August 29, 2014

7 Highly Effective Marketing Strategies for Professional Services

These are some of the best, tried and true methods available for lead generation. They are great for all professional service organizations which are locally marketed. For businesses which are not constrained by geographic location, these strategies can be duplicated and scaled exponentially.

They are in no particular order because they are all creme of the crop techniques.

1. The Power of Word of Mouth Referrals.

Word of mouth referrals are, in almost every case, the best leads and easiest sales to make.
Look… You love your clients. They love and appreciate you… Let them show it!

Start with those you’ve already served, ask your satisfied customers for referrals.
I’ve repeated that so that you build that into your automatic subconscious processes.
Remember; people work with people they know, like, and trust.

2. Educational Training Events.

Educate, Position Properly, & Sales will Close Themselves.

Offer to give a seminar to a local business or consumer group.
Host an event/conference/seminar where you can educate those who you would market your services to.

Find a unique approach.

You are there to create awareness… Don’t hard sell, or format your presentation like they NEED you and what you have to offer.

GIVE away VALUE, explain the underlying frustrations, the causes, where most people go wrong and why… Explain the situation and case studies and then unveil what the solution is…

Now you’ve just positioned yourself as the expert and just happen to have that solution you were talking about, they will come to you. This is probably your BIGGEST source of pre-qualified prospects.

DON’T be bland…

Seriously just a little creative thought into your positioning, your angle, your materials, the refreshments, etc. can set you so far above the monotone powerpoint guy with free cookies and milk.

3. Local SEO & Google Places

This is probably the biggest pool of targeted new leads in you local area, period.
The search engines offer relevant local business listings within a geographical area through targeted search phrases and specific key phrases.

By finding out what those keywords are, and optimizing your local search platform for them, you can drive hundreds to thousands of VERY targeted new leads to your website, your front door, and into a phone conversation with you or your staff.

4. Local Networking

Again… People work with people they know, like, and trust.

Join a local networking group like bni, join your local chamber of commerce, create mastermind group of local business owners and pass referrals to each other.

Go to events in your industry and keep up with the latest progressive changes, talk to other professionals to see whats working for them, and learn whats not.

5. Get involved In Your Community Organizations

Again… People work with people they know, like, and trust.

Any local organizations (like churches, schools, universities) that you are currently involved with, is a great place to advertise or position yourself as the go-to guy for your area of expertise.

You don’t have to put your business cards in the collection at church to spread the word about your services…

Take out an an in the bulletin, if you can leave brochures at the back on a community board, do it.

Be prepared ready.

Get your elevator pitch down. When someone asks you what you do, don’t reply with a rhetorical closed ended answer. Come up with a creative, descriptive, and interesting short commercial for what EXACTLY you do. I help “audience” with “problem” by doing “what you do.”

This is a great conversation starter, and a great way to stand out in the mind of the new friend you’ve met when someone they know runs into THAT problem.

And always have business cards on you.

6. Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the very best ways to follow up with those who are interested enough to check you out online, and our interested in what you offer.

Many people who come to your website are not going to be ready to call or purchase right away.

This is your chance to build a relationship with them, educate them, and prove that you are the service provider they should give their business to.

So start a newsletter. Offer a free gift to entice people to subscribe to it… Don’t call it FREE REPORT… Call it “Benefits of what you’re going to give them, for free.”

7. Tracking and Analysis

Anything you are doing to generate leads should be measured for its effectiveness. A trial and error
testing process will yield the best results if you have a mindful attention on what is converting, and a willingness to continually improve these marketing channels to refine your lead generation systems.

If you aren’t sure that you have google analytics installed on your website, make sure you check with whoever would know, and ask for reports… If you aren’t at least tracking that, and your web guy isn’t either, you are probably leaving money on the table.

So there you have it, 7 of the very best lead generation and marketing strategies for professional services.

If you have aren’t satisfied with the amount of leads you are getting on a consistent basic, or have any questions about developing better marketing strategies for you business, we should chat.

To your success,

Jamie
Internet Consultant & Marketing Strategist
734.417.0227

Better Keyword Research for Local SEO

Better Keyword Research for Local SEO

Local SEO for your business, and a successful online presence are about attention to detail, and this starts with market and keyword research.

One of the most critical factors to the success of your website and online business venture lies in the most important phase of market research…

This is called KEYWORD RESEARCH. It is missed by amateurs and pro’s alike, and often isn’t given the careful consideration it requires – in order to determine the viability and base of ALL of your online efforts.

Done properly, means precise and measurable analysis in 4 primary areas.

Relevancy

We need to first determine your services, products, terminology, and most appropriate search queries with which we can start sifting and sorting to find the gems.

Traffic Levels

We need to determine if there are enough people searching for the terms to make it worth our while, so we further filter to pull out the keywords with significant levels of traffic, and zero in on them.

Market Competition

We need to determine the strength  and level of competition to assess the amount of effort and resources necessary to invest to get the desired results for a keyword or keyword phrase.

Commercial Value

The final factor we must asses is the commercial viability of the keyword. The ultimate end we are looking to achieve is to attract, market to and convert a certain prospect… If our keyword phrases aren’t primed to do that, or don’t hold the intent of visitor to buyer potential they may not be the keywords that get the results we are targeting depending on the campaign and business type.

 

As a professional internet consultant right here in ann arbor; attention to detail, plain english, and high performance results are what we offer, and THATS WHY we ARE the Leaders Edge.

Its amazes me when a business owner who’s had a website up for months or even years cannot tell me what their primary keywords are…

Its not their fault, but unfortunately, thanks to the agency or kid down the street who built their site, their not doing much better than a shoe-store with a pizza sign over the front door.

Your keywords are what people who are looking for you are typing into that ‘google box.’

Market and keyword research is a fundamental part of any online venture, it cannot be overlooked, yet often is.

We need to take multiple considerations into account to determine keywords that are going to MAKE you MONEY.

If you are a business owner, your online presence is most definitely a business venture. If you don’t know your primary keywords or aren’t receiving progressive growth in traffic, something isn’t right. Give us a call, we’ll tell you what it is and how we can fix it.

Thorough analysis, attention to detail, your PERSONAL web ninjas, thats why we’re the Leaders Edge.

Give me a call at (734) 417-0227

The 2 Biggest Website Development Mistakes made by Local Businesses

Website Development Mistakes made by Local Businesses

Unfortunately, the majority of websites created for brick and mortar businesses fail.

Most commonly, for one of two reasons…

A fancy website is built to satisfy the web designer’s creative muse, yet overlooks the consideration of what the business actually needs.

A website is built but not optimized for the search engines, doesn’t show up, and thus can’t be found by interested visitors.

Your website is the CENTER of your online platform.

In either case, their is no excuse, and though it is not the business owners fault they’re the ones who end up footing the bill, and are left scratching their head.

Typically, this is the result of website designers and web services agencies who don’t work directly with the business to help guide and define their bigger picture vision, and then build the site to functionally integrate these objectives.

The branding & design, to the structure and functionality, through to the linking navigation and content strategy… IS, or SHOULD be the product of a deeper phase in the development process…

That is the strategic planning, and profile building of your business, your needs, and your market.

Their is a preparation process that should determine the purpose of your website and integrate the strategies needed to achieve the goals of the project.

Market research, customer demographics and psychographics, the sales & retention process, management and upkeep considerations, are just a few of the critical areas of focus that must be thoroughly identified in order to target specific objectives and achieve optimal results.

This level of attention to detail is something we’re proud of, and why we are the Leaders Edge.

If you are ready to get going the right way, are interested in a re-design, or just want to discuss your options, give me a call at 734.417.0227

Local Search Marketing and SEO Service in Ann Arbor

Let me demystify some of the core concepts you need to understand and answer some of your questions in regards to local search marketing for your business.

In this article i’ll explain some jargon that you should be aware of, or may have even bounced off your brain-bucket when brought up in conversation… Least, next time you’ll be better equipped when the topic turns to  local SEO, backlinks & citations, google places, local marketing, and internet marketing strategies.

As your local consultant, thats my job.

First off lets understand how the search engines work…

The search engines are in the business of connecting people who are looking for something with what they are looking for. Plain and simple. Their mission is to create the most relevant match. It is their job to provide the highest quality and most accurate search results for what words and phrases their users are typing into the search box.

The process of optimizing a website and online presence to  show up at the top of these search results is called SEO or Search Engine Optimization.

Just as google maps can give you driving directions from point A to point B, their geographical algorithm indexes information about offline businesses relative to the area the search was made from.

But just like regular old organic SEO, if you aren’t showing up on the first page, you aren’t going to be found.

For a local business owner that has competitors, this IS your biggest lead generation channel.

The downside?

Well it can be overwhelming, time consuming, and is getting harder and harder to get optimal placement and show up at the top…

Unfortunately, the competition is getting much more intense as people are starting to really catch on to how much of an impact this is having on businesses…

In other words, joe business owner just wandering in and claiming his listing which his buddy said was a good idea; inputting a couple sentences of information, and never touching it again, is next to useless for getting any desirable results.

We specialize in moving local businesses into the high rankings of the 7-pack. What this means for you is that you can show up on the first pages of Google, Yahoo, and Bing in a geo-targeted area in which you conduct business.

Marketing pitch aside, if you think this may help in your given market, right now really is the best time to hop on board folks. Its only going to get more difficult, and more expensive, if businesses don’t make a VERY CHEAP investment now and get their businesses local footprint optimized by professionals….

I have a team of trained professionals who can do all the intricate, time consuming leg work.

We’ll get your business on the map, optimized by experts, FRONT page in the search engines, listed in the relevant directories, and MOST importantly… More Customers.

If you are ready for a free analysis, consultation, and strategy session, give me a call @ 734.417.0227

Cheers,

Jamie

Ann Arbor Internet Consultant – Best of Both Worlds

As an ann arbor internet consultant i’m tuned to notice many marketing and seo practices used by agencies and web service companies. Oddly enough, right.

But when you contact or visit most SEO companies, (in ann arbor or otherwise) you’ll notice a common theme in both the presentation and the pitch…

WE are great, look what WE can do for  you, choose from one of OUR standard packages, fit OUR mold.

This is the standard M.O. for these companies.

It is important to point this out in order illustrate that our approach, from the inside out, is notably different.

First and foremost… We listen to YOUR needs like a good friend who simply wants to figure out how to HELP your business.

Using tailor made strategies and getting things done the RIGHT way, REQUIRES that we start the RIGHT WAY… By LISTENING to you, well before we try to sell you anything. We’re not here to sell or pitch you anything. We are here to help you figure out what your business needs to grow and develop a better marketing strategy that gets more qualified leads in front of your message and offer.

At Local Edge we give our clients the best of both worlds… The pro’s of their very own SEO consultant, with the advantages offered by a search marketing agency.

We’ll work with YOU to develop & realize YOUR vision. AND our hybrid business model marries the advantages of a personal online consultant, with the benefits of a digital marketing agency.

  • Our highly detailed, structured processes and specialized teams of subject matter experts utilize resources most effectively.
  • Each campaign is treated uniquely, with the care it deserves and NEEDS to blossom.
  • We have an initial selection process to determine if we are a good fit for each other.
  • We only work with one company per market and specialty.
  • We strongly value long-term relationships over short term one-offs, in every possible sense.

Most marketing companies in ann arbor will work with any and every business because their goal is to get as many people paying them a recurring monthly fee.

Unfortunately, an SEO agency is most likely going to put you on the back-burner unless you’re a large – corporate client with lots of cash to waste. You probably will not get the attention you deserve.

The frustratingly constant busy signal that is your SEO agency – now requires 3 or four speciality consultants to get you out of the mess the last company created for you.

You feel angry, bitter, overwhelmed, what did i do wrong..?

Well, the answer is… Nothing. Unfortunately, Its just part of the risk you run when going this route.

I am not a salesman. Im not here to convince you to buy our stuff. I’ll be direct, we’re not going to be right for everyone. We are selective, and we are here to work with those companies that want the edge.

As your ann arbor internet consultant, a professional will maintain a holistic view of both your vision and customized plan to make it happen. We will be intimately aware of all aspects of your campaign.

And lastly, you WON’T get the pitch and ditch…

This is where your slick talking and knowledgeable pro does the pitch, and then his involvement with your project ends…

You will benefit from a seasoned pro guiding your project through to completion and the cumulative experience from our specialized teams.

When you are ready, give me a call at 734.417.0227 and we’ll do a needs assessment and consultation free of charge.

To Your Success,

Jamie