Are you looking to get more referrals for your small business? If so, then read this guide on getting referrals for your small business.
As the average small business is set to spend £50,000 this year on digital marketing, companies are spending a lot on outreach and referrals. If you're not getting as many referrals as you'd like, you need to find ways to get the word out about your products and services. You also need to make sure when your customers and clients refer you that there's a good chance they'll win over customers.
Here are five easy ways to get more of your existing customers to refer your small business to their friends and family.
1. Ask For Them
Getting referrals doesn't have to be a mystery. You don't have to try to trick your best customers into supporting you. When you provide good service to your clients and they trust you, they'll be happy to tell other people about what you do.
If you've collected email addresses from your customers in the past, you can use those addresses to reach out and ask them for referrals. This is a tricky business in that you should offer only good content and quality promotions with your emails.
Use an email service to monitor how often your customers and clients are opening your emails. Watch which emails are opened the most often ad which promotions are most successful. Always be monitoring data about your emails so you can optimize your content.
Ask for referrals up front and include links to whatever review site you want to be reviewed on. Make it as easy as possible and you'll find your clients more than happy to click a link and type a few kind words about you.
2. Provide Personalized Follow-ups
One of the best ways to stay in contact with your clients is by checking that the service you've provided them is working out. When you're giving them good service, they'll have a review already written out in their head.
Make a spreadsheet of your best and biggest clients. Include which products and services they've bought multiple times and which they've bought only once. Reach out to find out what they didn't like about products they only bought once or, when applicable, ask if they need to reorder soon.
If you've had positive contact or they're a regular customer, you don't have to worry about getting negative feedback.
At the bottom of those emails, include links to promo codes for them to forward to their friends and colleagues. Offer them an incentive for referrals and let them know how much they're going to save by referring your services.
When you make a personal connection with your customers, they'll be happy to refer you and let others know how much you care.
3. Seize Your Listings on Business Directories
As the popularity and relevance of phone books wanes, online business directories have become the place where people find service providers and shops. Businesses have the opportunity to add photos and users have the opportunity to provide reviews. Those reviews can show other customers what kind of service they can expect and what customers like about products and services.
However, if you don't claim your listing and get positive reviews, one negative review can really drag down your ranking. If you run a business called “Johnson and Sons”, an angry reviewer might not take the time to differentiate you from “Johnston and Co” online. They'll let their rage fly from their fingers and write all kinds of negative things because they thought they were reviewing the right company.
Make sure you claim those listings so that you can add your location, photos, correct spelling, and open hours. This will allow other customers to find you and get in touch. It'll also buffer you against mistaken identity, where users list incorrect information or incorrect reviews.
When people search for products and services like yours in your area, they'll also get an implicit referral from search engines. That four- to five-star review might be enough to refer customers to check you out.
4. Create a Social Media Presence
Social media is one of the most important tools for referral in the modern era. Social media allows potential customers to see people using your products and services. They'll get to see what people are saying before they commit to working with you.
It also gives you power like never before to show off what you can do and tell your story.
Social media is a powerful tool for getting referrals as your customers can give them with just the click of a button. The share button is one of the most powerful referral tools in modern business.
5. Start a Blog
When people use a search engine, they're either looking for a specific product of the answer to a question. With a blog, you can capture both types of audiences by answering questions that pertain to your industry and use your products and services as the solution.
Blogs also make it easy to share complex referrals online. A blog gives you the opportunity to talk about what's interesting about your company and your products. You'll also get the opportunity to show candid images of your products and services while including text about them.
Your blog is an opportunity for you to highlight work you do with the community, how you relate to your clients, and new ways to use your services. You can address emerging trends in your industry and hammer out something in a response to a news item.
When your readers see the value in what your company brings, they'll share your articles online, which will serve as a referral or an endorsement.
Getting Referrals is Easy
When you want to gather more referrals to your site, most of the time you just need to offer a promotion. If that doesn't work, all you have to do is to ask your best customers outright. When that doesn't work, show off all of the value you have to offer to clients and customers.
If you're still growing your small business, check out our guide to what you need to do in your first year.