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4 Ways to Create a Referral Funnel with Dallas Travers, The Hive: Show Notes & Transcript

Post | Mar 21, 2023

Welcome back to Marketing Smarts! From brand-building and marketing veterans Anne Candido and April Martini (that’s us) comes a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. We deep-dive into topics most would gloss-over, infusing real-world examples from our combined 35+ years of corporate and agency experience. We tell it how it is so whether you are just starting out or have been in business awhile, you have the Marketing Smarts to immediately impact your business.

In this episode, we’re talking referral funnels with Dallas Travers, Founder of The Hive and Host of Coaches on a Mission. Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and your other favorite podcast spots – follow and leave a 5-star review if you’re exercising your Marketing Smarts!

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  • Show Notes
  • Marketing Smarts Summary
  • Transcript

Marketing Smarts: 4 Ways to Create a Referral Funnel with Dallas Travers, The Hive

Referrals. They build businesses. But how do you get them, over and over again? It comes down to creating specific KPIs for your referral funnel, creating a sense of urgency around the KPIs, providing tools for making the referral easy, and making all steps and connection points authentic to the target. We wanted you to learn from a true expert at creating effective referral funnels, so we welcomed on Dallas Travers. She’s the Founder of The Hive and Host of Coaches on a Mission. This episode covers everything from referrals to your target market. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear in this episode:

  • How do you create a referral funnel?
  • What should your KPIs look like?
  • How many touch points does it take for consumers to internalize your message?
  • Why should you create a sense of urgency around the KPIs?
  • How do you make referrals easy?
  • What goes into making authentic touchpoints?
  • How many touchpoints does it take for consumers to internalize your message?
  • Where can you find referral ambassadors?

And as always, if you need help in building your Marketing Smarts, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at:

Check out the episode, show notes, and transcript below:

Show Notes

What is Marketing Smarts?

From brand-building and marketing veterans Anne Candido and April Martini comes a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. They deep-dive into topics most would gloss-over, infusing real-world examples from their combined 35+ years of corporate and agency experience. They tell it how it is so whether you are just starting out or have been in business awhile, you have the Marketing Smarts to immediately impact your business.

How do I exercise my Marketing Smarts?

Thanks for listening to Marketing Smarts. Get in touch here to become a savvier marketer. 


Please note: this transcript is not 100% accurate.

Anne Candido 0:02
This is Marketing Smarts – a podcast committed to helping you become a savvier marketing leader, no matter your level. In each episode, we will dive into a relevant topic or challenge that marketing leaders are currently facing. We will also give you practical tools and applications that will help you put what you learn into practice today. And if you miss anything, don’t worry, we put worksheets on our website that summarize the key points. Now, let’s get to it.

April Martini 0:29
Welcome to Marketing Smarts! I am Anne Candido. And I am April Martini. And lately, we’ve been talking and having lots of conversations and guests on our show around this whole idea of effectively creating and executing a funnel and then integrating all of your marketing efforts to support said funnel. And so today, we’re going to add one more to the mix. And we are going to talk really specifically about the power of referral marketing, and how it can be a really helpful tool in your toolkit.

Anne Candido 0:58
Yes, and word of mouth and referrals is one of the actually the best ways to build authentic connections. And it helps to get that third party sourced input that may not just be you advocating that those other people are advocating for you because it builds that validity. So this is gonna be a really important topic, I think, for a lot of you.

April Martini 1:17
Yeah, and as we often like to do, we’re bringing on a special guest today who is an expert on this topic, and that is Dallas Travers, Founder of The Hive, and who also has her own podcast, Coaches on a Mission. So welcome, Dallas, please introduce yourself and just give us a little bit of a sense of who you are and what you’re bringing to the conversation today.

Dallas Travers 1:38
Sure. Thank you so much for having me. I love that we’re tossing this idea of referral marketing into a funnel conversation, because I am hoping it’ll help our listeners like relate to it differently. Because I find so many of us, yes, we want referrals, but we just like assume they either happen or they don’t. And we don’t have control over when and how they come in. So I’m really excited to be here. Thanks again for the invitation. I’m Dallas Travers. And as a pro mentioned, I have a podcast called coaches on a mission. And I love helping values driven coaches move away from hodgepodge doing their business together from like free stuff they find on the internet, and toward, towards toward really applying what I call the ripple effect system, which is how to build your business out in layers. So that your message is rock solid, you know how to find private clients when you need them, you know, habits to put in place so that you can be visible and set your business up to truly scale in a sustainable way.

April Martini 2:45
Awesome, awesome. Well, lots and lots of applicable experience to the conversation today. So with that, we will get into four ways to effectively create a referral funnel. And the first one here is to create specific KPIs for your referral funnel. So you know, on the show, we are lovers of KPIs, we talk about them all the time, because you have to be able to measure what you’re doing. And marketing can historically and typically be a little bit of a black box here, there aren’t as many hard and fast math metrics. So therefore you have to create them. So you have to really pin down what are those goals you’re trying to achieve. And you don’t want to just be sitting around waiting for people to refer business to you if this is going to be one of the ways and you heard Dallas say it. If you’re trying to intentionally build your client pool, you have to decide how you’re going to do that with intention. And so this could be how many referrals you need in the funnel in order to get the right number of meaningful business sales or conversations or conversions or whatever those look like. You could also have a set of referral ambassadors as part of your team, that once you have those KPIs set, they can go out and find those leads for you. But again, they have to know what they’re looking for and why and how they’re going to be measured, compensated etc against that. So your goals and your objectives need to translate into what they can go and do in order to achieve. And it’s also important to note that you have to build out the profiles of your client targets that you’re looking for. But this should actually be done well in advance of any kind of funnel. So if you need more help in that area, we’re just going to give a plug for a previous episode, which is four techniques for defining and engaging your target consumer. And that can really help you nail that down. That should happen on a highly strategic level way before you ever get to your marketing plan. So if you don’t have those built out, pause right now, go to that episode and come back to this when you’re ready to talk about your funnel and really specifically your referral funnel. So Dallas, what do you think here? I know you have your whole step process. So let’s get in and get some examples and comments on your end.

Dallas Travers 4:51
One thing I just want to reiterate is there’s for me a number one value of KPIs. that if we don’t name it, we may not notice the value. And that is the confidence that just setting measurable goals brings to a person. Otherwise, it’s just so easy to feel like we’re just guessing. Right? And if we’re just guessing, we don’t know. So I’m going to slow it down a little bit here. If I don’t have a KPI for every step in my referral marketing funnel, at the end of the process, if I get more clients than I can handle, I can’t pinpoint why. Right? If I get no clients, I also can’t pinpoint why. And then I go and find a brand new strategy. Instead of just fixing one step in the funnel, I ditch the whole thing and then go start from scratch again, and this is the thing that causes so many coaches to quit, or to start looking outside of themselves for some sort of magic pill. Of course, that’s gonna solve everything overnight. So I love that you too, are KPI nerds, I’d like to apply to join that club because I love a good KPI. If you’re open to it, I have at least three, really, in probably four, I’m writing this one down KPIs that I think are important to track inside of a referral funnel. Can I share them?

April Martini 6:30
Yeah. Oh, please. Yeah. Okay, cool.

Dallas Travers 6:33
So the key with referral marketing is we have to, like create a cause around it. And so I know we’ll get more into this, but identifying who your referral ambassadors are, and making a request of them. So the first thing that we want to track is our ambassador conversion rate. So if I asked 10 people to send referrals, how many of them answer me? Whether it’s a yes or no? How many of them actually answer me? If I’m not getting answers, my message is unclear. So I can just stop, fix my message and then start again, right? And then of course, how many of those people say yes, so we’re looking at our ambassador request conversion rate. We also then want to look at the landing page or the scheduling page, wherever it is, folks have to go to book time with you to opt into your thing. What is the conversion rate on that page, I recommend, because this is warm traffic, even if the person being referred has never met you before, they’re being referred by someone they trust. So it’s not cold traffic in the same way that ads are cold traffic. So we’re aiming at a 40-45% conversion rate on that scheduling page. What I have found with my clients is Ambassador requests, it all kind of works out in the end that for every one request you make, you should get one referral, it’s never that clean. Because there will be some people who might refer six people to you and, and six other referral ambassadors who say yes, but don’t follow through. But when it all comes out in the wash, it’s about a one to one ratio. So that’s what we’re aiming for. Then we want to look at the sales call attendance. So out of the people who booked time with you how many of them show up. I have 100% on that. But we’ve really dialed that part of the funnel in and we have so much nurturing in place that it makes sense. But I think with a referral marketing funnel like this, if you’re over 85%, you’re doing great in terms of your attendance. And then lastly, your sales call conversion rate. We want 35% If it’s higher than that, you’re not getting an A in class, it’s a sign that you are not properly priced. Right, these warm people coming in for the first time being introduced to you, if you’re converting at like 50% I consider that an invitation to reevaluate your price point. So those I think are some simple core KPIs that we really want to track inside of a referral funnel.

Anne Candido 9:21
Yeah, I think that’s extremely helpful and very actionable. So I really appreciated about that. And I think what it really helps people diagnosis the why, right? Because I think you said you made a really good point is that a lot of times when you get stuck, you just kind of tend to throw everything out, right? And you just said, I’m just gonna start over, I’m gonna or that didn’t work. I’m gonna try something else, versus just really asking, Well, why is it not working? And so I think the the guidelines you give, provide a really good understanding of, is it working? How well is it working, which is always a big question I think people have, especially when it comes to referrals. And when I say to is that, you know, when you’re setting these key KPIs, it’s just sets, something sets some sort of goal that would make sense for your business. And it’s just in you alluded to this, it’s like just the act of actually setting a goal actually opens up action because then you’re like, well, then how do I get there? What do I need to do in order to get there? If it’s not working? Again, why is it not working? Or maybe I need to have a second path or I need to have another way of generating leads, or whatever that is it this tries to open up action versus just kind of sitting there going? Well, it’s fine. Good enough. I don’t know how I finally feels good enough. I don’t know my business where I don’t know, my business is, you know, just a lot of like that that paralysis based on the fact that you just, you’re kind of stuck in like the muddy middle of I just don’t know. So I love the actual steps of that. And I would also encourage us, I mean, just setting again, a KPI was opens up the opportunity to actually create action.

Dallas Travers 10:52
Yeah. And just gives gives you a deeper sense of agency. I’m thinking about our, in my company, our list building KPI, we had a team meeting on Monday, we added three people to our list last week, which was not cause for celebration. And I realized, Oh, how interesting. Were track, we have a KPI for our list growth, we’ve got to back this up and actually track our actions and acted to list growth because like, there’s no accountability on our actions. So of course, we added three people to our list last week. The same goes with referrals. So thanks for bringing that up. It’s really important.

April Martini 11:31
Well, I’m what I’m hearing you both say to is, you have to make sure that you’re keeping track of them as you go. Also, it’s not just like, if you were setting one, and then at this date, it’s over. Like, like you just said with the list, right? Well, okay, if that is a KPI and this week, we only saw this, there’s something wrong that then we need to go in action against because I think that’s the other thing about KPIs is it clues you in in a different way hold you accountable, but it also makes you more aware and focused? Versus like, and you were saying just kind of arbitrarily being like, Oh, I think things are good. We’re, who knows? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. All right. So our second point here for four ways to effectively create a referral funnel is to create a sense of urgency around the KPIs which Dallas example you just gave, I think highlighted or led us nicely into this point. But really, even if you set a KPI, if there is no urgency around it, it just becomes more of an open ended ask. So then people kind of feel like, well, I have as much time as I want to come back to it. And as with all marketing, the chances of people ever coming back once they’ve left it are, you know, few and far between I mean, it just diminishes the minute you close out of that email, or you move on to a different text or, you know, it gets down on your to do list and you kind of forget about it, it gets below the line, whatever that looks like. So if you think about the fact that people are bombarded consistently with lots of different asks, and you’re thinking about this idea of the referral funnel, when you’re asking those ambassadors, you have to give them a window of time to follow up, or, you know, create that sense of urgency of we’re taking the top, whatever that come in, so then it feels like there’s a limitation or they have, you know, if I don’t get in there, well, then I might miss out, right. And so this is time constraints, yes. But also, I think this is a place where you can create competition, because you mentioned some people might give you six referrals, and some people might never connect. So if it’s, you know, not only if you send me a referral, whoever sends the top number of ones that become qualified leads, or, you know, whoever gets through to the first one that we’re actually going to work with whatever that looks like, you can create a sense of urgency around the competitive nature of things, too, because obviously, if you’re asking people for these referrals, they should be enthusiastic or in the mindset to do it. But I think you have to give them something that creates action and immediacy. So what are your thoughts on that one, Dallas?

Dallas Travers 14:07
I love your thinking here. And for people who might be earlier on in their business, I would I want to also eliminate some of the pressure of oh, now I have to like have an affiliate dashboard and do I have to pay people Commission’s like, that’s one way to gamify it for your referral ambassadors. That’s definitely a way to motivate them to offer up affiliate commissions. That’s definitely another way to motivate them. But what I surprisingly has found to be the most effective form of motivation is what you’re mentioning here, having this time bound nature to your ask, and I can give some language around that. But also, I mentioned it earlier, but sharing your cause or your mission. So I’ll give you an example. I have one of my hive members. Her name is Clarissa. She helps folks who feel like they have an autoimmune disease, but now they’re waiting for an official diagnosis, which believe it or not, can sometimes take up to five years. It’s wild, she helps them take control of their health right now, instead of just waiting around for a diagnosis. So what does this mean? Referral ambassadors aren’t going to know if they know someone who is five years before getting an autoimmune diagnosis, right. So we had to get very creative and she did such a great job, just sharing her story and her mission. So the Ask became, I am on a mission to help people stuck in the endless cycle of our healthcare system, waiting for a diagnosis before they can take action. I’m on a mission to help them feel better now, and I want your help. I I’m gifting 10, free intro coaching sessions, to people who suspect they have an autoimmune disease, and they don’t want to wait around for a diagnosis. So my request is how open Do you feel to sharing an announcement with your community, because you likely won’t be able to pinpoint a specific person who I can really help. So this announcement went out at the beginning of the month, so we’re about two weeks in, and she has so many referrals coming her way, because people stood behind her mission. So if you can create a cause, right, and that cause and requires, again, this time bound nature, so it’s this month, right or in the next couple of weeks, and then stand in your mission. People want to get behind that. So you don’t have to offer Commission’s or gamify it, it could be as simple as just your authentic sharing of your mission.

Anne Candido 16:57
Yeah, I love that. And I love the power of the ask, right? Because ask makes it action oriented, and something you are doing versus being very passive and like waiting for people to come to you. Like, we hear that alarm, I’ll just put all my stuff out. And I’m just gonna wait for everybody to come back to me, I’m like, Well, did you actually make an ask the people actually know what you want them to do? Is there a call to action is any of that in order to be able to funnel people through and the way that you want them to funnel through. And I’ll give another side of the coin to the story that you just told which I absolutely love in the context of sharing your mission, sharing your why really like enabling the ambassadorship of like, let’s help the collective reign of moving towards better health or something that’s better in life, that an emotional benefit, if you will. But there’s the other side of that, that I’ll just share from my story is like, when I left P&G, and I was going on my own, it was a lot of case of people you decide to, to leave whatever they’re doing and go on their own, become an entrepreneur, freelancer, whatever the gig is, you’re all of a sudden, you’re in this new world where you have a network, but you don’t have the safety of a business that was backing you and you’re like, Ah, how do I get clients, you know, and that becomes a part of where you start to figure out like, Well, can I engage my network? I feel kind of weird doing that. Because, I mean, I had 20 years at P&G, and like, now, I’m going to ask this network that like I that actually serve me to, you know, in the capacity of the work that I want them to serve me now and helping me find clients. I’m like, that feels a little weird. Like, I should know how to do this, right? I have 20 years of experience, I should know how to do this. And it was a really hard thing to get over of like just making that ask people that I need some help. Can you help me? Right, with no expectation obligation? But can you help me and that was like a really like mind opening thing was when I asked people like, yes, I would love to help. And I’m like, why do people actually want to help me. And what I found was that it was all of the work that I had done to help them all along the way. And there’s this natural reciprocity of when I helped you, at some point, I would like to help you back, right, and I want to have that reciprocity, now you’re giving me that opportunity. And I would love to help you. And now those people kind of came out of nowhere, to some extent for me. And so I want to say that for people who are like thinking about the fact that you know, they’re going on their own for the first time, and they’re not quite sure how to get started or how to pull in those clients. It’s like, ask your network to help you.

Dallas Travers 19:31
I want to offer a tool. I love this story so much. And so something I say often is the problem is the solution. So the problem, the thing that’s preventing you from asking for referrals can actually be flipped into the motivation you’ve been looking for. So what it might look like in your circumstance, it feels super weird to reach out to people who know me through P&G. I feel completely awkward ask came for help in this other context. That’s how you begin the request. I feel completely awkward asking you this question because you only know me through P&G. But here I go. And there’s something that’s so humanizing about sharing your vulnerability, but it also creates this permission structure to be totally dorky and awkward and get it wrong in in your request, because you’re saying upfront that you feel dorky and awkward. That’s very helpful to me. Yeah,

April Martini 20:33
I mean, I would I think it is, there is a vulnerability associated with all of this. But I think, you know, what I was thinking is, as you were both talking is this idea of community, and wanting to be a part of something and whether it’s, you know, you helped me many years ago, and I remember that, and I want to give it back, or it comes from a place that you never could have expected, which I think is the other thing that happens when you put the ask out there. It might not be your direct network that ends up helping you. But it goes out from there, and the community kind of builds and so once it’s out there, you kind of never do know what’s going to come back. And I felt the same way. When I first went on my own. It was like, it wasn’t the people that I thought were going to give me the business or the help. It was, you know, they referred me to somebody to somebody who then needed what I had. But if I hadn’t put the ask out there and what I was very clearly there to do, then that’s where I think that can fall flat. But I do think if you’re willing to put yourself out there and be open to what comes back and not overly expect certain things, you can really set yourself up for success in this way.

Dallas Travers 21:38
Yep, agreed. And I just want to establish a rule one ask is not enough. You’ve got to follow up twice. Yes. Yeah. Because you mentioned it earlier, April, like people with the best intentions, that email is going to make its way to the bottom of their inbox, not because they don’t want to help but because it’s so important, they’re waiting for the perfect time to action. So that’s what I always recommend is an initial ask, and then two follow ups. Yeah,

April Martini 22:03
I think that makes a ton of sense. All right. So our third point here on four ways to effectively create a referral funnel is to provide tools for making the referral easy. And I equate this to a sales position based on my background, but the best sales person in the world still has to have things they have to have items in their toolkit to assist them with the sale, even the best person who can talk to the wall and sell anything, yet go in there without you know, things. So email templates, like you just said, you have to do a couple follow ups, handouts, social media posts, you know, what physical things are you going to leave behind if you’re going to see people, whether that’s lead behind physically or digitally, and then how to go about doing those follow ups. And this is a good way also, if you’re in the position of you know, the owner of the company, or the person that’s reaching out to folks to control the message and build consistency. Because while referrals are awesome, without these tools, people kind of create their own narrative. And you want to make sure that what is you know, I just talked about how the community builds on the community and it goes to places that you would never foresee there has to be some control about the message because the game of telephone is real. And by the time you get whatever referrals come back, it might not be tied to what you’re actually doing. If you don’t have these additional items helping you the other thing I will say and Dallas, we just heard you say it, you know, you give the one ask and then you follow up twice, make sure that you have enough of these assets, but not too many. Because that’s the other thing about consistency and control and getting people to actually go and do something on your behalf. If it’s overwhelmed, if it’s not clear, if it’s everything in the kitchen sink, those are times when the tools can start to work against you. Because people are like, great, I have all these things, but I don’t know what to go and do about it. So there has to be some structure or rhyme or reason, a cadence to these things. And then also enough, but not too many where people are again left to their own devices. So what are your thoughts there? Dallas?

Dallas Travers 24:06
Yeah, I agree. I’m so curious to know what you think the what is that sweet spot when it comes to enough materials? I have some thoughts, but I’m so curious to know what you think.

April Martini 24:16
So we typically say it takes five to seven touch points. And so something in that number is really what you need because any less it can get lost for people or it doesn’t build enough of the story. Any more than that seven and I think that’s where it starts to be overkill or the person is not interested or some of the other things that you’re you’re targeting the wrong way and it’s just becomes Yes, a waste of your time.

Dallas Travers 24:39
Yeah, yeah. One of my favorite tools to arm your referral ambassadors with is actually a video of you. So you can just create a bitly link that goes directly to whatever your calendar is right your scheduling page with a video at the top where you just say like if you are on this page just because someone new No cares about you or wants you to, you know, whatever your expertise are. Hi, I’m Dallas Travers. And this is what I’m really good at. That has been the tool that my referral ambassadors enjoy sharing the most, it’s also the highest converting, because unlike a text message, or just an email, or a flyer, or even a social post, as the person being referred, you get to see and hear me immediately. So it helps create a different level of connection. The other thing I’ll say about tools is I have found it to be incredibly helpful to not give your referral ambassadors all five things at once, because that can also create overwhelm. So by like arming them with a couple of choices, and then as part of your follow up, arming them with, with more materials just makes it manageable for everybody,

Anne Candido 25:52
what it all combines into creating something that’s very easy to say yes to and I think where that all starts to, I think that’s the objective of it. All right. I mean, you want somebody to say yes, and so you need to make it easy for them to do that. And so the materials help you and enable you to do that. And I love the idea of the video, I love the idea of obviously, we’ve talked about all the time that five to seven touch points, that what that’s all meant to do is really to drive that human connection, I think. And that’s, that’s the important point, especially with coaching is like, you have to relate to the person in order to be able to feel like you can trust that person be vulnerable enough in front of that person in order to get the value that that person is offering. And so that would be my one build on that as it makes sure that your tools are value, add and make sure that they show some element of value and show right away, what you’re going to be able to do for these people that you’re actually targeting. Again, not in a way that’s like, Oh, this is all about me, here’s everything you need to know about me, but like, here’s what I’m gonna do for you, here’s the impact I can have for you. And here’s how it can change your life. And in so doing one of the biggest ways, and you mentioned this before, and I kind of I didn’t point it out them and I definitely don’t want to gloss over it now is the opportunity with the offer, right. So make sure your offer is very clear to and that could be a really easy way low risk way for somebody to try you. And you had mentioned, you know, the the 10 free coaching sessions that they were offering it to some extent, like that is a really awesome opportunity for someone just to try you. I mean, there’s this very low risk way it might be, you know, some of their time, but at the end of the day, you know, it could be something very, very beneficial recently, while this is not for me right now. And I think that is a really good opportunity to not only kind of close the value, but also to get to get people to figure out who you are and and start to build that human connection.

Dallas Travers 27:41
It’s also such great market research. Yes, right. So you’re someone who’s aligned with my target audience, you sign up for a free intro coaching session, that’s what I recommend, if you’re a coach, that’s what we call them, who’s going to buy coaching without experiencing it first. And that sales call slash coaching session, oh, my goodness, that’s where you you’re catching two birds with one hand here, because you’re talking to your target audience, hearing exactly how they see themselves, how they describe where what their obstacles are, and what their desires are. So it’s just like, so valuable to be willing to give of your time in order to bring in clients because, you know, I often have people say to me, can I just do a webinar? And I’m like, first of all, to whom, right? Like, who are you to do a webinar to, but so many people want to bypass this important foundation when it comes to building a sustainable business, which is that person to person selling person to person serving, really having that in place? Because if you can’t enroll a potential client in a one on one sales call, good luck converting on a webinar. So there’s that market research piece that’s so valuable with this model as well.

April Martini 28:59
Yeah, I mean, I think it is that human pieces is so important. And you know, one of the things that we really no longer do in our business is like the RFP process, right? Because you completely suck the human element out of that. And so, what we’ll do before we even and we do the initial conversation, whatever, but if someone’s like, great, I want you guys to do the RFP, or like, how about this, you go listen to this episode of our podcast. And now we have this library where it is actually very customized for the person because we have all these topics, right? So we can direct them not only to go listen to the podcast, but let’s go listen to this one episode, because this discusses exactly what you’re asking for in the RFP. And first just get a sense of who we are, listen to how we talk, listen to our perspective. And then if you believe it’s a good fit, then come back to us but we’re not going to waste time and effort on either side filling out a 20 page document which isn’t going to actually tell you anything about who we are as people or who you are as The person and how we might work together. And so that has been another invaluable way to create that human connection with people. Because you’re exactly right, they get a sense of us, not just a sense of what we wrote down is our answer. So I think that’s just another example of making sure these touch points are something that’s going to be meaningful not to tell our whole story, but for the person to opt in or out to the experience, because you’re exactly right. Good luck building this at mass scale, if you can’t just get you know, the one person, the collective one to sign up with you time and time again. Yeah, yeah. All right. So our fourth and final point on four ways to effectively create a referral funnel is to make all the steps and connection points authentic to the target. I feel like I just preempted this with. But really, we’re talking about the customer journey here. Right? And so a common mistake that we do see, in all seriousness, is people just wanting to give their agenda, right, I want you to buy this thing for me, you know, and putting that out there versus thinking about what does the target need? When do they need it? And what is that message that’s going to keep them on the hook to your point and of Alright, five to seven times, and I’m gonna meaningfully use each of those different touch points along where they are in the journey so that they do convert, and we make it easy for them to say yes. And then the other thing I would say is, you know, make sure that each touch point is really authentic, to your tone of voice, your brand character, I’m always the police, when it comes to this, make sure that you are on brand when you are putting these things out there. And I made the comment before about the brand ambassadors, right making that ask for someone to refer you, you have to make sure that these touch points are working in an authentic way. So people are starting to understand the experience of you and what you bring and what your mission is, and how that’s going to look and they have to feel and internalize your tone. And also start to know what to anticipate from you and then get that back with each of those touch points. So that they’re like, Yes, that’s what I would expect to come or you know, yes. And communicating with Dallas the first time I got this, and now this touchpoint is telling me the same thing. And this one’s making me feel the same thing. And it goes on and on to start to build and be effective when you can’t be the person that is they’re

Dallas Travers 32:21
so smart. One of the things that came up as I was listening to you was, how important it is for the target to feel and know that we understand them. I think it’s so easy to lose that thread, isn’t it and it just becomes about sharing my credibility are explaining the bells and whistles of the offer that people want and need. Especially I work with coaches. So if you’re investing in a coaching relationship, they need to feel understood. So what an interesting perspective to have like the understood litmus test, right? Does every touchpoint convey my understanding of what the target is going through? And that’s when you’re really when you’re in a rich referral marketing funnel, it will also help your referral ambassadors feel excited to spread the word.

Anne Candido 33:21
Yeah, I love that. And so I’m gonna ask you a question Dallas’s because we’ve mentioned ambassadors a few times, and I bet our listeners are like, how do we even know like identifying ambassador, how do I even reach out to about how do I make somebody an ambassador? Like, how does that whole thing happened? Can you say a little bit more about that?

Dallas Travers 33:36
Yeah, it sounds so fancy, right? Like, now I’m going to the UN ball next week. So I intentionally use the word Ambassador instead of affiliate in order like as a permission structure so that folks don’t feel like they have to have a fancy affiliate program or even pay referral commissions. For some folks Commission’s feels totally aligned. A lot of my audience, they tend to be newer coaches, and they, like they would just like to get paid to already promised that they’re gonna give some of that money, they’re not sure they’ll be able to make away is pressure for them. So a referral ambassador is simply someone in your community or community adjacent, who you feel could have a connection to your target audience. And that connection could be loose, right? That connection could so it could be someone like the two of you could be referral ambassadors for me and vice versa. We serve similar audiences. There’s like a lot of synergy there. My stepsister jewel who works in education right and probably doesn’t even really know any coaches. Right, but she’s Very interested in healthy living. And I bet if I asked her she would know, of a health coach, even if she wasn’t aware of it. So that it’s such a broad spectrum. And what I recommend doing, if you’re sitting there thinking, I don’t know, anyone make a list, even just go through your email, who have you received an email from in the last 30 days, half of those people could be candidates as referral ambassadors. And then also think about communities that you are a part of, because referral ambassadors likely exist inside of that Facebook group that you love hanging out in, right or at the parent meeting you went to last Thursday. So I think if we try too hard to pinpoint perfect ambassadors, we miss the point. Because you said this earlier, April, often, the people we think are perfect match, ambassadors aren’t into it. And our best ambassadors surprise us. So it’s about casting a broad net. This also helps you build up, like fortitude and courage because asking you to say that scary, right? So to ask and be ignored and survive, that is kind of awesome. It can really help build your confidence, believe it or not, so I recommend casting a broad net. And we call them ambassadors. So we’re not confused about affiliates, but also so that we treat these people like they are important and noble to us, because they really, you know, we talked a lot about these touch points, creating a connection with our target audience. But these touch points are also opportunities to create connection with our referral ambassadors. And both are important in order for your referral funnel to just continue to work. I

April Martini 36:48
think that’s a really good point. All right. So our final segment typically is where we highlight companies or brands that may or may not be using their Marketing Smarts. But if we have a guest, then everyone should assume that we’ve invited them because they are using their Marketing Smarts.

Dallas Travers 37:04
How would I find my way here? Otherwise, right?

April Martini 37:07
Exactly. Okay. So with that in mind, we turn this over to the guests. So Dallas, please tell people where they can find you put any finer points on our conversation. If there’s anything we missed throughout the conversation, please highlight that and just kind of give your last words of wisdom to the guests.

Dallas Travers 37:25
Oh, thank you. So I want to name the four steps just to synthesize things for our listeners. So when it comes to your referral marketing funnel, step, one step is actually STP. So I’m very clever, aren’t I? So as the S is specific, so we talked about KPIs, right, we’ve got to really know what is the goal here so that we can communicate that that helps our ambassadors understand our cause. The T is time bound. Right? If I like if someone asks me if someone wants a haircut and asks me who my hairstylist is, I will tell them, but I don’t have any urgency to like, run out and find people who might want a haircut if it’s not time bound. The third one, I think is most important, which is easy. If it’s not easy for your ambassadors to act on, they’re just not going to follow through. We’re all very busy. Right? And then the last one is personalized. So STeP I love having conversations like this, and I’m so happy that you invited me on your show. Thank you. If any of your listeners want to take it further or have a conversation with me, they can follow me on Instagram. My handle is @DallasTraversBizMentor. They can also tune in to my podcast where I coach other coaches on sales and marketing strategies, and the name of that show is Coaches on a Mission.

April Martini 38:55
Awesome. Well, we really appreciate you being here. And I think this has been a really good conversation with tons of specifics which we love the specificity obviously we love things like KPIs and all the details, so really appreciate it Dallas. You’re welcome. All right, so just to recap four ways to effectively create a referral funnel number one create specific KPIs for your referral funnel. All successful marketing initiatives need to have measurable results, this one is no different. Number two, create a sense of urgency around the KPIs and less time means diminishing returns don’t waste your hard work by not creating urgency. Number three, provide tools for making the referral easy if you make it hard to refer and follow up engagement drops off. And finally number four is make all steps in connection points authentic to the target. Don’t be tone deaf communicate what the target wants to hear, and is applicable to them at each point in time. And with that we will say go and exercise your Marketing Smarts! Still need help in growing your Marketing Smarts? Contact us through our website: We can help you become a savvier marketer through coaching or training you and your team or doing the work on your behalf. Please also help us grow the podcast by rating and reviewing on your player of choice and sharing with at least one person. Now, go show off your Marketing Smarts!