Is Your Financial Planning Practice an "I" or a "We"?
We all know that the content on our websites is becoming more and more important as we dig even deeper into digital networking and marketing. So, if this is something you haven't "refreshed" in a while - you might want to consider doing so.
A topic that's come up with a couple of my clients over the last few weeks is whether they should be using "I" or "we" in their website language; in other words - are you speaking as a team or an individual advisor?
Where I think many people get confused is when you're an individual advisor who uses referral partners - which almost every individual advisor does - OR if you're an individual advisor who works under a broker-dealer and you have many resources at your disposal. If you're thinking along those lines...I can understand why it might be tempting to use the mighty "we."
But Think About This Before You Do.
First, I want to make sure you understand how vitally important transparency is these days when it comes to digital marketing. If you start representing yourself in a way other than who you really are, you are going to run into trouble. In the financial industry, trust is everything so if someone gets even a whiff of dishonesty...they're outta there.
Transparency also goes a long way when it comes to not feeling too "sales-y." NO ONE wants to be sold to, so if someone thinks you're just saying something to get their business, that's a huge turn off as well.
Embrace Who You Are.
If you're worried that saying "I" rather than "we" on your website will make you sound less enticing...don't. There are so many ways you can capitalize on the fact that you're a solo financial professional:
You are personally dedicated to the needs of your clients.
You take their wellbeing to heart.
Your clients won't be passed on to someone else - if they decide to work with you, you are committed to working one-on-one with them.
Your clients are like family to you.
Because you are a one-person operation (possibly with admin staff) you take on a set amount of business in order to ensure that everyone is taken care of.
You are personally focused on creating long-term relationships with your clients.
The list goes on and on.
The Gray Area.
If you are a solo advisor who works under the umbrella of a broker-dealer or larger organization, you could really go either way with your language. In my opinion, if the "support staff" you have do not work physically in your office or if the client isn't going to interact with that person/those people on a regular basis, I believe you still need to market yourself as a solo advisor and include language on your website that lets people know you have other resources available to you.
In this case, I would still use "I" language and make your About page focused on you and what you bring to the table. But sprinkle a few sentences on your Home Page and maybe your Services or About page that indicate that you work within a larger organization. Here's an example:
"Jane Smith has over 15 years of experience in the financial industry and is dedicated to helping you with your current and future goals. As an affiliated financial professional with XYZ Broker-Dealer, Jane has extensive resources to assist you with all aspects of financial planning."
Again, you can mix it up a little, but the focus should still be on YOU, the individual planner.
If You're a "We."
If you have an on-site and active team working with you, that's an important distinction as well and one that you should take a little time to focus on. It's common for practices to focus mainly on the advisors in the practice, but support staff needs to be acknowledged as well - especially if they're going to have face or phone time with the client.
Remember to describe not only your professional experience, but also things you like to do in your free time. Again, that plants the seed of trust immediately and makes the client feel like they have something in common with whomever is answering the phone. Having that type of rapport helps clients feel more comfortable and that type of relationship will only make things easier for you as their financial planner.
Keep it Real.
With all of these scenarios, the most important thing is to be who you are - that's the easiest way to attract the clients you're looking for. For more tips on how to personalize your website copy, download my free guide below!