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Using Customers to Advertise Your Business

Using Customers to Advertise Your Business

Using Customers to Advertise Your Business

As a chamber of commerce, our members often ask for marketing advice. We've found that the best people to go out and advertise for small local businesses are their customers. Businesses in our area have a solid connection to the community, and using their successful prior business interactions is a perfect way to leverage that connection.

So how do you turn your customers into billboards promoting your business? Here are a few ideas.

Keep them thinking of you

Your customers need to remember your business before they'll refer you to their friends, colleagues, and family. The best way to build brand recognition is to provide them with value and keep them engaged. Newsletters with market updates, the latest product releases, and lifestyle tips work very well. Do you have an email list? If not, you should probably start building one. Once you establish your business as an expert in your sector that provides excellent service and value in your customers' minds, you're on your way to building a community of repeat customers who will recommend you.

The Human Element

The Chamber is all about community and businesses defining themselves as having a stake in their surroundings is crucial to tapping into their customers. They want to see you as relatable and a part of their community; in other words, connect on a human level!

You can follow several routes to add the human element to your business. For example, handwritten thank-you notes go a long way toward building a rapport with your customers. Follow up with them to see how their experience or your interaction was. Be professional, but if you can, keep your communication informal. For example, many people are put off by emails from businesses that appear cold or merely transactional. They can sense right away when a business is only trying to part them from their money.

Remember the little details of your regular customers that you know well. For example, ask them about their families when you see them; how are the kids doing in school? Is their Mom feeling well today? But, of course, you need to be careful where to put the line—not every customer wants you to be too familiar, and it may not be appropriate in certain types of businesses.

Ask for Referrals

If you're doing all these things right, customers will naturally refer you to people they know. But don't be afraid to ask—that little reminder might just be the key to keeping you in their minds when they are speaking with other potential clients and customers. In addition, it can help to offer incentives such as discounts or free items for successful referrals.

Once your business is naturally getting referrals and you have a good reputation for excellent service and quality, this can keep your business growing for the long term. Additionally, it makes for significant savings on your marketing budget!


It might seem old-fashioned today, but throwing a party for your customers is great for connecting with your community. Even if it's just bringing people together for coffee and cake, or offering a special discount weekend, your clients will appreciate it and talk about it with their friends, colleagues, and family. Use an excuse, such as a milestone for your business or a popular holiday with your community.

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