After last week’s 6,000-word opus, you’ll be pleased to learn that today’s blog is significantly shorter, but hopefully no less important for it.
Let’s start by asking a simple question: when did you last check out other advisers/planners (based near you) online?
I’d put a tenner on the answer being a variation of:
- “Not recently”
- “Why would I do that?”
There’s a simple logic which means none of those answers really cut it:
- Consumers often want to deal with a local adviser/planner
- Many people will initially have a shortlist of more than one adviser/planner
- To help them decide who to choose, they’ll research their shortlisted options online.
So, if your ideal clients are looking you, as well as your peers/competitors, up online after becoming aware of you (perhaps following a recommendation from an existing client), doesn’t it make sense for you to understand what they’ll see and how you compare?
That’s a rhetorical question, by the way, as of course it bloody does! To make the point, here are three firms we’ve spoken with over the past couple of weeks:
They have £500 million of assets under management and well over 600 clients, but no Google reviews.
Their geographically closest competitor has 56 Google reviews and an average score of 4.9/5.
Based in one of the largest cities in Scotland, this firm only has three Google reviews (spanning six years) with an average score of 4.7/5.
There are two local firms with more than 40 Google reviews and adding them at a far quicker rate.
Dealing in a very tight niche, this firm only has one Google review from four years ago.
Their competitors in the niche have significantly more reviews, with one having 37.
All three of these firms are great businesses, providing a fantastic service to their clients. Yet, none are going to impress prospects on their initial search.
So, if consumers want a local adviser/planner, and will check out shortlisted options online before making contact, that means you need to build more social proof than your local peers and competitors.
That process starts by understanding how well other local firms are performing.
Here’s how to do that:
Check out your competition in four easy steps
Step #2. Enter your postcode and follow the instructions, just as a potential client would do
Step #3. Search for each of the firms on Google, focusing on those within a 10-mile radius:
- How many Google reviews do they have and what’s their score?
- How many VouchedFor/Trustpilot reviews do they have and what’s their score?
- Do they have client testimonial videos on their website?
- How impressive is their website? Honestly, is it better than yours?
Step #4: Now categorise each firm as either a threat or an opportunity:
Threat: They look more impressive to a potential client than you do. You need to play catch-up with these firms by developing more social proof (focus initially on Google and VouchedFor reviews) and improving your website.
Opportunity: They don’t look great and wouldn’t impress a potential client. That means you can put greater distance between you and them by collecting even more social proof.
When we take firms through this process it:
- Helps them to understand how they’re doing against their peers and competitors
- Motivates them to improve their social proof.
A freebie to help you get started
We’ve created a free competitor analysis template to help you work through the four-step process.
Click here to request a copy and we’ll send it straight back to you.
Then, when you have the results, if you’d like some help building your social proof drop me an email at email@example.com or call 0115 8965 300.