Automating your business with Christopher Drake & Zapier

As an Entrepreneur who is as lazy as I am smart, I’ve always loved automating and sliming down my to-do list.

Out of all the automation apps, Zapier has always been my favourite. What I’m talking about here, is the automation of activities in your business.

If you like your ‘Out of Office’ messages pinging away when your on holiday’s, you’re going to love the idea of Zapier.

Which is why today I’m talking with Christopher Drake, who is an automation and Zapier expert. Christopher runs that Startup Company which specialises in this expact topicc.

You can follow Chris on Twitter here and here and read more about here





Financial Planning Marketing

Financial planning is indispensable if you wish to determine your short term and long term financial goals. It doesn’t matter how committed you are to your business, finances are your top priority; if the money is not there you simply won’t succeed. Similarly, business development is the ultimate priority for any financial advisor and a flourishing business translates into a bigger bottom line. There are always however more referrals to ask for, more accounts to get and more new clients to prospect. Planners looking to increase their marketing efforts must consider implementing the best strategies that will nurture and grow their practice.

If you are a financial planner, you’d want to market yourself in the most cost-effective way possible. Whether you are an established practice or a new firm looking for a comprehensive way to get your name out there, you need stellar marketing solutions. Here’s why-

Interact with your niche market

To help develop a polished, unique and consistent way for potential clients to interact with your firm. You also have the benefit of a highly experienced, fully-staffed marketing department who will guide you and assist you in every way possible and partner with you to implement a marketing strategy aligned with your resources, ability, time, sourced from your strength and aimed directly at your prosperous future.

Save time and money

You may not have the budget for full-time marketing staff- a good one-stop-shop will help you with everything from establishing a strategy for building and promoting your professional website. You can now focus on and proact what you do best while keeping new client development and business growth a priority.

Stand out from the pack

It’s a highly competitive marketplace. If you leverage the right expertise and tools, you can easily gain access to strategic, intelligible marketing plans that include compelling content to differentiate you from your competition and demonstrate the experience you bring to your clients.

How will a comprehensive marketing solution help me?


If you implement a branding strategy you can easily stand out from the stiff competition and ensure your message is not ripe with jargon. A firm message is the core differentiator for your brand. An effective marketing strategy will focus on offering an initial freebie or help you stay ahead of the curve by explaining prospects what your CFP or CFA designation means to them and how it will help them achieve results. You can additionally develop your brand by highlighting the benefits.

It will help you share your knowledge

You can hold a seminar keeping in mind your target market and share relevant information that will show participants that you have the right answers to all their financial planning challenges. You need to put your knowledge out there in order to establish credibility. A good marketing solution provider understands the significance of a website that is secure, compliant and tailored to your target audience.


When it comes to the trust needed to handle financial affairs, nothing beats new business from clients who are referred to you by other satisfied clients. An effective marketing strategy will help you get your products and services across people and network with accountants, lawyers and other non-competing professionals who happen to appeal to the same target market.

Ultimately your services add tremendous value by eliminating uncertainty, stress or obstacles to your clients’ ambitions. They can sleep better at night knowing that their taxes and finances are in good hands. Expand your services by being top of mind for your client. Clients’ financial planning needs are rapidly changing. With rampant mistrust in the financial services industry, clients are now hunting for the objective, effective and trusted insights from their CPAs. As their highly trusted accountant, it’s time for you to step up to the opportunity.



Putting my gut under exam stress

One of the upsides of working with multiple clients is that I get to immerse myself into different areas of knowledge.

A great example of this is my work with Microba, who is a microbiome testing company or to put it another way they look at your poo to see what gut bugs you have. 

So it turns out I knew very little about my microbiome, I’d heard of probiotics, I’ve sung the ‘poo song‘ on the TV show Scrubs, I’d even worked with Perkii

But once I realised there was a test, well I kind of wanted to do well. I knew I wouldn’t do well, but I didn’t want to show terrible results. 

So I’ve started to think more about the amount of fibre I’m getting each day. Not the fibre in a tub, the real stuff, from plants. 

I’ve focused on the variety of what I eat, like Dr Karl says “try and eat a little bit of everything and not too much of one thing”. 

I’ve removed artificial sweeteners and tried to remove the ‘added sugars’.

I’m not an expert, hell, I’m not even an online expert, I’m a C+ Wikipedia page focused on easy to read tips to improve gut health

What I do appreciate is that our gut health is being linked to more aspects of health and are a complicated community of bacteria.

So with my Microba test kit on my desk, I’m going to put in a few more weeks of work before I take the test. 

Am I faking it? Well if I go back to my old ways, then I am, but then that’s why I’m expected to take a second test. 


Financial Advisor Marketing Plan

A written advisor marketing plan can be quite compelling. Sure, every advisor out there has an idea of what they’d like to work upon and to be reminded of these ideas every day can be tiring if not consuming. When you take the time to articulate your strategies, goals, and tactics you are able to see things for yourself more clearly, remain constantly motivated and grounded.

When you put your ideas on paper, you release your mind from the pressure of balancing everything in your head. Additionally, your advisor marketing plan will keep you from activities that do not help you move towards your goals. You do not need distractions.

A comprehensive financial advisor marketing plan should include-

  • Measurable goals and objectives
  • Areas of focus
  • Value (proposition/competitive advantages; what do you offer that is unique and that distinguishes you from your competitors?)
  • Competitive Analysis/SWOT Analysis- what is your competition doing and what are their value proposition/competitive advantages?
  • Budget- how much are you willing to spend on your marketing program?
  • Marketing stance/your ideal client
  • Marketing calendar- schedule your whole year upfront and stick to your dates
  • Projects and action steps (plan or a broad approach for achieving what you wish to accomplish)

Why do you need a plan?

If you have business expansion goals (as most advisors do), you’d be better off with a well-defined marketing plan even if your business is not scrambling for clients today. Marketing will help you gain prospect attention, establish your position in the market, win customers while building demand for your services. You may be indulging in a shotgun marketing approach without a clearly laid out plan, a little of this and a little of that and none of it is directly targeted towards accomplishing your objectives.

To define how you will establish your position in the market

When you make a plan, you will be able to define your ideal client profile, target market and what is it about your firm that makes you better suited to serve them. Once you know these, you can easily create your identity, messaging and marketing stance to reach those ideal prospects and clients.

To outline what you will do to gain prospect attention

You will define strategies that will boost your firm’s exposure to not just existing clients but also ideal prospects. Once you identify your competition and their value proposition, you can easily work on yours and make it unique.

To determine which actions will build demand

Your plan should be able to determine tactics that will lead to conversions and win you, customers. You can do all the positioning to gain prospects but if you fail to specify actions to move prospects along the sales process, your marketing strategy is not working for you and you probably need a new one. The ultimate goal of any kind of marketing is to gather the most purchase-ready customers who are the best fit for your products/services and make it convenient for them to reach and choose you.

To ensure your marketing plan is actually implemented

Marketing should not be an item that gets pushed to the bottom of the list when there are competing priorities and time is short. Make sure your marketing plan includes hard scheduled deliverables. Once the schedule is set for the year, it is your job to stick to it. A consistent marketing plan will take some time to show results.

Financial advisors often tend to believe they are more comfortable on the “left brain” i.e. the numbers side of the business than on the “right-brain” or the more subjective feeling sales and marketing side. However, without an implementable marketing plan, you will feel like you’re spinning in a hamster wheel to figure out how to get more and more clients thereby growing your business. Do you have a marketing plan yet? If not, do you have a scalable resource to help you develop your personalized plan and deliverables? Now is the time to begin. Make this year all about results with an effective marketing plan.


How to grow your business through referrals with Joe Sova

With many new ways to advertise to potential customers, we often forget about the oldest and most trusted form. That is referral marketing.

A Nielsen study showed that consumers still thought of ‘word of mouth’ advertising as the most trustworthy. 83% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family, colleagues, and friends about different products.

However, even if you have happy and satisfied customers that love your service, they still might not recommend it to others.

On today’s episode, we’re going to be talking to a business owner who’s driven eight years of growth through referral marketing. I chat with Joseph Sova, Founder and President of Ideal Payroll Service.

Ideal Payroll Service is an Omaha based company that provides payroll processing & human capital management solutions. We are built on personalized service, open communication, and local accountability.

Joe is also a creator and local podcast host of Local Business Talk. Local Business Talk is a talk show that covers local entrepreneurship and business success. We cover topics in our community and learn what it takes to succeed in the world of small and mid-sized business.

Follow Joe’s journey on LinkedIn.

The journey from Practitioner to Product with Hassanatou Barry

If you’re a freelancer, contractor, agency or consultant, you know the pain of billable hours. I’m guessing you’ve also dreamt of productizing or knowledge in some way?

If you’ve tried to package up your advice, then you know how hard that can be.

In this episode, I’m talking with Hassanatou Barry, who is the Babysitter Guru. Hassanatou is taking her experience as a New York City babysitter, and servicing the Babysitting Community, with advice that’s often hard to find and often, not openly shared.

The Babysitter Guru empowers babysitters through informational content and resources to better their journey and experience in caring for children while also being an expert for parents to ease their transition into seeking quality childcare.

As a loving babysitter and dedicated advocate for the past 7 years, my goal was to create a platform to educate others on best practices and also provide guidance. Whether it’s making a difference for one babysitter or several, my dream is to create an impact within the childcare industry.

Follow her journey on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Financial Advisor Marketing Strategies

In an increasingly competitive landscape of more than hundreds of thousands of financial advisors, it can be challenging to stand out and differentiate yourself by simply offering comprehensive financial planning and great service. One of the most crucial but difficult tasks is not just perfecting their craft, but figuring out how to get new clients and ultimately grow your business. An advisor needs to learn how to effectively market their services and communicate their value to audiences that they might do business with. Here are a few strategies that will help you.

Know your niche market

You should be able to describe your target audience to anyone with such clarity that they should be able to visualize it. Research and learn more about the demographics as well as psychographics. You cannot be delusional enough to believe you market to everybody. The riches are always in the niches and you need to specialize in knowing your ideal client. There are a host of options to choose from- retirees, divorcees, company executives, dentists or plumbers. The idea that casting a wide net will inherently translate to more business is wrong.

Listen to what your clients have to say

A client-centric approach never fails. Your current and past clients are a group your marketing team should focus on since if you’re not reaching out to them, you can be sure your competitors definitely are. Send out thank you letters or birthday cards that are sincere. These will go a long way in getting your clients to give you referrals. Additionally, address every complaint that you receive from unhappy clients and resolve them promptly. Let your clients know that you value their input and they will be more likely to do business with you again.


Know how much money you make per direct outreach

You are blessed with the incredible ability to control your income! Figure out the number of calls it takes for you to make an appointment and then the number of appointments it takes to get a client. If you know how much you make per client you should be able to quickly figure out how much you make per phone call. If you want to make some extra money,  pick up the phone. You ideally need to keep track of- the number of calls you make, the number of completed calls and the number of appointments you set. While implementing these marketing ideas, knowing your numbers can be highly motivating but also discouraging along the way. Don’t let it get to you.

Focus on conversions

Channelize all your energy towards your site’s user experience, traffic is great but ultimately worthless if it’s not converted into paying customers. You should strongly consider hiring a web designer who will make your site easy to navigate, to follow information with ease thus ensuring enhanced user experience. Your clients do not have the time for financial jargon, broken links or an outdated website. Have your contact information on every page and take extra care to maximize your “above the fold” use.

The ideal thing to do is to work with a marketing agency. If you have been looking for one, you’ll quickly learn that no two agencies are the same and none can guarantee results. It’s also a time-consuming process. But for the sheer efficiency and seamless operations, you might want to consider a financial advisor marketing agency for your next campaign.





Could you Sponsor an Athlete? with Andrew Stallings

While sponsoring Tiger Woods or Roger Federer is most likely way outside of your budget.

Athlete sponsorship can be more accessible than you’d think.

On this episode, I chat with Andrew Stallings from the Athelo Group, about how he identifies opportunities, what areas are undervalued, and why the talent story is more important than their Instagram followers.

Andrew Stallings, Founder / Head of Partnerships of the Athelo Group, is a 10+ year Sports and Entertainment Professional that has worked in many realms of the industry from Media (SiriusXM Radio) to Sponsorship and Brand Strategy (Octagon / AB InBev).

After working with a wide variety of pro athletes for several years, I discovered a need for niche category athletes in terms of 360 management, creative strategy, and partnership consulting + execution.

With Athelo Group, we pride ourselves on working with athletes in Action Sports, UFC, Motorsports, and other rising properties by offering a vast and extended array of services that are beneficial to both the athletes we represent and brands we consult for.

Follow their journey on Facebook & Instagram. Follow Andrew Stallings on Twitter.

Professional Services Digital Marketing

The internet is significantly accessible today and the constant internet usage among adults has been steadily increasing. This has radically transformed the way people shop rendering offline marketing completely ineffective. Digital marketing encompasses all marketing efforts that use the internet or an electronic device. helps you connect with your audience where they are spending most of their time on the internet. More and more businesses are now leveraging digital channels like social media, search engines, email, etc to connect with prospective customers

How to formulate an effective digital marketing strategy?

In order to come up with a well laid out digital marketing strategy, you will need to make use of a spectrum of digital tactics- from the website itself to digital advertising, online brochures, email marketing, the business’ online branding assets and beyond. You may need to leverage the most efficient services to have a clear picture of how every digital marketing campaign supports their overarching goals depending on which you can support a larger campaign through the paid and free channels at your disposal.

Digital marketing includes a host of strategies like- Search Engine Optimization, Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, pay per click, affiliate marketing, native advertising, marketing automation, email marketing, online PR, inbound marketing.

Why does your business need digital marketing?

Digital marketing has come of age. Its fundamentals have been established. Did you know that digital ad budgets are now a majority of total ad spend? More than half of the marketers are equipped with a transformative initiative to make marketing more digital. You need an integrated plan to engage and grow your audience.

Envisioning your Goals

By building an effective and proper strategy you will give your employees and the brand direction and goals. Without an effective strategy, you will lack a sense of purpose or what you want to do online. Availing professional services may help you with a well-defined marketing strategy that will help you define your target audience, construct a concise digital program and run a successful online campaign.

Making your brands more interactive

Certain campaigns like blogging, social media marketing, text messaging, improving search results, online advertisements, affiliate marketing, and email marketing can assure a more personalized experience for your customers. A reliable digital marketer will know how to keep audiences informed and engaged by leveraging things like infographics, client stories, and short videos. You cannot undermine the ability of internet marketing tools to interact with targeted audiences in real-time.

Enhancing your reach

Rely on effective digital marketing solutions to strategically focus on reaching and increasing the visibility of your brand. Define your goals, KPIs, and tactics and document them down the line.  Nothing gives better exposure and builds a more effective brand recognition than digital marketing. It makes use of effective result-driven strategies that entice more and more people to take a favourable action your business intends them to take.

The Internet of Things is a global ecosystem of interconnected devices- gadgets, appliances, tablets, and smartphones that interact with each other via the internet. Streamlined digital marketing solutions will prepare your business towards this eventuality, one that will permeate every aspect of your lives in the near future. In order to survive, you must ensure inclusion in this highly interconnected grid. Avail state of the art digital marketing services to implement proven strategies that attract highly targeted traffic and not necessarily more traffic, opening new doors of opportunities for attaining business growth.