Category Archives for Content Marketing

How to get referrals from the Mafia

Ever joined one of those “business referral groups”?  You know the ones I’m talking about: they meet for coffee at 7:00 a.m. once a week, everybody gives an “elevator speech,” then everybody else promises to keep their eyes peeled for prospective customers for that person during the coming week.

For some members, this works great.  The real estate agents, armed with a hot prospect, call the insurance agents, who then call the home inspectors, and so on.

Same with the wedding planners.  (Everybody wants to be on their list, because nobody spends money like Bridezilla.)  Photographers, caterers, graphic designers (somebody’s got to design those custom cocktail napkins, darling) — they all pass business around to each other, and everybody’s happy, happy, happy.

The group I was in even had a name for it: mafias.  As in, the real estate mafia for the real estate agents and the insurance people, the wedding mafia for the wedding planners and photographers, etc.  The goal was to get everybody hooked into their own mafia so they could pass prospects around.

And that worked great — for those in transactional businesses.  For others, though, the whole scheme fell a little flat.  In fact, one of the persistent criticisms I heard when I was a member of a networking group is that this whole mafia thing doesn’t work for business consultants and life coaches and their ilk.  To those folks, it hardly seemed worth getting up before the crack of dawn for the meetings.  Our membership churn rate reeked of disillusionment.

But what were we to do?

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Why your marketing plan needs an editorial calendar

When you think about marketing your business, you probably think in terms of numbers – how many prospects you’ll contact, how much revenue each campaign should generate, how many people you have in your referral network.

But smart marketers look beyond the numbers to the content – and the timing – of their marketing communications. They use an editorial calendar. Continue reading

What eating a sandwich in front of your dog can teach you about marketing

Ever sat at your kitchen table, about to take a bite out of a yummy sandwich worthy of Dagwood, only to look over and see those eyes?

You know the ones I’m talking about.  They’re big.  Dark.  A little watery.  And they don’t blink.

They’re the dog’s.

And you know what he’s thinking (assuming he does it in actual words): “Wow. Look at that. You’re gonna share some of that … right?”

(As uncomfortable as this scenario might be for you, though, think about how the dog feels.)

So, what does this have to do with marketing?

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Ideas for blog posts

A friend of mine — a consultant — is starting to blog at the behest of her company’s webmaster.  “But I don’t know what to write about,” she said when we had lunch recently.

So, for anyone out there who’s just starting to blog for business and doesn’t know where to start (content-wise), here are a few memory-joggers that’ll get your creative juices flowing:

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Marketing’s new "perfect storm"

No, it’s not just you.

Other B2B marketing professionals are getting the same results.  Calls are going straight to voice mail.  Phone messages aren’t being returned.  Sales appointments are harder to come by – when you can actually get past that Rottweiler of a gatekeeper.

And that’s just your direct contact strategies.  But even your networking and advertising efforts seem to keep hitting some invisible barrier.

The “same old, same old” techniques for reaching prospects aren’t getting the same results they used to.

You and everybody else are asking the same question: What the heck happened?

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