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

What is the Marketing Podcast for Financial Advisors
You are invited to The Marketing Podcast for Financial Advisors! But what is it, you say? Watch this short video to learn why we created it, what we’ll cover this season, and how to listen now. Check out Episode 2: The Truth About Marketing for Financial Advisors today!

The Truth About Marketing for Financial Advisors

In this exclusive episode of The Marketing Podcast for Financial Advisors, I’ll uncover the truth about marketing! We’ll discuss what no one wants you to know about marketing, how to avoid wasting money on your marketing, and how advisors are actually getting new clients today including:
  • Why marketing for financial advisors is so challenging
  • Why marketers try to overcomplicate marketing
  • The truth about marketing for advisors
  • How advisors are really getting new clients today
  • Turning your marketing into a consistent, repeatable process
  • The one decision you need to make to unlock your marketing potential
  • How to get more clients that you love working with
Listen to The Marketing Podcast for Financial Advisors here now, or download and subscribe on iTunes to listen on your commute!
Transcription Thank you so much for joining me for the truth about marketing for financial advisors. I’m Claire Akin and today I’m going to uncover everything that you need to know about marketing for financial advisors. Now, if you’re an advisor out there you know that there’s a lot of misinformation regarding marketing, there’s a lot of people trying to sell you expensive marketing schemes. It’s really difficult for advisors who can sometimes be on an island to verify what works, what doesn’t work, who they should believe, and which systems allow advisors to get new clients. Today I just want to spend some time and break through all the noise and tell you with 100% honesty what I see working for advisors out there and what the truth is about marketing for advisors.  First, a little bit about my story. If you don’t know me already, I’m Claire Akin. My Dad is a financial advisor and that’s why I got into this industry. I grew up working with him. When I was 16, I actually worked in his office in La Jolla. I did his filing and his prospectuses and all that good stuff. Then after college I came back and worked for him again. Then, after I got my Master’s degree, I came back and actually became a financial advisor, got my securities licenses, became an independent financial advisor with LPL as part of his firm. What I realized was the thing that I really love to do is the marketing side of it. So I was doing his marketing and I kind of delved into marketing for financial advisors. Now that’s what I do today. And that’s how I started my company, Indigo Marketing Agency, which helps independent financial advisors to embrace a specialty and market their firms. I have a Bachelor’s degree in economics, a Master’s degree in marketing from UC San Diego. I’m a lecturer at UCLA extension as part of their CFP program. We have almost 200 independent financial advisor clients, which are the top independent advisors out there in the country today doing the most innovative, coolest things from a marketing perspective. More important than my story… Let’s talk about your story. If you’re an advisor out there, and maybe you’ve been around for a while, you have a lot of headwinds, a lot of challenges coming at you. There’s increasing competition. As you may know, there’s 300,000 advisors in the United States. There’s downward pressure on fees. The public is more aware than ever about the fees on their investments. There’s Robo advisors, there’s millennials who don’t even see the value in hiring a financial advisor. And when you combine that with so much has changed from a marketing perspective, that what worked in the past doesn’t work anymore. The Internet has changed everything from how we choose a restaurant to how people pick a financial advisor. With that,  it’s very challenging and frustrating for advisors out there to do marketing and to know what works and what doesn’t. You’ve probably even wasted money on expensive marketing schemes that didn’t work and that kind of may have burnt you and left you a little resentful of the marketing industry. A lot of the advisors that I know are confused, they’re frustrated and they’re even thinking about closing up shop. If you’re older, you may think “I just don’t want to do this anymore.” I don’t know how to grow my business. It’s frustrating and you may be worried about the future and worried about the future of your business and thinking about retiring. But I want to tell you that there is a better way. There is a way to get in front of people who you love working with, who you love serving, who you serve best, and to get more of your A+ clients that you love working with. So first I want you to ask yourself a question, do you need new clients? Let’s think about this. There’s a lot of advisors out there who maybe aren’t working to grow their business, they’re not investing in marketing and they haven’t really considered whether or not they want to actually invest in getting new clients. But if you consider that you’re losing some clients each year, for example, maybe people get divorced and the wife takes the money to a different advisor. Maybe your clients die and leave their money to their kids and the kids hire one of their friends or do it themselves. You’re going to lose some clients every single year. Your older clients may be dying off, your retired clients may be taking withdrawals. Market to clients can lower your assets under management. So if you’re not growing, you’re shrinking. If you’re not investing in marketing, your business is dying. It’s really important to get a mindset of growing your firm, of getting more referrals, of cloning your A plus clients so that you can grow your business and it’s not actually shrinking. Of course, there are a lot of marketing challenges for advisors. The biggest challenge I think that’s out there, and you guys will probably agree with me here is compliance. It’s a huge headwind. It’s a hassle. Of course we can’t market like other industries and every time a financial advisor comes to me and they have been using a marketer that is not familiar with our industry a big red flag because people not familiar with our industry don’t understand compliance. They don’t understand that we have to market with one hand tied behind our back. We can’t use reviews or testimonials, we can’t say certain things. Everything has to go through compliance. Of course it’s a challenge but it’s not insurmountable. And we do marketing for advisors with all of the major broker dealers as well as RIAs and even some advisors with wirehouses. We get through compliance. It’s a little bit of an uphill battle, but if you set a process in place or better yet, outsource it so someone else has to deal with compliance, then it makes it really easy. And that’s what we do for our clients is we create all their content. We make any required compliance changes, we get everything approved from a compliance perspective before it goes out and the advisor themselves doesn’t have to deal with it. There’s also a complete lack of time. As a financial advisor, you’re a business owner, you’re an entrepreneur, you’re managing people, you’re dealing with clients, you’re managing your processes, you’re dealing with administration, you’re doing your taxes, you guys do so much. I think advisors don’t really get credit for how much work they have to do and how many different hats that they have to wear. You just don’t have time to do your own marketing. To add to that it’s a complex industry, so you couldn’t just hire somebody – a marketer that maybe doesn’t understand our industry and compliance, but they also don’t understand what differentiates advisors, why people choose to work with an advisor, how to market to individual investors. On top of that, marketing has become really technical lately. In the past probably 10 years, it’s become a software and system driven process. There’s a lot of technical knowledge that you have to gain to really master marketing today. It’s a different skillset from being a financial advisor and you may just not have the technical knowledge to do it. So at the end of the day, you’re probably overwhelmed by marketing. You don’t have time to do it, you don’t have time to learn how to do it right. And you don’t know who to trust to do it for you. I’m going to walk you through exactly what to do about that problem today. The problem with marketing for financial advisors is that no one is incentivized to tell you what works. I’m in a very unique position where I’m on the phone with financial advisors for 10 hours per week. So that is 20 phone calls per week where I talk to independent advisors and I ask them, what are you doing from a marketing perspective? What has worked? What has been a waste of money? What are you excited about? What has been successful for you in the past? So these are advisors who are RIAs or they’re with wirehouses or they’re with a big broker dealer or they’re with a small broker dealer. It’s not only advisors that we work with, but it’s just advisors throughout the industry that I talk to on a regular basis. I have this unique perspective of knowing what people are doing, what’s working and what’s not working. The problem is that there’s not a lot of people like me out there that can tell you what works. The broker dealers themselves don’t really know, marketing gurus are just trying to sell you whatever they’re selling. And other advisors aren’t incentivized to tell you what’s working for them, particularly if they have a really good scheme working that’s delivering new clients. There’s just not a lot of good transparent information out there. Most advisors out there are spending a lot of money on marketing. Maybe you’re spending $3,950 per year, is the average amount of advisors are spending on their website and is your website getting you any new clients? Probably not. You may be spending up to $6,000 per event on dinner seminars. Are those working? Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. I even have seen a company recently that is charging $25,000 per webinar to create a Webinar for financial advisors. I believe in Webinars and I think they work, but we only charge $2,500 to create a Webinar. People are getting rich at the expense of advisors who don’t have the information that they need to make educated decisions. I want to walk you through which of these efforts are most likely to get you new clients. Let me tell you a little bit about why I care. My dad has been a financial advisor for as long as I can remember, since before I was born. He started out with Prudential in 1970. He sold life insurance. He went door to door knocking on people’s door. It was the old system where you would sell life insurance to somebody and then you would ask them about their neighbors and ask for an introduction to their neighbor. Then you’d go to their neighbors house and say, Hey, Susan and Bill bought a life insurance policy and I want to talk to you about your life insurance. Actually, my first job out of college was with Northwestern Mutual. They sat me down in a cubicle and they said, okay, cold call everybody you’ve ever met and try to sell them life insurance. I totally understand the industry and how hard that is. So my dad did life insurance for about 10 years. He actually became an independent financial advisor. He was one of the very first ones. He was, I think the number seventh advisor with LPL Financial, which used to be Linsco Private Ledger back in the day. He just really believed in the value of being an independent advisor so that he could offer his clients a breadth of services and securities and options to do comprehensive financial planning that really benefited them at his discretion. He wasn’t tied to a certain provider of products or mutual funds or anything like that. He was one of the first people that really believed in the power of an independent financial advisor. He’s been doing that since 1981 and what’s really cool is how I’ve seen him grow over his career. He’s been very successful. He loves what he does and he loves his clients. But where it gets kind of sad is he’s an older guy, he’s 70 … I think he’s 74 right now. He’s not exactly tech savvy. He still calls, emails, tweets. When I sent him an email, he says, I got your tweet. He’s not the most tech savvy person in the world. As marketing has changed, he’s really started to fight these headwinds and started to feel that it’s harder for him to get new clients that he likes to work with. I’ve seen him get frustrated, get depressed, get sad about growing his business because he doesn’t understand how to grow his business. I see so many advisors like my dad. I know that what you guys do is incredibly important to your clients. I know that you’re providing a really powerful service that helps people. It’s my mission to help you to serve more of the clients that you love. That’s why I care and that’s why I do what I do. Today I want to change the way you think about marketing forever. I’m going to uncover the truth about marketing for advisors and I want to put you in control of your future because I read a lot about happiness and happiness studies. One of the things that makes you happiest will be feeling empowered to basically direct your future. So if you feel that you are in control of your future and your business and your success now, it makes you happier every single night when you go to bed at night. I wanted to turn something that can be confusing into something that is a consistent and repeatable process. Marketing is not that confusing. People will overcomplicate it in an effort to confuse you so that you buy from them. But it’s really not that confusing of a process. You guys are really smart. You’re financial advisors, you understand, you know securities markets and the bond market and all of these things that are complex to the average person. You are definitely smart enough to understand how marketing works. It’s just that people try to make things over complicated. I just want to explain it so that you understand marketing should be a consistent and repeatable process to get you new clients. So what is the truth about marketing for financial advisors? That’s what I want to tell you today. The real truth about marketing for advisors, when I talk to all these advisors on the phone each week, the one misconception that I come across is that marketing should be easy. Maybe you’ve read that these advisors out there are raking in 12 new clients a week from Facebook ads or maybe the advisor down the street seems to be growing his business at 35% per year, but that is not the reality. It may be true, but it is an anomaly. The reality is that marketing for financial advisors is difficult. I’m in several entrepreneurial and marketing think tanks where we get together and share marketing best practices across industries and we market everything from houseplants to skincare lines to iPhone apps. There’s a lot of different products and services in this group. My niche of marketing for financial advisors is the hardest one, is the hardest sale, is hardest thing to do marketing for. There’s a reason for that, right? One of the first reasons is that it’s a very personal subject. Think about if you were to meet a potential prospect at a cocktail party and what you would be asking them. Basically, what you need to know about them to be their financial advisor is how much money do you make? What’s your net worth? How much debt do you have? And that’s something that’s more terrifying for people to admit, how much debt they have, maybe how much money they make or their net worth. Sometimes their spouse doesn’t even know how much debt they have. And what are your deepest fears? What are your dreams? What are your financial goals? What do you want out of life? These are incredibly personal things that you can never walk up to somebody at a cocktail party and ask them yet, this is what we’re asking them to uncover when they work with you as a financial advisor. It is a very personal, very emotionally laden decision. Probably harder than people meeting with a therapist is to meet with a financial advisor and worry that maybe they haven’t made enough money, maybe they haven’t saved enough, maybe they aren’t going to meet your minimum investible assets. It’s just a very fear ridden process where people feel a lot of inadequacy and a lot of mistrust. Which makes for an incredibly hard sell. The other thing that we have to compete with is why with all of the options available to this person, including the number one option for people is doing nothing about their finances? Inertia is that if they haven’t hired a financial advisor in the past, they will continue to do nothing. Or if they’ve hired, say an Edward Jones advisor, the inertia is for them to just stay with their existing advisor. Why with all the options available, including doing nothing, should they work with you? Why would they fill out all the paperwork to move their assets? Why would they take this leap of faith to actually invest their money with somebody that they don’t know? That is, the devil we know is worse than the devil we don’t. So why would they do this? And that’s the question that we have to answer as to why they should pick you and why they should make this monumental move to put their life savings into your hands. So how do advisors really get new clients with all of these headwinds? I will make the argument to you that their reality is that there’s only two ways financial advisors get new clients. Number one is referrals. And we know that this is the top way that people got new clients. We know that this is how people choose a financial advisor. So the top way the data show that people choose to financial advisor is they ask friends, family or coworkers for a referral. The people who they ask are not just any friends or family or coworkers. It’s the people who they think are successful financially. The coworker they look up to or their uncle who seems to be doing really well financially, that’s who they asked for a referral. The second way advisors get new clients is because they’re a specialist. So maybe they are a specialist in helping doctors to retire on time. That’s why somebody may work with you. Or maybe you’re a specialist at helping Intel employees to maximize their benefits package. And so that makes sense. That’s a reason people would work for you. There’s this huge misconception that people are choosing a financial advisor on the Internet by typing in financial advisor. That doesn’t happen. Well, sometimes that happens, but far and wide people are only going to find you on the Internet because you are a specialist. They’re not just going to type in the closest financial advisor to them and give you their life savings. They’re going to find a financial advisor on the Internet who specializes in the unique problem that they’re facing. That’s rule number two. It’s either a referral or because you’re a specialist. I will argue that that’s the only way you can plan to get new clients in the future. A lot of advisors still say, what about centers of influence? Well, people who, maybe a CPA or an attorney or somebody in your network, will refer you business. Centers of influence do refer advisors to business. The reasons why is because you’re a specialist. Maybe they’re a specialist in intergenerational wealth transfer and a CPA has a client that wants to pass a lot of money to their heirs. They may refer the client to you because that’s what you do best. That’s because you’re a specialist. What about client events? Maybe your clients bring their friends to an event and the friends become new clients. Well that’s basically a referral, right? So that’s a referral closed in a client event outfit. Another idea is, what about seminars? Don’t advisors get in clients using seminars or Webinars? And that’s true and I’m a big believer in Webinars, but the reason somebody is going to watch your Webinar is because you’re a specialist in the unique problem that they’re facing. What about a web search for X, Y, Z, retirement planning near me? Well that would be because you’re a specialist in that area. Another idea is direct mail. People can do direct mail successfully. It can be very expensive, but the only reason it works is if you have a specialist marketing campaign. That’s another argument for being a specialist. And then what about networking? Good old fashioned networking or like my dad asking the people at the kitchen table if their neighbors need life insurance, that is the same thing as a referral. So any of these ideas that you think may be working for advisors out there, when you look at them they’re really because of referrals or because you’re a specialist. Those are the two things that we really want to embrace from a marketing perspective. So before you set out on a marketing campaign, I want to make one distinction and I hope I don’t offend you, but I want you to ask yourself if you really want new clients, because I do work with a lot of advisors. And my dad included, he’s not really looking to grow his business. He has a group of a hundred households who he loves dearly and he golfs. He actually golfs three days a week now. I was going to say two days a week, but now it’s actually gone up to golfing three days a week. He’s not looking to drastically grow his business. Yes, he will take on referrals. If it’s somebody who is referred by one of his existing clients and he wants to help them, but he’s not really looking to grow his business.  I want you to ask yourself, do you really want new clients and do you have an attitude where you want to grow your business? Because if you don’t, your marketing won’t work. I’ve seen it time and time again. There’s advisors where we run marketing schemes and they should work, but that advisor doesn’t follow up with the prospects. They don’t return phone calls, they don’t return emails. So I would caution you, don’t invest in your marketing if you don’t have the systems in place to actually take care of the new leads and the new clients that are produced from your marketing. Ask yourself, do you want to grow your business? Is your business able to take on new clients and are you excited to grow your AUM in the future? Then you want to ask yourself, how much work are you willing to put into your marketing? There’s a lot of marketing systems that will work, but they have varying degrees of investment from the advisor. The hardest part about my job is for our clients, we have to create marketing systems that work, that deliver new prospects that do not take up any of the advisors time. That’s really challenging because if you’re willing to cold call, I still work with young advisors who come to me and they’ve grown their business from zero to 50 million assets under management from cold calling. God bless them. It’s hard to cold call, but it does work. One of the huge advantages of cold calling is you work on your sales process. Then you talk to clients, you understand when they let their guard down, when they decide to move forward with you when you say something that resonates with them. It’s a great way to work on your language and your sales process. Most advisors are not willing to cold call. What about public speaking? I have one advisor that speaks at the local high school where he talks about college planning and the financial planning concepts around college planning. Then he meets the parents of high school aged kids who are typically getting ready to retire and then he does comprehensive financial planning from them. It’s a great system that he has, but a lot of advisors out there aren’t going to want to be giving seminars at the local high school at 7:00 PM on school nights. That’s not something they’re interested in doing.  What about hosting seminars? What about going to networking events? A lot of advisors do that and it works, but you have to ask yourself, do you want to be home eating dinner on Monday night or do you want to be at a networking event? For most of the advisors I work with, they’re not willing to do that. What about recording a Webinar? This is a great option because you can record a Webinar during the workday and it will play automatically 24/7 so if somebody comes to your website at 8:00 PM, they can watch a replay of your Webinar or they can sign up for the next automated playing of that Webinar. It’s something you can spend one hour recording and it will play automatically forever. That’s a great investment of your time. Or what about writing a book? I have a lot of successful advisor clients who have written books, they give them out after they meet somebody or after they have a discovery meeting with a prospect, they’ll send them a copy of the book and it’s a huge credibility builder. So all of these things can work. But how much work are you willing to put into your marketing? And be honest with yourself about that. What if you could reliably get more clients that you love with a minimum investment of your time? That’s what I want to talk about today is thinking about how to get the new clients that you really want to get with a minimum investment of your time. That’s what it’s all about, right? We know as much as we all love working, we’d all rather be on the golf course or I’d rather be riding my horse. You want to do your marketing in a way that is very time efficient and that targets the people that you like working with. What type of new clients do you really want to work with? How do they find you? Why do they choose you? And the most important question at the heart of your marketing, what one urgent problem do you solve for those ideal clients? Then, how can you get more of these clients? We already know that the two ways advisors get clients are through referrals, are embracing a specialty. How can you get more clients from your marketing? By increasing your referrals and by embracing a specialty or even two or three specialties, and then increasing your marketing activity designed to increasing referrals and embracing your specialty. So let’s talk for a minute about embracing a specialty. And if there’s one thing you take away from listening today, I want you to think about trying to embrace a specialty or two just from a marketing perspective to see if it works. I promise you that although it’s counterintuitive and it’s a leap of faith, the more that you embrace a specialty, the more effective your marketing will be. What you want to think about is what you do, who you serve and how it benefits them. There’s so many advisors websites that when you go to their site, it talks about the advisor and their team and their process. That’s unfortunately not what you want to be saying to your prospects. You want to be talking about their problems, their needs and the benefits that you offer them. I’ll give you a few examples of real life specialties. One is a fiduciary wealth manager helping physicians catch up for retirement in a hurry. This is a great advisor that we work with that does all kinds of pension plans, some of the safe harbor plans and retirement plans that allow physicians to basically save a lot within the last 10 years of their working career. He works with doctors. The second is a retirement advisor helping Intel employees secure income for life. This advisor is up in Portland. He does an amazing job working with just Intel employees and he is the go to guy for Intel employees. The third is independent retirement planning for federal employees. We actually have quite a few advisors who do this niche and it works really well. There’s tons of federal employees and they have specific retirement plans and specific programs that our advisors are experts in and can do it Webinars and reports and blog posts on these topics that are really valuable and interesting to channel employees. Figure out or make a list of your top 20 clients and figure out what they have in common and who you love working with and what problems they’re facing. That can help you come up with some ideas for your specialty. So I just want to tell you a little bit more about the riches that are in the niches and I think this is such a cool idea because it is so true. Back when I was in college, I’ve always been a bit of a hustler and an entrepreneur. When I was in college, I was a babysitter and I had babysat during high school and it was good money and I could do it flexible hours around my coursework. But when I went into college, I realized that being a specialist babysitter could actually make me more money. So I specialized in being a babysitter of twins under one year old. I figured if I’m going to be spending my time babysitting I might as well double up, babysit two of them and make more money. What was interesting about becoming a twin babysitter is that all of a sudden I could command more money per hour. Instead of making $12 an hour, I was making $17 an hour and I was spending the same amount of time babysitting. Not only that, but I would get referrals because all of these twin parents are in twin parent groups together and they know each other. Because I was a specialist in caring for twins, I would get referrals for other twin parents to babysit their twin babies. It was easier for me to find prospects. I could go to twin events and hand out my business card and it was easier to close new clients because I understood what they faced. I understand that it’s important to have twins on the same napping schedule and it’s important to have activities that twins can do together. I was able to speak the language of these twin parents and close more business and make more money. Early on, I learned the benefits of becoming a specialist, particularly when it comes to marketing and to growing your business and commanding more money for what you do. So what is your differentiator? What one urgent problem do you solve for a specific group? That is the heart of your marketing. Once you figure that out, everything else will become easy. You’ll be able to create content or a content calendar of things that people are interested in reading. You’ll be able to create videos that explain what you do and how you help. You could create a Webinar that explains how you solve the urgent problem that is keeping your prospects up at night. Answer this one question for yourself and it’ll unlock your marketing for the future. I want to just give you a couple of examples of great specialist advisors out there. One of my favorites is Jeremy Stanley with CRNA financial planning, that’s certified registered nurse anesthetist. Jeremy is down in the south, his wife is a CRNA and he became really familiar with their financial planning concerns. They typically own their own anesthesia practice and they make a lot of money, but they have complex business planning and financial planning concerns. That is how he created CRNI financial planning, the website, the brand, he has books, he has Webinars, he has a podcast, he’s doing everything right from a marketing perspective. What’s really cool is his content and his book are actually continuing education credits for the AANA, which is the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. They actually get CE credit for taking his courses and then eventually they hire him as their financial advisors. It’s genius. He’s an amazing specialist advisor. And another advisor that’s doing great is the same one I mentioned, college planning America. And he is the one that does college planning for families in Orange County. He speaks at high schools, he has podcasts and books and articles and emails for people worried about sending their kids to college. Then he also switches gears and helps parents with their retirement planning concerns. That’s a great niche. Then the third one I want to talk about is Richard Archer down in Austin, Texas. He does financial planning for tech executives. Austin has become kind of this little tech boom down in Texas. He helps tech executives with stock options, with financial planning concerns and he’s doing an amazing job down there with a specialty that’s not as specific, that’s really working well for him. If you’re worried about embracing a specialty, I want to let you know our answer to the question I get from so many advisors of, “I want to do a specialty, but I don’t want to alienate people who come to my website.” That is, if people don’t belong to that specialty, I don’t want to scare them off. What we typically do for our clients is we do a dual specialization. First, we pick a specialty that’s very, very narrow such as pharmaceutical reps, and then we pick a specialty that’s very broad like retirees. If you specialize in helping pharmaceutical reps consolidate all of their 401Ks and helping retirees to have secure income for life, there’s almost nobody that can come to your website that doesn’t fit into one of those categories. You want to pick a specialty that’s very, very narrow and then a broad specialty and that will balance out so that you don’t alienate anybody. Another example is business owners and individuals. Pretty much everybody is a business owner or an individual, right? But the business owners who come to your site will say, Oh, okay, this advisor’s going to understand me. Another example is Intel employees and busy professionals, pretty much everybody considers themselves a busy professional. Just think about who you serve and create a narrow and a broad specialization. So if you need help with your marketing, we can certainly help you. I want to tell you a little bit about our marketing package. It’s aimed at driving referrals, embracing specialty, and we do the marketing for you. We help you figure out who you want to target, how to get in front of them, and how to drive more referrals. We create a baseline marketing presence that you shouldn’t be embarrassed not to have. When someone Googles you, how do you look on Google? How does your website look? Is your website secure? Is it mobile responsive? Do you have social media profiles? Are you on Linkedin? Is Your Linkedin profile up to date? Are you doing search engine optimization so that you show up for a Google my business or on Apple Maps if somebody searches from their phone, can they click to call you? Or can they click to get directions to your office? So it’s all about creating a baseline marketing presence you should be embarrassed not to have, and then doing custom content marketing that targets your ideal prospect. That’s really what we do for our advisors and that’s what we’re going to talk about in the rest of this podcast. I’m going to walk you through. There’s 12 episodes this season. Each episode is going to walk you through a critically important segment of your marketing. We’re going to talk about things like your website, search engine optimization, how to choose your specialty, how to do your content marketing, how to do email marketing. All of the building blocks of your marketing strategy are going to be covered in our podcast. I hope you enjoy this season. If you need any help with your marketing, just check out and we can help you out. We do websites, we do logos, we do search engine optimization, we do all of your social media marketing, email marketing and webinars. If you need help with any of those things, please get in touch with us. I look forward to working with you. Thank you so much for listening and I hope you enjoyed this season of the podcast. If you’d like any resources from today’s episode or from other episodes, go to, it’s hard to forget that address,

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

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

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

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.