Financial Advisor Showcase: Soundmark Wealth Management
1. Let’s kick things off by hearing more about Soundmark Wealth Management. How did your firm get its start? In 2000, Soundmark principals Todd Flynn and John Buller connected with the firm’s third founder, Bill Schultheis, who had recently authored,…
Let’s kick off the first day of July with a financial advisor showcase blog. We are loving our most recent one, where we had the chance to catch up with Julie Klingler, marketing director at Soundmark Wealth Management. Their website was built on the Fresnel framework, and they have worked with the Twenty Over Ten team to create a beautiful, compliant website.
From website design and the tools they use to their marketing strategy and more, we take a deep dive into their site. Keep reading to find out more!
1. Let’s kick things off by hearing more about Soundmark Wealth Management. How did your firm get its start?
In 2000, Soundmark principals Todd Flynn and John Buller connected with the firm’s third founder, Bill Schultheis, who had recently authored, “The Coffeehouse Investor,” and was writing a column based on the same investing principles in the local newspaper. Todd and John were busy working as CPAs and because they were privy to all aspects of a client’s financial well-being, these relationships often evolved into more than just tax advice. They would discuss things like adequate insurance protection and review estate planning issues, from a tax and wealth transfer perspective. Unfortunately, too often they were astounded at the significant number of transactions carried out in client’s investment accounts. John and Todd knew there had to be a smarter way to build portfolios to complement the broader wealth management services they were already providing clients.
Todd and John’s CPA firm offered up their conference room for Bill to meet with clients as he was building his fledgling advisory practice. Immediately, they began introducing the commonsense investment approach found in his Coffeehouse Investor book to their CPA clients. Although Todd and John officially left the CPA firm in 2008, and along with Bill, created Soundmark Wealth Management, LLC, in reality, they have been working closely together for the past 21 years. They felt then, as they do now, that a transformational opportunity exists to eliminate the transactional nature of investing that is so prevalent on Wall Street and in the investment community.
Despite a future that is uncertain, and amid a financial culture that continues to offer meaningless short-term predictions, they are convinced you can still build a successful financial plan and investment philosophy simply by regularly reviewing your plan and portfolio and making adjustments as you move through life toward your goals.
2. We love that you’re providing your website visitors free, helpful resources in your education section. With options to easily view your YouTube videos plus the option to sign up for blog updates by simply providing an email address. Can you tell us more about using gated content on your website and if it has boosted lead generation for your firm?
As our brand awareness increases, our lead generation numbers continue to climb with our blog subscribers. Creating opportunities to share our knowledge with an interested reader can help position ourselves as a trusted source in the financial industry.
3. Speaking of YouTube videos … video is the #1 type of content right now, however, it can be a challenge for many financial advisors to create. You started a YouTube channel at the start of 2021 and have been creating content consistently. What does your video strategy look like and what tools have helped you start producing content?
We started webinars during the pandemic to connect with our clients and have tried to put together a content plan that mixes financial planning and lifestyle topics. We find that clients are equally interested in the lifestyle presentations as much as the financially related subjects. We have also leveraged our professional network, interviewing estate planners, doctors, and others to present material. The variety has been refreshing for our clients with high engagement.
Allowing viewers to ask questions at the end in a live setting has been a popular feature. Additionally, we make a point to create engaging webinar presentations that include graphics, charts, and graphs. Zoom has been a great platform to host our webinars and using basic Microsoft programs to edit our webinars and upload to YouTube has been a pretty simple process. YouTube has been a great central repository for our clients to access recorded webinars when they miss live events.
4. Your “Meet the Team” blog posts are another great addition in your education section. We have something similar! It’s so important to show the personal side of your company, and what a great way to do that. How do you execute including this type of content on your website and can you tell us a bit more about your overall blogging strategy?
We have been slowly showcasing our staff in an interview format. I repurpose this personalized blog into our staff’s bios, allowing a personal peek into our lives. Hiring a firm and advisor can be a very intimate process. This introduction to our staff allows a potential client to get to know our firm on a more personal level.
5. Including a meeting scheduler on your website is another great way to boost lead generation. In fact, we conducted a survey and found that advisors who get 6-10 or 11+ clients per year had a calendar link on their website. Have you noticed an uptick in qualified leads since integrating a tool like this on your website?
We’ve definitely noticed increased activity since offering an easy way to connect visitors with our advisors via Calendly. Streamlining this process for leads, with a specific call-to-action such as a Calendly link, allows us to make the fastest connection with potential clients.
6. Being active on social media is so important to grow your online presence and overall marketing strategy. We noticed that you are staying active on Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube, that’s great! Can you share your social media strategy and discuss how it has helped your firm?
At this point, we are only sharing our blogs on social media. We will be ramping up our efforts soon, and plan to work with an external social media agency to focus additional resources on these platforms. With social media, you need to be deliberate and consistent with marketing strategies. Utilizing external help can alleviate some of the resource constraints small firms often face.
7. Your interactive brochure is a nice touch! We love how realistic it feels. How did you go about creating such an interactive piece of content for your site and how has it helped with initial meetings?
As we continue to move more communication online and with the pandemic forcing us to rely on our online efforts, sharing a brochure link has been a productive tool for our advisors. We used the Flipsnack program to make an interactive brochure with sound and page-flipping features. Surprisingly, it has been one of our most visited pages/features on the website.
8. Where do you see the financial industry headed in the next 5-10 years? And where do you see your firm headed in terms of marketing and growth?
We see the financial industry continuing down the path of personalized service, virtual family offices, and offering multiple ways to connect online with advisors. Our firm’s growth has been a steady climb and we continue to find ways to creatively share our message and increase our brand awareness. Changing with the times and leveraging technology to provide a superior client service experience is key to our success moving forward.
We were limited in design and functionality with our last platform, and the Twenty Over Ten model opened a variety of website opportunities for us.
-Julie Klinger, Soundmark Wealth Management
9. What was your favorite part about the website design process? Was something easier than you thought it would be initially?
Our favorite part of the website design process was evaluating and choosing the features for our new site. We were limited in design and functionality with our last platform, and the Twenty Over Ten model opened a variety of website opportunities for us. This new platform has been surprisingly easy to learn, with countless articles and a training guide to help you personalize your website. And the support line has been one of the best customer service experiences – fast response times with real solutions!
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About the author
Blair is a digital marketing assistant at Twenty Over Ten and has a passion for uncovering what drives online traffic and the highest engagement. She follows more animals on Instagram than humans and her greatest achievement is her daughter, Grey.
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