Maybe it's because advisors are generally comfortable only with prudent, time-tested solutions that so many of you make poor technology choices.
Or maybe it’s just that the advisor tech press is a clubby group of citizen journalists with little or no experience in developing advisor websites and no grasp of the story, leaving advisors poorly informed.
Advisors Are Late Adopters. Advisors are the opposite of early-adopters of technology. Generally, by nature, you are late-adopters. It’s genetically-coded perhaps, and that makes sense. Would you want an advisor managing your retirement savings who would take one iota more than prudent risk. Applied to decisions about your technology stack, your conservative approach to change makes you comfortable being behind the times.
Your natural predisposition for risk-aversion prevents you from being ahead of the curve in technology. So your naïveté about technology must be forgiven. For, not only are you naturally predisposed to adopting yesterday’s technology, but there also is so much to know. Consequently, advisor websites are generally way behind the times.
Online marketing for advisors requires learning a bit about the somewhat-byzantine world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC). You also must be able to assess whether a content management system is easy to use for you, your colleagues, and clients. It's not hard to learn about all this. You would need to read two or three short books. However, the vast majortity of advisors show no inclnation to read a book about SEO.
Respectfully, here are four misconceptions financial advisors make about bulding a content-only website. This issue is coming up a lot with advisors lately.
I regularly get calls from advisors who explicitly say they want a content-only website. We have offered content-only websites for years and will continue to do so, to appease the stubborn-minded and those with aberrational compliance situations. However, building a content-only website is usually not in your best interest. When I try to explain his to advisors, they assume I am a self-interested salesman. It's ironic.Point is, since creating a modern technology stack for client commucations is what I do, I will refer all advisors looking for a content-only website to those this article in an effort to bring clarity about why content-only website are usually a bad idea.
1. You'll Be Paying For Hosting Twice. Among the advisors who call in asking about our websites, twice or three times a week, they explicitly say they already have a website. “I don’t need to rebuild a whole new website and start all over again,” they say. Particularly since they paid thousands to design it, you totally avoiding building your website yet again would be ludicrous! While logical, that is totally incorrect! Local designers are often charging $3000 or more for a website that looks cool but that you cannot edit easily. These sites do not provide advisors with compliance workflows, FINRA-reviewed content, calculators, client portals integrated with advisor practice management applications or any of the powerful specialized functions that comes with Financial Advisor Marketing Engine (FAME) and Financial Advisor Communications Suite. (FACS). Perhaps your local web designer did what was in his best interest. He does not know it would save you money and he could provide you with a better website that he can service by using our platform to develop your website. You don’t need to hire a developer. We can do it. You do not save any money by hiring a designer or developer, and our development fee is the same if we design and develop the site instead of another developer. The only benefit is having a local contact wo can meet with you. But our team works with people all over the world collaborating on the Web.
2. You Would NOT Save Any Money. If we do what advisors want — build a content-only website — we still need to build a new website. The “content-only” website we build is a replica of your current website hosted away from us. You need to get your wev developer of that site to add new navigation buttons linking to our content. In addition, on the content-only site we provide, we add links to the navigation to the static marketing pages hosted away from us. Replicating your static marketing pages is a small development task. Moving a WordPress site to our Joomla platform, for example, takes an hour of two in 90% of the cases. Maybe a page or two presents a problem 10% of the time. So, yes, you would have to pay a one-time development to replicate your site, but your site will be hosted in one place, eliminating a hosting fee while also giving you all of our specialized tools that makes compliant client communications by a fiduciary easy. By the way, if you ever fire us, you can copy all of the content you create — not the content we create for emails newsletters and articles and videos — but all of the content you create can be copied and replicated elsewhere. You could find a compatible template and move your site easily. The template nature of open-source software continent management systems like Joomla and WordPress makes replication a lead-pipe cinch.
3. Avoid Finger-Pointing. When you have two consultants giving you advice, you often get finger-pointing. You don’t know who is right. It’s all mumbo-jumbo to you. To avert frustration, let us take responsibility. We’d prefer to be totally responsible for your site and maintenance to avoid finger-pointing, too. Out terms are simple and fair: We give you free service for a year for up to two incidents with FAME and four incidents with FACS. Beyond that, you will be billed $75 per incident. You can also outsource maintenance. Look, we make our websites easy enough for advisors to edit. By definition, that means it must be easy! If you are too important to learn how to change you website yourself routinely (NOT recommended) and want to hir someone who post new content and manage your website for you, you can let a local developer do it. Heck, strike a deal with a client to have their son or daughter, an aspiring web developer, do post new content to your website and make sure the email newsletter and video goes out the way you want it to look every week. Or hire a virtual assistant. We don’t care. We’d prefer you learn to use it, but he most important thing is to make sure you have a way to continually update your website with new content. Here’s a one-minute about our autopilot and pre-review settings.
4. Make Me Happy. Most important, you will make my life easier. I answer the phone when advisors call and they mistake me for a sales person. Advisors think I’m trying to sell them something or make them pay more than necessary. It would make me so very happy not to be treated like I am trying to sell you something when I am giving you good advice. Ironically, I would not give you any advice unless that's not prudent and in your best interest.