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How to grow your business for free (almost)

One thing about business owners, myself included, is that we’re always looking for ways to grow.

​Not just grow our business, that goes without saying, but grow without spending a lot of money. It’s a challenge, but we think we have the answer…

How to grow your business for free (almost)

Focus on creating advocates

It’s that simple. The secret to growing your business, with minimum spend, is to create advocates. Let’s dive in a bit deeper…

A recent study by the Boston Consulting Group revealed that advocacy is 81% more effective at increasing top-line revenue than any other promotional strategy.

81% - that's a number which got our attention.

Advocates are people with a high level of trust in your organisation, who’ve had really great experiences.

What’s even better, advocates go out and tell other people about you, your brand and what you’re offering, creating more clients with a high level of trust.

To grow your business for as little as possible, you need to invest time and effort in creating advocates. To start with, you need to understand what your current clients think about you, right now.

This happens through customer testimonials

Asking clients how you did is a vital part of checking if your business is on the right track.

If you are looking to increase your website traffic, and generate new and quality leads, testimonials are a great way of helping new clients make the right buying decision – ie choose you.

After all, who would you trust - a company telling you how great they are OR a client who has experienced the service first hand?

Exactly.

So, when should you ask for a testimonial?

Before you ask for feedback from your clients, make sure you have delivered significant value. But don’t leave it too long after completing the work, either.

For an ongoing project, come up with a schedule for surveying clients; after milestones or when they start seeing results.

Want to learn how to turn customers into raving fans?

​Access our Customer Value Journey Execution Plan.

Here are six simple steps to help you gather valuable testimonials and attract more advocates

Step 1 - Incentives

Testimonials may be more beneficial to you than your client so it’s worth coming up with incentives that you can exchange for their time - perhaps entering them into a raffle for a free service or a free upgrade.

Step 2 - Outline the questions

To receive a useful testimonial, make sure that the questions you ask are specific to the client’s experience and prompt them to share a personal story – you need more than a simple answer.

For example:

What did you like the most about the experience?

Would you recommend it to your friends and why?

Step 3 - Create the survey

Don’t overwhelm your client by making the survey a complicated process. Keep it short and to the point with a few, specific questions. Position it as a friendly request and the client will want to give a testimonial, rather than treating it as a chore.

Step 4 - Send the survey

Make sure the client understands that taking part in the survey will benefit you and your business. No one wants to waste their time on surveys, which won’t make a difference.

Direct the request to the client, personally, mentioning something specific about their business. This will make them feel that you care and encourage them to be honest and open in their testimonial.

If they don’t reply, never spam them. This is annoying and may hinder your chances of a good review, if they do get around to completing the survey.

Step 5 - Review

Take the time to sort through and review all the answers that you have received.

Learn from any negative responses. You may even be able to turn an unhappy client into a brand promoter (see the Customer Value Journey) by taking time to resolve any issues or complaints.

Step 6 - Follow up

Once your client has submitted the survey, and you have reviewed and resolved any issues, follow up to make sure you can use the testimonial on your website and promotional materials.

Give your client the opportunity to revise or edit their response so that they are happy for it to be posted.

So, there you have it. Follow these six simple steps and you’ll have valuable testimonials that you can use to improve your business and attract more advocates.

How to grow your business for free (almost)

Which are the best online review sites for the property sector?

Online review sites are increasingly popular. Google’s MyBusiness and Trustpilot are just a couple but there are plenty of ways to share reviews or testimonials online, whether you know a reliable handyperson or an excellent estate agent.

But which property-related online review sites should you trust?

Estate and letting agents

As well as government bodies, such as the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team, there are plenty of websites to rate or review estate and letting agents.

Sites including referenceline.com, ​viewagents.co​m and AllAgents.co.uk give customers the opportunity to share their thoughts on the service they have received.

Mortgages

There are many websites offering reviews and ratings of the various mortgage providers. Sites such as moneyfacts.co.uk or moneysavingexpert.com and which.co.uk can provide insight to help you make an informed decision about the best provider for you.

Conveyancing

Conveyancing firms have been reluctant to engage with online reviews, but sites have started to appear such as Really-moving.com, conveyancingindex.co.uk and localconveyancingdirect.co.uk are just a few.

Removals

There are plenty of online review sites for the removals industry, including removalreviews.co.uk and comparemymove.com. You can also find information on the website of the removals industry trade body the British Association of Removers - bar.co.uk, which has their recommended and accredited removal companies.

​Got a question?

​Want to discuss how we can help you grow your business?


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