This post was authored by the Dunham Marketing Team. If you have questions concerning today's topic, please call us at (858) 964 - 0500. Hold us to higher standards.

As a financial advisor, you likely have a website. That’s great. But, what does it do? And how are visitors using your site? If you don’t know, that’s likely because you haven’t designed your website to guide visitors down a predetermined path.

Yes! You can dictate what visitors do on your website. Yet, this intentional design doesn’t come about by merely adding the requisite website features – an email sign up, a contact us page, and a firm blog. In this post, we’ll guide you through the model for an intentionally designed website. And it starts with a single, focused call-to-action.

A Single, Focused Call-to-Action

What is the point of your website? What are you trying to get visitors on your website to do? Said another way, what is your website’s call-to-action? Know that there’s more than just one right answer.

Perhaps you intend to have visitors share their email addresses, the first step in your drip marketing campaign. Or, maybe the call-to-action is for website visitors to pick up the phone and call your firm. More likely, it’s what an increasing number of financial advisor sites are now focused on: getting qualified website visitors for an initial meeting. (Of course, in 2021, that will most likely be a Zoom meeting.)

Your website’s call-to-action – whatever it is – should be focused. There should be no competing call-to-actions distracting visitors. That is, pick just one thing you want site visitors to do.

That means if your goal is to get prospective clients to schedule an initial meeting, don’t distract website visitors with newsletter sign-up forms, pop-ups to download lead magnets, or the chance to take a risk survey. (That is, unless to get results of the risk survey, clients must schedule that initial meeting.)

In short, visitors to your website should be guided down a single path, ultimately getting them to commit to that initial meeting. And that path starts on your home page.

The Hero Area

The hero area is the big banner image spanning near the top of the home page of many websites. The hero area gives you a short but potent opportunity to explain to prospective clients who you are, what you do, and how you can help them. In simple fragment sentences, state all of the above in big, bold, and easy-to-read font.

If you're in the business of retirement planning, say that. If you specialize in helping clients with trust formation, make that clear. Make it easy for your website visitors to figure out if they've come to the right place.

Don't use vague language. "Solving Your Life's Financial Woes" or "Creating Your Financial Future" does not effectively communicate your value proposition. Lastly, don’t waste the hero area for the sake of a beautiful image. (Using a beautiful image is fine – so long as it serves as a backdrop for brief text.)

If you have a specific client niche, it needs mentioning in the hero area. What's more, touch on the financial planning issue specific to that niche. Whether you have a niche or not, cover who you help and how you help. Be specific and concrete.

The Call-to-Action Button

In your hero area (or just below it), place your call-to-action link. Invite web surfers for a:

Free portfolio review,

Free student loan analysis, or to

Learn how trusts can lower taxes.

Bonus points go to mentions of a client’s pain point on the call-to-action button. From there, website visitors get directed to a new page where you can set expectations for moving forward.

The Setting Expectations Page

Financial advisor coach Mathew Jarvis argues for the importance of setting expectations when working with prospective clients. Jarvis practices what he preaches, showcasing how he works with prospective clients on his website.

The Sleep On It page on Jarvis’ website serves as a resting place between web traffic landing on your website and scheduling a phone call with your firm. Having reviewed the process for working with prospective clients, website visitors can now schedule that initial meeting – with the widget for setting up that appointment below the fold on the Setting Expectations Page.

Why create the friction of going to a second web page to schedule a meeting? Setting expectations gives prospective clients the chance to learn about financial planning. This intermediary step also helps screen out those website visitors who aren’t a good fit for the firm – either because they can’t meet account minimums or because they aren’t interested in financial planning.

Limit Decisions

On the Setting Expectations Page, website visitors reviewed your firm’s process for working with new clients. If they’ve decided they are still interested in working with your firm, make the rest of the process – scheduling the initial meeting – easy. Use an embedded calendar scheduling widget, such as Calendly.

Remember to keep options few and limited at this point: don’t give the clients the chance to choose between phone, Zoom, or in-person meetings; don’t give them the hassle of choosing an initial consultation or deciding between meeting with any number of team members. Limit the number of mouse clicks web visitors make in their journey on your website.

Optimizing Your Website for Prospect Leads

There you have it: the web surfer has landed on your homepage, immediately seeing the services you offer for your target niche. If they are your target niche, they’re interested, and click the call-to-action button to learn more about your process for working with new clients. Having reviewed your process and deciding it is for them, they easily schedule their initial meeting with an embedded calendar widget.

With the meeting successfully scheduled, you can now focus on perfecting that initial meeting!

Dunham: World-Class Trust and Investment Firm

Be sure to visit our blog this Thursday for the start of our Trust Trilogy Series and learn how you can utilize IRA planning to capture large assets. Call 858.964.0500 and speak to a member of our sales team for more details. You can also fill out our contact form.