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A good portion of the work I do with people is to help them do more than just build or improve their online presence in terms of visibility and useability.

There is a great deal of importance in building trust as well. Without it conversions won’t likely improve, no matter how much exposure someone gets.

And it goes beyond web sites. Having social media profiles, getting reviews and appearing on review sites have moved way past being just a good idea-  they are a necessity.

For example, one of the things I often come across when I’m talking about review sites is that most of the time in order to post a review the reviewer has to be a member.

Often times I will see people throw their proverbial hands in the air (but mostly their physical arms and hands) and say something like “yes I would love more reviews- but-  the client(s) I spoke to said they checked me out on-line and want to give me a review-  but find it’s too much effort to deal with.

And so I offer this quote from Jerry Maguire as an answer… “Help me help you. Help me help you! Help me help you!!”

Assuming that the client in this example really wants to help but just can’t get their head around creating a profile on a review site, what can you do besides say “Oh well, I guess my business can do without that good press when someone looks up my company online.”

The reality is your competition is heating up literally every day – so I don’t really think that is a good long-term answer. So when the client is asking you to help them help you – what can you do?

IMPORTANTYelp: I preface this section by saying that Yelp is very clear that you should not ask for anyone to post a “good” review for you. These suggestions are meant to make it easier if a client has found your company on their site or you’ve asked them to check you out online and they just can’t seem to get it together to get a profile done. I think you should make it very clear that you are helping them do something they may be having an issue with doing themselves but that they should leave an honest review, whatever that may be. Yelp has a lot of sophisticated filters in place and reviews that are skewed can be moved from recommended reviews where they won’t help your business anyway.

The answer can be very simple. An example of this is Yelp.  With Yelp, you can actually go in and create a profile for someone else as the client if they don’t have a profile. You can set up their name, their email, and other basic contact information you most likely have from them already anyway. If you or your online marketing person have a photo, even better.

Once you created the profile, Yelp will automatically send an email to the addressee asking for confirmation. Nothing will be visible online until they confirm it so they can check everything over to make sure it’s OK with them.

What’s the easier request??

Tell me, which is the easier request to make of someone who you asking to do you favor?

“Please take the time go to Yelp,  you can just Google it if you don’t remember the address. Then, set up a profile, wait for a confirmation link. Then, click the confirmation link, and then find my page. Once you find it, please leave a review. Thanks.”

Time for that person to do this? Probably anywhere from 20-30 minutes of their time (if they were familiar with all of this) to to longer if they weren’t, to well, never which is much more likely.

or

“Please just look for 2 e-mails- 1 from me with my company’s Yelp address and the password I used when I created your profile- and 2 a link from Yelp with a confirmation link you just need to click. Once in there, just click on or cut and paste my company’s URL and leave me a review. Thanks.”

Time for you to take care of this? Much less and more importantly much less on the client’s end.

While this may seem like a simple idea I think it worth writing about here because so most people I know don’t think to do the latter.  If you can’t or don’t want to set it up and send the information delegate it to someone in your company who can or whoever handles your online marketing.

Get it done right then and there

Another idea is- depending on how your relationship is with a client is-  take them out to lunch or schedule a time to meet with them, preferably during a time you might normally meet with them anyway. Take 5 minutes of that time to set a profile up for them or if they already have one just ask them post a review. Go take a walk or make a phone call while they do this so they don’t feel pressured into writing something in particular. Then, they can post it right there and then.

Otherwise… it will most likely go into the “to do” list which we all know gets quite large for most of us once we leave a meeting and even the simplest and quickest of things take a long time to get done.

So I hope you’ll think of this and help me to help you when a client wants to help. If you’re already in a situation where previous requests haven’t resulted in anything, you can always offer up an alternative the next time you ask.

Here’s to you building your reputation with less effort than you thought you might have needed!