Recently, I have been looking for a new dentist, someone who practices closer to where we live, in order to avoid the stress of the Toronto commute. Some friends graciously provided me with the names of dentists in our area. You might not be surprised to learn that the first thing I did was “google” them. What might be surprising is that the professionalism and look of each of their websites influenced me more than I expected. I became annoyed at those who did not bother to have a website and was pleasantly surprised by those who took the time to set up a professional website to convey their business practices.
As a Financial Advisor, it is important for you too to communicate your business practices and to do so in a professional manner. One of the best ways to do this is through your website. While most Financial Advisors have websites, a large majority of them do not make it a priority to upgrade them in order to use them as a communication, marketing or prospecting tool. So take the time to look at your website to see if it is a reflection of you and if it is something you are proud to have your clients and prospects “Google”.
Here are the reasons why my clients tell me they have not made their websites a priority:
1) “I don’t know where to start.” One of the most important aspects of a good website is to have it be a reflection of you, your uniqueness and your strengths. Discovering what you want to communicate about your business takes a little time and consideration but it is well worth it as it can become the cornerstone of every aspect of your business. Start at the beginning and write down what your clients should know about you.
2) “I don’t have time to do that.” Most of the time, I find that it is not time that is the issue but priority. Make it a priority and carve out time to work on it.
3) “It costs too much.” Some Financial Advisors’ firms provide access to a web platform and to a department that can upgrade their website at no cost. If your firm does not provide free access, the cost of a website has come down significantly. In addition, the return on investment of a website is so high it has now become simply “the cost of doing business”.
So, why should you have a professional website?
1) Don’t ignore the fact that everybody “Googles”. It’s just a fact. Your audiences are Googling everything from menus, store hours to product reviews. You want potential clients to find you online and you want to make the best first impression.
2) The Baby Boomers are redeeming assets and the next generations are investing. Finding clients who want to invest and grow their money is a must for your business. The Echo Boomers and Generation X’s and Y’s are reliant on social media and the Internet for information. It would be safe to say that a website will be the minimum necessity for your business in the years to come.
3) You will gain credibility. Executed properly, a professional website will not only create a great impression of you and your business, but will give you more credibility. In this very competitive environment, credibility and confidence can make the difference between a client and a prospect.
4) You can build relationships. Yes, it’s true. If you would like to see a good example of this, take a look at Coca Cola’s website. Their primary goal is to create a “feeling” and build relationships. You can do this by adding “non-financial” information such as community involvement, charitable endeavours, local events, and relevant trending topics.
5) You will save time and money. Although it is true that there will be a cross section of your clients who will NOT go to your website for information, the trend will be towards more and more individuals accessing it to gain insight. Providing information to your clients and prospects takes time and your time is money. A website is up and running 24-7.
6) You will improve your client servicing. There are most likely some types of questions that your clients often ask you… Or facts that they always want to have access to. Your website can provide these facts and can also answer FAQs as a value-add.
7) You can use your website as a quarterback to your other social media accounts. The financial industry is slower to broadly adopt social media due to compliance and logistic issues. However, because many people are now using social media as a source of news and information, more wealth firms are starting to encourage their Advisors to sign-up to sites like LinkedIn and Twitter. Once on social media, Advisors can direct traffic to their websites for more information.
About The Author
Marielle Demers is an Investment Advisor Coach who has worked with Advisors across the country. She has been in the financial business for over 20 years and strongly believes that Canadians should be using an Investment Advisor for all their investment needs. As a coach, she also believes that the most important part of building a strong financial business is to see it through the clients’ eyes. She works with other experts to help you build a customized plan and to IMPLEMENT that Plan. Marielle can be reached at [email protected] or 416 540 5158.