40+ ways to find customer advocates for references and reviews

Your potential advocates live in many places within your company’s ecosystem. Here are some of the ways I’ve looked for advocates.

I will say that building a customer community has been the best way to scale advocacy efforts. Think of this as having customers nominate themselves for advocacy.

Customer Success

  • Customers with happy implementation/onboarding – ask onboarding team
  • Customers who just renewed
  • Customers with exciting results
  • Customers with lofty goals (and have already reached some goals) –

Sales (AEs)

  • Customers they already use for references
  • Customers they keep in touch with
  • Customers they know are happy
  • Customers who brought the solution to a new company


  • After onboarding additional products
  • After professional services are done
  • 3 months or 6 months after implementation
  • Executive business reviews
  • Quarterly business reviews


  • Past content contributors (for a new program, it’s good to see who has been willing to contribute before)
  • Blog; reads a lot of posts or comments, wants to write, shares a lot of posts, recommends topics
  • Webinars; wants to present, comes to several webinars, gives feedback, answers emails
  • Unqualified leads; people who open a lot of email
  • Social Media; (fans, customers, users, accounts, ex-users, accounts, etc) likes, comments, follows
  • Events; attendees that want to do more with the company, learn, support, advocate, share,


  • Conversations; look for promotions, career changes, education, accolades, speaking, blogs, podcasts, new positions in the company, strategy success, certifications, conferences, conference funding, new team members, product success, new funding rounds.
  • Participation in events, posting, and commenting.

Customer programs (webinar series, user groups, mentoring, match programs)

  • participation, attendance, chatting
  • hand raiser to run a program like user groups
  • is eager to chat with the team
  • recommends resources, answers questions, suggests guests


  • Just finished a certification or course
  • Signed up to learn about future courses or wants to teach
  • Scores highly or gives feedback
  • Takes multiple courses

Support, Product, Design

  • Ticket solved satisfactorily
  • User shares bugs (potential for feedback, beta groups)
  • Customers already participating in betas or UX design


  • Email opens (overtime) and responses to mass email
  • Salesforce reports (varies based on team, but admins can help)
  • Pendo usage, even by feature
  • Knowledebase analytics (who’s marked pages satisfactory)
  • Traffic analytics (who visits a lot of educational content)


Your executives tend to have a lot of relationships and you can build campaigns around connecting with them and finding ways to add value to their world.

  • VPs-Csuite LinkedIn relationships
  • Customer relationships they hold


  • Fans/influencers (do not have to be customers) can create a lot of content
  • Past Employees or Clients
  • Partners
  • Past Contractors

I always suggest starting with the low-hanging fruit for quick wins.

Who are the customers celebrating your company/products on social, in feedback, with customer success, and sales? When you start with as few as 10 advocates, you can start to compare their data and identify similarities you can use as you continue to grow this group.

I hope you’ve found this helpful. LET ME KNOW on LinkedIn