If you’re like the majority of financial advisers looking to gain the competitive edge, chances are you’re looking at revamping your online presence. But before you go crazy about new site designs and layouts, step back and look at the one foundational piece of your digital footprint: messaging and content.
Advisers typically think about what they want to say instead of what their clients and prospects want to hear when it relates to filling their site with content. They push their message out to the world with their metaphorical megaphones without considering how to draw people in like a magnet to share details.
So what can advisers do? The answer starts with writing stellar web copy. More than 90 percent of the visitors you drive to your website right now disappear and stay anonymous forever. Think about that. Think about all those potential leads; all that interest swimming under the radar. And, all that happening because your content isn’t moving your visitors to take action.
Take the next week, schedule some time on your calendar, and meet with your team to brainstorm ideas and organize your strategy before committing to a particular direction for your copy. Here’s where to begin:
1.) Describe Your Ideal Client
A compelling writer always begins by getting to know the audience inside and out. This can seem like a lot of work, and it is, but the great thing about getting to know your readers is you can use the information again and again.
Write down detailed information:
- Target audience’s demographics (age, gender, location, income, etc.).
- Your audience’s primary concern (with regard to the services you offer) right now; what keeps them up at 3 a.m.?
- Why this information should matter to them.
- Your audience’s communication preferences.
- Do they respond better to long pages or short ones? Video, audio or text?
- How do they spend their time?
If you can’t answer some of these questions, ask. Whether you survey your newsletter readers, ask on social media or call a few of your best clients and get their perspective, you don’t want to guess or predict the answers. The information you collect will help shape your copy. If you’d like an exercise to help jumpstart your brain when thinking about your ideal clients, click here and enter the code “marketing” to download our Digital Marketing Messaging Exercise.
2.) Find Your Focus
Every page must have one main focus, or objective. That’s not to say you can’t expect your copy to do multiple things—for instance, it’s common to hope the home page will welcome new visitors, encourage call-to-actions and lure people into reading your blog. But, it must be written with a singular goal.
A scattered voice leaves your readers feeling unsure what to do next, while a confident voice directs them from point A to point B elegantly. Your goal should determine every choice you make about messaging. In this way, you can help visitors follow a straightforward path to the action you want them to take.
3.) Organize Your Thoughts
Once you know who your ideal audience is in great detail, and you know why you’re writing a particular page, you’re almost ready to put pen to paper. But there’s still one more thing advisers and their team must do that I find so many skipping: forethought. Think about what you’re going to say, how you’re going to say it and what the overall message will be. Jot down some notes, pontificate a few headlines and opening paragraph and reflect on how you (if you were in your clients’ shoes) would respond to the direction of the copy.
- Does the messaging answer the specific needs and/or objections of your ideal clients?
- Does the copy engage the reader, or does it try to force information down their throats?
- Are you writing ABOUT yourself and your services, or are you writing FOR your target audience?
- Have you included keywords for SEO? Which ones, where and why?
This may seem elementary at first, but I assure you, after getting everything organized and laid out, your copy will pretty much write itself. The entire writing process will flow more easily without the typical frustration you may have experienced in the past. And, perhaps most importantly, because you have put some thought into your approach, the copy is also much more likely to get better results than if you simply put fingers to keyboard and begin rattling off with no direction.
When you know your audience well, your writing will connect with them in an entirely different way. They’ll be able to trust you—and thus follow your recommendations—because you’ve demonstrated you understand them. And in the current noisy world we live in, giving your audience the feeling of being understood might be the differentiator you need to connect, engage and keep those who mean the most to your business.
Founder and CEO
Carson Wealth Management Group