Referrals are the bedrock of every business. Here are 3 simple things you can do to start generating referrals immediately.

First, you have to ask for a referral. If you don’t ask, the customer doesn’t realize how much they can help you. Saying something like – “Our business was built on the referral of others and we’d appreciate it if you’d recommend us to your family and friends”.

Second, make sure you have something printed you can hand to your customer. Explain how they can use it and what their friends and family will receive from this referral (typically a complimentary session and small gift print). Explain what THEY will get as another incentive to hand these out. It is typically a $50 – $100 studio credit but it can be more (or even different) but you have to find the right incentive for your type of customer. They will receive this reward once their referral has placed an order.

Finally, follow up. Don’t be afraid to check in on them and ask if they need more referral cards to hand out. They will get busy and forget so a little reminder increases your opportunity for a referral.

You might be wondering what size of card works for a referral card? It’s totally up to you. There’s no right or wrong. The only wrong is not having something! I’ve seen everything from a simple business-size card to something around 4″ x 8″ that was elaborate with a fold and an insert that held the handout redemption piece.

Here’s an eample of a clever fold design in the shape of a camera. A piece like this with a fold creates an interaction with the card that is more memorable and has more impact. They are cost effective and a sure way to increase your referal opportunities.

Marathon’s Referral card in the shape of a camera
Marathon’s Referral card in the shape of a camera

Bottom line – don’t get hung up on the perfect design. If you’re unsure just start with a business-size card. You can always do something fancier later. Just make sure your card is created out of high quality paper. Marathon offers the best papers, ink, and even foil options that give you a look and feel that supports your brand and image. Look here for more information.

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