How to Start Your Law Blog

Law Blog

Blogging has been around for quite a while but it feels like it’s starting to gain more traction all over again. If you haven’t jumped on the blogging train yet, you’ve probably at least read your fair share of blogs. I mean, you are reading this one right now, right?

Blogs can be many things, from a recipe source to a guide on the latest fashions. When done properly, they are a hot resource for quick and digestible information.

So why should you consider starting one as a lawyer?

Blogs make you visible.

By starting a law blog, not only are you getting yourself out there to provide value to your potential clients, you’re boosting your website’s presence on Google – the king of search engines.

But why should I provide value to my potential clients for free?

By giving value to your potential clients for free, you’re allowing them to get to know, like, and trust you. They can then implement a tip you’ve given and say, “Oh hey, that attorney’s advice worked for me!” which will keep them coming back for more.

How does blogging help me get visible on Google?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) boosts your website by pulling keywords from your website’s text and listing your site pages under relevant keyword searches. If you blog about fighting speeding tickets in Minneapolis, your post will appear in searches that people make about how to fight a speeding ticket in Minneapolis.

How to start your law blog:

  1. Start with your website. Which platform do you use? With WordPress, it is insanely easy to start your blog because it is likely already built into your theme. You’ll simply create “Posts” when you’re ready to make a new blog entry. If you notice that your posts don’t look nicely formatted, you may want to speak with your developer to set that up. If you used a ready-made theme to set up your website, this should not be a problem as blog post formats are built into most themes. Also, be sure that your website’s menu shows your blog page so people can find it easily when they visit your site. Don’t have a website yet? You need to create one! This is your best tool for finding clients and a necessity for your law blog.
  2. Get to writing! You have all kinds of knowledge and experience. Share it! Writing blog posts doesn’t have to be excruciating. Make a list of topics you want to cover, pick one, and start vomiting every thought you have about it onto your keyboard. Editing can happen later – just get your thoughts onto the screen!
  3. Look at your formatting. Do you have photos in your post? What about headers and other formatted text to break things up? You do not want your posts to look intimidating to read – people will skip right over them. Bold your keywords, add relevant photos (be sure to add a Featured Photo, too!), and break your lines up so that the content is skimmable.
  4. Check on your SEO. Your blog is most useful in attracting potential clients when it can be easily found, right? Make sure to use relevant keywords throughout your post, add inbound/outbound links, and keep your text easy to follow. For added help, you can download the Yoast plugin to your WordPress site and it will guide you in best practices that will help boost you in search results on Google.
  5. Launch your blog! Now that you’ve written, formatted, and SEO-ified your first post, it’s time to launch! You don’t need a lot of content on your blog before going public with it. Get eyes on your content right away and if they like what you’ve written, it will keep them coming back for more. To do so, announce your blog on your firm’s social platforms, LinkedIn, and even your personal platforms. Encourage your followers to like and share.
  6. Keep it up. Don’t write one post and bail on your blog. Your website loves the boost of content & the added keyword searches you’ll show up in, plus your potential clients are hungry for your knowledge. Stick to a schedule and continue pumping out the value that people are searching for.

Now go for it!

Hopefully this information has given you the gusto to actually start your law blog and give your potential clients some insight into what you’re knowledgable on. So now that you’ve read what you need to do, it’s time to actually do it! Sit down at your computer and let the (word) vomit fly.

Do you currently have a law blog? What are your favorite topics to cover in it? Let us know.

Social Media: Content is King!

 

Mastering the art of social media can be tricky, especially when you’re not sure what to be posting. What should we be sharing? How do we keep our customers engaged? These are the questions that can keep a person up at night!

Well…. maybe not that extreme, but it can be stressful trying to run successful business and your social media accounts.

5 Things You Should Do When Posting

Check out these quick tips for posting good social media content:

  • Post information that you think is valuable to your customers. In order to do that you must know and understand your customers. Who are they? What are their demographics? Why are they following you? Don’t be afraid to ask them directly what kind of content they want to see more of!
  • Share posts with a variety of information. Share articles you were featured in, press releases, or links to your blog posts. Also post articles you find interesting, videos, photos, or stories. Stay engaged and be willing to branch out on your topics.
  • Try not to over post or under post. This is a fine line to walk, and it’s all about balance.
  • Prepare a social media content calendar. Planning will prevent the day to day stress of trying to figure out something to post so you can focus more time on the quality of your content.
  • Begin or end your posts with questions. This will get your followers engaged and potentially generate comments. Which will further help you learn more about your customers/ followers.

Social media doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating. It’s just another tool at our disposal to network and market. Offer content that you yourself would want to read.

Most importantly, have fun with it and keep it interesting!

Back Office Betties

Your Social Media Accounts

Personal vs. professional social media accounts… how do we navigate managing all of our profiles!? The answer… very carefully. On our professional accounts we carefully choose the pictures we post, we write and rewrite captions, and we make sure what we share aligns with our company morals and values. If you think your personal profiles should be treated any differently, you’re wrong.

Even though your personal social media account may serve a different purpose – staying in touch with family, friends, etc.; it is still a reflection of you and your business.  People want to connect to others and create value in their relationships, this includes business as well.  Trust value is a big component of consumers.  According to Edelman Trust Barometer, 63% of people agree with this statement: “A good reputation may get me to try a product—but unless I come to trust the company behind the product I will soon stop buying it, regardless of its reputation.”   And it doesn’t just stop at the company level.  Consumers are more likely to do their research on people within companies due to the unlimited access of information they have at their fingertips.

Social Media Tips

The following are a few tips for how you can avoid damaging your image via social media:

  • When it comes to supporting causes, the more controversial it is, the more conflict-ridden it will be. We’re not saying to never support a controversial cause, but beware that it may impact business, even if it is only on personal social media accounts.
  • Avoid sharing any snaps that are inappropriate and may involve alcohol, nudity, or profanity. It tends to not land well with customers.
  • Try not to post too much. Posting several times a day is annoying and comes off like you have nothing else going on. This goes for your personal AND professional accounts.

As your business thrives, there will be an eye on you within your social media platforms.  It’s important to keep your content light, fun, but still professional and appropriate.

Back Office Betties

Building Your Audience Through Social Media

Learning how to grow your social media presence can be kind of a mystery, especially when running your business social media isn’t your main job… running your business is! Regardless of how intimidating it may appear, it’s important to be working towards continually building your social media audiences. Should it be your main goal in life? Of course not. But it can be a huge factor in growing your business, and it’s free to use it! So why not utilize it?

Quick Tips for Building an Audience

The following are a few sweet and simple ways you can expand your social media presence and start growing your followers:

  • Use hashtags. This is especially helpful for Instagram! And not just two or three, go for at minimum 10, and put them in the comments to make them less obnoxious to your followers.
  • Add links to your profiles. This could be links to anything- your website, a cause you are supporting, an article your brand was featured in, etc. Any link that shares a little more about your brand and your values is what you want to be sharing.
  • Have consistent visual branding. What’s your brand aesthetic? What vibe are you trying to send? Be consistent so your audience understands what you are all about. Plus, consistent visual branding is just attractive to the eye. You audience will also remember you.
  • Run a giveaway! This is a great way to spread the word about your brand. Something as simple as “To enter this giveaway follow us and tag two friends in the comments” is going to get people excited about you and really expand your audience.
  • Reply to comments on your pictures and messages. Get to know your followers, don’t be afraid or hesitant to engage with them! This also sends the message to your followers that you care about them and that you are listening.

Start with Basics

Obviously, there are a ton of ways you can analyze your social media accounts by reviewing data, apps, and analytics to understand what you can be doing better.  But when you are a small business owner, just start with the basics! It doesn’t always have to be a science, sometimes it just involves putting in a bit more effort and engaging your audience a little more.

Don’t be afraid of social media, it is nothing more than another tool to grow your brand and interact with others.

What Are You Bad At?

Despite the things you may have heard, it is in fact okay for your firm to be bad at things. There is no such thing as perfection.  However, there is such thing as niche expertise, and that is where you should strive to be. For example, if you are focused on your clientele and you should have a strong understanding of your ‘dream’ client – the more you will be able to meet his/her needs.

What Walmart Knows…

Let’s use an example like the store Walmart for instance. Walmart knows exactly who they are catering to, and they are offering exactly what their customer base wants- affordable grocery and retail products.  It’s not a glamorous, upscale shopping experience…. and for them it doesn’t have to be!  If Walmart wanted to become a high-end retailer, they would not be able to do that and keep their prices low.  They cater to the budget-conscious consumer and are ok not serving the higher-end retail customer.  They have embraced their strengths, and they are dominating their niche because of it.

Our Niche

At Back Office Betties, we are a prime example as well!  Our ‘dream’ clients are small law firms.  We can provide a very specialized service to attorneys that need a virtual receptionist.  Lawyers want to help their clients win cases and they cannot focus on what’s important if they are constantly answering the phone.  We are the team that stands behind the scenes and takes care of phone tasks with our professional legal receptionists.  Because we identify what we are best at, we provide unparalleled service in our industry!

Find Your Niche

As you decide to develop you niche further, find out what your bad at first and eliminate that.  Then focus on what your firm is good at. What is your niche? Who is your dream client?  Just remember, you don’t need to please everyone!

What Makes You Different?

In order to be the obvious choice among your competitors there are a few things to consider.  Many law firms struggle with how to successfully stand out because they are competing with firms that offer the same services.  However, there are many ways you can break the status quo and offer one of a kind services to your clients.

Quick Tips

The following steps are the best way law firms can really connect to their clientele and increase client bookings:

Know your customer: Have a firm grasp of who your ideal client is (wants, needs, and expectations) and have tailored services for that person. Naturally, if you build your services around your dream client you will start attracting more of that client.

Identify your niche: What is your firm best at? Oppositely, where are your weak spots? Instead of getting hung up on perfection, focus on the areas you are good at and let go of some of the weak spots and those areas that aren’t in demand with your ideal client.

Meet their needs: Now that you know your dream client, identify their unmet needs and address them in the services you offer.

Build a team: Build a team that is a great culture fit for you and your firm. It’s imperative they understand your goals, needs, and that they work hard to make the firm reach its best potential.

Don’t be afraid to step outside of the box and really explore how you could be better serving your clients. These principles will make a world of difference for your firm and greatly improve your relationships with your clients.

 

If you are looking for a more in-depth analysis of each of these principles and how you can apply them then check out the Back Office Betties eBook  Stand Out: How to Be the Obvious Choice.

G.O.A.T.

When it comes to customer service, who better to learn from than the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) in customer service!  If you want to improve the customer service of your company, look to imitate brands that offer the customer experience you wish to provide. Whether it be the GOAT of Hospitality Horst Schulz of the Ritz Carlton or the GOAT of Culture Tony Hsieh of Zappos; there are so many great entrepreneurs who have paved the way for excellent customer service for us to follow. The best way to start is by identifying where your weak spots are as a company and figure out how you can begin improving upon them using other companies who are successful in these areas as molds.

Superior Service

Here are some basic things that the GOATs are doing to make their customer experiences superior:

 

  • Having a core commitment to your employees and your customers. If you make the focus of your company to create an environment of belonging and purpose, then employees can deliver superior customer service. Horst Schulz has created a process called, “Continuous Process Improvement” which has become highly effective and duplicated with many companies.

 

 

  • Making personal customer service interactions an easy option. Truett Cathy, GOAT of Fast Food, goes by the philosophy that customers are always wanting someone who is reliable and will take care of their needs.

 

 

 

 

  • Hiring people who care about customer service and company values. Tony Hsieh, GOAT of Culture, focuses on investing back into customer experience.  Rather than spending on paid advertising, he believes that the customer will do the marketing for them if they have supplied amazing customer experience.

 

 

 

  • Predicting you customer’s needs. If your goal is to really learn your customer, pay attention to them and their needs. GOAT of Customer Experience, John DiJulius, believes that customer experiences are built on the ability to recognize opportunities to exceed customers’ expectations regardless of the circumstances.

 

Of course, there are so many different customer service strategies you can steal from the GOATs out there, so it us up to you to know where you need the most improvement.  Customer experience is on trend and now is the time to refine your philosophy within your company.

Methods To Gain Client Trust

When it comes to marketing, it seems the most unorthodox methods grab the attention of clients the most. That is why you and your firm should explore using video and client workshops to market your services. Lawyering requires excellent interpersonal communication skills, so it only makes sense to use workshops and videos to showcase your persuasive skills. Furthermore, videos allow complex information to be explained simply and quickly.

Deciding On Content

Deciding your video content and workshop topics depends on the type of services you offer. For example, family law firms could offer workshops educating potential clients about estate planning, how to avoid commonly made mistakes, and answer client questions. That same firm could also offer videos on their website answering frequently asked questions, unscripted testimonials, interviews with experts, and anything that they think will fulfill a need of their prospective client demographic.

What To Keep In Mind

When forming videos and workshop classes it is important to keep a few things in mind:

  • Keep it short and simple. When it comes to explaining complex concepts, speak in laymen terms, and keep it brief. The point of workshops and videos is to inform, not add to the confusion.

 

  • Be unique! You are trying to outshine your competitors and grab the attention of prospective clients so don’t be afraid to be bold.

 

  • Be relevant. Make sure you are staying relevant with your video and workshop content. As stated before, make sure the information you are offering is fulfilling needs of potential clients.

Create Trust & Credibility

Sharing your personality in this way can feel vulnerable but it is also one of the best ways to deliver ideas with authority and emotional impact!  Give your future clients a sneak peek inside your law firm and show them the personalities of you and your staff.  By showing them a little more about the firm, you are creating a sense of loyalty and credibility on your expertise.

Be a trail blazer and embrace informative videos and workshops before they become something every law firm offers. Use this as a tool to connect with potential clients and help them to see why your law firm is different.

How Does Net Promoter Score (NPS) Work

If you aren’t familiar with Net Promoter Score (NPS), this powerful and SIMPLE metric is a proven way to gauge client satisfaction, the likelihood of them returning to your law office in their next time of need, and most importantly their potential to refer new clients. By using this fast, 1 question survey, firms quickly categorize their clients as Detractors, Passives, and Promoters.

We recommend you avoid making any survey data collected anonymous. At first it may sound good, and perhaps it may bring more responses, but in the long run, it makes the information less actionable. By ensuring the data is tied to a specific client you have given your firm the opportunity to close the loop by reaching out to detractors and finding out what went wrong. Maybe there was a misunderstanding about billing or a bump in the road that could have been avoided. If you don’t take the opportunity to reach out to detractors, you lose the ability to convert them to passives or promoters.

Activate your Promoters! Once you know who they are put them to action by reminding them you appreciate their trust, remind them you are at their side the next time you are needed, perhaps plant the seed that you would love to serve their friends and family. This is your chance to push for referrals in a non-threatening way.

If you use firm management software like Clio, you can easily add a field to track your new information. PS…word on the street is Clio just announced the addition of an NPS tool at the Clio Cloud Conference.

For tips on how to boost your net promoter score, check out this blog post.

Marketing: Get Creative!

It is no secret that marketing can greatly increase a firm’s clientele base and number of new leads. However, discovering the right marketing strategies for your firm can be challenging. The best way to get your firm out there and be seen is to get creative with your marketing techniques, and to not be afraid of new options.

To help you and your firm, here is a list of bold marketing techniques to get the creative juices flowing:

Mastermind Group

Host or join an attorney mastermind group. A mastermind group is a peer-to-peer mentoring group designed to help business professionals discuss new ideas and problem solve. Mastermind groups will increase your network, allow you to collaborate with others, and allow group members to cross promote which can help increase the number client referrals.

Drip Marketing Campaign

Start a drip marketing campaign. Drip marketing is essentially automated emails that go out based on specific timelines or user actions. They will help you keep in touch with potential clients who are currently disengaged. And according to research, they work! It has been found that “targeted emails produce 18-times more revenue than globally broadcasted ones.”

Informational Videos

Post informational videos on your social media accounts and website. The American Bar Association recommends:  discussing your services, to what you can do to help potential clients in certain situations, to how-to videos. This is your chance to exercise some creative license and stand out among your competition.

Start A Blog

The more exposure you can get the likelier you are to reach new demographics.  Being able to share your expertise will help potential clients learn more about you and what you have to offer.

Find What Works

Do not pressure yourself into utilizing every marketing tool available. Pick one or two that you think will be implemented well based on your firm’s needs, and see how they work. Monitor their effectivity and go from there. It may take a few stumbles to find the best marketing tool for your firm, but from that point forward you will get to the reap the benefits of your research and dedication. So don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and put your firm out there!