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Multiple streams of referrals

Posted on June 22, 2015 at 8:40 AM Comments comments (1)

    Build it and they will come

When you get a new client and you ask, “So, how did you hear about me?” My guess is that a large percentage of the time the answer is that someone you know or already do work for sent the new client your way. If this is how you are currently generating many of your new clients, doesn’t it just make sense that you should also be focusing the majority of your business development time to being diligent and strategic about your referral relationships? Amicus Attorney offers some great low cost/low risk ways to grow your business, complete with a quote from Zig Zigler.

Blogs for business development

Posted on June 14, 2015 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (0)

    Do blogs really work? Do they generate business?


The answer to these questions depends upon how committed you are to blogging and what you post to your blog. Here are some “best practices” for you to consider if you currently have a blog or are thinking about starting a blog. But before I get to best practices consider these statistics.


 

  • According to a recent study by Social Times, the most consumed content by Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials is BLOGS.
  • 38% of in-house counsel say they have been on a blog in the past week and 15% say they use blogs to evaluate credentials. What this tells me is that if your target market is in-house counsel, having a blog might be a good idea.
  • Companies that blog 15 times or more a month have five times more traffic to their websites than companies that don’t blog. Companies that increase blogging from three to five times a month to six to eight times a month double their leads each month.

 

Best Practices

Determine your audience. Whose attention are you trying to get? This will tell you what types of topics you should cover in your blog. You want to write about things they will be interested in learning or knowing about.

Keep it short. The length of your blog posts should be fairly concise. People are not going to want to read for more than a few minutes, so don’t go overboard with the amount of information you provide. If you have a lot to say, break it up into several shorter posts.

Skip the legalese. You aren’t writing a legal brief. You are writing something that most people can understand and if you are doing it right, repurpose, share on social media, or incorporate into something that they put on their blogs. So make it easy for everyone to understand.

Use subheads. If it is a rather long post, then break up your text with sub heads to that the reader can easily get the idea from the subheads what the post is about. The subheads should be key points that you want to make with a reader.

Include images. Blog posts with images receive 94% more views than posts without images.

Link to third parties. The more you can substantiate what you are blogging about with third-party information the more credible you will be. Don’t blog in a vacuum.

Have a call to action. If possible, have the reader follow a link for a white paper, more content, an infographic, or to contact you for more information. Sometimes this isn’t possible, but if you can think of a call to action, include it.

Appropriate key words. Use the words that someone would use to find you or your services. Look at your post from the outside in. If you were looking for what you are blogging about what search words would you type in the box? Then make sure you have those words and phrases in your blog post.

Repurpose, repurpose, repurpose. Use you blog content in a variety of ways. Some ideas are social media, ebooks or white papers, presentations, slide shares, articles, and newsletters.

Develop a social media roadmap. For each blog post develop what you will post to LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. You should post at least 3 tweets and one update on LinkedIn and Facebook for each blog post you provide.

Provide links. Provide links to your blog in your newsletters, client alerts, electronic invitations, and signature block in your email. If possible put a little teaser next to the link about your most recent post.

As you can see, having a blog takes time, effort, and imagination. To do it right and generate business it takes a commitment and persistence. But if you work at it, the results can be impressive.

 

 

Do reporters call you?

Posted on June 9, 2015 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Getting on a reporter's list to call for comment is always a good idea. Building relationships with the right reporters is the place to start. Ask yourself what your prospective clients read. If you don't know, your current clients are a good resource for this information. Maybe an Executive Media Profile is the right solution for you along with a few tips for getting noticed.

Go Digital or Go Home

Posted on June 3, 2015 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

A new report from Gartner says that most business people do not fully understand the impact of a digital business world. Even if you aren't interested in Gartner's Hype Cycle or being in their Magic Quadrant, this article is a good read. Gartner has smart analysts and it is always interesting to see what they have uncovered. This time: The most surprising finding is the emergence of the term IoT and Wikipedia has a definition.


Gartner says that digitally attributable revenue will double in the next five years.  Their concern is that the decison-makers see digital as a marketing tactic and not necessary a business transformation opportunity.  Getting a digital strategy built into the company's DNA is a critical success factor as far at the Gartner analysts are concerned.  They point to companies who are disrupting traditional models in transportation (Uber) and travel (Airbnb).  It is better to not be in the catch-up game.  So, get in the digital game, or go home.

Social Media Isn't Connecting

Posted on May 29, 2015 at 1:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Sometimes people think that just because they have 500+ connections on LinkedIn or have lots of friends on Facebook, that they don’t really need to see people in person or talk to them. This couldn’t be more wrong. The social media networking helps, but it can’t replace those individual conversations.


The individual conversations take more time, so spend your time wisely. Connect with the people who are your best clients and referral sources. Your objective with everyone else of your 500+ connections is for them to keep you on their minds in case they or someone else needs your services. But those special few, who really matter, are the people who you need to keep constantly on your calendar.


And by constantly, I don’t mean once a week or even as often as once a month. Quarterly has been shown to be the ideal in terms of keeping a business relationship active.


Here’s some good tips from the Wall Street Journal and network extraordinaire Mark Thierer, CEO of Catamaran.


http://blogs.wsj.com/atwork/2015/05/27/how-the-best-connected-executives-stay-that-way/

 

Mobilegeddon Check Up

Posted on May 27, 2015 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)

The digital landscape changes quickly. Just when you think you have it figured out, it changes again. Be sure you have made the right changes to your strategy and information, and are confident about what you have in place,  Here are some quick things to take a look at to make sure you are close to where you need to be with your digital strategy.


Mobilegeddon

Last month Google changed their search algorithm for mobile search. It was coined Mobilegeddon. You should make sure your website is mobile-friendly. If it isn’t, it is probably time to invest in a responsive website or look into specifically building out a mobile site.


Mapping

Does your firm show up on the map with you search for it on your mobile device? If it doesn’t claim your Google+ listing.


Just Google it

Check to make sure you are showing up in the search results for your firm and the types of things you offer. Be sure to check different browsers and different devices. And do it in the incognito window so that your location and previous browsing activity doesn’t get taken into account.

 

Using Hashtags

Posted on May 21, 2015 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (0)

   Hashtags for social media posts can be a good strategy. Here's a summary of when to use them and what words to use to get the most from your post and the associated hashtag.

http://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-use-hashtags/

 

Do You Have These Mistakes on Your Website?

Posted on May 19, 2015 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

This is a great list of problems that can be easily be fixed on most websites.

To this list I would also add eliminate the "form" to make contact directly with an individual in a professional service firm.  If you have identified a lawyer, consultant, accountant, etc. and would like to email that person, a Contact Form will result in many people deciding it is way too much trouble.  Your business comes from prospecting clients being able to contact you.  Why make it difficult?


5 Inexcusable Law Firm Website Design Mistakes

May 5, 2015

Editor’s Note: This post is written by the chief marketing strategist of website design company Great Jakes.

 

By Dion Algeri, Chief Marketing Strategist, Great Jakes

 

I just spent a day checking out the competition. I flipped through about 25 websites that have been launched over the past year or so by large law firms to see what’s trending and perhaps find creative inspiration. My key takeaway: today’s websites are better than ever. In fact, some were great. And none of the sites I examined were complete embarrassments.

 

All that said, many of the sites – some of which were created by well-known web designers for large law firms – had at least one significant shortcoming.

 

Below I’ve listed five of the most bothersome shortcomings I came across. Some of these shortcomings are due to the use of outdated technology. Others relate to the use of discredited web design paradigms. In my opinion, all are inexcusable for any website launching today.

 

Metaphorical Photos

 

This is a look that seemed cool in 1997 but was passé by 1999. Yet, some designers still lean on these silly photos. Why? Because it’s easy. The simplest, cheapest way to design a homepage is to write a headline about the firm’s “strategic approach” and put it next to a $2 stock photo of a chess board. Or to write a headline about how “different” the firm is, and place it next to a photo of a poodle with a pink mohawk. Ugh. When I see something like this, I just think, “The designer phoned this one in.”

 

Overly Narrow Format

 

It’s remarkable to me that anyone is still designing narrow, 1024 pixel-wide sites. On any recent computer, these narrow sites look ridiculously puny and feel outdated the moment that they launch. This is because monitor resolutions have grown far beyond 1024 pixels. Even little laptops often have high-resolution displays that are over 1900 px wide.

 

Today’s best websites use responsive design to expand the website to fill most of the screen. I’m guessing that most web designers who are still creating sites with a width of 1024 pixels are probably not proficient in responsive design.

The Homepage Carousel

 

This is often a sign of marketing indecision. When a firm can’t agree on a single headline message – the easy solution is to write five messages and put them in a rotating carousel on the homepage. The problem is that five messages is four too many. It all becomes noise.

 

Furthermore, users hate them. A usability study out of Sweden found that an auto-rotating carousel on the homepage got clicked by only 1.96% of users. When it was changed to a static image, it got clicked by over 43% of users.

 

As far as I’m concerned, practically any solution is better than the homepage slider. And sometimes the best solution is no headline at all.

 

 

High School Yearbook-style Photos

 

Attorney portraits are, without a doubt, the single most impactful element of an attorney’s bio. Why? Because images evoke a quick and powerful emotional response in a way that written words can’t. Today’s best websites feature large, beautifully composed, well-lit photos that reveal a little bit of the attorney’s personality. Yet, there are still some firms that use rigid, formal photos that look like they were shot in the basement of Sears. It baffles me that not all firms make portraits a top priority.

Read the full article by following the link below.

 

http://www.greatjakes.com/blog/five-inexcusable-law-firm-website-design-mistakes/?sslid=M7YwsDQ0NwYA&&utm_content=buffere0cbe&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin.com&utm_campaign=buffer

It's Chambers USA Submission Time in Indiana

Posted on May 14, 2015 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (0)

I get asked all the time, “Should we submit something to Chambers USA?” As the June 8, 2015, deadline for submitting approaches here are some general answers to this question.


• The areas of law for Indiana are Corporate Mergers & Acquisitions, Environmental, Labor & Employment, Litigation: General Commercial, and Real Estate. So, unless you have these areas of practice, submitting information is not an option. You can however ask that practice areas be added.


• If you are not a lawyer at a law firm, chances are you have never heard of Chambers USA. If you do not target lawyers at other firms for referral work to your firm, being listed in Chambers is probably not going to do much for you from a business development or referral standpoint other than giving you the distinction of being listed. A study conducted several years ago indicated that 74% of general counsel said they never used lawyer listings to find outside counsel.


• Being listed may help with search engine optimization (SEO). The Chambers site is large and because of that does show up in search results. Whether or not anyone would take the time to use the site to find information on you or your firm is another matter.


• Submissions require providing information on cases and also what Chambers calls referees. Referees are clients who will advocate on your behalf through the Chambers research process. You will need to spend the time preparing the submission and get permission from clients in the event that Chambers contacts them regarding your work. There is a confidential submission option if you do not want Chambers to publish the information.


• Asking busy clients to participate in the research process with Chambers is sometimes viewed as a negative. Some firms do not submit because they do not want Chambers' researchers contacting their clients.


In summary, Chambers submissions take time and effort. My advice is to weigh the benefits you hope to achieve with the time it takes to prepare the submission along with the imposition for your clients.

 

Sponsorships as Business Development

Posted on May 12, 2015 at 2:25 PM Comments comments (0)

When you are asked to be sponsor for a local charity or civic organization, maximize your investment by making it work for you.  Generally speaking, most non-profits hold events and get sponsors as a fundraising activity.  Everything is negotiable.  Ask for what you want and what makes sense for you.  Here are some questions to ask to help you get started.

 

  1. What do they have to offer that will allow me to get in front of my target audience?  It may not be the thing you are sponsoring, but there may be some other things the organization does that will work for you.
  2. If I am going to be a sponsor, how can I leverage the event to make it worth my time and money?  You might be able to host a VIP reception or another more exclusive gathering to get to know the people you want to meet.
  3. Can I use this to educate my clients or entice prospects to attend?  Some charitable organizations have events that are fun and a prospect might agree to join you which will give you some quality time with them.

 


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