Buying Content in a Can?

July 22, 2012

3 reasons why it’s better to write your own rather than purchasing pre-written content from someone else.

I was commenting earlier this week on a LinkedIn group discussion about email newsletter content. The thread was about the best places to buy pre-written (I called it canned) content. I was shocked that this was even a consideration, and surprised that the discussion was so matter-of-fact. A large number of people were exploring different companies that sell the exact same newsletter to multiple firms.

My response was simple – don’t do it! Why not just write your own content? Then I listed three reasons not to purchase content by the can: Read the rest of this entry »

Marketing Your Firm – Less is the New More

July 9, 2012

Use the “Rule of 3″ to streamline communications and improve results.

I was viewing a firm’s website earlier today… with a magnifying glass. Each page was chock-full of very valuable information about the firm, but it was so overwhelming that I couldn’t figure out what they were really trying to communicate. I feel bad for saying this, but I quickly lost interest and decided to write this post rather than read on.

Is your firm’s website, blog, presentation or other communication overloaded with content in paragraph form? Did you have to produce your brochure in 9 pt type to include everything you wanted to say? How many times does a website visitor have to page down to reach the bottom of your home page? If you had to give these questions more than a couple of seconds of thought, you need to cut out some of the fat and focus on delivering a few key messages to the right audience at the right time. Read the rest of this entry »

Increase Your Chances of Getting Lucky

June 24, 2012

5 marketing tips to improve your odds of winning new business when you least expect it.

We signed a new client last week. I could say that it was because of our tremendous service quality, amazing results, or widely recognized brand, but that wouldn’t really be correct. We were in the right place at the right time. Yes, I’ll admit it. We got lucky.

I disagree with the sales guru who first coined the phrase “luck is not a strategy.” While there are probably no marketing plans that list “luck” as a strategic priority, your marketing plan can dramatically increase your opportunities to get lucky – meaning to generate leads and win business when you didn’t expect to do so. Read the rest of this entry »

Original Website Content – Are You Sure?

June 10, 2012

Breaking the website company’s code.

Today I feel like that guy on the TV show Magic’s Biggest Secrets Revealed. I was doing some competitive research for a client and noticed two sites that looked almost exactly the same. Viewing the pages, I quickly realized that most of the wording on the two sites was also very similar.

Assuming this was just a lucky catch, I pasted a phrase from the homepages, “we provide fanatical support” into my Google search bar. The websites of at least four other firms had the exact same content. Looks like a website company was “reselling” content, to put it politely. I wonder if their clients know… Read the rest of this entry »

Want to Jumpstart Your Marketing Efforts? Set a Goal of 1

May 21, 2012

10 ideas for growing your marketing program and your firm – 1 step at a time.

With apologies for butchering the quote, Steve Martin used to joke, “You can be a millionaire… First you get a million dollars…” That’s like many marketing recommendations today. All you need to do is blog, make rain, optimize something, create a series, or do something else that seems easy, but takes much more effort to implement or maintain once you get started.

I don’t agree that there is ever just one solution, but how do you get just one thing started? Running your firm takes enough time, let alone trying to run a marketing program. So let’s try to keep things very simple here. Do something. Read the rest of this entry »

Will You Convert?

May 13, 2012

5 ways to encourage more website visitors to contact your firm.

This morning I was in the office catching up on some email. It was interesting that the majority of marketing articles in my mailbox talked about how to generate website “traffic” from one source or another. A successful business, they claimed, requires SEO, pay-per-click, Facebook ads, Tweets, and [insert social media cliché here] to drive that traffic.

I live in Atlanta, where “traffic” is a 2.5 hour drive to commute 10 miles. Just like Atlanta traffic, website traffic can be a waste of time and money – unless those visitors actually contact you.

Read the rest of this entry »

Distinguish and Dismiss

May 1, 2012

Don’t Define. Differentiate.

Why do your clients choose your firm/company/practice over others? Is it just because you’ve got employees who come into the office every day and do their jobs? Probably not. So why do so many companies resort to these types of generic statements on their websites and in other collateral? Read the rest of this entry »