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How to use word-of-mouth marketing to grow your business

Get more referrals for your service or products without being aggressive to your potential customers.

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Referrals are often one of the key factors influencing someone to work with you.

How many times do you see someone asking for recommendations on social media? When someone needs a professional, 9 times out of 10 they ask their network who they know who does what they’re looking for. 

So having a referral marketing plan in place helps ensure raving fans are telling others about you.

However, while we know the importance of asking for referrals when it comes down to it, the asking part can feel awkward or even aggressive. 

But when you believe in the value of what you offer you can feel good about having others tell the world about you. When you have the right mindset and a proven process in place, getting referrals is easy.

Here are four ways to get more referrals that don’t feel desperate with examples you can use right now:

1. Set an expectation for referrals 

Before you begin working with a new client, you can condition them to think of you as someone to send business to. That can look something like this:

“I am excited to work with you. When our project is completed, I know you will be thrilled with the work we did together. If you are happy with our work would you be willing to share us with others? Your referrals are how our business grows.”

You can also mention the incentive you offer for those referrals that result in a sale.

2. Ask for a virtual introduction 

A really terrific way to get referrals is to ask a contact to do a virtual introduction with the prospect. Here’s how an email like that goes:

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Subject: Henry and Mike – A Virtual Introduction from Susan Friesen

Hi Mark,

I’ve been working with Mike for three months and he’s done a terrific job at getting our bookkeeping up to date. I know you’re looking for a qualified bookkeeper so I thought I’d put you two together.

Mike, meet Henry from Company A. I have known him for five years and he has really made a name for himself in the industry. He’s been a really valuable to have in my circle. He mentioned he needs a good bookkeeper and I thought you could help.

Henry, meet Mike from Company B. Mike and I go way back. He is a real rock star when it comes to accounting. He makes sure our books are balanced at all times.

Here’s both of your contact information. Now reach out and connect!

Henry: 555-555-5555 [email protected] companywebsite.com
Mike: 444-444-4444 [email protected] mikecompanywebsite.com

3. Ask happy clients 

The best time to ask a client for a referral is right after you finished working with them. They are excited about the results you generated and are ready to sing your praises to the world.

Here’s an example of such an ask:

Subject Line: FIRSTNAME, Quick Question.

I’m so glad you’re happy with our PRODUCT OR SERVICE. I love helping people like you so knowing you’re excited with the results made my day. Actually, it’s because of this that I was hoping to ask you a favor…

It’s my goal to help many more people like you. So I was wondering if you knew of any other people who could use my help? I’d love it if you could send a short note to them with a few kind words and asking them to connect with me?

With Gratitude.

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4. Offer a gift for referrals

Giving a referral takes time and energy. When you make it worth their while, people are more likely to take the time to do it. 

As a sign of your appreciation for their efforts, offer to give them a gift card, a referral fee, discount, or other gifts if someone they refer you to hires you. 

Gift in exchange for word-of-mouth marketing

Building a business through word-of-mouth marketing would be more successful if there is a fee or a gift involved in exchange for getting more referrals. (Source)

You can make a referral page on your website. Write an email to send to your clients and connections. Ask people in your Facebook groups. Let your vendors know you give rewards for referrals. Even put a teaser on the back of your business card letting others know.

Here’s some example text to use:

Get X for Referring Friends and Family: I’d love to give you [insert your referral gift here] for every person who ends up hiring me. It’s just a small token of appreciation as referrals are how we grow our business. Thanks for thinking of us!”

I hope these quick and easy examples have inspired you. Referrals are by far the most cost-effective way to build your business. 

Being intentional about asking for referrals can unlock the door to unlimited growth. Here’s wishing you endless referrals!

DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.

(Featured image via Deposit Photos)

Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence. As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

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