Social proof: Who are the advisers and planners doing it really well?
Written by Phil Bray on 14/06/18
We’ve written a lot over the past few weeks about the importance of social proof. As a reminder, it’s the practice of demonstrating; using testimonials, videos, case studies, ratings, reviews, qualifications, accreditations, and so on, that you are bloody good at what you do.
It’s now time to move from the theory to the practical. So, this week we are going to showcase some of the firms going the extra mile with the social proof they display on their websites.
So, sit back and let’s take a tour of those advisers and planners who truly understand the importance of social proof.
Long gone are the days when a short “My adviser was great” testimonial cut it (did it ever, really?), in an age of fake news, authenticity is paramount. That means detailed and attributable testimonials, preferably supported by an image of your client.
We launched this site earlier in the year. However, James had already collected these great client testimonials, which made our job significantly easier.
The testimonials are longer than usual, accompanied by an image of the client and their full name. We featured them on the website’s homepage as well as showcasing them on a page of their own.
They have also been beautifully displayed on the walls of James’ office.
Click here to view the testimonials.
This is one of the most comprehensive testimonial pages we’ve seen.
Each testimonial is detailed and attributable, giving the client’s name, occupation and location.
It’s clear that a lot of thought has gone into this page; in the first testimonial the client thanks his adviser for the video version of his financial plan. That’s something truly innovative, which sets the firm apart. Why wouldn’t you want to highlight that point of difference as your first testimonial?
Click here to view the testimonials.
There’s very little as powerful as a client explaining the faith and trust they put in your hands. A video is a great way to do this. Sure, it takes a little organising and the natural inclination of advisers and planners might be that clients won’t want to be filmed. In our experience though, nothing could be further from the truth and the effort it takes to record videos is always worth it.
These client videos are so powerful.
The production values are fantastic, and the clients are clearly comfortable in front of the camera.
The videos are displayed elegantly on the page, too. There’s a quote from the client and some thoughts from Anthony Villis, the founder and managing partner of First Wealth.
Click here to watch the videos on the First Wealth website.
This is one of the website’s we’ve designed and developed. However, Brian and his team had already recorded the client videos. We just helped them to show off their great work!
Each video has a title, allowing the visitor to identify quickly which might best reflect their circumstances. A quote, highlighting one of the key points, the video itself and then a full transcript; allowing full accessibility for website visitors. There’s also a potential SEO benefit, too, as the transcript will probably contain useful keywords.
Click here to watch the videos.
Client surveys are hugely useful; the data collected can be used to improve every part of your business, including your marketing. Assuming of course you ask the right questions!
This Bristol-based financial planning firm display client feedback on their homepage by showing the percentage of clients who “rate our service as excellent or very good” and who “would recommend us to a friend or colleague.”
The figures given aren’t suspiciously set at 100% and the way they are displayed creates some pleasing movement on the page.
Furthermore, the information is displayed next to attributable client testimonials.
Click here to see how Ovation display their client’s feedback.
A long-standing client of ours. We ran a feedback survey for Hunter Aitkenhead & Walker around 12 months ago.
We used the results to on their homepage under the heading ‘How our clients rate us’.
We particularly like the question: “What percentage of our clients believe that taking financial advice has, or will, help them achieve their goals?” as it demonstrates the value of financial advice.
Again, the results are displayed next to client testimonials.
Click here to see how Hunter Aitkenhead & Walker display their client’s feedback.
Most advisers and planners think of VouchedFor mainly as a source of new enquiries. While there’s no doubt it does this very well, the reputational tools available to advisers and planners are equally as useful. However, very few use them to their fullest effect, failing to display the widget prominently and often hiding it away.
Sure, it’s a site we’ve developed and their second entry into our showcase, but we believe the use of the Jones Hill VouchedFor rating is particularly effective on the homepage.
We explained what VouchedFor is (remember many consumers won’t have heard about it) shown the rating and included the widget in the homepage.
Also on the page, to complete the social proof picture we have:
- The client videos we’ve already mentioned
- Written testimonials
- Confirmation that existing clients are happy to recommend Jones Hill to friends and family.
Click here to see how the VouchedFor rating is used.
Entering and winning awards is hard enough in itself, but it’s only half the job. If you’re successful your next job is to capitalise on the victory, where better to start, than on your website? Finding a site where the firm displayed their awards well was surprisingly difficult. We’ll look at this in more detail over coming weeks. In the meantime though, Investment Quorum is one of the few we found doing it really well.
The page is easy to find and contains a lengthy list of awards dating back over 10 years, demonstrating a consistency of achievement over a considerable period.
It’s a great deal of effort has been put in to displaying the page elegantly. All too often the award logos are inconsistently sized or of poor quality.
That’s not a problem here.
It’s also good to see members of the Investment Quorum team being recognised as well as the business.
Click here to visit the page.
How does your website match up?
Now’s the time to head to your own site and look at how you shape up.
If there’s room for improvement, the sites we’ve showcased provide great examples of what’s possible. And, if you need more inspiration or help implementing your ideas, you know where to find us!