Advisor websites and social media profiles have come a long way. Every day I see examples that are fresh, inviting and reflect the needs of the prospects who are stopping by to learn more.
Too often, however, those sites and profiles make a very big assumption - that the visitor is looking for a financial advisor. And while that sounds obvious enough it may not be true.
What about those prospects who are thinking about their financial futures more broadly or are experiencing a specific problem and are looking for solutions? They understand the problem they want to solve, but don’t yet know that a financial advisor is the solution.
If this is the case, the prospect may be more focused on understanding themselves than how you can help. And that creates both a challenge and an opportunity.
Imagine, for example, a prospect who understands that they need your advice and want to understand what you can do. In that situation, making it easy for them to understand how you help and to book a meeting seems like the best approach.
But what about those who are still trying to understand themselves or their problem? In dating terms, they are still defining what they need in a partner (or if they need one at all) but they aren’t quite ready to go for dinner. If the only option is to book a meeting, consider them lost opportunities.
Are You Creating Digital Engagement?
All of this means that a great website needs to play to the needs of those who are trying to understand themselves and those who are trying to understand you.
But here’s a big caveat: We are not web designers. I have many friends and colleagues in the industry who do extraordinary work in this area and I would refer them all day long. At Absolute Engagement, however, we are engagement experts so that’s where I’ll focus today.
The question is this. Can we do a better job at engaging leads who aren’t yet ready to book a meeting?
The problem seems clear. Too many leads visit your site but aren’t met with a compelling reason to engage or connect.
We’re simply asking them to do too much work. They need to consider the information you’ve shared on the site, think about if or how that connects to their needs and then to decide to reach out to learn more. Best of luck.
You may find it helpful to get clear on two types of visitors and the path to the next best step.
- The first is a prospect who visits your site because they are looking for an advisor. They understand their needs and want to understand how you can help them. The goals, in this case, are to help them understand how you can help and make it easy to book a meeting.
- The second is a prospect who visits your site because they are trying to solve a problem (which may be ill-defined). They are really trying to understand themselves and their own lives. The goals, in this case, are to help them think about and articulate their own needs and to capture their contact details.
Beyond the Lead Magnet
So what does it look like to help leads understand themselves and capture their contact details? What if, instead of simply reading about what you do, leads could engage with the site, respond to questions about themselves and their future and access meaningful insights about both?
I wouldn’t be the first to say that you should give leads a reason to enter their contact details by giving them something of value. That’s a simple ‘lead magnet.’
While the strategy is simple enough, it raises a thorny question. What kind of lead magnet do you offer when you don’t understand the prospects’ needs and they may not either?
At best, you may simply be wrong about what’s important and lose opportunities. At worst, you may allow your own assumptions to drive content and that’s just arrogance wrapped up as support.
What if, instead, you focused on asking great questions to create interaction and engagement? Those questions can help prospects understand or articulate:
- What they want their future to look like
- What, if anything, is getting in the way of that future
- How, if at all, that vision changes within couples or families
- What other questions they should be asking themselves to help define or align their goals
Let’s get real. We humans need help in articulating how we are feeling and that’s the role of a great advisor. What if you could ask great questions right on your site and respond with meaningful insights?
Bringing Engagement to Life
Think of this as a tweak on the idea of a lead magnet. Instead of offering something of value in return for an email address, you focus on creating engagement by giving prospects the opportunity to respond to a set of meaningful questions.
By doing so, you are leading with questions instead of answers. And in the process you are helping prospects articulate and think about their needs. That's valuable.
The process not only adds value but gives you the opportunity to follow up in a way that is truly meaningful (because you get to see those responses as well). Rather than providing content you think they want to read, you provide them with contextually relevant insights.
That process may sound daunting. I get it.
The good news is that technology is allowing advisors to drive this kind of personalized engagement easily and efficiently. In some respects, it allows you to take a more automated approach to providing very meaningful support. We call this ‘automating authenticity’ and believe it will be a trend to watch.