A common concern among financial advisors — more so than competition from robo-advisors — is the inability to connect with the emerging, younger generation of clients, says Loic Jeanjean, vice president of growth at Advisor Websites in Vancouver.
"Advisors need to be where millennials are seeking information — and that's not the Yellow Pages," Jeanjean says.
For advisors who want to make a connection, a website is essential. However, an "about me" and "contact" page isn't enough to maintain a visitor's interest.
If prospects are learning about you through referrals, they're still going to go online for more information about you, Jeanjean says. And they're not just looking for your name and area of specialization.
"As a prospect, I would want to know how you're going to help me. Just listing that you do TFSAs, RRSPs and life insurance is not helpful in the selection process."
Here are three ways to ensure the content in your website speaks to your audience:
1. Think like a prospect
When prospects are searching for information online, it's unlikely they'll type, "find a new financial advisor" into a Google search, says Shannon Sloan, director of new business development at Rich Media in Toronto.
One of the first steps in developing web content is figuring out what type of information your prospects and clients will find interesting and valuable, Sloan says.
If you have a niche, Jeanjean adds, you can draw visitors to your site with articles relevant to your area of specialization. For example, if your niche is small-business owners, he adds, you can appeal to prospects and clients with an article such as "How to create a group-benefits plan that your employees will love."
2. Keep content current
If a financial topic is getting attention in the media, join the conversation by providing your own viewpoint.
If you'd rather not share your opinion, you might instead provide a well thought-out and easy-to-comprehend explanation of the subject, Sloan says. "Explainers" are especially valuable to prospects and clients who are interested in improving their financial literacy.
Keeping content current also can mean tapping into seasonal topics, Sloan adds. For example, many people look into home ownership in the spring, so content on mortgages would be timely.
3. Leverage other media
Adding other media to your website, such as podcasts or videos, Jeanjean says, can be a means to further connect with your visitors.
Brittney Castro, founder and CEO of Financially Wise Women in Los Angeles, for example, posts videos on her website covering topics that range from "How much does financial planning cost" to "Three creative ways to use your tax refund."
If creating multiple videos seems like a chore, an introductory video is a good alternative. "The next best thing to a face-to-face meeting," Jeanjean says, "is a quick video that tells an advisor's story in a heartfelt way."
This is the second part in a two-part series on best practices for advisor websites.
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