Admit it, when you want to find out about a new restaurant or service, you Yelp it. Or look at Google reviews or Angie’s List. Then, depending on the cumulative “star” rating from a bunch of strangers, you decide whether or not to become a customer for the first time.
The same can be said of clients looking for a new advisor. They may have referrals from a friend or associate but it’s likely that they will scan your website and then check any comments that appear in conjunction with your name or firm.
If you are perfect, you have nothing to worry about.
For everyone else, prepare to ride the rollercoaster of cyber reviews. For example, here’s a nice one for a local firm that appeared when searching Yelp for “financial advisor”: “If you have a shovel, Mason jar, and a backyard, then you have a better place to invest your money.”
Ratings powerhouse Nielsen says that “consumer opinions posted online” are the third most trusted source of advertising with a global average of 68% (up seven points from the previous survey) of respondents ranking it behind “recommendations from people I know” (84%) and “branded websites” (69%).