Using Word-of-Mouth Marketing to Find Clients
If you want a marketing strategy that requires little budget but is incredibly powerful, word of mouth marketing is for you. Also known as referral marketing, it’s one of the oldest marketing strategies and still one of the most effective.
Marketing your holistic business using word of mouth will help you build a strong foundation of trust around it.
Consider the last time you bought something recommended by a friend; this is a perfect example of referral marketing in practice. People naturally trust the opinion of family and friends when they are looking for something new.
Working as a practitioner, you already have a relationship with your clients because of the personal nature of your work. It’s this relationship you’re nurturing with referral marketing to help attract more clients like them to your door.
Benefits of word-of-mouth marketing
By the time a person comes to work with you, they already trust you. Because they’ve been recommended, they’ll know about the services you offer and will trust in the results they can achieve.
Your marketing is super targeted to those who need what you do. Your existing clients know exactly how you can help others and will recommend you to people they know will benefit too.
You also have the potential to reach a much larger audience than your family and friends and reach other people within your client’s networks.
And you also don’t need a big budget to build your business using word-of-mouth marketing.
How to build your word-of-mouth marketing strategy
Create amazing experiences
Focus on providing your clients with the best possible experience during all their interactions with you. The aim is for them to become a champion of your services and share their amazing results with their peers.
The good news of their experience will travel fast and help you build your reputation as an expert in your niche.
Be aware this will backfire if you’re not providing a great experience, so even more reason to go the extra mile and create happy clients.
Where appropriate exceed your client’s expectations by making life easier for them and showing you care. This could be by providing extra information to support them, checking in by email for an update, giving them a free sample, or sending a handwritten card.
Make the effort to build relationships with your clients and make them feel special. Show them that you care and that you are interested in them as a person. This personal touch goes a long way to building trust with your clients.
Address issues immediately
The speed and reach of online marketing mean you can’t stick your head in the sand and hope something will go away. You need to address any issues as soon as they are raised to avoid any damaging, bad reviews from happening wherever possible. You’re never going to please everyone, especially if you get trolled, but if you demonstrate respect and fairness, people will see through the situation and forgive a lesser review if you handled it well.
When a happy client has completed their sessions with you, ask for a testimonial. Whether this is an online review on Google, or Facebook, or an inspirational client story to share on your website – they are worth their weight in gold for your practice.
In my experience, happy clients are generally willing to help you. Make sure you use the testimonials you collect on your website and other marketing to reinforce why you are a great choice for new clients.
Ask for referrals
Depending on your discipline and professional register, you may have specific rules around actively asking for referrals. If you’re permitted to ask for referrals, include this request in your client follow up process – let clients know you are looking for others just like them who you can help.
Keep yourself on your client’s radar and remind them of how helpful you are. Create a simple system that helps people refer to you. Make it easy for people to find and contact you with details that can be easily passed on.
I provide an information sheet to clients with useful tips that can be handed on and includes details of what I do and my contact information. I also send my clinical clients a monthly newsletter with news, interesting articles and the opportunity to contact me if they need support. This reminds them I’m there and I often get referrals off the back of it.
You have to stand out and be visible in order for people to find you. Make sure you have a good presence online as well as in your local area. Spend time creating content and cultivating relationships helping people to understand who you help and how you help them. This will reinforce your expertise and make you accessible to those who want to employ your services.
I’m in the lucky position where half my clinical clients come from referrals. This has made a world of difference to my practice and helps me level out the feast and famine cycles. By the time people see me, they already know me and trust I’m the best person to work with them. I’ve built up my reputation over the years and put work into being helpful and accessible.
If you want to build word-of-mouth into your marketing strategy, book a discovery call and find out how I can help you.
Podcast 52 show notes:
- (02:09) Benefits of word-of-mouth marketing
- (03:32) How to build your word-of-mouth marketing strategy – create amazing experiences
- (05:02) Exceed expectations
- (05:50) Build relationships
- (06:22) Address issues immediately
- (07:26) Collect testimonials
- (08:25) Ask for referrals
- (09:18) Get visible
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