This past week, we caught up with Josh Wolberg, CFP®, RICP®, MBA, Financial Planner and Investment Manager at Channel Your Wealth for our “Financial Advisor Website Showcase” series blog. Our amazing clients are what keep us going, so we love finding out more about them. Keep reading to find out more about Channel Your Wealth!
1. Let’s start out by learning more about Channel Your Wealth and your journey to starting your business.
We are an independent wealth management practice within a firm that is affiliated with a large national RIA firm. The core business of the firm is retirement plan (401k/403b) consulting and those clients are primarily referred and/or acquired as part of a plan sponsor RFP process. The members of our practice were included on the firm website, but our web presence was basically an electronic brochure with photos, bios, and contact information. The wealth management practice has grown consistently via referrals. We wanted to create a completely separate wealth management website that is more dynamic and a hub to communicate with current clients and prospective clients. We also wanted to highlight our niche focus on clients transitioning from accumulation to retirement distribution planning.
2. Studies show that advisors who get 6-10 or 11+ clients per year are likely to incorporate video into their marketing strategies, so we love to see that you’re leveraging video right your homepage. Can you tell us a bit more about how you went about recording your video and any tips you may have for others who are considering incorporating video into their marketing arsenal?
I love to learn, but I dislike reading text and am more likely to learn something if it is available in video and/or audio. I wanted to communicate with website visitors in the same way. The text on the pages is basically just transcripts of the videos. Video gives prospective clients a feel for my communication style. If that style isn’t a good fit for them, it is better for them (and us) that they find out before we meet. We aren’t looking for the most meetings; we are looking for the best meetings.
3. Lead generation is the most important part of any website, so making it as simple as possible for visitors to get in touch with you is absolutely necessary. Integrating with a meeting scheduler as you have with Calendly is a great approach. What successes have you experienced since using a meeting scheduler software for your business?
We are new to scheduling technology. Until recently, we did all of our scheduling via email and/or phone calls. TwentyOverTen provided sufficient evidence in their blog that caused us to incorporate scheduling software into our new website. We have emailed a few clients the scheduling link to arrange a time to meet for review meetings and it has been really well received well so far. Our long-term goal is to build more automation into the client/prospect touchpoints including scheduling calls and appointments. Think about how effective Dentists are at reminding you that you need to schedule your checkup: emails, texts, electronic scheduling and reminders. This is all done without the Dentist using their valuable time on a bunch of emails or phone calls to schedule, remind, and reschedule appointments.
4. We encourage advisors to include fees on their website for transparency’s sake. So we love to see how you’ve outlined your costs clearly. Have you noticed that the quality of leads you’ve generated and initial meetings are generally more efficient because you’ve disclosed this information upfront?
We don’t lead with cost, but we see our cost structure as a competitive advantage in our target market (frugal millionaires next door transitioning to retirement). We already had a commitment to consistency and transparency in fee schedules, so we found Twenty Over Ten’s advice to list our fee schedule on the website very refreshing as some other firms and providers tend to discourage this. Listing a fee schedule on the website would be more difficult for practices with several different schedules for different clients.
5. What is the best piece of either marketing or business advice that you have ever received, and how do you use it in your current role?
I love a quote by comedian Steve Martin about how to be successful: “be so good they can’t ignore you”. Not everyone likes this advice because it isn’t a shortcut. Acquiring and implementing the knowledge and wisdom to do financial planning and investing well (or medicine, or good comedy) is a life’s work and requires a substantial commitment. There is a book that goes deeper into this advice that is a worthwhile read/listen: “So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love” by Cal Newport.
6. Email marketing is such an important piece of any marketing strategy. We see that you’re using our one-click Mailchimp integration. Could you share with others how you approach generating content for your newsletter and the email marketing strategy you’ve set up to communicate with clients and prospects?
Our content strategy is currently in development, but the focus will be on all topics related to retirement income planning: Social Security, Medicare, creating reliable income, investments, etc. We plan to produce an ongoing video blog on these topics.
7. What are three things that you simply could not live without? These can be at the office or outside of work.
Faith, my wife and kids, and continual learning. I can’t live without any of these in or out of the office.
Twenty Over Ten’s process with multiple rounds of design, build, review, and tweak worked well. We are pleased with the output for the initial launch. We plan to work with Twenty Over Ten again every few years to keep our website design fresh. Mark Zuckerberg’s character in The Social Network said: “It won’t be finished. That’s the point. The way fashion’s never finished.”
-josh wolberg CFP®,RICP®,MBA, Channel Your Wealth
8. We know that you’re very busy, but when you do find time away from the office, what do you like to do for fun?
Listen to audiobooks, run, hike, travel, and teach.
9. If you could share your most important tip for financial advisors looking to redesign their website, what would it be?
Spend your time on determining who you want to reach and the overall framework of what you want to tell them i.e. the purpose and style. Then, outsource the construction to someone else. Resist the urge to DIY for cost reasons. If you don’t have the skillset already it probably isn’t the best use of your time to learn web development. Do you do all your own electrical and plumbing work? I’ve done a lot of major housework myself, but I have also know my limitations.
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