FASHION ISLAND — “Why do you say that websites have been resuscitated?” Larry asked and then continued his train of thought with “Are you implying that at one point websites had become irrelevant?”
Larry was hitting on a key point. Yes, pre-social media revolution websites were expensive and time consuming to create. And as a result, upon creation, they became static and rarely changing. I’d taken to referring to them as online brochures. Lots of sizzle, very little substance and no real differentiators as too many of them looked and sounded alike.
Just think back to pre-financial crisis, circa 2007. Obama was running for president, the housing bubble had yet to burst and the first iPhone was released. There was no Uber, no Airbnb and Google had yet to become synonymous to searches like the Kleenex brand is to tissues.
All of this sounds like ancient news. Why? Because we’re now operating on digital time.
The mobile phone explosion has made searches as easy as pulling your phone out of your pocket. Ninety-five percent of today’s consumers will Google search before making a major purchase, 85 percent think it’s a good idea to conduct a background check on their advisor and 71 percent say that the quality of your online presence is an important consideration for doing business with you. All of which to say, websites (updated versions) are back to center stage.
So, let’s have a bit of fun and take a stab at determining your team’s Digital IQ. I’ll pose a series of statements and give yourself 10 points for each where you’re 100 percent affirmative. For those statements that you’re not fully onboard with, rate yourself using a sliding scale down to zero. Obviously, this is highly subjective, but let’s give it a go…
- Your website is modern and easy to navigate via desktop and/or laptop
- Your website is mobile-friendly.
- Your website includes multimedia (i.e., video).
- Contact information is easy to find on your website.
- Your bios help clients and prospects get to know you personally.
- Your website provides clarity regarding your wealth management process.
- There is an educational component to your website.
- Your website clearly communicates what sets you apart from other advisors.
- All team member social media profiles are clearly linked to the team’s website and vice-versa.
- Your website has been optimized for search (SEO).
- Each team member’s contact information is easy to find on LinkedIn.
- You are an active LinkedIn user.
- Each team member’s LinkedIn profile is polished and professional.
- Your Facebook business page is polished and complete.
- You are an active Facebook user.
- Your Facebook posts look personal and thoughtful, not canned.
- You continually post content (articles, whitepapers, etc.) on both your website and social media.
- You have either outsourced your social media or have one team member dedicated to managing it.
- All team members have a good working knowledge of your team’s website and social media strategy.
Please don’t fret over your initial Digital IQ. Einstein’s IQ was reportedly somewhere between 160 and 190, while the highest IQ on record was that of William James Sidis at 250 to 300. Incidentally, you’ve probably never heard of Sidis, his biography The Prodigy by Amy Wallace is an excellent read.
Unlike our intelligent quotient, which we’re endowed with at birth and can do little if anything to change it, your Digital IQ is completely within your control. Our advice on this topic is very direct — at a minimum, you want a Digital IQ of 200.
Matt Oechsli is author of Building a Successful 21st Century Financial Practice: Attracting, Servicing & Retaining Affluent Clients. www.oechsli.com