A User's Summary of 3 Lincoln Approved Web Platforms


When it comes to creating and/or changing a website, there's a lot to consider - and many times that can be overwhelming. Most platforms provide similar services with sometimes small variations, so it can be difficult to make a decision that best serves your financial planning practice.


The problem is that committing to a website platform is a lot like remodeling a kitchen - it can be expensive and you don't really know how it's going to function until you start working in it. And by the time you realize it's not the right layout it can be too late.


That's why I wanted to give quick summaries of three Lincoln Financial compliance-approved websites for you to consider. I've worked in all three on behalf of clients, so I have an idea of what might work for you and what might not.


SiteQuest Technologies


SiteQuest is probably the simplest template and it's the least expensive of the three. However, when I say "simplest" I don't mean that it's the simplest to work with - I mean it's the simplest in design and options. If what you're hoping to do is just have a basic web presence, this could be a great fit for you. But if you're hoping to have more functionality - like a blog page or the easy ability to upload videos, etc. - this wouldn't be the right fit.


The websites look great and you can do some customization, but if you're someone who likes to easily change things in your website on your own, SiteQuest can be a little frustrating. When it came to adding headers in a blog, I had to contact customer service and they had to custom code it in. However, I will say that customer service was always timely and helpful and could usually help right away.


SiteQuest also does not have a newsletter capability - you will need to use another service if you want to do regular email outreach.


This platform would be perfect for...


...an advisor who's basically looking for a digital business card/landing page with minimal investment.


Broadridge Advisor Solutions


Broadridge has some great things going for it. First, they have very modern and current templates for you to choose from so you can really make the website your own. They also provide content that is used in their monthly newsletter function. Their blog functionality is easy to use and is set up much like a Word document, so it's very intuitive. After going through the demo process with a member of their sales team, he also mentioned they have the ability to do some paid digital advertising with their Digital Lead Optimizer (although I haven't personally gone through that process with this platform).


The one function that I did not like was their newsletter. They have a whitepaper newsletter that you CAN customize to a certain extent, but it was really difficult (and I've worked with just about every newsletter platform under the sun). If you're just looking for monthly outreach, this will work for you. But if you're hoping to do more personalization in your email outreach (which I always recommend), this could get frustrating.


This platform would be perfect for...


...an advisor who wants an eye-catching website and is hoping to do more custom content, but is ready to just set it and forget it when it comes to email outreach.


FMG Suites


Full disclosure: FMG Suites is the platform that most of my clients use, so I'm the most familiar with its functionality.


FMG Suites and Broadridge could be comparable in monthly price depending on which package you choose, although FMG is cheaper when it comes to creating the actual website. Like Broadridge, it has many templates to choose from and then the company's designer will help you customize it with your company colors, images, etc. Making changes to pages is simple and the functionality on the dashboard is pretty easy to figure out. It does have a blog function (although I'm hoping they step up their game as far as the look of the blog page on the website because it's a little plain. I'm told that's something they will work on at some point).


The reason why I recommend FMG to many clients is because they have a customizable newsletter function built into the site, so you don't have to invest in another platform. They also provide lots of whitepaper content that, like Broadridge is hosted on the site. Why is this important? So that when you post those articles to social media, people are coming back to YOUR site and not another publication's.


One note: make sure you pay attention to the automatic email outreach. I've heard from some clients that they didn't in the beginning and the automatic emails sent out information about services that practice did not provide. You should also ask the salesperson what functions are not available to Lincoln advisors because there are a few minor things that aren't due to Lincoln's requirements.


This platform would be perfect for...


...the advisor who wants to create an eye-catching website and custom content to appeal to their ideal client on a user-friendly platform.



REMEMBER THIS


No matter what website you choose, it's important to make it your own through content and images. With all of these platforms, they'll put up the standard content that's on everyone's website if you don't provide them with your own. Custom content on your homepage and About page (at the very least) are CRITICAL. You have to be your own advocate when it comes to getting that done correctly.


Also keep in mind that some platforms have different levels of service and it’s important to know what you want and what you don’t need so you’re not paying monthly for services you’re not going to use. Just because a company offers a $300/month package, doesn’t mean you have to choose that package – the package for $160 might work just fine.


I have a guide (see below) that can help walk you through the custom content process OR Social Seed Marketing is happy to assist you as well. We will be on every call, create the content, research the correct images, and generally be your advocate to get the project done in a timely manner. CLICK HERE to set up a consultation.





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