The Power of Referrals
Before the digital age, advertising your business was very simple. Put an ad in the paper, print some flyers and, if you’ve got the budget advertise on radio or TV. It has become a lot more complicated recently.
Facebook, email, Google Plus, Instagram etc. etc. etc. Unless you’re and expert on advertising, it becomes very difficult for a small business owner to figure out what options suit them best. And opinions vary that much with the experts it becomes very difficult to determine quality advice from straight out pitch.
And the time spent trying to figure it out, makes it even more daunting given time is better spent honing your professional skills. But there’s no point being the most skilled and knowledgeable professional out there if people don’t know about you, let alone come and see you.
I confess that I am terrible at advertising and PR (having been told so by many advisers over the years). I just don’t think to ask for a testimonial from a happy client, or take photos of a situation or scene promoting my business, and I am especially uncomfortable with self-promotion. I am more focussed on getting better outcomes for clients and learning to offer better services.
However, I have learned a couple of things over many years of trying to work out what form of advertising my services and business works best. It has taken a lot of time and money, however I am starting to feel more comfortable with what options work.
There are a few options, and all of them have to with people getting to know me and getting a greater understanding of what I do. Not the technical details (and I often get in trouble for getting way too technical and long winded),More to do with my story (how I got to where I am and what motivates me), and what my services can do for potential clients.
I have found that writing regular blogs gives people a better feel for my services. Or video. And, it seems Google loves blogs, and especially video.
Also, I do regular free talks at the local Wholefoods store (Surfcoast Wholefoods) and these have always worked very well – even if only one or two turn up.
But, as has always been the case for many, or most businesses, referrals are number one. By far. Despite the myriad of variety of advertising options and technology sources for this, referrals from people you know and trust has always stayed the greatest provider of new business for so many business types.
As a result, it is time that I spend a little less time learning and commit some more time to writing regular newsletters, understanding that being out of sight also leads to being out of mind. In doing so I am putting out a request to my old and current clients for referrals.
If, in receiving these newsletters you remember to refer my services to a friend, colleague or client, then I would be very appreciative. I know it is difficult to read all of the emails that you receive, so I will commit to writing only one newsletter per month, so as not to inundate you.
I have linked my home page and the bio for anyone who I haven’t seen for some time. Despite being in Torquay most of the time now, I still work in Melbourne and most of my work can be done online via Skype (or phone) nowadays, so the clinic can come to you. This is an option many clients are taking up nowadays and, in my experience, it is no less effective than in person.