How to grow with word-of-mouth marketing?

The funny thing about marketing is that when something works for your business, you want to know what’s the next thing you should try.

In the book Traction by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares, which is a book written for startups who want to grow and build a customer base. It dives into 19 or so different channels to do this.

At the heart of the book though is traction. It’s not a book that tells you to try all the 19 different marketing channels. It’s a book that tells you to completely exhaust the one channel that’s working for you. To the point at which you start to almost see a decline.

Yes, this book is mainly designed and written for startup Saas companies, but much of the methods and strategies can be used for consultants as well.

Why WOM is bad

I know right now that 50+% of your new business and sales comes by way of word-of-mouth. And you are no doubt falling victim to the thoughts and pressures that your marketing is based off of someone else’s words.

Perfectly understandable and definitely something to consider.

Instead of thinking about diving head first into ads, or social, or some other form of marketing, have you thought about why 50+% of your business is word-of-mouth?

Maybe it’s due to:

  • Price
  • Quality
  • Knowledge
  • Availability

To be honest with you, it’s probably a combination of several things.

Can I share with you what the reason for why word-of-mouth is such a big portion of my business?

It’s because I make the technical aspects of what I do easy to digest and understand.

I know this because I asked. I asked clients what they liked and I asked those that were referred to me what was it that they heard about me.

Why WOM is great

People are 4x more likely to buy when referred by friends.

Word-of-mouth generates 2x more sales than paid ads.

Think about your own buying habits. Do you look at reviews? Do you ask your friends and family for recommendations? Or do you eagerly wait for those 2:20 breaks in between your favorite tv shows?

If word-of-mouth is 50% of your business today, and your best customers are coming out of those referrals, then I ask, how much effort are you putting into word-of-mouth marketing?

My guess is the bare minimum.

Here are 7 things you should be putting into your marketing right now to help promote yourself by allowing your existing and past clients to refer you.

  1. Ask for referrals during and after your project. Every milestone you have with clients, you should be asking your clients if there’s someone that they know that has a similar problem that you just solved because it was awesome working together to resolve it.
  2. Ask for reviews.
  3. Create a referral program. These are easy to do nowadays with services like Rewardful and AffiliateWP.
  4. Create an incentive
  5. Create a podcast and invite your industry leaders, influencers, and other individuals with strong ties to the market on your show.
  6. Create a memorable experience for your clients and customers.
  7. Share your reviews, testimonials, and other nice things that folks say about you on your website, social platforms, and even in your email signature.

If you are doing all these things, then awesome. Well done. Move on and test the next channel, as the guys in Traction suggest. But if not, why not double down on what’s working for you now, dominate all that so that the word-of-mouth stops becoming happenstance and becomes predictable.

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