Design is not what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.
– Steve jobs
Not having a website for your financial planning firm is no longer an option. The benefits of having a killer website for your firm are endless. However, creating the ideal financial advisor website is often times seen as a tough task to take on. Well, we’re here to tell you it doesn’t have to be difficult!
So what makes a website work exactly and how can you ensure yours is built to be a true marketing, lead generation machine for your business? While there may not be a perfect answer to that question there are a few key ingredients we recommend that a good advisor website must have in order to be successful.
1. An Eye-Catching Homepage
There’s a reason we’ve placed this at the top of our list. Why is it so pertinent to have an eye-catching homepage? This is the very first thing that clients and prospects will see when visiting your site. Just like in an interview or when meeting someone new, first impressions are everything, and the same goes for your advisor site. According to Hubspot, This means you need to show what your firm can offer very quickly and efficiently.
If you have a potential lead visiting your site and the homepage is hard to navigate and they can’t quickly find what it is they’re looking for, then they will probably leave immediately and find what they need on a competitors website. In order to avoid this from happening, it is important that you include a logo and a headline or tagline that will quickly let your visitors know what your unique selling proposition (USP) is and what you have to offer.
Imagery is another important aspect of your homepage, as this is something that will obviously capture the attention of your audience right away. Include imagery on your website that is consistent with your firm’s overall brand and tone of voice or feeling you want to convey.
2. The Importance of Your Services Page
As an advisor, your services page is a critical component of your website. When prospects land on your site they ultimately want to understand what you can offer, how you can help, and to understand if they’re a good fit for you. Your advisor site should at least include a page that has a short summary of the services that you offer to clients, along with links to other landing pages and/or blog posts that go into more detail. These links should provide more information on particular services that are listed. If you can get more granular consider creating separate landing pages for each service to provide greater detail, features, benefits, fees, case studies, etc.
In the example below Twenty Over Ten client, Green Mountain Planning, uses icons to visually show their website visitors what topics are traditionally covered as part of their ongoing financial life planning services. They even include links to get additional fee information, schedule a meeting, and download a sample schedule of services.
3. A Strong About Us/Team Page
This is another page that is important because as a unique advisor, you need to describe what sets you apart from other firms. In an industry like ours it’s important that you build trust and forge strong relationships with the people that are visiting your site.
Stories sell, so this is a great page to tell your firm’s story and elaborate on what led you to start your company. Let your visitors know why you are passionate about what you do, how you got your start, and prove that you have the skill and experience to appropriately handle their money.
After visiting your firm’s about us or team page, prospects should feel confident in who they will potentially be working with. There can be an aspect of sentiment here, but that is a fine line to walk, as too much sentiment and passion may come off as “fake” or “cheesy.”
The example above from Scott Advisory Group does a great job of not only making it clear what their niche is, but also sharing the history of their firm, and the importance of running a successful family-run business. You get a sense of ease after visiting their site like you can trust your finances with them, which is exactly the feeling they wanted to evoke to current and potential clients.
4. Don’t Forget the Form ADV!
If you’ve been in this industry for some time this one is a no brainer. Form ADV is the key disclosure document that investment advisors must file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and state securities authorities. Not only does this document need to be shared with all of your clients per the SEC but it is also very important that your From ADV be included somewhere on your website as well. At Twenty Over Ten, we typically recommend including your Form ADV in the footer of your website in the form of a PDF file.
Because all investment advisors are required to submit annual updates to their brochure (i.e. all material changes within the firm and critical to their business) we’ve made it easy for advisors to upload their new Form ADV to their site as needed.
5. Make Sure You Can Be Easily Contacted
When it is all said and done, the ultimate goal of your website is to generate leads, so it is pertinent that you make it as easy as possible for visitors to be able to contact you. The most important things we recommend including on your contact page are an email address, phone number, contact form, google map and mailing address.
You will want to keep this page pretty simple so customers have no confusion about how to get in touch with you, which is why it is a good idea to provide your visitors with more than one way to reach you. For example, you should consider include a short contact form, an email address or a phone number at a minimum.
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