New Year’s resolutions to jump start your marketing

3rd, Jan 2018

Like it or not, you need to market your practice if you want to ensure a steady revenue stream. The start of a new year is a good time to look at what’s working or not with your existing marketing and resolve to do better or try new ways to market. Here are a few resolutions to consider for 2018:

1. Regularly reach out to your best contacts. Every month pick a few of your good contacts (referral sources, clients, etc.) and set up a phone call or meeting. Many businesses deal with an 80-20 rule – that is, 80% of their revenue comes from 20% of their clients. Often that’s true with referral sources as well so that a small number of referral sources refer a disproportionate amount of business. It makes sense then to make sure you keep in close touch with those people. Before your phone call or meeting, make sure you prepare. Do some homework about what is going on with their business. Look at their contacts on LinkedIn and identify people you could ask to be introduced to. Also know what you want to get out of the meeting. Pick one or two goals for the meeting and the rest can be left more open-ended. You also must think about how you can help them. Most people feel uncomfortable asking others outright to refer them business or make an introduction, but if you are prepared with ideas on how you can help them, it becomes much easier. Plus, the other person will tend to feel obligated to help you if you first offer to help them.

2. Become more active in an organization or charity. Networking is most successful when you see people often and get to know them. Going to occasional events is fine, but it’s better to pick a group or two and get involved. Join a committee, volunteer to help with an event, take on a leadership role, and attend every event. You will get to know more people and develop a closer relationship with them which will help your marketing efforts. In addition, it’s important to pick a group that is meaningful to you whether it’s a professional organization or a personal cause. You’ll feel good about the time spent with the group and your natural commitment will shine through to others.

3. Set aside a block of time to write something each week for your target audience. Writing is a wonderful way to demonstrate your expertise and build your credibility. Best of all, writing can be anything – a blog post, article, checklist, eBook, chart, practical tip or anything else that your audience would find interesting or informative. Blogging and article writing are particularly effective, but even if you just regularly comment on other people’s posts on social media or share a helpful tip in an email blast, it’s still useful for your marketing. Writing can be time-consuming, so you must allocate specific time and resources to getting it done. Schedule it on your calendar. Otherwise it’s easy to put it off.

4. Use social media. At a minimum, you should be visible on LinkedIn. That means having a strong LinkedIn profile, building a solid network and regularly posting content. LinkedIn is for professionals and business people. Even if your direct clients are consumers, your referral base is likely to be on LinkedIn, so it is a must. You should also have a Facebook presence. This is particularly important if your client base is consumers, but even for those providing services to businesses it has value. Posting to social media helps you stay top of mind with your network and reach new people. Anytime you write or speak, post it to social media. In addition, share interesting articles written by others or like and comment on the posts of your contacts. Just as with writing content, set aside time each week to focus on social media. Start with a small block of time and expand from there as you get more comfortable.

5. Send a monthly email newsletter to contacts. If you aren’t already doing this, start now. If you are sending one out, then make sure you are making the most of it with these tips from one of our prior blog posts. When done the right way, email newsletters provide an inexpensive way to keep in touch with your contacts, highlight your expertise, build credibility and drive traffic to your website.

6. Set goals for the year. It’s not just about big goals like how much money you want to make. Break it down. Do you want to increase new leads by a certain amount? Expand your network of referral sources? Upsell existing clients? Develop a new practice or specialty? Without goals, it is hard to allocate your marketing time effectively. You want to spend time on the things that are most likely to move you closer to your end goals.

What are your marketing resolutions? Start the year off right and commit to improving your marketing.

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