paraocchi

How is your WOMM going today?

Using Word of Mouth Marketing to Get New Business

I haven’t quit on social media like Twitter, but I am no longer bound by it, either. I spent a couple of years collecting Twitter Followers and was connecting with no one. I didn’t make time to respond to comments because I got tired of the snarkiness and rudeness of anonymous people when they responded to one of my Tweets.

Use WOMM Instead of SM

Social media, I have discovered, is not the way to get new business. A much better way is Word of Mouth Marketing, or what I call WOMM.

During the eight months I have focused on corporate work, I have found that walking in the neighborhood and simply asking somebody about their day is a much better way to generate leads. Several times now I have heard this two or three blocks from my home: “Hey, do you know…” or “Maybe you could…” And somebody tells me about a local company that uses writers. One of those WOMM leads turned into a client and I am working on the other one.

Several years ago, my wife told me about a content chief at a local law firm. That contact is about to turn into some work for me. We became friends over football, not about work. We would still be friends even if he didn’t have work for me.


Growing My Business With WOMM

I left newspapers full-time in 1992 and started to build my editorial business. By 1995, I had written for more than 125 news outlets. I hit the deadline and did the work well, so editors passed my name around the industry by WOMM. There would be regional and national meetings and editors would say, “Hey, if you’re short on travel money, there’s a guy named Ray in Atlanta.” Several told me they passed my name around.

Business got pretty good because I could be trusted, and people shared my name by word of mouth. Check out this article about Nielsen’s worldwide survey and the circle of trust:

http://www.nielsen.com/id/en/press-room/2015/WORD-OF-MOUTH-RECOMMENDATIONS-REMAIN-THE-MOST-CREDIBLE.html


Viral WOMM

The key is Word of Mouth Marketing that can go viral. One method I am going to try is the local/neighborhood newsletter. So try writing a blog post on a local issue. Somebody is going to see it and a door could open.

The secret ingredient is always how aggressively to pursue business close to home. You can’t be overbearing — just remember to:

  • Make it about the client, and
  • Make it about solving a problem.

Why not give WOMM a try? It could be the key to growing your freelance business.

Authored by Ray Glier

Ray Glier has been a freelance journalist in Atlanta for 24 years and part of the newspaper industry for 42 years. While he has been reporting for millions of readers (NY Times, Washington Post, USA TODAY, Gannett) for decades, he has recently started labeling his reporting “Content Marketing.” Please visit http://www.rayglier.com