Begin Your Digital Marketing Journey with a Strong Advisor Website
• Rachel Eccles • February 8, 2023
Today’s financial professional has a lot on their plate. In addition to working with clients, there’s so much that goes on behind the scenes. Not only the administrative work that comes from managing client accounts but also the aspects of keeping the business running and marketing to bring in new clients.
If you’re finding that your marketing has taken a back seat to everything else you have going on, you’re not alone. It’s hard to know where to begin. Modern marketing comes down to having a strong digital strategy and one of the best places to start is with your firm’s website.
Start with a Differentiation Strategy
For any business, your online presence can have an impact on your success. What your website says about you and the services you offer impacts the likelihood of a potential client taking the next step to engage further. Ninety-eight percent of financial clients indicate that a financial advisor’s website is important to them, and a third of them say that it is extremely important.1 It needs to be so much more than an online brochure.
Use your website to share your “why”—the special sauce that makes your firm the one that will meet the needs of your ideal audience. This is your differentiation strategy, and it must be valued by your potential clients.
One example of a differentiation strategy is focusing on a niche market. Offering niche financial advice allows you to deliver as much value as possible to meet particular client needs. As a niche financial professional, you want your clients to know that you can customize their plan to meet their unique circumstances.
Presenting the Real You
Authenticity is key in connecting with an audience. To build authenticity into your website, use marketing copy that not only reflects the services you provide but also sounds like you.
A good way to do this is to use your existing clients’ words to describe the services you provide. Listen carefully to how these clients describe the ways you’ve helped them and how it made them feel when you worked together to solve a problem. Note the words and phrases they use and incorporate them into the final text for your website to ensure that it will resonate with similar clients.
Building an Effective Storytelling Website
Once you’ve determined the financial advisory story you want to share and worked on the language you’ll use to convey it, it’s time to build a site that will engage its readers. Your authentic story can be shared across numerous elements of your site. Here are some ways to use a market niche differentiation strategy to weave a cohesive website that tells a story.
About Us Page
Beginning with your website’s About Us page, explain how you came to serve your niche market. Perhaps the market you serve is reflective of your upbringing—your parents were small business owners, doctors, teachers, or in the military.
Begin the story at the beginning and make it personal. What are the challenges faced by the individuals you serve and what have you done to gain expertise in helping solve them? Include ways you and your firm have built the practice around this niche noting special expertise, education, and certifications.
Include a page that lists a short biography of everyone on your team. Clients may see you as the face of the business, but they’ll feel a real connection if they know about the other professionals who support you in helping them achieve financial success.
Use photos to put faces to the names and allow your team to share why it is they do what they do, how they’ve worked to gain their expertise, and why the client’s success is important to them. Financial planning is a helping profession. Make sure your clients understand why your staff wants to help them on their financial journey.
Gather and share testimonials from existing clients. In late 2020, the SEC modernized the principles that govern the marketing and communications of financial services. Financial professionals can now use client testimonials in their marketing materials, subject to certain conditions.
Let the visitors to your site see exactly how you’ve helped people like them. For the example of a niche firm, have the clients talk about specific challenges they were facing that are unique to that niche and the way your firm was able to help.
Including a blog on your website opens the door to sharing an endless variety of pertinent information with clients and prospects. Use the blog to provide:
- Stories about how you have helped clients with very specific challenges and needs
- News and updates about your firm—changes you are making to technology, staffing, and certifications to better serve your clients
- A knowledge base providing clients with financial education that is relevant to them and their unique situation
There are endless ways a blog can serve your desire to connect with clients. It will also provide a means to expand to other digital outlets—like social media or email—when you are ready to broaden your digital marketing efforts beyond your website.
Depending on the complexity of your clients’ needs, they may require the support of other professionals—CPAs, trust and estate attorneys, financial therapists, and marriage counselors. Share the relationships you’ve built as a service provider within this community to provide a resource database of businesses to clients and prospects. Chances are the professionals you trust and make referrals to will be willing to do the same for you.
The content of your website is meaningless if it doesn’t work the way users expect it to. Even the simplest of sites should adhere to a few basics.
Use straightforward, well-defined navigation with easy-to-understand web design and a clear user experience. Make sure it has a responsive design as users could be accessing it through anything from a PC to a smartphone.
It’s crucial to keep the content fresh too:
- Resolve to schedule regular updates to keep staff bios up to date as changes occur.
- Be on the lookout for new clients who would be willing to provide testimonials on a regular basis.
- Create an internal editorial calendar for blog stories to keep users coming back for more.
Dipping Your Toe in the Digital Marketing Ocean
Financial professionals are busy people, and their number one priority is helping their clients. This often puts building new business on the back burner. Start with your website when figuring out ways to get the word out about helping even more people.
Marketing and lead generation for financial advisors has changed significantly since the introduction of the internet. Digital marketing for financial advisors not only allows you to measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts more successfully, but it expands reach and enables clients and prospects to interact with you and your firm on a more regular basis.
To learn more about using digital marketing to stay competitive and meet clients online—where they are spending their time—download our eBook The Financial Advisor’s Marketing Guide to Digital Content and Campaigns.
DISCLAIMER: The eMoney Advisor Blog is meant as an educational and informative resource for financial professionals and individuals alike. It is not meant to be, and should not be taken as financial, legal, tax or other professional advice. Those seeking professional advice may do so by consulting with a professional advisor. eMoney Advisor will not be liable for any actions you may take based on the content of this blog.
1 2020 eMoney Consumer Marketing Survey, September 2020, n=2,000.
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