How’s that for a sales pitch? But seriously, I’m being brutally honest here. Poor design and marketing is pervasive in the financial industry. So many advisor websites don’t meet basic usability standards, aren’t mobile friendly, and don’t communicate any unique value proposition. But why? Excuses range from “I just don’t have time to update my website” to “Compliance says I can’t.” Neither are true (at least not entirely). Sound familiar?
Admitting You Have A Problem Is The First Step To Recovery
First, let’s admit that your online presence matters. The projected growth of financial advisors in the US is 30% from 2014 – 2024. That means in the very near future clients will have many more options about with whom they entrust their financial future. How do you stand out online? I have a wild suggestion. Ditch the website provider who is forcing you to use a template that you can’t update and forces you to use cookie-cutter language and imagery. Be yourself.
As a financial advisor your goal is to build life-long relationships with your clients. That takes two important things: Trust and value (in that order). How can you effectively communicate and establish this to clients online?
Here’s a hint: The 2nd most read page on your website is usually your bio (or about us page). Use that page to communicate why you’re in the industry, why you’re passionate about finance, and the experiences you’ve had that make you unique. Be honest and authentic and let people get to know you on a more personal level. Perhaps you work with divorced women and you yourself have gone through a divorce, or perhaps you accumulated debt early in life and want to help others find financial independence as you have.
It’s okay to be vulnerable. In fact, the most successful advisors share personal stories and information right on their website or blog, inviting visitors to get to know them better.
No More Excuses
So, let’s address the most common excuses one at a time.
1. “It is too expensive”
Website design doesn’t have to cost a boatload of money. For instance, (Warning: shameless plug ahead) our platform allows you to build for free or have our team of designers build a site for you for $400 (one-time fee)**. If you are just starting a new practice and are really counting pennies, get creative! I’ve heard of advisors who find a local designer and do a barter-exchange, where they exchange financial planning services for web design. The point is, there are options.
2. “I don’t have the time”
Prioritize what’s important. Creating a website doesn’t have to take months or even years. Ultimately the timeline will be up to you but when you’re working with the right team they should create and follow timelines, meet milestones, and provide deliverables that meet your expectation. Here’s our own process.
3. “I’m worried about compliance”
You want to be sure that you’re compliance teams have the opportunity to review, request changes, and approve all site updates. If you manage your own compliance, be sure you have a system in place to easily maintain and access archived records of all website changes, including blog posts. We have the tools to help compliance teams do just that. Whatever system you decide to use, make sure it’s streamlined so it’s quick and easy to submit and publish.
4. “I’m not trying to prospect for new clients”
Your website is much more than just a prospecting tool. It’s an access point for current clients as well. It’s a hub for you to share your insights and opinions. It establishes your credibility. What does it say about you or your firm if you don’t show up on Google?
Good Design Does Make a Difference
Nick and I co-founded Twenty Over Ten because we saw the tremendous need for great design in the field of finance, at a reasonable price. We are both first and foremost designers at heart, and it pains us to see any industry have a such an apparent lack of design and branding focus.
As we say, our mission is to “redefine design in finance”.
We truly love working with advisors and hearing their amazement once they’ve experienced a brand or design overhaul. They are always surprised to start getting inquiries “just from the website!”. We know that they can expect it to happen, but it is still so great to see their excitement. Good design does make a difference.
I’m also a professor so forgive me but I want you to do some homework. Take a moment and think about how you’re actively and intentionally marketing yourself to current and prospective clients. Some of you won’t have to think very long, because you aren’t, or at least you haven’t for a while. That’s a problem, especially when you are trying to attract new business.
If your online presence is always the last item you keep meaning to get to on your to-do list, consider this: Your website is the first impression new clients will experience. It is available 24/7, at all the hours that you are not.
Most likely prospective clients have done their due diligence. They’ve researched you and your firm, read your bio, and perused your social media accounts (if you have any).
Your website should be easy to read and unique. It speaks for you and your firm when you aren’t there to speak for yourself, so make sure you are happy with it.
Ready To Improve Your Own Website?
Whether it’s to define your niche, generate better leads, inform and update your audience with insights and updates, give portal access to your current clients, or all of the above, we can help.
Call or Email us – we’re happy to discuss why you’re struggling and how we can help.
**Once your website is built, Twenty Over Ten bills a $49 /monthly charge which covers website hosting, CMS (content management system) access, support, and archiving for compliance. There are no contracts so you can cancel your subscription at anytime (seriously).