In this post, we’re talking about the fourth and final of the four laws of content marketing, which is to track the right results. (If you missed the first, second or third laws, go back and check those out!)

When it comes to content, depending on the industry, things like clicks, engagements, and views become overrated. Most people don’t make money just because of their clicks, their views, or their engagements.

So when we’re talking to lawyers, what really matters more is whether or not your content is making all of your marketing work better. But how do you know if that’s happening? For starters, are you getting more referrals from your existing network? That’s one of the ways that we know a good content strategy works because it helps you stay top of mind.

Also, are you able to charge the rates that you want? When you are putting out an effective content strategy, you are building up yourself and your firm as the experts and you’re often able to command the rates that you want and deserve. There is going to be a better conversion on your existing marketing.

In order to make sure your marketing strategy is working, you need to track the data. For example, I had a client once who was running pay per click ads with another company. He kept doing those ads and then, after implementing a content strategy with Spotlight Branding that had nothing to do with those ads, actually found that those ads were performing better because the people from those ads were going to the website and engaging the blogs, videos, and the social media accounts that we were managing. So one way to track your results might be to track your existing marketing and see if better results are there.

It might mean more referrals, better conversion on your marketing, or charging the rates that you prefer. Another thing is getting more of the kinds of cases or the kinds of clients you want because your content is focused on addressing that audience, practice area, case.

When that happens, you build up your reputation in that area and hopefully attract more of that kind of client or that kind of case. Don’t get too caught up in clicks, opens, engagements, views, and things like that. Instead, focus on your average case value. Focus on your referrals. Focus on the conversion from your existing marketing activities, which doesn’t just mean paid marketing activities (see our third law). It even means things like networking and speaking. What’s your ROI from those things? Because a good content strategy should actually help those things.

The final thing about all of this is that no marketing company can actually track, at least oftentimes can’t track, the most valuable ROI. That’s going to be things like more clients, more referrals, and your ability to raise your rates and charge more. These are often things you have to track internally, whereas a lot of marketing companies just want to send you things like open rates and clicks, which is just vanity.

A good marketing company will help you track those things, but ultimately also help you track the right results. Know what those results are, and understand that the right things are usually things that you probably have to track. Your marketing company should work with you to help you see that, understand it, and know where to look for it.

We hope you enjoyed learning these four laws of content marketing. If you’re ready to implement this strategy for your firm, contact us today.

In this post, we’re covering the third of the four laws of content marketing. (If you missed the first and second laws, go back and check those out!)

The third law is “Shared Success,” and what this primarily means is that there is a relationship between all of your marketing activities and your content. But it also has to do with your relationship with your marketing company if you’re working with one.

But let’s start with your marketing and the shared success between your marketing activities and your content strategy. The thing about content is that it makes all of your other marketing work better. We talk about that more in the first law, which is that content is king. But as a refresher: no matter where somebody comes from, whether it’s a referral, they find you online through an ad, somebody you meet networking, etc., they’re going to eventually, in some way, shape, or form, engage your content. This can be in the form of visiting your website, checking out your social media profiles, hopefully ending up on your email list where they get some sort of correspondence like a newsletter. So no matter where somebody comes from in your marketing or your networking activities, there is a relationship.

The more that you do from a marketing standpoint, the more value you’re going to get out of your content. So whether you’re doing content for yourself or you’ve hired a marketing company, that’s why it’s so important to understand that your content is only going to go as far as your marketing activities.

It’s really important to understand that marketing activities don’t have to mean that you incur a cost. Networking is a marketing activity. Speaking is a marketing activity. Holding workshops is a marketing activity. And they’re all free. The point is that your website, your videos, your blogs, your newsletters, your podcast, whatever you have — that content is actually all going to enhance your existing marketing and networking efforts and activities. So you have to understand that the more you do in that arena, the further your content is going to go.

The one little side note to all of this is that if you are working with a marketing company, shared success also has to do with your communication. The more timely you are with your approvals, then the content gets out in a more timely fashion.

The more you practically communicate with your marketing company, such as targeting more types of a specific kind of case, then your content company can be creating more content around that type of case or that kind of ideal client. So letting your marketing company know in a timely fashion when there are approvals, when you have a theme you want to focus on, or you want more of a certain kind of case, they can create content around that.

That creates synergy with the rest of your marketing. So ultimately, success is shared both in your communication with your marketing company, but also in the idea that all of your marketing activity actually makes your content go further and you get more ROI from your content because it’s the ultimate enhancer to all of your marketing activities.

In our last post, we shared the first of four laws of content marketing, which is that Content is King. This post will cover the second law of content marketing, which is to focus on people, not search engines. What that means is this idea that we’re so overly focused on search engines, and not just legal marketing right now, but marketing in general.

When it comes to search engines, and you actually think about it, not everyone can succeed. When you compare the number of lawyers that do what you do to the number of spots available on the first page of Google, the math simply doesn’t work. However, our industry makes it out to be this Holy Grail that everyone should be chasing.

But here’s the thing: Sure, search engines do matter. A lot of people can have success there, but more fail than succeed. So the thing is to focus your content on people and not search engines because when you focus your content on search engines, you ended up creating content for robots rather than content that connects with people.

Additionally, more often than not, you won’t actually get the search engine traction that you want to. So when you’re creating your content, it makes a lot more sense to focus on people and writing your content for people and not search engines. We talk about this a lot at Spotlight Branding and the one thing we want you to understand is that content will absolutely assist any SEO efforts you’re doing, but typically SEO should not be the primary aim of a content strategy. Connecting with people should be the aim.

You’ve probably heard the statement “Content Is King” before. But do you know why?

Here’s the thing about content. Because everyone engages your content no matter where they come from — leads, referrals, people that are in your existing network, colleagues, people that find you online — no matter where somebody comes from or how they know you, they’re going to engage your content.

Because of this, the right content strategy makes all of your marketing work better. So no matter how somebody finds you, whether they’re referred to you, they found you online, or met you at a networking event, they’re going to go to your website.

If you have a good marketing strategy in place, they’re going to hopefully get your email newsletter. Then they’re going to be exposed to your social media presence. Then they’re going to be exposed to your blogs. See what’s happening? Your content actually enhances and affects all of your marketing efforts whether they’re online or offline, lead generation, or just you getting out there and networking.

The right content strategy makes your marketing work and the right content strategy is going to do things like position your firm as the expert, educate your audience, and help you stay top-of-mind. When those things happen, people think of you in the moment of need.

You become the go-to expert, the leader, and the one that people want to work with. That’s why content is king. It makes all of your marketing work better because it affects every aspect of marketing, even down to people you meet while networking because those people are going to be exposed to your content and interact with it. From there, your content is going to keep you top of mind and is going to enhance your image and your reputation so that you become the expert that people want to work with.

Ready to implement a content strategy for your firm? Contact us today!

Sending out an email newsletter is one of the best ways to stay in touch with your network, build your brand, bring in leads, and generate referrals. This is common knowledge among owners of solo and small law firms, but many of them still don’t hit the send button — why?

Well, if you’ve never put together a newsletter, the prospect of spending time and effort to create one might be intimidating. However, the process is much easier than you think. In less than an hour, you can create a DIY email newsletter that will take you only minutes to maintain each month.

1. SIGN UP FOR A PLATFORM

There are plenty of email newsletter platforms to choose from, and you can create an account for little to no cost. We use Mailchimp, but Constant Contact and Zoho Campaigns are great options, too.

2. CHOOSE A TEMPLATE

Don’t waste your time building a newsletter from scratch. Just about every platform offers newsletter templates, complete with visual editors. All you have to do is customize the colors, add your logo, and fill in the content.

3. DRAG AND DROP YOUR EXISTING CONTENT

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel: Simply pop in the blog posts and videos you’ve already made, and rotate them each month. You can even add a section for firm announcements and specials. If you don’t have content available, consider this your reminder to create some.

4. CREATE AND MAINTAIN AN EMAIL LIST

You need to add the email addresses of your past and current clients, referral partners, and other contacts to your chosen platform. If you’re lucky, your office CRM like Clio will give you the option to export your addresses and integrate them automatically. If you’re not, this step might take some time, but it will be worth it! After the initial input, make a note to add new addresses each month.

5. SEND THE NEWSLETTER MONTHLY!

As you’re going through this process, remember that your newsletter doesn’t have to be perfect. Something is better than nothing, and you can improve it over time.

If you have questions about creating a newsletter, give us a call. We’re here to help and can even do the work for you.

When we pitch email newsletters to our clients, we’re often met with the verbal equivalent of an eye roll. You know the arguments: “Nobody wants another email in their inbox,” “No one is going to read my email newsletter,” and “I hate getting email newsletters — when I do, I put them in the trash or mark them as spam, and my clients are going to do that, too!”

That attitude is unfortunate because we know for a fact that when law firms send their clients an email each month, they inevitably generate more referrals. Why? Because none of us have enough time to personally stay in touch with everyone on our contact list. Sure, you might make space in your schedule to meet with key referral sources or colleagues, but there’s no way you can stay in touch with everyone you’ve met in the last 15 years. Now, imagine you could maintain those relationships. How is it possible they wouldn’t lead to at least a few more referrals?

Email isn’t the only way to stay in touch with your contacts, but it’s the first step. Even if only 20% of the people you send to open your email, you’ll be reaching many more than you could personally. And don’t forget — even the people who don’t open your newsletter still see it, keeping your firm’s name top of mind. We’ve had leads call us who have gotten our email newsletter for years and rarely opened it. Still, when it’s time to do business, they call.

An email newsletter can also boost your networking abilities. Imagine how good it would feel to plug the emails off a fist full of business cards into your mailing list instead of tossing the cards on your desk. One of our clients took this to the extreme when he sat next to a guy on an airplane and they exchanged cards. A year later, that same guy called him up. He’d gotten our client’s newsletter for the last year and needed some legal work done — to the tune of thousands of dollars.

If you want to cash in on an email newsletter today, call Spotlight Branding at 800-406-7229. We have a full-service solution that will keep your brand top of mind.

Networking is about nurturing relationships. It’s about being visible through email, blogging, social networking, and of course, in-person! Even if you have other marketing efforts in place, nothing beats getting some boots on the ground and ingraining yourself in your community. If you’re not sure where to start, here are several options!

1. Social Media Networking

Having a foot in the digital space is a great way to connect with others and expose your brand to a larger audience. Using whichever social media platforms you prefer, connect with your community (other surrounding businesses, local organizations, etc…) and connect with other professionals within your industry. Follow, say hello, share, and engage!

Some platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook have specific groups and forums that you can join. This is a great opportunity to see what others within your profession are doing or to get involved with the community happenings.

2. Guest Blogging

Do you know of another professional that has a blog? Offer to provide a guest article for them to publish, perhaps in exchange for publishing one of their blogs to your network. It’s a win-win! Your brand and content gains exposure to a larger audience, and you are helping another professional do the same.

Make sure the topic is relevant to something that you both do. For example, if this person handles divorce cases and you practice estate planning, consider writing a blog about how divorce can affect estate plans.

3. Join Industry-Specific Organizations

Do some research and find both local and national organizations that you can be a part of. This is a great way to meet new people and make connections.

A few things to consider when choosing organizations to join: your big-picture goals, your specific client needs, what you want to gain from this organization, the cost to join, the time investment, and the size.

4. Attend Conferences, Classes, Workshops

These types of gatherings are great for polishing your skills, getting inspired, networking with other professionals, and connecting with potential clients or referral sources.

Also, look for opportunities to be a leader or speaker in these types of events. You may not feel like you have a lot to offer, but you do. Share your knowledge, your processes, and your opinions on how you run your own business, or how potential clients could gain benefit from using your services.

5. Volunteer

This is something that you can do as an individual or even as an entire company or group. Get involved in your surrounding community in a way that benefits others. This is an incredible and humbling way to get your name out there and connect with the everyday people that are in your area and might need your services. Be visible, make personal connections, and let your actions show people what your brand is all about… helping others!

Take it up a level and get branded t-shirts for your team to wear. Take photos so that you can share what you’re doing with your online audience by posting to social media or including a blurb in your newsletter.

6. Meet-Ups

Believe it or not, there is a huge community of people wanting to meet up for coffee once a week or a happy hour once a month – sometimes with a specific goal in mind, and sometimes just to meet new people and make connections.

Who are these people? They may just be random people within your area, or maybe other legal professionals, small business owners, and entrepreneurs.

You don’t have to attend a meet-up with the intention of handing out your business card and giving your sales pitch to everyone you come in contact with. There are meet-ups designed for networking purposes specifically, and then there are others for people with common interests or the same hobbies. The point of a meet-up is to MEET others. Remember, networking is about nurturing relationships, which doesn’t need to be a ‘business’ relationship. You never know who may know a friend of a friend that needs your service a month or two down the road!

Can’t find a meet-up to attend? Host your own!

7. Charity

Similar to volunteering, getting involved or helping out a charity is a great way to gain positive brand exposure while giving back!

Maybe your office decides to host a canned food drive. Advertise on social media, in your newsletter, on your website! Share flyers with local businesses, put up a poster on your street, spread the word!

Consider hosting a cook-out where all proceeds will go to a charity that your firm decides on as a team. The possibilities for giving back are endless, and your firm is sure to stay memorable.

Here are a few additional tips…

Mingle! Introduce yourself, share your passions, talk about why you do what you do.
Be YOU. Show up as yourself with an open mind and a smile. People are more likely to remember you if they are able to make a personal connection with you.
Have business cards on hand. You don’t have to walk around handing them out to anyone and everyone, but if the opportunity arises, absolutely give them your card! AND make sure to ask others for their business cards so that you can add them to your network and connect with them online later!
Follow up. Don’t just make a connection and let it go flat. Networking is NURTURING. Send a quick follow-up email just to say hi and that you enjoyed connecting! Make sure they feel comfortable reaching out to you if they should need something in the future. And perhaps most importantly, add them to your Contact list and include them on any ongoing marketing, such as a digital or print newsletter. Top-of-mind awareness is the key to effectively leveraging the relationships you create while networking!

You can find various networking events around your city at:

1. Meetup.com
2. Your local Chamber of Commerce
3. Your local bar association
4. Eventbrite.com

It’s that easy! If you have any other questions about the power and importance of networking and how you can make it part of your brand, give us a call! We’d be happy to chat.

Content is king, right? If your website and social media profiles are stagnant and haven’t been updated in a while, you’re losing out on thousands of dollars in business. Why? Because people are looking for information.

We believe the content you produce should include evergreen, practical information that your visitors can come back to over and over again when they have questions. Not only does it build your reputation at the authority in your practice area, but it brings more informed clients to your desk to sign the deal and start working with you.

Unfortunately, it’s not enough just to produce content. Equally as important as what you produce is howyou produce it. However – a lot of lawyers write a blog and stop there. If you can repurpose your content and distribute it across multiple channels, it exponentially sends your credibility upward.

Diversifying Your Content – The WHAT

We all learn and consume information differently. Just producing one kind of content is doing you and your audience a disservice. Here’s what you can do:

1. Blogging – It’s tried and true, and a robust library of blog articles looks great on your website. A blog is a great way to share information and break down legal concepts so people can become more educated on their situation before talking with you further.As a bonus, it’s easier than you think to self-publish a book. You can even take your blog library and compile it into book form. Think about how great you’d look if you had copies of your own book available in your office?
2. Video – Visual content is exploding. Don’t believe us? Here is (ironically) a blog article highlighting a ton of statistics proving it.
3. Podcast – Having your own podcast does two things: First, it provides a third way for people to consume information, especially if they need something to listen to on their commute or something to take in at the office while they get work done. Second, having your own podcast is a really impressive credibility tool. This fast-rising medium can do wonders for your firm, and there are stats to back it up, too!
4. Events and Webinars – Yes, this can be considered content, too. Sign up for speaking events, host webinars, do whatever you can do to get your voice and your knowledge out there.

Diversifying Your Content – The HOW

It’s one thing to have all that content, but it can’t reach its full potential unless you’re putting it somewhere. There are plenty of places for your content to go, including:

1. Social media – share your content on all of your social channels!
2. YouTube – post your videos here!
3. Apple Podcasts/Stitcher/Etc – put your podcast episodes on a good server and syndicate them to a popular app so people can download your episodes as they become available.
4. E-newsletter – this is a great way to stay top-of-mind and remind people what you do!
5. Directories – sites like Avvo allow you to upload your videos and blogs as legal guides, giving you another outlet you make your content available.

There are countless ways you can distribute your content, and the more you diversify, the more you can elevate yourself and build a premium brand.

My book launch was fantastic—it is officially an Amazon Bestseller. A heartfelt thanks to those of you who helped. For e-book fans it is now available on Kindle.

Retirement or a Third Act—What Will You Choose? Available on Amazon!

The book came about because of the phenomenal registration for my CLE,  Retirement or a Third Act, at the Florida Bar Conference—1001— which was capacity, by the way! This was a sign that there is an enormous interest in the topic, the likes of which I have never seen before in my over 20 years in the legal community. And what happened right after the CLE was even more encouraging. I received many emails sharing with me the impact my presentation made.

Today I want to share one of them. It’s from Gail Grossman a criminal defense lawyer from Oxford, Florida. Here are excerpts from a couple of emails…

Email #1: Thanks to you, tomorrow I am taking my nephew to experience NASCAR racing at Daytona. You had mentioned in your seminar that you drove a Porsche at Homestead Speedway and how much fun it is.  My nephew, who is a rising senior, majoring in engineering, at the University of Massachusetts, is down visiting me from Massachusetts. He LOVES NASCAR racing.  I took him to the Daytona 500 race last year and he LOVED it.  After hearing your seminar, I was going to bring him to Miami to do the Porsche driving experience but I found the Daytona experience online, which is a lot closer to me, so we are going to Daytona tomorrow for him to drive a NASCAR around the Daytona 500 track. He is ecstatic about the experience. Thanks for that great idea. I really enjoyed your seminar and got a lot out of it.

This is of my nephew and Me.  I am the shorter one, at 6’0′ tall.  Daniel is 6’5″ tall.

Email #2: Daniel will be graduating next May, with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and will be looking for a full-time position.  His dream job is to work for NASCAR, or Formula One Racing, or any racing team, or Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, etc. as an engineer, OR to work for NASA or SpaceX or any space company.  He loves cars and space and would love to work as an engineer for a car company or a space company.

Thanks again for a great seminar and for sharing your racing experience with all of us. Without your seminar, I never would have known about the racing experiences that were available and never would have taken Daniel to NASCAR.  He said the G-Forces on his body were very intense, particularly going around the steep curves at Daytona at 151.36 mph.

I bought Daniel the in-car video of his drive showing him getting to 150 mph and he has watched that video about 20 times now. As he said to me many times since Saturday, his experience was “wicked cool.”  It was truly one of the highlight moments of his life.  Thanks so much. 

There is no joy so great as the joy we give to the ones we love! Thank you, Gail Grossman, for sharing with us the love you have for your nephew, Daniel.

I wish every lawyer lots of happiness, love and fulfillment! Think about what’s at stake—If not now, when?

P.S. If anybody knows someone in the auto or space industry, I’m sure Gail and Daniel would love to hear from you.

It pays to be the expert. This is true in just about every field – and it’s certainly true in law.

Most consumers looking for a lawyer are facing significant issues – divorce, bankruptcy, defending their business in a lawsuit, helping a loved one immigrate, planning for the future of their estate, and so on. These are significant issues, and they’re often overwhelming. Consumers facing these situations want to hire a lawyer that they can trust to guide them through.

Developing your status as an expert in your field is a critical way to establish this trust. And if you can do so, it will pay off handsomely. Your expert status will allow you to stand out from your competitors, to bring in more business, and to charge higher rates.

To illustrate why this is the case, imagine that a loved one was diagnosed with a rare disease. When you’re looking for a doctor to treat this disease, would you prefer to work with a recognized expert in their field, a professional with books published, papers written, awards won… or would you prefer to work with a generic and unremarkable provider?

Obviously you’d prefer the expert. And you’d be willing to pay a premium for that expertise. Most of your prospective clients would do the same when they need to hire a lawyer. So it’s well worth investing the time and resources to build that “expert” perception.

Here are a few practical ways to begin doing so:

Give speeches. Whether it’s a networking group, an industry gathering, a trade show or convention, or some other forum… public speaking is a great way to demonstrate your knowledge and build credibility.

Write articles and blog entries. Write on subjects and topics that appeal to your target market and/or your referral sources. Well-written content establishes your expertise and gives readers a chance to understand your thought process and your approach to their legal challenges.

Invest in a modern, mobile friendly website. In many cases, your website creates the first impression of your law firm. A modern, content-rich website helps to reinforce your professionalism, while an out-dated site may make visitors wonder about your commitment to your practice. Keep in mind that consumers today use a mobile device more often than not to access the internet – so your site needs to be mobile-friendly.

Use video on your website, in email marketing, and on social media. Well-filmed and well-produced video is a powerful tool. High quality audio and video can make you look and sound like the trusted professional you are. We recommend building an “FAQ Library” in which you answer common questions and concerns that potential clients often ask. For more information, check out this blog entry on the subject.

There’s a lot more you can do. Other effective strategies include leveraging media like TV and radio – or even publishing a book. Contact us today if you’d like to learn how we can help. But whether you utilize our services or not, remember… it pays to be the expert.