Everyone cares about ROI, but once in a while you get to do well by doing good. You may have seen our article in the May Directory on teacher annuities. The crusaders featured in the article, Tony and Dina Isola have credited it with helping jumpstart an investigation by the New York Department of Financial Services. Click here for the WSJ article.
Many of you are print traditionalists. But, we're pushing hard to upgrade our rankings online to expand the impact of our lists beyond the traditional readership. We've made some small improvements to rankings so it's easier for a serious investor to compile prospects across lists. We will be adding some new copy to flesh out these pages for visitors and make it easier to get to the rankings from the barrons.com homepage.
Hopefully you've been able to check out the articles from the August Advisor Guide online. If so, you may have noticed that we're are promoting the directory in every article. This is another example of how we're doing our best to get you in front of readers on Barron's and beyond and associating our ranked advisors with high quality thought leadership on investing and wealth management.
This year we had our design team redo out top advisor logo. Ive been seeing them used in email and logos and asked the team to go back and make some subtle revisions to the logos are cleaner in smaller sizes.
The top Indie logo will be available for download after on Sept 19. All of the other logos are available at
As we're putting together the directory, I'm reminded about vanity links. In short, a vanity link is a shortcut url that substitutes for a more complicated one. For example, Barron's uses barrons.com/fa as a shortcut for barrons-conferences.com/guide.html.
For those of you with onerous web addresses, it might be worth having a conversation with your marketing people to see if you can get something more succinct. For example, your actual url might be ubs.com/phoenix/fa_americas/hudsonwealthmanagement but it is possible to have them create ubs.com/hudson as a shortcut. This link can be used in your printed materials, and adds a little marketing polish.
The same is true for email addresses. Firms assign full-name emails by default, but is technically possible for you to have a shorter version. For example, email@example.com can be customized to firstname.lastname@example.org. It's a small thing in the grand scheme, but it does show some marketing savvy and adds a touch of humanity to an impersonal medium.
You may have seen our weekly FA newsletter. It features insights from top-ranked advisors and industry stand outs. Here are a few self-serving insights from those Q+As on marketing, promotion and growth.
Louis Chiavacci on landing UHNW clients...
The first [key] is just a realization that it takes a long time, that it’s a long process. It may be one substantial new family every six months. In 32 years in the business, I don’t think I’ve ever felt like I was sprinting—but I’ve often felt like I was running a marathon. The second point: With an outgoing effort to establish a new relationship — 30 years ago you might have called it a cold call — if you think it’s going to take 10 to get one, assume that it is going to take 100 to get one. As a young advisor, you have to think that it’s going to take years, not months, and that it’s going to take hundreds of outgoing contacts, not 20. (FULL ARTICLE)
Andy Burish on marketing...
Invest in the business. I literally have, for 35 years, taken half of my earnings and put them back in the business. If we’ve got a 40% payout, I always lived on a 20% payout. We got a 50% payout? I live on 25%. And I made the business really valuable.
The problem you have with people investing in their business is that they want instant gratification. We’ve probably spent $13 to $15 million just in marketing the last 10 years. It takes a while. But here’s the thing. If you go to college, it’s going to cost you a hundred thousand bucks for a state school. You’re working five or six years before you begin to recover the cost of that college education. It’s the same as marketing. You invest the money in marketing and after four or five years of this is exponential growth. (FULL ARTICLE)
Heather Hunt-Reddy on “personal brand”...
In l953, the Ore-Ida potato company … had tons and tons of potato scraps and were wondering if there was anything that could be done with them. So they came up with an internal contest, in which folks came up with different concepts. The Tater Tot won the day. When they put the Tater Tots out on the market, they priced them as cheaply as they made them. And nobody bought them.
When they later re-launched the Tater Tots, all they did—literally all they did—was raise the price. They didn’t change the packaging, they didn’t change the name, they didn’t change the way they marketed it. They raised the price, and Tater Tots became their second-best selling item. Today those sales rival French fries, and you’re even seeing Tater Tots at Michelin 3-star restaurants.
We see our deep discounters at the firm gathering less assets than those who price close to the average. And we see the people who are priced in the average, but have great value, doing a better job of convincing clients to come join them. (FULL ARTICLE)
The next issue of the Barron's Advisor Directory will appear August 26. As you may recall we've a special section around the Directory called the "Guide to Wealth." The next issue will be dedicated to tail risk. Barron's takes a look at a range of steps the wealthy are taking to prep for disaster from the extreme – luxury bunkers – to the mundane – holding more gold. Mark it in your calendars. Mark your calendars.
We continue to test social media to supplement the Dow Jones audience. Here are the latest updates.
There is still some confusion as to what advisors can and can't do with the rankings and logos. Hopefully this post will clear that up. The good news is that our group has pushed to make the rankings more accessible to the public and negotiated to give advisors more leeway in promoting the rankings.
LINKS TO THE RANKINGS/PROFILE
You are free to share the link to any ranking on Barron's. Generally we recommend that you use the link to the "table" version of the rankings: Top 1,200 Table. You may (and should) also share the link to your profile page.
RANKING ICON (LOGO) USAGE
As part of your package, you can use the ranking icon in your email signature, on your website, and on social media. You are completely free to link the logo to the rankings and/or your profile page. In fact, it is encouraged as a way to help boost your name in Google Search.
Sample email signatures. (Not all firms allow images in your signature)
Sample Social Media (Twitter/LinkedIn)
Direct link from your website
As many of you may know we started testing Facebook ads (aka "social syndication") in March to supplement the Barron's/WSJ audience with additional "eyeballs." Initial tests have been good, with a healthy amount of traffic, comments and shares. We will be testing geo-targeting (ads directed to individual states) in a few test markets in July, and if the costs are manageable, it will become a regular practice throughout the year.
We still maintain Barron's and WSJ offer a direct pathway to your perfect demographic, but external promotion of the rankings helps raise our profile outside of our readers. It also gives our ranked advisors a small amount of free publicity in their communities. We will continuing to experiment with various online channels. We will keep you posted on our progress.
Some sample "shout outs" advisors have received: