In this day and age where the internet drives how we shop as consumers, your RIA website must do many things to turn strangers into interested prospects and/or clients. Ask yourself if your site is user friendly? Does it make it easy for visitors to learn more about how your services can help them achieve their financial goals? The reality is that most financial advisor websites are not well positioned to be interactive sales tools for RIA firms. Often they are lacking key features, like proper messaging, imagery, and specialized offers directed at the types of clients your firm wants to work with.
The good news is that it is possible to turn your site into more of a lead generation tool for your firm. The five steps listed below are critical to an investment firm’s web success. Let’s review how your RIA website can be a solid lead generation for your firm.
1. Tidy Up
There are a lot of topics trending right now around de-cluttering and the process of “tidying up” in order to uncover more beauty, clarity, and efficiency. This concept holds true for your RIA website as well. Visuals make the initial impression and can have a huge impact, good or bad, so the first step to ensuring your site is doing all it can, is to make sure it is clean and inviting. Your pages must be simple, easy to navigate and have a consistent, branded look. Clean up your home page by getting rid of repetitive or unnecessary content, or move it to another page. Organizing your site goes a long way in enticing prospects and keeping them engaged.
2. Take A Picture
In addition to a clean look, another important element to include in your web design that many firms overlook is the use of real photos. The most successful sites are using high-quality pictures of their own advisors, offices, and meeting rooms - anything that can help browsers to feel like they are getting to know you.
If your firm is your own, one-person operation, then your picture should be on the homepage so browsers can make a connection with you right off the bat. A professional photographer can help you capture just the right images to convey a friendly, trustworthy appearance to best represent your brand. If your firm has staff, then a section of your website should highlight the people in your firm with profiles and pictures to foster that visual connection.
Always include contact information as your prospects want to find this quickly and they will have more trust in a firm that does not hide this information but rather welcomes communication by clearly displaying it in all the logical places. You can take this type of visual connection one step further by including a video link where viewers have the option to click and view a clip of your team speaking about your firm’s unique mission. This type of ‘communicating’ with your online audience can go along way toward building trust.
3. Be Transparent, Clear, And Concise
In addition to being visually engaging, an effective site must also be informative as this is the perfect place to help demystify financial services and establish trust with your visitors. For instance, visitors should be able to clearly understand what services you offer without a lot of industry jargon or confusing acronyms. For many investors, financial services can seem like another language and the overarching topic of money and the future can hold anxiety. This is why it is your job as a financial professional to be clear and helpful with information that will go a long way in creating more confident consumers ready to invest with you.
In this same way, it is also critical to building trust with your visitors. Be sure to explain how you are compensated. Explaining your fee schedule and any other minimum requirements that you require is another step in helping visitors understand who you are and why they should select you.
4. Better With A Blog
In the early days of the digital marketing surge, the term “blog” was coined from a mash-up of the word ‘web’ and the word ‘log,’ as in a “captain’s log.” The name “blog” quickly caught on and has gone from this early, journaling style of writing, to the polished, informative articles popular today. Blog articles do more than quench consumers’ constant desire for information, they also position your firm as an expert to a large online audience of interested investors.
When you jump on the bandwagon and start a blog as part of your website, you offer investors the chance to click on lots of useful information that they will appreciate. This also serves as a way for you to give prospects good reason to come visit you again, and this opportunity to stay in touch is a valuable opportunity indeed. Don’t know where to start? Outsourcing some of your marketing efforts to a professional will save you time and money in the long run.
5. Call Them To Act
It should come as no surprise that few visitors become clients after just one visit to your site. This is why the most effective digital marketing strategies incorporate natural opportunities to stay connected. You can do this with effective “Call To Actions,” which are free offers that have some value to the visitor in exchange for their contact information. Free offers let your firm connect with viable leads, form relationships, and establish yourself as an expert.
Make It Count
Because you only have one chance to make a first impression, you should consider enlisting the assistance of a digital marketing agency that specializes in working with RIA firms. With a strategic partner well-versed in investment advisor strategies, you can rest assured that best practices and disclaimers are on the radar and past successes are brought to the table.
Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.