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
2 STEPS TO SUCCESS ON SOCIAL MEDIA THE EASY WAY TO BUILD YOUR BRAND ONLINE
If you’ve been following us for a while, then you know we offer our clients social media marketing. However, we also understand the drive many lawyers feel to try their hand at managing their business’s online persona themselves. If you’re tackling your firm’s social media presence alone, try these two proven strategies to make the process as easy and effective as possible. 1. ESTABLISH A BUSINESS PRESENCE You’d be surprised just how many law firm owners neglect to make separate pages for their firms, instead relying on their personal social media accounts for marketing. We always recommend making separate business accounts, starting with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. This will help you separate your business life from your personal life and give you a second way to reach people. For efficiency, we suggest starting with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn because you can share photos, videos, or text on all three platforms, making it easy to cross-post.
into over 35 pieces. To do it, set content benchmarks for each week. How many times are you going to share your blog posts, links to your website, or inspirational quotes? Nail down numbers for each objective so you can just “plug and play” to stay consistent. Remember — you can share the same post multiple times on different platforms or with different captions. Aim for content balance with a mix of media types, and don’t forget to throw some fun posts, like inspirational quotes, in the mix for interest. Pro Tip: Spend a couple dollars to boost every post you make on Facebook. More people will see your content, and that exposure is worth the price. Using these strategies, you’ll be able to put your brand on the map. If you’d like backup implementing them or want to take things to the next level, head to SpotlightBranding.com/NL.
Pro Tip: Once you’ve established your core accounts, you can start building your firm’s presence on Instagram. Create a business account. Then, every once in a while, shoot a video or take a behind-the-scenes snapshot at the office. Stick with simple subjects and short captions — don’t overthink it!
2. CREATE A SHARING FORMULA In a previous newsletter, we shared our strategy for turning one piece of content
SUCCESS STORY HARGRAVE FAMILY LAW
Jennifer Hargrave, founder of Hargrave Family Law, is still relatively new in her relationship with Spotlight Branding, but she has already been thrilled with her experience, especially our availability and collaboration. Jennifer and her team came into the relationship with a very clear vision and mission for their firm, and from day one, we have collaborated with them to make sure that vision was communicated through their website, email newsletter, blogs, and social media posts. But it didn’t stop there.
to not only help her clients but also keep her community informed. Within a few days, their website traffic jumped 79% and their Facebook followers increased by 20%, giving themmore eyes on the content they were putting out. “[Our brand manager] is always accessible, responsive, open-minded, and ready to figure out the best way to make our desires come to fruition,” said Jennifer. Sometimes, it’s not about the results and services we advertise but about the way we’re also able to pivot and adapt to changing circumstances. We love Jennifer and are so thrilled that she has been happy with her experience with us!
WANT MORE REFERRALS AND BETTER CLIENTS? Visit SpotlightBranding.com/NL to schedule a call!
During the first few weeks of the COVID-19 shutdown, Jennifer was thrilled with our ability to quickly create a resources page for her website
More Referrals. Better Clients. Higher ROI.
HOW TO RETAKE CONTROL AND GROW YOUR FIRM 3 TIPS FOR NAILING DOWN THE IDEAL SOP
Trying to grow your law firm without a written manual of standard operating procedures (SOP) is like trying to run a successful bakery without written recipes. Imagine you opened a pie shop, showed your staff how to bake apple pie with your secret recipe, and watched them do it until they baked delicious, golden pies. Then, you stepped out of the kitchen for six months. How do you know that they’re still making pies the way you wanted? Without a written recipe to refer to, they could have forgotten a step or accidentally mismeasured an ingredient while you weren’t watching. It’s the same thing with your law firm. If you don’t document your core processes — the things that are critical to how you work and make your firm unique — then they are bound to get lost or muddled, making your firm less efficient. It’s critical that you have an SOP clear enough that someone could come in off the street, read it, and have a sense of how your processes, like your intake process or work delivery, function. So, how do you create an SOP? Here are a few tips. REMEMBER: IT’S ABOUT THE PROCESS, NOT THE PEOPLE. A business that relies on extraordinary people is constantly at risk because those people can leave at any time. That’s why it’s
best to build a business on extraordinary processes that can be executed by ordinary people. Of course, in a perfect world, you’d have extraordinary people and extraordinary processes. But if you have to choose one, go with processes every time. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP. When you’re putting together your SOP, your most valuable resource is your staff. They probably know the core functions they perform better than you do, so by delegating the SOP draft to them, you’ll get the most accurate version and a peek behind the curtain. TAKE TIME TO MAKE THINGS BETTER. Once your staff hands over their drafts, be sure to review, tweak, and improve them, then implement those changes. That’s when the real magic happens! People will start to pay closer attention to the processes, and you’ll have a better understanding of your firm. Just remember not to let the tweaks take too long: A finished but imperfect SOP is better than no SOP.
FEATURED EPISODE THE VERY BEST EPISODES OF ‘THE LAW FIRM MARKETING MINUTE’ PODCAST
RESOURCE OF THE MONTH
CANVA PROFESSIONAL GRAPHIC DESIGN AT YOUR FINGERTIPS!
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 SECRETS PART 5: HOW TO CREATE A SOCIAL MEDIA PROCESS — LFMM 305’ We finished up our series in which we told you exactly what we do as a company to provide services to attorneys like you. In this episode, we explain how we create a social media process for our clients. 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!
A good graphic makes your content even better because it provides a visual, which catches someone’s attention a little more effectively than text. Even if you just use a simple stock photo, accompanying your blogs and social media posts with graphics goes a long way. If you want to take things to the next level, Canva can make it easy! This website allows you to create easy, professional- looking graphics. We use it to create our blog and podcast images, as well as a few Instagram posts. It can be intimidating at first, especially if you’re not the most artistically inclined. However, just play around for a bit, create some graphics of your own, and you’ll get the hang of it before you know it!
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
The Smart Way to Raise Your Rates
2 Steps to Success on Social Media
How to Retake Control and Grow Your Firm
Spotlight Branding’s Industry-Leading Podcast
Minimizing Loss Aversion in Your Business
RISK VS. REWARD HOW TO HANDLE LOSS AVERSION IN YOUR BUSINESS
We’re all afraid of loss: loss of revenue, income, customers. We could make an incredibly long list of the things we’d rather not lose. But it’s not just loss. We’re also afraid of the potential of loss, and that fear overrides our desire to gain something. This is loss aversion, a psychological and economic bias that suggests people would rather not lose something than gain something. It’s not uncommon to see traits of loss aversion among business owners and entrepreneurs. However, successful business owners don’t let the thought of loss aversion deter their success and growth; they’ve figured out how to limit it instead. According to Daniel Kahneman, a 2002 Nobel Prize winner for his work in economic
sciences, the biggest thing standing between you and overcoming loss aversion is risk. You accept that every decision you make comes with a measure of risk. Sometimes it’s minor; sometimes it’s not. Your goal is to have confidence in your decision-making, which makes it easier to overcome loss aversion. So how do you increase confidence and reduce your risk in any given decision? The answer is data. Let’s say you’re developing a new marketing campaign. It’s going to cost you $10,000 to run for a quarter, but you aren’t confident about how it will perform. Ideally, it brings in $100,000 worth of business, but you did minimal research. You just copied someone else’s campaign you read about online.
Your first instinct may be to scrap it because you decide it’s not worth the risk. You aren’t confident in the campaign or the results, so it’s best to spend the $10,000 on a safer campaign or aspect of your business. But what if you ignore that first instinct and do your due diligence? You work together with your marketing expert or department to pull relevant data related to your campaign, like demographics, rate of interest, and deals your competitors are offering. Unless the data suggests otherwise, chances are you launch the campaign. It still comes with risk, but you understand the risk. You have data that shows your investment of $10,000 will bring in business. Confidence is key, and confidence comes from information.
More Referrals. Better Clients. Higher ROI.
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