There are several problems we’ve noticed that lead to wasted time far too often for financial advisors when it comes to creating and managing their websites. See if they apply to you.

Case 1: Miscalculating the Amount of Effort for Proper Marketing

Content

You’ve heard of the phrase “content is king”? Well if not, than you have now. We won’t go into details as this is not that kind of an article, but you should know what it’s good for: people to find you and trust you. (For more from Advisor Websites, see: Advisors: Save Time With Streamlined Marketing.)

Say you have an article that speaks to specific problems retirees deal with, and you actually offer a well thought out solution. That’s fantastic. You put it up on your website and start seeing people trickling in through Google because of that article.

Ideally, you should be posting at least one article every week. That’s four articles per month. This might seem manageable at first, but let’s take a look at how much time it’s going to cost you:

  • Research - two hours
  • Writing the article - two hours
  • Editing and publishing - one hour

That adds up to a total of five hours per article and through simple math, 4 x 5 hours = 20 hours a month. That’s 2.5 business days lost every month. And we’re not even including the time it takes for compliance to approve the content. Can you afford to take time off from your main duties and focus on content creation for 20 hours every month? (For more from Advisor Websites, see: 7 Critical Website Principles You Should Follow.)

There are some really interesting studies done on content marketing, like the one here. Check out some of the key statistics below and see how you feel about spending time on content:

  • 61% of consumers say they feel better about a company that delivers custom content and are also more likely to buy from that company.
  • 80% of business decision makers prefer to get information in a series of articles versus an advertisement.
  • 50% of consumer time online is spent engaging with custom content.

We think you’d agree that there’s no denying that content could give your business the boost it needs to boom. Back to the problem then? How do you manage your time regarding content creation?

The answer is simple: you curate content in addition to creating it. The best way to do that is by obtaining access to content library which has articles written specifically for financial advisors. If you are curious about how that works, and you should be, learn more about it here.

Website Design

We’re sorry for what you’re about to see, but it’s for your own good. The website below (if you could even call it that) is the very definition of hideousness.

Now we know that financial advisors aren’t designers (maybe except a few?), so it’s not really their area of expertise. They don’t know coding, they don’t know which color contrasts well with which, etc. Nor should they. (For more from Advisor Websites, see: 3 Examples of What a Great Advisor Website Looks Like.)

All they need and want is a good looking website that reinforces the image of credibility they’re trying to convey online. They want something like this:

Now that’s a simple, effective website that establishes trustworthiness. You can see the value proposition playing on future retirees’ fears, as well as the services this particular financial advisor firm offers.

In order to get to this stage, in other words to transform and maintain your website, you’ll need to make continuous updates to your site to stay on top of things that are relevant. Developments like the recent Department of Labor changes are examples of why you may need to update your site in addition to improving your sales funnel.

The feedback we gathered from our 16,000 clients and their website activity that we track tell us financial advisors make two updates every month to their websites on average, spending two hours per update. That time accounts for applying the changes as well as compliance submissions. Now, if you are not using an integrated compliance solution, you’re in for a rough ride. Here’s what you’d have to do in that case:

  • Type and explain the changes in an email.
  • Send said changes to compliance and wait for their reply.
  • Make the changes required (if any).
  • Send to compliance again for final approval.
  • Apply said changes on the website or hire someone to do it for you.

For the sake of keeping things simple, we will assume you do have an integrated compliance solution in place. Still:

  • Average time to finalize a website update - two hours.

Assuming you’d make two updates a month, that’s a total of four hours every month. And believe us, you have to do make updates if you want to succeed in the digital landscape.

According to Hubspot, a leader in marketing automation out of Boston, Massachusetts:

  • Once on a company's homepage, 86% of visitors want to see information about that company's products/services.
  • 47% of website visitors check out a company's products/services page before looking at any other sections of the site.

Are you confident enough in your website meeting the above expectations? If the answer’s no, you have some work to do. How many advisors do you think would be able to create something like this without coding skills? Maybe a handful. Why? We’re back where we started: Because they don’t have the time (nor the desire) to do it themselves. (For more from Advisor Websites, see: Websites: The Front Door to Your Advisory Practice.)

Case 2: Too Much Manual Work

This is especially true for communication efforts, such as posting on social media and sending out email newsletters. See the graph below for the impact of utilizing social media for your business:

Now that we established the fact that social media does help your business, let’s see how much time the marketers are spending on channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn:

The question is, can you afford to ignore social media if you want to grow your business? We’d have to say no. Most financial advisors aren’t social outreach experts - that we get. Yet still, it is just too important to ignore given the recent study by PEW Research Centre:

  • Adults using at least one social media site : 69%
  • Users checking their Facebook accounts daily: 76%

The time required to maintain an active status on social media and engage in other outreach activities adds up to anywhere between two to six hours per month for financial advisors, again based on the feedback we got from our client base of 16,000 advisors. And once again, there’s the issue of time. Will you be okay with spending at least two to six hours per month managing your social channels instead of say, golfing with clients or attending a networking event?

If you answer “no” to the question above, you need to streamline your social media efforts. You could use a paid software like Hootsuite or Buffer to do that, but can you be 100% certain that the short and sweet posts you make are compliant? Not even the tiniest mistake is made? (For more from Advisor Websites, see: Attracting New Clients With Your Website Content.)

Alternatively, you could find a website provider offering auto-scheduling features with social media snippets included. (Hint: we do that for our clients).

How to Save Precious Time and What You'll Get Out of It

Focusing on what’s important isn’t always possible, we know. But if you can figure out the real cause, the fixes are rather simple.

  1. Seek out dedicated solution providers for your marketing efforts.
  2. Try to automate/streamline everything that is not the core of your business.

If you stick with the suggestions above, you will be able to:

  1. Focus more on prospects.
  2. Have more opportunities to network and build relationships.
  3. Engage more with your audience, get to know them better.
  4. See a better ROI - both time and money-wise.

Everything comes down to this: do you want to invest in your business, however you can, and see significant improvements or do nothing and keep struggling with processes and trivial tasks?

Time is our most important commodity, both in business and our personal lives. You’ll need to ask yourself this, are you okay with losing 24-30 hours (that’s more than three full business days) on activities you could streamline?

  • Content creation: 20 hours/month
  • Website updates: four hours/month
  • Communication and social outreach: two to six hours/month
  • Total: 24-30 hours/month

Next Step for Advisors Willing to Up Their Game

The first thing on the to-do list is to figure out what it is that taking up a big chunk of your time. Once you have the answer, look for a dedicated solution provider. Say, need content curation or a modern redesign of your site?

In conclusion, you need to accept the fact that there are a ton of things you should be doing (which you probably aren’t) but just don’t have enough time for. From pay-per-click advertising to focused messaging, there are a lot of ways to generate buzz around your business online. You need to delegate these tasks to either your team, or a thought leader company in the fintech industry. (For more from Advisor Websites, see: 12 Web Design Words Financial Advisors Should Know.)

-This article was written by Lester Tiro and originally appeared on AdvisorWebsites.

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