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Our 6 Favorite Sites for Royalty-Free Stock Photography

Custom photography is great for your website and blog. It’s unique and you get exactly what you want, rather than hunting for a stock photo that’s almost what you’re looking for. But most firms aren’t interested in making room in their marketing budget to keep a professional photographer on staff or retainer.

That’s where stock photography comes in handy. The right stock photo can still feel personal, engaging and unique – even if other people use it, too.

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3 Ways to Get Your Advisory Firm to Rank Higher on Google

By Zach McDonald

“Why isn’t my advisory firm’s site showing up in Google results?”

That’s one of the top digital marketing questions we get from advisors. It makes perfect sense. You’re a great advisor, so you want to be front and center when someone searches for “financial advisor (your city/state).” So why can’t you make it to the first page (or even the second or third)?

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Red Flags & Green Lights: Analyzing Interview Answers

Written by JoDee Klinker

The beginning of 2019 is a mere 48 days away. As the weeks dwindle down and December 31 inches closer, the promise of a New Year can provide much-needed excitement and rejuvenation to advisory firms. Perhaps you have already started mapping out what next year will bring – new processes, new clients, new partnerships, etc.

The first quarter of the year also happens to be a popular time to hire new stakeholders. Continue reading


RISE Innovation: If It’s Not Broken, Break It

Written by Emily Rahav

It all started with a TED talk. This TED talk to be exact.

In the summer of 2017, Carson Group’s leadership and culture team unveiled a RISE (Rejuvenate, Inspire, Serve, Evolve) series focused on personal development. Stakeholders were gathered, snacks were purchased and the aforementioned video featuring former Excell keynote Dan Pink was played for the audience. The original intention was to spark a discussion on intrinsic motivators – it turns out, it sparked much more.    Continue reading


It’s Better to Give AND to Receive

Written by Scott Wood

Fill in the blank: It’s better to give ______ to receive.

If you’re like most adults, the missing word comes to you quickly. It’s the kind of no-brainer a contestant on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire dreams about.

Than. Final answer.

You’re correct. Unless, of course, you happen to be a CEO. In this case, I’d argue the answer you’re looking for is “and.” Continue reading


How Will You Approach Advisor Technology?

During our Excell conference in May, keynote and futurist Howard Tullman made this astute observation:

“Today, the rate of change is the slowest it’s going to be for the rest of our lives,” he said.

Let that sink in. In every industry, including ours, a snowball effect is occurring. The technology coming out next month and next year is already accelerating the next, next stage of change and the next, next new norm. The future won’t look incrementally different, Tullman hypothesized, it will look radically different.

What does that mean for the average advisor? It means the pace of change inside of their firm has to be faster than outside of their firm. Focusing on how technology can enhance the client experience is no longer an option; it’s a crucial component in your business strategy.

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Turning Fear into Action: 5 Tips to Create a Culture of Compliance

Published by Dan Tobin

Growing up, it was the 4-letter words that were bound to get you in trouble. Those forbidden words beginning with D or F or S were uttered in a moment of adolescent bravery and immediately met with a mouth full of soap. The punishment was harsh, but it taught a valuable lesson: actions have consequences.

Decades later, it’s a 10-letter word that seems to scare many in the advisory business.

Need a hint? It begins with a C.

If Dial soap seemed severe, the aftermath of not being in COMPLIANCE can leave advisors with huge fines, damaged reputations, drawn-out lawsuits and permanent loss of business. These potential outcomes aren’t just a symbolic “cleansing.” They are very real, very serious effects of the action or inaction an advisor takes. And, let me tell you, they leave a far worse after taste.

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Are You Serving or Selling? A Financial Advisor’s Dilemma

Published by Aaron Schaben

Recently, I took my children on a trip to our local library. Among the stack of books they eagerly checked out was an old favorite of mine ­— a “Choose Your Own Adventure” novel, where you, the reader, get to take on the role of the main character. Each short chapter is concluded with a choice: Do you take Path A to page 8 or Path B to page 12? Will you explore the cave or climb the mountain?

As I was reading with my kids (Dad win!), I realized something profound. While the possible outcomes of these books are numerous, the first decision you make sets the tone for your entire journey. That one, specific choice begins a butterfly effect that causes and colors all subsequent choices.

As a financial advisor, you also have one, specific choice to make that will affect every other part of your practice: Are you serving or selling? Continue reading


Dreamweaver Auction Is Live!

Dreamweaver Foundation is five years of making dreams come true for terminally ill seniors in the Greater Omaha Area by hosting their first fundraising event, presented by Pinnacle Bank. In the past, Dreamweaver has hosted an online auction that has raised over $1 million in its history and has contributed to the funding of over 100 bucket list dreams for seniors. Continue reading