Spotlight Branding - June 2020

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

ARE YOU STRUGGLING TO CHARGE WHAT YOU DESERVE? HOW THE RIGHT CONTENT STRATEGY Will Help Y ou Ra ise Y ou r Rates

Raising your rates can be tricky, and right now, it might seem particularly tough or even insensitive to consider. That’s because, as I write this, our economy is in the very early stages of recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Still, I had this topic picked out months ago as the next in my series of articles about leveraging great content, and I think it’s important to talk about. Not only do you deserve to be paid well for your work, but ensuring you can charge a reasonable amount could also make the difference in keeping your own family and firm safe in the long run. So, let’s dive right in! As I’m sure you know by now, content is a powerful tool. It can touch pretty much every aspect of your firm, and that includes your rates. If that seems impossible, consider this: Great content will build your reputation, positioning you as the expert and the go-to thought leader in your practice area. And when you’re seen as an expert, you can charge like an expert. This outcome hinges on having a steady stream of the right kind of content. Most importantly, it has to be educational and relevant. You need to appear to be the sage

on your topic, offering wisdom and advice to readers that answer the questions they’ve already been asking in their heads. Nothing is more compelling for a reader than finding all of the answers they need in one place — whether that’s your blog, your website, your podcast, or your social media platforms. Ideally, all of these spaces should be full of educational content. That said, you don’t need to do an insanely deep dive into every topic you discuss to prove you’re educated. Remember, your average reader likely doesn’t know a lot about your practice area — you aren’t writing for other lawyers in your field here. As long as you focus on the things you do, stay on topic, and offer some useful information, you’ll effectively build your reputation and give yourself the brand boost you need to raise your rates. Here at Spotlight Branding, we’ve had multiple lawyers we work with tell us that because of their content changes, people have started coming in to their consults more ready to move forward. These new clients are excited to work with them because of what they’ve seen about their firm online. And at the end of the day, the more in demand you are, the more you can charge. When you’re ready to actually raise your rates, the smartest way to go is implementing an annual or semiannual rate increase. Whatever timeline you choose, scheduling these increases will motivate you to keep putting out great content and doing your best work. You’ll feel like you deserve the increase, and the more targeted, top-quality content you put out, the less resistant your clients and prospects will be.

“GREAT CONTENT WILL BUILD YOUR REPUTATION, POSITIONING YOU AS THE EXPERT AND THE GO-TO THOUGHT LEADER IN YOUR PRACTICE AREA. AND WHEN YOU’RE SEEN AS AN EXPERT, YOU CAN CHARGE LIKE AN EXPERT.”

In fact, raising your rates will soon start working with your content to improve your reputation — people expect the best lawyers to charge a bit more and could get suspicious if your services and price seem too good to be true. I’ve seen solo and small law firms charge rates all over the spectrum, from $200 an hour to $600 an hour. I’m not saying you need to be at the top of that spectrum to succeed, or that you have to be in the middle, but you should be charging a rate you’re comfortable with. Don’t undersell yourself or listen to the people who say you need to be in a huge firm to charge what you deserve. With the right content strategy, you can make it happen — and my team and I are here to help. To learn more about how we can build the perfect content strategy together, visit SpotlightBranding.com/NL. –Marc Cerniglia

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