Ask any resume writer who has been in business for any length of time how they get many of their clients, and the answer is often "through referrals." But do you have to wait until you've been in business for a couple years before you generate significant business from referrals? Is word-of-mouth marketing something that happens by accident? Years and years of marketing research has shown that it's not. In fact, word-of-mouth marketing can be consciously created — if you understand what drives it.
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Here are some of the most important factors that drive word-of-mouth advertising.
Something That Is Really, Really DifferentIf something is really, truly different, people are going to talk about it. Things that have never been done before are hot topics of conversation. You may be thinking to yourself, "There's nothing 'new and unconventional' about resume writing." But that's not true!
More and more clients are finding new ways to network their way into a job through social media -- LinkedIn, Branchout, Twitter, Facebook -- and you helping to position them for those opportunities is something worth talking about!
What if your product isn't 100% original? You can still do something unique. For example, a cake company isn't anything new, but one cake company generated a lot of buzz by baking the largest cake in the world.
Extraordinary Customer Service Interactions
Another thing that tends to drive word-of-mouth marketing is customer service. And not just "regular" customer service — but going above and beyond for your resume clients.
You can find examples of extraordinary customer service across all industries — Like when someone spilled coffee on an executive's suit on a Southwest Airlines flight and a flight attendant offered his own suit so the man could go to his meeting well dressed, the story spread like wildfire throughout the internet.
Another example is a restaurant whose waiters constantly insult customers. It's their brand. It's actually funny and customers go to this restaurant just for the unique experience. (Think "The Soup Nazi" from Seinfeld.)
The examples go on and on. But how can you extend this to your resume business? If you can't think of "extraordinary," try for "out of the ordinary"! What can set you apart? Like, returning calls from prospects and clients within two hours. Or delivering a first draft (with no rush fee) in 72 hours. Offering free updates and changes for the first 90 days (yes, you can charge a premium for your services to offset the no rush fee and free update services). Or using BeAResumeWriter.com Pass-Along Materials to provide job search support beyond the resume itself.
This kind of service will help you stand out -- and inspire your customers to spread the word!
"I Think Person XYZ Could Really Use This"
Another core thing that drives word-of-mouth is the "I really think Susie needs this" mentality. Friends are always on the lookout for friends. This is particularly useful in the marketing of your resume services. If you share content that is timely, relevant, and useful, it's likely to be passed along. The individual reading it is likely to think of an unemployed or underemployed friend and share the article, blog post, or special report with them. And that builds your "know, like, and trust" credibility with prospective clients. You're getting an endorsement, really, from someone they trust.
Try to create content that will appeal to different kinds of people that still have a common thread. For example, your articles and blog posts can be targeted to jobseekers that are entering (or re-entering) the job market, looking for a better position, changing careers, or have been downsized. All of these are resources that help those who might need a resume writer -- but they are targeting very different people.
Different people like to share different kinds of things. You've probably noticed this on Facebook.
Many people like to share and talk about videos. Still others love funny graphics or cartoons, while others will only share strictly educational material they think friends will love. (Infographics are especially popular, for this reason.)
Don't just appeal to one kind of person. Create your word-of-mouth marketing so that it will appeal to a wide range of people.
These are some of the main factors that drive word-of-mouth advertising. Word-of-mouth can absolutely be planned. You don't have to hit all of the hot buttons discussed above, but to succeed you should aim to address at least one or two of them.