Marketing for Small Business: Create a Referral System

By Andrew Lock | Posted April 23, 2010

If coming up with creative marketing strategies for your small business isn't your strong suit, or even if you just want to pick up a few unconventional marketing tips, Andrew Lock has an endless supply at the ready. This week he talks about word of mouth marketing and designing a system for getting referrals.

You'll also learn about the value of webinars as Internet marketing tools, a way to clean the crap out of your computer, and how a clever marketing strategy from Hertz addressed both the customer's pain and its product's benefit.


Could explosive breasts be the next big thing with terrorists? I ask, because these full-body scanners are being installed at many airports across the world, and although they employ cutting-edge technology, they can’t detect items inside the body, such as explosive breast implants. Would love to hear your thoughts about the privacy issues -- it’s a hot topic for sure.

This week's question comes from Pierre, in France. Of course, where else would you expect someone named Pierre to live? Anyway, Pierre is an ex-Dell employee who’s now going it alone, and he wants some advice about how best to promote his business on a budget. My advice is to employ a technique that costs nothing but a few minutes of your time, and it’s highly effective -- referrals.

When you buy a new computer these days, it most likely comes pre-loaded with all kinds of crap-ware (trial versions of software that you didn’t ask for). It can really clog up your machine, slow it down, use up hard drive space and slow your boot time. I recommend a nifty free Web tool that’ll sort this problem out quickly and efficiently.

My guest this week is Stephen Beck. Stephen's an expert on webinars, and I love the way he simplifies the subject for us. It’s great advice, in plain English, and I’ve arranged for Stephen and I to host a webinar on webinars, so look out for that – make sure you’re signed up to receive notifications (use the form on my website).

Hertz car rental provides the big marketing lesson for us in this episode. It's created what I call an ACE: “Astounding Customer Experience,” with the way it promotes and provides GPS services. You can adapt this lesson to your business. I’ll show you how.

As usual, let me know your opinion about the topics covered in the show this week -- leave your comment below, it’s really easy to do.


You'll find lots more marketing tips and resources from Andrew Lock in our Small Business Essentials series, Lock in Your Marketing Resources.

Andrew Lock is a self-described maverick marketer and the creator and host of Help! My Business Sucks, a free, weekly Web TV show full of practical marketing tips, advice and resources to help small businesses "get more done and have more fun."

Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!


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