Social Media Manners for Law Firms

Social Media Manners for Law Firms

In today’s marketing world, it has become obvious how important social media is. However, just like every other social form of communication, there are manners that not only help one maintain a level of respect, but also help set one apart from the rest. I know this from my own professional experience, which is why I felt compelled to share an article by Samantha Collier, writer of the award winning “Social Media for Law Firms” blog.

Samantha covers several “do’s” and “don’ts” in social media, all of which are specifically aimed in helping attorneys and others in the legal profession. To read her full article, click here. Here are just a few she mentioned.

  • “Remember reciprocity when utilizing social media for business development.”
  • “Respond to criticism and conflicting opinions.”
  • “Remember your reputation and brand on social media.”
  • “Do not over-promote yourself when using social media.”
  • “Don’t boast about your praise online.”

I highly recommend this to any attorney who is utilizing social media to market their firm. Marketing a law firm today is already challenging enough, but the proper use of social media can help leverage your efforts.

New App for Law Firms: If This Then That (IFTTT)

New App for Law Firms: If This Then That (IFTTT)

By Tina Burns

 

Smartphones have revolutionized the business world and the ability to work on the go. From social media to content storage, it can feel overwhelming when trying to remember to backup files, add events to your calendar or even check the weather…until now.

In a recent article from Attorney Christopher B. Hopkins of Akerman, LLP, we discover the new app IFTTT (If This Then That) that “allows you to get value from your mobile device and social media without “checking in” constantly — thus reducing your internet-induced stress.” This user-friendly app requires no coding or advanced technical knowledge. You simply create ‘Recipes’ to tell the app what to do after a certain action occurs. Here are some example recipes that Mr. Hopkins mentioned:

  • Facebook & Twitter: Eliminate opening both account and set IFTTT so that anything you write on Twitter with the tag “#FB” will be posted on Facebook (or vice versa).
  • Save Email Attachments to Google Drive: Set IFTTT to download all email attachments to a folder in Google Drive — or set the trigger so that IFTTT will save PDF attachments in a folder if you put “#receipts” in title of an email you send to yourself.
  • Weather: If it is going to rain tomorrow in [location], it will send you a text or have IFTTT send you the weather report each morning.
  • Congress or Presidential Updates: Set IFTTT to email you when the President signs a new law or Congress schedules a vote on a bill.

(Read the full article “If This Then That (IFTTT) For Lawyers”)

This is just one of the many free productivity apps available for professions to help organize your life and your business.

Download and try IFTTT today!

(Original post found here)

Social Media Marketing for Law Firms

Attorney Matthew Dubin of the Law Offices of Matthew D. Dubin, in Seattle, Washington shares with Author and Educator Michael J. Swanson a few tips for lawyers to better market their firm on Facebook.

Why is a Succession Plan Important for Your Law Firm?

Joseph E. Fournier, attorney and CPA of Fournier Legal Services, joins Michael J. Swanson to discuss why it is important for law firms to have a succession plan.

Michael J. Swanson About Michael J. Swanson

Mr. Swanson has over 13 years of senior executive level experience in trial law firm financing. He is the published author of How David Beats Goliath: Access to Capital for Contingent-Fee Law Firms and has given lectures at seminars and CLE programs nationwide, educating trial lawyers about financial management. Mr. Swanson is also a member of the PILMMA advisory board and ASTC.

Yvette Valencia

Yvette Valencia

Yvette Valencia is an expert at writing search engine optimized Web content humans love to read and share. She specializes in helping law firms identify the information their prospective clients are searching for online and developing content strategies that drive the right kind of traffic to their sites.

Through her company, We Do Web Content, Yvette upholds the standard for quality inbound marketing. Her mission is to help lawyers understand this standard by identifying what's important to their potential clients, providing these prospects with information they'll find helpful and trustworthy, and then, seamlessly merging the two with the law firms' business goals. Most recently, Yvette authored a second book called 10 Reasons Your Website Doesn't Generate Leads, which offers law firms advice on developing an effective content marketing strategy.

Prior to co-founding We Do Web Content, Inc., Yvette honed her skills as a presenter and writer when she served as the lead corporate trainer for two major international banks: ABN AMRO Bank (4 years); and Deutsche Bank (2 years).

In addition to managing the day-to-day operations for We Do Web Content, Yvette is passionate about music, fashion, and being a loving wife and mother to two amazing little boys.

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Yvette Valencia

Yvette Valencia

Yvette Valencia is an expert at writing search engine optimized Web content humans love to read and share. She specializes in helping law firms identify the information their prospective clients are searching for online and developing content strategies that drive the right kind of traffic to their sites.

Through her company, We Do Web Content, Yvette upholds the standard for quality inbound marketing. Her mission is to help lawyers understand this standard by identifying what’s important to their potential clients, providing these prospects with information they’ll find helpful and trustworthy, and then, seamlessly merging the two with the law firms’ business goals. Most recently, Yvette authored a second book called 10 Reasons Your Website Doesn’t Generate Leads, which offers law firms advice on developing an effective content marketing strategy.

Prior to co-founding We Do Web Content, Inc., Yvette honed her skills as a presenter and writer when she served as the lead corporate trainer for two major international banks: ABN AMRO Bank (4 years); and Deutsche Bank (2 years).

In addition to managing the day-to-day operations for We Do Web Content, Yvette is passionate about music, fashion, and being a loving wife and mother to two amazing little boys.

Michael J. Swanson

Michael J. Swanson

Mr. Swanson has been working at the senior executive level in trial law firm financing since 2000. He is the published author of How David Beats Goliath: Access to Capital for Contingent-Fee Law Firms and has given lectures at seminars and CLE programs nationwide, educating trial lawyers about financial management. Mr. Swanson is also a member of the  ASTC.

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Lisa Wagner

Lisa Wagner

Ms. Wagner is a CPA and a current member of North Carolina Association of CPA’s. She has over eight years of experience in the financial services industry, and is currently a Senior VP, Client Services for a financial services company dedicated to providing strategic financial solutions unique to plaintiff law firms. Ms. Wagner is also a former member of the ALA, and she just recently became a QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisor.

Connect:emaillinkedinfacebooktwittergoogle

Michael J. Swanson

Michael J. Swanson

Mr. Swanson has been working at the senior executive level in trial law firm financing since 2000. He is the published author of How David Beats Goliath: Access to Capital for Contingent-Fee Law Firms and has given lectures at seminars and CLE programs nationwide, educating trial lawyers about financial management. Mr. Swanson is also a member of the ASTC.

Lisa Wagner

Lisa Wagner

Ms. Wagner is a CPA and a current member of North Carolina Association of CPA’s. She has over eight years of experience in the financial services industry, and is currently a Senior VP, Client Services for a financial services company dedicated to providing strategic financial solutions unique to plaintiff law firms. Ms. Wagner is also a former member of the ALA, and she just recently became a QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisor.

Tiger Tactics with Ryan McKeen

In today's video, Attorney Ryan McKeen of Connecticut Trial Firm sits down with Author & Educator, Michael J. Swanson, to talk about the book he wrote with four other attorneys, Jay Ruane, Billie TarascioWilliam Umansky, and Theresa DeGray called Tiger Tactics: Powerful Strategies for Winning Law Firms, which is a book that discusses law practice management strategies.

Michael J. Swanson About Michael J. Swanson

Mr. Swanson has over 13 years of senior executive level experience in trial law firm financing. He is the published author of How David Beats Goliath: Access to Capital for Contingent-Fee Law Firms and has given lectures at seminars and CLE programs nationwide, educating trial lawyers about financial management. Mr. Swanson is also a member of the PILMMA advisory board and ASTC.

A Helpful Guide for Using QuickBooks

A Helpful Guide for Using QuickBooks

 

QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisor and Law Practice Channel contributor Lisa Wagner knows more than her fair share when it comes to how firms can use QuickBooks. She has helped multiple law firms across the nation set-up and use the popular accounting system. I came across one of her article’s about the system, and thought it would be more than helpful for any attorney looking to use it. It includes the several resources, all of which cover a broad range of helpful tips.

Lisa’s original blog post can be found at:

http://www.advocatecapital.com/2013/05/28/law-firms-using-quickbooks-setting-up-tracking-case-costs/.

Trial Reviews How David Beats Goliath

Trial Reviews How David Beats Goliath

How David Beats Goliath – Access to Capital for Contingent-Fee Law Firms was reviewed in the June 2012 publication of Trial.  Reviewer Douglass F. Noland gave a very thorough, detailed and fair review of the book.  Here are a few brief excerpts:

“Author Michael Swanson’s How David Beats Goliath is a must-read for any lawyer who works on contingent-fee cases.”

“Swanson explains, in a straightforward way, how to maintain your firm’s cash flow and how to level the playing field against your opponents.”

“If Swanson’s strategy is applied faithfully, lawyers may lessen their worries about financing their cases, so they can concentrate more on the cases themselves.”

To read the complete review, click here. To purchase a copy of How David Beats Goliath, click here.

Advocate Capital, Inc.

Advocate Capital, Inc.

Advocate Capital, Inc., is a commercial finance company that was founded in 1999. Our main focus is providing an alternative to the “interest free” loans that most trial lawyers make to their firms for case expenses. We do this through a unique combination of commercial lines-of-credit and specialized accounting services.

Our clients are the best and the brightest of trial law firms from all over the United States. Our typical client-firm is a well established, experienced trial law firm whose partners are high-net-worth attorneys at the “top of their game”. Many are leaders of state and national trial lawyer associations, and quite a few are authors and expert speakers in the profession.

Advocate Capital, Inc., has enjoyed consistent, rapid, profitable growth during its history and now has clients in over 35 states. We look forward to adding you to our family of satisfied clients!

Website: www.advocatecapital.com

Gerry Oginski, Esq.

Gerry Oginski, Esq.

Gerry is a practicing NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Attorney in one of the most competitive markets in the Country.

He is the author of “Secrets of Lawyer Video Marketing in the Age of YouTube,” and lectures to thousands of lawyers across the country each year, has written hundreds of articles on video marketing for attorneys and is considered the leading authority on video marketing for lawyers.

He has personally created over 1350 educational videos to teach his potential clients how cases involving medical malpractice & accidents work and is the Founder of the Lawyers Video Studio, where he has helped lawyers across the United States create over 3500 videos to market their law firms.

Gerry has used video marketing to generate settlements of over $8.6 million dollars for his own solo practice.

Connect:emailfacebookyoutube
 
Lawyers Video Studio
25 Great Neck Rd., Ste. 4
Great Neck, NY 11021
516-487-8207
Website: http://LawyersVideoStudio.com

Gerry Oginski, Esq.

Gerry Oginski, Esq.

Gerry is a practicing NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Attorney in one of the most competitive markets in the Country.

He is the author of “Secrets of Lawyer Video Marketing in the Age of YouTube,” and lectures to thousands of lawyers across the country each year, has written hundreds of articles on video marketing for attorneys and is considered the leading authority on video marketing for lawyers.

He has personally created over 1350 educational videos to teach his potential clients how cases involving medical malpractice & accidents work and is the Founder of the Lawyers Video Studio, where he has helped lawyers across the United States create over 3500 videos to market their law firms.

Gerry has used video marketing to generate settlements of over $8.6 million dollars for his own solo practice.

Time For A Database

Time For A Database

Are you ready to take your case management to the next level?

 

A case management database is something that is typically thought of as not needed for smaller firms. After all, why would an attorney pay for a software that would only be used by him and a few other staff members? Admittedly, there was once a time when everything could be stored in a single physical location, like a filing cabinet, and no one would think anything of it. That was also a time when “It’s in my filing cabinet at the office,” was a good enough excuse.

We don’t live in that time anymore. The more technology progresses, the more people want to be able to access services and information on the fly. Businesses must adapt, including law firms. Sure, trusting a database can be a scary thing, and I am by no means saying you should throw out your filing cabinet and stop carrying that coffee-stained briefcase. But, I am saying that that the ability to make a adjustments and track changes at a moment’s notice is one of the biggest advantages of living in the present day, and it can greatly improve the service you’re able to provide your clients.

How does one go about picking the correct database for one’s firm? A lot of it, like all choices, typically comes down to what your needs are and what you value most. I recommend you take a look at Haley Odom’s article, “Choosing a Database for your Law Firm.” Ms. Odom is a contract legal technology consultant and writes for Stacey E. Burke’s blog, Business Solutions for Law Firms. In the article, she talks about choosing between a cloud and server based database, volume & complexity, security and more.

Are you currently or have you once tried a case management database system? Tell us about it in an article and we might publish on www.LawPracticeChannel.com!

Copyright: 123RF Stock Photo

Credit Scoring Methods – It’s Not Always Apples to Apples

Credit Scoring Methods – It’s Not Always Apples to Apples

As a lender, we rely on credit scores to help us decide who we should lend money to.  As you might guess, it’s important to us as a lender that we do business with people and law firms that demonstrate an ability and willingness to properly manage and repay their debt in a timely manner.

While it’s important for consumers to track their credit history and know their credit scores, it’s also important to note that not all credit scores are the same.  Most lenders use the FICO/Beacon scoring methodology and all 3 reporting agencies (i.e. TransUnion, Equifax and Experian) provide these scores.  However, a newer scoring methodology (Vantage) is being seen in the marketplace on occasion that has a different scale.  It appears as if all 3 reporting agencies can also provide Vantage scores.

The Vantage score uses a 500-990 scoring range and the FICO/Beacon uses a 300-850 range, so a particular score on the Vantage system is not the same as the same score on the FICO/Beacon system.  While it is not easy to compare the two, based on my research, I would say that if you have a 650 score (or so) on a FICO/Beacon model, you would have a roughly 750 score using a Vantage model.

Here is a link to a good overview of the differences between the two – http://creditcardforum.com/blog/vantagescore-vs-fico-score/.

The Importance of Marketing Intake

The Importance of Marketing Intake

 

Marketing intake may not be something you’ve given much thought. After all, if they are reaching out to you, they should be pretty easy clients to get business from. That seems to be the common thought, even in businesses besides law firms. This is the wrong way to think about incoming clients.

When a person calls or emails your office, their first interaction with you will be a key factor in gaining their business. Being busy and not answering the phone, or taking too long to reply to an email, can cost you. Attorneys’ jobs are important, yes, but they provide a service. When you look to purchase a service or product, it’s easier to buy from a place that feels more welcoming. Answering the phone with the wrong tone and greeting can quickly turn someone else away. You might be a good attorney, but no one will want to do business with you if it doesn’t seem like your firm cares that they are interested. This is where good marketing intake practices come in.

Lawyer Marketing released an article in their blog title, Get a Grip on the Client Experience. I highly recommend giving it a read, since it covers some pretty basic marketing intake practices that can make a world of difference to your potential and current clients.

Copyright: 123RF Stock Photo

Why You Will Never Succeed at Video Marketing

Why You Will Never Succeed at Video Marketing

By Justin Holderness

We have all been there; we click on one simple, harmless YouTube video only to lead us down the black hole of hysterical kids, cute cats and obscure how to videos. I myself have been subject to this ridiculous madness. I lay in bed asking myself “Why am I watching some lady attempt to eat cinnamon?” only to follow up with “Just one more!”

The expansion of social media sites and technology has created an interesting culture, positioning the general population as journalist and content creators. Essentially the human race has evolved into mini media companies. Unfortunately, most law firms and local businesses with substantial marketing resources have not adapted to the age of video marketing. Here is why I personally believe most local businesses, including law firms will never succeed at video marketing.

PERSPECTIVE: Most companies are used to hearing large and ridiculous numbers when it comes to their traditional media buy and its results. If you spend X $ you will get X thousand impressions. It’s no surprise that when they look at their YouTube video view count, they are extremely disappointed to see that it only has a few dozen views. The reality is that you can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a single TV spot that doesn’t hit a single person that can use your services. This immediately becomes a sunk cost with zero return on investment. When you post a video on YouTube you are creating content for Google to serve directly to individuals looking for your expertise (when done right). Here is something else to think about, that video lives forever. As long as YouTube and your company exist, people will have access to that content.

CONSISTENCY: To be effective when it comes to video marketing, consistency is the key. The more real-estate you own on the web with valuable content, the better chance you have at building credibility and trust with your target audience. It is like a never ending game of Monopoly. Your goal is to own as much valuable real-estate online as possible.

INVESTMENT: I absolutely believe in developing a process to create content consistently and in real-time. How valuable would it have been to be able to create a video as soon as you first heard about the BP oil spill? In order to do this efficiently, it is necessary to have an in-house studio. Shooting, editing and distributing these videos takes resources and money; that being said, the advancement of technology has resulted in a cost effective solution to developing an in-house studio.

Change is a scary thing for most people. It is perceived as a risk, but in most cases it is a greater risk not to adapt and change. When it comes to changes in the law you are forced to adapt in order to give your clients the best representation possible. Why wouldn’t you take the same approach when it comes to marketing your practice? I sincerely believe that the early adopters will dominate their market by embracing video marketing. Are you adapting accordingly?

 

 

The Dos and Don'ts of Social Media for Lawyers

The Dos and Don'ts of Social Media for Lawyers

By Yvette Valencia

 

Who says lawyers can't be social? A healthy social marketing plan is a key component of successful law firms across the country, but it takes more than just a Facebook profile and a Twitter handle to conquer the social media marketing world.

Before you put your law firm out on the social channels, read our list of dos and don’ts of social media for lawyers.

The Dos of Social Media for Lawyers

Do brag about your achievements. Potential clients want to see that you’re an attorney who gets results. Pictures of yourself along with satisfied clients and a brief note about their successful case can help instill confidence in your legal skills and puts a human face on your legal services.

Do engage in discussions with your followers. When someone comments on a social post from your firm, make sure you respond appropriately. Even if it’s just a compliment, thank the commenter for taking the time to write on your page. You also should look at engagement as an opportunity to ask satisfied clients for testimonials on AVVO, Yelp, Google+ and other rating/review sites.

Do post entertaining and informative content. The most shared content on social media is content that entertains and content that informs. It might include videos, photos, infographics or just helpful content. If you want your social networks to be heavily trafficked and really give you the full benefit of social marketing, you need to share content that your followers will find useful and/or amusing.

The Don’ts of Social Media for Lawyers

Don’t be arrogant. While you should share your successful cases, you also need to be tactful about doing so. Avoid gloating, demeaning or deceptive language in posts about recently resolved cases. Your goal in posting case successes is to show humbly how honored you are that your clients chose your firm for their case and how happy you are to be able to help them achieve justice for their cases.

Don’t ignore comments. The point of social media is to be social, and ignoring comments -- even negative ones -- defeats the purpose of having a social channel. You should respond to all interaction with your social profiles in a professional and prompt manner. If a discussion gets too heated, you may wish to ask politely that it ends or move the discussion to private communication.

Don’t post confidential content or content that could violate your local bar rules. Details of your recent case victories should be kept as general as possible to avoid breaching the attorney-client privilege. You also need to keep in mind that your state bar may have restrictions about social media conduct for attorneys, and you may not be allowed to post case results or may have to include a disclaimer on your profiles.

Don’t Make a Social Blunder – We Do Web Content Handles Social Marketing for Lawyers

We Do Web Content, Inc. handles social media for lawyers. We help attorneys and law firms across the nation keep their social presence up and lively. To get started, give us a call or fill out our contact form to speak with our sales manager about all of the services we offer to help grow your law firm through Internet and SEO marketing. 888-521-3880.

Law Firm Marketing Magazine – Now Free!

Law Firm Marketing Magazine – Now Free!

Some of you may have heard about the new publication available for the iPad called Law Firm Marketing.  If you have not, I suggest you check it out. It was launched in October of 2012. It is the legal industry’s first interactive, digital magazine and it’s now available for free! It is designed to help you learn the best marketing practices from other successful lawyers as well as some of today’s top legal marketing experts. You can get the latest issue free by subscribing on iTunes or downloading the app by clicking here. Since the magazine is digital, it makes use of video interviews, hyperlinks and other interactive content. You can download the magazine in several different languages as well.

If you do not have an iPad, don’t worry! You can view the recent video interviews feature in the magazine on The Law Firm Marketing Magazine YouTube channel.

In the very first issue, the magazine featured Gerry Spence.  Spence is widely known as one of the best trial lawyers of all time, which is why he was an easy pick to be featured in the first edition of the magazine.  Spence founded the Trial Lawyers College in 1994 and has an amazing record of accomplishments with zero criminal cases lost. Also featured so far in the magazine is current American Association for Justice President, Mary Alice McLarty and well-known marketing guru, Jay Abraham.

Cindy Speaker is the CEO of Speaker Media and Marketing and the developer behind the Law Firm Marketing Magazine. She is known as “The secret weapon of personal injury lawyers and trial attorneys throughout the U.S.” It is no wonder attorneys across the country run to Cindy for marketing advice, she has an extensive list of successful clients as well as a published documentary, “Well of Dreams”. She believes this magazine will help law firms stay on top of an ever-changing marketing landscape.

If you are a trial lawyer (or are involved in law firm marketing) you should download your own copy of Law Firm Marketing right now!

Tina Burns
Vice President

James Mitchell Brown

James Mitchell Brown

James Mitchell Brown has practiced law with passion, enthusiasm, energy and creativity since 1973which is one of many reasons has been Martindale Hubbell AV rated since he first became eligible.  Jim’s practice has been almost exclusively representing people on a contingency fee basis. Jim sold his practice in 2003 for health reasons, took a year off and .in 2004 founded Attorney Consultant Inc. Jim is currently nationally known as the leading consultant for contingency fee law firms.

His first book, Marketing for the Contingency Fee Law Firm was published in July, 2012 and has helped many firms increase their practice, improve their image and do wonders for their bottom line in unique ways that define who they are as attorneys and individuals. His second book, Nuts and bolts of Law Office Management will be published this fall.

Brown has made presentations throughout the country to attorneys, law students, physicians, politicians and potential clients about issues of importance in their venues as well as appearing on National and local radio and television.

He enthusiastically shares his dedication and expertise with lawyers throughout the United States in marketing, practice management, business, crisis management, buying and selling practices and every other area of practice.

The company trademark, Enjoy Your Practice; Enjoy Your Life® is something Jim helps instill in every one of his clients.

Connect:email

www.attorneyconsultant.com
877-621-2022

James Mitchell Brown

James Mitchell Brown

James Mitchell Brown has practiced law with passion, enthusiasm, energy and creativity since 1973which is one of many reasons has been Martindale Hubbell AV rated since he first became eligible.  Jim’s practice has been almost exclusively representing people on a contingency fee basis. Jim sold his practice in 2003 for health reasons, took a year off and .in 2004 founded Attorney Consultant Inc. Jim is currently nationally known as the leading consultant for contingency fee law firms.

His first book, Marketing for the Contingency Fee Law Firm was published in July, 2012 and has helped many firms increase their practice, improve their image and do wonders for their bottom line in unique ways that define who they are as attorneys and individuals. His second book, Nuts and bolts of Law Office Management will be published this fall.

Brown has made presentations throughout the country to attorneys, law students, physicians, politicians and potential clients about issues of importance in their venues as well as appearing on National and local radio and television.

He enthusiastically shares his dedication and expertise with lawyers throughout the United States in marketing, practice management, business, crisis management, buying and selling practices and every other area of practice.

The company trademark, Enjoy Your Practice; Enjoy Your Life® is something Jim helps instill in every one of his clients.

Why You Want Your Law Firm on Wikipedia (If You Can Get It There)

Why You Want Your Law Firm on Wikipedia (If You Can Get It There)

By Adam Rowan, Content Specialist at Page 1 Solutions

For many years, Wikipedia was seen as a dubious source of information. Its open-source model initially gave the impression that pages on the platform were riddled with questionable quality and unreliable research, especially among academic and professional circles.

However, few websites have so rigorously enforced quality standards, and Wikipedia is now recognized not only as a prominent, trustworthy brand but a go-to source for information on people, places, companies, and other entities. When you do an online search, relevant Wikipedia pages consistently rank on the first page of results.

Not just anything or anybody can qualify for inclusion on Wikipedia, and law firms are no exception. But if your firm has the extensive history and quality backlinks that are the hallmarks of any good Wikipedia article, there are several benefits your firm's website can enjoy from being included among the nearly 5 million articles on The Free Encyclopedia.

Benefit #1: Search Authority

Wikipedia has a perfect 100 domain authority score, a metric developed by search engine optimization (SEO) company Moz to analyze and predict the performance of a given website in search results. This score means that pages from the domain are extremely likely to rank well in search.

If your firm is the subject of a Wikipedia article, make sure there is a link back to your website somewhere on the page. A backlink from such an authoritative domain like Wikipedia (even if marked “No Follow”) should enhance the authority of your own site, potentially increase your performance for target keyword terms against your competitors, and generate more website traffic.

Benefit #2: Consumer Legitimacy

As noted in a recent Inside Business article, only 10 percent of online consumers trust the advertising created by brands. More and more consumers are seeking out third-party sources, such as review sites, to arm themselves with what they perceive to be impartial information before choosing to engage with a brand.

Today, few websites enjoy greater objectivity in the eyes of consumers than Wikipedia. Though anyone can create an article, new articles are reviewed within days by moderators who can and will enforce Wikipedia's guidelines for acceptable content. One of those guidelines is eschewing content that reads like an advertisement.

If your law firm is deemed noteworthy and the Wikipedia page provides verifiable information that isn't written in a promotional fashion, the more likely it is that the article will stay online. The longer the article is online and the better written it is, the better your brand will look to clients seeking legal services.

Benefit #3: Potential Knowledge Graph Placement

Over the past few years, you've likely noticed that some of your searches on Google return not just the expected list of results but also informative, eye-catching graphic boxes displaying information and images relevant to your search. This is Google Knowledge Graph, a tool engineered by the search giant to deliver answers more immediately to users.

How is Google able to find and display this information in such a neat little package? The search engine crawls a number of reliable websites for digestible information, and one of the most reliable is Wikipedia.

A search for a big-name brand will likely return a Google Knowledge Graph result. But you don't need to be a Fortune 500 company to show up on the Knowledge Graph. Your firm can also appear in these results.

First, as discussed recently by Search Engine Land, your firm will need to have an article on Wikipedia and be entered as an entity in Wikidata, a data knowledge base Google crawls to provide Knowledge Graph results. Then, by using structured data markup tagging on your site (see the article to learn how to do this), you tell Google that your website is the same as the entities identified on Wikipedia and Wikidata, thus increasing the likelihood that your firm will show up prominently as part of Knowledge Graph.

The information that shows up in a Google Knowledge Graph result is difficult to predict, and like anything in SEO there is no guarantee that the above process will work. But the increased visibility of your firm above and beyond traditional search results is another way to set yourself apart in the eyes of users in need of an attorney.

Here are a few examples of law firms and lawyers with Wikipedia pages:

At Page 1 Solutions, we regularly work with attorneys to identify the aspects that set their firm apart and use those strengths to build competitive Web marketing campaigns. If you're struggling to find traction in search results, Page 1 Solutions can help! Call (800) 368-9910 to speak with one of our team members.

Copyright: 123RF Stock Photo

The Future in Law Practice Information Management: OnPoint.Legal

The Future in Law Practice Information Management:  OnPoint.Legal

 

By Sam C. Rumph, III

 

Lawyers are busy. Lawyers track lots of documents and information. Lawyers need immediate access to their case information, but it has to be secure - protected. Lawyers want simple. And contrary to popular beliefs, lawyers DO have budgets.

At Symbioshare, we get that. Why? Because we ARE lawyers. But before we were lawyers, we were engineers. As lawyers, we got tired of case management resources that touted solutions, but failed to deliver. Symbioshare’s flagship product, OnPoint.Legal, is the proven result of over 4 ½ years of development and testing. As engineers, we will tell you there is nothing else like this on the market today. As lawyers, we will tell you there really is a case management solution for all those “I wish I could...” moments you’ve had sitting at your computer.

onpointlegal2OnPoint.Legal is a matter management software application designed to give attorneys complete flexibility and control in their practice’s case structure, organization and operations. OnPoint.Legal enables you to practice law in the way most beneficial to you.

 

onpointlegal3OnPoint.Legal integrates with Microsoft SharePoint Online allowing increased security, flexibility, reliability, enhanced collaboration and an experience unmatched by any other system on the market. Imagine, a software application that organizes, controls and displays key information in one simple view utilizing tools that you use every day, e.g., Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, and Internet Explorer.

At Symbioshare, we are driven to help your practice succeed in a seamless transition to the next generation information management system. OnPoint.Legal’s integration capabilities enable lawyers to keep the information most important to your practice immediately accessible regardless of your geographic location. OnPoint.Legal utilizes the strongest features of each Microsoft Office 365 application to efficiently and effectively empower law firms to manage their practice in a matter and client centric design to collaborate on projects, track deadlines, delegate or assign tasking, and route documents for review, editing, and approval.  What sets us apart is that we can help you do all of this without changing the way you want to practice law and save you money along the way.  Call and let us help you today!

Symbioshare

t: 478.254.9651

Trucking Accidents- What Type of Information is Available?

Trucking Accidents- What Type of Information is Available?

By Josh Habegger

Background:

Since National Record Retrieval is a company focused on supporting law firms for all record retrieval needs, here is a little background on myself and a few of my staff members. We spent nearly 15 years working to help keep some of the largest fleets in the U.S. compliant with Local, State, & Federal regulations.  We consulted with large national carriers to help them properly license & permit, implement safety programs, install telematics devices, and monitor their driver qualification files.  Below is just a quick glimpse of data available in a truck accident.

Information Available:

How familiar are you with DOT Safety Rules & Regulations?  Some of the largest fleets in the United States have gaping holes in their FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) compliance procedures.  It is not because they don’t care, but it is a lot of work and staying compliant is a moving target.  Motor Carriers now have a lot of great technology at their fingertips to help them stay compliant and monitor safety issues. Do you know what type of data is recorded in a trucks ECM or how much data is collected from the most simple telematics units?  In a case against a trucking company or large carrier, what do you ask for?

At any time, the DOT can audit a fleets’ Driver Qualification Files (DQFs) and those files must be produced within 48 hours, but what takes place during that those hours?  I can tell you a lot!  Make sure that you ask for all changes made from the date you request the files to when you actually receive them.  I can promise you that all companies scramble when they are facing a law suit or audit.  Trucking companies that spend a lot of time and money on their safety programs are lucky if they are 85% compliant in the DOT’s eyes. What does that tell you about the average company?  Are they 50%, 40%, or 30% compliant….many are much worse.  So if one of their drivers has been involved in an accident and you know what information to request, you are going to probably find outages in their safety program that will help your case.

What about telematics? What information is in the palm of thousands of Fleet Director’s hands and why do they continue to ignore data that would help to keep our roadways much safer as it pertains to catastrophic trucking accidents?  Is it because monitoring this information is hard work or because it can be costly, or both? Most fleets that have telematics onboard can monitor some pretty amazing things and can know whether or not a driver is operating their equipment safely.  These new technologies are nothing short of amazing.  They monitor hard brakes, excessive acceleration, sharp turns, speeding, hours of service, pre-trip inspections, etc.  So, at any given moment you can look into the drivers history and see what was going on minutes/seconds before the accident.  Even if trucks do not have telematics, as long as they are a model year 2000 or newer, you can pull much of that information form the ECM.

Make sure that you are familiar with the FMCSRs (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations) and what motivates trucking companies/carriers to comply.  Know what information you should be requesting to show the driver/carrier’s safety performance history.  No matter what the trucking company says, what you want is probably available, you just may have to dig for it.

Tip:  If you need help, don’t hesitate to contact one of our FMCSR experts.

Updating Your Law Firm’s Blog: Set a Schedule for Success

Updating Your Law Firm’s Blog: Set a Schedule for Success

By Yvette Valencia

How often should I update a blog for my law firm's website?

Whether you've been practicing law for a few months or a few decades, most attorneys know that their busy schedules don't make it easy to constantly update a blog for their law firm. The good news: that's okay. There is no set standard for how often you should update a blog on your law firm’s website. But keeping a regular schedule can help you build your audience and drive traffic.

Sometimes Less Is More When It Comes to Blog Updates

How often you should blog depends mostly on two things: your time and your ideas.

Before you set yourself on a blogging schedule, take into consideration your own time constraints. If you know you can't dedicate at least an hour to write a post a few times a week, try once a week, or every other week, or even once a month. It's better to space out your posts rather than trying to meet a tight blogging deadline.

And if you don't have a good topic to blog about, you could be sabotaging your blog by putting out boring, bland, or useless information. If you’re struggling to regularly come up with topics, a looser schedule with more time between posts can give you adequate time to create a topic or monitor relevant news that you can comment on.

Further, set yourself up for success by gathering "evergreen" topics. An "evergreen" topic is one that's relevant no matter what time you write it. These are good topics when there's no hot news in your field, ensuring you'll always have something to write about when you need to blog.

If You Create a Blogging Schedule, Stick to It

One of the biggest advantages to blogging regularly is that Google and other search engines will take notice of your site's regular updates. Google loves fresh information, which may benefit you in the search results.

Also keep in mind that blogging on a schedule creates expectations as you build an audience. Think about your favorite TV show like Game of Thrones. Fans have come to expect a new episode every week, and if the show's creators couldn't get an episode out for the week, the fans would riot.

While your law firm's blog may not have the following of Game of Thrones, it can look just as bad if your readers expect a weekly blog and you fail to deliver.

Blogging Services Are Available for Those Who Don’t Have the Time

If you want to set up a regular posting schedule but know you don't have the time or topics to support it, don't fret. We Do Web Content can set up your law firm blog with a regular schedule that drives traffic to your website. To get started, reach out to us to speak with our sales manager about all of the content services we offer for law firms.

Content Conversion for Legal Blogs

Content Conversion for Legal Blogs

How to Use Your Legal Blog Content to Convert Readers into Clients

 

By Yvette Valencia

Convert readers into new clients for your law firm by understanding what topics will draw their interest. Whether you’re a lawyer flying solo with your own single-employee law firm or a partner of a multi-attorney firm with several staff members, getting to know your customers is key to content conversion.

The first step is to pay attention to interactions between your business and your existing clients. It’s here where you can do a little investigative reporting to uncover the hot topics that really grab clients’ attention.

Ask Your Employees about Their Day-to-Day Customer Interactions

When you run a medium to large law firm, you may not find yourself meeting directly with clients as often as your legal assistants, paralegals and case representatives. However, that doesn’t mean that you should be in the dark about what’s on your clients' minds.

Make it a part of your weekly or monthly routine to meet with the staff members who have the most direct interaction with your clients and pick their brains for the latest hot topics. For example, family law attorneys in a state where the ban on gay marriage was overturned recently may see a surge in same-sex couples seeking help in preparing prenuptial agreements. Personal injury law firms in states with harsh winters may notice more slip and fall cases at shopping malls during the winter shopping months.

Your employees can keep you abreast of what kind of cases or situations are most commonly brought to your office so you can tailor your legal blog content to really get in-depth about those topics. Ask your employees to keep track of the most commonly asked questions they hear on a regular basis – these questions are excellent for bulking up your FAQ section.

Solo Attorneys: Analyze Your Customer Interactions for Content Opportunities

Attorneys with solo practices can use the same techniques to develop ideas for new blog posts. Because you are working directly with your clients, the rapport you build with them can be used to test different blog ideas. For example, if you have a good working relationship with a car accident client, see if he or she would be willing to do a short interview with you to get some information from the client’s perspective on the injury claims process.

Your client’s answers to the following questions can help you generate blogs explaining the kind of information they learned or wish they had known prior to their accident.

  • How much did you know about the injury claims process before your accident?
  • What was the most shocking thing you learned about the injury claims process?
  • What did you wish you had known about injury claims before your accident?
  • What advice would you give to someone who has just been in an accident?
  • What do you think is the biggest myth about the injury claims process?

These article ideas will fulfill a necessary role of your legal blog: It will help you write entries that answer common client questions and alleviate fears and misconceptions about their legal rights and their case. During your questioning, keep your ears open for repeated terms – these can become your keywords for your blogs.

We Do Web Content Writes the Legal Content Your Potential Clients Want

The writing team at We Do Web Content knows how to think like a potential client and write to their needs and interests to help transform readers into customers. To get started, give us a call or fill out our contact form to speak with our sales manager about all of the services we offer to help grow your business through Internet and SEO marketing: 888-521-3880.

How to Get Clients with Your Legal Blog

How to Get Clients with Your Legal Blog

By Yvette Valencia

 

“How do I attract clients to my law firm?” Attorneys ask themselves – and others – that question all the time. The answer can be pretty lengthy. Here, we’ll discuss how to get clients as an attorney by using the content of your blog. The following three steps can help you establish authority to reach out to potential clients and then influence them to take action.

Achieve a Position of Authority

Blogs that develop a following do so because the author has established a position of authority or celebrity status. As an attorney, “celebrity” is probably not the niche you want. Acting as an authoritative source will serve you better.

Establishing authority begins with dispensing information. Spread your knowledge and expertise freely; don't make people hunt or pay for content. One way to establish yourself as an authority is to write an eBook about your legal area of expertise and offer it as a free download.

If you're not the book-writing type, develop a robust FAQ section on your website to answer the most common (and not so common) questions potential clients might have. If you have an AVVO profile (and you should) spread your knowledge by contributing to its Q&A section or posting articles to its legal library.

Learn What Your Clients Want and Deliver On It

The first steps of successful content conversion are to learn what your clients want and then give it to them. Sometimes a client will walk into your office knowing she is going to hire you to represent her. Others might know they have a legal issue but might not know if they should hire a lawyer.

It’s the same with your blog or article library. Some readers will be looking for general information about a legal topic. After reading your content, they may realize they should contact you for legal consultation. Others will come right to your website looking to set up a consultation with you.

Address both readers. Write general content about legal topics for readers not yet looking to hire you. And write content geared towards\ readers who know they need to hire a lawyer. But how do you know which topics to address?

Your own experience addressing clients’ concerns could help. Brainstorm some topics and questions you address a lot. Keyword research can also be valuable for learning what potential clients are searching for on the Internet. Tools like SEMRush can tell you how popular certain keywords are or tell you what keywords are associated with your site and competitor sites.

Make sure you have Google Analytics activated on your site as well; the queries tool can give you a lot of insight on what search queries bring the most users to your website.

Once you have some topic ideas generated, build up your blog with quality posts on those topics. Make sure you're using blogging best practices.

  • Keep entries between 400 and 600 words
  • Use diverse keywords and synonyms
  • End with a strong call to action

Influence Readers to Take Action

A strong call to action is a statement near the end of a blog post that tells your reader exactly the action step needed to solve his or her problem. Your call to action might encourage the reader to contact your law firm. A less direct approach is to invite the reader to learn more by reading other posts on your blog or downloading your eBook.

If coming up with all this content seems daunting, don't fret! We Do Web Content specializes in online marketing for lawyers and other professionals. We produce top quality, unique legal content for law firms across the nation. Just fill out our contact form and we'll reach out to you to discuss a custom content plan to draw readers to your website and convert them into clients. You can also call us at 888-521-3880.