When it comes to growing your business, personal connections matter. Whether you’re looking for new clients, standout employees or vendors that really understand your industry, it’s all about who you know. Personal introductions can be hard to come by, though — which is where Introducely comes in.
The Importance of Social Capital
Social capital is all about connections. The more high-quality connections you have in your network, the more your business (or you) can do. Knowing the right people lets you work more efficiently and build a culture of authenticity.
Social capital theory connects personal relationships to better outcomes and shows how building a network of people you know is key to long-term success. Introducely is the first company to use this proven theory as the basis for a one-of-a-kind platform.
When it comes to the whys of social capital and how you can use it in business, it all comes down to trust. People are more likely to trust someone who was referred personally by a friend, acquaintance or colleague than someone with no personal connection. A personal introduction can go a long way in building trust because the individual being introduced wants the new connection to succeed. If a friend or colleague is making the introduction, the success or failure of that introduction becomes emotionally tied into the friendship.
Using Introducely to form social capital can also bridge gaps in your own network. Most people tend to form tight networks with shared acquaintances, and finding contacts outside that network can be a challenge. You may know that there are people in your town or region who would be excellent contacts and supporters of your business, but finding them and nurturing those relationships is almost impossible if your only tools are broad-reaching ads or cold calls. Personal introductions offer a level of validation that makes potential clients, collaborators and coworkers eager to meet you.
Hierarchical gaps are another place where personal introductions can smooth the way for productive conversations. The CEO of a financial firm might not be interested in taking an unsolicited call from a young entrepreneur, but you may be able to get your foot in the door with a personal introduction from that CEO’s cousin or childhood friend.
Introducely Uses Technology to Grow Your Social Capital
If you’ve been in business for a while, you’ve probably tried many strategies for growing your customer base. Social media advertising and Google ads might bring in some leads, but it takes time, energy and advanced-level expertise to run a successful ad worth more than you spend on it. Cold calling and email advertising can take months or years to show any decent return on investment.
Searching for vendors, business partners and employees can be just as complicated. You could advertise an open position for months without finding any qualified candidates, and researching vendors could mean spending hours reviewing information only to discover that the company you want to work with doesn’t handle the specific supplies you need.
Wouldn’t it be better to get a personal introduction to your ideal client, employee or vendor? With Introducely, you can.
Our platform uses verified users called “Introducers” to connect business owners with the people they most want to meet. Instead of being limited to your personal network, you can tap into others’ friendships, relationships, and business connections to find just the right person for your needs. Introducers peruse the listings on the marketplace and offer a personal introduction to someone they know who meets the criteria stated in your request.
Introducers are verified and their identity is confirmed before they can accept requests on the platform, giving you peace of mind and confidence knowing that they really can connect you with the people you want to meet. Plus, you don’t pay until a successful introduction is made, so there’s no risk to you.
How the Process Works for Businesses
Businesses have unique requirements when it comes to networking, and your need for specific types of connections may be quite different from other companies. Find out more about how the process works to meet disparate business needs below.
1. Sign Up for Introducely
The first step to making a successful connection is to set up your business account on Introducely. From there, you can make one or more requests for introductions, and you can come back to create new introduction requests at any time.
2. Create Your Request
When you create an introduction request on Introducely, you set the criteria and the price — so you can be as specific as you need and manage your budget for networking.
3. Get Introduction Requests Based on Your Criteria
Once you load your request to the Introducely marketplace, Introducers from all over the country can see it and respond if they know someone who meets your criteria.
4. Approve Qualified Introductions
Once you’ve gotten responses to your introduction request, choose the most promising offers and make the connection. The choice to approve or deny introductions is always yours.
5. Start a Conversation With Your New Contact
The introduction process is complete once you make contact with the client, vendor or potential employee. You now have a new contact that can help you grow your business.
Maximizing Successful Introductions
When you’re ready to put up an introduction request on Introducely, there are some things you can do to maximize your success.
Provide Information About Yourself
Introducers and their contacts may be more comfortable making a connection when they know something about you. You can include a photo, job title and company affiliation in your request to help potential contacts recognize you as someone they want to connect with.
Make Your Request as Specific as Possible
Include enough detail in your request to let Introducers easily determine whether they know someone who might fit your criteria. If you’re searching for a specific person, you can include that individual’s name in your request.
Set a Price That Encourages Introducers to Make the Connection
When you create an introduction request, you can set the price that the Introducer gets paid for making the connection. A higher price can help encourage quicker responses to your request. Payments aren’t processed until you confirm that the introduction has been made.
Provide Multiple Introduction Methods
Providing multiple introduction methods makes it easier to make the connections you need. Potential contacts may feel more comfortable with a text message or email for an initial conversation, or they might find a video call more productive for a first meeting. If you want an in-person meeting, you can also specify that in your request.
Set a Time Limit on Your Introduction
If Introducers know you need to make a specific connection in a short period of time, this can add a sense of urgency to your request. You can determine when the request expires, making it easy to create time-sensitive requests.
Determining why you need an introduction and how to phrase your introduction is one of the most important parts of creating your request. Here are some examples of potential requests so you can develop the perfect posting and get the introductions you need.
Requesting an Employee Referral
Searching for great employees or new members to add to your management team is easier with Introducely.
Looking for a native French speaker to teach advanced classes at your tutoring company? Specify the experience you require and note the geographical location in your request.
Need an expert 3D technical artist to help flesh out your game world a month before launch? Include a specific time limit on your request and add any details you want, like prior experience at companies with a similar art style to yours.
Requesting a B2B Client Introduction
Simplify building business-to-business connections with Introducely.
Seeking an introduction to shop owners who can carry your innovative new beauty product? Create introduction requests to get pitch meetings with local salons and beauty store owners.
Ready to sell your company’s new logistics app to transportation companies across the US? Ask for a personal introduction to COOs at transportation firms with a specific revenue range and company size to bring your attention to just the right buyers.
Requesting an Introduction to Suppliers and Support Services
Finding a new supplier or vendor with the products and equipment that fit your needs is just an introduction away.
Searching for local suppliers of eco-friendly to-go containers that help you accomplish your restaurant’s publicly-stated waste-reduction goals? Ask for an introduction to the marketing manager of a local manufacturer who can help you design custom containers out of recycled materials.
Looking for someone to help maintain and repair lab equipment for your startup biotech company? Craft an introduction request that helps you quickly find an experienced technician who services your local area.
Requesting a Collaborator
Creative business often provides room for collaboration, and Introducely can help you find the perfect partner.
Hosting a special wedding-themed event for local brides and need collaborators to co-host along with you? Request an introduction to the owner of a local florist or bakery to get the ball rolling.
Seeking a partner who can manage the legal aspects of your contract negotiations? Construct an introduction request for attorneys who specialize in your industry and have expertise with your specific type of contract.
Requesting Introductions to Investors
Startups and entrepreneurs know the importance of finding great investors, and investors are always looking for the next big hit for their portfolios. Create an Introducely request that gets you a one-on-one with an investor who can fund your goals.
Looking for traditional funding to expand your small noodle shop into a nationwide chain? Frame a request for an introduction to the top account manager at your regional bank so you have a personal connection who can help with your loan application.
Searching for angel investors to help with first round funding so you can get your cutting-edge VR ultralight flight training system off the ground? Ask for an introduction to local investors who have a successful track record of investing in technology projects in the VR and AR realm.
Looking for New Leads
Sometimes, a personal introduction is the best way to find prospective clients. Maybe your business serves a niche market that would benefit more from personal introductions while chasing leads. Or perhaps you tend to sell products at scale in a B2B model, and you need to get in touch with the right person at a company in order to make your pitch.
Asking for an introduction to someone in a particular industry or the purchasing manager at a major company can be a great way to make inroads to new clients. Odds are your target audience will be more receptive if they’ve been introduced to you personally. Our research shows that 74% of sales professionals feel personal introductions provide the highest quality of leads.
Requesting Introductions to Industry Leaders and Local Officials
Personal introductions can help cut through the red tape inherent in a lot of industries. Whether you need help managing conflicting paperwork requirements or becoming better known in your industry, a personal introduction could clear the path.
Interested in scoring a city contract or helping shape the rules for your industry in your town? Post a request for an introduction to city council members or industry lobbyists who can advocate for changes that benefit your business.
Want to establish yourself as an industry leader? Request an introduction to a journalist who covers your industry or the publisher of a trade magazine that might feature you in a business profile.No matter what industry you’re in and what your business needs are, a personal introduction could help open up new possibilities or fill necessary positions within your company. Check out our Introducely FAQs to find out more about how we can introduce you to the people who can help make your business a success.