If you’re a consultant, coach, or small business owner, getting new clients or customers in the door is as important as keeping the ones you already have. Existing ones provide ongoing revenue, while getting new ones is vital for growth.
New customer acquisition ideas run the gamut from email marketing, social media advertising, and influencer partnerships, to collaborations and more. One of the best ways is through referrals from happy clients, partners, or fellow professionals.
But what if your referrals aren't working the way you’d like them to? In a recent Smart Social Mastery Tips livestream, Zoetica Media founder Kami Huyse explains the most important things people should do to ensure their referral pipeline process runs strong.
Don’t Slip into People’s DMs Uninvited
Kami explains that it’s really uncomfortable when someone “comes into your DMs that you've never met before, that you don't know, and they give you sort of a pithy pitch.”
“You don't want to open the door to these people because it's like, have you ever heard ‘give them an inch and they take a mile’? That's how they feel to me. They're the kind of people that you accept them into your circle, you're like ‘hey you’re interesting,’ and then boom, they hit you with a sales pitch, immediately.”
In speaking with other consultants, coaches, and small business owners, Kami knows she isn’t the only one that has a “no DM pitching” policy.
“In social media, whether you're on LinkedIn, whether you're on Instagram, whether you're in Facebook, whether you're in [X, formerly called Twitter], I get DM spammed in every single one of these for all kinds of things, like these for all kinds of things like ‘buy this, do this, do that,’ from people I've never ever even seen, and maybe I even don't even follow them, and they suddenly are putting this thing in my my inbox.”
Create Relevancy With Your Audience
Begin with creating relevance with your target audience. “They have to find you interesting, find [something about] you something that's relevant to their life,” she explains.
Create content that’s relevant to them, and do so consistently. Frequency is important to catch people’s attention, which can be just once or twice a week, but so is consistency. You want people to know they can rely on you to keep them informed, or entertained, or whatever it is they’ve come to expect from you.
Stay Top of Mind Through Valuable Content
Next is making sure people know about your work and area of expertise. “A lot of people don't know what you do, they have no idea what you do,” Kami says. Even people you’re connected with on social media may not know what you do professionally.
“If you don't tell people exactly what you do, here's the problem: then if something comes up…you will not be at what I call ‘top of mind.’ The point is that you want to be at the top of people's mind and they need to know exactly what you do in order, even if it’s just for a referral.”
“It's important for me, even if you aren't my ideal audience, for you to know exactly what I do so that that way I am referable to others in your network and then, if you do that over and over and over again, you have a webbed network out there,” she explains.
Keeping the content flowing supports this as well. “If you're in front of them enough…keeping that content coming, keeping it relevant… so that people remember you.”
Showcase Your Expertise
It’s not enough that you know you’re good at your job. Other people need to know that too. And the best way to do that is by showcasing your expertise.
“Have you gotten in front of groups to talk about what you do, have you gone and done a speaking gig… have you gone out and done something like that have you written pieces, articles?” Kami asks. “If you're on LinkedIn right now… you can build yourself a group of articles that just show your expertise in a specific area, and then when people ask [what you do], you can send a link to one of those articles.”
Whatever method or platform you choose, “take the opportunities you can to be visible so that that way you reach more people and that you show as an expert.”
This is the credibility-building stage that helps people become comfortable with you and opens them up to receiving a future offer.
Ask People to Refer You
Once you’ve taken all of the above steps, you’re in a strong position to ask your network to refer you. Referrals are enormously powerful and don’t run the risk of alienating anyone.
“There are so many things you can do to accelerate sales that don't include jumping in someone's DMs,” Kami explains. “I understand from a sales side they want to get in front of a lot of eyeballs and they need to go there quickly. That's what ads are for, ads are really great for that, they're good for taking really good pieces of content and getting it seen by more and more people.”
Kami urges everyone to embrace social selling by building relationships and rejecting other potentially off-putting sales methods. “It’s also super rewarding work because you build a community of people that are really amazing.”
Hear Kami share more about how to ensure you get more business referrals in the free replay of her livestream.