Over the past several months, I’ve had the pleasure of hanging with some of the coolest people in the independent wealth management space. From Pershing INSITE to Joel Bruckenstein’s T3 Advisor to client launches that created great news buzz, I was honored to be among some of the best and brightest – from advisors to fintech pioneers.

Whenever I would mention FiComm and PR, the response was always the same: “we *love* PR.” As you can imagine, we were delighted to hear this, as we *love* PR too! But then the next breath would continue: press releases are great!

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Like most things worth doing, choosing the right Public Relations partner can be *hard*. I often hear advisors and wealth managers describe the practice of PR as an invaluable, yet somewhat intangible unicorn-like resource that can be either a total game-changer for their businesses – or a complete time and money sucking experience if not done well.

As I look around the independent advisory industry, I see only a handful of media mavens who skillfully use PR’s prowess to deliver their message naturally, thereby directly engaging the industry to impart their expertise. From Ron Carson’s “Ron-sense” to Joe Duran’s industry insight to Michael Kitces’ Nerd’s Eye View, it seems some just shine in the media spotlight with seemingly effortless ease.

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This is my last reminder to sign up for INVINCIBLE: The Most Direct Path to $1 Billion on May 9 in San Francisco and May 10 in Portland, OR. Yes, it’s a full-day commitment, but it’s designed to make a permanent change to your firm’s growth trajectory.

Meanwhile, here’s one more quick sneak preview of our themes—this time, on marketing planning.

Before we get to the actual planning process, let’s be clear about one thing: If you want to become INVINCIBLE, you can’t be INVISIBLE. Typically, advisors stay within their own little orbit of clients and centers of influence.

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I really hope you’ll sign up for INVINCIBLE: The Most Direct Path to $1 Billion, the all-day advisor growth workshop we’re hosting with FourPointe Consulting and LiveOak Bank on May 9 in San Francisco and May 10 in Portland, OR.

If you’d like a sneak preview of some of the themes I’ll be talking about, keep reading.

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Mark Your Calendar for May 9-10

INVINCIBLE: The Most Direct Path to $1 Billion
May 9, San Francisco, CA, The Bridges Golf Club
May 10, Portland, OR, Hyatt House

There’s a war coming. It’s a battle between firms that cross the $1 billion AUM threshold—with all the resources, efficiencies and presence that size can bring—and the firms that don’t.

If you’re trying to join the billion-plus club, you might be getting frustrated at the pace of your growth. If you want to stay smaller and more intimate, you might be worried about losing control of your future. Either way, this is the event for you.

INVINCIBLE is designed to help you run your firm from a position of power—whether you choose to scale up or not. FiComm is combining forces with FourPointe Consulting (human resources) and LiveOak Bank (financing) for a full-day workshop that’s way more than a training session. It’s designed to be a catalyst for your growth, a moment that sparks real change, lifts you out of your plateau, and helps you shape the future on your terms.

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As you may remember, last year I urged you to plant your flag and establish your claim as a fiduciary in the eyes of the investing public. Thanks to the Fifth Circuit, you have another window of opportunity to stake out your claim again. But you have to act now.

No one knows who will ultimately win the legal battle over the fiduciary rule. But I do know that over the past week, almost every investor has been reading about it. And they’ve all watched certain corners of the financial industry jump up and down to celebrate the decision. A decision that actually says asking advisors to act in their clients’ best interest is—wait for it—"unreasonable."

Let that sink in. That’s literally the court’s own word; you can look it up. It’s "unreasonable" to put a client’s interests ahead of your own.

Well, not for you. It’s what you do every day. I’ve watched you and your peers work tirelessly to do what’s right for your clients, without a thought to any conflicts of interest. As a fiduciary, you’re different. Better. And you like it that way.

It’s time to let them know.

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Remember The Sixth Sense, where (spoiler alert) Bruce Willis goes through the whole movie not realizing he’s dead? Did you ever see The Others, that Nicole Kidman movie where she thinks her house is haunted, (more spoilers) only to find out that she’s actually the ghost?

This trope gets used a lot, from Beetlejuice to the Anne Hathaway plane crash movie to Lost. It’s popular because it’s so creepy. We have a real, instinctive fear of suddenly discovering that the normal, everyday life we know is just an illusion. That you think you’re interacting with the world, but, in reality, nobody can even see you.

That’s why the word “ghost” has picked up a slang definition as somebody with no online presence (among other meanings.) Many people don’t trust ghosts. If they can’t find you on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Snapchat, they start to wonder what’s the matter with you.

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Like most people with a social media account, my feed is oversaturated with random acts of content – written pieces without any strategy or value – and so I’ve become very selective about what I allow onto my reading list. There was one headline, however, that I think is worth discussing: Is Indianapolis Cool Enough for Amazon?

This piece in the New York Times defends the Midwestern city as a headquarters choice for the media and distribution giant. As someone that works in content, this immediately spoke to me because the word “cool” has layers of meaning. Cool factor can mean how Instagram-worthy something is, or how much it appeals to the Millenial audience (both major issues in current-day marketing).

But in this case, I took this article as Indianapolis’ attempt at a rebrand of the city. They are trying to change public perception.

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On February 23, 2017—a year ago, almost to the day—I wrote a post urging advisors to get ready for an upcoming stock market correction. Were you ready for what happened last week? Did you have a crisis communications plan in place? Did your clients all receive a reassuring call or email? Was everyone in the firm on the same page about your message, or did you have trouble reaching consensus? How long did it take to get something out? A day? A week?

If you had a plan and executed it flawlessly, congratulations. You really took advantage of the situation to cement your relationships with your clients and distinguish yourself from your peers. But if not, don’t miss out on the chance to do better next time—and as we know, there will always be a next time. Yes, it probably feels like buying extra insurance after something gets stolen, but better late than never.

Click on the button below to read the entire post from last year. It includes practical steps that you can take right now to put your crisis communication plan in place.

The best-performing blogs of the year

We are solidly into 2018, and with any luck, you’re a little wiser than you were in 2017. Or at least, by now you should have analyzed what went well for your business and what didn’t. As marketers, we’re always in Analysis and Optimization Mode, but the end of Q4 is always exciting because then you can start to see trends.

Did you get goosebumps? Because I just did.

You built the plan in Q1 and though you’ve seen results in your short-term conversions, you’re starting to understand better what that means for your business overall. Like everything in marketing, success is only as good as the goals you set. And it’s what you can garner from the previous year that can set you in a new direction right now.

So, when it came time to plan our content calendar for 2018, we weren’t just looking at who saw what blog on the day that we posted it. We were looking for trends, behaviors, and data that can help us anticipate the types of content that our readers want to see.

Without further ado, these are the blogs you enjoyed the most (and how we can tell).

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