Technology Solutions for Financial Advisors

With the right technology, independent financial advisors and planners can save money, time, and hours of operational frustrations. You’ll have more time to concentrate on building deeper client relationships, both existing and new.

AllBackOffice delivers client data and reports with information to help you service your clients. The technology is located in a secure area of “the cloud”. The best part is that it’s easy for you and your staff to analyze. The technology solutions they provide include: billing, performance reporting, held away account aggregation, data integration, and client web reporting.

martymoura

Call Marty Morua at 917-833-3994 and learn how AllBackOffice can simplify your operations.  You’ll also find Marty on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/pub/marty-morua/4/223/51a

 

Visit the AllBackoffice website at http://www.allbackoffice.com/

Maria Recommends: JotForm for web-based forms

Do you need to create a professional looking “contact us” form on your website, blog, or Facebook account? Ready to create a survey form? What about a form used to register attendees for your next event?  

Or maybe you need a form for some other reason and don’t have a website at all?

Five or six years ago, I went “form digging” for a resource that would create forms “on the fly”. Before that time, I needed very few forms and either created my own forms or paid a programmer to create them for me.

But since I wanted to design more and different forms, I decided that it was time to find a company who could make the process easier on me an my purse.

Over a six-month time frame, I tried nearly 10 programs and chose Jot Form. Today, many years later, I still use and highly recommend www.JotForm.com And if you’re reading this post on December 24, 2014, Jot Form is holding a 1/2 price sale!

Here are some of JotForm’s features:

  •  Submit 100-1000 a month
  •  Cost from 0-$90 a year (or enjoy the 1/2 price off sale taking place right now!)
  •  Various payment plans: monthly, yearly or every two years
  •  Use the form on their site, or embed it on your website, blog, Facebook page
  • Pick template from the 1000+ form library or design your own
  • 18 languages to choose from
  • Integrates with more than 20 program (Salesforce, PayPal, MailChimp and 17 others)
  • Download files various formats, such a Excel, as CVS, PDf
  • Create forms in your brand’s colors
  • Headquartered in San Francisco, programmers in Turkey

The company is VERY open to suggestions.  You’ll even find the CEO’s email address on their blog.  

CON
No phone number to call with any problems you might experience.  But they do answer their emails on a timely basis.  

(c)2014 Elevating Your Business.com

Advisors: Save money and time by clearly defining your niche

Design your entire practice around your niche; specifically around how you define your ideal clients — before you spend time and money on marketing materials, websites, or even attend a networking event.

 

Once you’ve chosen a niche and then zeroed in the specifics of an ideal client, everything else about your practice will support “who” your ideal clients are. That could include which the business model to choose, which services to offer, what people to hire, what are the best ways to market your firm off and online, which technology to purchase — and even what your office will look like.

Let’s look at one advisor and how “who” they worked with really matters… down to the office furniture.
A few years ago, met with an advisors (a prospect for me) in their office. When they told me that they worked with military officer, I was pretty shocked and they noticed the look on my face. There wasn’t even a flag anywhere to be found! No red, white, or blue nothing. No magazines of interest to their clientele. Their office didn’t look like the clients who they were trying to attract. While they made many changes to the way they operate their practice and market their firm; what’s evident to people who walk in or walk by their office is that they work with the military. Fast forward a few years, their office is maroon, white, and navy blue.

Decisions, in all aspects of your firm, will be much easier when you have clear strategies, short and long-term goals, and a plan to get you there.

ACTION
1. If you don’t have a niche and ideal client profile, start one today.

2. If you have a niche and ideal client profile create clear strategies and goals to implement a consistent business. From the time a client sees your front door; to the way you operate, to how your team works together. The “who” you work with should be evident. Watch this business training video (free).

3. You want your marketing to be consistent with who your ideal client is. Are you a member of organizations where your ideal clients are? Are you partnering or affiliating with other business owners who share the same ideal client with you? Are your workshops topics, blog posts, newsletters, and other marketing collateral directly related to the pains and solutions your ideal clients are looking for? If you think so, it’s time to ask your staff for their honest answers to those questions and for suggestions about how you can best grow your firm. It’s easy to get back on track if you’ve jumped over the “who” of “who are your own ideal clients”.

Advisors: 15 Ways To Select Your First or Next Article Topic

Starting an article with a blank page in front of you is always difficult.  What if you started an article by writing a sample title on the top of piece of paper? This article will give you ideas on how to do “just that” and may bring you just a little more confidence to write your first or next article today.

 

IF I CAN WRITE, YOU CAN WRITE
At the end of 8th grade, I was told that I’d do better in high school if I went to summer school for my worst subjects — Math and English. I went; however, one month later I was diagnosed with pneumonia and spent the summer in intensive care at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn.

 
Fast forward eight years. As a way to increase bond sales among the Registered Reps at Bear Stearns, I interviewed the RRs to learn what they needed from the trading desk. (That is where I was working at the time as a Junior Trader). Out of those many conversations, I designed new marketing forms, provided more information than what was previously taken place, and wrote a short article each month. The topics of the articles were actually chosen by me from a list of questions the RRs asked me most often. My colleague, George Adell, proofread whatever I wrote.

 
I wrote about the nuances of municipal or government bonds.  I also wrote about the operational side because, well, it’s very different than selling stocks, options, mutual funds, etc. Over time, I was asked to put all my articles into a Bond Operations Manual — a first ever at Bear Stearns.  The manual was given to every new hire by their Branch Manager.

 

I tell you this, not to brag, but because you don’t have to be a rocket scientist or have an MBA to write an article, as I’m doing now, in 8-15 minutes.

THE PROCESS
1) Write a title and don’t worry if it’s not perfect. For your first article, write Top 5 (7 or 10) Ways To _____.
2) Write an introduction (this could be a two sentence summary up to a few paragraph, like this article).
3) Write a list of the 5 (7 or 10) topics for the subject you chose.
4) Go back and explain each of the topics in 1-3 sentences

You’re done!

You can use a mind map, if that helps you come up with ideas.

I’ve had clients create articles at a meeting with their team.

You can hire a hire a ghostwriter, PR, or content marketing person to do your writing for you. (Please see your compliance department for guidelines regarding using a ghostwriter to write for you.)

 

HOW I WROTE THE FIRST ARTICLE FOR MY BUSINESS

My coach made me to it! (Really, she did!) We were discussing ways I could market my business and since I liked teaching, we were brainstorming about ways I could teach more. She said “write and teach about what you know”. At that time, I was working on ways to reduce stress, so I wrote an article called the “Top Ten Ways to Eliminate Stress.” Later, I would go on to create a course called “Clean Sweeping Stress out Of Your Life” — a very popular topic I speak on… to this day.

In 1998, I started my first business email newsletter (ezine) by writing the answers to questions clients asked me. I learned how to “article market” (as it was called then, now it’s called content writing) on the internet, and by 2003, I was being called a pioneer of article marketing on the web. It still seems strange to me!

 

WHAT CONSTITUTES AN ARTICLE?

While some people write reports every time they write a blog post article, keep in mind that on average, the acceptable length of an article is 450-750 words. However, on your own blog, you can write 250-1500 words. Longer articles can be turned into checklists, eBooks, or reports.

 

Remember: An article is not the next best novel!  Write your first article about “The Top 5 (7 or 10) Ways To “X” and go for 450 words. See the article within an article below called “15 Ideas on How To Develop a Topic For an Article”, which is located below.

 

WHY YOU NEED A NICHE TO WRITE ARTICLES

If you are writing as a way to bring more eyes to your business, especially your business website and blog, you really need a niche.

To attract your ideal clients, you write TO them and FOR them. It could be about a product or a service, but it can also be something your clients are passionate about (like wine, food, etc.) It could be about pain or joy that they are dealing with in their lives that you know something about.

Way too often I find advisors writing articles “just because”. They wonder why people are leaving their blogs. (They don’t see “themselves” in your writing). So, before you write an article on a topic you would like to write about, ask yourself “Is this something that would interest my ideal clients.” If not, move on. If yes, start writing.

If you don’t have a niche or want to re-fine your niche, there are articles about niching under the Marketing category of this blog. You can also view a video on niching
at http://www.CountOnSuccess.com/financialadvisorniche/

15 Ideas on How To Develop a Topic For an Article

  1. Your clients.  Keep track of the questions they ask and write about those topics.
  2. Your clients.  On the evaluation you provide to attendees of your seminars, you should have the question “what else would you like to learn about this topic” write about those topics.
  3. Other articles.   Have you ever read an article and thought to yourself, “they left something very important out form this article”? Write about what’s missing.
  4. Learning.  Maybe you’re reading a book or taking a course. Maybe you need to learn something new.  Once learned, write about it IF it would interest your ideal clients or newsletter readers.
  5. Speaking.  When you’re asked to speak, write an article or two on the topic and use what you’ve written as hand outs.
  6. Being pissed off.  Maybe you see something or something happens that just ticks you off… write about it… I call it article marketing therapy.
  7. Social Networking.  Heck, this article came from a question asked of me on Twitter.  The writer asked me “how do you decide on a topic to write about”.  Many other article topics come from questions asked or article posted to LinkedIn, Google Plus, etc.
  8. News.  What is happening in the news at the local, national or global level that affects your clients lives? Write about it. The PBS News Hour or Business News is good for topic ideas.
  9. Research.  Go to the library or Amazon to see what new books are being written about on topics of interest to your niche. Write about those topics. You can always read a book and write what you learned.
  10. Seasonal.  Write about a story regarding a holiday. Once I took the story that I wrote about reducing stress and turned it into “50 Ways to Find Serenity During The Holidays When Serenity is the Last Thing On Your Mind” and I’ve turned the article into Serenity Cards For Business Owners.
  11. Life: Mix “human interest” stories in with the business articles. This allows your readers to get to know you better; after all, your clients are human, too!
  12. Repurpose.  Take an article you wrote 5 years ago and updated it. You can even turn it into two articles or a report.
  13. Experience.  Write about an experience you had or a lesson learned.   Show people your humanness.
  14. Write when you’re asked to write. As you become known as an expert in your niche, you’ll receive invitations to write for magazines or newsletters.
  15. Proactively write. If you haven’t heard of HARO, you’re missing out on access to journalists. Learn more about HARO.

 

 

(C) 2014  Maria Marsala, Elevating Your Business.

Less is more when it comes to running a more successful practice

Below are a few recent articles on niching that I thought you’d appreciate.
When an Adviser Finds His Niche
As a new advisor, Mr. Milittello learned a valuable lesson about niching from his clients. Now he runs two firms.
Widows, Divorcees A Potential Service Niche For Advisors
Many women don’t have the documentation they need to manage their households and
some fear they’ll end up homeless or broke…
1. How Financial Advisors Can Adjust To Robo-advisors
2. Financial Advisor Becomes a Robo-Advisor
One thing robos have done is to create systems for everything. And all their systems are geared towards their niche and ideal clients. They have written manuals, automated systems, and computerized processes. Their brand is consistent. Every time someone deals with them they what to expect (or not expect). They lack, what the customer service and all the human touches that most advisory firms offer.
Less Can Mean More When You Niche Your Practice
This article talks about why two advisors, with 600 clients and $33 million AUM decided to niche. Now they have 110 clients and $150 million AUM

“Hitting Your Niche: Become the Obvious Choice for New Clients” Video

Upwards and onwards,

 

Maria Marsala

Practice Empowerment Coach, Advisors’ Advisor, Speaker, Author, and former Wall Street Retail Trader

Strategy, solutions, & results for investment advisors and financial planners who are on a mission to do amazing things. ElevatingYourBusiness since 1998

 

Schedule a 20-30 minute Discover Session to learn how we can help your firm grow Start here: http://www.elevatingyourbusiness.com/coach-for-financial-advisors/index.html or call 360-271-8418