ACTIONABLE ADVICE FOR FINANCIAL ADVISORS: Newsletters and Commentaries Focused on Investment Strategy

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2014-06-24 Announcing a Merger? You Need a Game Plan by Kristen Luke (Article)

It wasn't until I announced my own firm's merger that I truly appreciated how complex this seemingly simple task really is. The following checklist can help you simplify the process and develop a game plan for making a successful announcement.

2014-04-22 What SEC Social Media Guidance Means for You by Kristen Luke (Article)

Recently, the SEC published new testimonial and social media guidelines that cleared the way for advisors to use social media review sites like Yelp and Angie’s List. Such sites were previously restricted because they provided content that was generally seen as testimonials. While the new guidance may seem like a big leap forward for financial advisors who use social media, there are still many restrictions, so it is important to understand what you can and cannot do.

2014-02-25 The Stereotypes to Avoid When Marketing to Women by Kristen Luke (Article)

Many financial advisors don’t have marketing materials that appropriately address today’s affluent female market. To make a genuine connection with women, choose images for your marketing materials that show you understand who they really are.

2014-02-04 Want to Achieve Marketing Success? Assign Responsibility by Kristen Luke (Article)

Develop a marketing strategy that works for you and your business. Once you find a strategy that works, implement it consistently. But with numerous other responsibilities and distractions, many financial advisors stumble when it comes to implementing their marketing plans. As a result, they do not see the results they anticipated.

2013-10-22 Recession-Proof Your Marketing by Kristen Luke (Article)

The choices you make and actions you take today will influence how your business fares following the next market crash. Here are two marketing strategies you can implement now to prepare for the future.

2013-08-20 How to Evaluate Event Marketing by Kristen Luke (Article)

If your firm uses event marketing, then it is critical to evaluate the success of your efforts. I recommend asking attendees to fill out an evaluation form at the conclusion of each event. This feedback will help you make necessary tweaks to improve future events and collect valuable contact information from attendees. The following tips will help you create a useful event evaluation form.

2013-07-30 Five Web Metrics Advisors Should Be Tracking by Kristen Luke (Article)

Do you look at your website analytics report and have no idea what it means? Don’t worry. Unless you are a professional web marketer, most of the data you see on those reports won’t impact your business in any significant way. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore your website statistics all together.

2013-02-12 Staying Active on Social Media: Ten Ways to Generate Relevant Content on a Frequent Basis by Kristen Luke (Article)

One of the most difficult aspects of social media marketing for financial advisors is staying active. For advisors who already have a hectic schedule, how do you generate relevant content and maintain an active presence? Here are 10 tips to help you get started.

2013-01-15 Five Key Marketing Trends for Advisors in 2013 by Kristen Luke (Article)

It is a new year and time to experiment with fresh marketing ideas. Keeping up with trends isn't just a way to tell your colleagues you are on the cutting edge of marketing. You need to understand how consumers are changing and how you can keep your message delivery relevant. If your marketing is getting stale, here are five marketing trends for 2013.

2011-10-25 How to Create Presentations for an iPad by Kristen Luke (Article)

The iPad is an excellent presentation tool. It's light, portable, and clearly made for eye-catching visuals. Here are some tips for ensuring your presentations look their best when viewed on an iPad.

2011-09-20 Own Your Brand by Kristen Luke (Article)

Your company's brand is too important to not have total control of your logo. Your designer may have created your logo, but you should have full control over these files. This means having appropriate versions for different applications and owning the rights to your logo.

2011-08-23 What You Don't Know About Stock Photos Can Hurt You by Kristen Luke (Article)

While the process of purchasing a stock image is easy, make sure you are purchasing the photos with the correct specifications and licenses to meet your needs. Otherwise, you could find yourself paying much more than you ever would have imagined.

2011-08-09 Communicating to Clients during Turbulent Times by Kristen Luke (Article)

While we all hope that sending messages to clients about the next economic crisis won't be as necessary as it has been in recent years, that is not a reasonable expectation. So prepare yourself now to be able to communicate quickly with your clients in the future.

2011-07-19 Should You Use Google+? by Kristen Luke (Article)

The jury is still out on whether Google+ is going to be the next Facebook. So the question is, 'Should you use it?'

2011-07-05 Three Steps to a Better Web Design by Kristen Luke (Article)

You have several options for web development: hire a web designer, purchase a template website, or create your own. Whichever you choose, spending some time in the planning stages will make the process quicker, easier and perhaps even cheaper.

2011-06-14 Fall Marketing Starts Today by Kristen Luke (Article)

The summer slowdown provides an excellent opportunity to focus more energy on marketing and planning for the fall. Here are three things to work on to prepare for September and the fourth quarter.

2011-05-24 Stop Making 'House Calls' by Kristen Luke (Article)

If a client or prospect isn't willing to come to your office and meet, find out why and develop a solution. Below are two common excuses advisors hear and solutions that avoid having traveling around town to meet someone.

2011-04-26 How to Take Advantage of the CFP Awareness Campaign by Kristen Luke (Article)

If you are a CFP, you will be directly affected by the Let's Make a Plan campaign, even if you take a passive role. Those who take a more active role can use the toolkit provided by the CFP Board to promote themselves in local markets. Here's what's entailed and what you can personally do to take advantage of the campaign.

2011-04-19 Two More Changes to Facebook by Kristen Luke (Article)

In last week's article, What Facebook's New Features Mean for your Business, I discussed a recent change Facebook made that allows business pages to interact throughout the site as a business and not just as an individual. Facebook made two other changes to business pages that affect how advisors use them as a marketing tool.

2011-04-12 What Facebook's New Features Mean for your Business by Kristen Luke (Article)

In March, Facebook changed how business pages can interact with other Facebook users. Most notably, a new feature called 'Use Facebook as a Page' allows business to 'like' and comment on other users.

2011-04-05 Four Ways to Position Yourself as an Expert by Kristen Luke (Article)

You have a wealth of knowledge about your industry and about how you can help your prospects. Indeed, you are an expert, but does your target market consider you one?

2011-03-01 Spring Cleaning for Your Website by Kristen Luke (Article)

Despite the time, thought and energy you spend building your web site, it?s too easy to forget about it and neglect it. It is time for a spring cleaning. Here are seven tips to spruce things up.

2011-02-01 Stop Using Outlook for Email Marketing by Kristen Luke (Article)

Unfortunately, many advisors confuse the ability to send hundreds of emails through Outlook with conventional email marketing. Advisors who do this don't know that they are putting themselves at risk of violating the federal CAN SPAM laws.

2011-01-18 Marketing Ideas I've Learned from My Clients by Kristen Luke (Article)

One of the favorite parts of my job is learning new ideas. Sometimes they come from campaigns that my clients have implemented over the years and sometimes these ideas come from collaborating with clients to find a solution to a problem they are facing. Here are my three favorite ideas from the past year.

2011-01-04 Five Ways to Shape Up Your Marketing in 2011 by Kristen Luke (Article)

January is the natural time for identifying areas neglected over the past few months (or years) and making plans to remedy these failings. As you create your list of New Year's Resolutions, here are five things you can do to shape up your marketing this year.

2010-12-21 Three Ways to Tweak Your Marketing by Kristen Luke (Article)

Even the best marketers can improve upon their existing successful campaigns and marketing messages. Here are my three recommendations for how to tweak your marketing for better results.

2010-12-14 Five Things to Look for When Hiring a Marketing Coordinator by Kristen Luke (Article)

A Marketing Coordinator must have diverse talents and the ability to handle the majority of marketing responsibilities required by your firm. Here are five skills to look for on a resume to increase the likelihood you are hiring the right person.

2010-12-06 The Silver Bullet of Marketing by Kristen Luke (Article)

One of the first questions advisors ask me is, 'What is working these days?' This always amuses me, since what works for one advisor is not necessarily going to work for another advisor. However, I have found there is one thing that is "working these days" and has always worked.

2010-11-09 The Most Neglected Marketing Principle by Kristen Luke (Article)

Often, advisors lack a strategy for following up with prospects if they are not immediately interested in hiring your firm. As the authors of a recent book state, "81% of sales that close, close on or after the fifth contact." It is imperative that you integrate a follow-up strategy in your marketing plan.

2010-11-02 Four New Ways to Beef Up Your LinkedIn Profile by Kristen Luke (Article)

If you have logged into LinkedIn in the last couple of weeks, you may have noticed some new changes. The professional networking site has new sections for individual profiles, and Kristen Luke explains how to use them.

2010-10-26 20 Ideas to Market Your Business this Holiday Season by Kristen Luke (Article)

Many advisors take advantage of the holidays to reach out to their clients and prospects. Kristen Luke offers 20 ideas you can utilize this year.

2010-10-12 Does Your Marketing Match Your Business Structure? by Kristen Luke (Article)

Marketing strategies differ depending on the structure of a firm, writes Kristen Luke. Solos and silos focus on marketing the individual advisor while ensembles market the firm. Ensembles also tend to have more sophisticated marketing campaigns since they generally have larger marketing budgets and higher revenue streams.

2010-08-31 Five Steps to Choosing the Right Marketing Firm by Kristen Luke (Article)

Finding a marketing firm for your advisory practice can be a daunting task and hiring the wrong firm can be an expensive mistake. It is essential that you spend time doing due diligence to find the right partner for your growth. Kristen Luke provides five steps that will help you with this process.

2010-08-10 A Marketing Guide for RIAs Part 10 - Develop a Written Marketing Plan by Kristen Luke (Article)

In the final installment of her series on low-budget marketing, Kristen Luke discusses how to put all the elements together in a written plan.

2010-08-03 A Marketing Guide for RIAs: Part 8 ? Implement a Client Referral Strategy by Kristen Luke (Article)

In her series on low-budget marketing for startup RIA firms, Kristen Luke discusses how to develop a client referral strategy.

2010-08-03 A Marketing Guide for RIAs: Part 9 ? Create a Drip Marketing System for Prospects by Kristen Luke (Article)

In her series on low-budget marketing for startup RIA firms, Kristen Luke discusses how to develop a drip marketing program.

2010-07-27 A Marketing Guide for RIAs: Part 6 - Develop a Networking Strategy by Kristen Luke (Article)

In her series on low-budget marketing for startup RIA firms, Kristen Luke discusses how to develop networking strategies.

2010-07-27 A Marketing Guide for RIAs: Part 7 ? Implement a Centers of Influence Referral Strategy by Kristen Luke (Article)

In her series on low-budget marketing for startup RIA firms, Kristen Luke discusses how to implement centers-of-influence referral strategies.

2010-07-20 A Marketing Guide for RIAs: Part 4 ? Create Marketing Collateral by Kristen Luke (Article)

In her series on low-budget marketing for startup RIA firms, Kristen Luke discusses how to create your marketing collateral.

2010-07-20 A Marketing Guide for RIAs: Part 5 ? Become an Expert by Kristen Luke (Article)

In her series on low-budget marketing for startup RIA firms, Kristen Luke discusses how to become an expert in your market niche.

2010-07-13 A Marketing Guide for RIAs: Part 2 ? Craft Your Message by Kristen Luke (Article)

As part of her series on low-budget marketing for startup RIA firms, Kristen Luke discusses how to craft your message.

2010-07-13 A Marketing Guide for RIAs: Part 3 ? Build a Website by Kristen Luke (Article)

Kristen Luke discusses the steps to take to build your website.

2010-07-06 A Marketing Guide for RIAs by Kristen Luke (Article)

Kristen Luke begins a series of articles that will provide step-by-step instructions on how to start marketing your new RIA firm. She assumes that your firm does not have tens of thousands of dollars to spend on marketing. Here is an overview of the series.

2010-07-06 A Marketing Guide for RIAs: Part 1 ? Pick a Niche by Kristen Luke (Article)

Beginning her series of articles that will provide step-by-step instructions on how to start marketing your new RIA firm, Kristen Luke outlines part 1 - developing a market niche.

2010-06-29 The $0 Marketing Plan by Kristen Luke (Article)

Many advisors find themselves in a difficult quandary - they need to market their businesses, but they don't have budget to do so. Instead of finding ways to market on a dime, they throw up their hands and hope that business will magically appear. Kristen Luke shows how you can market your business on a zero-dollar budget.

2010-06-22 Three New Ways to Use LinkedIn to Market Your Business by Kristen Luke (Article)

LinkedIn is constantly evolving and has become a better marketing tool in the process, writes Kristen Luke. If you haven't logged in recently, here are three new ways you can use the site to market your business.

2010-06-15 The Great Thank-You Note Debate by Kristen Luke (Article)

Fifteen years ago, sending a handwritten thank-you note was the only option. Technology has changed that, providing you with several options that make the choice more difficult. What is the right choice for your business? Kristen Luke offers three optionsto consider, depending on the demographics of your referral sources and the resources available in your firm.

2010-05-25 Measure the Success of your Marketing through your CRM by Kristen Luke (Article)

Just because marketing is difficult to measure, it doesn't mean you should give up trying to do so, says Kristen Luke. Your time is valuable and you have a limited budget, so you will want to make educated decisions about where to best allocate your resources. The best way to do this is to utilize your customer relationship management (CRM) system to track your marketing efforts.

2010-05-18 Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile through Applications by Kristen Luke (Article)

The standard LinkedIn profile is pretty boring - it consists almost entirely of text. Fortunately, LinkedIn has partnered with a dozen application providers to help enhance user experience. Here are eight that Kristen Luke recommends to turn your profile from a resume to a marketing tool.

2010-05-11 Join a Professional Association ? Just Not Your Own Profession by Kristen Luke (Article)

Don't limit your involvement in professional associations to your own profession, says Kristen Luke. To actively market your business, spend more time with professional associations that pertain to your prospective clients than for your own industry.

2010-05-04 Alternative Centers of Influence by Kristen Luke (Article)

Just because you haven't had much luck generating referrals from traditional centers of influence (COIs), don't give up your COI marketing strategy all together. COIs don't have to be CPAs or attorneys, says Kristen Luke. They can be anyone who has the ability to influence a potential client to pick up the phone and call you.

2010-04-27 Four Reasons to Keep Sending Your eNewsletter that No One Reads by Kristen Luke (Article)

If nobody opens your eNewsletter is a waste of time? Not at all! Having your contacts read your eNewsletter to stay informed about your business and educate themselves about their finances is just one possible outcome. Kristen Luke gives four other reasons why you should continue to send your eNewsletter, even if no one is reading it.

2010-04-13 Unforeseen Pitfalls of Social Media Success by Kristen Luke (Article)

There is a pitfall that is rarely anticipated and only occurs for those who are the most successful using social media, writes Kristen Luke. Social media can create more relationships and opportunities than one person can reasonably handle.

2010-04-06 Ten Steps to Get Started with New Media Marketing by Kristen Luke (Article)

For advisors not familiar with social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Viddler, BlogTalkRadio, and YouTube), Kristen Luke provides a 10-step plan to get started.

2010-03-30 Get More Bang for Your Charitable Buck by Kristen Luke (Article)

Whatever your level of involvement in charitable activities, you can probably still do more, writes Kristen Luke. This is especially true when it comes to incorporating your charitable support into a marketing strategy for your own business.

2010-03-23 Three Ways to Enhance Your Facebook Business Page by Kristen Luke (Article)

A business page on Facebook provides you with a way to connect with people interested in your practice without having to use your personal profile. Kristen Luke offers three tips for improving your Facebook visibility.

2010-01-26 Karma Marketing by Kristen Luke (Article)

A few weeks ago, Kristen Luke was speaking with an advisor about the types of marketing his firm does. He listed several standard marketing campaigns, and then went on to tell me that his main marketing strategy is to help others first with their needs. Business tends to follow, and he calls his strategy "Karma Marketing."

2010-01-12 How to Use LinkedIn When Your Compliance Department Says No by Kristen Luke (Article)

For those advisors who are allowed to have a LinkedIn profile but are restricted in their use of the site, there are still strategies that can be utilized to make LinkedIn a valuable sales and marketing tool. Kristen Luke provides four strategies to implement even if you can't use LinkedIn to its fullest potential.

2009-11-24 Get Personal with your Clients and Prospects by Kristen Luke (Article)

Financial advisors are, or at least should be, in the relationship business. So what better way to build a relationship than to interact with your clients and prospects outside the sphere of your business? Kristen Luke offers her suggestions.

2009-11-17 Five End-of-Year Marketing Tips by Kristen Luke (Article)

The slow period in November and December doesn't mean you should halt your marketing efforts. As Kristen Luke writes, you need to adjust your strategies and take advantage of the unique opportunities that are available during this period. Here are five tips to help make the most out of your end-of-year marketing.

2009-10-27 Should You Write Your Own Blog? by Kristen Luke (Article)

If you decide to include a blog in your marketing mix, you can use "canned" material from an outsource provider or you can write your own. Kristen Luke looks at the pros and cons of each approach.

2009-10-20 Marketing with LinkedIn: Create Your Own Group by Kristen Luke (Article)

Participating in various groups is one way you can utilize LinkedIn as a marketing tool, but for the more ambitious marketers, having your own group offers even greater opportunities. Kristen Luke offers step-by-step instructions to create your own group.

2009-10-06 Five Marketing Lessons from Schwab IMPACT by Kristen Luke (Article)

Kristen Luke recently attended Schwab's IMPACT conference in her home town of San Diego. The three days offered a vast amount of information, and she shares her five favorite marketing lessons from IMPACT this year.

2009-09-29 Social Networking is Still Networking by Kristen Luke (Article)

Why do some expect that social networking should produce results in a matter of a couple of months? It is still networking and should be handled in the same manner. As Kristen Luke explains, merely advertising your business may work if you are a restaurant or hotel, but it doesn't work in a relationship-oriented business like financial advising.

2009-09-22 Three Ways to Market Your Business Using Facebook by Kristen Luke (Article)

Kristen Luke explains three ways advisors can promote their practice through Facebook: utilizing a basic personal profile, creating a business page and creating a group page.

2009-09-15 How to Setup a Facebook Business Page by Kristen Luke (Article)

Facebook is not a good strategy for every advisor, but it may be appropriate for advisors with strong personal and community relationships. Kristen Luke shows how a business page allows you to share information with your "fans" just as you would with your "friends" through your personal profile.

2009-09-08 Make the Most of your Networking after the Event by Kristen Luke (Article)

After a networking event, the standard practice for most advisors is to send an email, make a phone call or mail a handwritten note. But what happens after the initial contact? Is there a system in place to continue following-up in the coming weeks, months and years, even if there is not an immediate fit? This is where most advisors fail in their networking strategy, according to Kristen Luke.

2009-08-11 How to Construct a Marketing Plan and Budget by Kristen Luke (Article)

One way to significantly increase the chances of marketing success is to develop a marketing plan and stick to it. Kristen Luke says forget the formal marketing plan and just outline your marketing activities and budget, and she provides a step-by-step guide for you to follow.

2009-08-04 Convert Prospects to Clients through Drip Marketing by Kristen Luke (Article)

Kristen Luke covers drip campaigns, where an advisor sends marketing collateral to a prospect on a regularly scheduled basis. Luke discusses how you can add prospects to your existing client communications or create an independent program just for prospects.

2009-07-28 Which Social Media Tool is Right for You? by Kristen Luke (Article)

Kristen Luke's philosophy is that the best marketing activities are the ones that are in line with the advisor's preferences and interests. Social media offers a rich array of tools - all you have to do is choose the one that best fits your personality and preferences.

2009-05-19 Five Ways to Cultivate Professional Referral Relationships by Kristen Luke (Article)

If you are looking to make professional referrals a key strategy for your business, you will want to develop dozens of relationships. Kristen Luke shows how to efficiently nurture these relationships with an action plan to touch your centers of influence throughout the year, just as you would your clients.

2009-05-12 Social Media Marketing for the Everyday Advisor by Kristen Luke (Article)

Some of the most effective advisors are marketing using blogs, internet radio, video blogs, e-books and Web-casts to attract clients and gain exposure. Kristen Luke explains how advisors can dip their toes into social media marketing without too much fuss, and expand marketing already in place.

2009-04-28 Twitter Your Way to New Clients, Part Two by Kristen Luke (Article)

Building your business is based on developing solid relationships and you know there is no quick way to attract clients. Twitter is no different- it will expose you to people you never would have met otherwise, but you will not see instant results. Kristen Luke provides the second installment in her two-part series on how to get started with Twitter.


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