Growing up in a tiny island exposed me to the powers of word of mouth marketing. I often heard my grandma, my mom, aunts and uncles recommend someone for different things.
“Go to Cathy, she’s a great seamstress.” “If you need someone to do your laundry, go to Tia Ying” “Go to Tia Betty’s to buy this and that.” “Need a doctor? Go to Zantua.” “Tia Trining makes the best latik.” (Latik is a sweetened rice cake, a common delicacy of my hometown) “Need a palahilot (palahilot is someone who is believed to cure common ails through massage), go to Tia Nelly.”
How things spread is always from one person to another. It’s still true today. The only difference is that now, we have the internet which allows us to spread the word in many different ways and with all sorts of tools and tactics.
But how you get recommended - how people fall in love with you - your ideas, services, or products, boils down to how you made them feel.
My piece of advice is to focus more on delighting one customer at a time, making a difference in her life, providing her a community and sense of belonging.
It’s going to take time.
Throwing more money at ads would seem like a much better choice. And yes, those ads with Buy Now call to action will no doubt bring in sales - but what’s going to bring in loyal and lifetime patrons is a customer you delighted, helped, and impacted, telling another person about you.