Does your mom understand what you do?
If not, you’re not alone. I hear from a lot of designers and writers that their mom (or other relatives) don’t really get what they do.
This came up in a conversation with a client last week – she was talking about a colleague who sends referrals that are only slightly better than the ones her mom sends along. (BTW, if your mom sends you a bad referral, just say thank you – she’s only trying to help!)
That got me thinking about how important it is to know exactly what kind of people send you the best referrals, whether for the work you like best or the most profitable projects.
Because if you know that, you can find more like them! So the question to ask is this:
Who really gets what you do AND comes into regular contact with “your people” so is therefore in a position to pass your name along?
But for you, it could also be a client. Or it could be a colleague, or even someone you see as a competitor – a creative who offers similar services but has an entirely different sweet spot than you. (If they do great web sites and you do great marketing collateral, you could be excellent referral sources for each other.)
That said, you have to remember that even with a perfect referral, marketing is all about timing. So unless the person referred is in their time of need, you'll have to wait -- and stay in touch. Their need for your services may be in the future.
So the value of a referral is in skillfully using the introduction to begin building a relationship, through your marketing, of course. (My latest Marketing Blueprint will show you how.)
Then, when the time is right, thanks to the trust built by the referral and through your excellent marketing, you will be in the strongest position to get the project.
If you want help building that trust through marketing, let's talk.