How to promote your small business to a wild success

mouth-to-mouth-marketing

The original and still powerful form of marketing:

Word of Mouth - on Steroids

Big banks, companies blessed with angel investors, a generous family or a rush of capital from issued stock – they all provide a blessing every entrepreneur dreams of: that famous startup capital. However, what do you do when this good fortune is not yours?

My grandpa used to ask me regularly since my 10th birthday: "Are you saving? Where is your startup capital? How will you get ahead in this world?"  That’s probably because I would ask him to give me money instead of gifts for birthdays!

I’d tell him: "I will buy for myself everything I need." And so, I started to save that birthday cash for my own startup capital. When I was 13 I dreamed of starting up my own fast food business and selling burgers because I thought if "Ray Kroc of McDonald’s can do it, so can I". ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ author, Robert Kiyosaki, fired me up on that idea even more.

But - Back to startup capital...

Many companies have it easy because they already have it. As a result, they have a range of choices, they have better access to the latest tools and information, they can invest and reinvest to grow. What and how are we going to invest without a large bag of cash? Where will it come from? We can complain, of course: ‘What can you do? It is meant to be; God and fortune gave money to the wrong people’.

Those are easy excuses.

Yet: The belief that money is absolutely necessary to make money is the reason so many people never go ahead and start their own businesses. They’re doomed before they begin.

You see, it doesn't have to be that way. A small business can certainly develop, even with only a very small amount of money. And, every big business began as a small one, before it raised more capital to really take off.

And, keep in mind: Money can be confusing, even harmful. You can throw it at all kinds of resources you think you need but really don’t. You can decide to rely on other professionals to assist you before fully vetting their skills and reputation. Even when you think that piling up money can solve a problem, you might be making a mistake. Of course, the more money you have to make mistakes the more room you have to learn!

But actually, it can be an advantage not to have easy cash. It makes you think more creatively, to manage small resources smarter and to come up with better ideas. When your money bags are empty you have to figure out some smarter detour to the finish line. You become much more flexible, entrepreneurial and you’re building your brain to find new ways to solve problems.

So, you might be surprised at how much you can produce with less money, especially as you can find such a large selection of powerful business tools at low and no cost. Over time, as you stretch your creative, entrepreneurial muscle, you’ll no longer think only of ideas that require big start-up capital because you’ll figure out how to make money out of thin air, just with a great idea and its execution. The only real obstacle is your brain. A brain that says to itself “Well, we have no money, nothing…there is no way to move forward and grow” instead of asking the magic question…

HOW?’ 

“How” solves almost all problems. 

  • How do I get more customers?
  • How do I reduce unnecessary costs? 
  • How can I increase profits per client?
  • How can I sell more of this or that?
  • How can I spend less and earn more? 
  • How can I find my ideal customers and show them my unique value? 
  • How can customers recommend me more often, on their own initiative? 

If you're going to start answering any of those questions - and I know you will - I recommend you take paper and pencil, perhaps your Brilliant Ideas Notebook or journal. Then draw and write while you brainstorm. Carry a small notebook or diary to write down all the ideas that come up, even the ones that seem stupid because they don’t always come up fully formed while you are actively thinking, but may show up subconsciously, or as just bits of ideas, phrases, in the middle of the day or the middle of the night. And if you don't write them down, you can forget great ideas. 

Whenever you dare to ask yourself “How?”, your brain begins to come up with different solutions, asks a million questions, notices, hears, sees, and asks things during the day that you might not otherwise notice because certain receptors in your brain have now ignited. The brain goes to work even subconsciously, so the best ideas could happen in a deep sleep and you’ll get the best idea in the morning. Keep that journal by your bed!                                                                                 

The question of "how?" becomes a reflex habit over time. Keep asking and you’ll get used to finding the answer to every question. You’ll begin to expect that you can find what you need and, as you solve more and more problems, you’ll gain more and more confidence. You’ll become more and more creative. And then the execution of those ideas will lead to more capital naturally accumulating over time. Which, ironically, becomes almost irrelevant to your business, because you’ve now learned how to manage without it; you’re an entrepreneur!

You developed the business without investing millions, invested brains,  creativity, and a lot of work.
So, You will hammer until you nail it. And then you hammer every nail from the first almost with closed eyes!

hammer your business until you nail it

Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

I divert a bit from the topic, but still, a good attitude is a prerequisite for a good and successful business. Moving on… 

Google is the # 1 site in the world because it solves the problems of hundreds of millions of people each day. No matter what product or service you sell, we're all in the same business - the problem-solving business for our customers.

You have a small business.

Perhaps you're a hairdresser or have a pet shop, or a cafe, or you're a coach, author or maybe you sell cell phones; maybe you've got a gym or you're a real estate agent. Maybe you are a dentist, an accountant, or you provide alternative health services, herbs or yoga.

It is not important.

We all sell something - goods, services, or both. It doesn’t matter, no matter what your product or service everyone in business sells the same thing: results for their customer. You sell results for your customer: whether it’s a sought solution,  opportunity or desired change, your customer buys results and the more you increase awareness of your business' results to your audience, the more your business will grow.

Now the question is how to start? How to grow that small business, to maximize traffic and profit, or how to get more customers? That's the point and we all want those same answers.

CUSTOMERS.

BUYERS.

CLIENTS.

CONSUMERS.

Whatever you call them, everything revolves around them and nothing happens until someone buys something. So let's talk about that first crucial step: how do you get your customers to buy from you? As an example, we’ll take a Hair Salon (but these tips apply to most small businesses). We will use the hair salon because my hairdresser is Mike… a legend of hairdressing in my community. The man shakes the world, with great styling!

Here's why Mike is a great example:
He doesn't do any marketing (for now) and people come exclusively from referrals.

Let that sink in: he doesn’t do any marketing yet generates strong business through referrals – just great word of mouth! This is the strongest marketing tool because someone else, who has no real motive or likely gain, promotes you. However, it's also an unreliable and largely uncontrollable method.

Rarely do I walk down the street and step into the salon because it's along the way and say ‘give me lots of layers and leave it shaggy’. Frankly, I didn't care much about getting a styled cut because I didn't see the difference right away. Yet, one time, Mike suggested a different hairstyle to make it look a little nicer. So, OK, I trust him and let him work his magic. After all, I think, if it doesn't turn out right it always grows back.

But this is where I messed up: Mike did such a great job, and has continued doing it so well that now I can't get my hair cut anywhere else even if I wanted to; I’m hooked on Mike’s styling!  And, as a regular customer, I feel welcomed, comfortable and, I must admit, a bit pampered; who wouldn't love that?

Here, my husband says (testimonial) “Out of the 30 hairdressers you've been to, he is the only one who knows how to cut your hair well. His hands are golden.” And do you think my husband is the only one who loves the way his wife looks when she returns from seeing Mike? Shouldn't Mike also have a website that will display all these strong recommendations and photos of his happy clients? 

However, as I said: he doesn’t do any marketing for new customers as well as he actively sells to his existing customers who keep coming back to get Mike’s magic touch with their hair.

This is a key point: That's why his business can't grow. And it cannot grow FAST, despite its good referrals, because, if you don't build on the initial "momentum" of a happy first-time customer to blow up into a super marketing campaign, no one except the single referred person knows about Mike's referrals and the original customers who are happy!

Did I confuse you? What I mean to say is this: it's great that Mike's customers are so devoted that they'll occasionally remember to refer business to him - probably when someone has just complimented their new 'do. However, Mike can't control or count on that for real growth. So, instead, he's depending on his current customers to give him repeat business instead of new customers.

Let’s talk more about how Mike (and you) could really accelerate the results from "word of mouth" marketing).

hairdresser small business

Photo by CloudyPixel on Unsplash

Without a concerted marketing campaign, what will Mike do now? At some point, when there is no longer a sufficient influx of NEW customers, current customers will feel the place seems a bit empty and maybe not doing so well; they will no longer persuade their friends for Mike (and they won’t do it for you either - that's another reason to keep updating your content, your presence,your offerings).

That is a problem. This is why word of mouth marketing has serious limitations because full control of the influx of new customers is not with you, but with existing customers and newly referred, happy customers.

How can Mike (or you) bring in more new customers, how can he generate bigger profits from those same customers and, as a bonus, create a win-win for everyone, him and the new and old customers?

So, how to promote your small business to a wild success?

The answers to these and similar questions are below…

Keep in mind, while we will use Mike's Hair Salon as a prime example, the same applies to other small businesses, that means yours. Of course, the fact that a business is "small" does not necessarily mean that it is weak or failing. On the contrary, it can be as strong as Superman (or Super Girl!) with great products, great quality control, smart pricing, giving you the ability to always give customers what they want.

Before you learn how to apply the magic of strong world of mouth marketing, let’s talk a bit about some barriers to growth that may be holding you back (as I know they are a problem for Mike).

1. The first and foremost problem and a barrier to growth is the fear of selling.

Mike, like many professionals, does not like to sell. He focuses on doing great hair but is uncomfortable with selling. Doesn't like sales people; he gets annoyed by them and he does not want to annoy his customers and potential customers. Believes the sales process is “a hassle.” He thinks it’s too self-promotional and often deceptive.

And he’s right! It's a hassle when you offer people something they don't need, don't think they need, and it's not relevant to them. 'Relevant' means “this is exactly the solution I wanted to find!” Mike respects his clients and deeply respects himself. He doesn't want to go to that level of 'pushy' salesman, but he wants to sell and earn more.

Well, he can't; he’s put the brakes on with his attitude and now has a major barrier to overcome!

There’s just no growth if people don’t know about your product or service and worse, don’t know why it would be a great thing for them. Business doesn't work that way. There is no higher profit without higher sales and no higher sales if you do not sell or promote at all. And you certainly will sell badly if you dislike selling because then you won't sell with confidence and you’ll undermine your own efforts. Oh sure, you can raise your prices and build profit that way but, believe me, that won’t keep you going and growing for long.

We are all sellers. Whether we want to admit it or not. We all sell something. Constantly, all day long. It doesn't matter if there is a financial transaction or not. We sell ourselves for a better job, to convince someone of something… we sell ideas, persuade people to do something, or, better yet, persuade them to want to do as we want them to do.

We constantly sell something in order to survive and live better, because sales bring money and money does everything else. Money solves a lot of problems, opens a lot of opportunities, both for you and those you care about. If you don’t share my opinion, then leave here. This blog is not for you.

Nowadays, the most powerful weapon is the art of selling and, like it or not, you have to sell unless you are from a wealthy dynasty that finances and feeds you (or you're an employee with a predictable income). So, thinking that "I'm not going to sell; I’m not good at selling; I don’t want to be salesy" is almost like saying you don't want to walk and have functional legs, or like you won't breathe.

As soon as you start your own small business, it means that you have entered the ring and are ready to sell, but you cannot do halfway. Either you sell with full confidence in the benefits you deliver, or you shut down the business…

It's a big mistake to think that only professional salespeople are "real" sellers. It's that association that the real seller is the car dealer, the insurance company, or the salesperson at the bigger companies, or the ones who sell door-to-door or blast you with robo calls. It's a fallacy.

We are all sellers.

Women selling their services to customer, hope for world of mouth promotion

Photo by Blake Wisz on Unsplash


Why run away from that? Unless you are selling a bad product that is harmful to people and against their best interests, why would you be ashamed of selling it?

Maybe here would be a good place to shift how you define successful sales. People buy goods and services every day to do one of 3 things:

  • To solve a problem
  • To leverage an opportunity
  • To provide pleasure or satisfaction

You help people get something they already want; sometimes, something they truly need. And, when you can match a customer with a desired product or service, one that will deliver the benefit, opportunity or solution they want, you’ve performed an important service. Do you get that? It’s never deceptive or self-promotional to help a customer find the benefit they seek through your product!

And, on top of that, people often LOVE to shop. Shopping is sometimes a distraction, sometimes happiness. A little adrenaline, dopamine, whatever. People like to make good buying choices, feel they have made a smart decision and get a good deal. If you’ve taken the time to know who is looking for your goods or services, understand why they want it and help them find it, you’ve given them a gift. Why fear that?

Fear of selling is a serious and often undetected problem with many small business owners. Is that your problem too? Fear of selling, of appearing self-promotional, will cause you to undermine your business success. Because if they (and maybe you, too) weren't so scared of selling, they would have been doing some kind of marketing long ago. There are very few professionals who do their jobs so well that their entire business can be based on word of mouth only. It takes an extraordinary and unique quality to be in that rare league.

Let's go back to Mike's hairdressing salon

The truth is that when you have a great product (like Mike has), and don’t market it, don’t let people know you have it and can deliver great results for them, you are actually depriving people of that happiness of the solution or pleasure they’ve sought. You rob them of the happiness they could enjoy and have not experienced. So, don’t let your misunderstanding of marketing and sales get between you and a very happy customer!

Whether you’re delivering a great sense of style through haircuts, better health with yoga or nutrition, better business practices as a coach or accountant or freedom through pet-sitting or effective consultation – every business that offers a quality product has buyers who are actively seeking them and truly happy to find them; to find you! So, not selling, not advertising and not marketing is a losing situation for you, your existing and potential customers.

Fear of selling also means that your business cannot grow because you, in fact, maybe deep down, do not even believe that you deserve more.  And that is not true!

Modesty is the virtue of little people.

I'm a genius. There, I confess. I’m great at what I do, I’ve spent many years learning, testing, growing and testing again. I believe in myself and how I can improve situations for my clients. That confidence and real-world testing allows me to know that when I promote my services to an audience that wants those services and their benefits, real change will occur.

People believe you if you believe in yourself, first and foremost. And there is no successful business for Mike or for anyone without trust. So, your modesty blocks sales. If you are really good at your business or really have good products, good service and your products are worth it, why be humble about it? Why deprive people of the real solutions they seek and which you can deliver?

Mike has not advertised because he has an aversion to marketing and selling; you may feel the same way. And the truth is, it is a huge barrier to growth for a small business; maybe your #1 growth barrier. I hope this brief conversation has helped put you on the path to greater awareness of the power and gift you can deliver with your products and services – but only if your audience knows about it and why they should seek you out!

#2 reason for not marketing is "I don't know how"

Not knowing something is no longer a reasonable excuse. For a start, there is Google, a magic machine that seems to know all the answers. Google can put you on the road to learning nearly anything. Seriously.

There is no such form of ignorance that, with enough banging on the keyboard, you can't make go away. And, believe me, there are plenty of professionals, guide books, videos, workshops that are happy to teach you anything – from the basics to the most sophisticated content. And that includes marketing.

Your marketing plan doesn't have to be some big, complicated plan to start. It's important to just start. Because something is better than nothing and can, over time, multiply its impact for you.
Especially when you sell a good product. Believe in yourself, because, until then, no one else will. No one is a born salesperson. Like writing, reading, driving, cooking… just move on, start today, until you figure out what works.

If the product you have is not connecting with your audience, then sell another or seriously upgrade your existing one. You don’t just want to be good, you want to be great and to carve out a niche, a specific territory in people’s minds and hearts that separates you from your competition. If you are comfortable with "good" then STOP. Nobody will recommend anything that is just "so so".

Want word of mouth marketing to work? Recommendations or referrals are only given for another person to ENJOY; to create a WOW effect, both for the person who is given the recommendation and for the referring person who now enjoys the gratitude of their lucky recipient.

Not even the best marketing in the world can outweigh a bad product and a bad offer more than once. You might sell something that has a short term popularity or is not built to last; that's not a plan for long-term enrichment. Sooner or later, you fail. The internet and review sites can bury your business if you promote a bad product.

world of mouth women

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

You may not be on the Internet, but the Internet will not bypass you. If anyone has something negative to say about you on Yelp or Trip Advisor it will show up as the first result when someone is looking for you… and God help you. Unless, of course, you have your story and your site and recommendations on the site, so your side of the story can be heard and not tumbled and pounded like a ping pong ball.

Now, before we get into the ‘how’ of things, I think it’s time to talk a bit about the difference between ‘marketing’ and ‘selling’. 

  • Marketing is all about communicating your ability to deliver a wanted benefit to an audience that’s told you it wants that benefit.
  • Selling happens when your marketing efforts have been successful, you’ve built a reputation for quality and trust with your desired audience and they indicate they’re ready to buy or, at least, have a conversation about buying.

That develops a more customized back ‘n’ forth between you, the seller, and your prospective buyer; you have an opportunity to learn and address their very specific desires, needs and objections.

Ultimately, successful selling is when there is a transaction that both parties are happy with: your customer believes s/he has purchased something that will deliver higher value than what s/he paid for it. You believe you were paid a price that not only covers all your costs associated with creating, storing, promoting and delivering your product, it also delivers profit.

So, let’s talk a bit more about what may be your fear or aversion to selling; it could be manifested in many ways yet I’ve seen that there are two main ones. I know I already talked about this but, believe me, this is a huge obstacle that must be acknowledged, addressed and cured.

Another source of  fear may be in your concern about continuing to make your existing customers happy. Yet, if you start with the assumption that buying is based on expectation, then the way to make your existing customers even happier is to fulfill, or even exceed, their expectations and sell them more and more on a regular basis, perhaps more of the same product or more products that fulfill their desires and solve their problems.

And the more they buy and are satisfied, the more they will recommend you (to make their friends think they are smart and to endear their friends to them more closely).

Those two manifestations of this barrier to sales (your dislike of selling and your fear of doing what you don't know how to do well) represent millions and millions of missed dollars. Maybe not for one small business, but when they all come together, when you consider how many ambitious, quality-producing business owners are held back by fear, billions are at stake.

So, the solution is to answer this question: How do you overcome what you don't know and dislike about marketing and personal selling?

Here's an easy way ...
You take paper and pencil, each morning and every night, and write the following 5 short sentences:

  • I like marketing.
  • I like to sell.
  • I'm a great salesperson.
  • I have a great product.
  • People love to buy from me

And so, repeat that 20 times, however much it fits on the paper. Read it all over again, to further enhance the effect. Then in the evening you take the same paper and write it all on the other side. So, again you read aloud at bedtime.

And so, for 30 days, every day. You're building a new habit by re-framing a set of beliefs you don't deserve, don't serve you and certainly don't serve your customers. Why would you want to believe you dislike marketing/sales? Why deny your sales skills or the benefits your customers enjoy?

And remember this, too: everyday, someone has a problem for which you have the right solution. To withhold it is a crime; to let them know about it is a gift. And that will happen through effective marketing.

See what happens. Try 30 days with paper of and these simple sentences until it enters your subconscious.

A  bunch of ideas for marketing and sales will come to mind in those 30 days, and people will start buying more…automatically. Because you will radiate positive sales energy.

What would it look like in our example of a hair salon?

Say I go once a month to get a haircut. It's a 45-minute opportunity for the stylist to reinforce the value of the salon by giving me 45 minutes of total attention. And ATTENTION is getting more expensive every day. Who else is paying attention to me for more than a few minutes who doesn't love me

So, nearly an hour of total attention.

During that time, maybe the stylist can sell me some gel (although I don't use it, but s/he could sell me an idea… ”try it, this doesn't even look like a gel, it's actually wax that strengthens your hair root". Or some attractive barrettes with “use these when you want to try an updo”. Or root lift: “here's a look I'll try on you with this product; if you like it, tell me; it's much cheaper here in the salon.

And I trust Mike, so I would try one of his recommendations and then, I’d continue to sell for him, almost unconsciously the next time I see my friends, especially when they tell me how great my hair looks. Just from several good visits to the salon, I feel I know him.

People buy from those they know, trust, and like. This is the only reason why “branding” ads produce results because when you go into the store or online to look for something, and 50 times you have heard or seen an advertisement, you will sooner choose that brand because you have HEARD of it, maybe from that ad or maybe through a friend’s good experience. Because it feels like it’s less unknown, less of a purchase risk.

So, you are going to buy from someone you know about, even if not well, than from someone you know nothing about. The less unknown it is, the less dangerous and risky is your choice to use this product.

Back to Mike the hair dresser and how he could easily achieve powerful word of mouth marketing results: He might ask me which salon my friends use, so, to persuade someone to go to him he’ll give me several special vouchers for friends to whom I can gift a "Haircut or Blow Out” ... so that I can do something for my friends as an introduction to Mike’s salon. Win-win for everyone. Who doesn't love gifts?

This is the opposite of the kind of coupon that reads: “bring 5 friends and YOU will get a free haircut [or insert your own product or service here]”. That is totally counterproductive. Because with this kind of offer, I will promote Mike’s Salon only by promoting for my own interest. Instead of gifting my friends, I try to get them to do something that will primarily reward me (for example, with a haircut).

We are not talking here about some aggressive marketing for a bad product, which only attracts people once and cannot keep them. We are talking about people whose small business  operates solely on recommendation (meaning they provide a high quality product), and how their business, through marketing, can be CATAPULTED into fast growth with more customers which, in turn, leads to higher volume per customer. Eventually, the existing customers will try more products or services because they’ve had a good experience.

catapult your business by using world of mouth marketing

Photo by Fab Lentz on Unsplash

Now, you know your customers best and what else they might want and what you can sell them. So, I'm not going to list ideas for add-on (sometimes called 'line extenders') or new products or services now.

OK, back to...

 "word of mouth" marketing


A recommendation is strongest with a new customer at the beginning of their relationship with a provider.

Think about your own buying experience: When you buy a product, you are happiest THAT DAY and immediately afterwards, using the product and discovering the real impact it has, reinforcing your good decision to buy it.

Then you start talking about it… then everyone will notice. "Hey, have you got a new haircut? Something different? "..."Well, yeah, I went to Mike’s, he urged me to try a new product ... I loved what it did to my hair! It was worth the little bit extra I paid... here, he gave me this coupon, go try it, your first haircut is completely free, but you have to use it by X date. ”

Without the coupon I might have recommended my friend go to Mike’s but she would have no strong motive to do so when she’s ready for her next cut. Without that special offer of a "first haircut totally free," she would have no motive to take risks.

However, with the voucher or coupon added to my recommendation, it is risk-free to my friend. My motive is to do something nice for my friend – the coupon offers nothing in particular for me as a result of my friend going to see Mike.

Think about this: Why do people buy gifts for each other? Whether it is material or emotional giving, it doesn't matter. It's nice to give, and especially nice to give what we know will please the other person. (And, by the way, this is critical in effective marketing, too: you always want to offer what your customer truly wants, not what you want to give.) Good karma is spreading. Back to Mike’s coupon: Maybe my friend will use it to get her hair cut for free and never go back.

SO WHAT?? What has Mike lost? Nothing!

In fact, Mike’s learned something: It’s a test; if it doesn’t work, the next one will or he’ll try another offer or technique to increase world of mouth success.

Remember: If you are not ready to lose, you are not ready to win either. And believe me, you can’t be a successful entrepreneur without accepting risk!

So let’s say you give out 10 coupons and 5 out of 10 never use this gift of “free money.” But 5 of them do use it and, of those 5, 3 will become long-term clients (because Mike really is good!). And, over time, as they become regular customers, they’ll start referring new business to Mike (or you), either with a coupon or just because they want their friends to get a great hair styling experience. It will never be a “total loss.”

You see, those who have received a free haircut (or whatever you are willing to give up in expectation of gaining a new and long-term client) will feel they owe you something. They will, therefore, return, regularly, religiously (if you are still providing a good product), and that's not all. Although they’ll pay for the next haircut, they will still feel like they owe Mike that one haircut, for the great feeling Mike provided – he made them feel great about how they look.

They will recommend Mike louder than someone who does not feel obligated ; leave a positive comment on the fan page, add likes, write a good review on Yelp, etc. He will have multiple benefits and so will you when you employ this strategy; especially (and this is important) if you remember to ask!

Customers who feel they got an especially great deal from you will be happy to repay that if you’ll just guide them to how they can now do something nice for you.

Ask for written testimonials, likes, referrals, reviews, even getting a video testimonial with your phone while they’re still in the shop is not out of the question. As in all business decisions, it’s your job to show your customer how to take the next step; we’ll talk a lot more about this when we talk about using a ‘Call to Action’.

In any case ... It is essential that the recommendation is captured as soon as they’re feeling that first excitement after using your product. Now, of course, not every product or service will have you in the room to capture their kind comments so you may send a survey to ask about their recent experience with you; another way to get feedback, testimonials or anopportunity to improve!

Their pleasure and experience must be FRESH when you ask. A product or service your customers are happy with and use as routine will no longer produce that ‘wow!’ feeling. Their delight over the surprise of having such a positive response to a purchase simply declines over time as it becomes the expected experience.

Later on, an existing customer will only recommend if someone explicitly asks “eh, where are you doing differently? You look great!”… Eventually, no one asks because people get used to seeing… your new shirt, car, watch, hairstyle, website, phone, nails, logo.

So if I put on a blue wig everyone will ask "where did you get it, how much did you pay, etc." when they first see me. The next time, no one is asking, so there is no more opportunity for my recommendation unless I start the topic myself. So the chances to deliver a recommendation (and for you to get the referral) are less and less over time, to the point where they no longer exist.

Therefore, for word of mouth marketing to really work nicely and consistently, it is essential that you generate a lot of first, really happy customers; a CONSTANT influx of new people through some other channel. Because only in this way will there be a constant influx of first-time people based on the likelihood of new recommendations.

If more new people are coming to you through other channels, then you can launch the real power of getting the recommendations that will bring in even more; this is a 1-2 punch, using the results of your primary marketing actions to generate secondary (yet equally important) new business through referrals.

Hardly anyone talks about this yet, without a constant flow of new business, it’s extremely hard to cash in on the benefit of word of mouth marketing!

And here's the EASY way to ask for recommendations without actually having to say a word: Get a ‘Like’ or ‘Share’ on your Facebook page.

I like having a Facebook page; people who believe in the value of their product will create a fan page to share that joy with the world and help people be happy by buying their great products ... And then when I like Mike's, the hair salon can then be advertised to MY FRIENDS who, when they find its Facebook page, will see that I like it.

So if they want to get their hair cut there, they will call and ask… because they will have automatic confidence, based on the “quiet” recommendation of a friend who is already a “fan”. And trust is the core of sales. Without trust, it's hard to sell. People buy from those they like, whom they know and trust. And ‘LIKE’ is like getting 3 benefits in 1. Because I’ll then give a recommendation to someone who most likely knows and trusts me. It's like Magic!

facebook is a modern world of mouth

Photo by Alex Haney on Unsplash

That's why, to improve the power of word of mouth marketing AND bring in more first-time customers, the second step is to have at least SOME presence on the Internet, and the easiest way for most small businesses is to have a fan page on Facebook. The next step is a website if you don't have one yet.

So, in conclusion, now that I’ve shown you how to get over your dislike of selling and promoting (remember – you’re delivering a gift or solution to someone who’s actively been looking for you!) and I’ve helped you see the power of word of mouth marketing for growth, it’s time to put these powerful mindsets into action and build your business by recognizing how invaluable your products and services are to your customers and potential customers.

Happy Marketing!

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