Have you been told there’s a silver bullet to marketing?
Just unlock this one essential growth hack, they say, then customers will come running with briefcases of money.
Is your feed filled with influencers pitching their get-rich-quick schemes, filmed in what looks suspiciously like a basement?
Did flashy sales pages promise that with some shiny new tech, you’d magically generate endless leads and profits?
Or perhaps you succumbed to the 87th email this week offering to fill your calendar with 40% more appointments — stress-free?
Well, weary business owner, determined to grow, here’s the truth: none of these are the silver bullet.
But here’s the good news: there is one.
The bad news? You’re not going to like it.
In my 25 years in marketing, I’ve scoffed at every silver bullet and the snake oil salesmen who peddle them. I’ve warned against gimmicks and gadgets, urging clients to steer clear of the latest fads.
After battling the slick, silver bullet bros for decades, I might have to eat my words, because there is a silver bullet after all.
This elusive strategy underpins every enduring brand you know. It’s what drives startups to success and helps local businesses thrive.
And no, I’m not selling you a 47-part mini-course. Here’s the secret:
I said you wouldn’t like it.
Consistency is the drumbeat of success. It’s the key to creativity, innovation, and profitability.
Everything you aspire to achieve hinges on consistent action over time.
Why is it so crucial? Because your business doesn’t need sales. What you need are referrals.
Enter Referral-Based Marketing (RBM).
Consider two paths to acquiring new customers: the traditional sales model versus the referral-based model.
With traditional sales, you hound prospects with calls and emails until they reluctantly sign up. But it’s an uphill battle, riddled with trust deficits and apathy.
Now, let’s flip the script with referral-based marketing. Instead of chasing leads, you cultivate relationships and provide value to your network.
Send out a monthly newsletter packed with industry insights, not sales pitches. Your clients appreciate the intel and, when the opportunity arises, they’ll recommend you without hesitation.
Imagine this: a satisfied client, Sarah, sees a LinkedIn post from Sam, seeking recommendations. Because you’ve consistently delivered value, Sarah is quick to sing your praises.
Sam, grateful for the referral, reaches out and soon becomes a client. Thanks to your focus on referral-based marketing, you start with a trust credit, not a deficit.
In both scenarios, you win Sam’s business. But the outcomes couldn’t be more different.
Traditional sales create noise and apathy. Referral-based marketing pulls like-minded people to you, building trust and credibility.
In the coming weeks, I’ll share more about implementing referral-based marketing, pitfalls to avoid, and, yes, how to implement the true silver bullet: consistency.
Do referrals play a vital role in your business? Connect with me on LinkedIn (@allenfuller) — I’d love to hear your success stories.