6. Don’t create a pile-up
Many advisers also have an additional page which is a disaster. It’s what I call a ‘pile-up on Highway 5’, where you have calculator, access to financial publications, etc.
Most of the time these days where you have such a granular access to the internet we don’t need someone to give us access through links. Use five or six pages max, using very straight to the point soundbites and a video with very crisp clear language.
7. Know your audience
A lot of the time advisers don’t know their audience – they don’t do their preparation. I developed a product for my agency that I call the ‘message map’.
In a nutshell it’s an exercise where I go and sit down with the stakeholders from the firm and probe them for six hours until we create an unquestionable positioning for the firm: key differentiators, identifying key audiences and creating talking points.
It’s very similar to the exercise that every president of the United States goes through before going to a press conference. You want to create a bulletproof [layer] around your message. You have to have your messages clear, and know your audience. Knowing your audience includes crafting your video and soundbites for them, and having good copy.
If you are a financial adviser who specialises in education plans or you specialise in concentrated stock options for your clients, don’t do what many advisers do. They pick these beautiful pictures of senior citizens who are riding the infamous Italian scooter – the Vespa – on a coastline in California. And they have their legs and arms up in the air.
I say to them ‘that’s a great commercial for Viagra’. It’s not for you! So the choice of image is very important. It’s as important as words.
9. Be consistent
The other thing is the message. Very often messages are inconsistent: advisers are trying more to underscore their expertise, and less what they can do for their clients.
Often visitors get overwhelmed with the positioning – sentences and messages and images – and don’t follow the archetypal behaviour that human beings have when they look at a website.
They start looking from the left top and they move diagonally to the bottom right. So that’s very important. If you facilitate that visual pattern, people choose to stay on the website.
You want to have the image right on top – either towards the left or right, or right in the middle – and have a video that most likely opens immediately. Make sure with your web developer that it’s not blasting out, but it’s clear and not more than 60-90 seconds.
Then start positioning your messages to the centre of the page where naturally the eye is going to be dropping. Place your images to the left and to the right, so that your message is sandwiched in the middle and your eye is forced to go there.