From a Financial Advisor’s perspective a website can play a critical role in the firm’s practice development efforts. The two primary contributions that a website makes in this area are boosting firm visibility and providing an opportunity to distinguish the firm for competitive advantage.
First and foremost, having a web presence provides prospects with a chance to find and vet the firm. Even if a prospect has been referred by a current client of the firm, they’re going to conduct an independent assessment prior to reaching out to establish a meeting. This effort will invariably begin online. If your firm doesn’t have a website, prospects will make inferences about the size, resource offering, professionalism and staying power of the firm. In this scenario your firm was at least mentioned in the context of a referral. How will you get found by prospects conducting online research to investigate potential Financial Advisors if you have no web presence?
Secondly, your website provides visitors with a window into the firm, its resources, professional staff, investment philosophy and client service offering. It is a perfect opportunity to distinguish your organization from the myriads of other FA firms that occupy what is a very crowded and competitive space. How does your site measure-up on this front? Is your site current or has it been months since it was updated? Does it provide access to timely, relevant investor information? Does it tell your firm’s “story” in a compelling manner that visitors can relate to?
In conclusion, if you don’t have a website, you need to get one (cost of entry). If you have a dated brochureware website that serves as little more than an online calling card, you should consider a new website. Why? The investment is modest relative to the return and technology continues to evolve to support what is increasingly a “connected” world.
The latest developments in website technology and design have done wonders to enhance the user experience. With intuitive interfaces and fewer page elements that allow for ease of site navigation today’s websites are visually pleasing and highly functional. One key element of this movement is the continued deployment and refinement of CSS3 and HTML5. In short, both make websites easier to build (holds costs down) and easier to link to social networking sites… without the compatibility problems of Flash.
Secondly, “Responsive” web design has emerged as one of the most significant web development approaches in recent memory. In the “old days” consumers accessed the web from their personal computer at home or in the office. Today, the online experience is being driven by the growth in mobile devices (i.e. phones, tablets, e-readers, etc…) as a primary and or secondary means of accessing the web. Responsive web design results in adaptive websites that can significantly enhance the mobile experience, allowing sites to be viewed across multiple screens, sizes and types of devices through the use of fluid grids, flexible layouts and media queries. Because a website can now be designed once and reformatted, firms don’t need to create another website for mobile and makes content from a single URL for all to access.
Best of all, your firm can move into a new website with the latest technology to provide a first-rate user experience and allow your firm to get found, distinguish itself and grow for prices beginning at $3,500 and ranging up to $15,000. Interested in learning more about the benefits of “Responsive” web design? Contact Craig Kaminer, Partner at Evolutionize, LLC at email@example.com for a complimentary consultation.