December 15, 2021 | Shoestring RIA
You’ve picked your firm’s name …what’s next on the list? Don’t worry, we’ve created the ultimate marketing checklist to help your firm thrive. In case you missed it, our previous article explored tips for naming your firm and applying for a trademark. In this article, we will focus on designing your logo and website and registering a domain name.
Besides your name, your logo is the next most important part of your business. It’s your firm’s visual identity: found on letterheads, your website, business cards, statements, and more. While you can spend hundreds if not thousands on a brand identity package from a graphic designer, there are plenty of freelance designers on sites such as Fiverr and 99Designs that will do an equally good job for much less.
Keep the logo simple, memorable, and professional. You want something that looks as good on a PDF as it would on a marquee or a polo, and a well-designed basic logo looks good on just about anything. Muted colors are better than bright ones. You’ll be judged as much on the professionalism of your logo as you would on your business name.
Once you settle on your business identity and logo, it’s a good time to order business cards. Even though we’re moving to a digital society, the business card remains the single cheapest and quickest way to get the word out.
Next, you should start planning out the design of your website. If you’re a visual person, sketching out a layout on a whiteboard might be helpful, or even a map of the pages you think your site needs.
Visit a few RIAs online, and see what they’ve done. What sites do you like or don’t like? What do they do well? Don’t be afraid to “borrow” design ideas from others: it’s done all the time.
Select a low cost hosting provider. Even the busiest RIAs don’t have a ton of website traffic, so you don’t need to go crazy here with too much space or bandwidth. However, select a host with good reviews on uptime and performance. A few good options are Bluehost, GoDaddy, and Siteground.
WordPress is the easiest method to start a new website, and with themes, you can customize how the site appears. Pre-built finance-centric themes are available that can give your firm a solid online presence with very little work. We recommend hiring a WordPress web designer to help you customize the theme, so it doesn’t appear too “cookie cutter.” Again, Fiverr and Upwork are excellent sources for WordPress designers that won’t break the bank.
At this point, it might be a good idea to take a breather. The following steps from Tips for Naming a New RIA: Marketing, Part 1 plus this article will likely require as much time as you’ve spent already on everything else combined. You will be producing a ton of content or developing outlines to have others write it for you. It’s a lot of work, but at the end of it, you’ll have everything you need to get the word out.
The Shoestring RIA is a series of articles written and published by the BillFinTM team at Redi2 Technologies designed to help RIAs as they start out on their own. We recognize just how challenging it is to venture out and build a successful business. Our articles will be focused on helping these new businesses with a wide range of topics.