Advisor Blog

Platinum Subscribers: Upgrade Now And Save Up To $1600 On Our New Advisor Website System


Advisor Products recently released a new open-source continent management system for advisor websites. It’s a big improvement over AdvisorSites BackOffice and we are offering a huge discount if you upgrade by February 28.

The new system, the Financial Advisor Marketing Dashboard (FAMD), does a lot more than manage a website. FAMD integrates your social networks, email newsletter, client portal, and content marketing strategy with your website. FAMD enables you to develop website leveraging the newest open-source technology.

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5041 Hits

Wall Street’s Poor Forecasting Record Is The Focus Of A New Advisor Content Marketing Campaign

Wall Street’s poor track record for forecasting the best and worst industry sectors is the subject of a new content marketing campaign created by Advisor Products for independent financial professionals.

The campaign is based on a study spanning nine years by economist Fritz Meyer, who has meticulously documented the investment results of sector forecasts made annually by 10 top Wall Street strategists in a Barron’s cover story since 2005. Meyer’s research shows how Wall Street’s sector bets have been a dismal failure.

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5016 Hits

Constant Contact And MailChimp Now Integrated With Financial Advisor Content Marketing System


Financial advisors who use Constant Contact or MailChimp can now easily import Advisor Products content into email newsletters. Our Financial Advisor Content Marketing System is now integrated with Constant Contact And MailChimp.

Advisor Products makes educational articles and videos that wealthy investors need to know about. Now, advisors can automatically populate emails newsletters built using Constant Contact or MailChimp with FINRA-reviewed content from Advisor Products.

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7937 Hits

Constant Contact And MailChimp Now Integrated With Financial Advisor Content Marketing System


Financial advisors who use Constant Contact or MailChimp can now easily import Advisor Products content into email newsletters. Our Financial Advisor Content Marketing System is now integrated with Constant Contact And MailChimp.

 

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5350 Hits

Free WordPress Plugin For The Financial Advisor Content Marketing System


Using our WordPress plugin for financial advisor websites, you can now add The Financial Advisor Content Marketing System to any WordPress website.

If you’re using an up-to-date version of WordPress (3.6 or higher), you can add The Advisor Content Marketing System to your WordPress website for free.

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5154 Hits

Advisor Website Social Media Dashboard Configuration

Advisor websites become a lead-generation tool when integrated with our Financial Advisor Social Media Content Stream.

Here's how to configure the social media dashboard for advisor websites with your Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.



Advisor Products has been making financial advisor websites since 1997, and our focus on providing  content has always differentiated us from other website vendors targeting RIAs and financial planners.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, we've improved our content by collaborating with the best minds in the financial advice profession, and we have cracked the content marketing problem faced by RIAs and financial planners. How?

In October 2008, I started an advisor education effort that has evolved into an online continuing professional education portal called Advisors4Advisors. A4A produces online educational presentations that a CFP, CIMA, and CPWA can view anytime and receive continuing education credit 24/7 for viewing. (We just were recently approved as CPE credit sponsor for CPAs attending our live webinars.)

Point is, A4A gives financial advice professionals 24/7 access to the best minds in the profession, and then Advisor Products converts their ideas into content that educates clients of advisors. Advisor Products creates articles and videos about financial planning for the ultra-wealthy that get posted to advisor websites, and you can choose which articles appear on your website using the AdvisorSites BackOffice content management system (CMS).

That's where our social media dashboard for advisor websites comes into play. With every article and video we produce for advisor websites, we create social media status updates that can be personalized by you and scheduled for posting on your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. By editing the 140-character we provide you to include your local- and target-market keywords, you improve your search engine results and -- more importantly -- target your social connections with intelligent financial planning ideas for wealthy families.

The platform costs $2,337 annually and is called AdvisorSites Platinum. If you only want our content and don't need our secure client portal, website archiving, and service from our technicians,  then you can add our content to your website for just $1,337 annually.

Now for the clincher, the new piece of this content marketing system, which completes the system: a lead-generation module that turns advisor websites into a content marketing machine. The lead generation module provides your social connections with in-depth special reports that visitors to your website must sign in to view. They must sign in by providing you their email address and, if you want, a phone number, to view your special reports.
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5143 Hits

A Comprehensive Content Marketing System For Advisors


Advisor Products has been producing websites since 1997 and we’ve had to be innovative to survive and thrive as the Web has evolved, but it’s not been easy always. Now, I am happy to report, I think we’ve got social media marketing nailed. Here below is a detailed explanation of what we’re doing along with some context for understanding our solution.



Early Adoption By Advisors. In the first wave of social media adoption by financial advisors, which began about four years ago, BDs led adoption by implementing compliance technology solutions with little regard to content. They flopped, according to executives at several large BDs. In that initial effort, a few social media marketing companies offered proxy software. An advisor would not log in to LinkedIn or Facebook to interact with their network. Instead, you would log into their applications, which were stripped down versions of the social networks. It was impractical because the apps advisors would use worked on desktops but often did not work on all the different mobile browsers, so you could not tweet from your smartphone.

The early solutions came from compliance apps or from companies whose founders were technology experts. They were not experts in financial planning. After selling the BDs on their solutions, these companies realized they were really in the content business. They've struggled to produce content. But they don’t know what a defective grantor trust is or why many wealthy individuals are asking judges to bust trusts created just five or 10 years ago. Content marketing, funny enough, depends ultimately on valuable content. Check out the two-minute video below to see a sample of client content for RIAs advising ultra-high net-worth individuals (UHNWIs).



Second Wave of Adoption Brings RIAs. A second wave is now under way in which advisor adoption of social media is driven by content, and now RIAs as well as BDs are adopting social media marketing. RIAs are hiring consultants to produce content, and the BDs are working with compliance technology companies and marketing companies. But based on my conversations with advisors and BD executives, neither of these efforts are working out very well. Why? It’s rare to find a consultant with the skills needed to do the job right.

Effective Content Marketing For Advisors. To produce effective content on the Web for advisors, a consultant must master three unrelated fields:

  1. Writing

  2. Search engine optimization

  3. Financial planning


Finding a writer is easy. Finding a writer who knows about search engine optimization is a bit more difficult. Finding a writer who knows SEO and understands the financial advice business is very difficult.

Meanwhile, advisors are neither writers nor SEO experts. So they have no idea what they’re being sold. Consequently, advisors are often hiring consultants that know a lot about financial planning but little about SEO or SEO consultants that know very little about financial planning. I’m sure most of these consultants are good people who are trying to do their best. But they don’t know what they don’t know. Plus, they're local. You can often meet with them, and that's nice. But advisors wind up getting sold on content marketing solutions with big holes strategically or technologically.

Advisors Get Snookered. Where advisors fail in content marketing is because no one wants to read the information they're sending. Consultants are telling advisors that the only way to succeed in social media is by producing content. Yes, that’s true. You need to create content. But the content can’t be about nonsense. It must be timely and incisive. If you are not creating content people respond to, you’re wasting your time and your prospects'. Everyone is bombarded with a stream filled of unimportant ideas. Adding to the cacophony does not differentiate you. To digress, most writers don’t know financial planning or the financial advice business, and can’t be expected to write about the topics your high-net-worth target clients care about. People who write for a living generally don’t have a lot of money. That's why they're called "starving writers!" They’re writing about financial problems they've not experienced. They’re probably not reading The Economist every week and they probably don’t know that many investors are currently unhappy because their advisors diversified globally at a moment when the U.S. stock market has outperformed the rest of the world’s regions by a wide margin for several years. On the other hand, if you can fluently provide news for ultra-high-net-worth investors--uncommonly smart educational news content UNHWIs can't find elsewhere, then you are differentiating yourself. If your writing consultant could provide that kind of content, they would not be a writing blog posts for $100. An advisor I know, who is spending a $2,000 a month on content marketing--more than 10 times what Advisor Products charges for its top content package--told me he knows his content is "crappy."

Content Need Not Be Original. A big misconception is that you have to create the content or hire a writer to produce valuable content. That’s just not true. Last month’s Journal of Financial Planning contained an article written by a marketing consultant who stated as a fact that "canned" content solutions--a pejorative term for describing content for advisor clients not written by the advisor or private labeled by many advisors--do not work. But she provided no evidence, and she’s wrong. Consultants are biased. Telling advisors that all their content needs to be original supports their business purpose. The consultants get paid to write original content. Or maybe they simply don’t know any better because they've bias has prevented them from examining how syndicated content can be a more cost-effective and powerful solution. Who knows what's in their hearts? But the truth is your clients and prospects don’t care whether you write your own content or link to The Wall Street Journal to give them the valuable ideas they need to know about. Clients and prospects—your social media connections and email subscribers—simply want authoritative, informative, and easy to consume content about wealth management, and don't care if you write it or not. "Canned" content can be used to accomplish the same goals as hiring a writer who interviews you and writes for you, but at a fraction of the cost.

Tweeting Content You Did Not Write. Some advisors tweet articles written from authoritative publications and that’s an okay way to engage social network connections, but it has a couple of serious flaws. First, linking to articles and videos written by others drives traffic to those publications instead of your website, where you can market to your connections and email newsletter subscribers. Linking to newspapers, magazines, and mutual fund companies can, in fact, undermine your message, if that's the only content you provide. Newspapers and magazines are in the business of empowering investors to manage their money without an advisor. They’re not written from an advisor’s point of view. And while the finest fund companies, like DFA, might provide excellent content and research, their videos and articles trumpet their products and not your brand. Their materials are also not intended for clients and are produced for advisors.

What Advisor Products Is Doing. Advisors need authoritative, easy-to-consume content trumpeting their brands that reflects their perspective. So Advisor Products creates authoritative content that can be branded by you. We make it effortless for you to use that content to bring your social network connections to your website. Tweeting a link to an article that is authoritative, informative, and easy to read and that is posted to your website is a great way to communicate with prospects and clients--even though the article or video is not produced by you. So Advisor Products has been creating content in collaboration with thought leaders in the profession: Bob Keebler, an expert on estate and income tax planning; Prof. Craig Israelsen, an expert on applying modern portfolio theory to low-expense portfolios, and Fritz Meyer, an economist and investment strategist. Our content is based on in-depth analysis by the best minds in the profession, experts in specific areas of wealth management.

Social Networking Must Be Easy For Advisors. Content marketing using social networks must be very easy or effortless, or the vast majority of advisors won’t do it. Since content marketing is unlikely to bring immediate results, few advisors have the discipline and patience to make the long-term commitment necessary to and put the time into writing articles and posting status updates. I love this stuff and can go for days without offering a tweet when I'm busy. Advisors need to be able to get their names and ideas across to their social media connections with little effort. Most RIAs do not have the staff to devote or the time to tweet, write blog posts, and make videos and slide shows. Most advisors need a system that will be on auto-pilot, where they do almost nothing. We’ve got that.


 

How It Works. FINRA-reviewed articles and videos that we create are in a database that advisors access using the AdvisorSites BackOffice, our own content management system. You simply click on a check box when you want a story to appear on your website. Then, you use our social media dashboard to send out status updates about each articles posted to your website. We build sites on Joomla, an open-source content management system that we've integrated with our content distribution systems, and we develop sites on a proprietary .NET content management system for advisors affiliated with BDs and that allows pre-review of content by a compliance department.

Social Media Marketing Integrated And Lead Generation With Advisor Websites. The solution Advisor Products has developed integrates three crucial components in online marketing for advisors: high-value articles and videos about wealth management, status updates, and lead generation. We write and send for FINRA review, three status updates (tweets) for each article or video we produce for your website. The tweets can be posted automatically to appear in your profile and on your social network connections’ news stream on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. The tweets link back to the articles on your website. This solution did not come about overnight. It was built incrementally over many years. But now I am happy to report that we have it nailed. I believe we've cracked the code for mass personalization of quality content marketing campaigns for advisors to UHNWIs.



Lead generation. “Call to action” graphics on your website invite visitors—your social media connections and email-newsletter subscribers—to download a video, slide show or article and requiring they submit an email address and phone number, which gets emailed to you automatically and becomes a lead. This enables advisors to execute content marketing campaigns. The image directly above shows how call-to-action graphics (CTAs) can be placed on a site. The graphics on every page of your site prominently feature colorful Windows-style tiles linking to special reports for your target market. The uncommon knowledge conveyed in these educational videos generates leads. When you post a tweet about retirement income planning that one of your social connections wants to view, they click on the link in the tweet on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter, which takes them to your website. At your site, your visitors see a graphic off to the side or on the bottom of the page that might say, “Special Retirement Income Report,” which they can view by providing their contact information. When visitors to your site click on a call to action graphic, it displays the special report only if they provide their email address and phone. They become leads for you. The snippets from a retirement income special report is embedded at the top of tbs post. Below is another special report about diversification and 2Q13 stock performance.

Personalization. All of components are personalized. The tweets are on your social profile. The articles and videos are on your website under your brand. The special reports are branded to you as well with your logo and firm name and contact information. If you want to do a little bit of work, you can append the status updates we have written with your keywords. For example, we may write a tweet, “10 ways retirement income investing is different in 2014.”  You can append it to say, “10 ways retirement income investing is different in 2014 for doctors in North Carolina.” That will help your search engine rankings is doctors in North Carolina is your target market. You can pick your articles and tweets once a week or once a month in 10 or 15 minutes, append the tweets with your keywords and schedule them to go out on specific days and times. You have a personalized, social media marketing program with some of the best client education content available anywhere.



 

Blog writing. If you want to take things to the next level and invest in writing a blog, then you’re going to have more success with search engine optimization. That is, if you fill your blog with the keywords people are likely to use to search topics you advise on, then you’ll be helping people find you who are looking for solutions you provide. By combining keywords about wealth management niches with local keywords about your community, you increase the likelihood local people will find you. Often the topics are not about estate planning or wealth management. For example, I am working with an advisor now who is located in an area dominated by golf courses and country clubs. So we’re writing posts about the long term cost of golf club membership and listing he annual and up-front cost of the different country clubs in the small towns with the wealthiest residents. If you optimize your website and do not write a blog, your website still needs to be optimized for your keywords and you still need to optimize your title tags, metadata and perform other on-page SEO tasks, but your chances of success in using search engines to enable to find you are much lower than if you post articles with you keywords regularly.

 
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5486 Hits

Four Ways To Use Fritz Meyer Economic Research In Content Marketing For Advisors

RIA content marketing requires content that long-term investors and financial planning clients value.

The content Advisor Products produces in collaboration with economist Fritz Meyer helps investment advice professionals retain clients by reinforcing a long-term perspective on investing in content updated monthly. By applying a long-term perspective to news affecting the markets currently, we help you do what's best for clients and your practice. In addition, the content can be used for marketing. We have sophisticated tools for using our content on your website, social networks, and email newsletters, which enables you to generate leads.

Advisor Products now offers four ways for advisors to leverage content from economist Fritz Meyer:


-- PowerPoint Slides For DIYers.
You get all of Fritz Meyer’s PPT slides every month--more than 100 slides a month plus a “highlights” version with just 15 slides. You can post some of the slides to your website or use them in client meetings, newsletters, and social media. No voiceover is included. This is for DIYers leveraging Fritz’s research to make their own content. $300 annually.

-- Content Marketing System. AdvisorSites Platinum gives you get a turnkey content marketing system for advisor websites that is updated monthly with investment news based on Fritz Meyer's analysis. Articles, videos and social status updates based Fritz Meyer's investment ideas are provided for your website along with and Bob Keebler's financial planning and tax research. Platinum also includes a Social Media Dashboard, website archiving, and much more.

-- Quarterly Market Summary. Fritz writes a comprehensive 1500- to 2000-word summary about the markets and the economy that is edited by Andrew Gluck and provided as a 10-page Word document and a PowerPoint slide presentation. 

-- Investment Perspectives Quarterly Videos. A quarterly 15-minute video presentation in which Fritz walks clients through economic events and explains investment performance.
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4934 Hits

Advisors Are Getting Ripped Off On Crappy Content Marketing And Social Tools

In preparing for a presentation on financial advisor content marketing yesterday, my worst suspicions about how advisors are getting ripped off were proven true.

I began my research by opening up LinkedIn and looking at the stream of news generated by my connections. On LinkedIn, you get a stream of updates about new connections people made, changes to their profiles, and status updates. Status updates are 140-character "tweets" linking your connections to an article, video or other valuable content. The 140-character updates are a standard on social networks and you can send these updates on Twitter and Facebook as well as LinkedIn. I've used status updates for years to market my work and have about 2,000 advisor connections--95% of whom connected to me to get my news feed about practice management.

To keep my research honest, I went to the very first status update in my news LinkedIn stream that was posted by an advisor and clicked on it because it had a sexy headline. What unfolded was an absurd proof of how advisors are being ripped off by vendors spewing nonsense about social media and content marketing.

 

 
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4839 Hits

You Know You’re A DIYer Advisor When…

Advisors who are do-it-yourselfers have been around for years. Becoming an independent advisor -- joining a new profession -- naturally attracts entrepreneurs, DIYers who like things done their way. However, in observing independent advisors over the past 30years, I have seen the focus of DIYers shift dramatically

Five or 10 years ago, a DIYer-advisor would outsource administrative and perhaps technology tasks. Today, the range of tasks advisors outsource has grown wider, as technology improvements made outsourcing more economical. Today, advisors outsource the writing of financial plans as well as investment research and trading, relying on TAMPs, UMAs and separate account managers.

Today, DIYers focus on marketing.  A growing number of advisors have come to realize that they can more safely outsource their style of investing, financial-plan writing and even tax management, but they cannot outsource creation of their public voice. Consequently, today's DIYers among advisors are writing blogs, making videos, and creating their own Web marketing campaigns. They suddenly seem to understand the value of communicating about their niches.

They're suddenly trying to figure out how to regularly talk to a very specific audience. They're suddenly trying to figure out how to create meaningful Web content focused on their target markets. All this is great news for Advisor Products because our content creation system definitely helps advisors succeed at all this.

What's incredibly ironic, however, is that the first wealth managers to figure out that a financial advisor content stream can benefit them are DIYers.

Today's DIYers among advisors are early adopters of content marketing. And in trying to create their own content, they are the first ones outsourcing to content partners. I'll have more to say about the importance and content role of content partners another time. For now, here's a short quiz to help you figure out if you’re a DIYer advisor? If you do seven of these 10 things, you’re a DIY advisor.

  1. You write a blog post optimized for search engines at least twice a month

  2. You set up your own channel on YouTube

  3. You own professional video lighting

  4. Your firm reconciles account data daily

  5. You’ve created three Slidecasts or more

  6. You test your backups twice a year

  7. You registered your firm on Google Places

  8. You backup your computer at least weekly

  9. You use Camtasia Studio 8

  10. You host webinars monthly


Creating your own voice by blogging and participating on social media is time consuming and not for everyone. So DIYers have a distinct advantage. If you’re not a DIYer, or if you are a DIYer who wants to augment your voice with intelligent content cleverly packaged in a way for you to make it your own, check out our social media content stream below.



 
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AdvisorVault Enhancements Improve Secure Client Portals For Advisors

Several enhancements were made to AdvisorVault last month in response to user requests.

Better Branding. You can now display a full size logo or banner in AdvisorVault that your clients will see. Until now, a size restriction was placed on the size of the graphic. To use a larger graphic in your client vaults, please email us the larger logo at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call our service team.

Portfolio Reports Folder. You can hide the “Investments” from view of clients and use any name for the folder where you upload reports. Previously, you could only upload portfolio report to certain folders and you could not rename them. Now, you can rename the portfolio reports folder and make the “home” page the folder where your client’s reports are displayed.

Template Emails From Multiple Addresses. AdvisorVault includes a template email communication system for notifying clients automatically in batches of 15 routine advisor business processes. After uploading a performance report or other document, for example, AdvisorVault generates an automatic notification that is personalized to each client. Until now, your firm could use only a single email address with the template notifications—a single advisor’s address would be displayed in the “from” field of emails generated by AdvisorVault’s template notification system. Now, each advisor in your firm can send template notifications in batches and the recipient will see his advisor’s email address in the “from” field of the email.

Simplified Batch Uploading. If you batch upload portfolio performance reports, you can hide from view any folder that you do not use to upload reports.

 

 
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4808 Hits

When Clients Need You Most, Will You Be There?



Supporting clients during life’s most difficult moments is not just the right thing for a financial advisor to do, it's a good thing to do. It builds lasting relationships and makes you invaluable.

Advisors who stored clients’ homeowners policies in AdvisorVault were heroes after Hurricane Sandy.



AdvisorVault is not just a client vault, it's a client communications system created expressly for advisors. AdvisorVault works well with any portfolio reporting and financial planning app, and most CRMs.

Moreover, AdvisorVault comes embedded with business processes that help advisors fulfill their obligations to clients. For instance, AdvisorVault can prompt your clients to upload their homeowners policies, wills, deeds, insurance, and emergency medical information to a secure cloud-based platform on your website. With AdvisorVault, it is easy to send all your clients an email listing all the documents you want them to upload in case of an emergency and a URL where they can log in to upload those documents securely.

When a hurricane or some other disaster occurs in your clients' lives, be prepared to support them. Be there for clients when they need you most by using AdvisorVault.

Call us at (888) 274 5755.




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4535 Hits

Advisor Websites, Advisor Portals Met The Test Of Hurricane Sandy

Thank you for your patience and understanding in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Nassau County in Long Island, NY, where we are headquartered, was severely impacted. Our office was without power all last week. We worked from a hotel banquet room in Queens.

Fortunately, power was restored over the weekend to our office. Many of our employees, friends, and neighbors are still without power, heat, or hot water, while others have lost their homes or businesses due to flooding by the shores.

In my community, about one of every 15 homes was damaged by a falling tree. Almost every backyard has a fallen tree, and perhaps half of those knocked down power lines or are leaning on them.

It is comforting that our backup and failover facilities worked without any hiccup. Every advisor website, along with 50,000 client vaults, stayed up and available 24 x 7.

The Advisor Products staff prepared for and recovered well from the Sandy disaster, showing dedication and professionalism.

We have been tested by the worst hurricane to hit Long Island since 1938, and we have met the test. We are working hard to continue to provide the highest quality, always-available service.

If we missed your call due to our phone lines being impacted sporadically, please do not hesitate to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We are grateful to the many of you who have expressed concern about the staff and our families.

Regards and we look forward to communicating again about better news soon.

 
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4805 Hits

Advisor Products Begins Operating Under Disaster Recovery Plan, As Hurricane Sandy Nears Long Island

With Long Island expecting an extended rainstorm from Hurricane Sandy and the worst coastal flooding in seven decades, Advisor Products has taken every precaution necessary to avoid any service disruption to your website, client vaults, and client portals. With the storm expected to hit Long Island in less than 24 hours, our staff has been placed on high alert and the company has begun operating under our disaster recovery plan.

Your Website And Client Portals. Our hosting facility has increased 24/7 onsite technical support and ensured the integrity of backup power generators. In the event of a utility failure, redundant generators are prepared to supply the hosting facility’s load for 24-plus hours, and contracts in place with local fuel providers require same-day delivery if needed, ensuring extended continuity of service.

Internal Systems used by the Advisor Products service team are always “virtual.” If Internet service at our Jericho, NY office is uninterrupted, our VOIP phone system should enable you to reach technical staff as you always would. In the event of an extended power outage at the Jericho office, we’ve “reserved” an empty rack in our data center. A year ago, during Hurricane Irene, a tree fell right behind our office and knocked down power lines to our building, which is home to more than 15 other businesses. We moved internal hardware and software to our hosting facility and staff operated remotely for a week. If we need to relocate mission-critical systems again, our phone system may be down for a couple of hours while  moving  and rebooting systems at the data center.

Service. Jason Gucciardo, a 12-year veteran Web developer at Advisor Products, who also fields  customer-service calls, is located in Florida and available at (516) 333-0066 x230. Nipun Manglik (x214), who is in Las Vegas for his bachelor party and probably will be stuck there for a few days, brought a laptop with him. He will be available Tuesday, and he represents what makes America great. Project managers David Lucs, Kevin Chin, and Donna Voss-Costa, will contact you to reschedule appointments and deadlines for website and newsletter projects in the process of being developed.

Advisors In Sandy’s Path. Just before the storm comes through our area, IT Manager Jason Fogelson will power down equipment housed at the Jericho office to prepare for the possibility of a power outage.  Although internal network servers have backup power supplies, they do not last long and a controlled shutdown eliminates the risk of damage to servers from a sudden shutdown. Advisors may want to take the same precaution. If you’re running Microsoft Exchange, a CRM, portfolio management software or other network software in your office, shut them down tonight or early Monday morning and reboot them after the worst has passed.

Updates Throughout The Storm. Jason Fogelson and Steve Gordonson, VP of Technology, will be providing status updates throughout the storm. Please follow Advisor Products on Twitter to stay updated about service and support.
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4891 Hits

SEO For Financial Advisors Works, And Here's Proof

Here's what the Debbie Hooge of  Vantage Advisors LLC says about SEO For Financial Advisors From Advisor Products:
In 2012 our company, after several years of frustration that our website never showed up on searches of the internet until the 2nd and 3rd pages of Google, we decided to hire Advisor Products to give our site a new look.Our previous website had cost us over $10,000 just a few years earlier.

While we were frustrated about incurring more expenses in such a short time, we knew we needed to get serious about SEO. We hired Advisor Products to do our SEO and redesign our site. As the marketing director for the firm, I was facing a lot of skepticism from the other advisors, but I persevered.

Like a lot of creative processes; the website wasn’t created overnight. The Advisor Products team worked closely with us and were very sensitive to blending their ideas with ours.

In the end, we are now on the first page of Google for our area, and our clients can actually find us. In addition, we are getting very positive feedback about the e-newsletter, calculators, and blog now associated with our website.

I could go on and on about things, like the ease of editing, the customer service, etc. But maybe the best thing I can say is that the cost benefit ratio of investing in a new website with Advisors Products is extremely positive and continues to get better.

SEO Copywriting For Financial Advisors from Advisor Products is a low cost way for advisors to improve their search  engine ranking. It is the product of years of experience in website design for advisors.

With so many snake oil salesman and ripoff artists now competing with us to build advisor websites, I am seeing advisors get sold  inexpensive sites that won't get them noticed and no content marketing features, and I am also seeing instances where advisors pay thousands for razzle-dazzle and nonsense. I am proud of the skilled team here at Advisor Products, the integrity we have maintained as competition has increased, and we remain committed  to make advisors who work with us successful at the lowest prices around.
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4367 Hits

An Easy Social Media Solution For Advisors That Really Works: Revolutionary Social Media Content Tool For Advisors Launched By Advisor Products

Many advisors don’t know how to use social media for marketing or are too busy to use it effectively. Social Media Content Stream For Financial Advisors, which was just released by Advisor Products, enables use of social media successfully with minimal effort by advisors and at a low cost.

Social Media Content Stream For Advisors automatically posts status updates (also called “tweets”) to you or your company’s social network pages on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

The 140-character status updates contain links to wealth management articles and videos created by Advisor Products and posted to an advisor’s website. Articles and videos by Advisor Products cover financial news for high-net worth individuals. The tweets, articles and videos are FINRA-reviewed.

When your social network connections see a status update from you in which they’re interested, they click on a link in the tweet, which takes them to your website to read the article or view the video.

Feedback from the 10 advisors participating in a three-month beta test has been outstanding. One firm provided Google Analytics data showing as much as a 500% increase in traffic to its website.

The key is that this solution is incredibly easy to use and provides clients and prospects with valuable wealth management ideas.

If you're trying figure out how to benefit from social media marketing, this is the perfect solution.



Social Media Content Stream For Advisors is administered using a social media dashboard. The dashboard lets you schedule your updates. Once a week or once a month, you can schedule all your updates.

In addition, you can rewrite tweets and target them to your local market or niches, which will help boost your search engine rankings. If that’s too much work, simply set the stream to go out automatically.

Social Media Content Stream For Advisors is free for Platinum licensees and has already been enabled on your website. Simply log in to the Advisor Products BackOffice and hit the

You can add archiving of all your social media content for $348 annually by taking advantage of our partnership with Erado.

 

 
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4618 Hits

Is It Realistic For Advisors To Expect To Benefit From Social Media?

Despite all the hubbub about social media for advisors, adoption is slow and its effectiveness remains questionable. Obstacles to success are formidable.

Compliance. RIAs must archive social content. Signing up and setup a compliance app to capture your social media content is an expense — albeit a small one — and takes time.

Knowledge. Many advisors do not know what a status update is. They have no experience with building a network of connections and followers.

Content. Advisors don’t know what to say. It’s like putting a microphone in front of someone in a crowded room and telling them to say something smart.

Discipline. Social media is not an activity you can do once a month and expect results. It’s like drip marketing and you need to drip on people daily or every other day.

Strategy. Most advisors don’t have a well-defined target market, so they wind up posting about content not aligned with any particular strategy.

Snake Oil. Since advisors are naïve about using social media, they are getting sold solutions that sound good but don’t deliver.

I’m happy to report that Advisor Products has a solution. It’s easy, low-cost, and effective.

We’ve added a social media dashboard to our platform. In seconds, you can send a “tweet” (status update) to all your friends and connections on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

For years, we’ve been producing content for advisors, articles about wealth management, and it’s pretty widely known that our content is the best coverage of issues for high-net-worth individuals available to advisors. In the last couple of years, we’ve partnered with tax expert Bob Keebler and economist Fritz Meyer to make our content even more substantive and authoritative. With the social media dashboard, we’ve made it incredibly easy for advisors to provide status updates that link to their websites.

You can personalize each tweet with keywords aimed at your target audience, which will help you with search engine optimization. In about 10 minutes, you can schedule a tweet a day for the next week.

One advisor who has been a beta tester showed us Google Analytics statistics showing visits to his website shoot up between 100% and 500% when tweeting our content.

By placing a special “free” report about wealth management on your website, you can convert visitors to your site into prospects and some will become real clients. Plus, tweeting to your clients about wealth management keeps you in touch with them. We’ve partnered with Erado Message Control to enable you to archive your social media accounts inexpensively.

The social media dashboard is a realistic way for advisors to benefit from social media. The social media content stream for financial advisors is a realistic and effective way to get started with social media.

The social media dashboard is going live on all Platinum sites in the next couple of days. Call 888-274-5755 if you would like a demo.
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In His Own Words: Financial Advisor Philip Benson On Implementation Of AdvisorVault For PortfolioCenter Reporting And Secure Client Portals

On June 1, 2012, Philip Benson Financial Services, an investment management and financial planning firm in San Francisco, purchased AdvisorVault’s integrated PortfolioCenter application from Advisor Products. AdvisorVault is a secure client portal system and can batch process PortfolioCenter reports. Within three months, Benson was successfully using the integrated application to deliver quarterly performance reports and invoices to clients securely, saving the firm time and money.

Philip Benson, 64, who spent three years at Merrill Lynch before giving up his securities sales licenses in 2003 and founding his fee-only fiduciary firm, explains his firm’s successful implementation of AdvisorVault as a secure client portal, in his own words below.

Why
We manage portfolios for 40 families — their investable assets and their children’s 529 college savings plans — and we do financial planning for most of them. I do the investment management and the financial planning along with the help of my associate. We needed to become more efficient. We did not want to raise our fees in this economy. I concluded the solution was not hiring more staff but maximizing technology. Each quarter, we both spent about a day and a half printing, stuffing, stamping and mailing the reports. It was obvious we could benefit from electronically uploading invoices and quarterly reports to a secure vault.

Research
I looked at several solutions, some of which were less expensive than Advisor Products. But AdvisorVault is keyed into financial services and Advisor Products has a relationship with Schwab Performance Technologies allowing it to provide bulk-upload features. Plus, your product has been offered for several years.

Adoption
Our project manager, Kevin Chin, suggested that, rather than sending out one mass email to all of our clients, we launch 10 clients at a time and follow up with calls to each of them when needed. That was a great approach. Out of 40 clients, only three have not signed up.

Personalized
We deduct the fees from most client accounts, but some prefer to write the check every quarter. We were able to personalize emails using AdvisorVault’s communication module for both types of billing situations. The beautiful thing is your developers make it look like the emails are coming from us directly.

Service
When I did my due diligence, I heard Advisor Products had a good product but that we might not be able to get as much support as one might want. That was absolutely not the case; it could not have been further from the truth. We got all the support we needed. And we are the type of client who may request a lot of support in the beginning and then we tend to sail on our own until something comes up when we need additional support.

Relationships
I don’t want AdvisorVault to distance me from clients. I want technology to help me stay in contact with clients and free me to build new business.  If only 75% of clients log in to look at their reports, I send an email asking the other 25% who have not logged in to ask if they need any help. When I mailed out paper statements, we did not know who was opening the envelopes. Now, I can reach out to those clients who had not reviewed their reports.

Efficiency
We were burning paper, ink and time. We were combining different documents into PDFs in preparation for printing. There was a lot of manual labor involved. The AdvisorVault piece that previously took a day and half every quarter takes about an hour now, plus we’re not spending on paper, ink, and postage.

Growth
Thus far, we haven’t done any marketing. I’ve never made an outbound cold call and all new business comes from referrals. We’ve been focused on taking care of our clients and building a solid infrastructure. We will be ready to engage in marketing and business development soon. Technology will enable us to have more free time to do this.

 

For more information about AdvisorVault, please call 516 333 0066 x224.
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4445 Hits

Failed Record Of Wall Street’s “Top” Strategists Documented By Independent Economist


For wealth managers who believe the most prudent path to investment success is broad diversification, periodic rebalancing, and choosing low-expense investments — while relying on the precepts of Modern Portfolio Theory — some good news: a scorecard from an authoritative, independent source documents the failed record of Wall Street’s top ranked strategists at picking the best and worst industry sectors.

Fritz Meyer, whose economic research is distributed by Advisor Products and Advisors4Advisors, has methodically tracked Barron’s annual interviews with Wall Street’s top strategists for over a decade. An article with details about Meyer’s findings will be published tomorrow on websites of advisory firms that license Advisor Products content for clients.

The table below compiled by Meyer, an independent economist, shows the picks and pans of 10 senior strategists from Wall Street largest firms in a Barron’s article from December 19, 2011. It tells a story of failed forecasts.



 

The telecommunications sector, for example, was favored by just two of the 10 strategists in the weekly magazine’s 2012 investment outlook. One strategist suggested avoiding the sector while seven — a majority — voiced no opinion on telecom.

As of mid-August 2012, telecom was the No. 1 performing sector, with a 19% return.  “That’s a big miss,” says Meyer.

“If you think that even the smartest strategists on Wall Street can successfully and systematically pick the right asset classes, you’d be mistaken,” says Meyer, an independent economist with 30 years of experience in the investment world, including a stint as a strategist at one of the nation’s largest mutual fund companies.

Advisor Products provides content about wealth management for clients of investment fiduciaries. Its content platform can be added to any website and includes a social media dashboard enabling advisors to distribute content targeted to high-net-worth individuals to their social networks in less than five minutes a day. AdvisorVault, its secure online file-sharing system, is licensed by more than 400 RIAs and the company provides web development, brochures and creative services to independent advisors.

 
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3 Hits

Search Engine And Ethical Considerations When Using Other People's Articles To Write Blog Posts

Advisor Products creates great financial articles for advisor clients and prospects. Should you copy and paste some of those articles and use them as blog posts? Here are some issues advisors need to know about when using other people's content.

Content posted to many websites does you no good with search engines. To benefit from search engines, you  need unique content. To be clear, Advisor Products articles about wealth management are posted on hundreds of advisor websites. They’re not unique. So they do not help you with search engine optimization. Nor do they hurt you. The point is, if you buy articles from a vendor and post them on your website and other advisors also post the same exact articles to their websites, the articles may be great reading but they do not help you with search engines.

Making Articles Written By Others Your Own. The way to use articles by written by other people to gain search engine benefits is to make them your own. That does not mean changing a couple of words. It means using the article written by someone else as the basis for your own story -- pulling a few key facts but rewriting it to your specific audience.

For example, we recently posted an article for advisors to use on their websites about Section 179 deductions.  Yesterday I was speaking with an advisor who specializes in working with veterinarians and suggested he rewrite that article and make it pertain specifically to vets. Write about the equipment they typically might be using a 179 deduction for. Write about a local vendor who sells that equipment and how it helps to document the purchases. Localizing the story will also help you with search engines.

Don't game the search engines because they could penalize you for that. If you just change a few words in an article and try to outsmart the search engine robots that crawl your site, you put yourself at risk of being penalized. From my research, it seems there is no exact formula about how much an article can be duplicated without the search engines ignoring it. But Google and the other search engines are getting used and being relied upon on the Web because they provide authentically good information. So my personal take on this is to be honest and credible and rewrite an article written by others to really make it your own.

Ethical And Regulatory Considerations. Apart from the search engine considerations, using an article written by someone else on your website raises ethical and could raise regulatory issues. About 15 years ago, Bob Plaze, the outgoing Deputy Director of the Investment Management Division of the SEC, told me that RIAs should not take credit for writing articles that other people write. Ever since then, Advisor Products policy has been to post a disclosure on websites and newsletters we create for advisors saying that articles we provide are written by someone other than the advisor. For me, it was as much an ethical issue as a regulatory one.

Not all vendors serving advisors do this, however. Some vendors appear not to know about the regulatory risk that could be involved when an advisor posts  an article written by someone else as it were written by him, and other seem oblivious to the ethical issues.

Advisor Products makes no compromises on ethical and regulatory issues. We tell advisors when we feel like they may be doing something that could land them in trouble. We also submit all articles made available on websites and in newsletters to FINRA for review -- even though so many of our users are RIAs that do not need FINRA review of content -- because it's the prudent thing to do. FINRA's advertising rules aimed at protecting consumers are similar in most ways to the SEC rules regulating RIAs, so it is good practice for RIAs to use FINRA-reviewed content. Since the SEC does not review content, the only way you'll know when you've published advertising without necessary disclosures is when you're being cited by the agency or a state regulator for a deficiency.

Taking positions like this has sometimes opened Advisor Products to criticism and we've probably lost some business because of it, but we don't cut corners when it comes to ethics and compliance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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In today’s times, when consumers have become more demanding and tech-savvy, financial advisors must use content marketing to attract, inspire, engage, and convert their prospective customers.

A good content strategy is focused on developing and distributing consistent, valuable content to engage and retain prospective customers and target audience, via your website. Our content library provides financial advisors with fresh, high-quality financial content that is updated regularly, improving SEO along the way. And our automated e-newsletter and social media tools allow advisors to reach out to clients and prospects in an easy-to-use manner, providing frequent touch points for optimal brand building.

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