7 Ways To Increase Word of Mouth Referrals

Word of mouth marketing is the most powerful way to grow your small business, not to mention it’s absolutely free! Keep in mind, increasing your word of mouth referrals takes time, but the return on investment will be far worth the effort.

Shatter expectations

It may sound simple, but in order to benefit from effective word of mouth marketing, you need an exceptionally happy customer – meaning you’ll need to do more than provide top-notch customer service. Go above and beyond your customers’ expectations and really take the time to get to know them. The better you understand your clients, the better you can solve their problems.

Ask for testimonials

Testimonials provide relatable proof, letting your potential clients know that you have a history of providing excellent work. It shows that they can trust you; but for a testimonial to really work, it needs to say much more than “great job!” A perfect testimonial should describe the reason why the client chose to work with you.

Having trouble finding the right time to ask for a testimonial? Although most of us understand the importance of testimonials, I still meet many people who are uncomfortable asking for them.

Here are some perfect times to ask:

  • You successfully deliver a product on time.
  • They’ve achieved successful results through your work.
  • They express that they’re happy with your work.
  • They thank you profusely using ALL CAPS and !!!!

Referral campaigns

Asking for a referral is a little like asking for money. In both cases, timing is everything. This should come after you’ve completed a project and have developed a positive relationship with your customer.

Just ask

Sometimes, all you need to do to encourage a referral is to simply ask for one. Make it super easy for your clients to refer you by providing all of your impressive talking points in a shareable form. This will include your product/service list, contact information, relevant links and, to go the extra mile, you can mail them a few of your business cards. Most importantly, make sure you individually thank each client for every referral they send your way.

Reward referrals

The best customer referral programs are those that benefit both the referrer and the referee. These types of programs are more likely to encourage your clients to talk to their friends. Most customers want a monetary gift, such as a discount on future services, gift cards to a favorite coffee spot or cash.

Say thank you

This is your chance to communicate the excitement and gratitude you feel towards your client after completing a job well done. Try to think outside the box and take a more personalized approach to thanking them for their business. You can do something simple, like send a $5 Starbucks gift card on twitter using tweet a coffee. Or, if you’re old school like me, you can mail them a handwritten thank you note.

Engage on social media

Businesses that stay active on Twitter and Facebook are more likely to have positive review ratings from customers. So, rather than just posting about you, have one-on-one engagements with your followers and make them feel included in your community. Communicate with your most loyal customers and build real friendships. This will keep your audience interested in your brand and have you gaining new clients in no time.

Create shareable content

The easiest way to get the word out about your services and skills is to write informative blog posts that people are compelled to share. With each post you need to provide information that’s useful, and be sure to include a “Share” button so your readers can spread the word to their friends.

Can’t figure out what to blog about? A great free tool to use is Social Crawlytics. You simply enter the domain of a popular publication, and in a few hours this tool will find out what content has been the most shared. Pretty slick right?

Let’s partner up!

Let’s start a trend of mutual referrals that can grow and benefit both you and your clients.

If you’re an awesome graphic designer, SEO specialist, web developer, printer or marketer, then I want to get to know your business and what makes you awesome. Join my network and I’ll recommend your services to my clients and followers who are interested in hiring someone in your field.

Refer my hand lettering services for branding, marketing or custom gifts to your friends and clients, and you’ll receive a 5% commision for every person who gets on my paid client roster as a special thank you from me to you.


  1. Shatter expectations and provide top notch customer service!
  2. Ask for testimonials at the perfect times.
  3. Start a referral campaign and create a reward system.
  4. Say thank you in a special way to your clients.
  5. Create shareable content that people are compelled to share.
  6. Engage on social media and create a close community with your followers.
  7. Join my network to earn $50 for every paid referral you send my way.

When you really get down to it, word-of-mouth marketing is about the emotional connection you build with your customers. My hope is that you’ve enjoyed this guide and that you’ll share it with just one friend whose business could use it.

As always, if you have any questions relating to this article, feel free to comment below or email me directly at dina@lettershoppe.com

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