June 2nd 2010
Get More Referrals
1. Referrals begin when you provide your customers with great service. They’Â€Â™ll be happy to spread the word.
2. Ask your customers who else they might know looking for the service you provide. Ask permission to cite them as a referral source.
3. If a customer compliments your work, ask them to put it in
writing for use as a testimonial. Get their permission to use their name for that purpose.
4. Always acknowledge a customer’Â€Â™s referral with a thank-you note or phone call. If you send a card, consider including a coupon to a popular restaurant or a discount on a future purchase.
5. Many businesses lend themselves well to formal referral incentive programs with cash, gifts, or discounts. Make sure these awardsÂ€Â fit in your budget, and that you have clear rules and guidelines (e.g., only one referral reward per customer during a defined period).
The Value of An Online Community
Here’s an unsolicited forum post from Darrell Aubert who has been a member of the VideoUniversity or VU Forums for over five years. He’s graduating from Penn State this year. I’ve changed all the names except for Darrell’s. He wrote:
“A Testament to the VU Community
In the last few weeks VU has again proven it’s worth to me.
Last week I scheduled to have my buddy Lars O’Reilly fly in to shoot a wedding with me. Those of you who follow the news know that a volcanic eruption caused major flight cancellations all across Europe and sadly Lar’s flight was canceled at the last minute. That’s when I called fellow VUer, BertR at the last minute to come to my rescue. He helped me shoot the wedding and did a great job.
Fast forward to this week. I am currently in New Orleans to shoot a corporate video tomorrow. When the company contacted me, it was very last minute and they were on a tight budget. When I sent in the proposal, I included using a second person in New Orleans to help me with the shoot as opposed to flying someone else down thereby reducing travel costs. This cost saving idea was the reason my proposal was accepted. That person I called was Betty. She connected me with her son, and he even offered to bring extra gear that I didn’t bring to help make the shoot better!
If it wasn’t for VU, I’m sure that I wouldn’t know these people at all or wouldn’t know them well enough to feel comfortable calling them for help. Thanks to everyone for keeping VU a great community and especially Bert, Joe, and Betty for helping me out!
See what an online commmunity can do for you? A lot. That’s not an isolated post. Here are what others said in response to Darrell’s post in the Members Only Forum at VideoUniversity. The names have been changed:
Very cool! VU is my local video association. I’d be lost without it.
It’s true, Darrell. I’ve actually had more people hire us through VU than I ever did at the LTVA (local video association)
Very true words. VU has been a great resource for us too.
Well stated, just this week I had my email problem solved by Tom & many others than helped and I’ve asked a few VU friends to critique something for me. The knowledge and years of experience runs deep here.
The VU community is a fantastic resource no matter where you are. I often think about where I would (or wouldn’t) be if we didn’t have VU.
I can pretty much attribute all of my success (fully booked wedding season 2010!) to VU. I have met some great people, learned so much, and been exposed to work by the best in the biz! From fundamental cinema tactics to good business habits, the VU community has taught me a lot! Cheers!
I think it’s hard to beat this as a business investment – $25 a year or $40 for two. If you don’t like it after a week I’ll even give you a full refund.
Join us and see what you think. You’re not alone in the video business.
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