Testimonials, ratings and reviews are critical to your online reputation. And you really must have a systematic approach to gather and display your best testimonial evidence of the quality of service that you provide to your clients.
In fact, recent studies show that testimonials, ratings and reviews are the single most important factor when a person is considering a service provider to use. And interestingly, the magic number of positive reviews that closes the deal is 10. So get started right away and gather at least 10 positive ratings and reviews!
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Here are 7 strategies to ramp up your online reputation with ratings, reviews and testimonials:
Strategy #1: Use Testimonials Liberally Throughout Your Website!
It’s very important to have a dedicated Reviews and Testimonials page on your website. But don’t stop there! You can also add positive reviews on any of your product or service pages.
It’s a good idea to add testimonials specific to the service that you are talking about on that page as well. The more relevant the review, the better the response!
Also add reviews and testimonials to your About Us or About Me page as that’s the second most trafficked page on any website when your prospective clients are looking to use your services.
Strategy #2: Sharing is Caring!
Ask the folks who give you positive reviews to share that good news all over the place. Websites like Yelp, Angie’s List and TripAdvisor have become billion dollar businesses solely on the backs of providing trustworthy reviews.
You can leverage the good name that they’ve developed in the marketplace by having your positive reviews posted there as well!
Strategy #3: Make Your Testimonials, Ratings and Reviews Social!
Don’t forget your testimonial provider’s social media networks! Social media is literally where people spend the most time online. And they are familiar with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.
So if you can get your positive reviews posted there, it’s much more likely that your prospects will see them and be impressed!
Strategy #4: Encourage Sharing On Industry Relevant Websites!
There are many industry relevant websites that your testimonial givers can share their positive impression of your business on. In the mortgage industry, for example, they could submit it on Zillow, Trulia, and BetterLoanOfficers.
As your positive reviews stack up, so does your credibility and client attraction.
Strategy #5: Go Ahead And Brag About Yourself!
Have you ever heard about a “Brag Book”? It’s a great thing to have handy when you are meeting with a client to convince them that they want to use your service!
We once used review postcards mailed to our clients at the end of every transaction. And then I would save all of the glowing testimonials and ratings when they were mailed back and I could show my prospects what other people said about my quality of service.
Online reviews do this very same thing, but you can print them out into a paper copy and share it with your clients in person.
Strategy #6: Spread The Good Word Around!
Make sure to add your ratings, reviews and testimonials to all of your offline marketing materials as well. You can add testimonials to brochures, flyers, posters and even the back of your business cards if you like!
Also, make sure your printed materials provide a link back to your website testimonial page.
Strategy #7: Video Testimonials Are The Cream Of The Crop!
There is no more powerful way to share information online than video. A recent study showed that videos are processed by the brain 60,000 times faster than text. Think about the heavy lifting your cognitive system has to do when reading an article vs. watching a video clip! So make it easy on your clients and share video testimonials anytime you can.
Pro tip: Break out your phone and record a video when you attend a closing. It’s a great way to capture the excitement of the day at the peak of your client’s satisfaction. And it doesn’t need to be perfect. You can even just ask them questions and then edit the video afterwards!
Bonus Strategy: Ask For REFERRALS!
Your happiest clients are very likely to be the best referral givers as well! So make sure to plan your strategy to educate your positive review givers about how you work by referral and then make sure they know that you really want their referrals as well. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking they will already know! In fact, many times people think that you might be too busy and they don’t want to pile on. You MUST let them know that their referrals are the most important way that you get business and you always welcome their call with a referral of a friend or family member!
Put those seven powerful strategies in place and you’ll be adding massive horsepower to your repeat and referral business!
As a knowledgeable business professional, you know that your reputation is everything. People simply refuse to work with those they can’t trust, which is why establishing your credibility is paramount especially if you’re only just starting out. And in the online marketing realm, one of the best ways to establish your reputation is by creating a blog.
So how can you build a great reputation by publishing blog articles on your website? Here’s what you need to know.
Shift Your Mindset from Cost to Investment
Business owners, such as Realtors, must carefully differentiate between costs and investments when making important financial decisions, and this holds true when you are thinking about blog marketing expenses as well.
A cost is something that generally will provide an immediate result. An investment, on the other hand, will have a long-term residual return. When it comes to blog marketing for your business, there are three good reasons why you need to think about this as an investment rather than a cost.
1. Building Brand Awareness
Marketing generally has many purposes, and one of the primary purposes for most marketing efforts is to build brand awareness and develop or enhance your reputation in some way. Blog marketing essentially creates a series of blog posts that can shape the image your target audience has of your brand.
2. Increasing Visibility
Another goal of marketing is to increase visibility for your brand. Each blog post that you create may be linked to from other online sources or a previous blog post. Your consumers may also send links of the posts to their own friends and family members.
3. Generating Need
A blog post can be created so that it defines consumer needs and shows how your products or services may meet those needs. The blog posts will generate an immediate response from your consumers when they are initially posted, but they also can remain online for others to view. This also has long-term benefits for your business.
Generate Credibility With High-Quality Authoritative Content
‘Content is King’ is a good saying, but ‘Good Content is King’ is a better saying, for a good reason, with so many places to go online to consume content, every blog has to stand apart. Focus on in-depth blog posts that are well-written and cover an aspect of the industry that isn’t discussed much.
Exceptional writing stands out in an age where most blogs are quickly pieced together just to have something to post each day.
Writing to get to the top of search engines a great side benefit of having an engaging blog. However, writing your content exclusively for search engines will alienate your readers – especially if you’re using outdated SEO tactics.
Create Trust And Engagement By Fostering Audience Connection
In order to get people to care about you, you need to show that you care about what they think. You need to show them that you belong in their circle.
If you want people to engage with your blog, you need to show them how you are similar to them. You need to show them your human side. Don’t be afraid to talk about personal experiences or use colloquialisms on your blog it shows your readers that you’re like them, which helps them to trust you.
Branch Out Into Other Content Arenas
A really well-written, long form blog post can be deconstructed to make several additional pieces of content that cover the same topic but target different users.
Social media is an incredibly useful tool for exposing content to new viewers. One of the major benefits of social media is the ability to share content that stands out with people who will, in turn, share it with each one of their friends and followers.
A short YouTube video highlighting some key points from the blog post, a podcast discussing the industry or an eBook that covers the same ground can all be useful ways to expose a website to new viewers and boost the traffic, provided all new forms of content link back to the blog.
An effective content marketing strategy should start with creating content that people will want to share and help go viral. From there, it will be time to get that content to social media followers and then branch out into new pieces to target people who consume their content in different ways.
Determining how to invest your marketing funds is rarely a simple task. You want to generate an immediate return, but some marketing methods also will give you a long-term benefit. There are numerous marketing methods that you can choose to use for your business, and blog posts are just one. With how cost-effective and advantageous it can be to invest in blog marketing, you may consider including this in your overall strategy.