Jim's Marketing Blog

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Word of mouth: 10 reasons why people will talk about your business!

People love to talk, you just need to give them a reason and make it easy for them to spread the word.

word of mouthWord of mouth

If you want to develop word of mouth publicity or referrals, it helps if you understand a little about what motivates people to share information about you and your business.  Here are 10 reasons I have been thinking about today.  You can add yours to this list using the comments section below.

People spread the word about you because:

  1. Something you did or said was remarkable.
  2. By sharing a nugget of information from you, they get to look well-informed.
  3. They are bored and you have made it easy to spread the word; relieving their boredom for a few moments.
  4. It’s a good way to gain your attention, particularly if they do it online and mention you by name.
  5. They trust and value what you have to say and feel compelled to share the wisdom.
  6. By spreading the word about you, it may motivate you to spread the word about them.  This is known as reciprocity.
  7. They want their name to be associated publicly with you or your brand.
  8. You made a controversial point, which they were not brave enough to make.  By spreading what you said, they get to make the point, without attracting the flack.
  9. You have been spreading the word about them for some time and they now feel obligated to reciprocate. (See number 6.)
  10. Something you just wrote or said will be of genuine value to someone they care about, who needs that help right now.  (This post is a great example.)

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  1. Fantastic post again Jim.

    I share your posts with people purely because of their value. When I start my blog, that’s what I want people to think about my art.


  2. Love it, Jim.

    How ’bout: You said something good about them, and they want to repeat it (3rd party endorsement)?

    Keep up the good work, my friend, and we’ll keep talking about your business :)

  3. Couldn’t agree more. Especially point 1. If you’re remarkable you make it easy for people to remark about you. Make it easy for them to remark about you and they’re much more likely to spread the word.

    Great article, I’ll stay tuned and I’ve already spread the word.

  4. You helped them solve a problem and they want to share the experience (gratitude).

  5. I share others links on my social statuses to initiate conversation with my friends and followers or to reference a point I’m trying to make. I just recently shared your post about bad mouthing, with another because someone had bad mouth an associate of mine and it got back to me. You would think this depth of immaturity would have been left in the halls of high school.
    (kind of #1,#5,#10 all together)

    • Hi Cindi. Firstly, thanks for letting me know how that bad-mouthing post helped your associate. It’s always great to get real world feedback like that.

      I like your use of combining several of those reasons together. Smart.

  6. Word of mouth is still one of the most powerful marketing tools that just can’t die away. When you offer your readers or clients exceptional customer service with a hint of personal touch they are going to be willing to market for you every day.

  7. I never thought of number 2 before, I like it!

  8. I really like this post!!!

  9. Jim, nice one. #6 is very insightful. So true espl in Asian cultures. The power of suggestion by sharing something what someone else is advocating. Potential gain without to much risk.

  10. Words of mouth as a marketing tools is truly effective and great. I actually learn some things here Jim, it actually helps me. Thanks!

  11. Great post Jim. As always important “stuff.” For me, the points that are most valuable are 5 and 10. When people trust, they want to share. When someone writes valuable information that hits “home,” passing the word becomes even more important.

  12. Really great post and got me thinking again about what we try and do as a business to go above and beyond because about 70% of our clients come via word of mouth. Here are a few more:

    1. because you offer a totally different solution or perspective to anyone else
    2. because your approach is different to that expected within your profession.
    3. because you send post as well as emails, tweets etc
    4. because you remember their birthday
    5. because you call to see how they’re getting on
    6. because you put a great opportunity their way even though they’re not a client
    7. because you don’t expect something in return for a favour you did for nothing
    8. because you remember what they like to drink

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