Michael Kitces #FASuccess Podcast: James Bogart and Online Webinars

Welcome to the 243rd episode of the Successful Financial Advisor Podcast!

My guest on today’s podcast is James Bogart. James is the CEO and Chairman of Bogart Wealth, an RIA located in McLean, Virginia, which manages $ 1.8 billion in assets for 900 households.

What is unique about James, however, is that his company has almost doubled its assets under management organically since the pandemic began just 18 months ago, taking advantage of online educational webinars that address very specific niche issues around employee benefits for those working at companies in the energy sector.

In this episode, we explain in detail how, although it has taken years to establish itself as the ‘go-to name’ for the benefit planning needs of companies such as ExxonMobil and Shell, it has led has a acceleration growing when layoffs took place at large energy companies during the pandemic, how James used the foundational knowledge of his CFP certification as the basis from which he was able to develop his expertise in benefit planning by learning how to research and interpret the documentation required for specific online businesses, and why the key to James’ business success is not just the result of their in-depth understanding of benefits in general, but rather how to apply their knowledge specifically to business benefits in a way that clearly differentiates their expertise for potential clients who work in those businesses.

We also discuss how, by making their webinars easily accessible on the company’s website and through YouTube, James has created a marketing funnel that gives prospects the ability to refer their friends by sharing their videos (a dynamic which, according to James, is even more valuable than client initiated referrals), how James tracked his client acquisition cost of $ 350 to just $ 20 after stepping away from seminar dinners and going fully virtual, and how James is pulling left an advisory board of 12 to 15 clients to get feedback on his business (and later make sure he shows how he implemented their suggestions so that they felt empowered to give more constructive feedback in the future).

And be sure to listen to the end, where James explains how, in his webinars, he offers a “no cost, no obligation” full plan for prospects as a way to demonstrate the value his business will bring once they are onboard as clients, why James says the recent addition of tax preparation to financial planning and investment management has been the real “secret sauce” to his company’s continued success, and how James manages the challenges that accompany such rapid growth, including finding adequate office space and experienced planners to hire who not have existing business books so they have the capacity to absorb any new business that James’s business is already bringing.

Whether you want to know how James doubled the size of his company to $ 1.8 billion in 18 months, how he leveraged his expertise in the benefit programs of large energy companies to reach potential customers at a key transition moment, or how he was able to manage and absorb that growth in such a short period of time, then we hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast, featuring James Bogart.

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