April 4, 2012
With a Fidelity survey in 2011 finding that 44% of millionaires look to the Internet when searching for potential money managers, advisors without a web presence are clearly losing out. So reports Reuters.
The lack of an online storefront may immediately raise red flags, especially in a post-Bernard Madoff world, says Tim Welsh, founder of consulting firm Nexus Strategy.
Consultants recommend having even a basic website, which might be little more than an online business card. If nothing else, the site establishes a web presence to counter other third-party content, such as disciplinary records posted by firms like BrightScope that potential clients may find when plugging your name into a search engine.
“Hiding from online visibility” is now impossible, BrightScope CEO Mike Alfred tellsReuters.
Wells Fargo Advisors, Ameriprise Financial and Edward Jones automatically create websites for all their advisors. About 75% of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s 17,600 advisors have websites. That number is about 80% among Merrill Lynch’s 17,300 advisors. Some 90% of Raymond James Financial’s 5,400 advisors have websites. It’s unclear how many of UBS Wealth Management Americas’ 7,000 advisors are on board as they did not immediately release data to Reuters.
The numbers are lower at some regional and independent firms: only 25% of Hilliard Lyons 400 advisors have a site; while 61% of the country’s 27,000 registered investment advisory firms list a website in their regulatory documents, Reuters reports.
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Quick and Easy Tip
Drive Traffic to Your Website
A client or prospect will gain information through communication from their advisor—face to face or through other means. The website is a major communication channel for the advisor and client/prospect. Promote your website online with the following tips:
• Send out monthly/quarterly touch emails or create an email campaign. Include relevant information like website updates and ask clients to save your URL as a favorite or bookmark.
• Post links on external websites including the local chamber of commerce, affiliations, social media pages, etc.