If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.
– Jeff Bezos, Amazon
If you run your own advisor business or play a large role in one, then you can almost always expect your clients and prospects to have questions about your company or website. Don’t worry, this is a good thing! You want them to ask so that you can gain their trust by answering them appropriately. If this relationship is strong from the beginning, then it can pave the way for a steady relationship for years to come.
6 Questions Your Website Must Answer:
1. Why Do You Deserve My Business?
This can be a hard question to start with, but if this #1 question cannot be answered, then none of the other questions we pose below really matter. As a financial advisor, there are four things that are important to mention when telling a client or prospect why your company deserves their business.
UVP (Unique Value Proposition):
This is a fancy way to show what it is about the business that sets you apart from others. What can you offer that can’t just be found anywhere? In fact, according to this study, over 60% of investors believe that most financial advisors make the same promises. So, in order to show that you stand out from the competition, you need to develop a UVP. Four simple ways to do this are to:
- Survey the Competitive Landscape
- Clearly Identify Your Target Market
- Identify the Benefits of Your Firm
- Write it Down
The video below from Chief Evangelist for Twenty Over Ten and FMG Suite, Samantha Russell provides some more detail into the essential elements that you need to create a strong UVP.
If you can show that you have been in business for a long time, then this will oftentimes work in your favor. In a market where things are constantly changing, you want to prove that your company has stood the test of time.
Customer service and relationships are key in the financial services industry, especially if you run a virtual practice and don’t get to see your clients face-to-face. No matter how many clients your company has, it is important to always make them feel as though they are the only one that you care about, otherwise, the client may feel like they don’t matter and move on to someone who cares.
Many advisors hesitate to include testimonials on their websites. From a compliance perspective, we get it. However, there is a compliant way to share success stories to showcase your best work and show clients why it would benefit them to work with you. Including case studies on your website for example can help paint a clearer picture of your services and will allow clients and prospects to take a more in-depth look at what they can expect when working with you.
Additionally, with the passing of the updated SEC Ad rule on May 4th, advisors can now use testimonials in their marketing strategies.
The video above discusses some of the ways that you can add testimonials to your advisory website.
2. What Makes Your Service Different?
This question maybe is similar to the one above, but it is still a very important one. If you can answer this question, then it’s likely that you have a very good chance of turning a lead into a client. Ultimately, you want your clients to feel as if the services you are providing to them can’t be found anywhere else, and that it is worth the fees you may charge.
When it comes to approaching your services on your website we always recommend speaking in ways that a potential client can easily understand. We can’t say it enough — ditch the financial jargon & superfluous content. Additionally, don’t just describe what your services are, but actually provide them with the context as to how it will help them in the long run and solve their pain points. Your prospects need to see how your services can help improve their lives and how they can benefit from what you have to offer.
Always remember that quality is better than quantity. Lead by example. Again, this is a great opportunity to share client testimonials or case studies where actual clients can speak to what you did for them in the past.
Retirement Matters, LLC has included case studies on their page that include scenarios for those in pre-retirement, retirement and retired so that visitors can see how each situation is unique and how it can apply to them.
This is very important, as mentioned above. You need to prove that they will be getting their money’s worth because what you are providing cannot be offered by anyone else. This is a great time to “brag” about your company’s accomplishments.
3. Can You Help Me Figure Out What I Need?
This is a very simple question that you should be able to answer quickly (we hope)! Make sure your website is easily accessible and there is an easy way for your visitors to access answers to commonly asked questions. If your visitors are not able to find the answer, then follow up with an email or phone call to explain and give them what they need.
Your website content is incredibly important in order to outline what you do to help solve your prospect’s pain points. In the case of Twenty Over Ten, we provide our clients with Content Assist to provide them with articles to improve their SEO. With this tool, you can choose from different categories, such as retirement, home-buying, young adults, business and much more. Once you have chosen which blog that you want to use, advisors can easily customize and edit the content to add your unique voice, keywords to fit your niche or you can use it as-is.
It is of utmost importance to stay in contact with your customers and make yourself easily accessible to them. If your contact information is not easy to find or you do not remain in constant contact, then you will quickly lose a lead that could have been a future client.
An interested prospect reaches out to learn more about your services, that’s great! No matter how they reach out, you should respond in a timely fashion and answer their questions thoroughly. Provide options as to how they can reach you, and not just a phone number as everyone prefers different communication methods.
4. Can I Justify This Purchase?
You need to prove to the client that the services you provide are worth both their time and money. In addition to showing the facts, it’s important to make them feel good about working with you. Trust is everything in the financial services industry, so it is important to make your clients feel at ease.
We get this question a lot from advisors — to include your fees on your website or not to include your fees? There is no right or wrong answer here, but transparency is best. Ultimately, you want to own the dialogue about your service offerings and the only way you can truly do so is by providing full context to your site visitors about what they can expect. Transparency is always best as it conveys that clients will always know what to expect when working with you.
PharmD Financial Planning clearly states what they charge on your services and fees page so that visitors can know what to expect before working with them.
Proving the value you provide is extremely important because the price won’t matter if you can’t prove that what you are offering is worth the money.
Solutions are equally important, as you can show a client how you can help solve their pain points if they choose to work with you.
5. Where Do I Go From Here?
This step is important because you need to ensure that you do not lose the customer. You are about to close the deal, so you need to easily lead them onto the next step.
Everyone that visits your site is looking for something different, so you are dealing with a wide variety of personas, which means that different paths need to be provided. Use in-context links to give all of your visitors options to go down their own path based on their unique needs.
Calls to Action (CTAs):
At the end of your visitor’s journey through your website, a CTA is an extremely important piece to the puzzle. Where should the client go from here? You need to give them the next step to give them a very clear path about what needs to happen next in order to proceed.
Crest Wealth Advisors has included easy-to-find CTAs on their homepage that stands out against the background with the simple phrases, “Schedule a Conversation” and Schedule a Call.” Visitors are then directed to their Calendly page where they can easily book a 30-minute call with Jason Dall’Acqua.
6. Can I Trust You?
Trust is everything when it comes to a customer and client relationship, especially in the financial services industry. Without trust, then everything you’ve read in this article is useless! How can you prove to your clients and prospects that you can be trusted?
Have a Secure Website:
Having an SSL secure site is super critical to your online presence when visiting your website is there an “S” after the “HTTP?” If not, you have a huge problem on your hands. Not only is Google penalizing non-secure sites but in the financial services industry. Many financial advisors have client portals, file-sharing, or client forms on their websites, increasing the importance of a site with an SSL certificate. Even if your client portal takes users to an outside link (such as eMoney or MoneyGuide Pro login opening in a new window), users who are not aware of the difference (of being directed to a third party site versus staying on the advisors’ website) may get the impression that you are asking them to enter sensitive information over an unsecure network.
We see a lot of advisors do this on their websites. Including organization memberships on your site can oftentimes show that your company is trustworthy, engaged and dedicated to the work that you are doing.
Twenty Over Ten client, Mercer Street Personal Financial Services has included their professional designations and affiliations at the bottom of the homepage which builds credibility in the industry, showing that they are a reliable firm.
Consider including any honors, awards or other industry recognition you’ve achieved to help further prove to prospects that you can be trusted.
It goes without saying that it’s vital that the proper disclosures be included on your advisory website. Be sure to include a link to your Form ADV, and other policies in key places of your site. This is not only to adhere to FINRA and SEC guidelines but this will also give your site visitors assurance that you’re not going to abuse the information they provide. You also want to outline key points on how your company operates.
Twenty Over Ten client, Interlock Financial has an easy-to-follow link at the bottom of their website pages, which leads to a Disclosure page where it goes into detail about what you can expect from them.
Publish Authoritative Content:
Publishing content that demonstrates your thought leadership in the industry is another great way to establish trust. By blogging regularly on topics of interest to your followers and potential customers and clients can not only educate themselves but also position you as the expert.
Twenty Over Ten, Cornerstone Private Wealth Management has included a strong blog section that includes strong content that will help clients and prospects alike.
Include an “About Us” Page:
Let visitors see who they will be working with at your firm. When your clients and prospects are able to put a face to a name it humanizes your firm and makes your customers feel more at ease. Create an informative “about us” or “team” section that provides profiles of key people and outlines your mission and vision. Use these pages to tell your story and relate to your customers in a real way. In the below example Twenty Over Ten user, Criterion Capital Advisors, does a great job of showcasing their team and giving visitors a glimpse into the brains behind the brand on an “Our Team” page.
Twenty Over Ten client, Capital Point Financial Group has a really unique bio page, where if you hover over their emojis, cartoon drawings of them come up. This is a great example of getting creative and “stepping outside the box” to show clients a different more fun side of your team.
Wrapping It Up
It was already important to have a strong online presence, as your website essentially serves as your firm’s sales page, but that became more important than ever in 2020. We have all continued to connect virtually even as the pandemic has slowed, and the same goes for financial advisors and their prospects and clients. You want your website to answer the important question that you may have before your first meeting and a strong website can help with these. With hope that these six tips will help to transform your website so that you can better connect with prospects and leads.
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About the author
Blair is a digital marketing assistant at Twenty Over Ten and has a passion for uncovering what drives online traffic and the highest engagement. She follows more animals on Instagram than humans and her greatest achievement is her daughter, Grey.