website_mgtI want you to think about your online presence as one that helps you build a great reputation.  There is so much your website can do and too often I look at wealth management firms where the potential to tell a great story just falls flat.

Here are some questions I would like you to answer:

What do you want to accomplish with your website?

This is the very first question you need to answer before doing anything with your website.  If you just want to have a brochure, that’s not very exciting.  If you want your website to be the online hub of your community, that would be better.  If you want people to find your site and think you’re the best at what you do, then I hope that’s your goal.

You can’t communicate that you’re the best by having your website be an online brochure.  You must start a conversation with your visitors.  You have to be specific about who you help and how.  You can’t be all things to all people.  It’s just not possible.

Do you know whom your site is for?

I hope you’ve come to understand that the narrower your niche or niches the easier it is for you to figure out who your site will attract.  Is your site for potential clients, is your site for center’s of influence, is it for potential employees or is it for others in the industry to recognize your expertise?

You need to think long and hard about whom your site is designed to attract.  I recommend you use a process called persona development to figure out who you want as visitors to your online presence.  The more clear you are about who you want as a visitor, the easier it will be to design a site that is one that helps build your reputation.

Is your site interactive?

If you want people to come back again and again you must make your site interactive.  You should have a knowledge center where visitors can download content you create.  You might want to have a section of your site that will show curated information that fits in with what you do.  You might have video’s, slide shares and info graphics.

Today it’s pretty easy to develop a site that has contextual abilities.  These sites know who’s visiting your site and then show information that this visitor would be interested in.  Just think about your experience when you visit Amazon.  They seem to always know what you’re looking for.  Your site can do the same thing….it just takes some time and thought.

Are you talking about your firm?

I hope you don’t want to have your site talk about what makes you great.  Let your visitors figure this out when you provide great information for them.  When you talk about yourself it’s boring.  Instead talk about what your visitors issues are and how you can help.

Case studies are a good thing to have.  When you share case studies you show that you understand the problems and opportunities of those you would like to do business with.  Make sure that after reading the case your visitors have something to do…..download a report, fill out a survey, do a poll or watch a video.

Is there a way for your visitors to create a relationship with you?

The easiest way for visitors to develop a relationship is for you to have a blog.  You don’t have to make your blog into a white paper.  It should be short, cover one idea at a time and be no more than 600 or 700 words. 

Make sure that you have an ability to interact with your regular blog readers.  If they send you an email get right back to them.  If they leave a comment, acknowledge the comment.  If they say something interesting, give them a call.  I hope that you want your website to be one that creates a relationship with your visitors.

It really comes down to being about the visitor

Too many wealth management firms just talk about how great they are.  They never get around to talking about the people they serve.  You don’t want to fall into this group.  And please don’t make your site into a brochure….it really doesn’t do much for you.

What are your thoughts about building a website.  Let me know in the comments below.

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Topics: reputation management, Marketing, for business advisors, website development, online marketing

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