With so many people sharing online, there are many opportunities for people to refer you. These referrals can come in the form of sharing your content, sharing a coupon or discount, leaving a recommendation or review on a social networking site, and—of course—a traditional referral.
So when is a good time to ask for a referral online? Just like offline, any time you’re providing value or when someone responds positively to you. This is when people are happy and more apt to help you.
Keep in mind it’s best to keep your “ask” within the context the person is engaging with you. For example, if someone is raving about your latest email newsletter, ask them about referring others to subscribe. Or if they contact you to rave about a product, ask them about referring others to the product.
Again, happy customers are happy to refer—no need to fear!
Let’s take a look at some places you can ask online.
1. Ask in your email newsletter
Send a message similar to the following: “Thanks for subscribing to our newsletter. Do you know someone who would also benefit from this information? Please forward this link so they can sign up too.” You can even offer an incentive.
“Refer three friends and I’ll send you a (coupon/special report/other incentive) as a thank you.”
Also, plan occasional messages where you ask for something specific, like a recommendation or review for an online site like Facebook or Yelp.
2. On your website/blog
Make it easy for people to share the stuff they like. Add “share” buttons to your blog posts and webpages. Include a clear call to action to share: “Did you enjoy this post? Share it with your friends and colleagues.”
3. Online workshops/webinars
When you hold an online workshop or webinar, ask registrants to forward the information to people who they know would also benefit from attending. After the webinar or workshop, send a follow-up email and ask if they’d like to share information about their experience.
4. In your regular emails
Has someone ever sent you an email with praise about your product or service? That’s the perfect time to ask for a referral. You can even include a permanent P.S. to your email signature that says, “Know someone who needs help with (problem you solve)? Send them here: (include a link to a special webpage for referrals).
Are there complementary businesses you can work with to extend your reach? Each of you can offer something of value to each other’s audiences. And don’t forget to include a line or two asking them to share these materials.
Asking online is easy
Be sure to review all your online materials. Are there any places you’re not asking for a referral but should? Make updates to these places. Asking for referrals should be part of your system. The great thing about asking online is that many times you just need to remember to include the information. Once it’s there, it works for you continually.