When it comes to your marketing plan this year, where do referrals lie? Are they even in your plan? Do you even know how to get referrals?
Here’s the thing, we trust our network. When they say good things about your brand, that means we know we can trust you. Its automatic trust building. And if there’s anything you’ve learned about business, it’s that building trust is the key to connecting with your customers. There is no other marketing strategy that builds trust as fast as a referral. So when it comes to your 2021 strategy knowing how to get referrals is going to be key.
How To Get Referrals In 3 Ways
Let’s be clear, to get a referral you have to earn a referral. That means that you have a high-quality product/service first, exceptional customer service and provide value for your customers every step of the way. Referrals are not just given to you, you earn them but once you’ve laid down the work to get one, the next step is to ask for the referral.
Step 1: Ask For a referral
Reach out to your email list or send personal letters to your community and ask for them to share your brand with three of their friends. If they loved working with you, if they see value in what you do, and of course, if they trust you, they’ll have no problem supporting your brand in this way. To up the ante, provide a value add either for them or their friend that makes the referral worth their while. In most cases, the social currency of having the resources that someone will need is enough, but bonus discounts or freebies are always an added bonus.
I have been sharing with anyone and everyone I know my Free 30-Min strategy call to go over your brand and marketing strategy for 2021. I let customers, friends, and family all know that they can share this deal with anyone (even you, reading this right now!)
In marketing, I teach brands that you need a call to action to let your customers know what they are supposed to do. We usually think about this when we want them to buy something, but the same is true when we want them to talk about us. Reach out and give them a clear call to action of what you need them to do. If they see value in your brand, they’ll spread the word. You just can’t be afraid to ask.
Step 2: Create an Incentive
You’ve seen the program where you refer a friend and then get a discount too or points towards your account. This can be done for your business too. Either ask for a name of who sent you and manually add points to an account or use a 3rd party system to do it for you. Either way, your new customer will get a deal for starting a relationship and your old customers get perks for marketing your brand for you. It’s a method that we’ve all used and know well and there’s a reason. It works!
Step 3: Create a Network of Businesses
When I get work that I can’t fit into my schedule or doesn’t fit with my brand I have other marketers and photographers I’ve build relationships with and trust that I’ll send those clients too. I’m even building a library of designers, web developers and social media marketers to suggest to clients for the type of work I don’t do. This becomes an amazing referral base and helps other creatives that you know and trust. These relationships can be built through social media or networking events and some might even give your customers a deal when you send them their way.
This is how to get referrals in the simplest of ways. There is no rocket science here. It takes time to build trust but as you do, you can build a network that will always point back to you when they see a potential customer that they think will fit with you. Start by talking to your audience right now. Reach out to your best customers, call them personally, write them a hand-written note and tell them what they mean to you! Over the coming weeks research the best 3rd party software that will work for your business or think about the relationships you can grow to create a network of businesses that will refer you.
A little bit of planning, a lot of value and time to build trust are all you need to build a referral program. But you want to start on this now, because referrals will be game changer for your business. And they are a lot cheaper than buying ad space on Facebook.