Marketing Plan

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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

{2:15 minutes to read} phoneBlogger has begun publishing your blog articles to LinkedIn Publisher. This is part of a new feature available on LinkedIn.

What is LinkedIn Publisher? Here’s what LinkedIn says:

  • Your original content becomes part of your professional profile. It is displayed on the posts section of your LinkedIn profile.

  • It’s shared with your connections and followers.

  • Members not in your network can now follow you from your long-form post to receive updates when you publish next.

  • Your long-form post is searchable both on and off of LinkedIn.

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How to Market Yourself During Conference Season

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?

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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Are Your LinkedIn Group Postings Being Auto-Moved to Jobs?

Are Your LinkedIn Group Postings Being Auto-Moved to Jobs? by Mark Bullock

{3:40 minutes to read} Since LinkedIn’s recent “improvements,” certain group postings have been reassigned to the “Jobs” category – which may be a glitch in LinkedIn’s algorithms or an intentional feature.

LinkedIn has continually updated and adapted its moderation policy, including what moderators are allowed or prohibited from doing. In fact, we at phoneBlogger have witnessed, and adapted to, several significant changes as the volume of postings has increased.

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What Can a Virtual Marketing Assistant Do for You?

What Can a Virtual Marketing Assistant Do for You? by Mark Bullock & Jaclyn Boruch

{4:20 minutes to read} Relationships take time, but one of the things you can do to help offset that is to use a virtual marketing assistant.

In the early days of Practice Marketing, long before phoneBlogger came into play, Vik and I would sit with professional services clients – attorneys, CPAs, financial advisors, etc. – and advise them on what they should and could be doing to market their practices. One of the questions that always came up was, “Who’s going to do the actual work?”

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Is Social Media Getting You Referrals?

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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5+ Ways We SEO Your Articles

5+ Ways We SEO Your Articles by Vikram Rajan

{2:15 minutes to read}

Recently a client emailed me to ask if we use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices to enhance the articles that we edit for her.

At phoneBlogger.net, we are SEO-conscious, and we use this knowledge when editing our client’s articles. Here’s how we “SEO” our client’s articles:

1. WordPress comes optimized for SEO & mobile by default. It’s like a sports car being aerodynamic, rather than an old-fashioned website reminiscent of a clunky station wagon.

2. When publishing the article, we pull out keywords (“tags/categories”) which WordPress & Google use to index the article (and create links back to the article, further boosting SEO).

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Online Reputation Management: Part 3 – 10 Ways to Bury the Bad Stuff

Online Reputation Management Part 3 - 10 Ways to Bury the Bad Stuff by Mark Bullock

{4:00 minutes to read}

In Part 1 and Part 2, we shared tips and solutions to take control of your online brand. In Part 3, we continue revealing ways to bury negative search results on search engines:

6. If you really want to take advantage of getting your name and fresh content out there on the Internet:

  • Ask others if you can guest blog.
  • Post on other people’s blogs for them or co-author with someone else.

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Are Your Email Lists VIP-Centric?

Are Your Email Lists VIP-Centric? By Vikram Rajan

{4:15 minutes to read}

Email marketing is convenient and efficient. Yet, efficiency & effectiveness are often counter to one another. Meaning, as something is more efficient, the less effective it often is. Very often the most effective forms of marketing aren’t a very efficient use of time or resources. However, quality time spent with VIP relationships often pay even greater dividends (than mass blasting, for example).

I was asked a great question last week by a new referral relationship: “How do you help clients grow their email lists?” It’s actually not about increasing the quantity, but rather increasing the quality of the email list, I told him.

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Boost Your Referrals with Social Media Relationships

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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Pay-Per-Click: Costly Mistakes to Avoid

Pay-Per-Click: Costly Mistakes to Avoid By Mark Bullock

{3:55 minutes to read} If you are considering Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, there are many providers to choose from including Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Google is the largest player in the game, raking in 80+% of the search market.

Years ago, getting visitors by utilizing PPC was fairly easy, but today the competition is formidable. For the amateur, it is easy to make costly mistakes, but being mindful of just a few key factors will save you money and frustration.

Key areas to pay attention to:

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

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

{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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Consistency, Frequency and Value: The 3 Elements of Getting & Maintaining Your Audience’s Attention

In the world of marketing, whatever it is that you choose to do, unless you are doing it consistently, you can’t know whether or not it will work.

Many people I’ve spoken with over the years have said they have tried multiple marketing approaches – newsletters, advertising, social media, etc. – and that none of them produced the results they expected. Upon further digging, it is often the case something was tried once, or twice, without really considering:

  • how they were doing it;
  • if they were doing the right thing; or
  • if they were doing it effectively and consistently.

phoneBlogger.net Co-Founder, Mark Bullock explains how consistency with your marketing efforts will produce effective results.Whether through social media, a newsletter, blog or RSS feed, when someone receives information that is valuable to them regularly from you, on a consistent basis, they start to wake up to your message and brand. Continue reading

It’s All About the Follow-Through: Marketing, as with Tennis & Golf

In April 2014, I was selected to be the (youngest ever?) next “Counselor-in-training” with SCORE, the business counseling non-profit funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration. As soon as 1 of the NYC SCORE Counselors read my bio, she recommended me to speak with 2 of her clients, both involved in legal services. I met with one of them today – not as an official SCORE appointment – but as a casual conversation. 1 of the key knowledge nuggets I imparted: “As with tennis or golf, it’s all about the follow-through.”

Have you taken any tennis or golf lessons? I have. I’ve learned that it’s not good enough to strike the ball square. More important is the full swing, including its follow-through. Continue reading