Why Are You Sending Your Prospects to Competitors?

Why Are You Sending Your Prospects to Competitors? by Mark Bullock

{2:15 minutes to read} If you don’t have ALL of the information and answers that your prospective clients are looking for on your website, that’s exactly what you are doing.

To say “times have changed” in the online marketing world would be an understatement. Your website/blog can no longer be just teaser information or espouse the benefits of you and the service you offer. If there’s a topic or area of your practice that a prospective client wants to know about, you had better have a blog article on your site about it.

Continue reading

Print Friendly

4+ Surprising Benefits of Testimonials

4+ Surprising Benefits of Testimonials by Vikram Rajan

{2:30 minutes to read} When we obtain a testimonial, we benefit in 4 ways:

1. When our clients say it in their own words, we’re able to fully understand the value that we’re providing. Sometimes testimonials on websites and brochures don’t sound “authentic” because they are not in the client’s actual words.

2. When clients express or vocalize the value that they have experienced, they are reiterating it to themselves too—essentially reaffirming their loyalty. If a competing vendor or practitioner comes knocking on their door, literally or figuratively, hopefully, their testimonial has already resold them.

Continue reading

Print Friendly

The Final Phase of the Sales Funnel: Asking for Testimonials and Referrals

The Final Phase of the Sales Funnel: Asking for Testimonials and Referrals by Vikram Rajan

{2:55 minutes to read} As professional marketers, our goal is not to close the sale but to open a relationship. This is the difference between a customer and a client.

When a potential client, aka “a prospect,” walks through the door or calls on the phone, the sales process has begun. A sales “funnel” is wider at the top, where there are multiple prospects, and grows narrower as a smaller number of prospects actually become active clients. Inside the sales funnel, there are many phases, involving multiple meetings and interactions, before a prospect becomes a client.

Continue reading

Print Friendly

Need a Brush-Up on Writing Click-Worthy Blog Titles?

{0:35 minutes to read} When you’re sifting through titles—whether in your inbox, on Facebook, on LinkedIn, or on other social media platforms—what catches your eye? What garners enough interest for you to click through and read?

Continue reading

Print Friendly

Is Your AVP Still Right for You?

Is Your AVP Still Right for You? by Vikram Rajan{3:27 minutes to read} More than just being informative and showcasing your expertise, your blog should be an expression of who you are… as a professional, and as a person. Your blog can be a handy tool for referrals. The more distinguished your blog is, the more interesting it tends to be. When someone reads such a blog, it ought to sound like you. Correspondingly, your partner’s article would represent her voice.

Then again, this is my preference and suggestion for you. You may, however, prefer your blog not to sound like you, and not to have the personality of any one person in your firm. Well, that’s why we call it your “Author Voice Preferences” (AVP). We document such preferences in your Master Checklist (Google Spreadsheet).

Continue reading

Print Friendly

How to Capture the Attention of a Prospect…Long Before They Seek out Your Services? Start an Advice Column!

How to Capture the Attention of a Prospect...Long Before They Seek out Your Services? Start an Advice Column! by Mark Bullock

{3:10 minutes to read} An advice column opens a dialog with potential clients who are seeking “help” and who might not yet know that your service could be their best option.

An advice column presents a real opportunity to broaden your audience. It is a totally separate engagement from what your blog posts provide. An advice column allows you to provide a valuable resource for and open dialog with people who have questions and concerns that are related to the service that you provide. This engagement occurs much sooner than waiting for them to get information elsewhere, which will rarely lead them to your doorstep.

Continue reading

Print Friendly

Don’t Blast Your Sales Message to New Contacts—Try This Instead!

Don’t Blast Your Sales Message to New Contacts—Try This Instead! by Mark Bullock

{4:48 minutes to read} For the majority of professional service providers (like most of you), you should realize you cannot depend solely on your online marketing & networking efforts as your only means of marketing. Offline (in-person) professional relationships cannot be replaced by online efforts, but they can be augmented and reinforced.

Keep in mind that for the most of the professional services, referrals will come from people who know, like, and trust you—and—have met you in person, or at the least spoken with you on the phone.

Continue reading

Print Friendly

Our Love/Hate Relationship with Being Reminded

Our Love/Hate Relationship with Being Reminded by Mark Bullock

{4:15 minutes to read} How does phoneBlogger remind its clients of publication deadlines, approvals, and appointments?

Like every business, we walk a fine line between being a nuisance and being diligent when communicating with our clients. I was speaking a week or so ago with one of our editors about reminding me, and other clients, about something important. In this particular case, she was reminding me to review a newsletter that needed my approval.

Continue reading

Print Friendly

7 Cross-Promotion Strategies to Boost Referrals

7 Cross-Promotion Strategies to Boost Referrals by Mark Bullock

{4:15 minutes to read} There are a lot of different ways in which you can engage others in your co-marketing.

In the phoneBlogger.net world, we are, of course, focused primarily on blogs and newsletters. Cross promotion is the next level of marketing by utilizing these tools:

Strategy #1: Quote Others

Quoting others is the opportunity to take something that somebody else has already written or published, be able to quote what they have said, and then expand upon it. In most cases, you’d want to get permission unless it’s a very short quote. In the process of getting permission, you’re essentially allowing for cross-promotion and possibly encouraging the other party to mention that they were quoted by you.

Continue reading

Print Friendly

3 Ways to Measure Results

3 Ways to Measure Results by Vikram Rajan

{4:00 minutes to read} There’s an old adage: “Only 20% of marketing works; 80% is a waste. We just don’t know which 80%!” Even worse, the 80% is a changing set: What worked yesterday may not work tomorrow, and so forth. Unfortunately, much of marketing is trial & error and A/B testing. Still, I find clients who have “tried nothing and are all out of ideas” (a Simpsons quote; email me for the episode).

How can we improve the odds if we don’t measure what we’re doing? A leading indicator of positive results is our automated, systematic, and repeated actions. These include our marketing technologies (e.g., Constant Contact and its autoresponder, and a new entrant to automating testimonial marketing, Raviate, which is looking for private testers — email me).

Continue reading

Print Friendly

LinkedIn Publisher (Pulse) Article Posting: Pros & Cons

LinkedIn Publisher (Pulse) Article Posting: Pros & Cons by Mark Bullock

{3:45 minutes to read} Breaking from tradition, we have been experimenting with sharing our client’s LinkedIn publisher or “Pulse articles” to their LinkedIn groups in lieu of sharing the external article.

We are still doing blog articles for nearly all clients. We publish their blog posts’ excerpts and titles, then include links to the blog posts in their LinkedIn group discussion threads.

Continue reading

Print Friendly

Marketing Fitness — 6 Key Strategies to Implement (Part 2)

Marketing Fitness — 6 Key Strategies to Implement (Part 2) by Mark Bullock

{4:45 minutes to read} Continuing our discussion from the last blog post, today’s article examines some more health & fitness lessons that can be applied to marketing.

Don’t overdo it.

Although pushing yourself can be a good thing, you don’t want to take it too far. In physical fitness, when you feel a tingling or slight burning sensation, it means your muscle fibers are breaking down. That night, while you sleep, the muscles rebuild stronger.

Continue reading

Print Friendly

Marketing Fitness — Don’t Sprint to Win the Marathon! (Part 1)

Marketing Fitness — Don’t Sprint to Win the Marathon! (Part 1) by Mark Bullock

{4:50 minutes to read} When I was younger, with a rather extreme physical regimen of fitness including football, wrestling, tennis, weightlifting, etc., I often repeated the same cycle — I’d push myself too hard, get injured, and then I’d have to stop. And when I stopped, I stopped completely. I’d go from one extreme of activity level to the other. As I got older, I struggled to keep my weight under control.

A couple of years ago, I had become considerably overweight, and my past injuries made even mild activity — like walking the dogs for 15 minutes — excruciating. Finally, I decided to try a different approach.

Continue reading

Print Friendly

How to Get Your Email Newsletters Opened & Read!

How to Get Your Email Newsletters Opened & Read! by Mark Bullock

{5:57 minutes to read} Email newsletters are an important part of engaging your clients and driving traffic to your blog.

The first step in creating a good newsletter is choosing a good return email address. The ideal address should ideally start with your name@ (this makes it personal, not generic); next best is “info@”. The domain should ideally be your company’s own (yourcompany.com), not a free one like Gmail or Yahoo.

The next step is a creating compelling subject line. Avoid terms like “free” or “new.” These are often used by email spammers & scammers, so readers are likely to mistake your email for spam and discard it.

Continue reading

Print Friendly

Do You Promote Your Articles Through Your Personal Networks?

Do You Promote Your Articles Through Your Personal Networks? by Mark Bullock

{2:05 minutes to read} Here at phoneBlogger, we work with most of our clients on promoting their original articles through newsletters as well as business & company pages on social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter.

Clients might also have accounts on community networking sites like Gotham, for example. Most clients also maintain personal profiles on some of these sites. Also, they often produce content that could be considered public interest or public service because they are informational and educational in nature, rather than promotional.

Let us take that a step further.

Continue reading

Print Friendly

Facebook’s Instant Articles: Useful for Professional Services?

Facebook’s Instant Articles: Useful for Professional Services? by Mark Bullock

{3:12 minutes to read} Social media has revolutionized marketing in some ways by providing opportunities for free and fast marketing. The technology in this space changes quickly; the options that are available now will most likely be very different down the road.  

As the social media landscape continues to evolve, we research and vet all potential promotional avenues. Our goal is to promote our clients in the most effective and efficient way possible. A critical component to doing so is utilizing marketing tools that steer people back to your website.

Continue reading

Print Friendly

7 Traits of Marketing Maestros

7 Traits of Marketing Maestros by Vikram Rajan

{2:20 minutes to read} I’ve only had one real boss: my father. He’s a deep thinker & very learned—inspirational to many people. He taught me pretty much everything I know in terms of business.

I’d like to share one of the best lessons he taught me, which still rings true on a daily basis: 7 core values around which he based his company. They are known by the acronym MAESTRO (he was from the AT&T days of “TLA”—Three Letter Acronyms—and was a fan of acronyms himself).

Continue reading

Print Friendly

Word-of-Mouth Marketing vs Advertising

Word-of-Mouth Marketing vs Advertising by Mark Bullock

{3:15 minutes to read} At Practice Marketing, Inc., we feel that word-of-mouth marketing yields more long-term and higher quality results than advertising does.

This is because there’s an implied trust that comes with word-of-mouth marketing, especially if you’re reinforcing it with educational and informational content in the form of blog posts, newsletters, articles, and social media participation. All of those things lend credibility and expert status into the branding of you and your firm.

Continue reading

Print Friendly

Redesigning Your Website? I Told You So! Part 1

Redesigning Your Website? I Told You So! Part 1 by Vikram Rajan

{4:20 minutes to read} One of my favorite blog article ideas on blogbrainstormer.com is in the client Q&A section. It’s often dubbed the “Anti-Success Story” or the “I-Told-You-So Story.”

As an advisor to others, you may have had an opportunity to tell your clients not to do something, but for whatever reason, they went ahead and did it, leaving you to clean up the mess. While that can lead to greater billing and, in some ways, reinforces your expertise and wise counsel, it can also be a scenario or lesson you can present to others in a blog article. Of course, it’s important to do it without being smug or revealing anything private, confidential or otherwise embarrassing to your client.

The opposite is also true in terms of telling the client to do something. For whatever reason, they don’t and, once again, you find yourself cleaning up a mess that could have been prevented. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and may be a valuable vaccine to prevent frustrations down the road.

Continue reading

Print Friendly

3 Reasons to Keep Marketing During Your Busy Season

3 Reasons to Keep Marketing During Your Busy Season by Vikram Rajan

{4:30 minutes to read} Very often, during the barrage of business, there isn’t as much time or energy for marketing. Yet, the busy season doesn’t literally happen all at once: It happens sometimes over the course of 3 or 4 months, which means someone in that 2nd or 3rd month is very often being affected by the people who “pulled the trigger” during the 1st month.

For example, some clients wait until April to contact their accountant to file their taxes. Others, who may be ready and are much more organized, approach their tax preparer in February or even during the fall to plan for the end of the year; they are very often the ones leading by example for those who are coming in March and April.

Continue reading

Print Friendly