Lessons you can take for your business.

When I needed a new doctor, I asked another doctor who he would go to and why. I do the same thing for insurance and financial advice, services I see as being above mere commodities. I don’t just go to the Internet to find someone to invest my life’s savings, but I do go and check them out. 

That’s how you may want to consider doing your future marketing. Enhance your online image, making sure your website, social media and reviews truly represent who you are and the type of business you want to portray when that ideal client is checking you out.

So for me, I represent insurance agencies, companies and associations. I have a whole section on my website that showcases the work I have done for the insurance industry. They tend to be my ideal client, so I show off what I think is my best work. I do the same for the medical industry and what I label “main street businesses.”

As a marketer, I can’t just sit idly by and hope someone comes to my website. I like to be a bit more proactive.

I have committed to emailing my top 1000 contacts once per month. Most importantly, I seek to provide my audience with useful information they can actually use, whether it be marketing strategies or examples of videos they can produce themselves.

But, before I write that blog post or consider the video to promote, I make sure I’m sending it to the right people. When was the last time you updated your contact lists? Have you added new clients into the email marketing list or are you using the old one you last downloaded?

What about all those new customers that want to hear from you?

For me, my Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software automatically updates my email list based on the people I most frequently email to and receive information from. The only thing I need to make sure I do is go in and update the first and last names; I don’t want to email people with the opening line: “Hello “jhoule.” Next, you should segment your lists into categories: new clients; clients for services; spheres of influence; old clients; and aspirational clients.

So what do you write about?  Tell me what you know. You have a wealth of knowledge that can help me save money, improve my coverage, protect my family, and make my business more secure. You only need to write about 500 words (this blog post is 700). So get writing!

How do I send it out?  I use HubSpot and swear by it. It’s not cheap but worth it for its integration with my email and website. We also use Constant Contact and Mailchimp, but you should select what you’re most comfortable with. For me, I’m realizing that it’s not necessarily the software that makes it better, but simply a matter of doing.

How should it look?  I think the best emails have a personalized email masthead that looks like stationery and includes the sender’s photo either in the masthead or email signature. I think overly designed emails with tons of photos take too long to load, and scream of mass production. Also, keep the message to a tight paragraph.

How often should I send it?  I think once per month is a good start, but also feel that twice per month and even every week is acceptable, as long as you have something worth reading and useful information.

Where else should I promote it?  In addition to posting on your blog and website, you should place your article directly into LinkedIn’s publishing feature and then post it on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. The goal is to drive as many people back to your blog and website.

What else should I be considering?  Once you have committed to the written word, you can expand your media horizons. You can do a video in which you provide your expertise on the desired topic. Beyond that, you can host a live webinar in which people can log in and engage with you with live questions. You may be soon attending and exhibiting at a conference. You can hold a talk in advance of your meeting. It’s as easy as Zoom or Facebook Live.

What are you waiting for?  The time to start your personalized marketing is now. No more excuses. Just get going.

John Houle is the president of JH Communications and can be reached at 401.831.6123 or at john@jhcom.net.