Marketing. Everyone’s favorite, right? There can be such a love-hate relationship with marketing, especially as entrepreneurs and small business owners. That’s why today I want us to talk about how to get more leads through word of mouth marketing. Word of mouth marketing takes a lot of the leg work off of you (yes please), is free (more yes), and is the number one most trusted form of advertising (hell yes).
5 WAYS TO INCREASE WORD OF MOUTH LEADS
So, word of mouth marketing is like the holy grail of marketing, but how do you really build that up so you don’t have to do as much costly, time-consuming marketing?
- Vendor Relationships – We went over all things vendor relationships in the last blog post, so I won’t go into a ton of detail on this one. But the biggest takeaway when it comes to vendor relationships and word of mouth marketing is to be sure you’re making genuine connections and keeping your interactions positive and professional. The more someone enjoys working with you, the more likely they are to refer you. And vendor referrals are pure gold because they’re coming from a super trusted resource for potential clients.
- Client Experience – Providing the best client experience possible is the name of the game. It’s also one of the most effective ways to get word of mouth leads. When you make an impact and stand out with your clients, they’re more likely to tell their friends and family about you. Here are a few simple ways to make leave an impression with your clients:
- Communicate – Communication is key. Be proactive and send them helpful information before any shoot and before the big day, make sure you’re answering all of their questions, and let them know how excited you are. It’s better to over communicate than under communicate. We never want our clients to feel like another invoice number and that all we plan to do is show up somewhere with a camera for a few hours. Making them feel like you’re going above and beyond and that they’re your top priority is a nearly full proof way to keep your name in their mouth.
- Give a gift – This doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant. A simple handwritten note that you slip in their card box at the reception can go such a long way. It shows them that you care for them, you’re appreciative of them, and you enjoyed your time with them. It makes them feel like more than “just a client.” Small gestures leave big impressions.
- Meet their expectations – I know you’re probably like “well duh” but sometimes we might not even realize that we’re not meeting expectations because we don’t know what their expectations are. This goes back to communication, but making sure that you’re learning about your clients, their stories, and what’s important to them is a great way to make sure that in the end, they feel like you read their mind. Creating a personal engagement questionnaire is a great place to start with this type of communication.
- Connect with Family and Friends – This is somewhat two fold, but connecting with your clients’ family and friends during the reception is a great way to boost potential word of mouth leads. Their friends and family feel special that you’re photographing them and getting to know them. Which means they might tell a newly engaged person in their life “oh hey, I was just at so-and-so’s wedding and their photographer was so involved and wonderful!” On the flipside, your clients will love seeing their friends and family having a blast in their wedding photos. That’s just another moment you captured that will put a smile on their face and make them feel like you were truly invested in capturing every memory possible for them. That’s the type of thing that has them mentioning you to their friends.
- Show Your Gratitude – When you see that someone (be it a current or past client, a vendor, or a fellow photog) has shared your business or your work, don’t be afraid to thank them! This can be as big or small as you’re comfortable with. You could comment on their Instagram post and just thank them for tagging you or send a little thank you note in the mail. If it’s an existing or previous client, you could even go as far as to mail them a small print with a note saying “I saw you post this photo and thought you may want to have one for a frame in your home.” Gratitude does not go unnoticed, and we should always aim to make a genuine impression.
- Stay in Touch – Try to stay at the forefront of clients’ minds. Send them an email or handwritten note on their anniversary, send a card at the holidays, anything. Finding meaningful ways to keep in touch with clients after their gallery has been delivered is not only another way to boost client experience, but you’ll also be fresh on their mind so they’ll hopefully mention your name as a result.
These are all things that you’re either already doing in your business or could probably easily add to your process. And the best part is, they’re are all free, meaningful ways to work on marketing your business that take less time than constantly creating and running ads.
If you’re really looking to up your leads through word of mouth, come join a killer group of photogs over in Psyched Society. There are some templates you can snag that can help you turn even some of your uncomfortable client interactions into positive outcomes that lead to word of mouth referrals.