Word of Mouth 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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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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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 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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Protected: Are Your Email Lists VIP-Centric?

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What’s Better than Know, Like, Trust?

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What’s Better than Know, Like, Trust? By Vikram Rajan

{1.8 minutes to read}

In order to be recommended, you must be remembered.

“Know, Like, and Trust” has become an often bandied-about sales & marketing term. Productive relationships go through 3 phases:

  1. Knowing one another.
  2. Liking one another.
  3. And trusting in each other’s expertise & character: Each side must deliver on promises.

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Protected: ★ ☞ You WILL Believe These Top 2 Email Subject Line Best Practices ☜ ★

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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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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 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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Protected: Strategic Blogging 101

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Do You Have Any Idea What Your Website Visitors Are Doing?

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Mark Bullock of phoneBlogger.net explains some blog site statistics vocabulary.Once you’ve made the decision to start authoring educational blog articles in order to boost your word-of-mouth referrals, you may find that some of the terminology is confusing at first – but knowing what it means can greatly improve your ability to maximize your site. For the purposes of this article we’re going to focus primarily on WordPress, but the same holds true for many of the different blogging platforms.

What is the difference between a new visitor and a returning visitor?

That question is usually decided by the cookies that are on the visitor’s browser. For instance, someone blocking cookies or clearing them out in between uses would be counted as a new visitor or, whereas a user with cookies would be counted as a returning visitor, if they’ve been to your site before.

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What Does it Take to Build a Successful Professional Practice?

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Bullock - What Does it Take to Build a Successful Professional Practice?Quite often a client or prospective client will ask, in one form or another ,”What does it take to make my professional practice successful?” What they are typically defining “successful” as is making a living at it.

Below is my response to a Family Mediator client, and although it’s written with a Mediation practice in mind, the points & lessons learned can be translated for use with any professional practice.

………………………………………….

After many years now of working with, consulting for, and interviewing divorce and family mediators, every mediator I know that makes a living off of mediation does or has done it all with respect to what we refer to as “Word of Mouth Marketing.”

First and foremost, they view their practice as a business, not just a service they provide. They recognize and embrace the need for marketing and promoting that business.

By using the measures below, these mediators have made their practices succeed:

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Want to write a book? BoB it quickly…

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VIk Rajan - Want to Write a Book? BoB it Quickly...Have you been procrastinating on a great book idea? Have you gotten around to outlining its chapters, its main points? That’s the first step. Then, there’s a simple way to have the book practically write itself.

Authoring a book brands you an expert. TV, radio, print media & blog interviews – and speaking invitations – most often go to authors of books. It’s also the easiest way to distinguish your practice & encourage more word-of-mouth referrals. You probably know all this. It may be why you’ve been wanting to write a book.

So what’s stopping you? Hopefully you’ve got a great book idea and the substantive expertise to fill the pages. You just may not have the time.

Traditionally, book authoring is seen as needing chunks of interrupted time. A retreat, a productive vacation, or making such chunks of time may not be an option for you. So consider an alternative: The BoB book.

Last month, one of my clients confided in me that she was in the midst of writing a book. “Why is this a secret? When are you going to start telling people?” I asked. “I’m just in the middle of writing it now,” she responded. I reminded her of how much time & effort it takes to market a book. It need not begin with the book launch.

Book marketing ought to begin months in advance; the launch party celebrates graduation. I want her to benefit from the journey, not just the destination. “I’m writing a book” is as potent as “I’ve written a book.” Continue reading

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Google’s “Newish” Social SEO

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Your SEO marketing efforts may be going to waste. Before you fall for those “We’ll get you to the top of Google” schemes, read this: Do you keep your Gmail open all day? What about all those who use YouTube, Google Drive or login with their Google Account in some way? They are in Google’s “Social Search,” sealing themselves from your marketing, unless you use Google’s rules correctly.

When you Google something, what you see is different from what I see: Google search results vary by location, time of day, and Google’s ever-changing algorithmic “secret sauce” factors (the latest “Hummingbird” algorithm changes were kept secret for weeks). Plus, Google is using the profiles & pages of Google+ to personalize what they show you.

Google+ may never become the next Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter, but its influence is growing. Technically, the G+ user base is larger than LinkedIn & Twitter: See the map when you Google a restaurant or office? That’s a Google Plus page. See a +1 below a search result? That’s from a G+ profile. At the end of Sept 2013, you can only comment on a YouTube video using your G+. Likewise Google Talk (now known as Hangouts) is now part of G+. If Google is part of your life, you’re gonna be part of Google Plus… eventually!

Technically, social search is nothing new: Google actually announced this move in 2009. And in January 2012, they made this even more official with their “Search plus Your World” strategy. Google Plus simply made your “social graph” a whole lot more convenient for Google to put together. Is it all about Google knowing everything about you so that they can charge more for advertising? Sure. It may sound creepy. But if the ads were more relevant – along with the search results – it’ll actually be more useful for marketers & consumers.

Few people know they can opt out of Google’s social search
– or will want to… it’s good for good marketers: Continue reading

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Is Your Response Time Costing You Money?

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Mark Bullock of phoneBlogger.net discusses the need to timely respond to prospect inquiries in "Is Your Response Time Costing You Money?"I, like many of you, am often in email purgatory. My inbox “overflowith” with staff questions & updates, client requests & questions, personal email, industry news, social media requests & updates, junk mail, etc, etc. And mixed in with this daily storm of emails are the occasional inquiries from referrals, or our website. I must admit, I’ve far too often led off a reply with an apology for the delay in getting back to people. It’s a modern & common problem – but – as professional services providers we simply can’t delay getting back to people on important matters, and what’s more important (other than existing client service of course) than an inquiry from a potential client/prospect?

The fact is, that once a prospect has overcome their fear of the unknown, and gone to the trouble to make contact with you, via email or phone he/she wants and frankly expects a timely reply.  How quickly you return calls & emails to prospective clients or to those who have made inquiries regarding your services, says a lot about you and your business.  The more professional, and faster the response, the more likely potential clients will feel confident they’ve reached out to the right person for help.

We need to recognize that prospects have a bunch of choices available to them. Even if they are referred to you, they will very likely look you up on the internet, and assuming they don’t have a hard time finding you, once they’ve left/sent you a message – they are still left sitting and waiting with whatever the problem is they contacted you to help them solve in the first place.

While they are waiting for you to respond, can you guess what they’re going to be doing? They are going to be checking out your competitors, of course. Think about it – when a prospect types in your name and profession into a search engine, they are going to get page after page of results – and many if not most of those results will be links to your competitors. It is then extremely easy for them to click and take a look at others who provide the same or similar service as you do.

Since slow response can cost you money, remember – people want help NOW to solve their problem, and in the fast paced world we live in, we can assume they have very little patience and lots of choice, so be quick to respond to prospect inquiries and land the client!!

 Mark Bullock Mark Bullock

Telephone: (631) 754-0800

Email: Mark@phoneBlogger.net

Website:phoneBlogger.net

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6 Real Co-Blogging Examples to Leverage Time & Traffic

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Blogging can brand you an expert. Moreover, your blog can also help you leverage the reputation & recognition of others. By co-6 Real Co-Blogging Examples to Leverage Time & Trafficblogging, you can leverage each other’s time, topics & traffic. Here are 3 models, 2 examples each, of how bloggers are exchanging content & contacts:

1) Cooperative Bloggers, like Healthcare in Compliance or The Insurance Pro’s

When Ester Horowitz wanted to launch her blog, she had a vision of creating a resource for physicians, group practices, clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare businesses. They are under extreme scrutiny and compliance obligations. While Ester’s expertise is in developing compliance management processes, she doesn’t operate in a vacuum. As a professional, Ester often calls upon the expertise of other specialists. Why wouldn’t she reflect that in her blog?

Instead of “Healthcare in Compliance” being a solo soapbox blog for her, Ester has created a platform for her colleagues: She asked some of her closest colleagues, who are also adept at writing, to participate; most of them have their own blogs. It’s pretty easy for them to share excerpts, highlights, and other content with the cooperative blog. While she most regularly contributes, Ester also has a roster: They are not simply “guest bloggers,” they are contributors. As their strategic relationships flourish, their blog can become a whole lot bigger than the sum of its posts.

Similar, but different, are the relationships between Jay Silverman, Seth Jonas and Tomer Dicturel. They once belonged to a chapter of Business Network International (BNI); there their relationships & referrals grew. Jay wanted the benefits of a blog & social media marketing, without its burdens. He also knows the power of leverage: He brought together 2 other complementary professionals to launch The Insurance Pro’s blog.

Seth & Tomer are experts in their respective fields. All 3 of them now benefit by having a thriving blog, social media content to promote, and an email newsletter that goes to each other’s network of contacts. As an evolution of their networking experiences, their new on-line networking is even more efficient.

2) Continue reading

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