This week Mike Colwell, a guest on the Business News Hour, and I had a conversation about referral marketing. If you want to check out that podcast, here is a link. Referral marketing works really, really well and to get there you don't have to buy fancy software or a third party platform. Much, if not all, can be done on your own. But there are some critical steps to help you get there.
- Know Your Best Customers - Small and large businesses know who their best customers are, or you should. The first step in referral marketing is to identify who these people are. Who has made your business their favorite? Who is already a brand warrior for you? You may have five or five hundred, it doesn't matter...just know who they are;
- Ask Them - Once you've identified who your best customer is simply ask them why they love doing business with you. Is it service, selection, price, location??? What? Reach out with a phone call or in person the next time you see them and just ask. You are already halfway there;
- Share the Love - The next step is to ask them to share, what they have already told you, with their friends and family. And, if they really do love your business they will not feel put upon to do so. After all they have already told you they love doing business with you now all they have to do is share it.
Because we live in a sharing world (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram...) there are plenty of ways for your best customers to share why they love doing business with you. Imagine the impact of a customer doing a thirty second video on their phone telling the world why they love you. You can then post that to your website and share across several of your social media channels. Other ways to share the love:
- Remind them to rate you on Google or Yelp or Facebook;
- Ask them to do a selfie with your logo or your product then post it and tag your business;
- Ask them to re-tweet a message or two each week;
- Share the love on Instagram;
- Have them write a recommendation on Facebook, LinkedIn or just have them send you the email and use part of that...with their permission.
Remember, people do business with people they know and trust...your best customers can be your best marketing asset if if you do just two things: Identify and Ask
Thanks for reading...