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Drive Referrals With Co-Branded Websites

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While we’d all admit we know it’s 2012, you wouldn’t know it by looking at our websites. The fact is many professionals–CPAs, enrolled agents, accountants, attorneys, and yes, advisorsare in serious need of an upgrade when it comes to their websites.

In today’s web-based society, a canned website that was built on the same template as everyone else’s simply isn’t going to get the job done. But the focus this week isn’t so much on web design and strategy (although that is a very important topic for another time). This week I want to focus on how you can utilize your website in a whole new way to gain exposure to the client base of your strategic alliances.

I call this the co-branded website. The reality is this: Many prospects and potential customers scan your site every day, all looking for a number of different products and services. And yet, there are only so many things that you specialize in. But should that stop you from providing value to those looking for services outside your scope? Not if you know how to capitalize on the additional web traffic.

One strategy I’ve always used in my strategic alliances is to have a “Strategic Partners” tab on my website. On this page I list bios of all of the professionals in my network that specialize in various areas of finance. How does that benefit you?

A lot of value

If you can show another professional, in this case a CPA, that you can help them gain exposure to additional web traffic by being showcased on your website, how much value does that represent for them? Answer: a lot. Think of it this way. What if a CPA offered to showcase you on their site? How much potential value does that represent for you? Again, a lot. In fact, that is the ultimate goal of the co-branded website: to not just have listings of your strategic network partners on your site but ultimately to help them see how they are also dropping the ball on clients and potential clients alike who may come to their site looking for help with various aspects of their plan, only to be disappointed with “the same old cookie cutter site.”

By taking the time to educate a potential alliance on the importance of a strong web presence and by showing them how they can benefit and gain additional exposure to your audience by forming an alliance with you, you’ll be well positioned to then take it to the next level, which is to help them build the same type of site–a site that provides real value to clients and prospects regardless of the type of service they may be looking for.

In the end, they get more value and the CPA gets the credit of having brought the resources to the table.

How does this work in reality? Imagine this. You help a CPA build a new website for his or her firm, and one of the pages on that site is dedicated to their “Partners In Planning.” Because you helped them build the site, guess how many other advisors are featured on the site? Answer: none. This is just one powerful way you can position yourself as the expert and advisor of choice for the CPA’s practice and gain the introductions you’re hoping for.

For more information on how to use these co-branded strategies check out my website at

For more from Brandon Stuerke, see:


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