We’ve been talking about book marketing lately in this space and although the world of marketing is bigger than referral marketing and joint venture partnering, both of those topics can have important roles to play in the sales of your book.
Although I’ve been a content marketing expert for many years now, I learned a lot about referral marketing while writing my most recent book, Your Personal Marketing Playbook, with my co-author, Paula Hope. Paula says there are eight important considerations to keep in mind as you select the people you want as your Referral Partners:
- Referral partners are defined as the close members in your network who you like and trust. You know and believe in one another’s businesses and you support each other 100%.
- The relationship has already developed to a stage where you know a lot about what each other offers, and you are raving fans of each other.
- You share the same target market. Your ideal client is the same as your referral partner’s. This is a key point in a referral partnership. His/her ideal client is the same as yours. You offer different, and not competitive, services or products.
- You have both embraced growing your business by referral. Both of you embrace the concept of “Givers Win.” You know that if you want to grow your business, you need to give referrals to members of your network. You and your partner have a plan for growing your businesses together.
- What’s more, your referral partners are givers by nature. They understand the law of reciprocity: the more you give, the more you enjoy life and reap its personal and material harvests. They would make good referrals for the people in your network. They want, and can be inspired, to help you.
- You both have a clear call to action in order that your referral partner can take your prospect to the next step, whether it is a complimentary consulting or coaching session, or an educational seminar.
- After two-to-three years of focused networking and referral-building, most committed referral marketers have a maximum of four referral partners and more than eight referral sources.
- You and your referral partner share the same values. You are both givers and believe in the power of growing business by leveraging your network authentically.
As Paula says, you both have a unique value proposition to offer your prospects and clients. And it is well worth the networking, qualifying, sharing, communicating, collaborating and other activities that lead to the development of a referral partner.
She notes there’s a fair bit of homework to be done before you can start developing and leveraging relationships that qualify as “referral” relationships. This is all crucially important when it comes to taking this all online to address your content marketing efforts, as well, by the way.
The Law of Reciprocity
Positive personal marketing behaviour models a response from members of your network. They want to thank you and respond to the Law of Reciprocity. This Law requires that an act of kindness is always returned by another act of kindness.
And so social capital is created. Relationships can grow faster if social capital is created by both relationship participants.
How is this done?
By giving, and helping in any way you can, personally and in business. One-on-one conversations are vitally important: they allow you to find ways to help your prospective referral source or partner. We’ll be talking more about how this applies to book marketing in future blogs – for now, I invite you to think about who in your existing network might help you to expand your network of book-buying readers, and how you could work with them.