Do you think having a website, a social media presence or an email newsletter will get people talking about you? Well, that depends. Are you sharing anything that people will find valuable? People will talk about you because they like you and they value your services and advice. The more strongly they feel about you, the more they will go out of their way to talk about you. But how do they do it? Do they pick up the phone and call everyone they know to talk about you? Probably not.

Here’s an example

A financial advisor in the Atlanta contacted me recently to share with me how his business has changed dramatically over the past three months. He said he has focused his career on “over-servicing” his clients. But over the years, growth had not been steady at his firm. He knew he should be getting more referrals from his clients, but something was missing.

Reluctantly, he started a website a decade ago. Six months ago, even more reluctantly, he started an email newsletter. Over the past three months he was pushed into developing a social media presence online with a LinkedIn profile, a Facebook Fan Page and a blog. And then, all of a sudden, things started changing.

The advisor made a concerted effort to get his clients and prospects better connected to him by joining him online. His clients love it. Not only do they read his short posts, they pass them along. His last blog post was on how politicians created the mess that they can’t get us out of. The one before was on raising financially successful children and grandchildren. The advisor posts new content every two weeks on his blog and sends out his email newsletter that he writes with the same information contained in the blog.

The result? His clients now have a way to share him with others easily, and the referrals are coming in. So far, he has gained seven referrals and two new clients-directly from his new online activity. By the way, in all of last year he received seven referrals. I think it may be working.

For more on building an online presence, see:

Maribeth Kuzmeski is the founder of Red Zone Marketing, LLC, which consults to Fortune 500 firms on strategic marketing planning and business growth. For more information, go to www.redzonemarketing.com.