According to Robert Frost, "Good fences make good neighbors." Business owners may add, "But they make for small gardens."
Growing your word-of-mouth referrals takes hard work. It's like tending a garden, needing constant time and attention, weeding, pruning, watering and feeding.
But in the midst of your networking, business card collecting and after-hours socials with fellow business people don't wall yourself into a small garden.
Your customers and neighbors - the people who like you and are talking about you right now - are a much bigger garden than your fellow networkers.
Your referrals naturally come from satisfied clients and people who trust you. So take down the garden wall separating you from your bigger opportunity. Social media provides small business owners with new tools allowing you to connect your business networking efforts with your existing network of fans.
The result - a growing source of recurring, qualified referrals.