3 Tips to Refresh Your “Digital” Shingle

Updated: Apr 17, 2020

When you took your FINRA Series Investment Exam, you probably heard the term, “hang a shingle.” The term implies that your financial services company is open for business. Now, that same concept can be applied to pressing “Publish” on your website. Your digital storefront is open for business.

As more people work from home, remote offices, airplanes, and on their phones, the formal office with the mahogany desk is disappearing. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; it means that more people are digitally connected. This is an opportunity to redirect the effort you would have been applied to your physical office and apply it to your online presence.

Location, location, location This is the first rule of real estate. The same is true for online traffic. It’s important that your clients, prospects, and centers of influence are able to find you online. When someone types your firm’s name into Google, you want to be the first search result. Make yourself easy to find. Here are a few PRO tips to help: What is your company name? What is your firm’s URL? Are they the same? It’s important to remember that search engine algorithms are computers that connect letters and numbers. Make your company name and URL the same to increase search results.

If that’s not possible, it’s okay; a lot of URLs are already taken. One idea is to contact the person/entity that owns the URL that matches your company and offer to buy it. This will help for years to come with being found online and the future sale price of your firm.

Contact your website provider and ask them to optimize your site. This usually consists of properly filling out the information requested by Google. It’s takes a bit of time, but it’s definitely worth it.

Keeping It Fresh

If you walked into your office and saw dead flowers, what would you do? You’d throw them out, right? Does your website have any dead flowers on it? Such as a broken hyperlink? What about a (c) copyright date that isn’t the current year? Or information about retirement plan contribution limits from 2016? If you have “timely” pieces on your website, and they are no longer timely, you’ve guessed it, it’s time to toss ‘em.

This is an opportunity to update those items. All it takes is a quick email to your website team telling them to test all the hyperlinks and update the copyright date. Then contact your Home Office or retirement plan marketing content partner to share the current year’s contribution limits. Send this to the website team and, wow, you now have fresh flowers for the rest of the year!

Regularly Cleaning the Office

Most offices have a nightly janitorial and cleaning staff. Each night, the team comes in to empty the waste baskets, wipe down the surfaces and vacuum the floors. They take good care of the office, so that each morning when you and your guests arrive, it’s sparkling clean.

When was the last time you asked your website team to clean your website? Here, we mean cleaning such things as layout, imagery, fonts, colors, mobile optimization and responsive design? We recommend at least a yearly check-in with the website team to review your site. This helps keep your website up to date with current trends and ensures it’s still visually appealing.

When plan sponsors are favorably introduced to you, they are going to click on your website. They are going to notice how easy (or difficult) it is to find you. They are going to notice broken links and outdated copyrights. They are going to notice an outdated layout. Each time a curious plan sponsor digitally sees a flaw, it decreases your referral credibility and the likelihood that they will proactively reach out or accept a meeting.

Don’t let an out-of-date or out-of-touch website be their first impression of what it would be like to work with you. Instead, aim for an easily-found, fresh, and clean website. You’ll find it increases your prospect’s trust and confidence in you and your professional retirement plan services.

Hang your digital shingle with the same pride and dedication that you apply to your physical office. Take time to regularly freshen up and clean your website to wow plan sponsor prospects. Remember that most prospects will never visit your physical office; but the majority will visit your digital office.

Thanks for reading and Happy Marketing!

About 401(k) Marketing

We believe the retirement plan industry can do better. Our clients are the best professional retirement plan advisors and TPAs in the business. They care deeply about saving America’s retirement future. We are proud to share their voices through industry writings, professionally-designed marketing materials (including websites), and expert content collateral. We lend support by promoting businesses through ongoing awareness campaigns. www.401k-marketing.com

About Retirement Plan Marketing

Retirement Plan Marketing is a product of 401(k) Marketing and is an ongoing turnkey marketing solution for retirement plan advisors. It is an easy-to-follow, consistent marketing program designed to get you noticed in your community and generate new retirement plan sales. When you deliver relevant plan sponsor content, you add value to your conversations and can work your way up to become known as the “go-to” retirement plan advisory office. www.retirementplanmarketinginabox.com

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401(k) Marketing, LLC is not in the business of providing legal advice with respect to ERISA or any other applicable law. The materials and information do not constitute, and should not be relied upon as, legal advice. The materials are general in nature and intended for informational purposes only. All content, including any brochures or other materials designed for potential use with plan sponsors, fiduciaries, and plan participants, must be reviewed and approved by the compliance and legal department(s) of the Financial Professional and/or Third Party Administrators firm prior to any use to confirm that they meet the firm’s legal and compliance policies and standards. The Financial Professional, Third Party Administrator,  and his/her firm are solely responsible for the use of content and any materials included herein, and for ensuring that all services provided by the Financial Professional and Third Party Administrators conform to the firm’s legal and compliance policies and standards.