Call For Financial Industry Speakers

Calling All Financial Industry Speakers

The Count on Success Summit is currently seeking speakers, presenters, and interviewees.

What is the Summit?

For the 2nd year, RIAs and other independent financial professionals from diverse backgrounds gather around their computer, laptop, smartphone, office conference table, or other digital devise at the Count On Success Summit to learn and be in inspired. The event features focused training sessions, and keynote presentations from experienced leaders to reinforce business growth skills.

The 2017 Count on Success Summit’s purpose is to empower our attendees to accelerate their growth, the growth of their firm and staff. (see last’s years’ speakers list at )

Theme: Simple Strategies For Explosive Growth

When: Event opens to the public mid-January 2017

Where: Online via webinar or audios format

Topics of Interest

If you can present and share expertise and relevant information in one of the topics (or a similar topic) we would love for you to submit presentation for consideration to speak at the next Count on Success Summit.

Sample management and marketing topics (remember, speakers much be niched to the financial industry and understand compliance issues regarding marketing, promoting and growing a firm):

  • Social media
  • Choosing the right “x” technology
  • Moving your business into the virtual space
  • Moving or renting an office, options for office space
  • Compliance issues of the day
  • Succession planning
  • Bookkeeping for Financial Advisors
  • Marketing
  • Writing articles that get found
  • How to find the right advisor network to join
  • Successful RIAs speaking about 5 ways they exponentially grew their firms
  • Dos and don’ts of website development
  • Human capital management
  • Simplifying Operations
  • Client acquisition/retention
  • Referral marketing
  • Creating Strategic Alliances
  • Becoming a better speaker
  • Building a better website
  • Client Acquisition
  • Event planning made simple
  • Blogging
  • Hiring successors
  • Alternatives to cold calling
  • Cold calling for the 22nd century
  • Banishing Burnout (subject taken)
  • Niching (subject taken)
  • One Page Business Plan for Advisors (subject taken)
  • Organizing your (email, office, etc.)
  • And more…

This is a practice/business management event, so we will not accept speakers who speak on topics dealing with investing, alternative investments, research, the economy, etc.

The ideal COSS speaker is…

  • Is a giver with excellent communication skills who keeps their word.
  • Is experienced and comfortable being on the other end of a video or audio presentation.
  • Is interested in sharing expertise, real-world strategies, and knowledge with other professionals.
  • Is willing to provide attendees with a “free gift” – ebook, template, checklist, consultation, of your choice. (You may also hold a contest).
  • Is willing provide, before October 1, 2016 your short bio, speaking description, and other marketing materials that will help us create a new website similar to what’s on
  • Is open to helping spread the word about the event via speakers’ network, to your email lists, as well as social networking lists at least 4 times before, during and after the event.
  • Has an email list and can provide us with the HTML code so that participants can request the free gift as part of subscription to your marketing materials.

What you’ll need for submission will be outlined more fully in a document/agreement we send you. We’ll be requesting information such as:
— Presentation Title
— Two to four objectives of your presentation and a paragraph description
— An outline of your presentation or questions you want us to ask you in an interview style talk
— Enter a catchy and concise description of your session to use for marketing purposes
— High Quality Head Shot
— Short Speaker Bio
— Description of your gift, along with a photo you want us to use on the Gift Page

What’s in it for you?
Speakers speak for free to build their email list and get more eyes on them then they could do on their own.

Two speakers at the maximum will be highlighted each day. Your event will have the opportunity for more traction as well as more people becoming subscribers and connections as they take you up on your free offer(s).

You’ll have the opportunity to have more sets of eyes on your talks because all the speakers will be promoting the event to their people.

The website will be up for one year. That means that although each speaker’s talk will only be available with payment, I’d like anyone who subscribes on the COSS home page, now or in the next year, to have access to the gift page on your site to subscribe to your newsletter. (Let us know if you don’t want to be included in this offer.)


The cost for attending this event is us receiving the application and all marketing information on a timely manner and each participate promoting the event to their “peeps” or “tribe”.

Speaker Timeline

Submit Application: August 15- September 30 2016

Speakers Notified and Approved of submissions: August 30-September 30, 2016

Speaker’s Taped Conference Calls or Videos: As soon as the speaker is ready and the latest November 7, 2016

Speaker Live Events: Speakers wanting to run live calls using their own webinar or teleseminar platform can do so in January 2017. We’ll schedule events to match the dates of the program.

Summit Begins: Mid-January 2017

To apply

Complete our initial registration form:

Questions? Contact Maria Marsala at


7 Helpful Resources To Refine Your Niche

Have you been thinking you need to redefine or refine your niche?  Maybe you’re newly considering niching as a way to have more time to work with clients?  If so, you’ll find the blog articles and webinar resources below more than helpful.  

Refine Your Niche with 158+ Examples for Financial Advisors

Here is an ever-expanding list of possible niches to get you thinking.  They are sectioned off into three categories — what I call the 3 P’s:  population and product (which most financial advisors think about when they are considering niching) AND passion (yours and your clients).

13 Reasons Why You Should Refine Your Niche

This is a list of niching benefits gleaned over 16 years.

Working Smarter: Hitting YOUR Niche

Wouldn’t you like to be SOUGHT OUT by prospects instead of constantly chasing them? If prospects aren’t finding YOU, you are missing your niche. This webinar training is free with a newsletter subscription. The newsletter includes our 3 Niching P’s training and will walk you through the process of choosing a niche.  Ask Maria for the link to the niching video Ask Maria for the link to the niching video please provide us with your full name and website.

Less IS MORE When It Comes to Running a Successful Practice

Learn what different financial advisors–from startups to experienced advisors–discovered when they niched.

Spaghetti Marketing Hurts Your Business

This article is about what often happens when you don’t niche.  Prospects gathered via Spaghetti Marketing rarely, if ever, develop into ideal clients. These prospects only have one thing in common:  breathing.  Chances are they’ll be clients from hell.  This article also includes a list of 9 processes that successful financial advisors have developed.

Why Finding Your Niche Leads to More Success

Learn what 13 successful financial and business owners say about niching or having a niche.

11 Quotes On Niching From 11 Celebrities

If you’re wondering if and how successful business owners, from a variety of industries feel about niching read this article.

©2015 Elevating Your Business, Updated 2016 Maria Marsala, Strategic Business Coach

10 Reason For Advisors To Niche

Niching. YUCK! I’ll miss out on clients, right? I’ll have to give up some of my current clients! I’ll get bored. I won’t be challenged. Advisors have plenty of reasons why they won’t niche. Their fears often beat out the important reasons TO niche!

Here are 10 reasons you want to choose and market to a target market:

1. According to CEG Worldwide research, 70 percent of top financial advisors—those earning at least $1 million annually—focus on a particular niche.

2. It’s much less expensive to create marketing materials geared to a particular subset of the population.

3. Generate more awareness for your brand, which brings prospects to you.

4. Word of mouth more easily builds your reputation in your specialization because you’re making a segment of the population special. (WII-FM–What’s In It For Me)

5. You will become known as the obvious choice and go-to expert for that niche area.

6. When people hear about who you help and what it is you do, the person listening gains an idea of who they could refer to you.

7. With clients who have similar investment and planning requirements, you’ll be able to streamline your operations, deliver customized services to them, and provide a higher level of customer service.

8. Save time by developing services and products specifically for one audience while building a more scalable business model.

9. Work with people you genuinely enjoy being around.

10. Business will be simpler!

(c) 2016

Marketing Plan or Business Plan, Which Do You Need?

ideaplanaction14627091_lMost financial advisors start out with the same basic dilemma: they have neither a business plan nor a marketing plan. Instead, they’re winging it!

Needless to say, this isn’t the most efficient or effective way to run a financial firm. It’s
also a good way to consistently work 50+ hour weeks, suffer from the constant nag of stress, and end up with a dreadful case of burnout!

Do you know the difference between a business plan and a marketing plan? A business plan is not a marketing plan. Having a marketing plan without a business plan leads to churning through a lot of money fast. So what’s the difference and which one do you need? I’m glad you asked.

Business Plans for Financial Advisors

Your business plan is the foundation of your firm. It should include the answers to questions such as:

• Why does your business exist?
• What are your services and products?
• How much money do you want to make?
• What does your SWOT analysis reveal? (Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats)
• What makes your company unique?
• What sets you apart from other companies doing similar things? (comparison)
• What do you bring to your clients that is unique?
• What are your company’s values?
• Who is on your management team?

Marketing Plans for Financial Advisors

Your marketing strategies are informed by the answers to the questions above in your business plan.

Your marketing plan starts with your niche and ideal client profile. You want to manage your marketing for the best results versus what I call “spaghetti marketing”. You can’t decide what to spend your time on, marketing-wise, if you don’t know who you are marketing to!

If you don’t have an ideal client profile, start the process by reading these articles.

Here are some of the questions a marketing plan should answer:

• What do I have to do to remind others I’m here to help them?
• What are my pricing strategies?
• How do I distribute what I’m offering?
• What can I do to reach a large number of my ideal clients, in the least amount of time, and get the biggest bang for my buck?
• What does my marketing funnel look like? (You may have two — one for online prospects and one for in-person prospects.)

Your business plan, ideal client profile, and marketing plan now become systems that you monitor. They can be on paper, in Excel, or online. The main thing is that you define and create them, and use them daily to help you set better priorities.


With a system that monitors your business and marketing plan — be it a performance management system, dashboard, or spreadsheet — whatever you want to call it, you’ll catch what’s working and what’s not working. And you’ll be able to tweak your strategies and actions sooner, before they turn into very costly mistakes. More importantly, doing the business part of business will be easier to accomplish, you’ll spend more time with clients, and you’ll earn more! And isn’t that what business is about?

Putting a Business Plan and a Marketing Plan Together

Business plans and marketing plans have distinct purposes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put them together into one comprehensive plan. Doing this makes your practice management more enjoyable, more productive, and more profitable.

To learn about the planning system I recommend that combines your business and marketing plan into just one page that helps you stay on track, visit

You can do business without all the fundamental best practices that this article talks about. But it’s better to do yourself a favor (which is probably going to also be a big favor to your team, significant other, and family). Put aside 5 days a year to do the planning necessary to give your business a better chance of more success.

If you want your clients to “do” their plans, do yours first.

©2008, Updated 2016. Elevating Your Business.

Avoid Business Burnout: 7 Critical Planning Areas

Avoid Business BurnoutAdvisors experiencing business burnout would do well to view how their firm stacks up in 7 critical and essential areas of business success.

Business burnout doesn’t happen overnight, but once it strikes, it can make you miserable. Everywhere you look, there’s a fire to put out. And by the time you’ve extinguished it, another day of productivity went up in flames. There is a way to increase your energy, effectiveness, and efficiency–and banish business burnout for good. When you evaluate 7 critical areas in your business (and their related activities), you can create standards and processes to help you run your firm proactively.

How many of the following areas in your financial firm need an overhaul? Use these descriptions to think through and establish your time- and money-saving processes. Addressing each of these areas protects you from the overwhelm of business burnout. And leaves the firefighting to the firefighters.

1. Core Competencies: Built-In Business Burnout Protection

This is about building a strong company foundation. Defining these items helps you think like the CEO of your company. It gives you a wider perspective and helps cut down on knee-jerk decisions. With your core competencies in place, you’ll cut down on frantic decision-making and (you guessed it) business burnout!

Your firm’s core competencies include your company name, value proposition, ideal client profile, Go/No Go Matrix (a tool that helps in the onboarding decision-making process), SWOT analysis, strengths of the owner(s), and the features/benefits of your services. It also includes your business growth and marketing plan comprised of: your 1-year vision, exit vision, a date-in-between vision, mission statement, goals, strategies, action plans, and to-do list. Add your pricing sheet, hours of operation, and a business snapshot (or elevator pitch). As you organize around your core competencies, you’ll also address: designing your office, time management, productivity, creating the right business model with the right number of staff, and succession planning.

2. Branding: Two Business Burnout Busters

With your core foundation intact, you can have your outer brand created. Through branding, the inner brand you created with your core foundation is brought to the forefront. It is represented by your logo, printed marketing materials (business cards, stationery, flyers, postcards, brochures) and online marketing (website, blog, social networking, etc.). When you define your company’s identity visually, you save time explaining who you are and who your ideal clients are. Another tip: don’t try to do this yourself! Hire a graphic artist and website developer. Give these experts your ideal client profile and business and marketing plan to help them bring your brand to life. Creating your authentic brand boosts confidence…and definitely busts business burnout.

3. Client Engagement: Daily Business Burnout Prevention

New client acquisition includes a host of topics that turn strangers into prospects and then into clients (if they are your ideal clients). Working with the right clients alleviates a lot of stress for three reasons: 1) you are working with people who bring a smile to your face, 2) you are not working with people who drive you crazy, a.k.a, clients from hell, and 3) these lovely people know more lovely people they can refer to you, which makes your job easier. (Can you see how this area prevents business burnout daily?)

Tools to develop this area include: Go/No Go chart, client segmentation chart, client segmentation activity list, intake process, referral packets, thank you letters, turndown letters, meeting reminder forms, welcome kit, and transfer forms. Client appreciation/loyalty processes help you retain clients and keep them for the long term. They include: portfolio management systems, greeting clients, thank you ideas, articles, address changes, appointment sheets, annual interview and surveying, and client appreciation events. Client exit includes a process for "firing" a client and a checklist for when a client wants to leave, a leaving survey, and transfer forms.

Don’t Despair! It Does Get Easier.

At this point, you may be thinking, “Whoa, I don’t have time for all this! I’m getting burned out just reading about burnout!” Yes, this is a lot of work. That’s why people don’t do it. But it’s one of those paradigms where you really don’t have time NOT to do it. My coaching experience with hundreds of business owners has proven if you put these processes in place, you WILL experience MUCH less business burnout. And guess what? Once you have done the work, you only need three hours per year to update everything. So tackle one section at a time. Some of them overlap! That’s why when you’re done, your firm will run like a well-oiled machine!
— Maria

4. Marketing and Sales: Generate Buzz, Not Business Burnout

Your branding extends to both your online and offline marketing and sales plan. Every firm requires processes for managing referrals, networking and follow-up, and strategic alliances. This way, you are not re-inventing the wheel each time you must follow up with leads or partners. You’ll also need an editorial calendar and a marketing calendar so that you don’t have to stress about topics you want to concentrate on when you’re educating your prospects through your marketing efforts. If an opportunity pops up to submit an expert article, you’ll be prepared! Don’t forget to create a list of the ways you’ll touch different client segments throughout the year, including personal meetings, phone calls, client appreciation events, and social media efforts. Most of the items on this list can be done by an assistant! Save your "personal touch" efforts for your AAA clients.

5. Administration: Reduce Business Burnout from People Problems

It is essential to address how you interact, communicate, and work with your team and vendors. This includes the following items for each part-time, full-time and consulting position: job description, want ads, goals, interview questions and/or tests, an evaluation process, offer letter template, background checks, pay levels, operations manual, bonus compensation process and firing process. On the vendor side, you must decide how you choose vendors, how you work and negotiate with vendors, and how you fire vendors. You approach subjects such as teamwork, communications, mindset, focus, accountability, innovation, and improvement. You can’t avoid all "people problems", but you can prevent some by being proactive and being clear about your policies.

6. Operations: Using Systems and Processes to Banish Burnout

Every system used to run your firm, by its very nature, helps keep burnout at bay. This includes all written systems, processes, and templates, as well as computer databases, reports, and automation systems. Of course, there will be overlap with systems used in the Core Foundation, Branding, Client Services, Marketing/Sales, and Administration of your firm.

7. Last, But Not Least, YOU!

When your business reflects your personal and professional values and visions, you truly have it all! Even though I list this area last, undergoing some life coaching usually precedes the formulation of your firm’s Core Competencies. This way, the business you create is truly based on YOUR values and vision.

My clients choose from important topics we prioritize together, which can include: yearly theme, dream board, zapping tolerations, simplifying your life, reorienting around your values, WOW list, your mission, your vision, your values, clearing the past, becoming a problem-free zone, restoring your integrity, your life plan, creating new daily habits, getting your needs met, budgeting/handling money, your health, organizing your office or home, setting boundaries, reaffirming your standards, creating a reserve and super reserve, life snapshot, strengthen your family, deepening your community, 28 principles of attraction, being well-protected, choosing your work, improving your communications skills and attitude, and investing in your life.

Many business owners experience burnout when their original intentions of creating their "dream" firm disintegrate with the constant battle of putting out fires. If you’re not walking into your company fired up because you’re battling business burnout, chances are many of the areas above need work. Choose one, dig in, and see how quickly you can turn things around.

© 2013, updated 2016 Elevating Your Business, Maria Marsala, Strategic Business Coach