I have a lot of friends in the freelancing world. That is why when we come together, we always remind each other to get referrals for everyone so all of us can get rich faster. Of course, that’s a little too casual, but nevertheless true. Some of them are really good at what they do, it’s just that they admit to struggling with the marketing and promotional part. So here’s an article that might help them.
We know that to actually have numerous clients knock on your door is a very challenging feat. In my line of business, Marketing, Events and PR, clients don’t just come to me, tell me what they want, get it from my store and leave the payment in my bank account like others online stores work as the online sheepskin store. No. Instead, we go through a process of consultations and brainstorming. Moreover, they don’t just go online or go through a phonebook and choose me from the myriad of (other) choices, instead, they consult with their colleagues, friends and family so they can get ample recommendations. That said, you know that getting clients is not just by going to events and handing out your business cards to people you meet. Instead, it is working through your network so the VIPs can refer potential projects. Also, remember that there is really no clear cut and fast way on how to get referrals. Here are the people that you might want to get in touch with again:
Your Circle of Influence
As a seasoned blogger, I always tell the newbie bloggers, those who come to me to ask for tips, that the most valuable thing that they have is their influence. Sure, a few pictures and a few hundred words can do wonders for a company or a service but what really gives every entry gravity is the writer’s influence. The good news is, even if you’re not a writer or a blogger, you still have your very own circle of influence! This pertains to a certain group of people who work in the complementary industries that you belong to. As an event organizer and a Marketing/ PR Consultant, the people I usually connect with are photographers, film makers, models, makeup artists, office secretaries, graphic artists and even musicians. Keep in mind that these people are most likely to be rubbing elbows with a lot of potential clients. So when they are asked by their clients who they should talk to in terms of events management, they’d be glad to recommend me to their clients. At the same time, it’s always good to reciprocate and send business their way too.
Surely you have kept a number of clients happy for the past few years/ months/ weeks that you have been in business. Happy clients will be more than glad to pass your contact information along to their friends, colleagues and family who might also be looking for whatever service it is that you’re offering. After all, it is just logical how trustworthy a satisfied client’s opinion is. What’s more, you get to extend your promotions by tapping into that client’s circle of influence as well. In the process, it’s like doubling yours.
Also, do not be embarrassed to actually ask them to recommend you to people who they think might be potential clients. Let them know that you’re in for more projects. Sometimes, some of them really like your service but they think you’re too busy to accept new business.
This is quite funny but I get a lot of referrals from my competitors. For example, I have friends in the business who cater to kiddie parties and kiddie parties alone. So when they get asked by their clients if they serve corporate events , PR projects or weddings, instead of disappointing their clients, they refer it to someone they trust—me. Sometimes, they tend to get overbooked so they have to pass it on to another supplier. At the same time, whenever I have bookings that fall on the same day and I think I won’t be able to handle both, I’d be glad to give it to them as well.
If your competitors ask for commission, do not hesitate to give it to them. Just agree on a certain percentage and do not compromise your income just because of that.
Always remember the people who gave you business. Surely a little freebie, a Christmas gift or a discount wouldn’t hurt your cash flow the next time you run into them. Make them think that every deal with you is a breezy walk in the park. This way, they’ll feel appreciated and who knows, one of them can just give you the break you’ve been waiting for.