84% of people say they trust recommendations from someone they know (source: Nielsen – Under the Influence: consumer trust in advertising). This makes referral marketing one of the best ways to generate more leads and get more business.
What is referral marketing?
Referral marketing is a type of marketing activity which promotes your products or services through word-of-mouth, usually, recommendations from friends, peers, or clients. It is a low-cost marketing method which develops business opportunities and builds a strong network of like-minded people, in the hope that these relationships turn into business referrals.
For professional services – such as accountants, lawyers, coaches, consultants, independent financial advisors (IFAs) – referral marketing has a tighter definition and can be used strategically as part of your overall marketing plan. Building a network of trusted professionals in other industries can enhance the service you provide for your clients and strengthen client relationships.
For example, if you are an IFA and have a client who needs legal services, you can refer them to your trusted lawyer/solicitor. The client is then well served by having reduced worries about finding someone reliable, whilst your referred lawyer/solicitor is happy to gain a new client.
How can referral marketing help your professional services business?
You may wonder what the benefit would be for your business? By referring your client to your trusted professional, that person will later think of you, and hopefully refer them to you, when they too have a client with needs outside their own capabilities.
Referral marketing improves your credibility. Hearing about your business from someone else immediately inspires trust and increases social proof. Any positive comments about you – or your business – act as social proof. It makes your business more trustworthy in the eye of the potential customer and carries more weight than advertising your services yourself.
Referral marketing acts as a natural filter to reach your target audience. Clients who come from referrals tend to be people who heard about you from a trusted source; or have been referred to you by people who think they would benefit from your services. This will make them more inclined to buy from you – and help close deals faster than ever before.
How can you get started with referral marketing?
Let’s take a look at the two most popular referral marketing methods: Networking and LinkedIn.
Networking is indispensable. It helps develop business opportunities and build a strong network of like-minded people, in the hope that these relationships turn into business referrals. The more you network, the more you create visibility for your business, and build your reputation and credibility, with the added advantage of recommendations and personal introduction.
It is vital to do some research before choosing a networking group and some preparation before the meeting. Having a plan in place is necessary to save yourself from wasting precious time and effort and to make the most of the business opportunities presented to you.
LinkedIn is the most powerful social media platform for connecting with other professionals. It helps you build a comprehensive business profile, displaying your skills and recommendations.
It is a great way to connect with other businesses or stay in touch with previous colleagues or past clients. By engaging with and/or recommending other reputable local business, they will return the favour, leading to more business referrals and business growth.
If you need help to get started, we currently offer a 2-hour course for individuals and teams. Our LinkedIn training course is provided either remotely or face to face. The first hour concentrates on optimising your personal profile and, if relevant, your company page. The second hour teaches you about how to use LinkedIn strategically for your lead generation, marketing, or personal requirements.
Who are we?
At Kings Hill Marketing, we help small and medium-sized companies with their marketing needs.
Big companies have marketing teams to help them succeed. We believe that your business, whatever the size, should have access to the same proven marketing methods used by those large companies.
We provide a unique mix of over three decades of financial and marketing expertise which enables us to take your marketing one step further and focus on your marketing strategy.
We can put a referral marketing strategy in place to help your team/organisation get the best growth possible.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to know more about our services.