The first step of building your network of referrals

Referral implies recommendation. We will only refer opportunities to someone that we endorse and recommend. While we know referral and recommendation about ourselves are important to our career or business, have we done the same to the people we trust?

Imagine, when we have resigned from our job, we would usually request a reference letter from our employer. But have we ever thought of writing a reference letter for our employer? If the answer is no, why? Obviously, it’s because we are not told to do so. And it looks weird to do so as no one else is doing such thing.

But people on Amazon, Taobao or Airbnb are doing this. The sellers and buyers on these platforms are rating and commenting about each other. It’s because these platforms know the importance of this rating system to their success, and hence they have spent considerable effort to design, promote and educate their platform which incentivise the users to provide rating.

If we want to build a network of referral, we need to act proactively to promote the giver mindset. Users need to see the visualized and quantified aspects of how the recommendations and referrals they have made are contributing to the community and how this contributions would become their self-actualization.

Making quality referrals may need some skills. But making recommendations is rather easy. There are various kinds of connections you can write recommendations for regardless to your level of experiences. So, start to build your network of referral by making recommendations about other people who you want them to succeed.

Originally published at on November 26, 2018.