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What if Martin Luther King Jr. were a Blogger

What if Martin Luther King Jr. were a Blogger

Today is Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and it got me to thinking, what if MLK were a blogger and social media savvy? The Middle East had the Arab Springs where they able to use social media to mobilize and take on their government. Would MLK be able to do the same?

Martin Luther King Jr. had the ability to mobilize millions to stand up for equality and stand firm in the face of harassment, beating and death. What if he the power of social media and blogging behind him, how much more powerful could he be or has our society become too apathetic?

I can imagine MLK with millions of Facebook fans and twitter followers. Instead of looking down the barrel of guns or water hoses, he could mobilize his army through his blog, Facebook and Twitter. Sisters and brothers, we believe in the right of every man, woman and child the right to bear arms in our beloved country. We do not believe that ordinary citizens need to own military style assault weapons that shoot 50 rounds of ammunition. Let’s take a stand against military style weapons and tweet “Ban Military Style Weapons,” brothers and sisters let your tweets be heard.

Could you imagine the posts he would write that would bring you to tears yet galvanize you to take action, with a tweet this button next to profound statements.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” (tweet this)

“Injustice anywhere is a treat to justice everywhere.” (tweet this)

How about the power of Facebook, could he get is message across with images?

 

Like this picture if you agree


If you think this is wrong and need to be stopped, share this picture.

Would he have to write in short blurbs because of our lack of attention span? Could be compete against the likes of honeybooboo or the Atlanta housewives? Would he have to dumb down his prose to fourth grade level do to our poor education systems across America and nonchalant attitudes?

On his birthday, I wonder what he would think of America today. Would he be disappointed in all his hard work and what he died for to see us still fighting for the same rights? Would he be ashamed of the state of our society that cares more about TV stars than the rights that they continue to lose every day? Would he be sadden that our government has become so bad and corrupt that the citizens feel that they have no control and no matter what race they are they feel their votes don’t count. Would be horrified as he watched politicians buy, cheat and steal elections or that the Supreme Court has determined that corporations are people? How would he feel about Wall Street running our country, people losing their jobs and homes? What would he think of the mass shooting across our country? How about 9/11. pharmaceutical companies running our healthcare system, no-knock warrants, drones, cellphones plastered to our heads, terrorists, massive oils spills, global warming, warrant-less wire tapping, TSA, Homeland Security, body scanning machines, the first Black President?

I can imagine him never running out of topics to blog about. Up all night because there is always something new to say, something new to speak out against, fervently typing away at his computer posting on his blog, Facebook and Twitter. Would anyone listen? Better still, would anyone take action?

 

Have Your Say:

Do you think that blogging and social media would have helped Martin Luther King Jr.?

 

Join my LinkedIn group Marketing and PR for Professional Service  Firms

 

Using Content Marketing to Educate Prospects about Your Business

Using Content Marketing to Educate Prospects about Your Business

The internet has allowed businesses to do business all over the world. It has also given prospects the availability of thousands of choices when looking to make a purchase, even when purchasing services. There are businesses that solely provide services to clients that they have never meet face to face.

Whether you meet with clients or never meet clients face-to-face, educating them before they purchase is the key to success. Content marketing is the key. It gives you the ability to show prospects your expertise and the solutions that you provide to solve their needs.

How do you make it easier for prospects to become interested in doing business with you?

It is commonly known in the marketing community that people do business with people they know, like and trust. You goal is to get prospects to know, like and trust you before the meeting, whether in person or over the telephone.

The easiest way to accomplish this is by educating the prospect on your services. This is going beyond creating marketing pieces that explain the services that you offer. This is educating prospects on how the service you offer will help them solve their problems, problems that they may not even know that they have.

For example:

Let’s say that you own a wedding planning service. For the bride who is getting married for the first time, she may believe that planning her wedding will be easy. She may not know there are hundreds of tasks to complete before her wedding day in order for her to have the wedding she has dreamed of since she was a child.

Your job is to educate her about all the steps that go into planning a successful and happy wedding that will allow her to enjoy the wedding of her dreams. Through this educational process, you will help her to realize all the things that she hasn’t thought about when it comes to planning a wedding. As she continues to return to the information that you provide concerning planning the perfect wedding, she will come to trust the advice that you give. When she begins to think that she may be better off hiring someone to help her plan her wedding, she will turn to the person who is educating her when thinking about hiring a wedding planner. You are one-step ahead of other wedding planners, because without even meeting her, she has gained trust in your ability to plan the perfect wedding.

What is some of the content that you can provide to prospects?

There are tons of ways that you can provide content. Vary your approach so that you reach prospects in a format that they will enjoy. You can create:

  • A blog
  • Articles
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Webinars
  • Slideshare presentations
  • White papers
  • Ebooks
  • Special reports
  • Infographs
  • Comic books
  • Video games
  • Apps

Just to name a few.

How do you go about educating your prospects?

Let’s stick with the wedding planning example. So how do you go about educating your prospects and gaining their trust? You can put up a wedding planning website and add pictures of successful wedding you have planned.

You can add a blog and write wedding planning articles and tips. You can create a wedding planning workbook or worksheets. Add short videos of weddings you have planned, podcasts and webinars on wedding planning topics, success stories of how you helped people plan the perfect wedding, facebook fan page with all of the above and twitter updates. You can add a forum to your website where brides can talk to other brides, have questions answered by you and other readers, and create a monthly newsletter.

How do you reach prospects?

Make sure that you are participating in the social networks that your prospects participate. Join forums and groups. Share your content on your Facebook, Twitter, , LinkedIn and other accounts you have set up for your business. Ask them to share it with the people that they know. Create a contest to gain more attention and find ways to share you content with the media and bloggers so that they can help spread the word.

Utilizing these marketing techniques can be cost-effective for a small business owner, the largest investment being your time. Whether you are a service provider or sale products, educating your prospects is essential in today’s marketplace. Prospects are educating themselves about their needs and by providing the educational content that they need, when they need it, you place yourself ahead of your competitors.

Your Turn:

Are you educating your prospects about the services/products that you provide and how you can help them?

Join my LinkedIn group Marketing and PR for Professional Service  Firms

The Secret to Online Marketing Success

By: greyweed

Show up Everywhere

 

That’s the big secret to being successful in online marketing. You have to show up everywhere you target audience hangs out.

 

Even better is if you can show up in a variety of formats. This may be the difficult part for solo or very small businesses.

 

So, how do You Eat an Elephant?

 

One bite at a time.

 

Start with one thing that you are going to do. Today you write a blog post or add an article to your website.

 

Tomorrow you comment on other blog posts or group forums.

 

Understand that just as it takes time to eat an elephant, it will take time to achieve success with your online marketing.

 

Create a plan and just keep just keep eating away at that elephant. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, just something to guide you and keep you going.

 

What are some of the Ways that you can Show up in front of your Target Audience?

 

  • Creating a blog and posting often
  • Posting comments on other blogs
  • Adding articles to you website
  • Videos (short 3-5 minutes are best)
  • Podcasts that can be downloaded
  • Slideshare presentations
  • Webinars on demand
  • Live Webinars
  • Participating in forums and groups
  • Writing guest posts
  • Excepting guest blog posts
  • Submitting articles to publications that you audience reads
  • Create a contest
  • Interact with your Twitter following
  • Follow others on twitter and interact with them
  • Hold a tweet fest
  • Engage your Facebook fans

 

These are just some of the things that you can do to get your business in front of your target audience, let you mind run free and think up some more. Even better, if you have more ideas, posts them in the comments sections.

 

The Ugly Part

 

Here’s the skinny of it all, you have to keep showing up. You have to be dedicated to online marketing over a long period. The truth of it is, it will take some time to see traction from your online marketing efforts, but don’t give up. I get probably 90% of my business from my blog and showing up where my target audience resides. This is from a one-person operation.

 

I am thinking about growing my business and possibly adding employees or using more freelancers. How do I plan to do this?

 

  • Add more content more often
  • Add a bigger variety of content (videos, podcasts, webinars, slideshare, eBooks, speaking, workshops, ECT.)
  • Growing my email list so that I can get more leads and nurture those leads into clients

 

This is just some of the ideas that I have come up with for now. I am working on a plan for next year right now and you should too.

 

 What are you waiting for?

 

Are you scared it won’t work? Well of course, it won’t if you don’t do it. Why not try it and see if it works. The great part is that the biggest commitment is your time and energy.

 

You don’t have time. Well cut out an hour or two of television a day, get up an hour earlier or stay up an hour later.

 

You have to get off your ass and do it to see results. Try it for yourself for a while and if is too much for you but you realize the benefit, than hire someone to help you.

 

I know you are tired of hearing about all the other people who are achieving success marketing their businesses online.

 

Stop sitting back and wishing it was you and do something about it.

 

Your Turn:

 

Are you really doing all that you can to achieve online marketing success?

 

What are some other ways that you can think of to show up in front of your target audience?

 

What Next:

You can always comment on my Blog, connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, join my LinkedIn group Marketing and PR for Professional Service  Firms, sign up for my NEWSLETTER.  or Contact Me.

 

 

 

Are You Setting Concrete Goals to Generate Leads Online?

Are You Setting Concrete Goals to Generate Leads Online?

I hear it and read it all the time “I want to increase traffic and generate leads online,” but that’s it. I understand that you want to increase traffic and generate leads, but how much more traffic and how many additional leads do you want to generate? If you generate two additional leads, you have generated leads, but is that enough? If you increase traffic by one more visitor you have increase your traffic, but is that what you really want? Probably not

You must know what your goals are.

What are your actual goals?

Do you want to increase traffic by 30% and generate 10 additional leads per month? These are actual goals.

Do you know how you will increase traffic and generate more leads?

Once you decide on your concrete goals, then you need to decide what you will do to accomplish those goals.

Will you add more content to your website or blog to increase traffic?

Will you submit articles to publications that your target audience reads? (You do know who your target audience is, right?)

Will you get involved in the social networking sites that your target audience is involved in?

You have to know what want to accomplish and create a plan of action to accomplish your goals.

You have to do more than just want more traffic and leads.

Online marketing is not a magic pill, you put up a website and people automatically appear it takes time and work.

How much time are you willing to invest in online marketing?

If you do not have the time to invest, are you willing to hire someone or company to handle the online marketing for you?

How much do you want the firm to handle and how much do you want to handle?

If you decide to go the route of hiring a firm, you must also understand that you will still be involvement in the process. You will have to make decisions on the direction that the marketing takes, you have processes to approve, material to approve and make sure that they are on track to accomplish the goals that you have outline.

You must also be realistic about what online marketing can do for your business. Many people give up because what they want to happen does come fast enough. It doesn’t matter what you are selling, if you are not finding ways for people to know that your business exist, they will not find you. You need to have a plan on how you will attract website traffic and generate leads.

Five Ways to increase website traffic and generate more leads:

  1. Create content: This can be adding articles to your website or blog, offering a free report, webinar or eBook.
  2. Share on Social Media: Share your content on social media sites, your Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn, groups you have joined, forums you participate and submit to online publications.
  3. Email: Create an email sign-up form to attract leads. Offer something of interest to readers in exchange for their email addresses then send updates and offers.
  4. Nurture Leads: Nurture the leads that you receive through email by sending them additional information that will be useful to them. Offer them ways to get in contact with you, a form for them to fill out for them to contact you or for you to contact them.
  5. Follow-up: Ask them what problems they are trying to solve and give them ideas on how you can help. Show them that you know how to help them and give them reasons to contact you for help.

It is definitely possible to use online marketing to grow your business. You just have to know what your goals are and how you are going to accomplish your goals.

Create a plan and put that plan into action.

 

Your Turn:

Have you created concrete goals for marketing your business online?

Have you a plan of action to accomplish those goals?

 

What Next:

You can always comment on my Blog, connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, join my LinkedIn group Marketing and PR for Professional Service  Firms, sign up for my NEWSLETTER.  or Contact Me.

Professional Coach’s Online Marketing Success Story

Professional Coach’s Online Marketing Success Story

I talked to a client recently that I helped create a marketing plan for about a year ago. She is ready to begin working on her marketing plan for another year. I was ecstatic to hear how successful who marketing efforts were and I am going to lay out the basics of her marketing plan and some of her results.

My client Amber opened her own professional coaching service helping sales professional increase their sales. She previously worked as a sales trainer for a large training firm. She had bought several marketing books and tried creating a marketing plan for herself, but felt overwhelmed by the process. I assured her that she could create a simple yet effective marketing plan for her business.

Amber had a small marketing budget and wanted to concentrate her marketing efforts to online marketing. We created a one-year marketing plan that concentrated on building her brand and generating leads for her business. At the end of six months, the plan was evaluated and revised for another six months.

Amber’s Simplified Marketing Plan

Step 1: Decide what she wanted to achieve with her online marketing efforts

  • Goal: Increase leads

Step 2: Decide how many clients she wanted to average every month

  • Goal: To work with an average of 8 clients per month

Step 3: Decide how many leads she needed to attract in order to maintain eight clients per month. She generally works with clients for six months and usually takes thirty days or less to convert new leads into clients that she meets face-to-face. She understood that I would take longer since she is looking to generate leads from clients using the internet.

  • Goal: She started with four clients and wanted to add four more over the next 60 days. Her normal rate is to meet four people and one would become a client. So we determined that she should shoot for at least 100 leads per month

Step 4: Decide what methods she would use to generate her leads

  • She decided to focus on a combination of blogging, inbound, content, email and social media marketing

Step 5: Decide what tactics she would use to gain awareness for her business and generate leads

  • Amber set up her blog and did a short video message introducing herself
  • Created several posts and begin posting onto her blog
  • Signed up for an email provider and created a contact form for people to sign up for her newsletter
  • Created a short report for people to download when they signed up for her newsletter
  • Signed up for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
  • Joined several online groups for sales professionals
  • Posted her articles to the groups and offered advice when members asked questions
  • Comment on sales blogs
  • Ask for recommendations from LinkedIn connections

Step 6: Decide how she would nurture her leads when they signed up for her newsletter

  • We created a series of nine auto-responders over a course of sixty days to send to newsletter subscribers to help them get to know her and showcase her expertise
  •  On the forth auto-responder she offered a free consultation and on the seventh auto-responder she provide a contact form asking for more information and a place to provide their telephone number

Step 7: Measure and track her results

  • Goal: To track her blog traffic and what posts were popular. How many people who came to her blog signed up for her newsletter and how many subscribers became clients

 

Amber chose to create a wordpress blog and host her own blog for less than $10 a month. She used Elance, put out a bid for a logo for her company, and paid $95 for a company’s logo design. Once her logo was created, she used it on her blog and Facebook home page.

Amber’s largest commitment to the marketing process was her time.

Results:

Amber posted to her blog three times a week. She was active in online networking groups for sales professionals. The end of her fourth month, she had nine clients, has maintained at least nine clients a month and is maintaining an active database of leads.

She is planning to continue with her plan and add some additional ways to provide information to prospects and clients. We are working on her tweaking her plan for the next year and I will keep you informed.

Your Turn:

Do you have a marketing plan? Could a similar plan work for your business?

What would you do differently?

 

What I want you to do next:

Leave a comment on my Blog, like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, join my LinkedIn group Marketing and PR for Professional Service  Firms  and sign up for my NEWSLETTER

 

Photo Credit: From DonkeyHotey via Flickr

 

Laying Your Social Media Foundation

Laying Your Social Media Foundation

Before jumping into social media and getting involved in every social networking site around. It is best to begin by laying your social media foundation and building upon it when the time comes.

 

While it is not necessary for financial service professionals to become involved in social media, it is becoming an important asset in the marketing toolbox. While I am not advocating giving up traditional marketing techniques, I am saying that integrating social media marketing can help you reach more targeted prospects at a cheaper cost.

 

  Inbound marketing-dominated organizations experience a 62% lower cost per lead than outbound marketing dominated organizations.  Hubspot

 

How are financial services using social media and what are the benefits they are achieving?

 

According to Hubspot 2011 report

 

61% of Financial Services Firms acquired clients using LinkedIn

47% of Financial Services Firms acquired clients using Blogs

40% of Financial Services Firms acquired clients using Twitter

35% of Financial Services Firms acquired clients using Facebook

 

Deciding on what you want to achieve and establishing goals

 

Before you decide what social media networks to invested it is a good idea to determine what you are trying to achieve and deciding on a concrete goal.

 

What are you trying to achieve?

More website traffic

More inquiries concerning your services

Develop a deeper relationship with prospect

Lead prospects to becoming clients

Become known as an industry expert

 

What concrete goals are you trying to achieve?

1000 website visitors per month

50 inquiries concerning your services per month

For prospects to engage more with you through online social networking avenues

Five prospects nurtured to become clients per month

Media to contact you when they are writing financial article in your expertise

 

Now that you have determined what your desires and goals are, it is time to lay your social media foundation.

 

While many in the financial services field are nervous about venturing too far out into the social media landscape for whatever reasons; regulation, lack of knowledge, lack of time, ECT.

 

The bottom line is that you current and future clients are hanging out on social media networks and they expect you to be their also. They are expecting to be able to interact with using social media, so it is time to let go of your fears and build your social media presence.

 

Statistical information: Local monthly searches for key financial terms

 

Financial Advisor: 368,000

Accountant: 4,090,000

Investing: 823,000

Insurance: 24,900,000

Saving: 5,000,000

Mortgage: 11,100,000

What does the foundation for a financial services firms social media landscape look like?

 

Your five areas of focus:

  1. Your Blog
  2. Groups, forums and other blogs
  3. Email List
  4. Facebook
  5. Twitter (optional)

 

Your Blog: You will use your blog to write articles that your target market will be interested in reading.

 

Groups, forums and other blogs: You will use this avenue to connect with your target market and create awareness of your blog. You will also encourage readers of your blog to become a facebook fan, join your email list, and follow you on twitter.

 

Email List: You will create a build an email list to allow you to keep in contact with people who show interest, leading prospects to become clients and reinforcing your relationship with current clients.

 

Facebook: You will use facebook to interact more closely with prospects and clients, helping to create trust and turning prospects in to clients.

 

Twitter: You will use twitter to offer helpful tips and advice to draw traffic back to your blog.

 

Now that I have told you why I have chosen these four social media areas to begin with, let’s look at how to develop an easy plan that doesn’t have to become overwhelming. The key is to start small and be consistent in your approach.

 

Sample Social Media Strategy:

 

A financial services firm that is looking to increase leads using social media and their goal is to bring in 10 new leads per month. Their target market is small business owners who are looking for ways to reduce their taxes, invest for their futures and leave lasting legacies.

 

Step 1: Create a blog offering financial planning advice to small business owners on how to reduce their taxes, invest for their futures and leave lasting legacies.

 

Step 2: Sign up for an email service provider and offer a short free report to people that sign up for their monthly newsletter to grow your email list.

 

Step 3: Search out 2-3 groups geared towards small business owners such as American Express open forum and groups on LinkedIn and 2-3 blogs that target similar readers.

 

Step 4: Leave comments on blogs, groups, forums and answer questions. Include a link back to your blog so that readers can follow.

 

Step 5: Create a Facebook page and encourage readers to sign up by offering information that they will not see on the blog

 

Step 6: Sign up for Twitter and encourage readers to become followers. Use a program like Hootsuite to create scheduled tweets that link followers back to their blog

 

How much time does all this take?

 

I suggest that you create a plan that will last at least six months, preferable a year, in order to truly see a return on your investment. Social media inbound marketing activities generally take longer to see the benefits of your time invested.

 

You should post to your blog at least twice a week and offer a monthly newsletter. Spend at least one hour per day and engaging in your social media activities, including commenting on blogs, groups, forums, your facebook page and twitter. You can schedule tweets in advance, so spend an hour every couple of days setting up tweets to send out. Depending on how long it takes you to write and research your articles you could spend about 10 hours a week on social media activities.

 

Do you have 10 hours per week to spend on social media?

 

Well you could easily find 10 hours to invest in your business. You could get up an hour earlier each day, devote 2 hours on Saturday or skip watching television a couple of hours a week. If you truly want to succeed in the social media arena, then you will find the time necessary to invest in social media.

 

Your Turn:

 

Does 10 hours a week seem feasible to invest in social media activities for your business?

 

How much time are you currently investing in social media?

 

Do you have a social media plan?

 

 Don’t forget to sign up for my NEWSLETTER

 

Jenn