12 ways to stay top of mind with your referral sources
23rd, Sep 2017
For professional services firms, referrals will always be a significant way to get new business. However, you can’t get a referral if you don’t stay top of mind with your referral sources. The trick is to promote yourself using a mix of marketing channels. You never know what type of marketing your contacts may see so you want to be visible in lots of different ways.
Here are some of the best ways to accomplish your goals:
1. Email newsletter. A monthly newsletter is a low cost and effective way to remind your contacts about your work and share useful information with them. Even if they don’t read the whole email, it has value because your name is showing up in their inbox. It’s kind of like seeing someone across the room at a networking event. It reminds you of them even if you don’t get a chance to speak with them.
2. Social media. Every time you share content on social media your contacts can see it. What’s great about social media is that you can share original content as well as articles others have written. However, be careful about overdoing it or sharing junk. The key is that you want to post information that is useful or interesting to your audience. You want them to see you in a positive light.
3. Blog. Blogging is a wonderful way to highlight your expertise and it is fuel for your social media and email marketing. When you promote this content, you are also driving traffic back to your website where someone can learn more about you.
4. Educational program (ex. lunch and learn, workshop, webinar). You can do your own event, partner with someone else, or go in-house to a company to do it for their employees, clients or contacts.
5. Guide/eBook. Offering more in-depth content that your referral sources can use for themselves or easily pass along to others is a good way for them to remember you.
6. Articles and speaking engagements. When you write for third party publications and speak to groups relevant to your referral sources, it’s another chance for them to see you. It also demonstrates that others recognize your expertise. All of your writing and speaking should be promoted via email and social media.
7. Promotional product. If it’s distinctive and genuinely useful, then it can act as a reminder to others of your name and brand.
8. Networking. Active networking is crucial for staying top of mind. Periodically you should evaluate whether your networking groups are a good fit. You should also consider creating your own group to supplement the bigger groups you belong to.
9. Say thank you. Many professionals are prohibited for ethical reasons from giving referral sources a monetary gift, but a sincere thanks is always welcome regardless of whether the referral turned into actual new business.
10. Free advice/consults. Sometimes your referral sources have a problem or they have a client with an issue and they just need some advice. By offering at least some assistance for free, you’ll be remembered and appreciated.
11. Regular follow up with your best referral sources. You can’t meet personally with all of your contacts, but you should meet in person with your key contacts periodically. Other ones may merit a phone call or personal email, in addition to other marketing they may get from you. And don’t forget to affirmatively ask them for referrals.
12. Make introductions and give referrals. It’s better to give than to receive. Instead of expecting others to send people to you, you should take the initiative to send them good people.
If you want to keep getting those referrals, use these tips to make sure your sources remember you first.
If you need help with your marketing, contact us.