How to create a marketing plan – The art of getting referrals

We’ll close of our blog post series with Allan by exploring strategies to get referrals by setting up proper systems, creating ventures and more.

We provide you the tools with PosterMyWall, and we also wanted to give you the expertise to run your business like never before. For that, we reached out to Allan Dib, a rebellious marketer, successful entrepreneur and author of The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money And Stand Out From The Crowd, Amazon’s #1 global marketing book.

Over the course of this blog post series, Allan will take us through nine steps to create a practical marketing plan that works for small businesses.

This is the final part (part 6) of the ‘How to create a marketing plan’ blog post series. If you haven’t read part 5, you should read that first.

Now, over to Allan.

Ask and you will receive

Something that I always find fascinating is that while small business owners rely on word-of-mouth to grow their customer base, they don’t orchestrate referrals.

If this is you, don’t worry. I’ve been there. I was the entrepreneur delivering a kick-ass service and hoping that my happy customers were going to be singing my praises as soon as they walked out the door.

The thing is, it just doesn’t work that way. Most customers only consider mentioning your company when someone raises a problem that they know you can fix.

One of the best strategies for getting what you want is to just ask.

You have to make it happen, and there are ways to do this without sounding or looking desperate. It all starts with putting a system in place that makes the flow of referrals a more reliable part of your marketing process. You could leave behind something like this:

Mr. Customer, we hope you love being a part of our gym. If you know of anyone who is looking to step up their fitness routine, we’re offering 3 coupons to each member to bring a friend for free.

Mrs. Church Member, it’s such a pleasure having you as a member of our Church/fellowship. If you know of anyone who’s looking for a Bible study group, we’d love you to bring them along to one of our wine and cheese socials. We do these once a month before Bible study. These are an excellent opportunity for those outside the church to gather and meet members, make new friends, and enjoy great food and wine before delving into study.

Here’s an example of a flyer you can customize in PosterMyWall for such a referral:


You’re acknowledging the importance of the customer and appealing to their ego. You’re not asking for a favor but instead giving something of value that they can pass on. That’s the kicker. You need to empower your customers to be the hero for their friends.

Another great strategy is to seek out complementary businesses and set up a joint venture. You can either offer to pay a finder’s fee or commission if they help to send qualified leads your way or if you are uncomfortable with this, you can create a gift card or voucher using a voucher template, that can be given to new clients. Yours would go into their store and vice versa.

It’s a win-win for both parties. You create goodwill, deliver value and acquire a new customer, one which you might never have had. Brilliant.

And that’s it, folks — the nine steps to creating a marketing plan.

I really hope you’ve enjoyed the series. If you haven’t begun mapping out your marketing plan but would like to, then consider downloading my 1PMP Canvas. You can get it here:

Wishing you all the best on your marketing journey.