How to Build a Referral Business
You probably get a lot of your business from referrals. But, is it part of your marketing plan? Are you intentionally scaling this marketing channel? Here are a few ideas to do just that.
In reality, most businesses are sustained by referrals. Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to attract new customers. This tricky part is scaling this marketing channel.
It probably sounds funny hearing me call it a marketing channel.
Most businesses don’t do anything intentionally to support or scale their referral channel. And that’s a missed opportunity I want to discuss today.
7 Simple Steps to Increase Referrals to Your Business
- Landing Page – Have a place to greet and capture new referrals. This could be as complicated as a website or as simple as a single page or blog post. But, you need to have a place for those referrals to find you online. Then when they do – greet them as you expected them and then capture them by encouraging them to contact you.
- Publish Content – Create and publish content that is valuable before the sale. Content – blog posts, video, or images – is a great way to showcase your ideas, talent, and potential value to potential new customers.
- Social Media – Make it easy to be referred to in digital channels. Stop thinking that referrals come from friends and colleagues passing around your business card and phone number. The reality is that they are sharing your name or a company name in passing. In fact, that actual referral is triggered when they see your name or company online or go online to search for you. Or, when someone shares your social media post.
- Rank for Your Name and Business – Much like social media, search engines are a big part of any referral engine. You need to make sure that your name and business come up on the first page with a simple Google search.
- Email – Most referrals happen long before a customer is ready to move forward. And most referrers don’t immediate get the opportunity to tell someone about you or your business. So, you have to stay top of mind and ask for referrals frequently and consistently. Email is the best way to do that.
- Develop and Give to Your Professional Network – Customers are excellent sources of referrals, but other business professionals are often even better. Chances are they understand your business and ideal customer better than your customers. Of course, this is going to create a better lead. That’s why it’s crucial to grow and nurture your professional network into a referral engine.
- Give Referrals – Like most things in life – the more you give, the more you get. Make sure you’re actively looking for and giving out referrals. This is another great way to build up your professional referral network.
- Bonus: Automate (in a good way) anything you can.
Word of mouth referrals are essential drivers of business growth and sustainability. Just realize that how people give and get referrals has changed. The next step is developing a digital marketing strategy that optimizes capturing all of those referrals.
What are some of your referral marketing strategies?