Category: Business Development

Why Online-Only Marketing is Not Enough for Professional Services
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Why Online-Only Marketing is Not Enough for Professional Services | Mark Bullock

{2:35 minutes to read} Blogging, newsletters, and social media engagement are a critical part of building your Branded Expert status. These tools can do wonders to help expand your reach and keep you on the radar screens of those that are already familiar with you, as well as past and potential new clients.

This is important, because the majority of new business has, and always will, result from referrals.

Click here to read Mark Bullock's full article...

The Prophets of Profit: Small Business Champion, Nina Kaufman
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The Prophets of Profit: Small Business Champion, Nina Kaufman | Brian Califano

We were glad to sit down with small business champion and not-your-ordinary business lawyer, Nina Kaufman. Forbes Magazine calls Kaufman “One of the 25 Most Influential Women Tweeting about Entrepreneurship.” The U.S. Small Business Administration named her their regional Women in Business Champion of the Year. In over 15 years in business, Nina has helped thousands of entrepreneurs generate hundreds of millions of dollars.

Click here to read Brian Califano's full article...

Online Ratings, Reviews, Endorsements, Recommendations, Testimonials, Oh My!
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Online Ratings, Reviews, Endorsements, Recommendations, Testimonials, Oh My! | Mark Bullock

{5:25 minutes to read} Why are online ratings, reviews, endorsements, and recommendations something that you should be concerned about? If a potential client looks for you online, they’re going to look for you by name and profession or industry. If these potential clients see favorable comments, it’s one of the deciding factors as to whether or not they contact you. With so many ways for people to review, endorse, or rate you (be it positive or negative) you need to pay attention:

Click here to read Mark Bullock's full article...

5 Ethical Bribes (Lead Magnets) to Use in Your Marketing Efforts
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5 Ethical Bribes (Lead Magnets) to Use in Your Marketing Efforts | Mark Bullock

{3:40 minutes to read} A lead magnet, or ethical bribe, is used to entice a web visitor or prospect to provide your contact information (email address) so that you can add them to your mailing list. Here are some examples:

#1) Exclusive Deal or Coupon

Now, if you’re an attorney, you can’t really do coupons or discounts. If you’re not an attorney, you probably can. That may or may not make sense for your business. You have to take a look at the services you provide. We have some non-attorney clients that use coupons with some success. Where an exclusive deal or coupon becomes very valuable is if someone is considering your business.

Click here to read Mark Bullock's full article...

The Prophets of Profit: Reducing Stress and Avoiding Costly Mistakes with David Shriner-Cahn
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The Prophets of Profit: Reducing Stress and Avoiding Costly Mistakes with David Shriner-Cahn | Brian Califano

We had the pleasure to speak with David Shriner-Cahn, President of TEND Strategic Partners and host of the business podcast, Smashing the Plateau, which features leaders helping leaders break through barriers. David works with CEOs of successful companies that keep hitting roadblocks.

Click here to read Brian Califano's full article...

Lead Magnets & Ethical Bribes: Are You Using Them in Your Marketing Efforts?
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Lead Magnets & Ethical Bribes: Are You Using Them in Your Marketing Efforts? | Mark Bullock

{3:50 minutes to read} An ethical bribe/lead magnet is a resource that is offered on your website for free—valuable enough to the reader that they are willing to give their email address to get it.

That being said, why would you use such a tactic?

Well, if you’ve done word-of-mouth marketing online to gain a visitor to your website or blog, what’s the next step? You always want to have a call-to-action. In many cases, people are not ready to make a decision on your services right away. So you want to have the opportunity to stay in touch with them (with their permission) and reinforce your potential value to them & your status as a Branded Expert™.

Click here to read Mark Bullock's full article...

Anicich vs Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. — Part 2
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Anicich vs Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. — Part 2 | Alan Krystal

{3:30 minutes to read} In Part 1 of this article, we looked at the initial ruling dismissing a complaint brought by the estate of a woman murdered by her supervisor. The plaintiff chose to appeal the decision. Part 2 discusses the results of that appeal.

The Appeal

The court of appeals reiterated the general rule in Illinois tort law, which is that one person has no duty to prevent the criminal acts of another.The court also stated that employers can be liable for hiring and retaining an employee if they knew, or should have known, said employee was unfit for the job by creating a danger of harm to third persons.

Click here to read Alan Krystal's full article...

Anicich vs Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. — Part 1
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Anicich vs Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. — Part 1 | Alan Krystal

{4:36 minutes to read} On March 24, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, in the case of Anicich v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., issued a decision that may have a significant impact on employers. The court reversed the dismissal of a complaint brought by the estate of a woman murdered by her supervisor, who had an alleged history of harassment and sexual abuse. The Complaint The plaintiff’s complaint alleged that Home Depot, Inc and two companies that ran its garden center jointly employed Brian Cooper as a supervisor, a man with a known history of sexually harassing, verbally abusing, and physically intimidating his female subordinates.

Click here to read Alan Krystal's full article...

The Natural Progression That Leads to Referrals
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The Natural Progression That Leads to Referrals | Cynthia Greenawalt

{3:01 minutes to read} For close to 20 years, I’ve been coaching and training business owners and sales professionals in the art of referral generation to grow their business. At the heart of someone’s success in unlocking referrals from their network is mastering the art of developing and cultivating meaningful — even magical — relationships with other professionals. This cultivation process is a fascinating progression to behold. If we were to map out the relationship progression that leads to referrals, there are many ways we could do this.

Click here to read Cynthia Greenawalt's full article...

Does Your Bio Inspire Prospects to Want to Work With You?
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Does Your Bio Inspire Prospects to Want to Work With You? | Mark Bullock

{2:00 minutes to read} A professional bio is a critical component for business owners and entrepreneurs—especially those in professional services. Prospects, COIs, and referrals are Googling you, and it’s important to share your credentials, experience, and achievements via a concise format, i.e., your professional bio. A basic bio is standard, but you can enhance your brand by expanding your bio into a “creation story.” When people are considering enlisting you and your services to resolve their issues, they often want to get to know who you are and how you came to be.

Click here to read Mark Bullock's full article...

Budgeting Basics: Part I
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Many small business owners seek resources and information for both business and personal budgets. I am pleased to share guidelines and best practices for both types of budgets. Below, I discuss the development of household/family budgets; in Part II, I will discuss business budgets. Why is it important to have a budget? Here are a few common reasons:

Click here to read Sallie Mullins Thompson's full article

What’s in a Name?
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It's one of those things that you know, but it's rarely front of mind. You never think about it, but you're bombarded by it daily. A NAME embodies a whole effort.

When you reference your efforts in business--whether for profit or non-profit--at a certain time you use a name, or a symbol, or a sound or something else to identify those efforts (i.e., a "NAME"). Unilever does. UNICEF does, too.

You see, that NAME may tell people your professional association certifies a product, it may tell folks you made a product or you offer a service, or it may be a way for you to communicate to others what your values are. The NAME identifies the technology, function, design, lifestyle, and sociocultural substance of your effort and resulting goods and services. For better or worse.

Click here to read William R. Samuels' full article...

The Prophets of Profit: Standing Out in a Busy World Today with Dorie Clark
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The Prophets of Profit: Standing Out in a Busy World Today with Dorie Clark | Brian Califano

In this interview, Dorie Clark shares some of her best practices. Dorie Clark is a marketing strategy consultant, professional speaker, and frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, TIME, Entrepreneur, and the World Economic Forum blog. She is the author of Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future and her most recent book, Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It. Some of her clients include: Google, the World Bank, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Yale University.

Click here to read Brian Califano's full article...

phoneBlogger.net—WAY More Marketing Than Just Content Marketing
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phoneBlogger.net—WAY More Marketing Than Just Content Marketing | Mark Bullock

{3:42 minutes to read} As a phoneBlogger.net client, there are many value added features that innately come with content marketing.

Built-In Features of phoneBlogger.net’s Content Marketing:

#1 Search Engine Optimization (SEO): One of the first features is Search Engine Optimization, both for your website and your social media. A website (or blogsite) gets great Search Engine Optimization if it’s regularly updated with content that is relevant to the purpose of a client’s expertise.

Click here to read Mark Bullock's full article...

Transformative Use of Copyrighted Material Is Highly Subjective
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Transformative Use of Copyrighted Material Is Highly Subjective | Iva Rukelj

In our previous blog article, we explored the concept of fair use and how courts determine whether the use of copyrighted material is permitted without the rightsholder's permission under the Constitution's statute. One way to decide whether the fair use law applies is to determine whether the third party engaged in the transformative use of the copyrighted material. New York's active Second Circuit Court recently ruled on two applicable cases, elucidating the intricacies of fair use.

Click here to read Iva Rukelj's full article...

Ban the Box
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Ban the Box | Alan Krystal

{4:42 minutes to read} One standard question that often appears on job applications is an inquiry as to whether the applicant has a prior criminal conviction. It’s a question that presents a “no-win” proposition to an applicant with a prior criminal record:

  • An honest response can immediately eliminate the applicant from further consideration.
  • Answering falsely can blow up in the applicant’s face if the employer performs a criminal background check.

Click here to read Alan Krystal's full article...

Are Your Online Properties a Hacker’s “Dream”? Protect Yourself Now!
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Are Your Online Properties a Hacker’s “Dream”? Protect Yourself Now! | Mark Bullock

{4:25 minutes to read} Hacking and Internet intrusion is on the rise. Issues are occurring in websites, social media, and even in some email systems. It is incredibly important to take serious and consistent steps to ensure that your online properties (Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn profiles, newsletter programs, website and/or blog) are protected to the greatest extent possible. “Password” Should Never Be Your Password  Nor should 12345! Hackers use sophisticated software to define, obtain, or circumvent passwords. Your passwords need to be very strong!  Most of us grew up in a time when we had passwords that were easy to remember and reusable—to do so is no longer safe.

Click here to read Mark Bullock's full article...

Why a “Declared Client” Disappears & How Our “Attraction Factor” is the Remedy
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Why a “Declared Client” Disappears & How Our “Attraction Factor” is the Remedy | Cynthia Greenawalt

{3:21 minutes to read} In my 20 years of coaching and training, here’s what I’ve found to be at the heart of success in the art of referral generation: our Attraction Factor — the degree to which people feel inspired and connected to who we are as human beings. The most influential dynamic in having people feel drawn to us is our ability to be vulnerable, authentic, empathetic, and compassionate. As a business owner, your ability to show empathy and compassion comes into play when a potential client seems to disappear, somewhat like becoming a member of the “witness protection program.” Let’s take Jane, for example.

Click here to read Cynthia Greenawalt's full article...

It’s Fair to Say Fair Use Is Complicated
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While the framers of the Constitution had no way of predicting the kinds of technology we enjoy today, they did have the foresight to understand the necessity of intellectual property rights. That is why the Constitution gives artists and inventors an exclusive right to their work under Article I, Section 8, Clause 8:

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

Click here to read Iva Rukelj's full article...

3 Degrees of Rita
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3 Degrees of Rita | Cynthia Greenawalt

{4:05 minutes to read} I recently had an amazing conversation with a potential client. Let’s call him Bob. I asked him to draw a dot on a piece of paper, which represented one of my favorite clients: Rita. I then asked him to draw a circle around Rita, to represent her first-degree relationships. Although her LinkedIn profile might say she has 3000 connections in her first degree, I asked Bob to write the number 300 on that first circle around Rita, to represent the 300 people that she could call on the phone and they would know exactly who she was. These 300 have an instant relatedness to her. I then asked him to draw another circle outside Rita’s first degree, to represent the second degree of Rita.

Click here to read Cynthia Greenawalt's full article...

phoneBlogger.net’s Onboarding Process: A Springboard to Word-of-Mouth Marketing Results
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phoneBlogger.net’s Onboarding Process: A Springboard to Word-of-Mouth Marketing Results | Mark Bullock

{3:33 minutes to read} phoneBlogger.net has a detailed and well-oiled client onboarding process that starts with the end in mind—to create full engagement in our process and for clients to produce and distribute smart articles to their network. The onboarding process is a coordinated effort—and it works. Our goal is to handle as much of the tasks as possible for our clients; however, there are a lot of parts that come into play. It is important to note that there are pieces of information (that cannot be guessed or pulled out) that the client will need to provide, i.e. contacts, etc.

Click here to read Mark Bullock's full article...

What Do Chevrons, Stripes & Romance Have in Common? A US Supreme Court Decision!
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What Do Chevrons, Stripes & Romance Have in Common? A US Supreme Court Decision! | Iva Rukeli

If you thought that US Supreme Court justices lacked romantic proclivities, you're wrong! Some months ago, in a conversation between the justices about a very important copyright issue involving fashion, Justice Stephen Breyer stated, "The clothes on the hanger do nothing. The clothes on the woman do everything." Justice Elena Kagan immediately interjected with, "That's so romantic!" Romantic or not, the justices were determining whether or not a feature of a useful article is protectable under Section 101 of the Copyright Act.

Click here to read Iva Rukelj's full article...

AIA Agreements Part 2
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AIA Agreements Part 2 | Aaron Pierce

Only takes 5 minutes to read! In part two, we will continue the discussion on AIA agreements. If you’re an owner, a contractor or subcontractor, contact me here with questions or comments about AIA agreements. Get landlord signoffs wherever appropriate. The owner of the property, the landlord, has to sign off on practically every little bit of work before it is started. If not, the work will likely be considered a breach of your lease agreement. In this case, you could end up spending a quarter of a million dollars having work done on your property only to have the landlord then claim you breached the lease in doing so, and may even be able to have you evicted.

Click here to read Aaron Pierce's full article...

Which House Are You on the Block? Maximizing Your Networking Real Estate
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Which House Are You on the Block? Maximizing Your Networking Real Estate | Cynthia Greenawalt

{3:24 minutes to read} I was speaking in front of a group of entrepreneurs recently. I used a powerful analogy, asking them to imagine a beautiful neighborhood north of New York City with a block of 10 homes varying in price from 2 million to 10 million dollars. Then I asked which is the better real estate investment: owning the 2 million or the 10 million dollar home? The most popular response was the 2 million dollar home for the following reason: the value is brought up by the higher priced homes on the block, whereas the 10 million dollar home has its value brought down by its neighbors.

Click here to read Cynthia Greenawalt's full article...

How Is Asparagus Farming Like Networking?
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How Is Asparagus Farming Like Networking? | Cynthia Greenawalt

Several years ago I gave a workshop discussing the benefits of being a “farmer networker” vs. a “hunter networker” (click here for my previous article on the topic). As a farmer networker, our sights are on creating a long-term sustainable yield from nurturing and cultivating referral partners who make introductions to potential clients. One of the attendees at that workshop explained to me how my training reminded him of the way asparagus grows. Because asparagus is my favorite vegetable, I was intrigued.

Click here to read Cynthia Greenawalt's full article...

Moving Beyond Cold Calling
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At a recent Around the Horn session, we were presented with a question from the principal of a new company. He told us about his cold-calling efforts, which were largely successful—but he was curious if there was another way to get his venture off the ground. The group came up with several ideas. Targeted Seminars  One attendee suggested hosting or producing seminars for targeted groups. Seminars for targeted groups generally produce great conversion rates upwards of 30%. Someone else suggested that he do a Network!Network! forum.

Click here to read Dave Bresler's full article...

The Importance of Carefully Worded Independent Contractor Agreements
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The Importance of Carefully Worded Independent Contractor Agreements | Alan Krystal

{4:54 minutes to read} In past articles, I have discussed the increasing trend in the courts and government agencies in which the majority of the determinations held that workers classified as independent contractors were, in fact, employees and therefore entitled to minimum wage and all other statutory protections afforded workers. The New York State Court of Appeals was confronted with this issue on appeal of a decision by the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board which stated that a yoga studio was responsible for unpaid unemployment contributions for certain yoga instructors whom the studio has classified as independent contractors.

Click here to read Alan Krystal's full article...

Limiting the Non-Compete Provisions in Employment Agreements
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Limiting the Non-Compete Provisions in Employment Agreements | Alan Krystal

{4:54 minutes to read} In one of my articles last year (Is Your Company Protected from Your Former Employees?) I discussed non-compete provisions in employment agreements. I stated that such provisions are generally prohibited in California, and in other states are subject to interpretation on a case-by-case basis. Since then, many states have sought to introduce legislation. New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has proposed a bill that seeks to do the following:[1]

Click here to read Alan Krystal's full article...

What Is in an AIA Agreement? Part 1
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What Is in an AIA Agreement? Part 1 | Aaron Pierce

Only takes 5 minutes to read! The AIA A101 is the standard form of agreement furnished by the American Institute of Architects which is used in generating well-defined business relationships between a Pand a contractor. These contracts have been crafted, published, and promoted by a very influential and nationally renowned industry group. Consequently, the standardized version is designed to protect the interests of the contractor and can be protective of a contractor to the sometimes-costly detriment of the rights and flexibilities of the owner.

Click here to read Aaron Pierce's full article...

When Is Late Rude?
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We’ve all heard the old saw about how it’s de rigueur to be fashionably late. We once, many years ago, arrived very late (I won’t say how late) to a dinner party and were mortified to find everybody else already seated at the dinner table. So, the next time we were invited to dinner (somewhere else, I hasten to add), I pushed my wife to get there on the dot only to be greeted at the door by the host and hostess in their bath robes.

Click here to read Dave Bresler's full article...