How to get more referrals from your clients

I’m guessing that one of the most important parts of your business is getting clients, am I right?

One of the oldest (and most successful!) ways to get clients is through referrals (aka. someone refers a client to you). But how do you get them and who do you get them from?! And how can you generate referrals instead of just waiting around for them?

Referrals have an unreliable reputation. If you’re just waiting around for them, you’re going to find it hard to stay in business my friend. But there are ways you can generate more referrals.


10 Ways To Get MORE Referrals
From Your Clients


1. Ask at the start of the project

When you begin working with a new client, you send them a questionnaire, right? (I hope you do!) Why not include a question asking them if they know of anyone they think would benefit from your services?

Some clients may leave this section blank, but some may know a friend who recently mentioned they’re looking to hire someone like you! You’d be surprised by how many clients answer this question and provide you with the URL or email address of the person they have in mind. If your client does refer someone to you this way, don’t go into sales mode. Just drop their friend a brief email explaining that you heard they might need your help, and see what happens.

2. Ask at the end of the project

Ask your client to send referrals your way as soon as you finish working together so the client is still excited and more likely to spread the word about your services. If you’ve done a good job they’ll be happy to send new clients your way!

3. Give your clients an incentive

Give your clients an incentive to refer people to you. You could give them 10% off their next round of services with you, or provide them with a free product, consultation or Amazon voucher. 

4. Ask face-to-face

Offer to hop on Skype with your client when you’ve completed their project, then ask them to keep you in mind if they know anyone who needs your services. If you only ask your clients for referrals through email, they’re going to forget. But it’s harder to forget what you asked them if you asked sincerely face-to-face or over the phone.

(Psst! These 10 points are from my ebook, The Freelance Marketing Plan. To get a FREE CHAPTER from the book, sign up below. It'll go straight to your inbox!)

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5. Go above and beyond to make your client happy.

Nothing will make them spread the word about your services more than your extra effort and commitment to their project.

6. Impress them with your awesome organization skills + professionalism

Send them a welcome packet with instructions on what you need from them, how the process will go, your work hours, and a reassurance that you’re only an email or Skype call away if they ever have concerns they need to discuss. Being so organized and readily available to help them will reassure them that you’re professional and make them want to tell their friends alllll about you.

7. Send your clients snail mail

Send them a handwritten postcard and gift in the mail when their project is complete. You could send them stickers, a custom stamp, a notebook, poster, book or anything else you think they’d love!

I think it’s particularly nice if you send them a course or book that helps them develop from where you left them. For example, if you’ve designed their website, you could send them a book on creating high-value content for their blog. Sending a client a gift like this really makes an impression on your client, and makes them want to tell everyone about you.

I dive deeper into sending your clients gifts in my workbook, The Freelance Marketing Plan.

8. Give them something extra for free

If they want extra work done and it won’t take very long (i.e. under 20 minutes), go for it! Clients love getting little freebies. It shows how generous you are and makes them feel confident they hired the right person.

Example time! The garage I take my car to is amaaaazing. One time, I bought a used car and took it there to get a professionals opinion and make sure I hadn’t been duped into buying a crappy car. I fully expected to pay for their time looking at my car but they didn’t charge me at all. They even labeled all the things under the hood so I’d know what was what if I ever wanted to do something like fill up the oil! As soon as I got home, I wanted to tell someone about their generosity, and to this day I always recommend them to friends who are looking for a garage to take their car to.

I don’t expect them to keep giving me their time for free. But that small bit of generosity pushed me to tell all my friends about them, and most likely sent more customers their way.

If you want to learn more about exactly how much you should give away for free, check out The Freelance Marketing Plan! Everything you need to know about getting referrals and filling your client docket is in this workbook. 

9. Provide them with custom tutorials when they’ve finished working with you.

For example, let’s say you designed a website for them. If they told you they were worried about something in particular, like creating new pages, create a tutorial they shows them exactly how to do that! Your clients will be really pleased that you were thoughtful, and this will increase your chances of them referring you to others.

10. Remember to follow up!

Follow up with your clients a couple of weeks after you finish working with them, just to see how they are and if they need anything else from you. This will really help them see you genuinely care about them, and make them much more likely to recommend you to their friends.

Hope you enjoyed my 10 tips for getting more referrals from your clients! If you want to learn how to get referrals from others in your industry, how to use ads to attract clients, how to follow up with clients and more, The Freelance Marketing Plan will show you how.

Want a free chapter from The Freelance Marketing Plan?

Get the first chapter of The Freelance Marketing Plan for free!

Sign up to get it sent straight to your inbox!

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Nesha Woolery

I build beautiful brands & websites for passionate entrepreneurs!