The Erie-ality factor. A phenomenon in Erie, Pennsylvania, whereby you cannot step foot in a grocery store, bank, restaurant, or just about anywhere in the community without seeing someone you know or who knows you.
Living in Erie is like living the oxymoron that is a big, small town. So often you hear, “wow, small world!” when two unlikely people share a common connection. My answer is always, “no, it’s Erie.” I believe that the Erie-ality factor exists because of the deep-rooted ties people have within the community. People may move away from Erie but are still tied to it in some way.
So what’s my point? Have a network and nurture it – starting in your hometown. The connections you make, no matter how small you think they are, will fuel your business through word-of-mouth. When friends, families, networks, and past clients recommend your services to someone else it’s called a referral. Referrals are a year-round, powerful, and inexpensive way to market your business.
Hearing positive stories from people you trust makes a huge impact. Consumers are more likely to hire someone a valued friend, family member, or colleague has recommended than from an online review.
Take a moment to reflect on how you nurture your clients and networks. Are you doing everything you can to foster stronger relationships to be better brand ambassadors? I recommend setting aside routine time to nurture your referral sources - you’ll be amazed by how much stronger your business relationships become.