Marketing Collaterals

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

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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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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Don’t Blast Your Sales Message to New Contacts—Try This Instead!

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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7 Cross-Promotion Strategies to Boost Referrals

7 Cross-Promotion Strategies to Boost Referrals by Mark Bullock

{4:15 minutes to read} There are a lot of different ways in which you can engage others in your co-marketing.

In the phoneBlogger.net world, we are, of course, focused primarily on blogs and newsletters. Cross promotion is the next level of marketing by utilizing these tools:

Strategy #1: Quote Others

Quoting others is the opportunity to take something that somebody else has already written or published, be able to quote what they have said, and then expand upon it. In most cases, you’d want to get permission unless it’s a very short quote. In the process of getting permission, you’re essentially allowing for cross-promotion and possibly encouraging the other party to mention that they were quoted by you.

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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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LinkedIn Publisher (Pulse) Article Posting: Pros & Cons

LinkedIn Publisher (Pulse) Article Posting: Pros & Cons by Mark Bullock

{3:45 minutes to read} Breaking from tradition, we have been experimenting with sharing our client’s LinkedIn publisher or “Pulse articles” to their LinkedIn groups in lieu of sharing the external article.

We are still doing blog articles for nearly all clients. We publish their blog posts’ excerpts and titles, then include links to the blog posts in their LinkedIn group discussion threads.

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Marketing Fitness — 6 Key Strategies to Implement (Part 2)

Marketing Fitness — 6 Key Strategies to Implement (Part 2) by Mark Bullock

{4:45 minutes to read} Continuing our discussion from the last blog post, today’s article examines some more health & fitness lessons that can be applied to marketing.

Don’t overdo it.

Although pushing yourself can be a good thing, you don’t want to take it too far. In physical fitness, when you feel a tingling or slight burning sensation, it means your muscle fibers are breaking down. That night, while you sleep, the muscles rebuild stronger.

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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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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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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 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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Online Reputation Management: Part 1 – What Is It, & Why Is It Important?

Online Reputation Management: Part 1 - What Is It, & Why Is It Important? By Mark Bullock

{3:40 minutes to read}

When you Google yourself, what comes up?

  • Is it you or your website?

  • Does someone else with the same or a similar name as you come up?

  • What are you finding there if it is you?

  • Is it positive, negative or in the middle?

  • Maybe you don’t want people seeing the things that are coming up for you.

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What’s Better than Know, Like, Trust?

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

{1:30 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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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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Does Business Feel Like a Roller Coaster? 5 Tips to Leverage the Ups & Downs

Does Business Feel Like a Roller Coaster 5 Tips to Leverage the Ups & Downs By Mark Bullock

{3:00 minutes to read} Any number of things can affect the ebb and flow of business. Acknowledge that there will be cycles, and use the downtime wisely.

I often see clients in professional services experience being busy one month, but not the next. The workflow gets crazy busy for a while, and then it’s like someone pulled the plug, business slows down, and it doesn’t make any sense why.

Here are some tips to get the most out of the inevitable “slow times:”

Acknowledge that there are times of year that are busier than others, and even though it’s not always predictable, it’s wise to plan ahead for those slower times.

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