You are done with dozens of marketing strategies such as paid Facebook ads, google ads, and search engine optimization to drive traffic to your website. You may do this to generate more leads or to acquire new business transactions, right? And now, you are asking yourself: how can I produce efficient results through these without means of spending? Referrals can be instrumental in getting new customers.

Aren’t these strategies feel so exhausting when you have exerted much effort on paying extra bucks just to generate a high-quality prospect that would probably sign a contract with you?

Well, maybe you are missing the basics. Strategies wherein you do not have to spend extra just to find the high quality leads you have been looking the whole time!!

When undergoing client on-boarding, one of the most critical parts is customer experience. From the first meeting to becoming a satisfied and loyal customer, the knowledge and interaction your customer will have throughout his/her journey with your business would be an essential part of word-of-mouth marketing.

Having the said customers as your brand advocates is a long-term proven strategy of every business there is for this is one of the low costs yet (super!) effective strategy for acquiring new quality leads.

Yet the real trouble is, no matter how you boost and engage in referral activities, there is a critical question to answer: how will you attract your current clients to refer your business onto their circle?

Here we will be laying out 21 ways to hit those golden referrals from customers without trying so hard to get one:

Give them something more than what you have agreed.

Who does not love freebies?

When the project is completed up to its turn over to your client, before that why not add something to the package that would make it more worthy of its price like attaching some premium subscription that would greatly help them along the course of using your package.

You can also be generous by offering free 3-month extended consultation service. It is up to you on what free extent you can give to your patrons.

Be a fan of their work too.

A simple reposting of your client’s marketing campaign or their recently posted blog. Thus, a simple sharing will not hurt trust me! Bloggers can do this.

Giving them helpful feedbacks like their website is not loading properly on mobile or something that would significantly improve their system or product. Let them know that you sincerely care about them by doing small acts of kindness.

Establish rapport between your business and the people.

Often, referrals usually came from previous or current clients, yet who says you are limited to that target? Remember, high-quality leads may arrive in different shapes and sizes.

You may partner with your fellow service provider to complete a specific package, so when clients come to them asking for a particular service, you will be the first one they would run because you are business partners. Or at some point you may be overloaded with work, you can give some to your fellow service providers, just a simple give and take situation.

Remember, your client always comes first.

When releasing a new free eBook or any learning material that would be a great help for businesses, always make your clients come first. Let them be the first ones to get a copy of such. Also, when having occasional promos, never miss sending an email to your clients the details of your promo and how they can avail it as early birds. Of course, never miss giving them significant discounts for their constant patronage of your business. In that way, they will feel like VIPs and inevitably return the act of gratitude towards you.

Join a networking support group.

These local support groups gather once or twice a week. Thus, it can be a physical meeting or a virtual meeting, wherein members help each other improve their marketing pitches, upskill, or reskill to be in line with the current trend. For businesses to never run out of ideas on how to cope with the fast pacing trend, these groups surely have each members’ back, so enjoy the perks having a big network of referrals without having to ask for one.

Have your clients like and follow your Facebook page.

More than half of social media users have more than a thousand friends on Facebook, well, that is a lot of referrals waiting for you to catch them!

Through this strategy, you can build a brand awareness campaign. Post something that would be worthy for them to share, such as infographics, on the return; you get instant followers and audiences. Engagements will kick off surely and your discovery session as well.

Utilize LinkedIn well.

It is undeniable that LinkedIn is one great tool for maximizing connections of your connections. This platform plays an indispensable tool as you campaign towards your potential clients and future referrals. Remember that before having such a strategy implemented, make sure your LinkedIn profile was well updated and complete. Write your bio so well and upload your portfolios to make it easier for clients to know more about you.

Establish effective CRM.

To stay in touch and organize a follow-up schedule, a CRM that would significantly fit your organization will surely be a game-changer. Send your leads an email quarterly, bi-annually, or annually to ask how they have been after your project turnover or how you can help them in other ways.

Give them referrals.

Have you experienced being asked for a service that you do not offer yet your client dies? Then, it would not hurt you to refer them to your client or acquaintance; for example, you send your client’s Facebook page or website to the potential lead.

Ask Clients for Potential Leads

We all know that time is money when it comes to freelancing. Clients are outsourcing their work to free up their time and focus on their zone of genius. Might as well make it easy for clients to refer you to potential leads. Create a script for them so that they can share your brand with others easily. You can also create an easy to share form for those interested in that you can be referred via a link.

Give away commissions and referral fees.

One of the standard rules of thumb when asking for a referral is giving away referral fees or commissions. Thus, this can be easier by giving away referral cards. They can write their name on it before handing it out on prospect leads and making it a proof of their referral. It thus works! Remember, traditional marketing is better in some ways.

Add a Refer-a-friend function on your site.

You can create a widget, a referral page, or merely a clickable box that would lead them to a referral form to input the potential lead’s details. Thus, it can also allow them to input their contact’s email addresses for the more natural gathering of leads or just simply send them personal referral links. With this strategy, you can use SaaSquatch, InviteBox, or ReferralCandy for straightforward implementation and integration.

Referral marketing materials would be a great help too!

By producing materials such as pamphlets, email templates or premade scripts, business cards, or referral cards that include your branding and contact information such as “Referred by _________.”

Thus, this will be easier for clients and acquaintances to refer you because they just need to hand these materials out or simply send them to potential leads.

Be definite on your brand.

If you’re more inclined to work with fitness coaches, creating an online course outline for them, responsible for their social media accounts, or blogging for them, why not brand yourself as a fitness VA. Being specific on who you are and what your brand specializes makes it easier for clients and audiences to remember you. When someone needs your services, there is a big possibility that you will be the one they would prefer.

Your contact information must be everywhere.

When we say everywhere, it means every single tunnel associated with you. Your contracts, proposals, invoices, acknowledgment receipt, social media branding, and directly on their mobile phones. How can you be referred to if your contact information were not on their phone? Most people cannot leave the house without their mobile phones, so when they bump into a potential lead, there is a big possibility that at a specific moment, they have phones in their pockets.

Be more personal.

An alternative in sending broad generic referral requests to all the email addresses on your contact list, why not send direct messages or even call them over the phone that would make it more sincere and personal on requesting referrals. For instance, your client brought up something about a need for Social Media Manager when the time comes, ring that client, and remind them that Social Media Management is one of the services you are offering.

Open the topic before the project turns over.

It would be a big mistake to wait until the project is over before asking your current client for referrals. On the project duration, take advantage of your client’s positive emotions, especially when he/she is loving how the project is going on, asking for referrals! Undoubtedly, your client would recommend you on their circle because they got to experience working with you so that it would be a plus point for potential leads.

Note that referrals were often considered as an effective marketing strategy because potential leads tend to trust their acquaintance’s word-of-mouth than anything else. Great feedback and testimonials from clients are an essential part of your portfolio. You can send these as due diligence after your first strategy call with a potential lead.

Always note to thank back your referral sources.

In whatever way possible, for you to reach them, ring them, send them an email, a card, or handwritten letter, builds rapport between your client and your business. Showing them appreciation by those for they have helped you gain new business or potential clients would lead to a better and longer relationship with them. Remember to have your CRM updated for keeping your relationship with clients is a must!

Give them value.

Have you just read about a new technology that would be beneficial for your client? Have you just finished an eBook that would be useful for your clients? Have you just added a new service that your clients may acquire to help their business grow more?

If your answer is yes, send them a personal message regarding these or simply attach a note on your retainer’s invoice to keep them updated. This is a simple yet efficient way of showing them that they never left your thoughts, and you keep on digging for improvement to provide them value even if the project has been turned over.

Shoot for the best clients.

Make good use of your time by targeting the best clients that can convert. Keep in your circle the clients you have already built a rapport with, those clients who offer services in line with the nature of your business, or those already inside your community engagement. They have higher chances to be acquainted with your target market or maybe bump into your potential lead and refer you if they need such services. Remember, give your best shot for the best ones.

Simply, directly, and straightforwardly, ask them.

The best way to ask for the client’s referral. Ask them. Simply. Directly. Straightforwardly. This may sound cliché but asking them without hesitation or being direct to your point will not hurt you. Thus, inviting them in the form of an email, a text message, place it as a part of your contract or invoice, virtually or in-person, will not make you look desperate or pushy for some referrals. Yet, it will make you professional other than doing other tricks to get some, be straight to the point then.

So how do you create a referral program? You need referral software or affiliate management software. You can then help new sites like Hunting Bow Lab and it can deal with stopping shopping cart abandonment.

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