Graphic Designers: Grow your Business with Word of Mouth Marketing. Referrals have always been a great way for graphic designers to gain new customers. Now, B2B review websites are bringing these peer referrals and word-of-mouth recommendations online, creating new opportunities for firms and freelancers to easily promote their services.

Reviews really do influence buying decisions

Several studies confirm that peer recommendations influence business buyers’ decisions more than any other form of advertising. Some 90% of buyers trust peer reviews and 70% trust online reviews, according to the American Marketing Association. Meanwhile, only 15% of buyers say they trust traditional advertising.

It’s clear from the Base One B2B buyers report data (below) that word-of-mouth marketing, as well as online information sources and social media, are key influencers in the business buyers’ decision-making process.

b2b

Source: Base One Buyersphere Report, April 2010

The bottom line for your business is that word-of-mouth and online channels work together to bring you more business. For example: You ask a few of your best clients for testimonials, which are published on an online B2B vendor review site (more on this below). Then, you spread the word about the reviews by posting them to your:

  • own website
  • portfolios and other electronic collateral
  • e-mail auto-signature
  • Facebook and LinkedIn pages, Twitter feeds and other forms of social media

Business owners who are searching for a graphic designer will see your positive reviews when they browse B2B review sites, perform web searches, and see others talking about your business online. All of this activity leads them back to your website and increases the probability that a prospective client finds you.

And what if you don’t have any reviews online? Testimonials can mean the difference between gaining a new client or losing that client to a competitor. The good news is that it only takes a few minutes to request reviews from customers using a B2B online review site (see more on this below).

Third-party reviews help build trust

Put yourself in the state of mind of a business owner looking for a graphic designer they’ve not heard much about, in an industry they’re not overly familiar with. Confronted with a new name, they wonder, “Who is this person? Can I believe what they say? What do other people think?”

They can find genuine answers to these questions directly from your clients, via online reviews. People trust word-of-mouth recommendations far more than messages that come from your own marketing materials. Praise coming from a third party feels more authentic and credible.

You can be proactive about getting good reviews

Clients will review your company whether you ask them to or not. Why not embrace this fact and be proactive about soliciting feedback from your best clients? Not only does this approach significantly increase your odds of receiving positive reviews, but it also shows clients that you value their feedback.

Most online reviews are positive

Research by Keller Fay Group and Bazaarvoice dispels the myth that online reviews are the dumping ground for people’s complaints. In fact, the study found that 87 percent of online reviews are positive in tone, and that 79 percent of reviewers share their opinions in order to reward a company they like.

Reviews give you a platform to show off stellar customer service skills

If you do receive a poor review, it’s a great opportunity to leap into action and make things right. This might mean following up with an individual client who left negative feedback, or it could mean making larger changes to how you do business. The key is to demonstrate to your clients that you are committed to listening, responding, and improving.

Reviews help you get found by search engines

Search engines like Google will bring up your reviews when someone searches for your business’ name. They could also be displayed when someone uses specific terms like “graphic designer” or other words that describe the services you offer.

Client reviews are like free advertising

Word-of-mouth marketing is frequently free, and, therefore, is more cost-effective than traditional ads and yellow page listings. Listing your business on review sites usually costs little or nothing. On ChoiceVendor, for example, it’s free to both list your business and invite your clients to review your service.

Sounds good, but how do you get started?

5 Quick & Easy Ways to Use Word-of-Mouth Marketing to Grow your Business

1. Ask clients to review your business

Get your word-of-mouth marketing plan underway by asking a handful of clients to review your service online. Consider this free advertising that takes little effort to implement.

Make the process as simple and straightforward as possible by telling your clients exactly where you’d like them to post their review. ChoiceVendor offers a quick way for you to email clients directly and invite them to review your firm on the site. The review time itself takes less than 2 minutes.

2. Use your reviews to promote your business.

There are many ways to use reviews to promote and grow your business. In email communications with your existing and prospective clients, include a direct link to your reviews. Add the link to your e-mail auto-signature so that your reviews go out automatically. You should also include the link on your company’s web site and on promotional materials, including online portfolios, brochures, and business cards. If you’re using social media, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter pages, include your links there, as well. Adding these links helps would-be customers find you on the web when they’re looking for a graphic designer.

3. Make reviewing your business part of the buying process.

Every time a client makes a purchase, signs up for your service, or renews their contract, ask them for a review. Depending on your style of doing business, you could do this verbally, through a pop-up window on your website, at the bottom of an invoice, or via a follow-up email.

4. Reach out to your best clients.

It’s true that some online reviewers are looking for a public forum to air their dissatisfaction with a product or service – and they may be more motivated to write a review than someone who’s pleased. Give your best clients a gentle nudge to review your company. Most satisfied customers are happy to support a business they like!

5. Provide modest thanks to clients for reviews

Many clients will write reviews for you simply because they like you and want to spread the word about your business.  But some are busy. Offering a small token of appreciation, such as a discount on your product or services or a modestly-valued gift card, can go a long way in showing them you appreciate their time. Just tread carefully to make sure it’s clear you’re asking for an honest, unbiased review. And at minimum, follow up with a phone call or note of sincere thanks.

Now that you’ve gotten an overview of how to use word-of-mouth marketing to promote your business, visit ChoiceVendor to get started! For more useful business tips, please visit the ChoiceVendor Blog.

81 Comments

Digital Showcase
May 17, 2010 at 12:28 pm

I really enjoyed this post. Ill be sure to follow some of these steps just to see the change. :)

Brazil Business and Investments
May 17, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Great tips. I`ll talk about thi article to some people :-)

24/7 Live Reps
May 17, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Just what I was looking for to show some new clients in how social media is becoming “word of mouth” marketing. Thanks!

Syscl
May 17, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Our true nature maybe, we usually trust others review than self-review..
So now it’s just how smart our business could manage positive public opinion, thanks for remind us ;)

Outsource Web Design
May 18, 2010 at 12:07 am

Useful tips indeed. One more important thing for the WOM marketing is that response within 24 hrs. One can make it as the USP. It increases the faith and reliability over the web media.

Allen
May 18, 2010 at 2:21 am

Yes, word of mouth should be the best, rapid and effective spreading method, even online.

So hot the twitter and facebook are!

Folio Revolution
May 18, 2010 at 3:47 am

I agree that WOM marketing is probably the most effective source of marketing at the moment. People have become so hardened against regular forms of advertising, such as printed press adverts. We market our website exclusively via WOM and it is becoming very popular very quickly.

Rosti The Snowman
May 18, 2010 at 6:27 am

A really good read

thanks

Michael Hubbard
May 18, 2010 at 8:29 am

Really great article, I work in webdesign though, will go abuse Google and look for something like ChoiceVendor for webdesign now!

Bertrand
May 18, 2010 at 8:42 am

Nice… ad…? Seems a bit weird to me that companies now do blog posts on designers’ blogs…

Jordan Walker
May 18, 2010 at 9:56 am

Excellent points regarding generating referrals and other word of mouth distribution.

Craig
May 18, 2010 at 10:49 pm

Good stuff

Murlu
May 18, 2010 at 11:13 pm

In reality, it seems as if word-of-mouth has been the driving factor for nearly all of my activity with eCommerce and finding services within the last few years.

I think I, and I’m sure you can agree, that it’s much easier to trust a friend than blatant web copy on a page. Testimonials go a long way to help conversion because you know it’s not being thrown together by a marketing team; they’re talking your language and answering the same questions you’d have as a consumer.

Thanks for the data and numbers, very handy.

Gaurav
May 19, 2010 at 10:43 am

Quiet like the article..Wil help the newbies also…..

Danny Dyson
May 19, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Social Media is a great communication tool for spreading the word about almost anything! ie. my new blog: thedailyguitar.com :)

François Royer Mireault
May 19, 2010 at 11:03 pm

Awesome. I usually come here to read articles about design but this one was especially interesting. Thanks you.

ali
May 22, 2010 at 2:01 pm

A really good read

thanks

Maidstone web designer
May 23, 2010 at 11:10 pm

I kinda rely on mouth to mouth information as well… thank you for such a detailed work :)

CodeMyConcept
May 24, 2010 at 10:58 am

What we used to know as marketing is definitely nothing compared to what marketing is nowadays: people don’t follow mainstream trends as much, they rather go with what people they trust have to say and we have the internet for everything.
It doesn’t matter if you pay for incredibly expensive ads that say you are the best, if the people that have actually dealt with you don’t say it, that ad you paid for is money down the drain.
However if you show your strengths and what you are capable of doing to every single customer, no matter how small your project is word of mouth publicity will take care of the rest…and what is even better: is free.

BebopDesigner
May 24, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Brilliant article! Marketing keeps evolving and it seems we’ll never stop learning. That’s the fun of it!
Thanks for sharing

Kurnia
May 26, 2010 at 3:28 am

wow… smart article, and i like it

Rick Sloboda
May 26, 2010 at 7:05 am

Neat website and service. Unfortunately, it seems only US-based companies can list themselves. Hopefully ChoiceVendor addresses this to expand its pool.

Web Design
May 26, 2010 at 7:49 am

A good reading lately, word of mouth marketing is definitely something to take part of a company’s campaign…

ADHIE MEMPAWAH
May 26, 2010 at 8:34 am

this articel for newbies & tanks for sharing

Sbx Web Designer
May 27, 2010 at 4:40 am

great post… word of mouth marketing has really got us many customers… its very helpful and cost effective for every business to expand to get new customers… information and statistics provided in this article is really interesting… thanks for sharing…

Steve

Alex Nascimento
May 27, 2010 at 7:38 am

Awesome article, I’ll work it now! Thank’s for sharing.

CodeMyConcept
May 27, 2010 at 12:02 pm

I do think that overall word of mouth is real marketing…your customers are just telling the truth about you. Do an awesome job and they will always have awesome things to say. We recently had a customer that was so happy with our service..he actually went beyond the regular thank you note:

http://www.codemyconcept.com/videos/testimonial.mov

And he did it just because he felt like. What else could we ask for?

hopping mad designs
May 27, 2010 at 6:58 pm

We here at http://www.hoppingmad.com.au really rely on word of mouth marketing all the time – it works wonders for us!!!

Calgary Web Design
May 28, 2010 at 10:34 am

I think word of mouth marketing is critical. It’s not something to be ignored but rather cultured. Like any other method of marketing, if you understand your goals and target them, you will have more success. Be proactive and ask your customers how satisified they are, work on making them delighted, and ask for referrals.

Dennis
May 30, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Word of mouth has been our greatest marketing tool.

AK
May 31, 2010 at 2:18 am

Is there a tutorial on how to make the background on this site? I love it! Or is it possible to download?

Interieurinrichting
Jun 2, 2010 at 1:38 am

Good post, thank you

001webhost
Jun 2, 2010 at 2:03 am

Thanks for this article word of mouth marketing is really useful.its very helpful and cost effective too.

atoss
Jun 2, 2010 at 6:34 am

Very Good article. Thanks!

Jessy Brown
Jun 2, 2010 at 10:45 pm

Nice post. And mouth marketing will be more popular soon because more and more companies pay attention to it

Jason
Jun 3, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Word of mouth marketing is the oldest form of marketing. This just proves that just because the idea is old, it don’t make it’s no longer effective.

Grace (Attractivo Design)
Jun 4, 2010 at 12:03 am

Fantastic article, thank you!

Completely agree – we’ve generated many new clients via work of mouth from existing clients, associates and suppliers. No marketing cost, but high customer gain!

Attractivo Design (http://www.attractivo.com.au)

polskie biuro ksiegowe
Jun 6, 2010 at 3:04 am

just to let you know … there is an organisation called BNI business networking international – they’re using word of mouth to make a business…

Niels Born
Jun 9, 2010 at 1:11 am

Very useful article! Thanks for sharing

uk website design
Jun 10, 2010 at 5:07 am

very useful info
thanks for the article
word of mouth is the biggest marketing component……..

Jared @ Saskatoon Web Design
Jun 10, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Good advice, thanks.

Diane
Jun 12, 2010 at 3:59 am

Really fabulous article, particularly relevant for female customers, who pay a great deal of attention to what other people say about a product or service. I will make sure that I send link of this to my clients. Thanks again.

yohan
Jun 14, 2010 at 5:26 am

thanks for the information :)

Mari McDougall
Jun 15, 2010 at 8:09 am

G3 Creative gets 75% of new graphic design business from referrals from past and present clients. New businesses have also sprung up in Scotland offering Referral marketing.

Dennis
Jun 15, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Nice post, all of our work comes from word of mouth.

Software Development India
Jun 17, 2010 at 4:08 am

We think and also you think Your website should be an asset for your business and not just another expense. To be an asset, your website must be both useful by design and used by those searching for what you offer. We excel at building custom websites and then driving traffic to them, helping your business to reach and exceed its strategic goals. Your website will work properly (guaranteed!)

Jane
Jun 17, 2010 at 8:01 am

i am just creating my wordpress page. Holy toledo, i had no idea how advanced the tech world has become…. okay, i need to get out of the cave now. Thank!

Ian Greenleigh
Jun 18, 2010 at 8:28 pm

Business decision makers don’t trust traditional marketing, ads or sales pitches. I’m glad you found our research on the benefits of WoM useful. Keep up the great writing.

ikilobo
Jun 22, 2010 at 11:32 pm

graet…

Media Monitoring
Jul 7, 2010 at 10:25 pm

I’ve seen bad reviews about a particular product. It was a lot that i doubted whether the reviewer was paid to make bad reviews about a competitor or something.

code pixelz media
Jul 8, 2010 at 5:10 am

Nice article. Thanks for taking time to create this article

ridwan
Jul 8, 2010 at 9:47 am

facebook still the most popular

Kojeje
Jul 16, 2010 at 12:15 am

thank you so much for info you gave me :)
So informing.. hehe

kai
Jul 19, 2010 at 8:17 pm

thanks for info…. it increase my experience…

symons cone crusher
Aug 13, 2010 at 9:06 pm

okay, i need to get out of the cave now. Thank!

Amy
Aug 20, 2010 at 10:02 am

This is a great resource thanks!

Jerky Oats
Sep 9, 2010 at 11:16 am

If you can get people talking about you in a positive way you can avoid the ‘pitch stages’ to gain work. This saves a huge amount of resource and therefore you can be more productive as a company.

Decision makers trust word of mouth marketing, and this can only be achieved by delivering the best to clients.

Great post.

Frederic Pacapac
Sep 13, 2010 at 11:13 pm

I like this Ones New style boss

ospop shoes shop
Sep 24, 2010 at 1:57 am

A good reading lately, word of mouth marketing is definitely something to take part of a company’s campaign

John
Nov 6, 2010 at 1:16 am

Word of mouth is hands down the best online and offline marketing strategy. You’ve articulated it well. Great article!

willson
Dec 7, 2010 at 2:27 am

very good post, and i like it very much

Juno Mindoes
Dec 25, 2010 at 3:04 am

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Robert Steers
Jan 20, 2011 at 4:11 pm

We know that reviews are important, because a customer will typically view 10 web pages before they actually purchase. That means they are going to see a lot of reviews and other people’s comments before they see your site.

Cluehunt
Jan 29, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Is their such a thing as word of mouth through the internet, interesting something I never expected. Something to make a lot of us internet users seat back and take a long hard look at. I know I am.

formula 21
Feb 1, 2011 at 7:13 am

very good post, and i like it very much

altın çilek
Feb 2, 2011 at 7:30 am

This is a great resource thanks!

romadur
Feb 3, 2011 at 5:45 am

very good post, and i like it very much

moliva
Feb 4, 2011 at 7:17 am

Is their such a thing as word of mouth through the internet, interesting something I never expected. Something to make a lot of us internet users seat back and take a long hard look at. I know I am.

web design
Apr 4, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Word of Mouth or WOM is great – at hopping mad designs most of our business is either generated via SEO or through WOM.

dexx
Apr 17, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Different thinking, contains a problem to produce several possible solutions.

Danny Higson
Apr 29, 2011 at 7:12 am

I am running a web hosting company and all of my customers are satisfied. I never knew that reviews can even throw potential business to the business. Your article is totally different from others. The best part of the reviews, we can use it as an oral advertisement …great..

Facebook Banners
Jun 18, 2011 at 6:11 am

Thanks for your great tips! I’ve been trying to start an online business making banners for businesses and it’s been going great so far because of your advice! I even recommend my friends to come!

orhanbt
Jul 15, 2011 at 4:32 pm

This is verry good

Web Development Australia
Aug 16, 2011 at 4:30 am

Nice Article & very helpful , The best part of the reviews, we can use it as an oral advertisement.

Thanks for your great tips!

Paul Clark
Sep 6, 2011 at 12:02 am

Hmm..

you know I am never sure about testimonials. Most consumers think that businesses only post the good ones ( and isn’t that true!) and in some way they are a little trite. If you do great work people will ask your clients who did the work for you…shoving a testimonial up always makes you look like you are trying a bit too hard…hey it might work for some….we just post our work and our clients on our site http://litteriniclark.com and let the world make up its own mind about what we do.

We figure that if you have good clients you must be doing something right and that filters through to potential clients who can then make an informed decision.

Cheers

model
Apr 30, 2012 at 4:47 am

This does look like a great theme.

Nestor Marsack
Jun 22, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Wonderful paintings! That is the type of info that are supposed to be shared across the internet. Disgrace on Google for now not positioning this put up upper! Come on over and discuss with my site . Thank you =)

Virtual Private Servers
Jul 10, 2012 at 7:32 am

Its true, best support & customer service give us positive review, from positive review we got generate new clients from new client we generate sales :)

alquiler yates en Ibiza
Jul 23, 2012 at 9:39 am

That means they are going to see a lot of reviews and other people’s comments before they see your site.

Afzal
May 29, 2013 at 10:43 am

This post was so good I had to read it 3 times. Great compilation.Thanks a lot!,,

zoyoyayep
Dec 15, 2016 at 1:32 am

I agree with your opinion and thoughts that word of mouth is really important to sell our products. Also find some new tricks,thanks!!

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