Online Ratings, Reviews, Endorsements, Recommendations, Testimonials, Oh My!

Online Ratings, Reviews, Endorsements, Recommendations, Testimonials, Oh My! by Mark Bullock

{5:25 minutes to read} Why are online ratings, reviews, endorsements, and recommendations something that you should be concerned about?

If a potential client looks for you online, they’re going to look for you by name and profession or industry. If these potential clients see favorable comments, it’s one of the deciding factors as to whether or not they contact you. With so many ways for people to review, endorse, or rate you (be it positive or negative) you need to pay attention:

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Lead Magnets & Ethical Bribes: Are You Using Them in Your Marketing Efforts?

{3:50 minutes to read} An ethical bribe/lead magnet is a resource that is offered on your website for freevaluable enough to the reader that they are willing to give their email address to get it.

Lead Magnets & Ethical Bribes: Are You Using Them in Your Marketing Efforts? by Mark Bullock

That being said, why would you use such a tactic?

Well, if you’ve done word-of-mouth marketing online to gain a visitor to your website or blog, what’s the next step? You always want to have a call-to-action. In many cases, people are not ready to make a decision on your services right away. So you want to have the opportunity to stay in touch with them (with their permission) and reinforce your potential value to them & your status as a Branded Expert™.

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Is Your Website/Blog Missing the Nuts and Bolts Your Visitors Expect to See?

Is Your Website Blog Missing the Nuts and Bolts Your Visitors Expect to See by Mark Bullock

{5:55 minutes to read} As I’ve mentioned before, if a visitor comes to your website who’s a potential client, and they don’t find the information they’re looking for, they’re likely going to go searching the Internet for somewhere else to find it. You can just assume that.

Don’t send visitors away from your website! Asking them to contact you for basic information about a specific topic that is included in your profession is paramount to sending them away—if they can’t find what they are looking for on your website.

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Someone Wants to Share My Article on their Blog & Newsletter? Good Idea, Yes or No? Part 1

Someone Wants to Share MY Article on their Blog & Newsletter? Good Idea, Yes or No? Part 1 by Mark Bullock

{2:50 minutes to read} You’ve done a great job writing blog articles that others find informative and interesting—so much so that others want to include your content on their site. On the surface and in practice, most of the time, it’s a great idea, but sometimes it may not be. Ask yourself these questions:

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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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How to Get Your Email Newsletters Opened & Read!

How to Get Your Email Newsletters Opened & Read! by Mark Bullock

{5:57 minutes to read} Email newsletters are an important part of engaging your clients and driving traffic to your blog.

The first step in creating a good newsletter is choosing a good return email address. The ideal address should ideally start with your name@ (this makes it personal, not generic); next best is “info@”. The domain should ideally be your company’s own (, not a free one like Gmail or Yahoo.

The next step is a creating compelling subject line. Avoid terms like “free” or “new.” These are often used by email spammers & scammers, so readers are likely to mistake your email for spam and discard it.

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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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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 In this post, I would like to introduce you to an additional value to the suite of services.

Most of our clients are familiar with 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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TimeStamp Feature – Aims to Increase Your Readership! co-founder, Mark Bullock, introduces his insiders to the timestamp now featured on all pB blog articles. {2:25 minutes to read} We’re solidifying “timestamping” as part of phoneBlogger’s standard practice.

People’s attention spans are very short online; for this reason, when their inbox is overflowing with newsletters, articles, etc., they can become easily overwhelmed.

We know that many people will skim through an article, especially if it’s more than a screen-page long, to try and determine how much time it will take to read the entire thing.

You may have noticed phoneBlogger has started adding a timestamp to the top of your blog postings.

We have seen in other areas of online media that adding a timestamp actually is a bit of an attractor. “Wow, it’s only going to take me 2 ¼ minutes or 3 ½ minutes to read this?” is what goes through their mind when they see it.

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Looking For New Referral Sources? Don’t Overthink It — Take Action Now! 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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How To Attract Referrals By Becoming a Branded Expert™ in Your Industry co-founder and marketing expert, Mark Bullock, discusses how consistently blogging makes you a subject matter expert and attracts referrals.The phoneBlogger process is highly successful at starting conversations.

At phoneBlogger, we have enjoyed watching as numerous clients have benefited from their blog posts striking a chord with their colleagues, affiliates, centers of influence & referral sources. This is often because the opinion or viewpoint expressed was either contrary to or progressive beyond the collective industry viewpoints. As a result of these exchanges, many have set path to become thought leaders.

Yes, being a thought leader does take some time, and there is the potential of negative comments from those that disagree with you, but the reward of being sought-after as a Branded Expert™ in your industry is invaluable.

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9 Ways to Build A Blog You Can “Bank On” — Part 2 co-founder, Mark Bullock, shares tips on how to blog consistently no matter what life throws at you.My recent article stressed the importance of building a bank of articles, so that blog publishing and promotion can stay consistent, no matter what life or work roadblocks surface. In that article, we discussed the first 5 ways to build a bank of articles.

Here are a few more examples:

  1. In the same manner, if you have read someone else’s article that you think would be of particular interest to your clients/readers, you can write a review, or synopsis or your viewpoint of that article in your own words as your own blog article.   Continue reading

9 Ways to Build a Blog You Can “Bank On” — Part 1 co-founder, Mark Bullock, explains how to build a bank of articles to maintain a consistently updated blog.Why would you want to have a bank of articles for your blog?

The short answer is that life happens: Vacations, sickness, family emergencies, unexpected car trouble, etc. Things happen everyday that can prevent us from keeping our schedules on track, or that interrupt our flow. When these challenges come up, if you have no articles “in the bank,” you have nothing to draw from.

At, we created the concept of an “article bank” based on a bank account, where deposits and withdrawals are made.

Just like setting money aside for the unexpected, having a few ready-to-publish blog articles can make a huge difference. Doing so keeps things moving consistently, and prevents interrupting the flow of your marketing efforts.

What’s the best way to build a bank of articles?

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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

How Can Blogging Turn Your Web Visitors Into Clients?

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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5 Secrets To Crafting The Ultimate Blog Title co-founder, Mark Bullock, shares tips on how to create a great blog title.The goal is always to capture the interest of the reader, to hook them and get them to read and share, but how do you pull that off? How do you make it concise and catchy, and if possible, informative and entertaining.

Here are 5 techniques that we use to create a blog title that is optimized for the web and for a person’s short attention span.

1. Don’t Give Away the Answer in the Title – Sustain the Surprise

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Why Is It Imperative to Google Yourself? co-founder, Mark Bullock, explains why you must Google yourself to ensure a good online reputation.

Did you know that 86% of people searching for products and services they don’t regularly use, like legal or financial services, will first search online, usually with Google? That’s before they ask their friends and colleagues for a referral!

Even if a curious consumer is not looking to contract a professional service provider, they are likely to have “Googled” people before. Based on considerable traffic monitoring across all our clients’ websites and blogs, we know that the most-searched-for phrase is always our client’s name and profession.

So, when someone searches for you, what exactly are they seeing? 

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Do You Know the Value of a Blog Excerpt?

Mark Bullock, Co-founder of explains the value of using blog excerpts.I recommend using excerpts for one purpose: To drive everyone back to the blog itself.

Excerpts enable visitors to skim through for articles of interest. If we didn’t use the “excerpt” method on the blog listing page (where blogs are displayed sequentially), visitors would be scrolling down the page for days, which they simply won’t do.

Discussions and comments from your audience can’t be included on the blog listing (the page visitors see once they click on your “Blog” link/menu item) page, so if the reader stops there, they don’t see or know they can participate in the discussion spawned by the article.

We don’t want to have just article titles either, because that’s not necessarily going to compel them to read further. Instead, we do an excerpt, an image, and a link to read more after the excerpt. Continue reading

Boost Newsletter Results in 1 Minute: Constant Contact QuickSend

Boost Newsletter Results in 1 minute: Constant Contact QuickSend By Vikram RajanHow many times do you check your LinkedIn or Facebook during the day? And how often do you check your email? Despite all the social media hype, studies continue to show the greater efficacy of email newsletters. Sent via platforms like Constant Contact, you can track the results like:

  1. Who opens your email
  2. Who clicks on which link
  3. Who forwards your email
  4. And at what time/day they did any of the above.

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