Probably the most common mistake advisors make when marketing their services is to think that telling prospective clients about their technical skills will convince those prospects to do business with you. Consequently, advisor brochures and Web sites are filled with marketing copy that focuses on the advisors. Instead of being self-centered, the focus should be on the prospective client and about the benefits that clients get from financial planning and professional investment advice.
This is a basic tenet of marketing, yet few advisors get it right.
Recently, I was invited to speak at a conference about online marketing, and I wanted to touch on the problem of writing self-interested marketing copy in my presentation. To prepare for the conference and illustrate the problem, I went to my own company’s Web site and randomly picked one of the sites my company built. (I own a company that makes Web sites for advisors.) I picked the very first sample site on our list. I was certain any site I picked at random could be used as an example of what not to do because the great majority of advisory firms write their own marketing copy with no help from professional writers. (We have since taken down that sample site to avoid embarrassing the firm that was using the bad marketing copy.)
While I have changed the name and location of the firm, here’s what was on their home page of that site:
Welcome to ABC Wealth!
We can be found in the heart of the Berkshire Mountains, in downtown Greenfield, Massachusetts. We provide fee-only investment management services so we can maintain objectivity and have ongoing relationships with our clients, with no conflict of interest. We are a Registered Investment Adviser with the SEC and are independently owned and operated which allows us to place our clients interests first.
We recognize each client is unique; so we personalize each portfolio to their needs while considering tax efficiency, total investment cost, risk tolerance, and performance. Our portfolios are well diversified, designed specifically to accomplish the client’s financial objectives. Our goal is to give our clients the highest probability available of achieving and maintaining financial independence.