How to Succeed Online: The Ultimate Digital Marketing Checklist for Advisors


1) Be optimized for mobile

Digital traffic on smartphones and tablets has now exceeded desktops. Give your clients a consistent experience no matter what device they are using.

2) Create a great value proposition

Make yourself stand out from the competition by creating a unique value proposition that resonates with your target audience and highlights your key client benefits.

3) Market through Social Media

Get active on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Ensure your social newsfeed is visible on your website so your prospects and clients can stay up-to-date. Social media is a perfect way to keep your clients and prospects engaged.

4) Present engaging imagery

The images on your website should resonate with your target audience while representing your brand.  Ensure your photography relates to your audience and reflects who you are.

5) Be dynamic with your website

Websites that are continually updated not only keep visitors coming back, they help make sure your website appears at the top of search results.  Updating your site with newsworthy topics, blogs, and articles show that you are on top of your game.

6) Create polls, events & community outreach

Polls are quick questions on your website designed to get feedback engage your audiences. Posting polls, inviting prospects to events or demonstrating participation in your community not only keeps you in touch but helps you to gain additional insight into their needs.

7) Capture Leads

Every website should have the ability to capture prospect contact information. The goal of your website is to create sales and generate more business. Effective Calls-to-Actions direct visitors to a contact form, a newsletter subscription, webinars or a consultation.

8) Create content

Small businesses that blog get 55% more website visitors, and 126% higher lead growth than non-blogging businesses*. . Blogging helps you to connect and engage with prospects and establish yourself as an expert in the industry

*”12 Mind-Blowing Statistics Every Marketer Should Know,”MartaKagan

9) Optimize for Google

Ensuring Google and other search engines can find you is critical to helping prospects find your website. Step one is understanding the target keywords that your audience searches for. Then create content that includes these keywords including Meta tags that tell the search engines what your website is all about.

10) Promote yourself with email and e-newsletters

Email marketing is not only a very inexpensive method of communicating it is also a perfect way to stay “top of mind” with your prospects and clients.

Inspirational Marketing Takeaways from #SethGodin at #INBOUND15

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“This is not a conference. It’s a movement. It’s the INBOUND MOVEMENT.”

Inbound 2015

4 days, 5 inspiring keynotes, 14,000 marketers, 170+ educational sessions later…and we are back from Inbound 2015, and more inspired then ever. For 4 days, the Veriday team attended Hubspot’s Inbound 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.   Inbound has become one of the biggest marketing conferences in the industry, gathering thousands of marketing and sales professionals from around the globe.

Inbound 2015

The Boston Convention and Exhibition Center was packed with 14,000 marketing hungry professionals anxious to learn and discuss everything there is marketing from industry trends, to new technologies, to predictions for the future, to tips, hacks and tricks.

By the end of the week, I found myself more inspired by the Inbound movement then ever; my head filled with more marketing ideas and information then I thought possible. It would be difficult to recap my entire week; navigating through sessions, keynotes, bold talks, and trying to absorb all of the information that I could. So, here I am trying to bring you home some of my favourite talks, sessions, and miscellaneous good bits from Inbound 2015. I hope these takeaways inspire you, as they did me.

Seth Godin (Best selling Author, Entrepreneur, Marketing Guru and Public Speaker)

Seth Godin - Inbound 2015

It seemed only appropriate that Seth Godin, marketing legend and best selling author, kicked off Inbound 2015 on Tuesday evening. I have to say, I was particularly moved and inspired by Seth’s talk; his messaging about aiming higher and doing great work. What spoke to me was Seth’s discussion about the best gift you can give yourself, “saying yes”. Yes, to helping someone. Yes, to the adventure that is your life. Perhaps the best way to recap Seth’s talk is by sharing with you some of my favourite quotes from his keynote:

“The way we make change happen is by being human, by being connected, and by doing things that might not work.  We spend so much time “getting our ducks in a row.” Once you get them, what are you going to do with the ducks?”

“It’s not about the product, it’s about turning outsiders to insiders for your brand.”

“Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.”

“Our job is to change from, “it’s always been that way” to “sure, let’s try that!”

“I’m not sure what the question is but the answer is yes.”

“You have to make something that some people won’t wait in line for in order to make something that some people will wait in line for.”

“What have you done lately that “might not work”? It might work it might not work.”

“Why did it make it into the museum? It made it into the museum because some people didn’t like it.”

“We like to get off the hook – the hook that says we are responsible.”

“Writer’s block” isn’t real! This term wasn’t introduced until the 1940s when writing became a profession. The reason for writer’s block is because of the lizard brain.  The lizard brain doesn’t want you to be responsible.”

 “The stories you’re telling yourself about why you can’t do it, or why you’re not good enough are all invented.”

 “Scratching is your choice – taking your eye off the ball – taking yourself away from what you could’ve been doing all along.”

Godin so elegantly discussed how people need to stop seeking approval and adhering to authority, and need to start taking responsibility. He explains that many of us have the false assumption that if we were to have more authority, we could do more, and we could do something that actually matters. In reality, Godin explains, if we want to start doing work that matters, we need to start taking action and responsibility, and stop using excuses.

Godin challenges attendees to ask themselves: How do you choose to matter? It’s not about getting bigger or winning some race. It’s about figuring out how you matter. When we are doing work that matters, we are changing other people. Stand for something. Take responsibility.  Give credit.  Embrace risks.

Godin tells the crowd that the story you are telling yourself, what you think you can’t do, and what you think your weaknesses are, are all invented.  According to Seth, “You already have what you need to get to the next level.”


Stayed tuned for the rest of my inspirational takeaways from Inbound 2015. Hopefully they will inspire your marketing (and life), as they did me.

Financial Advisor Checklist: 10 Things Every Advisor Should Be Doing Online

  1. Mobile Optimized Website.

Digital traffic on smartphones and tablets has now exceeded desktops. Consumers expect a consistent experience no matter what device they are using. If your website is not mobile friendly, you are likely losing business to a website that is.

  1. A clearly defined value proposition and target audience.

Your prospects should have no difficulty understanding what it is that you do and how they can benefit from working with you. Your value proposition should contain one or more of the key benefits that you provide to your clients.

  1. Social Media Presence.

If you’re active on Twitter and Facebook, you should ensure your newsfeed is also visible on your website. Many investors use Social Media as key sources of information to help them better understand investment strategy and advice. In fact, nearly 70% of wealthy investors have reallocated investments, or began altering or already altered relationships with investment providers based on content found through social media.

  1. Engaging Imagery.

Do the images on your current site resonate with your target audience?  Are your images dated? Good quality? Legal? Unique? Relevant? Engaging? Powerful? Emotional? Are your competitors using the same image? Will your audience relate to the image?

  1. Dynamic Website.

Static sites do not perform well with your audience nor do they appear at the top of search results.  It is important to stay on top of updating your site regularly with new topics of interests, blogs, articles, etc. in order to keep search engines happy, and to keep your prospects coming back for more.

  1. Polls, Events & Community Outreach.

Are you regularly posting polls to your site to allow for audience feedback and engagement? Are you posting forms to allow your prospects and customers to RSVP to upcoming Webinars or events?

  1. Forms & Calls to Action.

What methods do you have in place to capture the information of prospects visiting your site and to convert them into leads/customers?  If the goal of your website is to create sales and get more business, then it is important that your website has effective Call to Actions. Present your value and use calls to action to direct visitors to a contact form, a newsletter subscription, or other call to actions such as webinars or a consultation.

  1. Blogging.

Hubspot reports that small businesses that blog get 55% more website visitors, and 126% higher lead growth than non-blogging businesses. Blogging also helps you to connect and engage with your prospects. It can help you establish yourself as an expert in the industry by helping to solve prospects challenges through content.

  1. Search Engine Optimization.

Are you putting time into the SEO of your website? It is important to constantly keep SEO in mind when creating and updating your website. Why build a website that no one can find? Target keywords that your target audience might search and create new content that targets these keywords. Make sure you are creating META tags for each page of your site. Meta tags are a great way for you to tell search engines what your website is all about.

      10.  eNewsletter

Do you have a method of staying “top of mind” with your prospects and clients? E-mail marketing is one of the most effective ways to stay in touch with your clients and nurture your prospects. E-Newsletters can be one of the easiest ways that Advisors can repurpose their existing content in order to engage their audience, and remain front and centre when prospects are ready to make a buying decision.


Guide to Content Marketing

Being Seen (and Heard) Online

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This post was authored by Marie Swift and originally appeared here on GuideVine.

Current and prospective clients are bombarded with massive quantities of advertising and marketing, most of which they discount, little of which they trust. In this noisy world, the smartest financial advisors work hard to stand out as different and better, by establishing and continually increasing credibility.

One way they do this is through more varied use of electronic communications, which can enhance virtually every aspect of a financial advisory business. A tactic to explore is adding key-word rich news releases, in addition to the thoughtful blogs and other social media channels.

This become especially important as search engines continually update the algorithms they use to index, categorize and rank online content. Whether you know it or not, people are “Googling you” … and could even be talking about you, positively or negatively, on discussion boards, social media sites, and rating services such as Yelp.

As the old song goes, how can you ‘accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative”?


While many advisors have embraced blogging as a way to produce unique content that not only helps to boost their search engine page rankings (SERP) but also positions them as an authority on one or more subjects, others adhere to the time-honored tradition of issuing news releases whenever they have (1) an announcement (such as a new hire or receiving an award) or (2) a topic on which they can credibility write (such as tax tips in the spring or budgeting tips as the holidays approach).

The smartest advisors use both a thoughtful blog and keyword-rich news releases to help the right people find them online.

If properly crafted and distributed, a well-timed news release can:

  • Provide credible content that newswire syndicates will publish, thus producing numerous inbound links to your website and impressive content that you can “buzz up” in social media circles
  • Generate specific information for the search engines to catalog and rank, thus making it more likely that the right people will see you during online keyword searches
  • Draw attention from journalists who may be on the receiving end of a personalized email – which could result in an article or audio/video interview that will end up online and create even more credibility


While in the past news releases where reserved for use only when one had something truly news worthy to announce, today many smart advisors are generating topical news releases and syndicating them – as a public service – via a newswire service such as PR Newswire.

Online news releases that have a twist or dovetail on a current event are more likely to go viral and gain extra exposure.

Study the way these two news releases were built and think about the reasons the issuing company (in this case, published a traditional announcement-style news release in one instance and a more topical news release in a subsequent distribution:


I’ve been writing news releases (and every other conceivable type of marketing communications, including books, white papers, websites, speeches, client letters, advertisements, articles and brochures) for financial firms for over 25 years. Here are a few tips for writing and distributing a good news release:

  1. Put on your journalist hat. Write the piece as if a media outlet had interviewed you and written the piece. Skip the flowery language, adjectives and opinion – these are the hallmarks of an amateur, and readers (especially journalists) will discount both the content of the release and its creator. If you do use adjectives and opinion, put that content in quotes (from yourself or another entity). All of the top-tier newswire services will reject poorly written and/or overly self-promotional news releases; some will require that the release adhere to AP Style Guidelines.
    Good example: Marie Swift Joins Sheryl Garrett on Wealthminder Board
  1. Think long and hard about the headline and the subhead. You only have a few seconds to capture the reader’s attention. In the subhead, try not to repeat any of the keywords in the headline. Think like a newspaper headline writer or magazine editor – what would he or she write in a concise and compelling way?
    Good example: RightSize Solutions Announces Industry-Leading Two-Factor Authentication at T3 Conference
  1. Write for people first, and search engine spiders second. Writing with a specific audience in mind will increase your chances of being found in relevant keyword searches. Don’t try to “game the system” by jamming in keywords and phrases as search engines typically penalize over-optimized content. Write a good piece and you’ll probably be in good shape when it comes to keywords. Put the most important keyword phrase as close to the beginning of the headline and repeat it somewhere toward the top of the release. Search engines tend to place more weight on words and phrases found at the top of the page. Use synonyms, just as you would in normal speech – search engines understand synonyms so you can use them with confidence.
    Good example: Implications of Oil Bust on Fossil Fuel Divestment and Socially Responsible Investing
  1. Include images and links. Research from SEO-experts shows that links and images are good to include. First off, they make your content more compelling for human viewers. Secondly, they boost visibility on social media sites such as Google+ and Facebook, which favor multimedia. Finally, search engines like them when used in moderation and if relevant to the verbiage in the release.
    Good examples:
  1. Generate online visibility by using a good newswire service. While you could go cheap and use something like or 24-7 Press Release, you will get better results on the SEO side of things (and impress more people) if you syndicate your news release through a higher quality service. Marketwired, Globe Newswire, PRWeb and PR Newswire syndicate to reputable news sites. This kind of syndication results in higher search engine rankings. Once the news release has been syndicated via the newswire service, select the best link and share that on social media – search engines are paying attention to social interaction so that is another very important factor in building online visibility (they assume that content generating a lot of interaction is valuable and timely, so that content gets a boost in search engine results).You will also want to email a personalized version to targeted media outlets. If you’ve done a good job crafting the release and targeting the right journalist(s), you might just get a call or email asking for an interview … which could lead to a another article in a credible third-party media outlet … and that will produce another virtuous cycle and benefits to your firm.
    Good example: Laura Pierson Takes the Helm at Peak Advisor Alliance (news release) led to Carson Revamps Management Structure (media article)

Building your online presence is important. A bad online presence can damage your reputation. As Richard Branson has famously said, “Your brand name is only as good as your reputation.” Using thoughtful blog content and news releases can help financial advisors build stronger perceptions and drive traffic to their website, which should in almost all cases serve as the digital marketing hub.

The FInancial and Insurance Advisor's Guide to Blogging

Top Takeaways from the Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit 2015


Last week, Veriday had the opportunity to attend and sponsor the Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit (DMFS 2015) in Toronto (#DMFS2015). The conference brought together top digital marketing thought leaders in the industry including brands, technology solutions and agencies, with the purpose of driving thought-leadership and educating marketers on the latest in the digital marketing world.

Although there were many takeaways from the sessions, here are some of the top themes that arose that Financial service marketers need to be aware of when developing their digital marketing strategy:

1. It’s All About Consumer Engagement & Experience

It is no longer just about sales, but engaging consumers in the different stages of the customer buyer journey. Organizations in Financial Services can no longer remain competitive by simply providing a positive customer experience.   The buyer is changing and today’s empowered customers expect meaningful connections with brands.

The idea of being pitched right away from a brand no longer exists. No longer is it advertising campaigns and sales that is keeping consumers loyal to brands. It is about creating meaningful connections that engage consumers and turn them into brand ambassadors. Enterprises have to engage with consumers in a different way and level, and build that trust.

Delight your consumer with your content. Give consumers something insightful and something that is valuable to them. Make your content fun and something that they might actually want to share with their network.   There is so much noise in the content marketing world that content should be all about your consumer, not your brand. Tell a good story, or solve your consumers’ challenges, and make your brand part of that narrative.

2.The Importance of Mobile

We are continuously hearing that mobile is on the rise. Here are a couple of statistics, from the conference, that goes to show just how much mobile usage continues to drastically grow:

  • There are more mobile devices than people on the planet.
  • 16.8m Canadians were reached online via smartphones and tablets in Q1 2015.
  • The average consumer is checking their mobile every 6 minutes, 150 times a day.
  • 75% of conversions on mobile devices happen within an hour of the initial search.

Consumers are expecting a consistent experience no matter what device they are on.   As mobile increases in popularity, customer expectations are rising drastically with it.  This means that brands need to up their game to keep pace and keep the mobile experience seamless. To truly cater to their mobile customers and provide a flawless experience, businesses must understand the context in which their customers are using mobile and use this knowledge to improve their mobile experience.

3. Multi-Channel Marketing Approach

Omni-channel marketing has become somewhat of a buzzword in the digital marketing industry as of late. Simply put, this means that your business markets across as many channels as it can to reach its target market. From websites and email, to social media and print, every channel presents a unique opportunity to market.

An important point made at the conference was that businesses don’t need to be on every marketing channel, but they do need to be on the mediums that their customers are on. Perhaps the best approach to choosing is letting your customer’s decide what mediums you are on by creating a dialogue with them. Ask your customers where they want to be reached and what medium you can most effectively get your message across to them. The most important thing is giving your customers the information they want, on whatever medium they are on, and making it simple for them to find exactly what they are looking for.

When you choose the appropriate marketing channels, repurpose your messaging (mobile, infographics, webinars, e-books, etc.) and tell the same story through different channels.


We are proud to have sponsored the Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit this year and are excited for its anticipated growth. If you are on Twitter, make sure to check out the conference hashtag #DMFS2015 for some more great stats, insights, and information from the conference.

Advisors: 5 Quick Ways to Amplify the Reach of Your Digital Marketing

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Below are 5 quick and actionable tips to help amplify the reach of your digital marketing:

  1. You’ll notice that on each of our blog posts we include a very clean and simple widget that enables our audience to share that piece of content with anyone via their own social networks on such platforms as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.  This widget is provided by the team at You too can enable your visitors to share your content by displaying that widget on your own respective site by downloading it here.
  1. If you’ve been actively blogging for a couple months and have built a base of around 15-20 posts, consider combining some of the top visited articles and creating an eBook offer.  Since eBooks are considered to be higher-value content pieces, you may be able to collect visitor information in exchange for downloading of your eBook. eBooks are a great way for Advisors to collect information from prospects visiting their website.
  1. Interested in driving more blog traffic to your site?  Post a small excerpt of a blog article to your LinkedIn page that includes a “Read More” link pointed back to your website.
  1. On top of posting to your LinkedIn network try sharing the post within a number of LinkedIn groups and communities.  I would be cautious in submitting to forums where you haven’t contributed or built rapport in the community.  Blindly posting to a number of forums, before building a rapport in that group, can be perceived as spam.
  1. Finally, be sure to think about who in your network could also benefit from your content pieces.  Your extended partner community of accountants, lawyers, etc. may have their own digital marketing channels that may be open to sharing your content in the form of a guest blog post or direct e-mail to their client base.  You can track the metrics of who is directing the most traffic back to your site and reach out to these partners. The top referrals should be logged in your CRM as partners that warrant “thank-you” emails and quarterly check-ins.  Staying committed to this approach could some day land you a client who contacted you after coming across your post on their attorney’s monthly eNewsletter.


If you want to amplify the reach of your digital marketing download the free e-book today!

Guide to Content Marketing

Financial Advisor Marketing: A Blueprint for Success

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This post was authored by Marie Swift and originally appeared here on GuideVine.


Many financial advisors become so entrenched in daily routines and heavy workloads that they fail to adequately plan for the ongoing success of their business. As the New Year comes into view, smart financial advisors will take a “planning break”. They step back, get away from the office, turn off email, texts and social media for an hour (or two or three or even a day or a weekend), reflect on where they’ve been and where they’re headed, journal a bit, and create or refine their strategic plan for 2015.

Some financial advisors will want to include their management team, a partner, or their assistant in these reflection and planning efforts. They may even include a coach such as Ed Jacobson, Ph.D, who has years of experience working with financial planners and coaching advisors in the “appreciative process”, often asking, “What’s good here, and what do we want more of?” Motivational speaker Brian Tracy may have said it best: “Teamwork is so important that it is virtually impossible for you to reach the heights of your capabilities or make the money that you want without becoming very good at it.”


Loring Ward’s William Chettle, who oversees all the firm’s marketing and communications efforts, often quotes Antoine de Saint-Exupery saying, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” In the age of robo-advisors and other competitive threats, financial advisors cannot afford to simply “wing it”. There is too much at stake. They must have a clear vision of what they want to do, why they want to do it, whom they best serve and why they are uniquely qualified to serve those select markets.

The most important element of a marketing plan is defining the specific markets to be served and then developing the messages and methodologies to reach those targeted markets. Steve Wershing, the “referral doctor” and author of the industry-specific book for financial advisors, “Stop Asking for Referrals: A Revolutionary New Strategy for Building a Financial Service Business that Sells Itself”, likes to say, ““the biggest mistake advisors make is not having a clearly defined niche or two. Without a clear and specific target market definition and a compelling value proposition, you’ll be diluting your message and wasting your time.”

To create a laser-focused marketing plan, take out a blank notebook or open a new document on your computer. On page one, the table of contents, write down the five essential steps:

  • Step 1: Target Market Definition
  • Step 2: Message Development
  • Step 3: Marketing Methods
  • Step 4: Time and Money Budget
  • Step 5: Timetable and Steps                                   

Now take one of those “planning breaks” (and not just 20-30 minutes) to flesh out each section of the five steps.

  1. Target Market Definition: Who is your ideal client and why? What unique needs and mindsets do they have that no other group has? Where do they congregate, what do they read, whom do they trust? What are their pain points?
  2. Message Development: To what key words and benefit statements will this group of people best respond? Why should they do business with you right now? Why should they trust you? What are your proof points?
  3. Marketing Methods: How will you reach this group or groups? There are a few methods to choose from. Which one resonates with them? Do you have the knowledge to effectively use that method?
  4. Time and Money Budget: How much time will you spend on “free” activities such as serving on boards, networking in the community, writing articles for your blog and/or the local newspaper, then amplifying any “earned” media occurrences through social media channels (where your content is actually “shared” with relevant others)? How much money will you spend on “paid” activities such as advertising, sponsorships, seminars, directory listings, radio shows, and the like? How much will you invest in “owned” channels such as your own website and blog?
  5. Timetable and Steps: Get out a calendar and pencil in key dates and events. Think about the seasons and recurring mindsets that are likely to occur throughout the year—New Year’s resolutions in January, last-minute tax strategies in March, graduations and weddings in May and June, summer vacations and back-to-school in July and August, year-end tax planning in October and November. Work backwards to ensure that key promotional dates and in place.


Lewis K. Bendele said, “A man without a plan for the day is lost before he starts.” Creating a detailed marketing plan can provide the roadmap financial advisors need to reach their desired destination by helping them:

  • Understand the types of clients they are best suited to serve
  • Define the unique value they bring to these clients relative to their competitors
  • Identify specific barriers they may be facing
  • Identify the most appropriate tactics for their firms
  • Line up the right resources and execute effectively
  • Stop wasting valuable resources via uncoordinated marketing efforts

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