TO TEXT OR NOT TO TEXT?
Technology is constantly changing the way that lawyers conduct business. Before email, phone calls and written letters were the main ways to communicate with clients. It was a simpler time when there were fewer guidelines for attorneys to follow when communicating with clients. Now, it’s rare to not receive someone’s cell phone number as their main point of contact. The wide adoption of cell phones and social media bring a new set of rules to the table on communication. Texting is one of the easiest and most effective ways to communicate with prospective clients. Here are some do’s and don’ts of texting clients.
READ YOUR STATE’S BAR RULES ON SMS MESSAGING
Even though we are recommending text messaging, your state bar might have a different opinion about SMS and marketing. It’s always a good idea to check and make sure that you won’t run into any issues when using new technology.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) states that businesses must get consumers’ permission before sending them text messages. At LeadRival, all of the prospects we generate fill out a form with their personal information and opt-in to have an attorney reach out to them by phone or text.
REACH OUT TO LEADS ABOUT INQUIRIES
When a consumer submits their information on a lead form, they are expecting to be contacted right away. Therefore, it is extremely important that you contact leads as quickly as possible. A lead is more likely to to become a client if they haven’t had time to move on to a different thought – or attorney.
Reaching out via text shouldn’t be the first action that you take, but it should be on your list of follow-up tasks. Calling is the best way to reach someone, but a follow-up email and text work well if they don’t answer. Use your judgment and try out a few different ways of communication to see what works best for your firm.
SET UP TIMES TO MEET UP OR TALK
You’ve been given an email address and a phone number to speak to a prospect – so which do you use? The answer depends on the client. While it’s always best to set up meeting times via email, a text message is a quick way to change times or meeting places. Some phones can even set a calendar meeting just by texting a time and date. Facebook already has this option on their messenger app, so it’s a feature that is quickly rising in popularity. Keep your options open and work around your client’s preferences to stay in touch in between meetings.
EXCHANGE GENERAL INFORMATION
If you’re trying to get some quick details from your client, a text message is a great way to update a case file. As long as your comfortable exchanging substantive information, texting shouldn’t be an issue. We always suggest keeping exchanged information confidential by sticking to texts, but it is up to you to set the line with your clients up front.
Whatever you do, always remember to keep it casual. If you feel that a text message chain is getting too long, ask to email instead. From there, you can summarize what was spoken about via texting and move forward with your discussion.
DISCUSS CASE INFORMATION IN DETAIL
Privacy is a big concern with texting, especially when phones often preview text messages on the home screen. If you’re going to offer texting as an option to clients, it’s best to turn off that feature to ensure that client confidentiality is met no matter where you are. It’s also suggested to put a password on your phone so that no information can be retrieved easily.
To be on the safe side, keep all case information in emails and in person. This will keep you from wasting your own time writing long response messages and documenting the conversations.
CHANGE CONTRACT DETAILS
If you feel that something originally agreed upon needs to be changed, sending it over text should be the last thing you do. Not only are text messages more likely to be interpreted the wrong way, but they also aren’t always seen as reputable responses. Send your changes or cancellations over email to be on the safe side, it will save your sanity in the long run.
TALK IN COURT OR DURING BREAKS
This should be a no-brainer, but some people don’t know when and where to stop texting clients. That quick text of encouragement during a case can take a turn for the worst and be used as evidence against your client. Giving your client a key talking point or sending a quick apology in court is also not something to be messed with. It’s best to just leave texting completely out of court issues unless there is a change in date or time.
When using text messaging as a venue for communication, there will be times that you will need to add information to case files. While a good rule of thumb is to forward legal advice and client instructions or information to case files, some states actually require you to document all communication that goes on between attorneys and clients. In this case, if you don’t want to screenshot texts or forward them to your online document, a good way to recap what you talked about is to send your clients an email summary of what was discussed at what time and date. This will make it easier to refer back to in the event that you need to look up what was said.
If you’re unsure of how to start a text message to a prospect, follow this quick script to get as much information in a short text!
- Open with their name
- State who you are and your firm name
- Tell them you’re reaching out because of their recent online inquiry from time/date
- Let them know the steps that you have taken before the text (email or phone call)
- Leave your email address or direct number and suggest a time to talk more in-depth about their case
“Hello, Jane. My name is John Doe with Doe Law Firm. I’m reaching out about your online inquiry that was sent in at 10 am. I’ve tried emailing you and calling you, but you can reach out to me at this number or at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time to talk. Thanks!”
This method works great for when you’re not getting responses because most current smartphones will show if your message has been read. It also will give the prospect an option to click your email and send over a message if they can’t talk on the phone.
Bring your firm into the age of technology and start texting today (if your state bar allows it)! This is especially true for firms that aren’t getting leads and plan on using texting as a marketing venue. Most states that do allow SMS marketing require attorneys to state that they are sending an advertisement before and after a message. If you’d like to skip marketing yourself through texting, consider legal leads as your main source for prospects! You can learn more by calling us at 1.800.332.8017 or emailing email@example.com.
You may have noticed that our logo and website were recently updated. Our team has been working hard to refresh LeadRival’s brand image and we’d like to help firms by outlining our process. If your firm has been contemplating a new look, starting with these steps is the best way to be successful.
Refreshing your brand could be as simple as changing your firm’s colors or as drastic as changing your firm’s name. What you choose to update is your decision, but the key is to keep everything cohesive. Here are the changes that we made to LeadRival –
A logo should represent who a firm is with a single look. Whether you have an abstract shape, a legal icon, or just your name, try not to change too much from what your clients and prospects remember you as. For example, Starbucks has gone through many variations of their logos over the years. The most recent change was their decision to remove the wording from around their iconic mermaid. Keeping these simple changes in mind will ensure that companies don’t lose sight of who they are.
For LeadRival’s new logo, we made small but efficient tweaks to what we had. Before, we had a Saturn as our icon followed by our typeface that contained various letter heights. We wanted to stick as close to our brand as possible, but also add meaning to our icon. This is where the Saturn and arrow combination came into play, acting as a metaphorical increase by showing movement upward. We also cleaned up our typeface to have a more simple look by removing the extensions on the R and L. If you’d like to learn how to create your own logo, check out our blog article here.
One quick note: Don’t forget to update your social media accounts and any legal documents/letterheads with your new logo!
Great websites are the one thing that every business needs today. They allow people to access information about a firm anytime and anywhere. Websites are how many firms get their business because it gives potential clients something to trust. If a firm has never had a website, it’s time to reach out to a trusted company to build one. For all firms that already have a website, make sure that it has these important elements: new graphics, a great layout, responsiveness and a contact page. We’ve got a few other tips on how to improve your website on our blog article about it here and here.
The LeadRival website has always been up to date, but there’s nothing better than getting a whole new look to go with a brand refresh. We took in some of the current website trends and applied it to our own site. New additions include video headers, single page scroll layouts, new icons and a few other tweaks. We played off our “Saturn” logo and incorporated new elements related to space.
If your firm regularly attends conferences, this might not apply to you. But if your firm exhibits at conferences, tune in! A conference booth makes a first impression of a company, which is why we update ours annually. Our recent update is one that is unforgettable! We played off of the space theme with our website and included our new, bright colors in our eye-popping booth graphics. For many that have never designed a booth, there is a lot that goes into creating a good design. Picking the perfect booth, designing the graphics, and then calculating shipment costs will all determine how profitable your conference season will be.
A quick tip on booth graphics that isn’t widely known is that you can use images that you might consider to be too small. While normal images that are printed should be 300 dpi (dots per inch), a trade show booth image only needs to be around 72 dpi to look good. Ask your graphic designer to increase the image size and decrease the dpi with the “Preserve Details (enlargement) option selected. This might sound like nonsense, but it will definitely help out anyone looking for the right image for their booth. Another tip on booth graphics is to remember that most of your design should be at the top if you’ll have a table in front of it. Though it doesn’t hurt to have extra elements on the bottom, make sure it’s nothing that will be missed if someone views your booth from far away. If you’d like to see our booth in person, be sure to check our events calendar to see where we will be next!
Another branding element that you should consider updating are your business cards. Even with all of the latest technology and information sharing apps available, handing out a card with your contact info and logo is still a great way to make a lasting impression. Business cards come in all shapes and sizes (literally), but having a traditional 3.5×2 inch card will fit into someone’s wallet instead of in the trash.
We’ve switched up our business cards over the last few years, but there are a few elements that we’ve kept the same to stay consistent. A picture is worth a thousand words, which is why every attorney and business person should consider putting a picture of their face on their cards. Not only will it help people remember you later, but studies also show that it creates a sense of trust with the viewer. Another thing that we kept the same is the use of both sides for designs. Double-sided cards keep branding consistent through the repetition of brand colors and logos. The last element of surprise that we add to our business cards is a random pop of color with certain text. Don’t feel like you need to use black all of the time – changing your email address or phone number to a unique color will help it stand out. Want more tips on how to design a business card? Check out our blog post about it here.
Brochures are one of the most useful, yet overlooked pieces of marketing content that a company can have. It’s especially useful for firms that don’t have a website but still want to show prospects their history and practice areas. They are also great for handing out information about specific law types. For example, handing out brochures at a bar that contain DUI legal information, a person’s rights, and how to contact you might land an unexpected client or two. Giving people information and establishing yourself as an industry expert is always a great way to promote any firm.
Our tri-fold brochures are great because they match up with our booth design, contain our practice areas, show off some testimonials, and even have pictures and contact information for our business development team just in case they lose our business card. It’s a win-win situation, especially when people want to drop by our booth in between sessions at conferences. Making the design was easy for our design team, but if you’d like to try to design one yourself, use Canva’s free design platform as a Photoshop alternative.
Lanyards & Company Swag
There is no better way to tie together a cohesive conference look than to have matching lanyards and LeadRival gear. Our lanyards are the newest addition, mainly because we’re over the typical black and white lanyards that are passed out to exhibitors during conferences. Having unique name tags that match our booth and business cards will help people associate lime green and navy blue with the LeadRival brand.
If you’ve ever seen our booth setup, we normally stick with a mixture of blue and green items with our logo on them. Color contrast plays a pretty big part in our decision to switch up colors for future conferences. Instead of our typical blue table cloth, we opted for a lime green one to pop against the navy blue booth graphic. Our choice to go with all navy tchotchkes was so that they’d stand out against our bright table. What unique swag do you enjoy picking up at conferences?
Your Brand New Look
Now that you’ve been able to see what all we’ve changed, what do you have in mind for your firm? Anywhere that you read online says that you have to really flesh out the details of a new brand, but it’s worth it if you need to bring your firm up to date with the newest technology and trends. On top of creating a new look for LeadRival, we’ve also been focusing on optimizing our lead landing pages. Change is good if you know what you’re doing. If you’re still seeking an easier way to bring in leads for yourself, give us a call at 1.800.332.8017 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how we can grow your firm!
Earth Day 2017
At LeadRival, we strive to make our community and the world a better place by volunteering our time as a team. We firmly believe it is our social responsibility to give back, which is why Earth Day is important to us. We wanted to share with you the ways that you can help the environment by making your office a bit greener this year!
Earth Day Importance
Earth Day has been celebrated since 1970, and we’re glad that Sen. Gaylord Nelson started it after realizing the importance of saving the environment. Because of him, the US received clean air, water, and endangered species acts. Since then, it has blossomed into a day to raise awareness of the importance of green energy and reducing pollution. According to the Earth Day Network, “Earth Day had reached into its current status as the largest secular observance in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people every year, and a day of action that changes human behavior and provokes policy changes.” It’s important to continue the tradition of caring for our environment outside of a single day, but if one day is all you need to start, then April 22nd should be the beginning of a greener you!
Earth Day & Your Firm
Is your firm environmentally friendly? At LeadRival, we’ve taken the right steps over the past few years to improve ourselves. If you’re unsure of where to start, try out some of the actions that we’ve initiated in our office.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
You’ve probably heard the three R’s of environmental consciousness for quite some time. Executing these simple steps is easier than you think! All it takes is the motivation to switch to greener solutions around your firm.
Reducing the amount of paper used in your office can be done by sending all of your contracts and legal documents electronically through a service like Docusign or Adobe Sign. Reducing the number of plastic water bottles that are used can be solved by providing a water cooler. It will not only encourage your employees to talk more, but it will also encourage them to stay hydrated! The last easy way to reduce your carbon footprint is to turn off your office lights for an hour a day or shut off electronics at the end of the day. Who knew that lowering your electric bill was also great for the environment?
Instead of using disposable coffee and water cups, purchase some branded ceramic mugs for your firm that can be reused! Not only are these great ways to show your employees that you appreciate them, but they’re also great gifts to give to clients that come into your firm. Don’t forget to keep a set of utensils in the office instead of purchasing plastic forks and spoons. This method might not work for offices that don’t have garbage disposals in their kitchen. Nobody benefits from a clogged sink!
Recycling is one of the most common ways to save the environment. People often find themselves recycling at home, but not bringing the practice into the office. You’d think that since most people spend at least 8 hours a day in the office, they’d think to recycle everything that they consume there. Set up a recycling can in your kitchen and print out a recycling guide to get things started. It’s also important to recycle empty ink and toner cartridges at a company like Staples.
Telecommute & Carpool
More and more companies are adopting the telecommute mentality. If your firm has work that can be done from home, consider offering a work-from-home day to reduce your carbon footprint as a group. We’ve found that our employees that work from home once a week are more efficient and come into work refreshed.
If telecommuting is too much of a reach, try to encourage your firm to carpool. Have to go to court at the same time? Taking a client out for lunch? Taking the same car makes a bigger imprint on the environment than you think! Don’t forget about the usefulness of video conferences. The ability to talk “face-to-face” while reducing your travel time (and cost) is great for everyone involved.
Bigger Picture Actions
If this is the year that you want to really make an impact on the environment, then follow some of our essential tips for a more sustainable lifestyle. Our “bigger picture” actions are some that we try to pick from to do as a team every year. Don’t just take them on for yourself, get involved with your firm and your community!
- Volunteer at or attend your local Earth Day event
- Plant trees and flowers around your community
- Sign a petition that you feel strongly about
- Eat less meat & learn why it’s important
- Participate in a community cleanup
- Host or sponsor an Earth Day event
- Take a walk in nature and appreciate it
Check out the official Earth Day website for more ideas about how your firm can take action!
Earth Day’s Impact
In 2010, the Earth Day Network initiated A Billion Acts of Green, which encouraged the world to participate in saving our planet. They met their goal of 1 billion acts in 2012 and it is currently over 2 billion acts as we speak. This shows that the world wants to be responsible for making changes that will affect future generations.
If you’d like to make an effortless impact on Earth Day, swap out your daily meat for a vegetarian option. This is actually more effective than carpooling! In fact, according to the Earth Day Network, if you “ate one less burger a week, it would be the equivalent of taking your car off the road for 320 miles.” Imagine what something so small for us could do for the world if we all adopted Meatless Mondays.
If you’re looking for specific impacts of Earth Day, it’s worthwhile to read National Geographic’s article on the 46 Environmental Victories Since the First Earth Day.
Even if you can’t get your hands dirty, try to share the importance of Earth Day with your colleagues. Sometimes awareness is just as impactful! And remember, if you ever want to work with a team that cares about you as much as the environment, give us a call at 1.800.332.8017 or email us at email@example.com!
Successful Law Firm Marketing Checklist [Infographic]
Spring is finally here, which means that it’s time to take spring cleaning into consideration for your marketing. Get organized for the year and start seeing an ROI on your goals in no time! Below we’ve listed some tactics to keep top of mind when creating your 2017 marketing roadmap.
Brainstorm Ideas and Goals
Most successful marketing checklists begin with brainstorming ideas around what you’d like to accomplish. Do you want to focus on getting more clients to know who you are? Or do you want to focus on implementing conversion protocols? Determining which metrics you hope to improve will help give a better perspective on what needs to be accomplished.
When going through the brainstorming process, list all of the marketing efforts that you are currently working on and how they’ve performed over the past year. Don’t forget to include any social media or pay-per-click advertising efforts you’ve attempted.
Next, compare that list to the options below and see if there are any new ideas that your firm might benefit from.
- Email Marketing – Outbound
- Monthly/Quarterly Newsletter (digital & print)
- Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.
- Non-branded third party lead generation (like LeadRival)
- Attorney / Doctor Referrals
- Client Referrals
- Online Advertising: Google & Bing (AdWords), Social Media, etc.
- Print Advertising: Magazine, Newspaper, etc.
- Broadcast Advertising: Radio, Television, Podcast, etc.
- Outdoor Advertising: Billboards
Set Target Market
Now that you’ve brainstormed some different marketing tactics, it’s now time to determine if they are worth investing money in. A target market, also known as a demographic, is a generalization of who your firm’s ideal client would be. Determining who this person is will give you a better idea of the best ways to reach out to them.
What is the type of client that brings in the most money per case? Look at past client profiles and create a grouping of their qualities. Ask yourself:
- Who: Age, Ethnicity, Gender, Marital Status, Employment Status, Education Level, Household Income, Technology usage
- What: Legal Practice Area Needed
- When: Time of Incident
- Where: Geographic area (Zip Code, City, etc.)
- Why: Health Status, Case details, Qualifications
- How: Cost/Quality/Great Service (Most firms generally choose two)
If you are redoing your marketing plan for a more successful future, setting the bar higher in this part of the process will help determine how to market to future potential clients. It’s also important to look at some of your worst clients and see what category you can create for them. By determining past failures, you can focus your efforts to not target them in the future.
Create Four Marketing Strategies
When contemplating new strategies, brainstorm ideas with your target market in mind to get the best results. For example, if your target market are men in their 60’s looking for social security disability help, you should probably avoid marketing to them on Snapchat and Instagram. By keeping in mind your target demographics’ habits, you will have a better idea of what may work before investing marketing dollars in it.
If you don’t know where to start, here are some great marketing strategies to start with:
- Designate 3 target markets
- Brainstorm new marketing promotions
- Create unique marketing programs
- Enforce new client initiatives
- Update your firm’s brand and freshen up your website
- Improve your online presence through social media
By changing past strategies and creating achievable objectives, your marketing checklist will be more successful. Though most attorneys claim that a majority of their business comes from referrals, it’s still good to bring marketing efforts up to date in today’s fast-paced world.
Set Quarterly Goals
After writing down a few realistic strategies, the next step is to set goals to strive towards over the next quarter. The data that you analyze could be a multitude of things based on what you see as success. If you are looking to bring in new clients that have never heard of you, measuring client influences and setting a number of new clients to reach is a great start and will yield tangible results. But if you are already established, creating a steady online presence might be better off for your firm. This will allow potential customers to find you online easier and view your client testimonials, industry credibility, and learn more about your firm.
Whatever you decide for your quarterly goal, keep trying to push the limit when you see success.
Try Strategies, Narrow Down
If some of your strategies didn’t meet their goals, it’s time to optimize your marketing efforts by focusing on the things that did work. Though most online efforts take time to see success and value, direct advertising tactics will show if they are profitable rather quickly. If you are unsure of what is or isn’t working, research what your competitors are doing. Most of the time, when a firm is spending money on a marketing strategy they are seeing returns that justify the expense.
Improve Annual Goals
After narrowing down your strategies each quarter, make note of what you’d like to try in the following years. If you think that one of your failed strategies could be tweaked to be successful, come back to it in a year and try it out again. You don’t want to narrow down your strategies until there is nothing left to do! Set a personal goal to create new objectives for your firm every year. With the introduction of new services and new technologies hitting the market, you never know what might skyrocket your business! Make sure to always take note of the ROI of each marketing strategy that’s implemented and match it with your desired cost per client.
If you’d like to learn more about how to market your firm, please check out our completely free, 6 Week Marketing eCourse. You will get the templates that you need to determine your target market, set goals, and more!
But if you’d like to focus more on your firm and less on marketing, feel free to contact us any time at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-332-8017. We can discuss your marketing checklist and how legal leads can help you cut down on marketing costs and efforts with a higher ROI.
Legal Leads- either you’ve heard that they will help grow your business or that they are a waste of time. And if you’ve done your research, you’ll hear every answer in between. With so many legal lead generators in the industry, it’s hard to differentiate which services are beneficial or not. We’re here to give you an exclusive look into what nobody wants to talk about – what sets legal lead companies apart.
Legal Leads Aren’t All the Same
Why waste an annual budget on a marketing tactic if you keep getting the same end result? With many firms, they get burnt out on terrible leads that waste their time and money.
Lead Quality Counts
When deciding if leads are right for your firm, doing research on lead quality should be the first step that you take. Are leads being generated on websites that provide solid information and filtered forms? Or are leads being generated through scams and faulty information? The way that a lead is generated can instantly tell you what kind of prospect you will be getting, so make sure that you know the details. For example, if you only accept social security clients if they’re within a certain age range, make sure that your lead generator can filter on your requirements. It’s a little step to take, but will help your retention rates later on.
Legal Lead Companies Shouldn’t Lock You in a Contract
How secure do you feel about a company that tells you that you are stuck spending your money even when you don’t know what the outcome will be? Signing a contract for an extended amount of time can be scary for anyone, especially if it’s their first time purchasing legal leads. Be wary of any lead generation company that does this because you should have the right to cancel at any time. At LeadRival, we work on a month-to-month basis and assign you an account manager to work with you on anything that you may need.
Lead Exclusivity is Important
Some of the biggest lead generators in the market don’t follow an exclusive lead model. An exclusive lead model is when a lead generator only sells one lead to one buyer. At LeadRival, our leads are exclusive because we want to make sure that our clients get the time to retain clients without worrying about competing with other attorneys. When someone fills out our lead form, we display an attorney or firm name on our thank you page to reassure our lead who they will be speaking with. This will help build your brand credibility and trust with potential clients. Keep in mind that even though a lead may be exclusive, it doesn’t mean that the lead didn’t fill out multiple forms online when searching for help.
Lead Nurturing Gains Results
Unfortunately, leads don’t retain themselves. Just because someone fills out a form doesn’t mean they’ll answer their phone on the first call. That’s why lead nurturing is such an important skill to incorporate within your firm. Most lead generators will tell you a number of conversions that sounds amazing, but that could only apply to their clients that have their system down.
We’re here to tell you that you won’t get results if you don’t follow up with calls, emails and even texts. It’s also a known fact that timing is everything in the lead nurturing game. The second a lead comes in, it’s important for firms to call them back quickly so that the lead won’t forget who they’re supposed to talk to and move on to another firm.
Legal Lead Delivery Can Influence Retention
How legal leads are delivered can impact your success rates significantly. Having multiple delivery options is a way to make sure that no lead gets left behind. To give you an idea of what should be happening, you should be able to choose between receiving leads via email, texts and even your CRM system. And if a team of people will be handling the leads, their information should be added into the communication cycle as well.
Hopefully this has shed the light on the secrets of the legal lead generation world. So if you’re asking yourself “Does legal lead generation work?”, the answer is yes as long as you work with it. Unsure of where to start purchasing legal leads from? LeadRival has perfected lead generation by adjusting our leads based on our client feedback for over 15 years. Our legal leads are exclusive and delivered in real time, and you’ll never have to question what our filters are because we’ll tell you!
For more information on how we could help grow your practice, contact us at 1-800-332-8017 or emailing us at email@example.com today!
In December 2016, a few people from the LeadRival team attended the Dallas Digital Summit for the second year in a row. For those unaware of what #DSDAL is, it’s a marketing and SEO based conference for professionals around the country to attend.
Though we were excited to hear from Rainn Wilson (who canceled last minute), our hope was regained with the opportunity to listen to the famous author, Seth Godin, as he spoke about his views on marketing. Our lunch keynote speaker, Ann Handley, gave us great tips on how to be better marketers. Alongside Godin and Handley, we were able to sit in on some amazing sessions held by industry professionals. This year, the marketing tone was shifted away from “disrupting the market” and heading towards amplifying a consumer’s experience through personalization and content marketing. Below are key takeaways from the event and how they can be implemented in your firm’s marketing plan.
Dallas Digital Summit Keynotes
Keynote Speaker: Seth Godin
- “We can treat different people differently.”
- “When you’re busy selling to everyone, you’re selling to no one.”
Seth Godin’s words on marketing had an overall theme of targeting lists through segmentation. The marketing industry has advanced far enough for us to understand that people respond better when messages are tailored towards them. Segmentation can mean different things, depending on what you have the ability to section your marketing list on. Godin also stressed the importance of blogging even when you feel like nobody is listening. His final words were instructing everyone to “get off the plane and go make a ruckus” with our marketing.
Keynote Speaker: Ann Handley
- “Your story is the thing that sets you apart.”
- “Smart companies don’t follow trends. They lead them.”
Ann Handley’s words on marketing had an overall theme of disrupting marketing as we know it. Bringing bigger, braver and bolder content to the table with engaging content is more challenging, but also more worthwhile. A bigger story about your company will convert people to follow you as an industry expert. Creating short, sharable content will give people the necessary tools to share the word about you. Writing everything with your own tone of voice will define who you are, what you do and what you’re like to work with. Combining culture, story, and empathy will create the tone of your voice. If all else fails, FIWTSBS, or Find Interesting Ways To Say Boring Stuff. At the end of the day, the biggest missed opportunities in content is playing it safe.
SEO & PPC Tips
Futureproofing your SEO: Michael King with iPullRank
The future of SEO is voice search because queries become entities.
- Make hyper-targeted content
- Align with the user journey
- Requires content strategy
- Requires persona-driven keyword research
- Use structured data
Rich cards will also become popular because your content can become a featured snippet. Write with paragraphs, labels and bullet points answering what something does, what it is, or how to do something. This is in reference to Google’s new algorithm, Hummingbird, which answers more questions. Keep in mind that snippets are usually around 45 characters, so try to answer a query quickly.
Google uses click through rates (CTR) to determine the importance of a topic to users, so be sure to always have your SEO and PPC working together for a cohesive message. The last thing to keep in mind is to secure your websites by switching over to HTTPS/SSL because Google will start giving rankings boosts soon.
Your Digital Marketing Fails by Janet Miller at Marketing Mojo
Did you know that not all traffic is created equal? Search engines are there to tell you the intent of the user. If your brand is able to marry intent with identity, you will be able to understand your target market.
There are many source models that you should pay attention to, such as:
- Single Source Model
- First Touch Attribution
- Last Touch Attribution
- Fractional Source Models
- Linear (Equal credit to all)
- Time Decay (Most credit to recent)
Be sure to always test out your attribution model through Google’s Attribution tool.
Your conversions through SEO are not created equally. A higher conversion rate and low cost per conversion doesn’t equal the best revenue.
Thinking Outside of the Inbox by Cliff Corr at Emma
When formulating emails, it is important to focus on the right things:
- Design Matters – Graphics, CTA, mobile-friendly
- Automate When Possible – Lay groundwork
- You’re Never Done – Analyze results
“People process images 60x faster than they process text”, which is why you should never overlook having strong graphics that convey your message. Another great tip to keep in mind is that you should use more GIFs in your email now that they’re supported on almost all email clients. Using moving graphics results in higher click through rates in your email. By pairing a great image with a strong call to action button, you will have an email that will interest your target market.
5 Ways to Improve Your Email Campaigns by John Thies at Email on Acid
Email deliverability is the most important and most looked-over factor in email marketing. Some brands use all images as content, but it is actually a best practice to “at least have 500+ characters” in an email. It’s also important to watch the size of your email and try to keep it below 100 kb.
The from name, subject line and pre-header text is also important in emails. Using a trustworthy from name, such as John or John from Company, will give people a sense of security in knowing who is emailing them. You should always test your subject lines and add in pre-header text to give a quick glimpse as to what is in the email.
Your email design is also an important factor and should be coded to adapt to different devices by being:
- Scalable – natural functionality
- Fluid – % on containing elements
- Responsive – uses code to change between devices
- Fluid Hybrid – mix of fluid and responsive with a bit of code
Whatever you apply to your emails, make sure that you simplify your content. An email needs to catch your reader’s attention in 8.25 seconds to be effective. If you feel like it’s too much content, stick to the grandma test and KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).
Hidden Talents of Email by Justine Jordan at Litmus
Email is getting harder to interpret with technology changing every year. But Justine gave us the go ahead to use classified “spam words”, such as sale or USING CAPITAL LETTERS. We also don’t need to listen to the myth that emails must be 600 pixels wide because of mobile scaling. Though, we should always be formatting our text only emails because Apple Watches display text only.
Another great tip is to rethink our CTA verbiage. Instead of always saying “Click Here”, try switching it out for something more descriptive like “Read Full Article”. This will lead to higher CTRs because people will understand what they’re supposed to do. If you have a coder on your staff, try out dynamic image swapping based on who or where your email is being opened.
Use Content & Design to Increase Conversions by Jon-Mikel Bailey at Wood Street
Did you know that westerners view web pages in “F” pattern? This means that you should create content with this in mind. Use strong headlines, bullet points and add graphics to make your content easy to scan.
Your brand should be creating utility content to gain repeat viewers, such as:
- How-to Videos
- Though Provoking Posts
- Tools, References, Studies
- Problem Solving Content
- Timely & Up-To-Date Content
By creating strong content and placing it on a responsive website, people will feel compelled to stay on your website longer and visit more pages.
There were many other great sessions at the Dallas Digital Summit that we were unable to see. If learning more about marketing, SEO and PPC is something that your firm is interested in, check and see if there is an event happening in your area next year. We’ve found it beneficial to stay up to date on marketing trends every year.
We hope that quick overview gave you some new insight on where the marketing industry is heading and inspired you along the way. Check in with us again to read up on our Digital Summit takeaways! Please reach out to us with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LeadRival www.LeadRival.com 1207 S. White Chapel Blvd. Suite 250 Southlake, TX 76092
Marketing automation is one of the greatest inventions in marketing history…yet it is still one of the most dangerous things to try. Though some accelerate at using this tool, it can be quite tricky and have its downfalls. We, for one, fell victim to the terrors of marketing automation going wrong and had to suffer the price. Hopefully, we can tell you the problems with marketing automation so you might be able to avoid them when nurturing your leads.
- Set It & Forget It
To those who think that once all of the content is done that things can be set on a reoccurrence and forgotten…you are mistaken. The “set it and forget it” mentality with marketing automation will never help with increasing contacts because it’s always important to test certain messages and see which get the best reactions out of your target market.
Instead of creating content and never looking back, try creating A/B tests of certain emails to determine which works best. This will allow you to push the best content forward and get the best results possible. Always remember to revisit your marketing automation emails every quarter to take out any information that is performing poorly.
- Poor Utilization
Want marketing automation but don’t have the time to put into it? Poor utilization could make or break your campaign without much warning. If you have everything in order, but your leads drip through your funnel in a week, what are you left with? Leads that still could convert into clients in the future, but haven’t been given the chance to learn more about your firm.
Make sure that when setting up a plan to get your sales team involved for speedy follow-ups, give people enough time between emails to decide on a response, and make sure that you have specific messages designated for certain segmentations. These little tweaks can make a huge difference in the ROI over time.
- Lack of Content
Marketing automation requires varied content, and a lot of it! If you don’t have any blog posts, graphics, or press releases for your firm, marketing automation might need to be put on hold. Content should be regularly created and appeal to your potential clients enough to view you as an industry expert.
To get past spending too much time on content, try creating some content and re-marketing it later in the year with a different look or title. This will still be relevant, plus, you can reuse your old content and still get leads from it. Input your media into your early funnel emails to create brand awareness with your target market.
- Complex Integration
This is where our downfall was, our system was too complex. It ended up having holes that allowed our whole list to be emailed at once instead of a small list emailed over a long amount of time. When your system is too complex for many people to understand, it’s probably good to dial it back before running it out.
Try scaling down your idea into something more manageable and then take your results and build more. Creating at a slow and steady pace is much easier to fix than something larger. Take it from us when we say this is not fun to go through.
- Wrong Platform for Needs
Most firms don’t have a strong desire to spend large quantities of money on email software, so they settle with something that is free/cheap and it limits their abilities to perform their ideas correctly. A platform like Mailchimp might be great for an occasional newsletter, but if you want to get more in depth, it’s suggested to purchase a platform to fit your needs.
If you are looking for an easier option, try other marketing alternatives until one shows profit. Emails aren’t always necessary, but they definitely help out. Try out alternatives like PPC and lead generation and see if they bring in enough business for your firm.
- No Training or Research
Even with a general knowledge of what you want to accomplish, marketing automation can still be tricky. You must understand triggers, transitions, and actions that need to be taken during certain funnels. Not to say that it’s impossible, but training and adequate research will help you with figuring out the best ways to implement a great strategy.
Unsure of where to turn for help? Try doing research on your email marketing program’s company blog for tips and tricks. Another great way to get help is to search around on the blogs of Hubspot, CoSchedule, Marketo, and Mailchimp to see their suggestions on the topic of your choice. The more research done, the better your campaign will be in the long run.
- Only Pitching & Not Nurturing
Sell. Sell. Sell. That’s the best way to get new clients, right? That might have been the truth 20 years ago, but now, client nurturing is more important than ever. So many brands just send out information about their services and products, but never think that they should build a reputation first.
Try creating a three-part funnel for your lead nurturing process. The first part should nurture through educational information and useful resources. From there, you can determine that the middle funnel should be getting a mixture of helpful information and bursts of information about your firm. The final funnel should be your most aggressive – sell, pitch, and sell some more. These prospects most likely are close to reaching a decision on who they should hire to help with their legal issues. These funnels could be over a short amount of time, just gauge it based on how long it normally takes your firm to convert a client.
- Mass Emailing
Mass emailing. Everyone does it. Nobody likes it. The messages are normally broad, the emails are often not targeted, and they are overall outdated. This is what your nurture campaign could turn into if it is done incorrectly. It is important to understand what messages need to be conveyed in each email and that they vary by week.
To add personalization, try inserting a field that inserts your prospects name into the first line. Doing this or also putting their name in the subject line have always yielded more engagement for all B2C companies.
- Not Testing
It’s always important to test, but what if you can’t? Some marketing automation tools don’t allow for testing, especially with basic subscription purchases. This is why marketing automation’s last and final problem is about testing. If you don’t test your campaign, there is a large possibility that you will run into numerous issues. Whether it is simple grammatical errors or you send all of your emails at once (oops), it is hard to predict what is going to happen. Humans make errors, but technology has a way to flaunt them.
A great way to make sure that your plan is foolproof is to create an outline, have people revise your writing, and ask for second opinions on how flows are supposed to work. There’s nothing wrong with getting help, especially if it could save your brand in the future.
Marketing automation is no joke. We’re still perfecting the art of it, which means that you don’t have to. Want a better solution for your firm to gain more clients? Check out our legal lead generation tool and see if it’s a right fit for you! Contact us at email@example.com or 1.800.332.8017.
Newsletter Brainstorming: 6 Questions
Newsletters are something that is a part of many brand cultures and have molded into a free marketing tactic that any firm can use. Asking yourself the 6 Q’s of Newsletters will help you gain a better understanding of what a newsletter contains.
Who – Will you be sending your firm’s newsletter to current clients or potential clients? How about both? Determine if you want to make one newsletter to send out to everyone, or if you want to tailor the language to fit your email segmentations.
What – What will you have in your newsletter? We will go over more about content tomorrow, but start thinking now about if you have enough “news” to fill an entire email.
When – Are you going to have a monthly or quarterly newsletter? Determine how exciting your firm is and if you have enough time and content to pack into a certain time constraint. Create a schedule and stick to it!
Where – Where are you going to market your firm’s newsletter? Do you plan on having sign up links on your website and social media accounts? Determine where so you go about building your email lists the right way.
Why – Is your newsletter going to stick out among others? A newsletter needs to show passion and hard work from your firm. If you’d rather not spend time marketing your legal efforts, a newsletter might not be for you.
How – Which online service will you choose to send out your newsletter? There are free programs like MailChimp or you can go with an email marketing software like Marketo. Determine your budget now!
Newsletters are only as useful as the information that is in them. This is why it is beyond important to think about different topics that you can cover so that people will want to subscribe. Listed below are a few ideas that can really kickstart your emails.
You can fill your newsletter with:
• Recent Blog Posts
• Industry-Related News
• Client Testimonials
• Law Firm Events – New employees, birthdays, anniversaries, certifications, milestones, announcements
• Winning Case Details
• Survey or Contest/Giveaway
• Press Releases or Mentions
• Conference Information and Keynotes
• Law Firm Story, Videos, or Pictures
• Supported Charities or Volunteer Opportunities
Whatever you do decide to include in your newsletter, make sure to always use images with alt text and a link so that your readers are given multiple options to click on. In fact, our newsletter images usually get more click throughs than our call-to-action buttons do. Test out what works for you and always test your theories! You never know what the behavior of your clients will be like unless you track everything!
Content is only the half of what makes a great newsletter. Believe it or not, if your newsletter isn’t well designed, people are less likely to stay subscribed to it. There are many factors that go into a great newsletter design, and next to none of them require coding.
Email design is something that people spend years learning, and that still isn’t enough to keep up with the constant changes in technology. So don’t stress out if you are worried this isn’t something that can be achieved easily. There are many email resources that you can use to send amazing emails out for your firm, but not all are free.
Top Free Email Marketing Provider:
If you are looking for an easy-to-use email creator and sender, Mailchimp is right for you. You can have up to 2,000 subscribers and send out 12,000 emails per month without having to pay, which is perfect for newsletters. They have an extremely easy drag-and-drop interface that anyone can learn in seconds. Check out some of their “Get Started References” to give you a better idea of what is capable with their software.
There are many other great email marketing providers out there, but if you are just starting out, try sticking with something free that you can play around with first.
Here are some things that you should keep in mind when creating emails:
- Keep your subject line around 35 characters (try out this headline analyzer from CoSchedule)
- Make sure your emails are responsive (aka they look great on phones/tablets)
- Keep your body copy text at 16 px and your headlines at 22 px
- Use coded buttons instead of images for your call to actions (visit bit.ly/bulletproof-buttons for more info)
Need some fun newsletter design ideas? Check out this website full of examples! Hopefully, this helps you out with creating some unique ideas for your firm.
Though we’d all like to think getting subscribers is easy, it’s definitely no walk in the park. Many companies spend years building up their email lists, which is why it’s important to start off strong!
Your first batch of email subscribers can be your previous and current clients. These are people that know and trust your firm, so they most likely won’t mind being signed up for your list. It’s always good practices to “double-opt in” these people by informing them that they are signed up for your newsletter (and give them the option to unsubscribe so you are following CAN-SPAM laws). This is the first step to making sure your subscribers start off strong!
Next, you want to advertise your heart out to get more people to sign up. Here are some easy ways you can market your newsletter for sign ups:
- Offer a sign up link on your website
- This one is the easiest to do, as many people that are visiting your website would probably love to stay informed about what is going on with your brand.
- Promote your newsletter on social media
- Posting your sign up link is quick and easy, and you have the ability to reach people outside of your normal network. Make sure to always post often enough to catch new people that didn’t see the advertisement the first time!
- Add a “forward email” option in your newsletter
- Most email marketing providers offer the option to add a forward link in your email. This will allow anyone that gets the email to send it to someone that they think will benefit from it. Plus, this is a great “set it and forget it” tip!
- Sign up new clients for your newsletter as soon as you start working with them
- This is a step that you will need to speak with them about, but most people won’t mind being signed up for it. It will also serve as a tool to become “legal experts” in their eyes, so they might refer you to more people.
- Feature your newsletter in your blog
- When writing a new blog post, always try adding in your newsletter at the bottom of your post, or offer something special to new subscribers as an incentive.
There are many other ways to get people to sign up for your newsletter, but these are the easiest ways to get it done!
If you’d like to learn about other marketing tactics for your firm, LeadRival is here to show you that legal leads are the way to go! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1.800.332.8017 for more information.
Earlier in Branding For Lawyers, we discussed the importance of updating your website. But, did you know that regularly updating your blog is just as important for increasing your online visibility? Many companies often overlook this simple step because they feel that with the billions of blog posts online, theirs will never stand out. We will show you how easy it is to update your blog using a few simple rules. Plus, you will even learn what to do after you write each blog!
Writer’s block comes easily to those who don’t make a habit of writing often. With law firms, many question what there is to write about. When in fact, there are so many brilliant topics out there that haven’t been covered yet.
Here are some topics to consider when writing your blog posts:
– New Laws or Information On Your Practice Area
– Legal Process Walkthroughs
– Answering Recurring Client Questions
– Explain Successful Cases
– Share Conference Takeaways
– Discuss Your View On Legal Topics
– Press Releases/Mentions
– Law Firm Events – New employees, birthdays, anniversaries, certifications, milestones, announcements
The title of your blog can either bring people to your blog or push them away from it. Boring titles never catch reader’s eyes because they don’t make readers feel like they are missing out on information.
There are many tactics to writing a great blog title, but the most important one is to identify strong keywords. By doing research on SEO keywords and mixing that in with some emotional words, you could have a great title. It never hurts to use numbers or lists to spark interest. CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer is a great tool to use to see if your headline is going in the right direction.
Here are some other great resources to help with your blog title success:
– HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator
– CoSchedule’s 1000 Data Driven Headline Ideas
– Free Subject Line Tool
Blog Posting Schedule
The frequency and timing of your articles make a large impact on how viewers perceive your blog. Many companies think that posting one blog post every three months will be enough to push traffic to their site. It is actually best to post 1 to 4 times a month during set dates to allow for people to fall into a regular schedule of reading your blog.
Timing is also a vital part to blog success. Most marketers claim that posting blogs and sending emails on Thursdays will produce the best results. This isn’t wrong, but it might not apply to your clients’ schedules. Experiment with different posting days to see if something works better! Try your best to keep up with this schedule to see the best results.
When people write blogs, many don’t realize that the length of your post determines the success it will have. 300 words will no longer stand out against longer posts. Because longer posts get more visibility, we suggest writing posts that are 800 to 1,200 words long. This length will ensure that you are fully covering the topic of your choice, plus it will allow for search algorithms to pull more keywords from your text.
Speaking of keywords, it is always important to do research on your topic before writing it. Figure out what your clients might be researching first, that way you know exactly what to answer in your blog post. Try using keyword researching websites, such as KeywordTool. Keyword research will make a big difference in the tone of your writing while also inspiring new ideas for your post.
Having a featured image for your blog post will not only add an interesting visual element to your post but will also compliment your writing when people share it on social media sites. The picture you choose should reflect the topic you are writing about and contain the title of your blog. Unsure of what to design? Use Canva’s free image creator to help get you started.
We suggest also setting an automatic Facebook image within your post. This means that when people decide to share your blog post on Facebook, your predetermined image will pop up instead of a random one from your blog. This option also allows you to set what copy is displayed with the post. Check out your blog’s plugins or settings to see if this is an option you can try out.
There is more to a great blog article than just words. A strong post requires elements that keep your audience involved. Try spicing it up by breaking up text with supporting images or a click-to-tweet plug-in that you can install on WordPress for free. You can add infographics, diagrams, and more, just as long as it works with your topic. The suggested rule is that there should be something inserted on a blog post every 70 words. You can also try splitting up your paragraphs with different graphics. Try out different methods and see what people respond to best!
Posting your blog n social media is the best way to get people to read your new content. Remember the featured image you created? Use this when posting your blog on different networks. Accompany the picture with some text that will get people excited about reading your blog. Twitter has a 140-character limit, so be sure to shorten the link using Google URL Shortener before you send a tweet. This will give you more room to write or put in a relevant hashtag.
Another great way to get the word out about your blog post is to send out newsletters featuring your post. Or if your firm doesn’t have a newsletter, try adding the link to your email signature. Anything that brings traffic to your site will help convince readers that you are an industry expert.
Want to know more ways to improve your firm’s online presence? LeadRival’s legal lead generation puts your name in front of clients that fill out a free claim review form. Learn more about how this works by contacting us at email@example.com or 1.800.332.8017 today!
Different Types of Media
Now that you’ve learned how to properly schedule your content, it would probably be beneficial to learn about the different types of content you should create! Posting on social media is the best way to become an industry expert if you create relevant content. Many question how so many companies have their content shared, and we’re going to tell you the secret – it’s all about different media!
Creating relevant content is a great way to bridge the gap between being noticed and being seen as an industry expert. With the multitude of law firms that pull up on Google searches, it’s important to make your firm stand out compared to the rest. The best way to do this is to create different types of media to share: white papers, infographics, videos, and presentations.
White papers are one of the most difficult types of media to create but are the most beneficial out of all options. This is because if people download it and benefit from the information, there is a high chance they will reach out to you for help in the future.
When you are contemplating what to write your white paper over, think about what your consumers want to hear about. For example, LeadRival focuses on helping law firms with their marketing and advertising, so our white papers are designed around those topics. A great way to brainstorm what to write about is to check out what other law firms are doing. Writing about a certain legal process, definitions for law terms, or case studies is a good start! Whatever you decide to write about, remember to keep your white paper around 6 to 10 pages so that it is easy to read.
White papers seem intimidating to create, but there are dozens of resources available online to get you started. You could easily create one in Microsoft Word or Powerpoint, or if you are feeling a little crazy, there is also an interactive white paper creation company!
The most shared type of content online is an infographic, which is a blend of images and information into an easy-to-follow format. Infographics are fun to make and make presenting statistics a breeze.
Infographics are best shared on social media sites like Twitter or Pinterest, or presented on LinkedIn’s SlideShare. For example, The Law Office of Gerald Moton used SlideShare to post their infographic on the timeline of a chapter 13 bankruptcy. The bright colors and easy navigation, paired with the transcript of what’s on it, easily pulls up in an online search. See below for the example:
So how might one get started making an infographic with very little resources? Luckily there are websites out there that can make your life easier! A personal favorite of mine is Piktochart because of their awesome drag-and-drop interface. It has helped us create awesome infographics over the years, such as this one about LeadRival and this one about the do’s and don’ts of social media. These are just a few examples of what is available to make. Or, if you really liked using Canva, they also have options for creating infographics.
If you are unsure of designs for infographics, try checking out blogs dedicated to them. I personally enjoy looking through Cool Infographics or Daily Infographic. Want to know the best part about those websites? Once you’re done creating an infographic, you can send it to them to upload to their website. There’s nothing wrong with free publicity if it’s done right!
Law firms that have videos can truly stand out against their competitors because it shows a firm’s personality and builds trust with clients. There are many things that a video can cover, but most people get hung up on how to create a video. That’s why we wrote a blog about how to create a law firm video with 3 easy resources! We only cover creating a white board video, but if that sounds like something you’d be interested in doing, we have a blog explaining step-by-step how to create one! It walks you through:
- Content topics
- Types of video software
- How to use VideoScribe
- Where to post videos
You can also film yourself or clients giving testimonials and post them on your website. Just make sure to shoot in high quality and edit everything together with one of the free software options listed on our blog.
The hardest part about creating a video is getting started! We’ve seen so many great videos online, and maybe with the right script, you can become viral like the Texas Law Hawk. Sometimes it takes getting out of the lawyer mindset and going in a new direction to appeal to your target market.
When you think of presentations, you might think that they aren’t very relevant to the legal field. This is far from the truth because of LinkedIn’s SlideShare website for presentations, infographics and more! Presentations are no longer use to target specific people, but instead, are used to target hundreds of thousands of people from around the world.
When contemplating what to make a presentation on, you must first consider what your clients are looking to have answered. Are you asked frequent questions by potential clients? Are there certain things people should know before looking for an attorney? These are all things to consider when deciding on a topic to write about.
The best thing to do is to write and create a presentation that will make you seem like an expert. For example, Bill Holtz used SlideShare to answer the question “Am I disabled enough to qualify for social security disability leads” with a presentation. He finishes off the presentation with information about his firm to allow people to reach out to him. See below how he accomplishes presentation marketing:
That is just one example of what could be done, but isn’t as well designed as this next presentation. The Zachar Law Firm created a SlideShare presentation to go over the step by step process of a personal injury claim. This seems like something that is first nature to any attorney, but people search online for questions like this daily. His presentation is not only well designed, but it is also packed with just enough information. The only difference between this presentation and the last? It doesn’t contain the law firm’s information on the last page. Instead, they added a profile picture that links back to their information and strategically placed their logo on the first page of the presentation. See below for this example:
Don’t have the time to invest in creating different types of media? There are other options available to gain new clients. LeadRival’s legal lead generation can bring in new business for your firm. Want more information? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1.800.332.8017 to speak with a consultant for free.