Word of Mouth Advertising

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I have more than the occasional conversation with bookkeepers regarding attracting new clients.  When I ask what marketing they do, more often than not I'm met with the response “I get most of my clients from word of mouth”

I am often taken aback by this, but sadly no longer surprised.  It’s one of the most common responses to my question.

Do they mean that they have a strategic approach to obtaining referrals? Do they mean that they actively engage with their clients and encourage them to tell their own network? Unfortunately not.  

Most of the time, when a bookkeeper says these words to me what I actually hear is “I do no marketing at all.  I make absolutely no effort to consistently attract the right people to my business. Instead, I rely on hope and blind luck”

Word of mouth advertising is nice to supplement other methods, and it’s something you should actively encourage, but it should never be your only source.

It is very difficult to ensure a consistent flow of the right type of clients into your business if you are reliant on your current clients telling their contacts. Quite often this produces hunger and bursts of new clients.  

More often than not, they are not your ideal clients. If you insist on using this as your only form of marketing you need to take control of it.  You need to put in place a system for your clients to refer others, and to tell their contacts about you the way you would want that delivered.

When you rely on others to find new clients for you, you need to be in control of the messages they put out.  You need to be focused on who you're looking for. You need to find ways to make it a consistent flow.

Word of mouth advertising is a great, free, way to get new clients but only when you use it as part of a strategic approach.  It's not enough to use it in order to abdicate your responsibility for building your practice.

Do you have a strategy, or are you overly reliant on luck? 

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