How to start a successful blog in 2021
A blog is a proven way to attract and retain clients. It provides a platform for regularly sharing helpful information that your audience wants to know about. When done effectively, it drives traffic to your website, enhances your credibility, and helps you stay top of mind with referral sources. The good news is that blogging gives you significant flexibility in creating something that will help you get more business. If you are considering a blog or you already have one, but it isn’t meeting your expectations, check out these tips: (more…)
What does Google say about you? 6 tips to help beef up your online presence
When was the last time you googled your name? If you haven’t in a while, do it now and regularly hereafter. Studies show that over 70% of people research someone online before hiring or doing business with them. They may google you before or after contacting you to verify your credentials, learn more about you, and/or compare you to competitors. That’s why it’s essential to pay attention to what shows up in your Google results and think about how you can beef up your online presence. (more…)
5 tips to help you develop great blog post topics
One of the toughest aspects of blogging is coming up with topics. It’s even worse when you feel under pressure to produce something. The better way to go is to sit down periodically (alone or with staff members) and brainstorm ideas. Ideally, you can develop a bunch of topics at once, so you don’t have to go through this exercise very often. Here are a few tips to help get your brainstorming session started: (more…)
7 things to do this summer to improve your marketing
It’s summer, and for many, work-related activities slow down. For others, summer may offer access to additional help because of interns or the opportunity to hire part-time students. In any event, your marketing efforts should not be put on hold. This can be a good time to do things that often get put off. (more…)
How to maximize your email newsletter
Email newsletters are a valuable marketing tool with numerous benefits. Yet there are many firms that don’t send one out or, if they do, fail to leverage it in the right ways. Often firms think that no one really pays attention to emails anymore. However, despite the fact that we all get lots of emails, studies still show that email newsletters are an effective marketing channel. (more…)
6 things you need to know for more successful blogging
Do you have a blog or want to start one? Blogging has many proven benefits as an integral part of your marketing strategy. However, if you want to be more successful at it (no matter how you define success), you need to consider these 6 fundamental questions. (more…)
No time for content marketing? 7 tips for successfully repurposing your content-Part 2
It’s hard to find time to market your firm. Writing and speaking are wonderful tools to showcase your expertise and help you build your credibility, but they are time-consuming. So you want to get the maximum value out of everything you do. Repurposing your content is the key to success. For every piece of content you create ask yourself – What else can I do with this? How could it be repackaged? In our last post, we covered the first 4 tips. Here are 3 more ideas to ensure you save time and money marketing yourself.
5. Convert written formats to spoken and spoken to written. Informally record yourself speaking about a topic you’ve written about. Then turn it into webinars or short video/audio clips. Or develop it into a seminar that you can present to a group of people. On the other hand, if you’ve spoken on a topic but don’t have it in written form, get it recorded, then transcribe the recordings to turn into articles and blog posts.
6. Change the tone. Content that was written for a particular audience can be revised for a new audience by changing the tone. For example, professionals typically communicate differently to other professionals than they do to their clients. You want to have a more conversational tone with clients. You also want to use the same terminology that your audience uses so you may need to change or explain things when you are speaking to a different group.
7. Simplify or enhance. This is related to tip #6. If you have content that was written for a peer and is very technical, you should simplify it if you want to direct it to an audience that lacks that level of expertise or isn’t interested in those issues. Similarly you may want to take a basic overview of a topic and provide a more sophisticated or in-depth treatment to match your audience. Even among potential clients, different groups have different levels of understanding – for example, CFO vs general counsel vs HR manager. You should also think about a simplified version as a way to help you draw people in. It’s the teaser and those who are more interested in the topic, can be directed to the enhanced version.
Creating content that showcases your expertise and successfully attracts clients is hard work. Hopefully these tips will help you to repurpose all of your content and get the most value out of your investment of time and money.
Do you need help with your own content marketing? Contact us for a free consultation.
No time for content marketing? 7 tips for successfully repurposing your content-Part 1
Content marketing is a proven way to attract and retain clients, but it’s also time-consuming. Fortunately, there are tactics that can help you make the most of every piece of content you create. You can repurpose and repackage your information in myriad ways in order to get more value from it. And best of all, not only will these methods save you time (and money), but they will help you expand your reach and better promote your firm.
The first step is to gather all the content you already have – old presentations, articles, newsletters, blog posts, internal and client memos, research, etc. Then use the tips below to help you revise your existing content to create new material. And going forward, remember to do the same thing with each new piece you create. You should always be thinking – What else can I do with this material? Here are 4 tips to get your started:
1. Slice and dice. Break up your content so that it is easier to read and also more engaging when it’s distributed via social media and email. For example, a longer article can be turned into several blog posts. Edit an audio or video recording into a series of short clips. Take the written portion of a presentation (ex. PowerPoint) and post (in whole or part) on your website as well as share it via social media channels such as LinkedIn and SlideShare.
2. Expand and combine. It is a lot faster to create short pieces of content. But eventually, you should look at merging them into a more in-depth piece. Several related blog posts can be turned into an article, white paper, eBook or presentation giving you a whole new marketing opportunity.
3. Update and revise. Is your older content still current? How much updating does it need? Is the information still helpful to an audience you want to attract? Previously published content can be updated with new developments, citations to more recent sources, case studies, examples, and other commentary to create something new and compelling without having to start from scratch.
4. Create visuals. Develop charts, graphs, images, infographics and video. You can add these components to written content to add impact to the text. However, they can also be used alone to attract interest on your website, social media and emails. A great visual can tell a story in a more engaging way than text and it’s also a way to entice people to want to read more. One study found that articles containing relevant images got 94% more total views than articles without them.
In our next post, we’ll cover 3 more tips to help you get more value out of your content.
Do you need help with your own content marketing? Contact us for a free consultation.
5 musts for being a thought leader
Your clients and prospects are inundated with information online to help them solve their problems. Some of the information is genuinely educational; most of it though is self-promotional or generic. How do you stand out and get noticed as the one they should turn to for help? One way to break through the clutter is to focus on thought leadership.
What is a thought leader and why do you want to be one? There are lots of definitions, but I like this one from Forbes:
A thought leader is an individual or firm that prospects, clients, referral sources, intermediaries and even competitors recognize as one of the foremost authorities in selected areas of specialization, resulting in its being the go-to individual or organization for said expertise … [and thereby] significantly profit[ing] from being recognized as such.
As the go-to expert, you’re likely to profit in many ways. Regardless of whether it directly brings in new business, thought leadership helps to differentiate you from competitors, expand your reach, and build relationships and trust with your audience. You’re also educating people and promoting deeper and more informative discussions, which is a public service.
That all sounds great, but how can you be a thought leader?
1. Understand your sweet spot. In his book, Epic Content Marketing, Joe Pulizzi defines the sweet spot as “the intersection between your customers’ pain points and where you have the most authority with your stories.” Take the time to really research your audience’s needs and concerns. Then consider what expertise and insights you can offer to help them. Don’t spend time talking about areas where you are not well-informed and don’t have much value to add. Focus on what you know best that can assist your clients.
2. Differentiate your message. Your strongest competitors will be trying to do the same thing you are doing – providing valuable content. Know what they are saying and doing and look for ways to be even better or different. For example, focus on a narrow niche, survey the industry and share research, have an opinion, identify trends, and provide insights. Give specific and actionable strategies taking into account whatever new developments are occurring. The point is to go beyond sending out a typical client alert that sounds just like the ones from every other firm. The Forbes article mentioned above provides a great example, but we’ve all seen examples of thought leadership. We know who is going above and beyond.
3. Have a strategy and goals and align the two. Being a thought leader is a lot of work and you want to be clear about what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and what you hope to get out of it. Seems pretty obvious, but the reality is too many firms start down a path without thinking it through. For example, you have an attorney who happens to be a prolific writer and speaker in a specific area of the law. The problem is that area is not very profitable or high priority for the law firm. How much effort do you want to put behind promoting expertise that isn’t a good fit for the firm? Or maybe the thought leadership is great and would be good for the firm, but it’s not being seen by the right niche audiences. Sometimes firms focus on getting the content piece right, but spend less time making sure the promotion and distribution is getting to their target market. You need to bring both parts together in a strategic way otherwise how are you going to profit from being a thought leader.
4. Write, speak and share information consistently. You can’t be a thought leader if you don’t put your thoughts out there. Write articles, blog posts, whitepapers, and books. Curate and comment on other people’s content. Speak at online and live events. Create video. Use social media. You don’t have to do them all, but put out content in different formats to maximize your reach and appeal to different audiences. And do this regularly. Thought leadership is a long-term strategy. People have to hear from you on a consistent basis. An occasional article or speech isn’t enough, even if it’s really great. Of course, there are lots of ways to repackage that great content to get more life out of it, but make sure you’re doing that. You must be visible on a regular basis.
5. Cultivate relationships with other experts, influencers, industry professionals, and media. As you develop your thought leadership, reach out to other authorities. Gather and share their insights with your audience, make introductions and give referrals, and offer to help them with their content. By assisting others, you’re getting your name out to key contacts in your field, developing deeper relationships, and it’s likely at least some people will reciprocate by helping you. It will also make your thought leadership better informed because you’re incorporating insights from others.
Becoming a thought leader is a long-term commitment and a lot of work. However, successful firms know the investment is worth it in order to not only survive, but thrive against the competition.