Word of mouth — it’s essential to almost every business, but in a time of social distancing caused by the coronavirus, many day-to-day interactions have changed. So how can RIAs reinvigorate their referral networks? The answer lies in maintaining a steady stream of collateral that can be shared easily and digitally. Examples include publicity, sharp content such as videos, as well as awards and rankings.


Members of your referral network are likely quoting experts from articles they read or news shows they watch. Imagine if that expert was you. Catchy commentary in an outlet frequented by your network can get you noticed outside of your normal relations.

To ensure your network sees the coverage, send an email blast with a link to the interview. But be careful not to send too many emails. To avoid overloading your network, try consolidating coverage into a newsletter that you can deliver on a regular basis. Recipients can forward this content to their contacts, serving as a digital referral.

For referrals who venture to your website, highlight your company’s overall coverage on a dedicated webpage. This will demonstrate the consistency of your media attention and the breadth of outlets that have turned to you for expertise.

Sharp content:

Sharp content can take your message to the next level. An infographic can bring new life to data, while a sound bite can ruminate with listeners. To combine visual and audio elements in your message delivery, consider creating a video.

A video allows you to speak conversationally and put a friendly face to your company name. It can also help you showcase your professionalism in your work environment, whether you are back in an office or working remotely from home.

To get your video in front of your network, upload it on social media, where your followers can share it with their followers. For additional mileage, split the video into multiple clips and publish these clips in a series of social posts. This approach will not only increase your stream of original content but help viewers digest the information. To ensure they walk away with your intended message, keep clips short and to the point.

Don’t forget to draw attention to your brand by adding a company-themed intro to each clip. This will not only help polish the clips but unify them as well, so those scrolling through your social feed can easily identify the series.

Finally, consider hosting the full-length video on your company website. You can then link to the full video in each social post that contains a clip. This will help boost traffic to your site, where interested viewers can learn more about your offerings.

Awards and rankings:

Whether they honor your workplace culture, growth or subject matter expertise, awards and rankings shed light on your team’s accomplishments. They also provide third-party credibility.

It’s not enough to receive recognition, however. You need to make sure your referral network knows about it. To gain visibility, add your company’s accolades to your email signature. This will keep them front and center with each correspondence. For further visibility, call out awards and rankings in news items on your company website.

Plus, there’s a bonus: Awards and rankings come with publicity, as they are often announced in publications and press releases. These announcements can help your company drum up additional buzz, which you can share with your network.

While your referral network may be socially distancing, it can still generate interest in your company. By leveraging publicity, sharp content, and awards and rankings, you can give your network something to talk about — digitally.