Written by Christine Meginness, VP Sites Program at Hearsay, this post is the first in a series of four; all focused on why a modern, flexible website is table stakes for financial professionals today.
While corporate websites provide basic information about advisors and their services, having your own dedicated website is a game-changer. A standalone website serves as a “home base” as you cultivate relationships with prospects and clients. Beyond providing contact information, your site gives you a place to highlight your expertise by sharing commentary and perspectives on relevant topics of interest. It can also provide site visitors with opportunities to interact with you—online or in person.
Here are four specific reasons why having an individualized advisor site offers you a leg up in a competitive online environment:
Having your own website allows you to build a unique brand identity that’s separate from your parent company’s brand. As the potential first point of interaction clients have with your brand, it's important to make sure your website makes a good impression. With your own site, you highlight your unique experience, certifications and awards, values, specialized expertise, and interests to differentiate yourself from other advisors.
Every prospect has specific goals; having your own website allows you to 'speak their language' and build meaningful connections in a way that reflects your unique value proposition and services. Having your own site also frees you from being constrained by broader corporate messaging and enables you to showcase success stories and provide valuable resources that educate and inform your audience. As an added bonus, having a well-defined brand and web presence will help you establish yourself as an industry thought leader.
3. Lead generation
A well-designed website can serve as a powerful lead generation and conversion tool. By incorporating calls-to-action, lead capture forms, and event registration forms, your website can help you build a sales pipeline on autopilot, allowing you to focus on serving existing clients.
4. Better visibility
When you launch a site that’s purpose-built to maximize search engine optimization (SEO), it becomes easier for prospects to find you online. By incorporating specific keywords into your website, publishing content focused on topics that are relevant to your target clients, and testing different strategies to see what works best for your business—you can boost your search engine visibility, rank higher in search results, and attract more organic traffic to your site.
Ultimately, creating your own space in the digital world gives you a secret weapon that makes it easier to attract and convert prospects and retain clients.
The power of a cohesive brand voice
Branding is essential for financial agents and advisors who want to stand out in a crowded marketplace. Having a website that reflects your unique brand identity and goals helps you rank better in search engines, generate more leads, and build trust with clients and prospects. All these benefits help you build a strong brand that resonates with your audience and supports your business growth.
To build a comprehensive brand story, treat your website as the source of truth and apply consistent language across marketing touchpoints (e.g., social profiles, business cards, email marketing sends, and blog posts). This allows you to build a cohesive brand story that reinforces your unique value proposition, making it easier to attract and retain clients.
It’s also important to make sure that your website—and any online presence you maintain—is in line with industry standards and best practices to avoid potential compliance issues and protect you and your company’s reputation and business.
Summing it up
Agents and advisors have much to gain by launching a standalone website. Having your own space on the web gives you the opportunity to showcase your unique services and skills and differentiate yourself from competitors. An individual website also gives you the opportunity to drive traffic to a conversion-focused landing page and to attract, nurture, engage, and ultimately—convert prospects into clients.