A referral network assists in the collection of organizations or individuals that provide referrals. They are, usually, companies within a related industry that have come together to make available referrals for one another in their network.
A digital marketing agent may build a network of social media marketers, affiliate marketers, content marketers and SEO companies.
When a customer makes a request about making an SEO audit on his website, or, in need of an affiliate marketing service, you will just provide the contact information of such service provider within your network.
Your action has just provided value to them, without necessitating them to look far for such services, at a cost. Referral networks can be formal or informal. With informal Referral, you just simply share the contact details of businesses in your network with others.
No form of formal agreement is signed with any organization, however, a great business relationship can be formed.
Some large companies provide services needed by potential customers, who cannot afford them, but these large companies have found a way of beating this. Rather than turn them down due to their preferred work on large projects, they simply refer them to companies that can handle similar projects in their network.
This is more advantageous to businesses that have these connections with large companies.
Who Needs a Referral Network?
You could obtain benefits from a referral network if your business has also benefited from referrals. Service businesses have seen a lot of benefits from this since a number of them are recommended by word of mouth.
The effect of personal recommendation on business, most often, goes a long way in positively affecting the fortunes of business, compared to the marketing efforts you put in. Even professional businesses are not left out of the power of referral that comes through personal recommendation.
Once your business and other businesses have the same target audience, then, you can always work in collaboration through referrals. You do not necessarily have to offer the same product and service, so, no case of one trying to steal the customer of the other will arise.
What they both simply offer their clients is extra value and in return, obtain an extra referral. For instance, a content marketer may connect with a graphics designer; both receive mutual benefits from the association.
In building a referral network, you must first identify those who have relevant connections to your target audience. Connect with experts in your industry by attending industry conferences, business summits, seminars, and workshops. Only through this, can you start building a truly genuine relationship.
After securing this relationship that you hope to be beneficial, you ought to nurture it through emails and one-on-one communications. The relationship should go beyond getting in touch only within the referral network.
A referral network is something great to work with, but you should look beyond that and try to build a relationship that lasts, which provides value simultaneously.