Business Article

 
Hiding Your Mona Lisa in the Garage? By Mark V. Matz
Collection Industry Consultant

A common saying about not doing all you can in order to promote the best aspects of who you are has also been quoted as “hiding your light under a bushel”.  Professionally, a law practice, collection agency or any business active in the collection industry today needs to fully aware that marketing and media have undergone dramatic changes since the advent of the internet and social media.  Learning how to mix your professionalism and experience with self-promotion is our marketing challenge of the decade.

What is the great masterpiece that most tend to hide away?  Any website, no matter how artistically crafted and representative of depth and quality of service provided, is your painting in the closet.  Why do some competitors seem to attract more business even though they are newer enterprises or maybe have less experience?  There are always many factors which encompass a good advertising campaign.  But even if the competition’s website is a merely simple page with minimal information that is easily found when doing an internet search for what you do – then you might have answered the question.

Of course, any website has to properly, succinctly and professionally be able to share with your prospective new clients the essence of who you are and what you will provide for them.  If you haven’t taken a look at your site in the last few years, then your first step might be to freshen up your site.  If you have not made any changes to website in at least the last five years or so, it may be time for a major restoration.  Let’s face it, even the Louvre Museum will make sure their masterpieces are looking bright and fresh.  Seek out an established web design/SEO company that knows your business and industry who will consult with you and point out how your site can be renewed to best reflect what you’re providing to a increasingly savvy and internet oriented consumer.  One such company is Attorneys Design Studio (www.attorneysdesignstudio.com).

Now that you’ve got a masterpiece that is the icon of your company, what are you doing to see that people can view it?  Back in the pre-historic days of 1990’s when getting a fax machine was considered innovative and a mobile phone was a novelty the size of brick, there were common elements of advertising and promotion that remain the same.  A nice folder or brochure in glossy heavy-weight paper that you would mail with an engraved card on high-quality rag-content stationery established you as serious professional.  If you were able, a big ad in the yellow pages drew the viewer’s eyes to your company.  As we know, that type of marketing has passed us by like the last century.  The future rests with the internet and social media.  To find people looking for experienced service, more and more people are doing what they do daily in getting the news, finding a restaurant and getting coupon to for a discount, chatting with friends and family and sharing photos of their vacation or looking to buy or sell things through on-line auctions.  The internet is here to stay for the foreseeable future.  If you want to be found, then you have to find a way to be what the full page ad in the phone book used to provide, the first, best and biggest provider seen by those who are looking.  Today, that is accomplished by search engine optimization. 

Labeled SEO, one version of this process allows those searching online to find those sites that have been optimized by a professional for a set fee which organically allows your website to float to the top.  The other option is pay per click, in effect an auction where your price to attract visitors to your site can rise dramatically over time.  In an April 3, 2012 article by Matt McGee ( Search Engine Land ’s Executive News Editor), he stated “Social media marketers are much more likely to also use SEO in their marketing efforts than PPC, according to a new survey out today”.  He went on to say that search engine optimization is second only to email marketing when social networkers were asked a question about what marketing channels they used. 

What we can take away from some of this information is that all types of business operations wishing to increase their level of profitability must increase their visibility, and the one area where more people are looking is online.  Please take a look at your masterpiece, the work you’ve spent time, blood sweat and tears developing (that would by your business) and make sure it is seen by the biggest number of people you can (people who need your services) by making sure it is easily found on the net.


Meet Mark V. Matz

Mark V. Matz - began working in the broadcast media for WGN Radio and Television in Chicago, IL (a part of the Tribune Company) back in the late 1970's as part of the team on the then number one rated radio program. He later worked in the station’s Sports Department working for Baseball Hall of Fame Broadcasters Jack Brickhouse, Harry Caray and Lou Boudreau - before moving into the Finance Department at WGN, reaching the title of Credit Manager in 1986.

Moving beyond broadcasting, he went to work in the credit industry on the association side of the business before branching out to provide marketing services to a number of members of the industry ranging from attorneys, collection agencies and law list publishers. Mark served on staff as Marketing and Membership Director for the CLLA and remains active with the association; including serving as Co-Chair of the National Marketing Committee and on the Midwest Regional Executive Council. He also served on the Creditors’ Rights Executive Council, as Secretary of the Association of Law List Publishers and in various positions on other CLLA and Commercial Collection Agency Association committees. Mark has written numerous articles and spoken at a number of educational programs on marketing, finance, credit and collection issues during his thirty-plus year career.

 

 

 

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