4 Ways to Land Referrals

As small business owners, we constantly strive for growth – both personally and professionally. When it comes to the latter, there are few things more powerful and valuable than the almighty referral. But, unless you are a popular celebrity or professional sports athlete (which most of us aren’t!), neither growth nor referrals happen overnight.

They require constant attention to detail, strategy and action to produce results, and while it’s easy to neglect them or put them off with all the other distractions and disruptions in our lives, doing so will keep you from reaching your true potential and succeeding.

So, here are 4 ways to land referrals that our team at Sound Business Services has found particularly helpful:

#1: Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Referrals

Like that unpaid invoice, we are sometimes hesitant to ask a client to do something, afraid that it might put them out of their comfort zone or strike a nerve and lead to a backlash. When it comes to landing referrals, this is a big no no!

Landing referrals takes action and strategy. You must be willing to ask your customers for referrals to grow your business. More than you think would be happy to do so, and all you have to do is ask!

Start with the customers you feel are most loyal and valued, as they will be the most likely to go to bat for you. They’re also the people who will show others the difference you have made for their businesses and in their lives.

#2: Have a Value Proposition 

When it comes to attracting prospects and landing referrals, you must have a value proposition. In other words, you must be able to lay out what differentiates you and your business. Whether it’s a certain niche, the quality and delivery of your product or service, the performance of your staff, or a combination of all these things and more, your audience must be able to connect with you and be motivated to choose you.

If any of these areas are lacking, and your value proposition isn’t clear and compelling, your prospects and even customers will likely shop elsewhere, as the competition is fierce and they can find what they want anywhere, any time.

#3: Market, Market, Market! 

Grabbing the attention of prospects and customers requires a strategic marketing effort. At SBS, we consistently work on this, and while it does require a big investment in time (and some money), it will be worth it if you go about it the right way!

For us, it meant first building a website that was both eye appealing and informative. As the foundation of what we do, we knew that the website had to keep our audience on the page and interested in learning more. That’s why design and content are both so important, and if either is lacking, the site could keep you from growth and referral success.

In developing your website, it’s vital to offer a menu of services. Not everyone knows exactly what you do, and that even includes your referral sources/current customers. Providing this menu not only shows prospects what you offer and how you can help them, but also lets existing customers know everything you do in case they want to expand their business and dive into all the services you offer.

As you know, we also have a blog and a monthly newsletter. Like the website, we’ve found these to be excellent vehicles for reaching, and connecting with, customers and prospects. It’s the combination of these three things, along with other strategies, that yield the results you are looking for.

#4: Rely on Your Staff

As small business owners, we must be great leaders, and that means accepting the fact that we can’t do everything and be everywhere at once. Therefore, we must be willing to delegate.

Finding and landing referrals is a perfect time for delegation. While you must also work hard to get referrals and establish connections, it’s truly a team effort. So, don’t be afraid to appoint some staff to work on landing referrals. These folks can personally go out of their way to connect with certain referral sources and prospects, perhaps checking in with them on a regular basis and even highlighting and discussing significant events in their lives. It’s all about going the extra mile and showing how much you care and value them.

Let us Know How we Can Help!

As you can see, landing referrals is a constant challenge, but one that you must be willing to take on if you want to grow and reach untapped potential.

This list is by no means everything you can do to land referrals, but I hope it’s a good start. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us today! We are more than happy to discuss strategies for landing referrals and helping implement them.

The Facebook Business Page: A Hidden Gem for Business Growth

For many of us, social media for business always meant one thing: LinkedIn. I was in the same boat, until recently – when I discovered the Facebook business page.

As you may know, we recently launched our own SBS Facebook Business Page. Some of you have already visited and liked our page, and we even have a review. Thanks so much for your support! The page will be a platform for us to provide content that we feel is meaningful to you and your businesses. In taking on this endeavor, I’ve learned a lot … and am still learning!

Here are some tips and a-ha moments we discovered when we put our page together; I hope you’ll find the tips meaningful and perhaps it will kick start your own page to grow and reach your untapped potential.

Hire a Professional Social Media Marketing Expert 

I’ll be the first to admit that social media is not my forte. But, even if it was, I highly recommend finding and hiring a professional social media marketing expert. The reality is that unless you do it for a living, there is a big gap between what you know and what the experts know.

You may think you’ve mastered your personal page and all the tools at your disposal, but a Facebook business page is another thing entirely. And, when it comes to your business, it’s much more important to cover all your bases and have a smart strategy.

However, we only realized just how important this was when we engaged an expert. He truly took us on a transformational journey, researching the competition, honing in on our messaging, and providing content that can drive growth and showcase what we do. If you want his name for a referral, send me an email and I’ll give it to you.

Build it Twofold

A Facebook business page must be cross-pollination: growing your business while helping your clients. This should be an extension of what you strive for every day.

So, in everything you post, continue to touch on the services and solutions you provide, and how they help your clients or customers. Messaging is so important, and your social media expert should have a grasp on exactly what to say and do.

Your Banner

Your banner is at the top of your Facebook page, and naturally what everyone’s eyes will gravitate to, so it must catch and keep their attention. This is where brand recognition is so vital.

Your banner is essentially a representation of you and your business. As you can see in our banner above, we have our logo and name, our message or slogan at the top, and a picture showcasing how we work and how accessible we strive to be for you. The banner is a simple, yet powerful way to showcase what you do, trying to captivate the audience and keep them on your page. Remember, our attention spans are very low, and our lives are often so busy, so this is always a challenge.

Post Strategy

In our journey, we learned that posts are all about content, and for a Facebook business page, that means accompanying each post with a video or picture. This will attract the most viewers, and it’s your best shot at igniting engagement.

A “like” is good, but a comment or question is great! It shows your audience truly cares. When they do comment, make sure you and your team provides a timely response, but only respond if you have something meaningful to say. A simple “Thanks” or “like” won’t suffice. Provide some in-depth thought. A few sentences are fine – it shows how much you value the time they took to engage with you.

Attain High-Res Images for Your Image Library

When it comes to the images you choose, they need to be high-res at 300 dpi or higher, and you’ll want to start building these in your image library. It’s simple to figure out what “high-res” means; is your image fuzzy? If so, it probably isn’t high-res. The reason you’ll want a better image is for reputation management – every decision you make is a representation of you and your business, and your customers will take notice. So, if you have out of focus, unprofessional-looking photos, it will not only turn them off, but also show that you’re not serious about your page.

So, invest some money into your images and buy them from a reputable image site, or, in many cases, you can find good ones on royalty-free sites such as Pexels. Also, note there are two types of images: “cover” and “status update” images. The ones for the cover are sized differently than the status update images, so watch the finished sizes carefully. What you want to avoid is cutting off someone’s head because the image is more horizontal than square.

Pursue Paid Facebook Ads

As small business owners, we must be very careful with how we spend our money. But, if I told you that you could spend very little to reach a very large crowd, wouldn’t you be on board?

Well, that’s a reality with paid Facebook business ads. We discovered that for as little as $7.50, a Facebook ad reached more than 4,000 inquiries for one business professional. What a return! So, discuss this strategy with your social media expert, and start to see the foot traffic get heavier – and hopefully result in more business. After all, that’s the big goal!

Don’t Hesitate to Reach Out to us!

There’s so much more to creating the page than I could talk about here, so feel free to reach out to us today with any comments or questions.

We welcome any feedback on the page as well, and would love for it to be a platform for our community to get to know each other and develop long-lasting relationships. As always, we are so grateful for the trust you place in us, and we strive to keep delivering you solutions to take your businesses to the next level.