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In the two-plus years the SBM Member Directory has been up and running, many features have been added and expanded. Some features are free to members and others contain a subscription cost. While all State Bar members are listed with a basic profile, not all have taken advantage of the free features such as an expanded profile, online appointment scheduling, blog publishing, or promoting professional events. Other features which require a subscription fee, are the Lawyer 2 Lawyer referral directory, the Law Firm package, Zeekbeek Web Archiver, and the profile builder. Free Features Enhance your basic profile to gain more contacts. You can: ...
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Lance Lawyer is enjoying a quiet meal with his law school roommate, Scott. After graduation, however, they took different professional paths. Lance is a shareholder in a small law firm practicing elder law; while Scott, whose family had long been in the military, is a JAG lawyer. Over coffee, the conversation turns to marketing. "We spend a lot of time and money on our website, blog, and social media," said Lance. "I need to update my blog tonight." "I'm glad I don't need to do any marketing," said Scott. "I'm not sure about that," said Lance. "What if you decide to leave the military? No one will know you exist." Lance is right. Scott, like...
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Community outreach: An activity of providing services to populations who might not otherwise have access to those services. Adding local community outreach events to your strategic plan can benefit both the firm and the community. Supporting local community events is a way to increase brand recognition, create happier employees, gives you an opportunity to offer much needed assistance, and builds your reputation and presence in your community. Increase Brand Recognition, Grow Networks It’s easy to see how being involved in a community event yields greater recognition in the community. Connecting to good works builds trust, cultivates a...
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Your firm's brand will be far more important in 2017 than in the past simply because more law firms are on the Internet competing for space. Having a brand identity and message will lead to more targeted and consistent marketing, which will increase your business. What is a brand? A brand is a name and/or symbol that uniquely identifies a seller's goods or services in the market. Brands enable customers to rapidly recognize the providers of services. Over time, and with consumer experience, brands acquire reputations for quality, value, price-level, reliability, and several other traits that help consumers choose among competing offerings. In legal...
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“I think we should add regular e-mail campaigns to our marketing schedule,” said Linda Lawyer to partner and brother, Lance. “The marketing experts say that e-mail marketing is still the most effective way to reach our clients and prospective clients.” Lance agreed and, because of the time constraints on their growing practice, they added a quarterly e-newsletter to their marketing schedule. E-mail marketing campaigns, which have been in use for several years, are still the best way to deliver a targeted message to a particular and receptive audience. While it’s true that many e-mail messages are deleted after reading the...
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I received the Amazon Echo Dot for my birthday. It is a hands-free, voice-controlled device that uses Alexa to play music, answer questions, or read the news. There is some setting up to do, which I have not completed yet, so I use her to tell me the weather and play music. However, I am not alone in using a voice-controlled device to find information. Many of you already use some form of an intelligent personal assistant, such as Siri, Google Now, or Cortana, available on your mobile devices, to quickly find information. Voice search is the fastest growing type of search. It's faster, hands-free, and allows you to multi-task. According to Google's latest...
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"My problem," said Marcy, marketing director for L & L Law, to Linda Lawyer, "is that we now have nine attorneys and each one has a profile listing in the online SBM Member Directory with a different username and password. It takes forever to log on and make changes to all of their profiles." "Well," said Linda, "I heard at a seminar last week that the State Bar has solved that problem with a new Law Firm product offered by Zeekbeek." Linda is right. Your SBM Member Directory now has a Law Firm package, which allows access to the profiles for every person in a law firm with one username and password. What is Law Firm? Law Firm is a subscription...
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The month January, originally named Januarius in the Roman calendar, is named after Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and transitions. He is depicted as a two-faced god capable of looking at the past and the future at the same time, which is exactly what you can do when you set out to write those New Year’s resolutions; be like Janus and look to the past to plan the future. Start by looking back at 2016. List three things that worked. Maybe the new paralegal you found after a long search is awesome, social media brought in new business, and you delivered a ‘killer’ and winning final argument. Then list three things that didn’t work....
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The visitors to your website and blog want writing that is clear, concise, formatted correctly, and helpful in finding the information they seek. To keep the reader on the page, use the active rather than the passive voice. Stephen King, in his book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft , states that a "passive voice equals timid voice—and timidity never makes for good writing." Active v. Passive Voice "In case you're a little hazy on the whole active/passive voice thing," wrote King, "it has to do with the verbs you choose." In the active voice, the subject of the sentence is doing something, while in passive voice, the subject is being acted upon:...
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"I've been thinking about our voice," said Lance Lawyer, standing in the doorway of his sister Linda's office at L & L Law. "What's wrong with your voice?" she asked, "It sounds fine to me." "Not that voice," answered Lance, "our website and blog voice. Which voice or point of view should we use for different parts of the website? I think it makes a difference in how readers experience our site and blog." What is Voice or Point of View? Point of view, or voice, in writing is the perspective the writer takes to tell the story. It is the mode of narration used to inform your clients or prospective clients. There are three points of view: ...
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The design of your website helps attract business to your firm. Yes, you need compelling content and your contact information, but a good design is a website's foundation. Today, we'll focus on design tips. According to Lawyerist.com and other design experts, here are the following points to consider when evaluating your website: Your brand , as reflected in your images, colors, fonts, layouts, and words, should be clearly communicated. For example, if you're a criminal defense fighter, think red, black, and white pages in a sans serif font (e.g. Arial). If your brand is that you're a good listener, include images of lawyers sitting with clients...
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The practice of law is both a business and a profession. The professional side is the part you trained for and spend most of your time doing. The business side is what accountants do and what you’d like to ignore. However, the marketing piece of the business side deserves some of your attention and that should start by thinking for a minute about who your present clients are and who you’d like them to be. Make two short lists, one for present clients and one for future clients. Include age, gender, educational and economic level, and interests. Now that you have them in mind, let’s review the generational characteristics of our population,...
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Sally Consumer is looking for a lawyer. She collects suggestions from friends and family, then turns to the Internet for more information. Like most consumers, Sally will visit the review section of a lawyer's profile. Internet reviews are the modern version of word-of-mouth referrals. Future clients want reliable information when deciding on an attorney for their legal needs. Client reviews, like those found in the SBM Member Directory, are an important part of Sally's decision-making process. Should you want to add reviews to your Internet presence, you can start by updating your SBM online Member Directory profile . The client review and endorsement...
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In 1969, Neil Armstrong took a step onto the surface of the moon and said, "That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind." It was a small step from the ladder to the moon's surface, just as the planning of the flight, the manufacture of the rocket, and the details of the project were a series of small steps. However, when those small steps were added together, they made "one giant leap for mankind." Marketing for your law firm is comprised of both large and small steps. There are several small marketing steps you can take in this the last quarter of the year—small in cost and time commitment—that will help you make giant...
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“Did you know that in the past three months, more than 81,000 attorneys and consumers searched more than a million pages of the SBM Member Directory?” Lance asked as he walked into the conference room of L&L Law. Linda looked up at her brother. “Really?" she said. “That is a lot of people. I did have one new client last week who said she found us in the directory.” “I’m going to review our profile,” Lance said. “I want to make sure we are using all the features the directory has to offer.” Back in his office, he pulled up the SBM Member Directory to research the available features. He...
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As of 2015, millennials, defined as those born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s, outnumber both the baby boomers and Gen Xers in sheer volume. ( Pew Research ) By 2020, 46% of the U.S. workforce will be millennials. And, it is reported these individuals account for $1.3 trillion in annual spending, which doesn't include millennial-influenced spending by their parents and grandparents. What legal issues could the millennials, aged 18–34, have? They are buying houses, estate planning for their children, starting businesses, or helping their aging parents. And some are having criminal problems. MADD reports that the 26–29 year olds...
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The online world shifted in 2016. First , consumers are using their smartphones and tablets more than their desktops. Internet time spent on mobile devices is now 68% (Comscore). How does your website look on your phone? If there is a problem, it should be fixed and your IT person can help. Second , Facebook is the place to be. Per SocialMediaExplorer, 66% of adults' log in every day. Engagement is easy on Facebook—are you getting likes and followers? If not, you need to beef up your page. Third , the majority of American consumers will hire a lawyer active on social media. Per Thomson Reuters, 54% search for lawyers active on Facebook, Twitter,...
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What type of law are you going to practice? Where? Do you want a partner? Or will you be on your own? Those were a few questions you were asked when you graduated from law school. And if you knew what you wanted your practice to be and to look like, you may have been able to answer. Or, perhaps your practice simply grew and years passed and now you’ve decided it’s time to set down those goals and objectives. Get out the yellow legal pad or the iPad, make your list, and create a strategic plan. Now that you know where you want to go, work on marketing. These steps may help: Marketing, it is said, is a contact sport , so walk out of the office...
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The first social media site that everyone agrees on being defined as social media was a website called Six Degrees, which began in 1997, and lasted until 2001. It allowed users to create a profile and friend other users. Soon, the internet moved into the era of blogging and instant messaging. LinkedIn and Facebook were created, and social media was on its way. In those early years, lawyers were skeptical, thinking that social media offered little value to their profession. Now, as social media has become a major part of our culture, lawyers are accepting its importance to their profession. Litigators use it to better represent their clients, researching...
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) are a list of common questions and answers pertaining to a particular topic. The name may be recent, but the format is not. For example, in 1647, Matthew Hopkins wrote "The Discovery of Witches" as a list of questions and answers, presented as "Certaine Queries answered." Why should I have an FAQ page? Adding a Frequently Asked Questions page to your website will improve your client's experience. You can help prevent surprises for your clients with answers about fees, timeliness of cases, how quickly you return phone calls or e-mails, or what to bring to an initial consultation. Your FAQ answers can avert issues...
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