5 Tips on Perfecting Your Online Presence

March 29, 2018

Within this day and age, technology is in every aspect of everything that we do. You can order pretty much anything and plenty of employees have started doing business right in their home. I mean, Amazon has same and next day delivery! Crazy, right? With that being said, online presence is more important than ever before. I’d like to provide you with 5 tips today that you can utilize to ensure effective online presence.

  1. Make sure the domain is your own, simple, and clean. You don’t want to overwhelm your users by having a long domain. For example: https://www.threepointmarketing.com. The domain of the website is: threepointmarketing and .com. Other examples of domain extensions (.com) include: .net, .info, .co, .org. With all of the different websites nowadays, domain registry is pretty competitive. Here are a few domain extension examples in the financial and legal industries:

.finance, .financial, .investments, .loans, .tax, .legal, .attorney, .lawyer

  1. Email. After you’ve created your amazing domain, it’s important to make sure that you have a professional email. What exactly does that mean? A lot of the time people use their Gmail and Yahoo accounts which are great resources, but, who seems more credible between these two emails:

jodiebinning@gmail.com or jodiebinning@tpm.com

Having a professional email truly allows for your prospects and clients to stay confident.

  1. Easily searchable content. Can I navigate through your website with ease? Does your content stand out? Is it interesting? Here are three effective rules that everyone should utilize when building out or restructuring their website: stay consistent, provide search engines so that users can easily access the information they’re searching for, maximize your media: text, pictures, videos, etc.
  1. Can I effectively utilize your website through my phone?The answer should be yes. A lot of your clients are on the go and sometimes checking for updates through your website is more convenient for them. According to Impact, 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. Here are some tips on making sure your website is mobile-friendly: don’t make a separate mobile-friendly website, utilize responsive design, structure your font sizes and button sizes appropriately, and use high-resolution images.
  1. Active Social Media. So, you have this awesome and effective website, contact information and your business “why.” What actions are you taking to make sure your online presence is being “spread?” One great tool for this is being active on social media. Some of those platforms can include Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Some tips on ways you can stay active on those websites include: post content regularly, address any feedback or reply to messages, post on variety of different topics, and most importantly: be friendly, appropriate, and stay relevant.

Have you found success in your online presence? Let us know how in the comments below!


Fostering Business Relationships

March 8, 2018

Whenever you think of building relationships so that people can trust you, and so that your relationships grow, do you think of business? If you don’t, you should. Relationships are something we do want to grow in our businesses. Especially if you’re a financial advisor and you want your clients to trust you. Why are they important? Think of all the referrals you’ve received last year from your best clients. Some of those were probably your biggest sales. Now, try to quantify that number. Once you realize the importance of how you make your clients “feel” as you build those relationships, that in return could be helping your business grow.

We’ve discussed the benefits of building business relationships, now let’s focus on how we should go about doing so. When you first attract a possible client, here are a few things that will go through their head: Can I trust this advisor? Will they understand my unique situation? And, will this advisor’s advice be unbiased? The goal for you is to triumph all of these questions. Do so by being transparent in your process, empathize with their situation, and trust them back.

Following these guidelines will not only increase trust with your potential clients, but also develop those business relationships. In return, both the client and you, as a business professional, are better off.


From Cold Calling to New Clients

February 8, 2018

Cold calling has been around for longer than we can imagine. Yet, it’s still very alive today even with having a 2% success rate, which is mostly for the highly skilled sales professionals. Why doesn’t cold calling work nowadays? Firstly, it’s simply annoying for the consumers to receive, especially since they are busier now more than ever before. With ever increasing technology, consumers can easily research anything online. Therefore, they’re most likely not to engage or listen during the phone call. For that reason, we must redefine modern cold calling. Have you ever been persuaded to choose something simply because someone you know told you to? Let’s be honest, we all have! So why don’t we do the same when we’re reaching out to potential clients? Think of how different your cold calling conversation would go if you said: “Hi, my name is Jodie Binning, I’m the owner of Three Point Marketing. One of my clients mentioned that you need a little bit of help in growing your marketing and developing your website.” By hearing “one of my clients mentioned,” the consumer instantly develops trust. Instead of randomly cold calling, find connections and turn them into “warm calls.” I’ll leave you with a couple of tips to ensure your call is successful:

  1. Create a list of all connections. And use them. Doesn’t matter how big or small you feel each connection is.
  2. Practice. Practice. Practice. Do you think actors ever film a scene without practicing their script? Absolutely not. Write out what you would like to say in your call and the call is half done for you.
  3. Listen. One of the main issues in the modern age is that we talk before we listen. When you actively listen, the customer feels that you care. You also want to ensure that you’re asking strategic follow up questions.
  4. Ask for a meeting at the right time. After you’ve used your practiced conversation, listened to the customer’s needs, and know that you can help them: ask for the meeting.

And just like that, you’ll turn your modern cold call into a connection!


How Do I Break Out of a Marketing Rut

January 25, 2018

Marketing Ruts… If you haven’t experienced one throughout your business’s life cycle, then please share your secrets with the rest of us. Rather you’d like to admit it or not, marketing ruts happen and they can be frustrating, discouraging, and honestly irritating. Why isn’t this working? Why am I not getting any responses? However, it’s a new month, new quarter and you’re ready to try something different but you don’t know how. You’ll always have the option to look back and review what worked and what didn’t in your previous marketing strategies. But, how can you dig deeper? Let’s look at some advice on helping your process of getting out of a Marketing Rut:

  1. Brainstorm the worst ideas possible. In a way, this sounds like it would be fun to do, am I right? When your marketing isn’t going the way you were expecting, it’s time to brainstorm your worst ideas possible with your team. Google search some marketing disasters and look at things that companies have done that they completely regret. Doing this will allow for us to notice what success looks like and makes us think, “what’s truly important in marketing?”
  2. Research outside of your industry. What are some companies that aren’t in your industry that are executing extremely well on describing their product?
  3. Research inside of your industry. Look at some of the most successful firms in your industry even if they are 20 times bigger than you. This will allow for you to notice things you don’t incorporate into your marketing strategy. Additionally, it will allow for you to see how they are describing their value proposition and other points, which in return will give you ideas on how you can successfully communicate information to your audience.

Getting out of a Marketing Rut can be what you make of it, so make it fun! Let us know what types of things you noticed in your research in the comments below.


Are Your Clients Talking About You?

January 11, 2018

Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) – you participate in it daily. “So have you heard about that new iPhone X? It recognizes your face!” Rather you are recommending your favorite leadership book or your friend convinced you to switch gyms because the one your friend attends is “better,” WOMM affects us on a daily basis. WOMM has been around way before social media existed. It’s one of the first forms of marketing and is one of the most valuable. A study conducted by The OECHSLI Institute on the power of WOM influence for financial advisors states that 92% of clients found their financial advisors through word of mouth influence. 60% of clients say that the main reason they chose their financial advisor was due to word of mouth influence. So, the question here is how do we go about increasing WOMM in the 21st century? Here are some methods that you can implement into your marketing strategy:

  1. Ask top clients to share testimonials/reviews. If you have a website, this is a perfect addition. In fact, 79% of people report trusting testimonials and online reviews just as much as word of mouth recommendations.
  2. Offer an incentive. You’re probably thinking, “My client is super busy and doesn’t have time.” However, people are more likely to do things when receiving something in return. As you reach out to your top clients for either testimonials, reviews or even for your marketing campaigns, offer discounts or services as an exchange for their participation and referrals.
  3. Organize a formal referral program. This will make the process for your clients fast and easy. Additionally, this will allow for you to measure the results.
  4. What is your story? As always, ensuring your website is up to date and interesting is important. But what will increase WOMM is sharing your unique story, right on your website. Why did you start your business? What drives your business? Whenever you give people something memorable, they will share it with the people around them even if you don’t ask them to.

If you have a great example of successful WOMM for your firm, share in the comments below!


Overcoming the Overwhelm

November 30, 2017

It’s getting to that busy time of year where there’s projects and deadlines, or maybe you’re trying to market your self to a potential new employer or new clientele. Plus you have the holidays to worry about! That can overwhelm the best of us. So the question is, what can we do to combat that feeling of being so overwhelmed? Here a few tips that might help you come out on top, and maybe you won’t break a sweat in the process.

  1. Recognize your tools. I know that this has been brought up in previous blog posts as well, but you will be so successful if you recognize and utilize the tools available to you. There are a million online resources, and think about the people that you know as well. Who is out there that can give you a step up, provide new strategies or idea, give you resume tips, etc. The list is probably endless.
  2. Get organized. Figure out which of your goals are the most important, especially in the short term. There’s nothing more overwhelming than looking at a to do list that is a mile long and feeling like you need to accomplish it all immediately. Once you do that you can figure out a game plan to start checking off the boxes.
  3. Use a planner. This has been said time and time again, I know. It’s so important though. Block out your day and give yourself time slots to complete your specific tasks. You will always be on track and accomplishing something, without trying to do everything at once. It will change your world, I promise.
  4. Be satisfied. One of the worst things that you can do is tell yourself that you aren’t doing enough or being productive enough or getting enough done. At the end of the day look at what you accomplished and feel good about those things instead of bad about the things that you didn’t get to complete. Tomorrow is a new day!
  5. Take the first step. This is maybe the most important step. Everyone will have tactics and strategies that work for them and you will have to figure that out on your own. Getting started is the hardest thing for everyone though. Of course everyone is going to want their plan to be perfect and executed as best possible, but sometimes you need to take the leap. If you spend too much time worrying and planning and re-planning you will go crazy! You just need to start even if you don’t have everything worked out exactly as you want.

So as the holiday season gets kicked off, take the time to relax and think about your strategy. When the new year rolls around you’ll be ready to hit the ground running.

What are you best tips to beat the overwhelm?


How to market your content to potential clients

May 25, 2017

content

Taking the time to produce marketing content can be difficult. It’s not always easy to consistently come up with topics and ideas and over time you can start to feel like you’ve come to a dead-end. If you’ve been doing it for a while however, you know as well as I do that dead-ends are just an illusion. We always manage to come up with new ways to push forward; and so with all that work, of course we’d like to think that our readers are absorbing everything we have to offer, right?

That’d be nice, but I’m afraid not. I challenge you to ask a friend, that you know follows your publishings, how many times on average they actually read every word of your content. There’s a good chance you won’t like what they have to say; but try not to get discouraged. Time is valuable to people and sometimes it’s easier to just skim through the paragraphs rather than reading everything on the page.

In marketing, we are always trying to formulate new ideas and strategies to keep our techniques up-to-date; so much so that we can easily lose touch of the basics. One fundamental key principal of content marketing is BENEFITS over FEATURES.

Let me explain… Benefits are just as they sound. They are the value that the potential customer would receive from your services should they decide to become a client. For example, one way you could pitch a benefit is to say something like, “10% Increase in profitability guaranteed!” This is a benefit, and with all things that benefit us, we tend to give them more of our attention. In order to keep your content’s target audience interested and engaged, you need to make sure the benefits your services offer are standing out as much as possible.

Features are kind of like your credentials, so-to-speak. One example of a feature would be something along the lines of, “With over 25 years experience” or “Recipient of Best Firm Award”. These are features, and although they earn you credibility with whom you’re trying to market yourself to, they don’t necessarily capture the attention of the reader. Now, this is not to say features are bad. In fact, including them is very important; but you don’t want to make your pitch focused so much on your features that your benefits don’t get the chance to stand out.

As a rule of thumb, I like to recommend a ratio of 80/20 in favor of benefits. This way, you have a good percentage of features in your content so that your target audience can see what you’ve accomplished for others like them, but they also stay engaged in what you’re trying to sell them. Benefits are the key to getting people to pay attention to you. If you miss the opportunity to capture their attention, you miss the opportunity to serve them as your client; and nobody likes missed opportunities.


6 Tips for Upping Your Visual Marketing Strategy

May 26, 2016

With the rise of social media, blogging, LinkedIn, and so much more, the opportunities for new forms of marketing are endless. According to a recent infographic from WebDAM, human’s visual intelligence is on the rise. This means that when considering your marketing and blogging strategy it is important to put just as much emphasize on your photo choices as you do on the words you use.

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Here are 6 tips on how to best utilize visuals:

  1. Think about color. You want your images to grab the readers attention and draw them in. Make sure to use bold colors or combinations to hold their interest, as well as make it easier for them to recall the information they read.
  2. Utilize your resources. There are many free tools out there, such as Pixlr, PicMonkey, and Pixabay, to download or edit images. Be sure to do your research and take advantage of the resources available to you.
  3. Keep it simple. While you want to use great colors, designs, and prints it’s important to remember that simple is usually better. You don’t want to be too busy and overwhelm the reader. Grab their attention, but don’t distract them.
  4. Make it mobile accessible. Oftentimes readers will be viewing your ads, blogs, or social media on a mobile device. It’s important to remember to keep your images or videos easily seen on mobile devices and able to load quickly.
  5. Be thoughtful. When choosing your visuals make sure to give thought to who you are marketing to and why, just like you would with written content. Think about the message that you are sending.
  6. Be consistent. The types images you choose should be consistent throughout your various marketing forums. Don’t forget that you are creating a brand for yourself.

We live in a digital world where everyone has instant access to images and and social media. Visual content can be shared with the click of a button and, according to a Buffer infographic, it is 40 times more likely to be shared on social networks. With millennials making their way into the work force, it is important for businesses to take advantage of these online and visual resources that are available.

In what ways do you use visuals to enhance your marketing strategies?


Are you putting too much pressure on yourself?

April 28, 2016

This might sounds crazy but sometimes perfect isn’t always the way to go. Sometimes you have to let something go that’s “good enough”, and that’s okay. In marketing, you might be hesitant to send out that blog post that isn’t quite how you’d like it, you might refrain from starting a Twitter account because you don’t think you have good content, and you might not even bother with any marketing efforts at all because you don’t know how.

Trust us, its better to put yourself out there and be in the conversation, even if you’re not perfect. It sounds daunting, but you probably do this all the time on other areas of work. Sometimes you have to meet a deadline and if you only had another week it could be so much better; but you don’t. So you give them what you have and its enough. Marketing isn’t any different, so why do people act like it is?

Its because there aren’t any hard deadlines. You haven’t created a time pressure for your blog posts or your social media posts. You haven’t introduced the expectation that clients receive a birthday card or a newsletter. This is the key. Creating this pressure on yourself allows you not to worry about perfection, but about consistency.

Once you get into a routine, you won’t worry so much about the perfect post or the best Tweet. You can join the conversation and people will respond to that. Don’t let yourself get so caught up in perfection that you don’t do anything at all. There’s no such thing as perfection.

Are you putting too much pressure on yourself

 


5 Tips for Buckling Down and Getting to Work

April 15, 2016

It happens sometimes. You know you have work to do, but you can’t seem to buckle down and focus. You go from your email to your current project to Facebook back to email. You’re not being productive but what can you do? Here are 5 tips to help you buckle down and get to work.

buckle down and get to work

  1. Get comfy, but not too comfy. If you’re focused on how uncomfortable you are, you’ll never get anything done. Make sure your chair is at the right height and you’re sitting in a good position. Make sure you’re not too comfy though! You don’t want to fall asleep at your desk.
  2. Listen to music. Listening to music can drown out other distractions and help you focus on your current task. Pick music that won’t distract you, like music without words. Make sure it’s not too loud and not too quiet. Moderate noise levels are just right for creative thinking.
  3. Food and drink. Having a glass of water handy can keep you from having to get up all the time to quench your thirst. Keep a snack or two at the ready to fuel your productivity. Opt for some gum for a low calorie option. The action of chewing will keep you awake and alert.
  4. Use an app. There are plenty of apps out there to improve productivity. There are even ones designed to keep you focused! One app will break up your task into 25 minute sessions and reward you when you’re done. Check out this app and others here.
  5. Take a break. Sometimes you’ve done all you can do and your brain just needs a break. Take a walk around the office or go get some coffee. Relaxing can help you focus more once you come back.

It happens to the best of us. Sometimes we all need some help buckling down and getting to work. If you follow these tips, you should be back on track in no time.

What do you do to buckle down and get to work?