In each issue and through our daily e-newsletter, Web and social media coverage, EBA aims to celebrate the individual adviser. It is always our goal to bring you the latest tools and insight you need to personally succeed in this ever-changing industry. And I think we really nailed it this month.

Take the cover story ("Meet your new sales partner," p. 24). New York broker Ryan Hanley wanted to grow the book of business at his Albany firm, The Murray Group, by venturing onto social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. The idea was met with hesitation from his boss, so Hanley moved forward with his own self-branded website and blog. Once the individual venture paid off with sales prospects contacting him, he convinced the firm to take on a blog of its own - and became director of marketing in the process.

Making such a name for yourself as an individual adviser is a move that Mel Schlesinger supports without equivocation. In his column, "Branding: Agent or agency?" (p. 23), Schlesinger encourages agencies to have each agent make their own Facebook fan page and cultivate an individual LinkedIn presence. "At the end of the day people do business with people - not with companies," he says, "particularly when it comes to insurance."

Of course, when you make the effort to promote yourself as an individual standout, you need the goods to back it up so that you can use your new-found power to your sales advantage. We've got you covered there, too.

Want to market a wellness program but facing resistance from budget-conscious CFOs? Look no further than "Linking health risks, costs" (p. 50), where authors Jessica Grossmeier and Steven Nyce explain a groundbreaking study that just may put an end to the ROI question once and for all.

Then there's Jack Kwicien's expert advice on standing out from the crowd in "Anatomy of a survivor" (p. 16). His thoughts on individual insurance under a group platform could lead to a true transformation for the broker who seizes the opportunity.

Stay with EBA in print, online and in person to stay informed and arm yourself with the strategies you need to thrive. I encourage you to friend me on Facebook at And be sure to join us for some real-world networking at Workplace Benefits Mania at Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas July 30 - August 1 (see p. 44 for details).

As Kwicien says, "Many industry observers estimate that advisers have 12-24 months to adapt or run the risk of seeing revenues decline 30%-40% due to commission reductions and client defections. It's not too late, but you need to commit to change now."

Do so by taking the time to invest in yourself. See you online - and in Vegas!

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