We’ve shared lots of helpful hints for newly self-employed tradespeople looking for a bit of a marketing boot lately. From picking the perfect name and promoting your plastering service, to finding quick, cost effective ways to get your name out there as a self-employed plumber. This week, however, we’re going to be taking a closer look at one very specific corner of marketing – referrals.

Anecdotally, recommendations and referrals make up a big slice of custom for self-employed tradespeople. In our experience, clients really like recommendations from people they trust, valuing this over the ease of finding a tradesperson online. Word of mouth may sound a bit old hat in our digital age, but when it comes to their homes, clients like to stick to what they (and their friends) know.

With this in mind, we’re going to be sharing a few things you can do to maximise your referrals and boost the positive word of mouth surrounding your business…

1. Go the extra mile

Be the sort of tradesperson that clients mention to their friends. From making sure the place is spick and span before you leave, to offering detailed care instructions (or even helping with bringing in the shopping!); if there’ anything you can do to make your service stand out with something extra special – do it. This is the kind of marketing money can’t buy.

2. Use business cards

It might sound obvious, but business cards are essential to boosting word of mouth. When you complete a job, make a point of leaving a few cards (complete with an eye-catching design, naturally) and asking your client to share your details if they’re happy with your service.

3. Offer incentives

Just as taxi app Uber offers financial incentives when users share the application with others, you could consider offering discounts when a client recommends your service and their contact gets in touch. Whether that’s 10% off on your original client’s next project or 5% off for both your old client and new customer, have a think about what new business is worth to you and come up with a tempting incentive which boosts referrals.

How much of your business currently comes from referrals and recommendations? How do you increase word of mouth? Share your experience with other tradespeople below…