Word-of-Mouth Marketing: How to get people talking – in a good way! – about your work

Think about the last time you needed a new plumber. What about the time you moved into a new area and were desperate to find the best local pizza joint? Before you bought that new bike rack on Amazon, what did you do? You called a friend for a recommendation. You asked your new neighbor. You read the reviews. You utilized word-of-mouth marketing.

Word-of-mouth marketing, or WOM for those of us in the know, is key to growing your small business because us humans are hardwired to believe and rely on the opinions and recommendations of our tribe. Our friends, our family, our neighbors, our peers — what they think matters to us. That means that one of the most effective (and, frankly, cheapest) methods for building a positive brand image is to get people talking.

Get those client testimonials

Encourage your current or former clients to sing your praises, particularly on their own social media pages. This is what’s known as user-generated content. The vast majority of folks online consider it to be much more trustworthy than any old advertisement.

When you’re starting out, this may mean working pro-bono for a local non-profit organization or helping a friend generate excitement and attendance for an event she’s planning. You’re happy to help! All you ask in return is that they tell the world (or at least their Facebook friends) how incredible it was to work with you. Have them write a review on your small business Facebook page or a testimonial to slap on your website.

As you begin to develop a steady stream of regular (paying!) clients, offer incentives for spreading the word about your services, such as discounts or a referral swap if you happen to use their business as well.  

Engage with your community

Once you’ve got all this awesome user-generated love and those glowing reviews and testimonials, it’s time to share it with you own community! They’ve gushed about you, and now you can gush right back by displaying their feedback prominently on your own social channels. This helps not only to feature the work you’re passionate about, but also to build a community around that work.

So, get on the #humblebrag train and Share. Your. Work. Ask for feedback from your followers. Be responsive to comments and messages and let your brand personality shine. Sharing leads to engagement, which leads to connection, which leads to MORE referrals.

Do good work

This should go without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway: The very best way to create some killer word-of-mouth marketing? Blow your clients away with the quality of your work.

Go above and beyond. Make their jaws drop. Earn their fierce loyalty. Present them with work of the highest and most polished quality so they can’t help but start texting all their friends and colleagues to rave about the goldmine they’ve discovered in you. If you wow them with your top-notch iMarketer skills, they’ll be thrilled to recommend you. Don’t forget: If they are swooning over your work, it’s OK to ask them to tell the world about it!

(Need a little more help figuring out how to land that first client to get the word-of-mouth marketing flowing? We’ve got you covered: Read this post next.)

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