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Do you know someone who…?

In the past three weeks, I’ve signed up for things (I needed) not by googling or looking in the paper for things… but after speaking with friends or trusted colleagues.

It’s hard to find value in today’s marketplace full of similar services that offer just another flavor of whatever it is you want or need.

Asking someone is easier than doing the work yourself to vet mental health professionals, chiropractors, massage therapists, a dinner spot for date night, or someone to help with taxes.

Sometimes, all you need is a referral to do something… from someone you trust.

“Do you think I should go?”

“Yes, definitely. It’ll be so helpful for you.”

So, for me, it has often gone something like this, tapping into my network of solid referral sources:

“So, I’ve been thinking about finding someone who…”

“Oh, I have someone – they’re right in City A, down the street from the Target plaza. You’ll love them – they’re so helpful.”

“Do you have their number?”

“Sure!”

24 hours later I had my first appointment booked.

The referral economy, as I call it, works well for us on the consumer side. Taking advice and suggestions from friends is a surefire way to get connected with a service provider that works for someone we already trust.

How does it work from the other side, then? What if you’re the provider? How can you extend your service to such an extent that others openly will refer their acquaintances to you?

You see, it takes more than selling a widget these days to hook people to your service model. They want an experience. Something that is very different than the norm. Something no one else has.

That’s why Tik Tok goes wild for celebrity chiropractors, for example. The experience, the customized story, the personalized attention to their health need… and then craaaack!

That service basically sells itself. And others advertise it for free! TikTok, after all, is just as much an ad campaign as it is wacky video shorts.

In your line of workdo other people tell their friends about what you do and refer them your way?

Now, the referral economy has a dark side, too.

There’s a lot of trust in referring someone or asking someone for a referral.

Sure, it’s easy to share your source for a great restaurant or mental health service… but what if you’re wrong? What if the person you send there hates it?

What happens with your relationship?

By referring, you put yourself on the line for someone else to vouch for just such an experience, top-of-the-line service, or whatever it is. That adds a lot of stress to you! Are you ready for that?

Or is the service just that good that you’ll go out of your way to send others en masse? [no risk / low effort / easy referral]

If you provide a service, how do you get to that level?

Today I’m thankful for Maegan, Katy, Amanda, Michelle and a few others for referring me in the right direction and connecting me with the services I need. I refer people to them all the time…