Word of mouth is without question one of the most powerful forms of marketing. The problem is that many practitioners rely almost exclusively on referrals, and the harsh truth is that they just aren’t getting enough of them to grow at the rate that they desire.
While I’m a proponent of having a multi-tiered marketing approach to build your business, you definitely should do whatever it takes to get more referrals. We all know that asking for referrals can feel awkward and uncomfortable. The problem is that we do have to ask for our clients to send us their friends and family, or else we will always be frustrated by how few referrals we are getting.
Even if we DO ask, that’s certainly not a guarantee that our clients will passionately spread the word about our services, or that the people they rave to you about will actually pick up the phone and call you to schedule. In fact, I’m sure you’ve already come up against the frustration of hearing clients say, “I told so many people about you!”, and not receiving one phone call from said people.
So, we have a potentially glaring problem here. If your business is largely built from word of mouth, yet you don’t feel comfortable asking for referrals, or you do, but you’re still not getting enough of them, what should you do? Let me say this again: This is an enormous problem for all service-based businesses… and a major reason why they struggle.
The best way to get more referrals is through email. This is the least invasive, most convenient way to get your clients to share what you do with people they know. Anytime a client is satisfied with your care, it’s your duty to reach out to them and leverage their network of people to keep the client machine cranking. When you use the power of email, you don’t have to feel weird about doing this, as you’re simply sending your client a short email asking them to share your services with people that they know.
The email you send should have a link to a specific page on your website just for people being referred to your practice. On that page, you can have a welcome video, testimonials, opt in form, and some basic copy that welcomes them to your practice and tells them what the first step is in working with you. Your satisfied clients will send this link to people they know who would be a good fit for your services. This will only take them a few seconds and they can do it anytime, rather than having to wait to have a conversation with that person and trying to dig your business card out of their purse or wallet.
Online technology has completely revolutionized the way that we all need to be marketing our private practices. This is just one small example of how you can be innovative in your marketing and position yourself in the top 5% who are innovative in the way they position themselves.
Remember– just because most practitioners are struggling or getting mediocre results in their practice doesn’t mean that you have to as well. You have an enormous amount of power to create the ideal practice that you have always envisioned. Don’t settle for less than you deserve! Be a pioneer in your field– both in your clinical work and the way you get visibility for your business. I’m here to help you with the latter. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you!