How to get employees to help market your firm

In many professional service firms, only a small percentage of people are actively engaged in marketing. The remaining employees don’t participate. The reason for this is usually some combination of them being uncomfortable with marketing and/or not being asked or required to do it. However, it is a huge missed opportunity not to get them involved in at least small ways. (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…)

6 steps to creating a marketing budget to grow your business

One of the biggest reasons marketing fails is because firms don’t set aside appropriate resources to getting it done. Regardless of the size of your budget, if you want to be effective, you need to think carefully about how and where you spend your time and money. How do you do that? (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…)

How marketing can grow your business

Do you know what it takes to grow your business? At a recent program hosted by The Alternative Board, speaker, Pete Hayes of Chief Outsiders, spoke about how the right “Insight, Strategy and Execution” can drive business growth. (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

Marketing or building market strategy

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.

12 ways to promote your e-book or white paper to bring in leads – Part 2

12 ways to promote your e-book or white paper to bring in leadsWe all hate the prospect of giving our contact information to a new website and being hit with sales pitches. But we’ll sign-up if we believe we’re getting real value out of it. As the business trying to attract leads, you need to provide that value. You also need to get the word out so people know about the great information you’re offering. In my last post, I covered 7 ways to promote your e-book or white paper to generate leads. Here are 5 more:

8. Social media. You should repurpose your content for different social media channels and drive traffic to your website. On LinkedIn, create a short related article and publish it as a LinkedIn post with a link to your e-book. Also share it as an update with your connections as well as posting it to relevant groups. Tweet tips from the book. Use Facebook. Create an infographic for Pinterest. Turn it into a PowerPoint and post it on SlideShare. Make the most of whichever channels your audience uses. Also have others within the firm share it via their own personal networks to expand your distribution.

9. Press release. Create a press release and send it out through a host of available outlets. For some great options, see Mequoda’s list of The Best Paid and Free Press Release Sites.

10. Public relations. If your e-book contains original research or offers insights/analysis on current news or trends, pitch it the media.

11. Partnerships. Reach out to associations, influencers, companies and other organizations with similar audiences who may be interested in featuring your e-book. It doesn’t hurt if you mentioned them in your book (for example, you quoted them, asked them to contribute content, included them as resources, etc.) as long as you’re doing it in a way that’s credible and genuine. People like to reciprocate. But regardless of whether there are opportunities to plug each other, remember the cardinal rule is that your content has to be valuable to your partner’s contacts. They don’t want to promote your sales pitch. Show them why their audience would want the information you are providing.

12. Print version. How often do you save an email or download something and then forget about it. There is something to be said for having a piece of paper in front of you to remind you that you wanted to read it or that you did read it and found it interesting. I believe print is still valued especially when it comes to business-oriented content. And I’m not just saying that because I worked in publishing for many years. Well-designed print materials can make content look meatier and more professional. Print versions can help you attract a new lead as well as nurture existing leads by having a physical product to provide to prospects, clients, seminar attendees, and referral sources as a reminder of who you are. Of course, provide them with the electronic version too.

Are you ready to promote your e-book or white paper? You’ve done the hard part of producing great information. Now make the most of it and spread the word.

12 ways to promote your e-book or white paper to bring in leads – Part 1

lead generation road sign illustration designArticles, blogs, videos, and other content all help to build visibility and credibility. However, often that content isn’t enough to get people to give you their contact information and become a potential prospect. To get that information, you have to offer compelling and distinctive content which your targets feel is worth the downside of giving up their anonymity. We all know that as soon as we handover our email address, we’ll be getting lots of email to add to the overwhelming clutter of our inbox. So when someone does provide that information to us as a business, they typically have more than a passing interest.

Long-form content like an e-book or white paper is a great way to attract attention, showcase your expertise, and very importantly, get individuals to give you their contact information. But you have to get the word out. Here are 12 ways to promote your e-book or white paper:

1. Website. Make sure your content is promoted throughout your site. Include a call-to-action to download or sign-up for the content on all or many of the pages of your website. Create a landing page with enticing marketing copy and a simple sign up form that won’t discourage registration by asking for too much information. Direct people straight to your landing page when you promote the e-book via other channels. Readers don’t want to have to click through a bunch of pages before they get to what they want.

2. Blog. Don’t just announce publication of your e-book in a blog post. You should publish snippets of it to act as teasers. You can do a series of posts with different content. And remember the post doesn’t have to include verbatim text. Create summaries, checklists, FAQs, charts, and case studies based on the e-book.

3. Articles. Write shorter pieces for your own or third-party publications with references to the e-book version.

4. Email. Again don’t just tell people you’ve published an e-book. Give them interesting content derived from the e-book in your email and e-newsletter to entice people to want to download it. Since you already have their contact information, you’re using the content as another way to reinforce and nurture your lead.

5. Paid advertising. If you have done well with Google AdWords in the past, paid search advertising might be useful. Sponsored ads on carefully chosen websites may also be effective. And don’t forget about social media platforms. They offer multiple ways to pay to have your content featured prominently to a broader and/or more selected audience.

6. Direct Mail. Depending on the topic and your audience, a highly targeted direct mail piece may draw people to your site. Direct mail is expensive so think carefully about who your piece is going to and what message will resonate with that audience.

7. Webinar or live event. A related presentation can boost results. Promote the presentation and e-book individually and together. If you did promote them separately and got someone to sign up, then use the other version of the content as a great way to follow up and strengthen the relationship.

In my next post, I’ll cover more tips for promoting your e-book or white paper.