Podcast: How to Stand Out From the Crowd with Marie Swift of Impact Communications (Listen Now)

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Join us on our financial advisor success podcast with Marie Swift, President and CEO of Impact Communications, a marketing communications and PR firm for financial advisors. Marie helps advisors shoot videos, record podcasts, and improve their digital presence. In this episode, she’ll reveal:

  • The biggest new marketing opportunities for advisors
  • How advisors can stand out with podcasts and videos
  • The steps to clarify your ideal niche
  • The easiest way to record high-quality videos for your website
  • How to communicate your specialty without alienating people
  • How to stand out from other financial advisors

Show notes:
Marie’s Website: https://www.impactcommunications.org/
Marie’s Blog: https://www.impactcommunications.org/blog
The Advisor Thought Leader Summit: https://www.advisorthoughtleadersummit.com/

Listen here now, or download and subscribe on iTunes to listen on your commute!

You can listen to the first two episodes of our financial advisor success podcast here:

Episode 1: Introducing The Marketing Podcast for Financial Advisors! (Listen Now)

Episode 2: The Marketing Podcast for Financial Advisors, Episode 2: The Truth About Marketing for Financial Advisors

New episodes will be published weekly with various guests, including top advisors, tech consultants, and marketing machines who are excited to tell you how to use proven marketing strategies to grow a thriving practice.

Listen here now, or download and subscribe on iTunes to listen during your commute!


Transcription

For today’s episode, we have a very special guest, Marie Swift, of Impact Communications and I’m really excited to welcome Marie. She’s the president and CEO of Impact Communications. They are a full service PR and Marketing Communication firm that works solely with financial advisors. Marie and I have known each other way back since when I with F&B Suite. We worked with clients together. We’ve kept in touch over the years. She’s just a great resource for advisors in our industry who are looking to communicate what makes them different. She also addresses large audiences, speaks at broker dealer conferences and she has created the Advisor Thought Leadership Summit. I’ll let Marie go into the details about that. But I just wanted to welcome her to the program. 

Marie Swift

Thank you Claire. 

Claire Akin

Great. Marie, we’re really going to be talking about how advisors can stand out from the crowd and how you can figure out what they do best, what makes them different and communicate that to clients and to would-be clients so that they’re memorable because as you know, there’s so many financial advisors out there who don’t always differentiate themselves. We’re going to dive deep into that topic today. Before we get started, why don’t you tell us a little bit about your personal life and what you’re most excited about personally this year.

Marie Swift

Thank you for the opportunity to share because I am really excited. This weekend I’m going to be leaving for a trip overseas. I’m going to be going to New Zealand for the first time in my life. My daughter happens to be studying abroad for a semester. So my husband and I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to go and be with her. See Wellington, New Zealand, which is where she’s studying. Then she convinced us that we ought to take a side trip over to Australia and see the Great Barrier Reef while we still can see it. 

Claire Akin

That is so cool. I can’t imagine. That’s going to be an amazing trip. Congratulations on that. Let’s talk a little bit about marketing for financial advisors, where are you seeing the biggest opportunities for advisors in their marketing?

 Marie Swift

I’m so glad you asked because there are so many opportunities and it really all hinges on digital communications and the ability to create a message that resonates and to get it out in their real time. Or with very minimal drag on what you have to do to make it presentable. In the form of an audio. Sometimes referred to as a podcast or a video which can even be done with your iPhone now. There are so many great tools and typically the mobile devices are pretty much able to handle many of these digital communication tasks that advisors have so that reduces the barrier. It reduces the prize and I think it really gives advisors more of a platform to be out there, to be seen as authentic human beings who are professionals but they also have some personal interests. We all know that we work with people we like and trust. 

That typically people will make their decisions with their hearts and then they will justify it with their brains. I think the biggest opportunity is to connect heart and mind through digital communications, it’s just the reality that we live in. You can do so much to show your character culture, your purpose, through your iPhone or your Android zone or even like a webcam video. Or like we’re today using some digital technology to record this audio. This podcast. 

Claire Akin

Absolutely. I totally agree. I couldn’t agree more. I think from a marketing perspective if you can just do a few videos or a few podcasts, it really helps set the tone for your marketing. It helps people get to know you. Then they feel like they know you in the future. So when they read your blog posts in the future they have a face to put with that…to put behind the words. It’s not like you have to do it every single time with your marketing. But just getting a few videos out there, I think really goes a long way.

Marie Swift

Absolutely. And one of the things you mentioned earlier in our intro, the intro that you read or prepared, I’m not sure. It sounded so good. I’m not sure if you read it or said it but thank you for mentioning the advisor thought leader summit because this has been a dream of mine for many years. Is to bring groups of advisors together and really get them comfortable in front of a camera. So many advisors are shy about being on camera. They’re a little worried, like what am I going to look like. Am I going to forget what to say. But in today’s world the reality is we need to get over that. We need to be able to be camera ready, to do videos, to do them ourselves. To be in a position when a peer or maybe another thought leader at say, The Morningstar Conference, which I was just at. 

We were grabbing people out of the hallways and saying, “Come do an audio. Come do a video.” Advisors really need to get trained in how to be grounded in who they are and that they have something to say and people want to hear what that is. They want to see who they are. So the advisor thought leader summit is my way of reducing the price of getting that kind of media training, the camera skills training and just being ready for those opportunities because they’re more and more abundant. 

Claire Akin

Absolutely. And I think it’s so great that you’re doing that because I get questions every single day from advisors who really need help creating video so our firm will do the legwork of writing your video scripts and getting those approved by compliance. We can edit your video but we can’t actually shoot your video. Advisors have a choice of hiring somebody locally and that could be $5,000 or $10,000 to have a team come to their office and shoot video. Or they could go to an event like yours and record many, many videos all in one day. So it’s just a fantastic value and to have that coaching. That support there is a great way to get a better outcome for them. 

When an advisor comes to you and a lot of times I get advisors who come to me and we help advisors communicate what makes them different with their specialty. All the advisors that work with us, work with us because they want to really embrace their specialty through their marketing. But sometimes we get advisors who come to us and don’t have a specialty yet. They’re not sure who to focus on or who their ideal prospect is. Walk us through how you help advisors choose who to serve. 

Marie Swift

The way you articulate your value proposition, which is really around your character, your culture, your purpose. Is so important. Because people need to feel that passion, that authenticity come through. What we do is we have a message mapping process and typically we do that in a room with the advisor or the key stakeholders of a firm. Where we can just be listening and stirring things up with them. Maybe sparking a new way to communicate who they are that will help them stand out as different. What we don’t want to see is advisors who are just kind of borrowing some language from another website or appear that they think sounds good for that other firm. But then people start to sound the same. I think the best thing to do if you want to stand out is to take a little bit of a chance to have a little bit of a voice where you don’t just seem homogenized like all the other financial professionals. 

It’s really sometimes what you say, but it’s also how you say it. So practicing and articulating what you want to say, internalizing it but then having just this bubble up of enthusiasm. People really want to feel that, so what we do in our process is around message mapping and just good old fashioned dialogue and practice. 

Claire Akin

That’s great. So many advisors need help with that. I think it’s important to know. I tell advisors all the time they need to specialize. It’s hard for them to choose a specialty. Maybe part of your specialty could just be your personality. We work with advisors who do faith-based financial planning and they talk about their faith in their article and that is their specialization. I have one advisor who actually gave one of his kidneys to his uncle so he’s very passionate about organ transplants, and he works with doctors and nurses who do transplants. So that could be your specialty. I have another advisor that is basically a person who loves adventure so he has offices in Alaska and in Denver. He talks about his backpacking adventures so other people who love adventurers tend to work with him. Your specialty doesn’t necessarily need to be that you work with employees of certain company or doctors or dentists.

It could just be a flair that you have when it comes to the way that you communicate and tell your story, so I think that’s great advice. One of the things that keeps advisors from choosing a specialty is I think that they have this fear that they’re going to alienate somebody. Of course if you have a big bulk of business. You have clients from different walks of life, and they’re not going to be all of the same demographic or age or have the same financial planning concerns. So how do advisors go about communicating what makes them different without alienating people who don’t fit within that profile?

Marie Swift

Again I go back to how you say what you want to say. You can say just about anything if you’re respectful and you have a courteous way about communicating that. On a website it might be a little bit different because most likely people aren’t going to reading the content on your website or on your social media profiles. But I don’t think it’s bad to say over the years we’ve developed a specialty in, like you were telling me earlier, intel executives. Some of your clients are working with intel executives and employees on pension package changes. And their benefits packages. I don’t think it hurts to say we have become specialists or we have intentionally chosen to focus on this specific demographic or psychographic or pool of people. Because if you’re marketing to everybody you’re really just marketing to nobody. People don’t really see themselves fitting in. I love the example that you gave though just a minute ago about some of the people are adventure-based and they’re drawn to the advisor who has that similar life passion.

I was going to mention that I heard about an advisor I actually got to meet this advisor. He’s really into hip hop and he has three young kids. So he’s not afraid to say I specialize in working with people who have my same kind of life interests at about the same life stage and I guess he would fall in the millennial bucket if we wanted to look at that demographic. But he’s a rather hip, young guy and I don’t think he’s worried about alienating anybody by being authentic. He’s not a suit and tie, buttoned up kind of guy in a high rise building. He’s just a really professional, competent, likable financial advisor. Again, how do you communicate without alienating. I think you just have to be respectful and say, “This is who I am. This is who we serve. If you know anybody would be a good fit for this equation, send them our way. And if you’re looking for a financial advisor and we’re not the right fit for you, we’ll let you know who we think would be a good fit for you instead. And maybe refer those folks to a network that you might belong to.

Maybe it’s the XY planning network or Jarrett planning network. The Alliance of Comprehensive Planners, [Snafa 00:11:57], FPA, and so forth

Claire Akin

Right, I think that is key advice. You don’t want to take on all clients that come to you. I think that’s one cool thing about Marie and I is that we have this referral relationship because when I come across a client that needs her help, I will refer to her and she’ll do the same because you want to know what you do best and who you serve best. That every client can have an A plus experience. Referring out to people who don’t fit your target demographic and aren’t your ideal prospect, there’s no shame in that. One other thing I’d like to mention about communicating your specialty without alienating people, is one tip I give advisors is to embrace a broad specialty and very narrow specialty.

What I mean by that is it could be executives at Bristol-Myers Squibb Corporation and families looking to retire on time. Almost anybody fits into one of those two groups. Another example could be LGBT people and also busy professionals. Most people fit into one of those two groups so you’re not necessarily going to be alienating anyone, by saying here’s the specialty we serve and we also help these people. One of my clients works with busy professionals and tennis players and if you don’t play tennis you’re not going to be alienated by that but maybe you do know somebody who plays tennis and you’re going to refer because he also has that passion. You don’t want to hide your specialty from people because they may know somebody who would love to work with someone just like you and that’s the person that you really want to meet. So it’s just interesting to make that distinction and do your marketing from that specific and broader specialty. 

Marie Swift

I love that advice, Claire. That’s beautifully said. 

Claire Akin

Thank you. One of the next questions I want to ask Marie, is that so many advisors are the same and to the general public, it’s hard for them to understand what makes us different. How is an independent advisor different from somebody with a wire house or somebody who is a fiduciary, or somebody who sells annuities or somebody who does comprehensive planning. How do we really cut through the noise out there because to the end consumer, a lot of financial advisors are all the same. 

Marie Swift

So I think it goes back to being a little different. Dare to be different. Have a point of view, have a little bit of personality. Now you probably don’t want to stray into the too colorful arena because that might be a little bit more than you want to reveal about yourself or that people care to know initially. But being a little different is a good thing. Whether it’s the colors that you use, the slogans, the words that you use. The way you stage your videos or do your podcast and just articulate the value proposition. People are looking for real human beings to work with them because they’re a real human being, so you can’t be anybody other than who you really are. You can’t hide that. People can see who you are when they meet you and as they get to know you. 

Don’t try to play it too safe. Be out there, be visible. Take a chance. If you’re not comfortable with video, start doing a little video. Test the waters. You might do better than you think you would’ve done. If you are a better speaker than a writer, you want to play to that strength. You want to speak, maybe do a podcast or seminars. But if you’re a better writer, you might play to that strength and do a little bit more writing but grow your speaking ability over time. To stand out I think you just have to be different and to be out there more. To be more public. 

Claire Akin

Right, I love that. I love that advice of just getting out there more. One secret I will tell advisors listening, is that most advisors are not doing any marketing. They just do not consistently market their firms. If you can commit to yourself to do your marketing every week or every month, and do it for months and years, you will stand out from everybody in a crowd because most advisors are doing nothing. It’s really easy if you just commit to yourself that you’re going to write a blog post every month or do a video every other week. Or whatever it is. Commit to yourself, hold yourself to at least a year or two and I guarantee your business will grow as a result. 

Now Marie, tell us a little bit about what are the biggest mistakes that you’re seeing advisors making with your marketing? 

Marie Swift

So in addition to playing it too safe and blending in, I would say another mistake is being inattentive to how you are portraying yourself and your firm online. You need to pay attention to your online presence. I run into so many advisory firms where they don’t even have Google News alerts set up to see who’s talking about them online or if something is coming around on maybe the News wire or in an article. Having Google News alerts set up so you know what people are saying. Paying attention to your social media to build relationships but also just to monitor your online presence and then doing an annual audit. Is everything still okay? Are the links broken? Is the imagery right? Is the site loading properly and quickly? Because if you just go on automatic pilot and think well I did that three years ago, chances are something has slid. It could be the articulation of your value proposition. Or it could be that the technology is not supporting what you’d like to present to the world. 

I would say that one of the biggest mistakes is just going on auto pilot and not paying attention. 

Claire Akin

Absolutely. I agree. You really need to be updating your website and your social profiles. At least once a year. Take a look at them. I recently hired a professional proofreader who went through every single word on my website, corrected every single error. Corrected any broken links. This was a task that if I had put it on my to do list I probably would’ve procrastinated for months or forever. She got it done in less than a week and it cost me around $350. It’s just about taking the time to get things done once a year. Make sure everything is up to date, everything is buttoned up and polished. You’ll feel that much more confident in your marketing and your online presence. To round out today’s episode, could you just walk us through if you could tell advisors one thing to do to really get started with their public relations and their marketing communications. What would it be?

Marie Swift

My number one piece of advice is to do more. Do the next thing. You know what it is. Do that next thing. You’re probably doing something. Maybe do that consistently and then add something more. Do one thing really well and then add something more. Do the next thing and get out of your comfort zone because you have a purpose, you have a story. You have a reason for being a financial advisor. You just need to get out of your own way about whatever it is…”I’m afraid of how I’m going to look” or “I don’t have the time.” There’s no excuses anymore. The cost barrier is low. The learning curve is low. And they’re people to support you in getting the message right and getting your personification and the way you present yourself right. Do that next thing. 

Claire Akin

That’s great advice. One of the things where Marie and her team really excel is in helping advisors who are maybe five years away from getting started selling their firm. And we’re going to talk about that on another episode of this show. We’re going to have Ron Carson on and he’s going to talk about how advisors can prepare to sell their firm. Marie’s group can actually come in, five years out and start helping you from a branding and a marketing and PR perspective. To really clean up your firm and maximize the value and get it so that it’s ready to sell and it’s an impressive asset instead of a liability for you. I think that’s a cool service that you guys offer. I want to thank you for being a part of our show today. We really appreciate all of your insights and I hope the advisors listening got a lot of value. How can they learn more about you and your firm?

Marie Swift

Just Google us, I’m everywhere online, Marie Swift, or go to our website, www.impactcommunications.org. I also have a blog under my name, it’s www.marieswift.com. 

Claire Akin

That’s great. Thanks so much for being a part of our show and we’ll talk to you soon.

Marie Swift

Thanks, Claire. 

Claire Akin

If you’d like any resources from today’s episode or from other episodes, go to indigomarketingagency.com/remember. It’s hard to forget that address. Indigomarketingagency.com/remember. 

About Claire

Claire Akin runs Indigo Marketing Agency, a full-service marketing firm serving financial advisors. It’s her mission to help independent financial advisors help more people through their incredibly important work. Claire is a former Investment Advisor Representative who holds her MBA in Marketing from the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego as well as a BA in Economics from UC Davis.


 

Jordan Pinelli

Account Manager
Denver, Colorado

A born strategist, Jordan always starts with “why” when brainstorming marketing tactics with her financial advisor clients. With recommendations rooted in data and industry best practices, she loves growing advisors’ awareness of their strategies’ positive impact on their business.

Jordan obtained her bachelor’s degree in business administration (with an emphasis in marketing and management) and her master’s in communication and media management from Colorado State University. Before joining Indigo, Jordan already had 6+ years of financial services experience and 8+ years of marketing/project and campaign management experience under her belt—making her a powerhouse addition to the team! Outside of strategizing for her advisors, Jordan’s hobbies include pottery, hiking (when she’s in shape), and ordering delivery or takeout. She is happily married to her husband, Max, and a dedicated dog mom to her oversized golden retriever, Kai.

Indigo Marketing Team Member Anne Wheeler

Anne Wheeler

Marketing Assistant
Cincinnati, Ohio

Anne Wheeler is responsible for a variety of administrative tasks as well as updating social media pages for clients. Anne enjoys the creative side of her position and the ability to collaborate with the team to help advisors get started with Indigo.

Anne holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Tennessee. Outside of work, she enjoys walking, baking, spending time with her husband, Rick (a structural engineer), and two sons, Thomas and Turner. Anne loves being a full-time mom, and appreciates that Indigo gives her the opportunity to work part-time while still caring for her boys.

Hugo Fernandez CEO of Indigo Marketing

Hugo Fernandez

CEO
Whispering Pines, North Carolina

Leading the Indigo team with heart, Hugo Fernandez is passionate about helping our financial advisors attract a flood of their A+ clients with sustainable marketing campaigns. He enjoys running companies that are wildly successful and wearing a black t-shirt every day of his life. When his two favorite things come together, you have an average day at Indigo.

Hugo Fernandez is also CEO of Indigo’s partner company, Just Digital, and author of The Client Acquisition Blueprint. He has personally helped hundreds of entrepreneurs grow their business through his proven blueprint for creating an EPIC marketing strategy and online presence.

Kelli McLeod Director of Client Services

Kelli McLeod

Director of Client Services
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Kelli McLeod plays an integral role at Indigo while overseeing the Account Services Team, providing customer service, getting financial advisors onboarded and in serving as their primary point of contact during that process. Her team looks to her for her leadership and decision-making abilities For Kelli, the most rewarding part of this role is working with clients one-on-one to ensure they’re happy and that their needs are met.

Kelli has a bachelor’s degree in communications and public relations from Pacific Lutheran University. More recently, she’s done extensive work in the corporate housing and property management industries.

Kelli currently lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with her husband, Ian, who is an officer in the U.S. Army, and their two sons, Zachary and Cameron. When she’s not working, you can find her running or hiking, attending group fitness classes, and cooking. Kelli’s also an avid book club enthusiast, so be sure to reach out to her if you’re looking for a new read.

Sara Dressler

Director of Operations

DuPont, Washington

Sara Dressler manages all systems and operating processes while overseeing several departments. Sara is responsible for supervising many activities within Indigo and identifying areas of improvement to better meet company goals. She functions as the bridge connecting management to every department.

Sara has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a minor in communications from Pacific Lutheran University. She leverages this degree, along with her years of experience as a virtual assistant, to keep our company running like a well-oiled machine. Sara is happiest when spending time with her family. Her three young boys and life as a military spouse keep her busy, but she wouldn’t trade it for the world. She lives an active lifestyle and loves working out, getting outside, and watching sports with her family (whether it’s on TV, at her kids’ games, or in the backyard).

Indigo Marketing Team Member Elizabeth Reider Director of Marketing

Elizabeth Reider

Director of Marketing
Clearwater, Florida

Elizabeth Reider is a woman of many talents. She spent 10 years as a Chief Marketing Officer for a top-level independent financial advisor, and since her entry into financial services, she has networked and become friends with many advisors. Elizabeth admires their empathy, knowledge, and passion for their work, and has seen how independent advisors are more than professionals providing investment and planning advice; they are trusted confidants, life coaches, and guides. Over time, they become a part of their clients’ extended family—and she loves coming alongside that. (Check out this video to hear directly from Elizabeth about why she loves working with financial advisors.)

As Director of Marketing, Elizabeth helps get the word out about how partnering with Indigo can take an advisor’s marketing to the next level and beyond to grow their business and increase their productivity.

Elizabeth earned her bachelor’s degree in management information systems from the University of South Florida Muma College of Business. She also holds a life, health, and variable annuity license, which gives her a special understanding of the many products and services advisors offer. Originally from Clearwater, FL, Elizabeth loves to travel and has visited 12 countries, including extended visits to eSwatini, Africa, to visit family and assist with humanitarian relief programs. She has seen firsthand how independent financial advisors are providing advice to their clients that outpours into the lives of their own families, staff, community, and sometimes across the globe. When she’s not working, Elizabeth enjoys attending orchestral and theater productions with her husband, David, and taking their son, Julian, to art museums, as well as family evenings in the backyard playing baseball with her son and shih-tzu poodle, Wrigley. She is also an active participant in overseas humanitarian work—using her skills to make a difference in the lives of others.

Indigo Marketing Team Member Katie Cress

Katie Cress

Digital Marketing Consultant, Sales & Client Strategist
Cincinnati, Ohio

It’s Katie Cress’s mission to help financial advisors reach their ideal prospects through custom digital marketing. On any given day, you can find Katie meeting with new financial advisors to learn more about their marketing goals, who they love working with, and why they’re passionate about helping others. Her favorite part of her job is meeting new advisors every day and continuing to learn how each firm and individual advisor is different, and using her marketing and small business background to help them craft a game plan that empowers them to grow their business and enhance their services. Often described by loved ones as a “helper” and “caretaker,” Katie is passionate about advocating for her advisors’ needs and supporting her coworkers to help them succeed.

Katie holds an MBA from Xavier University and a BA in Economics from Ohio University. A Midwest girl for life, she lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband, Brandon (who’s also a marketing guru), and their three kids, Charli, Lucy, and Teddy. She and her husband also own Clean Eatz Cafe, where they use their collective marketing prowess and love of food to create a welcoming space for employees and hungry customers alike. Katie is passionate about and for small business owners, being raised by her father who was an entrepreneur, being one herself with her husband, and working with them every day at Indigo. She loves the spirit, creativity, and drive of entrepreneurs. When Katie’s not working or helping run the family business, she enjoys working out with her husband at Orange Theory, loving on her three kids, and cooking delicious food.

Indigo Marketing Team Member Lori Koepke

Lori Koepke

Account Manager
Boise, Idaho

Lori Koepke plays a major role as a liaison between Indigo Marketing Agency and its wonderful clients. She works directly with our advisor clients on their marketing strategies, marketing calendars, article creation, editing processes, compliance approvals, deployment of their content, and more. Lori enjoys helping strategize and be a support to her clients, and loves the camaraderie among the Indigo team members.

Before joining the Indigo team, Lori was a schoolteacher for 10 years. She has a Master of Education and Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Concordia University in Portland, OR. She was born and raised in Vancouver, B.C., and lived in Vancouver, WA, for 25 years before moving to Boise, Idaho, where she currently resides with her husband, Jeremy, and four wonderful kids, Sophie, Tanner, Jonas, and Violet. In her free time, you can find Lori reading, watching football, and driving her kids to all their activities.

Watch this video to hear why Lori loves working with Indigo.

Indigo Marketing Team Member Heidi Wilson

Heidi Wilson

Account Manager

Alexandria, Virginia

Heidi Wilson thrives on helping advisors create an online voice and streamline their marketing efforts. With her mother being a retired financial advisor and her brother-in-law currently a CFP® professional, she’s passionate about taking the marketing pressure off of advisors so they are able to focus on their clients. She loves when advisors tell her something we did for them helped; it can be as simple as taking something off their very busy plate or helping them land a new client with one of the articles we wrote. With broad-based consumer and B2B marketing experience, Heidi is constantly thinking outside the box and brings a fresh perspective to the Indigo team.

Heidi holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Florida State University and hails from Tampa, Florida. Her husband, Chris, is in the U.S. Army, and as they are constantly moving, they take every opportunity to explore the new areas where they’re living. Some of their favorite places they’ve called home include Hawaii and New Orleans. Heidi is thankful for the opportunity to work remotely with Indigo, which allows her to take her job with her, no matter where the Army moves her family next.

Watch this video to hear why Heidi loves working with Indigo.

Indigo Marketing Team Member Jillian Segrue

Jillian Segrue

Account Manager
Columbus, Georgia

Jillian Segrue acts as a liaison between clients and the Indigo team, using her 12 years of customer service experience in fields such as healthcare, financial services, and risk management to help hone their message and deploy it effectively and efficiently. Jillian enjoys building unique relationships with each of her clients as she uniquely helps them reach their ideal target audience.

Jillian has a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration and a minor in business administration from SUNY Brockport. Originally from Rochester, NY, she currently lives in Columbus, GA, with her husband, Tim (an Army captain), daughter, Macie, son, Henry, and two cats. As a military spouse, Jillian appreciates the flexibility Indigo provides—allowing her to juggle motherhood and excelling in her career—and its unmatched positive, supportive, and uplifting company culture. In her free time, Jillian loves to read, shop, and go running outdoors (just not in the Georgia heat!).

Indigo Marketing Team Member Amanda Laskey

Amanda Laskey

Account Manager
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Amanda Laskey works with clients one-on-one to develop and implement marketing strategies that help spread the word about who they are and how they help. In her role, Amanda strives to deliver outstanding customer service to our clients. She is tech-savvy, an independent problem-solver, extremely organized, an excellent communicator, and thrives on helping others. She appreciates the ability to work remotely in a collaborative team environment while supporting her family.

Amanda holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a Master of Arts in Inclusive Education from Seton Hill University and has over 10 years of experience in secondary classroom teaching and over 3 years as an Executive Assistant. A proud Army spouse, Amanda resides in Pittsburgh, PA, with her husband, Brandon, their two sons, Jackson and Harrison, and their sheepadoodle, Waylon, and goldendoodle, Cash. Outside of work, Amanda enjoys spending time with her family, relaxing at the beach, traveling to new places, dessert, and all things Disney.

Indigo Marketing Team Member Beverly Anderson

Beverly Anderson

Account Manager
Portland, Oregon

Beverly Anderson is the go-to contact point for advisors to create a targeted and cohesive marketing strategy that is unique to their specific goals. She loves seeing her clients experience positive results from their marketing efforts, and as a world traveler, she appreciates the ability to work remotely and connect with clients from any country.

Beverly holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Oregon State University. In addition to traveling, she enjoys making music as a singer/songwriter and anything outdoors (she’s an avid snowboarder and rock climber). She and her partner have a rescue pup, Toro, a former street dog in Cabo, Mexico, before they adopted him. Beverly has three older sisters, with whom she is very close, and they all, along with her mother, live in the Portland area. Although she spent the first half of her childhood in Fountain Hills, Arizona, Beverly considers Portland to be home.

Watch this video to hear why Beverly loves working with Indigo.

Indigo Marketing Team Member Kasey Yhap

Kasey Yhap

Account Manager
Ellicott City, MD

Kasey Yhap’s commitment to her clients is the driving force behind her work. Her diverse educational background (a bachelor’s and master’s degree in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Music and a master’s degree in communications from Syracuse University) has equipped her with the unique skill set required for success. Kasey’s strong communication skills and creative mindset, combined with her passion for helping her clients, make her a valuable asset to the team.

In her free time, Kasey stays active and maintains a healthy lifestyle through yoga, CrossFit, and spending time outdoors. These hobbies complement her professional life by allowing her to recharge and bring new ideas to her work at Indigo.

Indgio Team Member Dan Corcoran

Dan Corcoran

Account Manager
Madison, Wisconsin

Dan Corcoran enjoys being on the front lines of financial advisor marketing, working directly with advisors to help them build a strong marketing plan to get their firm’s message out. Working remotely can be a challenge as talking to others, brainstorming, and sharing experiences recharges him; he maximizes touchpoints to connect with others to make every day at Indigo rewarding.

Dan holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He enjoys drone photography and videography (he owns his own drone business, Forward Focus Photography), sports broadcasting (he was a hockey broadcaster for four years prior to COVID), spending time with family, camping/hiking, running, swimming, and road biking.

Originally from Sun Prairie, WI, Dan has three siblings, and prior to joining Indigo’s team, he worked for an RIA in Madison for two years.

Indigo Marketing Team Member Lisa Gaines

Lisa Gaines

Content Deployment Manager
Fort Hood, Texas

Lisa Gaines spends her work days uploading blog posts to our clients’ websites and LinkedIn profiles, drafting emails, and making adjustments to content as advisors request. Lisa has learned a lot as a long-time member of the Indigo family and has enjoyed seeing the processes evolve to become more streamlined and efficient over time. And she loves working with the amazing Indigo team! 

Lisa is a proud alum of Texas A&M University, where she received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance. As a military child, Lisa feels as though she grew up everywhere; however, she claims central Texas as home where most of her family is originally from. She currently lives in Fort Hood, Texas, with her husband, Korey (an active-duty Army officer), and two kids, Madelyne and Jameson. As a military family, Lisa moves quite a bit—often to areas where the job market is small. She loves that Indigo provides her with a steady job she can take with her wherever she goes. When she’s not working, Lisa enjoys dabbling in interior design, binging a good Netflix series, and spending time with friends and family.

Read more about why Lisa loves working with Indigo.

Profile picture of our web developer - Joshua Yanson.

Joshua Yanson

Web Developer
Negros Occidental, Philippines

Joshua spends his days developing client websites, implementing automations, and troubleshooting website issues. He enjoys the challenge of working with websites while simultaneously learning new tips and tricks to optimize them for maximum efficiency.

Originally from Pulupandan, Negros Occidental, Philippines, Joshua holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, and in his free time enjoys playing computer games and watching anime and movies.

Indigo Marketing Team Member Jennifer Farrior

Jennifer Farrior

Lead Writer & Proofreader
Louisville, Kentucky

Jennifer Farrior is Indigo’s go-to for all things proofreading and editing. Her attention to detail is unmatched, and she takes pride in making sure every article is clean and concise before it heads out to our financial advisors. She says, “Even a single typo can affect an advisor’s credibility, and we strive for perfection when it comes to how they’re presented online.” As Lead Writer, Jennifer trains and manages the team of writers, and also writes and collaborates with team members to create Indigo’s blog posts and promotional material.

Jennifer holds a bachelor’s degree in English from UCLA. In addition to her role at Indigo, she runs her own copy editing and proofreading business, She Proofreads LLC. Jennifer hails from San Diego, California, but now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with her three kids, Joshua, Julia, and Joel, and goldendoodle, Dexter. She loves working at Indigo because it provides her with the income, flexibility, and the community she needs as a stay-at-home mom. Outside of work, you can find her spending time with her kids, friends, boyfriend, or working on a puzzle while watching Netflix.

Indigo Marketing Team Member Sarah Robichaud

Sarah Robichaud

Social Media Manager
Rochester Hills, Michigan

Sarah Robichaud uses her love of spreadsheets to create engaging content calendars for our clients’ social media pages. Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Salisbury University and a master’s degree in marriage and family counseling from Liberty University. In addition to her role at Indigo, Sarah volunteers as a virtual administrator for Army Wife Network, a nonprofit organization that aims to empower and educate military spouses through blogs, podcasts, and various other resources.

Born and raised in Maryland, Sarah currently lives in Rochester Hills, Michigan, with her husband, Andrew, two children, Emily and Logan, and two fur babies, Penny and Chewbacca. As a military spouse and mother, Sarah loves working for Indigo because of the flexibility it affords her, allowing her to continue to build her career while frequently relocating around the globe and working on her own schedule to accommodate a busy lifestyle. Sarah also loves Indigo’s supportive team atmosphere. Outside of work and volunteering, you can find Sarah enjoying time outdoors with her family, typically running, camping, or traveling. An avid traveler, she’s visited 16 countries and is always planning her family’s next great adventure.

Peter Wardenaar

Peter Wardenaar

SEO Specialist & IT Lead
Cali, Colombia

As a natural problem-solver, Peter Wardenaar uses his skills to help financial advisors find new ways to grow their site traffic and attract more clients they love. Peter enjoys the dynamic nature of his role; the challenges are never the same as every situation is unique and requires a different approach. But don’t let Peter’s technical prowess fool you—he also has quite the creative side! Before joining the Indigo team, he worked as a first-grade teacher and university English professor in Cali, Colombia.

Peter has bachelor’s degrees in education and in music from Portland Bible College and a master’s degree in music production and technology from Berklee College of Music. In his spare time, he loves writing and recording music, graphic design, engaging with people, and studying leadership and theology. Peter is also one of the most well-traveled people you’ll ever meet! He was born and raised in the Netherlands but lived in the Pacific Northwest for over 12 years. Today, he resides in Cali, Colombia, with his wife, Gloria Isabel, and their three kids, Emanuel, Paloma, and Violet.

Indigo Marketing Team Member Kourtney Kearney

Kourtney Kearney

Tech Support
Antelope, California

Kourtney Kearney is a data-driven woman with a knack for coding. On any typical day, you can find her building web pages, troubleshooting bugs in code, and setting up automations to make life easier for our clients. Thanks to her technical background, Kourtney has a vast understanding of the inner workings of websites and the data associated with them. She’s always on the lookout for new technology that will help us improve our workflows so we can focus on what we do best—helping financial advisors grow their business. Kourtney enjoys the variation of tasks and loves the challenge of taking an existing website and making it better without completely rebuilding it.

Kourtney is originally from Newark, CA (Bay Area), but currently resides in Antelope, a suburb of Sacramento, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Curatorial Studies. Outside of work, Kourtney spends her free time reading, playing volleyball, baking with her two sons, and hanging out with family.

Indigo Marketing Agency Adrian Bachini

Adrian Bachini

Web Developer & Tech Support
Manila, Philippines

Adrian Bachini works on tasks requiring technical knowledge and other various administrative tasks. A software developer by day, prior to joining Indigo, Adrian had very little knowledge on how nontechnical positions operate. His position at Indigo allows him to both learn and experience a variety of platforms and gain more knowledge about how to maximize marketing initiatives.

Adrian holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science with a specialization in software technology from De La Salle University Manila. Adrian considers himself somewhat of a workaholic, with a full-time day job in addition to working with Indigo. When he’s not working, he enjoys watching documentaries, action movies, and anime, and also loves cycling on muddy downhill trails or cross-country rides, playing video games, and simply resting when he can. He is also a licensed commercial pilot and flies in his free time; he obviously also enjoys traveling. Adrian lives with his family and more than a few pets (11 dogs, 6 cats, a few birds, and fish)—he has more pets than humans in his home!

Claire Akin

Claire Akin

Founder
San Diego, California
Claire Akin founded Indigo Marketing Agency with the mission to help financial advisors leverage marketing to grow their businesses. As a former Investment Advisor Representative and proud daughter of an independent advisor, she’s seen first-hand the value advisors bring to their clients and community. Claire transferred ownership of Indigo Marketing Agency to Hugo Fernandez in 2022 to spend more time with her family.
Indigo Marketing Team Member Adriana

Adriana Escalante

Website Project Manager
San Antonio, Texas

Adriana Escalante thrives on creating an online representation that looks and feels true to our financial advisor clients as she builds their websites to best represent them and their businesses. Her experience working on travel and tourism websites motivates her to make sure every site she works on is exciting and engaging to web visitors. A graduate of University of Texas in Austin, Adriana double-majored in International Relations and a Liberal Arts program called Plan II. She also received a certification for front-end development from a coding academy in Austin, which has equipped her to serve as a great liaison between developers and clients.

After living in Austin, TX, for most of her adult life, Adriana now resides in San Antonio, TX (a city with a ton of history and many things to do), with her partner, Russell, and their dog, Abbey. She also has a brother and sister with whom she’s very close and tries to see a few times a year. Most of Adriana’s hobbies revolve around nature. She grew up spending lots of time on a sailboat or at a beach, and her family has a small cabin in Creede, CO, where she spends half the year hiking, camping, skiing, or snowshoeing (depending on the season). When she’s in Texas, she tries to get out most weekends to kayak. A Texas Master Naturalist, Adriana loves learning about all the plants, birds, and animals in her home state. She also dabbles in making stained-glass suncatchers!

Profile picture of our marketing assistant - Kaitlin Thornal.

Kaitlin Thornal

Marketing Assistant
Fort Moore, Georgia

Kaitlin Thornal helps clients onboard as they begin their marketing journey with Indigo, and she loves meeting new people and learning new things. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication/Public Relations, International Studies, and a minor in French from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as a Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership Studies from Gonzaga University.

Kaitlin was born at Fort Lewis, Washington, but she moved around a lot growing up, spending the most time in North Carolina. She now resides in Fort Moore, Georgia, with her husband, Mason, and their four children, Caroline, Mason, Jack, and Bo. Kaitlin’s favorite place to live has been Europe (Italy, Ireland, and Belgium) and she would go back in a heartbeat! In her spare time, she enjoys long-distance running, reading, and spending time in the mountains of western North Carolina.

Profile picture of our marketing assistant - Samantha Triglia.

Samantha Triglia

Marketing Assistant
Queens, New York

In her integral role, Samantha Triglia schedules social media posts, deploys email campaigns, and updates Google Business Profile pages for clients’ new blog posts. She also assists with lead generation/tracking and other administrative tasks. Helping out wherever she’s needed, Samantha appreciates the opportunities she has to learn and grow in her position. She says, “I love being a part of the team, especially when content deployment involves many moving parts and collaboration to get done and ready to go.”

A former teacher for 14 years, Samantha holds a Bachelor of Arts in Childhood Education from St. Francis College in Brooklyn, New York. She also holds a Master of Arts in Middle School Earth Science Education from CUNY Brooklyn College and a Master of Science in Educational Administration and Leadership from the University of Scranton. (Yes, TWO master’s degrees!) While in college, Samantha was the assistant to the Chief Compliance Officer of a brokerage firm on Madison Avenue in New York City for high-net-worth individuals and families, so she’s quite familiar with the types of clients Indigo serves.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Samantha currently lives in Rockaway Beach in Queens, New York (the place the Ramones song is about!), with her husband, Matt (a Navy veteran and currently a New York City Firefighter), and their three sons, Matthew, Thomas, and James. Outside of work, Samantha enjoys spending time with her family riding bikes on their neighborhood boardwalk and going to the beach. They love to travel, including yearly family trips to Hershey, Pennsylvania, and Universal Studios in Florida (they’re big Harry Potter fans!). Samantha also stays active exercising and playing on a women’s softball team and a co-ed beach volleyball team with her husband.

Profile picture of our marketing assistant - Amanda Bicknese.

Amanda Bicknese

Marketing Assistant
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Amanda wears a few hats at Indigo, bringing value to the team by creating custom social media posts for advisors, assisting with the onboarding process of new team members, and tackling behind-the-scenes team tasks. She loves to collaborate with our amazing clients and supportive team members.

Born and raised in Fort Myers, Florida, Amanda holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Central Florida and a master’s degree in education from North Carolina State University. She worked as an educator for about a decade before pivoting to a career in writing and marketing. A Space Force military spouse (former army), Amanda and her husband, Michael, are currently located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with their two children, Mikayla and William, and two fur babies (a cat and a dog). When she’s not reading or writing fiction in her spare time, Amanda enjoys hanging out with family, hiking, trying new foods, and traveling.

Profile picture of our account manager Adam Spera.

Adam Spera

Account Manager
Astoria, New York

A marketer at heart, Adam finds satisfaction when consulting, strategizing, and implementing strategies to improve his clients’ business. He specializes in organic and paid social campaigns, as well as email and SEO optimization.

Adam holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Central Florida and a Juris Doctor degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Raised in Boca Raton, Florida, by his mom (an event planner) and dad (a private boat charter captain), Adam currently lives in Astoria, New York, with his wife, Olivia, who works in pet care. When he’s not cooking up killer marketing strategies, he enjoys role-playing games, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and reading non-fiction and philosophy books.

Profile picture of our account manager Melanie Valdez.

Melanie Valdez

Account Manager
Vancouver, Washington

With her marketing expertise, Melanie Valdez leaves no stone unturned when helping clients hone their marketing strategy. She loves interacting with clients and brainstorming new ideas to enhance their marketing results. No two days are ever the same, and that’s the way Melanie likes it!

Melanie holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Western Washington University as well as an MBA from Western Governors University. When she’s not rocking her role at Indigo, she enjoys cooking (trying out new recipes every week), painting, and discovering new restaurants with friends. She and her husband, Dat, love to travel and go on walks with their dog, Brutus, a pomeranian-chihuahua whose personality is definitely not proportionate to his small size!

Hugo Fernandez CEO of Indigo Marketing

Hugo Fernandez

CEO
Los Angeles, California

Hugo Fernandez acquired ownership of Indigo Marketing Agency from founder Claire Akin in 2022. Leading the Indigo team with heart, Hugo is passionate about helping our financial advisors attract a flood of their A+ clients with sustainable marketing campaigns. He enjoys running companies that are wildly successful and wearing a black t-shirt every day of his life. When his two favorite things come together, you have an average day at Indigo.

Hugo Fernandez is also CEO of Indigo’s partner company, Just Digital, and author of The Client Acquisition Blueprint. He has personally helped hundreds of entrepreneurs grow their businesses through his proven blueprint for creating an EPIC marketing strategy and online presence.

To get in touch with Hugo, email him or connect with him on LinkedIn.