6 musts for promoting your personal brand
We all have a personal brand, but many of us don’t know how to utilize it effectively to achieve our business goals. Learning how to shape and promote your brand can help you be more successful in your career and business whether you work for yourself or someone else. It enables you to stand out in a world where your competitors are easy to find and it can be hard to explain to people why someone should choose to work with you. (more…)
Top tips on building a strong personal brand
Like it or not, you have a personal brand. Your brand is about your reputation – what you are known for and what people expect from you personally and professionally. The problem is that your brand may not be helping you because it isn’t distinctive, or you aren’t promoting it effectively. Below are a few tips I shared with the Nassau County Bar Association last month. (more…)
Can you explain why someone should hire you?
Let’s face it. It’s hard to stand out anymore. Your prospects can easily search online to find all your competitors and superficially compare you to them. It’s just as difficult to differentiate yourself with referral sources. We all know lots of people and can forget what someone does, or we know several individuals who do the same thing. Why should someone pick you to call or refer? (more…)
Biggest marketing takeaways for small firms
How can small firms improve their marketing? Earlier this month, I joined a panel discussion on marketing at the Long Island Tax Professionals Symposium sharing tips on how small firms can successfully market their practice. Regardless of what kind of professional service firm you have, the same rules apply – firms must clearly differentiate themselves, be consistent in their marketing and focus on building relationships. (more…)
7 tips for effectively marketing your niche
Developing a niche is a great way to attract clients and build a distinctive brand for your firm. It differentiates you and your marketing will be more successful and effective because you are focused on your unique expertise and who you want to attract. (more…)
Top 10 Marketing Tips for 2017
Successful marketing is tough. There isn’t a magic bullet, but there are tactics that can help you succeed. We’ve created a list of some of our favorite tips to take you into the new year (more…)
8 marketing musts for your firm
Everyone wants tips to help market themselves. We’re all hoping to hear the one thing that we can do to magically bring in business. Unfortunately there is no one thing, but there are lots of little things that can help. I work a lot with lawyers and was recently on a radio show to talk about Marketing Tips for Attorneys. To prepare, the host, Ken Landau, asked me to come in with 30 tips. I’m not sure how many we actually got to, but here’s a sampling to get you started whether you are a lawyer or other kind of professional:
1. Have a strong LinkedIn profile. When someone googles your name, your LinkedIn bio is usually one of the top results. What do you want people to see there? It’s your opportunity to impress them and stand out from the competition. Don’t waste it. And don’t rely on people going to your website to read your bio there. Some may only look at your LinkedIn profile.
2. Share content regularly on social media– both your content and other people’s. Social media is like networking. You have to be out there consistently, get involved, follow up with people you meet and stay in touch. Every time you share something on social media your network will see it. Post your own stuff, but also like and comment on other people’s posts, ask questions, and start a discussion. It will build your credibility and a lot of people will reciprocate, which will expand your reach to everyone in their network. And remember to join and share posts within groups. That gets you in front of members of the group even if they aren’t part of your direct network.
3. Focus on a niche. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. Focus on a specific area, type of client, business model, etc. It’s better to focus limited marketing resources on a niche area rather than spreading them all over multiple areas. Ultimately it will bring you better leads and more money. (Check out Inc.’s, How to Narrow your Target Market for more tips.)
4. Position yourself as an expert. This goes along with focusing on a niche. Identify a topic, issue, specialty, etc. where you have experience and you can speak with authority. Get known for that by speaking and writing about that area consistently. Make sure your marketing message highlights that expertise. Again focusing on a narrow area brings better results than saying that you can help anyone with any problem.
5. Blog regularly. In determining how to rank a website, search engines look for sites with high-quality relevant information. They also look for websites that are updated frequently and have lots of pages. Blogging helps with all of these. It boosts a firm’s organic search results when prospects are searching online. And it also makes firms more credible (because they have lots of great content) for prospects who are now on the website and evaluating their services.
6. Involve employees. A recurring problem professionals have is coming up with good topics to write and speak about. Employees can help you create content that is interesting to your readers since they are often dealing with day to day issues with your clients. You want your blog posts, newsletters, presentations, etc. to address the real questions that your prospects have about their problems. Employees can also help promote your content by sharing it via their own social media channels.
7. Seek out relationships with other experts, organizations, and media. Get to know others who speak to the same market you are targeting and are well-known. They can help you build your own credibility and spread your message. But remember you have to help them first.
8. Have a marketing plan. Random acts of marketing are not effective. Create a written plan outlining who you want to specifically target with your marketing and how you’re going to do it. Then make sure you allocate resources (time and money) to getting it done.
For more tips, listen to the radio program.
How to position yourself as an expert to attract clients – Part 2
Wouldn’t it be great to be considered an expert in your field? What better way to attract business. It’s not a mystery or out of reach for most people. There are specific actions you can take to help you become a go-to resource. We covered 5 tips already in our previous post. Here are 5 more:
6. Maximize your reach through owned, earned and paid channels. Owned distribution channels refer to channels you control – i.e. your website, blogs, social media, direct mail and email. Earned channels are public relations and media opportunities. Paid channels are advertising related, including paid search, sponsored content and other outlets. Use all these ways to get your message out.
7. Listen to and engage with your audience. Ask for feedback from clients, prospects, referral sources and other contacts. Join groups where you can become an active participant in discussions on the issues important to your audience. Their experiences will inform your thinking and also make it more likely they will stay interested in what you’re talking about.
8. Involve employees. Your employees can be a great resource for content ideas as well as help to disseminate your message. Often they are the ones that talk to clients about day to day matters – questions, complaints, etc. Ask them for input on what you should be writing/speaking about. Also employees can share your content via their own social media channels, which gets you in front of more people.
9. Use social media. Social media has a lot of great uses. First, it’s a tool for listening. Monitor what your clients, prospects, industry and media outlets are discussing. You should also look at what your competitors are doing. Social media is also a distribution outlet. Promote your content via the social media channels your target audience uses. However, remember when sharing your own content you should repurpose it for each outlet. Don’t post the same content in the same way for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other channels. Finally use social media to find key contacts. For example, you can mine LinkedIn to help you find people in your industry, influencers, groups, or potential clients.
10. Cultivate relationships with other experts, organizations, influencers and media. You are judged by the company you keep. In building relationships, it’s always better to give than to receive. Reach out to individuals and groups and help them spread their message. As you build credibility with them, opportunities may arise to work with them, or get them to share your work with their audience. With organizations, get involved in committees and look to take on a leadership position. It is a great way to stay informed on the issues and make key connections.
Hopefully these 10 tips will put you on the path to becoming a go-to resource who attracts clients. It’s not easy to position yourself as an expert, but the rewards are worth it.
How to position yourself as an expert to attract clients – Part 1
How can you be seen as an expert people turn to for help on a particular problem? In an increasingly competitive marketplace, you need to do more than say you have “years of experience” or a “proven track record.” There are specific tactics that can help you get noticed, stay top of mind, and attract and retain clients. The key to success is consistently delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time.
Here are 5 tips for positioning yourself as a go-to-resource:
1. Know your stuff. It’s almost too obvious to say, but you need to know what you’re talking about. Keep up on new developments and trends, understand your audience’s concerns, and develop your own insights instead of just regurgitating what other people say.
2. Focus on a niche. It’s a lot easier to be an expert in a very focused area. Look at where you have the most potential. Who are your best clients and what do they have in common? What is your most profitable work? Where do you have the most/least competitors? You want to carve out a specialty that will help you compete successfully. For example, there are lots of personal injury lawyers, but how many focus on motorcycles or dog bites. Many accounting firms work with small businesses, but fewer have a niche with restaurant owners or construction companies. The point is to think narrow. Don’t try to be an expert in a broad area. It won’t work.
3. Identify your unique value proposition. What skills, education, experience, or background do you have to differentiate yourself? Do you have special training or an insider/outsider perspective? Are you active in relevant organizations or have key contacts? You want to look for ways to distinguish yourself and your practice from your competitors and help highlight why you are qualified to be an expert.
4. Create and share content. Write and speak consistently. There are lots of options and ideally you should incorporate as many as possible – articles, blogs, newsletters, eBooks, white papers, infographics, video, radio, live events, webinars, PowerPoints, etc. The key is to deliver relevant content. And don’t forget you can also share other people’s content. However, make sure you add your own insights. In other words, don’t like just “like” an article. Add a comment, raise a question, or share an experience.
5. Think like a publisher. Publishers know their audience and consistently produce high-quality relevant content for that audience. It doesn’t matter whether you’re publishing content yourself or going to a third-party; the same rules apply.
In our next post, we’ll cover 5 more tips to help you become a go-to resource and attract clients.