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Leveraging Unbiased and VouchedFor in lead generation

Bridget Greenwood, director of Financial Social Media UK, looks at how Sedulo Wealth Management has used and VouchedFor as lead generators

Have you ever wanted to know the best way to generate multiple leads a month from VouchedFor? Or if the cost of using Unbiased and its Blue Book is worth it? Have you ever thought about how useful it would be to see inside the strategy of a firm that was attracting multiple good quality leads in this way every week? Well now’s your chance.

Having spoken with/surveyed/interviewed and worked with hundreds of advisers over the past few years it’s very clear that each firm has a different focus on how to attract new clients. Some rely heavily on referrals and word of mouth, others on holding seminars and events, some use Google adwords, and a growing number are using online and social media. But if you think about it, it’s all social – apart from the Google adwords. In today’s world I believe understanding that is key.

A nation of social buyers

We’ve become a nation of social buyers who turn to our computers and screens, smart phones and tablets to search for what we’re looking for; we’ll also reach out to our friends and network to see what recommendations they can make; and will often be influenced by a bunch of strangers offering their opinions through 5 star ratings, comments and reviews. So, how you look online is increasingly important.

Platforms like Unbiased and VouchedFor are perfect examples of this and are also a popular choice for many advisers. The results, however, between different firms is dramatic. Paul Linfield and Adam White from Wealth Management arm of the Sedulo Group, chatted with Financial Social Media (UK) about their online marketing activities and shared their effective strategies that allows them to get the most from both Unbiased and VouchedFor in terms of lead generation.

If you’re thinking of using either platform, or if you’re using the platforms but not getting the results you’d hoped for, then this is a must read.

Raising profile: Sedulo’s use of and VouchedFor

Sedulo Wealth Management is still a young company and so the directors are very much focused on raising their profile. Their use of Unbiased has been a clear part of that strategy. This is what they had to say.

Adam White, marketing manger at Sedulo, says: “I think where we’ve come from in terms of raising profile from a wealth management case study point of view is very important. We needed to raise our profile and reputation. We were already all on LinkedIn and well known with professional connections in terms of what we provide, so it was really about getting Paul’s name out there and just raising awareness of the business as a whole.

“We developed our strategy for Unbiased straight away, as well as for LinkedIn and the website. The website is a bit more user-friendly than most that you’ll come across. We started off by doing a number of information-based guides, which we used to help drive people to our website.

“When we launched in 2013 we did a basic listing on Unbiased for eight months. We chose Unbiased because it was recommended by one of the adviser lists. The enhanced product from Unbiased costs £46.80 per month – and you’ll get as many leads as consumers who select to contact you. From our research, this is typically a higher volume than the VouchedFor system. And the PR services of the Bluebook are included in the monthly subscription. But, to be honest, the quality of leads has not been great; there’s no real buy in or commitment from them. The real positive aspect to Unbiased was that we registered for the Blue Book.

Paul Linfield continues: “The Blue Book has been very good for us. Journalists ring us up for comments and views, which has lead to a lot of features on the firm as well as a lot of instructive articles that have gone out on Unbiased and across other channels. Those really raised our rankings from an SEO point of view as well as our profile within the community.

“For the fee we pay it’s very inexpensive PR. It’s got to the point now that we have relationships with the journalists directly, but there are so many journalists out there that we keep our Blue Book listing going. Obviously you’ve got to be proactive too.”

After Unbiased, Linfield and White decided to try VouchedFor. Again it was more about profile raising rather than buying in leads.

“Yet the quality of leads has been quite excellent for us and what’s helped with that is we have a very high rating,” says Linfield. “But what you get out of it is as much about what you put in. The conversions we get from VouchedFor are down to the fact we act quickly to follow up on the leads. We’re quick to respond in terms of email and telephone. If you can’t be bothered to ring them by phone, if you can’t be bothered following up once or twice, or three times, then you will never get anywhere in terms of lead generation or conversions anywhere. So just follow normal sales mode where you can; get in there, climb through the door, ring them, drive people to your website.”

Getting a high rating on VouchedFor

White says: “We did it by sending an email to clients asking if they would rate us honestly. We’ve got 4.9 out of 5 stars. This has led to some really decent clients, the highest one being a lady who sold her business and her sale value was £7million. The lowest value client came to us with an inheritance of £40,000, but he’s going to return in two or three years with a final salary scheme with a decent month’s sum. Again the cost is £50 per month each (plus ranging fees for leads). We’ve had some really decent quality clients, which are sophisticated, better-end clients, and that’s working for us. It costs us on average £66 per lead and they generate £1,000 to £3,000 on average in revenue.

So what’s your next step?

That’s me, Bridget, asking you – yes you, the reader. If you’ve read this far you’ve got an interest in getting the most out of Unbiased and VouchedFor. Do you know what changes you need to make to improve your positioning on these sites? Are you able to implement it now? Social media is anywhere on line where other people can comment, rate, share their views; this includes sites like Unbiased and VouchedFor. It all starts with building up the right profile and taking it from there. If you’d like any help with this, drop me a line. But if you are all set, then what are you waiting for? Go make those changes and implement your new strategy.

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