An Underutilized Marketing Strategy That Works: Client Testimonials and Reviews
Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.
Dan's new book for millennials, Wealthier: A Field Guide to Financial Freedom, will be published in April 2024 and available on Amazon.
One of the most challenging questions I’m asked is to suggest a marketing strategy that will “make the phone ring.”
My answer will be disappointing.
I can’t find credible support for any of these quick, easy (and often expensive) solutions:
- Lead generation programs;
- Using bots to scrape social media platforms;
- Drip marketing campaigns;
- Using white label content;
- Updating your website without a plan to drive traffic; or
- Cold e-mailing.
But one powerful and underutilized marketing strategy that is beneficial is client testimonials and reviews.
Here’s why you should consider them.
Client testimonials and reviews
Client testimonials and reviews are your existing clients' feedback regarding their experiences working with you. These testimonials can take various forms, including written statements, video testimonials, star ratings, and detailed reviews.
They serve as a way for clients to share their satisfaction with your services, highlight the value you've provided, and endorse your expertise.
Where they can appear
Client testimonials and reviews can appear on your website, third-party review websites, and in marketing materials like newsletters, brochures, and flyers.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Create a dedicated testimonials page on your website to showcase your clients' feedback and comments. This page can be optimized for SEO with relevant keywords and meta descriptions.
- Encourage your clients to leave reviews on third-party review sites like Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook. These reviews boost your business's visibility and credibility on search engine results pages.
- Share your testimonials on social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. This increases your online presence and drives more traffic to your website.
- Use schema markup with your testimonials on your website, which can help search engines understand the content and display it more prominently in search results.
Schema markup is a form of microdata that can be added to a website's HTML to provide search engines with additional information about the content on the page. It helps search engines understand the context and meaning of the content, which improves the display of search results and increases the likelihood of the content being shown to the right audience.
- Respond to all client testimonials and reviews, whether positive or negative. Doing so demonstrates that you value their feedback and are committed to exceptional service.
SEC rules governing client testimonials and reviews
The SEC’s new marketing rule, effective November 4, 2022, expanded the ability of financial advisors to use client testimonials. The actual rule is 430 pages, so figuring out how to comply with it can be challenging.
You should rely on your compliance department for guidance, but you should be aware of some notable restrictions governing your use of testimonials.
The effectiveness of client testimonials and reviews
Here’s why client testimonials and reviews are effective marketing tools for financial advisors.
Build trust and credibility
When potential clients see positive feedback from others who have worked with you, it instills confidence in your abilities.
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people tend to follow the actions and decisions of others, especially when they are uncertain about a particular choice.
When potential clients see that others have entrusted you with their financial well-being and had positive outcomes, it reassures them that they are making a wise choice.
Overcome objections and concerns
When clients speak positively about their experiences with you, it can address common concerns potential clients have.
Personalize your brand
Client testimonials and reviews put faces and voices to your brand, making it more relatable and approachable.
Here's how client testimonials and reviews impact SEO:
Increased website engagement
Testimonials can lead to increased engagement. Visitors spend more time on your site reading about your clients' experiences.
Fresh and relevant content
Regularly updating your website with new testimonials and reviews provides fresh and relevant content. Search engines like Google favor websites periodically updating their content because it indicates the site is active.
Enhanced local SEO
Positive reviews from clients in your locality can boost your rankings in local search results.
Improved click-through rates (CTRs)
Search engine results that display star ratings and snippets of reviews tend to have higher click-through rates (CTRs). When potential clients see your high ratings and positive feedback, they are more likely to click on your website link, driving organic traffic.
Video testimonials: The gold standard
While written testimonials and reviews are valuable, video testimonials are often considered the gold standard in client endorsements.
A Field Guide to Financial Freedom
Why have so many financial advisors agreed to review an advance copy of Wealthier: A Field Guide to Financial Freedom? It empowers millennials to be responsible DIY investors and financial planners. You can see some of their reviews here.
Wealthier will be published in April 2024.
Here’s what one advisor said: "Saplings grow into trees. We need to help the next generation of investors get to where they need our services."
For more information, visit the website for Wealthier:
To review Wealthier send an e-mail to: [email protected]
When clients share their experiences on camera, viewers can see their facial expressions, hear their tone of voice, and gauge their sincerity. This adds a layer of authenticity that written testimonials may lack.
Video testimonials can express gratitude, excitement, and satisfaction in a way that written text cannot fully capture. Emotions are a powerful tool for building trust and connecting with potential clients.
Video testimonials can be visually engaging. They can feature your clients in real-life environments, adding depth to their stories.
Videos are highly shareable on social media and other digital platforms. When your clients share their video testimonials, it can expand your reach and influence potential clients who may have yet to encounter your services.
In a competitive profession where trust and credibility are paramount, harnessing the power of client testimonials and reviews sets you apart as a trusted and reputable financial advisor.
Dan coaches evidence-based financial advisors on how to convert more prospects into clients. His digital marketing firm is a leading provider of SEO, website design, branding, content marketing, and video production services to financial advisors worldwide.
A message from Advisor Perspectives and VettaFi: To learn more about this and other topics, check out our podcasts.