This past week, we had the pleasure of chatting with Jonathan Swanburg, CFP,® Investment Advisor Representative at Tri-Star Advisors for our “Financial Advisor Website Showcase” series blog. There’s nothing we love more than helping our amazing clients create the website of their dreams, so read on to find out more about the Tri-Star Advisors and their process!
1. Let’s kick things off by learning more about Tri-Star Advisors and how you got your start.
Tri-Star Advisors is an RIA established back in 2009. At the time, the founders had owned and operated a broker-dealer specializing in fixed-income investments and the advisory side was intended to better service client’s with fixed income portfolios. However, over the years, the business has evolved and today we provide comprehensive financial planning and investment management services for middle to high-net-worth client families in or entering retirement.
2. Clearly establishing a niche allows you to know exactly who to target when it comes to your marketing strategy and campaigns. We see you often focus on working with those retiring from the energy and petrochemical sector. Can you tell us a bit more about how you got started working with this group and how honing in on this niche has helped with growing your business?
We haven’t always operated with a niche. However, over the years we have looked at the clients we most enjoyed working with, the clients where we brought the most value to the relationship, and the clients that made up the largest portion of our asset base, and realized that many had a great deal in common. In our case, it was that they were in or retired from the energy or petrochemical sectors. This isn’t all that surprising given that we’re based in Houston, Texas which is home to more than 230,000 energy sector employees.
3. Lead generation is the most important part of an advisor website, and in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s even more important to make getting in touch quick and easy. Therefore, integrating a meeting scheduler as you have with Calendly is so essential. What successes have you experienced since using a meeting scheduler software for your business?
It is hard to imagine life without scheduling software. What used to take significant time, resources, and a frustrating back and forth now is as easy as blocking our available times, sending links, and letting clients and prospects find a time and meeting format that works for them.
4. Choosing your tech stack is an important piece to getting your firm up and running but can also be overwhelming. Tell us more about the must-have tools you’ve implemented to help you and your team be more efficient.
- CRM – Redtail
- Financial Planning Software – Money
- Portfolio Management – Orion
- Risk Questionnaires – RiskAlyze
- Scheduling Software – Calendly
We use some others but I think these categories are must-haves.
5. We always encourage advisors to include fees on their website for the sake of transparency. We love that you have outlined your services and the costs clearly for your visitors. Have you noticed that the quality of leads you’ve generated and initial meetings are more efficient because you’ve disclosed this information upfront?
Our website hasn’t been live long enough to provide any hard data but whether including fees create more or better leads, is secondary to the first principle of full disclosure. We’re proud of the fees we charge, we think they are low relative to the value we provide, and we’re not trying to hide the ball. If someone wants a lower cost, lower service provider, they should quickly know we aren’t for them.
6. Now that your website is up and running what is next to tackle on your marketing to-do list?
The website is essentially the first time many of our prospects will meet us. Our next steps will be to coordinate our other marketing efforts so the message and materials remain consistent.
7. The Coronavirus pandemic is undoubtedly turned the world upside down but where do you see the financial industry headed in the next 5-10 years?
Financial planning and portfolio management tools will continue improving and automation will continue expanding into areas that were previously thought to be uniquely human. However, wealth will continue to grow and a large number of high net worth families will still want to work with advisory firms that add value. As a business, we are dedicated to leveraging technology, automating things that should be automated, and focusing on the few areas where we, as human advisors, can add unique value to our clients’ lives.
The design process with Twenty Over Ten was painless. Our team of financial advisors had no desire to get into the weeds or best practices of web design and with Twenty Over Ten, we did not have to. We were able to give the designers and copywriters some general direction and they were able to independently run with it. In the end they came back to us with a complete design that exceeded expectations and required only very minor tweaks before publishing.
-jonathan Swanburg CFP®, Tri-Star Advisors
8. What are three things that you simply could not live without? This can be in or outside of work!
A CRM System, an incredible team of coworkers, and amazing clients we love working with.
9. If you could share your most important tip for financial advisors looking to redesign their website, what would it be?
Don’t do it yourself and don’t try and reinvent the wheel. There are plenty of places advisors can add value but for most of us, that isn’t web design or copywriting.
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