Why Every Financial and Insurance Advisor Needs a Website

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As a product manager, I spend around 2-3 full days a week speaking to a multitude of financial advisors whose practices range from independent shops (one person) to large advisory groups and branches. One of the most popular questions I’m asked on a regular basis is the value of having a website. At times, this surprises me because I think the answer to the question is pretty obvious, however, it’s not necessarily something that a lot of us think about because we take the web for granted.

So, do you really need a website? My answer has always been the same answer since I first started developing websites in my early teens: Yes. Undoubtedly yes. Now, whether you have a website that is rich in content, has numerous pages containing videos and a blog is something you need to decide for yourself, but the point I’m trying to make here is that at the very least you need a web presence. This allows your prospects, clients, business partners and maybe even potential investors to learn more about your practice and more importantly, you. All that being said, given significant advances in web technologies over the past decade, it’s simply not enough to just have a presence. It needs to look professional and it needs to look professional on mobile devices. In a study by Fidelity (Millionaires Outlook Survey), more than 44% of millionaires look to the internet when searching for money managers, however, that was in 2011 so the number has surely increased from then. Moreover, given the ubiquity of the web and the proliferation of smartphones, your clients and your prospects will and are already judging you and your business based on how your website looks.

The beautiful thing about the web is that the barriers to entry to get a website up and running are very low. You have the same barriers as any other large financial institution, branch, advisory group or individual would have if they were to launch a website. The same chance at making a good first impression and the same chance at creating a brand and a message that will resonate with the affluent. The bottom line: if you don’t have a website, you’re losing business to your competitors who do and you’re losing that chance at making a good first impression.

However,  there are times when you simply do not need a website. The only time I recommend that you do not have a website, is if your website reflects poorly on your business. After all, would you meet with a prospect in a cluttered and unorganized office? Probably not, because it’s a reflection of how dedicated and serious you are about your business and hence theirs.

Your website is one of the primary assets of your business. It helps create good first impressions. It helps establish your brand, your business philosophy and it helps connect you to your prospects and your clients.

SEO Tips for Advisors | 5 Key SEO Traps You Want to Avoid

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I had the privilege of listening to Danny Sullivan speak today and thought I would share and expand on some of his key thoughts with you. For those of you who don’t know Danny Sullivan, he is a well known industry authority on search with over 18 years of experience.

1. No good SEO company will email or call you. This makes complete sense after all, if they’re good at SEO, shouldn’t they first prove that you can find them instead?

2. A guest blogger will not offer you content. That’s right, if you have a blog it’s only logical that you would allow others to write on your blog IF you thought their content was valuable. And it’d be valued if you read their content.

3. You cannot depend solely on Google search for traffic. I actually hear this a lot when working with my clients. It’s all founded on the notion of “if you build it they will come”. Well, they won’t necessarily come, unless you tell them you exist.

4. SEO is only a part of your inbound / content marketing mix. Much like the saying analysis paralysis. Over “SEO-ing” your website will give you negative gains and distracts you from what’s really important. Creating valuable and useful content.

5. (I’m paraphrasing here) Think less about SEO and more about People Engine Optimization (PEO). Search engines were created (and continue to evolve) to achieve one primary goal. To mimic what a human would answer if you asked that human a question. Search engines seek to provide the best answer for the question that is being asked. Both of these actions are performed by humans. Don’t forget that marketing success is derived from the basic concept of effectively answering your customers questions. No amount of SEO can help you do this but listening will.

Have a question about digital marketing? Get in touch with me and ask me anything by filling out this form or by simply emailing me!








Acquiring the Young Investor as Your Client

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I recently came across an interesting article discussing a current trend occurring in the investment advisor business arena. In short, the article warns advisors who have practices consisting mostly of either wealthy baby boomers on the verge of retirement or in retirement; “… the retirement-age population is expected to rise to nearly 20% of the U.S. population by 2025, according to Census Bureau projections, and they demand more service from their advisors…”. Wow, 20%.

So, what are some of the facts about retirement-age investors and what does it mean from an advisor practice management standpoint?

  1. Investors in the retirement-age population require more attention. This impacts and potentially changes the way an advisor spends their time. How can advisors create value for this type of investor while growing their practice?
  2. Retirement-age investors tend to be more risk-averse with their money restricting the amount of lucrative product an advisor can sell
  3. Let’s not forget the increasing trend in fee-based advisors vs. commission-based advisors which has also affected the industry and the way advisors generate income.

In short, if you believe points 1 to 3, there’s a clear case to state that having a book consisting mostly of the retirement-age or on the brink of retirement-age is not a good thing if you want a book that grows or a book you can sell.

I’ve been in many presentations, calls and face-to-face meetings with advisors and I hear the phrase, quite often “I don’t need to be online, my clients are older and don’t use the internet”. Apart from the fact that there is research to support that our aging population is increasingly visiting websites and using social media, there is yet another reason why being online and digitally connected should be top of mind especially if you have a book consisting of retirement-age or near-retirement-age investors.

Advisors with this book profile need to start seeding their books with younger investors. This will not only positively impact the longevity of the book but it will also affect the long-term viability and most importantly, the valuation of an advisor’s book when they decide to sell.

So, the moral of the story?

Having a book trending towards a composition of mostly retirement-age investors affects the valuation and long-term growth of the book and therefore, acquiring younger investors becomes an important strategy to counter that trend.

Attracting younger investors isn’t going to be a walk in the park. Advisors need to exist where they look for things, which, last time I checked, has been predominantly online.