10 Things Financial Advisors Aren’t Doing, but Should

Published on Tuesday, April 15th, 2014
10 Things Financial Advisors Aren’t Doing, but Should

We have the pleasure of working with a diverse group of financial advisors that give us the opportunity to see first-hand what makes or breaks an advisory firm. One of the best aspects of our job is to see advisors succeed by implementing and managing key business concepts. Here is a quick checklist of components causing some firms to lag behind those that are more successful.    1)      Not reviewing a business plan.  2)      No marketing plan – and if there is one, check points are not in place to measure progress. 3)      Not ditching old marketing methods. Most advisors know that a social media presence is critical, yet few have implemented a strong strategy.  4)      Little to no investment in team development and recognition.  5)      Do not use client… Read more »


How to Cultivate a Winning Company Culture – It’s more than happy people

Published on Tuesday, April 8th, 2014
How to Cultivate a Winning Company Culture - It's more than happy people

A winning culture starts with the highest fruit on the tree.  Translated, team leadership is responsible for establishing the culture your firm embodies. Culture binds organizations together and should be as unique as each person on the team. Why? Diverse teams are difficult to replicate and provide a competitive advantage. Culture in your firm is a direct reflection of the example established by leadership.  Tony Hsieh, CEO at Zappos, leads the focus on company culture. He provides this advice to companies looking for a change: “If firms desire high performing teams with long term success, the #1 focus and priority of CEOs should be company culture.”      WHAT IS CULTURE?  Wikipedia provides a helpful set of definitions for culture; the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that… Read more »


Marketing Plans and Strategies for Financial Advisors

Published on Thursday, April 3rd, 2014
Marketing Plans and Strategies for Financial Advisors

With so many means to market your firm, it is easy to get off track by wanting to do it all.  Advisors have more marketing tools and strategies at their disposal than ever before. Lack of a dedicated professional marketing manager, along with time and knowledge, reduce marketing efforts significantly; creating a recipe for disaster. Hiring a dedicated marketing manager, marketing consultant, or outsourcing your marketing will have a fundamental, positive impact on the bottom line of your firm.A marketing plan and consistently being open to change, is vital to the success of your marketing…Click To TweetPowered By CoSchedule Complete a SWOT analysis and identify your firm goals to lay the foundation of your marketing plan.  Consider specific marketing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats specific to your firm.  Download the… Read more »


5 Tips on Effectively Using Videos in Presentations

Published on Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
5 Tips on Effectively Using Videos in Presentations

Guest post by Mighty 8th Media, Gordon McMahan When you are giving a business presentation, you must enlighten and educate the audience based on your area of expertise. After all, they are in attendance because you have something important they want and need to hear. If you’re looking for a way to better engage your audience, consider the benefits of incorporating video. Video is an incredibly effective storytelling tool, and here are five pointers on successfully incorporating video to make your presentation a success. 5 Tips on Effectively Using Videos in Presentations: 1)      Set the Stage. A powerful video at the beginning of your presentation can set the tone, establish the theme, and provide context for your presentation. It can also grab the audience’s attention and build anticipation for the information… Read more »


How to Create an Effective Compensation Plan

Published on Thursday, March 13th, 2014
How to Create an Effective Compensation Plan

  How do you create a compensation structure that is fair to all employees, attractive to new hires, creates excitement and loyalty amongst your team and engages their learning development while increasing productivity? Reinventing the wheel is not necessary, but creativity, communication, and evaluation of your existing plan are essential. In my years of creating compensation plans for organizations, I have found the overall goals of the firm lack a link to a compensation process. For example, one of my clients would like to establish their firm as “the best place to work in town”. I love the goal but found it doesn’t link to any current processes. When employees read this statement every week in a staff meeting, it is fruitless, stands alone, and has become meaningless. Linking the… Read more »


Making Excuses or Making It Happen? Goal Setting Steps for Financial Advisors and Their Teams [INFOGRAPHIC]

Published on Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
Making Excuses or Making It Happen? Goal Setting Steps for Financial Advisors and Their Teams [INFOGRAPHIC]

How are you doing with keeping your New Year’s resolutions? Every year, I am filled with excitement as I set new personal goals and more determined than ever to achieve success. Typically, I will share some of my goals with family, friends, and accountability partners to help me stay on track. The same is true for your business. Goal setting, assigning responsibility, and measuring the progress of each goal is critical to your success. A key factor, often overlooked when establishing firm goals, is transparency. To increase your success rate, goals need to be communicated and tracked with each team member to create a unified purpose, increased employee performance, and increased team development. Ironstone has identified 4 key performance areas known as the Fundamental 4™, which are required to design, develop,… Read more »


Compensation Conflict – What Employees Really Want

Published on Thursday, February 27th, 2014
Compensation Conflict – What Employees Really Want

  Is your compensation package aligned with the goals of your firm to attract and retain a winning team? The impact to your bottom line due to employee loss is costly. Firms with mediocre compensation plans are likely to have high turnover rates and lose qualified job candidates. Most business owners are in denial about what employees want and what it takes to retain them. A study by MetLife found employee loyalty has dropped steadily since 2008, but employers mistakenly believe it’s on the rise. Incorporate fundamental components into your compensation package to enhance moral, performance, and employee retention. Today’s leading employees expect a comprehensive benefit package. Employees associate their value by how you compensate them. A quality compensation package will benefit your firm with increased employee productivity and loyalty; enabling the team to… Read more »


Social Media Implementation Guide – How to Start Your Strategy

Published on Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
Social Media Implementation Guide - How to Start Your Strategy

Social Media is no longer an option for communicating with clients and prospects, it is expected. If you are not using social media, questioning its value, or wondering if your efforts are getting lost in the mass of information, take a look at some of the latest statistics included in our guide. The study, referenced in our guide, clearly shows that financial advisors have an opportunity to connect with high net worth investors and increase brand awareness. Presented with the adoption rates of clients and prospective clients utilizing social media, advisors are facing their fears head on by linking social media strategies to over-all business and marketing goals. Ironstone’s Social Media Implementation Guide is the foundation to begin your social media functions, not the entire process. Download the guide and… Read more »


14 Reasons Why Employees LOVE Their Job – Try This with Your Team

Published on Thursday, February 13th, 2014
14 Reasons Why Employees LOVE Their Job - Try This with Your Team

    Have a little fun this week with Valentine’s Day! Can your employees name 14 things they love about their job? If so, great! If not, it may be time to look at areas your firm needs to improve. Businesses as a whole tend to spend time on client satisfaction surveys, but lack a system to ensure employee satisfaction is favorable. Employees are likely to be actively engaged when upper management, including the boss, pays attention to their work, provides tools and resources for the job, listens, and addresses employee concerns. Employers tend to assume employees are happy and workplace perks are sufficient. Don’t assume! Ask your employees and act on the results. Here are 14 reasons employees love their job.   (1)  Co-workers:  Relationships with colleagues may be… Read more »


Tips for Mentors – Making an Impact

Published on Tuesday, February 11th, 2014
Tips for Mentors – Making an Impact

Guest post by Connie Deianni   I have occasionally heard mentors lament, “I just don’t know if I am making an impact for my mentee!”  I always assure them, that indeed, they do make an impact and to give themselves some credit.  Looking for a few tips to gage whether you are on track as a mentor?  Here are a few ideas from successful mentors that I have seen work well. (1)  Utilize your regular routine of meetings, client visits and presentations to provide shadow opportunities for mentees.  Allow the mentee to assume the role of a “fly on the wall” in these situations. The value they gain from listening and watching a variety of meeting engagement protocols is invaluable; mentors take meeting protocol for granted, but this is new insight for a mentee. … Read more »