The other day, I received an email from someone I follow. She’s well-known in her niche and teaches marketing for a very specific type of professional. I don’t want to mention the industry, because if I do you will probably know who she is.
She said that you do not need a USP, a unique selling proposition. She alluded to the idea that it’s a term that's hyped up, overused, and not applicable to professional services firms (e.g., lawyers, accountants, financial advisors, etc).
In fact, she says it’s nearly impossible to have a truly unique selling proposition, and that a tiny percentage of firms (less than 1%) can claim a real USP.…Read More →
I'm taking a little detour today because of something that just happened. In an ADHD support group I'm a member of, someone asked the following question:
I was told that I shouldn't disclose my ADHD diagnosis to places of work. I feel like that would be hiding something that would explain how I function. What do I do?
The answers in the comment section (233 at the time of writing this) varied between “never,” “it depends,” “it doesn't matter,” “only to HR,” and “absolutely.”
As a person with ADHD, I've been an employee and an business owner who hired employees. I have an opinion and it's something I feel strongly about.…Read More →
I promised to talk about how to conduct a competitive analysis, so here’s a quick snapshot.
You first need to know your competitors.
You might have an idea, but you have to do a bit of digging first.
Some competitors may not truly compete with you on the search engines. But they probably do better than you in other ways. Other competitors are siphoning traffic away from you, and they may not offer the same thing at all.
So the goal is to identify your direct competitors, which are the ones that offer the same thing you do or are probably located in the same geographical area, and target the exact same audience or solve the same problems you do.…Read More →
I talk a lot about SEO, but I often avoid talking about local SEO. Some people have pointed this out to me recently. Yes, it’s an important SEO strategy, especially for professionals. And I should talk about it more.
But if you’ve been following me for some time, you know that I strongly advocate specialization and narrowing down to a niche by either focusing on an industry (vertical specialization), a service/solution (horizontal specialization), or both.
When you do that, local SEO becomes less and less important.
But it’s still important, nonetheless.
Ranking in the search engines, in general, is standard SEO. Local SEO is similar, but it aims to optimize your visibility locally, so that prospective clients within a geographic area can find you and learn more about you.…Read More →
It’s often better to update old, existing content on your blog than it is to create new stuff. This is particularly beneficial if you don’t have a lot of time to create new articles.
Content becomes stale over time. So regularly updating older content is a good way to get the search engines to notice you. It can give you a ranking boost and subsequently an increase in traffic.
But it can also increase your content's stickiness.
If you have content already, start by doing some simple keyword research to see what topics your audience is interested in, what problems they want solved, and what questions they're asking.…Read More →
Back from a short vacation. It was a beautiful week at a cottage by the lake. Most days were hovering around a warm 22° Celsius (72° Fahrenheit), but with a couple of frosty mornings that caused a dense fog to cover the entire lake.
It was absolutely gorgeous.
Before I left, I appeared as a guest on my client Ed Rush’s weekly video-based podcast. If you missed it, I’ve posted the recording and transcript.
Ed uses StreamYard, a service that allows him to livestream simultaneously on multiple platforms, and to pull in comments, questions, and guests in real-time. There’s also Restream.io,…Read More →
On September 10, 2020, I appeared as a guest on Ed Rush's EdTalks Live Videocast. Ed Rush is a consulting client, a good friend, and a former F-18 top gun fighter pilot and business advisor.
EdTalks Live! is a live, interactive, dialogue-style show. We talked about marketing, copywriting, selling, psychology, business, SEO, and more. It was only an hour but we had a live Q&A before the end.Read More →
This is probably my most popular tip for professionals, and it bears repeating.
To position yourself in your industry, especially if it’s highly competitive and even a cutthroat one (in some of the industries I’ve worked with, competitors can be downright ruthless and nasty), you need to differentiate yourself.
You need to claim superiority but without stating it outright.
If you do, you raise the eyebrows (and sometimes, the ire) of licensing bodies, or of resentful competitors who want to tip you off to them.
Reason is, many professional services are limited in how they market themselves. For example, cosmetic surgery is an industry in which licensed doctors are prohibited form stating that they are better, higher quality, more skilled, etc than their peers.…Read More →