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Referrals, Reviews and Networking

The importance of connecting with your community.

By Abigail Thorpe

Paid advertising has its uses, but there are other marketing strategies that are entirely—or mostly—free that can go a long way in building your brand, and attracting and retaining customers. Reviews and referrals might just seem like one more extra step to focus on or option to add to your website, but the payback can be huge.

Research shows 92 percent of consumers trust a recommendation from people they know, and referrals influence up to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions. So not only is it important to have an option where people can review your business and products—and then share those reviews—it’s essential to create an experience or product that people can’t help but share.

How do you do this? Create a referral program where current customers are rewarded for referring their friends. This can be anything from a points program to a money back or free product promotion. But to make people want to share a product with their friends, you need to have something that stands out. Offer something that fills a unique need, or create shareable content that tells a story or drives an emotion. People will share what helps, inspires or delights them.

Beyond referrals and reviews to grow your business, an essential part of building your brand involves networking. This means networking with those in—and outside—your industry. Networking can help generate leads and new clients, but it also helps to build your brand and connects you with other business owners who can share their expertise or knowledge.

Make a point to join organizations, host meet and greets and attend conferences or events. You can even partner with like-minded businesses to cross-promote products, helping to drive sales and spread your brand. You may feel like you don’t have the time, or what time you have is better spent elsewhere, but you can’t put a number on the return networking can bring. It’s essential for the growth of your business, as well as your personal growth and wellbeing.

If you need help kickstarting your review and referral program, Rocket Fish Digital is here to help with everything from email campaigns, to creative storytelling and helping you connect with your customers. Reach out to one of our talented team members today.

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