As you grow your online business and more people join your list, you will want to keep the same type of community you started with. The best way to do this is to ask the people currently on your list to refer their friends to you. This is an excellent way to connect with your list, find new prospects who will already know something about you, and to start an affiliate program for yourself, if that is something you are ready to do now.
Think about how things work in the offline world. You may be looking for a new restaurant, or a place to hold a birthday party, or a new hair salon close to where you live. These days we usually go to Google or somewhere on the Internet to get ideas on who we can contact, but isn’t a personal referral always better?
When I moved to my city in 2006 I needed to find a salon to cut and color my hair every few weeks. I looked online, drove around town to see what was there, and looked through the magazines and flyers that came to my home. But for the first six months or so I continued to drive more than twenty miles each way to go to the salon in the city where I had lived for more than ten years.
Finally, I met a woman who told me about a salon she had been going to for a couple of years. She told me stories of what she had had done to her hair, as well as some details about the woman who owned the salon and the woman who did her hair. Because I received a personal recommendation I called to make an appointment and have been going there ever since. This is the power of a referral.
Do the same thing in your Internet business. Ask your prospects and clients to refer someone to you by sharing some information about what they like best about learning from you. Invite them to a teleseminar so they can hear your voice. Give them a short report or direct them to one of your recent articles or blog posts. This is how they will come to know, like, and trust you to share information with them on your area of expertise.
If you feel that you are ready to start your own affiliate program, ask your list to sign up as affiliates and to refer their friends through their link. This can also be very productive in terms of building a stronger business relationship with your list.