People believe that just by making good products or offering good services they will magically attract customers via word of mouth. However, what you really need are stories people will talk about.
First, you can create stories about your products. Just making your products a tad different from others could create a big story. For example, littlemissmatched.com is selling socks. What makes their socks different from other socks is that they sell only mismatched socks. They also package them in odd numbers; for example, you can get a pack containing three socks (a pair and half). What a typical elementary schoolgirl will do the day after she gets these socks is to show off her new mismatched socks. The story spreads quickly, and within a week or so all the girls in the school are wearing mismatched socks. Selling socks in mismatched sets, that's all you have to do to create products people talk about.
What's even better is that you don't need new products to create a story. Recently, Yahoo! started offering unlimited e-mail storage, but it didn't buzz the world. That's because Yahoo! only sent notices to existing users. On the other hand, when Google increased its e-mail storage quota, they put up a "storage meter" on the Gmail page. The meter didn't have anything to do with actual Gmail usage; but by seeing the counter go up, users 'felt' the quota increase. As the result, people started talking about it. Today, free e-mail service is nothing new, and compared to Yahoo!'s unlimited quota, Gmail's 5GB quota is inferior. Even so, you can still create a story with a little twist.
If you want to get visitors by word of mouth, you have to create stories people will talk about. To do so, you should do something different from what your competition is doing. By doing the same thing as others, you will not get customers via word of mouth. Be different.
© November, 2009