I was chatting with an adviser recently about their new website. The conversation turned to whether she should include members of her team on the site. The adviser confided in me that she was nervous about adding her team to the website, as she thought it might give recruiters an opportunity to poach staff.
I must admit that was a new one on me. I’ve always seen the way recruiters use LinkedIn as the greater threat. And, to be honest, if your staff are happy, neither ought to be a real threat.
To gauge whether my initial reaction was correct I threw the question open to the adviser community. The quickest way to do this is through a quick Twitter poll (I’m aware this could introduce bias, but I just wanted a quick straw poll). Over 90% of the advisers who voted said that the worry of recruiters poaching their staff would not stop them from adding their team to the website.
So, if you’re going to add your team to your website, what things should you consider?
First things first, who should you include?
Advisers and planners, yes, without a doubt.
Paraplanners and administrators, yes definitely, if they have client contact and probably yes, even if they don’t.
Senior management, for example those who appear on the FCA Register or who hold controlled functions, again, the answer is probably yes.
A note about sole adviser firms
If you are the sole adviser, with no one working immediately for, or with, you, the options you have are more limited.
In this case, I recommend adding a detailed profile about yourself, in fact, I would be included to make the website very personal. Don’t be embarrassed that you are a sole practitioner or try and hide the fact.
On the contrary, celebrate it. Explain why it works for you, and your clients, and that you have the support you need, perhaps from outsourced paraplanners and such like.
Why should you add your team members?
There are a few different reasons for adding your team to the website. First and foremost, it gives you a chance to do the two most important things your website should be doing:
- Demonstrating your expertise to the visitor
- Reducing any anxiety or concerns they may have
The profiles also show visitors to your website who they might be dealing with and well written profiles (more of that in a moment) add personality, interest and even a little fun to your website.
For some firms, it’s important to show that the adviser is part of a wider team working on behalf of the client.
Finally, building multiple profiles, all of which will contain unique content, probably has some SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) benefit too.
What should you include on your profile?
First things first, the thorny issue of an image.
You essentially have two choices; professionally taken photographs or illustrations. Both have pros and cons; a photograph is probably more traditional and, providing it is professionally shot, will work well. However, for larger firms, where it’s hard to get everyone in the same place at the same time, or where recruitment makes it impractical to continually bring in a photographer, illustrations can work well. They also add an element of fun to your website and will certainly stand out. They are relatively cheap too. The illustrations we use on the Yardstick website came to less than $50.
Once you’ve solved that problem, what other information should you add to the website?
For advisers, I recommend including:
- Information about the types of clients they deal with
- Details of their expertise
- Qualifications, explaining in more detail which ones are over and above the minimum standard to act as an adviser and how this benefits the client
- Link to the adviser’s page on the FCA Register along with a link to their SPS
- If applicable their Chartered or Certified status, again explaining how this was attained, why it sets the adviser apart and how it benefits the client
- Vouchedfor rating (if used)
- Client testimonials, absolutely vital and preferably displaying the client name and location for added authenticity
- Press mentions
- Awards won
- Preferred contact details; make it easy for existing and potential clients to get in touch!
I also recommend injecting some personality into the page by including some personal information about the adviser.
For other members of your team I recommend including a cut down version of the same list. Some items, such as an SPS, probably won’t be relevant, but others will be and should be included.
That probably sounds like a lot of work
And it is.
But, it’s worth it.
Check out your Google Analytics and you will probably find that your team page is one of the three most visited pages on your website.
Existing and potential new clients alike are interested in the people whose hands they are putting their financial future in. It’s therefore vital that you spend time building detailed, credible profiles, which show off the expertise of you and your team.