Posted by & filed under Growth, Marketing, Marketing for Accountants.

So we know referrals are the lifeblood of many firms, but often, when we take a look inside these ‘referrals’ that are the core driver of growth, are flaky at best.

And what I mean is that they are not predictable, there isn’t a system, and there is only one way someone can refer a lead to your (typically through an informal, poorly positioned conversation).

With that in mind, I wanted to introduce a concept called the ‘Multi Path Referral’.

The core concept is that if you only have one way in which someone can refer your service, then you’re not maximizing the value of the relationship you’ve built.

Ok, enough with the abstractions, let’s get a specific example on the table.

Let’s say right now, your referral system (if you have one), consists of sending a client an email asking if they know anyone who might need help with _______________ (sidenote: we know have these pre-loaded in Jetpack), but nothing else.

You can maximize your referral system in one of two ways:

1. Provide a better script/template/ document that helps or even incentives them to refer or

2. Provide content that they can share with colleagues, friends, or family members that are interested in the topic.

For today’s articles, let’s talk about point #2.

If you provide tax services for business owners, and you create a guide called ‘3 Questions Business Owners Need to Ask Before Filing Their Taxes’, and in this guide, you provide highly relevant, extremely valuable tips/tactics that can help business owners.

Remember, give away *more* content rather than less.

The best types of clients will read the information and then hire you anyways.

Those that want to hack together a ‘DIY return’ are not customers you want, so you might as well give much information as you can!

The beauty of having a highly targeted content piece that you give and promote to existing clients, is that when a colleague asks them about business taxes, it’s much easier for them to give them your guide, rather than talk about your service.

Not all clients want to promote your service (that’s your job after all!), but almost all will want to help colleagues, friends, and family with questions around the topic.

Therefore, sharing your content (video course, book, etc) widens the referral net for your clients, and gives them a less imitating way to promote your firm!

Plus, it can give you a chance to have your team get involved in creating content and really start to grow your firm, as a team effort.

To recap:

• If your referrals are not systematic, and it’s your lead source of growth, it’s a liability

• Systematic referrals can be direct (asking, incentivizing, etc) or indirect (content)

• Creating content pieces for existing customers and new customers widens the referrability net.

There is no need to be afraid of referrals when the content you have created provides actual value for the firm and allows them to feel comfortable sharing and your content.

It’s up to you to create a smart referral system, starting today. If you want predictability and you want to see increased growth month over month, dive into creating a Multi Path Referral and sooner or later, you’re going to have to start searching for more talent ASAP.

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