Google research shows the Internet is having a major impact on the different ways investors find, research, and contact financial advisors.
It does not matter if people know you and enter your website’s URL in a search engine or they don’t know you and find you on the Internet using a variety of relevant keywords.
The process is still the same when investors visit your website and google search your name. They are seeking information that confirms you are credible and trustworthy.
Power is in the hands of investors who can maintain their anonymity until they contact you.
People Who Know You
Your first opportunity is investors who already know you. They are not seeking advisors on the Internet. They already know you. They are seeking information about you that makes them comfortable enough to contact you.
Some advisors assume the Internet does not have a big impact on the decisions of people that know them – a major mistake. They know you, but they have not contacted you for a reason. What is holding them back? What have they seen or not seen that causes them to withhold contact?
People Who Don’t Know You
Your biggest digital marketing opportunity is reaching people who don’t know you (strangers). There are millions who rely on advisors to help them achieve their financial goals, but they don’t know you or your firm. They have to be able to find you on the Internet, they have to be able to learn more about you on the Internet, and your website has to convince them to give-up their anonymity and initiate contact.
Types of Investors
In addition to strangers and people who know you, there two primary types of investors who use the Internet to find, research, and contact financial advisors:
- Investors who are replacing current advisors
- Investors who are first-time users of advisor services
Both types of investors are going to be cautious. The first type because they have had bad experiences and do not want to repeat pasts mistakes. The second type because they have seen the headlines. Brand name firms have paid billions in fines for taking advantage of investors.
Do not underestimate their need to be cautious.
When investors use the Internet to find financial advisors, it usually means they do not have other resources they trust (friends, family, associates, other professionals) to refer them to the best advisors.
A version of the “replacement investor” is the family that is relocating and wants an advisor who is located near them. They use the Internet because they do not have local contacts who can refer them to advisors.
First-Time User Investors
A first-time user is someone who has never used the services of a financial advisor. Perhaps they were do-it-yourselfers and their current asset amount is too much to handle on their own. Or, they have experienced a change of circumstance, which causes them to seek the advice and services of a financial advisor:
- Selling another asset (stock, real estate, business)
- Rolling assets from a 401k to an IRA
- Recently widowed or divorced
Sources of Referrals
It makes sense that the first place investors turn to, when they are seeking advisors, is friends, family, associates, and other professionals (CPAs, attorneys) for the names of credible, trustworthy advisors they can contact.
However, even when they are referred to particular advisors, cautious investors will still use the Internet to research them before they initiate contact.
Your Best Source
High performance websites have three primary roles. First, create an electronic first impression that is competitive with other financial advisor websites. Second, disseminate the right information about your firm. And third, the most important role, convince visitors to give-up their anonymity and submit their contact data.
Why is digital marketing your best source for new clients? Investors visit your website, like what they see, and contact you. This fits the definition of a very warm lead.