We’ve seen and perhaps even guilty of securing bloated marketing budgets to push marketing an. How about we explore a different approach? Instead of billboards and commercials, we invest in quality product and great service with the hope that our customers will become our advocates. It’s no coincidence that you and your best friend share a few of the same favourite things. Who doesn’t love hearing about a great product or service from a trustworthy source? In fact, it’s the primary factor behind 20 – 50% of all buying decisions and can influence purchases in ways that traditional advertising can’t. More brands are working towards boosting acquisition through organic networks, there’s much to gain from developing a killer word-of-mouth marketing strategy. Take a look at how you can explore putting a key strategy in place for your business. Be ‘referral worthy’. The number one way to increase referrals is to be referral-worthy. You have a great product line or service – use good pictures to show this. Take GREAT care of your customers and always deliver exceptional value, more than you promised. The second tip is to ASK. The number one reason people don’t get referrals is they never ask for them, thinking or hoping that their happy clients will give them anyway. Happy clients (and everyone else) are busy running their own lives and businesses and as much as they may like you, you’re not the most important thing on their mind. By asking, you become top of mind, at least for that moment. Another tip is to make it easy for your clients to give referrals – long feedback forms and collecting lots of referee data will just turn them off the task. Pay it forward. Give referrals to others when appropriate. When you give a referral the recipient will think well of you and will be more likely to reciprocate. Influencers love incentives. Take stock of the people who are already referring you. Make sure they know how much you appreciate it when they refer you and try to do things for them that show your appreciation. 79% of people say their primary reason for “liking” a company’s Facebook page is to get discounts. 81% also said they’re influenced by what their friends share on social media. [Market Force] An easy way to increase referrals is through networking on social media and more specifically LinkedIn. Join related local groups, post related updates & discussions and then connect with the potential client/referral. After that, reach out to them with a non-sales, personalized message looking to help each other out. Network with Power Partners. What constitutes a power partner? Any other business that regularly calls on your ideal clients is a potential power partner. By networking with these people on a regular basis, you increase your exposure to your target market. You may even be able to build a strategic alliance with these businesses to help you, your customers, and your new partner! Go to places where you have no business being. Another unique way to increase referrals for a small business is to highlight your clients. Putting together a client success story—whether it’s a one-page mini-case study or something as simple as a “congratulations” tweet—is an easy way to get clients invested in your success. They’ll want to share that story with their contacts and nothing drives referrals quite like hearing about great results from a trusted contact. There you have it, some pretty amazing Word of Mouth Marketing ideas that have worked and continue to work. Wishing you entrepreneurial successes!