest minds and personalities. And most importantly, I’ve developed relationships that I have no doubt will be life-long friendships. All because I started writing a blog.

The Evolution Of All About Your Benjamins™

Writing doesn’t always come easily to me; I’m a chronic sufferer of writer’s block, and because of this I eventually stepped outside of my comfort zone to try video. I realized I could record a video much quicker than I could write a blog post, so for some time-sensitive topics, I’d record a video just to get my thoughts out. As I became more comfortable in front of the camera, recording videos has become my favorite way to communicate with my clients and followers. Check this out to learn more about why I’ve grown to love video so much.

Once I felt comfortable with video, I decided to give podcasts a try. I’d begun to really enjoy listening to different podcasts and thought it would be a lot of fun to have conversations with people who would have no reason to talk to me without the podcast. For anyone considering starting a podcast, do it. I mentioned earlier that I’ve developed friendships from this whole process, and those all started from podcasts—I’ve gotten just as much, if not more, out of the podcast process as the listeners.

In an effort to stay ahead of the curve, the next progression was to dabble in voice technology and I launched an Amazon Flash Briefing for RLS Wealth Management called the Rundown. I’m still early in the process of this, but I can see how it is going to be a vital form of communication with my clients and anyone else who decides to tune in.

As I look back, it is a bit mindblowing that what started out as a goal to write a blog has turned into so much more.

Blog—>Video—>Podcast—>Voice Technology

Finding My Identity—My “Brand”

Through the process of creating content, I unintentionally began to find my identity as a financial advisor, business owner, and writer/podcast host/video person and I noticed that identity becoming my personal brand. I can assure you I was not smart enough to set out with the intention of creating a “brand” for myself and the truth is, I didn’t create anything. My brand is me. My brand is who I am as a person and financial advisor, and I realized that sharing who I am, good or bad, was the best way to attract people who might want to work with me.

It was also around the time that the lightbulb went off that I began having conversations with other financial advisors about various things—starting their own firms, succession planning opportunities, blogging, podcasting, etc. I almost always found myself eventually talking about the advisor sharing their story via some form of content—finding their personal brand to help them find the clients that would be best served by their expertise and interests and in turn would also be the most enjoyable for the advisor to work with. I recently counted up those conversations…over 100 advisors in less than a year.

I’ve enjoyed those conversations immensely and look forward to continuing to find time to talk with any financial advisor who thinks I can help in any way. As I reflected on the conversations over the last year, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to be in a position to help advisors find their brand beyond a 45-60 minute phone call, should they want it.

Consulting Services

The solution I have come up with is making myself available for individual consulting with advisors looking to find their brand and start creating content, but have no idea where to get started. I will be writing more about this and will have more to come, but I’ll give you a little preview of how I can help advisors the most. Through the consulting relationship, I’ll be flipping the script on financial advisors and putting them through a financial planning-like process, only the end result is not a financial plan, but an identity and brand, along with a strategy for sharing. I won’t be setting blogs up, creating websites, writing copy, or any of the backend stuff. I’m purely here to help advisors find their voice—I’ll have other professionals to refer to or resources to provide to set get the infrastructure established.

Balance

You might ask, “How do you have time to run your firm, create content and help advisors?”

Fair question and I’m glad you asked.

The answer is I’ve decided for the time being that RLS Wealth Management will only be taking on new clients that are referrals from existing clients and the occasional entrepreneur–while most firms are focusing on growing, I’ll be focused on maintaining the status quo. With the team I have in place, I can continue to take care of my clients, take on an occasional client, and have time to work with other advisors.

I also only plan on working with one or two advisors at a time to prevent myself from being too strapped.

Why Share All Of This?

First, I believe in being as transparent as possible. All About Your Benjamins has grown to have a dual audience—individuals and financial advisors, and I wanted to keep it real with the advisors following on how I’m able to accomplish the different tasks at hand.

I also am going to be making some changes to the content on AAYB; I’ll be moving all future blog posts, videos, audio content pertaining to financial advisors to a new blog on my website justincastelli.io, which will hopefully be launching later this month. My web developer, who is phenomenal and I will share his name with you all when he’s ready to be bombarded with emails, and I are working hard on it as I write this.

All About Your Benjamins will go back to what I originally envisioned it being—a blog about personal finance, financial planning, and investing with a sprinkle of hip-hop and fitness.

I’m excited to be able to help other financial advisors find and share their personal brand; if we’ve talked in the last year, you know how excited I get when talking about this stuff.

I try to avoid having calls to action on AAYB because I’ve always wanted it to be a place readers could come to learn and not worry about being “pitched”. However, if you are a financial advisor and want to stay up to date with the release of the new blog, the consulting services, workshops, and speaking engagements hop on over to justincastelli.io and drop your email.

And one final plug, through this whole process I’ve made a lot of connections with other financial advisors and professionals who love geeking out on marketing and branding—there is no bigger marketing geek than Taylor Schulte, and I’m also excited to share that he and I are creating a community for financial advisors looking to grow professionally and personally with like-minded advisors. I can speak for Taylor that we’re both stoked (gotta use that Cali lingo for Taylor) for what we have in store; you can find out more by dropping your email over here.

I’ve given these new ventures a lot of thought, have talked to a number of individuals I highly respect, and I know this is something I need to do. I tell my clients that I want them to follow their passions—I want to create financial plans that will help them do so and it’s only right I follow my own advice.

Be sure to visit the two sites to stay up to date with everything, and be sure to stay subscribed here for your All About Your Benjamins fix.

Warning: Explicit Lyrics

Disclaimer: Nothing on this blog should be considered advice, or recommendations. If you have questions pertaining to your individual situation you should consult your financial advisor. For all of the disclaimers, please see my disclaimers page.