Tons of firms boast on their website about being “honest”, “transparent” and “reliable”. As valuable as these are, when everyone is promoting the same “differentiators”, they stop becoming different and they become a given.
Prospective clients are expecting you to be all of the above. So, why not highlight the real things that make you stand out?
Understanding what makes you different may seem obvious, but when I ask a financial adviser/planner this question, it’s often received with a long period of hesitation.
I ask this question during our website discovery meetings as it helps me understand the individual firms in greater detail. It brings out information that may not have been touched upon and allows me to dig a little deeper into who they are as a firm.
“Different” tends to have negative connotations. But here’s the thing. Being different doesn’t mean being wrong; it means being authentically you.
Having your differentiators on one page on your website makes it easy for prospective clients to see how you are different from other firms they are considering.
Strong differentiators provide a competitive advantage for your firm, so don’t keep them hidden. Embrace what makes you unique!
Here are 13 differentiators to help get you started:
1. Chartered status
Whether you’ve obtained Chartered status as a firm or at an individual level, you’ve worked hard to receive this “gold standard” accreditation. You might be the only firm in your area to hold this status so you want to shout about it from the rooftops.
2. Accredited status
Just like you would with Chartered status, if your firm is Accredited, make sure prospective clients know. Even better, if you’re Chartered AND Accredited, everyone visiting your website should know this from the moment they visit your homepage.
3. Being independent
It might seem like a basic piece of information, but you must let people know you are an independent firm, what this means and the benefits to them.
You know what being independent is, but it’s just another word to people who have never dealt with a financial adviser/planner before.
4. Your niche or specialism
Are you a lifestyle financial planner? You may be a specialist in retirement planning. Or you have an in-house investment team. Whatever your niche is, let people know that you are the experts in this field and the best people to come to!
5. The longevity of your firm
People want to feel reassured that they are in safe hands. They also want to know that you’ll be there for the long term. Displaying how long you’ve been in business reassures prospective clients that you won’t be disappearing anytime soon.
6. The experience of your team
Celebrate your team’s successes and share them with the world! The individuals within your firm have worked hard to gain qualifications and experience so don’t keep it a secret.
7. Your joined-up approach
How your team collaborates with each other or any professional connections says a lot about how you will work with clients. By sharing how you operate, people visiting your website will feel confident that everything will be under control.
8. If you’re a small firm, embrace it!
Quite often, I speak to clients who want to appear much bigger than they are. They want their website to feel like it belongs to a large firm. However, there is one major flaw in this. When they contact you or come into your office for the first time, your mask will fall off.
Instead, let’s celebrate the positives of being a small firm or a sole practitioner! By talking about it on your website and listing the benefits, prospective clients will know how your firm is run from the get-go.
9. How you use technology
Technology is a key driver of innovation and change in financial services. Using modern technology, whether that’s cashflow modelling or your online portal, demonstrates your ability to move with the times and that you are always looking at ways to improve your services.
10. Your fees
If you display your fees on your website, then you are already one step ahead of your competitors. Having your fees in plain sight demonstrates that you are an open book and honest with clients from the outset.
If you’re unsure about displaying your fees, Phil’s blog may convince you otherwise!
11. Whether you are ethically minded
If you are a business that passionately believes in doing better for our planet, then you want to attract clients who think the same. Unless you highlight it, people may not know that you are ethically minded.
12. Your local roots
If you are targeting clients in your local area, be sure to demonstrate how highly regarded you are and how long you’ve been operating.
Even better, use the words of your local clients to back up what you say. You can obtain these through client surveys, videos or VouchedFor reviews.
13. Your awards
Winning an award is a massive achievement so don’t let it go unnoticed. They add credibility to your business and show that you have been recognised locally or within the financial services sector.
The award logos can be displayed on your website and updated as and when you win more!
And finally, a “Why choose us?” page isn’t complete without the words of your clients!
Always make sure that you have social proof in the form of client videos, client survey results or online reviews and ratings. Their words are so much more powerful than your own.
How many of these differentiators are relevant to you? The list doesn’t have to stop here. There are endless possibilities, you just need to sit down and have a good think about what sets you apart from your competition.
Do you now feel inspired to embrace what makes you different and share it with the world? We will work with you to create a website that showcases how individual you are as a firm. Get in touch today – email email@example.com or call 0115 8965 300.