Word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing there is.

I often advise my professional-service customers that they should concentrate on their current clients and internal processes (for example: how quickly they return calls, etc.) before setting out on more aggressive client-acquisition programs. The infographic below details a recent Forrester Research Inc. benchmark study that solidifies what we all know. Consumers trust first and foremost what their friends and colleagues recommend, by a wide margin. Professional and third-party reviews on sites like Yelp are second.

What does this study mean for professional-service marketing?

) Getting clients to act as ambassadors for us is more valuable than any sales-y advertising.

2) Getting active with your client newsletter and social media reinforces your relationships.

3) Use content marketing, tax-planning tips, and educational articles to improve your authority, and subsequently move up your website in search-engine results.

4) What your clients post on Yelp and other review sites can influence complete strangers. Yes, this means get more reviews on sites like Yelp, Facebook and Google Places.

5) Testimonials and the social Web are the modern-day word of mouth. “Likes” and “shares” increase your visibility and are more trustworthy.

6) Social media allows your influencers to spread the word for you.

7) There is no copy you could write that will ever ever seem as authentic and compelling as what your clients say.

So give these seven tips a try and let me know how it works. Please share your success stories.

  • Lee Reams II

  • I am a marketing junkie who has spent the last 20 years developing and executing "best in class" word-of-mouth marketing campaigns. With over 10,000 happy clients I think we are on to something. The explosion in web marketing and social media have redefined the way independent professionals market their practices. Follow my blog to see if you can take some of our actionable ideas to market your own practice.

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