Marketing Strategy

Make Your Finance Company Stand Out

Make Your Finance Company Stand Out by Educating Your Clients and Prospects

Make Your Finance Company Stand Out by Educating Your Clients and Prospects 900 600 Kari Switala

Do you struggle to make your finance company stand out from the crowd? If so, you aren’t alone. No matter what part of the industry you’re in — whether you are a financial advisor, CPA, lender, or other finance professional — the competition can be fierce. There are many avenues you can take with your marketing to differentiate your business, but one of the most effective things you can do is use your marketing to educate your audience.

As you likely know, money can be a frustrating, confusing, and stressful topic for many people. Helpful, educational content speaks to the concerns of your clients and prospects and offers them something valuable. It also positions you as both a thought leader in your industry and a knowledgeable professional they can trust with their finances. Providing educational content can make your finance company stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Education Provides Value

To truly set yourself apart, you need to offer something of value to your clients and prospects that the competition doesn’t: something that is both unique and relevant to your market. Offering helpful information that teaches your audience more about various topics in your industry does exactly that. 

You might be thinking, “But why should I give away my knowledge for free — isn’t that what my clients pay for?” 

Make Your Finance Company Stand Out

Here’s the thing: providing helpful information in this way doesn’t mean you’re giving away all of your knowledge free of charge. You’re simply offering people a taste of what they will get when they work with you, in the same way that getting a free sample at the grocery store gives you a taste of the product the store is selling. That free sample of pizza doesn’t fill you up — you have to buy a whole pizza for that. 

Similarly, your “free sample” of information doesn’t give your audience everything they need to manage their finances — it merely gives them an introduction to the knowledge they’ll have at their disposal when they hire you.

Educational Content Builds Trust

Educational content can also build trust with your current and prospective clients. It does this by:

  • Showcasing your knowledge of your profession and positioning you as a leading voice in your field 
  • Making you more approachable, showing that you are someone who is willing to address your clients’ financial questions and concerns 
  • Offering your audience something of value with no strings attached

Providing educational content to your audience shows that you are not in it just to sell a product or service. It shows that you care about your clients’ financial futures. 

Focus on Your Ideal Client’s Questions and Concerns

Using your marketing to educate your audience shows that you’re aware of the questions and concerns your clients and prospects have — that you’re paying attention to the things that matter to them. 

From clearly explaining confusing financial jargon to giving instructional how-tos, center your marketing content on tackling trending topics in your industry as well as the frequently asked questions you get from your clients. 

Most importantly, focus your marketing on topics that are specific to your ideal client — their concerns, dreams, and aspirations. While it may be tempting to cast your net wide by sticking to generic topics that will attract a wide range of prospects, focusing your marketing on a specific audience is a much more effective marketing strategy. Prospective clients are more likely to connect with you if they view you as a business that specializes in solutions that suit their needs. 

Take a look at our recent blog on buyer personas to learn more about honing in on your ideal audience and how doing so can benefit your business.

Once you determine what demographic you most prefer to work with, offer content that is relevant to that group. For instance, if your ideal clients are parents and families, you might focus on topics such as building up savings, college planning, or school year tax-saving tips. Or, if you want to work primarily with small businesses, you might create content about starting a business, tax laws relevant to entrepreneurs, or how to close the books at year-end.

Be Authentic: Draw From Your Passions

Something else to consider as you determine which topics to educate your audience on is your own unique set of passions. What are your favorite aspects of your industry? What topics are you most passionate about?

These topics are the ones you will likely have the most insight into, as well as those you are the most excited to talk about. Maybe you’re passionate about helping people prepare for retirement so they can live the life of their dreams in their final years; or perhaps you love explaining the complexities of tax rules to new business owners. Whatever your niche is, harness that enthusiasm and share it with your audience. This excitement and eagerness to share will come out in your content, giving you an authenticity that sets you apart.

Your own passions, personality, and history are uniquely powerful tools in differentiating your business. And bringing who you are, your background, and your unique vantage point to the table will help you attract a client base with similar values and interests. 

Share What You’re Learning

Regardless of what area of the finance industry you work in, continuing education is an essential part of staying on top of your game. As you work to keep up on your own education, share your newfound knowledge with your clients and prospects. 

Ongoing training enables you to help your clients make continuous progress on their financial goals. Sharing about the classes you’re taking and what you’re learning shows that you are continually improving yourself and your offerings. This can help you both attract prospective clients and encourage current clients to stick with you for the long term.

So don’t hesitate to talk about your ongoing professional development as well how any credentials you hold translate into better service for your clients.

Use a Variety of Methods to Educate Your Audience

Make Your Finance Company Stand Out

So now that you understand the role education plays in differentiating yourself from the competition, let’s talk about how to best get this vital content to your clients and prospects. There are a wide range of methods available that lend themselves well to educating your audience — here are some of the best.

Blog Posts. Blog posts are a great way to give either a quick overview of a broad topic or a deep dive into a more specific topic. Blogs can range from 300-2500 words (or more), so can be a versatile tool for a variety of subjects. 

To give you an idea of what a blog might look like for a company in the finance industry, we’ll refer you to two of our clients’ blogs: Wood CPA and Simplify Wealth. Take a look through their blogs and notice how their posts reflect their individual personalities and passions, as well as the audiences they are targeting.

Guides and eBooks. Guides and eBooks are ideal tools for going deeper on a topic. They are typically offered as downloadable PDFs, and can vary in format from being more of an extended blog post to something akin to a manual or organizational tool. You can even combine several of your previous blog posts about a topic to create a guide on that subject.

Simplify Wealth’s Optimize Your Life Organizer is one example of a guide that we helped create. It provides educational material and instructional guidance in a workbook format that walks an individual through the details of their finances.

For another example, check out this eBook we wrote for our own marketing purposes!

Email Newsletters. Email newsletters give you the opportunity to connect regularly with your clients. A newsletter should be short and sweet, so it isn’t a great place to go deep on a subject. However, it’s the perfect tool to highlight updates (tax changes and deadlines, for example) and to link articles (your own or ones from outside sources that you trust), guides, or eBooks on relevant topics.

Social Media. Like newsletters, social media is a great way to share quick updates and links to relevant resources. It can also be the perfect place to get a bit more personal — sharing about your own educational pursuits as well as your hobbies and interests. You don’t want to get too personal here, but you also don’t want to only share business-related information or sales pitches.

Social media is more like a networking event than a billboard: you certainly want to talk shop, but you should also share more about yourself in order to connect with people on a personal level and build relationships and trust. Check out Wood CPA’s LinkedIn and Facebook pages for some great examples!

Vlogs, Live Videos, and Webinars. Video offers a way to connect face-to-face (or close to it) with your clients and prospects. It gets not only your words, but your face in front of your audience, making you seem more familiar and providing for a different level of connection. From posting vlogs (video blogs) on YouTube to doing Facebook or Instagram lives to offering webinars on relevant topics, video can be an excellent way to bring educational content to your audience.

The methods you choose to incorporate into your marketing strategy will depend on the specific demographic you are targeting — where they like to get their information and what their particular needs are — as well as your own preferences, comfort level, and time constraints.

Make Your Finance Company Stand Out With Help From Wild Fig 

Here at Wild Fig, we have experience helping our clients in the finance industry stand out from the competition. From blog writing to email newsletters to social media planning and posting, we can help you reach your ideal prospects with quality content that educates them and showcases the unique value you bring to the table. Sign up here for a FREE 30 minute strategy session to talk more about what we can do for your business!

market your practice

How to Market Your Practice While Showing Your Prospects You Care

How to Market Your Practice While Showing Your Prospects You Care 900 600 Kari Switala

A Guide for Medical and Dental Marketing

Think about the important relationships in your life. Take marriage, for example. When you wake up every day, do you seek out your own agenda and act without consideration for your spouse? 

Hey honey! I planned our summer vacation. I’m thinking Italy. I went ahead and booked our flights, created our itinerary and reserved all our lodging. We’ll be gone for two weeks and travel all over the country! It’s going to be a great time. You’ll love it!

While Italy may be on your spouse’s bucket list, you went ahead and planned an elaborate and expensive trip without their input. What if they were hoping for an inexpensive and relaxing Southern California beach getaway instead? Your plans might leave them thinking, It’s like they don’t even know me or care about what’s important to me. 

In this case, you missed the mark and the money you spent on all those reservations might best have been spent on marriage counseling. Operating based solely on your own agenda without considering your partner isn’t a recipe for a healthy long-term relationship. 

A healthy relationship involves knowing and valuing what’s important to the other person and responding to that.

It’s the same with your medical or dental practice. Whether you’re in dentistry, orthodontics or pediatrics, your practice, if it’s successful, revolves around your patients and knowing what’s important to them. What kind of care are they looking for? 

Let’s take a look at a few important things to consider when marketing your practice in a caring, relevant and effective way:

Start by determining who you want to attract 

If you want to grow a successful practice, you have to define your target market. You might be thinking, I want to serve everyone and address every dental need. While that may be true, a targeted approach will drive your business much more effectively than a general approach. 

If you’re a dentist, maybe you want to focus primarily on children and helping them keep their teeth healthy for life. You’ll emphasize the importance of biannual recare visits, fill a lot of cavities and prepare a lot of mouths for braces.

Contrast this with a dental practice that focuses on serving baby boomers in a higher income bracket who can afford veneers and other high-end dental procedures. You may even want to be zip code-specific, targeting boomers in a large retirement community near your office. 

As you’re fleshing out your ideal client, begin to think about these important questions: 

  • What are my ideal client’s primary needs? 
  • What do they value? 
  • What do they base their decisions on?

I don’t get it. Why can’t I just target everyone with dental needs? This whole “ideal client” business seems unnecessary and I think it might hamper my ability to grow my practice. 

Think about it this way. What kind of fish do you want to catch? 

If you prefer to catch crappie, you’ll probably put a worm on your line. If you want to catch smallmouth bass, you’ll fish with leeches. Once you define your ideal client, you can craft a successful targeted marketing strategy that speaks precisely to your audience. This will help you reel in the right business and at the same time, build your brand and stand out from your competitors. 

Speaking of standing out in a crowd….

Convey your unique value proposition 

The medical and dental industries are highly saturated which makes differentiating your practice that much more critical to your success. 

With your clearly defined target market in hand, it’s time to brainstorm your marketing strategy. Once again, keep your patient at the center of the process. 

If children are your ideal client for your dental practice, for example, you will target your marketing towards their parents. Now put yourself in their shoes and consider their ideal dental practice:

  • Busy parents with young children value easy, flexible scheduling. They seek out a dentist who can see their child Monday-Friday after 5 p.m. or on Saturday mornings so they don’t have to leave work to bring their child to an appointment. 
  • They want to get in quickly when their child develops a toothache and they suspect a cavity. 
  • They want a dentist who understands children and offers special comforts to put their child’s mind at ease during their appointment. 

In this scenario, your ideal client’s values could be summed up as flexibility, responsiveness and caring

market your practice

An important component of any successful marketing strategy involves telling your story and highlighting your values. Knowing that flexibility, responsiveness and caring are important to your ideal client, you can weave these into your messaging on your About Us page, letting website visitors know that these are some of your core values—ones that you’ve built your practice on. You can create blog posts around these values. You can highlight them above the fold on the homepage of your website. You may even incorporate them into your company’s one-liner

Using these core values as a launching point, you can speak to parents’ needs and offer your solutions. 

Are their children nervous about going to the dentist because of a negative past experience? Empathize with these parents and tell them about all the comfort measures you offer that can help! Cable TV with kids programming, essential oils, warm neck wraps, comfy blankets….

Our amazing client, Eggert Family Dentistry, lists 17 comforts on their website that they offer to their patients to make dentistry as easy and pleasant as possible. Way to go, you guys! 

Busy parents who come across your messaging will quickly identify with you. Many will respond by making their child’s first dental appointment or switching to your practice because you address their concerns better than their current provider. As you continue to grow your marketing strategy and attract your ideal clients, you’ll develop a reputation in your community as a parent and child-friendly dental office, you’ll experience the snowball effect of referral traffic and you’ll grow your business. 

You know what they’re looking for. Now go get ‘em, tiger! 

Ok, so you’ve established who your ideal client is and you’re working on developing messaging that connects with them. This begs the question: How do you get your messaging in front of your ideal clients? 

Here are a few proven strategies:

Optimize your website. You have a ton of information you want to get in front of your visitors. Don’t worry—your website can accommodate all of it. Just make sure that, first and foremost, your website is always patient-centric. Again, put yourself in your prospect’s shoes, this time as you create content and design the layout for each page.

If you’re searching for a dermatologist, for example, and you’re looking at provider websites, which would be the most compelling to you? A homepage with a big block of text that talks all about the history of the clinic and the doctors that practice there or a headline that reads, “We take skin seriously,” followed by a few bullet points about their state-of-the-art technology and a list of their services? 

Also, create and post regular blog entries that convey your expertise and address your ideal client’s common questions and concerns. Once again, kudos to our friends at Eggert Family Dentistry who do an excellent job of providing consistent value through their blog! Make sure you post your blog entries on your social channels and link them back to your website! And while we’re on the subject of social media…

Leverage social media. First of all, which social channels do your ideal clients use? Let’s say you’re a dental practice marketing to the 55+ age group. You can have the best social media marketing campaign in the world but if you put it on Instagram, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Most of your ideal clients are over on Facebook connecting with their friends and keeping up with their grandkids’ sports and shenanigans. It pays to do your research!

Once you get your marketing campaign up and running on your prospects’ desired channels, use each channel’s built-in analytics tools to test and measure your results. What are the demographics of the people who are interacting with your posts? Are you actually attracting your ideal clients? Which posts get the most traffic—the ones in the morning, afternoon or evening? At the beginning, middle or end of the workweek? Are many people engaging with your content on the weekends? Tweak and test your marketing until you hone it in. 

A few social media content tips: 

  • Always provide value
  • Post regularly
  • Design posts that are interactive and engaging
  • Be consistent in your branding
  • Drive visitors to your website to learn more!

When effectively utilized, social media can be an outstanding lead generation tool that will help you target your perfect audience.

Gather patient reviews. The medical and dental industries are largely driven by reputation. Keep in mind that being a patient is a vulnerable position to be in. Patients don’t trust their health to just anyone. They want some basis of familiarity or reason to trust you. While personal recommendations take the cake for driving traffic across nearly every industry, don’t underestimate the power of patient reviews. 

Did you know that, after as few as five reviews, 68% of prospects form an opinion about your practice?

The moral of the story? Never quit gathering and posting reviews. Create a Google My Business link and post it on your webpage. Encourage current patients to write reviews, and for patients that do, add their names to a monthly drawing. 

Additional ideas include developing and implementing an SEO strategy, utilizing email marketing and recording videos of your providers discussing what they do and addressing common patient questions and concerns. Because, at the end of the day, your practice must revolve around your patients. 

Ready to take some of these ideas and run with them? Sweet. We believe crafting a patient-centric strategy will help you stand out and will drive the success of your practice. Feeling a bit overwhelmed? Sign up here for a complimentary 30-minute strategy session and learn how we can help you stand out and take your practice to the next level.

Differentiate Your Manufacturing Company

How to Differentiate Your Manufacturing Company in a Competitive Marketplace

How to Differentiate Your Manufacturing Company in a Competitive Marketplace 900 600 Kari Switala

In the increasingly competitive world of manufacturing, it can be difficult to know how to make your company stand out from the crowd. Even if you are the best in the business, it takes more than hard work to stay competitive — it takes strategic marketing as well. No matter how different you are from your competitors, it won’t matter much if you aren’t effectively communicating that difference to your target audience. That’s where content marketing comes in.

The goal of content marketing is not only to get your company noticed by potential customers, but to set you apart as a thought leader in your industry and the go-to manufacturer in your area of expertise. Here are five ways to differentiate your manufacturing company from the competition.

1. Lay the Foundation: Tell Your Story

To begin with, it’s important to communicate who you are as a company: how you got started and why you do what you do. The primary tool you’ll use to do this is the About Us page on your website. (Note: If you don’t have an About Us page yet, now is the time to add one!)

Does your business have a great founder’s story? Use your About Us page to tell it. If not, that’s ok! Simply give a brief overview of when and how your business started, and then talk about your WHY. We’re talking big picture “why” here: What is your mission or your vision for your company? Why do you do what you do — what drives you? One of our manufacturing clients, SCS Elevator Products, does a fantastic job of telling their story — check it out here! 

Your story, your “why,” reveals the heart of your business. It gives your company depth. It shows that there’s more to your business than the products you manufacture. In other words, telling your story adds intangible value to your company in the eyes of potential clients. And whether you’re a B2C or a B2B manufacturer, you are working with people…and people want more than a sales pitch. They want to know something about the people they’re doing business with.

2. Highlight Your Company Culture

Once you’ve told your story on your website, continue pulling the curtain back on your company by highlighting your employees and your company values on social media. Manufacturing can be an especially faceless industry, focusing primarily on the end product. Unfortunately, when it comes to today’s marketing — especially social media marketing — simply talking about your products or services will no longer cut it. To attract the audience that is most likely to do business with you, you need to share more about the people behind the products.

Use social media to introduce your audience to the people who make your products possible — from the CEO to the office manager to assembly line staff. 

Share a bit about what each employee does, how long they’ve been with you, and how they contribute to the success of your company or embody your company values. And speaking of company values, share those with your audience as well. These are the values your company abides by from day to day — the values that determine how you run your business. We all like to do business with companies whose values are similar to ours, so sharing your values will help you attract customers with similar values. And as new generations grow up and become your next clients, this will become even more true: both Millennials and Gen Z put a high value on knowing who they are doing business with.

Plus, sharing about your staff and your company values does more than attract prospects with similar values — it also attracts top talent with similar values. This will come in handy the next time you’re looking to hire.

We have to give another shout-out to SCS Elevator here, as they do an amazing job of highlighting their company culture on both their website and social media. Check out their Facebook page for some great examples!

3. Understand Your Buyer Persona & What Makes Them Tick

Customer Driven Growth

To determine how best to differentiate your manufacturing company, you need to know what is most desirable to your target market. You need to understand what your prospects are looking for and what they feel is important. Then you can more effectively communicate the value of your products and services to potential clients. 

To do this, marketers use a tool called the buyer persona. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal client based on market research and data that you gather about your existing clients. You want to obtain information about your customer base such as: 

  • Where do they get their news and information? 
  • How do they make decisions?
  • What problems do they need solved?
why are buyer personas important

And so on. Depending on how varied your customer base is, you could have several different buyer personas that represent the different types of clients you want to market to. Buyer personas help you determine how best to reach your ideal client and are a key part of a successful targeted marketing strategy. For more on creating your buyer personas, check out a recent blog we wrote on the subject.

Once you know what your ideal clients value, you can speak to the way your products or services provide that value. This focuses your marketing on the benefits, improvements, and overall value that you offer your customers. This kind of marketing attracts not just more leads, but the right leads — the ones that are most likely to do business with you. 

4. Craft Quality Content That Educates Your Ideal Client & Positions You as a Thought Leader

One of the best ways to differentiate yourself from the competition is content. Specific, quality content that is educational and informative not only provides helpful information to current and prospective clients, it also elevates your credibility and positions you as a thought leader in your industry. Quality content helps to position you as a knowledgeable, valuable partner, not just another face in the crowd of potential manufacturing partners.

The best tools to accomplish this are blogs, case studies, and customer stories, as well as long-form content like eBooks and guides. Focus your blog articles on problems your clients are facing or questions they might have, highlighting real customer stories as proof of how your product or service meets real needs and solves real problems. You should also include blogs on topics relevant to your industry and supply chain (such as this one on our client Macrotech’s blog about the rising price of copper). 

And if you think the manufacturing industry isn’t the place for blog posts and customer stories, think again. According to Precision Marketing Group

  • 35% of engineers rely on blogs as part of their research and needs analysis in the early stages of their buying journey, and 
  • 56% of industrial professionals “do not contact a vendor until they’ve compared and evaluated several vendors based on their website content.” 

And as every area of industry becomes more and more tied to the internet, you can expect that those numbers will only go up. 

Curious about what this might look like on your website? Take a look at the blogs of two of our clients: Macrotech and Versare. Both of them have blogs full of helpful, relevant information for their clients, as well as pieces that help to showcase their knowledge of their respective industries. 

5. Get Personal

Don’t worry, when we say “get personal,” we’re not talking about sharing your innermost secrets, your vacation photos, or what you had for breakfast. (Save that for your personal social media accounts!) We have something else in mind for your company’s social media pages and email newsletters.

Earlier we mentioned highlighting your company culture and showcasing your employees on your social media pages. Take that a step further by occasionally sharing what your employees like to do outside of work — their hobbies, interests, or volunteer work — as well as the ways your company contributes to the wider community. Highlight the organizations you support as a company, as well as the ways you are involved in your community. (For a great example of this, we’ll refer you once again to SCS Elevator’s Facebook page — scroll through their page to see multiple posts like this). 

Sharing these details adds a personal touch to your marketing. It humanizes your company and makes you more approachable to both potential and existing customers. Again, remember that whether you work directly with the end consumer or focus your business on B2B manufacturing, in the end you are working with people. And when people feel like they know you as a company, they’ll feel more connected to you, and therefore more loyal to you. Getting personal in your social media posts and email newsletters is a great way to build long-lasting relationships with your clients.

Differentiate Your Manufacturing Company With Help From Wild Fig Marketing

We hope this list gets you excited to hone in on your buyer personas, create relevant content for your website, and share more about your company and the people who make it a success on your social media channels. 

On the other hand, if you’re feeling overwhelmed at the thought of putting all of this into motion, we’ve got your back. The team at Wild Fig has experience working with a variety of clients in the manufacturing industry, and we know what it takes to differentiate your business from the competition.

Sign up here for a FREE 30 minute strategy session to see how we can help your business stand out.

Helpful Tips and Insights From Minneapolis Women in the Financial Services Industry

Helpful Tips and Insights From Minneapolis Women in the Financial Services Industry 900 600 Kari Switala

One of our favorite parts of what we do is learning about other industries from our clients, referral partners and trusted advisors. One industry we’ve been learning a lot about these past few years is the financial services industry. Whether it’s filing your taxes, purchasing a home and securing financing or investing your money and creating a legacy account for your children and grandchildren, everyone depends on financial experts at some (or many!) points during their lives.

At Wild Fig Marketing, we are honored to share the company of many incredible women in the financial services industry. We took some time recently to interview four of these women and learn from them. We think you will find their insights valuable! 

This is the third in a series of four interviews. 

We’d like to introduce you to Angie Wood, Owner of Wood CPA.

Hello Angie! Can you please give us a brief overview of what you do at Wood CPA?

I started my firm in December 2019. I have added two employees and the growth continues! My business focuses on advisory services, accounting, tax planning, tax return preparation, payroll and sales & use taxes. I work with clients all over the U.S.

What is a common myth in your industry? 

That having a CPA is just another costly expense that you can’t afford or that you won’t see value to justify the cost. In reality, a good CPA is an investment in your business and can help you save money by doing things correctly and timely. More and more, the industry is filled with trusted advisors for businesses with proactive advice and up-to-date knowledge. These advisors are a great resource! At Wood CPA, the tax return is just the final result of our year-long planning and not the main focus of our services.

If you could only share one tip (relating to your industry) with small businesses this year, what would it be and why?

Outsource your accounting and tax work! There are constant changes with tax, payroll and accounting. That can be a lot for an owner of a small business to stay on top of and implement. Business owners should be spending their time doing what they do best—running their business!

Who do you love to work with and what do you love most about the work you do? 

I love working with small businesses. Staying up-to-date with monthly accounting work and navigating all of the tax and payroll laws can be a very daunting task for business owners. Therefore, it gets pushed aside. I love taking that burden off of business owners and coming up with a streamlined process to complete their monthly books with accuracy. Once we have that information, I work with business owners on their goals—whether it’s to build up their balance sheet to help secure financing or to strategically plan to save money on their taxes. The statistics on how many businesses fail within the first five years of operation are scary. Having proper financials and tax returns is a huge part of business success.

What’s your #1 go-to resource (websites, podcasts, publications, etc) for information about your industry?

There are many that I use but they are exclusive to accountants. I would say the best resource for a business owner who wants to stay on top of the changes in the accounting and tax industry would be www.journalofaccountancy.com


To learn more about Wood CPA, visit their website at www.woodcpamn.com.

business photography tips

7 Business Photography Tips to Increase Your Bottom Line

7 Business Photography Tips to Increase Your Bottom Line 902 600 WildFigAdmin

Guest Blog: By Dan Iverson
theanthologie.com

Does your company have online curb appeal? These 7 photo mistakes may be impacting your bottom line.

Imagine searching for a new home and you come across two properties that are shaping up to be the perfect fit for you and your family. When you swing by for an in-person inspection, however, you discover the options are worlds apart. One home looks well maintained and features a stunning landscape while the other looks like it’s been neglected for the better part of a decade. In the blink of an eye you realize what you thought was going to be a difficult decision is now rather easy. 

That’s because whether we like to admit it or not we are prejudiced by appearances. In fact, our brains process visual information 60 times faster than words alone, so it’s plain to see how as you’re gazing at a home in a state of disrepair your brain has subconsciously eliminated it from the running and is probably already picking out window treatments for the charming one. Image matters.

So, how does this translate to your business? You need online presence with curb appeal. More people than ever are shopping from home even when it comes to big purchases and what they see first has a huge impact on how they perceive your brand. People may poll their online audience of friends and peers for recommendations for products and services, but as soon as potential customers have your business name you can bet they’re going to search your company online. If your website and social media aren’t grabbing their attention with strong photos your message may be lost, or worse, you may be sending the wrong message about your professionalism. In contrast, high quality images — and better yet, images that put a face to your company — can build trust in your brand before prospects ever hit send on your contact form.

Doing all that with photography may sound confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. And you don’t need to invest $20,000 in camera equipment to do the job right. There are definitely times when you should consider hiring a professional photographer for your branded photography, but if you’re a DIY’er these tips will help ensure you’re sending the right message to your online viewers even if the best equipment you have is a mobile phone.

1. Show don’t tell.

business photography tips

Be strategic about your photos. Think about your picture as a story with no words and always be thinking: “Why am I creating this photo? What is its purpose?” and you’ll be ahead of the competition. Not only will your pictures be more engaging, but they will instantly convey your intended message to your audience and help them to remember your company first! 

2. Look on the bright side.

Photographing your subject in an area with too much sunlight and shadows interfering with one another or in an area that’s too dark can be distracting to the viewer. One of the easiest things you can do for better pictures is to explore your subject at different times of day. You may find that the scene looks completely different at 7 a.m. vs. 7 p.m. As a general rule of thumb midday is the often most challenging time for photos as there tends to be too many harsh shadows. Softer, more-pleasing light can often be found closer to sunrise or sunset. Midday can work, however, and provide a pop of color when the light is even across the entire scene.

3. Declutter.

Another big no-no is to create a photo that just has too much going on. If you want to think like a photographer the mantra may be: simple is best. Remove items from the background that visually compete for your attention with the main subject. Be sure a tool in the background isn’t aligning on center with someone’s face in the foreground. This will subconsciously create tension with your audience. Be sure the space you’re working in is clean, too. If you’re showing off a completed remodel, for example, you’d want to make sure there aren’t boxes, packaging, tools or cords present anywhere in your pictures.

4. Sharpen up.

Modern cameras and mobile phone cameras make auto focus very simple — you just have to know how to use it. Mobile phone camera software autofocuses to the foreground of your frame. However, sometimes what you want to be in focus isn’t obvious. To adjust where you want your camera lens to focus just tap on the screen where you want to to sharpen the image. If you’re photographing something in motion try activating the burst setting on your camera, which will take a number of frames in a matter of seconds. It’s more likely one of them will have better focus than the others. Don’t be afraid to take a lot of pictures. You can delete the not-so-great ones later on.

5. Give it some space.

Too often I find when a team member is tasked with creating employee portraits the standard practice is to push them right up against a wall and stand very close to one another. For business portraits and headshots have your subject stand at least a few feet in front of a wall or background. This will help to ensure attention is clearly on the individual and not something else. You can also have a little fun with this concept if you put even more distance between the subject and the background to tell a little more about your company by subtly including some visual cues to your services in the background.

6. Photograph from different angles.

Not every picture is compelling from eye level, yet that’s where so many people are holding the camera for 99.9% of all of their pictures. Try kneeling down, or using a step ladder to gain a new perspective from above. Most pictures of physical spaces used to show off your business location, for example, often look better when photographed at or near hip level. You may be surprised that laying down completely may create a truly unique image, too.

7. Frame your subject.

A more advanced composition technique is to use the environment to frame your subject. This combines many of the tips above and helps to instantly draw viewers in to the message you wish to convey. Aside from doors and archways, keep your eyes open for patterns with arching trees, rows of lights or even railings to help isolate people and highlight them in an unexpected manner.

Learn more about Dan Iverson and Anthologie at www.theanthologie.com.

Helpful Tips and Insights From Minneapolis Women in the Financial Services Industry

Helpful Tips and Insights From Minneapolis Women in the Financial Services Industry 900 600 Kari Switala

One of our favorite parts of what we do is learning about other industries from our clients, referral partners and trusted advisors. One industry we’ve been learning a lot about these past few years is the financial services industry. Whether it’s filing your taxes, purchasing a home and securing financing or investing your money and creating a legacy account for your children and grandchildren, everyone depends on financial experts at some (or many!) points during their lives.

At Wild Fig Marketing, we are honored to share the company of many incredible women in the financial services industry. We took some time recently to interview four of these women and learn from them. We think you will find their insights valuable! 

This is the second in a series of four interviews. 

We’d like to introduce you to Susan Anderson, Senior Vice President at VisionBank.

Hello Susan! Can you please give us a brief overview of what you do at VisionBank?

I am the Senior Vice President at VisionBank and I am involved in the lending process, from developing businesses and underwriting credit requests to managing the ongoing relationships. Most banks and bankers are not involved in that process in its entirety. I find it beneficial because I really “know” my clients and can better advocate for them when they have a need.

What is a common myth in your industry? 

That you should bank with someone in your neighborhood or close to your home or office. I do not discount the value of a bank that understands the “neighborhood” but you should be able to have a relationship with a bank anywhere in the metro area or beyond. Most people never go to their bank—they don’t have to. It isn’t just the big banks who offer all the services you need. You should be able to conduct all of your banking affairs remotely. One exception to this is a business that relies heavily on cash. However, they could still transact daily cash needs at a local bank and use a different bank for their lending needs.

If you could only share one tip (relating to your industry) with small businesses this year, what would it be and why?

Stay in communication with your banker. If you don’t have a banker, go to a community bank and establish a relationship. There will be a point in your business when you will need someone who knows you and your business and will be willing to assist you to the best of their ability. Think of the PPP (The Paycheck Protection Program) process and the stories you’ve heard from many small business owners who weren’t able to get their applications processed or were told they didn’t qualify when they did. They probably would have had a different experience if they had a personal banker. You don’t know when you will need someone to help you out so establish that relationship in advance.

Who do you love to work with and what do you love most about the work you do? 

I love working with small business owners and helping them make their dreams a reality. Sometimes they aren’t quite ready for bank financing. In those instances, we try to provide them with direction to get to that point. I really enjoy learning about different industries and business practices. I have the benefit of many years in this profession which allows me to work towards finding the best, most creative loan structure for each client. We keep our loan policy to a minimum to allow for greater flexibility in structuring transactions.

What’s your #1 go-to resource (websites, podcasts, publications, etc) for information about your industry?

I feel like we have the best internal team and we are able to work together to determine the best next steps. We discuss things and bounce things off of one another frequently. Occasionally I go to ICBM (Independent Community Bankers of Minnesota), but not often. For “outsiders” who are looking for information, the FDIC reports on every bank and the information is available to the public. That said, hopefully you have a banker who can answer any questions you have! 

To learn more about VisionBank, visit their website at www.bankwithvision.com.

Helpful Tips and Insights From Minneapolis Women in the Financial Services Industry

Helpful Tips and Insights From Minneapolis Women in the Financial Services Industry 900 600 Kari Switala

One of our favorite parts of what we do is learning about other industries from our clients, referral partners and trusted advisors. One industry we’ve been learning a lot about these past few years is the financial services industry. Whether it’s filing your taxes, purchasing a home and securing financing or investing your money and creating a legacy account for your children and grandchildren, everyone depends on financial experts at some (or many!) points during their lives.

At Wild Fig Marketing, we are honored to share the company of many incredible women in the financial services industry. We took some time recently to interview four of these women and learn from them. We think you will find their insights valuable! 

This is the first in a series of four interviews. 

We’d like to start by introducing you to Alix Magner, Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley. 

Hello Alix! Can you please give us a brief overview of what you do at Morgan Stanley?

helpful business tips and insights from Minneapolis financial experts

As a Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley, I run an intentional wealth practice with a focus on sustainable investing. Most of my clients are purposeful women and their families who are smart, busy and successful. My practice works primarily with women business owners and professionals, tech employees, and LGBTQ+ people. In my practice within Morgan Stanley, I work with clients to make plans that work for them and I invest their money in support of their plan. 

What is a common myth in your industry? 

One of the biggest myths around sustainable investing is that aligning your investments with your values generates lower returns than traditional investing. But we have analyzed the data and found that this is simply not true. Recently, the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing analyzed 11,000 mutual funds, comparing the performance of sustainable investments versus traditional investments from 2004 to 2018. What did we find? We discovered that the sustainable investments performed in line with the traditional strategies—with one big difference: The sustainable funds had a lower volatility and a 20% smaller downside deviation compared to the traditional funds.1 I believe this helps to back up my view: Sustainable investing is sound investing and factoring in how businesses impact the environment, society and the global community is not at odds with good investing—indeed, it may make it more robust.

If you could only share one tip (relating to your industry) with small businesses this year, what would it be and why?

This wild COVID year accelerated many people’s long-term plans—buying a business, selling a business, working from the cabin, expanding the business…COVID has made everyone rethink their assumptions and where they want to be in the future. 

Make sure that how you’ve structured your business (how you’re incorporated and your ownership structure) supports those big plans. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily weeds of running your business. Your business structure has a huge impact on what types of retirement accounts you can offer and on your succession planning. There are a lot of potential benefits to setting up the right structure. Take the time to think through how you’re structured now and how you should be structured. Now is the time to ask your advisors and think about the future. 

Who do you love to work with and what do you love most about the work you do? 

I love to work with women who are the breadwinners for their households. My clients are women who have continued to be successful and the more successful they get, the more complex the money stuff gets and the less time they have to manage it. When the finance questions swirl in their brains, they’re thinking: 

  • How much should I reinvest in my business? 
  • What type of retirement plan or equity plan should I offer my employees? 
  • Can my spouse stop working? 
  • As complicated as my situation is, am I missing anything? 

I love working with women and their families to simplify the complexity and create systems to put the right money in the right places. I love problem-solving. And I enjoy being the person who takes care of the money so my clients can do the big things they want to with their lives. 

What’s your #1 go-to resource (websites, podcasts, publications, etc) for information about your industry?

My # 1 go-to resource for information in my industry is the Wall Street Journal. Yes, I get the actual, physical newspaper delivered to my doorstep every day. I’ve found that keeping up on U.S. and world events gives me the context I need to understand the financial markets and the world. 

To learn more about Alix, visit her website at
https://advisor.morganstanley.com/alix.magner
 

  1. “Sustainable Reality: Analyzing Risk and Returns of Sustainable Funds,” Morgan Stanley, Institute for Sustainable Investing, 2019, https://www.morganstanley.com/content/dam/msdotcom/ideas/sustainable-investing-offers-financial-performance-lowered-risk/Sustainable_Reality_Analyzing_Risk_and_Returns_of_Sustainable_Funds.pdf. 

Alix Magner is a Financial Advisor with the Global Wealth Management Division of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Minneapolis, MN. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management or its affiliates. All opinions are subject to change without notice. Neither the information provided nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

The returns on a portfolio consisting primarily of Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) aware investments may be lower or higher than a portfolio that is more diversified or where decisions are based solely on investment considerations. Because ESG criteria exclude some investments, investors may not be able to take advantage of the same opportunities or market trends as investors that do not use such criteria.

Tax laws are complex and subject to change. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”), its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors and Private Wealth Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice and are not “fiduciaries” (under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code or otherwise) with respect to the services or activities described herein except as otherwise provided in writing by Morgan Stanley and/or as described at www.morganstanley.com/disclosures/dol. Individuals are encouraged to consult their tax and legal advisors (a) before establishing a retirement plan or account, and (b) regarding any potential tax, ERISA and related consequences of any investments made under such plan or account.

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.

CRC#3489389 03/2021

Transform Your Blog Into a Traffic-Generating Machine

How to Transform Your Blog Into a Traffic-Generating Machine

How to Transform Your Blog Into a Traffic-Generating Machine 900 600 Kari Switala

Apple chips, hummus, Ninja warrior, the naughty list…these are not topics you’d normally connect with a content marketing company. And yet, these are some of the keywords we ranked highly for in Google searches back before we really understood keywords and search engine optimization (SEO)

Relevant keywords and good SEO can work wonders for your blog, as can consistent posting, using quality images, and visitor engagement. Without utilizing these tools, it can be difficult to get much traction. But with them, you can transform your blog into a traffic-generating machine.

First: What Not to Do

Since those early blog posts, we’ve learned a lot about the importance of optimizing our blogs for SEO. Now we can easily see why we ranked for those crazy keywords: the blogs we were writing had fun titles with analogies that drew the reader in once they got to our site, but they didn’t help people FIND us in the first place. They introduced topics that were totally unrelated to what we do. Here are a few prime examples (it’s ok to laugh…we think they’re pretty funny now too):

While these articles did cover relevant topics (smart marketing strategies, customer experience, and differentiating yourself from the competition), they weren’t written in a way that helped us attract the audience we were looking for: businesses looking for great content marketing.

Keyword Research is, Well…Key

Transform Your Blog Into a Traffic-Generating Machine

The main thing those early blogs lacked was relevant keywords that signaled to search engines what the blogs were about. Keywords essentially represent the main ideas of your content. They are the words and phrases people would type into a search engine when looking for the topics you are discussing. When you use keywords on your page that are relevant to what people are searching for, they have a better chance of finding your content. The goal is to rank highly on search engines so that your content will show up among the first options people see when they enter your keywords. This drives organic traffic to your site. 

Before you write your content, you need to determine what keywords you want to rank for. Keyword research tools like Semrush, Moz, and Google Keyword Planner are helpful when determining the keywords that will be most relevant to your audience. These tools allow you to see what keywords are the most popular and drive the most traffic, as well as how much competition each keyword has. Ideally, you want to choose keywords that are highly relevant but don’t have so much competition that you have no hope of ranking for them.

Focus On Long-Tail Keywords

You’ll want to focus your time and energy on long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are more specific phrases—typically 3-5 words or more—and are almost always a better choice than broader keywords. They are more targeted in their approach, so they help you connect with an audience that is more likely to engage with you. For example, a person searching for “content marketing company in MN” is much more likely to engage with us, a content marketing company in Minnesota, than someone simply searching for “marketing” would be. Long-tail keywords help you find the RIGHT traffic, not just a lot of traffic.

Make a Plan For Your Content and Stick To It

Transform Your Blog Into a Traffic-Generating Machine

To get into a good rhythm of content production, you need to lay out a clear plan. Pumping out articles just to have something on your site won’t get you the results you want. You need to know where you’re heading with your content and what kind of schedule you need to keep to get there.

Use the keywords you’ve researched to determine what topics you will write about. One easy way to do this is to start typing your keyword into the Google search bar and watch what search suggestions pop up. These suggestions indicate topics that people are regularly searching for. Or you can scroll to the bottom of the search page to the “searches related to” section for more good ideas. 

Make a list of the topics you think will be the most relevant to your audience. Then, create a schedule for yourself, setting deadlines for creating the first draft, editing, and publishing the finished content. Creating and sticking to a content schedule will help you post more consistently. And posting consistently will help you rank higher with Google and other search engines.

Create Relevant, Well-Written Blogs

Next comes the writing. Good writing is just as important as using the right keywords. Done well, a blog can help establish you (and your business) as an authority in your field. Plus, Google and other search engines aren’t just looking for keywords—they’re looking for relevant content that answers the questions site visitors are asking.

Your blogs should be well-thought-out, well-written, and grammatically correct resources for your audience. If you have a wealth of ideas but aren’t the best writer, it’s a good idea to hire out your writing (we know a great writer or two if you’re looking!). Mediocre writing won’t draw the traffic you’re looking for.

The length of your blogs makes a difference with SEO as well. Currently, the ideal blog length for the best SEO is around 2,100-2,400 words. Long-form content like this performs better in search results than short blogs. This is primarily because longer posts are naturally more keyword-rich and go into more depth on their topic, making them more likely to answer visitors’ questions or solve their problems. This, in turn, makes them more likely to get shared on social media or to get backlinks from other sites—both things that drive up web traffic. 

Place Your Keywords For Optimal SEO

Transform Your Blog Into a Traffic-Generating Machine

As you write your blog, you’ll need to include your chosen long-tail keyword throughout the copy. There isn’t a set number of times to use your keyword in your blog, but don’t overdo it—less is more in this case. In fact, don’t focus on counting your keywords at all. Instead, check their placement and make sure they’re built naturally into your topic. Carefully work your main keyword into your title, first paragraph, a header or two, and the closing paragraph. If you’ve chosen your keyword and blog topic well, this shouldn’t be difficult to do: your keyword should resonate with or serve as the entire topic of the post.

In addition to your main keyword, you’ll also want to use secondary or synonymous keywords throughout the body of your blog. Secondary keywords are related terms that help support your blog’s main topic. For example, if you were writing a blog titled “Best Winter Coats For Below-Zero Temperatures”, your long-tail keyword might be the entire title, and some of your synonymous keywords could be “winter coat”, “parka”, “down coat”, and “cold weather gear”. Make sense?

But don’t overdo your secondary keywords either. Ultimately, search engines look for high quality, highly relevant content when ranking for keywords. So it’s better to naturally work your keywords into your content less often than to stuff them in as many times as possible.

Make Your Posts Pop With Great Images

Keywords are vital, but they aren’t the only thing you can use to boost your SEO and drive traffic to your blog. Incorporating great images throughout your blog posts can help as well. Good quality images do four main things:

  1. Help readers get a sense of what you’re writing about. Visual aids like infographics and photos invite the reader in and can help simplify complex concepts.
  2. Attract more clicks. Your post’s main photo will typically show up when readers share your post on social media. A great-looking photo will make viewers want to click on the post to read more; a dull one won’t.
  3. Offer another chance to optimize for better search engine placement. Your images themselves can be optimized to help your content show up in search results. Adding your main keyword into an image’s “alternative text” field, file name, and caption gives search engines a better idea of what your post is about.
  4. Make your content look authoritative. A post with attractive photography or well-designed infographics is more likely to be taken seriously by potential readers than one using old clip art.

A couple of notes on images: First, when choosing photos for your blog, make sure to keep an eye on the file size. Image files that are too large can make your page load slower, which search engines don’t like. Second, never use photos you don’t have the rights to: you could end up paying hefty fines. To avoid this problem, grab photos from one of the many royalty-free stock photo sites available, such as Big Stock, Unsplash and Pexels.

Encourage User Engagement

Transform Your Blog Into a Traffic-Generating Machine

Once you attract readers, those readers can in turn help attract more traffic to your blog. Encourage readers to engage with your posts by leaving a comment (make sure you respond to comments!) and by sharing them on social media. The more engagement your post receives, the better it will rank with search engines and the more traffic you will see on your site.

Also, include an invitation to join your email newsletter in every blog post. This allows you to notify visitors when you post new blogs, which can result in even more traffic and shares. Make sure to include an email signup form somewhere in each blog post—this can be in the form of a pop-up box, a form at the end of the post, or simply a call-to-action line within your post that is linked to a signup form.

Update Existing Blog Posts

Another way to increase traffic to your blog is to optimize older blog posts for better SEO. If you have older posts that are relevant to your audience but haven’t generated much traffic, take the time to go back and update them.

Start by using what you’ve learned here to improve those old posts: include well-placed relevant keywords, add great images throughout, make sure the post invites comments and shares, and add an invitation to join your email newsletter somewhere in the post. Also, if the post doesn’t have headers throughout the body copy, add some to break up the text (and include your keywords in them if you can do so naturally). One note: when refreshing an old post, don’t forget to update any information that has changed since you first wrote it.

Transforming Your Blog Into a Traffic-Generating Machine Takes Time

Transform Your Blog Into a Traffic-Generating Machine

Your blog can be a great way to draw visitors to your website, but it will take consistent effort and time. Be patient—you likely won’t notice a huge influx of new site visitors from just one blog post, no matter how great it is. But over time, creating and consistently executing a solid plan for your content will transform your blog into a traffic-generating machine. 

And if you’re thinking, “Who has the time to do all of this?”, we’ve got your back. We know it can be difficult to find the time to create consistently great blog posts for your website. That’s why we offer blog writing services here at Wild Fig. We can do your keyword research, brainstorm blog topic ideas, research and write your blogs, find great images to complement them, and post them on your site for you. Plus, our writers are SEO pros who will make sure your blogs meet the standards that search engines like Google are looking for.

Ready to grow your blog and generate new leads for your business? Contact us today to get started!

B2B Marketing Strategy

6 TIPS FOR CREATING AN EFFECTIVE B2B MARKETING STRATEGY

6 TIPS FOR CREATING AN EFFECTIVE B2B MARKETING STRATEGY 900 600 Kari Switala

I’ve never met a business owner who didn’t want to grow their business. I have, however, met hundreds of B2B business owners on the verge of burnout from working tirelessly day after day, week after week, year after year, without seeing the results they want.  The problem? More often than not, they’re lacking a solid B2B marketing strategy.

Schitt's Creek

The good news is that it’s never too late to course-correct. At Wild Fig Marketing, we suggest integrating these helpful tips into your strategy to rock the socks off your brand and ignite your ROI. 

Tip #1: Post on your blog regularly

B2B Marketing Strategy

Your blog is a powerful little bugger…and it’s often underutilized. Did you know that your blog has the power to drive organic traffic to your website, increase your SEO rankings, position you as a thought leader in your industry and supply practical information for your prospects and current customers? 

Let’s take a closer look…

  • Because your blogs address your target audience’s questions, concerns and pain points with practical information, you attract organic traffic to your website and grow your image as a thought leader. 
  • When you add internal links and high-quality outbound links to blog posts or other parts of your website, you increase your SEO rankings which means more exposure for your brand. Check out this post on leveraging your blog for more brand traction. (Dare you not to click!)
  • Unlike social media posts, blog posts sit on your website so they’re not subject to changing search engine algorithms and they increase the time visitors spend on your website. 
  • Blog posts are an excellent way for visitors to get to know your story and your team members. 

And this leads me to the next tip I want to highlight…

Tip #2: Humanize your brand 

B2B Marketing Strategy

Gone are the days when companies do business with other companies simply because they’ve been in the family for four generations and they’re a household name. Today’s business owners want to work with businesses they can relate to or at minimum, that are human and approachable. 

So how can your business ditch the Armani suit and don the Lululemon yoga pants?

  • Tell your story. Why did you start your business? What were some of the challenges you faced getting your business off the ground? What lessons have you learned the hard way? The moment you close the curtain on authenticity, you alienate business owners who need your product or service but want to work with a relatable, down-to-earth brand. 
  • Share your customers’ stories. Build a “Testimonials” tab into your website and weave testimonials into your blog posts and other content. Publish story blogs and create YouTube videos (that link back to your webpage) where customers share how your company’s solutions drove their business’ success. 
  • Showcase your core values. What values is your company built on? How are these values woven into your company culture? How do these values affect your professional relationships? If your company gives back to the local community, what does that look like and how is that charitable contribution driven by your values? Many business owners seek out professional relationships with companies whose values and culture closely align with their own.
  • Incorporate humor and outside-the-box thinking. Just because certain emails are routine doesn’t mean they have to be boring. Dare to break the mold by incorporating memes, GIFs or other forms of humor and creativity. Here are some fun ideas to get your creative juices flowing!

P.S. Postal scripts are another great way to humanize your message! (See how I did that?) 

Tip #3: Utilize email marketing

B2B Marketing Strategy

Folks, this is a showstopper. If you think email is old school, think again. 

Email marketing is the single most effective way to reach your prospects and convert leads. 

  • Send out targeted emails to stay top of mind with current customers. 
  • Create a lead nurture campaign to convert more prospects into customers by following them on their journey with your brand and providing valuable information that intersects each stage of that journey. 
  • Create and distribute monthly email newsletters that educate your prospects, customers and strategic partners to increase your referral traffic.

Tip #4: Automate your sales and marketing processes

marketing automation

Automation does the heavy lifting in many aspects of your business. It saves you time while actually enhancing that personal connection. 

Engage in marketing automation with automation software (we adore HubSpot) and send out targeted communication to your prospects based on their interaction with your brand. This is much more targeted than email blasts to your entire contact list and it’s much more efficient than manually communicating with prospects in a way that is relevant to their engagement.

Engage in sales automation by scheduling routine emails that:

  • Welcome new subscribers 
  • Demonstrate your product or service 
  • Remind prospects about upcoming meetings
  • Follow up with leads that have gone dark
  • Thank new customers 
  • Celebrate special occasions such as birthdays or brandaversaries

You can also categorize hot, warm and cold leads with predetermined criteria and send those leads into separate funnels for further, relevant lead nurturing. 

Are you tired of manually scheduling meetings and all the back and forth communication that goes along with it? Calendly and the HubSpot meetings tool are scheduling software options that lighten the load for your sales reps while providing a simple, time-saving experience for your prospects and clients.

Tip #5: Create lead magnets

If your ultimate goal is to grow your base of brand ambassadors who will help you grow your company, you can’t lose sight of the first step. The most potent way to attract prospects to your brand is by creating lead magnets—valuable freebies prospects receive in exchange for their basic contact information. 

Lead magnets can take many forms but guides, checklists and ebooks are three of the most common. Learn more about how lead magnets can help you grow your business here.

Tip #6: Leverage LinkedIn for effective lead generation

LinkedIn Lead Generation

96% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for organic social marketing—the vast majority. If you don’t have a LinkedIn presence, you might as well be standing on the mainland waving to your Fiji-bound competitors. You’re missing the boat.

We know that companies posting at least once a week on LinkedIn see double the engagement rate than those who aren’t. But the lead generation potential extends far beyond this point. 

At Wild Fig, LinkedIn is one of our biggest client generators, second only to referrals. Over time, we’ve developed a solid LinkedIn B2B marketing strategy.

We…

  • Defined our target audience.
  • Determined which types of content they find valuable.
  • Post regularly with a good mix of content that speaks to our target audience.
  • Pay close attention to who’s viewing our profile.
  • Send these people personalized connection requests (without the creepy stalker factor, of course).
  • Continue to provide valuable content and engage with our connections and our wider target audience.

Learn a little more about how the Figgy LinkedIn magic happens in our recent post!

When you adopt a LinkedIn B2B marketing strategy as part of your overall B2B marketing strategy, you set yourself up for a far greater return on your investment. 

Now that your mind is bursting with fresh marketing ideas, it’s time to put some wheels on them! If you’re overwhelmed or want a better idea of how to integrate these tips into your existing marketing strategy, we’d love to help! Sign up with Jen for a complimentary 30-minute strategy session here.
Wild Fig Marketing is your digital marketing agency. Whether you’re looking for marketing help in the form of website design, sales or process automation, content marketing, email marketing or lead generation, we have the knowledge and experience to help you rock your brand.

3 BLOGGING TIPS THAT WILL HELP INCREASE YOUR EXPOSURE

3 BLOGGING TIPS THAT WILL HELP INCREASE YOUR EXPOSURE 900 600 Kari Switala

Guest Blogger & Expert: Janet E Johnson, This post was originally published on September 30, 2013 and updated on February 22, 2021.

Janet E. Johnson

I recently asked my clients and prospects what questions they had when it came to blogging. There were 3 main questions that most people had. I asked my friend, Janet E. Johnson a social media and blogging expert for her input on these 3 questions. Here’s what she had to say…

Do you need a large following of subscribers on your blog in order for it to have positive affect on your business?

No, there are multiple ways to get your blog seen.  Personally, I’d rather have one subscriber on my blog and thousands on my email list.  People are not using feeds like they used to.  Even Google realized this because they shut down the Google Reader.

So I would not worry about subscribers on the blog as much as subscribers to your email list.  I make sure readers see my email opt-in form on my blog multiple times.  I have it on the side bar, in the blog post and at the end of the blog post.  They won’t miss it.  Other ways get people to your blog is consistency, search engine optimization, social media, guest blogging and blog sharing sites like I discuss in number 3 (below).

How often should you be blogging in order to increase your search engine rankings?

The frequency below found on About.com.

  • For maximum growth: post multiple times per day to drive the most traffic (3-5 times or more is considered best for power bloggers).
  • For steady growth: post at least once per day.
  • For slower growth: publish at least every 3 days or 2-3 times per week.
  • For very slow growth: posting less frequently than 2-3 days per week is most appropriate for bloggers who maintain blogs as a hobby with no strategic plans for growth

Here’s my take on the above list.  It completely depends on your goals!  If you are a small business, not a blogger, you still should blog.  And you can get amazing results with consistent content, even if it is 3-4 times per month.  I know this first hand.  My husband is a general contractor, so about a year ago I started blogging there 2-4 times per month consistently.  Our goal is every other Tuesday and sometimes more.  His search results for local listings on Google have grown to the top positions for multiple keywords that we focused on in our posts. This leads me into my next point, optimizing each post for specific keywords.

For search rankings, it is not as much about how often you blog.  It is more about consistency and making sure each blog post is specific to ONE Keyword. You can write one post well and get it ranked immediately if you do the pieces right.  I suggest the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast.  With this tool, you can put in the specific keyword and it tells you where you need to have the keyword in your post for proper optimization.

Where can I find great copy from other bloggers to repost on my blog site?

My favorite website to connect with other bloggers and share their content is triberr.com. Triberr is a community of talented bloggers and influencers that have come together to read and share great content.  And it’s FREE!  You can share excellent blog posts to all your social sites directly from inside triberr.com.  There are different tribes you can connect with to follow bloggers in your niche.

They also have a WordPress plugin to reblog right on your own website.  When you set this up, it is like having a guest post without all the extra effort of finding someone.  Plus, your content gets shared and reblogged.  It is a robust system that simplifies the blogging world.  Here’s a sample of a post that I thought was excellent content by Mike Allton, so I did a ‘reblog’ on my website.  All I have to do is hit the button ‘reblog’ (see image below) and it automatically saves into my drafts.  So I added the image, bolded some text and add credit to the author.  Amazing, huh? There’s even more and I feel I could go on and on, but head over and sign up for yourself.

Want more great blogging tips? Click here to learn how to write a blog post in 6 easy steps from our friends at Pixpa.