(Note: this is an excerpt from a previous post – HERE)
By JD David
First things first – before making any changes, it’s worth getting on the same page as to what an alternative fund’s site is actually designed to accomplish.
THE PURPOSE OF THE WEBSITE
To us, a website serves 4 very distinct purposes:
- Establish credibility and relevance; reinforce a “brand”
- Communicate a core Value Proposition
- Drive interest to learn more
- Provide a platform to profile interest through analytics
And just as importantly…what an alternative fund website is not:
- To “sell” anything
- To explain “everything”
With this as a backdrop, now consider….
THE PURPOSE OF THE HOME PAGE?
If done right, the home page will go a long way to helping accomplish the first two goals.
In order for that to happen, the message should primarily address the Value Proposition. More below, but to oversimplify –
It’s about the “Why” – not the “What”
Most fund managers seem to have a hard time with this. There is this incredible urge to make sure that people know exactly what you do when they first land on the site. Ask yourself, when was the last time anyone came to your site by accident?
In our industry – it doesn’t happen. Institutional investors aren’t landing on your site after searching “long/short equity” in Google. The point being that investors already have an idea of the “What” or they probably wouldn’t be on your website to begin with. It’s actually not much different in many other industries.
Think about it – do you really expect Ford’s home page says, “…we are an automobile company that makes sedans, SUVs and trucks in lots of different colors and price points” (I checked. It doesn’t).
But no need to fret. We have all sorts of other sections to use, like “About,” and “Strategy” which are a perfect place for the “What” (and the “Team” and “Contact” pages are for the “Who”).
What to Do Instead
Consider stripping every word from your home page EXCEPT your “Value Proposition.” Granted – this is a generalization – but we rarely hear “good” reasons to consider otherwise.
Your value proposition can be summed up as your core beliefs and your edge, all rolled-up in one. And what is more compelling than that?
Ideally, it is that one claim that few others can make but you.
Put another way, if there is just one thing you want a prospective investor to remember when they walk away from your site – it’s this. So, create a powerful statement and prominently slap it up on your home page.
And – for the same reason that Ford’s website doesn’t say, “we make cars that have an engine and four wheels“, your value proposition probably shouldn’t say, “We are an SEC registered investment advisor that seeks to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns, blah, b-blah, b-blah….”