As much as we are in the digital age, some things never change. We would all rather work with someone whose ethics, credentials and quality of work we can verify. Word of mouth referrals are a very powerful tool in any industry, be is something as scientific as a tech startup or as esoteric as a tarot reading service. Those who miss out on word of mouth referrals from their networks, also miss out on an incredible number of opportunities.
Many people are averse to working for free. And that makes sense. Why should one give away quality services for nothing? But, herein lies the catch. Most people are so short-sighted that they fail to see that they can transform that ‘nothing’ into a whole lot of ‘something’. In my previous article on Indspire Me, I shared that in business, attitude matters much more than aptitude. Part of the right attitude is to transform a situation, which on the surface appears to have no apparent benefits for you, to your advantage.
Let me elaborate on what I mean. You have started a new business. Someone in your social circle (family or friends) solicits your services. You have a premium price for your services, which is justified, because hey you do quality work. But, as you have just started out, you are the only one who knows this. People need to see tangible examples of the quality of your work and services before they can put their trust in you. Yes, it sucks but in life we may have to keep proving ourselves long beyond the age that we thought we would!
However, this is necessary and inevitable for great growth. Back to the hypothetical story. You can offer a large discount, or even offer to do some work free for your social circle. In exchange for what, you say? In exchange for referrals to other people. In exchange for good reviews. And in exchange for goodwill. It is fact that people are delighted when they receive services for free or at a lower cost. So, you can be sure that they will almost always comply with your request for referrals and reviews.
Once you start receiving more business through this method, and you feel satisfied with what you have, you can stop doing things for free. By this time, you will have built up a good reputation and also a network of contacts.
If you, or someone you know, achieved great success through this method, do comment below and share your story. I would love to hear from you.