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3 Keys to Harnessing the Power of Word of Mouth Advertising (And 1 Bonus Tip to Help Skyrocket Your Results!)

3 Keys to Harnessing the Power of Word of Mouth Advertising (And 1 Bonus Tip to Help Skyrocket Your Results!)

Raise your hand if you think word of mouth advertising (aka word of mouth marketing) is what you should be striving for as an entrepreneur/business owner.

It certainly feels like the most perfect form of marketing, doesn’t it? Your ideal clients, customers, and buyers just flow to you, without your having to make any effort at all, because your current happy clients are busy sending you referrals.

Alas, it’s not as simple as all of that (check out my 3 Myths about Word of Mouth Marketing That May Be Hurting Your Biz). BUT, it IS more under your control than you might imagine.

Below are three keys to harnessing the power of word of mouth advertising (and a bonus tip!)

1. Get crystal clear on your ideal client. Okay, so this one doesn’t seem terribly helpful at first glance. How is getting clear on your ideal client going to help other ideal clients start flocking to you?

Well, here’s a little secret about ideal clients—these are the clients who LOVE you and LOVE working with you (just like you LOVE working with them). Because they love you so much, they’re happy to sing your praises to the world. These are the clients who will happily share you with all their friends and associates.

These ideal, perfect clients are at the heart of your word of mouth advertising plan.

Now, contrast that with clients who aren’t ideal. These are the clients you struggle to work with, who you dread getting on the phone with. They also typically take 80% of your time (versus the ideal clients who take 20%).

Trust me when I say the feeling is mutual. They know you’re not ideal for them, either. They’re not feeling the love.

So, they are most definitely not going to tell the world about you. (And, if they did tell someone, it likely would not be a glowing review, but something far more tepid.)

(If you want to learn more about finding/getting super clear on your ideal client, here’s a post you can check out. You can also grab a copy of my Love-Based Copywriting Method book for even more on ideal clients.)

Bonus Tip: If you REALLY want to supercharge your word of mouth advertising plan, look for ideal clients who are also influencers.

Influencers are folks who already have a big following, and who will be happy to tell that following all about you. If that happens, you can get a big business boost that may last months or even years.

2. Become a master at your expertise. Again, this may sound like less-than-helpful advice, but think about it.

For people to rave about their experience with you, they need to actually have an experience worth raving about. Right?

So, the more you’ve mastered your expertise, the more likely it is you’ll be able to provide that amazing experience.

Your reputation matters. Nurture it. Focus on it. If people hear good things about you, they’ll be far more likely to invest in you.

3. Ask for referrals. Despite what you might believe, word of mouth advertising is not passive. It’s very much something you can control.

Actively pursue it. The best way to do that? You create a plan-of-action around asking for referrals.

Maybe you have a policy in place where you immediately reply back to a glowing client email, thanking him or her and asking his permission to use the email as a testimonial. This is a great time to also ask for referrals. Maybe you send an email to your client list asking if they know anyone who would be a good fit for your services, and if so, to please provide those people with your contact info. Or maybe you take it one step further and create a contest around it—give a prize, like an Amazon gift card or free coaching, to whoever sends you the most referrals.

It’s also a great idea to reward all referrals. Give a gift card, or a referral check. And let people know you value and appreciate them for helping you reach more people.

Lastly, keep in mind that as powerful as word of mouth advertising is, it’s just one piece of an overall marketing plan. If  you’d like help putting together a specific online marketing plan that’s unique to you and your business, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book.

3 Myths About Word of Mouth Marketing That May Be Hurting Your Business

3 Myths About Word of Mouth Marketing That May Be Hurting Your Business

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.

I’ll share more tips on how you can put that system together in my next post, so stay tuned!

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.