Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

Networking at Your Child’s school: Do and Don’t

September 11, 2017

class

Back to school! Even for a busy professional like yourself, that can mean plenty of activities. School plays, concerts, home and away games, field trips, and let’s not forget Career Day. (Hopefully, nobody in your child’s class has an astronaut as a parent – everything’s a letdown after that!)

While you will be interacting with your children and your classmates a bit, you will also be interacting with other parents, teachers, school administrators, and staff. Are you going to reach out to them professionally? Of course, but you also don’t want to run the risk of making a school function about yourself. Here are some tips for making that effort without “crossing the line.”

DO have business cards. You may not keep your personal number or contact info on your business cards. That’s okay! There are situations where it’s appropriate to give out contact info to teachers, staff, and other parents. Writing it on the back of your card gives them the info and also creates a connection.

DON’T be too forward. Gear any personal conversations toward the other adults. Ask them questions about their professions. Focus on making connections first, clients last – you’ll find that it progresses organically that way.

DO respect everyone’s time. If you are taking part in an activity during school hours, remember that the other parents have likely taken time off from work to volunteer. As for teachers and staff, they ARE at work! At afterschool activities, people are there to focus on their children, and teachers are adding hours to an already long day. Do not try to manipulate conversations toward your business if they don’t go there naturally.

DON’T take on your child’s teacher as a client. At least, not immediately. While educators do have needs that you can help with, you also don’t want to create a situation where your business could conflict with your child’s education. Keep in mind that if you have a younger child, they may be assigned to the same teacher at some point in the future, or that same teacher may move on to teach a higher grade and your child could have them again. If you want to reach out to your child’s teacher, talk to them after the school year is over, and be informed.

Respecting the time and boundaries of school staff and parents may mean developing friendly relationships now, and reaching out to them at some later point, down the road. You can cultivate that relationship and maintain it through occasional greeting cards and other mail and email outreach. www.Marketing.Pro offers vibrant, relevant content that will help you maintain that bridge.

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Education as a Marketing Tool

July 17, 2017

The outreach that you provide to your clients and prospects has two roles. It should educate them, as well as provide value – meaning that your efforts do something to enhance their lives. For this reason, any sort of educational outreach is a marketing tool. These outreaches should be carefully considered, so that they are both of value to potential clientele, as well as economical for you.

  • Newsletters
    How frequently are you sending out an informative newsletter? Is that frequency right for your targeted group? How much outreach is engaging to the reader, and how much becomes white noise? Separate your contacts into groups and determine how frequently they would like or need a newsletter, as well as what type of information will be valuable to each group.
  • Blogs
    If not adequately promoted, blogs may sit in a dank corner of the Internet, unloved and unread. Carefully select search terms, and if you cite an author, be sure to include them. Publicize your efforts on social media, email signatures, and even business cards.
  • Gatherings
    These may take many forms. Whether it’s a seminar, “Lunch & Learn,” or an educational dinner series, don’t attempt to ‘pack the house.’ Smaller events, aside from being more economical to cater, allow you to give focused attention to each attendee, and begin forming a professional relationship with each individual.
  • White Papers / eGuides
    These are also an important part of the outreach process. Unlike newsletters and blogs, this is a ‘one-and-done’ exchange of information. These types of educational pieces can be very useful when it comes to lead generation – allowing you to offer something of value in return for contact information.

Whichever elements you choose to utilize, the best guideline is to Keep It Simple. Remember to balance cost and benefit. You can make your marketing much simpler and more cost effective by subscribing to a service like MarketingPro, which offers compliance-reviewed content as well as automation tools. Visit www.Marketing.Pro to learn more.

Brand, Connect, Nurture.

May 16, 2017

Beautiful woman with tablet, communication

Establishing and cultivating successful relationships is key to making your time absolutely productive and creating a network of valuable, long-lasting clients. These three, simple steps will help you along the way…

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Client Categories and Segmentation

October 26, 2016

segment

You’ve probably heard a great deal about “segmenting” your clients, meaning to divide them into different groups. Doing this can help make your contact with these individuals count, and improve relationship nurturing.

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Should you enlist the help of a Marketing Assistant?

May 16, 2013

Marketing can be a great deal of work, especially when you have so many other tasks to complete. Is it time to hire some help? You may think you’re not ready to take on a new assistant. Then again, perhaps you’ve been ready for a while, but were too busy to really consider it.

Here are some things to think about as you consider hiring a Marketing Assistant.

WHY?

So much of staying in touch and building relationships with your clients and prospects is about reaching out, with messages and information, reminding them of your knowledge, services, or simply that they are valued. While you may feel more qualified to do this, there is something to be said for keeping your time free to handle the work you cannot delegate. Hiring a Marketing Assistant (either virtually or within your office) may help to relieve your workload and give you an opportunity to expand your marketing outreach.

WHEN?

There is no “magic formula” as to how many contacts or how many outbound messages signify that you’re ready to go to the next level. However, mailing out cards and letters, creating email campaigns and maintaining contact lists can be cumbersome, at any level. Social media (like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter) offer new options, but new challenges as well, especially in creating and finding content to share with your followers. So the answer to the eternal question “When?” is often “The moment it’s necessary to delegate the job, so that your energies are focused elsewhere.”

HOW?

Hiring a Marketing Assistant doesn’t mean you are no longer participating in the process, it just allows you to guide the direction your efforts take in a different way. There are a number of ways you can hire a Marketing Assistant, but they boil down to two options: Virtual or Live.

A live assistant may be a new hire, perhaps part time, or you may prefer to add to the responsibilities of an existing employee. Depending on your circumstances, you may have to trust this person with sensitive information. What about when they move on, are let go, or have a life event that prevents them from working? Hiring an individual who works from home (over the Internet) is much the same.

A solution that many prefer is subscribing to a marketing service that has the flexibility to create content, send marketing materials in a variety of formats, and may even offer different levels of support to meet your needs in terms of cost and features. While many of these online marketing solutions will afford you more time without the potential perils of hiring an actual employee, they often do require more interaction and input. Additionally, you want to make sure the service you select is industry-specific (compliance-minded.)

If you’re not ready to have a new employee on staff, or don’t feel you have quite enough work yet to keep them busy, a Virtual Marketing Assistant, as offered by MarketingLibrary.net, may be worth considering. (Yes, we’ll toot our own horn!) Numerous services are available which may prove invaluable as you expand your marketing reach, and generally you can expect to get more bang for your buck by pairing your virtual assistant with our robust marketing system. You can read more about this service here: https://www.marketinglibrary.net/mpva.asp

IS IT TIME?
While you may never fully be comfortable with any “hands off” solution to marketing, depending on your ambitions, you may not have a choice – at some point, you’ll no longer be able to do it all on your own. A Marketing Assistant may help you sweep an important aspect of your business practice into the “out” box, leaving you free to approach your wider goals.

Six Marketing Channels

March 1, 2013

Everyone accepts the importance of demonstrating the value of their services to the public through marketing. What may not be as obvious, especially to less experienced marketers, is where to direct your marketing energies when you’re starting out.

To that end, here’s a list of channels you can use to get the ball rolling (or pass along to a colleague or protégé for their reference).

Client Referrals: Some of your best referrals may come from the folks you are already doing business with. You can’t put a price on word-of-mouth recommendations. Provide your valued clients with a few business cards and let them know you’d appreciate them passing along your information to friends, colleagues or family members who may benefit from the services you provide. If you don’t ask, they may not think of it. Speaking of which: don’t neglect your current clients. You’re far more likely to receive referrals from clients if you stay in regular (meaningful) contact and provide excellent client service!

Professional Referrals: Forge strong relationships with other professionals and communicate clearly to them that you’re interested in receiving referrals. When and if they refer someone, treating their referral with care and demonstrating your superior client service can help to grow the referral relationship.

Seminars: Hosting a seminar where you can engage a group of potential clients is a great way to inspire some new business and break new ground. Use this as an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and professionalism. Select comfortable surroundings and let your personality shine through as you speak; just because it’s business, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be pleasant.

Client Events:  Speaking of pleasant, don’t discount these relationship-building opportunities. Try starting out with educational events and, as you get to know the tastes of your clients, you can expand to more entertaining, social events.  Don’t forget to invite your clients to bring a friend.

Automated Communications: Staying in touch on a regular basis can be a valuable way to nurture your client relationship and keep them informed. A regular newsletter, either through the post or email, can become a resource to them, not to mention demonstrate that you’re invested in the relationship.

Networking: Being an active member of the community and taking advantage of local events may help you to develop your client base. Don’t join a club, group, or attend an activity with the sole purpose of touting your services, of course, but don’t be afraid to put yourself out there in groups you belong to and care about – after you’ve established yourself as a committed, active member of the group.

Also, when people hear the word “networking” these days, it’s usually preceded by the word “social.” Incorporate Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other online options (as your Broker/Dealer allows) into your marketing arsenal.