Most financial advisors shouldn’t blog or have a large social media presence. The results are simply not worth the money, time, and effort involved.
While this view cuts against the grain of current marketing dogma, we’re certain all but the largest and most prominent financial advisors will recognize it as true.
The great majority of advisors are spinning their practice wheels trying to get online traction.
We’ll certainly concede a few advisors have established themselves very successfully nationally or in their local market as a “go-to” media and online resource for financial advice – Rick Edelman and Rick Ferri quickly come to mind – but the great majority of advisors are spinning their practice wheels trying to get online traction, and they are really just burying themselves deeper in quicksand.
They should abandon the online marketing vehicles – blogging, social media marketing, and lead generating websites – and get back to driving on the solid terra firma of local networking: building relationships and referral sources.
Why is the going so tough for online marketers and bloggers? There are many reasons but by far the biggest are:
1. Everyone in our industry wants to be there – and only a few can be.
The largest players in our business spend huge amounts of money on pay-per-click and search engine optimization to get noticed. The average advisor has an impossible task in competing with these sophisticated players.
2. Most small to medium size practices don’t have the time, talent, resources or desire to write consistently interesting, unique and informative blog articles.
It’s not easy to do well. Have you ever seen a website with the last blog article written about two years ago? Their intentions were good but they simply couldn’t keep up!
3. SEO is very complicated, expensive, and there are no guarantees of success.
You will probably have to hire a company that specializes in SEO unless you have an employee that is a specialist in this area.
4. You have clients to take care of and an obligation to spend time and resources to do it well. The great majority of advisors just don’t have the extra time to market themselves adequately online.
So if blogging and social media marketing are not great ideas, what’s important and what really counts online?
Well, your website is incredibly important of course, and you should focus your efforts on making it as polished and professional as possible.
Any prospect coming from relationship marketing, good old-fashioned networking, or any other source will most likely visit your website before they do anything else.
Any prospect coming from relationship marketing, good old-fashioned networking, or any other source will most likely visit your website before they do anything else. The good news is, that endeavor doesn’t have to be expensive at all.
Before discussing what your website should be, let’s discuss what it shouldn’t be:
- It should not be a “hot mess” of calculators, stock quotes and generic article links.
- It should not look cluttered and crammed with as much information as possible.
- It should not be filled with “lead generation” tools, trying to “hook” a visitor into providing contact information.
What are the attributes of an outstanding advisor website?
1. Beautiful design – Your website should make an instant first impression of attractiveness and competence. The importance of this first impression cannot be overestimated. We’ve all had the experience of being referred to a business and immediately checking out their website. Does your impression of their website instantly make a difference in how you view the business? You bet it does.
2. Concise content – This is a tough one for many of us in the financial services business. To say many of us are verbose is the understatement of the year. We have a tendency to want to tell our prospects and clients how much we know in an effort to establish our expertise, and we load up a website with information
An advisor’s website should be the complete opposite. It should be concise and to the point; lots of white space and easy to read; and only a few pages of important information – in fact, just three pages is all you need. The old phrase “less is more” certainly applies with websites.
3. Professional image – The look of and information provided on an advisor’s website should be very professional and convey competence at every click. If your website is full of “click bait” and marketing gimmicks your prospect or client will think of you as a salesperson, not an outstanding financial firm.
4. Responsive standards – There’s just no avoiding it. Many of those viewing your website will be doing so on a small mobile device. Your website MUST look just as good on an iPhone (that’s responsive) as it does on a larger laptop. If your website is not responsive, don’t wait a day longer – fix it now!