How to get client referrals that pay off

17 Mar 2023

Account Management

Darcy Hutchinson

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When done right, client referrals can make up a huge portion of your lead generation strategies. Whilst classic ways such as word of mouth are super effective, online marketing methods are a proactive way to generate leads. Whether you offer SEO, social media, or PPC services, it’s incredibly useful to encourage positive client referrals. Continue on for our advice on how to get client referrals that will grow your business. 

Offer rewards for referrals

It can be difficult to know how to ask for client referrals, which is why offering rewards can make things a little less awkward. Referrals can offer certain benefits in return, such as discounts, merchandise, vouchers, or other perks. This not only incentivises clients to refer you, but it also makes the referral process seem less like a one-sided deal. By offering rewards for referrals, it’s a win-win situation for both you and the client, keeping both parties happy. 

Partner up

Are there any other services that compliment the ones you provide? If so, a partnership with two-way referrals can generate you lots of high value leads. For example, an SEO agency could partner with a website development service if this isn’t something they provide. Your partner should be a service provider that complements the work you do, and obviously won’t steal business from you. Not only will you receive referrals from the partner company, but their customers also make up a whole new group of people who can refer you to interested parties. 

Be unique

A client referral can be as simple as a happy customer recommending an effective and reliable SEO agency. But sometimes, potential leads may want to know why they should choose you over other agencies. If an existing client knows that you provide unique services that can’t be accessed elsewhere, they will take pride in recommending you to a professional relationship. When you produce unique and impressive results, your work will speak for itself, and clients will be much more inclined to brag about the amazing services they’re getting.

Go above and beyond

It’s important to remember that when asking for client referrals, they are doing you a favour. So, it’s essential that you keep clients consistently pleased with your services, and put 110% into getting them incredible results. Clients appreciate when you go above and beyond for them, strengthening your relationship and acting as a helpful client retention strategy. If you regularly over-deliver, or present clients with outstanding work, they will be more likely to want to help you out in return. 

LinkedIn networking

LinkedIn is a valuable tool for generating client referrals, so brands should take advantage of this networking opportunity. Add all clients as connections on LinkedIn and tag them in posts when relevant, but don’t annoy them by spamming their feed. Engaging with clients’ LinkedIn content will land you on their connections’ feeds, increasing your exposure to potential leads. You can also leverage LinkedIn by looking at your clients’ connections and finding relevant companies that may be interested in your services. This gives you a specific person or company to ask clients to refer you to, which can make the process much simpler.

If you don’t think your LinkedIn activity is quite up to scratch, our guide about how to improve your LinkedIn presence can be of help. Tips such as posting images and checking your notifications are small changes that increase your chances of getting client referrals through LinkedIn.

Keep clients engaged

Don’t let clients forget about you and all the amazing work you do! Keep clients engaged through regular updates and meetings where necessary, or even by sending out a newsletter to all of your clients. This goes for former clients too; leaving on a positive note and maintaining past relationships can lead to them referring you to others who can benefit from your services. 

Make referrals quick and easy

Your clients are probably very busy people, so they may not want to spend their valuable time drafting a long referral. If your referral process seems long-winded to clients, they may be discouraged from doing it. To remedy this issue, draft a template for clients to quickly fill in and send to a referral. Whether you have a potential client in mind or simply want them to pass you on to relevant connections, a template will speed up the process. A template can be as simple as:

‘Dear “referral”, I would like to introduce you to TAL Agency. I have worked alongside them for X years and think that a collaboration with them could be great for your company’s digital marketing efforts. I hope you can get to know each other. Regards, “client”.’

This is just an example; feel free to adapt whichever tone of voice or writing style that will best suit your clients and industry. You may also want to be more detailed and specific, depending on the information you would like clients to pass on about your business.

Deciding how to ask for client referrals can be tricky business, but hopefully this advice makes the process a little easier. If you’re looking for more ways to grow your business, why not try a digital marketing agency? Contact us to learn more ways that we can help you reach more customers.

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