The Power of “Word of Mouth”
The Good Kind of Gossip
There are a million different ways to advertise these days. As traditional print and television media mix in with the slurry of social media and branded content, it’s never been easier for your business to reach its desired customer. At the click of a button, you can promote your business with pinpoint accuracy to a hyper-targeted group of potential customers around the globe.
Even so, despite changing landscapes, word-of-mouth marketing reigns supreme. A Nielsen study shows that recommendations from friends and family are more trusted than any other form of promotion, and more likely to influence a customer’s decision.
Intuitively, this makes sense: effective advertising is built on trust and credibility. And who do we trust more than friends and family?
A business should strive to build a similar relationship with its clients. We trust friends and family because we understand who they are, and we’ve known them for a long time. A business shouldn’t be any different.
Reputation is Key
Nomad is built on the strength of our reputation and relationships, which invariably go hand-in-hand and form the basis of word-of-mouth marketing. Providing clients with a good product or good service is certainly a must, but it’s not enough. Beyond quality output, our reputation is built on the strength and consistency of its values. At Nomad, this starts from the inside out: we focus on building a positive culture and a respectful work environment.
After all, if you don’t treat your employees well, how will they treat your clients? And even if you treat your clients well, how can they trust a company that treats its employees differently? The end-product is beside the point: even if they work with you, they probably won’t work with you again. Who wants the headache?
Relationships and Being “Lucky”
A burnished reputation is something to talk about but to get your industry talking in the first place, you need relationships. And while technology can be a great tool to help build your network, establishing interpersonal connections is a practice best done offline, so we would recommend trading FaceTime for face time where possible.
Maintain close relationships with clients, but also attend networking events and seek out other industry professionals, even if they may not directly benefit you in the short run. Often what we perceive as “luck” is the result of connections being made in our extended network. In other words, the more relationships you have, the more likely you are to know someone “who knows a guy” who can help your business.
Promoting a Business on a $0 Budget
In six years of existence, Nomad has operated without spending a single dollar on advertising. Our story may sound like those of many startups: our CEO Jonathan’s first clients were a handful of friends. From there, we started getting new business through word-of-mouth. But Jonathan understood that word-of-mouth doesn’t magically happen. He has continually worked to maintain and grow his relationships.
A startup doesn’t need to spend money on marketing per se, but you should invest time and care in how it is seen by others. People will always have something to gossip about. If they’re talking about your business, that can be a good thing.