A Plan for Do-it-yourself Content Marketing

A Plan for Do-it-yourself Content MarketingAs more and more people search for lawyers online, having no content marketing strategy will eventually put you at a disadvantage. Creating a website is a beginning, but unless you maintain it and add new content, it’s no more effective than hanging a shingle and hoping clients will wander in off the street.

A steady stream of content opens the door to social media marketing, builds inbound links to your website, and creates materials that provide value to prospective clients. Here’s a three-year plan for better content marketing that even a busy attorney in a small office can use.

Year One: Assemble What You Already Have

The first step to effective content marketing is to understand your prospective clients.

  • Who are they demographically?
  • Why do they come to your firm?
  • Who makes the final decision to retain you?

As you answer these questions, create three character descriptions or “persona” of the types of people who might hire you. You’ll update your character personas periodically, but these initial personas will provide a good starting point.

Map out the process that prospective clients go through when choosing an attorney like you. The search probably begins with a need: The client is being sued, charged with a crime, getting divorced or having another legal problem. How do prospective clients use the Web to search for attorneys like you? Do they call you or set up an in-person consultation? How do they make the decision to hire you?

Gather up articles that you’ve written, old blog posts, brochures, newsletters, recorded interviews, videos, and any other existing content. Ask a paralegal, assistant or intern to help you. Then, create a spreadsheet that tracks:

  • Who wrote it and where the article is. Have a column for the title, where to find it (the URL, publication information, CD-ROM or file name) and its author.
  • Who it’s for. On your spreadsheet, label each piece according to which client persona would benefit from the material and on what part of the hiring journey the client would need the material.
  • How ready it is. Assign a freshness rating from one to 10, with 10 being “ready to share today” and one being “hopelessly out of date.” Make notes on what you’d need to do — update the legal information, reshoot the video without your 1970s hairstyle, rewrite the article in everyday language — to bring the freshness rating up to a 10.

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Year Two: Create, Repurpose, and Share

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Check out Webinar Slides: Mobile Marketing Tactics

Every consumer you would like as a client has a mobile phone.

 

Here are the slides from a brand new webinar that describes what lawyers must to do reach this super-connected audience and to convert them into clients. If you don’t have a mobile presence for your law firm, these consumers will not find you or your law firm.  I narrated these slides in a webinar on February 12 in a practical and info-packed program. You will learn learn:

  • 5 new ways consumers are using cell phones
  • Creating “mobile moments” and “brand experiences” that generate files
  • 5 essential elements of a mobile website
  • The web technology that is driving traffic to mobile sites
  • Getting positive online reviews with a mobile phone
  • How personal injury and criminal defense firms especially benefit from the mobile web
  • 2 trillion text messages are sent every year. Did your firm send one?
  • A new warning from Google about mobile unfriendly sites.

 

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How to Get New Business With Click-Worthy Web Assets

Jump ahead to see: Engaging with helpful resources
Creating a click-worthy system
Composing Infographics

Success in getting more clicks, conversions and clients on a law firm website turns on website usability -- which today means engaging visitors and prompting them to stay longer and dig deeper into your site, according to SEO expert Paul Julius.

Speaking on a webinar sponsored by PILMMA, Julius is the PPC Focus Specialist for Consultwebs, a law firm web marketing and SEO company. He identified several elements of usability on the SevenishLaw website: 

  • An immediate call to action.
  • A contact form "above the fold," meaning within the first viewable screen.
  • A simple contact form that collects only basic information about a visitor. "Keep it short, don't ask for the address or phone number," he said.
  • Resources for visitors to download, such as a special report, accident videos and FAQs.
  • Ample use of visual elements and graphics throughout a site.

Continue reading Get New Business With Click-Worthy Web Assets.

Get New Business With Click-Worthy Web Assets

 

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Try These 12 Inbound Link Strategies for Lawyers

12 Inbound Link Strategies for LawyersLaw Practice Advisor has a great article by Chris Dreyer on 12 Inbound Link Strategies for Lawyers. Here's the list:

  1. Guest posting
  2. Scholarship programs (a novel idea!)
  3. Social media link building
  4. Infographics
  5. Accident maps
  6. Blogging (yes!)
  7. High page-rank directories
  8. Collaboration
  9. Citations
  10. Interviews
  11. Forums and groups
  12. Sponsorships

To get the details, read 12 Inbound Link Strategies for Lawyers.

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6 Forecasts for 2015 for Law Firm Marketing

LexisNexis recently asked a several dozen experts for legal industry predictions for 2015, which we will publish here later this week.  Larry Bodine, the editor Law Practice Advisor, provided six for law firm marketing  and we’ve  decided to run his viewpoints as a standalone post.

Here are the first three of Mr. Bodine’s six predictions for legal marketing next year:

1.The firm website becomes the sine qua non of legal marketing. A law firm website is now the essential element of its marketing. Hinge research showed that 77% of professional firms generate new business leads online. 70 percent of law firms in another survey said their website generated new matters, according to Alyn-Weiss research.

2. The rise of the review sites.  Because so many consumers habitually look to review sites before buying anything, lawyers will have to pay close attention to reviews about them on Avvo, Personalinjury.com, Yelp, Google and Facebook.

3. Content marketing takes hold. Google has moved away from keyword searches and so have clients. 62% of searches are non-branded keyword searches (e.g., “Miami personal injury attorney”) and they produce an excess of junk results. 32% of non-branded searches are “long-tail searches” like “Chicago divorce lawyer for family with special needs.” These searches find on-point results from websites with content that goes into detail.

4.

For the remaining three predictions, please visit 6 Predictions for Law Firm Marketing in 2015.

 
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Marketing Mass Tort Cases to Hispanics

Marketing Mass Tort Cases to HispanicsHere's a practical article from Law Practice Advisor:

One of the reasons that it’s so hard to interest Hispanics in joining a class action lawsuit is their cultural sense of destiny — that suffering is a natural parts of life. If a person was harmed by a drug side effect or dangerous equipment, it was their fate.

This point was one of many Hispanic marketing insights offered by Leslie Inzunza, a bilingual and bicultural expert in New York.

“Culture is a shared system of beliefs and behaviors passed from one generation to the next,” she says. “Latinos don’t respond the same way as other consumers, because their culture adds another layer of complexity. What makes ethnic marketing so tough is they swim in different waters.”

For example, Latinos in general are risk-averse, and shy away from being the first to try something they view as uncertain. There is a perception that any lawsuit involves risk and this keeps them from filing a claim or joining a class action.

Best ways to get through to Hispanics

To overcome this culture bias, Inzunza, speaking on an HB Litigation webinar, said the solution is to demonstrate that there are people in their group who have gone before them. For example, a website or ad can feature quotes from Latinos who have filed a claim.

The Hispanic market with 54 million people in the US is too big to ignore. Only half of them are foreign-born and many are citizens — but they view the world from three cultural vantage points:

  • Learners are recent arrivals, and includes elderly people who don’t care to learn English, and remain learners for years. Only ⅕ of Hispanics are new immigrants.
  • Straddlers are bilingual and bicultural, and are often referred to as “New Latinos.” Learners and straddlers have little or no experience with the US legal system.
  • Navigators are more sophisticated, speak English, and are further away from their roots but still have a Hispanic cultural practice. “By appealing to their Hispanicism, you get their attention,” she said. Latinos have a pejorative word for them: Americanizar, or Americanized.

For the rest of this article please visit Law Practice Advisor.

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Death of the Web Conference - New Research from Join.me

wasting time web meetingsAs virtual meetings become more commonplace, legacy web conferencing software is wasting an unacceptable amount of time, according to a new study from Ovum and join.me.

It is based on a survey of more than 3,900 full-time professionals worldwide, regarding their collaborative behaviors and activities. The key findings from this report:

  • Late start times are costing executives 5 days and 19 hours per year in lost time and productivity.
  • Technical difficulties with web conferencing software is the number one cause of delayed meetings.
    • More than 50 percent of employees report that the number of meetings they have is increasing.
    • 32% of all meetings are virtual, a trend that skews higher for younger workers. 

Frustration with traditional web conferencing tools has led 66% of corporate buyers to look for new collaboration solutions to accommodate an increasingly collaborative and connected workforce

You can download Death of the Web Conference (as we know it) for free.

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The Best Subject Line to Get Your Email Opened

Believe it or not, the best subject lines start with "Re:" "RE: Follow Up" "Re: update" "Re: Introduction" and "Re: Checking in"Best email subject line  

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The More You Blog, The More Clients You Get

It's been established that blogging generates real clients for law firms. What's more, research proves that the more often you blog, the more clients you get.

Hubspot proved that the frequency of blog posts directly correlates to customer acquisition in its State of Inbound Marketing report. If your blog is underutilized, you are leaving clients on the table. Hubspot found a direct correlation between blog post frequency and new clients acquired.

the more you blog, the more clients you get

"The use of social media and company blogs as marketing tools not only gets your company better brand exposure, but it also generates leads that result in real customer acquisition," says Hubspot.

This raises the question: How frequently you post new content on your law firm blog? Ideally you would post several times a day -- because 92% of businesses that did so acquired a new client from their blog,

Realistically, lawyers should update their blogs three times a week to harness the marketing power of their blogs. Frequent posting of original, unique content will also improve a lawyer's search engine rankings and generate more traffic.

Fortunately, lawyers have options when it comes to blogging. Many law firms find it effective to engage a professional vendor to compose draft blog posts. LawLeadPro, a leading author of original blog posts, can guarantee it will create authoritative blog posts written by real attorneys licensed in the United States.

To find out what LawLeadPro can do for you, please visit Does Law Firm Blogging Really Bring New Clients?

 

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Nancy Fox's Successful Icebreaking Strategies for Networking

Nancy Fox, law firm marketing, legal marketing
Nancy Fox

Nancy Fox, one of the most charming and graceful people I've ever met, outlined her top icebreaking strategies for networking.

"Breaking the ice is difficult because people's attention span is so much smaller nowadays, and you have only a few seconds to make a good first impression," she said one a webinar sponsored by LawMarketing. She has coached hundreds of attorneys in marketing, business development and networking.

"Lawyers want to convert our new connections and book follow-up meetings with new people. We we want to use our networking efforts to launch new referral relationships," she said. "But for many of us it's uncomfortable to enter a room with people we don't know."  For this she offers 10 strategies:

  1. Be prepared. Arrive ready with icebreaker questions, like #11 from her eBook, "What business books have you read recently that you've found valuable?" or #26, "Tell me how you got into your business?"
  2. Be proactive. "Make the first move and thus take the pressure off the other person. They will be grateful and pleased that you've broken the ice."
  3. Make consistent eye contact. "This is essential because people really believe when you make eye contact that you are interested in them and are committed to the conversation. If your eyes are wandering, they'll feel that you don't really care."
  4. Break the ice with grace and politeness. "Avoid joining a conversation where only two people are talking -- they may behaving a private conversation. Instead look for people who are standing alone or in groups of three or more."
  5. Listen. "Lawyers are trained to be good speakers, but to break the ice, a person must truly listen actively. Spend more time closing your mouth and opening the door to breaking the ice, by listening actively. People deeply desire to be heard."
  6. Smile. "Most of us are watching others for non-verbal cues, but we should focus on the nonverbal cues we are giving. The more you smile  at people, the more you will open the door to conversation. A smile shows warmth."
  7. Introduce others. "It's a gift to the other person and it makes you look like a real connector, and the ice thaws quickly."
  8. Say something positive about your new connection. "Doing this at the outset of the conversation will break down a lot of barriers."
  9. Break the ice with someone you haven't spoken with for a very long time. "Simply say, 'it's been such a long time and I've been thinking of reconnecting with you. Tell me what's new with you?' People will resonate with this approach, because they too will have people they haven't spoken to in a long time."
  10. Download her free eBook, "55 Great Icebreaker Questions" and you'll never be anxious again in a room full of people you haven't met.
  11. Nancy Fox networking tips, legal marketing, law firm marketing
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