Testimonial & Referrals will secure your business future

Newsletter 19 February 2009

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I filmed a powerful presentation by Business Guru Robert Craven last week - How to survive the Credit Crunch. It was an eye opener!

Sure, he gave some bad news, but let’s leave the dark side and let the force be with you – he predicts that by next year some businesses will be more successful than ever with an increased market share and less competition. You can achieve this, he says, if you don’t cut your marketing budget but work more effectively with the same marketing spend. Do this and you’ll probably be in a stronger position next year than you are now, providing your business is sound and well organised today.

So, how does Robert suggest you can make your marketing more powerful without spending more money? Two cost-effective ways you can improve your marketing performance, without increasing your marketing costs, he said, are to make more use testimonials and ask for referrals.

Asking for referrals is something most of us feel uncomfortable doing, it’s something I’m certainly guilty of, but it’s absolutely crazy not to ask clients for referrals. If a client is happy with you and your business, they will be happy to introduce you to potential new clients, if you make it easy for them!

You need to be direct and specific when you ask for referrals – if I ask you: “Do you know anyone who’d like to use my video or photography services?” You’d probably say: “Hmmm let me think about it.” Then you’d get busy with your own business and forget about it. But, if I’m direct and specific, and ask you: “Who do you know whose business would benefit from using my corporate portrait photography?” You’d probably give me a name, or two, maybe even a dozen or two – instantly - all I need to do is write their names down.

If you like the referral idea, there are also several referral organisations, where giving and receiving referrals is the essence of the group. Some businesses find them very successful, they could work for you, I know the BRX network would welcome you to come as a visitor and see if the idea appeals to you. Here’s a video email I produced for the BRX network, see what you think?

BRX video link

Testimonials build your business. So, when you deliver an outstanding piece of work, and your clients says: “That’s great” why not ask them straight away to put it in writing, or make it even easier for them by offering to write it for them and
then ask them to print it on their letterhead – then use it! Put it in your brochure. Get it on your website - Or better yet, ask me to come and video them and put that on your website – take a look at the sort of testimonial your business needs.

Debra Bookbinder of My Town Tiggers – an organisation supporting autistic children and their families – commissioned me to produce a DVD and online video to promote their work to a national audience. She was really happy with my production – so I asked her to let me video what she had to say. You can also watch the video that generated the testimonial, if you wish.

debra bookbinder testimonial

So that’s a couple of ideas you can use to secure your business and your future. Incidentally, Robert Craven’s most important piece of advice was: Take Action Now. So do something positive today, and every day.

Finally, here’s my marketing bit: If you think your business could benefit from my corporate photography or video, give me a call, let’s talk about it.


P.S. Last week I offered a free Corporate Portrait to the reader who provided the best suggestion of how I could improve my website, last chance to get you comments to me is next Tuesday, I’ll let you know who won and why next week.

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Alan Howarth - happy working on the Web & in the Real World

Alan Howarth: Corporate Photographer, Corporate Video Producer and Corporate Writer based near Blackpool, Preston & Lancaster, Lancashire in the North West of the UK, I frequently work in Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham and I spend 50% of my time working in London. within the M25, I travel throughout the UK and often work in mainland Europe, with work published throughout the world. I'll go anywhere - except war zones.

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