Three Essential Elements of Websites for Mutual Funds
If you are one of the asset managers who are still wondering if a quality website is worth the investment, consider this: the internet is often the first place advisers and investors will learn about your firm. Given this new reality, and the value of just one adviser relationship, it’s critical to not overlook the value of a website as an asset gathering tool.
It’s not enough to just be a great asset manager anymore; your website and social media presence have to be as well thought out and executed as your investment strategy. To be effective, websites for mutual funds must excel in three crucial areas: communication, compliance, and design. If any element is missing, the site likely won’t convert your visitors into clients.
First and foremost a great website needs to communicate with advisers in a way that moves them closer making an allocation in your fund. The images, words, and videos used should be consistent with the experience one would get from meeting in person.
Staying compliant in a dynamic regulatory environment is essential. Unfortunately, managers often assume it’s too difficult to communicate well AND stay within the regulations. This is especially true of social media. But, the compliance hurdle can also be a strategic advantage for the funds that are able to successfully communicate compliantly.
Compliantly communicating, even if done well, will fail if not presented with good design. Layout, colors, typography, and navigation are just a few of the design elements to be considered. A well built website will look good, function well, and convert visitors into future clients.
Does your website measure up?
You may not manage billions of dollars (yet), but that doesn’t mean your website should look like it was designed by lawyers. Not sure where to start?
Sign up for the Workshed Website Audit.
We’ll provide you with tips for improving your website.
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Workshed is uniquely positioned to build websites for mutual funds that integrate your firms online and offline brand while maintaining regulatory compliance in a way that successfully connects you with advisers and investors.
How to Pick Your Next Blog Post Topic for Financial Advisers
Writing a blog post with any regularity is challenging. Writing for your business needs to generate results in order to justify the investment in time and effort. A few years ago one of the companies in my portfolio was in the news and I wrote a post about my thoughts on the potential consequences. Mainly I did it because I was sick of repeating myself to clients on the phone so I thought that writing a blog post about it would save me some time. While it may have saved me a little time and prevented some boredom, it wasn’t until several months later that I discovered the real benefit.
The Long Tail
One afternoon while I was checking my blog stats instead of making calls, I noticed some search traffic related to the investment I had written about months before. It wasn’t much, but it was the first time I’d noticed organic traffic for something so specific. For months I’d get a hit or two every few days, nothing significant, but it was consistent. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I’d stumbled on to what’s now commonly referred to as “long tail keywords.”
By this time I’d already read Chris Anderson’s book, “The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More,” but I didn’t connect the dots between selling things and search terms. Essentially its the same thing. People are searching for something they want, be it products or information. Similar to the way you can find almost any product on Amazon…Google does the same for information.
Why It Matters
Google has an army of brilliant engineers trying to make sure you get good information when using their search engine. If you write something that is relevant to a question someone asks in Google you stand a good chance of getting found…assuming the question they are asking is specific enough IE a long tail question. In the example I used earlier, the particular investment I wrote about wasn’t well known, and when people started searching about it, there wasn’t much information available so my blog post was ranked high enough in the search results to get read.
Leveraging the Long Tail
I blogged sporadically over the next few years, but in 2013 I put what I learned about long tails to good use. An investment in my portfolio was making plans to go public and the information they were providing was vague and confusing. Recalling what I had observed a few years prior, I tried to identify questions people would be asking about the investment. Whenever the company released new information, I’d write a blog post. Eventually I created a special page on my website so people could easily read through all the information I’d collected.
At one point in my little experiment, I was ranked on the first page in the search results and I was getting over 500 page views a day. I realize that this isn’t much traffic in the grand scheme of things, but these were people who had no idea who I was…and they were asking me for advice. Some of my posts from that period had dozens of comments which led to multiple phone conversations with people who needed my help.
The next time you are trying to pick your next blog post topic, be sure to check your analytics to see if there are any search terms you can use as a starting point. If you don’t have that kind of data (contact me), try to recall recent questions from clients. Is there something there you can write about?
Let me know how it works for you, I’d love to hear your stories or answer any questions.
If writing blog posts isn’t your thing that’s cool too, we’d be happy to do it for you! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up a time to talk.
A Simple Question
What do we (Workshed) do? The imprecise answer is that we build websites and help businesses with marketing; it’s also an oversimplification of what’s really going on. The reality is that these are just outcomes – solutions to a challenge, but not really what we are actually doing. If you were to start asking why we do various things, you’d quickly realize that the why, is what Workshed is all about.
Asking this one question (why) over and over allows us to understand the core issues facing our clients; even if they don’t. In the day to day running of a business, it can be difficult to discern areas of inefficiency. Our objectivity allows us to observe operations without the biases that come from years of experience.
In addition to understanding the how’s and why’s of your business, we also have to acquaint ourselves with your customer. During this get-to-know, you phase of a project we are (among other things) seeking to understand your customers. Who are they, why do they buy, what need are they attempting to satisfy, and how you can optimally serve them (taking into account your own goals and values).
Once we know what you do and whom you should be doing it for, we start to craft solutions to bring the two of you together. This is where the websites, social media, and marketing come in. They are specific methods crafted to connect you with your ideal client. The outcome is the focus, not the tool. We are solution agnostic.
When you’re a hammer, all you see is nails.
When the tool takes precedence over the objective (to sell stuff) it’s easy to waste time and money. If you start with a clearly defined objective, the probability of success is dramatically increased.
What’s the Difference?
It all boils down to perspective. You might be tempted to assume that because our process usually ends up in a website that our websites are just like that of any other web design firm.
You’d be wrong.
I Thought You Built Websites for Business
Workshed is a team of passionate problem solvers who help businesses succeed as a way of expressing that passion. Contrast what we do with the typical web design company who build websites as an expression of their interest in technology. The technology might be cool, but if it doesn’t attract paying customers it isn’t getting results.
We get results because we focus on them.
The Simple Answer
So what does Workshed do? We get you the right kind of customers and more of them!
How do we do it?
By focusing on the solution rather than the tool.
Do you need more ideal customers?
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A Little History
For those of you unfamiliar with my (Joe’s) other life, I’ve spent the last 12 years (until Tuesday that is) as an investment adviser helping clients prepare for and maintain their retirement. While researching investments, I had the opportunity to acquire knowledge about a wide range of topics from a diverse mix of sources. Initially the focus was specific companies, then it expanded and I began to look at entire industries, and ultimately the economy as a whole. Along the way, I started sense that something was missing; an important piece to the puzzle that was being ignored.
That missing piece was and is local investing.
Most of the reasons for local investing are beyond the scope of this post, but one important factor is the re-circulation (or local multiplier) rate. The re-circulation rate is one measurement used to determine how long money stays in a community (and gets reused over and over); since the turn of the century it’s fallen from 25-30, to less than 10. A declining rate is like ajr slowly leaking from a tire, if not fixed it goes flat. With a city or town, it’s how they lose their vibrancy. Reversing that trend is why I decided to leave my primary profession and why I bought Workshed with Brian.
How Will That Help?
You might be wondering how a website/ marketing company can help fix the economy. By working with local businesses and entrepreneurs directly (at Workshed) we are able to see first hand what is working, what is missing, and what’s needed to operate a sustainable (as in earning enough money to stay in business) business. Access to capital is part of that equation, but so is access to the knowledge, wisdom, and experience of others. With every project, we learn a little more about how to make that happen and can share it with past and future clients. So far, we’ve achieved modest success with the client’s we’ve worked with, and our work is positively contributing to their sales!
If you need help with something business related give us a call, we don’t have all the answers, but so far we haven’t been stumped.
But Wait There is More!
And another thing, don’t let cost be an issue. We won’t do a project if we don’t think it will generate a positive return for our clients and we are willing to offer payment arrangement to accommodate most budgets.
GIVE US A CALL
Computer code touches nearly every aspect of our modern lives. Even if you don’t plan on making a living by writing it, it’s probably a good idea to at least have a basic understanding of what’s going on. Heck, you might even enjoy it.
One [free] resource I’ve used is Code Academy. They do a great job of breaking the lessons down into easily digestible chunks with exercises to help you understand what’s going on.
Give it a try and let us know what you think. You never know, maybe you have a talent for the binary?