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11 things you might not know about The Yardstick Agency

Each week, you receive top tips to improve your marketing, but how well do you know the business that sends them?

Who is The Yardstick Agency that emails you every Friday at 7.30 am?

Recently, one of our long-term clients used a different agency to develop their website. Confused, I called our contact there to ask if we’d done something wrong, and why they hadn’t considered approaching us.

His response was direct, and frankly a bit of a reality check: “We didn’t know you did websites.”

Initially, I couldn’t understand how one of our long-term clients didn’t know we developed websites. After all, we’ve launched well over 200 now, and our sites won the Best Website category at the Professional Adviser Awards in 2020, 2021 and 2023.

How could they not know we developed websites?

But, after 10 seconds, reality dawned on me; it’s our fault. It’s our responsibility to make sure as many people as possible (in our niche) know The Yardstick Agency, what we do and who we do it for.

So in that spirit let’s get to know each other better. We’ll start!

Here are 11 things you might not already know about The Yardstick Agency and, more importantly, why they should matter to you.

1. It all started in an office you couldn’t swing a cat in

We launched The Yardstick Agency on 10 January 2017. As you can see, our original office was so small that, if the person sitting nearest to the window fancied making a brew, the other two of us had to stand up to let them out!

In 2019, we moved to a larger office. Then, a few months later, Covid-19 hit and we sent our team home on 17 March to navigate a new world of fully home working.

Since then, we’ve moved to a hybrid/remote working policy, which offers our existing staff greater flexibility. It’s also allowed us to expand the team with people who we couldn’t have employed before. As a result, we have a growing Scottish contingent!

Taking on new members of staff with a diverse range of skills and experiences has helped us to continue delivering high-quality marketing solutions for our clients.

2. We now have a team of nearly 50 people

In early 2017, there were just four people in the team; Dan Campbell and Rebecca Burke are still with us, and Michael Rose, who moved on to pastures new in 2022.

We’re now a business of 48 people across five teams, which is something I’m personally very proud of. One of my goals when we set up The Yardstick Agency was to provide employment, in roles where people feel motivated, fulfilled and secure.

And, as you’ll see shortly, they seem quite happy too!

3. We’re privately owned

The ownership of Yardstick is split between:

  • Myself
  • Dan Campbell, our head of branding
  • Nick Parkhouse, our head of content
  • Emma Moore, our head of operations.

That means we can make decisions based on the best interests of the wider team and our clients, rather than trying to keep external shareholders happy.

And, in addition to the senior leadership team, we also have five staff members within a secondary level of management. Over the last year, we’ve worked hard to better incorporate these key individuals into operational meetings and strategy days.

4. We have a retained therapist

Over the past few years, more people than ever have needed help to improve their mental wellbeing. Unfortunately, accessing that help through the NHS has never been harder. Waiting lists are long and treatment is generally limited to a few weeks.

We don’t think that’s right.

So, since 2020, every member of Yardstick has access to our retained therapist. Our team, as well as their partner/spouse, can book an unlimited number of sessions with our therapist. And, at the end of each month, we simply pick up the tab.

It goes without saying that we don’t find out who our retained therapist has spoken to. But, on average, our team and their partner/spouse book 20-30 sessions per month and the feedback we receive is excellent.

5. Each week a team member (or two) wins our Kudos competition

Every Friday, we recognise at least one person in the Yardstick team who has gone above and beyond to help others in the business, and/or our clients.

Each team member gets three votes and is encouraged to leave comments alongside their choices to explain how they voted.

Then at our weekly “Parish Meeting” held every Friday at 11 am, we announce the winner(s). They select three numbers from one to 20 which correspond to three prizes for them to choose from.

The prizes range from the practical to the fun. For example, over the past few weeks the winners have chosen:

  • A cinema gift box
  • A magazine subscription
  • A pork pie-making workshop
  • De’Longhi coffee machine starter pack
  • Alpaca trekking – this would be my choice!

6. Our team is happy

We have 38 reviews on Glassdoor, with 99% of those individuals willing to recommend us to a friend, and a 5/5 rating.

That demonstrates our team are happy and leads to a low turnover of staff, resulting in more consistent service for our clients.

If you employ people, and Glassdoor isn’t on your radar, we’d urge you to take a look. Potential recruits will view a high Glassdoor rating as a plus point when searching for a new role, and it showcases to prospects that you’re a great firm to work with.

Let us explain the six reasons why we think Glassdoor is a highly underrated part of your marketing strategy in this blog.

7. Our website has over 36 hours of video content to help improve your marketing

Every month, we run a webinar packed full of marketing hints and tips. Anyone can attend, even if they’re not Yardstick clients. And they’re always free.

After each webinar, we upload a recording of the session to our website and add a transcript too. We now have over 36 hours of free content available for you to watch, rewatch, and put into action when you’re ready.

Our next webinar is on 20 March at 10 am, when we’ll reveal the 23 indispensable elements of adviser/planner websites and ask, how many can you tick off? Click here to book your place.

8. We practise what we preach when it comes to Google reviews

If you’ve read our previous blogs, you’ll know why Google reviews are incredibly important.

The TLDR version: they impress prospective clients when they search for your business online. If you want the longer version, click here to read our definitive guide to online reviews.

We practise what we preach too, and now have a five-star rating across 178 Google reviews. 17 of which were recently reinstated (some from four years ago!) after we made a complaint to Google.

9. You have access (for free) to a directory of podcasts on our website

There’s no shortage of podcasts aimed at financial advisers and planners, but we couldn’t find a comprehensive directory of them all in one place. So, we created one and made it available online, for free.

As far as we know, it’s still the only directory of podcasts aimed at financial advisers and planners. Click here to visit the directory now and start listening.

10. You can find the right awards to showcase your business by using our Adviser Awards Index

Awards are a great way of showcasing your business, but understanding which the right ones are to enter, and when they’re open for entries, can be tricky.

So, we created the Adviser Awards Index, And yes, you guessed it, made it available for free.

Click here to browse the index, learn which awards are currently open and download our free assets which can help you write a winning entry.

11. And last but not least, we build websites!

Over the years, we’ve built over 200 websites for advisers, planners, mortgage brokers and other service providers.

So, if 2024 is the year you decide to make a real impression with a new (or improved) website, give us a shout. You’ll be in safe hands.

Still unconvinced? Here are some of the award-winning sites we’ve designed:

And, if you’d like to see more examples, I’ll happily jump on a call and discuss websites with you anytime. Just email or call 0115 8965 300 and we’ll find a slot in the diary.

How well do your clients know you?

There you have it! That’s us.

Hopefully, it’s given you pause for thought…

  • Do your clients know who you want to be recommended to? Do they know how to do it, and when to do it?
  • If you give mortgage and financial advice, do all clients know you offer both?
  • Do your clients understand that you want to be recommended to other people?

Don’t fall into the same trap I did by assuming all your clients know everything you do.

It cost us money and was a valuable lesson. It’s not a mistake I’ll make again in the future.

And I’d love to know how many on the list surprised you!

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