Tag: Referrals

#SharetheLove – Recommendations – How to Ask for Them & Repurpose Them in Your Social

If you pay attention to trends in social media, then you already know how important and powerful recommendations and testimonials can be. Sometimes called social proofs, recommendations and testimonials from satisfied can be your best marketing tool.
Having the story of your success told by others can establish credibility and trust, and at the same time, give you a boost in the search rankings. Think of recommendations as the modern version of word of mouth advertising—it can be highly effective and is certainly affordable.
Given that we know that recommendations and testimonials are a very good thing, how do we go about getting them? The short answer is, ask! Of course, how easy that actually is will depend on the type of business you have and what type of relationship you have with your customers.
Asking for testimonials
If you have the type of business that allows you to establish personal relationships with your customers, the best way to ask is by framing your question with a compliment. Let the client know you value his or her opinion and would love to getfeedback. You might suggest that they provide a product review on video or talk about how your product has contributed to their success. If they agree, be sure to follow up with a thank you and reciprocate where you can. In cases where you have lots of customers but you don’t know them personally, a follow-up survey at the close of a project or the end of a sale can work well. A well-designed feedback form on your website can also do the trick.
Different Types of Recommendations
Keep in mind that having a variety of types of testimonials and recommendations can make it easier to repurpose them. Written recommendations, for example, can be posted to social media, used on your website, or included in print materials such as brochures and fliers. Video testimonials are particularly versatile since they can be used on your social media pages, your YouTube channel, on your website, or in an email campaign.
A word of caution regarding plans to solicit recommendations. While it is perfectly appropriate to ask for them, never be tempted to commission them or pay for them. That is not to say that you can’t say thank you with a small gift, but compensating for customer reviews can erase any credibility you gain.

Positive recommendations and testimonials are a valuable asset to your business. When you nurture them you’ll find you have a full complement to use in a wide variety of marketing channels. With a little creativity and targeted use of customer feedback, you can turn your recommendations into improved standing in the market, enhanced client goodwill, and increased sales.
 
Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!
Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

#AwesomeStorytelling – Encourage Others to Tell Your Story

Recommendations and word-of-mouth are still the most powerful way to gain new clients. Unfortunately, that recommendation won’t happen unless you encourage them to tell your story. After you complete a project for a client, ask for a recommendation, referral or testimony. This shares your story with your audience on what it’s like to work with you.


If the idea of asking for a recommendation, referral or testimony makes you uncomfortable, remember this: people won’t give their referrals or recommendations unless they love the work you do for them. Most people don’t even consider giving them because they don’t know what they are. Here are some great ways to break the ice and get the love from your happy clients…without coming off as sleazy or pushy.


  • Whenever a customer compliments you, give them a quick and sincere thank you. Let them know how pleased you are that they’re happy and then ask if they know anyone else who could benefit from your services. This is a referral.


  • Referrals can also come from other businesses. Set up a referral business with a complementary company. If you are in the web design business, for instance, you could set up a referral service with a hosting company you trust. That way you can both offer incentives and discounts to encourage additional business. If you’re not sure where to begin, think about the additional services your clients and customers need once they’re working with you.


  • Another way to gain referrals is by setting up a commission. If you’ve ever signed up for an affiliate program, you’ve done this already. Amazon does it and so do many successful entrepreneurs. A person who has signed up for your commission program shares your product or service. They have a special signup code or affiliate link to provide their viewers, customers, etc. Once a person takes your offer through their connection, the referral member gains a reward. It can be a percentage of sales, product discounts, or free products after so many referrals.


  • Make it easy for your clients and customers to leave recommendations and testimonies by creating an easy-to-navigate system. Setting up an online form through your website, for instance, really makes it simple, and gives them time to formulate their testimonies. You can provide a sample template to get them started.


  • Share all of your goods and services with them, so they know what else your business can do.


  • Treat your clients as partners and key players in the success of your business. They want to know they’re important to you. So let them know how much you appreciate them!


Here are some excellent moments to ask for referrals, testimonials, and recommendations:
  • After you get through a difficult situation with them.
  • Upon completion of your service.
  • When they mention their appreciation of your company and the way you do business.

You are in the business of helping people, and the people you help want to share that experience. Making it easier for them to do so helps you both in the long run. Someone out there needs your help, and an awesome story about your company may be exactly what gets them to you.

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!
Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

#EducationMatters – Really Connect with Your Power Partners

Another relevant aspect of education is getting to know the businesses that refer clients and customers to you. These power partners are essential in meeting the needs of your customers.
But what, exactly, is a power partner?
A power partner is a company that isn’t direct competition but has similar client bases. This allows you and the power partner to refer clients to one another.
I’ve mentioned before that social proof is important and explained how team building is essential in your business. Referrals from your power partners are essential aspects of social proof. Why? Their customers and clients trust that your partners wouldn’t steer them wrong. The same goes for your referrals. When you suggest a power partner to a customer or client, you’re giving those power partners your personal stamp of approval. Your reputation is on the line so educate yourself on what, exactly, your partners can provide to your clients.
Remember when I said you don’t need to do everything on your own? You don’t have to be perfect at everything. If you get swamped with projects, doesn’t it make sense to know where you can refer clients when things get overwhelming? Not all projects will fall under your scope of work, and that’s okay.
Take the time to get to know your power partners. Where do their strengths lie? Keep tabs on how they’re doing and how stacked their schedule becomes. Also, make sure your power partners know what you do. This helps in their referral process as well.
Most of all, when you refer a client, let the power partner know they’re coming. It would be a great idea to build a tracking system for referrals. I say this for two reasons: 1. You can ask the customer/client how the connection went and 2. You can find patterns of behavior and cycles of customer/client needs that can forge a direct relationship with a power partner.
What do I mean by that? What if you are a marketing/brand consultant and one of your power partners is a web developer who specializes in building WordPress websites? Let’s say 75% of your clientele require website overhauls and 5% need new ones created. You refer them, of course, to your web developer power partner, but less than 25% of them actually convert. You and your power partner put your heads together and come up with a referral discount. Or you create a package deal in which you contract your power partner to do the web-end of the service. There are many other options out there. You’d be surprised how often that tiny collaboration can make all the difference in a successful business transaction.

A relationship between you and your power partners can weather storms greater than you ever imagined. The support network you build today can last for generations and is a genuine path for being #BeAwesome at what you do!
Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!
Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.

#SocialProof – Why Social Proof Matters

Did you know that *92% of consumers read online reviews before trying a new business, product or service? 40% of them will form an opinion after reading three or less of those reviews. Online reviews are one of the many ways #SocialProof matters to your clients and consumers. Your business information is available for everyone to see. In a world of information overload, having no information or proof of worth at all is unsettling.
Think about the way you shop. We all have particular stores and brands we prefer, but have you ever wondered why? You buy from brands and companies you trust because you know they’ll deliver what you pay for. Testimonials, word of mouth, reviews, and more can be used to spark emotional triggers to influence you toward purchases and new-to-you businesses. 
This makes sense. You don’t want to spend your time and hard-earned money on something that may not be worth it. 
The same is true for your future clients and customers. They want to feel reassured that you can provide the service/product that you promise. 
Well how did companies and businesses gain customers before the internet? Ads. Word of mouth. Scarcity. Social Proof has always been used to bridge the gap between consumer and product. Experiments on this phenomenon occurred as early as 1935 and continue today.
Social proof is a comfort to your future clients and customers. You want to invite them into your world and let them know that you’ll take care of their concerns by delivering what you, and your social proof, promise.

Besides, the Internet is inundated with information, sales pages, and businesses that are promising the same results you are. How do you even begin, as a consumer, to differentiate between similar options without social proof? Social proof is what we look for when we begin researching an individual, a location, a company, information or just about anything else online. 

Gaining social proof takes time and effort, but the effects will be worth it. Remember, the more positive and solid your customer/client base, the easier it will be to leverage your social proof.
*(Reference Bright Local’s annual Consumer Review Survey, 2015:  https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/local-consumer-review-survey/)

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!
Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.

  • 1
  • 2

Learn how to use social media to grow your business online with our video series!

  • Learn the fundamentals of social media
  • Learn how to build better brand engagement
  • Learn how to enhance your visitors' experience
  • Learn how to grow your business using social media strategies.

If you want someone to break down aspects of social media to get more clients and build your business using social media, this is the program for you.


©2008-2021 Clere Communications / The Social Media Advisor