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2017 Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals for content creators

Just as I did last year, I’ve aggregated Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals for 2017 on audio and video gear you can use to create online content for your business.

Check out the list below, and if you find any great deals I haven’t listed, leave a link in the comments below or send me a tweet to @billwinterberg.

NOTE: Links to Amazon where applicable are my affiliate links, so I earn a small commission if you use the links to purchase (and THANK YOU, because that helps support the free content here at FPPad!). Also, links to online sites may not reflect Black Friday pricing until Thursday or Friday, so check back often if the prices don’t yet match the prices I cite in this post.

Last updated November 27, 2017 at 11:38 AM ET

Jump to: Cameras — Lights — Video Accessories — Computers and Storage


Canon EOS Rebel T6i Video Creator KitFirst up is a video creators kit featuring the Canon EOS Rebel T6i DSLR Camera at $649 from Amazon. B&H Photo also has the same kit for $649. I’ve seen several sales on the same camera and lens combo over at Target and Best Buy for $599, but for just $50 more for this package, you pick up the RODE VideoMic GO and a 32GB SD memory card that would cost about $120 when purchased separately, so you’re saving about $70 on these two accessories.

The T6i is a great DSLR to get started with video, as you can keep your equipment investment well below $1,000. Note, this camera has a “crop sensor” and not a full sensor like the more expensive Canon 5D line (starting around $2,000 just for the camera body!), but for production for a website and YouTube channel, many creators really won’t notice any drawbacks in using a crop sensor camera. But if your full-time business is landscape, architecture, or modeling photography, well, a full frame sensor is almost commonplace.

Also, why not buy the less expensive T6 or T5 cameras? Those cameras don’t have a touchscreen LCD display that swings out a full 180º to the side, which is super important when you’re filming yourself “selfie” style. You need to be able to see what the camera sees when filming yourself so you can set the focus, ISO, and lens aperture accordingly for a high quality image. You just can’t to that on the fly with the Canon Rebel cameras with no “i” after their model number!

Canon 80D

Now if you want pixel resolution similar to a full frame camera without the full frame price, Amazon also has a deal on the Canon EOS 80D DSLR camera with the video creator kit at $1,399B&H Photo has the same kit as well. Note that the 80D has an APS-C sensor, not a legitimate full frame sensor, but the sensor resolution is actually higher than some older model full frame cameras. Here’s a helpful review if you want to read more about the APS-C sensor.

Vlog Camera

Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II Video Creator KitI use the term “vlog camera” for cameras you can keep in your pocket while on a trip, attending an event, or otherwise out of the office, but want to quickly take out a camera and record a quick thought, capture some time lapse, or shoot some b-roll footage for your video. I generally recommend two cameras for this kind of activity: the Canon G7X Mk II and the Sony RX100 V.

First, Amazon has a gift card bundle on the Sony RX100V right now for $949 including a $50 gift card, so your “net” price is $899. This isn’t a huge savings over the camera’s regular price of $949, but $50 will cover an extra battery and maybe an SD flash card to get you up and running with your vlogging.

The vlog camera I use, the G7X, is bundled on Amazon for $699 ($50 savings) which includes a 32GB flash card, Manfrotto PIXI MINI Tripod, and an extra Canon NB-13L battery (key if you want to vlog for a full day).

Note that neither camera has a jack for an external microphone, so these are not ideal for filming video in a studio or office as your main camera unless you have an external audio recorder that you will use for an audio track. Instead, I use my vlogging camera to capture b-roll at events and use as a second camera angle while my primary camera is a DSLR with the RODE microphone (or wireless lavalier) plugged directly into the camera for high quality audio.

Mevo Plus

Mevo Plus - The Live Event Camera
Here’s a camera for live streaming video. Check out the Mevo Plus at $399 for Black Friday ($100 off MSRP). If you want one camera that is super easy to set up and operate for a Facebook Live, YouTube, Periscope and more, the Mevo Plus can do it.

I highly recommend looking at ways to plug in an external microphone for your broadcasts unless you’re in a quiet office or studio, but that does add some cost an complexity to your setup. You can connect a microphone using a compatible mobile device connected to the Mevo Plus over WiFi, or you can add on the Mevo Boost accessory (another $250) that uses microphones connected via a USB interface (see how to connect microphones via USB in this article).


DJI Mavic ProOk, ok, you don’t *need* a drone to make videos, but man, are they fun to use and they do capture incredible aerial footage. So if you’re inclined to experiment with adding a drone to your production process, here are a few Black Friday deals.

First is the DJI Mavic Pro at $895 ($104 off). This is the drone I own and bring to conferences and events as well as my family trip to Yellowstone this past summer.

Keep in mind that you’ll not only need to learn how to legally operate the drone, you also need to learn how to operate a new camera with its own ISO, focus, and exposure settings. Be sure to allocate lots of time for practice before you fly for your finished videos.

A lower price point for a drone is the DJI Spark WITHOUT A CONTROLLER at $399 for Black Friday. The Spark is a bit more compact than the Mavic Pro, but its arms don’t collapse and fold like the Mavic Pro, so this is a toss-up on how easy it is to stuff into a backpack compared to the Mavic Pro.

Also, to save money, you can choose not to buy the controller and fly this exclusively with your mobile phone, but your controls will be more limited than if you had a full handheld joystick. If you want the power of a joystick, then upgrade to this DJI Spark Fly More Combo at $599 (regularly $699).


Fotodiox has several Black Friday specials on lighting packages.

Deluxe Video Studio Chromakey Starter KitFirst is the Deluxe Video Studio Chromakey Starter Kit at $199 (regular price $344.95) which includes two of the 955 Compact Studio LED lights and a 5×7′ collapsible green screen background. These light boxes have 9 LED lights each(!), giving you TONS of dispersed light for your shoots, which is why this kit is approaching $200 (you can find cheaper kits, but you won’t find them with so many lights). One drawback is the size of the 5×7′ green screen, which might be a bit narrow and short if you hope to film your entire body in your shoot. But still, you can purchase other larger green screens to complement this set from Fotodiox.

Fotodiox Collapsible LED Ring LightAlso from Fotodiox is this clever collapsible LED ring light at $49.95 (regular price $129.95). Now before you buy this ring light, go watch my video with Bohuš Blahut of Fotodiox about the pros and cons of shooting with ring lights. Ok, so if you want an inexpensive way to get started with a simple ring light, this kit is a great way to get started. Just remember that shadow helps you when filming, so you’ll likely want to add a few other lights in your setup to help with modeling on your video subject (likely yourself!).

Video Accessories

Soundstripe Black Friday dealOne critical component of good videos is having good music. I’ve been a subscriber of Soundstripe for a year now, a service that offers unlimited licensing of tracks in their music library for a fixed annual subscription.

Now through Cyber Monday, get your first year subscription for $87, 35% off the regular annual subscription of $135. After the first year, the subscription renews at the standard $135 per year.

When typical tracks from Premium Beat and Tune Fruit run $40 to $100 EACH, getting an annual subscription to an expanding library of high quality music for $87 is incredible! If you end up using just two songs from Soundstripe in a year, you’ve recouped your subscription.

Computers and Storage

SanDisk Black Friday SavingsFor Black Friday, Amazon is offering 30% to 70%(!) off SanDisk memory cards. Look for minimum speeds of Class 10, the same as UHS Speed 1, for filming 1080 HD video, and consider the faster UHS Speed 3 for filming in 4k. The 64GB micro SD card was as low as $13.99, but even at Friday’s price of $14.99 it’s a really good deal!

The more videos you make, the more memory cards you’re going to need (and remember, flash memory will get slower with age, so if you shoot videos each day, your memory card’s speed will get slower and slower over time. It takes about a year or two to slow down, but you’ll notice it for sure when it takes a long time to move footage to your computer!)

Hard Drives

Seagate Portable DrivesB&H Photo has $15-$20 off 2TB Seagate portable hard drives, which come in handy for offloading raw footage and editing project files from your laptop onto some kind of backup device.

I always bring two of these drives along with me to video shoots so I have a place I can offload extra footage, but I remember buying my 1TB drives at $59.99, which is now the price of a 2TB drive with this Cyber Monday special!

Desktops and Laptops

Apple laptops and desktop computersI admit, I have a preference for Apple computers, especially because I edit all my videos in Final Cut Pro. That said, know that you can find some great deals on PCs that run Windows elsewhere, but I’m just going to list the deals I find on Apple.

For Cyber Monday, B&H has a killer deal on a 15.4″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar at $1,899, ($900 off MSRP, but about $425 off the lowest Amazon price). This is the laptop with the 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7 Quad-Core processor, 16GB of 2133 MHz RAM, and 512GB PCIe SSD. These are just about the specs that match the MacBook I use (see below), but a little warning, you might find the 15″ form factor to be a bit too bulky to travel with this laptop in most backpacks. It’s also heavier than the 13″ form factor, but I will admit that the extra screen real estate will go a long way when doing multi-cam editing when you’re away from your large screen in your home office!


Best Buy has a number of Apple laptops and desktops on sale for Black Friday, with savings ranging from $150 to $250. What do I use to edit on the road? A mid-2015 13″ MacBook Pro with the 3.1GHz Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and 512GB flash drive. It’s a workhorse that hasn’t failed me in two years and has been absolutely trouble free.

Twenty Over Ten review and demo

Twenty Over Ten is a website and digital marketing platform specializing in the financial industry. I invited Ryan Russell and Samantha Russell of Twenty Over Ten to stop by FPPad HQ to talk about their solution for advisers.

Watch this discussion above or on YouTube, which includes a live demo of some of the most useful features for anyone looking to increase the quality of their online presence.

If you’re interested in trying the platform, sign up for a 45-day free trial (30 days more than the standard trial period!) by visiting (not an affiliate link, I receive no compensation if you choose to sign up)

Chapter markers

1:42 Introduction to Twenty Over Ten and how the product supports financial professionals
4:38 What are important trends in websites and online content that can be addressed financial advisers?
7:23 What are examples of Tier 1 and Tier 2 calls to action?
10:40 Are websites still relevant in the age of profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social sites?
12:33 Demo of the TwentyOverTen platform
16:07 How to edit pages to include multimedia and video content
18:24 How to capture contact information without having to purchase a third-party newsletter service
25:20 How to add custom landing pages with TwentyOverTen
30:40 What are the compliance features built in to the platform?
36:16 How to sign up for a free 45-day trial of TwentyOverTen

2016 Black Friday deals for video creators

I’ve aggregated the best Black Friday deals I could find on audio and video gear you can use to create online content for your business.

Check out the list below, and if you find any great deals I haven’t listed, leave a link in the comments below or send me a tweet to @billwinterberg.

NOTE: Links to products on Amazon are my affiliate links, so I earn 4 to 6% if you use the links to purchase. Also, links to online sites may not reflect Black Friday pricing until Thursday or Friday, so check back often if the prices don’t yet match the prices I cite in this post.

Last updated November 26, 2016 at 9:51 AM

GoPro Hero 5 Black/Hero 4 Silver

gopro-hero-5-blackTarget has the GoPro Hero 5 Black (view the Target Black Friday ad) for the regular price of $399, but for Black Friday the purchase comes with a $60 Target gift card.

For an even better deal, Sam’s Club has a GoPro Hero 4 Silver bundle at $199 (view Sam’s Club Black Friday ad) with a dual charger, extra battery, and a 16GB microSD memory card. That’s a great deal for a more-than-adequate GoPro, since the Hero 4 Silver is what I use for my own action shots. Amazon has the Hero 4 Silver for $278 with no accessories and Walmart has it for 293!

Canon EOS Rebel T5i/T6i

t6i-250Best Buy has the Canon EOS Rebel T6i bundle for $699, (view the Best Buy ad) which includes an 18-55mm lens, a Rode VIDEOMIC GO and a 32GB SD memory card. Why do you want the T6i? Because it has a flip-out LCD screen, so you can view the screen when you are filming while holding the camera towards you (aka “selfie” mode).

The Best Buy T6i bundle is a much better deal than Target’s sale of just the camera and lens for $649. That Rode VIDEOMIC GO and memory card are worth more than $50!

Amazon has last year’s Canon EOS Rebel T5i version available with a “Video Creator Kit” for $649 that includes a Rode VIDEOMIC GO and a 32GB SD memory card. The bundle also includes extra batteries and a carrying bag. For just $50 more on the Best Buy bundle, you’ll step up in sensor quality (see below) but give up a battery and a carrying bag.

The biggest difference between the T6i and T5i is the sensor, with the T6i featuring 24.2 megapixels and the T5i at 18 megapixels. Honestly, if you’re uploading video you shoot in 1080 HD to YouTube, you’re probably not going to see a noticeable difference between the two. But if you plan on using the camera for filming in front of a green screen, you’ll want to go with the bigger sensor of the T6i (with the caveat that perhaps a completely other camera is in order for green screen work with a full-frame sensor, lower compression, and on and on, but that will cost thousands of dollars).

Both the T6i and the T5i come with the standard 18-55mm lens, which is fine to first get to know how to use the camera, but you’ll likely want to purchase a wide angle lens (like this Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 for $449) that works with this camera.

Mevo by livestream

You can get the Mevo bundle from livestream this week for $549 which includes the camera, Mevo Boost external battery and network adapter, and a carrying case.

If you don’t know how you could use the Mevo in your business, watch the video below I made at the livestream booth the 2016 NAB Show.

Apple MacBook

My 13″ MacBook Pro is a workhorse, supporting real-time video editing and uploading while on the road. For Black Friday, Best Buy has select MacBooks up to $200 off, so check their website and see if any of their deals are ones you can’t pass up.

LED Lighting

The Fotodiox Black Friday deals were only available on Friday, so I’ve removed the links to the LED lighting that was on sale.


Best Buy has this Sunpak TravelLite Pro 63″ tripod for $49 this week (view the Best Buy ad). While not as high quality as a MeFOTO or Manfrotto collapsible tripod, the Sunpak doesn’t come with the $200 price tag.

Speaking of Manfrotto, they have Black Friday specials including the BeFree One tripod for $99 (a great deal while supplies last, but I didn’t see any inventory when I checked Thursday at 9:35 AM) and $100 off select carbon fiber tripods.

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

Video theft: the latest threat to online financial adviser content

Remove your stolen videos from YouTube and enforce your copyright

Remove your stolen videos from YouTube and enforce your copyright

Content thieves are stealing popular advisor videos to draw visitors to their questionable channels. Find out how to stop them.

Online video is still a blue ocean in the realm of financial advisor marketing, but content thieves are already stealing popular advisor videos to promote their own channels.

FPPad subscribers know that I started creating video content back in February 2012, beginning with interviews of industry technology leaders from the TD Ameritrade Institutional 2012 National Conference and T3 2012 Conference.

And this summer, I launched FPPad Bits and Bytes, the industry’s only video broadcast devoted to covering the best technology news of the past week.

Thieves Like Popular Content, Too

I put a lot of energy and effort into creating videos for you with the objective of providing insight and commentary on a variety of technology solutions you can use in your business. With currently over 25,000 views on the FPPad YouTube channel, you are validating that this type of content delivery is useful.

So when I discovered content thieves were stealing my popular videos, I was irate.

You see, like most Google services, YouTube allows content publishers to participate in online advertising via Google AdWords for video. So if content on your YouTube channel receives a lot of views and you opt in to the AdWords program, you stand to earn a small amount of income in the form of advertising revenue.

But the downside to this is content thieves know this all too well, so they want to maximize their own channel’s ad revenue without publishing any original content of their own.

So they steal it.

How to Find Your Stolen Videos

Metrics are an important part of any content distribution, so I regularly monitor YouTube video analytics to see how well my videos are being received.

Part of that process includes searching for my channel and related videos on YouTube using specific keywords to see how they rank among similar content on YouTube. I’ll use common search phrases like FPPad, financial planning technology, financial advisor apps, and so on to determine what I can do to make my videos show up near the top of YouTube’s search results.

But imagine my surprise when not long ago, a search displayed one of my videos that was NOT part of my YouTube channel.

By searching YouTube for FPPad, I found several episodes of FPPad Bits and Bytes were posted to a channel called “financial websites”. View their YouTube channel here:

Note: I did not want to post the “financial websites” channel at all and send any traffic to it, but if you have uploaded video online, it’s worth searching through the 400+ videos to see if any of them are yours.

Stolen Video Search Technique

Fortunately, “financial websites” is a lazy thief. They simply download original videos from another source, re-upload them to their channel, and copy and paste the video title and description.

This laziness on their part makes it easier for you to find your stolen videos.

So search for the exact titles of videos you post online, including any keywords that you often use, such as your company name or episode series title.

If the thief simply copies and pastes your content, then you have a high likelihood your stolen video will appear using a very specific search query.

How to Remove Your Stolen Video from YouTube

If you do find one (or more) of your videos uploaded to another channel, here is what you need to do to get the video removed from YouTube.

YouTube provides an online Copyright Infringement Notification form that you can complete in just a few minutes.

YouTube offers an online Copyright Infringement Notification form you can complete in several minutes

Complete the YouTube online Copyright Infringement Notification form to have your stolen video removed

You’ll need the URL of your original video (the work allegedly infringed) as well as the URL of the allegedly infringing video to be removed.

You will also need to provide your legal name and address and attest that you are the content owner along with other standard claims required of a Digital Millennium Copyright Act‎ (DMCA) copyright violation notice.

What’s nice is you can use the completed form for a single video violation, or add multiple videos to the same form, saving time if multiple videos you created have been stolen.

Copyright Takedown Turnaround

In my case, two of my videos had been uploaded to the “financial websites” channel, and within about 24 hours of submitting my notice to YouTube, I received confirmation that both infringing videos had been removed.

So again, if you publish video online, on YouTube or elsewhere, here’s what you need to do to protect your content.

Search YouTube for the exact title of your most popular videos. Also search using keywords that appear in many of your video descriptions.

When you find an allegedly infringing video, complete the online Copyright Infringement Notification form.

And if you find a different YouTube channel using your videos online, post the channel name in the comments below so others can search it for alleged violations of their copyrighted material.

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).


How financial advisers can monitor their online reputation

Financial advisers need to monitor their reputation online

Financial advisers need to monitor their brand and reputation online

Financial advisers who don’t monitor their brand or name risk having a poor online reputation

Like it or not, people can say anything about their financial adviser on the Internet.

The Internet has never been a place where people filter what they say about others, and now there are even websites specifically designed to rate, for good or for bad, financial advisers.

What Are They Saying About You?

Websites like, Paladin Registry, and all solicit consumers to provide feedback on their interactions with financial advisers.

Beyond those sites, people often take to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to voice their opinion on their financial adviser’s objective and subjective qualities.


If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. – Peter Drucker

You Can’t Manage What You Don’t Measure

One frequently cited statement from Peter Drucker is “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”

That holds true for all types of business metrics, including your online reputation.

If you’re not monitoring (and measuring) what people are saying about you on the Internet, how do you expect to manage your reputation?

Better Than Google Analytics

I cover one excellent tool for monitoring what people are saying about you online, and it’s way better than using Google Analytics to search for your name or your business.

Go read Monitor Your Online Reputation, my Morningstar Advisor Quickview post for this month to find out what tool it is.

Twitter analytics helps financial advisers boost social media ROI

Twitter analytics lets financial advisers calculate their social media ROI

Twitter analytics lets financial advisers determine their social media ROI

Twitter analytics is the next greatest thing in financial adviser social media ROI.

As a financial adviser, you read a ton of articles and hear from industry consultants (myself included!) how important social media can be to your business and how you should be using it to communicate with your audience.

But when you post something, how do you know if that message was actually effective in reaching people?

Introducing Twitter Analytics

Twitter, part of the top four social media sites (along with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+), just rolled out a new tool you can use to view your own analytics.

Twitter Analytics is free and can reveal nearly everything you ever wanted to know about the “reach,” or generated traffic, of your tweets.

Not only can you view analytics about your tweets, you can also gain insight on trends in your followers as well as demographics of the people who follow you.

Twitter Analytics in Two Minutes

I created the screencast below to show you how to access Twitter Analytics for your account and navigate among the data offered.


Infographics for financial advisers: communicate statistics and boost visibility in one picture

infographicFinancial advisers can use infographics to effectively communicate statistics as well as boost their visibility on the web.

Do you want your message to stand out from all the other financial advisers who are marketing on the Internet? Try branching out with some graphics.

Instead of typing or dictating your next blog post or copy for your marketing brochure, think about how you can illustrate the point you’re trying to make with images.

One of the fastest growing online social services is Pinterest (see: Smarsh president Stephen Marsh addresses Pinterest and compliance), in particular because it is easy to share images and pictures of things that are interesting. Pinterest walls can be made of anything, from pictures of wedding favors, photos of shoes, and yes, even images communicating financial planning recommendations.

So if you want to frame your financial planning message in a new and interesting way, consider making your own infographic.

An infographic (the words “info” and “graphic” smashed together) is a visual image that presents data and information in a compelling medium.

To learn about several online tools you can use to make your own infographics, go read this month’s Morningstar Advisor Quickview update, Create Your Own Infographics

Want to impress guests of your holiday event? Add a mobile app.


The holiday season has arrived! Like many financial advisers, you’re likely planning to close the year by hosting a client appreciation event.

Client appreciation events are a great way to build rapport and camaraderie with clients, but they are also a great way to further differentiate your business from other financial planning and wealth management firms.

One way to differentiate your event (and also your business) is to build a mobile app for it.

This month’s Quickview update for Morningstar Advisor highlights one service you can use to build iOS and Android apps to showcase your next client appreciation event.

Be sure to read Quickview: Event Apps Made Easy.