If you are not a fan of networking, sourcing client referrals can feel overwhelming and uncomfortable. However, there are better ways to get those ideal client leads without putting yourself into uncomfortable networking situations. I want you instead to draw on your individual talents to grow your business, specifically with fellow professionals who share your ideal clients but are not competitors. This is what I like to call curating a profit posse.
Selecting Your Profit Posse
In building your own private network for ideal client referrals, you need to know how to identify who already serves your ideal clients yet is not a competitor, and will bring value to your own brand. You want your posse to have a structure that creates the opportunity for truly profitable referrals. This means you need to be selective in the process of adding members to this posse.
You should start by looking at people that your ideal client likely has in their network or works with on a routine basis. You might also consider business that your client may become curious about throughout the design process. And importantly, you must vet them thoroughly. Google them and check if they have a quality website that you would feel proud to refer business to them. All of these people have to be professional service providers at the same level or higher than where you are. If you intend to associate yourself with these businesses, they must elevate your brand and reflect positively on your recommendations.
Word of Mouth/Mutual Benefits
Your profit posse members should also all see the value of the synergy that collaborating will bring. They need to be willing to recommend and refer you to their clients and vice versa. This is essentially taking word of mouth advertising and putting it on steroids. You are connecting directly with other providers and experts in their fields that already have your ideal client in their circle. And while they are sharing your name with your ideal client, you can be sharing theirs as well.
I also want you to always ask your clients for their resources and referrals. Hearing from your ideal client directly about who they are working with will get you into the market of potential collaborators that you are looking for. Think about the possibilities: after your design project has wrapped, your client’s interior value of their home will climb and they may need their insurance agent to do a revaluation. Now you’ve increased the value of their greatest asset, they trust you, and you can recommend the name of the insurance agent that you met and vetted through a prior client. And that insurance agent can be doing the same with their clients in need of design work. Instead of waiting on other people to by chance refer you, you are setting up deliberate connections to spread the word.
When you’re ready to take your design practice to the next level, explore your expert coaching and training options with Melissa Galt. To catch the entire podcast episode LISTEN HERE.