The Power Combo to Create a Raving Fan Base For Your Small Business (Plus Two Bonus Tactics)
Would it be cool to have fans?
Not like a paparazzi-style, “can I have your autograph?” kind of fan.
In this instance, we’re talking about fans of your business. You know, people who recognize good work when they see it, customers who value a top-notch service experience.
In fact, you may already have fans of your business.
Let’s explore this a bit more (because the more fans you have, the more your business will grow).
In this blog, we’ll define what “fans” are and how to set your business up to have them. Then we’ll get into two foundational ways you can create a raving fan base that will help grow your business + two bonus action items if you’re ready to really propel this thing!
What is a “Fan”?
The definition: A fan is a customer that has advocated for your business, either by writing you a review or referring your business to their friends and family.
So really, a fan is a loyal and vocal supporter of your business. These are the customers who love your business.
There are two important steps your business needs to meet before you can have fans.
- Offering quality work.
- Offering outstanding customer experience.
This is the foundation needed to earn fans of your business.
If, in your heart of hearts, you know that this foundation needs to be laid first, please dig into this blog that talks about the secret to creating raving fans (aka exceptional customer service).
Otherwise, let’s carry on with the power combo of creating a raving fan base for your business.
How Reviews and Referrals Will Create Vocal Fans of Your Business
The power combo of creating a fan base for your business lies in getting reviews and referrals.
These two tactics will give your customers the opportunity to spread the word about your business to a wider group of people, either on the internet using platforms like Google and other local directories or directly, person-to-person.
Remember, a fan is a customer that has advocated for your business, either by writing you a review or referring your business to their friends and family.
1. Get More Reviews for Your Local Business
Consider the times when you’ve left a review for a business.
If you had a good experience with a business, you might go out of your way to write a review.
If you had a great experience, however, you’re likely to support the business with a review and want to tell everyone you know. You’re willing to vouch for this business; you’re a fan!
To get more people to support and vocally champion your own company, first you need to offer quality work and exceptional customer service, and then putting a reputation marketing software into place will help you win those coveted reviews.
Using a reputation marketing software will automate the process of winning those stars, taking the time-consuming requests and follow-ups off your plate.
And because this process is automated, you will win more reviews (since it isn't dependent on your own time or willingness to follow-up with customers).
The beauty of scoring more reviews is that the more you get, the more new customers you can attract, who in turn will leave reviews and create even more fans of your business.
You can easily see how an automated review request system (part of a reputation marketing platform) will create a vocal fan base and help your business grow.
Around here, we call this customer driven growth.
If you’re interested in earning more stars, here’s a great resource that outlines 29 ways to get more reviews.
“NiceJob has helped my business so much. 80% of people who book with me do it because of my reviews!”
- Kieara Onyia, Quick Draw Lab
2. Grow Your Referral Network
The next way to create fans for your business is by getting more referrals.
Once upon a time, when a customer was satisfied with the work or job they might tell a friend or family member about the business.
This type of word-of-mouth marketing is great! It means a customer enjoyed their experience so much they will tell others who might benefit as well.
The thing is, getting referrals this way isn’t efficient and it’s hard to forecast.
So, to get more referrals (of course start by offering quality work and top-notch customer service) and then consider implementing an automated referral program.
This is word-of-mouth marketing for the digital era.
You can get more referrals by sending automated, personalized, and customizable invites to your customers via email or SMS when they’re most excited about your service.
You can also manage and track your recommendations in one place, see who recommended you to their friends, who they refer you to, and whether they ended up using your service.
Referrals build your fan base and help your business grow - and the great news is, there's an easy way to do this with an automated referral program.
Here’s a resource that lays out the exact steps to take to get more referrals.
BONUS: Tactics to Get More Fans
1. Get Social Media Mentions for Your Business
Another way your happy customers can advocate for your business is through social media mentions.
Mentioning your company in a positive way on social media is your customer telling their network that they stand behind your work and service. They’re a fan!
This can come in the form of sharing a referral link on their channels, tagging your company in a post or story, or dropping your company name in online groups/forums.
This acts as more social proof for your company, which will inevitably attract more customers and contribute to your growth.
Here’s an example of how this could look:
2. Local Awards and Recognition
One final way that your happy customers can advocate for your business is through local awards and recognition.
For example, perhaps there are opportunities for your customers to vote for your business in local excellence awards or for your clients to nominate your business.
Here for instance, is a local newspaper that runs a reader’s choice awards for businesses around town.
This is just another way that your vocal fans can publicly support your business.
If your business has set the foundation of offering quality work and exceptional customer service you are primed and ready to create a raving fan base.
A fan is a customer that has advocated for your business, either by writing you a review or referring your business to their friends and family.
These are vocal champions who are eager to shine a warm spotlight on your company.
The power combo to build your fan base is through online reviews and getting your happy customers to refer their friends, family and colleagues.
Both of these processes can be automated using reputation marketing software, like NiceJob, making for an easy and effective way to get more fans and grow your business.