Because we live in a connection economy ideas can spread really fast. We are in the best time to harness creativity, technology and people power to start a movement and create things that matter. It is easier than ever for people to hear you, but for you to stand out amongst all the noise you must have a strategy. Two strategies that can help grow your business and spread your ideas are focusing on word of mouth and referrals.
On Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is the strongest type of marketing that exists. If you can harness the power of word of mouth then you will grow your business exponentially very fast. As Andy Sernovitz said in his book Word Of Mouth Marketing, "Satisfied customers who will spread word of mouth are the most powerful assets you have."
People are much more likely to trust a friend's referral than any other type of advertising. Think about it, when was the last time you trusted an ad over someone's inside scoop experience...probably never. Also notice how often you enjoy sharing what you know and helping people get connected.
3 tips that will help spread word of mouth for your business:
1. Have a simple, clear story that is easy to repeat. - Short, simple and powerful. Make it is easy to remember and easy to repeat. If you can speak the language of your target market it will make it even more powerful. Think Kiehl's and Spanx.
2. Learn to make your customers/clients really really happy. - People love being part of the Apple tribe, whether you admit it or not they have harnessed this concept really well with their products. People who own apple products often worship them. Listening to your customers and understanding them must be a priority.
3. Have a blog and/or newsletter so you can easily talk directly to your fans and give them a story to share. - Relationships are the foundation of business, If you are not already speaking directly to your fans and giving them a reason to talk about you, start now. Build your tribe and share your story often.
People love referring and recommending things to their friends and family. It makes them feel good and important. Being connected and 'in the know' about the best stuff is cool. It goes hand in hand with word of mouth.
There are 3 reasons people refer:
1. They want to feel good.
2. They want to help others.
3. They want to be part of a group.
People are wired to connect, so make it easy for them to share, talk about, and spread your ideas.
And now, the big secret that is most likely hurting your business if you are not doing it!
Here it is:
Make sure you ALWAYS thank the person who referred someone to you. SAY THANK YOU 7 TIMES AT THE MINIMUM.
I mean always! I can't reiterate this enough but I'll say it one more time: Thank your referers, always. Even if they have referred several people to you and even if they are your best friend. This is one of the simplest things to institute yet many people and businesses don't do it well
People who refer are giving you free advertising and business, which is invaluable! If you want them to continue giving you word of mouth marketing thank them 7 times. The thank yous should be personal and more elaborate each time they refer (aka reward them bigger each time). I know someone who bought his referer tickets to a cruise as a thank you(!). People want to be recognized for their work and you want to grow your business, it's a win win, so prioritize it.
This is as true for business as it is for life. If someone connects you to someone or something you like or need, thank them! It's simple but appreciated every time.
As you can see all of these are connected. Focus on having a simple core story/message to share, make it easy for people to share it with others, then thank those who are helping to spread the message. Simple yet very powerful business plan. Don't underestimate it.
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