How do you grow your network? That’s easy: specialize and refer. We all live off of word of mouth, if it’s not your specialty, refer. Right?
I was thinking of writing about this and then saw Rebecca Gill’s tweet. So this post came alive.
Dear website developers, implementors, + SEO consultants:
Did you know you don't have to be a superhero at all things?
Do what you love + what you're good at, then refer out the rest.
You'll be happier, clients will respect you, + you'll have greater success.
— Rebecca Gill (@rebeccagill) February 15, 2018
“Do one thing and do it well.”
“If everyone is your client, no one is.”
“Do it right or don’t do it at all.”
These are the clichés that make up business advice we all know. Okay, the last one was from my mom.
But the point is you can’t do everything – and do it well. Which reminds me of the ‘good-fast-cheap triangle’ tweet my friend Rachelle Wise just sent last week.
I think it's time again, to talk about the "good-fast-cheap triangle." You only get two. And really, I don't even think cheap + good is a thing. You can't have that. Maybe "passable" + cheap… pic.twitter.com/uq1fVQr90L
— Rachelle Wise (@WiseArts) February 13, 2018
Thinking we can do everything is not only delusional, but distracts us from the things that really make us money. We’re in business for a reason, right?
If you’re a roofer, be a roofer. Go horizontal if you want, and do HVAC, but don’t start installing windows.
If you build websites, build sites. Go horizontal and make apps, but don’t start making videos.
Do what you know. Do what you can do well, efficiently, and make a profit.
How do you refer?
Knowing that we should refer and knowing how to refer are two different things. If you refer the right way, you’re still providing a valuable service to the client. It’s not losing business, it’s about being that go-to person, the expert, and the well-connected person.
If someone asks me if I do Facebook Advertising, I say,
“Sorry, John, I don’t do Facebook Ads, but my friend Jason at Thought House does.”
You can either give your client their contact information or write an email to them both. “John meet Jason. Jason meet John. John wants Facebook ads, I told him, you’re the best.”
This way, you’re making an introduction, and keeping your brand top of mind to all parties involved.
How do referrals grow my network?
Referrals work on the human emotions of trust and reciprocity. Firstly, by referring, I am extending my brand to another. I am saying, I trust this person, you can, too. So be careful about referring to people you don’t trust.
Secondly, if you send enough business someone’s way, they will also begin to refer you. That’s reciprocity. Heck, if you are just a nice person, your network will send people your way. I cannot even tell you how many dozens of people have sent others my way in the last four months.
Sometimes, they come in the form of public tweets. I have amazing and generous friends.
I have been a marketer for nearly forty years and a social-media dilettante for ten.
Bridget regularly drops insight bombs that amaze me with their insight and direct relevance to the marketing challenges we all face. https://t.co/AwumLJvnDB
— Mary Baum (@marybaum) February 18, 2018
All my thanks to @gidgey. She continuously and graciously educates me on the finer points of #SocialMedia. If you ever need someone to manage your company's online social presence, you can do no better than Bridget. https://t.co/vGMJa84c06 pic.twitter.com/OJaD1V8Odm
— Jeff Zinn (@jeffreyzinn) February 13, 2018
Do you refer, Bridget?
I absolutely refer. Firstly, I don’t build websites, I refer people to agencies. And I’ve even agreed to a partnership with Roy Sivan of ARC(CTRL).
I also don’t do Pinterest. I refer them to my very good friend Carol Stephen of Your Social Media Works. I don’t blog. I mean, I can, but I’d be way too expensive. So I refer clients to my friend Jen Miller of Need Someone To Blog. She has a system. She’s efficient. Guess what? She doesn’t do social. She sends me leads.
Do you see how it works?
Be serious about your brand and your focus. Kill the things that consume too much time. Specialize and refer the rest. You’ll never regret it.