Vikram Rajan

Help Us Help You…More

Every Monday morning, your dedicated phoneBlogger.net team huddles on a conference call reviewing what I call the “Vital Signs” for each client. The “vitals” include:
  • when your latest blog article was published,
  • where it was promoted,
  • the date of your latest newsletter, 
  • the upcoming step of your upcoming article,
  • your idea bank & approved article bank, etc. 

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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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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).

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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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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.

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

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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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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Professional Online Networking Beyond Pop Social Media

Online Networking Beyond Pop Social Media. Are You? by Vikram Rajan

{4:00 minutes to read} What do you think about when you hear the term “social media”? The field of online networking goes beyond what we traditionally think of as social media, which puts the emphasis on the social, on the fun & on the non-professional aspects of our life. But there’s a very healthy & growing world of professional online networking.

Most of these professional networks thrive on quick status updates that resemble tweets, a knowledge base for the public, and peer relations. That’s really where blogging can see its biggest impact. Beyond search engine results, blogging has its greatest impact through word-of-mouth marketing, or what I call word-of-Mouse marketing.

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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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Are My Blog & Website Mobile-Friendly?

Are My Blog & Website Mobile-Friendly by Vikram Ragan

{2 minutes to read} One of our clients emailed me a question, “Vik, I was wondering if you think my main website is mobile-friendly?” This is how I answered my client’s question:

1) Your main website is not mobile-friendly, Google offers this tool & solutions (which are more than a lay person can handle):

Google Mobile-Friendly Test

“What can I do to fix it?” she asked.

2) Your main website can become mobile-friendly by turning it into a WordPress website, and incorporating your blog.

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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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What’s Better than Know, Like, Trust?

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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When is the Right Time to Send Your Article?

 When is the Right Time to Send Your Article? By Vikram Ranjan

{3:50 minutes to read} What time is the right time to send your email newsletter to promote your blog? At phoneBlogger.net we have a set of best practices that maximize your audience and your impact. Many sources, including Constant Contact, have determined what times are best to post to social media or send email newsletters.

Friday afternoons are considered among the worst times to send emails or posts. The best days are Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday. The best hours are between 10:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m. — when people have more free time & mental focus. The 10:00 a.m. & 2 p.m. hours are similar. After lunch, people get back to their desks & clean out their inboxes.

In the morning, you’re usually dealing with a deluge – by 10:00 a.m., you’ve gone through all of your inboxes. So when a fresh, new email arrives, you’re able to look at it. Even if it’s an email newsletter from a sales professional, you have a few minutes to peruse it.

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

You WILL Believe These Top 2 Email Subject Line Best Practices By Vikram Rajan{3:45 minutes to read} People check more email more times a day more than any other social media combined. We all know this is true – anecdotally and personally – which is what makes email newsletters a mainstay of online and word-of-mouth marketing.

Email newsletters are the perfect confluence between what is traditionally thought of as Internet marketing and what ought to be thought of as modern, 21st-century, Word-of-Mouse Marketing.

Most professionals do their work in the offline world, but they are online throughout the day – usually through company email at the very least. Hundreds of messages inundate inboxes every day, and people often find that the only way to manage them (besides automated filters or forwarding to specific folders) is to routinely bulk delete all the spam and bacn we get.

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New Ways to New Referral-Centric Blog Article Ideas

New Ways to New Referral-Centric Blog Article Ideas By Vikram Rajan{3:30 minutes to read} In my last article, we introduced 2 new features available from phoneBlogger.net. In this post, I would like to introduce you to an additional value to the phoneBlogger.net suite of services.

Most of our clients are familiar with BlogBrainstormer.com. phoneBlogger’s focus has always been on referral-centric blog ideas. What do I mean by that? Open your Master Checklist & look at the tabs at the bottom: You will see a tab called the Referral Circle. My partner Mark Bullock and I built a handy spreadsheet for you to list all of the specific people – usually your colleagues and peers – who have recommended clients to you in the past year, as well as those folks to whom you have recommended your own clients. It’s a kind of circular effect.

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2 New Cross-promotion Benefits of phoneBlogger.net!

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

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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LinkedIn’s Link to More Speaking Engagements

How To Score More Speaking Invitations By Vikram RajanI just answered a HARO inquiry (ask me what that is). So I’m turning my email into a blog article (there’s a hint). This was my answer:

Hi Cindy, every lecture or presentation should lead to more speaking engagements using 3 sentences:

1) “I can go into more detail on this topic in future seminars here.”
2) “If you want this slide/sheet/resource, just give me your business card & I’ll email it to you, plus my newsletter with other presentations.”
3) “If you’d like me to present at your firm/association/group, please give me your business card (or, fill out the Seminar Evaluation).”  Continue reading

I’m Not Going to Sit Next to You & Other Networking Tips

I'm Not Going to Sit Next to You & Other Networking Tips By Vik RajanWhen you go to a conference or a networking event, do you find yourself congregating with your partners, colleagues, associates & friends? Stop… and get to work.

I was just at the Michigan State Bar Association annual conference: I am on the team helping to onboard their members onto their new lawyer portal, like its own LinkedIn for Lawyers. It’s being powered by ZeekBeek.com. As I walked into one of the luncheons with the CEO of ZeekBeek, I turned to him and said, “Sorry, I’m not going to sit next to you.”

We had discussed the strategy beforehand so it wasn’t offensive: “Divide & conquer” is a harsh way of putting it, but it gets the point across. Even as co-founders of phoneBlogger.net, when Mark & I walk into a conference luncheon or dinner, we quickly separate. We’re not there to talk to each other: We’re there to meet new people. This is an opportunity for you to start, build & nurture new relationships.

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phoneBlogging: The Newest Oldest Profession?

phoneBlogging : gerund \ˈfōn-ˌblägiŋ\ : the process of transforming a telephone-based audio recording into an edited article, optimized for website blogs. Ok, fine, we made that up: But did we really?

Telephones have been around since 1876. Audio recordings may even pre-date Edison’s 1878 invention. While blogs began around 1999, journals of personal & professional musings have been around for centuries. With the dawn of human culture, tribal leaders & monks shared their wisdom by transforming oral traditions into written forms. phoneBlogging is simply our newest interpretation.

phoneBlogging: the Newest Oldest profession? By Vikram Rajan

Image by Tnexplore (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

More than marketing your practice, phoneBlogging helps to codify your thought-leadership, your personal values, and your firm’s culture. Leaders have been doing such for ages. Languages & technologies have evolved, but our thirst for sharing, learning & socializing has only grown stronger. In this way, social media has always been with us. The Internet just makes it a smaller world, after all.

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