Ep 456: Building Your Referral Based Business with Barb Betts



You might think that, in 2024, the most effective way to grow your business is through your online presence. But you’d be wrong.

The truth is that the majority of businesses today still thrive, not through Google searches or social media, but through the undeniable impact of trusted referrals and recommendations.

And referrals hinge, more than anything, on the power of relationships.

Our conversation today is a near-perfect example of this lesson in action.

We are joined by Barb Betts, a sought-after keynote speaker, entrepreneur, educator, and CEO of The RECollective.

We were so impressed with the referral training she did with our strategy team here at Brand Builders Group, that we had to have her on the show to share her expertise with all of you!

Tuning in, you’ll hear Barb unpack the fundamentals of building your referral-based business, her advice to anyone starting without a client list, and a breakdown of her step-by-step guide to building, nurturing, and maintaining relationships.

Discover the power of authentic connections, the importance of learning how to ask for help, and much more.

For an eye-opening conversation on the art of building relationships, from a guest who is a living embodiment of what she teaches, be sure to tune in today!


  • Get to know today’s wonderful guest, Barb Betts.
  • Unpacking the power of referrals and relationships in 2024.
  • The discomfort many of us feel when asking for referrals.
  • Why giving yourself permission to ask for referrals is key.
  • A breakdown of Barb’s acronym REAL relationships.
  • How to follow Barb’s RELATE framework for building relationships.
  • Fixing your relationship with yourself so you can have an authentic relationship with others.
  • Why having conviction in what you’re doing is essential.
  • The importance of learning how to ask for help.
  • How to make it easy for people to refer you.
  • The two key phrases that will transform how you ask for referrals.
  • How to optimally use different communication tools for quality referrals.
  • Why you need to take the time to understand who your ideal client is.
  • A rundown of how to use social media effectively and consistently.
  • How to build a referral-based business when you don’t have any clients yet.
  • Find out how to access Barb’s authenticity blueprint (for free!)


“The reason you’re not comfortable asking your friends and family is because you haven’t been given permission to do so by yourself. You haven’t built that relationship to a point where you have absolute permission to ask [for] that referral.” — @barbbetts [0:05:57]

“You cannot have an authentic relationship with anyone else before you have an authentic relationship with yourself.” — @barbbetts [0:13:55]

“When you are asking someone for business, you are not selling to them, you are selling through them.” — @barbbetts [0:19:34]

“When you teach them how to refer you, and you make it easy on them, they’re more willing to do it.” — @barbbetts [0:22:04]

“Sometimes using a different word is very helpful in the outcome you receive.” — @barbbetts [0:23:19]

“Good people know good people.” — @barbbetts [0:31:21]

“The question is ‘Are you going to social media to listen and engage? [Or] are you just going to social media to promote yourself?” — @barbbetts [0:43:01]

“If you start laying the foundation now, you will reap the reward in the end. But you’ve got to start with that list of people that already know you and like you.” — @barbbetts [0:48:16]

About Barb Betts

Barb Betts is a sought-after keynote speaker, successful entrepreneur, passionate educator, and the CEO of The RECollective®.

Barb has delighted countless stages including, Inman Connect, WomanUP!, and at the National Association of REALTORS® Annual Conference. Whether she’s teaching on referrals, authenticity or leveraging relationships, Barb brings an honest, compassionate, and transparent approach to every ‌stage.

As a seasoned business owner, with over 20 years of experience, Barb has mastered the ever-changing world of entrepreneurship and the art of running a thriving business. Through her signature program, Relationships are your Superpower™, Barb educates business professionals on the exact systems, processes, and knowledge necessary to grow their referrals and revenue by leveraging authentic relationships.

Barb’s expertise has been featured in REALTOR® Magazine, RRC Residential Specialist Magazine, and her award-winning Relationships are your Superpower™ podcast. Through her insightful content, she dives into not only confidence and authenticity but also business strategies, referrals, relationships, and marketing, creating thought-provoking conversations that empower entrepreneurs to succeed. 

Barb truly knows how to inspire business owners by emphasizing the power of authentic relationships in every aspect of their journey.

Barb is also a brand ambassador for Follea by Daniel Alain, where she openly shares her journey with adult hair loss. An open-book, Barb always keeps it real.

Known to wow an audience, impactful, and high-energy, Barb can help any audience tap into their greatness and leave feeling empowered and with an action plan.


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AJV (00:02): Hey everybody and welcome to the Influential Personal Brand Podcast. So excited today to have a good friend, Barb Betts on the show. And before we get started, and before I introduce her like I always do, I wanna let you know why you should stick around for this episode and also if you should stick around if it’s for you. But today is one of those episodes where it doesn’t matter who you are, where you are in your personal brain journey, what your business is, if you’re a beginner, if you’re advanced, it does not matter. This is an episode for you. This is universal. It is applicable to every single human because we’re gonna be talking about the power of relationships. And if you do relationships well, how you can use those to grow your business through. My favorite thing in the world, referrals. And it doesn’t matter. AJV (00:50): I don’t care what business you’re in most business today, regardless of what you hear out there online is not because somebody found you on a Google search. It’s not because they heard you on a podcast or on Instagram. Most business still today, yes, in 2024 is still done by referral. It’s because someone said, I know who you should meet. I know who you should go to. And that is because you have a great reputation. ’cause You have a great business. And also mostly because you told people about what you do. And please tell your friends, right? Those are referrals. That is the power of it. But referrals only happen when you have great relationships. And so if you wanna grow your business without having to spend paid traffic, money, or advertising, and you wanna have some good freeway of growing your business, then today, right now, this is the episode that you want to listen to. AJV (01:41): So now let me introduce you to one of my favorite people. And I love when I get to interview people who are not only do I love and know personally, but who I got to meet through Brand Builders Group, because that gives me this inside track of knowing what their business is all about, what their content is all about. And in fact, I was so excited about what Barb is doing, that I actually had her come and do her referral training to our entire strategist team at Brand Builders Group. So after that happened, I was like, yep, gotta have her on the podcast. This was so good. It was so helpful, it was so actionable. And that’s why she is here on the show today. So Barb is a sought after keynote speaker. She is also a, a tenured and seasoned real estate expert. AJV (02:27): She is the CEO of re collective. It’s a boutique brokerage in Southern California, although I am trying to recruit her to Nashville, Tennessee. So we’ll see how well that goes . But she has been speaking on stages all over the country. You’ve got Woman Up, you’ve got the National Association of Realtors, you’ve got the Inman Connect, you’ve got Ram Builders Groups speaker there. But I think what I love most about her is that she actually does what she teaches. She is a practitioner of this art, of building relationships, not to get referrals, but building relationships. And as a byproduct of that, getting referrals. And that’s why I wanted to have her on the show today. So, Barb, welcome. BB (03:08): Oh my gosh, aj, thank you so much. I, I can’t tell you how much that introduction means to me. And I agree a thousand percent with every single thing you said. I love it when I’m actually talking to someone who gets it, and I don’t have to convince them to understand why they should listen to this message. So I’m so excited to have this conversation today. AJV (03:27): Yeah. You know, I think one of the things that I notice all the time even internally at Brand Builders Group, but also through a long time of doing sales training in my former life, is like everyone knows that getting referrals is a powerful part of your business. But yet there’s this hesitation, there’s this reluctance sometimes for people to do the hard work of asking for referral. And somehow we convince ourselves that meeting strangers on the street or on the internet is somehow easier or better than actually getting referrals from clients, friends, family, or whoever. And so I’d really love to talk to you about, like, as we kind of get started, is a a little bit about the mindset around, even if we know that getting and asking for referrals is one of the fastest ways to grow our business, why don’t people do it? Like, what’s the hangup here? BB (04:19): Yeah. Well, I love that. And it is, it is a thousand percent true. And I, you know, I’m in the middle of writing my first book, which I’m very excited about. And as I’m talking to these publishers, I’m telling them like, you know, every single business book out there, every single business book I’ve read, no matter what strategy hack, no matter what system they’re teaching somewhere in the book, it is bound to say at the end of a chapter. But you know what, it’s actually all about relationships. But no one actually tells you how to do it, right? Like, they all know that’s the foundation of every successful business, but very few know how to focus it and make it a priority and and really leverage those relationships. So to your question, what I would say is the issue is that people look at, well, if I’m going to leverage a relationship or ask for a referral from a friend or family member, I’m crossing that line. BB (05:15): I’m being salesy. I don’t wanna be pushy. And what I always say is, you will never be a pushy salesman if you’re making it about them. Number one, pushy salespeople make that about themselves. And the reason you are not comfortable asking for that referral, the reason you are not comfortable asking your friends and family is because you haven’t been given permission to do so by yourself. You haven’t built that relationship to a point where you have absolute permission to ask that referral. That’s really what it comes down to. Once you have that permission, once you’ve built up enough in that trust department with that person, you will have no problem calling up AJ and saying, Hey friend, I need your help. Can you do me a favor? And then it just becomes this natural byproduct. ’cause You know, you’ve built that relationship, a real relationship to the level where you get comfortable asking, AJV (06:13): Okay, so I love this. So I think this is really important ’cause I think a lot of people talk about building relationships in business, but no one really says, well, what do you mean by that? Like, what is a real relationship? And how do you know when you’ve crossed that threshold of now I have permission to go and ask for help, ask for referrals? Is it like a timeframe? Is it like, is there like some like checklist we can do here? like tell us what, what, what is that? BB (06:40): Oh my gosh, that’s so great. So first it starts with the foundation of what I describe as real relationships equal referrals, right? You’ve gotta have real relationships. What does real mean? Well, real is relatable. You engage, you are authentic and you listen. That’s how you build a real relationship. You’re relatable, you engage, you’re authentic, and you listen. And when you do that with enough people over time, you start developing those real relationships. I want you to think about any relationship you have right now, whether it be a friend, whether it be a family member, whether it be your best clients. You probably can go through that framework and go, wow, I’ve done all these things. I am authentic with them. I do engage with them, I do listen. And then it comes down to when you, when you talk about when are you ready to ask for that referral? BB (07:31): I like to te teach a simple framework that talks about how you have to make deposits before you make withdrawals. So I talked about that trust account. Right now, there’s no scientific formula, there’s no check the box, but it’s a feeling that you just know. It’s that feeling when you open up your phone and you’re not afraid to text AJ and check in on her and ask her for something or ask her for help, where you’re not afraid to pick up the phone and make that call to that person. And how you do that is you focus on making deposits. And once you’ve made enough deposits, it’s just like a good old bank account friend. You can’t go to the ATM if there’s no balance there to withdraw any money. And so that’s, it’s the same way with relationships. If you have not built up a balance in that, that relationship account, you can’t take any withdrawals. BB (08:14): You don’t have permission to ask. And it’s, it’s the, it’s the self-awareness we all need. I do it too, in my career that I came from, before I developed my keynote speaking career and my all my passions to do this, I would open up my phone to text a client and I would look and the last time I text them was a year ago. Hmm. So even if I wanted to ask that client to help me out with something I didn’t have permission to, and I knew it, versus my best clients who I engage with all the time, who I am there for them all the time, I have no problem. Again, calling up AJ and saying, Hey friend, I need your help. Can you help me with something? So really comes down to real relationships and building up that trust account. AJV (08:58): Okay. So this is a great topic ’cause I hear this all the time. It’s like, well how many people can you honestly do that with? You know? And it’s like, I even think about myself. It’s like, yeah, it’s like most of the people that I would probably go to to ask for referrals, I’m like, eh, it might have, it might be a minute since I’ve actually last engaged. You know? And so I think a lot of that is like, what are some tips of going like, Hey, here’s how you set up. Like these are the relationships you invest this amount of time in. Not, and again, not to get referrals, but it’s like, hey, these are vested relationships that I’m in gonna be intentional about. And what, how often should we be engaging and what does that look like? And, and then honestly just some ideas around efficiencies of going, when there’s so many things vying for our attention, how do we kind of put some blinders on and go, this is what I’m gonna do with this group of people. BB (09:48): I love everything you said. And it does come down to having a system, which is why I built the RELATE framework. And the relate framework starts with the relationship foundation, the relational mindset. It goes into establishing trust, leveraging your network, authentically engaging, taking thoughtful action, and then executing effective systems. That framework is the system. Now, we clearly in this short time in a podcast do not have time to go through the system, but I wanna focus on that LI wanna focus on how you leverage your network. Mm-Hmm. , right? Everyone has a network. You also can connect your network to be a database. A database in my world is a list of relationships. It’s not a mailing list friend. It’s people that you go down that list and you look at them. And if you ran into them in the grocery store, you might recognize who they are. BB (10:36): So these are not just a bunch of information you’ve compiled over time inside that network, you have a bunch of people. And you’re absolutely right aj. We cannot focus on all the people the same way. We can’t stay in contact with all the people in the same way. And I have lots of strategies where you can stay in consistent contact for those, if you will lower level people in your database. ’cause What I teach is a ranking system. I teach you to rank your database, rank your relationships, just like we rank restaurants on Yelp and open table and do reviews. And it’s a simple five star system. Hmm. So once you develop that five star system and once you rank those relationships, then I teach a frequency formula for staying in contact with them. Because let’s face it, if I am one of your best clients, you should be in touch with me frequently. BB (11:26): If I’m one of your best relationships, you should be in touch with me frequently. And so when I teach the five star system, I teach also a simple frequency formula of five star people. Those are your advocates. Those are your walking talking billboards. You are in touch with them at least once a month. And please understand, these are not five minute phone calls. These are not long drawn out messages. These are simply aj Hey, thinking about you today, how are you and Rory doing? I saw you went on a Disney cruise. How was it? Looks like it was a blast send. That is a connection. Point four star people. These are your raving fans. These are the people that really love you, but they’re just not quite those, you know, referring type people that are constantly sharing you everywhere. Those people you’re in touch with every 60 days, three stars. BB (12:17): These are the people that you’re connected to. Those people you’re in touch with every 90 days. Two stars and one star is, two stars are your acquaintances. Every 120 days. And then one star. You can’t have a mailing list. You can have a bunch of information you’ve collected over time from potential clients and customers, but you don’t really know who they are. Mm-Hmm. Those people. That’s your mailing list. That’s your drip campaign or whatever other kind of marketing campaigns. So if you follow that and those advocates, those people that are most likely to refer you if they’re hearing from you 12 times a year in an authentic way where you’re looking to connect and deepen the relationship and you’re making it all about them, I promise you, when it comes time and you need something, you’re gonna be comfortable asking. AJV (13:03): Yeah. I love that. And I, you know, it’s interesting because I read somewhere that you, you had mentioned it’s like most people aren’t comfortable asking for referrals ’cause they’re not comfortable with themselves. BB (13:16): Yep. AJV (13:17): So, well, and I do think that’s true and a lot of, like, as I think through some of the people that I’m like, if you just asked for referrals, your business would be so much, you know, better in terms of how you feel about how things are going. It wouldn’t be so stressful. So what do you mean by that? It’s like when you think about if you’ve got a reluctance to ask someone for help, right? And in this instance for a referral, then there’s probably a disconnect with yourself. Like, can you walk us through that a little bit? BB (13:41): Yeah. It’s the r it’s the relational foundation and the, and the foundation of that is that you cannot have an authentic relationship with anyone else before you have an authentic relationship with yourself. And the reason I say that is because you have to know who you are. You have to know the value you bring to the table. You have to be confident in what you are delivering is something that people need. When people say, I don’t wanna ask my friends and family for a referral, I always turn it around on them in this way, let’s say you are an insurance agent and you don’t tell your friends and family that you need them to connect you to people who need honest advice, good, good plans, not gonna rip them off all the things. And then their friend goes and gets insurance from someone else and gets mistreated, isn’t well taken care of. BB (14:36): God forbid the accident happens and they don’t have the coverage they need that’s on you because you weren’t confident enough to ask the friend or family member to en you know, engage with you to deliver that referral so that you could take care of that person. So it all comes down to the confidence within ourselves and, and how we show up. And honestly, aj, most people are taught to show up as a salesperson. Hmm. They’re not taught to show up as who they are, which is why I love the work Brand Builders group does because it teaches people to understand who they are, to understand that they are their marketing department. It is your personal brand is the marketing of the future. And so you can’t have that be a strong marketing department if you don’t love who you are. Hmm. So it all starts with building that authentic relationship with yourself before you can start developing with others. It’s why the first chapter in the book is all about, we gotta shore up our house first, which is us before we can put any kind of system to work. AJV (15:36): Yeah. You know, that’s so true. And I can think of so many instances in my life where people have asked me for referrals, and it comes from a genuine place of I know I’m gonna do a fantastic job for them. Like, if, if you refer them to me, I will take care of them. Right. And it gives me a lot of confidence because, you know, the truth is, is people are asking for stuff all the time. Mm-Hmm. . Like, I actually, I’m on a listserv with my EO group, the Entrepreneurs Organization, where basically the entire listserv, does anyone know anyone who does blank? Does it, can anyone refer me someone who blank? It’s like the whole thing that we use it for, it’s like, because why we don’t want to trust a strange company that we found on a Google search. It’s like, no, I wanna know that you use them. And it’s like when you do a really great job, it’s easier for you. Well, and I guess too, it’s like when you believe that you’re gonna do a great job, right? Mm-Hmm. . And perhaps if you, if you’re listening and you’re feeling like, man, I I do not feel comfortable asking for referrals, then maybe you should ask yourself, do you feel comfortable in the service that you’re delivering? Do you feel like it’s a five star experience with what you’re delivering? BB (16:45): I could not agree with you more. It all starts with us. It all starts with what we’re doing, how we’re doing it. Loving yourself, knowing that you are really good at what you do, and that you’re gonna take really good care of people because that’s who you are. And then the rest just kind of falls into place from there. But we gotta fix who we are first. I went through a very, how I kind of stumbled honestly across this is I went through a very authentic journey with my hair. Go follow me on social media. You’ll see all about it. And the next thing I heard from everybody was, Barb, you’re so much more confident now all my friends, you’re so much more confident now. And I’m like, I didn’t just put this hair on my head and become confident overnight that person was in me, that I had to learn to love that person. I had to let my own walls down. And you know what? I am more confident calling people now. I am more confident walking into appointments. I am more confident on this podcast as a result. But it’s because I fixed my relationship with myself first. That frankly, I didn’t even know I had a problem with until I discovered it through this authenticity journey, which is why I’m so passionate about authenticity and showing up real. AJV (17:47): No, I love that. And I think that is for mo for the, for the most cases. And I bet for the majority of people, the reason you don’t ask for referrals is probably one of two reasons. One, you don’t, you’re not completely convicted and what you’re doing or how you’re doing it, right. Because if you were truly convicted then you would be like, I can’t not. Yeah. I can’t not. Yeah. And there’s so many examples. But you gotta do that deep work. And sometimes until you do the deep work, you’re like, oh wait, what I do is awesome. Yeah. What I do is amazing. And I think a lot of people don’t give themselves enough opportunity to go, no, I do a great job. I do a better job than most. And that means something. BB (18:30): Yeah. I, you know, it’s interesting you say that because when I think back to my sales career, there’s so many times early in my career where I’m like, I should be helping more people. I’m really good at what I do. Why am I not helping more people? And I realize it’s ’cause I’m not asking for business. You know, people aren’t lying awake at night deciding and wondering how I’m doing in my business. You think they are, but they’re not. And most people want to help you. That’s why I love in my dialogues, I teach, can you do me a favor? I don’t know anyone who would call me that. I have a real relationship with always that foundation where if they say, Hey Barb, can you do me a favor? Then I’m not gonna be like, absolutely. What do you need? How can I help AJV (19:13): Ask? That’s so true. So I think that is like, that’s probably half of the people and then I think the other half of the people genuinely just don’t know how to ask. Yeah. Can we talk about that for second? We absolutely can talk about that. Let’s say you’re that person who goes, I know I deliver a bombshell product or service. I feel great about it. But I don’t really know how to ask. So I don’t, it’s like I want to, but what do I do? What do I say? BB (19:40): Well, let’s start with one foundational principle that we haven’t talked about yet. When you are asking someone for business, you are not selling to them. You are selling through them. AJV (19:51): Mm. That’s good. Like BB (19:52): One thing I wanna talk about, because that’s another reason people are like, well Myer, whoever it is, I don’t want to sell to them. I don’t wanna be a salesperson. You’re not, you know where I came from? I came from the real estate world. I have plenty of friends, family, and clients who are never going to sell their home because they love the home they live in. I’m not calling them to get them to sell their home. I’m selling through them to leverage their network. So when you’re reaching out to that person, it’s, Hey friend, hey aj, whoever it is, and you use those magic words. Can you do me a favor? When you say, can you do me a favor? You instantly have their attention. You instantly have their wanting to help. Then you say something to the effect of, can you do me a favor? BB (20:36): You know, and tell them something about what’s going on in your world. Like tell them why you need their help. Tell them you have a great new product you need to roll out. Tell them that the industry is in need of this. And then say something to the effect of when you come across. Because then you’re not making it like, I need that referral right now because Right. How have you ever been in front of a financial advisor that are famous for this, where you sit in front of them and they have a piece of paper and at the end of the appointment they slide it over and say, can you give me three names and phone numbers of people that could use my services? ? No. I don’t even know who the heck you are yet. I’m not giving you three people. Right? That’s being a pushy salesperson. BB (21:14): Let’s not do that. But when you say, can you do me a favor? When you come across, insert what you want, you have to be specific about what you want. You can’t just say someone who needs insurance. You’ve got to be specific about what you want. When you come across someone who has a business and doesn’t understand how powerful their personal brand might be, who wants to leverage who they are, who wants to find out all the goodness about them, then I would love you. And then here’s the magic words. Don’t use the word referral. I have seen this time and time again where you say, I need a referral. And no one even knows what it means. How to do it. Like, do they have to be qualified? Do they have to be ready to go? Do they have to be ready to buy? BB (21:57): No. I just want you to introduce or connect me to them. Don’t say both words and pick one. I use them interchangeably. But the nice thing about saying, Hey aj, when you come across someone who needs blank, would you do me a favor and introduce us? And then give them a mechanism in a text message, in an email. Give them the way you want them to do it. And guess what? When you teach them how to refer you and you make it easy on them, they’re more willing to do it. And nine outta 10 times they’ll say something like, oh my gosh, I was just talking to a friend at work the other day about this. And all of a sudden you’re getting a referral instantaneously. Which is fantastic, but not always. And sometimes it comes down the road, but using the words, can you do me a favor? And using the magic words, introduce or connect me, have transformed so many businesses of business owners that I’ve worked with. AJV (22:48): . I love that. It’s so funny because after you did the training with our team, like half of our team was like, I love that we shouldn’t say the word referral anymore. and I, it really resonated with them. BB (23:00): I always like to be clear, a referral is when I teach and train, I use the referral. Every other word. A referral is what you want for sure. Internally, it’s AJV (23:09): Not what you ask for is BB (23:10): What you ask for. And can you use the word referral? Absolutely. There’s something now if you’re talking to another business owner, they’re gonna know exactly what to do. But when you’re talking to this everyday person in the street, they’re like, how do I do it? When do I do it? And the other thing is, some industries are very locked tight in their rules and regulations. Mm-Hmm. . And the word referral comes with a, what are you gonna do for me? Because it’s all over your doctor’s office. Everywhere you go, give us a referral, you get a hundred dollars off your next service. Some businesses can’t do that. So sometimes using a different word is very helpful in the outcome you receive. AJV (23:41): So do you think it’s best to get quality referrals? Do you think it’s best to do it like on a phone call in person? Do you think it’s okay to do it in a text, an email? Like what are some of the mediums that’s most successful? BB (23:56): Love that. It goes back to my philosophy of any way that someone can respond to you. Hmm. AJV (24:01): That’s good. Meaning. BB (24:02): So I call, so when I’m teaching people how to do their activities and how to do their, you know, connection, strategy and their frequency formula, I always say outgoing connections. You’ve got to use your telephone for what it’s meant to be. Outgoing messages. Like you initiate the phone call, you initiate the text message. But here’s the other great part. We have so many other ways in today’s day and age. We have Facebook messaging, we have Instagram messaging, we have video chats, BombBomb, like there’s a million different ways you can do it as long as they have a way to respond to you. So for instance, I’m a big personal note gal. I believe in handwritten notes. I believe in the power of them. It’s another strategy I teach where I teach take thoughtful action. But they can’t, I don’t ask for a referral in a note. BB (24:46): Mm-Hmm. they can’t, what are they gonna do? You know, open their mail, set it down and think I need to text her back. No, that’s not a way for them to engage back with you. So I believe you can do it all different ways. I don’t believe it has to be on the phone. I am, I believe that in today’s day and age, sometimes calling people is an interruption and you need permission to call somebody. Like they know you’re gonna call them so that they’re prepared for the phone call and can have a great conversation with you. So really it’s any way that they can respond back to you. AJV (25:14): I think that’s so good. And I think that’s true. It’s like if you call someone and you catch ’em completely off guard and they’re like, whoa, whoa, whoa, I’m not ready for this. But I think again, all of that is just having a plan and a system which just takes some thought and some intentionality. Well, BB (25:28): It’s having a real relationship. ’cause You know them. So I always use the example of my best friend in the world as a kindergarten teacher. So if I’m doing my lead generation calls, if I’m doing my connection plan at Tuesday at 10:00 AM and I call her, she’s gonna answer the phone ’cause I’m her best friend and she’s gonna be like, are you okay? Because she would know that, why would I call and bug her Tuesday at 10:00 AM Mm-Hmm. . But a text message is not intrusive. She can answer that when she has time. AJV (25:52): That’s good. I think a lot of that she’s get, again, back to when you know someone, you know their communication habits and preferences and you know what works. Yeah. But I think that comes back to that real relationship of referrals aren’t technically from strangers, they’re from people, you know. So then here that leads to another question then. So if you don’t know someone exceptionally well that they’re a client or they’re a friend or a family member, like how do you go about generating, you know, potential referrals from those people? It’s like, do you have to be BFF with these people? Like do you have to be clients with them? So what’s kind of the dividing line there? BB (26:32): The dividing line is that that’s why you apply the connection strategy. When you apply the connection strategy. When you are being in consistent contact with them. You don’t ask them at that nine the first time you message them. You don’t ask them for a referral. You’re just simply trying to make their day. I have a mindset of your outgoing connection plan when you are doing your, if you will, see, to me, lead generation is not just asking for business. You’re gonna ask for business when the time comes and the time’s. Right? Mm-Hmm. . But there’s another strategy I teach. When you’re not comfortable with someone, you simply just check in on them. You do exactly what I said. Hey aj, you know, saw you went on vacation. How was it? You’re gonna likely respond back even if we don’t have a deep rooted relationship. You know who I am. BB (27:10): So you’re gonna respond back and be like, oh my god, Barb, it was so great. The kids had such a great time. And then you might say something like, Hey, how are you? Like, I always teach people, sometimes we are not taking the opportunity to ask when they’ve given us permission to mm-hmm. , right? The second someone says, how are you? They just don’t, they don’t just wanna know how your vacation was. They wanna know how you are. And this is your opportunity to ask for that business or to tell them what’s going on in your business to remind them what you do to remind them what’s going on in your industry. So you do not have to have that deep rooted relationship. Sometimes you’re given permission to now if you’re not, and if they just respond back and say, oh my God, it was great. BB (27:49): Thanks for checking in. Hope you guys are doing well. Great. You log that. I’m a big tracker of activity. I’m a big believer of you cannot measure what you do not track, which is what I teach in the effective systems category. You’ve gotta track what you do. And so you’re gonna track that as a connection. Great. You made a connection to aj. Then 90 days later, if you use a good CRM like I teach you to 90 days later it’s gonna pop back up and tell you guess what time to connect with AJ again. You’re gonna connect with AJ again and before you know it, you’re gonna start showing up in their life so that you get that permission to ask for the business. But layered in throughout that entire process and throughout your entire database is a concept of you’ve got to be marketing to them. BB (28:31): There is still good old fashioned marketing. You’ve gotta have valuable marketing in front of them that positions you as the best in your industry. Because I believe that people do not do business with you till they know you like you and trust you. Everyone knows that. But what people don’t understand is there’s a gap between like and trust. Just because someone knows you and likes you, they don’t necessarily trust you as a professional till you give them a reason to. So layering And it’s like, it’s like a layering plan. It’s like a farmer. They don’t just, you know, water and get, you know, crops. They have to fertile this. They have to create the soil, they have to aerate it, they have to lay the seeds, they Right. It’s a layering effect. Yeah. So this system, relationship marketing does not work overnight. It, that’s number one does not work overnight. But what I can promise you is you start doing this now and you do this enough over time, you will get to the point where you have to do nothing else. Which is when you know you’ve really made it. It’s when your business feels good, you love doing it. You love who you’re doing it with. And so you can get to that point with, with, if you will, I wouldn’t say strangers, but people that don’t know you as well as you might know your other people. Yeah. AJV (29:41): And I love that. And I think one of the things that I kinda wanna circle back to, ’cause so much of what you’re talking about is as the person who is trying to generate business, you really have to know exactly who you wanna be introduced to. Yes. You have to know who you wanna be referred to. Like everything you just said, it’s like you can get to the point where you love what you do all day, every day. And you love who you do it with. Well, you know what, you get to create that. Yeah. Like if you’re getting referrals from people that you’re like, man, I just want 10 more people like you or 20 more people like you. It’s like they likely know them. Yeah. So it’s like, but we gotta know exactly who it is that we’re looking for. And I don’t think most of us spend, spend near enough time going, these are the demographics and psychographics of my ideal client. This is who it’s easy for me to serve, it’s natural for me to serve. It doesn’t even feel like work. But then I think the other part is, I think often many of us have so much scarcity mindset that we take any lead, any referral off the street. Yeah. And then we’re miserable. Yeah. And we have built a business full of people that we’re like, man, I I I don’t love this. Yes. BB (30:44): Well, I always say when those people come up in your database and you like want to avoid them like the plague, they’re not a relationship. You need to move them down in your database. But you are so correct. You have to know exactly who you are talking to and exactly what you want and what you said about I just want 10 more of you. I use that all the time. I always say, you know what, good people, no good people. Mm-Hmm. . And you guys were incredible. This is what I usually do at like the closing or the you got the contract signed or they bought the service and just say, listen, it has been such a pleasure getting you to this point. I really love people like you. Like you guys light up my business. So I need you to do me a favor. BB (31:26): Can you duplicate yourself? Who else do you know that’s just like you? And I promise you that works. ’cause They do know good people just like them. And then they also know that the other people that they’re not gonna refer you to because they’re not nice humans. Right. And so I think knowing who you are, and that’s why I love the work that Brand Builders group does, is that it really does help you niche down to who that ideal client avatar is. And it doesn’t mean that you don’t serve people on the peripheral. It doesn’t mean that they, if they fit a little bit outside of the demographic that they’re not still gonna be great clients. But it does help you get laser focused in who you’re looking for and asking for. For sure. AJV (32:05): Well, and for the person who’s being asked, when you’re clear, it makes it so much easier for me to go, I know exactly someone that you need to meet. I know exactly who you need to talk to. I just, like, as you were talking, I was thinking about two recent experiences that I had in different, you know, business, you know, kind of association groups. And both of them happened probably within a few weeks of each other. And this one woman was doing like a general ask in like a, a group setting for referrals. And her business was hyp hypnotic weight loss. And she was talking about how it’s like, this could work with anyone who has had problems of, you know, historical problems, of trying all these different fad diets and they just don’t work. And she was like, so anyone that you know who was looking to lose weight, I would love, I would love to hear from you. AJV (32:58): And I thought to myself, I know like a thousand people who’d like to lose weight, but it’s like, I don’t know anyone that would probably be like hypnosis. I wanna try that . Right? And so I was like, I mean I probably do, let me think about it because my mind was going like, do I know anyone that if I referred them to a hypnotic weight loss clinic, but they think I’ve lost my mind? Then a few weeks later, it was in another like, business group setting and this woman stood up and she does I think it was like some sort of like emotional therapy around healing let’s be emotions then headed into weight loss. And she was talking, and I like, literally as she was talking, she was like, this is the person that I was born to serve. It is the woman who is most likely a mother. AJV (33:47): She has most likely put herself second for far too long. She is working and she is pulled in many directions. She has gone up and down with her weight for her entire life. This is someone who has struggled with it since childhood. She went on and on and on. And literally as she was talking, I was like, I know two people you have to meet. Like I have two people that I need them to meet you. And it was like Ashley was talking, it was like, I almost got emotional of going like, if you could genuinely help this person, I know it would be life changing for so many people in our lives. And the first one I was going, I mean maybe, but I don’t know. And this, and it was like, they were very similar conversations and they were both kind of non-traditional methods. But the second one, she was so clear on her and she, the way she described the person, it was like she was describing this person I know in my life. And I was like, how do I get them in touch with you? Like, what do I do? BB (34:45): She painted the picture in your brain. She painted the picture of someone that you know, and that you are absolutely crap. You have to be specific. You cannot be general. Because generality is going to get you nowhere because I’m not gonna be able to think of that person. I hate the word anyone. . Anyone. Anyone, anyone. So like this guy walking down the street in front of my house right now, like, you want me to go out, see if he needs a personal brand. , AJV (35:11): Maybe, maybe. I don’t even BB (35:13): Know if he has a business. Right? Like yeah. It, it definitely being specific. And then again, this is all about planting the seed. This is all about, you know, the person may not know someone right now, but you’ve now planted that who in their brain so that when they do come across that person, they’re gonna be like aj. The number one thing that, again, the valuable marketing, developing the trust, everything else that I teach gets you to, is top of mind awareness. Yeah. You wanna be the first person they think of in the category you serve. If you can get to that point with enough people, you, I promise you will have more business than you know what to do with and when you can figure out, and this is a whole nother conversation for another day, but when you can figure out who those referring type people are, like barbettes, when you get enough of me in the world who’s a natural born referer and connector AJV (36:00): Promoter. Promoter, yeah. You need promoters. Listen, BB (36:04): I just have to know who you want and I will connect you with more people than you probably not can handle. ’cause We all want more business, but you’re gonna have a very successful, thriving business. And it gets down to my number one outcome I love to create for people. I always say that salespeople, people in sales, whether you’re an entrepreneur, a business owner, or just on a sales team, most people love what they do. They love serving the client they love providing the value and transforming someone’s life. I don’t know any salesperson that doesn’t love the product or the service they sell. Mm. Most salespeople hate how they have to do it. Mm. They hate the generating of the leads the way they think they have to do it. And when you start learning to love building relationships and having all of this communication and conversations and everything that I’ve talked about and you love what you do, then you have a business that you wake up to every day and you are ready to serve, you’re ready to go. You live a better life. It’s just a better way to do business. It’s a better way to live your life. AJV (37:07): I love that. You know, and one of the things that you said certainly earlier that you just made me think of is knowing how to ask of the medium. Like as you were just talking, it’s like I was literally putting myself in the shoes of how often I get asked for stuff. Like, Hey, do you know anyone who you know builds websites can do blah, blah, blah? You know, all the time. Right. And I, one, I’m a promoter as well. I love to refer good talent because I know it’s really hard to find really great talent. And you know, it’s like made me think about this story I just shared about like these two, you know, totally similar but polar opposite examples and the first one. So they were just like, yep, you just give me names, emails, and phone numbers. And I was like, probably not doing that. AJV (37:51): But the second one when she was like, Hey, and I, I literally approached her and said, I do know someone how, how do I connect you? And she goes, actually, it’s never good to just connect someone that you think needs to lose weight. And I was like, that’s great idea. Don’t, I should not do that. So what, what do you do here? And she goes, I have a great strategy. Just tell me who they are. I will connect them on Facebook. I will tell them how much you were talking about them today and say, I was so impressed with the way that AJ talked about you. I looked you up on Facebook and wanted to connect. I’m like, I am. It’s brilliant. And it made me think about when you really know what you do, love what you do, you’re convicted in what you do and you know who you’re meant to serve. It’s like you also know how to approach the person. And it took so much pressure off of me. All I had to do is give the name and say Yep, that’s the person on Facebook that that’s them. Yeah. And she said, I got it from here. I’ll let you know. Yeah. And I’m like, could not be easier in the world. And that’s, I think a part of it. You’ve gotta make it easy for me to give you a referral. BB (38:52): Yeah. It’s, it’s so, you’re so true. That’s why I love the introductions and I teach in my world, I teach people just, you know, introduce us in a group text message and I’ll take it from there. Right. It very simple. I’ll take it from there. Just open up your phone and say, Hey aj, hey Barb, you guys need to know each other. This is who AJ is, this is who Barb is. I’ll let you two take it from here and let me do my work from there. It’s my job to then take it from there. It’s not send ’em to a website, have ’em fill out a form, have ’em take a questionnaire and then blah, blah blah, blah, blah. No, it’s as simple as find the mechanism to make the introduction. And if it is something as simple, ’cause you know, weight loss I would agree is something very personal. AJV (39:30): , BB (39:30): It’s kind of like me texting AJ going, aj you know what? You really could lose some weight and I’ve got the person for you. I know that sounds awful . Like, don’t do that. Right. AJV (39:40): But I love that. It’s like, you know, it’s like it made it so easy and simple and I’m like, well that’s all I have to do. I probably could think of some more people. Right. And it’s like a lot of that is the easier it is that you make it, the easier it is for me to just go ahead and take action. Yeah. Right. And so I know that we’re almost outta time here, but there’s like two other quick things that I wanna talk about because I do think this plays a huge role and a lot of like how we just functioned today. And you mentioned it earlier when you said like, you know, Facebook and, you know, different social media. So how, how does social media play a role in the building, maintaining of relationships, but referrals? Like how does that all work together? What do you see? BB (40:21): Social media is the biggest gift given to anyone in sales in modern times. You’re just not using it effectively. Hmm. AJV (40:27): Love that. BB (40:27): First thing I recommend is you go through your list of relationships and you make sure you are connected to and following and friending every single person in your ecosystem. And then you start paying attention and then you start having conversations. I I, when I teach social media, I in the authentically engaged section of Relate, I always tell people there’s two ways to do social media. One is of course posting and posting reels and things like that. And that’s great to find people you don’t, stories is where you wanna live. For the people that you do know. Stories is the most effective way that I know that you can broadcast to your entire list of relationships in one conversation and stories, if they’re done correctly, start conversations. And I can’t tell you how many conversations, outgoing connections, dms I have done through stories. It is powerful because it’s the best way to stay in touch on, stay in touch with someone in their life. BB (41:26): ‘Cause They’re sharing it and someone can stay in touch with you in your life and know what you’re doing on a daily basis. I always say the simple strategy of document your day, what do you do from morning to night? Four or five stories. It will start conversations you never could have imagined. So social media is a gift. It’s a gift if it’s used effectively. And it has to be a system. It has to be something you do consistently. Nothing that I have said is going to work if you do it one time. People are like, well, I did the referral thing, I did the introduction thing, I asked and I got nothing. I’m like, oh great. You did it one time. Yeah. I called them once a year. I haven’t called them in 13 months and they still haven’t given me a referral. I don’t understand why doesn’t work like that. . AJV (42:10): Well, and I love that too. It’s like, and I think there’s so much of this is such a mentality shift, right? It’s a mentality shift of do you believe that your product or service actually helps other people? And if you do, then it is a requirement of you to tell people about it. Right? It it like, and it’s like, I I think that’s a mentality shift. I think what you just said is a mentality shift of like, social media is a gift. I cannot tell you how many people I hear on a daily basis. Like, social media’s the devil, it’s the devil . I’m like, why do you say that? I’m like, and they’re, I’m like, devil, BB (42:45): Because how you’re using it, it’s, AJV (42:46): Yeah. And I love that. It’s like if you treat it like a business tool, then it will help your business. Right? And it’s like, if you’re only following a bunch of like horrible newsfeed, well then it probably does feel like the devil, right? It’s, but it’s like all about how you use it. And I love that this approach of like, it’s a gift. It’s a way to maintain relationships, stay in touch with people, start conversations. So I, I would love to hear from you like what are some effective things to be posting in this relationship maintenance kind of realm? BB (43:19): Yeah. Well, I always say back to what you were saying, people are telling you everything you need to know online. The question is, are you listening? Mm. Are you going to social media to listen and engage? Are you going just to social media to promote yourself? AJV (43:33): Love it. There’s BB (43:34): A huge difference there. So what can you post? Well, you need to make sure, and, and you’re gonna love this because this is all goes down to your personal brand. Social media needs to be 90% about you as a human who happens to do blank. Mm-Hmm. and 10% actual selling. Like 10% the content about what you actually do. If you make 90% of a about who you are as you go throughout your day. Which is why I love stories so much. Because in stories you should be working typically Monday through Friday, let’s just call it nine to five. That is not unusual for you to be doing your craft and talking about what you’re doing nine to five. So you can throw up, if you will, everything that you’re doing in your day and in your business because people expect you to be at work. BB (44:23): Yeah. And then when you get into the evening and the morning time, it’s a little bit more of your personal life. And when you start showing off what you’re doing in a thoughtful way, that’s when people start to get obsessed with what you do. And they learn very clearly what you do. And then if you a adopt a real strategy, and there’s plenty of really great social media experts out there and gurus that teach this, but if you adopt a real strategy where you’re actually creating content for your ideal client, now you’ve got this whole mechanism to generate other leads. ’cause I am not saying that relationship based marketing is the only way to do business and that you should drop everything else that you’re doing. I’m saying that you should get to the point where you don’t have to do mm-Hmm. AJV (45:01): a traditional, that’s good. BB (45:02): But everything in business works if you do it consistently. You just have to do it consistently. So if you do a real strategy to start attracting some other business, some if you will, cold, not really cold, but people you don’t know, strangers, to your point now you’ve got this really healthy balance of focusing on relationships and driving some attention to. ’cause If I promise you, if you jump into the reals world and you know who your ideal client is and you position it correctly, I’m seeing some significant growth in businesses using reels and social media and combining it with talking to the people that you already know. AJV (45:38): I love that. And I think, again, everyone who’s listening, it’s like if you, if you’re one of those people that’s like, oh, I hate social media, it’s like shift your mindset around though this is a business tool. So treat it like one. All right, last question and the, the last couple of minutes we have here, and I think this is I think this will be applicable to a lot of people, and I, and I hope that this is helpful, but one of the things that I hear a lot is, well, my business is new, so I don’t have any clients to ask for referrals from. So what do I do then? So what is your advice to the person who’s in a new endeavor? They maybe don’t have any clients yet, and they’re going, yeah, I’d love to have a referral based business. But they’re, I don’t have any of that tangible proof yet. I don’t have any longstanding clients. What’s your advice to them? BB (46:30): You absolutely do have a database. ’cause You have a list of relationships. I don’t want you in any way, shape or form to think anything I said is just for past clients. It’s for your list of relationships. It’s for the people who already know you and like you. So that’s the first thing you’re gonna do. You’re gonna create a database of people that know you and like you, I always tell new business owners, the best way to do this is think about your getting married or think about your daughters having a baby or whatever it may be, or your holiday card list. Like who would you send an important thing in your life to? That is your database. That is, AJV (47:05): That’s good. I love that holiday list tip. It’s like they’re on your Christmas card list and you’re on, they’re on your database. They, BB (47:12): You, you have, I hope you’re not sending Christmas cards to random strangers. That would be weird. So you have a list of relationships, start there. That’s a AJV (47:20): Great place to start. BB (47:21): And what I want you to do is simply rank those relationships by level of relationship even though that you have not done business with them. Just who do you know the best in your life Down to who’s like, eh, that’s my husband’s colleague at work, their family. Mm-Hmm. . And we met them at the barbecue three years ago. Okay. Rank them. And then you’ve got to do something in that gap. When I talked about the know, like, and the gap before, trust, trust, I want you to think of in two categories. I want you to think of it as personal credibility, show up on time, honest, trustworthy, and then professional competence. Good at what you do. You need to create a valuable marketing plan to start getting in front of people so that they learn that you, your new business, your new endeavor, you do know what you are doing. BB (48:08): Mm. But I promise you, the foundation of people that already know you and like you and love you as a human or loved you in your past life are gonna be the first people to trust you if you give them a reason to. But you have to start giving them a reason to. And you also need to call those people, those five star people and just be honest with them. Be honest with them. Hey, I need your help. You know, I’ve started this new business. This is who my ideal client is. When you come across someone, can you introduce, start asking the question. You’ll be amazed if they loved you for who you are. They’re gonna love you for what you do now. And some businesses that might take more time, don’t get me wrong. Some businesses you just became, you know got your series seven and you’re gonna be a financial advisor. Well, yeah, before I refer you, someone with a million dollar portfolio, that might take a little bit more time. Yeah. But if you start laying the foundation now, you will reap the reward in the end. But you’ve gotta start with that list of people that already know you and like you. And then remember what I talked about? The gap. That gap you’ve gotta close into trust. AJV (49:09): Yeah. This is so good. This is so helpful. And if you’ve been a hermit for the last three years, it’s time to come out of your shell. . Time to pick up the phone, get back out in public, right? Yes. It’s time to put on. You cannot BB (49:21): Be a secret salesperson. , you could not be a undercover agent. That does not work. AJV (49:27): I love this. Barb, if people wanna connect with you where should they go? And I know that you have this awesome lead magnet. We’ll talk about it in a second. And if you guys are like a lead magnet, it’s like, yeah, if you guys want to get some really awesome free stuff, you can sign up for that. It’s a free lead magnet. But before we talk about that, if people just wanna like, follow you, get to know you, like, where should they go? BB (49:49): Instagram’s my jam. I love Instagram. I’m on Instagram every day in the story. So just my name at Barb Betts, also Facebook, of course, LinkedIn. I’m on all the platforms underneath my name. I love new conversations. I love talking to new people. So as they say, I know this is, I gotta figure aj, we, we together need to figure out another way to say, slide into my dms. Like I cannot stand that, but I totally appear in my dms, surprise me in my dms. Oh, wow. AJV (50:20): Yes. That’s awesome. BB (50:22): But yeah, AJV (50:24): Well, I would second like, follow on Instagram. What’s your Instagram handle BB (50:27): At Barb Betts? AJV (50:29): At Barb Betts. And we’ll put that in the show notes. I follow you on Insta, so I, I would highly recommend it. And then as I mentioned, there’s also this awesome free resource that Barb has made available. And if you go to barb betts.com/authenticity you can sign up for this free, awesome resource. So, Barb, tell us what it is. BB (50:51): Yeah. So it starts with back to that first pillar of the foundation, of the framework, the relational mindset. And it starts with, you can’t have an authentic relationship with anyone else. So you have ’em with yourself. So it’s my authenticity blueprint that will get you on your way to building that authentic relationship with yourself and goes through my framework on how to do that. So you can start showing up as the real you and start impressing and infecting everyone with all your goodness so that they’re compelled to work with you. AJV (51:16): Love that. So go to bar beds.com/authenticity. This has been a fantastic conversation. All of you should have a little bit of a new renewed enthusiasm for getting out there and getting referrals. And a stick around for the recap episode. We’ll talk more about it there. And we will catch you next time on the influential Personal brand. We’ll see you later.

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25 of the World's Most Recognizable Influencers Share Their Tips on How to Build and Monetize a Personal Brand

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