Practice Marketing

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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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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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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Are You Building Yourself a Business or a Job?

Are You Building Yourself a Business or a Job? by Mark Bullock

{5:00 minutes to read} A number of years ago, a fellow by the name of Michael Gerber wrote a book called The E-Myth Revisited.

Michael relayed the story of a baker who had started his own bakeshop and found himself essentially to be a chef, cook and bottle washer. After going out and shaking the trees to get business through the door, he was busy taking and fulfilling orders. While he was baking, he didn’t have time to handle the logistics of operating the business. Michael’s Gerber’s contention was that the baker didn’t have a business; he built himself a job.

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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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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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Make a Date to Get Things Done

phoneBlogger.net co-founder, Mark Bullock, provides tips on how to accomplish tasks.{Time to read: 2 minutes} When you have more tasks than time, how do you prioritize?

Some people are great at working off of To Do lists. They are able to get their act together every night and plan the next day, and that’s terrific, but this blog post is for the rest of us. This article is for people like a client I was speaking with recently who asked: How do I get things done?

We all have different ways of dealing with being too busy for our own good. There’s a seemingly endless supply of time management and organizational books out there for consumption – and no shortage of conventions, meetings and seminars, either. Continue reading

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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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

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

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

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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2 More Points for Bulleting Your Blog… Part 2

2 More Points for Bulleting Your Blog… By Vikram RajanIn my last post I described the first 2 steps to making the most out of the phoneBlogger.net process, some best practices for organizing your thoughts & some tips about what your posts should look like. This time I’d like to focus on the power of personality, stories and anecdotes in the blogging process, as well as how you can get your readers to do things with the proper call to action.

Tip 3: Do you have any examples or stories? For example, one of our busy clients involved in personal finances recently uncovered a case of elder abuse & had this to say about it on her blog:

I visit a retired, married couple once a month to go over bills and cash flow with them. Each time I was there, I noticed that the caregiver kept walking in the room where we were meeting. I began to suspect her of eavesdropping on our private meeting.

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Do You Have Any Idea What Your Website Visitors Are Doing?

Mark Bullock of phoneBlogger.net explains some blog site statistics vocabulary.Once you’ve made the decision to start authoring educational blog articles in order to boost your word-of-mouth referrals, you may find that some of the terminology is confusing at first – but knowing what it means can greatly improve your ability to maximize your site. For the purposes of this article we’re going to focus primarily on WordPress, but the same holds true for many of the different blogging platforms.

What is the difference between a new visitor and a returning visitor?

That question is usually decided by the cookies that are on the visitor’s browser. For instance, someone blocking cookies or clearing them out in between uses would be counted as a new visitor or, whereas a user with cookies would be counted as a returning visitor, if they’ve been to your site before.

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Why Do My LinkedIn Postings Show Up in Some of My Groups, but Not in Others?

Mark Bullock of phoneBlogger.net and Practice Marketing Advisors explains LinkedIn group dynamics.I am often asked, “Why do my LinkedIn postings show up in some of my groups, but not in others?” To answer that, let’s look at the way groups work on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn groups are formed by an individual or group of individuals who decide 1) whether they will moderate group discussion (e.g., filter anyone that submits a discussion, or in your case, a blog post) and 2) what they really want the discussions to be about (i.e., which subject matters they are accepting to be in that group).

If the group creator is moderating and doesn’t feel your content is relevant, they may take one of the following actions:

  • They may choose not to post your submitted discussion or blog post.
  • They may move it from the General Discussion tab to the Promotions tab, in which case it’s basically the abyss as no one ever goes to the Promotions tab.
  • They may delete it entirely.
  • They may not approve your discussion or post, and send you an internal email from their LinkedIn account stating that they are the moderator and they either don’t want this type of post, consider it inappropriate, and/or request that you not post that type of content in their particular group.
  • They may flag your discussion or post, in which case it would not get posted, and could theoretically result in your future posts being blocked group postings altogether. 

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How Do Your Clients Know That You’re the Best?

How can you present yourself as "the best" without bragging?Mark and I started phoneBlogger.net to help our clients establish themselves as Branded Experts™ and to grow their Internet-based referrals. This column, published on AICPA’s cpa2biz.com on March 19, 2012, explores the concept of how CPA’s can establish themselves as “the best.”

Accountants find themselves in humbling positions where they don’t want to necessarily brag about how much better they are than others or that they should be chosen over one account or another. However, bragging is what marketing materials do best.

It’s hard to brag in person – we tend to sound arrogant or conceited if we do so in person, face-to-face. But our bios, resumes, CV’s, brochures, and websites ought to be shy of boastful but substantively proclaiming how we are, indeed, “the best” at what we do.

Of course, we can’t be the best at everything.  But we can be the best in a certain area –  one or more accounting services or niches or demographics.  This column explores 3 aspects or 3 ways where an accountant can claim he or she is the best:

  1. How accountants claim to be the best;
  2. How they can show their specialization in a certain area; and
  3. How CPA’s can attribute that success or substantiate that success.

I discuss all of this and more in the following column:

http://www.cpa2biz.com/Content/media/PRODUCER_CONTENT/Newsletters/Articles_2012/CPA/Mar/ClientsBest.jsp