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Maximizing Exposure: How to Use PR and Media to Expand Your Business Reach with Matt Ackermann

Updated: Nov 4, 2023

How do you leverage media and PR to grow your business as a Financial Advisor? Matt Ackermann from Intergrated Partners is an expert at helping advisors do just that. He joins Matt Halloran and Jay Coulter for this episode of Marketing Office Hours on FinancialAdvisor.TV.

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Welcome to Marketing Office Hours Live with Matt Halloran. My name is Jay Coulter. This is part of the Office Hours series on financial advisor television. Matt, excited to do our third show now. It is the day before Halloween. What's your favorite Halloween candy? Anything that's Willy Wonka. What do you mean by that?


I'm a nerds guy, I'm a runts guy, I'm a laughy taffy guy. So yeah, Willy Wonka, that whole movie sensation, both of them were wildly influential to me, not just as a kid, but as an adult. It's my favorite candy. What do you prefer? So I try to not eat candy. For the last three years, I made it through Halloween not eating candy, but I don't think I can do it this year. I have a weakness for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Oh, see now.


That isn't actually candy, in my opinion. There's actually beneficial things in Reese's Peanut Butter. There's peanut butter. There's some, yeah, anyway. So it's all perspective for you on that one, brother. So before we get started with our marketing roundup, I wanna talk about a conference that's launching this week at Vice Tech Live, November 2nd and 3rd. Matt, it's a free conference to financial advisors that I mentioned that it's free.


At the conference, you're going to hear from 20 different fintech companies, some of whom Matt, like we were discussing, you know, Redtail, Snappy Crack, and Assetmap, but then some names, and it's our job to know this, Matt, that we're not familiar with. So so I want to highlight Bento engines. I think what Bento has built is absolutely fantastic. It's it's fascinating. And it's wildly applicable to every advisor. It has to do with these different milestones and how you can communicate to your existing client base.


and their kids about these specific milestones. I absolutely love that. Huge fan. I mean, Jay, there's so many people on here that I'm a big fan. Income Lab is amazing. It's amazing. Like, wow, if you don't know what Income Lab is, you need to jump in there.


I of course I mean some of the big ones everybody's heard of like asset map is another unbelievable organization that if you haven't been paying attention to asset map, I really really want you. You know, the other thing is I actually met with the estate guru guys at the last conference that I was at which was a was it anyway, whatever I met with him recently. And I was really impressed with what a state guru is doing that's very different than the the competitive landscape today. So who are your favorites on this there, brother?


So I have great relationships with some of the big ones that we all know. But one of the folks on their FP Pathfinder, they put out a really good product at a very reasonable price for advisors who are struggling with workflows, checklists, there's way you can completely as you head into next year, redefine your service proposition to your financial advisor. So I always encourage folks, especially when they're breaking away from a warehouse to take a look at FP Pathfinder. So that event is this week, November 2, and third, the tickets are


free head over to at vice tech dot live. I'm sorry. Is it like a physical event? Is it a virtual event? It would tell me a little bit more about the event. Yeah. So it's a virtual event. They split it out over two days. So it'll be on the second and the third in the afternoon. Nice. Oh, goodness gracious. It's freaking smart. Yeah. The estimate map teams done a great job putting on the event. This is their fourth year. Wow. All right. Let's get to our roundup. You ready? All right. I'm ready.


So here's, here's how we do this. We go, I go around and I look through Twitter and LinkedIn, and I look for some, I hate the term thought leadership, but some ideas in the marketplace, and I bring it for us to discuss. Matt has no idea what I'm going to share. So he's got to go into this cold. Let's start with a quote from Shannon Rosnick over at wealth stack shows she was recently on a podcast that I'm not familiar with the mile marker podcast. And she was quoted as saying, we talk a lot in our industry about the human connection.


Even though everything is tech driven now, it still can't capture that human connection or relationship because at the end of the day, it's so nuanced. Matt, what's your take? Well, first off, talk about a thought leader. I mean, I think Shannon could quite possibly be on the fast track to be part of the major faces that we are going to put as financial advisor.


News tech, she's the bee's knees when it comes to this. And what a perfect quote, because listen, tech's a tool, brother. That's really what it is. People argue, and we've talked a little bit about this with Angel the last time we did this, AI. AI is a magnificent tool to be able to help you get farther, faster, stronger, better, but it isn't the whole thing. People still want to have relationships with people. And if you do bring your peopleness with the tech,


Listen, you're going to be way farther ahead of everybody else than if you were just only people only tech. Now, let's just kind of historically look at this real quick. You know, there's a generation of advisors and it's a huge amount of advisors who still are wildly resistant to tech. They don't want to do it. See that they think it's funny that they don't know how to use zoom or that they need to have their assistant help them send emails. Listen, you're you're a dinosaur, you're done, you're in the ground, you're going to be petroleum here relatively soon.


the advisors who understand the nuanced balance between the two. And I think that there's a middle road generation with the advisors who are coming up who actually maybe this is their second career, who are really going to be embracing technology and the human component. So man Shannon is right on what do you think about this? You're a hardcore tech dude. Oh, how do you feel about this quote? First, I want to acknowledge that I've already found our first clip from this show, you're going to be petroleum soon.


sardinia. You're right. I love the reference. So the human side of this business, I think is very interesting. There's some great thought leaders in the space, whether it's Brian Portnoy over at shaping wealth and the products that they put into the marketplace, Brendan Fraser, what Ross Marino has done over at the shift conference. What I find is younger advisors that are very tech focused, miss some of the human relationships that are needed and components because you can serve somebody in their 30s and their 40s.


by leveraging technology and not building that deep relationship. But Matt, the old dog advisors who were in their 50s and 60s, when one spouse dies, the other one knows to call that advisor, they have that relationship. And that's how they really serve folks. It's not alphas and betas. It's that human side of advice that really helps get people through difficult times. I'm in, brother. Yeah. All right. Our next quote comes from Kelly Waltridge over at Intentionally.


Now, I'm a big fan of their platform over there. It intentionally we're going to be doing some more work with them in the future with financial advisor TV. This is around internal rebranding her quote that was in a financial advisor IQ article says the best leaders of organizations make the internal rebranding as important as the external. If your employees aren't on board, your clients and your prospects are likely not going to be Matt, what's your take?


Well, I just interviewed Kelly and it was absolutely fantastic. It's the first time her and I have actually done a one-on-one together in 15 years of knowing each other. Talk about another person who just always has her pulse and intentionally as an organization has their pulse on really what's going on. I don't know if people understand the power of what she just said here.


If you look at the companies that have really just absolutely exploded, there is a real culture that has been built within the organization. And it is actually generally inwardly focused before it's outwardly focused. Nitrogen is a perfect example of this, Jay. If you meet a nitrogen person, you know, they're a nitrogen person. You meet a


person, you know that they're a Carson person, right? I mean, there's just something about the internal culture. And in fact, one of the people that that helped us rebrand a proud mouth, his name is Rob Howard. He wrote a book called Fix. And it's all about how to build a cult brand. But but more importantly, one of the biggest things that he talks about consistently through the book is that you have to go ahead and focus in first. So the big picture here question is, how does one do that?


And the way that one does that is not just from the top, but also being able to bring every level in the organization to have the singular focus. That's really, really difficult if you don't have a very clear mission and vision, an internal mission and vision, and really.


why are people getting up every day? So we have team meetings every two weeks here, Jay. And my job in all of those team meetings is to remind the team on why they get up every day. We get up to help advisors stop being the best kept secret in their area and to help them accelerate their influence. That's what you do. When you wake up and you log onto your computer, because we're an entirely virtual company, that should be your mindset. And if you set that mindset as a leader, then all of the sudden it starts percolating through the entire organization. And then...


They're using the branded language, J, which means that your clients start using the branded language, and that's when all of the magic happens. I liken it to jazz. I probably said this with you a million times, but I love this. When your organization is really functioning with this sort of singular focus, it's like a great jazz band, but you get one or two people, and in jazz, it's only one, the drummer who misses the beat or the trumpet player who misses the key change, it all falls apart.


And that's why what Kelly said here is so vitally important. If you're truly trying to build a business, then this is the thing that you need to focus on as a leader. Yeah. And you know, Matt, I don't know that I have anything to add to that. I haven't been through it, but I know you have. I watched what you and Kirk did with the Proud Mouth Rebrand. Was it three years ago now? Yep. Yep. And so what steps did you guys take internally at the launch to make sure all the stakeholders were bought in?


Well, we brought an objective third person in. So you know, my partner, Kirk Lowe, is a marketing and branding expert. I mean, that's why I partnered with him because it was something that was hugely lacking in my coaching and consulting. And that's why we really kind of connected. I was more of the practice management stuff and he was more of the marketing and branding stuff. And so we brought in this objective third person and a lot of it was the exact same discovery that you need to go through with your clients to really find out who they are and what makes them tick.


But the key to our rebrand in the focus that our organization have, we have a brand manifesto, which is literally an ebook on Proud Mouth. Now it's not something that we share externally. Kirk will probably do that at some point when he launches a book that he's in the process of conceptualizing and writing. But we have a brand manifesto in honestly, dude, I read it about every two weeks.


I need that as the face of the company. I need that as an owner of the company so that I make sure that I stay focused on what our big picture plan is. And what we do is we actually, we tested it too. I think a lot of people Jay think that when you come up with a new brand that it's fixed and it's in place and it's done.


So that's not what's happened with us, dude. Like, you know, because we had these grand ideas that we were gonna move in this direction. And now it's kind of the pendulum has swung a little bit this way. So it's always something that you have to continue to work on and we have retained Rob Howard, the branding guy who worked with us and plan on it for the life of Proud Mouth because we always need that check-in, bro. And that's the other thing that's really allowed us to stay as consistent as we have in the marketplace.


because I have people who are constantly reviewing the stuff that we put out there to make sure that we're very, very consistent. You know, advisors, it's that shiny object syndrome, right? They're going to chase this and they're going to chase this and they're going to chase this. What a great brand does and what Kelly's talking about here is especially when you're focusing internally, you really, really need to just have those hardcore talking points and check in and maintain that consistency. And I don't think a lot of advisors do that as well as they should.


because the brand is just them. They don't realize that there's this brand depth that you have to go through. Dude, it was an eight week process before they even came to us with anything for us to become proud mouthy organization that we are right now. So I hope that answers that question. I'm very impressed that you guys have a manifesto. I'm impressed that you read it on a regular basis. Hopefully other stakeholders in your organization are. I tell you, if you're an advisor looking to break away from a warehouse, this is incredibly important. You have a unique pivot opportunity.


to not only build your brand, which isn't just the name of your company, which I find most advisors think it is. It's everything soup to nuts, right? website, internal messaging, external messaging, etc. So it provides a great opportunity. Yeah. All right. Our next piece of thought leadership, Matt, I'm challenging you to come up with a different name for our next show other than thought leadership. All right, I couldn't come up with one. This one comes from Jason Lahita over at street cred speaking at the fearless investing summit.


from the team at nitrogen. He says it may take you 10 attempts to get the attention of a journalist but don't give up consistency is the key. Matt Halloran. Dude, this is like the epitome of Jason Lehita right here, dude. And the reason why street cred is such an unbelievable PR company, because they grind it out, dude. And in fact, our guest today, which is Matt Ackerman and


and Jason Lihita and I all sat down together at one point and we had deep conversations about this. You know what I think we should call these? I think we should actually call them what they are. If you look at Shannon, if you look at Kelly, if you look at Jason, listen, they're influencers in financial services. They're not thought leaders. These people influence everything, Jay. They really, really do. Even though that Jason is not as out front as Shannon or let's say Kelly, this dude is


totally shaping and street cred is totally shaping the way that we view financial services, especially what is put into the news. So let's talk about this for a minute. Jay, you know that I have done sales here at Proud Mouth really since the inception. And, you know, a 10 is the beginning, right? I mean, you really have to know that it is, first off, nobody buys on your time and what is important to you might not necessarily be important to them when it's as important to you. So


being consistent, going back to what Kelly was talking about with the brand, right? Going back with what Shannon was saying with the human component of what you need to bring in financial services. One of my favorite stories with advisors is a gentleman who does a lot of workshops and he does a lot of podcasts. He just creates unbelievable amount of content. And a lady who called him up three years, Jay, after three years after they had done the, his webinar. Okay. I'm sorry. It was the


So she went to the seminar and you know, he was like, ah, she wasn't interested. She's not a prospect, right? She's one of the 28 out of the 30 client households that didn't do business with them. And she called him, she said, I'm ready.


And he's like, I don't even remember who the hell you are. She's like, yeah, I know. I came to one of your seminars three years ago. I was on estate planning and I've been listening to you. I follow you on social, more of a lurker. I don't interact with your stuff. But you've just been so consistently feeding me really wonderful information for so long. What that means to me is that you've shown a commitment to me without asking me for anything, the principal reciprocity, I'm ready to move her $2 million of assets to this advisor.


But let's talk about this from a PR perspective. I don't think people truly understand the power of PR outside of all of the bright and shiny cool stuff. Oh, it's a journal, investment news, right? No, no, no, listen, PR training and what you learn in the world of PR changes flipping everything. How you communicate, the frequency of communication, the consistency of communication. When I sat down with Jason,


in my first PR training, he said, you have five things that you need to say, you need to memorize them, and I need to be able to ask you a question. And every time you come back to one of those five things. And I was like, wow, dude, like as a performer, that's a challenge, bro. I was like, all right, let's go ahead and try it. And I remember my first real interaction with the press was with freaking Matt Ackerman, our guest today. And it was so funny, because I got done saying something and Matt was like, I could see he was writing things down.


right? And he was writing something down and I gave him time. And he stopped writing and he looked up and he goes, Are you done? And I said, Well, I was told I needed to give you time and space to catch up. And he just has huge grin on his face. And he was like, Oh, so you've you've had a little training in this. And I was like, This is my first time I'm


when I got an interview by the Wall Street Journal, it was the same way. I was sitting with Daisy Maxey, who by the way, still writes for the journal. And I was so excited, such a huge opportunity. I mean, she's a huge journalist, right? And I was doing the same thing. And we're in a coffee shop in New York City and she's writing. And I said something, I buried, you know, 30 seconds or whatever. And I stopped. And she looked at me and she was like, wait, wait, wait. Like, do you want to add anything? She's like, no, that's what I, I answered your question. And she's like, all right.


And the fun part about this, when you learn how to be successful with PR, with Jason's quote, consistency, right? When you learn how to be successful with PR with the discipline around your talking points, when you learn how to be successful, understanding how journalists work, then that 10 number that a lot of advisors might see, Jay, they might be like, well, gee, aren't I being annoying? No, learn how to play the game. When my kids were playing basketball as a kid, I said, listen, if you want to win the game, you have to learn how to play the game. If you want to learn how to play the game, you got to know the rules of the game.


right? And then once you know those things, and you learn how to wiggle around the rules, you know, there's some great NBA players, by the way, you've learned how to wiggle around the rules, you've been very, very successful. But you know, you also have the opportunity to to learn how to do that in Jason's step, that one little line is so vitally important for you understand what are the key rules to PR. So wow, dude, I really went off on that. I'm sorry. I love this conversation. This is one of my favorite things in the world to talk about that I just don't think advisors lean into and


Well, you're just geared up for our conversation in a minute with Matt Ackerman and talking about working with the media. I tell you, one point on working with the media that I always tell asset managers when they're looking at getting into the space, the gentleman named Matt Hogan, who's the face over at bitwise. And he is so good at communicating his message, whether he's coming on a little old podcast like mine, or he's now doing ads that run on CNBC. And I tell them go emulate people who are doing it really, really well. And you can see how the best do it. Yeah. Yeah.


All right, so before we bring Matt in, I want to tell a story, Matt. So I used to as part of the Resilient Advisor podcast and financial advisor TV, go into the marketplace and try and find startup or early stage fintech companies that my advisor audience might be interested in, but they're not really getting the press or the PR for that matter. And in 2019, I found a young entrepreneurial couple who had a website company focused on financial advisors.


It was Samantha and Ryan Russell, and the company at the time was called 20 over 10. Reached out to them, we had a couple of conversations, they came on the show. And we talked about what their value proposition was at the T3 summit at the beginning of 2020 before everybody's lives got turned upside down, got the chance to meet them both in person. And then during the lockdown, Samantha was a regular guest on the resilient advisor show where she would come on and talk about some of the best practices around marketing.


And she's gone on to become incredibly influential. 17 months ago, as most people know, in the fintech community, her husband Ryan was diagnosed with brain cancer. Sadly, he passed away last week. Over the last eight months, I had an opportunity because I knew Ryan, I reached out and gave him a sounding board where he could vent as he good went through the process of dealing with the cancer. But that's not the story I want to tell you. I was at inside ETFs.


earlier this year, and I saw that Samantha was speaking. So I sent Ryan a message and said, Hey, are you down here at the conference? And he said, Yes, let's get together. And I said, awesome, let's go grab a coffee. And I was really excited to go and spend some time with him face to face. So Samantha in the conference hall told her how I was excited to go have a cup of coffee with Ryan. And she said, Jay, Ryan's not here. Sometimes because the medication he gets confused. She kept her composure while telling me that. And


then continued on the conversation. Matt, I felt like I could sit on a dime and dangle my feet the rest of the conversation. I apologize. She was incredibly gracious about it. But that wasn't the impressive part. Less than two hours later, she was on stage carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders and delivered a knockout presentation on website marketing to a packed house at that conference. She is one of the strongest people I've ever met. Matt? Yeah.


just an unbelievable story, unbelievable human being, I just can't even imagine. The neat thing about a lot of this is,


She didn't hide, right?


She was very open, sharing with her community what she was going through. So.


There's good that can come out of this, not right now for her, because this is a lot of pain and discomfort. But you're gonna share a couple of things that I'd like you to switch that screen here. And let's talk about some stuff that everybody here can do in order to make it so that they help feel like they're actually doing something. Because here's the deal, thoughts and prayers are good, go for it, do what you need. But when you can actually physically do something that is actually gonna impact...


people in the future like this. And we're gonna show something else in just a minute. But please, please, please, for those people who are watching this, just 20 bucks, right? 20 bucks. Do whatever you possibly can to be able to support organizations like this that are really fundamentally trying to make a difference and really not only help people, but also save people's lives. And then Jay, you wanna slap up the other one here real quick? And here's the other thing, everybody. Listen, buy the book.


right, you want to hear an unbelievable story. If you want to truly support their family, this is a great way for you to go ahead and show love and respect and honor his memory by going ahead and buying the book. And we're gonna make sure that there's links to all of this stuff in the content. And, and we'll make sure that that happens in a minute. Jay, what do you want to do to wrap this puppy up here? Yeah, so in addition to donating, or you could go and preorder a copy of Ryan's book, which we have done, if you'd like to see what Samantha has to say about


husband, and I will have links in the show notes, but you can go to buy dash gray dash and look at her blog. It's an amazing tribute to her husband. Highly recommend all three links to show some support and love for Samantha. I tell you this, Matt, I most people find this surprising. I'm not a big fan of social media. The hate that's on the platform, the way it manipulates your emotions. But man, I've met some incredible people, including yourself, including the Russell's and we've been able to connect


because of the media platforms that are out there today. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. All right, why don't we bring on our guest and let's talk about working with the media. Right. So I'm gonna let you introduce Matt Ackerman. All right, well, first off, you make your switch here and I'm sorry for the whipsaw of emotions, everybody. But listen, Matt Ackerman happens to be somebody who I actually consider as a personal friend of mine because of really what...


what he has done for me as a person, as a professional, as a person working on stages in the media and creating content. He's truly one of the best thought leaders of our time. One of the most creative people I've met in a long time. Now he's also, now he works now with Integrated Partners. He left the world of media and now he's working with Integrated Partners. He navigates well, I mean, well, we'll talk about a little bit about what he does at Integrated. Well, one of my favorite things to be able to see that Matt does.


is him running the conferences. If you have not attended a conference like an integrated partners conference, it's an absolutely fantastic one. Great content, really real conversations. They're very, very different RIA. One that we happen to support wholeheartedly because we think that their model, which I hope we get to talk to Matt a little bit about because integrated partners model is very different than a lot of other RIAs. But we're gonna bring Matt on today to specifically talk about how to work with the media. Some of the tips, tricks and techniques


to be able to get your foot in the door and then maintain that relationship with the media because that's the most important thing, much like Jason LaHitta's message. So are you ready to bring him on? Yeah, before I bring him on and because he's having some technical difficulties, I wanna tell you a little bit about my experience with integrated partners. Oh yeah. All right, so integrated partners are a large enterprise in the marketplace for financial advisors.


And the reason I refer folks to integrated partners and where I think their value proposition stands out is really twofold. They I'm sure that they think it's more robust. But here's what I see from the advisor community. Number one, they are privately owned. And that gives them the ability to not be at the mercy of private equity. The fact that the benefit that that provides an advisor looking for a new home can not be discounted at all unless you're in the process of wanting to start winding out of the business, in which case something like that would help.


The second value prop that they have that I believe is unique in the industry at the level they execute is their CPA alliance. So if you're affiliated with Integrated Partners, and you're in their program, they will go out and network with CPAs for you and help you build those relationships so that you can get those referral sources going and truly partner with CPAs. And that really does make a difference in the world of dealing with high net worth folks and looking for centers of influence.


Yeah. Listen, man, as you're bringing Matt in here, let's deconstruct that a little bit more here. So some of the most successful financial advisors I ever worked with as a coaching consultant, and in fact, here at Proud Mouth, some of our most successful, actually, our most successful podcasters, that CPA, estate planning attorney, that sort of strategic partner alliance,


has been their biggest way that they've consistently grown, right? I mean, that's one of the best things that you can possibly do is make it so that you have a deeper relationship with them. Now, here's the best part about integrated CPA partner program is, Andy, what if you can really plug into it, right? Now, honestly, it'd be great for you to join integrated partners and Jay, you talk about this a lot. Listen, if you're leaving the wire house, you're looking for an RIA.


This is a great RIA to be able to go ahead and move to because of how truly holistic this CPA program is. From a marketing perspective, let's just break it down from a marketing perspective. Jay, you're an advisor. So here's the deal.


If you can amplify your voice and then have another person amplify your voice, you're two times louder. It's just math, dude. So you get a CPA or CPAs who have seen the praises of you as a financial advisor, all of the sudden, right? Then you were just, you know, we talk about this all the time, be your own loud, right? Rise above the noise. How do you do that? Well, it's a lot harder to do it on your own, but when you have a great, great, great...


network of other CPAs and professionals like they have an integrated partners, I'll shut up. We want to bring that in. Yes, we bring that in. Here's my setup for Matt. My first my first video interview in this industry was with Matt when he was at Investment News. I did not plan on doing it. I didn't really have a media approach. And he grabs me at T3 one year and he says, Hey, Jay, my name is Matt, would you like to be on Investment News? And I said, No. And he said, Don't worry, it'll be easy.


And so I went, Matt, you helped me out. We went over to one of your side areas where you had the cameras, you had the lights, and I had five takes to say something that lasted about 30 seconds. You were a complete professional and gentleman about my vlog. Well, first of all, thank you guys so much for being patient with me. I thought I had everything set up here. This is ironic. This is the epitome of irony when the guy who does video can't figure out how to do video. So again, great job, Ackerman.


So, so, so Matt, hold on here. I didn't know this. So Jay and I both started with you, dude. Yeah. I mean, we both did. I have a lot of stories in this industry where people are like, you know, I got my start doing a video with you. And I'm always like, really? Cause you were really good at this. And they're like, no, everybody, you must just say that. I was like, I really don't say that. I have no problem telling somebody. No, okay, let's be honest. When someone is not good at video, what do we say to them? We say, oh gosh, I'm sorry.


the film didn't work or we left the lens cap on or, we never make anybody feel bad about, cause this is a, it's a skill. And it's a skill that needs to be honed like anything that we do. It was funny, by the way, during your segment about Shannon, I took a screenshot of it and I sent it to her. I was like, Shannon will find this funny. I was like, what, I'm on a podcast and I can't do anything to talk about you? I see how it is. Shannon's one of my favorite people as Matt knows. I've had the chance to mentor her.


for some time now since we were at Investment News together and she'll always be among my most favoritest people and she's always trying to convince me to go into business together. So, did you just preview something there dude? No, no, no, no, no, I swear, I swear. I'm very happy and integrated partners. It was funny, I was talking to Brian Hamburger the other day and he's like, you work out if you're attic, you make your hours, you work for a company that's based in Boston and San Diego.


You are unemployable. So yes, that is Brian Hamburger's take. Well, let's talk about integrated partners. Why don't you tell everybody now what you're doing at integrated partners because everybody still remembers you from investment news and in your days, you know, in the middle. Isn't that crazy? I've been doing this for three years and people still come up to me. And I'm sure they do with you guys too, where they'll talk about a previous employer or a previous gig that you were doing. So it's crazy to think that what we were is often dictates who we are. But yeah, I've been integrated now for three years.


And it's so funny how it started I'm the chief content officer here. But I went to Paul Sagini, our CEO, mid pandemic and said, I have this idea. And I really wanted to start a financial literacy channel to start to educate the next generation. I pitched him the idea, came back to me a day later and said, I don't love the idea, but I love you. Oh. Which is great. You'd rather somebody love you than necessarily an idea.


that you have, because ideas are fleeting, but who you are is who you are, right? So we started to talk some more. I talked to a few people. At the time, Jason Lehita, who you mentioned, was actually working at Integrated. So I also really wanted the opportunity to work with Jason. I, like Matt, have known Jason for over 20 years. And you want to be around people that kind of gets you a little bit. Also, Integrated's been around since 1996. And there was a lot of people internally.


that are so protective of the culture that they were a little wary of me. Because I'm an acquired taste, I get it. I am not corporate, I am unabashedly myself. But I've now grown into basically being the flavor, flavor of integrated partners. I will jump up and jump on a table and sing its praises because I really do believe in the mission here. Integrated is different than a lot of these other RIAs out there. We're really constructed and built.


for the entrepreneurial advisor who wants to grow. It is, there's no ifs, ands, or buts about it. We're not right for everyone and that's okay. And we're really proud of the advisors we get to serve and help on a daily basis. It's always interesting because there's times that I will be pushing to go in a different direction and I'll have people saying, no, no, no, we're here to protect and to serve our advisors, which sounds very police, if you will, without sending out an SOS. Anyway, it's...


So yeah, I tell everybody everywhere, every place I've gone to, I've always had the fun job. I've always had the fun job and I surround myself with people that do the really important jobs while I get to do fun stuff. You know, we I just made a video we were at with Kelly Waltrick. It's so weird. Every single person you mentioned there's people I was chatting with last week. Kelly Waltrick and I made a video for intentionally where I struggled running up the steps to do for the Rocky statue. So you have to find that on social media. But yeah, so so it's like


It is nonstop. It is fun. I get to really kind of craft and hone our advisors' voices, create videos with them now. But at the same time, I found a way to keep my foot in the media circles. So I'm still making videos at conferences, still creating content. I'm still getting to work with Shannon. And I'm also now finding a way to bring my son CJ in and become an interviewer, too. I think CJ got the interview, too, Matt.


Yeah, you're in a world of trouble. That kid's gonna take your job probably as the next couple of years. He's already better than me on camera, Jay. He is, he is. But that's from starting him early. I didn't get to start when I was eight, nine, 10. No, and the fact that he leans into it so well is just absolutely fantastic. So let's talk about leaning into working with the media. Right, so what are some of the top?


few things that if you could wave a magic wand, you wish advisors would truly understand about interacting in a PR or with the press specifically? Great question. I think so much of it is availability. Availability is the best ability to have when it comes to working with the media. You need to always be available. They're going to ask for deadlines, ask when they need this information by, but I believe so wholeheartedly that you have to be available to the media. The media wants to work with you.


They do, they need quotes, but they're gonna move on to the next source if you're not available. Then what you have to do is provide them with something different. Too many people are trying, I said this to somebody this morning, too many people are trying to be so perfect that they stop being memorable. And the truth is when it comes to a quote, they want you to say something, have a point of view and a perspective, and those are the people we go back to. If you're available and you have a perspective, the media keeps coming back to you. They find a way to come back to you. Yeah.


Well, that goes back to Shannon's point about the human aspect of financial services and what we talk about here at Proudmouth all the time. Listen, you have to unapologetically be yourself because then you have zero competition. Right. And that's what the press is looking for. But the million dollar question, because this always happens, I hear somebody super smart, like you say this thing. And then the first thing that pops into my mind is compliance. Right. So


Now I know integrated partners really has a very different viewpoint on this. And I think a lot of our IAS or broker dealers and wire houses specifically, but how can one navigate some of that stuff, Matt, in your experience to make it so that they can get the exposure that they want without off compliance. I mean, so much of compliance is knowing the guard rails. Excuse me. One second.


I brought some sort of bug home with me from Schwab Impact. Many will blame it on the many people in one place. I blame it on the fact I sang a lot of karaoke. So I apologize. But what a pro using the microphone though. We don't normally get that, Matt. I am, I'm trying to be any, all the professional ways so you don't have to hear me cough. So knowing compliance is knowing the guardrails. Have a conversation with compliance beforehand. I'm having this conversation.


with this media member. Also know that oftentimes you don't have the same guardrails when it comes to compliance and media outreach. So talk to your public relations person and they'll tell you some of those things to be worried about. It's funny because I get the compliance argument and then I started working at Integrated. And what I found was I had a conversation with Integrated that was much like a conversation about improv. Don't tell me no, tell me no, but, or yes, and. Like...


This is the whole thing with compliance, is I believe compliance people understand the necessity of everything that we're doing. They get it, they get how critical media is. So with that in mind, just say to them, okay, look at what I did for some compliance when they're really tightened up on like a promotional video. I'll write a script first and then go to them before I even shoot anything. This way, if there's guardrails or words that are gonna be bad for me, tell me now. Tell me now something's wrong.


So that I can make it better or give me word suggestions so that I know I can't say this because it's promissory, but I can say this by adding in this clause or this factor. So what I say is compliance is typically an excuse. And now I'm gonna put my media hat on for a second. Oftentimes when I would shoot something to someone, I need to see that for compliance purposes. Oftentimes they didn't, they wanted to see it for their own purposes to see, do I look good on camera? Yeah. And it's like,


Again, I'm gonna go back to stop being perfect and start being memorable. Say something that's gonna make me wanna have you back. If you make things difficult for a video person or a media person, they're probably not coming back to you. You wanna create a relationship, you wanna create that consistency that Jason was talking about, then you really gotta step it up a notch and put yourself out there and it's gonna be okay. There's nothing to worry about.


Well, there's two things I want to add to this is number one, just don't say stupid stuff. Okay. Really, you know what you're supposed to say and what you're not supposed to say. I totally G rated that because that's not normally how I use that phrase. But the other thing is, so I interviewed Stoy Hall and if you don't know who he is, you really need to follow him on social media. He's an unbelievable content creator in financial services. He's an advisor. And he said, Matt, you can say so much without saying too much.


And I love that saying so it's so good for advisors to realize that there is so much stuff that you can talk about that is going to stay totally within those guardrails, man. And so I think thank you. Thank you for that. All right, now you brought up improv brother, and I need to go ahead and talk a little bit about the improv nature of this. If you are going to coach an advisor and tell them, listen, here are a couple of things that I really want you to do to practice.


the craft of interacting with the press. What would those practice tips be? Okay, first of all, great. And I do this with some of our folks. I will, basically I play the role of the media because I'm okay with that. I've done it for a while. And I will literally write questions and I say, I always say, and if you don't have somebody to practice with this with you, think about the curve ball. Think about something that's going to throw you off and how you'd answer that. What's the worst question you can get in an interview?


and then decide, okay, here's how I'm gonna adjust that. Here's how I'm gonna answer that question. And practice, there's nothing wrong with practicing. If you got nobody to practice with, practice in the shower. If you don't have a shower, well, you should worry about that before getting a media interview. But my whole point is come up with a few key questions, but also know what the things that you're worried about answering, how you would adjust to that, how you would answer that question. You know,


One of the things that I learned in my first PR training is what drives a lot of people crazy about politicians. So you ask them this question, and then they go, doop doop doop doop doop doop doop. And then they answer a question over here. There's an art or a science to it. You know, I'm gonna add something to that too, because here, in my world, it's very strange in my brain. I practice on camera.


So, if I have an idea, which of course I have too many and it drives my team crazy a lot of times, I will practice the idea. I will practice how I would sell it, how I would market it, how I would position it. And I record it and I watch it back, but I don't watch it back right away. I give it a little bit of space because you guys.


in the audience knows me pretty well. I'm rather excitable, right? And so you're really excited about something. So I'll shoot something and then I will wait 24 hours and I will come back to it. And I'm like, okay, well, I liked how this sounded to me. I liked this and that, but that sort of rehearsal and that you and I talk about this a lot and Jay and I actually talked about this in the first marketing office hours. This is a show. This is show, jazz hands and all. Did you warm up? Are you ready? Did you get your energy up? I mean, you got it. You got to be ready for that. And when that PR...


phone call happens, which is still generally how it happens or email, it's showtime guys. And you need to be lights, camera action. Are you ready? Are you camera ready? Now we're not, I'm not using that literally, but are you camera ready? And you need to be in that state of mind. And if you can't, I don't recommend the PR channel because you have to be able to turn it on and turn it off. And you know, Jay brought that up with Sam.


you know, after, you know, he was saying that he was going to have coffee with her husband, and she had that response. And then she went on stage and she was on and she delivered an unbelievable keynote speech, right? Some of us are built for that and some of us aren't. And if you're not built for that, there's so many other ways for you to get your influencer thought leadership out into the world without having to be somebody that you're not, which is the last question that I have for you. How does one make the decision, Mr. Ackerman, in all of your plethora, which is not a word,


a media experience, how do you know if it's right for you? Great, I think that is also a great question. I think so much of it is, what are you trying to accomplish? Okay, and is media the right route to do so? Is this the right thing for you in this whole thing? You know, you don't have to be a media star in order to shine in this industry, okay? I mean, to me, that's what it's all about.


is you have to be willing to put yourself out there and think about what are you trying to accomplish? So I usually, when I work with advisors now and they'll say, I wanna be in the media. I was like, okay, why? You wanna gather more clients? Okay, great. Here are some ways you can gather more clients without necessarily being inflicted or pushed into the media circles. We can do all sorts of other things that are outward facing that don't necessarily require that. But if you're gonna star in the media, you have to be, like you said, available. We have to be ready.


You know, and you have to be, ultimately, you have to be willing to fail a little bit because the hardest thing is you've been on a phone call with the media for 30 minutes. You've poured your heart out. You've done all the right things. And they've taken two sentences of it and buried it in paragraph 16 of an article that has nothing to do with you. And people get disappointed. And I'm like, this is part of the grind. You have to accept that every story is not gonna be about you. And that one quote,


Eventually may lead to something bigger because you said something interesting and you helped them with this process Their process was I have to get this story done and you also have to accept too that even though you thought you were getting on this phone call to Tell a story about you and it went in a different direction because frankly what they were writing about that day was more important than Necessarily the story about you they had to get this story done with that in mind. You have to see to yourself Okay, it's all part of the process. That's all right


My one more tip that I would give is do some pre-planning, do some research on the author, the journalists that you're interviewing with. Ask them what the topic that you're covering is so you can be ready for that too. Journalists love data. So if you have a couple of data points to quote, they're gonna write that down, they're gonna quote you on it. So have that ready, but also know, is this somebody that's been writing and in this industry a long time? They're gonna ask a different layer of question.


than the new author. Both are very, very good contacts to have because that new writer that you might educate on something will then become a source for you for quotes for a long time. So just know that there's no wrong answer, but you having information will really help you out.


Jay. Man, I enjoyed listening to that. I do have a couple of questions. Fire away, my friend. All right, so if you're an advisor, you're sitting at a warehouse, you're thinking of making the move to independence, you've started down that path, where does PR fit in that marketing roadmap to independence? Oh, it's a great question too, because I think a lot of it comes down to you being a media star doesn't necessarily make you the perfect fit for an RIA that you wanna look at.


I often say that it is a hard spot to be in when you're at the wirehouse because they have such tight constraints on you and what you're going to say to the media when you can talk to them. So if you want to do more media stuff, being an RIA, having, you know, being the captain of your own ship is going to be a great spot for you. Some people say to me, well, don't you want to have a spotlight cast on you so when you're kicking the tires, you're a brand they've heard of. The truth is most people are.


would be very happy to have you come to them first and then help make you a media star. You don't necessarily need to be a media star first. So sometimes cart and horse are a good thing to think about. It's a good idea to kind of have your ship all set and then go from there. You know, I do get to talk to, I was joking about Brian Hamburger early. I do get to chance to chat with him often. And I think the work they do at Mark Council is incredible. But I've often, and you can ask him this too.


over the last 20 years have asked so many times, I wanna watch one of these transitions take place. And Brian has never let me do that even once. And I'm always like, come on, I wanna see, I wanna see, because I'm fascinated by this. But let me tell you, those are probably six of the toughest months of your life, because you gotta stay quiet, you gotta stay hungry, you gotta stay ready, you're kicking the tires on all these different players. The last thing you want or need is media, bark it up that tree.


So let me tell you, it is a good thing to be quiet during that quiet period and then wait. And like I said, I'm gonna still keep trying. Someday Brian's gonna let me behind the curtain. I probably have to sign like 19 NDAs first, but I am fascinated by that more than you guys let me know. Like that whole process of like the leap of faith and all those things, I think it's fascinating. Well, Matt, I can let you behind the curtain on our transitions that we do, if you ever wanna- I would love to. I am so fascinated by them. I really am. I wanna see-


how it works. I want somebody to show me that table where they're looking at three different flavors and going, this guy's right, this guy's wrong, this guy's close, let's see what happens. I've seen some of them through integrated, but Rob Sanders, another one, keeps some stuff close to the vest on me too, man. You'd think, but see, here's the problem. I got too big a mouth, so I've got to be quiet.


Rob is one of my favorite people in the business. He is incredibly knowledgeable and a great resource and very generous with his time with all advisors, whether they're associated with integrated or not. He is great guy, great people. Like I said, I've been really fortunate with the people that integrated. I just think so much of culture is people. You guys were talking about earlier, those that internal culture and getting that message out there internally when you rebrand, your people will dictate things and they'll see things you won't.


there's people that I've worked with a long time, that only when I came here, do they sit down with me and say, Hey, actually, you know, nobody's probably told you this, but you should think about this guy or think about this. And I'm like, that kind of honesty is when you really know you're with the right people in the right place. That's right. That's right. All right, Matt, my last question, and I want you to put a real critical lens on how I approach the media. Because it's stale, I've been doing the same thing for six or seven years now. And I'm very tactical. So let's get tactical with this. So


I identified whenever I started my consulting business years ago, some of the most influential people in the media, and I created a list. And then inside of my CRM, I created what I call a Dinger system, where my CRM once a month tells me to go and reach out to those folks. Sometimes it's as simple as going in and liking a tweet. Other times it's commenting on LinkedIn. But this has been incredibly impactful for me. And let me tell you how impactful. That's how I met both of you guys years ago. And so when I go to a conference, you know, we


we would know each other and then we were able to have a conversation. So that approach has served me well, but it seems a little tired. How would you enhance that or do it differently, whether you're an advisor or somebody like Matt and I that wants to be connected with folks in FinServe? So I think, first of all, you both have to recognize something, you both have a megaphone. And it's something you've both developed through the years. And it's something that journalists want to be able to leverage that as well.


So I think you have an opportunity that a lot of people don't necessarily have, which is that you can help create volume around a journalist's story. So I think that is something that you have and is really beneficial. And now the next piece is, the other thing to remember with the media, and Matt, I think we've talked about this before, is over the past 20 years, the need for content has only increased while the number of staffers has decreased. So...


Unlike, so when I started working in this space, now this dates us back to 2000, I worked with myself. There was three other writers and American banker writing about wealth management. We had two editors and we filled one page of content each day. Typically this was about one story and four little smaller items. Today, each news outlet out there is writing five to six pieces a day with a newsroom that's probably got three or four people in it.


So they're writing a piece every day and they're getting exhausted. And what they need is good thought leaders like you and other advisors that reach out to them and go, hey, I'd love the opportunity to write a blog piece for you, write some content for you. How can I help? I believe my belief in my whole life has always been when you open with how can I help, instead of it being about you, they oftentimes appreciate that more than you know. So if you're out there and you're saying,


how can I increase my volume here? And I don't have a megaphone like you have, but I have an expertise. Then what I would say is the best thing to do is to raise your hand and say, I've got some content. I'd love to create a blog for you every month. I'd love to create this for you. And you'd be amazed at how receptive they will be to at least opening a conversation because they need content. Excellent. So I take you behind the curtain there a little bit, tell you the problem they're dealing with, problem solution.


What's their problem? How can you be the solution? Well, Mr. Ackerman, I appreciate you coming up Marketing Office Hours. I'm gonna move you to the green room as we get ready for Matt's final word. But I gotta tell you, my experience, my whole career with you has been, you're more than generous with your time and your thought leadership. And this was just another example. Thank you very much. And I apologize for, it was so funny. And the behind the scenes of all this was, everything was working great in this room. And then we started and the camera popped off. And then the mic popped off.


So everyone behind the scenes know that what we do is we make it work. That is our job here is to make it work. And, uh, you know, I think find myself so lucky to get a chance to chat with both of you on a regular basis, but also to come in an amazing show like this. So thank you all both very much. Thank you very much.


And a lot, a lot of great clips in there. And before you get started, I got to tell you, that was our second police reference on advisor office hours in our first flavor. Flav, a wonderful ever have a second. Yeah. Well, I don't know. But Matt Ackerman being the hype man and being flavor flav makes me so happy. You've no idea is that such a great description of what he does bring to organization. So well, Matt, let's wrap up as always with your final word.


All right, so here's the deal everybody. Matt Ackerman just gave you the greatest tip you could ever have when it comes to interacting with the media. They need content. They want your thought leadership. They want your influential thoughts. They want it. So give it to them. Oh, you know, one of the first articles I ever wrote was actually in horse's mouth in like 2006. And I just submitted something to them and they were like, yep, I'm gonna print this.


So I want you to remember that there are all sorts of great outlets for you to be able to put your thought leadership, your influence out into the world and they will publish it. They need the content. That is a quote from Matt Eckerman. And you are the expert, even though you might not be able to say that you're an expert, use your expertise to become the marketer you can be and not try to be the marketer that you're not. Just do what you can to get your thought leadership out there, submit great stuff to them.


There's one other final thought here. So it's two thoughts. My second thought is going to be this, you are going to be much more well received by the media if you have a very, very strong brand, as Jay and I talked about when we were referring to the Kelly Waltridge quote earlier. And if you need to know more about how to do that, listen, we've got this great free tool in our Podrocket Academy. So go to and take the brand building worksheet or the brand basics worksheet is actually what I think it's called.


It is a great opportunity for you to ask yourself some questions so that when you do go to the media and you are going to get their attention that you are dialed in with your messaging. They need the content, be dialed in with your messaging. And last but not least, make sure you turn into marketing office hours here in the future because Jay and I are going to be doing these more and more often. So thank you. I'll see you on the other side of the mic very soon.


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