It’s a known fact that the shortest route to new clients often time is through people who already know, like and trust you. Referrals by far are the simplest and fastest way to achieve this. Think about it the last movie you saw or a decision you made to try one restaurant over another one.
Chances are someone you knew, liked and trusted raved about the film or restaurant and their enthusiasm influenced your decision, right? So in today’s lesson I will show you several simple and low-cost ways you can acquire new clients for a minimal investment of time and money.
ASK: Start with the people who already know, like and trust you and then ask them for referrals. For example, did you photograph your nephew’s birthday party? Take portraits of your neighbor’s kids or pets? Ask if they know anyone they can recommend to you. Even your favorite neighborhood restaurant can be a source of referrals let’s say if you have a passion for food photography.
Quick Tip: People don’t like to be sold to, but they love to buy from people they know, like and trust.
Thoughtfully approach everyone you know, siblings, parents, coworkers and friends and when you exhaust those resources (but don’t be a pest) ask them for referrals and remember everyone is a potential source.
You could build your business solely on referrals and word-of-mouth if you exercise this approach properly. Don’t ever forget that photography is a people business and people like to work with others that they enjoy being around period, so it never hurts to ask.
If you want to sweeten the pot consider offering a referral fee. Cash can be a tremendous motivator! If funds are tight for you at the moment (or you don’t wish to offer cash in exchange for referrals) you could offer additional services. Read the next section for more suggestions.
Quick Tip: People don’t like to be sold to, but they love to buy from people they know, like and trust. Once you start receiving new business this way, and if you keep your customers happy, all you need to do is rinse and repeat. In other words ask your referrals for referrals.
Additional Resources & Show Notes:
Referrals: Get New Clients Fast Checklist:
- Make a list of people who know, like and trust you.
- Schedule coffee or lunch dates to talk about your business and what you’re looking for with at least 3 people on your list and continue to do this every week until your calendar fills.
- Design a referral card that you can hand out to potential referral partners. Print services like MOO.com offer a creative selection of options to design interesting cards.
- Decide how you want to compensate your top producing referral partners.
- Draft a “warm letter” that you can send to supportive friends, family members or colleagues telling them about your business and that you appreciate referrals.
- Refer to the warm letter template I’ve provided for inspiration
- Another option is send out emails to colleagues and current and past clients asking for introductions to prospective clients.
- Refer to the email template I’ve provided for inspiration
- A warm letter is basically a personal letter you write to a friend telling what you’re up to in your business and what you’re looking for. The only difference is that you send this letter by snail mail or email to many people at once.
- Send your letter to a couple of friends to proof read make suggestions.
- Select or have designed personalized stationary that you could print your warm letter –or– you use email if you don’t have physical addresses.
- You can also use the stationary to send thank you notes to those who send you referrals.
- If you like to create custom postage branded with your image or logo for example check out Zazzle.com – http://www.zazzle.com/stamps
- Visit SendoutCards.com for thank you cards ideas and gift items.
- If you’d like an automated tool for tracking referrals and rewards check out: GetAmbassador.com, you can use the service to track and deliver everything from money to gift cards. It even integrates with WordPress and email marketing management services like MailChimp.
- For additional tips on how to effectively use Referral Marketing in your business check out this great article (7 Fun and Easy Ways to Get More Referrals) Marketing Coach James Roche.
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