What does our slogan, “In This Together” mean?
It just means that by aggregating the influence of 12 or more businesses we can all see direct benefits to our individual businesses. The more each ring member does (following the rules setup by the ring), the better it will be for everyone. So “in this together” actually means directly what it says. Referral Ring makes it possible for businesses to be in the trenches together growing their businesses in a more controlled and practical manner leveraging the power of referrals, secondary, and tertiary referrals.
The true beauty behind referral ring is it isn’t just about talking about working together it’s actionable. We take simple technologies like sending emails, sharing on social media, and we turn them into a source of referrals. We also allow businesses to join rings to enable a bunch of smaller businesses to compete with larger businesses. In many cases it gives them collectively the ability to afford marketing campaigns and services that individually would be cost prohibitive.
So part of ring administration and management is the establishment of various rules. Like there is a limit to the number of posts you can share, a limit to the number of email exchanges you can do in a month, etc. There are also minimum standards that make sure that every member of a ring is pulling their share of the load. If they are not, then in order for the ring to stay healthy and strong some ring members need to be suspended, removed, and/or replaced. This may seem harsh but it really is necessary to make sure the referral rings are doing their job.
Why Referral Ring?
The concept of Referral Ring came from a genuine need for a couple of small business owners to be able to grow their businesses. The original businesses were a traditional nanny agency and a kickboxing gym that focused on families. At face value you might not see the match but both businesses were seeking the same types of clients (families).
Both businesses struggled with digital marketing techniques like paid search in Google and Bing, social media ads on Twitter and FaceBook, etc. They also both had unpleasant dealings with Yelp and other consumer facing advertising through review sites. The lack of visibility into why the ads were or weren’t showing coupled with the volatility and constant bidding wars made digital marketing something they did because they felt they needed to but generally were unsatisfied with the performance.
However, it was very clear that existing clients referring new people into their businesses was wildly successful. In fact, a vast majority of clients were coming from referrals. So the business owners started talking about how they could work together to get more referrals. Maybe they could send emails talking about each other’s business to see if their clients would accept their referral to each other’s business (get their clients to become clients of the other company). That concept made sense and worked!
Then they thought why not share relevant content on our social media pages that each other writes to supplement the activity on our social pages and also give us another way to refer business to each other. The important part of this though is it needed to relevant to their social media followers to make it make sense and not upset their own fans. This also worked!
So this was great and as they started talking to other business owners to see if this concept made sense to grow organically. The interest was there and it was time to create a technology to make it as simple as possible for dozens, hundreds, and thousands of businesses to leverage the power of referrals in a genuine, effective, and controllable way.