For our “Financial Advisor Website Showcase” series blog this week, we chatted with Marc Westlake CFP TEP EFP, Managing Director at Global Wealth Chartered Financial Planners.
Global Wealth is Ireland’s only Chartered Financial Planner, so we were excited to get to work with them and find out more about their marketing tactics, the process behind their content creation and more about what goes on “behind the scenes” at their firm.
1. The financial industry has changed a lot in the almost 3 years since you launched your website. Where have you seen the greatest changes and how have you catered your marketing strategies to keep up with the constantly changing industry?
We relaunched the business following a management buyout in 2016. At the time our primary focus was on introducing a new investment service into Ireland with our partners PortfolioMetrix. This service has some of the characteristics of TAMP in the USA allowing advisers to outsource portfolio management and focus more on financial planning. However, having a pure investment focus meant that many of the ancillary support functions of a TAMP such as compliance and consolidation services were not available.
It had long been an ambition of mine to form the first Corporate Chartered Financial Planning firm in Ireland and given our niche focus of ex-pat clients living in Ireland this naturally resonated with the large British population living in Ireland. Brexit has been a boom with significant financial services businesses relocating from the UK to Ireland.
I also went to Penn State University (#we are) and given the close relationships between the Emerald Isle and the USA we are frequently in demand to advise US Citizens moving in and out of Ireland. A notable achievement is winning a tender process to provide advice to Facebook employees in Ireland. To improve our services we have entered into a strategic partnership with Maseco Private Wealth in London who provides specialist services to US citizens living in Europe.
So, my focus is now on leveraging our unique position in the Irish Market to work hand in hand with other professionals in the tax and legal professions to provide bespoke financial planning solutions but also with an eye to the opportunities in the Irish market to create efficiencies through consolidation. With that in mind, we acquired another firm, Ethical Financial in May this year. With that in mind, we have also developed an ESG investment solution for taxable accounts in partnership with Ireland’s leading investment platform, Conexim.
2. We couldn’t help but notice your recent tweet about your organic rankings, that’s fantastic! After launching, you worked with our marketing team to improve your SEO efforts. It’s been about 5 months now and we love to see that you’re seeing some real results. Can you talk a little bit more about the results you’ve seen since launching your website and what your trick is to keep your rankings high?
We have applied a very simple approach, which is honestly just to do everything Samantha Russell recommends.
Seriously, we have engaged a digital marketing firm to assist us with marketing automation, and we have built out marketing personas for each of the target niches we have identified where we have a competitive advantage. They have developed a marketing funnel based around the existing content we had already developed, and we are then breaking these into a series of blog posts which we push out to social media.
The Twenty Over Ten websites are designed to make this process as simple as possible, and it literally takes me just a few minutes to create extremely high-quality blog posts and push these out to three social media channels.
Marc Westlake CFP TEP EFP, Global Wealth
We can immediately see the traffic hitting the website and those prospects who enter the marketing funnel are automatically coaxed on an automated buying journey with zero additional time or effort on our part.
3. We know that keeping up with a blog consistently can be a challenge, especially with everything else you have going on as a business owner but you are doing a fantastic job! What is your content strategy and what tools or tricks do you find yourself relying on to stay on course with your content creation?
I was writing a book that was aimed primarily at the financial adviser market in Ireland. We decided to repurpose this into a series of consumer guides which I have published on digital publishing site Joomag.
Having so much high-quality content has afforded us the ability to create a series of niche-based marketing funnels with very little additional effort. These marketing tunnels are further canalised to create blog posts. In effect, we are reverse-engineering the blogs from existing content.
For advisers going the other way and constantly blogging my recommendation is to self-publish a book of your existing content. It’s not the number of books you sell that’s important, it’s the credibility afforded to be published that matters.
4. We constantly preach the importance of including fees on your website for the sake of transparency and to attract highly qualified leads. We love the way you chose to incorporate costs on your site more visually with charts and a video too. Have you noticed an improvement in the quality of leads you’ve received because of this – perhaps it’s made your initial meetings more efficient?
Despite recent changes in regulations, Ireland is still extremely opaque when it comes to fee disclosure. It has been a deliberate strategy of ours to go against the tide and be totally transparent about our fees.
The beauty of this approach is the degree of self-selection that happens when a prospect becomes aware of us. We believe that a direct benefit of our transparency when most Irish advisers shun it is that our average client has an investment portfolio of €1.1m ($1.3m).
5. Your resources section is incredibly robust. Not only are you blogging consistently but you’ve included an “In The Media” section, which is a great way to showcase your thought leadership, accountability and credibility. However, securing media mentions like this isn’t always the easiest task. Can you share with other advisors how you went about working with the media and getting these mentions? Any PR tips or tricks you’ve learned along the way?
Luck plays a part, and it is was serendipity that one of our first clients was Jill Kerby, one of Ireland’s leading personal finance journalists (a Canadian originally who moved to Ireland). But my advice to financial advisers is to take some time to get to understand the financial media and get to understand what they are looking for from you.
A friend of mine was a producer for ABC News in the States and another a sub-editor for the Guardian Newspaper in the UK. Journalists are looking for subject matter experts. No more than financial advisers should do in their day job, you should focus on a niche, advisers should be available and make themselves known as subject matter experts in a narrow niche.
For example, say you look into the operation of your state lottery. Crunch the numbers and have some stats about how quickly people go broke. Reach out to your local TV or radio with an idea for a story. Chances are they’ll cover it and you will get some airtime.
6. We see you’re using our one-click integration with Calendly, that’s great! We conducted a survey in 2019 and found that advisors who get 6-10 or 11+ clients per year had a calendar link on their website. What type of success have you found since using a meeting scheduler on your website?
Setting up rules in your diary about when you are available is a massive efficiency gain. I now book time in my own diary for every single task I need to complete in a day. Calendly then takes care of all my appointments by showing clients when I’m available for them by automatically taking account of how busy I am. If you set up the rules properly, Calendly will seek out time when you free and fill that time for you.
7. The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly changed up the way that we work and meet with clients, what are some changes that you and your team have implemented to stay safe but still serve your clients and connect with prospects?
As a regulated business, we are required to have a contingency plan. A few years ago we took this seriously and looked into each and every stage of our client engagement and established how we would continue if we had to work remotely.
We engaged with an anti-money laundering app called ID pal which uses the same technology as an airport to formally identify a client. We developed our own “know your customer” app which feeds all the fact find data directly into our Salesforce CRM. We had been extensively using Skype etc. for meetings, so when this all hit it really was just a case of going “click” and we were fine.
8. What is the best piece of advice that you would offer to another advisory firm looking to improve their marketing efforts and lead generation?
That’s a great question. I’m convinced that the “pull marketing “ strategy is the best way to grow a professional services firm.
Create some extremely valuable content and then push it out to everyone you know for free. Establish your credentials as an expert in your chosen specialist niche. Become the go-to person in your community for that one thing that you do better than almost all your competitors and you will very quickly find that you don’t have ANY competition
Struggling With What Content to Share on Social Media or via Email?
We are offering access to our content for advisors to use via Lead Pilot for 7-days completely free (even on our month to month plans).
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.