Succeeding in the freelance world can be challenging, but there are many useful tactics and resources to help those who have leaped.
In today’s blog, we are going to be examining how client referrals can breathe life into your freelance business, and what you can do to acquire them.
Client referrals cost nothing!
It costs nothing to ask for a referral except a few moments of your time. Not only is this method the most budget-friendly for your small business, but this small gesture packs a mighty punch when it comes to bringing in new business.
Expert Opinion: According to the New York Times, “65% of new business comes from referrals.”
Customer acquisition costs can get in the way of business growth, but bringing in clients by way of free referrals can help scale back your marketing overhead costs. Once you have established a way to harness the customer referral business, it will keep building.
You could even choose to eventually establish a reward program for your existing clients for referring new clients!
Client referrals work on built trust
Trust is one of the most important things between you and your clients. Building a relationship and doing good work is the most powerful organic marketing there is, and a way to establish this trust.
‘’Great work speaks for itself and establishes a foundation of client trust on which you can continue to build’’
This doesn’t, of course, mean you can’t ask your clients who have given positive feedback to leave a positive review or refer other customers right away.
But think of trust as a two-way street. It must be earned before asking a client to trust you enough to stick their neck out by referring to other people or businesses to you, as it is their reputation on the line too.
Referrals go both ways
Reciprocity has proven to be a very effective business strategy, “I scratch your back, you scratch mine.” This applies to growing referrals for your business as well.
You can start this exchange by following your clients on social media, engaging with and understanding their business, and then referring others to your clients. Even LinkedIn should be used for opportunities to network and exchange referrals.
The bottom line is…
If you’re a freelancer looking to expand your business, there’s a good chance you can’t afford NOT to make referrals your go-to marketing strategy. Think of referrals as your secret weapon on the path to success.
Committing to these concepts and actions for a few years can and will help incentivize your clients and colleagues to spread your good reputation and fantastic services for free, in turn allowing you to build more relationships and expand your business even further.