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Tips For Creating Engaging and Timely Marketing Calendars

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When it comes time to sit down and create your social media calendar for the month it can become daunting. 

First off, as an advisor, you’re trying to keep your social media human — which means stifling your natural urge to talk about the markets. Secondly, you’re worried about making sure you’re targeting the right audience with every social media post. Then once you factor in how you’re going to keep your profile engaging and your online presence memorable well… you’ve got a lot on your plate and likely only a little bit of time to create that impactful, human, and memorable social media presence.

So, what’s an advisor to do?

One of the easiest ways to fill your calendar and appear human (I’m talking to you robots!) all while engaging and targeting your audience is to recognize that each month presents you with a variety of posting opportunities. Why? Because we as a society now celebrate pretty much everything.

Yesterday was March 14th, aka 3.14, aka Pi Day (or pie day, depending on whether you’re that robot who snacks on binary or a human who favors a slice of pecan). Did you talk about it?

For instance, did you post about your favorite pie, or a tag a local joint celebrating this internationally recognized day (that’s right, people love pi(e) just about everywhere)? If not, what stopped you?

Just about every day the of the calendar year celebrates something. Big into BBQ? There’s a day for that. Love donuts? There’s a day for that. Have an obscure interest in the use of ampersands? Guess what, there’s a day for that as well (it’s September 8th, in case any of you font fanatics are curious).

Each “day” was designed as a marketing opportunity. And it doesn’t just stop at donuts or hobbies — these catchy “holidays” also carry over into the finance world. So why aren’t we embracing it?

In addition to days that can add value to your social media content (or possibly your blog or podcast), there are also whole months dedicated to some very important topics in finance.

Financial Literacy Month

April is coming up and it’s Financial Literacy Month — a big month that can be used in any financial sector (and beyond, because financial literacy is something we as a society need to work on embracing). So how do you post about it?

Here are some ideas on how you can incorporate Financial Literacy Month into your marketing calendar:

  • Do you have any existing resources on finance? Share them! Whether you have blog posts discussing the different values of traditional vs. Roth IRAs or you have budget samples or checklists, let people know! All of the resource you produce help people become more financially literate with every read.
  • There’s an app for that. Whether it’s an app you love to share with your clients, or an app you’re interested in exploring yourself, let people know about it! Ask for feedback as a way of getting some engagement and to see what your audience thinks about financial apps.
  • Showcase an expert! Perhaps financial literacy for children isn’t in your wheelhouse, but you know someone who is an expert and has the resources to help parents or grandparents teach financial skills to the next generation. Give this person a shout-out on your social media, invite them to be a guest blogger, or host them as a guest on your podcast! Also, if you don’t have a podcast — we’ve got you covered.
  • Share some quotable financial tips with a graphic one day a week. Creating visual content can enhance the look of your social media and it’s a great opportunity to reinforce the fact that you are an expert at what you do.
  • And finally, if you’ve got the time and knowledge, why not make some resources for this month and share them? I realize this post is supposed to be about saving some time on your social media calendars, but worksheets and checklists on finance are evergreen, so if you’re looking through your website and coming up empty-handed, this may be the opportunity to make it happen.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creative ways to discuss financial literacy!

Just about every month of the year has opportunities like this, and they’re often easy ways to share your knowledge, highlight your expertise, and engage your audience.

Other Notable Months

 

January – Taxes Month

With the new year comes closing out the old, and taxes are on everyone’s brain. Be sure to recognize this time in your clients’ lives, and perhaps invite a local CPA you’ve worked with to speak to your audience.

February – Insure Your Love

There’s nothing like taking a Hallmark holiday and transforming it into something valuable. This is a great space for you to discuss life insurances and the long-term benefits for your clients. Not an insurance expert? Find someone who is and coordinate with them!

March – Women’s History Month

While they’re 51% of the population, everyone knows the financial world is a male-dominated field. Why not take this opportunity to showcase some of the inspiring women you know in finance?

May – Disability Awareness and Gap Coverage Month

In May you’ve got two for the price of one! Discuss some of the unknowns that make gap coverage so valuable or bring on an expert to discuss disability awareness. Let people know these services are out there and be sure to provide some great story examples to highlight their value.

June – Annuity Awareness

Annuities are often an important part of someone’s retirement plan, so let’s talk about them! Here’s a great space to discuss the basics of annuities or the 5 things you need to know about them. And if you happen to know an annuity expert, even better! Invite them to share their expertise

September – Life Insurance Awareness Month

Did you miss out on your message in February? The year affords you a second opportunity to discuss the importance of life insurance.

October  – Critical Illness Awareness Month

Life altering illness happen. Critical illness insurance is an area of coverage that’s easy to overlook. Find some awesome infographics, or share a blog or podcast that highlight why you should have protection against critical illnesses.

November – Long-term Care Awareness Month

This month coincides nicely with the Medicaid enrollment period which makes it easy for advisors to highlight the value of long-term care insurance as a way to compensate for what Medicaid fails to provide.

December – Business Planning Month

Depending on your client base, business planning month may not be as influential in your content. However, if your niche market is business owners, this would be a great opportunity to sit down with a business planning expert and highlight some of their tools and tips on your blog or podcast. Perhaps you’re not creating a lot of your own content (which is okay too!) so this would be a great opportunity to highlight a couple of experts you know or share some of your own business planning tips.

So before you sit down to sketch out your next social media calendar, be sure to check out what content themes or days you can use and create your calendar. Both personal interest and professional days are going to help give your social media depth and engagement, and provide some great content for your audience. Now, let’s get planning!

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5 Ideas For Your Holiday Social Media

December is upon us! With all the festivities, events, and end-of-year planning, it can be easy to let your social media presence slip. You’re the life of the real party, who cares about Facebook! Well, your followers certainly do, and now is the perfect time to boost your engagement and share some great personal content.

To help you get rolling, I have five post topics that can keep your timeline festive, and your followers engaged!

Polls

If it’s one thing we can glean from election season, it’s that people have opinions, and nothing sparks engagement like asking for those opinions on a semi-public platform. So this holiday season, why not face off two classic holiday films (Die Hard vs. Home Alone is one of my favorite battles), ask people to determine what is the ultimate Thanksgiving Day pie (it’s pecan if anyone asks), or find out people’s preference for real or artificial trees this holiday season. In the comments, you can even encourage people to tell you why they made the choice they did!

Algorithms are now favoring interactive engagement, so likes simply won’t go the distance. Polls are a great way to create an active post, with a simple ask.

Holiday Tips

I know I’m not alone when I say my credit cards see more action than my treadmill at this time of year. It’s easy to get swept up into giving (whether it’s presents, donations, or hosting parties), and while I’ll never knock a donation, at this time of year things get overwhelming pretty quickly.

So why not take a few moments to give your clients some friendly financial reminders this holiday season? Whether it’s budget advice, a quick reminder that your long-term financial goals supersede any fad Christmas gift, or a quick reminder that there are more ways to give than from your wallet, people always appreciate knowing someone has their best interest at heart.

But be cautious. This is a festive season. Don’t drag the party down by admonishing people about their financial choices. Share a great budget tool or provide a unique gift suggestion, such as a local subscription package that can lighten the holiday burden.

Share a recipe

While perhaps your grandma’s heirloom sugar cookie recipe should stay off the internet, any of those favorites from Pinterest are a great starting point for posts. Perhaps you’re known for bringing chocolate bark to the office during the holidays, or people can’t get enough of your show-stopper stuffing.

But don’t worry if cooking isn’t your thing. At this time of year, the internet is teaming with recipe collections you can share to help inspire your clients.

Traditions

Perhaps it’s as simple as reading The Night Before Christmas to your children (even if they’re 35), or it’s a Griswold tree extravaganza—but everyone has holiday traditions. Let your followers and clients in on a piece of who you are this holiday season by sharing one of these moments.

If you have old photos or new ones, share those too! Embrace the holiday seasons for what it is—a time to spend with those you love. So why not give your clients one more reason to love you?

Get local

During the holidays, there is a myriad of events taking place all over your town (I don’t even need to know where you live to assure you of that). So get sharing! Let people know where you or members of your team spend their time celebrating. Perhaps you’ll enjoy extra face-to-face moments with some of your clients or support a local event that might return the favor someday.

Regardless of the outcome, now is the time to highlight your community. You also have the option of sharing some amazing local businesses, whether they’re having a sale, pop-up shop, or they simply make an amazing product, let your audience know. It’s the season of giving and that includes Facebook sharing.

Whatever you end up posting this holiday season, just remember that people care about you. So don’t be afraid to share your family Christmas photo or a few phone snaps from your latest event (for more on how to take quality smartphone pictures, check out my 3 Tips to Capturing Captivating Images).

Most importantly, have a wonderful holiday season!

For more information on getting social this holiday season, check out our latest podcast episode Getting Holiday Social with Kaley Lewis!

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Top Advisor’s Favourite Reads

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Our Top Advisor’s Marketing Podcast has had some incredible authors join us as guests. We’ve covered topics from marketing, practice management, and personal development. To celebrate National Book Month, we’ve brought together a list of some of those great authors we’ve shared the microphone with.

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A Woman’s Way: Empowering Female Financial Advisors to Authentically Lead and Flourish in a Man’s World

By Michelle Dorovan and Patty Kreamer

A Woman’s Way…how female financial advisors can be successful in a male-dominated industry despite the internal and external barriers they face. This book empowers women to capitalize on their natural strengths as women to build a thriving practice based on leadership, relationships, confidence and authenticity.

To hear more about this great book check out Michelle and Patty’s podcast today!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” _builder_version=”3.0.50″ src=”http://top-advisor-marketing.flywheelsites.com/wp-content/uploads/keys-to-the-ladies-room.jpg” show_in_lightbox=”off” url=”https://www.amazon.com/Keys-Ladies-Room-Business-Financial/dp/1477298320/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1539359495&sr=8-1&keywords=keys+to+the+ladies+room&dpID=41NpvmfYW2L&preST=_SY344_BO1,204,203,200_QL70_&dpSrc=srch” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” sticky=”off” align=”left” always_center_on_mobile=”on” border_style=”solid” force_fullwidth=”off” /][et_pb_text admin_label=”Adri” _builder_version=”3.0.50″ background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” border_style=”solid”]

The Keys to the Ladies Room: A New Business Model for Financial Advisors

By Adri Miller-Heckman

The Keys to your future success! Women are a goldmine of opportunity for any financial advisor looking to accelerate business growth. The key is knowing what women want and how to apply that knowledge to attract more female clients and generate more referrals. This book is your personal roadmap to making that shift.

To hear more about this great book check out Adri’s podcast today!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” background_size=”initial”][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” _builder_version=”3.0.50″ src=”http://top-advisor-marketing.flywheelsites.com/wp-content/uploads/retire-early.jpg” show_in_lightbox=”off” url=”https://www.amazon.com/Retire-Early-What-Are-Waiting/dp/1948922002″ url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” sticky=”off” align=”left” always_center_on_mobile=”on” border_style=”solid” force_fullwidth=”off” /][et_pb_text admin_label=”Eric Gaddy” _builder_version=”3.0.50″ background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” border_style=”solid”]

Retire Early: What are you waiting for?

By Eric Gaddy

Retire when you want and how you want. Society pushes us to retire at 65 years old. But if you wait until then, you may have only ten good years to travel, golf, and do all the things you waited to do when you retired.

To hear more about this great book check out Eric’s podcast today!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” _builder_version=”3.0.50″ src=”http://top-advisor-marketing.flywheelsites.com/wp-content/uploads/corner-office-views-1.jpg” show_in_lightbox=”off” url=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1544511469/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1544511469&linkCode=as2&tag=bionicsocial-20&linkId=75f8e8fcb6834e12550aa618a5dd29f9″ url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” sticky=”off” align=”left” always_center_on_mobile=”on” border_style=”solid” force_fullwidth=”off” /][et_pb_text admin_label=”Bridget” _builder_version=”3.0.50″ background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” border_style=”solid”]

A Woman’s Way: Empowering Female Financial Advisors to Authentically Lead and Flourish in a Man’s World

By Bridget Grimes

Corner Office Choices offers a holistic approach to financial, career, and personal planning that will give you the tools you need to build your ideal life. Mining her years of experience helping female professionals, Bridget Grimes addresses common obstacles to reaching your goals and shows you how to get past them, covering everything from how to protect your assets to how to nurture your personal passions.

To learn more about this great book and Bridget and Katie Burke’s Equita Network check out their podcast today!

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10 Commandments of Investing

By Daniel Crosby

In The Laws of Wealth, psychologist and behavioral finance expert Daniel Crosby offers an accessible and applied take on a discipline that has long tended toward theory at the expense of the practical. Readers are treated to real, actionable guidance as the promise of behavioral finance is realised and practical applications for everyday investors are delivered.

Listen in with Daniel on his podcast today!

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The Myth of Multitasking

By Dave Crenshaw

In a compelling business fable, The Myth of Multitasking confronts a popular idea that has come to define our hectic, work-a-day world. This simple yet powerful book shows clearly why multitasking is, in fact, a lie that wastes time and costs money. Far from being efficient, multitasking actually damages productivity and relationships at work and at home.

To learn more about multitasking and it’s myth check out Dave’s podcast today!

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A Woman’s Way: Empowering Female Financial Advisors to Authentically Lead and Flourish in a Man’s World

By Bob Burg

The Go-Giver tells the story of an ambitious young man named Joe who yearns for success. Joe is a true go-getter, though sometimes he feels as if the harder and faster he works, the further away his goals seem to be. And so one day, desperate to land a key sale at the end of a bad quarter, he seeks advice from the enigmatic Pindar, a legendary consultant referred to by his many devotees simply as the Chairman.

Joe learns that changing his focus from getting to giving—putting others’ interests first and continually adding value to their lives—ultimately leads to unexpected returns.

Imparted with wit and grace, The Go-Giver is a heartwarming and inspiring tale that brings new relevance to the old proverb “Give and you shall receive.”

If you’re interested in learning more about the Go-Giver mentality, listen in with Bob on his podcast today!

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The Pursuit of Absolute Engagement: Intentionally Design a Business That Supports the Life You (Really) Want to Live

By Julie Littlechild

The Pursuit of Absolute Engagement is the result of months of writing, years of research, and a lifetime of trying to get it right. It’s your blueprint for achieving Absolute Engagement, which our research links both to growth and well-being. The book will give you the tools to: take stock, intentionally design a business that supports the life you really want to live, and align your client and team experience with that personal vision.

If you’re interested in learning more about client engagement and experience, check out Julie’s latest podcast today!

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Win New Customers: How to Attract, Connect, and Convert More Prospects into Customers in 60 Days Using Digital Marketing

By Jean Ginzburg

You have an amazing business and a solid product. And I know you want to get there! I know you want to feel successful.

You want to get to the point where you know what you need to do to create a strategy for your business. You understand how to execute on next steps. You don’t feel like digital marketing makes your head hurt or is too complex and complicated. You understand all the main components of digital marketing and you know how to use each of the components and at which time. You see your business growing and are excited you’ve created a successful venture.

With this book, I can take you there! I can get you to where you WANT to be.

To hear more about this great book check out Jean’s podcast today!

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Hot Prospects: The Proven Prospecting System to Ramp Up Your Sale

By Bill Good

Whatever good or service you’re selling, five likely customers are worth a hundred random names. No one can help you find new business by finding those five — or five hundred, or fifty thousand — best-qualified customers better than Bill Good.

To hear more about Bill’s incredible process check out his podcast today!

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Our Current Reads

At Top Advisor Marketing, we love books. Reading or listening to storytelling is by and far one of our favourite pass times. For some of us our library cards see more action than our credit cards. In the spirit of a well worn book, we’ve compiled a list of what paperbacks or audio books have been with us lately. Be sure to check back next month for a list of our all time favourite books in honor of National Book Month!

Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself

Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself – Dr. Joe Dispenza

On the book shelf of Ray Gauthier


The Soul of an Octopus - Sy Montgomery

The Soul of an Octopus – Sy Montgomery

On the book shelf of Matthew Halloran


You All Grow Up and Leave Me - Piper Weisse

You All Grow Up and Leave Me – Piper Weisse

On the book shelf of Jessica Jackson


Marie Antoinette: The Journey - Antonia Fraser

Marie Antoinette: The Journey – Antonia Fraser

On the book shelf of Julia Ritchie


The Happiness Equation - by Neil Pasricha

The Happiness Equation – by Neil Pasricha

On the book shelf of Robyn Walters


Smarter, Better, Faster - Charles Duhigg

Smarter, Better, Faster – Charles Duhigg

On the book shelf of Douglas Heikkinen


The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

On the book shelf of Kaley Lewis.

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3 Tips for Capturing Captivating Images

When was the last time you tried to capture that picture perfect moment, but were left with something less than desirable staring back at you from your camera screen?

Photography is hard. It’s why we pay professionals so much money to capture and preserve major life events such as weddings, anniversaries and milestone birthdays. But for those moments when it’s just up to you and your smartphone, here are three simple ways you can capture stunning photos — without a professional.

1.Lighting

When it comes to photography, lighting is everything.

If you break out your DSLR on manual mode, you’ve got ISO, shutter speed, and aperture to worry about. But when it comes to capturing those great photos on your phone at an event, you can keep your lighting fairly simple.

First off, you’re going to want to stay away from backlighting, unless you’re going for that cool silhouette shot. Secondly, natural is best. Fluorescents and tungsten lights can cast unflattering hues on your subjects. If you can take your photos outside or near a window, you’re going to drastically improve your image quality. And finally, I encourage you to use your flash very sparingly. Not only does it tend to wash out your subjects, but unless you’ve got an external slave/master flash system, you’re probably flooding the field with too much light, giving your subjects that startled appearance.

  1. Front Facing Camera

In this selfie-filled world, it can be tempting to use your front facing camera when taking photos of yourself. But if you can master taking a selfie with your rear facing camera, you’re going to see an instant improvement in quality, texture and lighting. On most phones, rear facing cameras pack a punch with nearly double the megapixels (e.g. the iPhone 8 rear-facing camera has 12-megapixels, while the front facing camera has 7). And if you’ve opted for any of the higher end smartphones, you may even see f/1.8 aperture, giving your phone’s camera portrait capabilities. This value (the f/stop) indicates the amount of light allowed to pass through the camera. The lower the value, the more light and background blur you’re going to see in your images. To put that in perspective, some of the highest quality portrait lenses for a DSLR have an f/1.2. 

While megapixels can’t solve everything, given that phone photography doesn’t easily allow you to use different lenses, the more megapixels you have, the better the photos you will take. And though it may take you a while to get the hang of position and angels, if you can take those event selfies using your rear facing camera, you’ll be able to save and share a higher quality image.

  1. Watch your filters.

Instagram, VSCO, and built-in photo editors have made it increasingly easy to add that fun summer wash to your favourite snaps. And with the right place, right time and right platform, a filter can make your image pop or enhance your personal brand.

However, we can easily fall into the rut of using a filter as a “save all” with poor quality photos. Poor quality photos mixed with filters can results in even worse images. So if you’re watching your lighting and opting for your front facing camera, you’re going to be snapping higher quality photos that are worthy of a share before a filter even hits them.

Together, these three techniques can change the way you share photos on social media. So grab your phone, find some natural light, and get snapping!