“I need new ways to attract or find more clients”.
In one form or another, that’s the number one answer, and has been for 7 years, advisors give when they signs up for my Advisor Toolkit. They’re answering the question “What is your biggest business challenge?”
Often when I visit their websites, the first things I see are:
“Create a XYZ* site! 100s of templates. No coding needed for the site”. (XYZ is not the real name of the free website service. This is the message on the top right part of the website — the most viewed space on every website!)
At the bottom of the pages, it proclaims “This site was created using XYZ.com. Create your own for FREE.”
This was far from the first time I visited a financial firm’s website and saw such cheapness. Unfortunately, it’s actually a pattern I’ve seen over and over and over again. (Big difference between cheap and affordable. With some exceptions, cheap or free are usually not professional looking.)
What a stranger visiting your website needs, before contacting you, is to know that THEY ARE your ideal clients in both what they see in 7 seconds of viewing your website. They need to know how having you in their life will add value to them. If they don’t see that, in the first 7 seconds, they’ll move onto a competitor.
Come on advisors… get with the program!
In this day and age, there are no excuses why an advisor has a crappy free website — unless they don’t want to be paid!
As an advisor, you have so many choices of how to market professionally at affordable prices. Believe me, your first website does not (and should not) cost you 5K. And you do have a choice NOT to have a website right now!
But please don’t demean all the hard and important work you do for your clients by creating a website that hurts — no destroys — your brand. Please stop using the free hosting websites whose goal is to market themselves!
If you are ready to be on the Internet but you don’t have a budget over 1K, are my recommendations:
1) Check around for web design companies whose niche is specifically advisors. Ask your custodian for their recommendations. Today’s “template” websites are so much better than they were years ago. Make sure that whatever is set up is niched to your ideal audience and is more about them, than you. Make sure that anything you purchase is responsive — meaning that people with smartphones and notebooks can easily view the site. To keep costs to a minimum, for your first website, keep to 5 pages — Home page, Who we Are, Who We Work With, About, and Contact Us
The recommendations below may also help you, depending on your budget.
2) Buy a domain name and have it forwarded to your LinkedIn profile. You’ll have a website name to place on your business cards, and when people visit your site, they’ll see something professional. Not perfect, just more professional than using a FREE website service.
If you also purchase a hosting package (this is how your website will get on the internet), you’ll also have email addresses that end in your domain name to use, too. When your first website IS up, you just unhook the domain from LinkedIn and hook the site to your hosting package (the codes to do this were in the first email you received from the hosting company). You’ll be all set.
3) Do everything in #2 and after that’s done, follow the video instructions below to upload WordPress to your website.
When on a shoestring budget, choose a professional and free theme (theme = the basic look of a site) by going into your WordPress the dashboard and look for the PLUGIN section. Look for themes that are “responsive” and close to the colors your website will be. If you don’t have a WordPress website yet, I’m giving you a link to the themes below, too.
The world will not end if you have a professional website that is a placeholder for your contact information. Hey it’s a great start (and so much better than a freebie site). Include your logo, your name and photo, firm contact information, and office hours. This is a much better option than using your LinkedIn profile since it will bring people directly to your website.
4) Buy a domain name, get hosting, and for purchase access to a marketing driven theme. I’ve tried more than 25 themed site but have one favorite that I recommend to my clients, mainly for some of it’s built in marketing features. Thrive theme is the easiest (for you assistant) to learn and to use, and it offers many proven and tested marketing tools, too. (see resources below)
5) Need professional photos for your website? See my resources below.
6) Ask. The chances are high that you have a team member, or a friend of one, who can do some of what I’ve written above at an affordable fee. If not, you can contact me. I’ve managed many website upgrades and start-ups since 1998.
Here are the resources I use and have thoroughly tested at some of the links are to an affiliate program:
1) Domain Names: buy at Dynadot http://elevatingyourbusiness.com/b/dynadot.html (Cost: $11 per year)
NOTE: I do not recommend using the same service to buy a domain name and as you do to host your website. I also recommend that you purchase a domain name directly from a company who sells them where you are the administrator and owner.
2) Hosting: Bluehost and HostGator are owned by the same company. (Cost: $11 or $12 a month / $8 or $9 per month when you purchase 12 months).
3) How to Setup WordPress in under 15 minutes https://www.youtube.com/user/mariamarsala
4) Photos: Read licensing rights carefully.
5) Free basic themes: https://wordpress.org/themes/ or locate them through your WordPress Dashboard. Dashboard> then appearances > then themes.
6) Theme includes some marketing tools: (Cost $25 a month when paid quarterly, $19 a month when paid annually. They also have a basic theme program for purchase a for $67) http://www.ElevatingYourBusiness.com/b/themethrive.html
7) Logo: Most things on Fiveer cost more than $5 so write to who you hire first. So a search for logo designers and do some homework. Here’s who I’ve had create a few logos for me. https://www.fiverr.com/le1z1122
8) Ebook covers (for your free report) . Here’s who does mine https://www.fiverr.com/conversations/rdezines
NOTE: When using Fiverr, https://www.fiverr.com/ even though the prices are very inexpensive, ok, they’re cheap, remember that you are working with a person who doesn’t know you, and you are choosing a vendor. Look for top providers or first levels and have a 4.8-5 ranking. Read what they offer, how many revisions they offer, and what the time frame is carefully. Create a word document to send them the outlining of everything you’re looking for, colors of your branding, what type of tracking you prefer and how you want them to be used. If you have samples of what you like or don’t like, send them along to whom you hire, too.
Have a question about anything you’ve read in this post?
I so much want to eliminate crappy advisor websites that I’m hosting a free Q and A session regarding any part of I’ve written in this post or anything about websites on Friday, April 7, 2016, at 3 pm EST/noon PST.
ONLY 50 People Can Attend
If you know you won’t be able to attend, ask for the replay you’ll get next week. Sorry, but I won’t be able to answer your questions unless you show up. If you will be one of the 50 people attending, please complete the 2nd form! And start putting your questions to paper.
To sign up to receive the replay go here:
To sign up to attend and ask me your questions go here:
If you’d like a copy of my Advisor Toolkit click hereand answer the challenge question, too!