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We’re always looking for reasons to celebrate – and Presidents’ Day is no exception. So while we’re donning our wigs and top hats in time for Monday, we’re leaving you a little weekend reading to keep you in the loop on all the historical #fintech stuff happening in the here and now.
News broke this week that Hightower, a popular RIA aggregator, is taking a page straight from the wirehouses and suing one of its former advisors. Michael Policar (a staple in the #Fintwit community on Twitter) left Hightower to start his own firm, and Hightower alleges he took clients and client data that they own with him.
It’s a move that advisors like Policar thought they left behind when they signed up with firms like Hightower, but if there’s one phrase that rings true throughout history, it’s that “the new boss is the same as the old boss.”
The larger these firms get, the more they eventually start to resemble old-school wirehouses with their services offered to investors, and the support they offer to advisors. Unfortunately, that creeping specter of legal action that was perhaps behind the curtain before is now out in the open – and advisors looking to make the jump to independence may now find it harder to decide on the right path forward if their list of “independent” firms to join gets shorter as a result of this news.
Can’t We All Just Get Along?
Sorry folks, this is apparently the bad news Mixtape. CityWire published a story about fintech startup Vise, and it’s uh…less than glowing. The report states that in a little more than half a year, over 19 employees have left – including the vast majority of the executive team.
Vise has been a hot topic since its inception, especially with it reaching unicorn status with a billion-dollar valuation last year. Unfortunately, that unicorn status (much like the mythical animal) has failed to materialize in the real world. Vise’s assets under management have grown slowly, and its growth has not (so far) justified the level of hype investors and the press have thrown at it.
The big problem in our eyes? There are a lot of more established companies promising automated trading and intelligence rebalancing, and Vise just doesn’t seem all that unique in either its services or its brand. It bills itself as the “future of investment management” on its website, but it doesn’t seem to be a future advisors are all that interested in signing up for.
Just Your Run-of-The-Mill Unicorn
SEO is clearly important. It’s one of those rare pieces of industry jargon that most business owners know, regardless of industry – and advisors are no different.
Of course it’s important. Search results are the new Yellow Pages. Where people once opened their phone book to “F” to find financial advisors near them, they now just search “financial advisor [city].”
Getting your firm to rank higher in those results requires a foundation built on a subcategory of search engine optimization called “Local SEO.” You can take several quick steps today to increase your chances of ranking in local searches.
Search Engine Journal just published this rundown of all things local search, and it’s a good one. It’s also a long one (18 min read), but trust us, it’s worth it. Just like you’d make sure your business was listed in the phone book, you want to make sure you’re listed in search results.
The Answers You’ve Been Searching For
When you were thinking about starting your firm, choosing a name was one of the most important things. Maybe you used to space out at your old job while sketching out ideas for your new firm’s logo, or just writing the name over and over in your notebook.
A lot of professionals think their brand boils down to their business name and logo, but that’s really just the beginning. What fonts do you use? What are your brand colors? What kind of photography is acceptable on your website?
Inconsistent branding looks unprofessional – that’s all there is to it. If you’re using different fonts and colors and squishing or stretching your logo to fit the setting, then we hate to say it, but you may be guilty of inconsistent branding.
When we help firms develop a marketing stylebook, we do a deep dive into everything: fonts, language, photos, colors, etc. It’s actually a pretty fun exercise that gives you a chance to examine the building blocks of your brand so you can make sure everyone is on the same page.
Hubspot put together this great article on the basics of brand assets, what they are and why they matter, along with a few examples to help inspire you. We know this can sound like a big undertaking, but it’s not, we promise. Pick someone on your team with a good eye for what looks good, and then ask them to spend some time setting brand standards you can all agree on. If you use Traction/EOS, this could be a good quarterly rock to hand to your Director of First Impressions or whoever makes the most sense on your team. Eventually, you’ll likely want to bring in some branding professionals, but we’re all about marketing tips that can help you move the needle right away.”
Keep it Consistent, Folks
Zach McDonald, President & CMO
“Been loving a lot of music from Australia lately.”
Johnny Sandquist, Founder & CEO
“Everything about this song is good.”
Connor Brandt, Graphic Designer
“Recently discovered this artist and definitely planning to listen to more.”
Delaney R, Digital Marketing Specialist
“This song instantly puts me in a good mood when it comes on.”
Justine Young, Content Writer
“If it’s good enough for Shrek it’s good enough for me.”
Keep up with all of our picks of the week over time with the Three Crowns Mixtape on Spotify.
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