244 - How To Get More People To Refer You (To An Employer Or A Potential Customer)
Of all the marketing strategies that exist today, word-of-mouth has stood the test of time as one of the most underrated yet effective methods. An employer is more likely to hire from within by considering internal referrals first. We're more likely to buy a product from our favorite blogger' recommendation than from watching a TV ad.
Word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful ways to spread the word about your brand (and ultimately, drive your bottom line). But how do you get people talking and recommending you?
Publicity and marketing strategist Selena Soo has all the answers:
Ask for help.
We tend to think our friends and colleagues automatically know to send business our way, but that’s not often the case. They might not know if you’re accepting new clients or are at capacity in your business. Or maybe they’re just really busy and haven’t thought to help you in this way.
Make a list of ten people who can help you connect with your ideal clients. Then send them a personal email, or set up a meeting or phone call, to let them know you are actively seeking clients. Don’t send a mass email, as those often go ignored. When you let people know about your needs, you're positioning yourself to receive their help.
Have a clear target market.
It can be hard for people to send you business if they don’t know who you are looking to serve. For example, if you just tell someone you're a coach, they won't know exactly who to refer you to. Be so specific that you will be top of mind when an opportunity comes along. Find your niche. Are you looking to work with busy moms, new entrepreneurs or established business owners? The more specific you are, the easier it will be for people to send the right customers to you.
Have glowing client testimonials.
These are your track record, which makes people more comfortable when choosing to work with you. If you've helped someone in the past, ask them to write you a "Yelp review."
When people are considering you or your business, it’s helpful if they can read testimonials or case studies of other people who’ve worked with you. If they see that your past clients rave about you, they’ll be more inclined to do business with you.
Provide email copy that people can use to refer you.
Sometimes someone may know the perfect person for your services, but they’re so busy that they delay reaching out to them. Make it easy by providing people with a sample email they could use to let prospective clients know about your valuable services.
Encourage people to refer you by offering initiatives! This could be setting up a formal referral program where you give them a percentage of the new business they send you. Some people prefer not to receive money in exchange for their referrals. If that’s the case, you could consider offering them some of your services for free or at a reduced rate, buying them a gift you know they’ll love, or taking them out to lunch or dinner. These small acts of appreciation can go a long way.