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

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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.

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Protected: Our Love/Hate Relationship with Being Reminded

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7 Cross-Promotion Strategies to Boost Referrals

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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.

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3 Ways to Measure Results

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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).

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Protected: LinkedIn Publisher (Pulse) Article Posting: Pros & Cons

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

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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.

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

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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.

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How to Get Your Email Newsletters Opened & Read!

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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.

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Protected: Do You Promote Your Articles Through Your Personal Networks?

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Protected: Facebook’s Instant Articles: Useful for Professional Services?

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7 Traits of Marketing Maestros

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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).

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Word-of-Mouth Marketing vs Advertising

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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.

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Redesigning Your Website? I Told You So! Part 1

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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.

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3 Reasons to Keep Marketing During Your Busy Season

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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.

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Starters & Finishers – Part 2: Can You Be Both?

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Starters & Finishers - Part 2: Can You Be Both? by Mark Bullock

{4:20 minutes to read} Everybody’s a starter and everybody’s a finisher. As I mentioned in Starters & Finishers – Part 1: Which Are You? we can all start and we can all finish. How close you are to the center line determines how easy it is to do one or the other.

There are a few people that are fairly close to the center line. I’m not an extreme starter myself; although I’m certainly aware of many who are. The more extreme of a starter or finisher you are, the more difficult it is to meet the task at the other end of the spectrum.

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Starters & Finishers – Part 1: Which Are You?

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Starters & Finishers - Part 1: Which Are You? by Mark Bullock

{3:36 minutes to read} Years ago I read a book by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen & Les Hewitt called The Power of Focus in which the authors touched on the concept of people being either “starters” or “finishers.”

As the years have gone by, I’ve hired a lot of people and have had to let a few go. It’s been helpful to know what a person’s propensities are with respect to being more of a starter or a finisher.

First off, although everyone falls on one side of the fence or the other, all starters can finish things and all finishers can start things. It’s not necessarily a complete one side or the other; some people lean stronger toward the side of starting or finishing. There’s nothing wrong with being either.

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Protected: We’ve Been Hiding Something from You:-) You’re Now Being Published on LinkedIn

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How to Market Yourself During Conference Season

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How to Market Yourself During Conference Season by Mark Bullock

{3:50 minutes to read} Business professionals often wonder: Is it worthwhile to market my practice during the various conferences I attend?

At Practice Marketing, we’ve used conferences for marketing for a number of years, and fairly successfully.

Whenever possible, we try to be in a room full of potential clients.

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Are You Building Yourself a Business or a Job?

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Are You Building Yourself a Business or a Job? by Mark Bullock

{5:00 minutes to read} A number of years ago, a fellow by the name of Michael Gerber wrote a book called The E-Myth Revisited.

Michael relayed the story of a baker who had started his own bakeshop and found himself essentially to be a chef, cook and bottle washer. After going out and shaking the trees to get business through the door, he was busy taking and fulfilling orders. While he was baking, he didn’t have time to handle the logistics of operating the business. Michael’s Gerber’s contention was that the baker didn’t have a business; he built himself a job.

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What Is CRM & Does Your Business Need It?

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What is CRM & Does Your Business Need It? by Mark Bullock & Monika Wood

{3:30 minutes to read} Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is basically a hub where people organize, store and stay in touch with their customers or clients, whether for a service, product or company.

Unlike a standard contact list or email program designed for a single user, CRM is more functional and interactive. It allows you to host multiple users in one place, and makes keeping in contact by newsletter or email more streamlined.

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