For those not in the financial advisory business, there are often many myths and misconceptions. You may have even heard of some yourself. For instance, it is not uncommon for the public to think that an IFA position revolves around long hours behind a large desk; stacks of papers and legal documents abounding. While this image is not necessarily true (with any luck), such notions can actually detract from the services that you provide. Like any profession, it is your personality which defines your success. So, client relations will very much begin the first time that a new visitor enters your site. It is for this reason that placing a realistic face to your business is critical. So, let’s look at a handful of habits to avoid and policies to embrace.
The Ugly Side of Web Design
One of the hallmarks of a poorly constructed IFA website is one that is laden with stock photos of smiling professionals and cute receptionists on a hands-free phone. These are tacky, trite and will serve little purpose. Additionally, cliches and the odd inspirational quotes smack of a lack of innovation. Personality revolves as much around honesty as it does character. So, design the site around who you are as opposed to who you think the clients wish you to be. If you appear to be overtly selling yourself or your services, you are unlikely to ever find a buyer!
A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words (and a Few More Never Hurt)
Make certain that one of the first things that your clients see is a picture of yourself and any other stakeholder in your IFA firm. This will enable any potential client to actually see who they will be dealing with. Never make the mistake of placing a picture on the contact page alone; half of the visitors may actually never make it to this point. A personal photo will naturally spawn a bit of curiosity and this will subconsciously urge the client to continue reading.
Also, provide a brief biography of any relevant stakeholders. Another mistake to avoid is only listing personal accolades or certifications. Of course, these are critical in displaying that you are a professional in your field. While you may boast a Level 4 in the Qualifications and Credit Framework, how many potential clients will even know what this signifies. Instead, avoid the technicalities and focus on your personal attributes, interest and hobbies. Throwing in a family photograph can likewise never hurt.
Should your site appear dry and as a rigid template, you are taking away from your talent and skills as a financial adviser. Instead, adopt an approach which embraces your prowess alongside your personality. This will allow visitors to feel more comfortable and they are much more likely to request further information (the first step in the qualifying process). With a bit of time and innovation, these practices will give your website the “spark” that it needs to survive and thrive in this competitive industry.