My Aunt Jean used to make a seven-layer salad that she would bring to the annual Crossman Family Picnic and it always brought rave reviews. The women in my family were all superb cooks but, somehow, it’s the seven-layer salad that sticks out in my mind most today. More than a few family members over the years were caught running a piece of bread around the bottom of the salad bowl in the hopes of grabbing that last shiver of flavour before the dishes were washed and the party was packed away into another parcel of memory we could keep to cherish decades later.
The thing is, that salad was as delicious as it was because it was carefully layered, and it was prepared with a great deal of consistent effort. It’s like that with your content marketing. You layer it. Previous posts in this series have talked about my colleague, Paula Hope’s, referral marketing concepts of Pre-visibility, Visibility, and Credibility, and when you’ve done all that correctly with your content, you get to the most intense layer of the model, which is Profitability. It’s the layer we all want to access and, from a content marketing perspective, it’s the point at which you’ve developed a relationship with your prospect that is deep enough for them to have become a referral partner.
Here’s my checklist of activities you can take with your online content to honour and respect your referral partners and thereby deepen your opportunities for generating more revenue:
- Connect with them and follow them on LinkedIn
- Ask for their recommendations and recommend them in return
- Endorse them on LinkedIn for their skills
- Follow their Company Page or Group on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Google+
- Like and share their content on all social media platforms on which you are active, but particularly LinkedIn
- Post regular news to your news streams and curate great content, all of which can be shared by your referral partners
- Like and share your referral partner’s blog posts, if they are writing a blog. Some people will post a link to their blog posts on their social media feeds, and/or post it to LinkedIn Pulse; ask them to do the same for you
- Invite your referral partners to write a guest blog post for your audience
- Give impromptu shout-outs to your referral partners on your own social media platforms on a regular basis
Like making a great salad, it can take a lot of time and consistent effort to use your online content to hit a home run with your audience. But it is a) possible and b) worth the effort.
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