Personal recommendations are as important in your personal life as they are in your professional life. In my line of work as the owner of Bee Young Communications and Marketing, personal recommendations are my life blood. Positive word-of-mouth recommendations are essential for a small business. But just as important as referrals are in the business world, consider how important they are in every decision you make.
“We’re living in an era where word-of-mouth is on steroids.” ~ Gary Vaynerchuk
Personal recommendations and the Neighborhood Text Chain
In my Tampa neighborhood, we have a robust text chain. The Cloister 3.0 has evolved over the six years we’ve lived here from a few to almost 20 neighbors. Every few days, someone texts looking for a recommendation. Some typical personal recommendations we are looking for:
- Pool paver cleaner
- Home remodeling (front doors, pools, bathrooms)
- Catering Service
- Bucs or Lightning tickets (CHAMPA-Bay!)
- Jewelry repair
The list of requests is long. More often than not, multiple recommendations are offered. Ninety-five percent of the time, the asker uses one of the recommendations. Everyone wants the right person/company to complete the work at the right price: someone who does top notch work. I strive to be that person with my own business.
We found someone like this for our house when we replaced the exterior doors last year. The person we selected was based on a recommendation from the Cloister text chain. ‘Kevin, the Door’s Guy’ is not only good at hanging doors, but also good at talking about his business (home remodeling). He’s more than a handyman. We asked him for a few personal recommendations, including:
- Paver Cleaner
- Screen Replacement
- Gutter Remodeling
All of Kevin’s recommendations were spot on. Furthermore, we’ve used each one more than once. When prompted, I frequently drop these contacts in the text chain as well as his when someone is looking for a personal recommendation.
“If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.” ~ Jeff Bezos
Kinsey Institute Study on Word of Mouth Recommendations
To further illustrate the point, consider this study from the Kinsey Institute. Personal recommendations are one of the three most influential factors at every step of a consumer’s journey. They are especially influential in developing markets (growing consumer market with a higher standard of living). Bottom line: Word of mouth is inﬂuential throughout the consumer decision journey.
This study showed a personal recommendation:
- Is the primary factor between 20-50% of all purchases.
- Most often beats out paid advertising
- Influences every step of the consumer’s journey
- Is most influential in the moment of purchase
- Is based on interpersonal relationships and mutual trust
“Word of mouth is the best medium of all.” ~ William Bernbach
Personal recommendations in the business sector
During the last three years, I’ve spent a lot of time and effort building Bee Young Communications and Marketing. I’ve utilized a lot of recommendations from friends. At the outset, Brett Weber (my husband’s college roommate) recommended I contact his former co-worker, Steve Beck, to develop my branding. Steve did a terrific job on the logo. I also hired him to work with me to develop my website. As a result, I’ve recommended Steve to a number of clients. Additionally, we worked together on a number of successful digital marketing projects. Recently, I gained a new commercial real estate client, all thanks to Steve’s recommendation.
From healthcare to content marketing and website development, my clients’ referrals have come from personal recommendations. Clients want to work with people they know they can trust. I’m lucky to have made a positive impact on people and continue to receive solid referrals.
Helping each other is a two-way street
Helping one another is a two-way street. Recently a former co-worker reached out. I listened at length and finally recommended they speak to someone with more experience in strategic communication. I then reached out to the strategic expert I recommended to gauge her interest. When I first started Bee Young Comms, I hesitated to bring in outside people with clients.I was afraid it would make me look underqualified. But I’ve since realized people like working with someone who isn’t afraid to bring others in for their expertise.
I started my business because I love connecting people and/or small businesses with positive solutions. When you are in need of marketing and communications assistance, please reach out to Bee Young Comms. If you aren’t sure what it is I do or how I can help, let’s set up a call and discuss your needs. No pressure. If I can’t help, I’ll help you find someone who can. As the new year dawns, I thank you for recommending me if the need arises. Let’s all pay it forward in helping one another have a successful 2023.
“Most learning is social, or what I call the cultural DNA. Everyone knows that word of mouth advertising is the best advertising. That’s social learning.” ~ Stephen Covey
Please recommend Bee Young Comms
Thank you again for your support of Bee Young Comms. If you received one of my “Cue the Confetti” notecards early in 2023, and aren’t in need of my skills, please feel free to recommend me to others.