Do you ever feel overwhelmed or behind when it comes to technology for your practice? Many advisors I work with are looking to upgrade their technology but don’t know where to start.
That’s why I’ve invited financial advisor and technology consultant Arielle Minicozzi to share the secrets of The Advisory Practice of the Future. We’ll review how she helps top advisors create their technology systems to run seamlessly and efficiently.
Be sure to stick around until the end to get your free 30-minute technology strategy call with Arielle!
Claire Akin runs Indigo Marketing Agency a full-service marketing firm serving top independent financial advisors.
She works closely with several of Barron’s Top 100 Financial Advisors to grow their AUM using digital marketing.
Great. Thank you so much for joining us. Today we’re going to talk about the advisory practice of the future and we have an amazing special guest who’s going to walk us through how to leverage technology to streamline and grow your practice. So first, if you don’t already know me, I’m Claire Akin with Indigo Marketing Agency. I used to be an investment advisor representative with LPL Financial, and my dad is an advisor. So I grew up in this business. And one of the things that I’ve really noticed in working with advisors is that technology can really make or break your practice, it can make it easy and fun to be in your business, or it can make it overwhelming and frustrating and confusing. And so some of the top advisors that I work with use technology to make their practice a great practice that’s streamlined, that’s fun to work in. And so I want to share some of those tips with you today.
I also have a bachelor’s degree in economics, a master’s degree in marketing, and I’m a lecturer at UCLA Extension and my business, Indigo Marketing Agency, works with 165 top independent advisors to help them market their business using digital marketing.
Today we’re going to have a special guest and I’m really, really excited to have Arielle Minicozzi… Sorry about that. She is a financial advisor with Sphynx Financial. She also is a member of XY Planning Network, and what’s really taken off lately in her career is helping advisors with their technology. Welcome, Arielle.
Thank you so much, Claire. I’m happy to be here.
Tell us a little bit about your experience and how you got into being a technology consultant to advisors.
Thank you. That’s a great question. I had a very circuitous road to becoming a technology consultant to advisors. I, after college, began my career in the mortgage industry as a loan officer and part of my frustration with the mortgage business that I was running was my inability to scale. I noticed that I was spending a lot of time doing administrative tasks and data entry. So when I decided to leave the mortgage industry and begin my financial advisory firm, I realized I really needed to focus on a way to systematize my business and automate some of the processes that I was doing so I could free up more time to help more clients and do additional marketing activities and grow my business. And when I shared what I was working on with other advisors, everybody seemed to need what I had set up for myself. It was through that organically I was able to evolve what I was doing just for me into a practice that now I’m helping other advisors implement some other technologies.
That’s awesome. Yeah, and I hear this story all the time. Advisors watching you probably know that there’s so many practices without data technologies. A lot of advisors like my dad have paper files and they’re using a shredder to shred client data at the end of the year and they just don’t have their processes and their systems set up to make their business easy and to really bring it into the future. There’s so many technologies available today to improve your practice and to make it more efficient, more streamlined. And so I know a lot of advisors are overwhelmed by changing systems. They’re overwhelmed by security requirements and data security and they’re not sure which systems to use. One of the problems is, if you do adapt a new system, whether it be a CRM or a new technology for your practice, and if it doesn’t work out, that’s a huge waste of time and a huge stank of your learning and your time that you may have to redo.
And so it’s really important to pick the right technologies on the outset and so that you invest your time and your energy learning something that is going to take you years into the future and to be the right technology for you. We’ll talk more about that today.
Let’s just go through right now some of the practices and the technologies that Arielle is using in her practice, which is Sphynx Financial Planning. And what she does is financial planning for professional millennials. And so these are people who grew up with technology, who grew up with the internet, who really want to use technology when they’re working with their advisor. I’ll let Arielle explain the way that her practice uses technology to make things easier and simpler.
Yeah, that’s a very good point that you make. That a lot of my clients grew up with technology, Claire, and they are familiar with how it works. So in my practice, perhaps more so than others, clients expect and like the technology piece. I feel though that even if your clientele is of an older generation or perhaps not as tech savvy, there is always room to add efficiencies through technology on the backside at least. So part of what I have set up for myself is a system where anytime a potential client enters data in any place to through to when they actually become a client and enter data in other places, that data will pass through from point A to point B to point C, all the way through to point Z without additional input at any time.
Just to give you an example, when somebody will come to my website, you can see right here on the snapshot you’re showing that there’s a button to schedule a free consultation. When somebody clicks on that button, which we’ll see you a little bit more detail later in our webinar, they get taken to my scheduling software, which is Calendly, and they enter their name, their email address, and a couple other data points. Instead of me having to then take that and translate it over to my CRM software or to MailChimp, which I use for email automation, I have my system set up so that data passes through on the back end seamlessly to all of those other places. And that’s just one example of ways that you can take time that you would otherwise be spending to do data entry and use that time more effectively in other areas of your practice. I know we’ll talk a little bit more about that in detail in just a little bit.
Yeah. And I just love it’s just a point that you’re making now, but it’s really about making your practice easy for your clients so they never have to give you their email address twice, and easy for you, so you never have to enter their email address twice. And you’re also reducing the risk of human error. If you were to gather their email address again, you may input it wrong. And so it’s about setting up everything at the outset so that it runs incredibly efficiently to make it easy for the client and easy for you and to minimize the risk of human error in all of the processes that you have.
You said it perfectly, Claire. I couldn’t say it any better.
Great. This is kind of the second screen. When someone comes to your website and they want to schedule an appointment, they just jump into this page where they pick the time and the date that they want to schedule an appointment, and they put in some data about themselves. And then you get their phone number, you get an email reminders so you can call them. This is kind of the simplest first step of setting up technology in your practice, but we do this for all of my clients.
And it’s so important to have a button on your website where people can click to schedule a phone call because we know that people are busy during the workday. And so when they may be able to call your office to schedule an appointment, that’s the time they’re busy. So we want to make it easy for them to schedule an appointment 24/seven, because most of the urgency that they feel around their financial planning concerns is going to be later at night after they’ve had a conversation with their spouse or when they’re at home and they’re digging through their credit card bills or thinking about their investments. And so we want to make it the time that they feel that urgency to schedule a phone call, it’s easy for them to click to do so.
100%. Another goal that I have in using technology is to remove as many barriers as possible around clients being able to schedule appointments and take those next steps that they need to do in order to move ahead with financial planning. And this is applicable, I think to any type of business. You want to remove as many barriers as possible between your clients. Having that sense of urgency as you mentioned, Claire, to take that next step and actually going ahead and doing it.
Right, yeah. And so you make it really easy for them. There’s nothing they have to do to prepare. They just click to schedule a meeting and then you call them at the designated time. So it’s super easy. And one of the things that I thought was really cool about your practice and the way you’re using technology as this next slide.
When I called Arielle originally to get to know her, I actually just went to voicemail and she missed my call, and I got this cool text message a few minutes later saying, “Thanks for calling Sphynx. Please set an appointment at calendly.com Sphynx Financial, and while you wait, check out our website.” So if Arielle misses a call from a client or a prospect, automatically this message goes out to them. You can see a screenshot of my two little girls there in my phone when I got that text message. I just thought it was such a cool delighter. And this is a run by Sideline, the app. Arielle, why don’t you walk us through how you use Sideline and what it does for you?
Sure. Sideline is an application that allows you to have a second phone number on your cell phone. So instead of having a separate business landline or a separate cell phone like I had when I was in the mortgage industry, I really did carry two cell phones around with me at all times. It’s really convenient that you have everything all in one spot, but you still have the professionalism of having a dedicated phone number for your business. And as you mentioned, one of the features I love about Sideline is the autoresponder feature, where if I miss a call from somebody, they will get a message from me giving them something to do while they wait. So that sense of urgency doesn’t dissipate between when they call me and when I can get back to them. They can go ahead and schedule an appointment and they can also check out my website and learn more about my practice. Continuing on with that sense of urgency and giving them all the information they need so that by the time I actually speak to them, they’ve been primed and are ready to make a decision on whether to move ahead.
Right. Yeah. I just thought that was so cool and it shows anybody who calls you that you’re investing in technology and that you care and that you’re available and you’re accessible. I thought that was really neat.
This next slide shows when somebody signs up with Arielle, so they have a phone call with her. This is what they automatically get from her from, I guess you’re using MailChimp for this. It’s just something that goes out that shows them what they need to do to get organized for the next meeting. So why don’t you walk us through this and how you use this technology?
Sure. MailChimp has been really instrumental to me growing my efficiency in my practice. I have several campaigns set up and MailChimp, a lot of people think of it as a marketing tool, which it definitely can be. And I do use MailChimp for educational drip marketing campaigns and other sorts of marketing activities. But I feel like I’ve somewhat repurposed it into a way to give clients access to what they need to be doing without me again, having to do that additional input myself.
So when somebody schedules a meeting, immediately they’ll get a message and afterwards they’ll also, after I’ve marked off that I’ve had the meeting and it’s been completed, get additional messaging like the one you have here on the screen, outlining their next steps, giving them the links to go to where they need to complete those next steps. So that again, I don’t have to be writing over the same email every single time. So I think saying the same thing over and over, here’s what the next steps are, here’s what the next steps are. And they can complete it at their own convenience and at their leisure without having to wait for me to get back to them as well.
Right. And one of the great things about using these kinds of automations in your practice is that all of your clients are getting the same experience. And so like if you go to a Starbucks, it doesn’t depend on which barista makes your drink and they don’t just decide how they want to make it that day. They have processes. So every single time it’s made exactly the same and it creates the same experience for you and the same high quality of product that you’re delivering.
And so through using these automations, she’s making sure that all of her clients have an A plus experience and nothing falls through the cracks, and that everybody gets all of these amazing touch points and that all of her clients get the best experience possible from her firms. I think that’s so cool. And so this is another email that you’re using MailChimp for. And so walk us through kind of who sees this or you know, how do you use this particular email?
Sure. One of the other things I wanted to address was my frustration with following up with people who expressed interest in working with me but weren’t ready to commit at the time I was speaking to them. And when I was in the mortgage industry, I spent, I’d say a good quarter of my time following up on leads and chasing people. And when I began this process of automating my systems, one of the things I wanted to do was implement a way to give people the next steps and follow up with them if they expressed interest but weren’t ready to move ahead without me having to chase them.
So I have a series of emails that after each call, if they decide to move ahead, they get one set of emails. If they don’t decide to move ahead, but they are still interested, will get a second set of emails. And all the emails in that second set includes at the bottom, the call to action with the just the very next step they would need to take to continue to move ahead with the process. Clearly outlined with a button to go to the site to schedule their next appointment or whatever that next action will be.
That is so cool. So you’re just encouraging them to take the very next step in the process and pushing them through this process that you all ready have set up and you all ready have clearly defined. And so for a lot of advisors out there, they may not have a clearly defined process of how they onboard new clients. And so this is the perfect opportunity to define all these steps and then make it really easy for people to take the next step. So maybe they’ve had a call with you, they’re ready to move forward, and the next step is for them to set up their financial planning software. You’re just using a carrot to encourage them to take that easy next step. And so I think that’s a really cool way to make sure that you’re following up with the people that you’ve all ready invested time with. You’ve all ready sat down, you all ready had a phone call, you’ve all ready established trust with these people. And so those are the hottest prospects that you should be investing your time.
And for so many advisors out there, I think it’s easy to let those people fall through the cracks after you’ve invested time with them. But those are the people that we want to make sure don’t get away. And so yeah, you can see there’s so many advantages to embracing technology for your firm.
First of all, you’re improving your process for your prospects going through the pipeline. You’re improving your client communications. You’re going to close more business because you’re automatically following up with prospects that you’ve had touchpoints with and you’re making sure all of your clients get an excellent experience. And of course, you’re saving time and you’re staying organized. Which is really cool because I think a lot of advisors have this feeling that there’s so many balls in the air at any one time that it may be hard to sleep at night, or it may be hard to relax because you feel like things are slipping through the cracks or that you’re forgetting things. And so by making a system for all of your processes and really defining it and using technology to automate it, you know that if somebody falls through the cracks or if you forget about something, it’s going to be caught by your technology and by your processes. That’s a very comforting feeling to have that allows you to relax and sleep at night because you know that your technologies are going to be a safety net. If you forget something, your technology is going to remind you. And so I think that’s important to consider when you’re setting up your systems.
Let’s walk through your experience and which technologies advisors need today.
Absolutely. There’s a list right here on this slide, but I would say first and foremost, you said it perfectly. The best thing that you can do if you do nothing else is to set up an online appointment scheduler. I personally use Calendly, but there are many others. Their ScheduleOnce, Acuity, and the list goes on and on. Whatever works for you is fine, but the key is to have a place where clients or potential clients can go to set a time to speak with you even if you’re not available at that very moment. Especially in this online internet world we live in, if you’re not available and don’t have some way for somebody to express interest, they’re most likely going to move on to the next person. So having that ready for them that they can take that one thing off their plate that they know they scheduled time, that they’ve taken that step, it’ll give them the comfort that until they actually speak with you, they’ve at least been making progress towards their goal of working with a financial advisor.
The next thing I would say is a CRM software. This is both efficiency for you in the sense that you’re keeping all your data organized, but a lot of CRM softwares also offer workflow management. I use two separate programs to do each of those functions, but there are technologies that have both built in and there’s pros and cons to each. The financial planning software. I think that’s just a given. Automatic email communication as I touched on has really helped me personally improve my efficiency and scale my business and a Task Manager. Again, just for organizational purposes. I use my Task Manager both for my own tasks as well as for my client tasks to keep them on track and make sure that they know what they need to do when they need to do it and when they should be doing it.
That’s awesome. Yeah. And so we’ll walk through a few of Arielle’s favorite technologies and what’s cool if you do decide to work with her. She can walk you through the pros and cons of which technology is right for you because these may not be right for your practice and there’s things to consider. If you’re all ready using a system you love, you maybe want to plug and play with systems that work well with your current system. And so there’s a lot of thought that needs to go into choosing the best technologies for your individual practice. But these are some of her favorites.
Calendly, so that clients can schedule a phone call. Process Street, which we’ll show you a little bit about… Tell us what Process Street does again.
Process Street is workflow software. That’s all it does and they do it extremely well. As I just touched on, some people use their CRM software to manage their workflows, but I really like Process Street because it allows you to have a much more robust experience. You can attach documents that you need to complete a given step in the workflow. You can insert lengths and do all kinds of other cool stuff. So it’s really, it’s very useful and robust.
Very cool. And then JotForm, we’ll walk you through what that does. And then Wunderlist. This is a really cool technology that if you’re not all ready using it, I think you’ll love it even for your personal life. I use Wunderlist for things that I have to do each day and groceries and everything. And then MailChimp, which we is for our clients for their marketing emails, but you can also easily implement it for your onboarding emails or your client communications.
And so let’s walk through what Process Street looks like. And so this is how Arielle uses it and this is her interior PR system. So walk us through the different use cases for this.
Sure. Process Street again is workflow software. I find it really useful for my own internal workflows. I don’t typically use Process Street with clients and the reason for that is Process Street is best at repeatable tasks that occur in the same order every time. So I have workflows set up in Process Street for pretty much every process you can think of. From all of my meetings, to all of my marketing activities, to pretty much any anything else that you can even think of. And this is a nutshell of part of the reason why like Process Street over using an internal workflow management with a CRM software. One of the greatest features that I think it has is that you can set up the framework for an email within the workflow and have dropdown fields and text input fields that can customize pieces of that email. So you don’t have to start from scratch every single time, but you also have the ability to have the personal touch and have the level of individual customization you need to show your clients that you’re not just sending them a cookie-cutter message at all times.
In this screenshot here, for example, there’s a template for a thank you email that I send after I have a consultation with a potential client. And after we discussed their best plan option, there’s a dropdown that I can pick from to tell them what the price point would be for that plan and it will insert that price point right into the message. So it’s custom, but it’s also one less thing that I have to reinvent the wheel. I don’t have to start from scratch every time. I can just customize it as needed.
Oh, right. Yeah. And I think this is so cool that you use this and for advisers out there with bigger teams, this is something that your assistant could be doing for you. So after you have a consultation, you could say, “Okay, we discussed $1,500 financial plan. Send them the followup information.” And your assistant could log in and do all this for you. So you make sure that you people are getting that personal touch from you, but minimize the time that you have to spend on it because you don’t have to type out this email and do your own meeting recaps after you talk to each prospect. And it’s amazing when you do start working with these technologies and setting up these automations, it becomes so clear how you want your onboarding funnel to go and how you want your client experience to be. And so as you’re going through and setting up these systems, it becomes really clear about how to improve your processes and how you can use your team to leverage your time. And so it’s a really worthwhile endeavor to invest in I think
This next technology, this is JotForm, and so tell us how you use JotForm in your practice.
Yeah, so what a lot of advisors are familiar with Google Forms or SurveyMonkey and JotForm is very similar to that. In that it’s a form software where you can drag and drop fields to ask questions, collect data from clients, and have them send that information to you after the client or potential clients. And that’s the form. However, one of the reasons I really like JotForm, again, above and beyond, some of the other softwares that are out there is that they have the ability to do more robust calculations. They have the ability to do conditional logic. For example, if you have the question that says, is this a joint or an individual plan? And they say individual, it will only ask for one person’s name and the email address. But if they say joint, it will show fields to ask for both people’s emails and names.
That’s awesome. This is another screenshot of JotForm. And so tell us about this and how you use JotForm for your client engagement letters.
Yeah, this is my client engagement letter. And again, this is a great example of the conditional logic. So before somebody comes to this engagement letter, they tell me they’re going to sign on as a client and they receive an onboarding questionnaire. And based on the answers to that onboarding questionnaire, JotForm will determine which engagement they are going to take, because I have three tiers of plans, and what their price will be. We’ll actually calculate it out based on their answers. I think this is really useful, especially for the fee only world where a lot of advisors are moving towards a flat fee but maybe don’t necessarily feel that a flat fee is the right fit because it doesn’t account for complexity.
Using this is a really good way to account for complexity, having that onboarding questionnaire that takes into consideration all those different data points and then calculates out what the price will be for you, is useful for you so that you don’t have to take the time to do it as well as for compliance purposes. Showing an auditor that you have a methodology that’s built right in, you’re not just pulling a number up out of the air. Well, when you’re working with a client I think is useful. Again, based on the answers to that onboarding questionnaire, JotForm will automatically determine the engagement and will determine the price.
That’s awesome. Yeah. You’re all ready seeing how all these pieces fit together, and also how much thought has gone into this and how thoughtful these systems have been set up. And so that’s why if you do decide to move forward to really leveraging technology for your practice, it’s so important to work with a professional who understands our industry, who understands compliance, and who understands how all these systems can tie into each other to really save you time and make sure you’re avoiding mistakes when you set up your technologies.
And so let’s talk a little bit about Wunderlist. This looks like one of your to-do lists that you’ve created. Walk us through how you use Wunderlist to keep yourself on track.
Sure. Like I mentioned, I use Wunderlist as my task management software. I use it both for my own internal tasks as well as for client management. So every time I sign a new client, I have my system automatically set up a new list for that particular client as well as send them a message where they can access that list. And I have a master list with the common recurring tasks that most people need to complete, but then I can also go in and add an individual to-dos that are custom to that person’s particular situation.
And what you see on the right side is partially, I guess one of the main reasons I really love Wunderlist again over other technologies. You have the ability to not only add tasks to the list, but you can add sub-tasks like you see on the right, and you can put links to specific sites. You can attach files or voice memos, you can set dynamic due date reminders. So you can set a recurring to-do that occurs once a quarter, once a year, and once one is checked off, the next due date will automatically appear. Again, it’s really good way for your clients to have all the information and all the data they need to complete their tasks when they need to complete it, get reminders so that they know when they’re due and for you to keep on top of who’s doing what and when.
And I also like to add my own tasks that I’m doing for that individual client to their list. Again, it just increases the visibility and the accountability. That way, even if we don’t have a meeting for a couple weeks or a month or two, they know that I’m still working in the background and they can see where in the process we are and what has to happen next.
All right. Yeah, that’s great for client service and for just letting them know what’s going on behind the scenes and helping them feel included and involved. Again, here’s another example of MailChimp. We talked a lot about this, and so this is a great technology and great automations going out. And then walk us through just some of the basic examples of automations for the advisors that you work with. What are some of the typical things that you set up for advisors to help just get the process started of leveraging technology in their firms?
Yeah, I would say it’s really the big five that we covered in one of the previous slides: The scheduling software, the email marketing, the task management, the CRM, and any other technologies that they’re all ready using. You did mention that I have my own preferences as far as technology is concerned, but a lot of advisors I work with don’t use the same programs as I do, and that’s totally fine. If you have something that you’re happy with, as long as it plays well with others and nowadays a lot of technology does, then it’s really easy to integrate that into a fully automated or partially automated system. If we need to add on anything, it’s really easy to do that too. And if you do want to change, it’s also easy to do that as well.
Yeah, that’s great. And one of the examples that I’ll give is for a lot of advisors that we work with, maybe they have a list of clients that they’re working with and maybe they have list of prospects, but they’re not actively adding to that list every single month. And so what we’ll do is we’ll connect their CRM. So whether they’re using Redtail or Wealthbox, we’ll connect that to MailChimp so that we make sure as they’re adding people to their CRM, they’re also adding people to their newsletters so those people will get their emails that we’re sending out from a marketing perspective. And so it’s important to just connect all of the systems that you’re using so that you save time and that you make sure that everything is being optimized and that as you’re meeting new people or networking with new people, you’re automatically adding them to your email list so that they’ll see your marketing emails.
Let’s talk about a technology mistakes. I know if you’re an advisor, you probably have had some mistakes that you’ve made in the past, wasting your time, your money, your staff’s time, picking the wrong technologies. Walk us through some of the mistakes that you’ve seen for advisors.
Honestly, I would say the biggest mistake I see advisors make is being afraid of technology. Again, even if you don’t feel like your clients are particularly tech savvy or even if you yourself are not particularly tech savvy, I think it’s easy to be overwhelmed by technology and how to set it up. But I think that’s the wrong attitude to have. We live in a technological world and it’s sort of just the way of the future. So being able to overcome that, knowing that there are resources like myself out there, there’s YouTube videos, there’s training courses, there’s a lot of information that you can use to be able to overcome that. I would say that’s definitely the biggest mistake I see people making. Just being afraid to use the technology and it really doesn’t have to be that way. There’s a lot of resources that you can use to overcome that.
Absolutely, yeah. I would add on just to really invest. As soon as you decide you’re going to use the technology to invest in learning it. And so there’s no substitute when you’re starting using a new technology besides actually using it. So actually log in and use it and get to know your software or your technology, because there’s a lot of advisors we work with who don’t understand how to use that technology and they want us to explain it to them. But as soon as we can get them on a screen share and just get them actually in the driver’s seat using the technology, all a sudden they get it and the light bulb goes off. And so if you do adapt a new technology, just go ahead and block yourself some time a couple hours to go in and play with it and break things and see how it works. You’ll get such a better user experience in the future and you’ll save yourself so much time in the future, not being frustrated and to really be confident in using that system once you actually go in and dive in and commit to learning it.
What is the one thing that advisors should do today? If you’re working with an advisor who admits that they are not tech savvy, that they are not embracing technology in their practice, what’s the one thing you would recommend that they do today to start?
I would say definitely the scheduling software again, is the best piece of technology that anybody can use. Most of them are very user friendly, but if you are so overwhelmed and so frightened by the technology or you feel like you just don’t have the time, I would say you can give me a call or schedule an appointment with me and I will gladly walk you through it.
Absolutely. Yeah, I think that’s one thing that we really answers. All the advisors that work with my firm, we get them set up with an online appointment scheduler. We put it front and center on their website, we add it to their social media profiles, we add it to every marketing email that goes out and we make sure that their clients can use it to schedule a call and any new prospects can use it to schedule a call. And so it makes it really easy for people to start the conversation with you and to take the next step with you.
And so I have a blog post on how to set up Calendly. It’s free and it’s really easy to get set up. What you do is you create your Calendly account and then you link it to your existing calendar, whether you’re using Google or Outlook or whatever calendar that you use. And then you set up some basic parameters so that people can schedule a call with you, say 24 hours in the future. They can schedule a 30-minute call between the hours of 9:00 and 3:00 PM, and you can even add in buffers between phone calls or you can book it out so that people can schedule a call closer than 48 hours. So you have 48 hours notice.
And so there’s all these parameters to really customize it for you to make sure that you’re comfortable with how it works. And you can even have somebody set up a call with one of your assistants too. If you don’t want to waste your time on the phone with unqualified prospects, you could set it up with your assistant and they could do a 15-minute screening call to make sure that the prospect is qualified before you spend your time on the phone with them. So there’s a lot of different customizations to make it work exactly how you’re comfortable with it working. I’ll link to that blog post below so you can learn more if you’re interested.
And so if you want to work with Arielle, she has generously offered to do a free 30-minute technology call to walk through the technologies that you’re using, the technology questions that you have so you can get answers. So in the next 24 hours only, you can book your free 30-minute technology call, and that is such a great resource to just start the process of thinking about the best technologies for your firm. And so thank you Arielle for volunteering to do that for our listeners. And if you would like to schedule that call, go ahead and click the link below to reserve your space. It’s only available for the next one day. Set that time up.
If you’re interested in learning more about Indigo Marketing Agency and the webinars that we offer, I want to invite you to our most popular webinar, which is The Truth About Marketing for Financial Advisors. If you haven’t all ready watched that webinar, it will really revolutionize the way that you think about marketing and the way that you think about getting new clients for your practice. And I’ll walk you through the biggest mistakes that advisors have made in their marketing and what’s really working for advisors today from a marketing perspective. I want you to take a look at that by clicking the link below to register if you haven’t all ready seen that webinar. And join our newsletter, I’ll also link to that below. Every single month we do new webinars like this to help advisors understand what advisors out there are doing that’s working and to really learn and invest in your practice and your education when it comes to marketing and technology for your practice.
Thank you so much for watching. You can check out our other webinars below. You can read our books, you can take our courses. Arielle, I just want to really thank you for your time and for your expertise and I’ll let you kind of close it out right now.
Yeah, thank you so much for having me. I’m really grateful for this opportunity. As Claire mentioned, definitely take advantage of the free consultation. I’m happy to guide anybody through any questions you have or look at your tech stack and give you some guidance. And yeah, just don’t be afraid to get started with technology. It’ll definitely help you improve your practice.
Absolutely. It’s the way of the future and we appreciate your time. We look forward to all the advisors that are going to schedule calls and then get started on their next endeavor, embracing technology. Thanks so much for watching and we’ll talk to you soon.
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.
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 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 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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!).
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.