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Aug 15, 2016 1:59 pm

Hi folks.  I’m in year one of running my own RIA.  I knew it was going to be hard, but I can’t quite believe some of the stuff that’s gone on.  I wanted to reach out learn what others experienced.  I’d like to get a good perspective of what others have overcome as well as to get some feedback that can help move my practice forward.

My first issue is the marketing.  I let a family member build my website.  It was supposed to be done in November of 2015 when my RIA was approved with the state… it didn’t get finished until March.  I spent a ton of time writing blogs in an effort to improve the SEO, but I’m worried that it’s not enough. The site was missing pages and had a lot of issues with the content appearing correctly.  I actually taught myself how to code in HTML last week (it’s August) in order to finally clear things up.

I’ve heard it takes 3-6 months to get listed on the search engines.  I’m worried the extra wait is hurting business.  Are there other ways I can improve my online presence? (The website is PHXplan.com)  Are there better ways of getting your message out besides online?

Also, I’d like to hear how folks approached networking.  The biggest mistake I’ve done so far was volunteering for my neighborhood.  I was on the area’s non-profit 501c.  There are a couple neighbors that harbored long term vendetta’s against the association.  I’ve had online attacks, people coming to my door threatening me over speed bumps, social media rants about volunteer work I organized and more.  I left one month after being elected Treasurer… a neighbor was filing complaints with the IRS and AZ Dept of Revenue in order to get back at people. 

Needless to say, I’m a little wary of going out of my way to help people after that.  If you have any suggestions on how to get involved with less contentious people, let me know.

Aug 30, 2016 2:59 pm

-- I think online helps with existing clients, but doesn't help attract new clients.
-- Sorry to say this, but if you are having trouble dealing with people as Treasurer, that could speak to a weakness in working with people in general. Marketing and networking is a 'people skill' job.

Oct 13, 2016 6:00 pm

Pretend you are working at a firm- how would you attract new clients? I went to an actual printing company & had business cards and brochures printed up as opposed to using some on-line site as I wanted a more professional appearance. I built a nice website but must admit that probably what I wrote would bore most people and they would not read as I have attempted to explain how my firm could be better for most folks as I am a fee only meaning I charge by the hour or by the job. No conflict of interest & not under pressure to push products.
One thing I discovered is it is hard to make a living with that fee structure.
As for networking I have done the same typical events such a local Chamber of Commerce's etc. but I did find that some of the free networking events were actually more productive for example there is a law firm that specializes in estate planning that every month hosts an event mostly at various nursing homes etc. but it was free and I would attend and leave brochures and business cards. Try and find some relatable free events you can attend.
Above all else though is you need referrals.