I think that there are two fundamental approaches to generating more business: The first is to focus on making your existing clients insanely happy, so that they want to tell others about how much they love you; the second is to simply be a resource, or be helpful, to those who aren’t clients yet.
Here are 13 lucky ways to become so well loved that you turn into a referral generating machine:
1. Set a clear goal with a specific time line (e.g., 100 referrals in the next six months). You can’t get to Schenectady, NY without a map.
2. Be nice. Come on, it’s not hard. People refer people who treat them well, are approachable and likeable. Be that person.
3. When someone refers new business to you send them a hand-written “thank you” note and a coupon or gift card.
4. Monitor the social channels for specific keywords relevant to the DJ business. Be approachable, conversational, and helpful there. Engage, don’t sell.
5. Join LinkedIn groups related to your expertise and our industry, and build conversations with relevant individuals. Chime in when you have something to contribute, and be helpful with your advice, suggestions, opinions. Again: It’s about engaging, not selling.
6. Create a blog with content that helps your clients with a problem, or gives advice on a difficult situation, or walks them through a hard decision, or just takes the client’s point of view, generally. Be a resource, and don’t simply toot your own horn.
7. When someone comments on your blog, respond. Talk back. Thank them for participating with a follow-up email. This is a dead-simple thing, and something a lot of people don’t do.
8. Read other relevant blogs by fellow DJs (e.g., SCE Event Group, MMP Entertainment) and your would-be clients. Comment there, too.
9. Monitor Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for people saying nice things about you or your DJ service. Reach out and say “thank you” and then ask for referrals. BTW, if they’re not speaking well about you, apologize for any mistakes and make a compelling offer for a past client to give you another chance.
10. Add a “tell-a-friend” form on every page of your website that includes a special offer.
11. Include a small keepsake with every entertainment package you sell (e.g. a small clock with your company’s logo and phone number).
12. Create a mechanism to keep in touch with past clients such as cards from YouSendIt.com, an e-newsletter or a voice-transmission gadget known as a telephone. “Hello?”
13. Be generous in your business practices. Go the extra mile. Offer extra service or follow-up support as a routine way of doing business. This includes being generous with your own referrals.