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The power of referrals (The best way to get new clients)

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by gorang, May 23, 2011.

  1. gorang

    gorang Elite Member

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    One of the most important lessons i've learnt from my time at a small but very successful web design agency is that many of the successful businesses you encounter find their clients through referrals, not through cold sales.

    The best way to get clients is by knowing other business owners who might need your services. In two words, your reputation and contacts


    For example, I work with a very successful businessman who sells website rentals for florists. He currently has over 200 clients. He charges around £100-£300 per month for these websites. He designs and builds them, then he sells them to florists around England for the monthly fee. It is a good idea because florists don't want to spend £10,000 on a website. as you can see £100 x 200 clients = £20,000 per month.


    But the way he became so successful was by leveraging the top guy in the florist industry. The florist industry is a tight nit community and many take part in the Chelsea flower show(top show in the country for flower displays).


    The guy who runs the flower show is the British foundation of florists guy. He has connections to nearly all the florists in the country. So this businessmen spoke to the British foundation of florist guy and offered him the best website possible, trimmings and all for free. Everything for free, doesn't have to pay a thing and will bend over backwards for him.


    So now the guy is able to get a recommendation/referral from the British foundation of florists. As you can imagine, the florists trust the British florist association guy, so they will take the florist website rental guy very seriously now when he offers them a website.


    How I got into this is that I worked with one of the florist website rental guy's clients doing their SEO. I did it very well, got him to page one for terms like "buy flowers online"(hes not there anymore so no point looking!). I had been speaking to the website rental florist guy for a while about on-site changes and he eventually asked me if i'd be interested in looking at other florist's sites. His client had told him good things about me(referral!).


    So now we're putting together an SEO package to bolt onto his websites. Instant 200 clients at my fingertips. These things can go really quickly and you will find yourself with plenty of work.


    That is just the power of one referral, absolutely the most amazing way to get clients.


    If you have no connections then I suggest joining a local business networking group, they host events and you get to talk all about yourself and listen to others. I don't do it but it does work wonders.


    I'm not great at social interactions, but I know my shit and if someone asks me a question about SEO. I switch on like a robot and can talk their ears off.


    After I left my first web design agency I had really great work experience to place on my CV. The company I worked for was very very well known. I also pinched some of the proposals I had taken a look at while I was there which helped me put together a great case for my SEO skills/CV/own proposals(don't tell no one will you!
    [​IMG]).

    Then I looked up Google and sent my CV out to every web design agency I could find. I stated I had noticed their agency and had been watching for some time. I wanted to offer my freelance SEO services. The response was great because as soon as they saw their major competitor which I worked for they were really interested in me and why I left.


    I'm now working with a fantastic agency, slightly smaller than the last but they have a much better relationship with clients and are clearer about what they offer. Right now they outsource every SEO client they receive to me.


    They pay me less than they earn from the SEO contracts, this really helps them pay their bills for running the business as they get recurring income and they don't have to deal with any of the problems of running a respectful design agency and providing quality SEO. This is the main income I receive and the work I do is very good for them.


    If you really want to reach a lot of agencies or single companies looking for SEO then you can use scrapebox to harvest thousands of websites relating to a keyword. Then use the email grabber to harvest all the emails it finds on these website. Then put together a good proposal targeted at that niche and mass email the offer of SEO to them. I would use a PDF document as it is more professional.


    Two work colleagues of very high calibre have defected from the agency I worked for and contacted me. We are now working on a really big project which could set us up for life. I would love to tell you more about this but its going to be fantastic for us and it will work very well considering the skills/tools we have to make it work. Again, the power of referral and knowing people is incredible, it opens many doors.


    You need to find those networks or professionals and companies who would benefit from your work or know people who would benefit form your work. If you know someone who has a large clientèle or access to many businesses then give them free SEO and they will refer you to others.
     
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  2. Scripteen

    Scripteen Elite Member

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    That is well put together. The word of the mouth has always been the best marketing technique.
     
  3. thisismymp3

    thisismymp3 Power Member

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    yes i say it before and again word of mouth is the best advertising......made me bundle
     
  4. heartswild

    heartswild Newbie

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    best thank you is telling your friends. hold true in every form of business.
     
  5. MintM

    MintM Newbie

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    Agreed - referrals are SO the way to go. Essentially the whole current social media marketing buzz is based on this concept - it's being called "social proof" currently - haha!
    Another version of this that I'm setting up is paying (commission) referrals. I network with other business people who service the same type of clients as me, and pay them a percentage of any contract's signed - awesome!
     
  6. m0nster

    m0nster Senior Member

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    orange is the worst color on your eyes >< copied and pasted into a word doc to read lol. thanks OP
     
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  7. gorang

    gorang Elite Member

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    I'll start using a better colour like this...
     
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  8. blueplue

    blueplue Junior Member

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    Thank you for taking the time to write.
    and...
    Thank you again for inspire us.
    and...
    Thank you in advance for the question I am going to ask:

    How much do you get usually for those web design company outsource to you?
     
  9. gorang

    gorang Elite Member

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    I do a by keyword deal. I work specifically on 5 keywords each month. Usually £50 per keyword but for 5 I do $150.
     
  10. adbot

    adbot Power Member

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    Very true. I like your idea of using scrapebox, I hadnt thought of that one. Very clever. Thanks.

    you gotta up your prices though my friend. Your worth more than that. I have clients that pay $x,xxx for 1 keyword.
     
  11. blueplue

    blueplue Junior Member

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    3 word keyword or 1 word keyword?

    assuming I am the client for florist in victoria London.

    what kind of keyword would you suggest if i take for 5 keyword package?

    2nd question: are those pricing for guarantee result or monthly fee regardless whether it rank or not?
     
  12. NichePazloe

    NichePazloe Junior Member

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    Great Post! One of the best ways to get work is to GIVE SOMETHING FOR FREE! Do a great job and the referrals will pour in. Here is to your continued success!
     
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  13. xrzezz

    xrzezz Newbie

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    Great post. Really expounds upon how important networking is!
     
  14. GoogleAlchemist

    GoogleAlchemist Regular Member

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    Depends on the specific market and competition on what he can charge but yeah regardless of any of that , it still seems low.

    Inspiration post thank you, only thing I would like to point out is regarding your rec to use sbox harvester for emails in the market your going after. I did that before, had someone complain to my host and they contacted me saying its illegal according to can spam laws which could hit me with $1k per single email

    How do we work around this as it seems silly to me but I'm sure as hell not gonna do it and risk legal issues.
     
  15. mokshagarbatti

    mokshagarbatti Newbie

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