Although online marketing is a relatively new world, marketers have been using the principle of inbound marketing for decades.
Of course, they've been calling it something different: referrals.
A referral is a recommendation that your business gets from a trusted source -- it's a high-quality inbound lead. It's the result of upfront work like content creation, information sharing and relationships -- just as with newer inbound channels like blogs, search engine optimization and webinars.
Earlier this month I had a chance to speak with Lewis Weinstein, a business owner who knows something about referrals.
Lewis comes from a family of tax accountants who built businesses with referrals, and he's the CEO of Referral Key, an online business referral network that grew out of his own tax accounting business.
Lewis explained how Referral Key got started, and how he's building the business.
While a significant portion of Referral Key's marketing is done virally through referrals (Referral Key eats its own dogfood!), Lewis explained how he mixes referrals with newer inbound marketing channels like search engine optimization and blogging about business networking .
Here are some of the highlights of our conversation:
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