Spotlight Branding - May 2020

MAY 2020 (800)-406-7229 SpotlightBranding.com

ARE YOU MISSING OUT ON EASY MONEY? HOW THE RIGHT CONTENT STRATEGY Creates More Re ferra ls

In last month’s newsletter, I wrote a big article about content called “Don’t Stop Feeding the Beast.” If you missed it, basically my point was that in today’s fast-paced digital world, people are consuming content faster than you can possibly produce it, so you should put as many articles, videos, and social media posts out there as you can. I was planning for that article to be a one-off, but it got such a great response from our readers that I’ve decided to do a deeper dive into content for the next few months! This month, I’m going to tackle an aspect of content that I think a lot of lawyers don’t recognize: its power to generate referrals. Referrals are the bread and butter of the legal field, and I’m sure you get a bunch of them, but you’re probably missing out on more than you realize. I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating: According to a study conducted by Texas Tech University, law firms are only getting about one-third of the referrals they should be. The study found that, on average, 83% of satisfied clients are willing to make referrals, but of those, only 29% actually do it. That means that out of all of the clients who are willing to refer you, only 1 in 3 actually takes the leap.

A great content strategy can help you solve that problem! By putting out the right content and leveraging it correctly, I’ve seen law firms increase and even double their referrals. Here’s why it works:

“BY PUTTING OUT THE RIGHT CONTENT AND LEVERAGING IT CORRECTLY, I’VE SEEN LAW FIRMS INCREASE AND EVEN DOUBLE THEIR REFERRALS.”

CONSISTENT CONTENT KEEPS YOUR FIRM TOP OF MIND.

One of the biggest reasons lawyers miss out on referrals is that they aren’t consistently staying in touch with their past clients and referral partners. Have you ever wondered why I send the newsletter you have in your hands right now? Well, it’s just one of many ways I stay in touch — and that same strategy can work for you. Your method of reaching out doesn’t need to be a newsletter. Social media, for example, was designed specifically for this purpose! Sure, you can use it to reach out to new people, but first and foremost, you should use it to keep in touch with your existing network. Every piece of content you share via social media, email, or print is a touchpoint that reminds your clients who you are and what you do, making themmore likely to think of you when it’s referral time. EDUCATIONAL CONTENT POSITIONS YOU AS AN EXPERT AND THE GO-TO LAWYER IN YOUR FIELD. To really maximize your referrals, you need to focus not only on whom your content is for, but what it’s saying about you. The content you put out should be focused specifically on the type of work you do and aim to answer common questions your clients have. In this case, being entertaining isn’t nearly as important as being informative. You can share

information on cases you’ve won, for example, or updates on changes to the law in your practice areas. You can provide commentary, insights, and practical guidance in a variety of ways on your area of law, and you should take advantage of all of them! If your content is relevant to your services, even a quick title scan should remind readers of what to refer you for. Your old clients are a lot more likely to remember that you do estate planning if they see an email about it in their inbox, and that will make it easier for the lightbulb to go off in their head when a family member, friend, or colleague needs help with it. On top of reminding readers what you do so that they know whom to point your way, educational content positions you as the expert in your field. If you’re sharing knowledge, people will perceive you as knowledgeable, and every social media post, website blog, and email newsletter will remind them of it. That’s it! Increasing your referrals really is that simple. For some simple tips on creating great content that checks both boxes, flip to Pg. 2. –Marc Cerniglia

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THE SECRET TO STRESS-FREE CONTENT CREATION WRITE AN EFFECTIVE BLOG POST IN JUST 5 STEPS

3. FLESH OUT YOUR OUTLINE POINT BY POINT. To create the body of your article, simply turn each of your main points into a paragraph. As you do this, remember that you’re not writing for a law school textbook! Aim for generic, practical advice and basic tips. That way you’ll avoid confusing your readers and keep your content evergreen. 4. ADD AN INTRODUCTION AND CONCLUSION. That’s right, this is just like what you learned in school. In your introduction, make sure you include something interesting or important to hook the reader, and don’t forget to plug your firm in the conclusion.

Writing blog posts can be daunting, which is why so many lawyers hire third-party vendors like us to do it for them. That said, we’re ready to let you in on a little secret: Writing blog posts really isn’t that difficult. Seriously! You’re more than welcome to hire us to create your content, but if you want to try it yourself, here’s our foolproof formula:

about and what you do. If you can add a little sparkle, too, even better.

There you go — that’s our secret recipe! Now, go out and win those referrals .

1. CHOOSE A TOPIC.

First thing’s first: Decide what to write about. If you’re struggling, think about the questions your clients ask you on a regular basis or the challenges they face, and list out the answers/solutions. You now have a list of topics! Pick one and move on to step 2.

2. CREATE A SHORT OUTLINE.

5. TITLE THAT BEAUTY!

To map out your blog post, choose 2–4 main points you’d like to make about the topic you picked and write them down. If you’re unsure, imagine you’re having a conversation with a client about the topic at hand. What are the most important things you’d want them to know?

In today’s world, there’s a lot of pressure to come up with creative, witty titles, but in our experience, the best titles for law firm content are straightforward and to the point. You want a reader to glance at your title and know immediately both what the article is

SUCCESS STORY

Last month, we introduced you to Brett Trembly, a business attorney in Miami, Florida. We told you how Brett got started on his legal journey and how things have improved for Brett since working with us. But first, a quick story:

A few years ago, Brett was on an airplane flying back to Miami. By then, he had a solid referral marketing system in place, but Brett was still taking every opportunity he could to network. He was seated beside another man who, after a brief conversation, he found out was a small- business owner in Miami. Brett told the man that he was an attorney who helped business owners like him and got his contact information. After the plane landed, the two went their separate ways. End of story, right? Wrong. Brett put the man’s contact information into his marketing system and started sending him a monthly e-newsletter. Three years later, that man reached out asking for help. He had been receiving Brett’s newsletter and the time had finally come when he needed some legal guidance. Had Brett never asked for the man’s

contact information on that plane ride, he never would have received his business. How much business are you missing out on because you aren’t getting people’s information each chance you get?

Because of Brett’s hard work and the partnership he’s created with Spotlight

Branding, Brett has increased his revenue by 50% each year. His case value has quadrupled in the past three years, and his cost of acquisition has decreased by 50% over the last two years. Lastly, he’s gone from being a true solo operation to having eight associate attorneys and nine support staff members at his firm. We are extremely proud of Brett and the job he’s done to grow his firm. He is a shining example of what we want to help achieve for all our clients!

WANT MORE REFERRALS AND BETTER CLIENTS? Visit SpotlightBranding.com/NL to schedule a call!

More Referrals. Better Clients. Higher ROI.

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DON’T BE AFRAID TO WALK AWAY FROM SEO THE WORLD WON’T END IF YOU LEAVE THE GOOGLE GAME

If you’ve looked into other marketing companies, then you’ve probably come across at least a dozen pitches, offers, and packages that either focus on SEO or have it as a line item. Everyone promises that they’ll “do SEO” for you, and the absolute ubiquity of the offers can make it seem necessary. But what does “doing SEO” even mean, and is it really a make-or-break thing for your firm? Honestly, there’s no clear-cut definition of what “doing SEO” means. Those companies could be offering to add a few keywords to your blog posts that might trip Google’s algorithms, or they could be preparing to gear up for a full- on backlinking campaign — and there’s a huge difference between those two options. In our experience, only the latter version of SEO is worth doing at all, but you don’t have to do either version to run a successful law firm. That’s the truth most marketers won’t tell you: The world won’t end if you just … let SEO go.

SEO effort, the boost you get will likely only take you from Pg. 10 of the search results to Pg. 5 — which is really no difference at all. (Keep in mind that regardless of whether you make any SEO effort, as long as you have a website, people actually looking for your firm will find you on Google just fine.) In our experience, you’re better off letting go of SEO completely than playing the game halfway. That’s because while basic SEO does have some benefits, it doesn’t actually produce ROI. With that in mind, we recommend to our clients that unless they’re prepared to go all-in, they’re better off reallocating the money and time they’re spending on SEO to other things. We also don’t talk about SEO, or label anything we do as SEO, because 99.9% of the time, it’s a losing proposition. We create content to engage and impress people, not algorithms — and it works. If you’ve been too afraid to walk away from SEO, take this article as a sign: Let it go! To learn more about our SEO- free services, visit SpotlightBranding.com/NL.

Yes, catering to SEO will raise your Google rankings. However, unless you’re engaged in an aggressive, all-out

FEATURED EPISODE THE VERY BEST EPISODES OF THE LAW FIRM MARKETING MINUTE PODCAST

RESOURCE OF THE MONTH

A FREE (AND GREAT!) WORD PROCESSOR DITCH “PAGES” AND “WORD” FOR SOMETHING BETTER!

If you’re looking for more great resources to drive your business forward, take a look at this episode from our industry-leading podcast – The Law Firm Marketing Minute. “GIVING AWAY THE SECRETS PART 1: HOW TO BUILD YOUR WEBSITE THE RIGHT WAY” – LFMM 300 We recently celebrated the release of our 200th episode! As our gift to our listeners, we’re giving away our secrets, starting with how to build your law firm website the right way. If you want More Referrals, Better Clients, and Higher ROI on all your marketing, call us today at 800-406-7229 to schedule a consultation!

Why pay over $100 for a license to use Microsoft Word when there’s a free word processor out there that has just as much functionality, if not more, and is easier to use? That’s Google Docs. Google has taken everything you’ve come to rely on with Word (and Pages, if you’re a Mac user) and put it into an easy-to-use application. Google Docs has a similar look and feel to Microsoft Word and even allows you to save your documents in a Word, Pages, or PDF format if you need to send something on a specific platform. However, Google’s sharing settings allow total collaboration, so all people need is a Google email address and they can view and edit documents you send them. If you’re a client of ours, you know that we use Google Docs to send your monthly content. We also use them to write website copy and for other internal reports. It’s an easy-to-use tool that can streamline your own internal processes!

Listen to this episode and find even more at LawFirmMarketingMinute.com and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

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THIS ISSUE INSIDE

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The Key to Boosting Your Referrals

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Write an Effective Blog Post in Just 5 Steps

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Brett’s Success Story

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Learn to Let Go of SEO

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A Free (and Great!) Word Processor

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How Your Vibes Affect Your Business

ARE YOU VIBING WITH YOUR BUSINESS? BOOST YOUR COMPANY’S CULTURE WITH ‘FIVE FREQUENCIES’

If you dive deep into the tactics of successful businesses and startups, a common thread among them is that culture reigns supreme. More and more value is placed on fostering an uplifting atmosphere for employees, which allows them to generate better business. The general consensus says great culture is built over time and can take many tries in an attempt to get it “just right.” But one book suggests that you might not need to look very far to pinpoint the biggest influence behind company culture. In “Five Frequencies: Leadership Signals That Turn Culture Into Competitive Advantage,” a team of four authors compile their years of extensive experience working with companies to execute cohesive strategies for building effective culture. Jeff Grimshaw, Tanya Mann, Lynne Viscio, and Jennifer Landis have

witnessed company cultures of every type be successful and fail. They concluded that culture doesn’t cultivate from the many but, rather, is affected by the few. In this case, the few are the leaders of the business. The authors assert that leaders are, at every moment, transmitting signals to their team, whether intentionally or not. Teams take cues from those who lead them, so if leaders aren’t dialed into the frequencies they’re giving off, they could be transmitting troublesome signals. Instead, leaders should always be dialed into their “vibes” and be particularly aware of five specific frequencies:

4. 5.

The way they show up informally

How they compose formal communications

“Five Frequencies” illustrates how correctly tuning into these frequencies can give leaders the tools they need to make bad culture good and good culture great. Full of tried-and-true examples from real companies around the globe, this guide proves that culture is not something tangible you can hold, nor is it a procedural element you can simply implement. It’s something people feel, and it’s built and explained by the behaviors that surround it. This means it can be difficult to manage, measure, and, most importantly, change. But if leaders take the time to look at themselves and the actions they exemplify, they’ll have a solid foundation to start.

1. 2. 3.

Their decisions and actions

What they choose to reward and recognize

What they do and do not tolerate

More Referrals. Better Clients. Higher ROI.

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