Podcast: Productivity and Technology for Financial Advisors with Tammy Hawkins (Listen Now)

Tammy Hawkins

Productivity and Technology for Financial Advisors:

In this episode, productivity and technology guru Tammy Hawkins will discuss how advisors can lead more efficient, less stressed, and happier lives by embracing systems and processes through technology for financial advisors. We’ll review:

  • The top technologies for financial advisors
  • How advisors can approach new technologies and systems to be successful
  • The three secrets to being productive and efficient
  • The one productivity rule that will change your life
  • How to stress less and get more done
  • How to improve client service by embracing technology

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

On the Financial Advisor Podcast, special guests and top advisors will join us to give you real-life examples of what’s really working for them. 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.

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.


Transcription

Claire Akin

Today I’m really excited to welcome Tammy Hawkins to the show. Tammy is a little bit different than some of our other guest experts in that she is a productivity consultant and a productivity expert. She helps me with everything with my business when it comes to technology, processes, productivity. One of the things that we do really well and we’re really proud of at Indigo is we’re super efficient, so we work virtually with all of our clients and we keep our prices really low because all of our systems are completely streamlined. All of our clients get the same level of client service, they get the same attention, and we have a process that makes sure we always deliver A-plus output. That’s in large part due to Tammy’s help. Tammy has come onboard, she’s been with us a few years, and she’s helped us with all of our technology, our systems, our client service. 

Welcome to the show, Tammy. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about your passion for productivity and technology and why you do what you do.

Tammy Hawkins

Thanks, Claire. I’m excited to join you, and, yes, I’ve been passionate about productivity for over a decade professionally. I am a marketing technology consultant and have been leveraging online tools and platforms to bring about change in my community and workplace. I really enjoy helping people, businesses and several nonprofit organizations that I volunteer with get more done simply by embracing technology and the ways that it can improve your productivity and your life. 

Claire Akin

That’s awesome. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us. Tammy has worked with all of our clients. We have almost 200 independent financial advisors and Tammy helps them get up and running with all of their systems. When they come onboard with us, we do everything from setting up their website to doing their search engine optimization, to help them optimize their social media profiles, and setting up their online appointment scheduler. She’s really the person on our team that interfaces with advisors. 

The reason that we decided to do this episode of the podcast is that we noticed a trend. We noticed that the most successful advisors that we work with aren’t the ones with the biggest teams or the deepest experience or background. It’s the ones that are productive. They embrace technology, they understand how to stay organized, and they get things done. When they tell us they’re going to do something they do it. They return our emails, they return our phone calls, and they move forward and get things done. That’s the big litmus test that we’ve seen whether an advisor is going to be successful or not in their business: Can they embrace technology to make their business more efficient, and are they organized in a way that keeps them on top of things, keeps things from falling through the cracks?

With that, let’s talk about some of the biggest mistakes that advisors make with technology. Tammy, as you’re working with our clients to onboard them, what are some of the mistakes that you see?

Tammy Hawkins

First, I think the biggest thing is people are afraid to embrace technology tools because either they simply don’t understand how they work or they really aren’t aware of what’s out there and how it can improve their work and their lives. By embracing the systems that are already out there and available to you, you can really leverage your time, automate some of your tedious tasks, and spend more time doing what you should be –  which is focusing on your strengths within your business and really outsourcing everything else. The biggest mistake with that, I would say, is not trusting that it works and being afraid simply by not understanding. That would be the biggest one, I think, that holds people back. 

There’s one other mistake I thought of in relation to some of the things that we have seen, is holding back a little bit from technology, not being brave enough to sign up for some extra features that might be available on some systems that you use. We had one firm that was growing, and had a really good-sized email list, but in order to have a larger list and have a larger send rate they didn’t want to upgrade their account. They didn’t want to spend an extra $30 a month to increase their accounts capacity. Essentially, they were removing potentially valuable leads from their list in order to save a little bit of pocket change. That mistake, I would say, would be holding back from investing a little bit of money. 

Most of these apps and tools do not cost very much. That is one of the beautiful things about technology these days is it’s really efficient and affordable, so spending just a little bit of money every month, we’re talking, some of these apps cost $10, $30, to have that system that is just so smooth and makes your life so much better. 

The last one I want to mention, and I’m sure Claire will have some more, is becoming overwhelmed by not taking a little bit of time to learn what you need to embrace the tool and have it work for you. I would say, even when I’m faced with new technologies that I don’t personally have experience with, I’ll put it on my calendar for 20 minutes, 30 minutes to sit down with that tool, go through the homepage and how it works and the frequently asked questions, and figure out what it does. Approaching it with a calm, I-can-understand-this attitude, and really taking just a little bit of time to learn how these tools work and how to embrace it to make it work for you. 

Claire Akin

Right. I think that’s such good advice. I really encourage you, if you’re feeling frustrated with a technology, to spend 10 minutes trying to use it, and then if you get stuck just call a support line, and they’ll help you out.

When you talk about technologies for financial advisors, there’s a few technologies that we really recommend. In fact, we strongly encourage our clients to embrace them, and here are the top three tools that will help you take control of your digital life. The first is a secure password storage system. We use LastPass. It saves all of your online passwords on your computer, in your browsers, in a secure format. 

Tammy Hawkins

A lot of people don’t have their passwords saved in a central location. You might be at home and you think, oh, I have that, but that’s on my computer at work, and so you might waste a couple of days even getting to that login and getting to that system. My husband is a financial analyst, and he does a lot of my accounting and spreadsheets for me, and sometimes I’ll say, okay, let’s get this info. He’ll say, oh, I can’t, that’s on my computer at work. You go, oh my gosh, you’re really going to waste a whole day getting this information that can be solved by having a secure, encrypted LastPass system. 

Claire Akin

Absolutely. There’s LastPass for teams, so you could have your administrative assistant be able to log into some of your accounts, only the accounts that you give them access to. You can make sure that you never have to type in passwords. It’s only a couple seconds to try to remember your password and type it in, but those seconds done over and over multiple times a day really add up and end up wasting an incredible amount of time. Not only time but also brain power, that causes you to be less likely to get things done if you have to look up your password to log into a system. It’s all auto-populated on your computer, it’s completely secure, you can share it with your team, and it makes your life so much easier. I really encourage you to embrace LastPass. 

The second really core technology I want to mention is Calendly.

Tammy Hawkins

I want to mention one specific problem that Calendly solves is, if you’re not using that or another online scheduler, when you are currently trying to coordinate times with a client or someone else that you’re working with you do that back and forth via email or texting or some other method where you waste a lot of time. Are you available then? Oh, I’m not available then, how about this time and this time? It wastes a lot of time going back and forth, and it’s frustrating for everybody trying to go through that. That can take hours to get those responses back and forth to choose a time just to talk, so Calendly really solves that problem by giving them a surface-level access to see a general of when you’re available, and they can choose it and be done. There’s no back and forth and it really solves that, and it looks awesome. You look really put together and efficient, and that’s impressive. 

Claire Akin

Absolutely. 

The third thing that I want to mention is a CRM, or a customer relationship management system. So many advisors are not doing this and they’re really losing out. If you don’t have a CRM, you have leads that are falling through the cracks, I promise you. Adopting a CRM is something that will keep all of your clients’ information saved in a really easy, searchable system, it can remind you to follow-up with prospects, and it keeps everything organized. If your client changes their email address, you update it in your CRM, and your CRM can sync with maybe your account management system, your email marketing system, and all of your teams members will be able to see that updated email address. 

It’s critically important if you’re serious about growing your business to have a good CRM. One of the best CRMs that I really love for advisors is Wealthbox. I think that’s probably my favorite. I find it to be the easiest and the most intuitive to use. Redtail is probably the one with the most technology integrations. Both of those are built specifically for financial advisors, and they’re totally robust systems that can help you to grow your AUM by being organized and thoughtful about the way you approach clients and prospects. 

Let’s move on to the next section of the podcast. Tammy, I know you wanted to talk a little bit about how advisors can not get overwhelmed by all of these technologies. 

Tammy Hawkins

I think this is really the core of what holds people back, is being overwhelmed by technology. As I said before, trusting that it works and going in with a good attitude is what’s most important, and being open to learning. A lot of people say to me, well, you’re young, you were born knowing how to do these things. It’s not necessarily so. We learn these things as they come along. New technologies are emerging every year, every month, that we have to learn and embrace something new. 

Many people don’t like change, so you have to go at it with a smile and a fresh outlook and almost repeat this kind of mantra to yourself: I’m good at learning things; I’m open-minded to trying something new. I know that a lot of people before me have used this and worked on this successfully, so I’ll trust the systems and go with it, this tool will help me get better at my job, and I’m excited about that. Saying things to myself like that, it sounds silly, but it’s embracing pumping yourself up. 

We have a lot of advisors who come to us and they just can’t get past that hangup of, I don’t know how it works, or, I’m scared or confused or overwhelmed.Really going at it, changing your mindset about yourself, that you’re open to learning new things, and I can do this successfully, and ultimately it’s going to make me feel better and have less stress so I’m excited about it, is something that I think will change people’s perspective about embracing technology that can help.  

Claire Akin

Right. I think that’s great advice. It’s all about realizing the capability of technology and really having a good attitude about learning how to use it, and using technology to make your life easier. 

One thing that I want to share with you today is the one email rule that will change your life. If you do anything as a result of listening to this episode, I want you to try this rule: Never open an email unless you have the time to respond to it and close out the issue. It’s very powerful and it’s very simple. 

There’s a few ways that you can close out an issue when an email comes to you. First of all, you can get it done. If something takes two minutes or less, I just go ahead and do it right then. If it takes longer than that, I schedule it onto my calendar or I put it in my follow-up email folder, and so I have a folder that usually has about 10 things that I have to do the next day. Or you can, of course, take the next action. Maybe it’s that you need to schedule an appointment or make a phone call or purchase something, and so you open the email, you process it, and you complete that task. So it’s either on your calendar for a later date, it’s in your follow-up folder, or it’s done and you never have to think about it again. 

The next thing that we want to talk about is some email tips for organization and efficiency. One of the first email tips for organization is keeping one email per topic. So if you need to ask your CPA a question about the max that you can contribute this year to your 401(k) plan, ask him one question per email, and then if you want to schedule a meeting, send a second email. Because the problem is if you put too many topics per email people don’t answer all of the questions, and then it’s very confusing, it’s hard to figure out which email you’re talking about when you’re going back to change your contributions to your 401(k). How are you going to find the email if you just wrote an email titled, Catching Up? But if you title your topic of your email, 401(k) Contributions for 2019, it’s really easy to find that information when you need it, and so less things fall through the cracks, it’s easy for people to answer your question. Keep one topic per email and send multiple emails if they have different topics. 

Tammy Hawkins

I think going back to keeping one email per topic really helps that searchability feature when you want to go back and search something. We have a lot of advisors who do that with a bunch of different topics and one email, and you can’t find it necessarily when you search because you’re only seeing the top couple sentences in the search results. Keeping them separate and being able to find and go back to what you needed is such a time-saver. It’s surprisingly not done by very many people. Trying that, even for a couple of weeks, you’ll see a big difference.

Claire Akin

Absolutely. 

One tip that I’ll give you is before you meet with a client, search by their email address and read all of the emails between you and the client that you have corresponded with them since the last time you met, and it will be incredible. You’ll be completely on top of the context of everything that’s been going on in their life, all the questions that they have asked, any updates they’ve made to their financial plan, and they’ll feel like you’ve really done your homework before you meet with them. That’s just one email trick that I like to share with people. 

The one other tool that I want to mention that I use all the time is a tool called Boomerang, and Google also has a similar tool, I believe they call it Snooze. What this does is it sends an email back to you, it boomerangs it back to you, at a certain date. Whenever I send an email to a client, I boomerang it to come back to me if they don’t reply, so that nothing goes unanswered and I am able to follow-up with all of my clients on everything important. You can set the Boomerang tool to send an email back to you at a certain date, you could say, in two days, or, tomorrow afternoon, or, in one week, or, in two weeks. 

Tammy Hawkins

I love using Boomerang. You can also use it to have recurring return messages, so you can set something to come back every Monday at 2:00 PM, per se, and that way you can say, check in with such and such client. An awesome tool to have your email reminding you of these things that you need to be doing. 

Claire Akin

Absolutely.

One of the final things I want to leave you with today is the idea of the four Ds. There’s only really four things that you can do with any topic that’s pressing on your plate: You can do it, you can delegate it, you can defer it, or you can drop it. Either accomplish the task, delegate it to somebody, put it off a week if you have to, or drop it. I have a lot of ideas that come to me that I really want to accomplish, but I just don’t have the time, and so I defer them for a week, maybe two weeks, and then when they come to me if I still don’t have the time, I drop them. You can even put them into an archive file of good ideas that you want to do someday, but it’s very powerful to clear your to-do list so at the end of the day you don’t have any lingering things that you wish you could get to but you can’t because that creates just mental fatigue. 

Use the four Ds: do, delegate, defer, drop – to clear out your to-do list each day, and I think you’ll feel a lot better and be able to sleep better at night. 

Tammy Hawkins

I highly, highly recommend the reading of David Allen’s book. I love listening to it on audiobook, I actually listen to it almost every six months or a year, depending on how my procedures are going, if I feel like I need a reset. That’s kind of a productivity Bible that I come back to all the time, and he’s really good about figuring out what the actions are. He says, first of all, what is this that I’m doing? Is it actionable? And if it’s actionable, what do I do? I can do it, delegate it, defer it, or drop it. But there are several other popular authors who speak to the same. It could be The 4-Hour Workweek, is another wonderful book.

Claire Akin

Tammy, you’re mentioning a few books… let’s talk about the recommended reading if you’re interested in learning more about productivity. One book that we both love is David Allen’s “Getting Things Done.” We highly recommend that. Another that Tammy mentioned is “The 4-Hour Workweek,” that is my Bible for running my business and having two little kids and running my household and doing everything that we all need to do in a way that is very powerful and puts me in a state of low stress, even though I have a lot on my plate. 

Then a third book that I want to recommend that’s specifically for financial advisors is one of my favorite clients, Scott Ford, he worked with Ron Carson to write the book, “The Sustainable Edge.” It is a powerful productivity and business growth book for independent financial advisors, and it talks about how to sustain growth of your company year after year by really focusing on the most important priorities that drive your business. You can get it on Amazon, it’s an incredible book and it’s a New York Times Bestseller. It’s just a great read for financial advisors. I highly recommend that. 

I just want to close out by allowing you, Tammy, to give some advice to the advisors out there on if they were going to do anything from a productivity standpoint, what is one actionable improvement that they could make today?

Tammy Hawkins

I’m glad you asked because I have one idea that I think would really help people if they would implement this in their schedule. One thing that I really like from a productivity standpoint is having a scheduled weekly review with yourself. Having that weekly review allows you, say, one hour on your calendar where you’re uninterrupted and you really are looking at your systems and your procedures and calendar as a whole big picture. You’re looking at your work from the overhead, 20,000-feet view, so coming at this session of a weekly review with a calm attitude, where you can set this time aside. What I would recommend would be to write down on a blank sheet of paper the five tasks that you do that take up the most of your time with work, so brainstorm. Then, branching each of those out, how you could make these things easier for yourself by finding technology or an outsourcing possibility to make it better and ultimately take up less of your time. 

Have a brainstorming session on how to embrace technology and/or outsourcing. That’s one thing we should really stress on too is a lot of our advisors have a team, and a lot of our advisors also are kind of a one-man band, one-woman band, and they’re doing this on their own. Finding an outsource mechanism can take you to the next level. Sitting down and brainstorming those five tasks that take up too much of your time and you’re saying I wish I didn’t have to do this, and finding an easy, affordable system that really will change your life. Brainstorming that and doing it weekly or monthly, whatever best suits your needs, will really change how things work for you. 

Claire Akin

Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. It’s all about making sure you’re doing the things that are most important to grow your business. Identifying what you should be doing, and if you don’t feel like doing it, if it’s been on your to-do list for a few weeks and you haven’t done it, outsource it. You know you should be doing marketing and you know you should be doing search engine optimization and blogging and posting to social media, but you don’t want to actually do it? Outsource it to us, that’s what we do for our advisors clients. 

One of the things I did in my own business is I knew every week I should really review the metrics of my business. I wanted to go over thingssuch as how many people came to my website, how many people came there from social media, how much revenue did I make, how many phone calls did I do with advisors that week? But that’s obviously not something that I had the time to look up, so I got a virtual assistant to put together all of those metrics for me, and she emails them to me every Friday morning. I love to see the numbers. I just sit with my cup of coffee and I review how many phone calls I did that week, how much money I made, how many people came to my website, and then I get ideas. In reviewing those things I get great ideas to do better the next week. 

That was an easy idea that I knew I should be doing, but I wasn’t doing it myself, so I hired someone to do it for me. The one thing that I would recommend advisors do is hire a virtual assistant. It’s great to find a virtual assistant who is affordable, I recommend paying between $25 and $50 per hour for somebody that’s highly competent, that you can trust, and have them do those actions that you know you should be doing but that you’re not doing. This could be calling prospects, inviting them to your next event, following up with clients to see if there’s any changes or if they need to have a meeting. It could be adding your new emails to your email list, whatever it is, reviewing your weekly metrics or doing your marketing for you. Whatever you know would be powerful to grow your business, invest in getting that done, and don’t rely on yourself to do everything. 

Give yourself a break. You work incredibly hard, you’re wearing a lot of hats, you are a business owner, you’re helping your clients, you’re doing your taxes. You are already probably doing too much, so cut yourself a break. Take the day off, go play golf while somebody else does the work that you know will propel your business forward. 

With that I would just like to thank Tammy so much for being a great reference and a great expert for our advisors listening. Thank you so much for being on our episode. 

Tammy Hawkins

Thanks so much for having me. I’m really excited for some of our listeners to implement some productivity improvements. 

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. 

How can we help you with your marketing?

We help top advisors with a true specialty to create custom marketing plans. Our most popular services include our Independent Websites for Independent Advisors, our Search Engine Optimization service, and our Monthly Marketing Package, but we can also help answer your questions and work with you on project-based marketing campaigns.

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.