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How to Have a Stress-Free Holiday Season Without Losing Business

Stress Free Holiday Season

The holidays are a joyous time to spend with your family. Whether that means intimate time with only your immediate family or an elaborate gathering of the entire extended crew, you want to be present and enjoy yourself, right? As an in-demand attorney with cases that don’t wait and callers who don’t quit, it may be hard to get that time away that you (and your family) crave. So what do you do?

Automate Everything in Your Law Firm That You Can

The key to being able to step away from your firm when you need a well-deserved break is automation! When I say automate your law firm, I don’t mean that you need to have a robot set up to push buttons and auto-reply emails. Automation is simply having a system in place that allows you to not have to continuously do the work. This can mean robots, or it can also be a system that triggers humans to act on a task.

What Can I Automate in My Firm During the Holidays?

The answer to this one is easy! Any and everything. Whether it’s having your emails answered, your phones picked up, appointments scheduled, forms filled out, the office cleaned, payments processed…set it and forget it. At least, until the holidays are over and your family is ready to send you back to the office!

Automation doesn’t have to stop with the holidays, however. So many tools are meant for long term use and can help you to save time and make more money all year round. If your family wants to see more of you all year, make it possible by investing in systems that allow you to focus on the work that only you can do. Support work doesn’t have to be your job, too.

Our Favorite Tools to Automate Your Law Firm


The following list is not a complete list of what’s available to you when looking to automate your law firm, but it is definitely a great start. We chose some of our favorite ways to help you relax a little more and get some quality time in with the family. So long to being glued to your desk during the holidays – unless that’s where you prefer to be!

Robot at computer

Client Facing Tools

Clio Grow – Your very first step to automation is going to be investing in a software that handles your clients and their information. Starting out with a CRM like Clio Grow will set you up on a path to success (and a whole lot less paper shuffling). CRMs such as this one manage your clients from intake to court. This allows for a one-time setup of tasks and required paperwork, then every new piece of information will trigger the next step. The steps can function on their own with templates or you can assign certain parts to different members of your team, such as the initial phone conversation.

The biggest benefit to an automated system such as Clio Grow is that you can automate all of your client forms. Need them to fill out an intake form? Clio Grow will send them their customized form at the click of the button, then trigger the next actions after they return it. Fee agreements? Clio Grow starts with a template and inputs all of the required information based on case type and client intake forms, then will send it out on your behalf. Once signed, the client can send it back and trigger the next step in your process.

Zendesk or Freshdesk- Communication is an important part of your clients’ experience. You want them to know you understand their problem and you are working to fix it. Clearly going dark over the holidays isn’t going to work – your clients may riot. Instead, manage all communications in a platform such as Zendesk or Freshdesk that allows all emails, social media, and chat to be located in the same place. You can set up templates that reply to specific questions and automatically assign specific inquiries and communications to other team members.

Scheduling Tools

Acuity – Scheduling can be a nightmare with lots of back and forth emails trying to match up your availability to your clients’. Remove all of that with Acuity and in turn, gain some freedom. You can adjust your availability 24/7 and only show your clients the calendars you want them to see. Acuity also helps with client intake as you can set specific questions they must answer at booking – no follow-up call needed. Acuity will also automatically add your scheduled client’s appointment to all of your calendars and will allow them to pay any fees right then and there.

Social Media Tools

Facebook Publishing Tools – If you regularly post on social media to keep client traffic up, schedule all of your posts! This is an amazing way to free up time ALL of the time, not just over the holidays. When you sit down and create a calendar of content to post (which you should be doing for ultimate productivity), add on half an hour or delegate an assistant to schedule them. Yet another set it and forget it – and an easy one at that!

Postfity – Along the same lines as Facebook scheduling, Postfity is a tool that allows you to schedule LinkedIn posts. It’s free and easy to use – link your account and schedule out your next few weeks’ worth of content. While Postfity does not work to post articles, you can write and draft all of your upcoming articles in LinkedIn, then hit publish when you’re ready. LinkedIn is a hot marketing tool for professionals so if you’re not using it yet, be sure to start!

Do It All Tools (Plus Easy Setup)

Back Office Betties – You already know we have to toot our own horn here – we are the ultimate vacation tool. There are no contracts so you are free to utilize us as you please, even if that means just for the holidays. Our Client Concierge walks you through a seamless process that keeps you free to enjoy your yams and pecan pie. We’re known for answering the phones, sure, but did you know that we also offer Virtual Assistant services and scheduling? Think of the Betties as your team that can be there, even when your firm is closed. Every message will be waiting for you, appointments scheduled, and intakes done. We can even accept payments and make case update calls to your clients. Step in and out of your firm like you own the place. Hint: you do ;)!

Unsure if Back Office Betties can really take that much off your plate? Give us a try for 7 days – FREE. No gimmick, no credit cards. Just allow us the pleasure of helping you help your clients, even if it’s while you sit on your couch.

 

The 11 Best Ways to Market Your Law Firm for Free

You’ve started your law firm, you have a couple of clients (but they’re not coming in consistently yet), and your marketing budget is almost nonexistent. You know you need to market yourself and get your firm out there but the question is, “How?”.

We’ve organized a list of the top ways to market your firm completely for free.

 

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great option to prove to your potential clients that you are the real deal and show them just what you offer. By creating an opt-in, or lead magnet, you can build a list of people who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer. As long as your lead magnet is something that is relevant to your law firm, this is a great way to show your expertise on the matters they really care about and grow a list of potential clients that you have full control over. The key to email marketing is to be consistent and always provide valuable content that engages the reader and leaves them wanting more.

Social Media Marketing

Marketing yourself on social media is a free, organic way to expose yourself to people who haven’t signed up for your email list yet. Utilizing relevant hashtags and posting engaging content that provides value are the two best ways to boost yourself up on social media. The more that your potential clients engage with and/or share your content, the more important it seems to the social media algorithms and allows you to reach more people.

Ask for Referrals

If your clients are telling you that they love your work or that you have helped them in some way, encourage them to refer you! There is no shame in this – they already love what you’re providing them! You can also create a small offering or discount to those that refer you to new clients.

Start a Blog

Starting a blog is beneficial in many ways. One, it proves that you are an expert in your field if you provide value in your posts. Blogs are often turned to for advice and people love a good list post! Two, blogging helps boost your website’s rankings in Google searches by adding more content and keywords that you can rank for. If you aren’t familiar with SEO, read up on it and learn the basics of ranking for keywords in Google searches.

Utilize LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the professional social media. Networking here is certain to find your connections that will better your law firm – even if those connections aren’t your ideal client. Everyone knows someone and the more you network, the more likely it is that you will find clients through those connections. People that are on LinkedIn are looking for those connections, so it’s not like you’re spamming your family and friends on a personal social media page. Add valuable content here (this can be recycled from other sources) and engage with others to build your network and find your ideal clients.

Encourage UGC

UGC, or User Generated Content, is great to encourage similar to encouraging referrals. The difference is, these are posts made by clients who love your services and genuinely want to brag about you. You can encourage this by sharing the UGC with your social media following and asking for others to share their own story about the work you’ve done for them. UGC is a really valuable marketing tool because people love to see genuine reviews and are more likely to hire you if you have them.

Utilize Influencers

Bloggers in your niche need content and you need eyes on your content. Collaborate with influencers to either guest post on their blog (you write the content) or provide them a service and ask for an honest review post written about it (they write the content). This is a really great way to get yourself in front of a new audience!

Contribute to Forums and Facebook Groups for Your Niche

Facebook is full of groups. You can find a group for just about anything, including your legal niche. Business groups or local networking groups are other great options to focus on. Joining these groups and staying active through engagement on others’ posts and posting yourself is yet another way to position yourself as an expert, provide value, and encourage new eyes to check you out. Steer clear of groups that encourage spamming, though, because you won’t find value and people are too busy promoting themselves to even care about what you post.

Add Your Business to Web Directories

Does your city have a directory of local law firms? Get yourself on it! Find a site that lists out law firms in your niche? Get yourself on it! People often turn to lists and directories to help them find what they’re looking for. They can’t find you if you’re not on those lists!

Videos

If you’re comfortable in front of the camera, videos are a great way to build the Know, Like, Trust factor of yourself and your law firm. People love to watch a quick tutorial video or a snippet into your behind the scenes. You can upload these to YouTube or simply add them to your social media for a quick way to make yourself stand out.

Be a Guest on Podcasts

How often do you listen to podcasts? We love podcasts here at Back Office Betties (check ours out here!) and listen to them regularly. Our favorite podcasts to listen to are interviews with experts who provide a little bit of value to the host’s listeners. You can truly gain so much knowledge and expose yourself to some really fabulous experts by listening! We highly recommend that you get yourself on a podcast to share what you’re good at and offer advice to the host’s audience. This exposes you to a whole new pool of people and allows them to connect with you if they want to learn more about your firm or services.

Do you use any of these free marketing tools for your law firm?

Agree with our list or have something to add?

Find us on Facebook and 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.