Are the Pictures on Your Website Costing You Clients?

May 20, 2014

by Dan Richards

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Setting yourself apart from other advisors when communicating with prospects is important to every advisor. Advisors also know the importance of making an emotional connection and communicating who they are in an authentic fashion.

Given that, why do most advisor websites look similar – often with stiff photos of team members smiling uncomfortably into the camera?

Sending the right message

I touched on the sameness of websites in an article last fall. Ineffective visuals are a particular problem, because the look of a website plays a large role in keeping visitors engaged. The Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab asked 2,500 Americans to evaluate the credibility of websites. Almost half said a site’s look was the No. 1 way they judged its credibility. The problem doesn’t just relate to your team pictures. Advisor Websites, a leading provider of websites for advisors, says two-thirds of home pages on advisor sites feature “fake happy people.”

Here’s a simple exercise to see if the pictures on your website are sending the right message. First, jot down the key qualities about you and your team that you want prospects to take away from your site. Some of these words might be “knowledgeable” and “professional,” but depending on your personal style, they could also include “client focused,” “enthusiastic,” “collaborative”, “caring” and “approachable.” Then, look at your picture and that of your team on your website. Chances are that the pictures are not communicating the essential qualities you want to get across.

Here’s my advice. Ditch the conventional “head and shoulder” shots and the staged photos of your and your team smiling into the camera. Replace them with spontaneous shots of team members interacting with each other and with clients. (To preserve client confidentiality, you can show clients with their backs to the camera.) The key is to make the photos feel real – if you normally take off your jacket for team meetings and to meet with clients, that’s how you should appear in the pictures.

And don’t hesitate to have fun – within the limitations of professionalism, there’s nothing wrong with letting visitors to your site know that you enjoy what you do.

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