The success of any website hinges on its copywriting. It’s the words on your website that will either connect with your potential clients, or not. And if there’s no connection, that person will likely move on to another firm’s website.
Financial advisor websites are no different in this regard. However, in an industry full of jargon and numbers, the task is more challenging. This article will review five rules that can help you avoid these mistakes and achieve a better result.
#1. Put Away Your Grammar Rules And Write Like You Talk
Ignoring grammar rules is a significant stumbling block for many financial advisors since most are naturally precise and technical. Technical accuracy is critical in the financial industry, of course. However, it can backfire on you with copywriting.
Writing copy is not the same as writing a paper for colleagues or an academic journal. You are not trying to prove a thesis. Instead, you’re trying to attract attention and engage someone emotionally. Formal writing not only won’t work, it will probably send your potential clients running away from you, fast.
You need to approach the process differently. You want your website to be conversational, so the copy should sound like you’re talking, not writing a paper. Contractions? Yes! They work well since that’s how most of us talk. So don’t be afraid to break those grammar rules if it sounds like natural speech.
In fact, for success, most website copywriting should be targeted at a 6th to 8th-grade reading level. Why? Well, even though you are probably targeting adults with far more education, they are not reading your website in school. They are doing it while busy, multi-tasking, and looking for a solution to their financial concerns.
You have just a few seconds to catch their attention. A hard-to-read sentence won’t work. Short, snappy phrases will.
While your text should be free of common spelling and grammatical mistakes, you’re not trying to sound smart. You’re trying to differentiate your firm…fast.
So simplify the content, shorten the sentences, and make your writing accessible to the average person. Writing like you talk will make it much easier for the person on the other side of the screen to understand what you’re trying to say.
#2. Translate What You Do Into Benefits
Talking about portfolio stress testing, estate plan construction, or cash flow analysis may make perfect sense to you as a financial professional, but keep in mind that it may not for your target audience. Even very substantial professionals may not react to those words strongly, simply because it’s not part of their day-to-day vernacular.
Instead, what is going to attract a website visitor’s attention is benefits. What’s in it for me? What benefits do all these actions bring? Answer that, and it’s far easier to keep a reader’s attention.
For example, take what you do and translate it into simple benefits.
- We help you better control risk, so you don’t see wild swings in your account balances
- We help you manage your money so you can feel confident that you can afford to live the way you want in retirement
- We help you identify blind spots in your finances before they turn into significant losses that could threaten your future lifestyle
As another example, let’s look at the term “asset allocation.” Even if people happen to know what it means, it’s not that meaningful to people outside of the financial industry. So telling them your firm specializes in finding the proper asset allocation for them will probably make their eyes glaze over.
However, tell them that you’re making sure their investments are varied enough to help ensure they’re not losing sleep when stocks happen to drop. This gives a whole new meaning to how you’re helping their portfolio and their life.
#3. Strive To Engage People Emotionally
While we all like to think that we make decisions rationally, research suggests that instead, most people make purchasing decisions primarily based on emotion.
On your financial advisor website, you can use this to your advantage. Money is an inherently emotional topic for most people. For those with moderate amounts of wealth, the emotions might be different, but even the high or ultra-high net worth population has money worries.
You want to bring those emotions into your copywriting. While writing, ask yourself, “How does my service make people feel?” Organized? Confident? In control? Optimistic?
Now think about those people who don’t get financial help and live lives of financial uncertainty. What do they feel? Financially stressed? Uncertain about the future? Or the higher net worth folks may wonder how to keep their money productive in this low and negative interest rate climate. Or they may worry about the next recession or their adult kids being too dependent upon their financial support. These are the pain points that your copy should push, as well.
So, don’t be afraid to tap into how people feel and include that in your writing. That will help your potential clients think that you understand their concerns and can provide solutions.
#4. Avoid Industry Jargon
The jargon and terminology used in financial writing can be boring and confusing for those unfamiliar with it. When people read content they don’t understand, they are more likely to click off the page and move on to another advisor’s site.
So when copywriting, it’s your job to make your writing more digestible by explaining things in simple and interesting ways.
So avoid jargon. If you need to use a term, define it. All of this can help your firm feel approachable. You’ll automatically seem warmer and easier to talk to. That’s the kind of firm that someone wants to hire.
#5. Understand That There Will Be Repetition
A lot of the financial advisor copywriting on your site will be repetitive. Don’t worry if this is the case – when was the last time you read an entire website, page by page? No one does this unless you are working on the website.
Instead, you want to be more concerned that your unique strengths are threaded through the website copywriting so that a visitor won’t miss them. So having an appropriate amount of repetition ensures that your reader will understand what makes your firm different.
For example, do you offer tax planning? Weave that throughout the website. Or, does your firm provide monthly check-ins with clients to help keep them motivated and on track to their goals? If you just note that once, you’ll risk someone missing it.
So take your unique value proposition and play it up throughout.
Make The Most Of This One-Time Effort
As a financial advisor, you are probably really well-versed in talking to a potential client in person. Capturing those same messages effectively should be your goal or the goal of your copywriter. We have found it will be far more effective when you follow these five rules.
Most firms do not have a copywriter on staff. If you do, count yourself as very, very lucky. But there’s good news. Financial copywriting for your website is a one-time expense.
That’s why it can make sense to outsource since you need to get the best result possible. Because of the unique nature of your business and compliance requirements, hiring a financial copywriting specialist is smart. This can make the process, as well as the result, far more predictable.
Looking for help creating website copy that effectively differentiates your firm? At Wavelength, we’ve developed engaging content for many clients, including over 85 Registered Investment Advisory firms. Contact us to see if we can help you achieve your goals.