Video on “Going Virtual” with Your Business During this Crisis

Your Presenter:  Maria Marsala, Elevating Your Business INSTANT REPLAY WITH NOTES NOW AVAILABLE! Are you ready to meet with prospects and clients virtually?  Let me help you discover easy online strategies that can help your business thrive, even in these disruptive times.  Learn how to take the best of what you've been doing offline and add online tools and strategies to give you and your clients options on how you can work together and attract more of your ideal clients.   You'll also see how easy it is to get appointments booked and reminders sent out without you doing anything! We are all facing an unprecedented situation as the coronavirus causes chaos, fear, and worry for everyone on the globe. Here at Elevating Your Business, I help financial businesses grow and scale. During times of crisis, there are ways to communicate with prospects and be there for clients who need your help. We have surely withstood many times of uncertainty in the past. Together, by doing business a bit differently, we will get through this too! Join me for an important, FREE 45-minute Q and A webinar where I'll answer your questions about "going virtual", how to continue marketing your business safely, and working with clients in safe ways during this global crisis. When:  March 24, 2020.  Replay now Available with notes. Register below. Time: 1 PM (EST) (1 hour) Cost: FREE Register here: NOTE: There will be NO offer or sales pitch, of any sort, at

2020-03-29T16:23:36-04:00March 18th, 2020|Technology|0 Comments

9 Ways Advisors Can Easily Meet With Clients or Prospects Virtually

In 1998, while living in North Carolina, I presented a marketing program to 40 business development offices.  Nothing strange there, but the program presented was taught virtually.  I saw no students in person. The concept of conducting a talk virtually was alien to me as well as pretty much everyone in the offices.  And I have to say, with the headset and other technology on and around me, I felt like a Martian! Webinars were so new then, and mine was 20 minutes late due to some towns not being able to connect.  As far as I know, the state of NC was the first place I knew of to create a platform.  They wanted business owners in rural NC to get the same resources (speakers) as the business development centers in large cities. Fast forward 21 years and much has changed about webinars, especially what the technology costs! Considering that we're currently being told to limit contact with other humans, video conferencing or audio conferences are a great way to meet with clients and prospects. The technology can help keep all of us just a bit safer. So, what are your options? I see two options, and both involve technology.  The system you use depends on you and your comfort level with technology, but more importantly, it depends on YOUR CLIENTS' technical experience. If you are an advisor, it also depends on what compliance will allow.  So please contact compliance for what you can use and

2020-11-05T22:32:53-05:00March 15th, 2020|Technology|0 Comments

7 Ways to Improve Your Website For Potential Prospects & Clients

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net Your website serves as the first impression of your business online. Potential clients use it to compare your firm to your competitors’ firms. Therefore, it's a best practice to review your website for errors, inconsistencies, and other required changes each year. Below are a few common places to start shaping up your website.   Check for Broken Links on Your Website Broken links can occur on any website page. You’ll know a link is broken when you click on it and an “error” page shows up instead of the page you originally linked to. This happens because the page you linked to was either moved or has been deleted. A link can also be broken because it was originally mistyped. Broken links are annoying to your site’s visitors and weaken your website credibility! How do you solve this problem? Well, you can click on every link on your site (which is tedious and you’ll probably miss a few) or you can run a link checker app that scans your site and gives you a report of all your broken links. If you have NEVER checked your website’s links, I highly recommend that you run the link checker on your home page first. Why? It will check both the links within the page and the navigation links that appear at the top of every page. Once you fix the home page links, problematic navigation links won’t continue to show

2020-02-04T23:37:47-05:00February 4th, 2020|Technology|0 Comments

Is It Time To Create Technology Boundaries At Your Office & Home?

Create technology boundaries. Don't allow technology to get in the way of family time or be the cause of customer disservice. Clearly share technology boundaries with others. Here's a good example: The coaching industry has performed virtually since its inception in the 1980's. We meet with clients via online session calls. Our marketing started with us teaching using audio conferences.   We marketed online by posting articles to our websites, even before blogs came into existence, and online books or eBooks. As a coach, it was customary for me to ask clients to call me at their scheduled session time. After all, I would be in my home office, but my client could be sitting on the beach during our session!  That model, taught to me at CoachU, where I was trained, worked very well for about 5 years. Every few months I ask clients what I could be doing better or differently.  “Barbara’s” response was to ask why she must call me.  Why can't I call her? I hadn't thought about calling her.  I was using the model I had learned. Right then and there I realized that something must change.  Today, I give clients the option.  Of course, Barbara was very happy, too! Improving productivity by using technology is great, but not when it’s done at the loss of customer service. Here are a few ways to create technology boundaries: Check your phone system.  No one should be forced to listen to which of the 5

2020-01-07T02:33:44-05:00January 7th, 2020|Technology|0 Comments

Are You Paying Twice For The Same Virus Protection?

Chances are that you're paying for virus protection twice. If you are a person, business, or non-profit who has an internet connection, check your bills! Today, I was reminded to update this article and send it out again.  I was helping my church fix and update their computers.  One had current virus protection, the other one's protection ended over a year ago.  The one without virus protection had 377 indications of malware! The church was paying $97 for a year's worth of virus protection directly to a virus protection company.   PLUS they were paying $9.49 a month to their internet provider for, you guessed it, virus protection.  It's been that way for years. Of course, I recommended they cancel the yearly $97 payment. And over the years, I'm guessing that I've helped more than 100 people realize that they're paying twice.   Just today, someone else learned that they were paying twice!   Learn if You're Paying Twice I learn if my clients are paying for virus protection twice when they send me their personal spending plan (budget) and business budget (their detailed P/L).  I scrutinize both to "find the leaks" --  additional places I think they can save money or get better services for what they're paying.   Having done this for 20 years, I've helped most lower their expenses, the amount of which has been $50 a month to $75,000 a year. I scrutinize every item.  But two areas automatically raise red flags --

2019-07-22T13:25:25-04:00July 18th, 2019|Technology|0 Comments

Has Your Internet Router Been Hacked?

In case you've been away for the holiday or didn't know that a warning has been issued in regards to routers being hacked. Specifically the problems could be in the equipment -- your router that you use to access wireless services.    For some of you, it's possible that your modem and router are now the same piece of equipment. More than half a million devices have already been compromised — with more likely to be targeted over the next few weeks. You don't need to read all the links I'm including in this article, unless you want to.  But please go directly to WHAT TO DO (below) and take action. The US Justice Department has issued a warning that hackers have gotten into routers.  Here is their May 23 report, that there is a hacking threat to routers  The FBI is also involved as information can be stolen. Additionally, in the past few years, companies like NETGEAR have been updating it's software, do to hacking and other problems.  But the problems are not just with NETGEAR.  For years, many problems have been reported  using a  variety of problems with routers "in general". WHAT TO DO What I'm recommending is more than what's being asked of us. But our internet systems, in our offices or homes, are very important and we should do all we can to protect ourselves. 1) Pull the plug of your router.  In fact, why not ALSO take this time to reset your modems by pulling the

2018-05-29T11:47:56-04:00May 29th, 2018|Technology|0 Comments

Many Advisor Websites Can’t Be Read by Visitors. Is Yours Responsive?

Today, your website must be readable on all digital displays:  TV, desktops, laptops, notepads, smartphones, and even watches! For that to happen, your website needs to be “responsive” (respond to different size devices). 10 years ago, when I looked at my website statistics, only 10-25% of the people who came to my site were using smartphones.   In 2015, the number was 50%, and that’s when I moved my site to the WordPress Platform.   Today, the number of smartphone users is 65%.   For people in India and the UK, the percentage is even higher. Besides looking up your site on all the digital devices to see how it looks, you can easily tell if your site is responsive by: Going to your favorite browser.  Click the double boxes on the top right side of the screen.  Make the smaller screen the size of your phone screen.  That’s what others see when using their smartphones. Going inside your website to the theme, clicking on the theme’s owners website to see if it’s been created to be responsive, or sometimes, if you look around your control panel or dashboard, you’ll see images of different sizes of screens on which you can view the site. You can click this link and it will tell you! http://ami.responsivedesign.is/ If your website is NOT responsive, it’s time to move it to a platform where it will be. WordPress is only one of the options where you can easily buy themes that are: a) responsive, and  b)

2018-04-16T00:34:40-04:00April 7th, 2018|Technology|0 Comments

How often should advisors update their websites?

It’s important to update your website yearly.  For sure, you want to update the copyright date every December or January of each year to match the new year.  If your site reads (c) 2014 name of company, people “may think” your site is 4 years old and you may be out of business.  So, keep the date current with this year’s date. Every two years, ask your marketing consultant to give your site an hour once-over.  They’ll look at things such as: Are the code, theme, and plugins current? Do the photos reflect your ideal clients and are their clothing or hair styles current? Do the words need to be updated? Are the fonts or formats out-of-date? Are there things on your site that were big trends, but they are no longer seen that way? Are the pages too long or too short for current styling? Are all the links working? And so much more…   Due to technology changes, every 4-5 years, it’s common to refresh the overall look or do a complete overhaul.  Even with changes every 2 years, if you haven’t changed the overall look of your site, it may seem old. For example, in 2008, when I looked at my website statistics, the visitors using smartphones passed the 50% mark.  That meant they were missing much of my site because it was not easily view-able on smartphones.  I’m sure you’ve been to one of those sites, even now. Realizing the work that goes

2018-04-16T00:30:54-04:00April 7th, 2018|Technology|0 Comments

Appointment Schedulers Offer Advisors Increase Productivity

Online appointment scheduling software is both a productivity and client service tool.  It's one way clients and prospects can schedule a convenient and timely call with you.  But remember,  some people prefer to schedule appointments by phone or email while others enjoy using an online scheduler. Scheduler technology provide you (and your team) with a secure and private dashboard online to view your entire schedule, and with whom you’re meeting. What people see, when they want to schedule a meeting with you, depends on how you run your firm and set up the app you choose.  You can show all the days and times you're available or choose certain times for certain types of meetings at days, times, and a duration you set. For example:  You can schedule quarterly reviews on Mondays and Tuesdays from noon to 5 pm.  Or new client meetings any time on Wednesdays. Why Offer An Online Scheduling Option to Clients & Prospects? It is very affordable to use, costing $0 to $150 a year for one person.  Systems for your entire team are also available. Makes it convenient for a client to go online any time that is convenient for them and schedule a meeting with you at a mutually agreeable time. Saves you and your clients a ton of time instead of playing telephone or email “tag” to schedule a meeting. May provide other services such as allowing clients to pay you once they schedule a meeting. Provides you with short-term use of their

2019-12-29T20:30:58-05:00March 22nd, 2017|Technology|0 Comments

Free MS Office Training For All!

When you put aside 10 minutes every morning for computer training, in one month, you'll increase your productivity by saving yourself many extra steps, over and over again. Last week I taped a podcast series for an association and learned that the PowerPoint slides I submitted weren’t formatted properly.  Someone at the association fixed them. While my version of slides looked great, I had used square slides when the current preference is rectangle. What I also realized was that it had been nearly 10 years since I attended a computer class. Egads!  Today I added a 2-year reminder to my Outlook calendar so that I don’t get this far behind ever again. So, this week, I went back to school, computer school, for free, and you can, too.  Since I'm getting ready for my workshop at the AICPA conference in Las Vegas, I have plenty of other slides to update or fix.  So I've started my training by updating my MS Publisher skills.   Maybe you could use help with Outlook or Word?  

2017-03-15T01:54:03-04:00March 12th, 2017|Technology|0 Comments
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