The Internet is connecting people to other people, to information, to ideas, to things, in amazingly powerful new ways. It isn’t changing the fact that we are still human. And we humans like to do business with people we know and trust, even in a world where the Internet seems pervasive.
When a person asks me a question over an email message, and I send him or her an answer that includes a link, I’m making a digital referral. Sometimes that happens on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Whether your business is about connecting people, or providing information, or spreading ideas, or selling things, you have the opportunity to make digital referrals. The people who have been your traditional allies, partners, or loyal customers have a tremendous amount of power to influence your business. When those allies direct attention to your “digital stuff,” you only benefit from this if your information, ideas, or things are easily shareable.
Digital referrals are a two-way street, so start looking for ways to refer people on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Always give first. The alternative to the digital referral should scare you, because it means that you get to be invisible. Maybe not today, but sooner than you think.