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Partners Drive Small Business Referrals: Creating Customers

By: Ryan Kettler


For a long time, small business have faced a seemingly insurmountable challenge, constantly looking for the answer to the golden question:

Where and How do you acquire new business?
In a 2014 study by Gallup and Wells Fargo during Q1, attracting customers, targeting business opportunities and finding work or new business was the top challenge among US small-business owners, cited by 21% of respondents.
The next closest challenges, including those related to costs and the government, trailed by at least 10 percentage points. That just goes to show how challenging finding new customers really is for small businesses. Does that sound like you? Are you having the same challenges?
What can you do as a small business owner to acquire more business?
Marketing is how you can attract more business—and you need to change how you do your marketing. First off, you need to stop working alone when it comes to marketing your business. DIY just doesn’t work. You waste your time, can’t properly build your audience, and can’t sustain it for very long.
Instead, you need to leverage the power of your best partners and their audiences! Start working together. It’s a lot easier to get more done and grow your business. Working together using co-marketing is your best course of action. That’s the whole point, there is no “I” in “Team.” Everyone is working together for the betterment of the group, not the just the individual.
What marketing tactics grab your prospects’ attention?
According to March 2014 polling by Huzzah Media, friend referrals were the marketing tool US small businesses saw the most success with, with more than half of respondents saying so. Everyone needs friends referring people to their business because people trust their friends’ opinions.
That’s exactly what co-marketing can do for your small business. Think of it as a referral engine that builds momentum as you create more and more partner(friend)ships.
When you find a co-marketing partner and they publish one of your articles on their website and link back to your own website, that’s their way of telling every single one of their audience members (and the search engines too!) that they trust you. They find your content valuable enough to publish it on their site, give you credit for it, and promote it amongst their own audience. That’s powerful stuff.
That’s the same thing as word-of-mouth referrals, but it’s all done online, and it’s way more beneficial and impactful in the long run! Why? Because that piece of content is always going to refer people to your website as long as it remains live, so people will continue flowing in as long as the content remains relevant and useful.
That’s the main benefit and awesome power of evergreen content. Think about it, there’s no way you could place an advertisement for your small business on a sign that’s viewed by thousands of qualified people every day/week and not have to continuously pay for it. It’s free advertisement.
And those referrals don’t just bring about marketing success—they generate revenues as well. That Word-of-mouth was the second-best source of revenues according to US small businesses surveyed by Huzzah Media was likely why respondents saw friend recommendations as so successful.
This article was originally published by BoostSuite
Published: May 19, 2014

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Ryan Kettler

Ryan Kettler is Director of Communications for BoostSuite. Ryan is a sports fanatic, devoted runner, avid golfer, beer connoisseur, Internet marketing zealot and live music enthusiast. When he’s not helping BoostSuite customers he can be found running 5ks, sampling IPAs, and cheering on his North Carolina State Wolfpack. BoostSuite is a web marketing optimization product for small business owners. Unlike current products that bewilder and discourage small business owners, BoostSuite allows novice web marketers to build more website traffic and convert more online visitors into customers and leads for their businesses. BoostSuite is free and takes only one minute to set up, is easy to learn, and can be used by anyone.

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