Word of mouth works and social media is playing a huge roll in spreading that word. There was a recent poll on Freelance Switch that showed just that! The last numbers I saw on the poll showed about 60% of people get their clients from word of mouth. It’s said that good work leads to more good work and it’s likely that some of that new work coming in is from happy clients spreading your praise to their friends. Think about it, when you need something like a photographer, programmer, designer, or editor you either open up your web browser and do a google search or you ask people you know. Either friends in person or your friends & followers on Facebook or Twitter. Most people are more likely to take that recommendation from someone familiar and trust-worthy to them then that blind google search. Even if those “friends” may just be avatars on Twitter that you hardly know. Why? Because recommendations are generally perceived as incentive-free, the person making the recommendations has nothing to gain except being a kind person. Unlike what you may find on google or in a sponsored ad, you don’t know if they can be trusted.
Word of mouth marketing doesn’t exist in a vacuum and it can certainly develop and spread without any efforts on your part especially with the number of people who are creating connections on the internet. If your work is seen as creative, interesting, unique or valuable by others then word will spread. When you are looking for work of course you can’t rely solely on word of mouth to get new business. No one source can drive growth in your business, word of mouth is just one of the strategies to help you on your way.