Welcome to Episode 4 of Tuesday 2 o’clock Tea and Talk – weekly conversations about Business Marketing and Mindset for creative and service based entrepreneurs. This episode explores ideas and strategies for referral marketing.
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Hello and welcome to Episode 4 of Tuesday 2 o’clock Tea & Talk about Referral Marketing.
This is the number one tool that people say is the most effective at getting new clients – somebody has referred them. Somebody has said, “You should go check out this product or service.”
You know with most marketing it is really really hard to get somebody’s attention. It can be really challenging to prove your credibility or to build up a relationship with someone. And the fastest way to make sure that the person that you are speaking to likes you and trusts you is..if they have been referred by someone else.
People call it word of mouth marketing but there are specific strategies that can be used around referral marketing.
We are going to talk today about how you can really leverage and make the most of this incredible marketing tactic. Where you can shortcut a whole bunch of this standard marketing practices and go right into a trust based relationship with your prospect or your potential new client.
We are going to dive right into the conversation today on Tuesday’s 2 o’clock Tea and Talk and we are going to get into:
- How can you make it easier for people to refer other clients to you?
- How can you make it the easiest way possible for you to get those word of mouth referrals?
Because you know we say….Oh yeah, yeah. People love us they are going to tell their friends.
People don’t just automatically tell other people.
You want to make it so that you ask them that you ask your current clients to share your services. You make a point of saying hey if you really enjoy this please share that with your friends.
One thing for everybody is to really make sure that you just ASK for referrals. Let your clients know that you are actively looking for new clients.
One of the ways to do this is to just say…”I you know of two people in your life that could really benefit from having a similar experience by working with me, can you please pass one their names to me?”
One of the best ways to get your referrals is to get the prospects or the person’s contact information for yourself so that you can then reach out and create the relationship and generate the relationship.
However, it is not just about asking people to refer you – it is about being really clear about WHO you want them to refer you to. One of the challenges that comes up with a lot of my clients is that they are not very clear who they serve or what kind of clients they are looking for.
So when I say to them, “Ok great its’ been awesome working with you. I love what you are up to in your business. How can I help you? How can I support you, by referring you to new clients? What kind of clients would be the best fit for you?”
They kind of get this like dear-in-the-headlights, oh my gosh, blank stare.
Because by knowing exactly who you are looking for in your business you make it so much easier for someone to refer you out.
There is a comment here.
So Mark says, “I think it’s perishable. From the time that you showed your awesomesness, it is harder to ask for referral that afterwards.
Asking for referrals in the moment when your client is the most excited and they have just had a really positive experience with you, that is a great time to ask for a referral. It is also a really great time for ask for a testimonial.
Testimonials can be used a little bit later on in your strategy around creating that credibility and the trust factor.
But to get that referral, Mark you are absolutely right, you try to get it when when they are hot, when they are excited, when they just had a really positive experience with you.
To get back to the point about being really clear about who you are looking for in your referrals. If you run a business that you think could help just ‘anybody’, it becomes much more difficult for me to refer you because I don’t know who you are looking for. Or if you offer a whole bunch of different services and I don’t know what kind of clients you are most interested in right now. So it becomes more challenging for me to refer you.
There is a formula (there’s a lot of different formulas out there) that people use to describe what they do in business and who they serve. it can put it in a 15 second or 30 second little sentence that’s easy for people to remember and so that they refer exactly the right clients to you.
Again we want to make it as easy as possible for people to refer us. As easy as possible for us to take advantage that word of mouth factor.
So I am going to give you the formulas in just a minute to be able to do that. If you are watching this and you think that there might be somebody who should pay attention to this or who needs this bit of information, share with them let them know that we are on here live right now so that that we can get that out to them. (An in-the-moment example of me asking for referrals)
Just going to have a sip of my tea. I have a new mug today. I love my new mug. It kind of goes with my outfit. Mark you’ll like it. It is your blue colour. A little bit like my branding colour. I got this mug, again, just by asking. So sometimes number one thing that you need to do to get what you want, is to ask for it.
Here is a way of talking about what you are doing in your business that will help you to get more word of mouth referrals; being able to describe really clearly who you serve in your business, how how you serve them, and why it matters to them (the kind of difference you are going to make.)
And there are lots of different ways of doing this. But essentially, it is those three parts put into a sentence.
First of all, who hires you?
Who is it that you work with in your business? If you work with a lot of different people, and a lot of different kinds of ideal or avatar clients, pick one to focus on at a time.
So for instance, if you work for advertising agencies and you work for graphic designers and you work for small independent businesses, in your web development or web design services you want to pick one of them to focus on at a time.
You may pick, “I help graphic designers or graphic designers hire me…” As soon as you say, I help graphic designers or graphic designers hire me”, now you are being really clear about who you want people to refer to you. Who do you want people to send your way? What kind of clients are going to best serve your business?
Part one of the formula:
Who do you serve? Who are you most interested in? Who do you want to work with?
Graphic designers hire me… and then part two.
Part two is what they hire you for.
Why should someone refer you? What kind of services are you offering so that they know how to connect you with the best fit when they are referring you out.
What kind of services does a web designer or developer offer? So, they might say something like graphics designers hire me to turn their designs into a functional profitable website for their clients.
So… graphic designers hire me to turn their designs into functional and profitable websites.
Ok, great. So what?
“So what” is the next part.
Why does your service make a difference in the lives or businesses of the people that you are most trying to help with your services?
If you are a web designer or web developer and you want to work with graphics designers to help them put their designs into website, what is that going to do for those graphic designers?
You might say something like…graphic designers hire me to transform their designs into usable profitable websites so that their clients really leverage the designs to the maximum ability. Or something like that. I mean ok, I fell down a bit on the end there.
Let’s think about that for a minute. Why would a graphic designer want to hire a web developer?
So that they can focus on the branding and design elements while the developer focuses on production.
You want to say what the benefit is for graphic designers. As soon as you can and be really really clear about what difference you are going to make in the lives of your potential clients, all of a sudden it becomes super easy for someone to refer you. And for you to leverage that power of word of mouth marketing.
So I am going to just summarize it again for you.
For you to leverage that power you’ve want to be able to say:
- who do you want to have referred to you
- what is service you are going to offer them
- how that going to make a difference in their lives.
If you have any questions or comments about how to leverage your business with word of mouth marketing: how to take advantage of your past clients, your biggest fans, your followers, drop me a note in the comments.
The number one way is to ASK for referrals.
To say something like…”hey gang, just wanted to let you know that I am actively looking for new clients. I am most interested in working with graphic designers who want me to transform their ideas and designs into working functional profitable websites so that they can focus on their designs and their clients can get the maximum value from their design efforts.” or something better than that. We would work together to figure it out.
I say things like…”hey gang, I am actively searching for new clients. I am looking for creative entrepreneurs who have been in business for two to three years and who are looking to transform their businesses into something that really serves their freedom lifestyle. So that they can start feeling more confident, more focused, and have more time and more money in their life.”
So all of a sudden, you are like ohhhhhh….she is looking for creative entrepreneurs. Ohhhh…she is not looking for total newbies right this minute, she is actually looking for creative entrepreneurs who are in two to three years of business.
Do you see the power being really specific?
Again that formula is:
- who do you help
- how to you help them
- what differences does it going to make for them.
Finishing up my tea in my awesome new mug. Thank you so much. Let me know what business you are in.
So I see Mark is in the business of being a photography agency. Mark you might say something like….”Event and meeting planners hire our team to document capture and create portfolio pieces of the magnificent work they do so that they can continue to attract their ideal clients” he might say something like that.
Do you get that now you know…. ohh if I know an event or a meeting planner who needs a photographer, I could go to an agency like Mark’s and I can refer them and connect them that way.
Awesome guys. Well we are just about at a time for the Tuesday 2 o’clock Tea and Talk.
I really enjoy connecting with you guys every week like this. If there is a specific that you would like to to have me address them please let me know – drop it in the comments here.
Mark says…”Clever to custom tailor the referral pitch to the audience.”
Yeah! Exactly! This is such a great point, Mark. Thank you.
The other thing to remember is that you can customize your request for referrals for the kind of clients you are looking for right now!
Maybe you notice that you already have a lot of event photography clients Mark, and what you looking for is more conference photography clients. So you could customize and say… “conference planners hire our team to make sure that they get complete coverage of their full conference – all breakout sessions and trade shows – so that they can share their expertise with their team and with their future clients.” Or something like that.
Yes, it is important to tailor your referral request speech to the audience. Thanks for that.
As always you are welcome to continue posting comments, requests for information, or feedback in the thread and I will absolutely get back to you. I look forward to seeing you next week at Tuesday’s 2 o’clock Tea and Talk.