Online Marketing

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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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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Do You Promote Your Articles Through Your Personal Networks?

Do You Promote Your Articles Through Your Personal Networks? by Mark Bullock

{2:05 minutes to read} Here at phoneBlogger, we work with most of our clients on promoting their original articles through newsletters as well as business & company pages on social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter.

Clients might also have accounts on community networking sites like Gotham, for example. Most clients also maintain personal profiles on some of these sites. Also, they often produce content that could be considered public interest or public service because they are informational and educational in nature, rather than promotional.

Let us take that a step further.

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Facebook’s Instant Articles: Useful for Professional Services?

Facebook’s Instant Articles: Useful for Professional Services? by Mark Bullock

{3:12 minutes to read} Social media has revolutionized marketing in some ways by providing opportunities for free and fast marketing. The technology in this space changes quickly; the options that are available now will most likely be very different down the road.  

As the social media landscape continues to evolve, we research and vet all potential promotional avenues. Our goal is to promote our clients in the most effective and efficient way possible. A critical component to doing so is utilizing marketing tools that steer people back to your website.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Do You Know the Value of a Blog Excerpt?

Mark Bullock, Co-founder of phoneBlogger.net 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

Consistency, Frequency and Value: The 3 Elements of Getting & Maintaining Your Audience’s Attention

In the world of marketing, whatever it is that you choose to do, unless you are doing it consistently, you can’t know whether or not it will work.

Many people I’ve spoken with over the years have said they have tried multiple marketing approaches – newsletters, advertising, social media, etc. – and that none of them produced the results they expected. Upon further digging, it is often the case something was tried once, or twice, without really considering:

  • how they were doing it;
  • if they were doing the right thing; or
  • if they were doing it effectively and consistently.

phoneBlogger.net Co-Founder, Mark Bullock explains how consistency with your marketing efforts will produce effective results.Whether through social media, a newsletter, blog or RSS feed, when someone receives information that is valuable to them regularly from you, on a consistent basis, they start to wake up to your message and brand. Continue reading

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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