You Know 250 Referral Sources

The headline to this week’s marketing strategy may shock you. 250 referral sources? I hope it at least piqued your interest.

When we need clients, we often turn to Facebook or maybe our email list. There is nothing wrong with either strategy (I do it too!).

However, what if you could employ a marketing strategy that put you in front of thousands of people quickly?

That would be awesome, right?

And that’s what I will teach you about today. Please watch the video and read the accompanying blog post to learn more about referral marketing.

You know 250 referral sources by Jill Celeste,



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It's not only who you know that counts - learn more at

People are naturally wired to help others. - Jill Celeste,


With all the talk about Facebook, email marketing, and blogging, entrepreneurs can sometimes forget about effective “old school” marketing methods. Asking for referrals is definitely “old school,” but don’t let that fool you – it’s one of the most cost-effective and profitable ways to grow your business.

When my husband and I bought our first house, our realtor had this line everywhere on his marketing materials (from his business card to his email signature): Referrals are the lifeline of my business. How can I earn your referral today?

While you may not want to print this message on your business card, I do think it should be forefront in our marketing consciousness.

You may be thinking: “But Jill, I don’t know enough people who can refer business to me!”

Deep breath. I am going to challenge you on this: You do know people. In fact, you know at least 250 people who can refer prospects to your business.

The 250 by 250 Rule

If you have not read The Referral of a Lifetime by Tim Templeton, get this book as soon as you can. Even if you’re not a big reader, you will gain so much from this book. It reads like a parable and can be finished in just a couple of sittings.

In the early part of his book, Templeton explains the concept of the 250 by 250 Rule. Here’s what it means:

The 250 by 250 Rule: It’s not only who you know that counts; it’s who your clients know that is important.

This rule’s premise is that you know 250 people, and each of your 250 people also knows 250 people. That’s 62,500 people within your extended network.

Make a list of 250 people

You may immediately be thinking: “I don’t know 250 people!”

Well, let’s find out, shall we?

Right now, get out a sheet of paper (or fire up Microsoft Word), and number it from 1-250. Turn on some thinking music, if necessary, and clear the chatter from your head. Now, start writing down the names of everyone you know.

To help you get started, consider the following people:

  • Family members
  • Friends
  • Neighbors
  • People you know from your places of worship
  • Current or past work colleagues
  • High school friends
  • College friends
  • Networking contacts
  • Past or current clients
  • Hairdresser, nail technician and other beauty service providers
  • Lawn care company, handyman, and others who maintain your home
  • Banker
  • Financial planner
  • Accountant
  • Parents from your kid’s youth sports league or other after-school activity
  • Facebook friends, LinkedIn connections and other social media contacts

Remember, you are only making a list. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have their contact information. Don’t stop until you reach 250.

After You Make Your List

Once you have your list of 250 people, it’s time to reach out and love them up. Templeton spells out this process in his book, but I wanted to mention a few things here too.

First, if you’re anything like me, you hate to bother people. Here’s what I want you to remember: People are naturally wired to help others. Think about times when you were glad to help another person. It felt good, right?

Second, it’s important to come from a place of love and service. Not only do you want to ask for referrals, you want to see how you can help your contact too.

Finally, if you work on nothing else but referrals, your business will prosper. The more you put into it, the more you’ll get.

Is everyone you know a referral source for you? You never know until you ask.

Put aside your resistance and objections – and give this a try. Referrals will increase your visibility. And when you increase your visibility, you will attract more clients. It’s really that simple. I am rooting for you!


Jill CelesteHi, I’m Jill Celeste. I teach purpose-driven entrepreneurs (just like you) everything you need to know about marketing so you can become the Director of Marketing for your business.

Because when you put your Director of Marketing hat squarely on your head, marketing is your number one priority (which will result in more clients!).

When I am not teaching about marketing, you’ll find me hanging out with my husband or my teenage boys, or taking a nap with my basset hound, Emma. I also like to play with my two guinea pigs and feed the backyard ducks (much to my neighbor’s chagrin).

Want to learn more about marketing? I invite you to get my book for free – just head over to And don’t let the title fool you; it will help you get your first – or next – client. I am honored to help you! ♥

10 thoughts on “You Know 250 Referral Sources

  1. Kelley Grimes

    This is such a useful article Jill and I really appreciate you giving suggestions about the different types of people to put on your list. I look forward to developing mine and beginning the process of loving them up! Thank you so much for the inspiration!

  2. Cindy

    I learned so much from reading your wisdom Jill. I have read this book several years ago when in corporate America. Networking never goes out of style.

  3. Laura

    Thank you for reminding me of the old school methods and getting out of the comfort zone. Great tips too. Thank you. It’s giving me lots to think upon.

  4. krystal

    Hey Jill
    This is a really interesting idea! I love the idea of expanding the circle and reach and of course becoming more visible. But like so many, I HATE bothering people to ask them to help me. My relationship with marketing is improving but it has certainly been the most challenging part of having a business.

  5. Beverley Golden

    I’ve practiced this to a degree several times when I was attempting to build referral type businesses! Once we look at how far reaching our connections are, it is amazing how the idea of “Six Degrees of Separation” is more true than we might believe. Thanks for the insights, Jill!

  6. Krysti Turznik

    This is a fabulous article – so many great tips! I especially love the reminder that people are hardwired to help each other. Makes our reachout even easier with that in mind.


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