Many advisors aren’t sure where to begin when upgrading their websites.
Fortunately, “there are several steps advisors can take to leverage their basic website framework and enhance their [online] profile,” says Grant Shorten, director of strategic insights with Renaissance Investments.
Start by making sure you’re showcasing your specific brand. As Shorten warns, “There’s a temptation to appeal to everyone who visits your website, but…future clients are looking for an [experienced] advisor, not a jack of all trades.”
So ask yourself a couple questions before coming up with content, such as: what are my core areas of specialization? What are my target markets?
Once you have the answers, “develop a powerful, attention-grabbing value proposition.” Include this proposition on your homepage in bold font, and then prove it using your website’s content.
Also, Shorten says the website should focus on investor needs.
“As advisors, we often make the mistake of focusing too much on ourselves…[by] including long paragraphs of biographical information. [But] visitors want to know what’s in it for them. So your homepage should answer that implied investor question by articulating exactly how they will benefit by becoming your client.”
He adds it’s crucial to “showcase your…understanding of the emotional needs of [prospects],” and leave room to share your credentials.
Next, go heavy on graphics and light on text, says Shorten. That’s because “text-heavy pages are unattractive…In contrast, a strategic set of compelling visuals will keep your reader interested and motivate them to navigate further.”
He suggests posting a graphical representation of your wealth management process, rather than a text explanation. It also helps to include slides, photos, tables, borders and frames.
What’s more, Shorten says to include a recent photograph of your team. Then visitors “can put a face to the name and start getting to know you on a personal level.”
Then, add user-friendly tools and resources “like net-worth calculators, investor profiling questionnaires, retirement plans and a comprehensive FAQ page.” The more interactive your website, the better.
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Shorten also advises you offer visitors “something free, like a monthly newsletter or a personal portfolio review. Give them tangible reasons to contact you and to provide their information. And if you have multimedia functionality availability, take full advantage of it.”
Though this may sound complicated, your marketing departments and other external consultants can help. Making these upgrades is easy for a trained web designer and Shorten says their services are worth the cost.
As for the payoff, “The creation of a high-quality website won’t generate a wild stampede of business to your door overnight, but it will give you a powerful tool to leverage,” he says.