Advisor/Adviser Title — Some Need to Let It Go While Others Brandish It

by | Jun 8, 2020 | In The News

Published on June 8, 2020 by Financial Advisor IQ

Team Hewins, a Redwood City, Calif.-based RIA with $2 billion in assets under management, has made changes to client messaging in San Francisco, Miami, and Boca Raton, Fla. since March, in preparation for Reg BI, according to Robert Freedman, the firm’s marketing director.

In the past, Team Hewins’ clients in south Florida have expressed confusion over the use of the term “advisor,” Freedman says.
“More of our Californian clients are aware of those differences and actually seek out fee-only advisors in their search,” says Freedman, who has been working on the firm’s search engine optimization, or SEO. “To this end, we have adjusted our advertising, website SEO tactics, and differentiated our collateral to align with our different target demographics,” Freedman says Team Hewins partnered with an SEO marketing agency to better identify search terms clients are using when seeking financial advice. The firm also looked for ways to optimize the website and landing pages “to attract more of that traffic,” he adds.
He declined to share costs for the SEO work, but says, “I can tell you it has been time well spent.”
In redesigned brochures for the firm, some of which rolled out in May, Team Hewins included language to make clear they don’t sell products and that the advisors are “fee-only and are on the same side” as clients, Freedman says.
“I think our messaging will remain the same after the rule is in place. However, we are happy to be able to own the term ’advisor’ and present clear differences to our clients and future clients between the services we provide and how we are compensated for those services versus those working in traditional brokerages,” Freedman says.