Boost your client list through referrals

Clients. More specifically, finding clients is an uphill struggle that all businesses (not just freelance copywriters) face.

Feast to famine is the way business usually works. Sometimes, you’ll have more work than you can handle. Other times, there will be tumbleweed blowing through your office as you desperately hunt for new customers.

Of course, attracting new customers costs money, so you must find the most cost-effective way of finding them.

You have your website, email marketing, other online marketing strategies, but are they the most effective?


The most effective marketing tool you can have is a happy customer. Why? Because they become a brand ambassador and will tell their friends and colleagues about you – and that’s the cheapest and most effective form of marketing I know.

The problem now comes to how you can generate more referrals.

The best way is to give your customers something to shout about, and that comes down to good old-fashioned customer service and going that extra mile – something we small business owners are rather good at.

Focus on education

Educating your customers is one of the best ways to make yourself stand out from your competitors. We are all sponges, ready to absorb information that will help us with our everyday lives.

One way of becoming a great educator is to regularly blog and write articles to helps cement your reputation as an expert in your field.

However, it also has to become part of your company’s culture. Once you secure a new customer (or even a returning one), teach them about your product, show them how to get the most of it and make sure they know you’re there for any questions they may have.

You can do this by creating a video library of ‘how-to’ tips. How about a regular newsletter – not one that’s full of ‘buy me’ ads, but one that’s oozing useful information and advice. And of course, always make sure you’re available to talk on the phone or via email. There’s nothing more frustrating than having an issue but being unable to get a response.

Keep the conversation going

Once they buy from you, don’t sit back and think they’ll become a customer for life. Make sure you keep them informed about every stage of their order – when it will be received if there’s a delay tell them what the hold-up is and when they’ll get it.

Keep them in the loop about what’s happening in your business. If you’re bringing out a new model or a new product, tell them about it (that can go in the newsletter I mentioned earlier).

Going the extra mile

Your customers love surprises. It could be an unexpected gift, a little something extra in their order (it doesn’t have to be much, always send out a small bag of Haribo with all orders), perhaps a free sample of a new product you’re introducing. Whatever it is, it will bring a smile to your customers face and give them something to tell their friends about.

In the world of copywriting, you could throw in an extra round of revisions, offer suggestions about how your client’s marketing strategy could be improved. Perhaps even research a new outlet for their content that would generate them more business. The sky’s the limit.

Make sure you know what’s happening

Too many companies grab orders/enquiries, send them out and then forget about them.

Be different – follow up every order and enquiry to make sure your customer is happy. If they are, ask for a testimonial, if they’re not, find out what went wrong, put it right and send them a ‘thanks for letting us know and we’ve now put it right’ gift.

Even a simple handwritten ‘Thank you’ card with your order makes an impact.

None of these ideas cost the earth, and by making it part of your company’s culture, it will become second nature.

The result will be delighted customers who come back time and time again with their friends in tow. So, if you want a never-ending referral machine, start using these techniques and make your company stand out as a champion.

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