The SEC's new changes for Rule 206(4)-1 permits advertisements that enable registered investment advisors to promote themselves via testimonials, endorsements, and third-party ratings. The amendment opens the door for RIAs to add customer testimonials to their website!

To add a testimonial section to your website that looks similar to the example above, we will be walking through the following steps to add a section to your homepage where you can feature your testimonials!:

  1. Add a Full-Width Rotator Section to Your Page

  2. Edit the Slide Background Image

  3. Edit the Settings for the Full-Width Rotator

  4. Enter in Your Testimonial Text

Add a Full-Width Rotator Section to Your Page

To add a rotator section to your homepage, first, navigate to Website>>Home in the navigation pane on the left side of your dashboard:

To add a section to your homepage, click "+ Add Section":

In the pop-up that opens, navigate to the "Rotators" category on the left. Select the "Full Width" section, and click "Add Section":

Here is an overview of the full-width rotator section:

  1. Slide _ of _: Click the arrows to toggle between slides.

  2. + Add Slide: Click this to add a slide to the rotator.

  3. - Remove Slide: Click this to remove the current slide from the rotator.

  4. Gear Icon: Click this to edit the rotator settings.

  5. Slide Type: This drop-down menu lets you select the slide type. You will want to make sure to select "Custom Content" for each slide you have.

  6. Pencil Icon: Click this pencil icon to change the background image of the slide.

You will want one slide for each testimonial you'd like to feature on your page. By default, there will be 3 slides in the rotator. You can add in more slides, or you can remove any unwanted slides. After you have selected the number of slides you'd like, use the drop-down menu for "Slide Type" to change the slide type to "Custom Content." Make sure to do this for each slide in the rotator.

Edit the Custom Slide Background Image

The next step is to edit the slide background image. You will need a transparent image for this step. To get the transparent image, follow these steps:

  1. Click here. This will load what appears to be a blank image.

  2. Right-click on the center of the page and select "Save Image As."

  3. Save the image, and we will upload it in the upcoming step.

Navigate back to the slide, and click the pencil icon located in the top right corner to edit the background image.

Next, you will want to add the transparent background image that you had previously downloaded:

Edit the Settings for the Full-Width Rotator

Click the gear icon to access the rotator settings:

Click the "Background" tab, and here you will be able to select your background color. The color you select will be the background for your rotator slides.

Next, click on the "Button" tab. Toggle the "Show button" option off, and then click "Done" to save the setting changes:

Enter in Your Testimonial Text

Now it is time to add in your testimonials!

  1. Headline Text: Click the pencil icon located on the top right side of the text box to edit the headline. Enter in your headline here (for example, Client Stories).

  2. Text Content: Click the pencil icon for the text content to add in your testimonial text!

Once you are done adding in your testimonials, click "Publish" in the top right corner of your screen to send your changes to compliance!


Disclaimers:

The SEC’s advertising rule opens the door on some things, but you will have to tread lightly to make sure you’re not going against the general prohibition. It’s very easy to make a testimonial sound misleading or promissory—which is not allowed. You should verify everything through a compliance attorney or legal team before you start implementing any new marketing strategies.

There is a transition period for when the new rule goes into effect. This transition period is 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. However, with the new Biden administration, they have put a freeze on reviewing any new rules. That means this rule is not in effect yet, so don’t start implementing adding testimonials and reviews to your website quite yet.

This article is intended for Registered Investment Advisors. For financial professionals with broker-dealers, you will have to check in with your home-office compliance to see how they would like to proceed with the changes to the SEC rule. They have other provisions with FINRA to consider, so they will act differently.

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