One of the best ways to create buzz about your business is to get your customers to do it for you. There are many ways in which you can encourage this behavior from your loyal customers. First, provide excellent service and products to your current customers so that when you do encourage them to promote your business they will be proud to do so.
1. Have a Contest – Get your customers to make a video testimonial of why they love your business. Tell them that the person who gets the most votes on their video promotion will get something free from you that is designed only for your audience and current customers.
2. Give Referral Credit – Let your customers know that you want them to tell others about you by sending them encouragement to do so in the form of credits against the work you do for them.
3. Start an Affiliate Program – You don’t have to open affiliate programs to everyone; they can be members’ only affiliate programs. If you have exclusive deals only for your customers to promote you, they will be more likely to do so.
4. Ask for Referrals via LinkedIn – Don’t send out the generic request offered by LinkedIn to get referrals. Instead, take the time to send a special request to each person that you want to refer you.
5. Ask for Testimonials for Your Website – Within the first 30 to 45 days of doing business with a new customer, send them a form to put a testimonial on your website. If you use WordPress, there are great testimonial plugins that you can use to make this process simple for you and the client.
Testimonial plugin link – http://wordpress.org/plugins/testimonials-widget/
6. Ask for Feedback – When you send an invoice, that’s a great time to ask for feedback from your client. Freshbooks.com now offers this as a service automatically when you send an invoice to any client. If they send good feedback, tell them you’re accepting new clients or about your customer only affiliate program.
7. Celebrate – If someone has been a customer for a period of time, call them out on your blog about how awesome they are. You can even ask them to write the blog post for you by sending them a questionnaire to explain why they enjoy being your customer.
8. Social Media Sharing – Give customers the opportunity to share on social media what you’ve done for them or what you’ve sold to them. Amazon has a great system set up for this where, when you make a purchase, you’re given the opportunity to share your purchase with your friends.
Getting customers to promote your products and services for you is good old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing. It’s the best marketing money can and cannot buy. As they say, birds of a feather flock together, so it’s more than likely that your customer knows other people who fit in with the demographics of your target audience. If they share your awesomeness with others, they’re likely to buy.