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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Word-of-Mouth Marketing vs Advertising

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

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

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?

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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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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What Is CRM & Does Your Business Need It?

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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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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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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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 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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Online Reputation Management: Part 2 – 10 Ways to Bury the Bad Stuff

Online Reputation Management: Part 2 - 10 Ways to Bury the Bad Stuff by Mark Bullock

{3:20 minutes to read} In Part 1, we shared the story about someone who was trying to overcome the negative results Google produced about themselves. To help solve this problem, he (or you) can do what many others are doing:

Bury the negative results by pushing it as far back on Google as possible.

Even though the statistic is that 93% of people do not click past the first page, some may click to the 17th page if they are really digging deep into someone.

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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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