If you already read parts 1 and 2, click the "read more" button to continue your learning with Part 3 of the How to get Referrals series.
How to get referrals step 5 - Social
"Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the
This is a great quote that directly correlates to being social online, you don't have to have a million dollar idea to share, just a lot of little ideas to sprinkle every where you go.
There are lots of ways to be social online, all of them offer us many things. Perhaps the largest benefit to social marketing for finding referrals is that no matter what way we do it the people reading and interacting with us have a certain amount of interest already.
Think about all the forums you read, why did you sign up to them? Why do you still visit them daily? If you answer those two questions you will understand why the people on the forum are there as well.
With most forums being about a very specific topic, like sports, or finding things to do online worth your time, and my personal favorite are the ones that pay you to post and talk about making money. This gives us a great way to find very specific people that need and are actively looking for help. (You remember how crucial helping people is right?)
It's pretty easy to find forums about any topic you want, and find knowledgeable people on a given topic. This fact alone makes them so bountiful. You need to be one of those experienced people sharing their knowledge on a number of forums. That doesn't mean you have to have 1,000's of posts on each forum to gain peoples trust, but you do need to have more then 2 posts. All forums show post counts of each member, if someone reads your post and finds it helpful, but then see that you only posted a couple times they are not likely to act on your post.
Take a look at this article for a really good guide to forums, along with a short list of some of the best paid to post forums out there. The article is about paid to post forums, but all the tips directly help increase the effectiveness of all the forums you post on. Make sure to read the final tip in the article for a really good trick to help make forum posting easier on yourself!
Few things to remember about forums:
- As discussed in part 1 of the series, these are a great way to increase your "brand" online.
- Utilize your signature to promote your blog/site and any articles you have written.
- Some forums do not allow your signature to contain referral links, so make sure to read the sig rules of each forum.
- Always fill out your profile, and write a quality introduction. Both are sure fire ways to increase your trust and a great way to offer help.
- You don't have to post everyday on all forums, but you should try to post at least several times a week. Consistency is key to build forum presence that translates into trust.
- Not all forums will be effective for finding referrals.
- Posting on 10-15 forums at least once a week is recommended. (paid to post are great, but regulars are fine)
How to get Referrals step 6 - Networking
The popularity of Social Networks makes these something you simply should not ignore!
There are some really large Social Networking sites out there we all know of like Myspace,Facebook and Twitter.But there are literally 100's of them. These are some of the greatest free ways to find referrals by sheer numbers alone.
Like a blog or forum, this is another great way to create establish your "brand" and build trust.
Just like your blog though, you want to build peoples trust with content that gives information, but then being available to help.
Taking the time to create a complete profile on 3-5 social sites will take a few hours, but is very much worth your time because it's like having a extra blog on each site that you don't have to regularly update. You can create a profile on all the networks you want, but you want to focus on being really active on about 4. Any more and you will find it difficult to keep up with them, and any less then your missing a large free advertising source.
You can put any number of links about anything you want on your profile. You can build friendships through any number of ways. You have the ability to connect with these people and help them. Each network has groups that are about a specific topic just like a forum, make sure to join the groups about money to share your knowledge and find referrals.
Things to know about social networks:
- Unlike forums, not everyone on them is looking for knowledge or information, many just want social interaction. So when a person doesn't respond to you, move on.
- Filling out your profile is crucial, just saying visit my blog will not work. You need to build that trust for them to want to care about your blog.
- Being at least semi-active is a must, log in no less then couple times a week to approve friend requests and reply to any messages.
- Be very careful about spamming friend requests or on groups. These sites have lots of spammers already, you don't want to blend in with them and risk getting banned from them.
- Some are very specific in the region of the world or age groups there members are, so some will not work for finding referrals no matter how hard you try.
- You do not have to actually have to "be social" on them talking about the latest news or gossip. But you do have to be willing to talk with people about what it is you promote.
- Twitter - This one is HUGE, you simply can not ignore this site. It's the 14th most used site worldwide! I won't go into how to use it from the sign up process to get more followers. But here's a few quick tips, you should have it set-up so you send a direct message to everyone that follows you. You should post at least once a day, people pay attention to people that post more often. Not all your posts should be promotional, mix in questions, jokes, and general thoughts. Like all sites, make sure to fill out your profile and link to your blog.
- FaceBook & Myspace - Easily the two largest Networks out there. Both are great sites and have some highly receptive people that can be your referrals.
- Mypage5 - One of the larger get paid to Social Networks. You earn a cent or few for everything you do on the site, uploading pics, posting comments, active in the forums, logging in each day, even just rating other peoples profiles and pics. Make sure to upload a picture when you sign up to start off with $5.
- Wiki Page listing 100's of them. Find Social sites that are primarily region specific that would allow sign ups to the sites you promote.
Continue on to Part 4 of the how to get referrals series titled "Incentives"