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Referrals. They’re one of the budget-friendliest, easiest ways to grow any type of business. Positive word-of-mouth and happy clients can work wonders for a service-based business especially. However…actuallygettingthose referrals can be tough.
You can get more client referrals without being too pushy, too awkward, or (honestly) too desperate. Oh, and you don’t have to log hours and hours of extra work to get those referrals, either. Here’s how!
Do you have a few current clients you really love working with? (Not that you play favorites or anything!) You might have a solid professional relationship or even friendship with them. You trust each other and enjoy working with each other. They’re basically your dream clients.
Start with these clients when seeking referrals. Because they trust you and are satisfied with your work, they’re more likely to refer your biz to others. We bet they’ll genuinely hype up your products or services, too.
Speaking of current clients, are you showing them appreciation for their business? We don’t necessarily mean sending client gifts — although that’s one way to provide a great client experience.
Small, everyday acts of appreciation like sending a thank you email or promoting one of their offers on social media don’t even cost money. Happy to be working with an awesome client? Let them know!
Okay, so sometimes a little reward can do way more than a token of gratitude. There’s nothing wrong with that. Why not incentivize your current clients to refer others to you?
There’s no need to set up a complicated loyalty program or anything. You can simply offer a discount off of future work or an add-on service to a client who sends a referral your way. Or, you might give clients gift cards to Amazon or Starbucks per referral. It’s up to you!
How many times have you abandoned your online shopping cart or clicked away from a website because it took too long to do what you wanted to do? You may not realize it, but having a complicated or annoying referral process may be turning some of your current clients away. Remember, they’re as busy as you are, so make it easy for them.
Send them an email template that they can fill out. You can also create a Google Form or separate contact page on your website that lets visitors send you referrals. Remove as many roadblocks as possible so you can start reeling in new clients.
Don’t forget the power of social media when it comes to getting client referrals! You should already be somewhat active on your social media channels for your business. Remember to check your DMs frequently and respond to messages as they come in. It’s easy to miss a message from someone you’re not friends with or following.
You can also look for specialized groups or pages dedicated to referrals or networking. LinkedIn is a handy tool for referrals, but you can also find referral groups on Meetup or Facebook.
Reviews, whether they’re positive or negative, give you a chance to improve on what you’re doing. They also show your clients that you take their feedback seriously.
When you receive a client review — you’re asking for them every time, right? — thank the client for sharing their thoughts. Let them know you value your opinion. If you get a rave review, ask for a referral then! There’s a good chance they’ll be glad to point others your way.
This is one of the easiest (and admittedly, scariest) ways to get more client referrals. Be direct and simply ask your clients for them! You can ask in person, in Slack, in an email…it’s totally up to you.
Just make sure you’re asking the right person at the right time. You wouldn’t ask a boss for a raise after you majorly goofed on a project, would you? The same goes for asking for a referral. Ask a client who’s happy with your work, preferably after you’ve hit a big milestone in your project together or after you deliver the final product.
Try one of these tips or try them all; there’s no “best” or “right” way to get client referrals for your business. You might find some strategies work really well for you and others don’t. That’s totally okay! What matters is that you’reaskingfor those referrals, whether directly or indirectly.
Of course, once you do get those sweet, sweet referrals in your inbox, what comes next? What if they’re just not turning into sales…and you’re getting ghosted?
We can help. Our Clients On Tap® course will teach you everything you need to know about booking clients. No more wasting hours and hours on marketing tactics that you’re never sure are working. With Clients On Tap®, you’ll have clients lining up to work with you in no time.
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