6 Marketing Mistakes Financial Advisors Make and Need to Avoid

Marketing is the key to gaining more clients. Mike Byrnes owns his own marketing consulting firm, Byrnes Consulting LLC. He spoke to ThinkAdvisor about five marketing mistakes he sees financial advisors make:

1. Not defining their target market

Byrnes tells ThinkAdvisor advisors need to narrow their focus and define a target market. Advisors need to be more specific about which type of client they want to serve. That way they can hold events targeted at prospective clients instead of being too broad. 

2. Not having a strategy with specific tactics that will deliver results

Advisors need a well-thought out marketing plan with specific tactics that can easily be tracked, according to Byrnes  The plan should include marketing tactics and tools, like event marketing, direct mail, email, online marketing, social media, PR and advertising. Byrnes tells ThinkAdvisor they need to be asking themselves the following questions: 1) If it’s referrals, what am I doing to get the clients to introduce them? 2) If it’s strategic alliances, are there things like joint mailings or shared PR or events that I could do together with these alliances? And 3) Am I building the right relationships?

3. Not having a mobile-friendly approach

Byrnes says advisors understand the importance of online marketing, but they don’t realize the power of smartphones. He says if an advisor’s client has to squeeze or pinch their screen to view a website or email, an advisor could potentially lose them.

4. Not having a lead-generating website

Byrnes says he often sees advisors do a poor job of capturing a lead if one comes to their website. Byrnes tells ThinkAdvisor to have a good lead-generating website, advisors need to know their target market so they can offer them something, which they will be willing to trade their contact information for. Byrnes says that can simply be a book, e-book, white paper or two-paged flyer. 

5. Not having a winning content marketing strategy

According to Byrnes, advisors are now in the publishing business and they should share content on a regular basis. It’s the way to be found, win over a prospect, it’s how their clients can share to their networks and lead to referrals. Byrnes says advisors need to demonstrate what they can do, not just tell people what they do. For an example, Byrnes tells ThinkAdvisor, if an advisor wants to attract widows, they should say “here’s five things you need to know if you’re about to lose your significant other” rather than saying “this is how we help widows.” Byrnes also adds advisors should show their personal side and keep content public -- if advisors keep it private to clients he says they may lose out on potential clients that like the public content.

And here at Sequence Media Group,  an award winning news, media and communications firm, we want to warn advisors about a 6th mistake.

6. Not using video and lead generation to leverage their online marketing strategies. 

We’ve noticed advisors have great marketing content to share, but they don’t have the tools or know how to use that content to generate real solid leads. Using the Sequence Media Group proprietary lead generation system for video, the content you create can now be used to generate quality leads in your market. This is a big step forward in advisor marketing as it provides immediate SEO placement, distribution through our approved news channels but more importantly immediate leads in your local market as well. All with ONE video shoot. These powerful new tools will change the game for many advisors and need to be added to their toolkit and process.  

Please contact us here at Sequence Media Group (480-478-0050) to find out how to use these and other tips to build your business.

Sleeping Position Linked to Stillbirth

Women who sleep on their backs in the third trimester increase their risk of experiencing a stillbirth, according to new research.

The study of just over 1,000 women, published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, found those who sleep on their backs in the third trimester are 2.3 times more likely to have a stillbirth.

The lead author of the study told the BBC pregnant women who wake up on their backs shouldn’t panic, but advises they should worry about how they go to sleep, even when it’s a daytime nap, since that’s the position you spend the most time in.

How Will the GOP Tax Plan Affect Americans? Tax Lawyer Rob Wood Explains What We Know So Far

Last week, the House of Representatives passed a lengthy tax bill that will go to the Senate for consideration. Some Senators already have a slightly different plan in mind, and a compromise will be required for any tax bill to pass during 2017. Just what the GOP plans would do has been the subject of disagreements. In this report, San Francisco tax lawyer Rob Wood explains what the House tax bill would do in its present form and what we don’t yet know about tax reform, should a bill actually go to the President.

Rob Wood

Rob Wood

Wood notes that the corporate tax rate would go down under every proposal that has surfaced so far. Whether a change in the corporate tax rate would affect every day Americans is not clear, and such a change might have no effect. The proposal is to reduce the current 35% rate to 20%. Whether the benefit to corporations would trickle down to benefit the general public is an ongoing political debate.

Another key change is a reduction in individual tax rates. There was a suggestion, Wood says, that everybody would get a rate reduction, but that will not happen. There has been a lot of talk about a 35% rate at the top, but that may not in fact be true. Wood suggests that taxpayers earning over a million dollars will not get a reduction. “I don’t think there’s a lot of crying over that.” Wood’s point is that the reduction will not be for every taxpayer.

Another change that has been widely discussed is that the federal income tax deduction for state and local taxes would be eliminated. That is an important change, Wood says, for people paying high taxes in states with high tax rates—New York and California are the two most cited instances. If this change goes through, it would be a big one, and it might cause some people to move away from states with high taxes.

Another big item, Wood says is the alternative minimum tax. It’s difficult to describe how the AMT works, “but any person who’s been paying AMT in the past knows that it’s sort of hard to eyeball.” Wood says that many people are affected by the tax, and the AMT has grown and had things added to it. Wood views the elimination of the AMT as a good thing for taxpayers.

Republicans speaking in favor of the tax proposals have said that the new tax law would “deliver more jobs, fairer taxes, and bigger paychecks.” Wood’s take: “That’s almost something for economists.” Wood does not have an opinion as to whether any of the tax proposals would produce all these results. President Trump has suggested that stimulating the economy and reducing high corporate tax rates would be a good thing for America, and that would probably be good for everybody. The hope is that corporations would be less inclined to take money and jobs offshore. But, Wood says, it’s hard to know if all this is true.

The claim has been made about the tax reform proposals that, for the first time ever, nine out of ten Americans will be able to file their tax returns on a form the size of a postcard. Wood’s comment: “I absolutely don’t get that one at all.” Wood does not feel that the tax proposals do the “whittling down” of the complexities in the law that would be required to make filing a tax return as simple as filling out a postcard.

Robert W. Wood is the Managing Partner of Wood LLP, San Francisco. Often listed among the best tax lawyers in America, Wood has broad experience in corporate, partnership and individual tax matters. Concerning the tax treatment of litigation settlements and judgments, he is perhaps the preeminent tax lawyer in the United States. He is also an authority on merger and acquisition tax matters, tax opinions, offshore account and entity disclosures, and many types of tax controversies. The Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of Sequence Media Group.

Millennials are the age Group Most Likely to Keep Spending in Check to Boost Savings

Sixty percent of Millennials who are watching their spending are doing so in order to save more money, which is more than double that of older generations who say they’re saving to set a spending cap, a Bankrate.com report finds.

According to the survey, the saving seems to be paying off, for Millennials anyway. They are the age group most inclined to say they are more comfortable with their savings now as compared to a year ago.

Overall, 19 percent of Americans are comfortable with their savings as opposed to the same time last year.

Will the Leaked Paradise Papers Affect the Tax Reform Bills? Tax Lawyer Rob Wood Explains

By now, almost everyone has heard of the Paradise Papers, a massive set of electronic documents about offshore investments. Among other things, the papers suggest that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross may have business links to Vladimir Putin’s family. In this report, San Francisco tax lawyer Rob Wood discusses the effect the Paradise Papers could have on the tax world, especially the tax reform bills moving through Congress. Wood reported on this subject in a Forbes article, “Paradise Papers Expose Rich And Famous Using Tax Havens.”

Rob Wood

Rob Wood

Wood notes that the Paradise Papers, like the Panama Papers, contain information about wealthy people and their involvement with offshore entities. For U.S. citizens, the issue with foreign assets disclosure to the IRS. “Is it declared on people’s taxes?” It is also necessary for U.S. citizens to report assets in foreign banks on bank account reporting forms. The disclosure about wealthy people using offshore investments ties in with criticism of Republican tax reform bills as doing too much for the wealthy and not enough for everyone else. Wood says that some critics are suggesting that “we should call a halt” to the tax reform efforts.

There are lessons in the Paradise Papers disclosure for all taxpayers. One of those key lessons is that foreign investments, wherever they may be, must be reported, must be disclosed. If a taxpayer has more than $10,000 in the aggregate in foreign banks, the accounts must be disclosed. Wood points out that disclosure of the foreign bank accounts is a separate item from reporting foreign income on one’s tax return. Having foreign investments is not illegal so long as proper disclosure is made.

Wood thinks there’s “a good chance” that the IRS will begin investigations of the people whose names appear in the Paradise Papers. The Panama Papers disclosure a year ago got people motivated to fix their tax issues with foreign investments. Wood mentions as an example the prosecution of soccer star Lionel Messi by the Spanish government. It seems likely that the IRS will cross-check to see if amounts that show up in the Paradise Papers were properly declared.

Robert W. Wood is the Managing Partner of Wood LLP, San Francisco. Often listed among the best tax lawyers in America, Wood has broad experience in corporate, partnership and individual tax matters. Concerning the tax treatment of litigation settlements and judgments, he is perhaps the preeminent tax lawyer in the United States. He is also an authority on merger and acquisition tax matters, tax opinions, offshore account and entity disclosures, and many types of tax controversies. The Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of Sequence Media Group.