One of the first things you learn when you start on your entrepreneurial journey is that goal setting is critical. The first goals for many of us is to clean out our cubical and hand in our resignation. Achieving this goal is truly akin to getting a 1000 pound gorilla off your back. I know because I am coming up on the one year anniversary of doing this exact thing. But once you have done this, what’s next? What’s the next big goal you should work towards?
I read a great article yesterday on the topic of companies paying to incentivize getting their customers to provide word-of-mouth referrals. The article was titled “The Real Truth About Referral Incentives” and the author Jeff Riddle puts into context a lot of what I have been blogging about over the last week. In my last post, I suggested that putting your best customers at the center of your advertising strategy was the first thing you should do to work towards achieving the coveted viral loop. In this post I want to share a few of Jeff’s ideas in the context of your desire to create a viral referral loop for your business.
Every bootstrapping entrepreneur knows that they need to spend more time on their advertising strategy, but for one reason or another don’t. I belive the reason for this is that it is often expensive and time consuming to figure out the ins and outs of all the various ways you can advertise your business to drive new customer traffic in the door. Everything from pay per click (PPC) ads, banner ads, social media marketing, yellow pages, radio and television is offered up by pushy sales reps trying to convince you that their solution will provide a ROI. I say ignore all of this and focus on this: YOUR BEST CURRENT CUSTOMERS!!!
I was chatting with my mom over the weekend about how the different online advertising campaigns she was trying were doing for her business. She is the business manager and co-owner of a chiropractic wellness center in Georgia. What I heard made me cringe. She told me that the money she was spending on internet advertising wasn’t providing a return on investment. She also told me that after several years of trying various online advertising campaigns most of her business still comes from word of mouth advertising.
One of the things you will see me repeat over and over again in this blog is that getting an advertising campaign to go viral is both an art and a science, and therefore requires both left brain and right brain thinking.
We all know you can’t condense the “art” of making something go viral into a nice neat formula. However, there is a simple formula that explains the “science” of going viral.
Every entrepreneur who is bootstrapping their business knows that learning how to make something go viral is an important skill to have when marketing on a budget. Unfortunately, learning this process is not something you can Google and figure out. Getting an advertising campaign to go viral is both an art and a science, and therefore requires both left brain and right brain thinking. This is the main reason people attribute the process of going viral to luck, as this is the easiest way to explain something going viral when you are unable to unravel the complicated path that was traveled before hockey stick growth kicked in.
Today’s bootstrapping entrepreneur knows that the holy grail of marketing on a tight budget is to get one of your advertising campaigns to go viral. How lucky would it be for you to get the very first ad you publish for you new venture to go viral within 30 days of launch driving millions of visitors to your website? But is it really luck? Well there are two schools of thought on this.