Category Archives: Newsletters

Get inspiration and practical tips for your own communications by subscribing to this monthly newsletter, with examples of recent successes for clients.

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Use SWOT Analysis as a Platform for Media Outreach

Document your anniversary and spread the word. Take photos and create informal videos of the activities underway. For example, compare the new anniversary logo with the one in use and describe the process of designing it. All events should be captured; these photos and video can be shared on your company’s website and social media accounts.

My Anniversary. Your Gift.

Document your anniversary and spread the word. Take photos and create informal videos of the activities underway. For example, compare the new anniversary logo with the one in use and describe the process of designing it. All events should be captured; these photos and video can be shared on your company’s website and social media accounts.

Make It a Double

Broaden your audience; two can speak together. Consider teaming up with a client, or referral source, to tap into the market of their peers. Podcast hosts, webinar producers and conference organizers will view your co-presenter as someone who has their finger on the pulse of what’s happening in their industry or their profession, giving you additional credibility as a speaker.

How to Repurpose Your Content

Circulate your nuggets of wisdom as widely as possible. The ideas you share in digital formats, like articles, email newsletters and e-books, are easily repurposed to other online platforms, such as blogs, and distributed via social media accounts. Consider speaking to groups and video, as well.

Maximize Your Membership in an Association or Networking Group

Apply the Marketing RBI paradigm to your membership. As you may recall, two of the components are:
– Speaking (Here’s the Pitch): Create opportunities where you can speak to the members, as a panelist or moderator, or on the association’s podcast.
– Writing (Keeping the Box Score): Contribute to the organization’s newsletter or blog.

When you implement these activities, remember this step:
– Extend Your Presence Online (Cover All the Bases): Promote your involvement and the group’s activities in your posts on LinkedIn and other social media platforms.

You can see how these tactics have supported my business development. Try them yourself.

Beware the Risks of (Not) Talking to a Reporter

When a reporter calls you out of the blue, take the call and reschedule for a time when you are prepared to speak on the topic. The reporter is going to write the story, with or without you, so practice a script that grants you 30 minutes to prepare your remakrs and gather additional information.

Of course, you will follow up with the reporter, even if you have to dodge some questions because you don’t have enough information to respond in that moment. You probably may safely say that you are looking carefully at the situation’ (you are in touch with your attorney) and you will re-connect with the reporter as more details become available.

While this response may not be quotable, it tells the reporter you are attentive to their interest in the story and will remain accessbile for future comment.

Use LinkedIn to Book Speaking Engagements

An introduction from a known source may make the difference in booking a speaking engagement. This outreach has four steps:

1. Assemble a list of trade associations and professional membership groups where you are likely to meet your target audience. Or compile a wish list of companies and organizations that are potential clients.

2. Locate the appropriate contact, President or Chair of the Program Committee, and email them regarding your interest in speaking on a few subjects to their group.

3. When the group’s officer does not respond, identify a mutual contact of any officer of the group and ask them to introduce you, following the template.

4. When this intermediary agrees to do so, send them a lightly revised version of your original correspondence with the organization so it may be copied and emailed to the group’s officer.

Five Tips to Maximize a Media Interview

Do not ask for, nor expect to receive, a preview of the article or your quote. How do you like it when a coworker hovers over your shoulder while you compose a report? 

Instead, team up with the reporter. Perhaps you will say: I know we’ve covered a lot of ground in this conversation, some of which is rather technical. If you have any questions about what we’ve discussed, or would like to review anything with me, I’m happy to help.

Better to ask when the article will be published, so that you can promote it on your social media accounts and include it in your newsletter. Reporters will be happy to learn you will drive your contacts to read it. 

Make Your News Story Idea a Birthday Gift

Here are three questions to get you started. Which problem have you recently solved for a client? Which referral source would make a good partner to package a story idea? Which reporter at an industry newsletter or a local business magazine is likely to open your gift for a news article? Start brainstorming from any of these points of departure and see where you land. 

What’s Your Forecast?

Speak up. Your predictions might be right, but don’t be concerned if they don’t work out. Twelve months from now, no one will hold you accountable, even if your ideas turn out to be off the mark. Instead, reporters will remember that you had a forecast, and they will re-connect to hear your perspective for the following year.

When Should You Issue a Press Release?

Consider these ways to share the news about your company, instead of issuing a press release:

Send an email announcement to your clients and referral sources, plus your many contacts
Add a pop-up window or prominent mention on your website
Insert attention-grabbing text in your email signature
Post the news on your individual and company social media accounts
Mention the update to members of your networking groups

Of course, you should also take these steps to support the press release you’re issuing.

Find Golden Contacts in Your Association’s Directory

A directory listing, like an elevator pitch, offers a bare minimum of information. You have to engage in conversation to flesh out the details. To start the relationship with a fellow member, introduce yourself by email. Focus on YOU, the reader/member, and establish shared interests. Your goal is to have the next conversation.

The Reader’s Attention is Yours to Lose

Confirm your emails speak to the reader. Read one of your recent emails to a potential client, or one you received. Highlight in red the words I, MY, WE, OUR Then highlight in yellow the words YOU and YOUR. When you are done, the email should display more yellow words than red. If not, take a stab at inverting some of those sentences to address the interest of the reader.

Use Reverse Engineering to Book More Podcast Spots

Podcast hosts are always looking for guests; accordingly, write an email to the host that shows why YOU would be a great resource to their audience.
1. Refer to your shared interest in the subject that is the focus of the podcast and mention that you have listened to previous episodes.
2. Cite one that is closely aligned with your proposed topic or name a colleague who appeared on the show.
3. Indicate how you will provide a fresh look at a specific subject.
4. Remember to state you will actively promote the episode to attract more listeners.

This approach will make you a highly attractive guest.

Attn: Women (and Men) Who Want to Be Quoted in the News

Being contacted by a reporter is like the lottery; you have to be in it to win it. Use a Media Profile to introduce yourself to journalists as someone who has her finger on the pulse of the industry. Think of trends that you see looming on the horizon. Consider big picture ideas that will spark interest in your insights. Is there an upcoming deadline that companies must meet? Anticipate how this may impact businesses in a specific industry or local area. Your ideas should help an individual, business owner or an executive to Save Time, Save Money or Make More Money.

NEW E-book: Create and Monitor Your Marketing RBI

Try ALL FIVE strategies and then focus on the ones where you feel most comfortable. Networking may be your favorite and speaking may give your stomach butterflies. Or vice versa. The e-book gives examples of how you can take some practice swings and become more comfortable with the approaches you don’t ordinarily use.

Start with the End

Help the reader or audience achieve the outcome. Now that you’ve educated the reader, listener or attendee, in most cases, your goal is for the person to contact you for your product or service.

When you want someone to give you a call, send you an email, visit your website or download a report, you have to provide them with the essential mechanism to take that step.

Choose Your Pandemic Holiday Card

Refer to the holiday season without specifying the observance of a specific faith. In America’s culturally diverse society, you can not assume that others celebrate the same holiday as you, whether Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa or Diwali. Popular images include candles, which brighten the darkest months of the year and are prominent in each holiday. Photos of winter scenes are also appropriate.

Make it Easy to Say YES. Make it Hard to Say NO.

Make it easy to contact you by putting your phone number and a link to an email address on EVERY PAGE of your website, in addition to a Contact page. Simply place them in a colored border at the top of the page. Put them on your LinkedIn profile, Facebook page and other digital assets, too.

Display ALL your newsletters on your website, not only the current issue. (The person you met in July may find your March newsletter of interest.)

Create a downloadable tip sheet, with your contact information and logo. (You may choose to require an email address first.)
Save your published articles and guest blog posts as PDFs with the notation As previously published and the appropriate copyright. Assemble them in one place on your website for easy download.
Create a list of your appearances on podcasts and speaking engagements.

Are You Stuck Inside the Four Walls of Your House?

Are you doing things the way they have always been done? Take a closer look at the rationale for following the ways of the past using the five W’s:

Who said this is the way to do it? (Perhaps it was someone who’s long gone.)
What will happen if it’s done differently — or not at all?
When must a change be made? (Is there a deadline?)
Where can you gather support (buy-in or funding) to make a change?
Why will a new way be better?

Improve Your Voicemail Greeting

Tips to improve your recorded voicemail greeting:
State your name (and company) so the caller can confirm she reached the party she seeks.
Invite the caller to please leave a phone number and message. State that you will return the call as soon as possible.
If this is your office landline, consider leaving your cell phone number — enunciated slowly and perhaps repeated — so the caller might text you or reach you at that number, in case it is an urgent matter.
Here’s how you can say your cell phone number at a pace that others can follow. Write the number as words; mine is three-four-seven-two-five-six-nine-one-four-one.

Raise Your Virtual Networking Game

Prepare in advance to share your contact details. You can easily copy and paste your name, email and phone in the Zoom chat, preferably in the middle of the networking session, when everyone has arrived and settled in.

Save this contact information block as a DRAFT email to keep it handy. You’ll never worry that you typed so quickly you dropped a digit from your phone number.

Your Daily Pie of Time

Make a list of the many projects and tasks on your plate. Prioritize them by client score. That is, are they necessary for current clients? Will they attract future clients?

When you prioritize the activities from your Work Pie of Time, you will see which ones are the best use of your valuable time. Some can be handled by others and some may even be set aside, not to re-surface for a while. That’s okay. Not now does not mean never.

Give and Take

Create a giving appointment in your daily calendar. Research shows that keeping a gratitude journal for 15 minutes a day, three times a week, can enhance your feeling of happiness. By giving to others in your professional circles, you will give them a boost that supports their business, plus improve your own mood.

Vote. Vote for Email and NOT for Social Media

Email is the way. Whether the email newsletter is read that same day or at another time, the subscriber sees your name and mentally records the fact that you entered their In box. Now that it is more difficult to conduct business face to face and in person due to COVID, it is imperative that you remain top of mind among your connections. When relationships are reinforced by periodic email, it is more likely you will be remembered for a future contact or receive a positive response to your next phone call.

Team Up to Improve Your Client’s Marketing RBI

Two can play the Marketing game better than one. After you team up, thank the client and celebrate. When you speak at an event or write an article, acknowledge the shared success. Post a summary as an update on LinkedIn, with a link to the article or the event announcement. You may also mention your article and presentation in your newsletter, again, thanking the client. When you attend the networking event or the trade association’s program, take photos that feature you and the client. Both of you can post the snapshots to your social media accounts.

Make Your Less-Than-Perfect LinkedIn Profile Stand Out

Your profile may be complete according to LinkedIn’s checklist, yet underperform. Make the most of this free space.
1. LinkedIn automatically inserts the title of your current job in the Headline slot. You can change that easily. Does your headline describe the value you create for clients or the team? Does it use terms someone outside your profession would use? (Hint: No one seeks a Director.)
2. Is the length off the Headline close to the maximum of 220 characters? You can achieve this by using a mobile phone or tablet when you edit the headline.
3. Does your photo convey you are approachable?
4. Is your background default LinkedIn blue? Does it display information about your services, a cityscape or your company logo?
5. Have you received (and given) recommendations recently?
6. Do you display examples of your work, such as reports, videos and news articles, in the Feature section? 

Your Less Than Perfect Website Costs You Business

Run this checklist on your website. After you answer the questions about the home page, look at a few other pages and consider these issues:

1. Is there a sample of your expertise — a free downloadable white paper, tip sheet or quiz — upon submitting an email address?
2. Are the images relevant?
3. Do you invite visitors to contact you and display your phone number and email address on every page?
4. Is the latest issue of your newsletter available for review? Is it current? Is it easy for visitors to subscribe?
5. Does the website display well on mobile?

Take Marketing Off the Back Burner (10 in a series of 10)

How often should you execute these marketing activities? Most businesses do not change dramatically in a short period of time. Schedule a date once every quarter to review each of the following, individually: Website, LinkedIn profile, Media Profile and an idea for an Article. Your Newsletter is probably published quarterly, as well.

Establish a system to add contacts to your Database on an ongoing basis. Plus, set dates to periodically reach out for a quick catch-up call or an invitation to attend a webinar or networking event together. 

Schedule time to participate on Social Media at least three times a week, whether you post your own thoughts, share an article by another or comment on posts by your connections.

Whenever you create new material, such as a published article or newsletter, post it on your website, promote it on social media, incorporate a reference and link to your Email Signature and add it to your LinkedIn profile. (Links to your website and LinkedIn profile remain the same.)

Take Marketing Off the Back Burner (9 in a series of 10)

What are good questions to get the conversational ball rolling in your Networking Squared meeting? The best questions are open-ended, permitting the respondent to share an example or anecdote that illustrates the point of discussion. Some favorites are:

1. How do you help others: Save Time, Save Money, Make More Money or Get More Joy out of Life?
 2. What was the highlight of the past year (or quarter) in helping a client? 3. 
(In reply to a statement) That sounds hard. How do you do that?

Take Marketing Off the Back Burner (8 in a series of 10)

Who might you partner with on this case study/publication/speaking project? Start by reflecting on the work you most enjoyed or found most remunerative and where you wish to secure more engagements. Now, create a list of those previous clients who deemed your services and advice a resounding success. Add to it other professionals who collaborated in a key component of the project. Perhaps vendors who contributed substantively to the outcome might be valuable collaborators in this case study as well.

Take Marketing Off the Back Burner (6 in a series of 10)

It’s easy to turn your audio into print by following the Marketing strategy of C O P E (Create Once, Publish Everywhere). Summarize the key points of the discussion in a numbered list. Place the write-up on your letterhead and add the link to the podcast. Publish these Highlights as a post and article on LinkedIn, plus on your website. This makes it easy for someone to scan the topics and decide that she wants to listen to your remarks for 28 minutes.

Take Marketing Off the Back Burner (5 in a series of 10)

It’s Give and Take, not Take and Give. Networking works best when you think about others and reach out to assist them. Accordingly, offer to be a resource to the people you know. Set aside time every day to make a phone call or two that will get a conversation started. Suggest an introduction to someone of potential mutual interest. Ask for some advice. Put the ball in play and see where it leads.

What’s Up with Your Elevator Pitch

Play to the audience of your elevator pitch. It’s helpful to have several versions that you can tailor when you are speaking to one person, a trio of workshop participants or a room of networking group members. Consider also whether the audience is from the same profession as yourself, are members of a target market or represent a random assortment of occupations. Adjust your remarks accordingly.

Keep, Delete or Re-Connect on LinkedIn

It’s never too late to re-start the conversation. Use these subject line prompts, or your own variation, making sure the question requires a response, not a yes/no answer:

1. Your name came up in conversation with ____ (Put the name in the body of the email, so the reader will open the note.) What are you working on now?
2. This article/podcast reminded me of our conversation about ____ (link). What do you think?
3. Remember this email? Please help me recall what happened next.
4. Your business card re-surfaced. What’s new?
5. Your name came to mind in a review of contacts. Let’s meet for coffee and catch up.
6. According to LinkedIn, you are now (at a new company) (in a new role). Congratulations! When shall we celebrate?

Write a LinkedIn Post that Stops the Scroll

How often should you post and when is the best time? Daily posts are recommended. If you want to post more often, wait at least four hours before posting again. People post and publish articles at all times of the day. Research indicates the best times to post are Tuesday through Thursday, with activity peaking at noon and between 5:00 and 6:00 pm.

Your Business Card is Your Paper Partner

Take a closer look at your own business card and see how it matches these criteria:

Your name, title and company name
Description of your profession/service
Ideal client or target market
Contact information: street address, phone number(s), email address and website
Tag line that amplifies your offer
Distinctive logo or visual element that is not overused, e.g., not the scales of justice for an attorney
White or light-colored back, so the recipient can write a note there
Font size of at least 8 point for legibility
Substantial card stock that is not paper thin

How You Can Stand Out as a Conference Attendee

Plan your post-conference activity. Take selfie-photos with the attendees you meet and event hosts. Post the pictures individually on LinkedIn with the name (@New Contact) and refer to the idea you discussed. Email the photo (and perhaps the link to the post) to the person with a note about your great conversation, along with the article or contact you promised. Invite them to connect with you on LinkedIn. You’ve started an in-person conversation; keep up the momentum.

Are You Too Busy to Write? Then Crowdsource Your Content

Offer value to the crowdsourced participant. When inviting the attorneys to provide ideas for the law practice article, I explicitly stated that their name, law firm name and a brief phrase about their practice would be included in the article. Similarly, I indicated my newsletter would include a link to the websites of the LinkedIn coaches who gave permission to cite their remarks. This approach underscored the benefits to the attorneys and to the coaches.

Speak at an Event AND Report

When you prepare to give a talk, remember to promote it before and after the event. Assemble a list of three to five takeaways. Recruit someone to take a photo, if there is no official photographer. As an attendee, plan to take notes AND photos.

Post the highlights of the event and a photo, with a substantive caption, on your LinkedIn profile and in relevant groups, plus on your Twitter account.

Connect (and Re-Connect) with Members of Your Networking Groups

Make a list of your professional membership organizations, networking groups, LinkedIn groups and other communities. Peruse the membership directory and cross-check those names in your LinkedIn network. If you are not yet connected, compose a connection request to introduce yourself, citing your mutual association. (Note: I am currently engaged in this outreach with a 90-member virtual group; about one-half have accepted my invitation.) When you are already connected on LinkedIn, and it has been a while since your last interaction, get a meaningful conversation started.

Your FREEBIE is Valuable to Your Prospects

Your free giveaway can keep on giving. Once prospects receive the link to the giveaway, or download the freebie, it is easy for them to share it with their colleagues and other contacts. This results in a wider distribution. Even if you may not know where the giveaway has been sent, by using a link shorten-er, you can track the number of subsequent clicks.

Why You Should Co-Lead a Workshop with a Colleague

When your co-presenter for a speaking engagement is a client, a referral source or a networking contact, you provide a more comprehensive view that also aligns with the participants. Plus, the interplay between two speakers –- when one asks the other a question, for example –- enlivens the session and keeps the attendees engaged.

What’s in Your LinkedIn Profile’s Background?

Instead of the default LinkedIn blue background, make it True Blue You. Get the LinkedIn background format for the DIY-er. Open a free account on Canva; there is a LinkedIn background template, plus there are formats for other social media platforms. Experiment with different text, fonts, colors and images. When you are ready, save the file; then have a design professional review and polish your work for viewing on a computer and on a tablet.

WII-FM? Why Should a Dentist, Landlord or Supermarket Clerk Care About Your Nonprofit or Business?

Look at the bigger picture from the perspective of a dentist, landlord and supermarket clerk. What is their desire or need in the community? For themselves? For their business? Which are the most pressing issues for them regarding time and money? Invite a dentist, landlord or clerk for a coffee chat, ask these questions and listen as you put yourself in her shoes.

Use the Calendar to Set (and Re-Set) Communication Goals

Make an appointment with yourself to address one of the seven Communication goal questions each day for the next week. As a reminder, when setting a Communication goal, the acronym S M A R T guides you to successful completion of the goal: Specific, Meaningful, Action Oriented, Realistic and Timely.

As You Like It, Please Say Why

When you agree with and like another’s LinkedIn post, make this opportunity work for you. Take the time to respond to the person and the discussion, as you like it. COMMENT to indicate: what you agree or disagree with; how this confirms or disproves the trend; what the discussion overlooks; how this relates to another topic or lesson learned; why this is or is not a best practice; or any other interesting aspect.

Is Your Company’s Launch a Secret?

Everyone should review these tools and accounts in an Annual Communications Audit. Approach various social media platforms from the perspective of someone who is not familiar with your company and services. Where might they look for information (website, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter)? What would they find there? Is the content current (timeless or within the last week)? Take a few minutes to check the latest entries on your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter accounts, and others that your audiences visit.

Improve Your Networking: Pre-event Marketing (2 of 3)

One week before you attend a networking event sponsored by a membership organization, contact key officers and committee chairs to apprise them of your interest in the group. The Program Chair, Membership Chair and Communications Chair, as well as the chairs of any committee that aligns with your profession, will be eager to meet you. At the event, ask them to introduce you to the President of the association, which enhances their stature and helps you join the inner circle of leaders.

Improve Your Networking: Attitude (1 of 3)

Networking is not about ME; it is about YOU, the other person. These are the reasons to attend Networking events: Be seen as a connector/Recruit resources. Make introductions. Maintain contacts. Learn from the speaker. Stay up to date informally. When you are seen as knowledgeable and trustworthy, you will attract clients and prospects.

Send a Better Holiday Card

Like other marketing activities, this holiday card is not about you, personally. It is about the you on the other side of the table, the person who is opening the envelope. Keep the image and discourse neutral. The United States has many faith groups. Respect them; you cannot be sure another person shares your beliefs about a seasonal holiday and may take umbrage.

Do You Lead Workshops for Free?

Speaking at events is one of the top five ways to attract new clients. Where can you find speaking opportunities? Try: Networking group, Classes taught by colleagues, Professional membership associations, Business associations, Local merchant associations, Chambers of Commerce, Municipal public library, City and county small business services agency, City and county economic development corporation, Associations of nonprofit organizations and United Way, Center for management training.

Your Garden of Media Relations

Media Relations activity is like gardening. You clear, plant and cultivate. Then distribute. It’s up to you to propagate the news story you’ve placed by sharing it everywhere you can. Don’t trust that the wind (social media) will carry the seedlings (news coverage) of its own accord. As the gardener, you have to play an active role. Root around for ideas and find fertile ground to plant them.

Time to Improve Your Marketing RBI

Five key marketing activities are Networking, Speaking, Writing, Trade Association and Digital Presence. Consider which approaches are most comfortable for you and which will be most effective in reaching your target market. Set goals for participating in these marketing activities monthly.

Keep Your Recent Conference Current

Your business or nonprofit group held a conference. Considerable effort went into preparing the event; once over, strategize so that the conference still remains relevant. Undoubtedly, the issues addressed will persist. Treat the conference as a launch pad or a way-station in the extended conversation and cultivate future exchanges for fruitful follow-up and action.

Close-up of Your Digital Portrait

When someone you met at a conference searches for you online, what will she find? What you say about yourself?

Or is there a blank or incomplete space?

You have the positive obligation to shape your digital presence and tell your story through multiple channels. As a business or nonprofit professional, place yourself in the most favorable light.

Create Your Own Traveling Classroom

To lead a workshop that will attract new clients, look beyond the membership of a professional organization and the four walls of a classroom. Develop an interactive session and offer it to your connections for their professional development and that of their peers. At this contact’s office, you’ll collect their colleagues’ cards and their appreciation.

Grasp the Hidden Power in Your Networking Group

Tap into your network for advice and your own brain-stretching. Networking meetings are not only about individuals and their presentations. It’s the collection of multi-disciplinary perspective each one brings to the table. Informally advising your colleague will help you exercise your brainstorming muscles, build trust among contacts and garner ideas to develop your own business.

COPE: How Writing Can Re-Broadcast Your Audio

What is COPE?: Create Once, Publish Everywhere.
Clients, prospects and supporters are looking for resources and information across multiple platforms: online, newspapers, magazines, newsletters and video. Whenever you create content, take steps to share and promote your insights. Whenever you are the subject of media coverage or another’s blog, you can respect copyright and reference the media outlet.

Vote for Email and NOT for Social Media

Email is here to stay.
Email has a larger reach; there are THREE times more email accounts than Facebook & Twitter combined.
Email delivers to the recipient 90% of the time; only 2% of Facebook fans see posts.
Email converts with a 3% click-through rate vs .5% click-through on Twitter.
YOU control the distribution of email, not Facebook or Twitter algorithms.

Take Your Own Advice

You probably love to give advice to others. We all have insights on (un)usual business issues and strained relationships, plus tips for gardening, exercise and travel.

Ever get that AHA moment when you realize the suggestions you offered work for your own situation?

It’s Business. Not Personal.

Consider: “It’s not business, it’s personal.”

Or “It’s personal.” (meaning It’s not business)

These slogans were designed to reference a close, even intimate, working relationship. Some clients prefer to be reassured and reminded, on a frequent basis, that a vendor or partner has their interests top of mind at all times.

Consider that what is personal from a client’s perspective may not be reciprocal. Many clients think primarily of themselves and may have a limited interest in the individual private lives of their contacts.