EP370: Marketplace Mastery: Becoming the Expert in Your Niche


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Keep the Spotlight on your brand 

The most effective marketing strategy involves making a lasting impression. Maintaining a consistent presence for your brand can be quite demanding, but partnering with a company that specializes in lead generation and continual brand reinforcement can make all the difference. They can help ensure that your audience never forgets who you are and how you can benefit them.

Meet John Hinson. John is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Branding,  a content marketing company, that specializes in helping solopreneur and small firms generate more referrals and get their targeted consumer to stay engaged. In this blog, Hollywood Branded delves into the captivating moments of 'Marketing Mistakes (+ How to Avoid Them),' where John shares his strategies on how to stand out in a crowded marketplace and the power of sharing valuable knowledge with your audience. 

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A Little More About John

With almost a decade of experience, John excels in collaborating with legal and financial professionals to help grow their firms while handling the challenges of SEO.

As an author of over 24 books and his role as a host of two popular industry podcasts, "Law Firm Marketing Minute" and "Center Stage, he aims to provide his audience with new tools and perspectives to help them succeed: whether as a guest on a podcast, writing an article, speaking at a conference, or running a workshop

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Interview Transcript Highlights

Stacy: I always love starting off by having you tell us how you got here today and have you always thought you were going to be doing this career?

John: Oh gosh, no! My initial goal was to teach writing and composition, probably community college level. I really enjoyed that aspect of it. I enjoy teaching and all that. But when grad school came and went, no one wanted to hire me for that position. I didn't really have a backup plan, I was just super confident that someone was definitely gonna want to hire me. And that wasn't the case.

So I moved out to the Charlotte, North Carolina area and got a job as a copywriter for a big corporation. I thought "Alright, this is my big boy job. I got a nice corporate job, I'm just gonna do this for my entire career." And then a few days in they cancelled my contract, and I was in a new city, didn't know anybody, didn't have any clue what I was gonna do.

And then I happened to come across this company that needed a social media manager. I thought "Yeah, I know social media, I can do this for a few weeks until I can finally find my actual career." Well, years later I am still here with the same company. I've kind of just done about everything there is to do here. I get to go to conferences and speak, and manage our media section called Spotlight Insider, where there are new articles and podcasts that go up every day. The podcast is focused on helping business owners grow their firms with marketing advice, tech advice, money advice, and all that kind of stuff. We also have a big focus on mental health which, at least in our industry we focus on mostly solo and small law firms, just the mental health aspect is not talked about enough but there's a huge need for it there. 

Stacy: So you're working with your clients- what's the first thing that you do? Because it's going to apply to any industry in general - how do you help them figure out what their message is to tell and what their differentiators are?

John: Yeah, the first thing really is about changing the narrative that they have been taught. The first thing marketers in our industry tell lawyers is, "You gotta get on Google. You gotta make sure you're on page one of a Google search."

And it's all SEO, SEO, SEO.

That isn't necessarily how it has to be. They've been fed this narrative that everything you do has to be focused on this end goal of "you have to have success on Google" which has led to this overall negative view towards marketers and the marketing industry. We're all seen as kind of snake oil salesmen - "Oh we promise you we're gonna get you all these leads." No one really believes us.

And so what we've tried to do with Spotlight Branding is provide a different way of doing it where we're focusing on helping generate referrals, with the focus on helping them stay top of mind with their audience.

Stacy: For those coming to you for help, do you find certain people prefer a written strategy versus podcast-based? How do you figure that out for them?

John:  For our industry, it's still old-fashioned and slow to adopt new things. They tend to stick with what they know - blogging and email - which is great, you can send a monthly newsletter and get great results.

The younger firms are more open to video and podcasting. I think running a podcast isn't as complex as people think. At a bare minimum, you can open Voice Memos on your phone, hit record, and talk for 20 minutes. Get someone on Fiverr to make you an intro/outro bed and it'll be good enough audio quality to pass as a regular podcast.

You don't need NPR-level quality, people just want the information. They want to be a fly on the wall for your conversation, whether with someone else or yourself. And I like what you said about your first episodes not being as polished - that's the point! The first time you do anything won't be as good as the 100th time because you get better with practice. 

Here is a sneak peek of the episode below! 



Stacy: How can our listeners find out more about you if they want to learn how you can work with them?

John: Absolutely - go to SpotlightBranding.com to learn about our services. We primarily work with solo and small law firms but don't turn others away if it's a good fit. Or go to SpotlightInsider.com to learn more and get great content - join our email list and we'll send tons of great stuff every week.

Check Out The Podcast!

Building brand recognition can be challenging, and sustaining audience engagement presents its own set of obstacles. However, partnering with a company like Spotlight Branding can simplify this process and make it more manageable.

Tune in below to hear the complete episode. 

Every week we have a marketing professional on our show to share their tips, tricks and lessons learned from their professional experience. Check out some of our other podcast blogs from earlier this year: 

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