Marketing

EP 80 – Katherine Taylor – Finding a Niche in Creating a Referral System

Katherine Taylor is the Owner and Founder of Taylor Legal – they focus on representing small business owners. When she first began her law practice, she started at a large law firm in Baltimore, Maryland and was there for just over 7 years. When she left the law firm, she was in local government, essentially in-house counsel for a local government for about 10 years. Katherine then decided to start her own practice, primarily because she wanted something challenging. 

If you are interested in reaching out to Katherine or learning more, visit her website at https://www.taylorlegal.com

Authenticity in Growing Your Law Firm

Katherine decided when re-focusing her firm to hire a growth coach, or a business coach, and ultimately went with one that doesn’t only represent lawyers. It was a pretty expensive program with 4-5 workshops throughout the year. She would go to the workshops and walk out feeling like a major failure. After that, she began looking around online and found a program called ‘Referrals Without Asking’ and signed up for it. It was a process to show other people who you are, authentically, and why you appreciate the person as a client, a referral source, etc. It was natural for her to be herself and tell others who she was, what she does, how much she appreciates them and in being authentic in how she went about getting business, that was comfortable for her and has been successful going forward. 

One thing that she did learn from the workshops was the idea of different organizations called different things – the center of influence, referral sources, etc. and how you need to foster those relationships. That portion of the workshops probably resonated the most. She learned more than anything she has done that she needed to treat her practice as a business. Lawyers, in general, have a very hard time with that. Now, even if you are an associate or even a partner in a larger firm, you have to run your own business. You have to treat yourself as a profit center. You have to consistently be marketing. When she says marketing, she is referring to the whole umbrella of things that come under that. You cannot just do a little bit and then expect it to work. You have to continuously do it and pay a lot of attention to what you are doing – figure out what works and what doesn’t. There is no quick fix or cheap and easy ways, it is a process that you need to stick with and nourish as you go forward. 

Staying On Top of Marketing and Relying on Others When Needed

Katherine and her team stay active on their firm’s social media accounts, posting to social media outlets that are common to lawyers. They are in the process of updating their website to make their content more identifiable as well as sending out email communications. Katherine has recently started doing short videos that they send out via email or post on social media because a lot of people respond to video. It is just a matter of keeping up with all of those things and it is hard. Knowing all of the little steps that she has in play, and all of the tentacles that she has going out and making sure that they are all kept up with. And it can be exhausting. 

One thing that any lawyer has to do that is running their own firm is ask themselves why they are running their own firm. If it is because you want to be a lawyer and only practice law and do the legal kind of work, you are probably better off not being a solo practitioner or even a small firm partner because running a law business requires so much more than just practicing law. Katherine spends only about 15% of her time actually doing legal work. A lot of the other stuff is marketing related activities to bring business in, make sure you can do the work, make sure you can get paid for the work, and make sure that bills are paid and that the business is running. Any lawyer who is running a small firm or business needs to figure out what they want to do. When you are running a business, you have to rely on people who are experts at doing the things that your business needs to do and not try to do everything yourself. 

Understanding Referrals Without Asking

Basically what it is is making sure that you are very number one on the client side – you understand what your client experience is and you follow through and you nourish those client relationships. On the referral source side, you need to determine who they are and reach out to them in a non-salesy kind of way and keep up with those relationships, whether it’s calling them, sending them a gift, etc. Katherine grew up in North Carolina, so she is a ‘southerner’ inherently. Just being considerate to people, being nice, letting them know you appreciate them when you get a referral. It is kind of just manners. If you get a referral, let the person know that you appreciate it and how much it means to you and amazingly, that will come back to you. You will stay top of mind in their brain and they know you will appreciate that they thought about you. Anybody can be considerate. It is all about being appreciative and establishing a connection with people. People like to know that when they do something nice for somebody that it is appreciated and it comes back to them.

EP 78 – Chris Walker – Navigating the Negative Reviews Your Law Firm May Receive

Chris Walker is the Senior Agency Account Executive at GatherUp. He has been working in digital marketing for the past 17 years in several different capacities. Before Chris joined GatherUp, he managed a sales team and an account management team at a local firm in Toronto. One thing that they did for their clients was review generation and that is how he was introduced to the GatherUp tool. He began working with GatherUp 3 years ago helping businesses get reviews. 

If you are interested in learning more, please reach out to Ryan – ryan@marketmymarekt.com with any questions that you may have and he will be happy to assist you. 

Gathering, Managing, and Marketing Reviews

The reason that Chris started working with agencies was because of his background with agencies being that he had previously worked in them and he understood the day-to-day that a marketing agency goes through. Part of the reason that they started selling reviews as a service to their clients. It was less about making money for the agency, but more interested in enhancing the work that they were already doing for clients. The one thing that they always consistently found was anytime that they were directing new traffic to the customers, the ones that had the most amount of reviews always tended to convert better. They are big on tracking conversions – they wanted to know how many calls you got, how many lead forms they got, and which keywords were bringing in those calls and those leads. When they started realizing the correlation between the best converting client and reviews, that’s when they started looking at how they could get reviews for their clients. It was less about the revenue and more so about enhancing the actual marketing that they were doing.

It can be broken into 3 separate categories here – they help businesses gather more reviews from their customers through text, email, lead capture forms, and inbound texting method called textback. They give those gathering capabilities as well as the capabilities to manage those reviews,  learn from them, read them, respond to them. The third piece is that they help market those reviews in a variety of different ways such as widgets on the website, social share features, as well as being able to display keyword-rich reviews that mention certain products or certain services that the business offers which directly affects their SEO. It breaks into the gather, manage, and market philosophy.

What Should You Do When You Receive a Negative Review?

As much as he would like to say that all review sites are created equal, the fact is that they are not. The majority of the time that someone is going to search for your business online, they are going to search for it on Google and they are going to find your Google listing. Although every review site needs to be paid attention to, Google far outweighs the others. The biggest mistake that Chris sees is a panic and wanting to defend themselves online, so it is very important when those negative reviews come in that you do not freak out. Separate yourself as much as you can and that can be difficult for people who put blood, sweat, and tears into their business and expect their customers to appreciate that. 

Visit the GatherUp Blog here – https://gatherup.com/review-reply-templates/ to review templates for a breakdown on how to respond and the methodology behind it. It does not matter whether that person’s claim is so off-base, the fact is that it is there. We are more responding to the future people that are going to read that review. 86% of consumers read online reviews, but what is also very shocking is that of the people who read online reviews, 91% of those people read the businesses responses. You are not always responding to the person that left the review, you are responding to the countless number of other people who go read those negative reviews to see how the business responds. 

Experiencing Bad Reviews from Fake Accounts and How to Handle It

Generally, the first step in responding is to start by introducing yourself to let them know who you are at the business and then thank them for their feedback (even if you really aren’t thankful) and prove to them that you read it. Take ownership and let them know that you apologize with them, but make sure that you are not being defensive. Finally, offer them a solution as an invitation for them to contact you. Chris refers to this as ‘taking the fight offline’. If you want to fight with them, it is not to happen in the reviews. Every single review on Google can always be edited, so that they can go back and update the experience and that speaks wonders to people who are reading that. More so, you are letting other people know that you do not make everyone happy, but when you don’t, you are showing how you handle it as a business. One of the biggest misconceptions out there right now is that a 5-star rated business is the best business on Google Not true. The peak performance and the peak rating is between 4.2 and 4.5. You must be above 4, if you are not above 4 then you have some other problems. Although we never want to end up with a bad review, it can happen and it does happen, and it can actually help your business if you learn from that as well. Responding to positive reviews should be done as well because it is just as important. For that one, you are showing your sincere appreciation for that person’s business. 

Chris has experienced this quite a bit in his past as well as at GatherUp. He equates to getting a bad review removed to beating your head against a brick wall. You can try as hard as you can but you are not going to get through that wall. Sometimes it is difficult, but that’s not to say that it is impossible. It is a good indicator of fake reviews, especially if they have left a lot of 1-star reviews for a lot of different businesses in a lot of different states and / or countries. The other reasons that you will typically find are extortion, to get media attention, ex-employees, etc. What you want to do when trying to get this review removed is to first document everything – take multiple screenshots, then report it to Google. You start out by flagging that review which will open a support ticket. If they don’t remove it, then just make sure that your response is good, non-defensive, apologetic, and offers a solution and asks them to contact the business. 

EP 76 – Paul Samakow – How Your Firm Can Dominate in the Hispanic Market

Paul Samakow is a Personal Injury Lawyer and Author. He has been working in the Washington DC area for the past 40 years and got into personal injury around the 5-year mark. The local hispanic community in DC did not really have anyone talking to them, so he started running some small ads in newspapers and the phone started ringing. Paul is bilingual, but not completely, so he needed to hire someone in his office that was bilingual and could have those conversations. He is now the #1 guy in the hispanic community in DC. He recognized about 3 years ago that what he is doing can be reproduced – he can teach it. So, he opened a consulting business to help other attorneys around the country to do the same thing he is doing in their markets. 

The best way to reach out to Paul is to give him a call at 301-500-0000. For a copy of Paul’s book, visit https://www.hispanic.thebusinessanswer.com/order-form

Recognizing an Under-Served Community and What Cases Work Better

Paul took basic Spanish in high school and became somewhat familiar with the language. He wanted to do personal injury and he was doing it and it was enjoyable, but he did not have the money to go on television and that was really the best way to get clients as a PI lawyer at the time. He thought about Spanish-speaking people and their accidents and wondered if anyone was reaching them. Paul ran a small ad in a hispanic newspaper that cost him probably less than $100 a month back then and the phone just started ringing. 

If you advertise that you help people who have been injured and then show them a car crash, they will call you if they fall down. One of the things that Paul has fancied himself over the years is that he is not a marketing guru, but he is a marketing junkie. To take it to the next level is what he did about 7 years ago and that was to write the book. It is so heartwarming for him to know that what he is doing is working. His intake has since tripled. 

Paul’s Favorite Business Book Finds to Develop the Business Side of Your Firm

The most prolific writer in the business genre of books now is Dan Kennedy. He has coupled with several other individuals that he has come into contact with and has since written a lot of books. The title of all of his books begin with “No B.S.” and then the title. He has books about hiring and firing employees, marketing, sales, etc. There are a lot of books on marketing and in the psychology world that will teach you how people think and how to address that. One of the most incredible books that Paul has read recently is called Impossible to Ignore by Carmen Simon. The premise of her book is memory – everything that we do in our life has to do with memory, even if it is an old memory stored way back. When you get ready to take an action or refrain from doing something, you have to have a basis upon which to make that decision – Carmen’s theory is that it is about memory. He likes to read books of people that have different angles. 

Lawyers were not trained as business people – they go into a practice and maybe they get a job and that defines them early on. You have to know how to market no matter how good you are at your trade. Paul developed his firm with an eye towards a niche market and it has done well for him. He can teach and he has taught in doing well in other markets and for other lawyers. Paul’s number one choice for delivery method is television. A lot of lawyers are successful on social media, on radio, but if you want the hispanic market, you have got to be on tv. The classic marketing strategy of tv is that you have to impress somebody 6, 7, 8, 9 times – they need to see the ad that many times before you are even a twinkle in their eye. 

Suggestions for Someone Who is Not a Native Spanish Speaker and Top Book Points

If you are planning to go on television, we are talking about a 30-second ad and we have a teleprompter. Paul does not know too many lawyers that can’t budget for maybe 17 seconds out of the 30 and learn to speak those bits and phrases. The hispanic community does not care that you do not speak the language or that you try and you may butcher some of the phrases or words, they are looking into your heart and into your soul and if they believe that you are being honest with them and that you have integrity, they are the most loyal group of people that he has ever found. It is a delight working with hispanics. 

Paul’s book is comprehensive and talks about all measures of marketing strategies and schemes that he is using. At the end of the day, if you want to talk to hispanics, you need to be an attorney that gets up out of their chair and goes over and shakes hands. You can’t sit in the back office and not answer the phone and not be involved – you have to be an active participant in the process. He treats them like they are people because they are people. He does not shake hands, he gives hugs and jokes with them to make them laugh. You have to connect with hispanics and when you do, after and during, they are sending everybody that they know to you. 

EP 61 – Michelle King – How to Pitch Yourself to the Media to Effectively Position Your Law Firm

Michelle King is the President and Founder of Reputation Ink. Reputation Ink is a public relations and content marketing firm working mostly with law firms. The primary service they provide is getting attorneys and law firms in the media – getting them positioned as thought leaders/experts in whatever niche they’re in – securing the media coverage, but also securing the firm as a whole covering their case wins and matters they are involved with. On the content side, they work with firms to figure out what kind of content they should be publishing, how to do that effectively, as well as how to utilize a lot of that content for public relations purposes. If you are interested in contacting Michelle, please reach out by visiting their website at www.rep-ink.com or you can email Michelle directly at michelle@rep-ink.com.

Determining Your Subject Matter Sweet Spot

What do you want to be known for? First, you have to figure out what your subject matter sweet spot is. You can determine this by figuring out the intersection of your expertise, your clients’ interests and needs, and your unique values and expertise. You really need to figure out what the subjects are that you want to be known as an expert on, but also ask the ‘so what’ questions such as, do your clients care about that or does the media care about that? You  also need to understand the media. This goes into knowing what your clients are paying attention to. A PR person is a matchmaker between the client and the media and they are figuring out what the media needs and how their client can fit into that. Michelle coaches attorneys to figure out what is newsworthy and how to intersect themselves into newsworthy topics, which a lot of that for lawyers is providing analysis on specific topics. Lawyers who can do media relations correctly can really shine by using their legal knowledge, providing context and analysis, what happens next, and what clients need to know. Two of the main things that they are often doing are pitching an attorney to write an article or pitching an attorney to be a source in a news story.

How to Present Yourself in a Different Way to the Media

If the media has someone who responds to phone calls quickly, shows up on time, speaks well in front of the camera, and provides insightful analysis, they will go back to them every time. You have to begin by proving yourself on a smaller scale, so do some public speaking, be a guest on podcasts, write articles, etc. You will then have these resources to show others that you are a good media source, but a majority of it is just getting back to them quickly and having something to say,  not regurgitating the news, but giving an insightful analysis of what is happening. The best way is to start writing for publications to give you the sense of how the media works. Editors on a day-to-day basis have to create content for an audience that drives advertising dollars, so they are experts at figuring out and knowing what content works and what kind of information their audiences are looking for. This will also depend on where your client base is and what your clients are looking at. If you want to become a national media commentator, you have to start playing the media game – contributing, putting out media pitches, writing articles, and pitching yourselves to podcasters to serve as a guest. When you do start pitching national shows, you will have a little bit of a resume to show. In doing this, there is time involved, but it is a great way to get into the game.

The media continues to evolve and change. Podcasts are a perfect example of this. Clients often rely on podcasts and can listen to them on the go and they are a really niche media as well. There is such an overload of information out there that people want information tailored to their specific needs. Some outlets have shifted to a pay-to-play model and your best bet is to try to insert yourself into the news. Do you have an interesting take or insight on something that the news  may be covering already or an idea for an article that is really unique and valuable? Most publications have not transitioned to pay-to-play, so there are several sources that are still taking contributions from outside sources. Good PR is proactive, so you want to work with a PR person who is proactively monitoring the news, understands your goals for getting into the news, and is regularly meeting with you to find out what they could pitch but is also monitoring editorial calendars and publications and getting google alerts for topics you want to be positioned as it is an on-going type of activity.

Goals for Law Firms When Engaging with PR Firms

Some firms have a really clear idea of wanting to be in the Wall Street Journal. Some of their other clients know they have seen some lawyers in certain publications and they know they can do a better job of that. But most often, their biggest goal is looking for greater visibility. When a client starts working with Michelle’s firm and starts to get that visibility, it is fun to see the impact that it has. They will start hearing from clients, their web traffic will significantly increase, and it gives them a credibility boost which is valuable in all other efforts of their business development. PR is probably the most difficult to trace back to revenue, but once they start getting more coverage, they definitely see the value. What they are finding is that the media is slammed right now with all of the news of coronavirus and they are having to turn so much content around. If the PR firm secures an interview for the client, they will first talk to the reporter and see what kind of story they are wanting to write and what kind of information they want to get so that the client can be prepared before the call and show up with the right information. The PR firm’s  job is to understand the background behind the interview, what they are hoping to get out of it, and then a little prep around what the media outlet is like, what the reporter has written on, etc. Work is often hard to go viral and if your whole goal is to go viral, that is going to be difficult. Michelle encourages her clients to think about their own clients and narrow it down to think about just one person. Always have one person in mind and try to be as clear and understandable as possible. Most clients stick to the  tried and true of providing value and insights.

EP 57 – Harlan Schillinger – The Most Common Gap Law Firms Need to Address to Increase Their Bottom Line Quickly

Harlan Schillinger is widely recognized as the “Grandfather of Legal Advertising”. He invented television advertising in the legal community when no one else was doing it. He began his career in television work in 1975 and began creating a series of television commercials for the legal category in 1977. If you are interested in speaking with Harlan or learning more about him, please visit his website and reach out at harlanschillinger.com

Determining What Others Are Not Doing and Doing That

When you are advertising, you are filling a gap and you get what you ask for in that. Once you figure out what other people are not doing, you need to do that. Harlan learned early on that it is always more important to listen to others than to talk when you are in a conversation. His wife tells him every day to be interested, not interesting. You could be the sheep in advertising and follow what everybody else is doing, but that does not set you apart from anyone else. One of the biggest holes in a law firm’s bucket is intake and conversion. It is filling in on what other people are not doing. If others are not following up on leads, or not tracking leads, or not tracking their business’ metrics, the solution is to do that and you will see the outcome when you do things like that. What You Don’t Know, You Don’t Know. 

The single issue that lawyers point out is that they count what they have, not what they do not have. Smart operators recognize that it is a business – it has to be run like a business and you have to implement very strong business tactics such as accountability and metrics. Do not look to another lawyer to copy, but instead look at what a successful business is doing. Lawyers often see what is in front of them, but they do not see what they do not see. Take a look at the calls you are getting and not the case you are writing. You can measure the cases, but if you do not have any initial calls, what are you measuring? To increase business, you have to figure out what you are not doing and that takes a lot of humbleness. Step back and look at what you do not see, that is where you will make the gains.

Strategizing Your Marketing and Understanding the Business

Talk to the public the same way that you would talk to a jury. You cannot fool a jury – you have to be real and you have to be credible. You talk to the public like you are talking to a jury because you are telling a story. You always have to be who you are and that is the backbone of Harlan’s strategy as well as the strategy that he employs on the people that he works with. It’s what makes sense. If you look at television commercials that are out there and all of the advertising, they all say “we will do this for you” or “we will get you that”. The lawyers that he works with separate themselves.

The biggest thing that lawyers are not doing in understanding and running their businesses are not looking at the metrics. The metrics do not lie. You have to follow the metrics and put those steps in place. You cannot run your practice on your gut, and you cannot run it with just folders and sticky notes. It is all about communication and building relationships. You need to be tech-oriented and you need to have the tools to be able to implement all of those things. Most law firms do not make it easy for people to do business with them. A simple question that you could ask during intake is, “What is the best way for me to communicate with you?” Could you imagine how much smoother things would go in the future if you discussed forms of communication and what works best for others?

It all comes down to what your hunger is and what you drive behind everything is. The culture in your firm and marketing is what will separate you. People are going to come to you not because they think they got a good settlement, but because of how you made them feel. Make your clients feel like a million dollars – that is how you build a business. Just because you are making a lot of money does not mean that you are doing all of it right. You fill a void and that is how you gain and provide business. Surround yourself with smart people and get your business metrics in place.

Operating Your Business Like a Sports Franchise

Begin operating your business like you would a sports franchise. Everybody on that team has a job. You draft players to either throw or catch the ball. If you do not have a team set up with everybody in place and the best players on the team, then you have a real challenge of winning a championship. Drafting the right players, having everyone know what their job is, and having a process in place is what is going to win a super bowl or any kind of championship or winning the business of your dreams. If you want the best practice or the best team, you better surround yourself with the best players.

Managing all of this is very difficult and understanding it is difficult. Surround yourself with people who are much better and much smarter than you are. The entrepreneurs of the world are ideas people, but they had to have other people to help them implement those ideas. Watching Michael Jordan in The Last Dance, they never won a championship until they changed their philosophy. They began to draft players that could work well with Michael. Michael orchestrated the team and everybody’s level for the team. They took the ball out of Michael’s hands and put motivation in his hands and he motivated everyone to step up and that is how they won 4 championships in a row. You cannot have just one person, it has to be a team effort.

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.