How to Build a Referral Engine That Works

How to Build a Referral Engine That Works

Reader Comments (27)

  1. Great ideas. I like the part about “stalkers.” I think they can play an important role in your growth if you are able to engage them and get them talking.

    • Hi Deji, Connecting with people on a meaningful enough level that they refer us to their trusted friend does take time. We have to be consistent and deliver amazing value. Very much like Copyblogger teaches us here.

  2. Thanks for the reminder about how important great content is to every business. I think the point you brought up about “stalkers” is so valuable — those people might not buy from you directly, but they help fuel your business online and that is just as valuable. Great article!

    • Hi Sonja, We can’t discount a rabid fan just because they don’t fit the mold that we expect from a fan. The more open we are to all the different personality types that we attract the more social love we receive.

  3. I love stalkers. And I love it when they come out of the dark and tell me they are stalkers. Usually they are embarrassed and confess that it might seem weird “that I’ve tried to read everything you wrote” or “I’m studying your work right now” and I’m like, no worries, that’s complete validation for what I do. It’s like oxygen.

    I’d like to add to your idea of a referral engine that quality content marketing needs a heavy dose of guest posting on quality sites in order to bring the little got to the notice of the big guys. Sure, you can toil away on your blog and success may eventually find you, but guest posting on quality sites will inject it with that boost most of us what fast.

    Good article and good writing. I enjoyed it.

    • Hey Demian, It’s a great feeling to get such an enthusiastic response to our work. It’s really a confidence booster. I agree with you about guest posting. It’s why I’m here guest posting on Copyblogger. Great for SEO and finding new clients. 🙂

  4. Karl, I’m ‘way too old to admit this, but I’m just now learning to play dominoes. Living in Texas, my friends are really good at it and, well, I’m not. So, it’s humbling, to say the least. But I keep at it and gradually improve, and even my friends notice the improvement. Love your domino ideas here. It seems to work in our online lives the same way it works when we sit down to play dominoes in real life, right? It’s all about the connections…

    • Hey Mia, Exactly. Each new connection has a chance to turn into something amazing. The more positive connections we develop the we can grow our businesses.

  5. “One reason they do this sharing, is because they feel guilty for not buying from you.”

    An interesting thought I’m sure I’ll be mulling over for the rest of today. Great read!

  6. You know, Copyblogger people, I’m confused. My comment relates generally but not specifically to the above article.

    You’ve been doing great work recently making us aware of the growing use of mobile and teaching us how we need to format our content to be more mobile friendly. So I just don’t get why you’re sending out truncated emails and forcing us to come to the website to read the whole thing. I read a LOT of email on my mobile, and clicking over onto the website to finish the read is at best annoying and at worst something I don’t bother doing.

    Why, Copyblogger, why???

    • Thanks for the comment Susanna. The answer is that the Copyblogger site is mobile responsive, so the experience should be better on site than in a mobile email client. That’s the idea. Is that not the case for you? For example, on my iPhone, reading the email is tougher than reading on the iPhone-responsive version of the site.

      • Hey, Brian, thanks for the response. Yes, I appreciate that Copyblogger is mobile responsive and it does look good on my phone. But — and maybe I’m in a tiny minority here — as someone who’s not currently in the US and has access only to slow mobile data connections, having to click a link and wait and wait and wait makes me oftentimes shrug my shoulders and say “forget it.” If I remember I’ll take another look when I get back to my computer, but not always.

  7. Hi Karl, thanks for the post. I’d add to your supporting reasons for creating great content that content provides purpose and direction for the use of social media. It creates the opportunity for real engagement.

    I’m a digital strategist and also a photographer. I’ve been doing the former for much longer than the latter and as I’ve built my photography network, tapping into platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ in the process, I’ve observed that many photographers use social almost exclusively as an outbound channel.

    Certainly, this usage isn’t exclusive to photographers, but since I’m in this world daily, it’s in my face A LOT. Photography is also so shareable online, making it a very natural, easy act for any photog seeking to create awareness for her work to share her photographs.

    The problem is that this enables a monologue that’s mainly prohibitive to the objectives (creating awareness with a well-qualified audience) that drive the use of social media in the first place. The photographs might be great, but tweeting them all day, every day do not necessarily make a photographer more findable (unless your an absolute rockstar of a photographer — there’s an exception to every rule).

    I actually published a post about this very issue today (here), and your post really seems to come from the same wavelength.

    Thanks again for the post — really appreciate the consistently excellent thinking and writing that appears on this blog.

    • Hi Wesley, Creating a conversation is the key to developing a network that refers you at every chance they get. A monologue is a tough way to build trust. Just try emailing Seth Godin and you’ll see how active he is when engaging with his tribe.

      They have to feel like they know and trust you. A conversation does this much easier than a monologue. Once you develop this trust they don’t have any problem making sure they tell every relevant person they know about you.

  8. Hi Karl,
    Social media is one of the best way to build relationship & Audience.Through social media you can come closer to your audience and came to know what they want ?.It also makes your audience trust on you more reliable.
    Thanks for sharing this great article.

    • Hi Ali, Seems like I’m preaching to the choir on this blog. 🙂

      My point with this article was to teach people to never discount how important each person is to their company’s success. You never know who might know a big player and be willing to tell them about you.

  9. The trust thing is so big, and so hard to come by. Everyone is concerned that they may be giving their email to the wrong person, and I get that!

    Great content comes first, I agree. Then building those relationships. There are some cool ways to do that:
    1. Comment on blogs
    2. Attend a class with other bloggers (or common interest people)
    3. Create circle of influence awareness
    4. Even do a promotion with a trusted source.

    I’m testing a promotion to grow membership. A winner will get an hour of Dan Rockwell’s time (The Leadership Freak) to a enhance their blog. Seems like a good idea, but I’ll let you know if it works.

    And – The landing page is PREMISE of course:

    • Hey Todd, Finding ways to cross promote with other bloggers is a great idea. We all have different superpowers that can help each other. We can’t think of each other as competition, just teammates willing to help each other grow professionally and personally.

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