In this age of information overload, time-strapped financial advisors can lean on digital tools to help manage their time effectively, says Victor Gaxiola, customer advocacy manager at Hearsay Systems in San Francisco. 

A former advisor himself, Gaxiola says there are several tools available that can reduce the amount of drudge work that goes into maintaining your practice. These tools can enable you to devote more time to doing what you do best: connecting with your clients and prospects.

From automating your online posts to segmenting your social-media feed, Gaxiola shares ideas on how you can tap into digital tools to make you more productive.

> Schedule your posts
Having a strong social-media presence doesn't require a massive commitment of time and energy, Gaxiola says. To give the impression that you're active on social media throughout the week, take five to 20 minutes every week to pick out compliant content, which can then be scheduled for later posting.

"The most effective users of social media are those who are scheduling," Gaxiola says. "They're only spending a few moments throughout the week to share appropriate content." 

> Organize your social-media feed
Cut through the chatter on Facebook and Twitter by using curated lists, Gaxiola says. You can organize your feed into groups, so that you can filter the flow of content that you receive. 

For example, he says, you can create a separate channel that includes people you consider to be influential in the industry, and another with clients and prospects. That allows you to monitor and tune in to the most relevant conversations within a certain circle of individuals. (You have the option of making these lists private or public.) 

As part of his morning commute, Gaxiola scrolls through the lists he has created in search of stories that can be shared with his own followers. 

> Schedule meetings more efficiently
If you often have to juggle multiple appointments in a single day, Gaxiola recommends web-conferencing sites, such as GoToMeeting and Join.Me. For clients who are not located nearby, web-conferencing meetings are more effective than a phone call and more convenient than an in-person meeting.

He also suggests appointment-scheduling apps. If you work with snowbirds in a different time zone, for example, try TimeTrade. The app accounts for the time difference and allows both parties to set an appointment that fits their schedule. 

Knowing when to contact clients is also important. Hearsay recently launched a new feature that operates on predictive-analytics technology, so it can discern clients' digital behaviours. It does a sweep of your feed and produces a "to-do list" of recommendations — actions that you might take to engage certain people in your social-media network, Gaxiola says. 

For example, if a client shares information about welcoming a new baby, the tool will flag that as an opportunity for you to connect with that client.

You might then decide to share relevant content — a compliance-approved article on saving for college, for example — that the tool recommends in response to the client's online activity. 

The tool finds "where the opportunities lie," Gaxiola says. From there, it's up to you to determine if you want to act on the suggestion.

TimeTrade
http://www.timetrade.com/

GoToMeeting
iPhone, Android
https://www.gotomeeting.com/en-ca

Join.Me
iPhone, Android
https://www.join.me/apps

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