Episode 189 The power of referral marketing


In this week’s podcast, Anna looks at the power of word-of-mouth and referrals.

Word-of-mouth can play an important role in your business. Here’s how to be proactive about building a virtuous circle that incorporates referral marketing.

*Resources mentioned during the episode*

The Outsiders Business Academy – A self-paced course for you to work through in your own time, to learn – and implement – the foundations of building a profitable business that lets you escape the 9 to 5. onestepoutside.com/course

The power of referral marketing

Hello, hello there happy Fourth of July to our colleagues over in America. It’s a bit of a sad day for us here in England. But nonetheless, I celebrate your independence. And it’s not something we learned them out at school, you know. So happy July 4, for you guys. I hope you had a wonderful Independence Day weekend, if it was last weekend. And today we’re talking about the power of referrals and recommendations. So I get clients coming to me saying, oh, have you done the marketing, I get my clients via, you know, word of mouth referrals and so on. And to be honest, I’ve always been a bit like, Oh, that’s nice, you know, it’s a great way to get started.

But you need much more proactive marketing to build your brand to attract clients consistently.

Because word of mouth, you know, you don’t actually have any control of it, at least at the beginning. Hopefully, if you’re doing an amazing job, which I’m sure you are climbing to going off and telling other people, and they’re referring people recommending, and if all your clients are coming in that way, that’s great, but you don’t have control over it. So you have to have a huge amount of faith. I think that’s where we get into that kind of roller coaster, feast or famine area. Because you know, Joe and Jenny and John, they’re all Jays might recommend you one week, and you get loads of prospects leads. And then Joe, Jenny and John are off on holiday over the summer, and they forget about you, and they love you. But you know, right now they’re busy. And so no more referrals. And that’s quite dangerous.

Obviously, you can do a bit of clever planning and road mapping and say, hey, you know, great, I’m busy right now, but I’ve got space for another client in September do want to join them. And you can, you can do all sorts of smart things there. But, you know, you don’t have control over that. However. So I said, my perspective has always been this, I’ve been a little bit like, oh, you know, word of mouth. I’m all about content, marketing, and building your personal brand. And that’s what I’ve been talking about over the last month or so that this doesn’t mean that that, you know, word of mouth has no place in your business, it’s actually really important. And, in fact, I can kind of see an ad create a model for this as well, I love a good model, and a virtuous circle, that you know, people start by referring you, but referring people to you rather, when they refer them, how can I do this in a grammatically correct way, when people refer other people to you? What are they going to find? You know, if it’s literally, oh, you need to talk to this person, it’s very sort of old school, you literally pick up the phone and chat with them. And that works.

If you’ve got a simple website or something, you know, that can work. I happen to believe that all the content, then, you know, as much as I get a lot of referrals. And in fact, you know, almost more so than not, you know, it’s people from my circle. And certainly when you’re starting out, that’s the case, right? But also, as you grow. Again, if you’re doing a good job, hopefully your clients who know you best, because they’ve seen the value in what you do, they’ve actually worked with you, and they’ve got the results.

So they’re likely then to refer you and the more you work with, you know, the more referrals you get, obviously, but when these referrals come to you, they’re new people in your ecosystem, yes, they’ve had that recommendation, they’ve had the introduction from someone else.

But if they land on your website, and it’s, you know, not relevant at all, not compelling, not clear what you do, if they can’t even find you online. You know, if you don’t have any kind of personal brand, if you don’t have testimonials, and videos to watch, and text to read and resources and so on, it’s a harder sell for you, you’re really only relying on that recommendation. So people are referring people to you, they then come into your ecosystem, they’ll listen to my podcast, hello, if you’re listening, they’ll watch my videos, they’ll join a workshop, they’ll join my email list, you know, maybe they’ll book a call right away.

But ideally, I’d love for them, I’d love for you to get to know me more, based on that amazing recommendation, and I’m so grateful. But still, Iwant you to get to know me because just because I’ve been a good fit for persons zones, though, doesn’t mean that I’m a good fit for you. And in fact, that happened a few months ago, someone was, you know, very enthusiastically referred to me, but she actually had a very different need to what the service I can provide.

So that’s fine. You know, again, there’s a little bit of Oh, I really want to help everybody. But in fact, you know, a little bit of attachment and understand that’s not right. So if I had allowed her if I had encouraged her to spend more time getting to know me and my offering before getting on the phone with me, that would have given her more value. Maybe she would have bought into my world and my philosophy more in which case she would have been an easier sell as it were or she would have realized, oh, no, you know, she’s not quite what I’m after. I want something more specific in this particular area. So they’ve been referred to you they find your content, they join your ecosystem, and then they work with you. They have an amazing experience working with you. Of course you do the job, you give them more than they asked for you’ve over delivered. They’ve got the results. They really, you know, seeing you walk the talk, they’ve got everything they wanted from you and more. What happens? Well, they’re going to refer people to Tada virtuous circle.

People you’ve worked with people who know you refer other people into ecosystem, they find your content they read, they watch, they listen, they get to know you, they have a call, they work with you, and then they become ambassadors for you, right.

So that’s the virtual circle. So these things work hand in hand, word of mouth with content marketing, I believe, is the most powerful piece. Now, what does that mean concretely that you need to do proactively? The first thing, you need a clear strategy and elevator pitch to make it easy for people to refer and recommend you. I cannot overstate the importance of this. So again, go back to last month, they were talking about how to stand out in a cluttered market might even have a workshop coming up on how to how to do your own elevator pitch. And that’s really powerful too. So watch out for that. Look out for that. B

ut the first thing has to be to know what your headline is what you stand for.

And we do actually teach this in the course I should put that in there as well. So the outside is Business Academy, new course, one step outside.com. Forward slash course, you can read all about that I go through the five pillars. And then the fourth pillar, the personal brand pillar, the first step, the first topic is your headline, then we look at content, credibility and visibility, which I’ve been talking about a little bit as well for the last few weeks and next week.

But this piece of being clear on your headline, why is that so important? Well, you need to be able to state confidently on the phone in person to someone, this is what I do. For this type of person, that then allows someone to go hey, that’s me. You can help me, which is great. Or they go, Oh, I know someone who or when they meet someone who they can go, Oh, you must talk to Anna, this is exactly the thing that she does. She works with you, right.

So I love it when I get people who are so specific. And I know niching is that whole, you know, separate, difficult topic and so on. But I can so easily say hey, they do websites on Squarespace for creative entrepreneurs, boom, this is who you need to talk to. Or oh, she comes in and does, you know, diversity presentations, for leaders who did it, you need to talk to her super, super clear what they do for whom, and that makes it so much easier. I function nutritionist who helps people with autoimmune diseases who want to live an adventurous lifestyle. Amazing, I know someone. So if any of those are you by the way, let me know. Because I have so much for you. But you know, you have to have that clear elevator pitch, so that other people can refer and recommend you. And also work with you yourself.

Of course, the second piece of this is that you need to keep building that online presence so that people will find you credible when they look you up.

And not just that you need to give them a clear genuine next steps. So if they find my website, one step outside, let’s say if that’s what my you know, colleague or client has given them, they’ve got the headline there, there’s a literally, excuse me on my on my new website. Now it says find your next step, you go through a little quiz, answer three questions that will direct you to, if you want the fast track, you can book a call with me and we can talk about how I can help you. Or if you’re wanting just to browse and get the free stuff. There’s, you know, a Start Here page, there’s a free resource in your download, and so on. So really clear journey for someone who’s new into the ecosystem.

And that also means that if I chat to someone, you know, in my world, especially because it’s sort of something that’s so integrated to life, any chat I have is like, Oh, I hate my job, or I work late into the evening, and I don’t have good work life balance. I don’t work don’t know what I want to do in my life and so on. It’s very easy for me even in the personal scenario to be able to go in and get one actually that is what I do. You know, if you’d like to very soft remember last week, or a couple of weeks ago, we talked about in don’t have to sell, I’m not selling at dinner parties and so on. But I am saying hey, look, this is what I do have a look at one sided calm, or you know, here’s a resource you can take a look at. If it sounds interesting, then you know, by all means we can book a court, right? So I’m not coaching without permission, as they say, I’m not being really annoying and selling, but because I have a clarity on what I do, because I have this really clear journey now for people these resources available, I can very easily point people in that direction, and they can come in if they want to. And then finally, referrals of Underbar wonderful, but you want to manage them more systematically.

You want them to become ambassadors, evangelists, and these are, you know, past clients, current clients.

Also just big fans in your group. I’ve got people who’ve never worked with me and my Facebook group who follow me on Instagram and thanks to you if you’re listening to podcast, who have been amazing at bringing people into my community referring people recommending and maybe they’re not ready to work with me maybe they don’t even want to maybe they don’t need to, but they can see the power of the message and they’re pushing my book they’re pushing you know, they’re becoming almost sales consultants, sales people for me, which is amazing. Of course, other people selling you is so much more powerful than you trying to sell yourself.

So how can you manage that you know, in my community, if somebody recommends refer someone who then It becomes a client, they get something. So for example, it could be a one to one coaching call, it could be another month free of accelerated membership, something like that. Right? So, you know, as far as people don’t do this, I think for incentives with my personal trainer, by the way with Hannah, she I recently got a little voucher from her very generous for John Lewis, because I referred someone who chose to work with her. Now, I didn’t refer because I wanted the voucher. But it’s a very nice little thing. And obviously, I’ll certainly perked my ears up and be open to recommending again, because it was very generous. Thank, what’s the word welcome, gift for me. So, have a clear strategy and elevator pitch, make it really easy for people to refer and recommend you keep building your online presence so that people will find you credible, when they look you up, have a really clear journey with next steps and find a way to manage referral systematically, meaning when you finished working with a client, you can always go hey, can you give me feedback? Do you know someone else who could benefit? Obviously, if you’re organizing an event? Hey, do you guys know anyone in my Facebook group who could join? Who do you know? Can you share cetera? So remember the virtuous circle? People refer people to you? Why is that so hard for me to say, they find your content, they work with you, they have an amazing experience. And then they refer other people to you. That’s the virtuous circle. So yes, I will come out and say that my previous skepticism of word of mouth is no more.

Because it’s not just useful at the beginning of a business, I really think it’s ongoing, useful, right? And you shouldn’t poopoo it. In fact, if you’re listening, one of my clients was about like, Oh, I’m only getting people from my, you know, from my existing network, that’s great. That’s amazing, especially if you have a big network, that’s how it starts. And then that’s gonna sort of spiral out, not spiral out of control, or spiral out in a very manageable, strategic systematic way, and only get more people right, and it’ll sweep up more people who come in, and then you have more ambassadors for your, for your brand and business. So referrals, recommendations, super powerful. You want to nurture them, you want to encourage them, you want to manage them systematically, with incentives with kind of an off boarding process where you’re asking systematically clients that you’re working with that you have worked with, for recommendations for referrals or testimonials, as well, because that works as well. And then all the other stuff that we talked about the elevator pitch, the headline, the content, and so on is super critical still. So if you’re relying on word of mouth, congratulations, that’s amazing.

But I hope I’ve given you some tips. I hope you’ll listen to the tips I’ve given you and take action on them today on how you can actually put that sort of on steroids manage that and create that virtuous circle, where you’ve got the word of mouth, the credible content and the amazing clients working with you. Thanks so much, and I’ll see you next week.


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