How to leverage Unbiased and VouchedFor for lead generation – an open and revealing interview

VouchedForEver wanted to know the best way to generate multiple leads a month from VouchedFor?  Wanted to know if the cost of using Unbiased and it’s Blue Book was worth it?  Thought about how useful it would be to see inside the strategy of a firm who was attracting multiple good quality leads a 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 through google adwords, and a growing number through online and social media.  For me if you think about it, it’s all social – apart from the google adwords.  In today’s world I believe understanding that is key.

We’ve become 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, reaching out to our friends and network to see what recommendations they can make, and being more commonly influenced by a bunch of strangers offering their opinions through 5 star ratings, comments and reviews.  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 & 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.

Sedulo and the group are still a young company, they’re very much about raising their profile, which their use of Unbiased has been a clear part of that strategy, this is what they had to say:

Raising your profile: How to get the best out of Unbiased and VouchedFor

unbiased.co.uk logo(4)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 in terms of what we’ve provided with professional connections, but it was really getting Paul’s name out and just raising the business as a whole.

We started off by doing a number of guides, just to try and get things out, information-based guides were the first thing we started with.

We developed Unbiased in April, straight away, as well as LinkedIn, as well as the website. The website is a bit more user-friendly, eye-friendly, than most that you’ll come across, so if you have a look at that. We’re sharing out the guides and driving people to our website, first and foremost. What we haven’t done at the moment is separated our website for wealth management away from the accountancy group, which is probably the next stage down the line.

We did a basic listing on Unbiased in 2013 when we launched, for eight months. Adam then decided to raise our profile, we chose Unbiased because it was recommended by one of the advisor lists. We raised our profile and pay £50 per month each (edit: clarity on the unbiased Blue Book from Unbiased: Our enhanced product costs £46.80 per month – and you’ll get as many leads as consumers select to contact you which from our research this is typically higher volume than the vouchedFor system. There is no ranging cost for leads. The PR services of the Bluebook are included in the monthly subscription – there is no additional fee)To be honest the quality of leads from that have been pretty, pretty poor. You have to contact the lead, chase them, but we’ve found them to be of really low quality, they’re not really interested, there’s no real buy in or commitment from them. The real positive aspect to it was we registered for something called the Blue Book.

The Blue Book has been very good for us.   I was active on this, and we did a lot of articles, it gave us access to journalists. Journalists ring us up for comments, views, it’s really built quite a crescendo where we have a cover story on New Model Adviser. We’ve also gained a lot of features on the firm, 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.   (See our recent news articles we’ve been featured in are here).

The actual fee we paid, I mean compared to getting our name in Financial Times, things like that, it’s a very inexpensive PR company. It’s got to the point now that we have relationships with the journalists directly, but there’s so many journalists out there, so we keep our Blue Book going. Obviously you’ve got to be proactive.

From there, we decided to try VouchedFor, again it was about profile-raising, not about buying leads in, and actually, combined with a raised profile on everything we’ve done through The Blue Book.

The quality of leads has been quite excellent for us but equally what’s helped is we have a very high rating, it’s what you put in. Equally, the response and the conversions we get on Vouchfor is because we act quickly to the leads. You know, be quick to respond in terms of email, telephone, follow-up. 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 never can 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, ringing, your web, whatever.

We differentiated ourselves “Well, you’re the only one who’s ever responded to an email.”, one lady commented, “My goodness, I’ve only just sent that through”, another said.

So how did you get your high rating?

I sent 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 £7 million. Lowest one was a client who 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 £1000 to £3000 on average in revenue.

What’s your next step?

That’s me, Bridget, asking you, yes you, 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 any where 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 (bridget@finanial-socialmedia.co.uk), if you’re all set, then what are you waiting for?  Go make those changes and implement your new strategy.

Gregarious, happy, problem solving, natural connector who once was told she could “Network in a Graveyard” and is still unsure about the comment. Previously an IFA herself and immersed in social media Bridget shares with advisers, planners, brokers and providers how to get the most out of social media and attract new clients.

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