Differentiate Yourself! 3 Ways Your Website Can Make You Stand Out From the Next Advisor

Aug 24, 2020 / By Debra Taylor, CPA/PFS, JD, CDFA
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If your website is a one-page snoozefest, you are wasting a huge opportunity to attract clients. These ideas—complete with examples from the author’s own website—will help you create a site that inspires action…and first steps to new business.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 271,700 personal financial advisors in the United States. That number is expected to grow over the next decade, with faster-than-average job growth projected for the profession—7% compared to the national average for all occupations of 5% from 2018–2028.

Robo-advisors also take a share of this ever-crowded market, with the top five robo-advisors holding approximately $240 billion collectively in assets under management in 2019. Their market share is also likely to grow, with Aite Group analysts estimating that robo-advisors will manage over $1 trillion by 2023.

With this constant influx of new advisors as well as the continued advance of robo-advisors, competition for prospects and clients has never been fiercer! As advisors, we must utilize every tool at our disposal to differentiate ourselves from the pack. Your own website is a great place to start, as it can incorporate marketing strategies that make differentiation easier than ever! In today’s tumultuous economic environment, we have been using these three website-based strategies with a lot of success.

1. Use your website to inspire action

Too many websites for financial advisors are bland and uninspiring,and unfortunately only hamper the quest of attracting clients. If your website is primarily one page with a bland headshot and two paragraphs explaining where you got your higher education, you are doing yourself a disservice. Prospects see those types of websites all day every day, and when they see yours, it is just another snoozefest. Your website should be designed to work for you by inspiring and attracting prospects to meet with you.

Most importantly, it needs to include strong calls to action. On the Taylor Financial Group website, we use a pop-up; when you click on it, it asks “Are You Ready? Take two minutes to find out if you’re prepared for retirement—and how you can get there—with our Retirement Readiness Quiz.”

This pop-up draws visitors and prospects further into our website with a simple and informative quiz, and calls the participant to action at the very end by requesting their information. This provides us with useful leads and contact information for those leads.

Figure 1: This Pop-Up Draws Viewers Further Into the Site

Source: Taylor Financial Group

Additionally, your website should include the option to contact the office and schedule an appointment. The Taylor Financial Group website encourages visitors to schedule a free first-time appointment simply by providing their name, phone number and email address. It is crucial that prospects can easily connect with an advisor and schedule an appointment in the moment, right after they’ve been impressesed with something dynamic on the website that calls them to action.

Figure 2: Make It Easy to Set Up an Appointment Capture the viewer when they are feeling interested

Source: Taylor Financial Group

2. Stand out with original content

Unfortunately, most financial advisors lack original content that attracts prospects and retains clients. Instead, advisors too often rely on cookie-cutter marketing materials, especially those created by eMoney. The problem with cookie-cutter marketing materials? Everybody and their mother is using them, and they do not serve to differentiate you from the pack, nor do they help to propel you higher with prospects who are doing Google searches.

At Taylor Financial Group, we work hard to create a lot of original content that is geared directly at our target market and current client base. We utilize the feedback and questions that we get in meetings to devise topics for our newsletters and blogs. And while our clients certainly appreciate the effort that goes into research and writing original content, not every advisor has the time or resources to spend on writing original content. But you don’t have to do all the writing yourself; you can hire a top-rate marketing firm to do the job for you!

In particular, Snappy Kraken is a great marketing platform that uses fresh (not canned!) marketing for financial advisors who want to stand out. Snappy Kraken promises 100% regional exclusivity, and has garnered positive reviews from the likes of InvestmentNews. Furthermore, Snappy Kraken delivers measurable results at an affordable price. So, whether you choose to create your own original content or use a marketing firm to do it for you, offering unique and targeted content will make your firm jump out to prospects and clients alike.

3. Curate content to attract your target market

Beyond creating original content, it is important to curate content to attract your target market, creating a small library of ideas and resources around one topic that your clients and prospect want to know much more about. (Clearly, once you know who your target market is or what your target market is interested in, curating content becomes much easier!)

For instance, at Taylor Financial Group, we constantly hear from prospects and clients that they are interested in tax-advantaged planning. So we have gathered content that is designed to demonstrate our expertise in understanding tax-advantaged planning. Our website has an entire tab dedicated to ‘Be SMART—Saving More After Retirement Taxes’ with various types of resources. Visitors can read a blog on how ‘The New SECURE Act Could Hurt Your Retirement Accounts’ or download our 2020 Retirement Calendar Checklist.

Figure 3: Offer Viewers Multiple Ways to Explore One TopicBoth the blog post and retirement calendar checklist focus on tax-advantaged planning

Source: Taylor Financial Group

We even include a short video in which I speak regarding tax preparation for retirement. These curated bits of content are designed to attract our target market: tax-conscious high-net-worth investors, and position the firm as a valuable source of information. And it works! (Click the image to reach the live video.)

Figure 4: Video Offers Another Information Channel

Source: Taylor Financial Group

Action items

  1. Personalize and add interactive features to your website
  2. Create or buy original content to stand out
  3. Gather curated content that hits your prospect’s interests

Right now, advisors are facing more competition than ever and that is unlikely to change anytime soon. To best compete, advisors must differentiate themselves and demonstrate their value-add, and show why they are the best fit for a particular client. It is critical to make your website more interactive and pack it with experiences that can inspire action. Stand out with original content, and curate content to attract your target market. This is one of the most effective ways you can differentiate yourself from other advisors and further the growth of your firm. If your website is not doing this, you’re throwing away a powerful marketing engine that, once set in motion, will work for you round the clock! Don’t throw the opportunity away!

Debra Taylor, CPA/PFS, JD, CDFA, is Horsesmouth’s Director of Practice Management. She is also the principal and founder of Taylor Financial Group, LLC, a wealth management firm in Franklin Lakes, NJ. Debra has won many industry honors and is the author of My Journey to $1 Million: The Systems and Processes to Get You There, a book about industry best practices. Debbie is also a co-creator of the Savvy Tax Planning program and co-leader of the Savvy Tax Planning School for Advisors. Several times a year she delivers her Build a Better Business Workshop for advisors.

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