Referrals have been key to me building my freelance business and in this episode I talk about how I got the ball rolling. Learn what strategic partnerships I build and how I increase my chance of a glowing referral.
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Hello welcome to the freelance ads club podcast with me your host Aggie Meroni. Whether you're a seasoned freelance ads manager, or just thinking about taking the leap into self employment, this podcast is for you. Every week, I'll be releasing a bite sized episode, I'll be sharing mistakes I've made and lessons I've learned from my own freelance business. I'll be showcasing some of the amazingly talented freelancers in the freelance ads club. And I also will be speaking to some incredible guests, who generously be sharing their knowledge with us to help us keep updated with industry trends. And I really hope that after listening to this podcast, you will come away full of confidence on how to win great clients, how to charge correctly, and most importantly, retain those dream clients so that you build a successful and sustainable business. Hello, and welcome to this week's episode of the freelance ads club podcast. So today, I'm going to be talking about referrals. So as I think I've talked about before, on here, I listened to an amazing keynotes talk by the ex head of sales at Salesforce just before the summer last year. And he says there are three arms to sales in your business, you've got referrals, you've got outreach, and you've also got your content marketing. So what you post, you know, on your social media, or you email, that kind of thing. So today, I'm going to be talking about referrals. And I'm going to be talking about the three ways or three places, you need to focus on to increase the referrals in your business, and how to go about getting those referrals. So referrals have been instrumental for me in growing my business, when I first started out, some more established ads managers took me under their wing, and they would refer leads to me, if they're at capacity, or they weren't quite right for them, I will always be grateful for that, because that really did help build my portfolio, it built my confidence. So the kind of leads on to the first place that you should be looking at, these are in no particular order, by the way, they're just like three places that I have personally got referrals from. So people that are your peers. So some people might say, oh, that's your competition, I don't believe that you really have competition as an ads manager. Yes, you might be sort of an ecommerce ads manager. And you might know other ecommerce, manage ads managers, or maybe you know, if you manage ads on Facebook and Instagram, maybe you know, other ads managers on Facebook and Instagram. But of all the ads managers I know, everyone has a different preference for stuff they like to manage. So some people love working with like interior design businesses, some people love estate agents, some people love kids products, some people like you know, restaurant bookings. So whatever it is that you love doing, I can 100% guarantee it's not someone else's cup of tea. So I personally think it's so important to make friends. Join a community. I mean, this is a complete plug for the freelance Arts Club as well. But I do think it's really important to know, people that do the same thing as you not just because you can support each other, and you can bounce ideas off each other. But there are always going to be collaboration opportunities, always that mean, that could be an opportunity where the account they would need to manage is just too big for one ads manager and then they might need to bring on someone else to help them support them on that accounts. This is particularly good for ads managers that are maybe just starting out, maybe they've had a break, but saying that I still get referrals from my peers for opportunities. So I think being open to connecting with people, not just connecting with them because you think you're gonna get work from them. I think making genuine like genuine connections with people. And that doesn't mean you have to be best friends with everyone but you know, being genuinely interested in you know, posts that people have or following them on on LinkedIn or Instagram or if you hang out, engaging with their content, taking an interest in what they're doing in their business, even having a note of what niches different people like that is honestly I think the easiest place to get referrals is if people who understand what a company needs because they'll always be times you have a discovery call with someone who say I'm not the right person for you. But I know the right person for you. I had the same situation last week. ake a couple of times where I had a very initial conversation. And I said, I'm not the right person for this because I only manage ecommerce apps. However, I do know someone who could help you with this. So you know, it's a two way streets, you'll be in, hopefully in a position in your business, that you won't be desperate to take any opportunity that comes your way, even if it doesn't excite you. And you'll be comfortable to pass them on to people that you've grown or you've met. And, you know, you've grown your network so much, you have a pool of people that you'd be comfortable to recommend the second pool, which has been so, so crucial for me, like, I have one, my biggest client this way, I have had incredible opportunities. I mean, a couple of really exciting chats at the moment with this kind of opportunity. And this is from people that offer complimentary services to you. So for example, for me, I'm an ecommerce specialist, but I specialise in ADS. So Facebook ads, Instagram ads, Pinterest ads, Tik Tok, ads, social media ads, basically, however, I know that my clients also need email marketing support, they need SEO specialists, they need Google ads, they need web developers, they need logistics, specialists, all these complementary services, I make an efforts to get to know people, but I know my clients will meet. Now the reason that I mean, there is some self interest in this as well. Because if you get to know people that you know you like and you get on with, and they're very good at what they do. If your client says she one day, I really need a new CLEVEO experts or I really need a new web developer, you will have some influence in who they hire. And it will make your job easier because you know, they're good at their job. And you know, you get on with them. So there does come a certain level of dedication to build this network, because you need to be confident that good. I mean, you'd never recommend anyone you didn't know enough about anyway, because your personal reputations on the line. But you know, knowing those people well, and also making sure that people in those niches know you, that's the important thing. So when that situation happens to them were oh god my client needs. And as manager, Aggies amazing, I'm gonna get her in touch with them. I actually had an email like that today was someone that I'm working with on another clients, they said, I'm working with someone else, they really need an ad strategy. Are you happy for me to put you in touch? Of course, I'll have cool. Like, there's like no doubt in my mind that I'll take that call, even if I personally won't take on that opportunity. Because maybe it's not right for me. But I can guarantee I know someone who can help because I have a freelance as community as managing community. So you can you see what I mean, it's all about getting known for what you do. This kind of touches on the niche episode as well becoming known for something so that when people come up with those opportunities, they know your name straightaway, there's no hesitation, they are going to recommend you for that opportunity. That is why people recommendation I think more than anything else, just because you'll be front of mind. The final thing, and this is gonna sound so obvious, do a good job, like you need to this is something gonna sound like a moron. But it really was a light bulb moment for me like I really do take pride in my work. But I'd probably say about 18 months ago, I was so focused on my revenue, I was starting out I didn't earn much and all I was thinking about I need another client need another client, I need more money. And I wasn't really as focused on delivering like an amazing job. Like I did deliver a good job. But it wasn't my number one priority survival mode was my number one priority. So when I flipped that on its head, so I probably say yeah, about 18 months ago, a year ago, I was like, right. It's important for me to deliver the most outstanding service possible. So that isn't just your ad results. That's everything to do with customer service. So Am I answering emails in a prompt manner? Are my reports sharp? Do they have typos in them? Are they clear? You know, am I making sure that my reports aren't full of jargon so that my client can access them easily and understand what I'm trying to say? Am I being proactive? So am I making sure that our monthly calls the book, Tim? am I offering them suggestions for things that could improve their results? So becoming more like a consultant as well so that I show my value, and it's kind of going the extra mile. Now, there is a fine line. Some people say, Yeah, but you can't really do that, because you have no boundaries, you absolutely can do this with boundaries, I have very strict office hours, I, I have one hour a month per client or per retainer client, they can use that as they wish, some of them don't want an hour a month in a blog with me to do a whole monthly review. Some of them like to have a call, like a really short call once a week, or one of the, you know, some of them, they say, I don't actually need a call this month, like you know, everything's going fine. You've got everything you need, we're happy. That's something music to your ears, right. But I think just being a little bit flexible on those things, like instead of doing one bulk out, what if someone wants to half an hour's if you have that in your schedule to do, then you'll be fine to do it. So if you give amazing service to your existing clients, they will 100% refer you to their business friends, it did take a long time for this to happen for me, I'll probably say 18 months, two years, because at the beginning, I wasn't working with the best clients for me. So the churn was high, especially after iOS 14 That was like my business got Kamikaze. That was a really stressful year. So I'd say after iOS 14, that's when I took a massive look at my business. And I was like, right, I need to change, you know, what I'm doing and who I'm working with, and what my boundaries are. And, you know, this is how I'm going to deliver the best service. And I didn't really focus on the revenue as much, obviously, it's important. And I knew I had to earn a certain amount to pay my bills, pay my mortgage, eat, pay my expenses and my business because we all know it's not all profit, unfortunately. But as soon as I started to do that, it started to pay dividends for me. So it really is like, I even feel stupid saying it. But I think it's something that is so often overlooked by freelancers. So, I mean, it's a really short solo episode for me today. But I know there are some people that are struggling to win business at the moment. I mean, there's always going to be peaks and troughs for anyone. But I do think in the short term, if you really do need a quick win, I would message or contact any past clients you've worked with any other ads managers that you might know, anyone that works in a complementary business to you that you know, and are on good terms with and just message them and say, look, I've got a capacity, if you hear of anyone, I'd really appreciate the referral or, you know, if you were really happy with how I worked, I'd love a Google review. I'd love a LinkedIn review. Some people are busy. So even draft them a review, just say this is why you hired me, this is what we did. This is the result we got. And this is why we're happy. And sometimes the results aren't even asking you numerical, it's like we're happy that they could take this off our plates. We knew we were in safe hands, it saved us loads of time, we got much more back for our adspend it's a worthy investment, you know all these push backs that brands sometimes have with hiring specialists to do certain tasks for them. So my quick podcast today to summarise was how to the three three avenues and tactics I guess to increase referrals into your business. Number one, make friends with ads managers if you need to come and join us at the freelance ads club, I will add the link in the show notes. Number two, make friends with other freelancers or businesses that you have like relationship with or that you have your eye on. And you know, just be friendly with them so they know that you're there. And if an opportunity comes they will think of you and they will refer you. And number three, I saved the best to last do a good job and your clients will love you they will refer you and a referral from a past client is by far the warm mislead you will ever get. So I hope this has been helpful and I will see you or you will hear me on the next episode. If you enjoyed listening to this episode today, then please hit subscribe or follow depending on where you're listening. It really helps other people find us. Also if you're a freelance ads manager and you're looking for a lovely community of other ads managers to support you as you grow your business. Then check out the show notes and apply to join us. And if you're a brand or agency that are looking for talent support your new projects. There's also an application form for you in the show notes to tap into the talent in our community. See so thanks again for listening in and I will see you on the next episode