You're listening to Financial Advisor Marketing. The best show on the planet for financial advisors who want to get more clients without all the stress. You're about to get the real scoop on everything from lead generation to closing the deal. James is the founder of TheAdvisorCoach.com where you can find an entire suite of products designed to help financial advisors grow their businesses more rapidly than ever before. Now here is your host, James Pollard.
James: Welcome, financial advisors and I want to say "Hello" if you're a brand new listener. If you've been with me a while, thank you for coming back; you're one of the rare ones. And we're going to have another fantastic episode of Financial Advisor Marketing. I've got a lot of good stuff planned for the day because we're going to talk about how financial advisors can improve their websites, and I don’t really advertise this service anymore, but I used to do website reviews for financial advisors, Jonathan, where I would record my screen for like 10 minutes and I would go through their website and I would make suggestions as I go along, and I would record my genuine reaction. So I could have the mind of a prospect and the mind of a marketer at the same time. [0:01:10.0]
James: Very, very, very valuable, and…
Jonathan: Still doing it or what?
James: Well, I don’t really advertise it that much, but if you want me to do it for you, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you a link to the sales page if I have time. Recently I've been taking a lot of flights and I'm sitting in the airport lobby and I've got nothing to do, and I'm just waiting. So if I've got some time, I will knock out a couple of website reviews for financial advisors and if I know, like, I'm going to have time in a couple days, then I'll tell you that, but if I don’t have time at all, I tell you that too. So, send an email to email@example.com and like I said, I'll send you a link. It's 500 bucks, but it's worth every single penny because I'm giving you advice tailored to your website, not anyone else's, and you actually get the recorded video delivered to you. You can watch that again and again. You can make the changes. You can even share it with your staff or your web designer, if you want. So, there you go. That's something that I offer and it's a lot of fun for me to do it. I really enjoy doing them and the reason that I don’t charge $2000 or $3000 for that, even though I probably could, is because it also allows me to do a little bit of market research, Jonathan. [0:02:17.6]
James: I get to get in financial advisors' websites and I am meeting the people that are in my audience and I get to see who they are. I get to see what they do. I get to see what problems they're having, what challenges they're having, so. That's why it's only 500 bucks or 497 at the time of this recording, if you want to be picky about it. So, that is it. And even if you don’t have a website, if you don’t have me do the website review, I'm going to share some valuable information today, in this actual podcast, and it could easily be worth tens of thousands of dollars to you, and it's actually very easy for me to help advisors make more money with their websites because a few twists and a few tweaks, they could easily double your conversion rates. So, here are some of the ways to improve a financial advisor's website. We're going to get into it, Jonathan. [0:03:05.8]
James: Number 1, well, actually, I don’t have a list here, but we'll start off. First of all, you want to focus on conversions, not looking pretty.
Jonathan: No. No. No.
James: What's wrong?
Jonathan: It's got to be pretty. It's got to be pretty. Every web designer in the world is going to tell you it's got to be pretty.
James: Well, you can be pretty but if you focus on pretty and you hire someone who does nothing but pretty, you're probably doing it at the cost of conversions. I mean ideally, you want a website that looks good and gets conversions and a lot of… I know financial advisors with pretty websites are probably going to be like, "That's me! I'm the one who gets conversions and I have a pretty website," but, I mean, the numbers are not in your favor. If you're listening to this and you have a pretty website, chances are, you're not optimized for conversions, and I've noticed that a lot of advisors are concerned about having the website look well, but a lot of times those good-looking websites, especially the ones with like the slideshow on the homepage, I mean, those things just don’t convert very well. [0:04:09.6]
I mean, I've seen it time and time again. And what typically happens is a financial advisor will go out and they'll hire this fancy web designer or maybe they'll build the website themselves. I know a lot of advisors use like Square Space and Wix and Weebly. I know they do, but they don’t have the marketing knowledge. That's the key. And since they don’t have any marketing knowledge, they're not going to know what converts and what doesn’t and what works and what doesn’t and how to get appointments and how to get clients. Like, they just don’t know. So if you're going to build a website or fix your current one, focus on conversion. This is literally the only thing that matters. There's no other reasoning for you to have a website.
Jonathan: What's that mean, James? Conversion?
James: It's not a brochure. It's not an advertisement for how good you look and how your team can stand together and take a picture with everyone standing in a pose that they would never pose in. None of that matters. The only thing that matters is getting a prospect to set an appointment with you so you can help that person. [0:05:09.6]
So, if you've got a bunch of high resolution images and flash and video, that much stuff, it just hurts conversions, and I've seen it. So, there you go. I mean, if you hire someone like a marketing expert to do that for you, they can help. Make sure that you tell them you're focused on conversions. Otherwise, I mean, if you've got the time and the energy to burn, sure, just Google how to make websites convert, and fall down in that trap and that's what it is. I mean, if you're an Inner Circle member, you already know a lot of different ways to have your website convert. So.
The next tip is to put all of your contact information on your site, and I see this a lot in my website reviews. So if you contact me after listening to this podcast and you want me to do a website review for you, and I go to your website and you don’t have all your contact information on there, I am going to give you a virtual B-slap. [0:06:07.6]
I’m not going to say the real word, Jonathan. It rhymes with itch and it starts with B, and I'm going to give you that slap over an email. Because I mean, it kills me. It absolutely kills me when I see a financial advisor only list an email address or they only have a phone number or just a physical address. Put everything there. I mean, however your prospects want to get in touch with you, let them do it. If they want to send you a letter, fine. If they want to call you, fine. Isn't that what you want? Don’t you want your office to get calls? If they want to email you, let them email you. Have everything. There are some advisors that literally just have their email, and they expect the prospects to email them. Well, that's definitely a possibility, but what about the people that would rather call you and get started right away? You're leaving that money on the table. What about the ones that just want to send you a little handwritten note? I don't know. I mean, I've heard it. It happens. Prospects, their very first interaction with a financial advisor, some of them send a letter. [0:07:03.4]
Crazy. But they're leaving money on the table by not putting it on there. And let's straighten this point. I want you to think about this, and I want you to think about some of the big lead generation companies out there. These lead generation companies are literally spending millions of dollars on advertising, every single year, to get leads to their site, to get traffic there so they can convert it and they can sell those leads to companies and to financial advisors for a profit. They're making money, and if you create a profile with these big lead generation companies, what do they tell you to do? They tell you, right there, and they've got the little popups telling you to do it, and they keep stressing it. They say, "Fill out your profile completely." They want you to put everything on there. The reason they do that, the reason the big lead generation companies do that, is because it works. So do the same for your website. These companies don’t get paid unless they convert traffic into leads, and if they're telling you to fill out your profile completely, do it, and do the same for your website. Does that make sense, Jonathan? [0:08:08.7]
Jonathan: Absolutely. I just have a quick question.
Jonathan: What phone number do you put because we did a show on not giving people your number.
James: Do not put your cell phone in your, well lead generation company profile and your website. Put your office number. If you've got a virtual receptionist or you've got an actual physical receptionist or you’ve got an assistant or someone who handles those calls, that is optimal. It is ideal. Put your office number, and even if you're working by yourself and it's just you, and if you've followed me for any length of time, you know that you should not be accepting calls as they come in. I mean, if you’ve got an emergency or something that happens, you've got your VIP list, all that good stuff. And yes, getting back to inbound leads is extremely important, but being productive is importanter. It's more important, yeah. Importanter. So do that. So there you go. Your office number. [0:09:02.4]
Now, next. Moving on down the line here. To make your website better, to make it very effective, to have your website be the king of the mountain when it comes to other financial advisors, you want to make it clear what you do and who you serve on your homepage. And I know there's going to be some financial advisors out there listening going, oh, that's not, there's no value here. He's like, oh my god, you know, he's not providing any value. It's like, this is value.
Hey financial advisors, are you ready to take your business to the next level and get more clients with less stress? I invite you to join the James Pollard Inner Circle, a paper and ink newsletter that gets delivered directly to your door every month. When you join now you'll also get a 90-minute instant download called, "Five Keys to Success for Financial Advisors", a $97 value for absolutely free. All you have to do is head over to TheAdvisorCoach.com/newsletter and join today.
James: You want to know why I know it's value, Jonathan?
Jonathan: Why? [0:10:05.2]
James: It's because when I go to financial advisors' websites, they don’t freaking do it. You've got people who are going to be like, oh this isn't valuable information, and then I'm going to go to their website and it's going to be the crappiest looking, worst website I've ever seen, and these are the people that are like, oh, no value. So. It bothers me. It really bothers me when I get to an advisor's website and I get right on the homepage, the most traffic page of the website, and I get there and I look around and I scroll up and down and I still have no idea what that advisor's target market is. I have no idea. It should be immediately clear when I get to the website, and I mean, I'm practicing what I preach here. The minute you get to my site, you know it's specifically for financial advisors. I mean, when you type in my URL, TheAdvisorCoach.com, you know. And when you listen to this podcast, literally called Financial Advisor Marketing, you know. [0:11:08.0]
So when I go to like x, y, z wealth management.com and I can't figure out who in the world Wealth Management, this Wealth Management Company serves, that's a problem because people are impatient on the internet. They don’t want to wait around. They want to know, immediately, is this for me, does this person help people like me, what does this person do, can I benefit from it? And I still see advisors putting big, general stuff on the website. They put stuff like, oh, the only advice or live the life you deserve or something like that. Get specific. People are impatient online. They want to know if you're a good fit or not. If you're a financial advisor who works specifically with nurses, I swear to you - you better have "I work with nurses" or something similar as soon as people get to your site. They should see it. Because you want to attract nurses into your business and you want to do more, you want to work with nurses and set appointments with them. [0:12:04.6]
So if a nurse gets to your website, that nurse should think, "Wow, this advisor works with people specifically like me. This advisor works with nurses," and then, setting the appointment and converting gets much, much easier. And Jonathan does this too. When I go to ThePodcastFactory.com, I know - he helps people start podcasts and run podcasts and produce podcasts. I don’t have to guess. I don’t have to guess. And when I type in ThePodcastFactory.com, I have a mental image that maybe there's a process that produces podcasts. Is that hard, Jonathan, for people to do?
Jonathan: It's quite literal. People are speaking too much to aspiration sometimes.
James: Right. Exactly. Now I've got some, I got two more tips here for you. This one, the next one is actually a really, really good tip. And it's leverage your top performing pieces of content. I mean, you could literally take this one tip and have it pay for every single pay product I've ever put out, ever, because there's so many financial advisors that think they need to blog constantly, and they need to have a new webinar and they need to have some new, and no knock on podcasts, but there are a lot of advisors who want to start podcasts, and it's just like, yes, it's beneficial sometimes, but for others, not so much. [0:13:19.9]
And I mean, that's just the way life works. There's some people that it is great for and some people that it's not great for. But blogs, specifically, there are advisors that commit themselves to writing a blog every week or every two weeks or something like that, and there's no rhyme or reason for it. What would be much more effective is to just stop, go into your analytics account, and look at which blog post is bring you the most traffic. Then, amplify that or if you want to make more content and you want to write a blog post every week, write stuff that's related to your top performing piece of content. If you've got a blog post that's like 5 Retirement Mistakes Nurses Make and How to Avoid Them, and that's getting 75% of the traffic to your website, don’t you think that you would make another piece of content about nurses and helping them with their retirement? [0:14:13.6]
But I see financial advisors all the time - they write a piece about college. They write a piece about retirement planning. They write a piece about Roth IRA. They write a piece about traditional IRA. They write a piece about ex-military and teachers and the family and it's just ridiculous, and I can personally pull up their website using analytics tools, and I can see, oh, the Roth IRA article is getting way more traffic than anything else, and I know that and I can see that, but they're continuing to operate without that piece of data. So, if you're taking notes, seriously, write this down and do it. If you've got a blog, write down go into my analytics account and look at my top performing pieces of content. Don’t reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to. If you've got a piece of content that's already doing well, make it work for you. So, that alone, Jonathan, I mean.
Jonathan: Drop the mic. [0:15:07.2]
James: Yeah. Drop the mic. And that's what you want to do. And on my website, I mean, I amplify it. Obviously, my best pieces of content involve financial advisors and marketing. So, guess what? I'm doing stuff related to financial advisor marketing. We're at the show, Financial Advisor Marketing. I'm amplifying that piece of content because I know it's what they're interested in. I mean, I used to talk about practice management and hiring. and I still talk about being productive because I mean, that's what I enjoy and what I like to do and I track everything very seriously. But I mean, when it comes to marketing and lead generation and prospecting, that's what the advisors want, so I'm giving the people what they want. I'm doing it intentionally.
And the last tip. We're going to wrap this thing up after this. The very last tip is: Talk about you. Show your human side. And some advisors out there, they do this really well. They talk about their personal lives, and you don’t have to get super personal or anything. I mean, you don’t have to talk about your last AA meeting, Jonathan. But you want to form a connection with your prospects. So, and actually, producer Jonathan does this very well because he's got his show, Daddy's Working. Want to plug the show, Jonathan? [0:16:19.6]
Jonathan: Hey, nice. Thank you.
James: Daddy's Working, and I imagine that a lot of people in his audience are maybe in a similar situation and maybe they're, they have a young child or they're about to have children or something like that, and it's extremely relatable. So if you grew up in your town that you service. I mean, if you're in Chicago and you grew up in Chicago and you've never left Chicago, talk about Chicago. You know, one financial advisor talks about how he went to college right there in state and how he's got his kids going to the local high school and how they play baseball and he's involved in the community and he's part of the Kiwanis or whatever. He's talking about it and he's forming relationships. He's showing his prospects that he cares about his community. [0:17:02.8]
And advisors have an About Me page, and that's great, and I love that. I love it when they have the About Me, but they're not, they don't, they're not really sharing anything about them, except for the fact that they went to this school and they have this certification. They've been in business this many years. It's like, okay, but like that doesn’t build a connection. It's like, sure, you’ve got alphabet soup after your name, but where did you go to school? Do you still live here? Do you care about the community? And I talk about the niche market where, you know, when I get to the website, I need to know who you work with and what you do. I need to know that immediately. So on your About Me page, if you work with a certain niche, why not mention the fact that you got mentioned in your niche's trade magazine? Why not mention the fact that you volunteer with a certain niche organization? Put that on there. Humanize yourself. Make it very, very, very clear that you are the right choice. Don’t hold the stuff back. I mean, this is something that I should probably do more of, you know, although I talk a lot about my personal life in my newsletter and my daily emails, but on my website, it is something I should probably do more of. [0:18:09.4]
But yeah, I mean, financial advisors - talk about yourself. What do you like? What sports teams do you support? If you're in Baltimore and you're in the heart of Baltimore and the majority of your clients are Ravens fans, go ahead and slap that thing on your website - Proud Ravens Fan. Why not? It builds the connection because then when someone reaches out to you and I've seen it. I've seen people do it all the time. They reach out and they say, hey, you know, Go Ravens, or something. And there you go. That's an icebreaker. And it just blows my mind that not many financial advisors do that, Jonathan. So there's my tips, and there are so many more things that I could talk about in improving financial advisors' websites, and maybe I'll do a future podcast episode with even more tips, but I promise, if you take these five things and you apply them to your business, you will see better results. [0:18:57.6]
And just to recap those five things were: Focus on conversions first; nothing else matters. You don’t need a pretty website. If you have pretty that converts, great - that's ideal, but focus on conversions first. Number two: Give all the ways that people can contact you. Number three: Make it clear what you do and who you serve on your homepage. It should be drop-dead clear, crystal clear. I shouldn’t have to guess. I shouldn’t have to search for this information. I should see it immediately. That way, I can validate my decision to go to your website and I continue spending time on your website. Number four: Leverage your existing content, especially, especially, especially your top performing pieces of content. If you've got one piece of content that is doing better than everything else, amplify it and/or create other pieces of content related to that. And finally, number five: Don’t be afraid to get personal on your website. Share some personal details and that will change your business. [0:19:54.1]
Jonathan: Alright. So do you want to.. oh, you, I see. Alright. That is a wrap for Financial Advisor Marketing this week. I'm looking at the notes here. We will be back in your ear buds next week. Thanks for tuning in.
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