Sept. 20, 2021

A Review is The New Referral

A Review is The New Referral

In this episode Kristina is talking about a topic she is passionate about. It is something she discusses with her coaching clients, her consulting clients, her marketing service clients... and you need to utilize it too! REVIEWS!!! Tune in to this episode to understand why a review is the new referral!

The wedding business is about relationships! You have spent months if not a couple of years helping your engaged couple clients get to their wedding day. They are now like family! Why wouldn’t you ask them to give you a review after a job well done? Tune into this episode to hear the importance of referrals for your business.

Savvy engaged couples are basing vendor decisions on reviews they can find on the internet. What do your reviews say about you? Do you even have reviews out there? Asking for reviews needs to be top of the list in your off-boarding process. Listen to this episode to hear why and hear how asking is not as hard as you’ve been making it!

Reviews from happy clients pack so much more of a punch than just some nice words about you on the internet. Catch this episode to hear Kristina talk about how you can utilize those nice words in your marketing efforts!

BY THE TIME YOU FINISH LISTENING, YOU’LL UNDERSTAND that reviews are the new referrals and that they pack so much more than just the face value.

Share your system for off-boarding clients and asking for referrals with us and tag us on Facebook or Instagram @theringtheblingandallthethings

Connect with the host:

Kristina Stubblefield - www.kristinastubblefield.com social media @kristinastubblefield  

Transcript

Kristina Stubblefield  0:00  
The topic for this week's episode is a topic I am passionate about. It is something I discuss with my coaching clients, my consulting clients, my marketing service clients, and you need to utilize it to reviews. Tune in to this episode to understand why a review is the new referral. 

Welcome to Marketing Monday on The Ring The Bling And All The Things podcast. My name is Kristina Stubblefield. And for over 15 years, I've served as a marketing strategist and business coach. Also, I was once a wedding vendor. In these podcast episodes, I'm providing bite sized, digestible marketing solutions, and information that can be immediately implemented, and make an impact on your business. Now, let's dive in to this episode. 

There's no better time to talk about the topic in this episode than now. Because this is something that I'm really working on myself in on our own business. And if you've never listened to one of my episodes, then let me go ahead and give you the disclaimer that I have on some of the others. I am far from perfect. I am continuously working on our own systems processes. And honestly, that's one of the best places to be in is realizing that there may never be an actual finish line for working in or on your business. And it's ever evolving. And especially with any body in the marketing or advertising industry. It's ever evolving just like digital marketing, just like digital companies. There's always something to be worked on with your business. And this topic is one that I know the importance of, I speak about the importance of it a lot. It is one of the biggest topics that I discussed with coaching clients, with consulting clients, with clients that I do marketing services for. But most of the time, I'm talking about how important it is for them to utilize in your own business. So today's topic is reviews. And just before you're like, Okay, I've heard this song and dance before, I encourage you, I'm going to keep this short and sweet. But I encourage you to listen to some points that I'm going to make about this, especially for those businesses in the wedding industry. I'm not sure if all wedding professionals out there, I'm not sure if most wedding professionals out there know how potential clients are looking at reviews. And this always isn't the easiest thing to do because you have to take yourself out of your own business. And think about being that engaged couple that you talk to maybe at wedding shows, or that you talk to when they call you to inquire about your services, you have to put yourself in their shoes. They're not in the wedding industry. So you really have to look at it from their point of view. And I want to start by saying this. Reviews are so important, because a lot of people out there are looking at that as the new referral. Most people that are planning their weddings, or that just got engaged. Think of reviews as one of the most reliable resources when choosing their wedding professionals. I don't know how much clearer I can make it. Some people are making a decision or scaling down their list of top wedding professionals for certain categories based on the information that is found on line, and one of those top items is reviews. So if I'm saying to you, that people out there in your community are judging you not only based on your online presence, your website how you come up in the search engines. That's we've covered some of those topics before based on the reviews that are out there. So if that's the case, and it is I'm hearing it straight from engaged Apples?

If people are making their choices based on reviews, don't you really need to take the time? and figure out? How do I get more reviews for my business? Or how do I make this part of my regular off boarding process, if you don't know what I mean by that, how, once you're done with a client, do you make asking for a review Part of that end process. Because if as a wedding professional, you do not have some kind of system in place, some kind of list that you follow for each one of your clients, when you're done providing your products or your services to them, you really need to look into it. That is really an important step for all business, owners, managers, etc. Having some kind of system in place that happens when you're done providing products or services to someone. I'm not going to dive very deep into this, because that is a completely different topic. But if you want to stay top of mine, if you want to be referred, if you just want to stay relevant, you need to have some kind of ongoing communication. After you're done providing your business product or service to a client. Now, reviews, it should be part of that process. I get it, asking for reviews can be super difficult for some people, I fall in that boat. And I'm going to explain why. For many, many, many years, I have done marketing and advertising services, I have worked with a number of people, most all of our business is referral based. We've do very little advertising to speak of Honestly, it is from people that we are currently doing business with or that we have done business with in the past. Some people refer us that we have not done business with in 578 years, maybe even longer than that. And as wonderful as that sounds, it is to be honest with you, it's absolutely wonderful. There is nothing negative to say about that. But the number of times that I have asked people for reviews is few and far between. and it. And here's the worst part about this. I know people will write them, they just don't think about it. And you can't assume that someone's automatically going to be like, oh, that business was great. They provided me great service. Let me go write a review for them. That's not always at the top of people's minds. We have to ask of our audience, we have to ask of our clients, what do you want them to do for you. If you have provided products or services and people are happy with it, they're going to shout it from the rooftop. They just might not be thinking about hopping on Google or hopping on your website, or sending you a review to include in your marketing material. Because they have their own life going on. They could be another business owner, and we know what that's like. I have also been guilty of that, too. You know, as someone who has had to say to me, Hey, if you're happy with my service, will you write a review for me? And I'm like, of course I will. Gosh, I wish I would have thought of that sooner. But yes, of course I will. And I am just as guilty as this as the next person. But I'm here to tell you, I've had this conversation recently because I knew I was going to do this as one of my podcast episodes for marketing Monday. And I've been having this conversation. And it is amazing the number of people that are thinking the same way that I was. I mean, gosh, I really hate to bother them, or does that seem strange that I'm asking for a review.

I have went back and I have asked some of my clients. They were so excited. They were just like, of course, where do you want me? How do you want me to do it? When do you want me to do it? Do you want me to do it now? I can't do it today but I can do it tomorrow. They were thrilled, no negative feedback whatsoever. If you have provided the service that you were supposed to, there would be no reason for someone not to want to write a review about you. A lot of times, this is a mindset issue, that you think that you're, you're asking someone to spend time doing something for you that they don't, they don't have time or they're too busy. That how gosh, that may seem tacky, or Well, I'm releasing professional asking, I have news for you, your competitors are they're doing it. Reviews are so important, they should be at the top of your list. Because most of the time engaged couples are checking wedding professional reviews, before they may even visit your website. before they ever, ever pick up the phone to call you and have a conversation, or to even send an inquiry about if you're available. That's how important reviews are. It is really a first impression for someone that doesn't know you. And they're online. If they're not talking to you, there is no better person for them to hear from than someone who has already done business with you. And if I seem very passionate about this, I am. Because I know the difference that reviews can make for businesses. I've seen it firsthand with my own clients. And still, I have always kind of left it on the back burner, and not really made it a priority. I have some reviews out there. We have reviews out there on our business. But they're few and far between. But just within the last two weeks, I have said something to let's just say four or five people, I believe it was five people. The static, happy to do so. How long can they be? Where do I want them to put them? What format do I want them in? format. That's another issue. We're gonna get that to that at the end. But we all know that the wedding business is about relationships. This is no different. Those reviews that are out there online for your business product or service is going to help you build trust with potential clients. People are happy with your business, they've loved the products or services that you've provided them. Ask them because they want an outlet to help you. They just don't know how reviews can help you. Or they're not thinking about hopping online and writing reviews for you. We live in a digital age of mobile phones and social media and Google it's at their fingertips. They have so many ways online to make decisions about your business, without even having a conversation with you without meeting you at meeting you at a wedding show without talking to you on the phone or communicating through email. So if you have these clients that are happy with you, why would you not ask for their review. So that way you can tell the true story about your business to those out there searching on the internet. If you know Okay, before people ever even talked to me, they're gonna they're gonna see what's out there online about me. Give them the true story. Give them the opportunity to read how you have helped engaged couples plan bring to life. Whatever their special day, they deserve to have the full story out there to make a decision about who they're using as their wedding professionals. The other thing is, what you can do with the information that is provided to you in reviews. Let me break that down. Some reviews give you

increased search engine results. And what I mean by that is it can help you organically in the search engines just by people going out there and writing reviews for you on different websites or on Google or Putting a review on your own website. And I've already mentioned about building trust. But your reviews also allow you to build better relationships. The other thing is gaining feedback, you're getting wording straight from your audience straight from clients you've done business with. That feedback can provide you wording for your website, it can provide you wording for your marketing material. As business people, we kind of tend to use our own lingo that goes with the industry we're in. But that's not always the same across the board for everyone, including those in your industry and your clients. So paying close attention to the wording that they use in their reviews, maybe there's the same thing in several reviews, the same item gets addressed in every review, maybe that's a possibility that can be turned into something for your FAQ page or section on your website. There is so much more in a review, than it just popping up somewhere on the internet. That could also be a social media post, it can actually be a post on all of your different social media channels done a few days apart. I mean, it could even be done the same day. Reviews pack so much more power than just the face value of the review. Just think about it, if people make decisions about wedding professionals with the reviews that are out there. If you open up that door for your business, by getting people to write reviews about you, you're probably going to attract more leads and sales. And a lot of times, that's what wedding professionals are looking for in their marketing efforts is more leads for available dates that they have. Again, there's so much more to reviews than meets the eye. The other thing is, and I know you're out there thinking this one last piece, but I'm holding it till the end. The other thing is replying to reviews, can really showcase your customer service skills. It gives the impression that you care. And I'm not saying that you don't care. But it's Oh, this was a good review. And they still replied and acknowledges to the person that wrote the review. Oh, they saw my review. And they commented, but to a potential client. Wow, look at that. Not only was the client happy with the service provided that the business cared so much that they took time to reply to that review. And let's be honest, most reviews in order to reply to them takes a few seconds. It's not even something that takes a lot of time. But the impression that it gives off is so much greater than the few seconds that it takes to respond to that review. showcasing your customer service skills is very important to your business because of a person is not going to talk to you on the phone. Or they're not going to communicate with you through email before they make a decision to possibly include you in their shortlist of vendors for their special day. Then you have to find other ways to showcase your personality, your business skills, your customer service skills. It can be very difficult, but this reviews part of the business

is not difficult. It just takes some time. Of course you've got to ask. And most of the time, as I mentioned, it's mindset that in your way from asking, hell, you probably did a great job with all of your past clients. Maybe you just haven't thought about asking for reviews. Maybe you've been hesitant. What will somebody think? Should I really ask for them? Let me give you a piece of advice. It's taken me a long time to get here. Move out of your own way. Let me repeat, move out of your own way. Don't hesitate ask him for those reviews. You probably worked your butt off on whatever they needed for their their special day. No matter what type of service you provided, you probably really worked hard and had your heart and soul in it. Don't hesitate asking for a review, because I'm here to tell you. There's clients out there that are just waiting for you to ask because it's not at the top of their mind. And when we talk about weddings, we're talking about experiences. What do you think engaged couples want to hear about other people's experiences? And what is a way to do that? Through reviews? Through reviews, and I know, it could probably sound like I'm harping a little bit. But in all honesty, I'm also saying this to myself, I'm not better than anyone else out there. As I mentioned, I'm continuously working on my business and my brand. Together, we can open up opportunities to let people know how good we are at what we do, by allowing others to write reviews. So we can put the connection together. Again, it's about relationships. Now, I'm gonna talk about two other things. One of which is negative reviews, because I know what's crossing your mind if you're listening to this episode. No matter what type of review someone writes about you, I wholeheartedly believe you should reply. Now, I can't give all the answers, because every, every situation on a negative review could be different. But here is what I will say to that. Number one, yes, you should reply. Number two, remember, not only the person that wrote the review is going to read the reply. As I mentioned before, replying to reviews can showcase your customer service skills. This is a great opportunity to do that. I'm sorry that you got a bad review. After all, there are some people out there, it doesn't matter what you do, you cannot make them 100% happy. But it's how you handle yourself in your business. In that reply, that can make the most impact. Most of the time when I have had in the past, some people ask me about I got this negative review. Would you mind to take a look at it? Would you provide me some insight? Most of the time, I will tell people do not instantly reply right after reading it. It's not usually the best answer. It's not usually the best way to go about it is you read a review, you're a little amped up, maybe it doesn't sit well with set well with you in you instantly type something out that maybe isn't your best foot forward. So although I don't think you should set on it for a number of days, there have been times before that I've told someone to sleep on it. That I've told someone to take a couple hours and come back and revisit it. Don't reply out of impulse. That's the answer I want to give you. But I do believe every review should receive a reply. I do think negative reviews, or reviews that are not the most positive should be addressed in a way that allows you to shine through with your skills, whether it be customer service, whether it be your business skills, again, every situation is going to be different. Now I'm also a big fan of video testimonials.

So much so that I use a software. When I do ask people for them. To be honest with you. I don't know that I've sent a video testimonial request to anyone that has not replied back with a testimonial, maybe one or two bits because they've had other things going on, but they've still messaged me back and said yes, I want to do this. It's just gonna be you know, a week or two before I can do it. What I mean is I've never sent something out and not heard anything but crickets. That's never happened. I'm not gonna say it wouldn't happen. But video testimonials are awesome, especially for your own website. It's one thing to read words on a screen. It is another thing to see the expressions to see the emotion. When a person is talking about their experience with a business in the resource section on On our podcast website, if you go there, I list out the software that I use. And there's actually even a free version of it. That works for most people. And I absolutely love it and encourage people to dive into video testimonials. It's very personable, it can be used in many platforms, when they, when they record a video testimonial, it comes back to you in a format that's ready to use on social media, your website, emails, it doesn't matter. So video testimonials are great, if you have not ask your audience, for reviews, if that's not something that you do on a regular basis, starting with video testimonials may not be the answer for you. It's just something I encourage you to consider because of how powerful they are when you actually see a person talking about their experience with a business. So here's some homework that I want to leave with you want to consider it homework or a goal. I would encourage you to start with some of your most recent clients. Don't go back and be like, Oh, my goodness, I got to go back two or three years, start with 234 or five of your most recent clients. And then make it a goal to reach out to X number of clients a week. That goal needs to be set by each person that's listening. It's it's not blanketed across everyone. Because you need to be realistic. If that number is I need to make sure I reach out to one of my past clients a week and ask them to write a review about me, then that's what that needs to be. Maybe you're feeling a little adventurous and you want to ask for three to five a week. Just be realistic with your goals you set. Then, once you get some of those under your belt, you get some reviews start to think about how can I make this part of my process, when I complete a job or when I'm finished with a client? That this just becomes part of my business that a week later, a month later, whatever timeframe is best for your business? That I email them? Or I send them a text message. And it doesn't just have to be Hey, did you like what I provided for you? If so, will you write a review for me? No, it can be personable. As a matter of fact, it doesn't just have to be, hey, I really loved working with you. Would you write a review? It could be it depends on your relationship with your past client. But you can start off with a conversation piece. Maybe that, hey, it's been two weeks since your wedding day. Thank you so much for letting me be part of it. I really enjoyed it. If you were happy with everything, would you please take a moment and write a review about my business so I can share it with other engaged couples. I'm just giving you a quick scenario. You can also start it off with something memorable from their event. I cannot believe that a month has gone by since you and so and so said I do. I was privileged to be part of your special day. I'll never forget the flower girl doing this. If you don't mind, would you please write a review for me so I can share your experience with other interested clients.

Again, it comes back to the relationship with your client. You get to decide how your business is ran. Just like you get to decide how you communicate with your previous client in regards to obtaining a review. The whole takeaway from this episode is ask for the reviews. Don't get hung up on the technology. Don't get hung up on won't. Where should I have them write a review. I'll give you the easiest piece of advice as some of your past clients to write it on Google. Ask a few of them maybe to write it on Facebook. Ask if you have them to just email you a review. You can always repurpose those across multiple platforms. You don't have to jump into all this different technology out there about reputation management and reviews. Just get started with asking for the reviews. So that the reviews can work for your business, since people are making decisions based on the information that's out there on the internet before they ever have a conversation, or have the opportunity to meet you. I hope you found this episode helpful. I am going to make it a goal for myself to ask for a couple of reviews for a week. here soon on my social media, I will post an update in regards to this, I'm going to plan to share out some of the reviews and testimonials that I receive. And if you have any feedback about this episode or have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to me, you can always go to the ring, the bling and all the things website or just visit Christina stubblefield.com. Until next time, everyone stay safe and keep working on your business.

Thank you for tuning in to this marketing Monday episode of The Ring The Bling And All The Things. If you would like to get notified of upcoming episodes, make sure to click the subscribe or the Follow button on your favorite podcast platform. We welcome any feedback from topic ideas to questions you may have. You can visit our website for previous episodes, or to send us a message just visit theringtheblingandallthethings.com

Transcribed by https://otter.ai