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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 http://fppad.com/precisefp (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

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 http://fppad.twentyoverten.com (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

Exclusive: Riskalyze Raises $20 Million from FTV Capital

Riskalzye co-founder and CEO Aaron Klein talks about raising $20 million from FTV Capital and what financial advisers should expect as a result of the transaction.

http://www.riskalyze.com/
http://www.ftvcapital.com/

It’s a privilege to be named an InvestmentNews 40 Under 40 Honoree

I truly appreciate the opportunity to connect with you, the community of financial professionals here at FPPad, to help keep you informed and up to date on technology innovation in financial services.

And when someone recognizes my contributions to the industry, I feel that it further validates the passion I have to help financial professionals build better businesses with technology.

InvestmentNews 40 Under 40 Honoree

Investment News 40 under 40Yesterday, InvestmentNews released its inaugural 40 Under 40 project to recognize the talent, influence, and contributions of young professionals in the industry, and it is an honor to be one of the individuals on the list.

For more about the progression of my career since founding FPPad in 2008, I put together a short video to reflect on the last six years and to envision what’s ahead in the future of the financial advice industry.

Enjoy, and thank you so much for helping contribute to the success of FPPad!

InvestmentNews 40 Under 40 Entrepreneurs: (l to r: Kristen Luke, Jason Van Duyn, and Bill Winterberg)

InvestmentNews 40 Under 40 Entrepreneurs: (left to right: Kristen Luke, Jason Van Duyn, and Bill Winterberg)

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 (http://www.advisorinternetmarketing.com/) 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

How Vestorly transforms advisers’ web presence into qualified leads

Vestorly uses “smart data” techniques to convert advisers’ online audience into qualified leads

I recently met with Justin Wisz, co-founder of Vestorly, to learn more about the company’s technology offering to financial advisers.

Vestorly is a content marketing platform designed to enhance client acquisition for financial professionals. What does that mean in plain English? Wisz explains in the video interview above.

“Smart Data”

Vestorly helps financial advisers publish content online from a variety of aggregated sources (all compliance approved!) targeted to the interests of clients and prospects. Featured sources include personal finance content from Kiplinger.

As the adviser’s online audience grows, Vestorly captures lead information such as names and email addresses and then uses “smart data” techniques in the background to further associate leads with demographic information.

One goal of Vestorly is generate measurable ROI from the online efforts pursued by advisers.

Any activity in digital communications without a lead generation aspect is, frankly, a little bit of a waste of time and resources

– Justin Wisz, Vestorly co-founder

Vestorly is Free

Vestorly offers curated content from a variety of sources, smart data aggregation techniques, and compliance tools all in one platform, so how much does it all cost?

For individual advisers, Vestorly is free.

So why is Vestorly free for individual advisers? Watch the follow up video below to hear from Wisz.

According to Wisz, Vestorly combines a number of existing technologies common in online marketing, but not yet present among the financial services industry.

“Much of Vestorly is what we call status quo technology,” said Wisz.

“We think [that technology] should be free, especially for advisers who are just getting started with marketing in financial services,” he added.

Vestorly for the Financial Enterprise

But beyond individual adviser use, Vestorly is also built to suit the needs of large financial enterprises.

Vestorly’s enterprise relationships focus on integrations and expanding the utility of the content generation and lead generation functions.

In the extended interview below, Wisz describes how financial enterprises (e.g. broker-dealers and large RIAs) can compliment existing archiving and social media systems by tapping the Vestorly API for expanded features.

“I would see Vestorly as a major compliment to all the things that [broker-dealers] already have in place,” said Wisz.

“They’re now allowing reps to blog, send out email marketing, or do some social media marketing, but now it’s time to find out what they can get back,” Wisz added.

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: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-AMsCUZ4Mqib9B9YnrEPLQ?feature=watch

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.

Schwab Advisor Services’ Brian Shenson addresses PortfolioCenter Hosted, OpenView Gateway, and Integrated Office offerings for advisers

In this video spotlight interview, Brian Shenson, vice president of Advisor Technology Solutions for Schwab Advisor Services met with me to update Schwab’s progress on a number of technology initiatives.

(For details on last weeks’ Schwab Tech Talk conference call, read RIA technology updates from Schwab Advisor Services’ Tech Talk series.)

Brian Shenson, vice president, Advisor Technology Solutions for Schwab Advisor Services

Brian Shenson, vice president, Advisor Technology Solutions for Schwab Advisor Services

PortfolioCenter Hosted

Clearly, Schwab Advisor Services recognizes the opportunity in offering advisers the ability to locate portions of their technology in the cloud.

The launch of PortfolioCenter Hosted, according to Shenson, is intended to simplify operations for advisers.

“We have over 3,500 advisers today relying on PortfolioCenter desktop, but they’re looking to simplify their operating model with cloud-based solutions,” said Shenson.

“PortfolioCenter Hosted allows [advisers] to have the same control and ownership of their data that they have today, but leverage Schwab’s backbone infrastructure to host their systems,” he added.

Schwab OpenView MarketSquare

I asked Shenson to elaborate on the resources Schwab provides when it comes to the various integrations supported by PortfolioCenter and other Schwab Intelligent Technologies’ resources.

Schwab OpenView MarketSquare is the latest resource Shenson highlighted to educate advisers on their technology purchase options.

“[OpenView MarketSquare is] not meant to replace other resources advisers rely on to learn about technology”, said Shenson, “but we think we have a unique opportunity to create voice to the adviser’s perspective on the technology they use to help inform other advisers before making that purchase decision for a particular technology.”

Schwab OpenView MarketSquare™ provides technology ratings and reviews, exclusively by and for advisors who custody with Schwab Advisor Services™

Schwab OpenView MarketSquare™ provides technology ratings and reviews, exclusively by and for advisors who custody with Schwab Advisor Services™

Visit Schwab OpenView MarketSquare online at http://www.schwabintelligenttechnologies.com/MarketSquare

OpenView Gateway versus Integrated Office

Finally, there still is confusion over the differences in the two primary back office offerings from Schwab Advisor Services, OpenView Gateway and the Integrated Office.

I asked Shenson to identify the type of advisory firm to which each solution is best suited.

“Many advisers have already made substantial investments in their technology infrastructure, and for them we wanted to work with best-of-breed providers and build integrations to those platforms. That is what we designed with OpenView Gateway,” said Shenson.

The alternate solution, Integrated Office, is a complete “office in a box” offering.

“Many advisers are looking for incredible simplicity in their operating model,” said Shenson.

“They’re looking to us as a provider to offer an integrated solution where all the pieces are designed to fit very well together. For them we offer the Integrated Office.”

(click to watch on YouTube)

Schwab Advisor Services’ Neesha Hathi discusses innovation, differentiation, and pending technology rollouts

After spending several months on the road, spotlight video interviews are back!

Neesha Hathi is senior vice president of Advisor Technology Solutions at Charles Schwab and a member of the senior leadership team for Schwab Advisor Services.

Neesha Hathi is senior vice president of Advisor Technology Solutions at Charles Schwab and a member of the senior leadership team for Schwab Advisor Services.

I recently had the pleasure to sit down and speak with Neesha Hathi, senior vice president of Advisor Technology for Schwab Advisor Services, on a number of topics.

In this seven-minute video, Hathi highlights how Schwab is able to maintain its agility in innovation despite its large size as an organization.

For details on all of Schwab’s recent announcements, see RIA technology updates from Schwab Advisor Services’ Tech Talk series posted here yesterday.

Hathi also explains how Schwab Advisor Services has gathered extensive feedback from their advisors to enhance the web trading platform in use by thousands of firms everyday.

(click here to watch on YouTube)

eMoney Advisor wants to wow advisers with features bundled into one financial planning package

While attending the TD Ameritrade Institutional 2013 National Conference last month, I connected with Dan Cox, regional sales director for eMoney Advisor.

eMoney Advisor has been rather quiet in recent years, crossing my radar only once or twice with news of new product features and functionality.

For 2013, eMoney Advisor is ready to jump out of the gate and get in front of advisers to demonstrate how the platform can complement an efficient workplace.

So what is eMoney Advisor?

Cox replied, “It’s a fully integrated financial planning software package, bundled with account aggregation and a client portal.”

“Part of the bundled package is a secure client vault where [advisers] can upload and download any document and collaborate with other financial professionals,” added Cox.

For more information, visit them online at http://www.emoneyadvisor.com/

(click to view on YouTube)