So many business owners rely on word of mouth, networking and referrals as their primary means of getting new business. Some of these [slightly smarter] business owners realize that getting referrals is difficult to scale and that they (or their teams) can only hustle so much to get more referrals. At some point, these smarter business owners realize they they should invest in marketing. They just don't know how. (They aren't stupid. They just don't know how.)
What most business owners don't realize is that internet marketing accelerates referrals and networking accelerates internet marketing. Buyers don't live in two different worlds: a world where they go online to learn about things and a world where they talk to other people about it. In fact, most buyers do both.
If I just described you, ask yourself the following questions:
- Have I ever received a newsletter from a company that I forwarded to other people?
- Have I ever shared content online from a company I admire?
- Have I ever read content that someone I admire shared about a company?
- Have I ever been told about a company and then ended up signing up for their newsletter or following them on a social networking site?
If you said "yes" to any of these things, then ask yourself the following:
- If my contacts are willing to tell someone about me in a conversation, would they also be willing to share my content with the people that follow them?
- If I have a larger group of people that follow me online, will they get to know me over time and be more willing to talk to me when I reach out (or meet them at an event or get introduced to them by someone who knows us both)?
Getting referrals and doing internet marketing go hand in hand. Anyone that doesn't do both is missing out on new business.