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Generating Word of Mouth Referrals on Alignable

Word-of-Mouth Referrals are the best source of new customers because they are made based on Trust you’ve built with others.  Once you’ve set yourself up for success, Alignable can help you generate an ongoing stream of these referrals.

How Do I Set Myself up for Success?

In short, you make it easy for people to refer others your way.  Your profile is your calling card for referrals.  It was designed to provide you with the opportunity to showcase information about you and your business.  Each component has a purpose:

About Us / How We Got Started: are your opportunity to share your passion for your business and the services you provide.  What got you into this business and why is it people turn to you.
Ideal Customer: think of this from two perspectives. If I know you, who would you like me most to send your way?  If I’m checking out your profile to learn more do my needs align with you and your business?  Use the tags for customer types and people you’d like to work with to help us match you up behind the scenes through search. 
Recommendations Received: who trusts you? Getting at least 5 written recommendations greatly increases your visibility across the platform because you become Highly Recommended.  The best way to get great recommendations is to add other business owners you know to your network. You can do this by connecting with existing members or inviting others you know. In both cases, when they connect or join we’ll ask them to recommend you. See more about recommendations below under the “Words You Share.”
Events & Promotions:  do you have anything going on at your business in the next 60 days you want others to know about?  If so, add them so people know and can share them with others. 
Products & Services: showcase the products and services do you offer you want people to know about.  These are also indexed in the Alignable search engine so when people are searching for them you’ll show up more.  Add at least 3. 
Team Members: referrals are based on personal trust so add your headshot so people know who they are being referred to and include other people on your team members on the platform may know.  
Search Tags: these one or two-word phrases are used across your profile to help others find you and refer you business.  Include both Category and Search Tags.  Every member gets one primary category and at least two search tags.  Be sure to use terms you think people will use when searching for businesses like yours.  If you want more check out our Premium Membership.  
You Need Mouths for Word-of-Mouth   
Your connections on Alignable act as an echo chamber for the Words you Share (see below).  There are two types of connections made:
People You Know: Great for recommendations and referrals. You can search for members you know in the directory or use your address book to find all the members you know and connect with the ones you want in your network.  
People You Want to Meet: When you click on the My Network tab we’ll show you people we think you may know or want to meet.  You can tune the search criteria by clicking on the Categories tab and then Editing Categories to include all the types of businesses you’d like to meet. 

Words You Share:
To keep referrals flowing you need to stay Top-of-Mind with your network and across the platform. While the most successful members login on a daily basis, you can certainly get started spending 10 minutes or so per week.  The higher the quality of what you share and the frequency with which you do it will dictate what you’ll get out of it.  
Giving Recommendations: the simple act of writing a great recommendation for another business owner helps keep you in the minds of your network while also exposing you to the entire network of person you wrote the recommendation for. Recommending favorite local businesses each month is a great way to generate interest in you and your business. 
Sharing Expertise:  let's face it.  Most small business owners feel isolated and challenged to get answers to questions. By sharing your expertise, you can make an impression on a lot of members nearby and across the country.  Here are 3 ways you can share your expertise:
  • Use search to find discussions where you can share your expertise.  For example, if you have an expertise in dealing with “Regulations” you could type it in the search box and scroll down the list and select Regulation Q&A activity to see all of the discussions around that topic.  Add your advice as a comment on the discussion.  It will be shared with your network, be visible within your community and show up on the bottom of your profile for others to see.  
  • Start a new discussion.  The key here is you can’t be promotional on the discussion forum.  If you are interested in learning about and using this approach read this post about Inbound Marketing on Alignable.  
  • Rate and Review brands you have experience with.  Let’s face it the best people to ask about Quickbooks Online are accountants who use it with hundreds of their clients.  If your profession gives you a unique perspective on marketing applications, financial services, hiring solutions, go to the Brands Ratings tab on the Advice Forum and rate and add a detailed review for the brands you know well.  The reviews add up on your profile and get shared with members in your community.  
Post What’s Happening:  keeping your network informed about what’s going on with you and your business is a great way to prime the referral pump.  
  • Add events and promotions at least 60 days in advance for maximum impact
  • Feature new products and services you want people to know about
  • Ask a few people in your network who are also clients to write a recommendation for you.
  • Posting a lot on your Facebook business page?  Connect it and you’ll be able to share posts from there with your network too. 

Amplify Your Voice for More Referrals: 
If you’re interested in amplifying the visibility of your business and the words you share check out our Premium Memberships. it’s a cost-effective way to increase referral generation and conversion:
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