This week saw New Model Adviser announce its Top 100 firms for financial award success. Entries for the Professional Adviser awards closed last month, with the shortlists expected soon and the winners announced in early 2019.
That got us thinking; if you win an award, what next?
Including awards in your marketing strategy is essentially a three-stage process:
1. Completing your entry
2. Winning or graciously accepting a highly commended or runner’s up position or learning from the failure!
3. Leveraging your success
Completing your entry is time-consuming. And, while you will learn more about your business and the requirements of the award itself as a result, to get maximum value you need to leverage any success. It’s here where we want to focus this week.
The first thing to remember is that you have 3 different groups who need to know about your financial award success:
Existing clients and professional connections: Clients are interested in your business and have a vested interest in it doing well. The award also helps to validate their decision to work with you.
Prospective clients: We all have potential clients who we would like to work with but for whatever reason haven’t quite got over the line. Telling them about your award success is a useful reminder of your credentials.
Your team: Winning an award provides an opportunity to boost staff morale, while helping to validate the value clients get from working with your business.
Capitalising on your success
So, with those different audiences in mind, here are eight ways to capitalise on your financial award success:
1. Add the award to your website: Part #1
Displaying the award on your website will continue to build your social proof, helping convert visitors into prospects.
It doesn’t mean adding the award to the very bottom of your website next to your regulatory statement, where so many firms seem content to display their Chartered status. The award (or at least your latest awards if you are a prolific winner) should be positioned prominently. Ideally in the website header so it appears on every page.
2. Add the award to your website: Part #2
However, it isn’t enough to simply add the award to your website header and expect visitors to understand what it means.
We recommend building a dedicated page which displays all your awards, explaining the entry criteria and how it sets you apart from your peers and competitors. If you have won the same award on multiple occasions, the logos for each victory should be displayed. This demonstrates consistency of performance.
All awards logos on your site should be linked to this page.
The same method should be used with your firm’s Chartered or Accredited status but that’s a blog for another day.
3. Add a blog to the website
We then recommend that a longer blog is added to your website. It should give more detail about the award, what you had to do to win it and a comment from the business owner or one of the team.
Ideally, the blog should be accompanied by an image of the award being presented.
4. Email an update
The award will now be proudly displayed on your website. However, despite the awards page and blog giving more details, there’s no guarantee that existing and potential clients will see it. We, therefore, recommend sending an email update informing them of the award.
One option is to include the blog mentioned above in your monthly newsletter. However, we recommend considering a ‘special edition’ of your newsletter containing only the news of the award success. Either way, nothing beats getting the news into the inboxes of your clients, prospects and professional connections.
5. Get social
We recommend announcing your award success on your preferred social media platforms.
That doesn’t mean scheduling endless tweets and posts, so you end up alienating your followers and connections. However, a couple of well-written posts with links to your blog will help to spread the word of your win.
Remember to include an image of the award or the ceremony with your post. Research has proven that posts accompanied by images get higher levels of engagement than those without.
6. Email footers
Your email footer is seen by more people on a daily basis than almost any other form of marketing. Why not take advantage of that by updating your footers with the latest awards success and perhaps a link to the blog?
7. Local coverage
Depending on the award, writing and sending a press release to your local newspaper might attract some further coverage.
If you are a member of local business organisations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, they may well be happy to cover your win in their publications.
8. Last but not least; celebrate
Your team are likely to be one of the key reasons you were successful.
Your victory is the perfect opportunity to recognise their performance and celebrate as a team.
Don’t hide your success
There’s very little point taking the time to enter awards if you aren’t going to make the most of your financial award success.
We recognise that some awards are handed out like Green Shield Stamps (NextGen Planners, ask your parents!). Others are bloody hard to win, often requiring long entries followed by an interview process. Why wouldn’t you shout about it when you win? Contact us for more information.