Is Word of Mouth Enough to Grow Your Business?

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Hey, fellow business owners turned storytellers. I know you’re busy running a business and doing its marketing, but I have a question to ponder on. Do you think that word of mouth is sufficient to lift you up?

And no, I won’t be the crazy person to claim that word of mouth doesn’t help grow your small business.

When your customers share the positive experience they have with your brand, it’s probably one of the most important factors for the success of your cafe, restaurant or craft shop. So it’s no accident that there is a Word of Mouth Marketing Association and that the cutesy WOMM has been introduced as a handy acronym.

To find some answers, I’ve put some thoughts here.

Word of mouth vs. word of mouth marketing

There is, of course, naturally occurring word of mouth that simply comes as a result of people’s infatuation with your product or services. They like it – they say it – they share it with the world. And their friends, relatives or online acquaintances often replicate this behavior because there is no stronger trust-building method than the opinion of somebody you respect.

But then every brand wants to get that attention, whether it’s deserved or not. So here comes word of mouth marketing, which is based on the same premises as the other one, but uses the means of marketing to reach further. It tries to create the environment and offer incentives to influential guys, often online, to share their positive opinion about a business, so that others get inspired to use it.

Whether you’re relying on the spontaneous or the assisted word of mouth, there is something you should know.

You should give people the right words for word of mouth

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Word of mouth is not only about people talking about your brand. It’s about them talking about your brand in the right way.

Yes, you might try to remember this great dry cleaning place that your sister mentions and go there the next time you need such a service. But the goal is to inspire people to come over and clean all their winter coats at once – just because somebody shared with them how awesome your business is.

And, need I say, the way to achieve this is with your cool, truthful and heartfelt brand story. Your customers might not remember the complete list of your great products or services that show your expertise in the field.

But if you tell them how it all started for you, how you’ve struggled to create something meaningful, what you put every day in order to run your business – of course, all in a subtle and skillful storytelling – they’ll be yours. And everybody they know too.

The more authentic – the better

If I had to stick to a one-line answer to the question whether you can grow your business only with word of mouth, it’d be a big fat yes. If done right, which means authentic, powerful, immediate, emotional, and simply inspiring.

Looking for ways to make the best of your brand story for your word of mouth efforts? Try Edgar’s Detective Brand Story Canvas. You’ll learn more about your business than you’ve ever imagined. And you can do it yourself!

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