In order to thrive in today’s digitally driven business environment, service based business owners and professionals need to think and act more like media companies. I suppose to some degree this has always been true, but it is painfully so now that prospects have access to mounds of content and information.
So, in order to survive in this new world order business owners and independent professionals need to take things in their own hands and create educational content that will generate new business by referral.
A great deal about referrals has changed over the last few years, but what matters most about this change is the way prospects and customers refer.
In the classic sense, a referral is when a client, vendor, or other close contact refers or recommends you to a prospect that could use your services. You’ve done this countless times. Your neighbors have their roof replaced, and you ask them who they hired to do it. “Word of mouth” referral is perhaps the oldest form of marketing. Likewise, your business has most likely benefited from a call out of the blue because a client or vendor recommended you.
The New Referral
In the 21st century, educational content is the new referral, and it comes from someone who hasn’t used your services.
Perhaps they heard you speak, downloaded your eBook, tuned into a podcast interview, thumbed through your presentation slides, read your article, or follow you on LinkedIn. They’ve personally sampled and experienced your expertise, and when given the chance to recommend a solution or service, they automatically think of you.
Essentially, educational content on some level can replicate the conditions of actually experiencing your expertise in action.
So a steady stream of educational content can not only lead to direct opportunities, but can create additional referrals along the way.
Any business owner or organization that wants to get referred online or offline and ultimately generate business by way of referral, needs to get serious and strategic about creating educational content.
Question: Has this type of referral happen to your business yet?