Referrals are an important source of new business for most financial advisors. However recent industry surveys report referral business declining. So, you may notice fewer referrals coming your way through client family and friends.
However, what if you were still getting a decent amount of referrals, but you didn’t even know it?
That might be happening.
Spenser Segal, CEO of ActiFi, Inc., wanted to find out more about present-day financial advisor referral patterns, so he acquired a large amount of data from a survey company. He and his team then spent months digging through the survey data, which included tens of thousands of questionnaires from many advisors and their clients.
Some of Segal’s discoveries were not a huge surprise. For instance, he found that referrals still remain the source of between 80 to 90% of all new clients.
However, his next finding was quite disturbing:
Out of every 10 referrals, advisors were seeing at most one prospect. Yes – that’s ONE out of ten.
What happened to the other 90%? Very likely, they typed the firm’s name in Google, checked out their website, and decided there was no good reason to contact them.
So the good news is that you are probably getting far more referrals than you think you are. The bad news, however, is that these referrals may vanish after one short visit to your website!
What can you do to stop this from happening? Here’s steps you can take:
Make sure your website effectively differentiates your firm. With so many firms choosing template-based designs, it’s no surprise that a lot of financial advisor websites look alike. These services are definitely affordable, but the savings may cost you much more in the long run. There’s a good chance your website looks a lot like everyone else’s. That’s unfortunately what can make these valued referrals look at your site, decide they are unimpressed and move on.
The unfortunate fact is that you know your strengths, your clients know your firm’s strengths, but most advisor websites don’t do a good job of conveying them.
Saving money on website design and copywriting is tempting, but is it worth it if ends up costing you referrals? Instead, invest the time and resource to develop an original website. Make sure your website effectively differentiates your firm in an clear and engaging way. Revisit your home page to make sure your firm’s personality and strengths shine through.
Maximize Your Messaging
Make sure your website copy is doing its job. You’ve likely heard the saying “Content is King”. Well, good content starts with good messaging, which is what good web copy will do for you. The fact is, you only have a short amount of time to capture a visitor’s interest. And it’s seconds, not minutes. If the words on your home page are simply a written version of a boring brochure, the referral visitor will not likely be engaged and simply may move on to another website.
Your web copy needs to be more than just a dull description. It needs to talk to your potential clients. What can you do for them specifically? Big picture, how will your service impact their lives? You know you can help people feel more peace of mind today and help them achieve their dreams. We need to convey all that, which is a lot more than just explaining features. This emotional engagement is what gets people to take action.
Here again, shortcuts or cost savings may seem tempting in the short run, but may cost you over and over again with lost lead opportunities.
So invest the time and money with your staff and a financial advisor website copy pro to do it right.
Include Original Content
Include original content that addresses your ideal client’s main concerns. Your website’s main purpose is to turn an anonymous website visitor into a lead. The best way to do that, along with the above steps, is to include content that is interesting specifically to your target market. There are many ways to do that. The simplest one is with a blog. The important thing is, it should be your content, that is, your original content. Here again, the tempting shortcut is to subscribe to a mass content service so that you instantly have as many blog articles as you need. Unfortunately convenience has its price: mass produced content doesn’t do much to help a website visitor see your perspective, or how you could help them.
Instead, invest some time writing your own original blog articles, or hire a financial ghostwriting service to help turn your ideas into words.
These are the basic steps to get you on the right path. When you’re ready, there are other types of great content you can add like explainer videos and eBooks, to further improve website engagement.
But regardless, if your website isn’t generating leads for you, don’t put this critical task off. Remember, with referrals, you usually only get one try. Lose them once, lose them forever. So be sure to invest the time and resources now, to be sure that your website is as recommendation-worthy as your firm itself.
Jeanne Klimowski is the founder of Wavelength Financial Content Inc. and a financial ghostwriter. Wavelength is a provider of content for financial advisors and financial wellness programs for retirement plan advisors.