You Must Speak the Language of Your Referral Network

Do You Speak the Language of Your Audience

Successful networkers, business owners, entrepreneurs, professionals, salespeople and others have one significant trait in common; the ability to speak a language their audience understands. The ability to speak in a manner your audience understands is the key to effectively delivering your message! This is especially true with your referral network; the topic of this article.

If your referral network doesn’t understand your message; they will be ineffective in providing referrals and, in most cases, they will not even make an attempt on your behalf. Your referral network wants a message which is clear, to the point and easy to remember. Anything else and your attempts to convey your message will be wasted effort.

Things to Avoid When Delivering Your Message

Things you want to avoid in your message:

  • TMI – Too Much Information;
  • Overuse of industry jargon and acronyms;
  • Complex terms and descriptions;
  • Lists of skills, abilities, products and services;
  • Irrelevant references and information;
  • Too many options;
  • The appearance of a “Jack of All Trades, but Master of None”; and
  • Trust, reliability and credibility issues.

TMI – Too Much Information

Sometimes we get carried away when we start talking about what we do or have to offer. If your goal is to educate your referral network they must have a clear understanding of what you do, the products you sell or the services you provide. You need to know and be able to convey your primary message.

Overuse of Industry Jargon and Acronyms

Your goal should not be to make your referral network an expert in your field. (As a side note, if a conversation can rapidly create experts; you have a bigger problem to address!) You want to avoid using jargon and acronyms because your referral network, most likely, will not remember these terms or, at least, be unable to explain the terms. Rather than be embarrassed, they will not give the referral!

Your job is not to impress your referral network; your job is to educate your referral network!

Complex Terms and Descriptions

This is a big problem for many professionals whether they are doctors, engineers, computer nerds (I’m one so I can say this) or others where there are many complex terms. Using these terms may impress your referral network or most others in your audience; but they won’t bring you referrals. Your referral network must be able to easily tell your story. If they can’t; they won’t!

Lists of Skills, Abilities, Products and Services

Lists will be forgotten. Pick one or two, at the most, important points and then use those points in a story explaining the value provided. People remember stories, they do not remember lists.

Irrelevant References and Information

Don’t bog your audience down with unnecessary information. You want them to remember the important points so don’t get carried away with irrelevant details. Make your story easy and, even better, enjoyable to relate.

Too Many Options

Focus on the key points you want your audience to remember! Don’t give them a list of options and hope they remember something. Make it easy for them to make your case and refer you.

The Appearance of a “Jack of All Trades, but Master of None”

In an attempt to avoid missing opportunities we often try to present ourselves as being able to do anything and everything. Your referral network will never be able to figure this out and effectively refer you. They may give a referral saying you can do anything, but it diminishes your value and your ability to be compensated for the value you bring to the table. People will take advantage of you and without the initial specificity you will be hard pressed to argue the point.

Trust, Reliability and Credibility Issues

Lastly the language you speak MUST speak to your trust, reliability and credibility. These traits are critical to a strong referral network. If the members of your referral network have any doubts or concerns regarding your trust, reliability and credibility; they will not take a chance and refer you. Your referral network has built a relationship with their network and they will not risk jeopardizing those relationships on someone they do not find trustworthy, reliable or credible.


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Does Your LinkedIn Profile Give You the Credibility You Need?

Does Your LinkedIn Profile Give You the Credibility You Need?

Your profile has a job to do and it’s not SEO (Search Engine Optimization)! I’m not saying SEO isn’t important; but it’s a by-product or secondary consideration not the primary purpose of your profile. The first or primary purpose is to establish your credibility!

Why Is Credibility So Important?

Whether someone finds your profile using SEO, clicks on your name when you like or comment on a post or clicks your name when you connect with someone; your profile must convey credibility. If it cannot meet this requirement your profile is a wasted effort!

How Do You Build Credibility

There are multiple steps to building credibility.

Step 1

The first step to building credibility is to have a complete profile. Let your audience know you are serious in your efforts. If your profile is incomplete or sketchy what message are you sending?

It’s a message of indifference and one which does not respect the time of your audience. If they clicked on your name and found an incomplete profile, you just wasted their time and that’s not cool. Do you like it when others waste your time? Probably not, so why is it okay to waste your audiences’ time?

Can you imagine going to a concert and learning the brass section isn’t there to perform? You would be quite mad you had taken the time to show up for the performance. Did the lack of a brass section add to or take away from the credibility of the orchestra or band? Obviously the entire organization lost credibility because of the actions of a few.

So it is with your profile the lack of or incomplete information in a section takes away from your credibility!

Step 2

Put a real, current picture on your profile. Thinking you are fooling someone about your age or appearance by leaving off a picture is just fooling yourself. Somewhere along the line the Internet has a picture of you and whoever is looking for you will find it.

The other reason to post your picture is with millions of members there will be others on LinkedIn with the same name. Your picture will be the method someone may use to ensure they are connecting with the correct person. Help them out, don’t miss out on a contact because they cannot verify you.

Your picture adds to your credibility.

Step 3

Put your location with your profile. If your profile simply says United States, are you real? If you are real; why are you so secretive?

You are building credibility and hiding information will not serve you!

Step 4

You must be participating on LinkedIn. Whether you are posting, commenting, liking, sharing in groups or making new connections; you need to have activity showing you are not just a lurker or a phantom profile.

There are a lot of lurkers and phantom profiles on LinkedIn and you don’t want to be one of them! You want people viewing your profile to know you are a real person and see the value you bring.

Your participation lets people know who you are because every post, every comment helps your audience gain a better understanding of who you are.

Your participation says you are real and adds to your credibility.

Step 5

Grow your network! When you are growing your network you are adding value, not only to yourself, but to all the members of your network as well. When members of your network perform searches for individuals, companies, job roles, skills, talents, etc. the size of your network helps them and the size of their network helps you.

The power of your network is not in your first level connections or strong ties; the power is in your second and third level connections or weak ties. Every person you bring into your network means their connections just added to your weak ties and every person you bring in adds weak ties to every member in your network.

Adding connections builds your credibility because it shows your commitment to your network and your network members.

Your profile is all about building your credibility in the eyes of your audience. You want your audience to come away from reading your profile feeling they have an understanding of your honesty, integrity, reliability, sincerity, trust, knowledge and credibility. If your profile does not convey these characteristics; your profile is not doing the job and must be revised.

Read my other posts in this blog for help in constructing a profile which conveys your credibility. Please take a moment and sign up for email notifications of new posts. It’s in the upper right corner and takes just a moment.


My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve!

Do you need help with your message? Are you struggling for people to know you and what you have to offer? If so, I can help. My contact information is below or Email  Me Now! and lets get started.

Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

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If You Want More Recommendations; then Give More Recommendations

Get More Recommendations

Have you ever seen a business use the message “The best compliment we can receive is your recommendation or referral?”

Although that is a very true statement; it is also true that the statement is not very effective in getting you more recommendations. Yes, it is a call to action; but it is a very weak call to action.

Marketing studies have long shown that a satisfied customer tells one or two people. Today, with Social Media, those numbers be drastically improved; all you need to do is get the recommendations.

So, how does that happen?

It starts with you; with your being proactive and reaching out to others.

The Key to Getting Anything; Is, to Give Something

If you have not noticed the old mantra of “Ask and you will receive” has changed; today the new mantra is “Give and you will receive”! What this means is that if you want recommendations; you are best served by giving a recommendation first!

The UPPROACH: Give a Recommendation First

Don’t wait for something to happen; make something happen! Take the initiative and write a recommendation for that person.

Get a Recommendation

Once you write the recommendation; it is much easier to ask for and get a recommendation. When you give something of value; people want to reciprocate. People do not like to be indebted to someone; therefore they look for a way to pay you back. When they can do it in kind; all the better.

So get started and start writing those recommendations and reaping the results!

Are you at a loss as to how to write a recommendation get our free report The Art of Giving a Recommendation.


Tom Staskiewicz speaks and coaches on structuring Social Media and Professional Networking to help businesses, organizations, and individuals establish and manage their Social Media presence to increase efficiency, improve decisions, and respond to your audiences. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.

If you are interested in learning more about how Tom can you and/or your organization develop your Professional Network or Social Media email Tom for information.

Referrals and Recommendations: Are You Getting Your Share?

Referrals and Recommendations Are Critical to Your Business and Career

Are you getting your fair share of referrals and recommendations? One of the great features of Social Media is the opportunity to collect referrals and recommendations from managers, supervisors, co-workers, vendors, customers, and a host of others.

We can talk forever about our personal accomplishments and experiences, but when you get someone talking on your behalf that is when you start firing on all cylinders. That doesn’t mean that you get thousands or even hundreds of referrals and recommendations, it just means that you get your fair share.

Referrals Can Be Key to Attaining Your Objectives

I believe that although one can do it on their own; referrals and recommendations are key to accelerating your business and career. Modesty and humility are characteristic of most people. While there are many exceptions; when you think of the majority of connections that you have; they are modest and humble about their accomplishments.

What does that mean to you? If you have the characteristics of modesty and being humble; you will not be very effective at self promotion. You will always be reserved in discussing your accomplishments, awards, and recognition; this means that you WILL need someone that will promote you and this is best achieved through referrals and recommendations.

Here are some examples of what referrals and recommendations can do for you:

  • Open doors that were otherwise closed.
  • Tell people what you meant to former co-workers, educators, and even friends.
  • Substantiate and reinforce statements that you make about yourself.
  • Lead to undiscovered opportunities.

If you are not receiving your fair share of referrals and recommendations learn where you get them; get our free report 18 Sources for Referrals and Recommendations.


Tom Staskiewicz speaks and coaches on structuring Social Media and Professional Networking to help businesses, organizations, and individuals establish and manage their Social Media presence to increase efficiency, improve decisions, and respond to your audiences. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.

If you are interested in learning more about how Tom can you and/or your organization develop your Professional Network or Social Media email Tom for information.

What Can You Do with an Email Service

What Email Service Is Right for You

Have you thought about using an email service to stay in touch with your customers and prospects? I’m sure you have, if for no other reason than the intensive marketing being done by Constant Contact.

Before You Select a Service; Know What You Want to Do

The truth is that all email services are not created equal. Some have features that others do not. Some charge based upon the number of emails sent and others charge based upon the number of subscribers you have.

How Many Subscribers Do You Expect?

Knowing how many subscribers you will have and how often you plan on contacting those subscribers can make a huge difference in the cost.

How Many Email Lists Will You Have?

Another factor is how many email lists will you have? Will you have both a list of active customers and prospects? Will it be a single list? Will you have a list for customers of each type or category of product or service you offer?

Are You Going to Do Email Campaigns?

Maybe you are asking what is an email campaign, so I will give you a brief overview. A campaign is typically a series of emails sent to subscribers.

The campaign starts with a letter of invitation to join the list (usually an opt-in or double opt-in) process to make sure you have the correct person.

Following the opt-in there is an immediate follow-up with the additional promised information. A few (7-10) days later there is another follow-up to ensure that they received the information and provide a second promotion. 12-14 days later there is another follow-up typically with some type of incentive to sign up. That may be it or 60 days later there could be one last follow up. It’s really up to you.

Some email services support email campaigns, some do not, and others only limited email campaigns or a limited number of campaigns.

To Opt-In or Not; or Will You Spam

Opt-In basically says do you want to participate and lets the reader know that they can opt-out at any time.

Do you want an opt-in or double opt-in process where the people signing up must go to a sight or respond to an email and confirm that they want to be on your list. If you don’t have an opt-in some, maybe many will report you as spam and can get you blacklisted; opt-ins are preferable to blacklists. Unless you are closely monitoring the service you won’t know that your emails have been blocked.

If the service isn’t offering an opt-in option that can be a problem. Maybe you don’t irritate the users but that doesn’t mean that someone else using the service won’t irritate their recipients and the backlash can hit you!

Opt-ins protect you as much or even more than they protect your recipients.

Will You Have Mini-Memberships?

A Mini-Membership has people sign-up typically paying a fee for a limited-term-membership (compare it to a four – 12 week class and sometimes up to one-year). Each week or month they will have the next part of their course delivered to their email box.

Some email services support this and some do not. Some will support several limited-term-memberships and others will support only one.

Before you select a service know what you services you are expecting them to provide.


Tom Staskiewicz speaks and coaches on Social Media/Social Networking topics helping businesses, organizations, and individuals establish and manage their Social Media presence. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.

Putting Power into Your Reviews and Testimonials

Negating the Negatives

Negative Internet Reviews

If you are like many businesses today you have experienced the negative review on Google, CitySearch, Yelp, or a plethora of other sites. In the process you have most likely noticed that these reviews hide behind an alias. The reality is that they, the reviewers, are cowards or even worse competitors.

To top it off Google, CitySearch, and the others make it difficult and costly to respond. This may be a good thing, because your immediate response would be a “knee-jerk” reaction and probably end up hurting your more than helping. You must remember that you are in the age of the Internet and the person who wrote the review will NOT be the only one reading your response. In your attempt to respond you may end up hurting future business from the eves droppers.

What Do You Do

One of the best ways to counteract a negative review is to get a good review; but not just any good review. Get one where the individual writing the review is willing to give their name and their city and state. You want credibility behind the review!

Get Credible Reviews

When you have credible reviews and someone points to Google, CitySearch, or whomever and it is a review that hides behind an alias; you can point to your reviews (good, just okay, or even bad) and say that YOUR reviews have quality. You can say that these are people you can talk to and they will answer your questions honestly. These are people that have nothing to hide.

You can, with the writer’s permission, use these reviews in your marketing and sales materials as testimonials of the work that you do and they way your customers/clients/patients feel about you, your business, your products, and your services.


Tom Staskiewicz speaks and coaches on Social Media/Social Networking topics helping businesses, organizations, and individuals establish and manage their Social Media presence. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.

Your Fan Page Needs Your Friends

Do My Fans Need to Know I Administer the Facebook Fan Page

Here’s the deal. You created a Fan or business page under your personal profile; that makes you the administrator of the page. Unless you post something on the Fan Page that gives it away as to who you are; your Fans cannot tell.

Two Steps to Better Hide Your Identity

If you are still worried the best way to hide the details about yourself is through the security settings on your personal profile. What you want to do is manage the information that you want to share with everyone, your friends, and your friend’s friends.

The other protection is deciding who you will accept as a friend. You can control this and if there are people that you do not want to have access to your personal information do not send a friend request or accept a friend request from them.

You can also classify your friends using the FB “list” process and create lists and then assign your friends. When you post you have the option to select the lists that you want to see the post you are leaving. That provides an additional method of restricting who sees what content.

Why You WANT the Two Connected

The last thing is that your business reputation and brand come for most of us from our personal reputation. What role does your personal reputation play in your business and how much do you count on your friends for referrals. The more restrictive you are the fewer the referrals you will receive.


Tom Staskiewicz is a Social Media/Social Networking Coach helping businesses, organizations, and individuals to establish and manage their Social Media presence. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.