Do I Really Have To Use LinkedIn? edit
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 11:51

Tags: internet marketing | LinkedIn | marketing | Social Media

I just re-read an article from Investment News posted last fall trying to refute the need for financial and investment advisors to be using social media. The author claimed that all of the hype for social media was coming from us “social media experts” (his words, not mine) essentially trying to pitch our value and services.
Of course, he failed to mention that he represents a financial advisor marketing company steeped in more traditional marketing services. And, according to his firm'sr website, they, too, offer social media marketing services. Which begs the question: If iadvisord do not need to use social media, then why is his firm offering such social media consulting services?
If they are not covinced of the need for advisors to use social marketing, why are they  taking clients’ money to consult on  it?

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There were some really good comments and not one of them agreed with the author. The comment that stood out most and that I agree with 100% is that, while social media is often presented as marketing tactics, it does represent a fundamental shift in communications with clients and prospects moving forward. That part is not going to change.
The people now control how and when they will let you communicate with them. If you want to communicate with them, you have to go where they are; they aren’t coming to you. You can choose not to meet them in the social media world, which just means that they will likely choose another advisor who will. Worse yet – and research does bear this out – if you’re not there and your clients are, then they may be leaving you to work with an advisor who they find in social media.
I know…you’re busy being a financial advisor (I’ve been there myself). You don’t have time to be a social media expert too. That’s why I really only advocate for the usage of LinkedIn for most financial advisors. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe there is a time, a place and definitely value in using the other social media channels. However, when you’re talking about limited resources (time and money) and wanting to be able to access the best possible prospect pool to increase your likelihood of a high ROI, then LinkedIn is the place to be.
1.    It has the best demographic of any of the social media. There are many different studies with varying statistics. When combined, they tell us that the average member salary is nearing six figures, 69% earn $60,000 or more, over 70% have a college education and approximately a quarter of them have a graduate degree. You’re not going to find a prospect pool like that anywhere else.
2.    You can very strategically “hunt” on LinkedIn for prospects. LinkedIn is the only social network that allows advanced searching of your network all the way out to the 3rd degree. Want to know if anyone connected to your friends on Facebook or Twitter are small business owners or c-level executives? Have fun looking at each person one at a time to figure it out. With LinkedIn, you have a sophisticated Advanced Search functionality to find the prospects you want and see how you’re connected to develop the strategy to get introduced. Oh…and because things get busy, LinkedIn will send you weekly notifications of the new prospects you should check out.
3.    The “farming” tools allow you to establish yourself as the expert and stay front of mind with your connections. That way, when the time comes that they need a financial advisor they will hopefully think of you first. Additionally, the visibility you get to the “right” people when your connections share your content is exponentially better than the visibility opportunities available in Facebook or Twitter.
In the webinar I’ll be hosting for Advisors4Advisors, I’ll be demonstrating the key tactics that you can implement immediately to start getting results with LinkedIn. Want more? Andy and I have partnered up to share a special version of my online video training program LinkedIn for Financial Advisors that you can register at special pricing to take advantage of to learn everything you need to know to leverage this tool.

It really only takes baby steps and starting with the strategies and tactics that will give you the best ROI. The webinar will give you the baby steps you need. 

Win A Free License To Camtasia Studio Video-Editing Software, The Easiest Way For Advisors To Produce Videos Regularly edit
Wednesday, June 04, 2014 12:24

Tags: marketing

Camtasia Studio is a good software program for advisors to use to edit their own videos.

It does not have the video editing power of Final Cut Pro by Apple or Adobe Premier, which are professional video editing programs, but it is far simpler to use than Final Cut or Premier, and it is far better for editing screen-sharing sessions, which is what advisors need to do to create videos regularly.

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Recording your screen is the best way for advisors to create video content. After making videos with advisors for a few years, I can report that none of the dozens of advisors I’ve interviewed on camera are media stars. Advisors are not models, actors, or professional spokespeople. Some of you are terrible on camera.
Recording your screen to display PowerPoint slides or PDF client financial planning reports while you narrate and record the audio is the best way for advisors to use video to get in front of clients, prospects, and centers of influence. Since financial data in charts and graphics makes great visuals, adding your narration is a genuinely nice way to educate your audience on financial matters. This the best way to create your own content to improve your client relations, lead generation campaigns, email newsletters, and search engine rankings.

Since financial advisors are not making Hollywood productions with people on camera, indoor and outdoor lighting, and special audio and visual effects, you don’t need a complicated app like Premier or Final Cut. TechSmith’s Camtasia Studio is the right tool.

I’ve been using Camtasia for about 10 years and I am sad to admit I have spent more than 500 hours editing videos using the program. At a webinar, I offered tips about how advisors can use Camtasia Studio to make videos.

TechSmith appreciates the coverage I’ve given them over the years and has provided Advisors4Advisors with three licenses to Camtasia Studio that we are raffling off.  Each license normally costs $299.

To ensure we give away these licenses to advisors likely use the software, we’re raffling it off to the first three advisors who watch the webinar and email the correct answers these the following three questions to admin at
  • What size is Andy’s reflective umbrella?
  • If you wanted to import slides into Camtasia, what file type does Andy suggest you use?
  • Name one of the two Camtasia transition effects Andy mentioned were his favorites.
By the way, my presentation about how advisors can use Camtasia covers:
  • How to make videos like as good as I do
  • Step by step instructions for turning PowerPoint presentations into educational videos
  • How to add visual cues that make technical content easier to understand
  • Tips for using key features in Camtastia Studio—zooming, importing clips, transitions and more
  • What kind of computer equipment you need to make your own videos
 Go watch it and answer the questions to win a free license to this valuable video editing tool for advisors.
By the way, Fritz Meyer and I collaborate to provide RIAs with a quarterly presentation for advisors to give investors, and it is perfect this purpose. We give you 15 or 20 gorgeous looking slides and a script that you can narrate. Record your narration and give the script your personal spin to produce professional videos that make you look good (because you're off camera.) 


The Web Has Made It Much More Difficult To Discern Copycat Content From The Real Thing edit
Wednesday, December 04, 2013 11:59

Tags: client communication | content marketing | marketing | SEO

Do a search on Google on any given day for “financial advisors” and read the “news” results that are returned.  It’s a simple way of seeing content being produced by and about financial advisors. Do that search today and you’ll notice an unfortunate trend in content marketing for advisors.

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Two posts near the top of the result  are uncannily similar to each other but feature information about two different advisors.


A post by financial advisor Charles P. Boinske, CFA, is more in-depth and was published December 2 on, while a very similar article posted on FOX News on December 3 under the byline of a reporter is published on Fox Business News.


The post is about five questions a consumer should ask an advisor before hiring him. The posts mention the same tips for consumers. 


The Fox News story does not mention Boinske. In fact, it quotes an entirely different advisor.


Maybe it is a coincidence. Maybe the Fox News reporter just happened to come up with the same five questions to ask advisors and tips for consumers. I guess it’s possible. What do you think?


Rewriting an article written by someone else has been a practice in journalism for many decades and it’s okay to do as long as you give credit to the original author or add significant new information that the original article missed and that changes the article materially. It’s unethical to rip off someone else’s ideas without giving him credit. I say this because it also pertains to advisors, who are increasingly creating their own content.


Advisors who rip off other people’s content could open themselves up to professional sanctions as well as a legal judgment. You just cannot claim to have written something you did not write. You need to disclose if you are not responsible for the ideas in an article on your blog or you need to have supervised the writer who did actually write it.Putting your name on someone else's work is not a good idea for an IA rep who is required to fully disclose such matters.


A couple of weeks ago, I posted an open letter to the SEC Chair saying the RIA testimonial rule should be revised because it has become antiquated by the growing use of LinkedIn recommendations and Facebook "likes," and it is actually hurting consumers' ability to find the best advisors. A day later, a blogger at a financial advisor trade magazine said essentially the same thing I did without referencing my earlier article. It happens all the time, this kind of thing. 


For advisors, the trend toward copycat content presents a moral  challenge. With the explosion of content online, ripping off someone else’s good ideas is obviously much easier than writing about your own original ideas, and no one knows when a copycat ripped off your good ideas and is taking credit for them  So if you blog about how anesthesiologists can write off equipment against in a clever and unusual way, for example, someone  can rip off your idea and no one who reads a copycat's post will know.


For ethical advisors, it is a difficult situation. However, if you are truly focused on a niche market and continue to pound away at it with your own original ideas about how to help those target clients, I believe you will ultimately win. Ultimately, providing valuable information will differentiate you. A4A's booming membership and my history of producing content here in my home alone fopr people to discover using search and social tools has taught me that  eventually good work gets recognized. But it is frustrating to see copycats borrow research and original idas in the meantime.   


Here’s A Mistake Many Advisors Make: They Connect Mostly With Other Advisors On Social Media edit
Monday, November 11, 2013 11:08

Tags: client communications | facebook | LinkedIn | Social Media; twitter

Advisors say and do the darndest things. One of the dumbest is not cultivating prospects as followers, friends, and connections on social media and only using social media to communicate with other practitioners.

If you’re an advisor and the majority of your LinkedIn connections are other practitioners and people you buy stuff from, then you’re doing this all wrong.

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In fact, you may want to segregate advisors in a group on LinkedIn so that you’re not tweeting and blogging all your best ideas to a cross-town rival. 
I’m not saying you should not connect with other advisors. It’s good to share ideas with colleagues and even competitors. But you don’t need to show a cross-town rival every tweet you send out. That’s competitive intelligence. It’s an overshare.
Instead, focus your social marketing effort on content that will be of interest to your ideal clients. This will allow you to engage in a long-term conversation with a large group of prospects using social media. Cultivate connections who could become a client one day. That’s probably not other advisors.


If you think what I am saying is totally obvious and have been doing this from the start, then forgive me. But I come across advisors pretty often who are just starting out with using social media and who have only connected other advisors so far. I know it's crazy, but it's true.


Samsung Fined $340,000 By FTC For Fake Comments On The Web; Fine Should Be $340 Million edit
Thursday, October 24, 2013 10:47

After being caught paying for false praise and negative comments about competitors, Samsung has been fined just over $340,000. That's not nearly enough!

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When a huge company like Samsung does something so unethical and dishonest, it should pay heavily and criminal charges should be pursued. Otherwise the governmenr isn't helping keep the Internet honest.


Crowdsourcing, user reviews, and comments is the new fourth estate and it's every bit as important as freedom of the  press. Perverting thgat freedom by using such underhanded tactics is something that should not be tolerated by the go9vernment and Samsung's violation should have been used as an opportunity to tell companies and consumers that fakery of this kind harms the public interest and won't be tolerated by the government.

For financial advisors, the lesson also should be clear. Don't even think about writing fake nagative reviews about your competitors or positive reviews for yourself because the consequences of getting caught are so serious that they're not worth the risk. Instead, the slap on the wrist suggests it's no big deal.  



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