Small businesses should market and advertise all the time. Now, that may sound unrealistic with a shoe string or no string budget BUT it can be done by utilizing one very tried and tested method: word of mouth.
Can you really successfully market your business by just spreading the word? Well, yes and no. Before we get to that, let’s talk about what you should actually be spreading: Client testimonials.
Client testimonials are short statements made by clients about how great you are in order to promote your business. They are not just for big business and cost nothing. Start by asking your top customers if they would be interested in saying something nice about your business; 99% of the time, people will say yes. Ask them if it’s OK to share what they say about you. I found that most clients would rather have you write something that they approve. How amazing is that? This way you can craft the message and fast track it – just remember not to go overboard. Sure, you want to promote your biz but you want to keep it real. Speaking of keeping it real, make sure people know that those clients are “real people” and not a made up individual or entity. Include the name of the person, his or her title, the company s/he belongs to.
Now, you didn’t go through all that trouble getting those testimonials just to make you feel good about yourself. The next thing you want to do is to start using them. This is where the word-of-mouth method I was talking about earlier comes in.
Get those client testimonials out!
- Create one sheets – marketing pieces printed on 8 1/2 x 11 paper.
- Post them on FaceBook & LinkedIn.
- Do a Twitter post.
- Use them in your newsletters.
- Send out email blasts.
- Make signs and hang them in your store.
- Publish them on your website.
Do whatever you need to get those testimonials out. Click here for some great examples of client testimonials.
Always bear in mind the “keeping it real” motto we talked about earlier. A good reputation that spreads through “word of mouth” is backed up by the credibility of the person talking about you. Link to the website with the person/institution’s name or (even better) their bio – just an extra thing to let people know that you just didn’t ask your mom or your sibling to write them.
Get out there and start using this very effective tool. Ask as many customers as possible and rotate using them. Let me know how it’s going and what is working for you.