Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering.”
—Theodore Roosevelt

The more often you remind your network of who you are and what you do, the more likely they are to think of your firm when the opportunity for a referral comes up. As it is right now, 83% of people are willing to make referrals to their lawyers but only 29% actually do it. Why? Because the law firm they worked with isn’t doing the legwork to stay top of mind — even though it’s easy. That doesn’t have to be you. Here are just a few of the endless ways you can keep in touch:

  • Weekly emails
  • An email newsletter
  • A print newsletter
  • Social media posts
  • Regular blog posts
  • Consistent videos
  • Podcast episodes
  • Holiday cards
  • Birthday cards
  • Personal phone calls

That last one might seem a bit intimidating, but it’s actually an excellent way to keep your firm top of mind and show that you truly care about your clients. The best way to do it is by establishing a system. Keep a running list of the people in your network — it can be 100 people or 1,000 — and go through it systematically, calling or emailing 10% of the list each month.

These strategies work. Consider this newsletter that you’re reading right now. For the last few minutes, you’ve been enjoying Spotlight Branding content. Now, imagine that tomorrow, another lawyer you know mentions that they’re having a marketing issue — who do you think is going to pop right into your mind? That’s right, we are! Staying in touch works, and you can use it to your advantage.

The options we outlined above are easy to do on your own, but if you want the referrals without spending the time, we can help you implement them. Contact us today to learn more.

 

 

There is no doubt that there is a struggle between lawyering and life. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There can be more harmony in your life. You and your loved ones deserve it. It can happen—it starts with you! How you think and how you take action. Here are seven strategies to help you navigate more harmony and happiness in your life.

1. Find your north star. What are you passionate about? Think long and hard about this! What calls to you? What keeps crossing your path trying to get your attention?

2. Make a Commitment! Ask yourself if you are really committed or is it just an idea that sounds good?

Wolfgang von Goethe wrote—“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back— Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

3. Examine your assumptions. What assumptions have you made and acted as though they are the truth? Dig deep, they may be buried. Assumptions you made in law school or when you landed your 1st or 2nd legal position. What did you really know back then? Maybe something didn’t work, and you assumed it was because of this or that… was it really?

4. Everyone’s journey is different. You can do it your way! But, not by over thinking it! You analyze, research, contemplate and ask all your friends. That is information overload! Instead trust your gut… and take action. I love Einstein’s words…“I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking!” Stop over thinking!

5. Tailor your work to fit in harmony with your life. I know this is a hard mindset to alter, because of all the preconceived ideas we hold; work 9-5, work life balance, we shouldn’t make personal calls at work, etc, etc, etc! Work or life; It’s not EITHER/ OR. It’s this AND that. I would suggest, not to focus on the problem, instead—focus on solutions! Find the bridge over the obstacles. Remember when your mother told you, “Don’t drop the milk!” you dropped the milk! She made you focus on the obstacle. I say, focus on solutions! Focus on— How can it work. Not, it will never work!

6. What Fuels your energy, enthusiasm and joy? Think about the feeling of contentment you get when you’re in the zone. When the endorphins are flowing. I’m in the zone when I’m creating books, online coaching programs, blog posts and playing with my photographs for Instagram. They all bring me energy, enthusiasm and joy! What brings you energy, enthusiasm and joy?

7. And most importantly. Take care of yourself—so you can take care of others. There is a reason, that flight attendants tell us—“in case of an emergency, put your mask on first.” You can’t help anyone if you are gasping for air! So, what state do you think you’re in if you don’t eat right, you drink too much or let everyone hijack your time?  You, my friend are gasping for air. You can’t be patient when your voice gets loud. You can’t focus and you can’t listen.  So be honest, does this help others? Of course not! Self-care is not selfish—it is an act of love for those you care about. And know that it’s okay not to be okay!

Be forgiving of your past self.
Be strict with your present self.
Be flexible with your future self.”

I love this quote by James Clear; the author of Atomic Habits (great book by the way.) Forgive yourself. You did the best you could, and you learned something. Hold yourself accountable to the person you want to be. Approach the future with an open mind ready to see what could be possible.

So, what’s stopping you? If not now—when? When it’s too late? For me—It’s about hunger! A hunger to experience life, more and more! I love what sportswriter, Rick Reilly said about Kobe when he passed…

“Kobe didn’t just live life— he swallowed it whole!”

Why shouldn’t we all want to swallow life whole.

I implore you—take action now. What could your future look like? Take the time to REALLY think about that question!

The key is not the will to win… everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.” —Bobby Knight

Do you ask your clients for testimonials? Maybe you don’t because you’re worried it will make you look needy. Or maybe you do, but you drag your feet through the process because it feels awkward to ask. Those positions are totally understandable, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Asking for testimonials doesn’t need to be a gut-wrenching, unsatisfying process. With the right strategy, you can solicit them quickly and easily.

Our Winning Strategy

  1. Choose three or four of your best clients.
  2. Send them an email that says, “Hey there! Would you be willing to share a couple of words about your experience with our firm? I’d love to put your thoughts on our website as a testimonial. If you have time to draft a few quick sentences about what it’s like to work with us, I’d appreciate it.”
  3. When they send you their thoughts, tweak the phrasing to make the testimonial flow better. Then, email them back with the new version, saying, “I’d love to use this on our website with the minor tweak I made. What do you think?”
  4. When they give you the green light, put it up! We recommend creating a page on your website exclusively for testimonials that you can add to over time.

Pro Tip: If the client is busy, you can even offer to write the testimonial for them! Create a testimonial from their perspective and alter your email to add, “I know you’re busy, so I’ve summarized your experience below. Please feel free to make any changes that you’d like, and let me know if you’re comfortable with me adding this to our website.”

When you’re putting the testimonials up, remember that visitors to your website will be particularly drawn to those they relate to. Instead of using a client’s name, consider using details about their demographic or case. For example, if you’re a family law practice, the byline “Mrs. Jones” won’t be nearly as effective as “a divorcing mother of two.”

A great testimonial is invaluable. It’s social proof that you’re an experienced, effective lawyer, and the right person to take a client’s case. If you have any more questions about our process, reach out to our team today.

IDEAS. Some are great—they found the New World and they put a man on the moon. Some are not so great—they came up with the New Coke and Chia Pets. But I do know one thing for sure, without an idea you can’t get too far. So, I want to share five posts from the archives of our 17 years of blogging. They are filled with lots of ideas. Read them with an open-mind, they just might spark an idea or two that could help you with business development, marketing and growing your practice. What will hold you back? As author Richie Norton for Entrepreneur magazine said…

We’re scared of failure. Scared of falling behind. Scared of being foolish. Scared of looking stupid.

There are many reasons we hold back when trying ideas. Don’t let Norton’s reasons be yours. Explore these article for ideas that could apply to your practice today.

  1. Legal Business Development: Top Six Marketing Tips. Are you having marketing meetings? Talk is cheap. Buy-in and action is key.
  2. Marketing Success in 4 Words: Make it your lifestyle. That’s it.  Simple, huh?
  3. Legal Business Development: Do Something Every Single Day. This has been my mantra for many years. Why, because it’s much easier to commit to small tasks.
  4. Does Your Law Firm Marketing Keep the Wrong Clients Away? Everyone knows that the purpose of marketing your law practice is bringing in new clients… right?
  5. How the Right Content Strategy Will Help You Raise Your Rates. Are you struggling to charge what you deserve? Raising your rates can be tricky, and right now, it might seem particularly tough or even insensitive to consider.

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.