A survey I recently carried out (that some of you kindly answered) said that the top 3 marketing tools that you value the most are :
1. Social media
2. Referrals and word of mouth
3. Good consistent branding
The majority of my blog posts, tweets and the main focus of The Artisan Academy is going to be on social media and branding so this blog is going to focus on number 2. - referrals and word of mouth.
“Small businesses have a huge advantage over larger companies in word of mouth marketing because the distance between company owner and customers is much closer” Brad Fay, Chairman of the Board ‘Word of Mouth Marketing Association’
So what can you do to improve your chances of being referred? Well I’m tempted to just say “be awesome!” as that pretty much sums it up but in more detail, here are 14 top tips.
1. Do something different or unexpected. Don’t be samey and dull, do something that people are not expecting from you. Something like a free gift when they place an order, an unexpected free cup of coffee at an event on cold day, an offer to help out when it’s of no gain to yourself.
2. Go the extra mile – do something over and above what is expected of you. This could be a personalised order for a customer, or a short notice quick production run for a customer that means you working the weekend or maybe supporting your community in some way.
3. Over deliver. People will be left with a positive impression if you deliver more than you promised. Never over promise and under deliver.
4. Have great customer service. Not just OK customer service, but exceptionally awesome customer service. Put yourself in their shoes – what level of service would impress you?
5. Share secrets. Nobody likes those who don’t share. If you find a great way of doing something, share it. Share tips, how to’s, contacts and industry insights with others.
6. Give away 2 business cards or leaflets each time. Bit cheeky, but when you are asked for your details, give two business cards or flyers to your customer and ask them to keep one and pass the other on.
7. Say thank you. People always like to feel appreciated. Give a bit extra with a thank you card with an order or follow up with a thank you tweet.
8. Build trust – nobody buys from someone they don’t trust so build your credibility via blog writing, social media and share your testimonials from customers.
9. Give something away – in order to continue to build trust, give someone a sample of your product for free. Sampling is key with food and drink and can be the catalyst to an immediate sale.
10. Stay in touch. If you’ve collected a customer’s details, keep in touch with them. This keeps you top of mind and therefore more likely to be referred.
11. Tell your story – everyone likes to know where you’ve come from, why you do what you do, what struggles you’ve overcome and why you’re passionate for your brand. Talk about your lovely customers too…everyone likes to beappreciated, talked about or praised.
12. Engage – this is especially important on social media. Just broadcasting your message on social media or sitting reading your phone at an event shows lack of interest. Engage with those who try or want to engage with you.
13. Be personal – taking the extra time and attention to personalize an order or a message makes your customers feel special.
“Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card and how you leave others feeling about themselves is your trademark” Jay Danzie
14. Be passionate – if you love what you do, it shows. People will remember your passion.
So in summary, just be awesome really. Be awesome, stay in touch, be passionate and engage.
Would love to hear how awesome you are so engage with me by tweeting @lisafromklarity
Keep being awesome ;)
Lisa from Klarity x