How Video can Impact Your 2023 Growth Strategy
Includes Q&A - with Duncan, Laura, and Sharon
Tuesday, February 21st at 12 pm ET
Top advisors today are using video as a key component in their growth strategy. Digital media has become one of the most important ways to communicate with clients and prospective clients.
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2023-01-26 19:52:06 • 20 second read

Top advisors today are using video as a key component in their growth strategy. Digital media has become one of the most important ways to communicate with clients and prospective clients.

In this fast-paced webinar, Duncan talks to the co-founders of Idea Decanter, Laura Garfield and Sharon Gottula, about the videos that are having the most impact on advisory practices. If you’re looking to grow faster, these stories are the best place to start.

You will also learn:

  • Why you should include Video in your strategic plan
  • The most important things to consider when creating video
  • Key tips on producing video

Bonus: Learn how to transfer the Pareto Systems messaging to evergreen content that works (even when you’re not working).

This webinar will include a live Q&A with Duncan, Laura, and Sharon. You can ask your questions live or enter one when you register by clicking here:

Can’t make it, but don’t want to miss out? Don’t worry, register now and ask your question, and we will give you access to the recording following the broadcast.

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2023-01-25 15:57:05 • 20 second read

Attracting and sifting requires more effort than expense. Before you start any of this, get a very high up, nose-bleed view to assess your overall plan and temperament. It’s one thing to have the idea, but do you have the stomach to execute it? It can be frustrating and disappointing, initially. In your strategic planning, jump to the end in terms of what it would look like if you stopped because you were unhappy with the results, or if it took off and caused unintended bursting at the seams. It’s inevitable that it will work, but how long will it take and how much time will it consume?

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2023-01-23 18:16:20 • 2 minute video

"We should be looking at all those checkpoints, the bottlenecks, and how to actually leverage all of your marketing materials to just as effectively deter people that aren’t the right fit as it is to attract the right people." This is an excerpt from episode 34 of the ‘Always On with Duncan MacPherson’ podcast with guest Katie Braden.

Click here to watch on YouTube

2023-01-20 15:09:31 • 1 min video

Video marketing is revolutionizing the way advisors connect with clients and prospects.

However, getting in front of the camera can feel terrifying for some people. For others, it might just seem like “a lot of work.”

But not anymore!

Stream the latest episode of Always On as Katie Braden, of Advisor Video Marketing, explains how advisors can make short yet impactful videos with clarity, conviction, confidence, and consistency, by clicking here:

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2023-01-19 21:04:51 • 20 second read

Building Relationships through Video with Katie Braden

Video marketing is revolutionizing the way advisors connect with clients and prospects. However, getting in front of the camera can feel terrifying for some people. For others, it might just seem like “a lot of work.” But not anymore.

In this episode, Duncan MacPherson speaks with Katie Braden, CFP®, founder and chief video officer at Advisor Video Marketing. Katie explains how advisors can make short yet impactful videos with clarity, conviction, confidence, and consistency.

They discuss:

  • The key to creating authentic videos that build intimate relationships
  • How video marketing helps advisors sift the prospects from the suspects
  • Three most common video mistakes that damage the viewer experience 
  • Ideas for evergreen and one-on-one videos to help you get started
  • Navigating compliance for video marketing
  • And more

Stream the new episode of Always On by clicking here:

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2023-01-18 15:32:10 • 20 second read

Be certain to take any jargon and sales lingo out of your lexicon. Nothing about accounts, households, minimums, production or asset gathering. Never say, “Thanks for the business” to a new client or “Thanks for the referral” to an advocate. Always point to the relationship and the process that ensures you are directionally focused (where it’s going), rather than decision focused (you made a sale).

Download Chapter 1 of The Blue Square Method for free now at:

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2023-01-17 19:52:18 • 20 second read

How to Sell Your Business for Top Dollar

Do you have a succession plan in place? Have you considered your exit strategy and the enterprise value of your business? Have you considered how long you would stay in the business through a transition?

Join Duncan MacPherson, co-author of the Advisor Playbook, and Ted Jenkins, serial entrepreneur and CEO of oXYGen Financial as they discuss:

  • Deploying a process to work on your business and drive enterprise value
  • The world of private equity and how practices are really being valued today
  • How a 1MM cash flow business producer can sell for 15x cash flow or more
  • The option for selling your practice including you selling only part of your business, staying in the practice forever, and how to take care of your family
  • And much, much, more

Access the recording here:

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2023-01-16 17:17:23 • 2 minute video

"That surprises me... to this day that people would receive a referral and not solicit why the referral came." This is an excerpt from episode 33 of the ‘Always On with Duncan MacPherson’ podcast with guest Chris Jeppesen.

Click here to watch on YouTube

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2023-01-13 19:39:22 • 20 second read

As rapport, interaction and trust gathers steam, you can feel the enthusiasm. One of the best things to do at this point is to not deviate. Keep feeding the self-motivation. Help them come to their own conclusions. One of the masters of this is Randy Schwantz, an exceptional presenter and consultant and the author of The Wedge. Randy’s epic statement, “For you to get hired, someone else has to get fired” is as good as it gets when it comes to attracting a client that closes you, instead of chasing a prospect trying to close them.

Download Chapter 1 of my new book The Blue Square Method for free now at:

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2023-01-12 19:30:55 • 20 second read

For a professional whose solutions are not tangible, and the benefits of which can be delayed, it is essential to create a client experience that de-commoditizes your services – and a process that communicates those benefits clearly.

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2023-01-11 16:28:31 • 20 second read

You are striving for alignment, not a close. The “win” is in arriving at a mutually agreed upon conclusion that is natural and feels right. Yes, you will gradually expose the flaws of the current provider and others in the vetting process, but it will be achieved honorably and comfortably for the potential client and for your industry.

Download Chapter 1 of The Blue Square Method for free now at:

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2023-01-09 18:09:22 • 2 min video

In this excerpt from episode 33 of the ‘Always On" podcast Duncan MacPherson, and guest, Chris Jeppesen discuss the importance of focusing on what clients actually want. 

Click to watch on YouTube


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2023-01-06 17:24:25 • 30 Sec

Everything you do that has three or more steps must be documented. Once you document your processes, they become your intellectual property!

This week on the Always On podcast, Chris Jeppesen and I explain how you can turn your client experience into intellectual property that is difficult to replicate for competitors.

Always On Podcast Episode 33 out now - Click here to listen.

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2023-01-05 16:58:22 • 20 second read

Enough Coasting. Now’s the Time To Climb! With Chris Jeppesen

The financial services industry has experienced colossal changes over the last decade. Today, advisors are on a collision course with commoditization like never before!

As a result, coasting is not an option moving forward. It’s either climbing or fading to irrelevance.

In this episode, Duncan MacPherson speaks with Chris Jeppesen, chief of advisory practices at First Trust, on why advisors need to shift their mindset and focus more on relationship and practice management to grow their business.

They discuss:

  • Insights into The Blue Square Method; (and how it differs from The Advisor Playbook)
  • How to identify and address early symptoms of loyal fatigue in clients
  • How to effectively engage your team in a profound gap analysis
  • Four ways to be “always on” and fulfill your clients’ unmet needs
  • What elite, forward-looking professionals are doing to achieve scalable growth
  • And more

Tune in now (or download it for later!) by clicking here:

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2023-01-04 17:30:11 • 20 second read

Always have an extra chair in the room (some even have an artistic picture of an empty chair on the wall) to symbolize the prospective client’s current provider being in the room with you. The idea here is to think in terms of professional contrast, with an emphasis on self-evident professionalism. It’s a mindset technique to ensure you are sitting up straight and bringing your A-game to the meeting – not by chasing or competing – by being the most attractive option the prospective client will ever have.

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2023-01-02 20:37:03 • 2 minute video

So the, the process starts with the data, it starts with the interview, and then it’s just a matter of helping them better understand what they really should be doing. And there’s, a lot of them understand what they could be doing because they read it all the time. They read different practice management books, they watch different podcasts, and there’s no shortage of strategies that they could pursue.

Click to here watch on YouTube

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2022-12-30 16:31:44 • 20 second read

Our consulting clients no longer (or never did) use pitch books or presentation decks. They use a beautifully crafted fit process. When they meet a prospective client for the first time, they pump hands and exchange pleasantries and then they say, “I hope you don’t mind but I looked you up and visited your website out of curiosity after our initial call. What really caught my eye was (something very personal but perhaps obscure that many might not notice or ask about).” The first goal is always to be interested. Being interesting is always a distant second because you learn nothing about someone by dominating the conversation.

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2022-12-29 20:40:14 • 20 second read

Depending on the experience you provide, you can meet, exceed, or fall short of client expectations.

And guess what? Your clients never forget two out of those three scenarios: Exceeding and falling short of expectations.

Plus, it is crucial that your clients know about the great work you do for them i.e., they appreciate you!

Learn more about exceeding client expectations and improving practice management in the latest episode of Always On with Duncan MacPherson by clicking here:

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2022-12-28 15:23:40 • 20 second read

Do you know what is the most difficult part of your business for competitors to replicate?

Your client experience.

In fact, performance coach Kevin BIshopp calls it the “final frontier for differentiation.”

Tune in to the newest episode of Always On with Duncan MacPherson to discover actionable ideas for elevating your client experience by clicking here: 

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2022-12-23 15:45:12 • 20 second read

When it comes to making significant changes to a practice, advisors might hesitate if it seems like a lot of “work.”

In this episode of Always On with Duncan MacPherson, performance coach Kevin Bishopp of First Trust shares how he eases advisors into the implementation of new business processes to elevate the client experience.

If you are not afraid to challenge the status quo and ready to enhance your business, stream the full episode by clicking here:

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2022-12-22 15:41:08 • 20 second read

The Art and Science of Practice Management With Kevin Bishopp

Taking your practice management to the next level, nurturing your organizational culture, and improving client experiences might require switching your mindset from advisor to CEO.

In this episode, Duncan MacPherson speaks with Kevin Bishopp, Vice President and Performance Coach for the Advisor Consulting Group at First Trust, about the art and science of practice management — including several actionable ideas for financial advisors.

They discuss:

  • What stops advisors from dissociating from clients who are not a good fit
  • The impact of professional scarcity on advisor branding
  • The difference between client service and client experience (and how to balance them)
  • The HOW and WHY of nurturing a cohesive organizational culture
  • And more

Tune in now (or download it for later!) by clicking here:

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2022-12-21 18:27:54 • 20 second read

A best practice that can take more time to produce, but strongly reflects and supports your branding strategy, is content marketing. When you create and promote your content, and make it the call to action, you ask the world to ask for your thought leadership IP, rather than asking for appointments or new business. You are attracting with permission marketing, rather than chasing with sales techniques.

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2022-12-19 15:45:40 • 2 minute video

In this excerpt from episode 24 of the ‘Always On with Duncan MacPherson’ podcast, guest Chris Jeppesen and Duncan discuss the impact of professionalizing your empathy with clients through goals-based planning.

Click here to watch on YouTube

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2022-12-16 16:44:14 • 20 second read

Growing Down – as we touched on, and will cover more deeply in Chapter 12, if you’ve made the decision to dramatically reduce your client count so that you can shift from a breadth to a depth model, call your best and favorite clients and inform them that, as a team, you are excited because you’ve made the decision to grow your business from 300 clients down to 75! (The client’s immediate thought will be, “Whoa, did I make the cut?”) Tell them that the upside to downsizing is the opportunity to go deeper into the needs and client experience of the clients you are best suited for, especially as so many of those clients are approaching liquidity events, and with more money comes more complexity.

Download Chapter 1 of my new book The Blue Square Method for free now at:

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2022-12-15 16:09:20 • 20 second read

If you received six referrals in the last 12 months, you were probably talked about and endorsed 30 times. It’s about a five-to-one ratio between endorsement and introduction. Closing that gap is not only where the lowest-hanging fruit lives, but your growth model elevates you from transacting – trading time for money and pumping up a leaky tire – to a more predictable, efficient and durable approach.

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2022-12-14 18:13:21 • 20 second read

In business and in life, it’s not about wins and losses but about how you play - and if and when you’ll stop learning and growing. Getting set in our ways is understandable, especially later in life. Coasting is easier, so it’s impressive seeing someone on the back-nine of life still committed to health and wellness, attending yoga sessions and gym classes. It’s impressive to see a retired person register for, and crush it, in a blockchain and cryptocurrency Masterclass. It’s equally sad to see someone counting the days until they can get away from the ball and chain called “work” because it’s never been their calling or passion.

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2022-12-13 18:02:15 • 20 second read

What does the advisor of the future look like?

There is a shift happening right now, where advisors are dusting off old habits and mindsets, and achieving new levels of growth. Join Duncan MacPherson, in this actionable webinar, as he discusses his experiences with advisors transitioning from their traditional role to CEO.

Learn how to:

  • Grow on your own terms
  • Drive enterprise value
  • De-risk your business
  • Build a scalable playbook

Watch the recording of this informative Go-to-Webinar webcast by clicking here:


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2022-12-12 18:14:47 • 4 min video

Every investment of effort you make contributes to two words, conversion and convergence. This outtake is from the Blue Square Academy which is available with the purchase of the book The Blue Square Method.

Click here to watch on YouTube

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2022-12-09 20:31:48 • 20 second read

The bar is low in terms of what people expect, because most of your competitors don’t go the extra mile, so you’ve got that going for you. It’s not that anyone was disappointed or let down by your old way, but it was no great honor, either. It’s possible that you have some clients who are sleepwalking in their appreciation for you. It’s also very possible that some of them have developed a bit of amnesia when it comes to remembering how important you are to them.

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2022-12-07 18:06:17 • 20 second read

As we’ve said, an essential best practice is to never negotiate your value in order to win business. You are starting a long-term, sometimes multigenerational relationship that should not be started by lowering your fees. Sure, it’s fun to grind on a new car or the price of a hotel room, but these are transactions. The enlightened never try to win a negotiation when it comes to a relationship-centered, long-term engagement.

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2022-12-05 15:38:56 • 6 min video

Duncan is Toronto talking about the distinction between being an advisor and being a CEO, and what that means for your business. He shares what the most successful advisors are doing now to position themselves for incredible growth.

Click here to watch on YouTube

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2022-12-02 15:59:20 • 20 second read

Remove the mystery for the world around who your ideal client is. People who chase speak in terms of who they are looking for, people who attract speak in terms of who they are suited for. Professional scarcity conveys that you are not all things to all people. You are all things to some people. Define this on a sheet of paper that is client-facing. Show it to them as you are telling them that you only accept new clients that are introduced to you, and assuming there is a good fit.

Download Chapter 1 of The Blue Square Method for free now at:

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2022-12-01 18:39:09 • 20 second read

Stephen Covey, the legendary author of the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, advised that you should always begin with the end in mind … I suggest that you apply a mindset of building a business with the intention of selling it for maximum value at some point in the future.

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2022-11-30 16:48:50 • 20 second read

The reason we say that branding is a continual effort is because the law of optimization reminds us that we have to continually refine and optimize to rejuvenate, in order to keep up with natural decline. Think of exercise. Have you noticed that disciplines take far longer to compound than neglect requires to erode them? Don’t misinterpret this. We are glass-half-full optimists, but we’re always mindful of competitive forces, commoditization and the law of familiarity. You might have heard the joke about the parkour enthusiast jumping from building to building and feeling energized, and on one jump missing the landing and falling. According to the story, someone on the fifth floor heard him yell, “So far so good!” If we allow ourselves to take things for granted, we can engineer our own collision course with obsolescence.

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2022-11-28 16:49:53 • 2 minute video

Obviously there are fundamentally essential elements of how you conduct yourself that impact the enterprise value of your business. The one that is getting so much more attention in the last couple of years is your intellectual property, and the degree that you run your business like a business.

Click here to watch on YouTube

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2022-11-25 21:08:58 • 20 second read

The best way to take care of your business, your clients and your growth potential is to take impeccable care of yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup. We’ve seen fee-for-service professionals strive to take care of everybody and everything around them, but it came at their own expense. Self-sacrifice does not breed respect, self-interest does. So in that hour-a-day, or whatever model you adopt, charge up your batteries, pay tribute to the temple (your mental and physical health) and slow life down a little.

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2022-11-24 21:00:25 • 20 second read

Frustration and anxiety are born in the space between expectation and reality. If your expectation is high and the results you get are low, you’re going to be let down. Work the process and results will come.

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2022-11-23 16:34:27 • 20 second read

A Pareto + AdvisorStream Event

How can you put more sand in your hourglass? And at the same time elevate the client experience? In this webinar, Duncan is joined by special guest Kevin Mulhern, co-founder of Advisor Stream, as they show you how to provide relevant timely content that your clients will actually find of value.

If you are not just a Needs-based planner, but a Goals-based planner, how do you stay top of mind in a world with so much noise? How do you build a presence in online communication that instills confidence in your personal brand? How do you use process and automation to incorporate content that is personalized for your very best clients, prospective clients and strategic partners?

During this session, learn exactly how to:

  • Be perceived even more as a Goals-Based Planner to your clients
  • Achieve total client engagement in all channels of communication
  • Competitor proof clients with amazing personalized content
  • Incorporate a proven-driven content tool, like Advisor Stream, in your business to save you time and dramatically increase your current client experience

Watch the replay of Duncan and Kevin’s informative Go-to-Webinar webcast by clicking here:

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2022-11-23 16:29:47 • 20 second read

You might be wondering why branding appears as such an early chapter in this book. It’s because branding is one of the easiest adjustments to make that gets dramatic results. Consider again the art and science of being a fee-for-service professional. The science being your technical ability and core competency - the art being how you achieve professional contrast. The art, not the science, is often what separates the best from the rest. In client acquisition, once a prospective client becomes aware of your existence, you are trying to hold their attention and have them tune in to your signal. You want them to say to themselves, “I like that. This is what I want.” A professional branding strategy is a constant work in progress, not a one-and-done. You establish your brand and you keep tinkering and reinforcing it to ensure that you don’t fall into inertia confidence.

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2022-11-21 16:24:21 • 2 minute video

In this excerpt from episode 31 of the ‘Always On with Duncan MacPherson’ podcast, guest Thane Stenner and Duncan discuss the three questions every advisor should be asking their clients to make them the voice they listen to.

Click here to watch on YouTube

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2022-11-18 16:59:00 • 20 second read

Branding not only impacts prospective clients and existing clients, it impacts other influencers like strategic partners. Branding is the lifeblood of advocacy. It is reputational and can be relayed. Marketing can create transactions, but does not go anywhere near as far as branding when it comes to referrals. Introductions from advocates are a recurring revenue stream for your business and build the very fabric of your business. Transacting is like sewing without a knot at the end of the thread. Lastly, and it bears repeating, branding helps achieve stewardship, meaning your value is bought, not sold.

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2022-11-16 17:30:55 • 20 second read

Branding is not just a first impression, though. It’s a lasting impression. Professional contrast is not a one-off event. It is something that must occur on an ongoing basis for as long as the relationship exists. In the spirit of advocacy, branding impacts how you are perceived and how you are described. In part, it’s fueled by how you articulate, communicate and demonstrate your value to stand out from the pack. It’s a sequential flow of value, communicated so that somebody can understand and appreciate everything your value does in an ascending way, and then it’s your consistent execution that backs it all up after the person opts in.

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2022-11-14 15:14:03 • 2 minute video

In this excerpt from episode 31 of the ‘Always On with Duncan MacPherson’ podcast, my guest Thane Stenner, and I discuss how the influence you have on your client relationships can dramatically impact how a client not only feels about their belonging to your community, but how they articulate that to someone else. I joke that your clients may go as far as saying “he probably won’t accept you as a client”, when introducing a friend or family member, helping to ensure you are only bringing on those clients that you are best suited to work with.

Click here to watch on YouTube

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2022-11-11 18:25:59 • 20 second read

As practice management guru Kevin Bishopp likes to say, you project strength and calm when you aren’t ruled by the tyranny of the urgent. People pick up on that energy. They are more compelled to share your value with others because it is so much more impressive than that of the common pack. People feel a sense of accomplishment when they join your community because it’s not something they were talked into, it was something they aspired to.

Download Chapter 1 of my new book The Blue Square Method for free now at:

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2022-11-10 18:27:14 • 20 second read

You want to speak to a specific hook that grabs someone’s attention. Again, it’s not what you say but rather what they hear that matters. Your hook has to speak more to what your clients want rather than what it is you do.

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2022-11-09 18:23:27 • 20 second read

Tell the world that you value and guard your time. Unless and until you do, nobody else will. You will find that people will start respecting your time more and your productivity will increase. You may even have people commenting on the initiative and inform you that they are now doing the same thing or at least considering it..

This is an excerpt from ‘The Blue Square Method’. Download Chapter 1 for free here:

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2022-11-07 16:15:41 • 2 minute video

In this excerpt from episode 31 of the ‘Always On with Duncan MacPherson’ podcast, guest Thane Stenner and Duncan discuss engaging with your clients in such a way that they feel energized by the experience and how a big part of that is the quality of the questions asked.

Click here to watch on YouTube

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2022-11-04 17:45:55 • 20 second read

In client relationships, trust is not something that “just happens” over time. You have to intentionally build it. Eventually, that trust leads to client advocacy. In this episode of Always On, you will learn how to enhance your relationship management and instill strong trust in your existing clients.

Listen now by clicking here:

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2022-11-03 15:39:12 • 2 minute read

The Evolution and Elevation of the Financial Professional with Thane Stenner

The Japanese have a concept called Kaizen, which means “constant and never-ending improvement.”

If you want to become the advisor of the future and avoid a growth plateau, it’s important to strive for Kaizen.

In this episode, Duncan MacPherson speaks with Thane Stenner, CIM®, FCSI®, senior portfolio manager and senior wealth advisor at Stenner Wealth Partners. They share proven strategies to engineer professional contrast and achieve constant growth.

They discuss: 

  • The evolution of the financial industry from transactional to relationship-focused
  • How he grew his business by reducing the number of clients
  • How to mold the way your clients articulate your value to their network
  • Every reason to be at the front of the change curve (even if it means making mistakes) 
  • And more

Tune in now (or download it for later!) by clicking here:

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2022-11-02 19:42:56 • 20 second read

There is an old maxim that states that, "Marketing is what you say; branding is what they hear." At a basic level, marketing helps you sell something, while branding helps you build something. Marketing typically involves stand-alone campaigns and strategies that have a beginning and an end. Branding is ongoing and every investment into your professional branding strategy builds upon itself, and can become a proprietary asset over time.

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