Nurturing Business Relationships

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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Marketing Fitness — Don’t Sprint to Win the Marathon! (Part 1)

Marketing Fitness — Don’t Sprint to Win the Marathon! (Part 1) by Mark Bullock

{4:50 minutes to read} When I was younger, with a rather extreme physical regimen of fitness including football, wrestling, tennis, weightlifting, etc., I often repeated the same cycle — I’d push myself too hard, get injured, and then I’d have to stop. And when I stopped, I stopped completely. I’d go from one extreme of activity level to the other. As I got older, I struggled to keep my weight under control.

A couple of years ago, I had become considerably overweight, and my past injuries made even mild activity — like walking the dogs for 15 minutes — excruciating. Finally, I decided to try a different approach.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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It’s All About the Follow-Through: Marketing, as with Tennis & Golf

In April 2014, I was selected to be the (youngest ever?) next “Counselor-in-training” with SCORE, the business counseling non-profit funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration. As soon as 1 of the NYC SCORE Counselors read my bio, she recommended me to speak with 2 of her clients, both involved in legal services. I met with one of them today – not as an official SCORE appointment – but as a casual conversation. 1 of the key knowledge nuggets I imparted: “As with tennis or golf, it’s all about the follow-through.”

Have you taken any tennis or golf lessons? I have. I’ve learned that it’s not good enough to strike the ball square. More important is the full swing, including its follow-through. Continue reading