How to make Referral Marketing work?

by | Jun 14, 2021 | Marketing, Strategy Page | 0 comments

Have you heard of referral marketing? It is, as you might expect, the promotion of your business to new customers via word-of-mouth referral. So, you do a great job for your client and they recommend you to someone else they know – friend, family or business associate.

It’s a great way to grow your business because you don’t have to ‘sell’ as much. The person who has been referred to you already had a trusted contact say that you are good at what you do, so they are much more likely to become another happy client and in turn recommend you to their contacts. Brilliant!

Referral marketing works particularly well for ‘consultancy’ type businesses, where you are providing a service which involves clients revealing personal or private information; such as bookkeepers, business or personal development coaches and human resources professionals.

The problem is that this can be quite a slow way to grow your business if you are just waiting around for this to happen organically. So what can you do to boost this brilliant marketing strategy…

Have a great website

One of the first things a referral is likely to do is look up your website. As long as they know your company name, they should find you in Google even if you have not invested in SEO. Your website needs to look professional and give them all the information they need to make the decision to get in touch with you. It should have:

  • Information about who you or your company are – skills and experience of you and your team members, as well as something of your vision or purpose
  • Details of the services you offer that are clear and easy to understand
  • Evidence that your company does what you say you can, so Case Studies explaining the problem that a client had and how you resolved it
  • Testimonials or reviews from happy clients saying how marvellous you are
  • A blog is useful to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise
  • Clear contact details so they can get in touch

Have a consistent social media presence

As well as looking at your website, referrals may also check out your social media presence, this could be on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter – depending on the audience. Your social media needs to:

  • Be branded consistently with your website and other communications
  • Give a clear message about what your business does
  • Demonstrate your knowledge and expertise
  • Show how you have helped clients and how happy they are
  • Be regularly updated
  • Reflect your business’ vision, purpose and personality

Have reviews, testimonials and case studies

It is essential that your referral sees that it is not just you and their friend who thinks that you are great…they need to see that you are regularly working for clients and that those clients are happy. If you have a specific target audience and the referral can recognise themselves, their business and problems in the case studies you share, then even better. So make sure you:

  • Regularly request reviews or testimonials from clients
  • Ask clients to review you on social media or Google so everyone can see them
  • Add the reviews to your website and share them in your social media
  • Regularly write case studies of your work with clients, ensuring you are clear about the solution you provided
  • Add the Case Studies to your website and share them on social media

Have a blog

A great way to demonstrate your expertise to prospects is with a blog. If you are going to start one you need to commit to writing regularly – at least once a month as a blog with no articles for a year does not look good to prospect clients. Remember to:

  • Write blogs that will help your clients and show your knowledge. If you are having trouble with topics think of the questions that your clients ask you and write about that
  • Choose imagery that suits your brand
  • Share your blog on social media encouraging people to visit your website to read the whole thing

Start an email marketing list

Sometimes a referral isn’t quite ready to become a client (in spite of your best efforts) in this case it is a good idea to ‘keep them warm’ by adding them to an email marketing list. You should:

  • Ask them to subscribe to your list, in order to meet GDPR requirements
  • Commit to a regular program of emails, so people know to expect to hear from you
  • Share useful information or special offers
  • Give people the opportunity to unsubscribe
  • Make sure your emails match your brand

Join networking groups

A great way to encourage referrals is to meet more people, and you can do this by joining a networking group (or more than one if you have time). It is important to:

  • Do your research – ensure your target audience are at or connected to the group you join
  • Get involved – don’t just turn up once a month and think that will be enough, get involved in the community of the group
  • Make time for 1-2-1’s – get to know your fellow networkers and let them get to know you
  • Refer others – think about how you can help other people and what referrals you can make to them
  • Ask the members of your networking to Like and Follow you on social media

So now you know you can get out there and do it! And if you need help with any of the above you know who to come to – just get in touch.