Referral Marketing

7 Surprising Benefits of Testimonials

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{Read length: 7 minutes} Why do we showcase testimonials on our websites and other marketing? We all know that testimonials edify our credibility and trust; nowadays, this is called “social proof.” Of course, some use testimonials to “humblebrag” (y’know, to humbly brag about yourself – in this case, through a third party). Citing testimonials helps to overcome objections from prospects; testimonials also combat negative reviews found online. Those are 4 basic benefits: You may be overlooking 7 other surprising benefits of testimonials.

Before we get to those, when was the last time you updated your website’s testimonials? Even if you do have easy access to your site (via WordPress, etc.) it can be a pain to ask a client for a testimonial, and then follow-up to actually get it, and then to get it onto your website, and then to do this over and over again. Here’s a cheap plug: Check out Raviate.com; it’ll automate this whole process for you, make it fun, and really capture your client’s passion. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming: Continue reading

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Protected: Article Swapping: Encourage What Goes Around—to Come Around

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

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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.

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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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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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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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Asking for Testimonials is AWKWARD! Not with These 6 Tricks…

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Asking for Testimonials is AWKWARD! Not with these 6 Tricks...by Vikram Rajan

{5:00 minutes to read} How often are you asking clients to give testimonials? When they thank you for the great service you’ve given them, how can you leverage that for more word-of-mouth referrals?

Considering the ubiquity of social media sites like Yelp, Avvo, G+, Fb and LinkedIn Endorsements, it’s natural to question “the Truthiness” of online reviews. The good news is that there are alternative ways to obtain, grow and share testimonials.

And they need not only be from clients. For example, testimonials can be garnered from:

  • Colleagues who refer business to you.

  • Members of the community who believe in your character and believe in who you are as a person.

  • Friends who happen to be business colleagues as well, even if they originally started out vice versa.

  • Members of the audience at the end of your presentations or seminars, or panels you are on.

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Is Social Media Getting You Referrals?

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Is Social Media Getting You Referrals? by Mark Bullock

{4:54 minutes to read} Clients ask if we can advise them on how they can get more likes and interactions on their social media. There are many ways to encourage people to like your Facebook business page or LinkedIn company page including direct invites, giveaways, prize drawings and other enticements.

But I keep going back to my standard phrase: If you want somebody to pay attention to you, pay attention to them first. If you want somebody to take an interest in you, take an interest in them first. Go out and find the people on your network that you want to pay attention to you, and start paying attention to them.

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Protected: Are Your Email Lists VIP-Centric?

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Boost Your Referrals with Social Media Relationships

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Boost Your Referrals with Social Media Relationships By Mark Bullock

{4:08 minutes to read} A client of mine recently asked: How do I engage more with social media to enhance my professional network? My answer was that engaging is all about establishing and nurturing relationships with centers of influence (COI) and/or potential clients.

It’s my opinion that the whole social media landscape is just a set of tools to enhance your ability to find those people who should know you, and connect and build those connections into fruitful relationships.

Connections on LinkedIn are marvellous, and most of us end up with a lot of connections to other people in our industry. I suggest though that you really focus on finding and connecting with those who can potentially refer you business. Whatever your profession is, identify who your potential COIs are.

For example:

  • A mediator might connect with mental health professionals or clergy.
  • A financial professional might connect with brokers or dealers.
  • A mental health professional might connect with physicians or HR professionals.

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Protected: Does Business Feel Like a Roller Coaster? 5 Tips to Leverage the Ups & Downs

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Endorsements, Recommendations & Referrals, Oh My!

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phoneBlogger co-founder, Mark Bullock, explains the effect of referrals.{2:42 minutes to read} When speaking with clients in respect to their marketing efforts, I see a lot of endorsements or recommendations – that are referred to as referrals.

What’s the Difference?

If you and I are talking and I say, “Oh, you should talk to Mary Jane about your problem. She’s an attorney over at such-and-such law firm,” my suggestion is a recommendation.

If I were to say, “I know this person, Mary Jane, and she’s a really good attorney in this field,” that’s an endorsement.

A referral would be a bit more formal: “Here’s Mary Jane’s number. I’d recommend you consider her to help you with your issue, and I encourage you to reach out to her.”

A more solid referral is an introduction.

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Protected: New Ways to New Referral-Centric Blog Article Ideas

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2 New Cross-promotion Benefits of phoneBlogger.net!

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2 New Cross-promotion Benefits of phoneBlogger.net! By Vik Rajan{Time to read: 3.5 minutes} Blogging is a means to an end. Our real focus of blogging is word-of-mouth marketing, to stay top-of-mind with referral relationships.

One of the main focuses of phoneBlogger.net and working with us is to do what we’re calling “referral-centric blogging” – where we look to prioritize topics that are fine-tuned to focus on cross-promotion, word-of-mouth and referral marketing.

For 2015, phoneBlogger.net is debuting 2 benefits for our clients, whom we call Authors.

The 1st benefit is our new web magazine called RecommendedAuthors.com. Continue reading

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Looking For New Referral Sources? Don’t Overthink It — Take Action Now!

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phoneBlogger.net co-founder, Mark Bullock, explains networking and referral sources.{Time to Read: 3.5 minutes} Recently I was helping a client get all of their “ducks in a row” for what will be a well-planned outreach to possible referral sources. They had decided to limit their outreach to people that could potentially have a synergistic working relationship with them.

In preparation, my client created a list of names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. of potential referral sources, but hit an obstacle when prioritizing that list.

  • Should I email them, call them or send them a letter?
  • Should I try to find them on LinkedIn?
  • Who among these colleagues is a center of influence — in other words, who should I contact first?
  • Who should I consider the highest priority?

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Only 6 Lawyers Attended My Seminar! 4 Happy Lessons

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{Time to read: 5 minutes}

Only 6 Lawyers Attended My Seminar! 4 Happy Lessons By Vik RajanBack in October 2014, I presented a seminar series for the Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA). While only 6 lawyers attended the 1st workshop, there were at least 4 happy lessons for me to learn, and perhaps for others to follow.

The series was modeled after the ones I presented at the NYC Bar Association in the Spring:

  • Workshop 1: Hands-On Blogging
  • Workshop 2: Hands-On LinkedIn
  • Workshop 3: Hands-On Newsletters

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How To Attract Referrals By Becoming a Branded Expert™ in Your Industry

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phoneBlogger.net co-founder and marketing expert, Mark Bullock, discusses how consistently blogging makes you a subject matter expert and attracts referrals.The phoneBlogger process is highly successful at starting conversations.

At phoneBlogger, we have enjoyed watching as numerous clients have benefited from their blog posts striking a chord with their colleagues, affiliates, centers of influence & referral sources. This is often because the opinion or viewpoint expressed was either contrary to or progressive beyond the collective industry viewpoints. As a result of these exchanges, many have set path to become thought leaders.

Yes, being a thought leader does take some time, and there is the potential of negative comments from those that disagree with you, but the reward of being sought-after as a Branded Expert™ in your industry is invaluable.

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How Can You Guarantee Your Letter Will Be Opened and Read?

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phoneBlogger.net co-found, Mark Bullock, explains how to stand out with the handwritten thank you note.Nothing beats the written word to get attention.

If someone refers a potential client, it is certainly not unthinkable to send an email or pick up the phone and say, “Thank you.” It’s personal, and shows the referral is appreciated. But how many people actually send a thank you note?

Sending a handwritten note isn’t very time-consuming or particularly difficult to do, but it does require a bit more than typing out an email. It’s not the standard anymore, so it stands out and differentiates the sender from the rest.

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How Can Blogging Turn Your Web Visitors Into Clients?

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phoneBlogger Co-Founder, Mark Bullock, explains how to use blogging to build your clientele.Working with phoneBlogger isn’t only about publishing fresh blog articles on your website; we want to increase the chances those individuals landing on your website will reach out to you – and potentially become a client!

At phoneBlogger, we help our clients gain recognition and become branded experts in their field by blogging, and further publicizing those blog articles via E-Newsletters & Social Media.

Blogging is about sharing ideas, concepts, instructions and useful information. It’s a complimentary offering of your knowledge and expertise. Moreover, it’s being generous with your audience in a way they can appreciate.

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Protected: Blogging Social Media Power Trick

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