Marketing doesn’t have to be scary or time consuming. When you do a little something every day, at the end of the year, you will have gained more treats than you ever thought possible when you were operating without a marketing plan.
Take the Randomness Out of Your Marketing
Building a sustainable system will make it easy for you to repeat your actions and get predictable results. Here are some ideas for you to put into action:
One easy thing you can do right now is to review your list of contacts. Does someone on your list stand out as a”Golden Goose” in that they have given you one or more profitable referrals in the past month, quarter, or year? Maybe you can identify several top referral sources.
Take the names of these valued associates and do something for them that they will appreciate. It can be unexpected. Why not might send flowers or a book on gardening to the avid gardener who has seeded your business garden? You might send movie tickets to the film buff. Maybe there is a vendor on your list that you could use and purchase your gifts from them (increasing your goodwill on several fronts at the same time.)
Make a commitment to show your appreciation every month. Implement a plan to reward the people who have helped you. When you do this, you will accomplish three things:
1. Show your appreciation
2. Encourage them to send new referrals to you.
3. Remind people about you and your services
Turn Your Practice into a System
Follow these steps and you will have an easy system that supports you:
1. Set a reminder in your calendar for the same day each month when you will review the activity of your referral partners.
2. Track referrals received in your accounting program or on paper.
3. Purchase gifts in advance and have them ready for giving on your designated monthly date.
4. Review your list of referrals and pick the ones you wish to reward each month.
5. Deliver your rewards.
6. If you have a monthly newsletter you might mention your rewards program for referrals to encourage others to join in promotion efforts on your behalf.
7. If possible, get a photo of your surprised referral partner to post on your website and social media channels.
Rewards That Matter
Your reward program is a small investment that is likely to yield big results.
You can buy gifts or gift cards all at one time. It is easy to purchase them at the grocery store or online, and often when you buy more than one at a time, you get a more for your money.
Some popular gift and gift card ideas that fit most people are:
- A card for your favorite coffee house
- A spa treatment
- Movie tickets
- A subscription to a magazine
- A credit for photo processing
- An Amazon gift card
- Fun socks
- Personal Services
The possibilities for rewards are as endless as the variety of the interests of your referral partners. Just ask them what they love and you will know what they will appreciate.
Add Your Brand
Your gift can be made more exclusive and special when you include your brand. For instance, I work with fabulous custom embroidery company in Sonoma, Monnich Embroidery. Monnich counts Pixar, Disney, Sears Point Raceway, among their clients, and they work with small businesses and sole proprietors too. The quality of their work is impressive. We digitized my husband’s logo (which I designed). We have had it embroidered on t-shirts, dress shirts, aprons, and fleece vests. Clients began asking for shirts and aprons of their own with the GLB logo after seeing us wear our GLB architects logo clothing.
I digitized the logo for The Bay Area Independent Publishers Association and had it applied to tote bags and aprons. We used the tote bags as gifts for our speakers and as thank you’s to my Board of Directors. The aprons were made up to identify volunteers from our group at various trade events and have been well received.
Give a reward that is beautiful, practical, unexpected, and treasured, especially if it also has your branding emblazoned on it, and you have show appreciation, strengthen your relationship with the person you are rewarding, and as an added benefit, you are promoting your brand to everyone in the circle of influence of the person upon whom you bestow the gift.
Enjoy this treat. Remember, you make marketing magic when you brew up a system and use it!