Technology Marketing in the Digital Age: Want Referrals for your Business? Try LinkedIn

Photo: Anita O'Malley, CEO of Leadarati Photo Credit: Courtesy Anita O'Malley
Anita O’Malley, CEO of Leadarati | Courtesy Anita O'Malley

Companies today attempt a wide variety of lead generation programs—like telesales and email blasts, to name a few—many with low success rates. I recently took an informal poll and asked a few tech companies how they typically generate real business opportunities. Their answer: referrals.

Connection = Reminder = Referral = Revenue

In case you’re not familiar, this is the new business model for social referrals and the driving force behind world’s most widely used business network: LinkedIn.

How can you ensure you and your employees are optimally using LinkedIn connections to tap into the exponentially large reach that you all have?

Think about it: one employee = 500 connections. That’s a lot of opportunities for referrals.

So, how do you wake up that network? And how do you leverage this vast resource for referrals? You start by rekindling connections you haven’t spoken to in awhile. Chances are high that they have colleagues who’ve had the same challenges that your firm has solved. Their recommendation will carry weight.

How to get started? First, organize your connections. LinkedIn has a Tag and Sort feature that allows you to create custom tags. Here’s how that might work: you and fellow employees tag their past customers, partners, prospects and even possible referral sources. Once tagged, they can be sorted by Tag and messaged to.

What does that message look like? How about something that includes a request for a referral? Or a warm introduction? Think of the exponential reach and power of tapping the individual resources of every employee in your organization to do that.

Consider this: what if every employee posted a LinkedIn Status Update that included a link to a new company or industry expert article, blog or video, then added a comment like, “Here’s a great piece on ——-. Please message me if you know of anyone who needs our services.” They’ve just woken up their entire network, because they’ve just shown up on the NEWS feeds of each and every one of them.

So, before you complete your next engagement with a client, connect with them on LinkedIn to facilitate future communications, and create a path for them to refer your business.

Connection = Reminder = Referral = Revenue

And don’t forget, once someone has taken the time out to give you a referral in any form, be sure to nurture that relationship and reach out to say thanks.

[Leadarati helps IT firms drive value and increase opportunities through social, digital and online communications.]

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