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Podcast Transcript

Episode 17, Season 1

The advice movement, with Steve Crawford


Steve Crawford: [00:00] That basically that’s it, if you wanna build something different or you wanna take what you already got and deliver it to your clients and your prospective clients in a different way. You’re not coming to this event to learn how to do insurance advice or to learn how to do investments or super or pricing. We’re not talking about that, the rest of the industry, the [FPAAFA 00:00:21], the industry events, they do a great job at that. We’re gonna talk about how the hell do we deliver this thing in a modern, post Royal Commission, 21st century way.

Fraser Jack: [00:36] Hello and welcome to the Goals Based Advice Podcast. We have conversations with pioneers of the new world of financial advice. I’m your host Fraser Jack and I wanna thank you for tuning in today. I would also like to thank our supporting partner, Advice Intelligence for powering this podcast.

Fraser Jack: [00:53] This is a very different episode. A chat to self-licensed adviser and industry thought leader, Steve Crawford, about the work he’s doing to help a profession move into the new world of advice. Because I love what he’s doing and appreciate the effort he’s going to to help other advisers, I wanted to give him and the advice movement a plug on the Goals Based Advice Podcast. And in particular a two day event that hosting in February 2019. A behind the scenes chat about the what, where, why, how and who of both the movement and the conference does include a plug for the event. But it will give you a great understanding of the event if you’re thinking about going.

Fraser Jack: [01:36] So if you don’t wanna hear about joining a movement or a specific event, this may not be the episode for you. However, if you’re looking to get practical knowledge at how to implement as part of your 2019 planning, keep listening as we kick off our chat with Steve.

Fraser Jack: [01:58] Welcome to the show Steve.

Steve Crawford: [02:01] Thanks for having me, Fraser. Well, thanks for having me on the show, wow, off to a great start.

Fraser Jack: [02:07] I know, I know, Now you’re in Melbourne obviously, I’m on the Gold Coast, so we’re Zoom meeting along the way but great technology, great technology can get us together.

Steve Crawford: [02:17] How do we do stuff before things like, I mean we adopted GoToMeeting real early, I reckon about nine years ago and I remember the struggle that was trying to convince people that running virtual meetings was not gonna destroy the fabric of social interactions and now I look at it and go, how would we ... Like if someone came to us today and said based from the advice business and then from the advice movement staff and the coaching staff, someone said you can’t have virtual meetings anymore. I just go, well that’s me done, I mean I got nothing left.

Fraser Jack: [02:58] Listen to you, you sound like the old statesman. What did we ever do before mobile phones?

Steve Crawford: [03:05] What did the young whipper snappers used to do? It does amaze me when some of them go, oh yeah, I’m using ... Have you heard of Zoom? And I’m like, mate, don’t, don’t embarrass yourself.

Fraser Jack: [03:17] No mate, tell me, you are not only running a business, a products advice business and of course running a licensee but you’re decided to take on a whole the other movement called The Advice Movement, what were you thinking?

Steve Crawford: [03:36] Probably too much and then not enough. I’ve been very actively involved in the industry for a long time now. So, I did say, it’s 10 years that Experience Wealth, our advice firm, mine and Chris Williams, Willlows, Advice Business has been going for ten years, we just ticked over. But prior to that, I had ten years in corporate, working with a couple of businesses but most of my time was at MLC, so I’ve been in and around the industry for a long time and then I served on the board of the AFA as I know you know, but also actively, very actively involved in the AFA [Genics 00:04:14] initiatives, way back when. I was the state director, or state whatever they called it, state chair for Genics in Victoria.

Steve Crawford: [04:23] And I think I’ve always had this view that things can be done better. Maybe that’s just because I’m hyper critical. Probably some people would say too hypercritical of some stuff, but I’ve always held a view that things could be done better and the core responsibility of the people ... The core responsibility of who makes things better is the people, is the actual the participants, the members, the players, us, all of us. It’s not just the sole responsibility of the licensees or the product providers or the industry bodies.

Steve Crawford: [05:06] I think when I was involved on that, in the AFA I did actually, probably wrongly, assume that the forward progression of the industry too much of that responsibility sat with the industry bodies and I was pretty critical of ... I’m not speaking out of school but I challenged the board at the time to say, “You know, we’ve got to find a way to get more advisors and more aspiring advisors involved in shaping the future, not just you know them delegating or abdicating responsibility to us on every front.

Steve Crawford: [05:41] And so when I left, after I’d served a few years on the board I realized that for me to effectively drive change, I couldn’t do it on a board, because as a board director you do have responsibilities and you have to act in a certain way, and you can’t ever also do anything where you’re furthering your own interests ahead of the benefits of your members. So the only way for me to actually do it was to leave the board, and then start up a little rabble group of mates usually to start with and try and do some different things.

Steve Crawford: [06:22] And I’ve always sort of been of the view that lead from the front. So demonstrate that you can do something different and then offer that to other people to say, “Look, there is another way, and I’ll show you how to do it.”

Fraser Jack: [06:33] Yeah, being on the board of an Association like that is almost like being in a corporate environment, isn’t it? It’s not always, you can’t always express your own personal opinions.

Steve Crawford: [06:43] It is and it isn’t, because I think you’ve got ... When you’re in a corporate environment it is, everything is very structured and you can pretty much remove the individuals from the roles, and the engine still continues. I mean yes, every individual brings their own nuances and flair and personal views of the world and in some instances they probably have too much impact as we’ve seen in maybe some of the Royal Commission stuff now. But largely the organization runs. A structure and the people run to that structure. Whereas on a board, because everyone ... you know like the board of the AFA, the board of the FPA, people are volunteering, they’re putting their hands up to go there and there’s small compensation for some of your costs but you don’t do it to make money out of it that’s for sure. You’re there because you love the industry and you want to see it get better.

Steve Crawford: [07:33] So unfortunately I think what happens in a board environments is you get this blending of the expectation that you can run to a corporate type structure or a with an operational model and a corporate governance model, but then you’ve got the everyone talking from their own emotional viewpoint, so I think quite-

Steve Crawford: [07:52] The boards are very frustrating, because you feel like you can do a lot, but then in essence, some of the things, from my own opinion anyway, I wasn’t able to affect a lot of change so that’s why I though I’d be better off stepping away from the board than trying to do it that way.

Fraser Jack: [08:10] So you’ve stepped away and now you’ve decided to open up, or to make available to run if you like, The Advice Movement, tell us about ... What’s the purpose of The Advice Movement and what’s the main ... You mentioned doing things differently but what things you want to do?

Steve Crawford: [08:26] Yeah, you see this is sort of the third incarnation of how my love for advisor practice management has evolved. The one thing that I love before I left the corporate world was I was a practice development manager and I got to hang out with advisors and advise practices and in particular my responsibility, yes there was a product element to it, but I was largely left unchecked to work with the advisors and the practices around helping them develop their Gen X and Gen Y offer, at the time very much coined intergenerational advice. And at the time I was very aggro at the fact that intergenerational advice was anchored around flogging insurance to young people through super. And it’s pretty much all it was in the industry. There was not a lot of advice around it.

Steve Crawford: [09:16] So initially this is going back six or seven years ago when I first started doing this in my personal and my private practice, it was around how do you deliver broader advice to Gen X and Gen Y? And so that started with budgeting and cash flow. And so I started showing other advisors how to do the budgeting and the cash flow stuff is sort of the first step towards more goals based advice, and obviously very aptly named show. But it was the first step.

Steve Crawford: [09:47] And then what happened after that was a lot of the advisors that I coached, and we’ve just ticked over something, I think we’re up to like 500 now, but a lot of the advisors that we coached then kept asking the next level of questions. Because at the end of the day, budgeting and cash flow is there to solve a need. It’s to help a client make a decision around a goal, and it just provides more information.

Steve Crawford: [10:07] But then it got into well what else did Gen X and Gen Y want? What is their goals process look like? What does the technology look like? Because a lot of your cash flow stuff is delivered ... To deliver it profitably and practically, you’ve got to use things like virtual technology and videos. So all of these other things started to grow around that. And what I found was I didn’t have capability across all of them, and so I needed to start bringing other people in.

Steve Crawford: [10:34] And initially we launched it as the XY Academy, but there were too many bloody XYs. There’s XYPN, the original XY Group in America, and then you’ve got XY Advisor here. And I also realized that you know, it’s not just about the Xs and the Ys. It’s more about not the type of advice that we provide. It’s the way that we provide the advice. And I think the catalyst for us to rebrand as The Advice Movement in the middle of the year was to basically go post Royal Commission, our business models aren’t going to be able to run the way they’ve run before. The revenue streams are going to have to look different. The way we deliver our advice has to look different. The types of advice we deliver will probably stay fairly similar, and yes there’ll be more and more people moving towards goals based advice I think.

Steve Crawford: [11:29] But I think the way we provide the advice has to change for us to be more relevant and that’s what The Movement stands for. It stands for finally dragging the industry into the 21st bloody century and the way that we collectively provide the advice. And so I’ve got myself, I’ve got a bunch of other coaches, other practitioners, other advisors and then a couple of business consultants as our first wave of coaches, practical coaches, that are going to teach. Happy to share how they do things with anybody that’s interested. You know, that’s where we’ve started, we’ve got online courses, we’ve got a conference coming up in February and then we’ve got a whole bunch of initiatives that are planned for 2019 and beyond, to really grow this thing to hopefully help more and more advisors and aspiring advisors find new and different ways to deliver the advice that they want to deliver to their clients.

Fraser Jack: [12:29] Yeah, so whilst The Advice Movement’s been around a short time, the actual naming of The Advice Movement, it hasn’t. It stemmed from many, many years of you trying to put things together.

Steve Crawford: [12:42] Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I started training advisors in the budget and the cash flow stuff back in 2012, 2103 maybe and it was old school workshops, you know one and a half day get in a room, have some meat pies and quiches, because that’s stock standard fare at an advisor workshop. Get out of the office for a day and a half and do a massive intensive. And that stuff was good. Again, there’s a couple of hundred at that stage that I took through that over a few years. And it was ... You know, I ticked my box, I love training advisors. It allowed us from a business point of view to diversify our revenue, because we made, from a financial planning point of view, we made a strategic decision to move away from insurance commissions and percentages a long time ago, like 2011. Pretty much just after a year of starting. So for us, this allowed us to export our IP out and be paid for that stuff.

Steve Crawford: [13:45] But what we found was, the workshops got harder and harder to coordinate. Trying to find one day or two days for people to take out of the whole office is bloody hard, and then you know you’ve got people from Melbourne ... I ended up having more people from interstate at every workshop because I just couldn’t get the timing right. And so I was looking for a better way to do things, and then yourself and myself and a bunch of others, the original movement motley crew went off to the US to go and hang out at a couple of conferences and I did FinCon and XY Planning Network. And at FinCon I learnt how to build an online course. And that was my goal then. Right, I’m going to turn the workshops into an online course so that people can learn this at their own pace.

Steve Crawford: [14:38] And so that started the evolution of the academy, because then I’m not just going to teach budgeting and cash flow. I had other licensees and providers asking me ... I’d created a course on mortgage management and debt reduction. I created a course on lifestyle protection. And then I kept getting asked for more and more, and I’m like hang on, I think I’m pretty good, but there’s a bunch of stuff, especially marketing and technology that I’m terrible at. I wonder if I can ... I’ve had so much fun building this stuff, I wonder if I can convince a couple of other advisors to copy me, and follow me on this path. So, that was ...

Steve Crawford: [15:17] Those conversations started in earnest probably at least 18 months to two years ago. I tapped a couple of planners on the shoulder in the US and said look, I’m going to ask you to do this. I don’t know when, but when I’ve proved that the market’s willing to do self paced online learning, then I’ll ask you if you’re interested. And fortunately it’s proven that its working in an online environment and ... advisors love learning from other advisors. Peer to ... and this is not a shock. Like the best attended session at conferences are always the peer led sessions. Always the peer led sessions.

Steve Crawford: [16:00] So for me it was like how do we make this more accessible. Because it can’t just be ... It’s got to be win-win right? Like the advisor, there’s only so many times you can get asked for coffee or I’ll shout you a lunch ... And you’d get this as well Fraze, where you just go, “Mate I’m jacked up. I’ve had six coffees already. And I don’t need to go and have another lunch.” I want to share, but I want to also do it in a structured way and I want to be adequately compensated. And taking them out of the office to do workshops, that doesn’t necessary work either. So myself and all my coaches have been frantically behind the scenes building their courses and I’m pleased to say the first batch will probably be ready just before Christmas maybe, but definitely in February. And then we’ll have a bunch more coming online over the course of 2019. And then who knows, who knows what happens after that.

Fraser Jack: [16:56] Yeah, now I want to chat about the conference idea. Now obviously you and I spent many years helping or on committees building out some of the AFA conferences many years ago, and I think you were the conference chair at one point? Arguably one of the best AFA’s conferences ever.

Steve Crawford: [17:13] Thank you.

Fraser Jack: [17:14] And we also managed to spend a bit of time going overseas and as you mentioned to FinCon and XY Planning Network Conferences in the US, and actually seeing the other side of what a financial advice conference could look like, if it wasn’t our stock standard out of the box financial planning conference that we run in Australia very single year. So do you want to talk a little bit about what you’ve done about that and what’s come out the other end of this conversation.

Steve Crawford: [17:39] Yeah, so ... And thank you, I do still credit you for what is quite possibly the best conference experience ever which is when we did the race around the Gold Coast with some bikes and race around the Gold Coast, yes, put the bikes together and gave them to Make a Wish kids and I still remember needing to put my sunnies on cos I teared up during that one. But there was about a hundred and fifty of us there, I think, from memory, and this was ... That for me was like one of the things again, peer led involvement. Whether it’s a charitable initiative, whether it’s the event itself. You’ve got to get the peers involved.

Steve Crawford: [18:22] Look, with all due respect to industry conferences, once you get to a certain number that you’ve been to, there’s only so much value you’re getting out of 1500 to two grand to go and listen to some inspirational speaker. I don’t know how to get an ROI on that in my practice anymore. I don’t know how to get my staff to benefit from that stuff. And so you and I, again, a bunch of us when we went to FinCon three years back. Now obviously we weren’t the first ones there. Peter went the year before. Peita D. Peita Diamantidis went on her own. She was the first lunatic dancing on the hill, but we quickly followed.

Steve Crawford: [19:01] And for me it was around what ... yeah, you’re right. What could it look like? I actually went there selfishly to learn stuff for our own practice. You know, our podcast was learnt at FinCon. Our online courses were learnt at FinCon. Our email campaigns was learnt at FinCon. Use of video, our youtube. Everything. All the new and modern 21st century stuff ... Not about the advice. You don’t go to FinCon to learn how to be an advisor. You don’t even go to XY Planning Network really if you’re an Australian advisor to learn too much because obviously it’s a US market. But there’s still big elements of the way they do things that’s different to what we do here that we can learn from.

Steve Crawford: [19:46] But the other thing that really appealed to me was I wasn’t getting charged like 1800 bucks to go. And by the time you add in bloody flights and accommodation, like it’s three grand. It ended up being cheaper for us to fly the whole team to the US to do two conferences than it was to go to an industry conference here three years ago. And I just said, that’s bullshit. That’s not good enough anymore. Where are the ... How are the younger advisors and the aspiring advisors that don’t work in the mega practices that can afford to do this stuff, how are they going to bloody learn? How are they going to get the experiences that you and I have been lucky enough to have? To be able to go and hang out with your peers and learn from your peers and do some networking. But-

Steve Crawford: [20:31] So that for me, that was the big catalyst to go okay, I’ve bitched and moaned about it enough. I’m going to stop expecting the AFA and the FPA and all the other industry groups to deliver a conference on a budget, because I know that’s not their bailiwick anymore. They have gotten to the size where they do have to do those larger events. And I know they have road shows and day events that are more affordable and simple. But I wanted to try and prove that you could still run a less bells and whistles conference and have it cost less than a thousand bucks for the whole thing. Accommodation, flights if I’m coming from interstate and my registration. And hopefully we’re going to prove that you can do that.

Fraser Jack: [21:20] Yeah, it’s certainly, the price of conferences is one of those things that it’s always interesting to me the fact that we could fly to America and go to conferences and the flights and the accommodation and the conference fee was less than doing so in Australia was absolutely crazy.

Fraser Jack: [21:36] A few hundred dollars. You see the price of a conference over there, it’s a few hundred dollars and you go, “Wow.” Why are we paying upwards of $1500 for a conference here?

Steve Crawford: [21:46] Unfortunately I think there’s been some conference creep. So there’s this minimum ... There’s this expectation that there’s all of the extra stuff is now non-negotiable. You know, the big time performers, the big time presenters, that all of that stuff is there. And the argument, the counter argument yeah, that makes sense, was always that yeah but if advisors want lower costs cheaper, they’re going to go their licensee conferences. But you and I know that number has been dwindling massively. Like I don’t know many advisors that go to their licensee conferences anymore.

Steve Crawford: [22:23] So what I said was well imagine if we could create like a ... It’s like going to a licensee conference but it’s hanging out with all your mates, and all your peers, and then you can build stuff together. And that was the challenge that I set myself was to say well at the end of the day, this thing’s still got to be valuable. Like you can put a $200 event on or a $400 event on, and if it’s garbage, they’re still not going to come back, just because it’s a quarter of the cost of one of the bigger industry ones. So you still need to deliver value.

Steve Crawford: [22:55] But at least by lowering the entry point, it’s now more accessible to more of the industry and more of the market, which was really important to me.

Fraser Jack: [23:07] Yeah, and so you’re organizing an event in February, 13th and 14th 2019. Do you want to talk a little bit about what we call Less Talk More Action Conference?

Steve Crawford: [23:20] Yes, which is quite ironic that I would put on an event called Less Talk because anyone that knows me knows that’s just never going to happen. So it’s a two day event this year, sorry in February 2019. At the moment, not at the moment, the way it’s going to work is day one is theory, day two is practical. The idea being that we’re going to have people talking but they’re going to be talking less and you’re going to be building more.

Steve Crawford: [23:48] So I’ve always hated this idea of “if you take one thing away from a conference.” Mate, I’ve dropped a shit load of money to go to this thing. How am I getting value if I’m just getting one thing? I need to build a bunch of crap to justify the spend to go to this thing. So it shouldn’t just be one thing.

Steve Crawford: [24:07] It shouldn’t also be death by a million ideas none of which get implemented. So for me it was about building something that showed enough stuff in different areas that enables then the audience, the people that turn up, to be able to leave the event with two or three key initiatives, and they’ve already started building those, and they’re at 20 or 30 percent built. So that for me was the thing. It’s all about action. It’s all about moving forward and building stuff that you’re going to use in your practice. And then providing the support, which is where the online courses come in and the coaches doing virtual coaching as well.

Steve Crawford: [24:53] And you know we’re building peer group forums. We’re going to build some other workshops, virtual workshops as well to roll out in 2019. It’s all about design. It’s all designed to enable them to go, okay, well I’ve got- For instance someone turns up and goes I want to use video in my advice practice. I’ve been thinking about it for years, but I’ve never done anything. Great. Go and watch Phil Thompson’s session on day one. If you like it enough and you think it’s useful, on day two go and watch him because he’ll then pull apart two or three key obstacles that are like the main sticking points of why advisors don’t progress. Pull it apart. Show you how to do it. And then what we’ve got is an area called the coaches corner, and this is something I picked up from XY Planning Network, they do this really well. Which is a no trade area, we’re not having bloody stands with frigging stress balls and M&Ms and all of that sort of shit that we just don’t need.

Fraser Jack: [25:49] Landfill.

Steve Crawford: [25:49] Yeah. No swag bags. Sorry people. If you were looking for a swag bag, you’re not going to get it. But what we’ve replaced that with is coaches corner. So the coaches, when they’re not on stage on day two will be hanging out in this area, backstage. We’re calling it the Arthur Miller Studio. Get it? Death of a Salesman. Very good. Anyway, moving on.

Steve Crawford: [26:12] The coaches will be sitting there and they will help you then individually build through stuff. So start to build stuff. So you might- Actually, Tommo, we’re going to have it set up so that Tommo will have a video there, and people are going to practice recording videos. They can practice being on film. They can practice recording film. He’ll have it set up to show them how to do editing. Josh and Sam Robinson will be helping people build their active campaign mailing list or convert kit.

Steve Crawford: [26:43] Tommo, sorry not Tommo, Peita will be there helping them understand how to renovate their process. Then how to use Zapier. I’ve just picked on three coaches. I’ll be there teaching people how to build an online course. So there’s ... It’s all about doing stuff. And then when you’re finished the conference, you then go into the post conference working groups. So you’re basically invited to continue. You don’t have to, you can stay on your own and do it by yourself, that’s cool. But we’re going to have options for peer groups to help people actually move, keep moving it forward, keep moving it forward. It’s all about incremental build of the idea and not expecting us to do this stuff on our own.

Steve Crawford: [27:24] Because I think historically the idea was, well the industry guys would come up with the ideas and then the advisors would go back into their licensee world and the licensee would then take on the responsibility of helping them move it forward. I get a feeling that licensees will play a less hands on roll in that going forward. And so I think that therefore means that the responsibility pushes back to the practice. But I’m yet to meet an advisor or an advise practice that wants to do this stuff completely by themselves.

Steve Crawford: [27:56] You know, it’s a lonely enough business as it is sometimes. To then have to be responsible for doing all this stuff by yourself? So that’s sort of what we’re trying to create. mate. It’s this ecosystem. This movement, hence The Advice Movement, to try and help everybody build their version of their 21st century advise model.

Fraser Jack: [28:15] Yeah, the practical stuff is incredible. That’s another thing that came from some of the stuff that I got from the US, was okay that’s a great idea. I want to do it. But exactly how? How am I going to put that together? And to have that help piece of the puzzle, and then to have the accountability of your other friends and advisors that are around you doing the same thing as you at the same time. I think a really good way of setting it up for 2019.

Steve Crawford: [28:44] Yeah. And look, it’s been an interesting challenge as well, because it is quite different. And look, we know numbers are going to be low relative to some of the bigger events first year out. I mean, realistically, we’d love to get somewhere between 125 or 150 people to turn up. And we’re probably on track to hopefully a few more people sign up after listening to this. But you know somewhere between 100 and 150 is where we’ll land year one.

Steve Crawford: [29:12] But it’s like anything when you’re doing it for the first time. Not everyone’s going to be an absolute early adopter. But the people who are going to be there, and our partners that have put their hand up to come on board as well, which is fantastic. We genuinely couldn’t do this without partner support. But we’re getting them involved. Like Netwealth and Midwinter.

Steve Crawford: [29:32] Julian Plummer and Matt Heine are going to have a live Tech stack battle on stage, where they’ve got to build Tech stack on a budget. I’ve never ... I’ve known these two for a while. I’ve never seen them so excited about doing something. Obviously they get excited about their own stuff. This, I’ve basically built this around them and gone you two think you’re the ducks nuts when it comes to knowing this stuff. Prove it. Get on a stage, don’t give us your bloody pie in the sky here’s a 100 pieces of amazing tech that advisors are either a) never going to use or b) can’t afford to use because we don’t have a bottomless pit. If someone’s starting up, you know, can they do it on two and a half or five grand? Like as a total spend, outside of your bloody planning software.

Steve Crawford: [30:23] Because mate, you know as well, technology can just be ... You can go broke on all the stuff that we sign up for now. And when I put that idea to Matt and Julian, they said no-one’s ever asked us to do this before. And I was sitting there going oh crap, they’re gonna say no, and Julian’s like right, I’m going to come as Rocky Balboa and Matt’s going to be Ivan Drago. And like, I’ve never seen them so excited.

Steve Crawford: [30:51] Sunsuper, same thing. They’re talking about what the average Aussie actually wants in terms of advice and how they want to get that. I’ve got ... And the MLC Life talking about design thinking. So how do you actually pull all of these different ideas together and then start to make them work.

Steve Crawford: [31:10] And then obviously we’ve got you guys involved as well. And you’ll be fueling people up with caffeine, but you’re also going to be our MCs for both Theater 1 and Theater 2. And again, a little bit different. It’s trying to do things differently.

Fraser Jack: [31:27] Yeah now, a few things there we talked about price and money and spending money and obviously every time an advisor thinks about going to one of these things they’ve got to work out whether it’s in the budget. Do you want to talk about pricing, and how that’s structured?

Steve Crawford: [31:42] Yeah, so I did deliberately do that to again, working backwards from that magical thousand dollar mark. So I said we want to be able to get an individual there for less than a thousand bucks in total, and obviously if you’re local, if you’re in Melbourne, it’s not going to cost you anywhere near that. And then I wanted it to be affordable. And I wanted it to be fair as well. So I’ve got three price points.

Steve Crawford: [32:00] Aspiring advisors, current advisors or practice owners and then industry peeps. And you actually phrase came up with a really cool idea of saying well we’re going to charge current advisors paying 297 bucks, by the time Ticketek take their exorbitant fee, I think it creeps over the just a bit over 300. But then the industry peeps can basically pay 100 bucks more to then enable us to then discount the aspiring advisors by a 100 bucks. So it’s a really good way to say so much of this stuff ... Again, I got sick of going to big conferences, and it was only ever the practice owners and the senior advisors that were there. Yet then they’d go back to the office and 90 percent of their ideas would then have to be implemented by the team. And so well get the bloody team to the conference. They go well it’s too expensive. Well I suppose that makes sense.

Steve Crawford: [32:56] So for us it was about, bring the lot. We’ve got one practice in Victoria, small firm, and they’re bringing all five of their staff. And we figured out it’s pretty much cheaper for them to bring five people to one conference than it almost would be for them to take one person to one of the other ones. And that’s what it’s about.

Steve Crawford: [33:17] Like imagine how much stuff they can get done when they’re working together as a team using the break out areas, using the coaches corner. How much stuff they can actually build when they’re there. So that’s how we came up with the pricing.

Fraser Jack: [33:32] Yeah, the aspiring advisor section to me is a really big part of this. Because I remember when I was starting out, that you got so much out of a conference like this, so many great ideas and so much practical information that you can turn around. But it was so expensive for people that didn’t necessary have the money to spend on it.

Fraser Jack: [33:49] And the idea of being able to provide a discount to exponents, sorry aspiring advisors, is a huge thing for me. And then when the industry, you know the industry crew were coming along and buying their tickets, most of the time to be fair it wasn’t coming out of their personal pocket. You know like they’re coming along, they’re getting this information out. They probably won’t get as much out of it as the younger advisors. But they’re the ones that are paying for their ticket on their work card or a corporate card and to me the idea of paying forward some money towards their ticket prices actually paying it forward to the aspiring advisors was a great community- had a great community feel about it.

Steve Crawford: [34:30] That’s why- It was your idea, which is why it was a great idea. But you’re right, it was a ... Like you can’t go to the partners now and go oh, can you sponsor blah blah to come along. It doesn’t work anymore so that was why your idea was great, because we could go well if we make the younger ones cheaper by making the industry ones a little bit more expensive. Still nowhere near as expensive as a full conference experience would be. Then the idea is hopefully that helps, that helps as well.

Fraser Jack: [35:03] Now I wanted to chat about the theme, because it’s obviously very different to your standard conference. So how did this theme come about and do you want to maybe explain the theme?

Steve Crawford: [35:13] Yeah, I think it’s very much a living embodiment of my anti establishment contrarian view of the world. So instead of going ... Again, and this is not a criticism of the AFA conference or the FBA conference. When you get to a certain size, you can only go to the exhibition center. Or you can only go to a really large conference venue, and you’re stuck. Like you can’t do what we’re doing. But I figured if we’re going to build something that is deliberately designed to look, feel and be the exact opposite of the big industry event, it’s pointless us just going to the Crown and just getting one of the small rooms. So the idea was well let’s go completely off Broadway and then off Broadway then played into well what if we get a theater? And then we managed to find this quirky little theater on Fitzroy Street in St Kilda, which is a suburb just out of Melbourne. Still close enough to the city, but it’s actually out. It’s probably one suburb out and so hence we went with the more action. It’s all this sort of theatrical thing.

Steve Crawford: [36:19] So we’ve got a theater ... It’s a beautiful theater, there’s two ... We’ve got the whole venue for the two days as well which is fantastic. It literally is like a theater, it’ll probably still smell like popcorn when you walk in. There’s an area on the left that’s got this beautiful old bloody piano. It’s like an automatic one, it can actually play without anyone sitting at it. So Fraser, no ideas, but we’ve got Theater 1, Theater 2 and you’re actually going to feel, even if it’s a smaller crowd, you’ll feel like you’re right there because the stage comes out at you.

Steve Crawford: [36:58] We’re trying to say, okay we don’t want to deliver a poor experience. Like this can’t be, as I said before, you drop the cost and then everything goes out the window. We’re still paying for an [inaudible 00:37:09] I’ve got the TPM event management guys making sure I’ve got all the logistics and the game day experience and the event experience still ticks over. But as much as possible, we’re really trying to use this story behind the theater and use the theater to deliver to it as well. Which is why you’ll be doing MC stuff from the back of the stage, sorry from the back of the theater and we’re not going to have corporate partners walking up saying, “Hi I’m ... This is why you’re proud from blah blah to introduce blah blah.” And then walking off.

Steve Crawford: [37:42] We’re not doing that. Like we’re trying to really make it feel like it’s a two day event at a theater with a bit of a theatrical element. There’re a few surprises that we’ll keep up our sleeve, but I’m, apart from crapping myself that everything comes together, I am pretty excited. I’m excited about the people that are coming, and how excited they are to be involved. And I’m excited about how our partners are to be involved in this stuff, and our coaches and the crew.

Steve Crawford: [38:12] Cos initially this was just me. And yes, I’m carrying all the financial risk so if this thing blows up, you know, the Crawfords have got to bank roll it. But it’s a risk I’m willing to take. Like I think this is another one of those put up or shut up moments and I just want to ... I mean, you know me really well Fraze, I’m not doing this to make money. I don’t think anyone ... The only way you make money on these things is you charge like a wounded bull or you charge your corporate partners an exorbitant amount. And even then, there’s no chance, you’re not necessarily going to make any money. I wanted to just prove that we can do this. And then who knows. Next year hopefully enough people come this year that next year we can do it all again.

Fraser Jack: [38:57] Yep. Now you’ve chosen the dates 13th and 14th of February. That’s Valentine’s Day obviously. You wanted to spend Valentine’s Day with me, I’m assuming.

Steve Crawford: [39:05] Absolutely. Nice little romantic place just down in St Kilda, you and I. Mel can come along but no we’ll ...

Fraser Jack: [39:13] And a couple of hundred friends.

Steve Crawford: [39:15] I so, again, trying to find some free air time when you are a shitty little start up conference trying to find a space in the calendar when you’re not competing is almost non existent and I thought that I’d pegged it with the 13th and 14th, but apparently some bloody investment mob’s got their conference on at the same time. So I’ve got a bunch of advisors that are yelling at me going ah we would have definitely come along, but we’re going to this conference instead. And I’m like okay, well. It is what it is. You can’t win them all.

Fraser Jack: [39:49] I don’t think you’ll ever win that battle. There’s always something else on at the same time, or around it.

Steve Crawford: [39:55] Yeah definitely.

Fraser Jack: [39:56] Alright, so quick plug for the conference. Why should people go?

Steve Crawford: [40:01] Well as I sort of hopefully not killed anybody off for this thing but if you’re sick of not knowing how to provide the great advice that you provide to your clients in an innovative way. So I’m talking about using technology. We’re talking about using you know different marketing techniques, and automation and video and then other things. We’ve got Mia Taylor explaining to the aspiring advisors and the uni students and our uni grads where grad mentors, our next gen education partner in there as well, where we’re really trying to bring stuff with a difference. So Mia’s doing a session on how to basically how to build your own development plan because that’s one of the things that massively lacks in small advise practices.

Steve Crawford: [40:51] You know, we’ve got Matt Hawkins talking about how to generate referrals from day one from a referral partner if you’re a start up. We’ve got Stu Bell who’s talking about great client experience. The offer and the experience is his thing. How to think differently. And then Steve Brownings talking about how to develop a winning strategy right from the outset. So, you know, it is ... None of these sessions you’ve seen at any other conference. I don’t think. You might see different interpretations of it, but nothing like this.

Steve Crawford: [41:23] You’re not going to see anything where it’s a combination of theory and then you’ve definitely never seen anything where you’ve got access to eight really good operators that are going to sit in a room potentially with you for a whole day and start building stuff. We’re encouraging our audience to not go to every session on day two, which again is different to a traditional conference. We’re encouraging them to pick. Go to as many as they can on day one. Pick the two or three that they think they’re really going to work on, and then go and hang out with the coaches for the rest day two and actually build stuff.

Steve Crawford: [42:00] Yes, we’ve got a fun, we’ve got an event on Midwinter and Netwealth are hosting a cast party on the night between, so on the 13th, which is at a sweet little venue directly opposite Luna Park and the Palais Theatre down on the St Kilda Foreshore. So that should be a bit of fun as well.

Steve Crawford: [42:21] But basically that’s it. If you want to build something different. Or you want to take what you’ve already got and deliver it to your clients and your prospective clients in a different way. You’re not coming to this event to learn how to do insurance advice or to learn how to do investments or super or pricing. We’re not talking about that. The rest of the industry, the FPAs, the AFAs, the industry events, they do a great job of that. We’re going to talk about how the hell do we deliver this thing in a modern, post Royal Commission 21st century way. That’s what it’s all about.

Fraser Jack: [42:57] Fantastic. And the website, or where can people find tickets?

Steve Crawford: [43:01] Yeah, so LTMA19.com is the event site or they can go to theadvicemovement.com and click on our events and check out our courses when they’re there as well.

Fraser Jack: [43:14] Fantastic. Thanks Steve for coming on the show and having a chat about the movement and the conference that’s coming up, and yeah, it’s been fantastic. Thank you. And have a lovely Christmas.

Steve Crawford: [43:26] Thanks mate. Thanks, same to you. And thanks for having me on the show, and I look forward to hearing your dulcet tones at the event. Oh, you’ve also got the- I forgot the last bit. You’ve got the responsibility of our very last session bringing five or our audience on stage to do a live design hack and actually start to demonstrate what they’ve been building. I feel like we’re back at school. In a way, but in a good way. You’ve got one of those builds and then you’ve got to come up in front of the school and go okay show everybody what you’ve done and what you’ve built. Then the teachers will help. But it should be a lot of fun. So yeah, really, really looking forward to it.

Fraser Jack: [44:06] Mate it’ll be fun and it will be a new school, so it’ll be all good.

Steve Crawford: [44:11] Very good. Thanks buddy, thanks for having me on the show.

Fraser Jack: [44:13] No worries, thanks Steve.

Steve Crawford: [44:14] Cheers.

Fraser Jack: [44:15] If you haven’t already, I’d love you to subscribe to the podcast on your podcast platform of choice. And to continue the conversation, head over to our social media channels. We’ll catch you next time.


Disclaimer: This document is a transcription obtained through a third party. There is no claim to accuracy on the content provided in this document, and divergence from the audio file are to be expected. As a transcription, this is not a legal document in itself, and should not be considered binding to advice intelligence, but merely a convenience for reference.