We all know that a referral, or word of mouth advertising, is the best way to generate new business. The prospect comes to you, no matter what type of business you’re in, pre-sold. They are really just ready to make selections about the products and services you offer. Why? Because they feel as if they already know, like and trust you.

That is the power of referrals.

Today, most people look to online reviews and rely on them just as much as having a conversation with a neighbor at a BBQ about a local business. In fact, 72% of consumers report that they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, even if the review was left anonymously.

So, how does your online reputation look? Do you have any bad reviews that are pushing prospects to your competitors? Suffer from lack of reviews entirely? Or, perhaps you have a few, but they are from a long time ago?

You need a plan to help you compete in your local marketplace, capture market share from your competition and increase your sales. Building your online reviews is like having people referring, exponentially to hundreds and thousands every day, all day.

When a local business focuses on building online reviews they:online reviews

  1. Create an unpaid sales force that works 24/7
  2. Reach way more prospects than a person-to-person referral
  3. Keep online listings active and current
  4. Rank higher on search results on Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.

It’s important to develop a solid strategy to build your online reviews.

Here are the 7 key things your online review building strategy should include:

  1. Ask people to leave reviews on a consistent schedule
  2. Remind them via email and make it easy to leave a review
  3. Collect reviews privately so that should a client express a ‘not so great’ experience, you can deal with it and/or correct it
  4. Encourage good reviews to be placed on external directories like Google and Yelp – and any other industry directories pertinent to your business
  5. Spread reviews across a variety of sources to increase your search result impact
  6. Thank your clients for their reviews
  7. Constantly monitor ALL the review sites for reviews left by clients

Interested in learning how building online reviews, let’s chat. It’s a lot easier than you might think.