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Referral marketing is promoting your products or services through referrals, particularly word of mouth. People tend to put more confidence in the opinions of family, friends, business contacts, and past customers than they do in published ads. Referrals may happen spontaneously, but you can expand and accelerate the process with the right strategies. With the ideas below, you can build a productive referral marketing engine.
Do things that set your business apart, and more people will begin to notice and discuss it. Take a good look at your business, your competition, and yourself, and write down a list of things that you feel make your business unique. It could be your customer service, your technology, or any strong point. Develop this until it’s a core part of your brand and practices, and be sure that it’s part of your marketing and your client conversations.
If you have professional experiences that are rewarding or insightful, share them with your audience. So long as it has a positive outcome, the people involved will want to share it also. If it has meaning for viewers, they’ll want to share it with friends who may find it interesting. The more meaningful these stories are, the more people will talk about them. Conversations on great customer experiences increase consumer trust and your value.
Publish Your Client List
Provided you have their permission, going public with your list of clients can add to perceptions of your success. Ask happy clients if you can add their names and email addresses to your marketing content. Market prospects will contact them looking for referrals. Many companies avoid doing this for fear that competitors will try to steal customers. You might offer an incentive to these clients, such as a future discount that will also keep them coming back. Even if the competition manages to poach a client here and there, adding new ones to your growing list will create more conversation.
Emphasize Your Specialty
You can drive more referrals by focusing on your specialty. For example, if you’re a personal injury attorney specializing in malpractice cases, you’ll want to start conversations about medical negligence. Industry associates can generate referrals, also. By taking the time to attend professional marketing workshop retreats, whether you’re a law firm or any other type of business, you can sharpen your referral-generating and networking skills with other professionals.
The secret to referral marketing is not advertising for referrals. It’s about finding ways to make other people’s networks part of your own.