Simons Says

A time to give thanks, look back, and plan forward

Goals for 2016It’s Thanksgiving week.  A time for reflection and gratitude.   I often use this week to begin to think back upon the past twelve months.

What was life like in November 2014?  For me, much has changed!   I am living in a new house and am only a few weeks away from welcoming my first child into the world.   Professionally it has been an amazing year as well.  I am grateful for all of my clients and supporters!

After a relaxing long weekend, I encourage you to think forward to November 2016.  What do you want to have accomplished by then?   read more…

Accepting and Responding to Client Feedback

feedbackLast week the window in my car fell down into the door.  Issues like this used to have me making emergency appointments at the dealership and crossing my fingers that I’d get out of there with my wallet intact.  Having married a mechanic last year, everything car-related in my life has changed.   read more…

9 Professional Email Best Practices

Email best practicesIn professional services we are hired to take care of things for clients that they don’t fully understand.  Therefore, the year-round treatment and communications clients receive from your team become how they determine the quality of your work.  It may not be logical, but it’s true.  We all have email inboxes that constantly full despite heroic efforts to clear them out.   But it’s not a race to the bottom.  Here are nine email best practices.   read more…

Using social media for recruiting experienced hires

Nearly every one of my cexperienced hires recruiting using social medialients is looking to add someone new to their team.  The “go to” hiring solution for professional services is often to call a recruiter.  And for good reason, the recruiters spend all year making connections and building relationships so that when you call with a hiring need, they can help.  But this summer, I’ll encourage you to use your own internal connections and a bit of social media to try to fill your open position.   Here’s a step by step process you can follow to use social media for experienced hires: read more…

The art and purpose of story telling

story telling in marketingAs a B2B organization your target audience is, well, businesses, obviously.  But how does a business buy something?  Since a logo can’t get a credit card, there is a big push in marketing to consider ALL businesses P2P or person to person.  As it goes, even in B2B, you (a person) are going to have to convince another person (who represents a business) that yours is the best solution to the business’ issue.

So if we frame it this way, we can borrow an eons old and masterfully successful way to create a connection with someone, story telling. read more…

The power of offering choice

choiceRestaurants offer a menu with a plethora of options, and even from there you can customize your order…. Medium rare for my burger, and salad dressing on the side, thanks.    And the bill comes to what, $20?

But when professional services firms pitch their services, we more or less say “here’s what you need, and here’s our price.” Proposals are like a polite “take it or leave it” forcing companies to receive bids from multiple firms in order to find the optimal experience for a reasonable price.  And the bill is certainly more than $20!

Does anyone else see a problem here? read more…

How professional services firms can create blog content year-round

Alison Simons blog content strategy | Simons MarketingI don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that for most professional services firms it takes a concerted effort to create content for the website’s blog.  Billable work takes priority, and when busy season hits, all bets are off.

But this stuff matters.  57% of a typical B2B purchasing decision occurs before the decision maker has a conversation with any potential providers.  And even if you get a prospect through a referral, at some point in the buying process, 81% of all buyers go online to check out your professional services firm.  (source)  Having a robust library of articles to reinforce your firm’s expertise in various industries or services will separate you from the competition in a meaningful way.

Here are five ideas to help you develop a blog content strategy: read more…

Better! LinkedIn How To: Turn on/off activity broadcasts

Simons Marketing LinkedIn expert

As you may have read in my recent post, we discussed the reasons to keep private to blast to the heavens your profile change.  But, the steps to turning on/off activity broadcasts on LinkedIn were a bit tricky.

New and Improved!  LinkedIn has now incorporated the turn on/off activity broadcast into the Profile Edit page.  It can easily be found on the right side column.  (Screen shot below)

read more…

Stop the hype! – How to create practical article titles and better content

Marketing Buzz

Perhaps my biggest pet peeve in marketing today is that headlines too often outshine the articles they promote.  I understand why this trend is happening – we are bombarded by information all day and somehow a writer must cut through the clutter to get you to click and read.  But we’ve all felt duped by an article title that practically promises world peace and then delivers no real insight or value.   It makes me feel foolish for having been deceived and wary of repeating my “mistake.” read more…

LinkedIn: 3 ways to use LinkedIn’s new How you Rank page

Alison Simons LinkedIn You RankLinkedIn just got competitive.

In the section under “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” you can now also select the tab “How You Rank” which puts you in order of profile views vs your LinkedIn network.   This will be amusing for some, humbling for others, and just baffling in purpose to most.    What’s the benefit of How You Rank? read more…

LinkedIn How To: Turn on/off activity broadcasts

Mainsheet Marketing LinkedIn Training

I often work with professionals who want to refresh many areas of their LinkedIn profiles.  What they don’t want, however, is to confuse or bombard their connections with many profile change notifications.  Thankfully there is a best of both worlds in this scenario.  LinkedIn calls it “Turn on/off activity broadcasts”.  Read on for 5 very easy steps on how to do this – with pictures.

read more…

The viral LinkedIn post that I nearly didn’t share


For months I’ve been seeing word puzzles and math problems go “viral” on LinkedIn.  Some of the posts have hundreds of responses and over 2,500 likes (far more than any other type of post).  It baffles me!  Why are professionals spending their precious time on trivial games?   I can live with the inspirational quote memes but I hope the games are a fad.  Ugh.

Then I turned to the dark side – and posted a cartoon. read more…

B2B Marketing Budgets in 2014

The trend I noticed in my online reading today has been marketing budgets.  Optimistic business growth forecasts for 2014 have led to increased B2B marketing budgets.  Here are a few quick reads that may be of interest/use to you as you consider your marketing goals, efforts, and spend.

read more…

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