In all your marketing activity, keep in mind that clarity is not only vital to making you easy to buy, it’s vital to making you easy to refer. Word of mouth is still king when it comes to how consumers decide who to buy. Making it easy for your customers to talk about you is well worth your time.
The Easy Way to Make Yourself Referable
If you want referrals, you have to make yourself easy to refer. This starts with clear messaging. Once you have a clear, simple message people can grasp quickly and pass on to their friends easily, you’ve won half the battle. So let’s tackle the other half.
Let’s say you sell tea. Imagine one of your faithful customers is talking with a friend one day and that friend happens to mention how they’re always looking up the caffeine content of different teas. Your customer smiles knowingly and produces a little book, an attractive little book with nice binding, a lovely cover and a catchy title. It’s a basic tea guide with caffeine information for different types of tea. The friend’s problem is solved. They take the book, gleefully. And when they think of tea, they think of that little book.
What does this have to do with referrals? Imagine your tea company is the one that produced thousands of copies of that little book and you gave them freely to your current customers. When they pass a copy on to a friend and that friend picks it up, they’re reminded of your brand, your extensive knowledge and how awesome you were for giving away such a helpful resource in the first place. Even if your customer never even mentioned where they got the book, they’ve referred you.
Free resources you can hand out to your customers and referral partners are golden. Not only are you taking care of your customers and keeping them happy, you’re making it extremely easy—and very obvious—to refer your company to their friends, many of whom are likely to be your target market.
Business cards are fine, but nobody’s going to pass yours on unless they happen to hang onto business cards and their friend asks specifically if they know a company that does x. Helpful resources are more useful, more likely to come in handy and, if your customers know they can get another one for free, easy to give away.
Your customers will reach corners of the world your marketing will never touch. Let them be your ambassadors.
If you’re following content marketing, you know free stuff is a really big deal. People love free things, and they’re delighted by quality. Make sure your resource is both.
A book is a complex endeavor—that’s why it makes such a statement—but it’s not your only option. A simple card or one sheet with helpful information is fairly easy and inexpensive to produce. Or submit an article to a magazine, then buy a bunch of copies to give away when it’s published. What you produce is going to depend a lot on who you are, what you’re about and what your audience is into. Free t-shirts may go a long way with one crowd but not another.
The sky’s the limit, just keep quality and usefulness front and center in any resource you create. Take the time to make it high quality and bring in experts. If you write something, bring in an editor. If you create a visual piece, use an artist. If you publish a book, hire a designer and publish through a company that will create a book equal to those on display at your local bookstore.
Finally, no matter what you produce, make sure you imprint your company’s information on it. There’s nothing more disappointing than seeing an amazing resource and having no idea who created it.