legalpodcast

EP 56 – Tim Corcoran – Learning to Adapt and Thrive as a Law Firm in the Ever-Changing Market

Tim Corcoran is a Legal Management Consultant with offices in New York, Charlottesville, and Sydney as a global client base. He is a keynote speaker, author, as well as a legal commentator and has been in the industry for the past 2 decades as a corporate executive. The things that he talks about and where he guides his clients is just practical advice – what he learned in how to run a business and what they may not have been trained to do when in law school. It is really about helping legal leaders use their intellect and their lawyer abilities to be more effective leaders and managers of their business, which is essentially what his consulting practice is based on. Please reach out to Tim by visiting his website at bringintim.com or by following him on Twitter @tcorcoran

Prioritizing Your Next Steps in Navigating the Pandemic and Beyond

Now is a perfect opportunity for law firms, and all businesses, to be taking a look at their operations and determine which of their programs, investments, capital expenditures, tools and technologies, and suppliers may need to be dialed back as well as looking to see what resources and maybe even people may not be as mission-critical in the short-term. Many businesses are being faced with several tough decisions to make right now and they are all happening at once. Tim has helped clients come up with a decision framework to do this triage. He looks at the term triage as how medical professionals do an assignment of urgency when they have someone that is present with symptoms and they cannot treat everyone and do everything all at once, so really they are trying to prioritize what is most important first. A short-term challenge facing many law firm leaders is that there is not a lot of planning done in advance for how to deal with this. Most businesses did not even have a plan that would accommodate the scale of this disruption.

Law firm leaders need to triage and prioritize what their next step is going to be. It is a 3-stage process that several law firms are currently facing. There was a Canadian minister that described their government here as dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic as a plane struggling in an intense storm. The first stage is landing the plane on the ground safely to ensure that everyone is safe and alive. The second stage is securing the plane on the ground and making sure that it will be safe to ride out the storm there. The third and final stage is preparing to take-off again as the climate allows for proceeding. The first thing that law firms need to look at doing is securing their law firms to ensure that they will be in business come the following day. Their first steps in doing so are to make sure that you have enough cash on hadn’t to make payroll, think about if you have enough laptops and desktops available to disperse to people so that they can work from home, if not, then you need to make adjustments to secure device policies, zoom policies, and conference call capabilities so that employees can use firm services to login and access the critical materials that they need.

Embracing Opportunities and Collaborating and Communicating More Effectively

We as a society, but especially as law firms, have been ignoring opportunities to embrace a flexible workforce. There are ignored opportunities when a valuable employee moves across the country for many different reasons and most employers just say goodbye. Why is that the case though if they can work remotely and be just as effective? Now is a great opportunity to say that we do not need a model where everyone is in a shiny building downtown, but rather to embrace a model where you can be everywhere. This gives a greater competitive advantage and a lower cost space which will in turn improve profitability. Take this time to put things into perspective. It is not about adapt or die, although some will not adapt and some will die, it is really about adapting and thriving. The market has changed, and is always changing, so how do you as a law firm or a leader in the legal community take advantage of what the market is telling you very loudly and very clearly?

Law firms structurally are not built very well for collaboration, even when everyone works in the same office or the same set of offices. This market change may provide a recognition to use the tools and processes that allow you to collaborate even when you cannot be right across the desk from one another. The missing link is if people are being effective in using these tools. With time, we can realize that there is a way to collaborate with others when you are not in the same room and if we take that lesson back, we may reform the law firm footprint so that now we may collaborate and communicate far more effectively.

Utilizing Technologies as a Way to Deliver New Solutions

The market has been fairly loud in asking lawyers and law firms to adapt to a changing world- whether a consumer or large corporate clients. The market has also said that there is a learning curve and that legal professionals should be more efficient at delivering service at a higher quality and lower cost than they were 5 years ago. While billable hours still exist, the market is saying that they no longer need lawyers’ permission to access legal services from alternate sources. Big law firms are now realizing that some of their work is being seeded to smaller law firms and all law firms are now seeing some of their work being brought in-house or to alternate suppliers where it is a lower cost of delivery. Some companies are delivering services to organizations that have legal needs and they are delivering them more effectively, at a higher quality and lower price, and with higher throughput. Law firms are now realizing that all of these things they said they cannot change and changing, and they don’t have a voice in it. Courts are accepting e-signatures, people are providing services electronically, taking appearances by video, and they are starting to see the same sort of thing in transactions. The things that used to have to be on paper are now submitted electronically.

Much of the market has mischaracterized the benefits of the use of technology to legal services. Buyers are more ahead of the game than the sellers. We need to first look at technology not as the solution, but as a way to deliver that solution more effectively and efficiently. Lawyers need better processes. It is not uncommon to look at a law firm and see how different lawyers have fundamentally different approaches to handling the same task, whether that be a legal task or an administrative task. The better course of action is to recognize that you have inefficient processes and that inefficiency sends a message to your clients and the clients are saying that the law firm’s inefficiency costs them more money. It is time to engage in process improvement and no one way has to win, there may need to be some variations. Process mapping, process improvement, and project management are not about commoditizing the law, they are about saying how to unlock the smarts that lawyers have if they have done these things before thousands of times. That approach will pave the way for technology we think will be necessary and helpful to deliver that. Technology comes after the business mapping and then the technology is one of the ways to deliver those services. So, how do we benefit from using technology? The price point can come down, but the profit can go up and both the client and the law firm are happier.

EP 55 – Keith Newstrom – The Ins and Outs of Increasing Your Leads and Number of Signed Cases

Keith Newstrom has over a decade of experience in the legal marketing industry and is currently the Business Development Manager at Intake Conversion Experts (ICE). ICE has assisted over 200 Law firms, retained over 40,000 cases, and an average conversion rate of ~75%. Keith previously worked for FindLaw and Thomson Reuters for just over 7 years selling directory listings and leads.

If you are interested in getting in contact with Keith, please email him at newstromk@gmail.com or knewstrom@intakeconversion.com. You can also find more information by visiting his website at http://www.keithnewstrom.com/

Buying Leads and Why Directories Are Still Relevant

Purchasing leads is different for every person and every law firm. Some people prefer to buy as many leads as possible at the lowest prices available while others prefer to buy fewer and ones of very high quality. It is all up to the individual and dependent on what their specific situation may be.

One nice thing about directories is that there is tracking to be able to say there were 100 calls and then determine what happened with each of those. It is crucial to be following up with clients to see how many calls that they had and how long each of those calls were. 95% of the time, clients did not know where the calls were coming from because they were not able to track their marketing. Directories really can apply to all law firms and they do it for everything. Most directories now have some sort of B2B directory as well and they will try to sell you every which way that they can.

Recommendations from Keith on Best Tools for Finding the Best Cases

For starters, Keith recommends doing the whole package. And by the whole package that is getting some leads from PPC, getting other leads from organic, and then there are also the leads that people do not even know they have found your company, and other times where individuals may buy one and share with 5 people and hope that they can retain them before everyone else.

One of the biggest things that Keith has factored into his list of recommendations is the importance of making sure clients are happy and that their clients are happy as well. You want to ensure that they are getting a good return on investment. Some of his favorite tools for this include Shield Legal, Digital Prospects, OpenJar, CASE Legal Media, and Admediary. One of the most interesting things that Keith has also observed is that some of these companies are doing a lot of the marketing that you could be doing on your own but they could be doing it better or on a much larger scale.

Importance of Intake Process in Converting Leads

Buying leads is great, but the intake process is also so important. If you are looking to increase your leads as well as the amount of cases that you are signing to your firm then you need to make sure that you have the entire follow up process. It is crucial to know where your leads are coming from so that you can double down on what is working for your firm and cut out the stuff that is not working. You may be trying to fill a large bucket with many holes and then if you add a great intake team to that, they help to plug a lot of those holes and fill up the bucket much faster which allows you to be making a more substantial amount of money. Intake is one of, if not, the most important part of a business. Make sure that your intake team is empathetic and also very reassuring to your potential clients that they are making the right choice in choosing your law firm.

EP 54 – Chase Williams & Ryan Klein – Staying Ahead of the Curve and Implementing the Best SEO Tactics

The Importance of Tracking and Transparency in Reporting

Today, there are over hundreds of marketing channels while a few years ago there were maybe only 6 or 7. So, how do you know which leads are coming from which channels or sources? The fact that you can track everything at this point is such a game-changer, especially when it comes to ROI and those marketing dollars. To make that ask and spend more money on advertising though, you need to know where your leads are coming from. Some tools that we use for tracking and have found helpful are HubSpot, CallRail, and Google Analytics. This allows us to know how to quantify the amount of money that we are spending to bring in new business. It is also a good indicator of knowing when it may be time to cut back or double down in certain areas. You can do tracking through every step of the cycle and that is so important in making some of these decisions.

After tracking, you move on to reporting and the transparency of the reporting. When reporting, people typically look for more sophisticated tools and they want to see more transparency in the results of the campaigns that they are doing. Many lawyers are accustomed to reports being auto-generated, but it is also important to be able to analyze those reports and have experts scan the data manually to have findings and more opportunities based on what they found in the report. In addition to this, it is not necessarily only important to illuminate the positives, but you also need to be able to explain what is going on with the negatives as well and then determine an action plan to improve.

Thinking Outside the Box When It Comes to Content Plans

The average lawyer is writing their content based on regurgitation on the latest news and that is not necessarily the best approach in many situations. A non-generic content plan is coming up with a game plan to cover every possible way that someone would search for your services within your geography. But, how do people search? Most commonly, people search using a keyword or practice area along with a geographic modification or a long-tailed question. A good resource tool for searching for new topics to produce content is AnswerThePublic. It is also wise to be researching how people are conducting their searches and how the search trends may be changing throughout the year and even more year after year. Analyzing the content that your competition has is also a good idea to see if they are writing about good topics, but doing a poor job executing – see if you can do it better! It truly is endless the number of possibilities that are out there for content, but there is also a fine balance between an interesting and unique topic and a topic that generates volume. These are great things to keep in mind when you are working on your content strategy.

The Latest SEO Trends

One of the latest trends that we have seen recently is the use of emojis and how they are drawing user’s attention to meta descriptions or FAQ schemas. This is a way to stand out from everyone else. Structured data is at an all-time high as far as how much real estate it is taking up in results. People are sing FAQ below their search result and answering questions that is FAQ structure data and it has been incredibly successful for click-throughs. Another new thing we have noticed happening is that a lot of schemas have gone pretty far down the Google results page instead of only appearing in the first few rankings – this has been a modification that we have recently seen over the past few weeks. Google has been going into over-drive over the past six months with a lot of new things amongst everything that is going on. Within the past week, checkmarks now appear within the maps for online appointments that are available. You always have to be on these platforms and reading the documentation that is put out by Google. It does not just stop at structure data, optimization for voice search is a thing that people have been preparing for. Google looks up structure data and how you word things on your website, how you present information in a way that people can ask questions, and ultimately what is your website set up for.

We have also recently seen a dramatic change in the site speed test. Google has a page speed test that allows you to type in your URL and essentially see on a scale of 1 to 100 (100 being the best) how your website ranks in Google’s eyes. This number is calculated by load speed, certain scrips that are fired off your website, and there are always new things they are adding to the list as well. The implications here are higher than they have ever been because there is so much more impact. At the end of the day, Google is all about user experience and whether or not you are following the guidelines that have been set out. There is a whole new set of guidelines for how to rank your website for user experience and website speed. Change is coming slowly, but quickly at the same time.

EP 53 – Bruce Segall – Taking Advantage of LinkedIn’s Features to Boost Your Profile to Its Full Potential

Bruce Segall is the President of Marketing Sense for Business. He works with both law firms and small to mid-size business firms to help professionals stand out in the crowded business world. He has worked in the marketing industry throughout his entire career – He began with MasterCard and Citibank working in their marketing departments and then became the Director of Marketing for a small professional services firm. Bruce brings up a diverse mix because he understands the discipline that comes from working at big companies as well as the needs and the need for flexibility at a small firm or for solo practitioners. He has focused on being an outsource marketing director for smaller companies and firms by doing branding, communications, and messaging.

4 Most Important Things to Check on Your LinkedIn Profile Page

Professional Headline – The Professional Headline can be found right beside or directly below the profile picture on the LinkedIn profile page. If you are electing to only use your title in the headline space, it is a missed opportunity as you could use an elevator speech in 120 characters or less and really talk about what differentiates your brand. You will stand out from competitors because of the customized message that is there. The Professional Headline is something that can be presented in short phrases or as a straight-forward, clever phrase depending on what you may be comfortable with.

About Section – The About Section of your profile is LinkedIn’s version of a biography. Although this is LinkedIn’s version of a bio, it is not intended for you to copy and paste the bio that can be found on your website. This is an opportunity to craft something professional, but that is also specific to your profile page. LinkedIn only previews about 2 or 3 lines from the about section and the rest is hidden, it is really in your best interest to have something provoking in this section so that readers will click the ‘more’ button and read your entire profile. Bruce would recommend about 1500 characters or about 2 to 3 paragraphs. 60% of the views on LinkedIn are from a mobile phone. People are just skimming around through profiles – they may be reading certain sections and skipping over others. Using short paragraphs, capital letters, a bulleted list, or a checklist are all techniques that can be used to your advantage throughout this section.

Visuals – People are often on their phones and distracted, so it is really important that your profile has a very compelling visual look to it. Your background picture is the image above your profile picture and you have the opportunity to customize it. You could use an image from your website or it could even be a logo image; you want to use something that will get you a lot more attention when someone clicks on your profile page. There is also a new “Featured” Section just below the About Section that allows the opportunity to add a link from your website (LinkedIn will process an image to display), put up a video or a photograph, add a recent LinkedIn post, or photos of yourself presenting at recent presentations. This becomes a gallery and showcase on yourself, but it is all in visual terms.

Please note that profile photos are also a critical area that should be reviewed on your LinkedIn profile page, but many users already have that checked off by using a professional photo from their website or another source.

Current Experience – Some people make the mistake of copying their About Section and repeating that in their Current Experience. Use the Current Experience Section to talk about representative matters, to share some of your clients (if you can), and to showcase specific practices and the services that you can provide. It is important to think through what you want in each of these sections and how it then balances with the other sections displayed on your profile page. LinkedIn and your personal profile is really an extension of your personal brand so you want it to be something that you are comfortable with. Your Current Experience Section is an opportunity to be more personal and to tell a story while including elements that you may not necessarily use in a firm profile.

Using LinkedIn’s Features – Free vs. Premium

To empower other people is not to think about yourself, but to give. William feels that giving is way better than receiving and especially so during this time where there is so much crisis and negativity – you just have to keep gIn general, most users on LinkedIn are not even leveraging some of the free features that the networking site provides, so it is not necessary that everyone jump immediately into a premium program. People first need to become more disciplined in terms of utilizing LinkedIn and then in using those premium features. As a free member on LinkedIn, you can see the last 3 people that viewed your profile, so if you are a free user, you need to be in the discipline of checking your profile views every couple of days. Whether you are a free user or a paid user, you should be in the discipline of not only checking your profile views but also checking the profiles of connections before you meet them. There is a feature on Linkedin that allows you to download an individual’s profile to a PDF document that you can read and refer to at a later time. For attorneys that may be interested in using the recommendation feature on LinkedIn, they need to be cautious around soliciting for them as well as receiving them. You can refer to the Bar Association guidelines as well as your state-issued guidelines around attorney advertising.

On-Going Aspects of LinkedIn Features

While improving your profile page is typically a one-time process and we recommend that you update your profile at least once a year, there are also other activities on LinkedIn that need to occur on a more regular basis such as once a week, once a month, once a quarter, etc. Many of the on-going aspects that need updating on your LinkedIn profile are in relation to posting. There are several options for posting that you can choose from – you can post a picture, a video, a link to a website, or do a plain-text post. All of these things, especially if they have a personal element where your connections can see a picture of you or of your new office space will have a tremendous amount of impact. There is also an opportunity to do longer articles for anywhere from 500 to 2,000 words and these can become a permanent aspect of your profile. You can utilize LinkedIn instead of having a blog and they provide a permanent URL that does not require a LinkedIn account o access. This is a great way to demonstrate leadership in more detail while still remaining visible in shorter posts. Also using LinkedIn messaging as a way to stay in touch with all of your contacts. If you spend just 1 hour a day finding different connections and reconnecting with them, it could have an effect on your page.

EP 52 – William Umansky – Growing Your Practice Through Being a Leader in Your Community

William Umansky is the Managing Partner of Umansky Law Firm. William became a lawyer over 28 years ago and started as a prosecutor – he then did some defense work at a personal injury firm and has since started his own firm. He handles personal injury cases including car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall and premise liability cases, negligent security and sex abuse. William is also an author to the Amazon Best-Selling book “Power Principles of Success”.

Finding Your Driver for Success

William used to be very intent on not giving anything back. He was always thinking about getting the next case and driving to build his business, in which he did become successful very quickly. However, at the end of the day, he still felt empty inside and wondered what he was doing all of this work for. William did not understand his ‘why’ until he realized that everything he was doing was not only to support his family but also to help his clients empower themselves. When he figured this out, it became more clear what the purpose behind his practice was.

It is a privilege to practice law and you have to earn that privilege, but it is also a privilege to make money by helping others. William realized that there was so much more that he could do for other people when he joined some local committees. The Orange County Bar Association was where he helped other lawyers build their businesses, helped them get education for their practices, and helped them to understand that there is a community of lawyers that can help each other. The Rotary Club is another organization that William became heavily involved with which is where they believe in service over self.

Giving Back to Your Community

To empower other people is not to think about yourself, but to give. William feels that giving is way better than receiving and especially so during this time where there is so much crisis and negativity – you just have to keep giving. He found that it is a lot more fun to give – whether that be by doing charity work, building others up rather than tearing them down, and he even found that it is more fun when dealing with your competitors to simply not hate them. There are three important factors or areas in which you can give – time, money, and leadership.

One of the things that William realized after being on the board of several associations was that a lot goes into running a board and a lot of time goes into doing the activities that are required to serve your members. He found that giving money was not as fulfilling for him, but it is still very important. You can find ways to give money in your community like giving money towards scholarships, raising money for other people, or giving money to charitable causes. Leadership is an area that not many people associate when they think of giving. Leadership can be given in inspiring others to do good work, spreading messages of value, and inspiring people that may be more equipped than you to give to others.

Prioritizing Your Passions … Including Your Business

One of the most important lessons that William learned growing up that he still carries with him to this day is to follow your passion and then the money will follow. If you follow your passion, everything else kind of works itself out around that. The things that you find yourself to be passionate about, you will make time for. People will see that you are passionate about what you are doing and they will see that you love what you do and you are authentic. Others will see that what you are doing is out of love and not any other reason. Eventually, those people will cling to you and join you and they will want to give you business and help you.

It is hard to balance everything and that is why it is so important to be passionate about what you do decide to join and be a part of and then get rid of all of the things that you are not passionate about. It is so easy for us to say yes to a lot of things and then our balance gets thrown off. Priority depends upon passion, so prioritize your passions. Find the things that you like to do and then find a way to involve yourself in activities that connect you with those things and with yourself. There is never an excuse to get into one thing that doesn’t have a connection to something else – there are always things that tie to each other that you can find. No one person can do it all on their own either, you do need a team. Leveraging everything is to find people that love what they are doing and they will shine because of their motivation.

EP 51 – Ken Hardison – Catching Up and Cleaning Up to Prepare for When Everything Lifts After COVID-19

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Ken Hardison is the Founder and President of PILMMA, the Personal injury Lawyers Marketing and Management Association. Ken and the PILMMA Team use marketing and management resources dedicated to attorneys – they put out great information and host webinars, conferences, and mastermind groups. Ken is also an author on several books as well as a very sought after speaker, both on marketing and managing law firms.

 

Secrets of Successful People

Ken Hardison always learned with what worked and what didn’t work – with every success of his came about five failures. He has learned after hosting several conferences, webinars, and mastermind groups that about 90-95% of people who attend will never follow through because they are too busy, not fully committed, or not focused or disciplined enough. He has also found that the most successful people are the ones that have grit and perseverance; they never give up. Most successful people are committed, they are focused, and they do not accept defeat and take no for an answer. 

Another big key to being successful is being a continual learner. You can never think that you know it all or that you have it all figured out. Continued learning is very important to your success and you may find yourself in trouble if you think you have figured it out because you never figure it out completely – everything is constantly changing. 

 

Using Zoom and Other Virtual Meeting Spaces

Ken saw an opportunity when COVID-19 hit and wanted to help lawyers by offering a free webinar series anyone could access. He discussed during the webinar how to manage employees remotely, keeping communication using the Rockefeller habits with daily huddles, weekly meetings, and how to use Zoom. He is continuing this webinar and hosting different topics each week – one coming up on the PPP Loan and applying for forgiveness and another one about how to come back into the office when everything with the pandemic has ended. 

Another resource that Ken has found incredibly helpful during this time is hosting Mastermind Groups for different levels of lawyers across the country. Since lawyers have mostly been stuck at home isolated, they are welcoming the opportunity to talk to other lawyers and ask each other what is going well and what is going not so well. Now is the time to catch up and clean up. Some have begun writing books, doing videos, working on different things that they may not have had time to work on previously. 

 

Giving Value in What You Do

You have to give value in everything that you offer. If you are not giving 10 times the value at a conference of what your guests have paid, then you are not doing your job. People want value. Ken attends a conference on how to retain members, and everyone has the same issue with retaining members, whether large or small. There is enough business out there for everyone, so now is the time to start pivoting – catch up and clean up. You need to really start working on everything to get ready for when COVID-19 restrictions lift completely. 

EP 50 – Brian Basinger – Understanding the PPP Loan and What It Can Do For Your Firm

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Brian Basinger is the Founder and Principal of Basinger CPA. Brian is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Tax Coach and helps small business owners navigate accounting, bookkeeping, and tax preparation. Basinger CPA is a strategic advisory firm that tries to go in-depth and be proactive in helping their clients on tax planning, accounting, and cash flow forecasting.

What is the PPP Loan vs Other Options

The PPP Loan (Paycheck Protection Program) came about earlier this year amid the COVID-19 Pandemic to give relief to businesses, specifically small businesses and is designed to cover at least 2 months worth of payroll, as well as rent, utility, and other expenses you may need assistance in covering. The PPP Loan is still in the 2nd round, although most people who have applied for it have received it at this point.

There are 3 other options you may want to consider instead of, or in addition to, a PPP Loan. The first of these options is a Payroll Tax Deferral. This allows employers to take the tax from 2020 and defer the employer portion of taxes, which is about 6.2%. In this situation, businesses would be required to pay half in 2021 and the remaining half in 2022 with a 0% interest rate. The next option was an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and provides financial assistance to small businesses that may have suffered economic injury as a result of a disaster. These applications have now closed, but applications that were previously submitted are now being processed and approvals will span over the next few weeks. Although this option is not free money, it is money on really good terms. The final option is for a payroll tax credit which applies to people, or family members, that may have been affected by COVID-19 and needed to miss time from their jobs.

Recent Changes and Updates Made to the PPP Loan

When the PPP Loan first came about in early 2020, it was intended to be used over 8 weeks to cover those 2 months of expenses. Most people who have already applied for the loan have received it at this point, but if you have not, then you may not be going through the right bank. The loan has since been extended from the previous 8 weeks and can now be used over 24 weeks. Now that it is 24 weeks, there is more than enough cost to cover the loans – the loan is calculated based on a 2 and a half multiplier of the previous year’s payroll.

Brian also presented two different scenarios in the case of having to lay-off an employee or employees. Previously, employers had until June 30th to hire everyone back or to make an equivalent job offer to somebody else. This date has since been changed to December 31st that you can hire back employees who may have been furloughed or laid-off. Businesses also have until December 31st to restore wage rates that may have been reduced due to COVID-19. If you are needing to lay an employee off and concerned about the forgiveness of the loan, an option is to apply for the 8 weeks of forgiveness (which is still available) and wrap of the forgiveness of that loan and then you can proceed with the lay-off. If you are letting an employee go with cause, you can do that if they have been deemed an appropriate exclusion to the head-count rule.

An additional factor to consider in the PPP Loan is that this loan is intended for employees who receive a W2, it is not for contractors or 1099 employees. Contractors are eligible to apply to receive their own PPP Loan, so they are not allowing businesses to stack them. It is one of those scenarios now where people who are hiring traditional employees (W2) and paying payroll taxes are being rewarded by being able to take advantage of the PPP Loan.

Guidelines to Forgiveness of PPP Loan

Although definitive guidelines for the PPP Loan have not been released, the ESBA, or Employer-Sponsored Brokerage Account, has continuously released a series of FAQ documents and this is currently the most authoritative interpretation of the bill and the legalities. There are still many unanswered questions, but it is expected that they will release an additional FAQ document to answer some of those. Banks have also received an additional forgiveness application so if businesses are looking to apply for loan forgiveness already, they will apply through the bank that issued their PPP Loan and the bank should have a modified forgiveness template based on the SBA or Small Business Administration. The template requires businesses to put together the application with all supporting documentation.

The main cause of lack of forgiveness has been not enough payroll, and some businesses do not have enough payroll to justify forgiveness. The new 24-week period is crucial because it allows extra time and also has moved from previously being 75% made up of payroll cost to now only requiring 60% of payroll costs. This has opened up more of a possibility to get forgiveness for other expenses such as rent, utilities, or mortgage interest if that is making up a substantial part of expenditures.

Most payroll providers have paycheck protection reports that employers can run and get their numbers back – employers must enter appropriate dates and it should give you payroll costs, state and local taxes, retirement contribution costs, and group health insurance costs. Once employers run and receive that report, they can plug those numbers into the application form and turn into their bank. It is encouraged to have your application ready to return to the bank along with any supporting documents you may have included so that everything is ready to go when you are ready to apply for PPP Loan forgiveness.

EP 49 – Catherine MacDonagh – Using Lean and Six Sigma to Improve Project Efficiency Within Your Firm

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Catherine MacDonagh is the founder of Legal Lean Sigma Institute and the developer of Legal Lean Sigma and the award-winning Legal Workout. She teaches and provides training and consulting services with a focus in project improvement, project management, operational and process excellence, organizational development, and strategy. Visit http://legalleansigma.com to learn more about the services Catherine and her team provide.

On This Episode, We Discuss…

• Understanding Lean and Six Sigma in Addition to Project Management
• What the Process Improvement Framework Is & How to Apply It
• Reducing or Eliminating Wasteful Tasks in Projects

EP 48 – Chase Williams & Ryan Klein – Optimizing Your Tech Stack & Creating the Best Experience for Your Customers When They Visit Your Site

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Digital marketing is always evolving and there is always a new piece of software that you could be implementing in your site to make it run faster, have a better customer experience, or just to one-up your marketing game. Software is likely a solution to some of the issues or gaps that you may be struggling with.

Reviewing Website Speed and Ways to Make Your Website Load Faster

When thinking from the customer experiences, you want customers to have the best experience possible. Some of the most important things that you should look out for when thinking about this are server speed, whether or not there is a CDN set up, if images are compressed, and if the code is optimized correctly. A CDN, or Content Delivery Network, replicates and protects your website and allows pages, images, and other site content to compress greatly for data to travel quickly. 

Another important thing to consider while looking at website speed is having a plugin to compress images to place on the CDN. Having too many plugins that do too many specific things can leave your website susceptible to further update error, conflicting plugins within the site, or other vulnerabilities such as website hacks. If you have a proper CDN when someone attempts to hack your website, they are attacking the CDN and your website is being secured. Also, using photos that are not compressed on your pages will kill load time, rankings, and overall the user experience.

Chase and Ryan’s Go-To Marketing Tools to Implement in Your Website

Zapier – Zapier is a tool that Chase and Ryan use for every single one of their clients at Market My Market and is also used for every piece of software that they work with. Zapier lets the software talk to each other, allows leads to come in and go where directed.

Yoast – Yoast is a great plugin to use for optimizing SEO and creating an index for your website. It has a feature called Focus Keyword which will tell you if there are any internal or external links, how many times the keyword is mentioned, the keyword density, whether or not H (header) tags were used, and several other features.

Defender – Defender is a tool used to block out people who have an incorrect login on the backend of your admin, IP’s, or third-party bots trying to hack into your website to try to steal data and inject malicious codes. 

  • A lot of times, websites are hacked on shared hosting, not because they did anything wrong, but because they may be on a server with other websites. If one of those websites gets hacked, then they have access to the server and every website shared is vulnerable to hacks as well. 

Google Tag Manager – Google Tag Manager is a tool that allows you to manage and install marketing tags on your website without having to alter any codes, so it cuts out the need to have a developer help you with implementing new pieces of software into your site. 

  • In addition to editing and updating, Google also gives you the green light, or green smiley face, to let you know that everything is functioning properly through Google Tag Assistant.

Hotjar – Hotjar is a tool that analyzes the online behavior of your users. While Google Analytics can tell you what page someone is on, Hotjar can show you exactly where someone’s eyes are going on your website – what they are doing, where they are scrolling, and what they are reading. 

Mailchimp – Mailchimp is a simple and easy to use automation tool and email marketing service. If you do not have a drip campaign going on or a newsletter updating past, current, and future clients what is going on at your firm, then this tool is a no-brainer for you. It is easy to import contacts, easy to keep them organized, easy to use a template while modifying it to make it unique to what you are trying to do, you can do tags, you can group people and segment them, and there are nurture campaigns. There is also automation involved for birthdays, client anniversaries, or any other reason you may be looking to reach out.

What Things You Can Be Testing on Your Website and Content Refreshes

Examples of things that you can and should be testing on your website to check for user experience are the following: 

  • Sign Up Forms
  • Call to Action Buttons
  • Social Sharing
  • Searching the Website
  • Navigation
  • Colors and Design
  • What You Are Saying vs What You Are Offering

You always want to be testing these elements, but you do not want to be making too many changes too often. Content refreshes, however, are something that Search Engine Optimizers strongly believe in. Most of these refreshes will not involve removing content, but rather adding additional content. A majority of SEO changes typically take place as tweaks to site optimization, to backlinks and building authority, and content on established pages. When you are running a paid campaign, that is when you should really be testing and making sure that you are stretching your dollars. 

EP 47 – Kwasi Bowman – Forming Litigation Strategies and Utilizing AI to Make Data Driven Decisions and Win Cases

ep47-kb

Kwasi Bowman is the Director of Account Management at Gavelytics. Gavelytics is a company that goes through records within state courts and extracts information on judge behavior to give litigators. Kwasi’s role within the company is to take care of current clients and make sure that they are aware of how to use the technology. He ensures everyone is maximizing use of the product as well.

On This Episode, We Discuss …

• Structuring Your Strategy as a Result of Analytic Predictions
 Value AI Brings in Ability to Adjust Predictions and Anticipations
• Future of AI and How That Affects Lawyers