Back in the early 2000′s when I started my marketing business, I made a lot of trips to my local post office.
Every time I went there I saw a little box that held a bunch of CD’s.
The box said, “Try AOL for FREE!”
AOL was just starting out and they had formed a strategic partnership with the U.S. Postal Service to offer free trials of their AOL internet service to their customers.
But it wasn’t just the post office that were giving these free AOL CD’s away, so was Best Buy, Walmart, Target and other retail businesses.
After seeing this…
…A Light Bulb Flashed In My Brain.
You see, I often found it very hard to get people (even happy clients) to refer me to their friends because they didn’t want to be seen as a salesperson (weird, but true).
So instead of trying to ask for referrals directly, I decided to create helpful information that my clients and friends would be happy to pass on to people that they knew.
For instance, I created a special report titled, “How To Get Big Companies to Call, Buy and Beg for Your Products or Services.”
In the report I explained a simple process that I’ve used repeatedly to get big companies to call me and request my services (instead of me chasing them around).
I then asked several of my influential friends who had large mailing lists if they would pass the report out to their followers as a free gift, which they did.
That report went out to thousands of business people.
In less than a week, I had received multiple requests for consulting work from companies that didn’t blink at my high fees.
They all wanted me to set the same system up for them that I had explained in the report.
I call it…
Education-Based Referral Marketing.
Education-based referral marketing consists of getting people in your network to refer you by motivating them to pass out your educational information to people in their networks.
The benefits of education-based referral marketing are…
1. Instead of putting your referrer in a situation where they are seen as someone who is trying to “get” something from another person, they are seen as a true friend who is simply trying to help people solve their problems by passing out great information.
Instead of being seen as a “peddler” they are seen as a “hero.”
2. Your information will position you as the expert and the person that can solve their problem instead of someone who’s just trying to sell you something, which dramatically shortens the buying cycle.
3. Instead of being referred to just a few people, education-based referral marketing will allow you to be referred to hundreds and even thousands of people in a very short period of time.
4. You never have to be seen as the guy or gal who begs people for referrals. Instead, you’ll be seen as the intelligent professional who solves people’s problems.
5. It causes a viral pass along effect in which your information gets referred from one person to another multiple times, thus multiplying your original effort many times over.
Here’s How to Create an Education-Based Referral Marketing Campaign
Step 1 – Make a list of all the people in your network. Get their email addresses.
Step 2 – Create a 5 – 10 page special report, online audio program or an online video program that solves a specific problem. In the report, include a call to action at the end.
Step 3 – Ask each person in your network if they will read, listen to or watch your report and please pass it on to people in their network.
That’s pretty much it.
You can make the process more fancy by offering rewards for passing around your content if you want.
Here’s a Great Example Of What I’m Talking About
Robert Middleton is one of the people that I’ve followed for many years and someone who I highly respect.
Recently, Robert created a series of free videos that he gives out on his website.
In the videos, he talks about some important principles to attracting clients. Robert knows his stuff.
Here’s a link to those videos.
Some of you will go and watch Robert’s videos, sign up to his newsletter and possibly sign up to participate in his marketing club.
This is a great example of Education-Based Referral Marketing in action.
I just referred YOU to Robert’s information…NOT his product.
You see the difference.
Instead of saying, “You need to go buy Robert’s product.” I’m referring you to his helpful INFORMATION.
Robert’s information sells his product for him.
By the way, the videos were part of an interview that was conducted with Robert on his back patio. He then cut up the videos into smaller chunks that covered specific topics.
The information is easy to get to, easier to consume, and interesting to watch.
Many of YOU have referred my blog or specific articles on my blog to your friends. That’s Education-Based Referral Marketing.
Thank you for doing that.
I hope this article has given you a few ideas as to what you can do to launch your own Education-Based Referral Marketing campaign.
P.S. Click here if you want to learn more about referral marketing from the best referral marketing experts in the world.