Is your website a winner?
It’s set and forget, too hard, doesn’t generate any leads, content is tricky – these are just some of the excuses advisers make for not devoting time or resources to improving their website. But have you thought how many prospects may go elsewhere after a quick look at a website left them feeling distinctly underwhelmed and wondering if the care shown in terms of the website may reflect the care they’ll receive when it comes to financial advice?
A common misapprehension regarding websites is that the costs of having a great website are prohibitive. Like many things in life you can spend as much as you want on a website - but there are also a range of relatively inexpensive and quick improvements that can transform your website into a winner.
Simplify and streamline your offering
Don’t try and make your website all things to all people. Focus instead on making it easy for your specific target prospects to transition from website window-shoppers to clients by making them realise why your offering is relevant to them. To do this your website should include:
- The type of people you help – be specific - teachers, professionals, the self-employed
- How you help them – not just a list of your services but how your clients benefit
- Testimonials from satisfied customers that have similar characteristics to your target prospects
- Multiple contact channels
Sell yourself and your team
Prominently position information about yourself and your team. You should have interesting bios that don’t just list your skills but also illustrate your personality. Display multiple methods of contact - so include a phone number, an email address and a form that people can complete if they want you to contact them. This form can also be used to subscribe people to your newsletter. Community activities that you participate in or support should also feature prominently - there is little point, from a business standpoint, in supporting your community if no-one knows about it.
When you have developed some educational content and perhaps some useful calculators, you can use it as a way of generating leads. To do this, put in place a simple form that asks prospective clients for their details before they can download a calculator or an e-book created from your educational content. This can be a low-cost, low-effort way to build up your prospects.
Extend your website to make it an education centre and not just a virtual shopfront
Use part of your website as an education centre where you provide clients and prospects with core information related to financial planning. This means your client is already across many of the basics regarding investing and what to expect from financial advice. When the client’s appointment takes place, you can use it for more useful, value-add discussions, rather than mainly using it to talk about investing and budgeting basics. You can also refer to content on your website in your SOA, which reduces its length, saves on production costs and makes it more likely that clients will read it.
You don’t have to do everything at once so try to make incremental improvements, you may be surprised how relatively small changes can make a difference. If you are an authorised representative ask your dealer group if they are able to offer you tips and guides that can help improve your website and ultimately your business.