Check your Google Analytics account and you’ll see whether or not your website is putting your readers to sleep. Most financial advisor websites bore the reader to death. Sometimes it’s because compliance restrictions can put a damper on the creativity, and in other cases it’s because content is simply not well thought out. Here’s how to put some zest into your website without stirring up the compliance demons and by doing so create a Financial Advisor Lead Generation Website.
Real Pictures, Please
Every single financial advisor feels the need to convey the idea of retirement through five images: a retired couple on a beach, a boat, a mountain, fishing on the lake, or toasting each other with champagne glasses.
Most financial advisors pride themselves on offering a highly customized service that is highly tailored to the client. How believe is that, may I ask, if your website is the same as the next advisor’s? You are leaving the visitor with the impression that you are generic and standard, quite the opposite of what you are saying about your service. This is the downfall of financial advisor lead generation and where most of the industry fails.
If you’re going to say that you take the time to do things in a personalized way, then show that you do with your brand, and that starts with a highly customized website. Remember that the public at large is skeptical of financial advisors as a whole and anything you do that is less than transparent or incongruent will turn them off in a matter of seconds.
If you want to end up with a financial advisor lead generation website instead of just a normal boring website, Snip those stock photos out of your website and make an appointment for a live photo shoot. Now, some advisors get hung up on the fact that they’ve gained a few extra pounds or have lost some hair. Or maybe they feel self-conscious because they are a one person firm, or the office furniture and rug are worn out and haggard.
Whatever the problem is, get past it. People need to see your face so they can feel as if they trust you. There is no way around that. The people who can’t get around it are the ones who end up saying things like “we need to upgrade our website” or getting sold on a million dollars of Google Adwords by marketing consultants who don’t know what they are doing. All the SEO in the world won’t help you with financial advisor lead generation if your images are bad.
Talk with the photographer and maybe even a branding consultant about how to make this work for you. For example, you can overcome the solopreneur issue by presenting yourself in interesting poses that captivate the reader.
Clip the Cliches
Not only are the images the same on most advisor websites, the language sounds the same. “Comprehensive financial planning”, anyone? Or how about a “customized portfolio”? If you are using any of these other buzzwords it’s time to give your content a makeover.
Nobody talks like that in real life.
Advisor websites are full of financial clichés, vague-o-nyms that convey nothing. Rule #2 of financial advisor lead generation: check that jargon at the door!
Give the reader the gift of information that is presented in an authentic and real voice. Get to the point, and get there quickly. Within the first 30 seconds, your website should answer the following questions:
- What do you do? (spare the buzzwords here especially and talk in a real way)
- What purpose does your firm serve?
- What type of investment firm are you (RIA, broker-dealer, hybrid/dual-registered)
- Who do you help? (geography, age range, wealth range)
- Why do we need to work with you as opposed to the next advisor?
Fill in the Information Gaps
These website faux pahs aren’t just boring, they’re annoying.
While advisors tend to go on and on about some things, there is a glaring lack of information about several other very important things, factors that can be highly differentiating. This is because advisors are uncomfortable with them, but remember that you can’t hide the truth. It always come out in the end.
The biggest place where advisors neglect to achieve the level of engagement of a financial advisor lead generation website is in regards to their fees and assets under management. Often it is believed that by presenting price before you have the chance to get the prospect to “bond” with you, you’ll ruin the sale.
First of all, the bargain shoppers will go to a roboadvisor or do it themselves using Vanguard ETFs. Let those people go. Chances are that six months into the relationship they would have fired you anyways because fee mongers are the first ones to leave the first time the market drops 10%. You don’t want those people because they make lousy clients.
Secondly, most advisors don’t significantly deviate from a range of 0.5 to 1.5% fees. We’re not talking about hedge funds (2%, 20% clawback) here.
Thirdly, a financial advisor lead generation website conveys enough value that the fees will be seen as justified. A financial advisor lead generation website shows the brand. If you are presenting yourself as a lower quality brand by using financial clichés and tacky stock photos as I’ve mentioned before, then naturally the prospect is going to balk at your fees.
Fee-based advisors also tend to shy away from publicizing their assets under management if they don’t feel that the amount is high enough. There is some validity to this view. If you’ve got less than $25MM, you may be viewed as a startup or people may question how much transaction business you do versus fee-based business.
Lastly, make it easy for interested people to contact you by putting the phone number and email address on every page. It should be pinned somewhere at the top so that no matter where your visitors are on your site, they can call you.
Scrap the Standard Downloads
Every advisor seems to offer the same downloads and it’s quite blasé. Generic content such as “retirement readiness kit” can be purchased from content companies and it does seem that many advisors have done this. Blah, blah, blah, they all say the same thing.
If you want people to surrender their personal information and agree to be emailed by you for the rest of their life, at least offer them something unique and compelling. Take a few minutes and make something up.
Ask yourself, “If I were a visitor to my own website, what would I want to see that 99% of the other advisors are not offering?”
If you do this, you’ll find yourself coming up with ideas such as these which go way beyond the retirement kit:
- 10 financial gifts you can give this holiday season
- Are you and your future spouse financially compatible? Take this quiz.
- Tax checklist: minimize taxes this April by making sure you aren’t leaving money on the table in these areas.
- Are you sure your will is in good order? Download this white paper.
Whatever the content you produce, it should reflect your brand and the core message that you are trying to deliver.
Summary of Financial Advisor Lead Generation Website Best Practices
There’s a huge opportunity for advisors who want to present themselves differently from the pack because 99% of advisors have little or no brand and their websites reflect that. Compliance will have little to say about it if you express yourself more creatively; in fact, doing so will probably take you away from “advisor speak” thereby increasing the integrity and transparency of your message.
If you have questions about how to achieve the financial advisor lead generation website that I’ve described in this blog, please get in touch.