Making Referrals a Two-Way Street
What is a referral, by definition?
Here’s a great description, from HubSpot:
A business referral is when someone in your network recommends your business to a new prospect. This may happen spontaneously during organic conversation or as a result of conscious referral marketing efforts.
Referrals are an important part of any business. I grew my business strictly on referrals and the strong connections I built through nearly 20 years of networking. I have two binders full of business cards that I can sort through and use to connect people. Personally, I feel like there’s nothing better than making an introduction that results in a partnership!
Do you have a hard time ASKING for referrals? You don’t technically have to say the words, “Please refer me to a friend,” but it never hurts! And, if you’ve done a great job for someone, you SHOULD ask them to refer you.
Here are my top 5 ways to get referrals:
1. Go Above and Beyond
Go the extra mile for your current clients. This can be done in many ways – get creative! When your current clients are happy, they’re going to tell people. And remember… When they’re not happy, they’re also going to tell people!
2. Have a Rewards Program
Create a rewards program for when a friend makes a referral that becomes a client. It doesn’t have to be fancy or break the bank – it could be a “Wall of Champions” in your office where you list their name and company, or a simple coffee gift card per referral.
3. Provide a Template
If you build it, they will refer! Provide the information for people to simply forward or copy and paste. Send what you already have for your marketing pieces in a simple format that’s easy to share. No one wants to spend time recreating the wheel!
4. Leverage Your Social Networks
It’s so easy to provide referrals via social media. A photo of a product you are happy with, or a description of a service that was top-notch goes a long way. Tag the person or company who provided your excellent experience and simply say how important referrals are!
You must be active in referring your friends and colleagues, too! Make sure it isn’t one-sided and you’re doing your part to help them grow their business as well.
Let’s hear it from you!
How do you make a good connection?
What is the best referral you’ve ever received and what did it lead to?
And, most importantly, what’s the best referral you’ve ever GIVEN to someone – and what happened?
WHO are you looking to connect with?
Who are your clients?
Share with me via email, or in the comments, and let's see if there is a biz card in my binder that will make a good referral!
XO - Kel
The official Webster... okay, the Kelli Komondor... definition of Time Suck is:
Tasks you do daily, weekly, or monthly, that suck up time - and drain the life out of you.
Have you ever recorded the time it takes you to do anything in your business? I use Clockify.com to track EVERYTHING I do. That includes reading my business email, marketing tasks for my business, blogging and creating newsletters... and all client work - whether they're on a monthly retainer or billed hourly.
WHY? Well, it keeps me accountable for how I'm spending my time - and it eliminates Time Sucks.
I recently had a conversation with someone who kept telling me how BUSY she was. She rattled off a laundry list of "things" she did every day to run her business and the only thing I kept saying (in my head, of course) was "TIME SUCK!"
Being busy and being productive are two different things.
She was wasting time chasing press and media leads for her business and REALLY wasting a lot of time on social media - quite possibly the biggest Time Suck of all time. We've all been there. We’ve had good intentions of posting for our business, or just scrolling for a bit to get caught up… and getting sucked in - for hours, am I right?
🆘 So, I asked how I can help.
❓ She asked what I offered.
✅ She's now a client.
It’s really hard to focus on what you SHOULD be doing for your business and what you COULD be outsourcing. We all fall into Time Sucks, but it doesn't have to happen as often as it does.
Here is some advice and examples of how I'm learning to avoid falling into Time Sucks:
1. Schedule everything. If a client contacts me and it's not emergent, I'll ask to create an appointment / meeting to talk about what they need. I find that dropping everything, or at least stopping work on one thing to shift to another takes up time. If you're hyper-focused on something it takes a bit to change direction. You're better off saying, "Ok, I'm free at 3:00 - can we chat then?", instead of disrupting your groove.
2. Eliminate distractions. When I'm really "heads-down" on something I will put my cell phone in another room and log out of my email. Did you know you can go into your iPhone settings and see how often you pick up your phone? It's in settings - screen time. And as a side note, I'm down 33% from last week - YAY!
3. Get up and get out. I try to stand up, walk around the house, or go out in our back yard at least 2 - 3 times in the morning and in the afternoon. I know this sounds like I'm breaking stride - but when I feel the need for a pause coming on, or if I'm stuck for words when writing content, I feel as if this stretch and fresh air helps bring me back. And having an almost-ten-year-old dog who is nearly blind AND spending lots of time puppas-sitting granddog Maggie helps. Mags would lay in the sun all day, every day if we let her!
What are your biggest TIME SUCKS and what are you going to do about them?
Send me an email and let’s talk about it – email@example.com.
Yours in productivity!
XO - Kel
Listen, I’m not really a “woo woo” kind of person. I question(ed) this whole mindset, energy, universe thing for a while now.
💯Can good things happen to you just by believing they will?
💯Is there such a thing as good karma?
💯Will you attract the right things when you eliminate the wrong ones?
The short answer, to all, is YES.
Within about a 2-week time span, some really crazy Mercury Retrograde stuff was happening to me... right before it was actually IN retrograde, which is a whole other thing... but for now:
💢It started with a negative – and completely unnecessary - back-and-forth with a colleague from my past,
💢got a little more intense when I walked out of a car dealership when we didn’t receive the deal we were promised,
💢and then came to a head when I decided to put the brakes on the Biz Bevs & Bites podcast.
Yeah, I know – that’s a lot.
I’ve always been one to wear my heart on my sleeve, stick up for the underdog, voice my opinion, and be very strong about my beliefs. I’ve always been a “yes” person. Then something clicked in 2020. Was it the pandemic? Was it just me getting “older and wiser”? Was it that I had time to reflect on everything I had been doing for others and saying “yes” to – and realizing how little I got in return?
The short answer, again, is YES.
I made a whole new group of friends over the pandemic – mostly from curating the book Twenty Won - and many of them are believers in the universe and positive mindset being the key to success. Some of them make a living by following and sharing these beliefs. So, when I determined that I wasn’t going to let that old co-worker get under my skin, when I walked out of that dealership (And went back in less than 30 minutes – long story, but we compromised.), and stopped production on the podcast – that was me saying “no” to doing things that I should not, could not, or did not want to do.
Don’t get me wrong, the podcast was FUN, and I learned so much from each guest. I truly appreciate each person for taking the time out of their crazy, busy lives to record with us. And I encourage anyone reading this to listen to the shows – you’ll learn something too, believe me! But the work involved was way more than I had anticipated. The hours I was spending on it were much better spent on building my business. I took that time and redirected it to networking and giving virtual presentations and within the first week my team and I signed three new clients … and a fourth is in the works.
Universe? Mindset? Positive energy?
Yes, yes, and yes!
I'm realizing that the best part of this isn't the time I've freed up... it's the amazing SUPPORT I've received from friends and colleagues. It's the feeling that I'm inspiring someone else to be brave and to let something go that might not be right for them.
👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻 A simple email message can do SO MUCH for someone who needs a little lift. This someone was me and once again, my tribe showed up. 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻
"And that is how success and happiness come to fruition—when you know what a good fit is and what isn’t. Cheers to you for being courageous enough to try to yet something else completely new and adventurous, while also being humble enough to let it go when it gets in the way of family and personal time. 😊 Love ya, girlfriend! Keep on keepin on!"
"You never cease to amaze me with your professionalism and how you are always building others up. You are so inspiring to me!"
"Thanks for sharing the news and being so candid about your experience. From what I have heard podcasting is like having a PT job. Kudos to you for giving it a go and having the courage to reel it in when it no longer worked for you. I still think you’ll make a great host….of something 😊"
👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻 THIS is what it's all about. 👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻
You have very few choices on how to stop doing something that's just not working for you, whether it is taking too much time, costing too much money, or just not making you happy. There are two choices, as far as I’m concerned.
✅ You can outsource it. I did it with my bookkeeping and it was one of the best business decisions I ever made – and I made that decision early on. I "in-source" with K2 Creative & PR’s social clients. My team is on the ready to take on any new social accounts and both Colleen and Melissa do a FANTASTIC job. If there’s something you can pay someone else to do in your business, GO FOR IT. This is how you scale your business and keep your sanity.
✅ You can end it. Just say “no” and move on. Change direction (Everyone is so tired of PIVOT.) and MOVE ON.
When you change your mindset, good things happen.
In closing - remember:
❤ Be kind with your words.
❤ Be helpful with your heart.
❤ Remember that self-care is so very important!
❤ Always be supportive of others. It comes back.
❤ And... read up on this "woo woo" stuff!
XO - Kel
PS: If you need someone to coach you through the whole mindset, universe, future self, make positive changes - I have a few very close friends who I can refer you to. Colleagues who, unknowingly, helped me make a big business decision and in turn, a big life decision.
People are listening to what you're saying, and reading what you’re sharing (social posts, blogs, etc.)... even if you don’t think they are.
Kelli Komondor &