• Deb Doyle, The String Alliance

Improving Vendor Recommendations

2021 has been my year of FB groups – everything from business support to fiber to knitting porn to mindfulness. Sometimes all I see are posts from groups.

It has given me a chance to observe some inefficient trends around recommendations. Let me save you some time.

Compare these two questions: “I’m looking for a graphic designer” vs. “I’m a small craft business looking for a graphic designer to create four branded pattern templates. The ideal candidate will have an aesthetic and values that that align and enhance my brand. I like working with collaborative self-starters who will delight me with unexpected interpretations.”

Which question will generate more qualified and exciting candidates? Specificity is your friend.

Second, I’d much rather get recommendations from people who have worked with me and already know my brand. Their suggestions are almost always more discerning than a broad hive-mind.

Last but not least, try to get some rationale for the recommendation. Wouldn’t you be excited to connect with this person? “Contact so and so. I think you two would work well together, and you have a similar taste.”

Describing your needs and preferences at the beginning of a project makes it easier for you to find a solution.

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