When one member finds another member by searching the site or responding to an email invitation, they will be able to view each other's Profile. So, it's easy to see why completing your profile is a very important step in making connections with other members and also in making yourself highly referable to them.
Since your profile is the most important introduction to other members, we wanted to provide a brief tutorial on how to make your ReferralSmart™ Profile a great networking tool!
You Profile can be accessed by clicking on "Profile" in the left hand column menu.
You will see a couple of options at the top of the Profile page:
Make my profile available to option: Here you can choose to make you profile available to everyone on the site who searches and finds you, or just your network. We would suggest that you make your Profile initially available to everyone, until you feel that you have a large enough network that you don't want anymore requests by other members to make a connection.
Modify your picture option: We encourage you to upload a photo of yourself… something professional. You might even want to upload your company logo instead, if you don't photograph well 😉 (Just remember, this is a business to business network, so we don't suggest you upload a picture of you at the last New Year's Eve Party with the lampshade on your head.)
Business name and address section. If we don't have your city or county, please use the link to suggest it to us. We are trying to keep a clean, meaningful database and will enter cities, towns and counties as members join from these places.
Email, phone and website section. The website info that you enter will provide a direct link to your site and you can have them land on any page of your site that you choose. Just remember to add the http:// when you type in your website address.
Business information: This section is VERY important. It gives you the ability to pick the Industry in which you work, the Expertise/Specialty, Designations and Years in that Business/Specialty.
Example 1: Accountant
Business Industry: Finance
Designation: CPA (Only if you are a CPA, of course!)
Example 2: Real Estate Agent
Business Industry: Real Estate
Expertise/Specialty: Real Estate Agent
Designation: Realtor® (…if you are a one, otherwise you can leave blank!)
If you find that your Industry, Expertise/Specialty or Designation is not in our database yet, use the link next to the respective field to let us know and we will add it!
We have given you up to three Industry, Expertise/Specialty and Designation fields (Business Industry 1, Business Industry 2, Business Industry 3, etc.). If you do need to use more than one, they can be used in a couple of ways.
First, you can use the fields to designate different aspects of the same business. For example, if you are a real estate agent who is both a REALTOR and a has a GRE certification, you could do the following:
Business Industry 1: Real Estate
Expertise/Specialty 1: Real Estate Agent
Business Industry 2: Real Estate
Expertise/Specialty 2: Real Estate Agent
An alternate way to use these fields, and probably more common, would be if you have two or three businesses or aspects of your business.
Example: A Financial Advisor who is also an Insurance Agent. In that case this member could list themselves as follows:
Business Industry 1: Financial
Expertise/Specialty: Financial Advisor
Business Industry 2: Insurance
Expertise/Specialty 2: Life Insurance
Social Media section. Here you can add your Facebook business page, Twitter handle and LinkedIn page. Your Facebook and LinkedIn addresses can be direct links to those pages.
Referral Requests section: This is an important section that can help you get better quality referrals. Here you should give other members and idea of what types of referrals you are looking for… or not looking for! Let's use the example of a Mortgage Loan Officer. This member might put something like "Looking for referrals that are first time home buyers who have jobs and have saved for a downpayment, or homeowners who are looking to refinance. I am not interested in referrals who don't have jobs or are behind in their mortgage… since they will most often not qualify for a mortgage."
Value Proposition section: This is where you can talk about what makes you different, unique and referrable! Let's look at our Mortgage Loan Officer again. This person could say something like, "My value proposition is that I care greatly about my clients and help them find mortgage loans that fit their unique needs. My goal is to charge a reasonable fee for the service, but I put their needs first. I have found that this has provided me happy clients, happy real estate agents and attorneys that often refer business to me."
Additional Information section: You can put whatever you want in this section that might be helpful. Some professions need to have disclosures on their profiles, so this would be a perfect place to do it. You might also use it to mention something related (or unrelated) that just doesn't seem to fit anywhere else in your Profile.
As you can see, we have provided one of the most complete business networking Profiles out there! It's not a resume… it a living, breathing networking profile. The focus is on showcasing your business now and the referrals you are looking to get now! As you change and your business changes you can update it and members you have connected with will always be able to see a current Profile of your business.
So what are you waiting for? Go create (or update) your Profile and let us give you the networking tools to help grow your business! Just remember to save the profile after you modify it!
The ReferralSmart™ Team