A business will succeed when there is a constant influx of new customers. You may have tried asking for referrals, but find that even this wanes in results after constant use.

Where, then, do you search for new opportunities to be referred? Here are some suggestions.

On Facebook

Get active on Facebook by creating a fan page for your business and interacting with your community on a daily basis. Engagement on a regular basis on your Facebook page allows fans the opportunity to get to know you and your brand better – on a deeper level than a mere acquaintance. You can ask for feedback, give advance notice of your latest shipments, offer your Facebook fans special discounts and send out invites to your events. Ask that friends and fans share your page and / or content (blogs, shout-outs). Just remember to thank your customers for their referrals and ask for permission if you plan to use their testimonials in your advertising.

Or you could hold a contest of Facebook. This may seem a little gimmicky – but it works. Everybody likes free things. Try using your Facebook page to host a contest in order to give away a free service. Offer an enticing prize – like a free service provided to the winner – and then encourage your Facebook fans to enter by sharing the content with their friends. Everyone who shares gets an entry to win your free service, so the word spreads fast. Once the contest is over, you can reach out to entrants that didn’t win to offer your service at a special price.

At Special Events

Event marketing can help you grow your small business in a fun, relaxed way. Invite your clients and their friends to a special event sponsored by your small business. But don’t run a boring seminar. Think of something fun – like a wine tasting or a guided bike tour. It needs to be something that your clients, and their friends, would want to attend. Invite each client to bring a friend. It’s really a win-win because your guests have a great experience, and you get to break the ice with potential new clients.

From Your Existing Clients

The best way to get new small business clients is through referrals from satisfied existing clients. The happy clients are like your own personal walking ambassadors – they are capable of recommending your business to their own set of friends… which paves the way for their friends recommending you again to their acquaintances.

Remember, nothing speaks better about your brand than living up to your brand promises, providing impeccable quality and service, and satisfying an existing need.

Encourage your loyal and satisfied clients to refer your business to others, in exchange for a referral discount. “Bring in a friend” is a good sales tactic. Once the new prospect in introduced, wow them with your products and services and be the solution to their want.