What is the Digital Presence Map?

a few months ago

Clients ask me, why did you make a digital presence map? 

What is a “digital presence” anyways??

The short answer is, the map isn’t the territory; and it sure helps to know where you want to go! 

How we use the map to establish a winning digital presence

Our client process uses the Digital Presence Map as a diagnostic tool for many different types of conversation.  It is a rubric to identify a firm’s digital presence and is a tool to explain the digital territory. 

The Digital Presence Map helps us establish a winning digital presence by providing a 50,000 foot view.  It is a cornerstone resource that we rely on and use to evaluate our client’s progress on a regular basis.  

It became so valuable in our conversations that we decided to include it in the agency’s free materials:

We use the Digital Presence Map in conjunction with regular audits of our clients’ online reputations.  It is critical in helping us diagnose what is working and what we need to focus on next for the Registered Investment Advisory Firms that work with us.

By downloading and using our digital presence map you can use the tool to diagnose where in the process you are losing your prospective clients.  If you have any questions, schedule a call with us.  We are here to help you out.

Recommended: Download the Map, open it and read it with the rest of this blog article

How to improve your digital presence

Awareness/Engagement

If your prospective client hasn’t met you before it is a prerequisite in the process to decide to get to know, learn to like and trust you.  After you have accomplished these goals and the prospect has evaluated you enough they choose for you to be their trusted advisor. 

Being someone’s financial advisor is one of the most important roles in their lives.  We think it is better to let the prospect take their time and earn their trust the good ol’ fashioned way rather than trying to push someone with hard sales strategies.  Financial Planning clients will be with you for decades.  As a true professional you want that relationship to be the right fit.  There is little worse than a client that takes up too much time, sucks your energy or doesn’t provid an equitable relationship. 

Subscribe/ Convert

We define “Subscription” as the stage where they share their contact information with you and “Conversion” when they sign on as clients. 

We encourage our clients to provide a resource that is *SO* valuable that the right person is eager to share their email.  Identifying your firm’s lead magnet is one of the first steps in knowing who you will attract.  This is one of the initial ways that we work with RIAs to attract an ideal prospect and to not interest someone who wouldn’t be a good fit. 

Finology is about the study of value exchange. 

One of the details that won Jake over to the school of digital marketing that we espouse is that the founder of Digital Marketer, Ryan Deiss, identifies that we are earning our way into our prospect’s inbox. That someone opting into your email marketing is one of the first points where you are exchanging value with your prospect.

In order to be top of mind and a trusted advisor for your clients it starts with the first impression. The best first impression you can possibly provide a prospect is to give them something that truly benefits them with where they are at in their lives, regardless of their current or future relationship with you.  If you provide enough value, they are excited to open your emails and welcome you into their inbox. 

Excite / Ascend

Even after your ideal client first subscribes to your email list and more especially after they convert into being clients, you need to continue to provide more than financial value.  This might be client appreciation events, a birthday present, or it might be in the form of additional services.  The point is that even after someone comes on board, it's important to continue to let your impact percolate their lives. 

It isn’t just a funnel, it’s a spiral

When you check out the Digital Presence Map one of the first takeaways we want you to have is that visitors are falling towards you and your front door.  We want to let this happen a number of times so a prospect has enough time at each stage of the process that they can choose when to move forward. 

For that reason, we encourage you to constantly produce content that re-engages your prospects and clients. When you have a well written blog post or newsletter you can re-engage with your prospects and clients in a many-to-one manner that maximizes your time and impact.  It also allows your prospects to self-select when it is time to move to the next stage.    

Some issues we’ve seen:

  • Firms having ineffective opt-in processes
  • Situations where the RIA doesn’t properly allow for their prospects to become aware of and evaluate the firm. 
  • Over 70% of the buying process happens before contact. Many RIAs don't provide effective space for the evaluation phase of the customer journey.
  • Identifying gaps in the prospect’s experience where qualified and ideal clients are dropping off.
  • Spotting gaps and needed changes for analytics
  • Identifying places in a firm’s digital presence where we can resume the conversation with a firm’s website visitors and prospects.
Jake Wagner, CDMP

About the Author

Jake Wagner, CDMP

Jake is trained as a Certified Digital Marketing Professional. He is called to connect true financial planning professionals with their clients and prospects through effective digital marketing. He understands the needs and concerns of the financial planning profession and the wide range of regulatory compliance needs and concerns.

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