How To Double Your Customer Base Without Spending A Penny

Make Them A Hero

Silence may be golden, but it’s no great help when it comes to building your business. You need to get the word out so that customers / clients come a-knocking each and every day. But saying “Hey, guys, I rock!” isn’t always the most effective way to earn a stranger’s trust (no matter how rocking you may be). Remember, that stranger has been burned before by promises that didn’t pan out.

But when a stranger hears about your rocking ways from someone they trust, winning their attention (and cash-generating loyalty) becomes oh-so-much-easier … and closing deals happens a lot faster. So here are three ways to make it easier to draw customers in, month after month:

#1 – Make Them A Winner

Admit it, you love it when someone brags about your victories. Makes you feel hella good. Your customers are no different. They want to feel good about themselves, and about the money they spent with you. So make it easy on them.

Make it a habit to talk to each customer before/during/after the job about their expectations for the work you do, how they were exceeded, and how that made a difference for them. Notice that you’re not looking for them to brag on you – you want them to brag on themselves.

Here’s why this works: Ask yourself what’s a more effective sell: “My accountant is the best!” … or, I saved $4,000 by calling this guy.” When your customers brag about the results they achieved, the people who trust them want to hop on the gravy train themselves. Make your customers focus on how they’re winners because of working with you, and their trusted contacts will follow.

#2 – Make Them An Offer

Letting your customers know that they can receive referral bonuses is always a good way to bring in additional business, but it can be a double-edged sword if you’re not careful. If customers pitch you to their contacts simply to line their pockets, those contacts will see right through the pretense and both you and that customer lose credibility.

However, if you’ve taken the time to make your customer feel like a winner, they’ll have a lot more credibility when referring your service to their contacts. Instead of hearing “Buy This!” their contacts will hear, “Here’s how I solved a problem that you have too – check it out.”

And that referral bonus you hand out to your revenue generating customers is golden for two reasons – first, because you don’t pay it out until after the new customer is acquired, and second because it’s a whole lot cheaper than other forms of advertising.

#3 – Make Them A Hero

If you’ve made your customer feel like a winner, take it a step further by allowing them to spread the love. Give them a special discount offer that they can pass along to their contacts. Put them in the position to do those contacts a favor by extending that discount and everybody wins. You get the business, your customers gain appreciation from their contacts, and you don’t spend a penny on advertising that might or might not have brought in that customer.

So What’s Your Plan? Tell Us Below …

How will you use these tips to bring in more business? Take a moment now to share how you’re implementing these customer-doubling strategies and learn from what others have posted.



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  1. says

    Hey Dave,

    A surprise discount works wonders. Have done that a few times.

    It gives you a good reason to call up all your customers, connect, and let them know so they can “get their orders in on time”.

    20% off for the month of “blank” is generally a popular deal. It’s not a massive discount, but it’s significant enough to create some motivation and some winning customers.

  2. says

    Good information. People spend a lot to increase their customer base. If this is possible without spending a single penny, then it is always preferrable. Good job!

  3. says


    Limited time deals are also good to boost up sales (and morale, productivity, etc) when things are a little slow.

    And the zoom is good. The zoom is very good. haha

    My progress is sure and steady, which is what I like.

    Probably the best thing I’ve done to date is post less. I’m taking a little more time to write much better posts. I’m happy. Visitors are happy. It’s win-win.

  4. says

    @Sagar –

    Thanks for the kind words.

    @Shane –

    Glad to hear you’re taking your time with the posts – it’s amazing how much writing improves when you add even just a little more simmering time to the process …

  5. says

    Would love to use your widget on my desktop to keep up with your excellent community. Alas, I am a MAC/OSX guy and can’t use silly .exe files and all that microsquish hoopla. Let me know when you folks decide to become sleek and agile. I’ll continue to use platform neutral desktop widgets I’ve enjoyed for so long. Drag and drop is where it’s at.


  6. says


    If only more businesses realized that paying more attention to their current customers is so much easier than going out and finding new customers. I’ve always believed that word-of-mouth marketing is the best.

    Excellent post!

  7. says


    Thanks for you kind words.

    Word-of-mouth marketing is indeed a winner – and on that note, how did you hear about FreelanceFolder?

  8. says

    Your advice is good as it makes the customer feel special and it extends an opportunity to grow your business. You need to WOW customers and you present a great approach.

  9. Matt says

    Great read! I’ve been using the limited time discount now for the past 2 months and it works great! Business has picked up well and the the clients have been excellent.

    I do have one question:

    How much is a fair referral bonus for a client? I have thought of doing this for a while as well, but have never came to a conclusion as to what they should receive. Some referrals have gotten me as little as $200 but others have brought in a lot more, so I didn’t know if there should be a set price or perhaps a percentage of the amount I made. Any suggestions?

  10. says

    Very great article. I have yet to try to engage my current customers but after reading this article and hearing the feedbacks of all those who commented, I am now more likely to go out and try these methods since it wouldn’t hurt to try.

  11. says

    That’s what I tell anyone that is interested in E-Commerce.

    You have to leverage your current customer base.

    Instead of paying so much money to get new leads via AdWords and other advertising programs, you already have a decent customer base which will easily bring in a ton of revenue.

  12. says

    Enjoyed reading, thanks.

    Saw some comments I would like to reply to but there is no nested comment feature? Just something small that would make this site even better.



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