Word of mouth advertising is centuries old and has gone a number of name make overs, such as: heard it through the grapevine, it came down the pipeline, and most recently, it’s gone viral. The bottom line is to get people talking about your product or offer, in the way that you want them to talk about your product or offer: positively.
Here are the five steps to jump start your offer and get people talking.
#1) Solve a problem. People love to help other people (or at least think they are helping) and if they think that they know something or someone that can solve a problem, they will talk about it.
For instance, a personal trainer solves a lot of problems, but what if, you solved a very specific problem… the “have no time” problem. What if you came up with the “no time offer” and you literally met your clients at their office, home, park, lunchtime or morning and provided them with your services at their easiest convenience. You have solved the problem for MILLIONS of people who can’t find the time to leave work, or leave the kids at home and go to the gym. THAT is the ultimate house calls. If you provided that service, I have a few people I would like to introduce you to!
I know a health coach that has actually provided this type of service. She is offering a subscription to her spin classes … at home! It’s crazy, but true and it’s awesome. You fire up your home stationary bike, and your iPad or kindle or laptop and connect and viola’ you are SPINNING!!!! Believe me it’s like being in the gym but being in the comfort of your home. PLUS she gives you access to older recording in case you miss the live one! You can check out her site at www.wellcared4body.com and tell her Wenda sent ya! J
#2) Free Offer. The one thing that people love more than “helping” other people or “fixing” problems for other people is telling them about great free offers. Your free offer is your opportunity to OVER deliver on your product and get your client coming back for me. This is your opportunity to win your clients over with your charm and expertise and get them coming back for more! AND because their experience was so easy and impressive they will start telling people.
For instance, a life coach may offer a free initial consultation. Many people don’t realize that coaches are not counselors or therapist, they aren’t in the business to FIX anything they are in the business to help individuals achieve. Each coach is different and many offer different programs, so having the opportunity to have a free consultation is helpful in determining if you and the coach hit it off! The issues with “coaching going viral” are more about the OFFER and how it sounds then the coaching itself. Too many people consider coaching a type of therapy, so your offer would have to solve a very common problem. Such as a free consultation on “How to organize your life” or “How to live stress free” or “How to find the perfect career” or “How to succeed at the business you love”.
True the audience for viral-ness of a workshop on starting a business you love may not be as wide as “the masses” however, it’s during this consultation that you remind your client or audience (if you are doing a group workshop) that you also coach individuals to solve a myriad of challenges. GET PEOPLE TALKING about how you can help them.
#3) Collect an email. I’m not suggesting for a second that you start a spam campaign, however I am absolutely suggesting that you get social. I am saying that you treat your client email list with respect and honesty, and that you email them with content that is enriching and timely. Take the opportunity to state a challenge, and solve it.
Think about it. Do you subscribe to anything? Coupons, organizational tips, … blogs? Have you read any blog posts lately (like say, one about word of mouth advertising… hint hint) that you think to yourself, “You know, so and so would probably like to read this, I’m going to forward him a copy”
That’s how it works. You solve a problem. People with challenges will come to you for assistance.
#4) Stay connected. We have always been a social people, I know that right now the word social is usually followed by the word “media” and is becoming more and more sinister and warped, and I suggest you remember what it meant 10 – 15 years ago, or even 100 years ago…from the beginning of time, we were never alone, we have always been social. Staying connected on a human level creates a trust and accessibility that as a provider of services and products you will need.
Realtors have known this for YEARS! I bought my house 6 years ago and I still get a Christmas card and small gift each year from Randi Bennett my realtor. She isn’t just reminding me that she’s there in case I need a realtor, she is reminding who she is. She is reminding me that she is the woman that drove me and my three children around as we looked for houses weekend after weekend after weekend. She is reminding me about the bond that was created 6 years ago and frankly, I would never go to another realtor.
#5) OVER DELIVER. I cannot stress this enough. It’s simple. When you give people MORE than what they feel they have paid for, not only will they continue to come to you, but they will tell EVERYONE that listens, how much you give. In fact, if you under deliver there’s a good chance that you will get negative “word of mouth”.
Recently I purchased a basic program and it was $100.00. It purported to be a basic program, however I made certain assumptions based on the price that I would be getting information that would not be easily found elsewhere for free. I was wrong. AND while I won’t use this blog post to provide negative comments about an online offer, I will say this… if you were in my circle of friends and interested in this topic, you would NOT be purchasing this offer.
If the offer had provided me with more information than I expected, EVERYONE AND THEIR NEIGHBORS would be hearing about the great deal!
In closing, keep in mind that almost everyone that has “gone viral” has been working at it for years. There is a perfect storm of base customers, unique problem solving offer and timing that fall into place and bring you more customers than you can imagine. Your challenge as an entrepreneur is to weather the calm days, the days where nothing seems to be happening.
Stay strong and make today AMAZING.
- Does word of mouth advertising still work? (ireport.cnn.com)
- Advertising By Word-of-Mouth – Online! (business2community.com)
- Word-of-mouth Advertising (adv2374sec2.wordpress.com)
- Social Media Marketing: Tricks To Boost Your Business (electronic-marketing-solutions.com)
- Lets Get Viral! (caseygrenet.wordpress.com)
- Word of mouth is the best Ad (mktg4250.wordpress.com)