The Power of Referrals

Any freelancer must know the massive importance of referrals and word-of-mouth. Both promotional methods are vital for a developer to get good, profitable leads.

From my personal experience, I can say that almost all of my projects come from four main sources. Each of these four sources were some of my very first clients, for whom I slaved hours on end. However, in the end, each was extremely pleased with my work and I have profited greatly from them simply referring friends to me.

Referrals are easy to obtain as long as you approach the task correctly.

  1. Perform outstanding work for the client. Your overall development process - communication, timeliness, perfection, creativity, etc. - has to be conversation-worthy.
  2. Once the project is completed, ask the client to refer people to you.
  3. Some developers offer an incentive - such as a discount - if the client refers new clients. Personally, I have never tried this.

Another good hint is not to ask every client about referrals. Why? Not every client is going to be a pleasant one. If the client was a pain to deal with, it is very likely that the people he/she refers are going to have a similar attitude. Also, if the client did not overall express happiness about your work there is no reason to ask them about referrals, because he/she probably will not give them anyways.

If you do remarkable development, then it is very likely clients will refer people to you just by nature. People tend to talk about things that went well and that they liked.

There are entire businesses built upon referrals. They are powerful. Never underestimate how profitable they can be.