If you’re a financial advisor, referrals and new leads are the lifeblood of your business. The good news is that a properly designed website with good financial advisor copywriting can act as a low cost, 24/7 lead generator for you. At the same time, it can also help convince referrals to take action and contact you.
The bad news? Very few RIA websites actually work this way. Most don’t communicate the strengths or personality of your firm, or engage the visitor emotionally. So the website doesn’t turn visitors into leads. Instead, it encourages them to keep looking!
The common cause? Ineffective financial advisor copywriting. You can have a beautiful RIA website, but if the messaging doesn’t engage your target audience they are likely to move on to the next firm’s site.
Fortunately, with website copywriting, you don’t always need a total website do-over to get results. There are many content strategies to start incrementally improving your site so it starts generating leads and encouraging referrals to contact you.
Quick Fix: Change your Headline to Generate More Leads
One such strategy is to simply change your headline. The website headline is the first thing that people read when they arrive on your home page. It should be big and bold, both in typeface and in message! You have literally just a few seconds to capture someone’s interest and convince them to keep reading. This is where you’ve got to stand out!
Your headline, along with a longer sub-headline below it, should speak directly to the clients you’re targeting. What are their pain points?
- They don’t use outside financial help and worry that they are not on track financially
- They don’t feel like they are getting enough attention from their current broker or advisor
- They fear making big mistakes, such as the setbacks many experienced post-2008
- They don’t know how much money they will need in retirement
- They wonder if they are overpaying on taxes or not adequately protecting their wealth.
As we all know, the list can go on and on…there is no shortage of pain and worry about money. So let’s capitalize on that. That’s how we get people to take action.
Financial Advisor Website Headlines, Before and After
Let’s take a look at how we can turn pain points into a better headline for our average RIA website.
To do that, here’s an example of a common approach I see out there:
Fee-only wealth management specialists
XYZ Advisors is a full-service, independent financial advisory firm serving Kalamazoo.
[Call us today]
Nothing terribly wrong with it, but there’s nothing convincing about it, either. What pain points is it addressing? Nothing really that I can see.
So most people will read that, figure that now they know pretty much all they need to about your firm, and move on.
Also, the call-to-action button on there says ‘call us today’. That’s an awkward first step you’re asking them to take.
Now, let’s try another approach:
Personalized wealth management for maximum peace of mind.
Why settle for some off-the-shelf solution? With XYZ Advisors, you get one-on-one financial planning and investment management from a team of experts, all for one simple fee.
[Why we’re different]
What’s different? Let’s break it down:
Pain Points. It’s subtle, because we want to keep it positive, but they are in there. ‘Maximum peace of mind’ speaks to those looking to alleviate some of their stress and worry about money. The ‘off the shelf solution’ and ‘team of experts’ may have do-it-yourselfers or robo-advisor clients questioning their choices. And the ‘personalized, one-on-one’ approach will hopefully pique the interest of those who are feeling neglected by their current provider.
What’s In It for Me? Notice who is the ‘star’ of these headlines. In the old version, it’s all about ‘XYZ Advisors’. That’s the classic advisor website—reads like a brochure. We talk about ourselves. Sorry, but to a reader, that’s very boring. Potential clients who don’t know you, don’t really care about you…they only care about what you can do for them. When writing headlines, put yourself in your website reader’s shoes and ask yourself: what’s in it for me? Your headline should answer that question.
We want to play up our firm’s strengths. For our friends at fictitious XYZ Advisors, we are highlighting the high service level the firm provides. But notice we do it in terms of what it does for this potential client. You want to be sure you’re selling benefits, not features. For example, if one of your firm’s features is:
Our firm is GIPS®-compliant
Unfortunately that probably isn’t going to mean much to your prospects unless they are in the industry. But what will that do for them? Let’s translate that to a benefit:
You’ll be able to measure our performance, so you’ll know if we’re doing a good job for you.
That’s just one example.
Really, as a financial advisor copywriter, our job is one of translator. We take the unique benefits your RIA offers and explain how these will personally benefit the website visitor.
Play Up Consumer-Friendly Policies. You’ll notice we included ‘one simple fee’. Here we’re thinking like a consumer. When you buy goods or services, what’s important? Usually, you want to know how much it’s going to cost. Is there anything worse than hiring someone on the dreaded hourly basis with no idea how much you’re going to spend? If you don’t talk about your fees at all, you may leave visitors wondering if that’s the type of billing practices they might encounter at your firm.
Even if you’re an advisor to the high net worth crowd, no one likes to overpay. The more clarity you can provide on fees, the better. If you have consumer-friendly pricing (such as no hourly or add-on fees), that’s a huge benefit, so it can be very powerful to highlight that fact.
Trust-Building. There’s another benefit to talking about fees on your website. As Michael Kitces pointed out in a recent article, “I still find it is very rare for most advisors to actually put minimums and fee schedules on their websites”. In that article, he points out many compelling reasons to include your fees on your website. From a content point of view, I believe fee transparency is a very powerful way to build trust. If you’re up front about your fees and provide detail, you will look a lot more consumer-friendly than a firm who won’t post them on their website. In the future, things may be different, but right now full transparency on fees is a great advantage to those firms that are willing to disclose them on their website.
The Ultimate Test
Now, in reality, what you think of a headline, or what I think of a headline, doesn’t really matter. It’s what your target client thinks that matters. And fortunately we can measure that. If you’re getting more leads than before, it’s working. If you’re not, you need to keep adjusting, as well as look at other factors that might be preventing your website from working, to find one that works. So be sure to monitor your result and keep adjusting, until you’re getting results you want.
Getting the Right Help
If you have a copywriter in house, you’re one step ahead and you can experiment for little cost. That’s ideal.
If you don’t, fortunately there are industry financial copywriting services that can help. Ask for a flat fee quote to ensure that you know what it’s going to cost.
There’s usually a significant benefit to bringing in an outside specialist firm. By seeing your firm with a fresh set of eyes, it’s usually much easier for us to write about your unique strengths and help position your messaging effectively among your competitors.
Unfortunately I find many advisors first turn to local website specialists, thinking they will get the same result at better prices with them. More often than not, they end up with nicer versions of a website that still doesn’t generate many leads, which ends up costing a lot more in the long run.
Selling financial advisory services is one of the most complex sales anyone will ever be challenged with. There’s nothing easy about it. To get the best result, it’s advisable to work with a firm that understands the unique challenge of selling financial services, and more importantly, the psychology of today’s investors.
Regardless, tweaking your website headline is a very easy and inexpensive way to start. By starting sooner, rather than later, you can get your website working for you to consistently generate new leads.
Jeanne Klimowski is the founder of Wavelength Financial Content Inc. Wavelength provides copywriting and content development for financial advisors and financial wellness programs for retirement advisors and employers. Contact us to learn more about how to get your RIA website working better for you, on any budget.