A thread:

📢 Trends #0025 — Referral Programs
1. 🔍 Problem

You need to make sales, find employees or get deal flow.
2. 💡 Solution

Referral programs incentivize others to help you sell, hire & invest.

Rewards may be cash, credit, discounts, products or experiences.
3. 🏁 Referral Programs

🔘 ConvertKit ( @ConvertKit)
🔘 Peloton ( @onepeloton)
🔘 http://Indie.vc  Scouts ( @indievc)
🔘 Harry's ( @harrys)
🔘 Glossier ( @glossier)
4. 🏁 Referral Programs (con't)

🔘 Airbnb ( @Airbnb)
🔘 Gloat ( @dr)
🔘 YNAB ( @ynab)
🔘 Kabbage ( @KabbageInc)
🔘 Soylent ( @soylent)
5. 🏁 Publishers

⚪ Wirecutter ( @wirecutter)
⚪ eBiz Facts ( @ebizfacts)
⚪ Honey ( @honey)
⚪ Skyscanner ( @Skyscanner)
⚪ The Points Guy ( @thepointsguy)
⚪ 5-Bullet Friday ( @tferriss)
⚪ Fatherly ( @FatherlyHQ)
⚪ NerdWallet ( @NerdWallet)
⚪ No Code List ( @truedrewco)
7. 🔮 Predictions (con't)

✨ As firms get smaller, referral programs will become more popular.

Creators will focus on core competencies and get help selling.
8. ☁️ Opportunities

🔵 Use dual-rewards.

@Dropbox gives referrers and referees 500 MB of storage.

@amuze gives both $25 off.

@TrunkClub gives both $50.

@Seedrs allows the referrer to decide who gets the reward.
9. ☁️ Opportunities (con't)

🔵 Use referral programs to get deal flow.

FoundersClub and http://Indie.vc  ( @indievc) have scout programs.
10. ☁️ Opportunities (con't)

🔵 Use referral programs to sell digital products.

Daniel Vassallo ( @dvassallo) and Wes Bos ( @wesbos) use affiliates to sell courses. https://trends.vc/trends-0022-digital-products/
12. ☁️ Opportunities (con't)

🔵 Buy niche sites and negotiate commissions.

This shortens your payback period. Matt Giovanisci ( @MattGiovanisci) routinely negotiates with merchants. You’ll have more leverage with smaller vendors. https://trends.vc/trends-0012-micro-private-equity/
13. ☁️ Opportunities (con't)

🔵 Build apps to generate affiliate income. See @honey and @Skyscanner.

Both are billion-dollar companies. You can do this on a smaller scale.

Use growth tools to promote your products. Or someone else’s. https://trends.vc/trends-0016-growth-tools/
14. ☁️ Opportunities (con't)

🔵 Summarize books. @JamesClear earns money from Amazon Associates.

@nateliason summarizes books too. And sells access to his notes.

Learn by teaching, make money and build a personal brand. https://trends.vc/trends-0023-personal-brands/
15. ☁️ Opportunities (con't)

🔵 Run contests instead of giving 1-for-1 rewards.

Think 99Designs meets referral programs. This is an asymmetric play. Leaderboards also work. https://trends.vc/trends-0021-gamification/
16. ☁️ Opportunities (con't)

🔵 Build a referral program for your paid community.

Food Blogger Pro, a learning community, pays 20-40% commissions on a recurring basis. https://trends.vc/trends-0014-paid-communities/
18. 😠 Haters

“Why did you mention affiliates? The topic was referrals.”

Referral programs target existing customers. Affiliate programs target partners. The goal is the same. Sales. The title was a toss-up.
19. 😠 Haters (con't)

“Why not do sponsorships instead?”

They’re not mutually exclusive.
21. 🔗 Links (con't)

Danielle Simpson ( @SimpsonDaniK) and Arvid Kahl ( @arvidkahl) built and sold Feedback Panda.

They used a referral program to boost growth.

Interview by @robwalling https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/startups-for-the/episode-492-from-zero-to-55k-7EcVnA_o2Of/
22. 🔗 Links (con't)

Dom Wells, founder of Human Proof Designs ( @Human_Proof), went from running his own niche sites to building them for others.

Interview by @TropicalMBA https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/the-tropical-mba/tmba494-the-affiliate-F63TLaO_ZMY/
With Trends PRO you'll get:

• 22 Opportunities (110% More)
• 16 Summarized Links (220% More)
• 30 Referral Programs (200% More)
• 3 Predictions (50% More)
• 16 Affiliate Marketers (60% More)
• 31 Publishers (210% More)
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