(seeking alpha) Financial advisors are generally planners. They’re analytic. And they want to know the cost of things, so they can plan themselves. So “How much does it cost to build a financial advisor website?”
While the definitive answer depends on what exactly a client’s needs are, the long-term, overall, realistic and bottom-line answer is, it pays for itself!
Creating an updated, custom and most importantly lead-generating website is not inexpensive, however, if done right, it’s an investment that will pay dividends for years to come.
Think about it: Say your current website, which was probably created years ago and is now outdated and not as interactive as it should be, generates one to two leads per year, which is typically the case. This generally requires a lot of hours and hard work by the financial advisor to generate business and follow-up on every lead.
Remember, there are two types of websites – an online brochure site that isn’t very interactive at all with visitors; and a lead-generating site that is built to be very interactive with all visitors – and not too long ago, the first, unfortunately, is what a lot of financial advisors paid for.
Investors are now using the Internet to find, research and contact a financial advisor. And a custom, interactive financial advisor website with a strong online rankinggives investors that power they are searching for. When a financial advisor website uses the right keywords and marketing strategies, the firm’s name will appear in an investor’s search results. If an investor feels that an advisor is a good fit for him or her, the investor will make the contact. All an advisor has to do at that point is follow up.
There are two major ways for financial advisors to generate new business:
An advisor can buy leads. The name and contact information of possible investors are delivered to an advisor.
An advisor or firm can create a web presence so leads find them. A website with strong SEO and effective free offers can attract leads on its own and turn them into clients.
If you don’t have a web presence at all, a new website it crucial! Investors don’t trust an advisor they can’t research online – what are they hiding?
Also, because the Internet allows investors to keep their identity private until they feel comfortable releasing it, investors are no longer handing over their name and contact information because of a free mailer or a phone call. In fact, they find this intrusive and will eliminate an advisor from their search immediately if they receive this kind of pressure.
And it’s not just Millennials any more who are turning to the Internet. Investors of all ages are getting more Web-friendly and relying on the convenience a Smartphone provides.
The bottom line is, if you don’t have a website, an investor cannot find you. And if they can’t find you, these investors are not doing business with you. They more than likely are going to your competition.
HOW DOES A WEBSITE ‘PAY FOR ITSELF’?
Sophisticated tactics like drip campaigns, interactive landing pages, strong SEO and attention-grabbing Calls to Action (CTAs) can generate leads immediately and for years to come.
It just takes one compelling blog post or a well-written email delivered at the right time to create a new lead. If that lead stays with you for years, a new website has paid for itself with that client alone. If it generates a second, that’s just icing on the cake.
Creating a custom website isn’t actually a cost at all; instead, it’s the biggest investment you will make in your business.
Think of your website as your 24x7 professional greeting. Your site should be one of the best sales tools you have. It should be welcoming and inviting, tell your story (in your clients’ voice) and offer them item((s)) that are of interest to them, so they give up their anonymity to get your free offer((s)).
TEMPLATES VS. CUSTOM-DESIGNED SITES
What is the difference between the often less-expensive, Do It Yourself type sites, where you can simply select a template and add your information, and hiring a firm that will create a custom site for you?
Well, you get what you pay for.
Does a template offer follow-up and analytics, which will allow you to change what isn’t working with your website?
Will a template provide blog writing services to save you the time and therefore the money it costs to write it yourself and allow you to focus on what an advisor does best – invest?
Does a template offer CTAs and engaging features?
Does a template ensure your information is regularly updated and correct?
Often times, a website created from a template may look attractive but works like a static brochure instead of a lead-generating tool – the information might be available, but it doesn’t do anything to entice a lead into taking action.
Also, if you choose to use a template-created site, you may have to maintain it yourself. One of the worst things you could potentially do for your business is have an outdated site with incorrect information. When a potential lead first visits your site, incorrect information is the first impression. If an investor is searching for someone to trust and handle his or her hard-earned money and retirement, wrong information is not the first impression you want to give!
ARE ALL FIRMS CREATED EQUAL?
General marketing firms do not have the specific expertise it takes to attract investors in the highly specific world of financial services. A generalist firm may not understand how important the decision of hiring a financial advisor is. The firm may not truly understand the pain points of your ideal client or the terminology used in your business.