While most industries have “stepped up their game” with regards to online and social media marketing in recent years, financial advisors, for the most part, have been left behind. Perhaps due to worries over compliance or maybe just due to a lack of knowledge, today’s advisor typically finds himself being poorly represented in a highly digital world. Often, you’ll see advisors who have opted for a canned website provided by a service who claims to “specialize” in websites for the industry. Unfortunately, while the features of such as site might impress the advisor, they do little to capture leads or turn web traffic into viable prospects and clients.
Driving traffic to your website without a mechanism in place to capture leads is nothing short of a missed opportunity for new business. Lead capture begins with valuable information (a report, video, consumer guide, etc…) that you can provide to your audience in exchange for their contact information. Ask yourself, “What information do my clients and prospects typically want from me?” Then develop that content and offer it in exchange for your web visitor’s contact information. If your content is good, people will be willing to trade their name and email address for it.
Fatal Flaw #2: Poor Real Estate Management
The top 1/3 of your website’s home page is the most valuable “real estate” you own on the internet. While it might look pretty to load it with fancy graphics or high resolution images, graphics and images don’t make you any money. Astute advisors leverage this web real estate with a prominent call to action and the lead capturing offer described in fatal flaw #1. You’ll often hear the term, “above the fold” which refers to the space on your home page visible without scrolling down. If your call to action and lead capture mechanism isn’t within this area, you’re losing conversions.
Fatal Flaw #3: Too Much Useless Information
Okay guys, I’m going to come right out and say it… No one is going to your website to access financial calculators, stock quotes, or market information. They expect YOU to be their calculator, not your website. Too much of this clutters your website, makes navigation complicated for your visitors, and drives traffic away. Less is more! Provide what they want and need, eliminate everything else.
Fatal Flaw #4: Nothing Ever Gets Updated
Take a look at your website today and ask yourself when is the last time that you posted fresh, new, up-to-date information. If you are regularly blogging, then perhaps you’re not guilty of this flaw but finding a productive advisor who consistently blogs is rare. The vast majority of prospects that end up at your site will NOT be ready to make a buying decision that day. You need to give those people a reason to come back to your website on a regular basis. New content combined with a strategic plan to distribute that content (Social Media, email, etc…) is imperative for converting those prospects into future clients.
Fatal Flaw #5: Failure to Plan
We’ve all heard the saying “Failure to plan is planning to fail” and this definitely holds true with your web marketing strategy. If you are asked to explain your internet marketing plan and your strategy for generating/converting traffic and you are unable to articulate it, then you probably don’t have one. Whether you are marketing yourself to CPA’s, attorneys, retirees, teachers, or any other demographic, the vast majority will go online to check you out before doing business with you. If you’re unsure of how to effectively develop an online marketing plan, then outsource it to experts. But by all means, do not ignore it.