Don’t let the holidays go by this year without taking this opportunity to thank your network. We should be touching base with everyone in our network every 2-3 months and the holidays are the perfect opportunity to do so. Remember that Referral Marketing is about building relationships and nurturing your network. A significant part of building and maintaining good relationships is to show appreciation! A genuine appreciation makes people feel good and your contacts will remember how you make them feel. When you show appreciation for your network during the Holidays you are nurturing that relationship, establishing trust and remaining front-of-mind during a time that they are busy connecting with many others as well.
LinkedIn is a great way to contact and stay in touch with your referral partners. LinkedIn also provides several quick and easy opportunities to thank those in your network.
Give a shout-out to a contact each day. In addition to following companies, channels on Pulse and Showcase pages, you should also be following the news of the people in your network; it’s just as important! During the Holidays—challenge yourself to comment on at least one contacts’ status update every day. It’s as simple as posting a comment mentioning what you liked about a recent contact’s article. Or congratulating someone on new steps in advancing her career and offer your support.
Give a connection. Always be on the lookout for opportunities to connect people within your network. Before attending holiday parties, quickly review those in your network and keep them in mind as you chat with others. Always think about who you can help connect, before asking for help. This good will and holiday cheer will strengthen and build your network for the coming year. When you facilitate valuable connections between others, you are building your relationship on both ends, remaining front-of-mind, and you become know as a “connector” point for those in your network.
Give a thank you to valuable Groups. If you’ve learned something valuable, interesting or new this year from your involvement in a LinkedIn group? Share your gratitude by posting a discussion in the Group to say thank you to everyone who had an impact on you this year. Or you can send a private message to the Group’s Managers to say thank you for creating and maintaining the community. The members and managers will appreciate your thoughts, remember you and it will increase your contribution to the group. You have thanked them, nurtured the relationship and you’re more likely to remain front-of-mind throughout the holidays this year.
Give Endorsements and Recommendations. Another way to spread the cheer on LinkedIn is through Endorsements and Recommendations. Both of these allow you to directly help someone else, vouching for that person’s skills and abilities. During the holidays, honestly endorse the Skills & Expertise of a few of your connections each day. While many people do tend to return the favor, it’s best to give endorsements or recommendations with no goal other than to help someone else. If people do endorse you in return, then a thank you is warranted and always appreciated.
Give support to your favorite causes. The holidays are the perfect time to show your support for the causes you care about. Support the causes that matter to you through time or money. Volunteer for an event and invite a friend or more from your network. Make a small donation to your favorite charity in the name of individuals or groups in your network and let them know why that organization is important to you. Likewise, if you know the causes that matter to those in your network too, share the love and contribute to that cause in their name. The more you give this holiday season, the more it will come back you
Thank You’s that matter. Remember to:
Be specific. When thanking those in your network during the holidays, focus your gratitude on what they actually did. Being specific will make it more meaningful and memorable.
Be personal. Whether they facilitated a valuable connection for you, helped with a project or simply taught you something new, personalize it. Connecting your appreciation with the recipient’s personal life can make your message more resonant. For example, commenting on the new baby or ailing family member shows you care.
Be authentic. Finally, if you don’t mean it, don’t say it. The person will know. Engagement has to be heartfelt or it won’t work. It’s that simple.