Like it or not, prospective clients expect you to have a good Web site. Just like a business card or brochure, a top-notch Web site, be it for a financial adviser or fund company, shows that you're a serious professional. A good site's high-tech flexibility offers you myriad options for low-cost marketing and client-communication "touches."
Nevertheless, it's surprising how many advisers resist creating a Web site because it costs too much or they don't know where to start. A good Web site doesn't cost-it pays. And while some advisers spend $6,000 to $10,000 to set up a complex site with the help of an expert team, there are several reputable organizations-such as AdvisorSites, Lightport, AdvisorSquare, Emerald Publishing and CEP Advantage-that can help you build a decent Web site for less than $1,000. A handful of specialty consulting groups, such as Peter Montoya, AdvisorMarketing and my own company, Impact Communications, also know your business.