Practice Management Monthly Recap May 2015

Welcome to the “Practice Management Monthly Recap” edition of my newsletter. So many of you complimented me on the content of the first two editions in this format that this format will become a monthly staple.  Today’s edition contains 2 months’ worth of my favorite practice management articles. We’re all caught up now!

Practice Management Monthly Recap contains articles that are worthy of your reading, thought-provoking ideas, and “to doing” items. Take 1 idea from just 1 article each month and “do it”. While all the articles are worthy of your reading, the articles at the top of each category, in my opinion, were the best of the best.

And here’s one of my tips if you’re considering sending similar content to your ideal clients, prospects or blog viewers. Match the categories you choose in your newsletter to that of your blog, printed newsletter, or membership site.   This way you’re being consistent across all your marketing. Clients appreciate consistency and consistency helps you be more memorable. Memorable advisor-owners and business owners are apt to get more referrals. Here are the categories I’ll include each month:

  1. Managing Your Firm
  2. Marketing Your Firm
  3. Serving Your Clients
  4. Personal Growth
  5. Human Stories (not in this edition)

If during the month you find a practice management article that spurred you to take action, send me the link and a brief note about how it helped you or what you liked about it. I may include it in the next edition and give you credit for the article. My newsletter is often placed on my blog “Marketing With Integrity”, too. View more articles on a particular subject my blog at
Memorial Day History – Remembering Our Veterans

A profound thank you to every subscriber and their family members who spent their time and effort protecting my country and the “free” countries around the world.


Managing Your Business

Bigger IS Better

By almost every measure, advisers with assets of more than $1 billion are outperforming their peers – even in down economies. Maybe it’s time to set a bigger goal of $1 billion in AUM? Learn why.


10 Reasons Why My Closing Rate Tops 90%

Katherine Vessenes, this articles author, had a closing rate of 20-30%, and moved it up to 90% by changing the way she did business. She describes the 10 things she changed. These are the same things my clients focus on to grow their firms, too! They’re business best practices.


FAs: 7 Helpful Resources To Refine Your Niche

You’ll gain access to my best resources on niching. Some are mine, some are from other business owners.


Professional Fees Can Be Scary… But Deductible

An article about looking at professional fees from a tax viewpoint. It pays to hire help!…-but-deductable


How A Change In Mindset and Business Structure Can Get You Off the Hamster Wheel

You can have more time in your day, if you’re willing.


Your Phone Is Tracking Your Location

If you missed the NBC newscast about this, you can see it here and learn how to fix it based on what phone you’re using.


Six Steps towards the Perfect Client Base

Which step are you on? In this article, the site “Professional Adviser” interviewed me on the steps to finding your ideal clients.


A look at few Advisors niches

“About 15% percent of financial advisors in the U.S. concentrate on a particular niche in terms of the clients they serve, according to research firm Cerulli Associates. These advisors, however, account


Six Ways Coaching Works

These are the six very basic and important ways coaching helps our clients. If you’ve been thinking about hiring a coach, consultant or consultative coach (like me), read this.


Marketing Your Business

4 Ways to Retain Customers and Keep Them Coming Back

A step-by-step tutorial on setting up your email marketing auto-repsonder. If you’ve been wondering what to put in the first few emails you send clients, this article will assist you. In fact I re-wrote the first few articles new subscribers get from me using the tips from this article. As usual get compliance approval for your auto-responder series (those are the emails all new subscribers receive automatically when they join your newsletter or blog email list.

4 Ways to Retain Customers and Keep Them Coming Back


Content Marketing Without Marketing Is Just Content

When you create content – an article, tip, or report, and place it on your website or blog that’s just the start of what your team can do to bring more eyes to your website. One of the biggest mistakes I see advisors do, is to not have a way to capture email addresses on their blogs or websites. Just putting up a blog without going the extra steps to market is just a big waste of your time. Share this or add this buttons are great, but it’s up to you to market your firm’s assets and the content you write is an asset. As a pioneer in article marketing (that’s what content marketing was called until 10 years ago) I can attest to the fact that you need to market your content. PLUS your content needs to be “on base” or targeted to your audience.   Write about what you offer, but also write “to them” – to their passions, pains, etc.   Then find 10 ways to market what you’ve written and monitor your efforts to see what brings you new subscribers or prospects.


Learn if your website is mobile friendly in 30-seconds

My colleague Michael Hartzell wrote this article based on Google news that websites that are “responsive” will get extra points when it comes to ranking sites. If your website is not responsive yet, (my blog is but my main website is not) put a budget together and speak to your webmaster A.S. A. P.
How to become a more referable advisor

It’s about helping your clients know what you do, why you do it and how you differ from others who have the same or similar titles as you do.



Servicing Your Clients

Advisors Share Their Best Icebreakers

My favorite has always been “so, tell me about you”. Learn what others you can try-out at your next event to meet better prospects.


7 Client Secrets Revealed By A 1040 Form

Here are some clues that help advisors better help their clients.



Personal Growth

Five Things Successful People Do Before They Go To Bed

The one I have to work on is turning everything off an hour before going to bed. How about you?


12 Things Truly Confident People Do Differently

I have to admit that some are that are easier to do than others. But all are worth shooting for.


Bill Gates recommends these books.

They’d make great summer reading. In some cases, the paperback, nook or kindle versions are the way to go since the hard-cover is way over priced!


How to Beat Procrastination

It’s great to know that procrastination is not about being lazy, right? Now learn how you can rid yourself of it.



This edition of Focused Advisor newsletter was created by Maria Marsala of Elevating Your Business.   If you liked what you read, get more at

A Proven, Turn-key Process For Serving The 401k Market

Running a successful, compliant 401 practice requires documentation, and a repeatable process.  You’ll also want a service model that helps plan sponsors demonstrate compliance with regulations, while making managing your 401k business simple.


The 401k Service Solution is a tested and proven set of turn-key sales, marketing, and compliance documents.  Together, they provide a comprehensive process so you can focus on growing your business instead of building out a service model.


Learn how you can leverage these resources to differentiate your practice, visit:


Contact Sharon Pivirotto at 412-440-8806 with your questions and to request a personal backstage look the material.


P.S.  If you have the documentation already, you’re ready for the next step.  Find, nurture, and convert 401k prospects into raving referral sources.   Visit

The Joy of Growing Up Italian

Thank you to John Fusco who put this together.


It’s from


If you are an Italian American, get a few tissues.  The memories are very strong and heartwarming.

The author grew up in an Italian neighborhood in the 40-50’s, I can see how, in just the 10 years , (I few up in the 50-60’s) things had changed “just a bit”.  We had many trucks come pass our block but I woke up to the smell of Italian Bread from Mona Lisa Bakery that permeated the neighborhood and my Italian grandparents and most of the family had moved to Bay Shore Long Island.   But I got to know my 2nd and 3rd and even some 4th cousins  … something that most American’s don’t get to do.

I grew up in Dyker Heights, a small part, an English speaking part of Bensonhurst Brooklyn.

One thing that Mr. Fusco doesn’t mention is that we did not celebrate St. Paddy’s Day. Instead, we celebrated March 19, which is St. Joseph’s Day

In the 80’, after I moved to Staten Island, I no longer lived in an Italian neighborhood.  I heard a truck making a very familiar sound.  I ran out to see, and yes, it was the red “knife and scissors truck” — a truck that just sharpened scissors, knives and other such objects.  I ran inside to get what needed sharpening, ran to the truck and to my surprise, I recognized the driver.  Yes, he and his dad had sharpened many a scissor and knife in Bensonhurst Brooklyn.




A Very Balanced Approach (Testimonial)

"Maria is a top notch business consultant and coach. I hired her for a
consultation which turned out to be a great opportunity for me to see my business from a
very experienced mentor’s perspective.

A "woman of her word" she followed through, by email, with informative links
and resources to every single topic that we discussed.
Maria shares a well balanced approach, taking into consideration that "life happens
while you’re running a business". She is intelligent and kind with a straight forward
approach on how to manage day to day business more efficiently and in turn becoming
more profitable. I would highly recommend Maria to Elevate Everyone’s Business."

Shelley Bertram Fallis, Financial Advisor, Armstrong & Quaile Associates Inc,
Ontario, Canada