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Online Ratings: Why Trusted Advisors Have to Think Differently

When the success of your business hinges on your ability to gain and maintain the trust of your customers, it’s wise to be cautious before changing anything that could impact your reputation.  Your online reputation is no different.  

Amplify Reviews differs from many other online reputation management companies in two ways. First, we focus our technology and approach on a client base of Trusted Advisors and their related businesses. Second, although we help our customers grow their online reputation on all websites, we encourage our customers to lead with first party reviews. Let’s take a look at what each of those means and why they’re important.

What is a Trusted Advisor?
In many ways it’s exactly what it sounds like. A Trusted Advisor is someone who clients must trust enough to counsel and guide them through some of life’s biggest and most important decisions. Those decisions can include things like financial planning, estate planning, wealth management, buying or selling a home, or identifying the right types of insurance needed to achieve peace of mind.

What is different for Trusted Advisors?
Intimacy – Unlike more transactional businesses, such as food delivery or Amazon purchases, people and relationships are essential to Trusted Advisors. In fact, in the eyes of a customer/client, the Trusted Advisor often IS the product. To do a good job in a Trusted Advisor role, conversations have to get fairly intimate. Clients must talk about the big questions with their Trusted Advisors – i.e. what’s important to them in life, what they can afford, where they want to be in five, 10, or 20 years. Because of this intimacy, finding a good fit for a Trusted Advisor is tremendously important to consumers, but it’s often a difficult and inefficient process.

Client Count & “Throughput” – Because many Trusted Advisor roles invest significant time to develop a small number of meaningful relationships, they can’t necessarily just request a new online review after every “transaction” to build up their online reputation. Amplify Reviews works with clients to develop appropriate review generation strategies which integrate with their business processes and balance these two goals:

  • Reach a critical mass of online reviews as quickly as possible, and
  • Continue generating reviews year round so there will always be a relatively recent review available for any prospective client to see.

What Are First Party Reviews?
First party reviews meet two criteria:

  • They represent feedback that was collected from verified customers/clients
  • They are displayed on your own business’s website

Why First Party Reviews?
There are a number of reasons to lead with first party reviews – a topic to expand upon in another blog post. But one of the biggest reasons is the power and value that online ratings and reviews have for your search engine optimization efforts. By including client feedback on your own website, you automatically get a steady stream of recent, relevant and unique content that relates to your business. Those are three magic words when it comes to SEO, and lots of businesses pay handsomely to have content created to tick those three boxes. But clients are happy to share feedback if you ask, and their own words are tremendously valuable to search engines and prospective clients alike.

So, to recap, Trusted Advisors cannot follow a “cookie cutter” online reputation playbook because their businesses depend on a smaller number of more intimate relationships. Trusted Advisors need to be thoughtful about how they generate reviews, and where they ideally want those reviews to show up online. Focusing on first party reviews at the outset provides a number of advantages and options which are uniquely suited to Trusted Advisors who are just getting started building their online reputation.

Want to learn more? Contact us and we would be happy to learn more about your business and share more about our approach.

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