The purposes behind our Referral Program are twofold: first, we want to increase the number of people given the opportunity to improve their lives through education and, second, we want to reward you for sharing Career Step with others. When you’re successful with the program, it’s much easier for us to achieve our first goal—so your success is our success! In an effort to help you be successful, we’ve put together this quick little Referrer Handbook with 3 rules on how to make the most of your program participation.
Rule 1: READ THE BLOG!
This may seem a little self serving on our end—I mean, after all, we put up blog posts week after week so of course we’d want you to read them, right? But the articles we post are designed to help you (and if we’re not providing something you’re looking for, let us know!) Here’s a quick synopsis of what you can find on the blog:
Referral Resource Center – We’ve compiled an entire library of collateral and resources here for you! You can find web banners, ebooks, webinars, videos, brochures, and more in the Resource Center, all to provide information and tools to share Career Step.
Referral Webinar – While not technically just another blog post, this webinar is available whenever you’d like to watch it. We go over the basics of the Referral Program, take a look at tools and resources available, and discuss a few best practices and new ideas to generate more referrals.
Referral Resource Round-Up: September 2013 – We actually post a new Resource Round-Up every few months, this is just the most recent one (look for a new one in December). These posts summarize everything that’s available to you in one place, highlighting the new things we’ve released in the past few months. The original Resource Round-Up post is also a good one to check out since it gives a more overall summary.
Spreading the Word in Military Communities – This post offers ideas on how you can share Career Step effectively within military communities.
Facebook Your Way To More Referrals – This post offers a few ideas on how you can use Facebook to tell others about Career Step.
Top 5 Reasons – We published the Top 5 Reasons series last year, but all of the content is still relevant. Each post features one of the Career Step programs and gives you the top 5 reasons students should choose our program.
Top 10 Benefits of Online Education – This is our most recent article series. We reviewed the top 10 reasons we hear most often from students on why they chose online education.
Rule 2: Drive Traffic
Whether you have your own website or blog or are using your unique Career Step referrer webpage (if you’re not sure what your referrer webpage is, check out this post: Why is Your Referrer Webpage Important?), driving qualified web traffic to your page can make a big difference. Here are a few tools you can use to get an idea of what people are looking for and how you can get them to your site:
Google Alerts – Google Alerts allow you to set up email notifications on certain keywords. This keeps you up to date on online conversations happening around the topics you’re interested in (e.g. medical transcription, online education, Career Step, etc.) and lets you know when something is posted that you can comment on (such as a blog post or a Yahoo! Question). By commenting you can direct people to your site for more information.
Forums and Blogs – The internet is FULL of forums and blogs for just about every topic under the sun. Finding a few that match what you’re interested in is a great way to provide helpful information to people who are looking for what you have to offer. Focus on being helpful, not just linking them back to your site (remember the Golden Rule—answer others in a way that you would appreciate if you were in their shoes), but definitely include a link to your page in your answer. A few blog and forum types that might be good places to look into include those for new moms, work at home moms, job seekers, those interested in education, etc.
SEO Best Practices – If you’re working on driving traffic to your own website or blog, good SEO (search engine optimization) practices are important. You can find tons of articles all over the internet about SEO, but this article is a good place to start. (If you’re using your Career Step referrer webpage, you don’t have to worry about SEO practices because we take care of that for you.)
Rule 3: Learn From Others
About once a month we post a new Referrer Spotlight. This gives you a chance to learn what’s working for others. Here are just a few suggestions we gleaned from these posts (this is no means an exhaustive list, we only pulled one suggestion from each post—read the hyperlinked full posts for all of their suggestions):
Allie Weber – I am always spreading “the good word” through word of mouth and social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
Lauren Robinson – I also take advantage of online groups, forums and other sites to spread the word!
Ashley Reffey – I am part of several military spouse groups on Facebook, so whenever someone is inquiring about college, I always respond with my experience using MyCAA funding through Career Step.
Kelly Rothermel – Do you belong to a mom’s group? A ladies Bible study? A school committee? The gym? Try to be creative and find ways to bring up Career Step.
Penny Zimmerman – When speaking with others, I just keep my ears open all the time for either a need or a complaint that working from home may help them with!
Kacee Fridley – I post it on my Facebook status and send it to people in text messages and emails as well to get the word out.
Amanda W. – Be patient. It may be a while before you see your first check—it can sometimes take a while to get started.
Stella Hammond – I encourage people to use the course demo link on my referral page because it shows them what the courses will be like.
Lyndi Moon – I have passed out business cards, placed classified ads, and handed out pamphlets as well as posting on social networking sites and work-at-home mom forums.
Doralynn Kennedy – I have done interviews online and written articles about medical transcription. I link to my referrer webpage in these interviews and articles, and I have enrolled quite a few students this way.
Billie Wirthlin – It’s easier to sell something you believe in. I truly love Career Step and that shows when I talk to someone about the opportunity.
Stephanie Foster – Don’t hype up the possibilities. Share your honest opinions and be ready to answer questions by email. If people trust you, they will trust your recommendation.
Angela Coleman – Post as many fliers as you can with your referrer webpage address—at the local credit union, Walmart bulletin board, etc.