I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about the new book about personal marketing I’ve co-authored with my friend, client, and referral marketing expert, Paula Hope. I’m so thrilled that it’s finally finished, and will be released in print soon. This is my fifth book, and it took Paula and I about 18 months to complete the writing of it. As highly independent business people with a lot on the go business-wise, we were challenged to find the time to work on this book. Neither of us had ever co-authored a book before, although we are both highly collaborative people, and it took us some time to get all the wheels on the book-writing train running in the same direction. But, at long last, success!
As an expert in content marketing, I long ago noticed that some people look to internet marketing as the be-all and end-all of the marketing world. They throw themselves into creating a whiz-bang website, they dash off some content, maybe get a few emails going, jump into a little Google ad campaign or two, and then can’t figure out why the money isn’t rolling in.
Well, first of all, content marketing success occurs after months, sometimes years, of consistent effort. And, second of all, it’s only one piece of your marketing. If you want to be hugely successful in business, especially as a professional services provider, you’ll want to combine content marketing with referral marketing.
So, what is Referral Marketing?
Referral Marketing is a very young term for a very old method of creating revenue. Here’s how Paula defines it:
Referral Marketing is the systematic cultivation of business by referral.
In essence, Referral Marketing is the development of a system for creating, managing and leveraging your social capital to generate referrals. Its origins are based in the concept of “word of mouth,” the passing on of a positive message about a service or product from one person to another. Referral Marketing is about creating a plan that capitalizes on word-of-mouth support to create an organized network and a system to generate referrals.
In fact, as Paula explains in our book, referral marketing is the original method of creating new business.
“Imagine John the caveman saying to Peter, another caveman, ‘George, the man who makes spears in our village, is the best around! Go get your weapon from him.’”
John created a referral by sharing his trust in George with Peter.
A referral is born. And what is a referral?
A referral is a transfer of trust.
That’s right! Referrals cannot happen unless trust is present, which logically leads us to the assertion that trust is the hallmark of both a strong relationship and a good referral.
We’ll look more deeply at this topic in my next blog. In the meantime, contact me today if you’d like to learn more about how our team can help you take advantage of your marketing opportunities!