When companies start looking at marketing strategies one thing they often don’t realize is that the best marketing asset they have is right underneath their nose. Their current customers are their best assets in the community to provide referrals, recommendations, and reviews to other potential customers. Most people conduct some research before hiring someone to work with them so incorporating that into your marketing plan is important. Nowadays the world is reliant on the internet so spreading the word has become easier than it ever was before. But the trick is you may have to ask your customers for these referrals, reviews, or recommendations. If your customers are happy then most of the time they would be happy to do so! Here are a few tips about how to get these ideas into action!
- Referrals – How often do you hear people asking friends or family members for a referral to a type of business? I know I get requests all the time about if I know a good hair stylist or a nice place to eat. Referrals can come in many shapes and sizes. Start by asking your customers if they would be interested in sharing your service with people they may know. Then try asking friends and family members to share your business as well. Finally, there are always places online popping up to request referrals. One that I recently came across is a local neighborhood site called NextDoor. Depending on your business, NextDoor could be a huge asset to gain customers or to have current customers refer you to others!
- Recommendations – There are several ways to receive a recommendation from your customers. Two of the most common ways that I have seen recently are using LinkedIn or Alignable. Both of these social media websites have the capability to recommend one business to others. Try reaching out to some of your connections and ask them to recommend you to others. A small business owner is more likely to be interested in the service you are providing if they hear about it from another small business owner. If you would like more detailed instructions about how to use the recommendation feature on either of these sites just reach out to me and I would be happy to share.
- Reviews – These are huge! I am constantly on the hunt for companies’ reviews before I use their service. Just recently I was searching for a plumber and the one I hired was because they had amazing reviews about their service. I was pleased with their service and the next day I gave a referral to someone who needed a plumber on Facebook. You never know when having reviews will help you to build clients without having to spend a lot money on marketing. If you have some customers that you have been working with for quite some time and they are very happy with your service, ask them if they would mind writing up a review and posting it on Google, Facebook, Yelp, Angie’s List, or other common websites. The more reviews you get the more likely your business will start taking off even more!
These are just a few ideas that have been successful for my business. What works well for you? We’d love to hear feedback about how to incorporate your customers into your marketing plan.
And, as always if you have any questions do not hesitate to ask.