networking

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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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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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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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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Endorsements, Recommendations & Referrals, Oh My!

phoneBlogger co-founder, Mark Bullock, explains the effect of referrals.{2:42 minutes to read} When speaking with clients in respect to their marketing efforts, I see a lot of endorsements or recommendations – that are referred to as referrals.

What’s the Difference?

If you and I are talking and I say, “Oh, you should talk to Mary Jane about your problem. She’s an attorney over at such-and-such law firm,” my suggestion is a recommendation.

If I were to say, “I know this person, Mary Jane, and she’s a really good attorney in this field,” that’s an endorsement.

A referral would be a bit more formal: “Here’s Mary Jane’s number. I’d recommend you consider her to help you with your issue, and I encourage you to reach out to her.”

A more solid referral is an introduction.

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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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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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How Can You Guarantee Your Letter Will Be Opened and Read?

phoneBlogger.net co-found, Mark Bullock, explains how to stand out with the handwritten thank you note.Nothing beats the written word to get attention.

If someone refers a potential client, it is certainly not unthinkable to send an email or pick up the phone and say, “Thank you.” It’s personal, and shows the referral is appreciated. But how many people actually send a thank you note?

Sending a handwritten note isn’t very time-consuming or particularly difficult to do, but it does require a bit more than typing out an email. It’s not the standard anymore, so it stands out and differentiates the sender from the rest.

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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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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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Blogging Social Media Power Trick

Blogging Social Media Power Trick By Vikram RajanYou can use this “power trick” to grow VIP relationships – with referral relationships, media contacts, program directors, and even potential clients. It can also be used to drive targeted traffic back to your website. It works best after you’ve been blogging consistently & active on social media for a while (that’s how phoneBlogger.net gives you a springboard for this “power trick”).

Unfortunately – like most effective marketing techniques – this takes time, consistency, deliberation & thus strategy. While phoneBlogger can’t do this “power trick” for you, we can help you in some ways – over and above your current pB service. With a little bit of time management (read: an appointment in your calendar), you can do a little bit each week. This will snowball into a powerful habit for you, with cumulative results.

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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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Why We Encourage Cross Promotion in Social Media

Co-Founder Mark Bullock explains how phoneBlogger.net helps their clients go from go from a best kept secret to a recognized branded expert.Every service phoneBlogger.net provides is designed to have people become aware of you, and then be consistently reminded of you. The frequency and number of social channels to which we syndicate and cross-promote your blog articles is because no one will notice or pay attention to all of it.

People will only notice some of the time, on some of the channels, and even then, only take the time to consume (click through and read) some of the times that they notice.

It’s inevitable that one post or email down the line, will lead them to notice or be reminded of something you did much earlier. This is why it is so important to maintain consistency in your publishing, posting, updating, and networking across multiple channels. Syndication channels like email, social networking, physical networking, or even Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – with multiple collaterals (your website content, blog posts, newsletters, videos, audios, etc.) serve to build and enhance your online presence, as well as your brand and reputation.

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LinkedIn Group Moderation – What’s Going On?!

Mark Bullock, Co-Founder of phoneBlogger.net explains why you may be placed into moderation when posting into groups and what you can do about it.A fairly recent “enhancement” on LinkedIn Groups is causing a bit of a tissy amongst members, as some posters to Group Discussions are all of a sudden getting notices that their discussions have been temporarily placed into “Moderation” across all groups. (Copy of an actual notice at the bottom of this article).

This is a bit complicated as to what it means, why it’s happening, and what you can or can’t do about it, but let me see if I can shed some light.

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Be Interviewed on Our New YouTube Podcast

Encourage cross-promotion referrals By Vikram Rajan

Who recommends you? Who do you recommend? On Pareto’s Principle alone, most likely more than 80% of your lucrative clients come from less than 20% of these Referral Relationships. What are you doing to nurture such cross-marketing?

What if every 1 of your clients brought you 1 more client? That’s how we start the pB Intro Video (on our homepage). What if every 1 of your Referral Relationships brought you 1 more Referral Relationship? That’s the power of encouraging cross-promotion; this is another way phoneBlogger.net can help you.

In what other ways can we pro-actively encourage more referrals from your colleagues?

  • Have we promoted your articles through your special networking groups (like Gotham, A’s Net, etc)?
    We’ve helped many clients do this.
  • Have you had a guest author on your blog yet?
    We’ve helped many of our clients to do so.
  • Have you swapped articles in someone else’s newsletter?
    We’ve already helped a few clients co-blog.
  • Want to learn more about these opportunities?
    Read our blog article on the topic (featured in a new book called “The Happy Law Practice”).

Now, we want to do more to help you encourage more cross-promotion & referrals from your colleagues, with (no-camera-needed) videos: Continue reading

What Does it Take to Build a Successful Professional Practice?

Bullock - What Does it Take to Build a Successful Professional Practice?Quite often a client or prospective client will ask, in one form or another ,”What does it take to make my professional practice successful?” What they are typically defining “successful” as is making a living at it.

Below is my response to a Family Mediator client, and although it’s written with a Mediation practice in mind, the points & lessons learned can be translated for use with any professional practice.

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After many years now of working with, consulting for, and interviewing divorce and family mediators, every mediator I know that makes a living off of mediation does or has done it all with respect to what we refer to as “Word of Mouth Marketing.”

First and foremost, they view their practice as a business, not just a service they provide. They recognize and embrace the need for marketing and promoting that business.

By using the measures below, these mediators have made their practices succeed:

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