9 Things Your Fee-Only Advisor Website Needs
Location-independence is the holy grail for many of today’s working professionals. It allows us to extend our business’ reach to a national – even global – level. Plus there’s the opportunity to travel when and where you want (like financial advisor Dan Kellermeyer and wife Tracy).
Expanding your brand’s territory to such broad boundaries can only be done if you’re incorporating the virtual space into your strategy.Therefore, a website is cornerstone for any location-independent business.Click To Tweet
Whether you’re a fee-only financial planner, RIA or any other financial professional – you need a website, but cookie-cutting won’t do. It needs purpose, goals and specific features. Here’s a quick summary of 9 things every fee-only financial advisor website should try to incorporate:
There’s plenty of ways to collect leads today, but email optins are one of the most popular. What’s more: they’re one of the best investments you can make when it comes to your website due to the low cost. Services like MailChimp provide free plans to get started, and the cost to configure a popup, slide-in or other method of capture is usually pretty low.
Website visitors rarely volunteer their email address for nothing in return. Lead magnets (often referred to as “freemium” in these circles) are the solution to this problem. You give me your email address, I’ll give you some bit of knowledge that you’ll find valuable. You can do an e-book, a checklist, a pre-recorded webinar…pretty much anything that can be transmitted virtually. If you need help designing one, reach out.
Email and social media are great ways to communicate, but phone calls often prove more efficient, depending on the context. Online scheduling is a great way to bridge the gap between the web interaction and the phone. Calendly and ScheduleOnce both offer flexible plans. Calendly’s plans start at $0. ScheduleOnce has a 14 day trial, then plans start at $5/month. Check out this Advisor’s Guide To The Best Online Meeting Scheduling Tools for a more in depth look at your options.
XYPN, CFP, ABC or XYZ…whatever affiliations you have – show them off. It’ll add credibility to both your brand and website. Make sure you’ve got permission from the respective affiliation before you use it on your site though.
Regulations or not, you need to cover your butt when it comes to privacy and transparency on the web – moreso with financial professionals. You can find free online policy generators or pay someone to put one together for you. Once you have them, add them as a page, place them in your footer, or both. You might want a portion of them in your email footers too.
Explanation of “Fee-Only”
The concept of a “fee-only” financial advisor is still new for a lot of non-financial consumers. Take some time to explain what it is and how it works in a way that benefits them. Provide a couple links to additional reading material to boost your credibility as well. You can also think about having a video created that explains this, like Todd Minear does here.
Those who don’t like the idea of plastering an image of themselves on their website usually say the same thing: they don’t want to appear egotistical or “into themselves”. I get it. But, the reality is: even though there’s a virtual dimension between you and your customer, a human connection has to be made in your line of work. Your visitors want a face to put to your brand.
A Client Portal
Your site shouldn’t just be a place to bring in new business; existing clients should be able to use it as a jump-off point for relevant financial stuff too. Links to third party account login pages, educational content, announcements, client-specific forms – put all this in a single, easy to use interface for your clients to bookmark. Check out this example on John Pak’s website.
You no longer have to be a bank to justify using website encryption. Security certificates are often free or very inexpensive (they’re free with all our hosting plans by the way). The main benefit is that they help to protect the information transmitted by your website visitors. On top of that, an SSL certificate will give your site a slight boost in SEO. More on SSL here if you’re interested.
So there you have it. If I missed anything, share in the comments. We’ve also got this infographic too. And if you’re a financial advisor that’s looking to design or redesign a website, be sure to check out how we fill this need.
About the Author
My professional experience with the web reaches back more than 8 years. During this time, I've been developing sites for individuals and businesses, working on a team of digital experience analysts as well as providing qualitative and quantitative research surrounding web and mobile technology.Jonathan