Word of mouth marketing. It’s like the Holy Grail of marketing.
Every entrepreneur talks about it. Dreams about it.
And why wouldn’t we? We just sit back and relax while clients and customers just naturally flow to us, without our having to lift a finger.
It’s possible, right?
I mean, we hear stories from other business owners and entrepreneurs who dismissively say “Oh, my only marketing is word-of-mouth.” And we’re left either feeling bad, because we haven’t cracked the code yet to do the same, OR we secretly think that person is lying to us. (Or at the very least, not sharing the full story.)
It’s like the unicorn of marketing.
It’s clear why it’s so desirable, but why the heck is it so elusive?
In my opinion, it’s because it’s misunderstood.
Before I get ahead of myself, let’s first cover what word of mouth marketing really is.
Basically, it’s when your customers, clients, and buyers tell their friends and families about your books, products, or services. It works extremely well, because we’re more likely to believe people we personally know when they tell us that they loved working with a business or person far more than we’re willing to believe claims from the business itself, or from people we don’t know.
It practically feels magical when it works, because prospects seek us out, predisposed to buy our books, products, and services. In a lot of ways, it mirrors what happens when a piece of content we created goes “viral,” getting in front of many new prospects, without any extra effort from us.
However, I would argue that word of mouth marketing is also very different than a piece of content going viral. It’s also something that’s far more in your control than you may imagine.
Below are three myths that may be preventing you from actually harnessing the power of word of mouth marketing, so it can start to work for you.
Myth #1–You can’t control it. (It just happens.)
Word of mouth marketing is dependent on your clients and customers telling other people about you. But, you can’t control what they say or don’t say.
It’s like having a video or a Facebook post go suddenly viral, bringing you a ton of new prospects. How do you make something go viral? There’s no rhyme or reason to it, right? It just happens!
Well, while it’s true you can’t control what people say or don’t say, it’s actually NOT true that you have no control over word of mouth marketing. There are most definitely things you can put in place in your business to make it more likely that you’ll not only start to see it start working but also enjoy the benefits.
In fact, I would go so far as to say there is a system you can put into place to actually harness the power of word of mouth marketing. (More on this in Part 2).
Myth #2–You don’t have to do any work. (It just happens.)
Consider that viral video again. Once it’s out there, it takes on a life of its own, and all you need to do is strap up and enjoy the ride.
In the case of word of mouth marketing, that’s actually not true. You see, the reason why your ideal customers, clients, and buyers are singing your praises to the sky, telling their friends and family about you is because they had a good experience with your offerings … which means those new prospects will arrive with certain expectations.
So, not only did it take some work to give your clients, customers, and buyers a good experience in the first place, you’ll also need to continue creating that good experience to satisfy your new prospects.
It’s not as easy as “set and forget.” It’s carefully cultivating the experiences your customers, clients, and buyers will have with your business.
Myth #3–Only ”lucky” entrepreneurs and business owners are able to enjoy word of mouth marketing. (After all, it just happens, right?)
At this point, you’re likely sensing a theme here, in these myths.
Word of mouth marketing is something that just happens. You have no control–you’re either lucky or not-so-lucky.
Believe it or not, word of mouth marketing is actually far more in your control than you might have realized. It’s less about luck and more about having a system—one that has you taking regular action steps that will eventually result in you having a steady stream of ideal prospects coming into your business who can’t wait to work with you.
Best yet, it’s even possible to create a plan to increase your word of mouth marketing. (I share the details in this post.)
And if you’d like more tips on online marketing, you may want to check out my Love-Based Online Marketing book–you can grab your copy here.