Woman offering handA colleague asked me this week if I knew anyone with a specific expertise. No one person came to mind, so I scrolled through the member lists of a couple of associations. With a somewhat vague idea of what the members did, I had to rely on their brief summary of expertise to gauge if they fit the request.

I recall seeing some stats about a surprisingly high number of referrals that happen this way — a friend of a friend, a “do you know someone who…?” situation. (Of course, I can’t find them now; guess I’m not asking Google the right question!) It reminded me of the importance of being able to briefly sum up what you do; the people you help and how you do it.

I’m not talking about anything as lengthy as an elevator speech.  I mean something short and easy to remember. These days, it might be what you put in your LinkedIn headline.

Michael Katz of Blue Penguin Development is a big fan of of this as a way to become known as a  “likeable expert,” which increases the number of referrals you will get. He sums this up as “clearly and consistently describing what you do –  in a way that others can understand, remember and share.”

If you aren’t already able to do this, you’re making it harder for people to refer you.

Related post:

It’s like magic; referrals help you diversify

Image: “imagerymajestic” and FreeDigitalPhotos.net.