Last week, TMR was joined by Kerry Dyer, Chief Development Officer at Brownell Travel, for another edition of TMR’s MasterAdvisor series. The episode focused on tools that advisors can use to work smarter in their business, tools that can help advisors make the most of their time in a period when time is more valuable than ever.
The full episode, available here, includes a short introduction to 15-plus tools, including some that advisors are familiar with and others that they aren’t. For those who missed the episode, here is a sample list of some of the tools that Dyer mentioned during the episode:
Social Media Tools: Plann That, Hootsuite, Tailwinds, Planoly
Social media schedule is important for advisors, especially those who don’t have a separate social media team and only have so much time per week that they can dedicate to social media marketing. These four times can help advisors schedule their social media posts regularly, without having to log in to Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms regularly.
According to Dyer, Plann, and Planoly are good for “people who are social media people…people who enjoy digging into social media and what that presentation looks like and how it relates to their brand.” Both have editorial calendars that advisors can use when posting, giving them more control over how they roll out content. Plann also has an artificial intelligence feature that can help create captions for photo-heavy posts.
Hootsuite and Tailwinds on the other hand are better for people “who are not super in love with social media.” It’s more about the bottom-line scheduling and setting up a consistent posting schedule. The biggest thing with social media is consistency and all these tools allow advisors to do that.
Email Marketing Tools: FlowDesk and Constant Contact
Every advisor is already undertaking some form of email marketing. For those who are new-to-the-industry, or those who aren’t in love with their current email marketing platform, Dyer suggested both FlowDesk and Constant Contact.
“These seem to be the two that are a priority for the majority of advisors,” Brownell said.
Constant Contact is very easy to use, she added, with professional templates that anyone can use (can also incorporate Canva designs). FlowDesk is a little more advanced and “speaks more to marketers” who have higher expectations for their marketing.
Dyer also added that one of the best components of FlowDesk is its reporting feature that allows advisors to auto-generate emails going out based on how a client interacts with an email—“if a client does this, then another email is going to out to them using this feature,” she said.
Constant Contact also has “outstanding” data that will give you open and click-through rates.
“You do want to pay attention to that,” she said. “It’s a quick dashboard, it’s a pie chart,” and incredibly important to base future decisions.
Website Building Tools: Showit, Squarespace, WordPress
If you don’t have a website, you’re missing out on business. Having a professional-looking website where prospective clients can not only reach you but also verify your expertise is crucial. For those who don’t have a website or those who might want to upgrade, Dyer recommended three tools—Showit, Squarespace, and WordPress.
All these have several templates that advisors can choose from if they don’t want to pay for a separate website designer. All of them will allow you to update the website regularly, with new photos, new blogs, and more, which is extremely important.
“We all know the way you remain relevant with your website is by updating it with fresh, new content all the time. Google loves the new content,” she said. “That is going to help elevate the SEO on your website.”
For Showit, which is new software that’s starting to get a pickup from advisors, Dyer said it’s perfect for those who are “design junkies” and want to employ some kind of AI in their website building.
Organization and Task Management Tools: Google Workspace, Trello, Asana, Calendly, QuickBooks, and YouTube
“Organization and task management is really the baseline of everything that you should have organized in your business and this really is the sock drawer. You need to look at this every year and ensure that what you're what you have is meeting your needs,” Dyer said.
Workspace is an alternative to Microsoft’s 365 Suite—“you get a lot in that bundle for just subscribing”—that Dyer said more and more entrepreneurs are opting to use.
Both Trello and Asana are task management tools that advisors can use to help with either their task management or with the client's journey. Both also allow for collaboration with teams inside the agency. For those not sure if they need Trello or Asana, Dyer said that “the free version is fine” and a basic entry-level complimentary version is perfect to use.
Calendly is a scheduling platform that will allow clients to access your open schedule and book time to talk without interacting with you directly.
YouTube, while an entertainment tool, is also a great learning tool for advisors who want tutorials and how-to’s from experts, especially those who might be trying to learn some of these new applications and want someone not affiliated with the application to give them an honest review or tips on how to best use the tool.
QuickBooks is an accounting program that entrepreneurs regularly use for bookkeeping.
Other Tools: TravelJoy, Loom
TravelJoy is a CRM that a ton of advisors are already familiar with. It costs $10 a month but there’s a free version available for all advisors. What it can do is help advisors organize their bookings and customize proposals. It also makes it easier to get paid, get form signs, and more.
Loom is a video recording tool that allows users to record their screen or themselves and download the video to send to a client. It’s a good tool for those who want to leave a client with an explanation of an itinerary or some other part of a booking that might be too complicated to leave to text. It’s also a good tool to keep a connection to a client strong.