Asked for a recommendation recently? If not, why not?!

In my last blog, I talked about the importance of planning ahead for social media success. You might recall that one of my top tips was to ask happy customers to add positive reviews and recommendations to your social media pages, to help keep things fresh and spread the word about your services. So, my question for you today is: When was the last time you asked a client for an online recommendation for your business?

This is something I always recommend my clients do as part if a wider ‘Keep in Touch’ (KIT) strategy. KIT is especially important for service-based businesses, where clients may only need your support every now and then rather than regularly. Even so, it’s important to check in with them regularly to see how things are going and ask if they need any help. That way, you’ll stay on their radar and they’ll think of you (and not your competitors) straightaway when they need your services again.

Asking for recommendations is one of the key steps in my own KIT process. For example, if I hold a Power Hour with a client, I’ll make a note in my diary to follow up with them a week later to see how they’re getting on. In another week or two, I’ll contact them again and ask them to provide a review or recommendation of my services if they’re happy to do so. When the review is in place, I can then thank them publicly on my social media pages – conveniently drawing attention to their positive comments about my business!

In today’s cynical age, it’s a fact that people are a lot more willing to believe what a third party says about a product or service than the business owner’s own claims. What’s more, people are spending more time researching both B2B and B2C companies online before they decide to buy. This often includes checking out LinkedIn recommendations, Facebook reviews and comments on other sites such as Google, Trustpilot and Tripadvisor.

To summarise: reviews and recommendations matter. But for smaller businesses and solopreneurs in particular, they won’t appear online like magic. You often have to contact your clients and ask for them directly…which not everyone feels comfortable with! Here are some tips and tricks to help you get started.

  1. Give clients time to appreciate your efforts. Many services are slow burners, so it’s not always appropriate to ask for a review a week or two after your first meeting with a client. Diarise your request for later on down the line, when they’ve had the chance to really see the benefits of working with you.
  • Jump on positive signals. If the client gives you great verbal feedback or praises your services on their own social pages, you can take this as a green light to ask for a formal review. Or if they’re celebrating a business success to which you’ve contributed, don’t be afraid to seize the moment!
  • Make it quick and easy for the client to leave their review or recommendation. When emailing them, include links to your review pages and emphasise that it will only take a minute or two. If you’ve had a lovely ‘thank you’ email from a client, you could even just ask them to copy and paste their words to save even more time.
  • Give them a hint about what to write. The more specific a review is about your services and the benefits the client has reaped, the more powerful it will be. So, when asking for a review, make specific reference to the work you did together and the impact it has had on their business.
  • Give the client a positive review first. This won’t always be possible depending on the sector you work in and the type of business relationship you have with your clients. However, you can still endorse their key skills on LinkedIn, which could give them a nudge to reciprocate or leave you a more detailed recommendation.

Once asking for reviews is established as part of your KIT process, make sure you promote them when they appear online. When planning your social media activities, schedule in regular posts highlighting the fantastic feedback you’ve had from your clients (making sure to say ‘thank you’ of course!) and linking to the recommendation in question. Make sure you add buttons on your website that link directly to your review pages, too.

Have a question about social media planning?

I’m all ears! If you need help with your social media planning, give me a call today on 07793 824 628 or email hello@curetonconsulting.co.uk. Better still, book a Power Hour with me at my special April Fool rate of just £97! Click here to book online today.

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