It’s hard to believe that this is our final showcase of 2020 so for our last “Financial Advisor Website Showcase” blog we had the opportunity to chat with Robert Wheatley AIF®, financial advisor and managing partner at Northbank Partners to find out more about the firm and how they operate.
Built on our Fresnel framework, Northbank Partners website is full of unique features, beautiful imagery and detailed aspects that we just had to share. To find out about their design process, marketing strategies and more, check out Robert’s answers below!
1. Let’s start by learning more about Northbank Partners. Can you tell us more about your firm and how you got your start?
We changed broker-dealers back in 2018 and at the same time decided to take our team of four and split from a former firm to start Northbank Partners. The reason is that we wanted more autonomy over our business model and brand.
Phil had hired me at the beginning of 2011 to be his junior partner and ultimately, his successor to the business. We hired another advisor, Tyler, in 2015 and from there, this multi-generation advisor brand started to develop. And we can’t forget our amazing administrative assistant, Toni, who has worked with Phil for 15 years; she’s the one who truly keeps all the trains running on time!
2. You cater to 20 and 30-year-olds, Gen Xers and pre-retirees & retirees. We love how you have used calls-to-action on the homepage to easily lead visitors to each niche that you serve. When serving such different audiences, how did you decide to design your website to make each path more streamlined, and do you feel that it has boosted the user-experience?
Our clients are mostly Baby Boomers and over the past several years, we’ve started to work more and more with their children, who are my age (Gen X) or younger. We wanted to welcome those younger generation clients, so it was important to create a website where potential clients can understand the types of services we offer and how we address their needs and concerns, depending on where they are in life.
3. Your firm is incredibly multifaceted in the clients that you serve. How did you decide which niches that you wanted to serve and how do you tailor your services to best serve each group?
In order to start serving younger clients who want and appreciate the services of an advisor, we had to develop a service model for them because the AUM model doesn’t work if they don’t have significant assets to invest in. Coincidentally, LPL launched AdvicePay which allowed us to create a subscription-based service model that we rolled out earlier this year.
4. Video hero images are growing in popularity, and we love the serene background video on your home page. Can you discuss how you decided to use this and how it showcases your firm?
I had seen this type of video imagery on other Twenty Over Ten websites and really like it. I had another idea in mind for a video that required a drone and some logistics, but given our time frame to get our new site launched, I wasn’t able to get that footage in time. Knowing what I liked, our 20/10 website designer pulled the current homepage video from www.pexels.com and it was perfect, so we stuck with it.
5. We noticed on your website that you have an “Events” section that includes information about both past and future events. Due to COVID-19, you have had to suspend all events, but are venturing into virtual events. Webinars are a great way to connect with both clients and prospects virtually. Can you tell us more about your plan as you move forward with this?
We recently did our annual Medicare presentation using GoToMeeting and clients really appreciated it. Coincidentally, we are also using Lead Pilot with the Marketing Coach and they encouraged and helped us to shift into video marketing.
We plan to do several more video presentations in 2021 and in January, we will also do our annual “State of the Union Address” in a video for our clients.
6. Being active on at least one social media platform is crucial to growing your online presence and marketing strategy, and we noticed that you post regularly on Facebook. That’s great! Can you elaborate on future plans for your social strategy and if you plan to use any other platforms.
We currently only post to Facebook to try and reach a broader audience beyond our client base. Our posts are a mix of educational content, using Lead Pilot and what I refer to as “fun stuff.” Interestingly, we tend to see more engagement from folks on our fun stuff posts than we do on our personal finance content. Hopefully, some people read the finance content and are getting something out of it! We will start posting educational content to our LinkedIn page, as well, using Lead Pilot.
7. We love working with financial advisors to create beautiful, compliant, lead generating websites. What was your favorite part of the design process, and was there anything that was easier than you first thought?
Based on our prior experience with another website service, working with Twenty Over Ten was a delight. It was easier than I had expected to get the ideas I had in my mind into a website. We also worked with the copywriting team to help us with content and they were really helpful in putting ideas into words from the start using the copywriting intake form.
Once the draft version of the site was available, it was really easy to make edits with the Twenty Over Ten team. They were very responsive and often times would make edit requests on the fly, especially right at the end before we launched the new site. Our website designer also introduced me to Unsplash and Pexels, which are great resources for images, not just for the website, but also for marketing and social media posts.
Based on our prior experience with another website service, working with Twenty Over Ten was a delight.
Robert Wheatley, Northbank Partners
8. The future of advisors is constantly evolving and the pandemic has pushed fast forward on this. Where do you see your firm headed in the next five years and what plans do you have in terms of marketing and growth?
We’ve never had a very systematized or targeted approach to marketing. It’s mostly just been events and presentations for our existing client base with the “bring a friend” approach. We plan to continue utilizing the Lead Pilot Marketing Coach to help us with a marketing program to create and curate content for different audiences, as described above.
Marketing for us is difficult because we spend most of our time on client service, so at some point, we’d like to develop a consistent program that is mostly on autopilot.
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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.