If you’re included, congratulations! It means you’ve worked hard to delight your clients and build your social proof. There’s still plenty of work to do though if you’re going to make the most of the opportunity.
On the VouchedFor platform itself, a Top Rated banner will be added to your profile differentiating you from those who haven’t qualified. Logically, this should improve the click-thru rate to your profile.
VouchedFor also provides a range of other tools and assets to help you promote your inclusion, including:
- A trophy, engraved with your name
- A ratings and review widget (available for both individual advisers/planners and their firm)
- A Top Rated badge (again, available for individual advisers/planners and their firm)
- A focussed Top Rated certificate (separate to the existing Certificate of Excellence)
- Printed versions of the guide for you to buy
- A Top Rated report showcasing your inclusion and your reviews
All of the above can be accessed from the ‘Reputation Tools’ section of your VouchedFor account.
So, you’ve qualified, you’ve got the tools, how should you deploy them? Here’s a list of ideas, hints and tips.
1. Work within VouchedFor’s guidelines
Every so often an adviser or planner refers to the guide, or their inclusion in it, incorrectly. So, here are a few things to remember:
- The tables in the guide were compiled by VouchedFor, not The Times. It’s important not to confuse consumers by implying The Times created the tables. Therefore, when referencing their involvement please use the words ‘distributed in The Times’
- Occasionally, social media messages refer to advisers/planners being part of a ‘Top 250’ list. This hasn’t been the case since 2016 and should, therefore, be avoided
- Top Rated advisers have received a minimum of 10 clients reviews (averaging 4.5 stars or higher) since January 2020, have a 4.5 star or higher all-time client rating and have passed all of the extensive checks that form part of VouchedFor’s fully verified membership. You must stay fully verified, and subject to VouchedFor’s checks and monitoring, to feature in the guide and access the tools.
2. Showcase your inclusion in remote meetings
Most meetings will continue to take place virtually for the foreseeable future. Indeed, many will remain permanently online.
So, use the opportunity to show off your inclusion in the Top Rated guide:
- Create a virtual background that includes the Top Rated logo and your rating
- If you don’t use a virtual background, display the assets, for example, the trophy, certificate, or guide behind you, to act as talking points. The trophy can be bought from VouchedFor by clicking here. It’s engraved with your name and costs £79.99 plus VAT. Supplies are limited though, so if you want one, don’t delay!
3. Impress clients, prospects and professional connections who visit your office
When social distancing ends there are many opportunities to use your inclusion in the guide to impress visitors to your office. We recommend:
- Displaying the trophy prominently so visitors can’t fail to see it. If you’ve got multiple advisers or planners who qualify we recommend buying a trophy for each. It’ll demonstrate the consistency of performance across your firm
- Buying glossy copies of the guide, marking where you’re included and leaving a copy of the in your reception for visitors to read. Printed copies can be bought by clicking here.
- Display the Top Rated certificate in your reception and meeting rooms.
4. Create a meeting confirmation pack (or amend your existing pack)
When you confirm a meeting, particularly with a prospect who isn’t yet a client, we recommend sending a pack of useful information.
The pack might include practical information such as directions to your office, parking details and an explanation of the documents they should bring. It should also include validation that they’ve made the right choice in selecting you. Client videos work well here, so they can see how you’ve helped people like them. We also recommend including:
- Your Top Rated certificate
- Your Top Rated report.
5. Tell your existing clients
Your existing clients will be keen to hear about your inclusion in the guide. It’s also the perfect opportunity to remind them that you welcome recommendations to their friends, family and work colleagues.
We recommend writing an email which:
- Thanks clients for taking the time to leave a review (it’s because of them that you’re included!)
- Asks those who haven’t left a review to do so (make their life easy by including a link)
- Remind them that you welcome being recommended to others and that, as a Top Rated adviser, their friends, family and work colleagues will be in safe hands.
6. Use the VouchedFor Referral Generator tool
As an alternative to the above, you could use VouchedFor’s Referral Generator tool to tell clients that you’ve been included in the guide.
This tool allows you to trigger an email from VouchedFor thanking the client for their review and explaining that it has helped you qualify for the guide. It then asks the recipient to recommend you to people who could benefit from your services.
VouchedFor stats show the results are tremendously encouraging:
- 63% of people open the email
- 34% share it with one or more friends.
Even better, VouchedFor doesn’t charge you for any enquiries received through this referral generator.
7. Update your website
Impressing online is vital for generating new enquiries. Nowhere is that more important than on your website. Therefore, we recommend:
- Adding the VouchedFor adviser/firm rating and review widget to the most popular pages of your website, including your homepage, your ‘why us’ page, individual team member pages and your contact page
- Adding the ‘Top-Rated’ logo to your website, again on key pages along with an explanation of what it means and with a link to your Top-Rated certificate or report.
Be careful where you position these assets. We’ve often seen them added to the footer of websites, giving them the same prominence as regulatory statements. That makes no sense. The widget and the Top Rated badge demonstrates how happy your clients are. They need to be displayed prominently, not hidden away.
8. Write a blog or record a video
If your website has a blog or news section add an update explaining your inclusion in the guide. Alternatively, you could record a short video using Loom or your phone and post that on your website. Either way, you should include:
- A brief explanation of what VouchedFor is
- Confirmation that ratings and reviews are based on feedback from genuine clients, which make the ratings extremely powerful
- The criteria for your inclusion
- Your rating (using the handy widget provided by VouchedFor)
- A selection of your best reviews
- Links to the certificate, report and guide.
9. Update your social media profiles
Your social media banners and bios should be updated to showcase your inclusion in the guide.
Each platform is different so what you can and can’t do will vary. However, as a rule of thumb:
- Add the Top Rated badges to your social media banners
- Explain in the bio that you’re in the guide and how you qualified. If possible, include a link to the content you produced in tip #8.
10. Update your stationery
Depending on what you use you could add the Top Rated badge to:
- Business cards
- Regulatory/compliance documents.
11. Update your email signature
Your email footer will be seen by dozens of people each day so it’s the perfect place to publicise your rating and inclusion in the guide. You can do this by downloading the badges from your VouchedFor dashboard and adding them to your email signature.
12. Update your newsletter template
If you send a regular newsletter update the template to include the latest Top Rated badge, which should be linked to the content you produced in tip #8.
13. Tell professional connections
Your inclusion in the guide provides further evidence to solicitors and accountants that clients they recommend to you are in safe hands. We recommend:
- Sending professional connections a similar email to the one which we described in tip #5
- Update your professional connection due diligence packs with the badge, certificate and report.
14. Use social media to shout about it
Once you’ve written the blog or recorded the video, and updated your profiles, publicise your inclusion on social media:
- Write different messages for each channel (identical messages look lazy)
- Add posts on key days, for example on the morning that the guide is published and the day the trophy arrives
- Use video to mix things up
- Add an image of the certificate provided by VouchedFor (posts with images get more engagement)
- Click ‘post’!
Remember to post multiple times too. Repetition of your key messages is crucial if you want as many people as possible to see them.
15. Buy copies of the report
You can buy copies of the guide by clicking here. We recommend buying a supply, marking your entry then:
- Leaving a copy in your reception area for visitors to read
- Providing copies to professional connections so they can do the same.
Develop a plan and move quickly
In an age when traditional testimonials on a single page of your website are dead (hardly anyone looks at them) VouchedFor’s client-driven social proof is incredibly powerful.
But, it’s only the advisers and planners who make the effort who will get the benefit from being included in the guide. Your hard work, the reviews left by your clients and this great initiative from VouchedFor has given you some great ammunition, now’s the time to use it.
If you would like our help or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
You can reach us by emailing [email protected] or calling the office on 0115 8965 300.