Referral Marketing Tips for Copywriters

referral marketing tips

Being the modest bunch that we are, copywriters often hate asking for referrals. Normally we’re only brave enough to ask for testimonials because we can do it from the safety of a computer screen.

We’d all love to think that when we put our heart and soul into our writing that it will, inevitably, lead to clients telling friends and colleagues about the wonderfully lucid prose now adorning their website.

But sometimes people need a little nudge.

After all, if you’re confident in the quality of your work then, your clients should be happy to tell others about it (and if they don’t, it’s because they don’t want the competition stealing you away).

So how can you ask for referrals without feeling like you’re waving a begging bowl under your clients’ noses? These tips should help:

Just ask – Sounds simple, but asking clients whether they know anyone in need of a copywriter is the obvious way of getting referrals. Consider adding it as a suggestion to the bottom of your invoices or email signatures. If it saves you from the dreaded cold calling, it’s worth a shot.

Coupons – If asking for referrals is proving ineffective, try sweetening the deal by offering a discount or article in exchange for leads. Try attaching coupons, with an introductory offer, along with your final invoice which clients can then send on to anyone they think might be in need of a copywriter. Just remember to put a different tracking code on each coupon so you know where the new business has come from.

Form alliances – If a business asks for help with a brochure, there’s a good chance they’ll need a designer, a printer and maybe even a photographer as well. So having a list of people you can refer businesses to can enable you to build up a network of preferred service providers. That way, you can scratch each other’s backs and generate extra business in the process.

Referrals can be marketing gold because they give you third party endorsement (a.k.a. social proof) and save you the rig moral of persuading prospects you’re not a cowboy and can actually write.

So, integrate referral marketing into your lead generation strategy and take advantage of the best salespeople around – your clients.

3 Comments. Leave new

Totally agree. Referrals are key when it comes to spreading our copywriting magic.

So many trades rely on word-of-mouth and besides, if you do a good job, you want people to know about it.

I always press for testimonials and referrals although nine times out of 10, the client is normally way ahead of me!!

thanks for the post, really enjoyed,

Matthew Pattinson

The overiding purpose of any copywriter is to increase the number of conversions for their clients.

If you believe your copywriting is top notch…it goes without saying that asking for referrals is all part and parcel of the marketing process. There is no shame in asking each of your copywriting clients for referrals.

Very often the best way to do this, is to offer a cash incentive to attract further copywriting business. Offer your copywriting clients a good reason, a major benefit to recommend you personally to their colleagues and business contacts. This might be as simple as offering a copywriting finders fee – quite often 10% will suffice.

You’re not actually giving anything away as such – since every new copywriting client will in turn feel the incentive to recommend you, knowing they will receive a further discount off their own paid for copywriting. It’s all about playing it forward.

As you quite rightly state Matt, sometimes you just need to ask for copywriting referrals – it really is as simple as that. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

If your role as a copywriter (salesmanship-in-print) is to assist with the marketing arm of any business… Surely you need to apply the same incentives to buy from your very own copywriting business.

This makes perfect business sense and you are actually remitting upon your very own responsibility to yourself – if you do not use every opportunity possible, to promote yourself and others.

Best regards,

Mark Andrews

Thanks for the advice Mark. I agree that as copywriters we should be practising what we preach. I’m always in the habit of giving advice to others – sometimes I need to give some to myself.

Leave a Reply