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5 tips to boost your word-of-mouth campaign

And how it can help your business
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We have heard it over and over again: the best endorser for any product is a satisfied customer who has actually bought and used the product.

There are two things to remember about word-of-mouth. First, it’s more credible than an actual advertisement as it is shared among friends, relatives, and people who actually trust each other. Second, word-of-mouth is free--as a business owner, it won’t cost you a single penny.

However, it can be a volatile marketing strategy since you are not in control of how your brand or product’s reputation is being shared.

To make life easier for you and so you can enjoy the benefits of word-of-mouth marketing, Entrepreneur.com shares five ways on how you can boost your word-of-mouth campaign.

1. Find a Focus. Beyond having a product or service people want, figure out who your ideal customer is. That way, you can communicate to others in your network what type of customer you\\\'re looking for. It\\\'ll also help you focus your own product or service offerings to meet the needs or desires of that specific profile.

2. Ask. And whatever you do, don\\\'t forget to ask for referrals. You need to continually remind customers who had a positive experience to tell their friends, family and network. Even if you\\\'re not shy about asking for referrals, you should also find ways to thank your sources for their continued advocacy of your business.

3. Team up. You might also consider teaming up with another business with the same target customer. This type of arrangement, which is known as a host-beneficiary arrangement, allows you to leverage another company\\\'s database to promote your own business. A good example of this includes: a high-end boutique and a posh hair salon or a chocolate shop and a florist.

4. Provide a sweetener. To get other companies to buy in, suggest they offer a gift voucher or another discount deal through the other business. To sweeten the deal, you might offer to pay for the business owner’s mailing or email expenses, or offer the business owner commission on any sales.

5. Partner up. To cultivate a referral stream, look for companies that may make ideal strategic partners. For instance, good examples of strategic alliances include: a landscape company and a landscape architect or a roofer and a general contractor. Since you and the other company have a shared target audience but complimentary businesses, a partnership may benefit you both.

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