With far too many companies advertising on TV and on the internet, consumers have learned to ignore the traditional way of marketing. Yes, even banners or buying spots on Youtube can also be considered traditional.
Being seen or even making an impression no longer works like it used to. We no longer try products mainly because we saw them on TV or we got emotionally attached to their TV commercial. They may get our attention, but it doesn't necessarily convert to a sale. Most of the time, we try them because someone else told us about them. We try new products mostly because of word of mouth.
Word of mouth remains the most effective tool of marketing. It still has the highest conversion rate among all marketing techniques. Most of the time, it requires the smallest budget.
Apple built its business by creating products so remarkable that it had evangelists, fanboys, and fangirls spreading the word about the company and its products.
As individuals building small businesses or starting our careers, we can also make use of word of mouth marketing in spreading the word about our business or the work we do—to gain new customers and true fans or to have projects approved within the company.
But, we have to remember the first two rules of word of mouth marketing:
1. We have to create a product or render a service so remarkable that people would be willing to spread the word about it. Otherwise, no matter how much effort you put into marketing, if the product or service is not remarkable by itself, people would still not be willing to spread the word.
2. We have to be the first ones to spread the word about what we do. We have to be the first one to believe in our work, in our project, in our mission, and in ourselves. We, ourselves, have to be convinced that what we do matters. If we told it to ourselves, would we buy or avail of our own services? Otherwise, how would people buy or recommend us and what we do?
I have been failing at doing number two, a lot. Whenever people ask me what I do, I tell them that I'm a blogger. But, there's always a "but."
"But, my blog is not yet that big in terms of traffic."
"But, my blog is not yet earning as much as I want it to earn."
"But, my blog only has an average of ___ page views per day."
Do you do the same whenever you're asked about what you do?
Sometimes, all we need is to be more confident in ourselves and in what we do. We have to have high self-worth. Only then can word of mouth marketing, or whatever marketing technique, work for us and spread the word about what we do.
Many times, our success starts with us.