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PreciseFP review and demo

PreciseFP is an automated data-gathering solution that helps financial advisers engage clients and gather data critical to the quality of their financial plan.

I invited Don Whalen, co-founder of PreciseFP to stop by FPPad HQ to talk about how advisers can be more efficient with data gathering and client correspondence.

Watch this discussion above or on YouTube, which includes a demo of the desktop solution as well as the mobile app that helps streamline client follow up.

If you’re interested in trying the solution, sign up for a 30-day free trial (the standard trial period is seven days) by visiting (not an affiliate link, I receive no compensation if you choose to sign up)

Chapter markers

0:36 What is the PreciseFP solution?
1:26 How is PreciseFP different than SurveyMonkey and Typeform?
3:35 How do the PreciseFP integrations save time?
5:14 What kind of analytics does PreciseFP provide regarding form completion?
7:52 How has recent DOL legislation impacted PreciseFP customers?
12:20 See the demo of PreciseFP
18:12 See the company templates preloaded into PreciseFP
19:31 Can PreciseFP be used for prospecting and capturing leads?
23:53 What kind of client segmenting can PreciseFP support?
25:44 See a demo of the PreciseFP mobile app
29:20 How does PreciseFP facilitate entry-level automation for client correspondence?
32:30 What is like the “undergarments” of the financial planning industry?
35:22 One important takeaway regarding off-the-shelf survey tools and client Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
38:07 Where to sign up for an extended free trial of PreciseFP

YouTube secrets for financial advisers

YouTube Zero

Effective video thumbnails, annotations, and hyperlinks are the biggest missed opportunities on YouTube for financial advisers

I recently connected with Joe and Luke Simonds of Advisor Internet Marketing ( to talk about the top YouTube secrets for financial advisers.

The Simonds brothers are hosting 31 live Google+ Hangout events in 31 days (a tall order for anyone to deliver!), and I was the guest on March 12 to talk about YouTube secrets.

Here are some of the highlights from our 35 minute broadcast.

Why YouTube?

You likely already know that YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine right behind Google. And because Google owns YouTube, Google often seeds Internet search results with content uploaded to YouTube.

Advisers who are wondering why uploading content to YouTube is worth the time and effort need to know that if they have zero content on YouTube, they have zero chance at showing up in those coveted YouTube slots in Google search results.

At 4:30, Simonds and I talk about why this is so important for anyone in financial services.

It doesn’t cost a lot to get started

Yes, advisers can record a video with their iPhone and upload it to YouTube, but there are a number of reasons why this may not be the best strategy for creating YouTube content.

Fortunately, the total cost for “prosumer” video and studio equipment is a lot lower than some might think. I have a list of gear advisers can buy to create their own studio that is free for anyone who signs up to the free FPPad newsletter.

At 7:25, we talk about how important good audio and video quality is in creating the right impression for one’s audience.

The biggest mistake to avoid

One of the biggest mistakes I see advisers making is not going through the process of creating a transcript. Many advisers sit in their office, press record on their iPhone or webcam, and ad lib about a topic.

Big mistake!

One reason why this is a mistake is that for any adviser under compliance requirements for their content, advisers might have to scrap their video altogether if compliance doesn’t approve the content.

So the mistake to avoid is filming a video without a transcript.

Write a script, submit it to compliance prior to filming, and then after the video is uploaded to YouTube, upload the transcript so YouTube can add closed captions to the video. Not only does that decrease the risk of scrapping a video, transcripts increase the video’s search engine ranking as Google uses the transcript to identify what the video is about.

At 12:35, we discuss the big mistakes to avoid and how using transcripts solves those big risks.

Key secrets to boosting YouTube ROI

Filming a video and uploading it to YouTube isn’t going to guarantee success. Fortunately there are some super easy techniques and secrets that can boost an adviser’s YouTube ROI.

First, create a custom thumbnail image for your video and use that instead of allowing YouTube to pick a random frame from your video.

Second, use YouTube annotations to make it super easy for viewers to subscribe to your YouTube channel or to go watch a related video on your channel.

And third, use hyperlinks, complete with the “http://” prefix in the video’s description box on YouTube to help your viewers navigate to relevant websites.

At 14:40, we talk about all of these super easy secrets that few advisers know about that can really boost the ROI of YouTube.

How to look good on camera

With your YouTube video, you’re asking your viewers to give up some amount of time in the hopes that they’ll learn something, get a valuable takeaway, or be entertained. Don’t blow the opportunity by looking nervous or shifty on camera!

How have I become so comfortable filming all my videos?

I hired a coach.

Regular viewers of FPPad Bits and Bits might notice @CMS2020 in the credits as Executive Producer. That’s Steve Biermann, founder of Creative Marketing Solutions and my producer and coach for all of my video content.

At 22:11, we talk about the lessons I learned when I hired a coach and how he’s helped me improve my on camera presence.

End with a call to action

As with any good content online, finish the content with a call to action. What should the viewer do next? What resources are available to help the viewer answer their questions. The answer is in your call to action.

At 31:57, we end the Google+ Hangout with our respective calls to action, which includes my prompt to get my free guide to awesome video you will receive when you subscribe to the free FPPad newsletter. So subscribe right now!

I hope that you have time to watch the Hangout with Joe and Luke Simonds, or even jump in at the various time points provided above to get the most important takeaways.

And if you have any questions about getting started or your experience with video, go ahead and leave a comment below.

Learn YouTube secrets for financial advisors

Stop asking for referrals and use technology to drive growth

Asking clients for referrals can be damaging says one expert; use technology instead to drive your business growth.

Asking for Referrals Stresses Clients

According to Stephen Wershing, president of The Client Driven Practice, you need to stop asking clients for referrals.


Wershing did, after all, write the book on it.

Asking clients for referrals is counter productive, says Wershing, adding “you actually stress the relationship, maybe even diminish the relationship,” when putting clients on the spot by asking for referrals.

Technology-driven Referrals

Instead, offers Wershing, advisers should use technology intelligently to identify clients and prospects with common characteristics and then provide content and information that addresses their needs.

So what is Wershing’s favorite technology tool?

“The biggest one is your CRM program,” says Wershing.

He provides examples of highlighting client characteristics and key words to track unique things about each client. Collectively, your CRM can reveal trends and commonalities across clients and prospects which you can then use to identify concerns or needs shared by the group.

Solidify Your Expertise

With that information in hand, Wershing says advisers can reach out to them with helpful resources. Doing so “solidifies your expertise,” he says, adding “it’s more likely that you’re going to come to mind,” when clients do have the opportunity to make a referral among friends and family.

For all of Wershing’s advice on using technology to drive your referrals, watch the On Air broadcast embedded above (or watch the broadcast on YouTube).


Market76 security, business model, and innovation discussion with co-founder Frank Eden

On Friday’s On Air broadcast, I connected with Market76 co-founder Frank Eden to discuss how the CRM startup is attempting to reinvent adviser use of relationship management software.

Note that CEO Ethan Eden was originally scheduled for the interview, but he had a last minute emergency that prevented him from appearing. Frank Eden was gracious to step in on last-minute notice.

Market76 is a new provider in the financial adviser CRM space, having launched its platform publicly in mid-2011. The company is still relatively unknown among most financial advisers, save a few reviews on

The main discussion points in the interview below include how Market 76 handles security of its clients’ data, monetizes the software to generate revenue (Market76 is free to adviser users), and pushes the envelope in what CRM software can do.

(click to view on YouTube)

Learn how to protect your business from hacking attacks at FPA Business Solutions 2013

One session at FPA Business Solutions 2013 will expose advisers to security threats their business is likely to face

I’m on the task force for FPA Business Solutions 2013 and helped put together a great lineup of speakers and thought leaders for financial advisers.

One speaker I invited is Peter Giza, founder of Spitbrook Consulting and former CTO of RedBlack software.

FPA Business Solutions is scheduled for March 7-9 in Chicago, IL. In his session, Giza will address threats advisers face from hackers and social engineering and identify things to do to deflect such attacks.

I asked Giza for a preview of his session for FPA Business Solutions which was broadcast in the lastest episode of FPPad On Air.

Watch the interview below, and be sure to register today for FPA Business Solutions to learn more from Giza and the rest of the excellent speakers on the agenda. The FPA member early bird rate of $399 expires this January 25!

(click to watch on YouTube)


Simple strategies to enhance your written communication to clients and prospects

Written communications make up a significant portion of your client “touches,” between all of the emails, newsletters, and blog posts you write.

But sometimes your messages to clients fall flat.

There are a few simple strategies you can employ to make your communication more effective and engaging. In this latest On Air broadcast, Neil Rhein of Bull’s Eye Financial Communications shares his favorite techniques you can use to make sure your message is heard.

(click to watch on YouTube)

Windows 8 for financial advisers: Pros and cons from FinFolio CEO Matt Abar

Windows 8 is here. Microsoft Surface RT tablets are here.

Does that mean you should run out and buy them?

Matt Abar, CEO of FinFolio has experience with Windows 8 from both the developer and consumer perspective. In my latest FPPad On Air broadcast, watch Abar discuss the pros and cons of Windows 8 and what it will mean for financial advisers as they upgrade their technology in 2013.

(click to watch on YouTube)

Podcasts for Financial Advisers: How to record, publish, and syndicate podcast content

Podcasting isn’t for everyone, but financial advisers who include podcasts in their marketing collateral can score points with prospective clients.

In this FPPad On Air broadcast, I connected with Blane Warrene, senior vice president of client communications for RegEd, to talk about how advisers can record, publish, and syndicate their own podcasts.

In the broadcast, Warrene mentioned tools such as Audacity, Garage Band, and Blubrry advisers can use to get started with podcasting.

Be sure to subscribe to the Social Media Minute podcast on iTunes (and the FPPad podcast as well!)

(click to view on YouTube)

In a search for Tungle alternatives, Doodle is one appealing option

Tungle officially shut down on Monday (see: Tungle, my go-to calendar service, is shutting down. Here are public calendar alternatives financial advisers should consider), so I’m looking for public calendar alternatives my clients and prospects can use to schedule meetings with me.

One option comes from Doodle. Based in Zürich, Switzerland, Doodle offers public group scheduling, one-on-one “MeetMe” pages, and professional “BookMe” calendars.

In the FPPad On Air broadcast below, hear from Doodle founder and CEO Myke Naef about Doodle’s attempt to bring public calendars to a broader audience.

(click to watch on YouTube)

Redtail and Mobile Assistant integration delivers streamlined CRM updates using mobile dictation services

Adding notes to your CRM isn’t the most glamorous part of being and financial adviser, but it’s an essential function that allows you to provide high-quality service to your clients. Fortunately you have options to decrease the time spent updating client records.

In a surprise FPPad On Air broadcast, I connected with Redtail Technology CEO Brian McLaughlin and Mobile Assistant president Corey Westphal to talk about the integration the two companies recently rolled out to its users. I highlighted the integration previously here at FPPad (see: Redtail Adds Mobile Assistant Integration to Transcribe Notes into CRM), but now you can hear the back story behind the idea to integrate and learn how the integration works behind the scenes.

(click to watch on YouTube)