Archive for May, 2011
Financial advisors who want to learn about search engine optimization (SEO) can visit Advisor Products Learning Center, which features 18 videos about SEO techniques for private wealth managers, financial planners, and other independent financial advisors.
The 18 videos about SEO techniques for financial advisors are just one section of Advisor Products Learning Center, a free resource for independent financial advisors to learn about marketing.
The 18 videos cover key SEO concepts financial advisors need to know about including:
Advisor Products is a leading marketing technology company serving financial planners, private wealth managers, and other independent financial advisors.
If you’re a financial advisor, here’s how to use a marketing funnel on the Web to create a path connecting you with your target clients or niches.
Maybe your target is 50- to 65-year old teachers with at least $500,000 of qualified plan assets, retired doctors in your locale, or retired military officers. Whoever it is, you create the marketing funnel by offering valuable content to them—videos, articles, and tweets.
Once a month or once a quarter, you create a video or article with helpful ideas for dealing with financial issues crucial to your target client—something like, “The Five Biggest Financial Mistakes Business Owners Make In The Decade Before Retiring.”
When a business owner stumbles upon one of your free reports, he can read it and submit his email address to sign up for your free email newsletter. Later, you market webinars to your target audience. Eventually, you become a trusted source of information and get hired by some of these people.
The funnel relies on search engines to bring you leads. That’s because videos and articles about your areas of expertise are indexed by search engines. The more intelligent content you post, the higher the likelihood of getting traffic from your target market.
When a pre-retired professor has made one of the five biggest mistakes addressed in your articles or wants to avoid those mistakes, he is going to search for a solution to his problem on Google. Your site stands a chance of coming up in his research. Your success largely depends on how trusted you are as a source of information.
The biggest factors establishing yourself as a trusted source are how many sites link to your videos and articles and the trustworthiness of those websites.
The number of external links to your website and the trustworthiness of those sites are measured by Google’s algorithm and determine your ranking in search engine results.
If The New York Times links to articles and videos you create about financial planning and wealth management for doctors, that’s better than if small town newspaper does it. And if 20 important sites like The New York Times link to you, that’s better than if just two do it.
Advisor Products helps financial advisors do this kind of marketing.
We can provide you the content on an ongoing basis. Or, if you’re on a tight budget, you can hire us only to establish the framework enabling you to easily post content that you create.
For more ideas, see videos we offer about search engine optimization in the Learning Center of the Support Section at www.AdvisorProducts.com or call 516 333 0066 #224.
I look at all of the websites my company builds. Geier Financial Group drew me in and I called Tom Geier.
Tom, 57, told me his brother, Joe, started the firm 15 years ago.
Joe Geier is a CPA and Tom is a CPA/PFS, which is the AICPA’s credential for a Personal Financial Specialist–which in some ways is actually better than a CFP designation.
Joe started the advisory firm 15 years ago and Tom joined about 11 years ago.
“Joe and I had always talked about working together and we took the opportunity when it came up,” says Tom, who quit his job as a corporate VP of finance to work as an advisor.
I’m a sucker when it comes to family businesses. What caught my attention about the Geier brothers is that these two guys are doing a few things right.
The website that I looked at is for Geier Financial’s newly founded mutual fund company, Geier Funds.
I noticed right away that the writing on the site is clear and concise. You just don’t see good writing like that too often on advisor websites. (The copy unfortunately was not written by our writers, but was a team effort at Geier.) Bravo!
The site is one of Advisor Products Designer Websites, which costs just $1,500 to build. Geier got its money’s worth by thinking through the information architecture of the site, organizing the site’s structure logically. Kudos to Geier’s marketing staffer, Melissa Jordan.
What really made me curious is that Geier has an advisory firm in addition to the mutual fund, and the advisory firm has a track record that can be advertised by the mutual fund. Few advisory firms have mutual fund. I’d guess that one in 500 advisory firms start a fund. So that makes Geier pretty unusual. It’s about as rare to find an advisory firm with a track record, and Geier is also has a track record, and its performance is impressive.
The track record is GIPS® compliant. GIPS is short for Global Investment Performance Standards, a set of standards for reporting investment performance established by the CFA Institute.
It’s wise for an advisory firm to maintain a track record that can be used in advertising, especially if you think you might want day start a mutual fund. While the up-front cost and hassle of establishing an accounting system to report portfolio returns properly are not trivial, the benefits can be significant. Geier is a good example of that.
From the start of 2002 through September 30, 2010, Geier’s Strategic Capital Preservation Composite, which represents all of the performance on all fee-paying assets managed by Geier, showed an annualized return net of expenses of 6%.
The fund is actively managed using technical analysis and fundamental research, says Tom Geier, its portfolio manager. He uses a trend following strategy. As a flexible fund, GAMTX allocates its investments primarily among stocks, bonds, ETFs, REITs, and other investments that are selected mainly for their long-term growth potential. It’s marketed as a conservative growth, absolute return fund.
In addition to the mutual fund, Geier Financial’s advisory firm is actually two businesses. One on side of the company is a family office catering to athletes, mostly baseball players, like former Baltimore Orioles great Cal Ripken and Yankee first basemen and Baltimore-native Mark Teixeira, as well as other ultra-high–net-worth individuals. That part of the firm manages money for about 15 clients and provides full-service financial planning including bill paying.
The other part of the advisory firm, according to Tom Geier, consists of about 130 clients who are friends and relatives of the Geiers and Geier Financial’s clients. Geier Financial has 15 employees, four of whom are advisors. In January, The Baltimore Sun published a flattering story about the firm.
I asked Tom Geier what his firm’s minimum is and whether he and his brother should be working with the 130 smaller clients when working with UHNWi’s in family office is more profitable and scalable. “They’re friends and family,” he says. “You can’t say no to them.”
Tom Geier says Geier Financial manages $150 million, and about $30 million of it is in the mutual fund. The smaller clients not getting family office services have been moved into the mutual fund, which Tom Geier says has reduced their fees.
Interesting advisory firm.
AdvisorVault, a fully-encrypted online application enabling financial advisors to share files with clients, has been upgraded to a server with 64-bit dual processors and six cores.
Before the upgrade, AdvisorVault’s integrations with Schwab PortfolioCenter and Advent Axys could process two advisory firm uploads concurrently, and any additional advisory firms attempting to upload their data would be placed in a queue. As a result of the upgrade, AdvisorVault’s processes four uploads simultaneously in one-quarter the time.
The new server uses dual Intel XEON X5650 2.66GHz sixcore CPUs with 48GB of RAM. That’s a lot of processing power.
Moving AdvisorVault to new hardware enables a software upgrade to the 64-bit version of Microsoft SQL Server, the database powering AdvisorVault.
The hardware and software upgrades increase AdvisorVault’s speed 400%.
While AdvisorVault is much faster for advisors and clients—as well as lawyers and accountants granted access—the hardware upgrade is most noticeable to advisory firms using AdvisorVault’s integrations with desktop portfolio management software (PMS) applications, Advent Axys and Schwab PortfolioCenter. Data upload is four times faster than the previous hardware configuration.
Sixty-four bits is the size of the program instructions and memory addresses that can be used by a computer processor. A 64-bit processor can use more than 32 times the amount of physical memory of a 32-bit processor.
Portfolio reports are now processed at four times the speed because more data can be accessed from RAM instead of the server’s hard drive.
Process more than four uploads concurrently without slowing AdvisorVault will be simple now. We’re monitoring the throughput and will add services as needed. Software development now under way will improve AdvisorVault’s scalability across multiple enterprises.
AdvisorVault can be added to any advisory firm’s website for $1,000 a year or integrated into websites hosted by Advisor Products for $2,100 annually. Schwab PortfolioCenter or Advent Axys costs an additional $1,500 a year.
Financial Advisor Marketing Videos was launched on our website yesterday, and it is a powerful marketing presentation for knowledgeable, ethical, and open financial advisors.
At Advisor Products, we’ve been experimenting with different video techniques over the last year. We’ve learned that advisors need two types of videos: “update videos” targeted to clients and “marketing videos” targeting prospects.
Update videos don’t need special effects, expensive equipment, or professional talent. They are one-take videos, just two or three minutes in length, so you don’t have to edit them. You can produce them yourself in your office by creating an inexpensive video studio. If you need to edit videos, it’s going to complicate things and make it less likely you will use this medium.
Marketing videos are different. You don’t need music, a teleprompter, or actors, but you do need to edit marketing videos. Financial Advisor Marketing Videos from Advisor Products fill this need.
With Financial Advisor Marketing Videos, an advisor sitting in front of a plain white background is interviewed by me. I’m off-camera and my voice is removed in post-production editing, along with any awkward phrasing or words misspoken. What remains is a financial advisor speaking to the camera about how he practices—his compensation scheme, investment strategy, specialties and all-time favorite clients.
While the advisor is the star, my questions and direction helps keep the advisor focused, concise, and factual. The resulting video conveys the candor and credibility of a TV news interview. It’s honest.
For financial advisors who have studied wealth management, believe in themselves, care about their clients’ success, and practice with integrity and professionalism, Financial Advisor Marketing Videos are extremely effective. These attributes are capture under the glare of bright lights.
The three advisors who have used our approach were all so satisfied with the results that they agreed to allow us to use their videos as samples. Check them out.
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