On the occasion of a panel discussion hosted by collaboration services company, Slack, Ramon Ray interviewed Birchbox Chief Customer Officer, Amanda Tolleson, getting her insights on marketing for small businesses (video below).

Her number one tip, and what Birchbox does so well, is that we need to create fans – raving fans.

Small business growth comes from our current customers. Selling one customers is “easy” but getting the customer to come back again and again and refer others is so important and essential.

Ask yourself, what does your brand stand for and how can we deliver an experience to our customers, way beyond the product itself.

If you do this right, your brand’s products or services will become something that they care about so much more for their lives that they can’t help but tell other people about their experiences.

In this way you not only have a customer but you now have a fan.

How to do this? Know your customer. Find out what motivates them to buy from you and why they picked you as opposed to the competition.

It doesn’t take any money to do customer research, just pick up the phone and ask five customers. Five customers is better than no customers.