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Does your law firm website follow these 5 best practices?

We all know that most people head to the Internet first when they are seeking any service. Legal services are no exception to this trend and that’s why your law firm’s website is so important. Let’s put it in this perspective: your website is the online version of your firm’s front door. This means that the information included should “invite” your potential clients to use your service and it should be tailored to meet their needs and expectations.

But what exactly are people looking for when hiring an attorney?  Here are the 5 tips to improve your Law Firm`s website and make it more effective and consumer friendly:

Showcasing quality of service is important. Legal consumers want to see proof of good service. A good way to provide information about the quality of service provided by your firm is to include links to reviews that are favorable. If your firm has not been reviewed, including client testimonials and quotes is a good option too.

Highlighting client communication is key. Clients value clear, concise communication from their attorneys more than anything else. They are looking for simple explanations and terms that are easy to understand. One great way to show that attorneys at your firm are able to communicate effectively with clients is to maintain a law firm blog. It should include posts where lawyers explain legal concepts in a simple, down to earth manner. That way, you will show potential clients that attorneys at your law firm are knowledgeable and able to communicate clearly.

Emphasize experience. A lot of times, experience is more important than certifications, education, age or gender. If you have been practicing for a while, make sure to include your years of practice for individual attorneys or collectively for the entire law firm. Doing so will inspire confidence in potential clients and will encourage them to contact you.

Certifications are also important! Be sure to include any award or certifications that attorneys in your firm have received. It is just one more way to showcase your firm`s expertise.

Focus on client service. Potential clients value attorney responsiveness. So show your clients that your law firm provides multiple ways for lawyers and clients to interact. For example, if your law firm uses online client portals for communication or incorporates other innovative communications features into its workflow, make sure to emphasize those features on your law firm`s websites.

Does your website provide the information that legal consumers are seeking? Make some changes to your firm’s online presence and see how much more effective it will be!

4 Reasons Why Visual Communication has a Big Impact

The use of visual communication continues to grow and it is happening in all mediums – newspapers, websites, social media, instruction manuals and emails. Whether it is images, animated GIFs or video, visual aids can produce higher engagement than regular texts.

Visual communication creates a more effective and meaningful message, helping content creators get their point across. Read these 4 reasons why visual communication is crucial and more impactful when delivering a message:

  • It saves time by relaying messages faster. Time is money, right? Getting your point across quickly is a huge benefit considering that readers often prefer to scan content rather than read word for word. The media landscape is filled with clutter and it is hard to acquire and retain the readers` attention, so keeping your material loaded with visuals is a surefire way to relay your message in less time. Studies have shown that we can get a sense of a visual scene in less than 1/10 of a second and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text!
  • Visual communication ensures that a clear, unified message is delivered. In the business world of communication, less room for interpretation is what you want. It is important that all readers interpret a similar meaning, otherwise it can result in waste of time and confusion. Text-heavy content leaves much to imagination and it works for novels and pleasure reading, but not for business. Short, simple videos or animated GIFs are a great way to make sure everyone involved is on the same page.
  • Visual Communication helps to provide a shared, consistent experience. Branding is an important part of delivering a consistent experience with visuals. Marketing activity is more effective if organizations define brand colors, logos, font, graphics, icons and imagery that will pair with the company`s voice and tone. It will not only make your brand recognizable and consistent, but it will also build brand awareness!
  • Visual Communication results in better retention of the information. Considering that images are directly deposited and stored into the long-tern memory, using visuals helps the audience remember the information more effectively. Studies have found that after 2 weeks, only 10-20% of text or spoken word is recalled, compared to 50% of visual content! Regardless of your communication topic or plan, retention is always something to aim for.

Bringing it all together, the benefits of visual communication are for both the sender and the receiver and it is crucial to an overall strategic communication plan.

Congratulations to Education to Career Network of North San Diego County

We love to brag about our clients.  And we especially love it when others brag about them. Last night, Education to Career Network, the leading provider of adult education courses and services in San Diego’s north county, received a FIRST PLACE from the San Diego Press Club for its student-focused website. Our design and content team launched the site in 2016 and work with each of the six of the member schools – Poway Adult School, Escondido Adult School, Vista Adult School, Ramona Adult School, San Marcos Adult School and Palomar College, to ensure the site is current and relevant for all students.

 

We are proud to work with such an important project, which serves thousands of students each year, and helps them to reach their educational and career goals through high-quality programs, pathways and services. And the best part? Most of the classes they offer or either low or NO FEE.

 

So, if you know someone over the age of 18 who is interested in getting their life on track, learning a new skill or wanting to explore new career and higher education options, have them visit ETCN at www.educationtocareer.net

 

Congrats you guys!

6 Best Tips for Getting Referrals for Your Small Law Firm

If you are a small firm lawyer looking to get more referrals, you know it can be a challenge. Since new client development is one of the main priorities for any law practice, referrals are lifeblood of most of successful law firms. Have you really leveraged your contacts including existing clients to do the marketing for you? Read those 6 tips for getting new referrals:

  1. Maintain your book of contacts. Documenting names of people you connect with is the first step. You never know who can be a good source of referral so be organized, maintain a list of contacts and spend some time to study it for the relationships that can generate leads. Make it a point to update your contacts on a regular basis.
  2. Motivate/Prompt. Eventually, you will have to ask for referrals and it is not a bad idea. Your referral sources don’t know that you need referrals so it is really important to maintain a good attorney-client relationship. That way, you can confidently request for referrals. For example: if your clients thank you for your service, you can prompt them to make a referral by communicating that the best way to show their gratitude would be to send you a referral.
  3. Focus on lawyer-client relationship. Do not focus only on legal representation, court hearing and legal billing. When dealing with a client, always remember they are your best referral sources. Trustful relationships are not developed overnight so focus on building a genuine, quality, and long-term relationship with your client. Remember: referrals are often made out of trust!
  4. Educate your referral sources. Sometimes they don’t know what you really do. Tell them the type of people and business you can help and also provide examples on what a good referral is.
  5. Follow up. Once you receive a referral be sure to make follow up calls with the prospects. Be confident and understand that now you are not making cold calls. You are already endorsed by someone who is willing to connect with you so don’t fail in making follow up calls.
  6. Thank your referrers. It can be as simple as picking up the phone and making a Thank you call or sending an e-mail with a Thank you note. Always remember to let them know that you really appreciate such referrals. Also, ask new clients how they came to know about your law firm. If the lead generation is by referral, express your appreciation.

3 Tips on How to Keep Your Writing Concise

In a profession where writing can take up most of the day’s work load, PR professionals can employ various strategies to keep their writing tight and active to convey their ideas more aptly.

Here are three tips on how to keep your writing more concise.

  1. Get rid of expletives. An expletive is an indirect phrase that only delays the writer’s point. Expletives include “There is,” “there are,” “there was,” and “there were,” as well as any of these phrases with it substituting for there. It is not necessary to every expletive you come across, but use them sparingly.

 

In most cases, eliminating the expletive and beginning with the subject will do, as in revision of “There are other steps a company can take before an economic downturn to protect against its impact” to “A company can take other steps before an economic downturn to protect against its impact.”

 

  1. Change adjectives to adverbs. One class of wordy wording often found in business writing is represented by such adjective-noun phrases as “on a daily basis,” which is easily replaced by the adverbial form of the adjective (which in this case is identical: daily).

 

Regarding similar usage, “This issue will be resolved on a case-by-case basis” is easily converted to “This issue will be resolved case by case.” (Again, the replacement is identical, though the hyphens are now no longer needed.)

 

  1. Avoid adjectives all together. Some adjectives and adverbs themselves are extraneous. Such qualifiers as currently and different almost never contribute to better comprehension.

 

For example, in “We are currently accepting applications,” the verb are clearly represents that acceptance of application is a current state, meaning that currently serves no useful purpose, and “These shirts come in seven different colors” provides no more information than “These shirts come in seven colors,” and different can therefore be omitted without negative consequences

How Lawyers Can Conduct Successful Pitch Meetings

Preparing adequately for pitch meetings it is not always a lawyers’ priority. Their busy schedule leaves them unprepared to address the real concerns of the clients and they end up talking too much about themselves. Here are the six steps of a successful pitch meeting:

Diagnose before you prescribe. Most lawyers are very proud of what they do as individuals, groups and as law firms. And they should be. They usually attended great schools, got excellent grades and mastered the practice of law until they achieved good results for their clients. However, a lawyer should never focus on his capabilities during a pitch meeting. Diagnosing before you prescribe means to address the problems that are keeping the client up at night and discussing possible solutions. A lawyer should talk about himself only after taking the time to focus on the client.

Research the potential client. Start early and do your research. This is the first step in preparing for a business development meeting with a potential client. You can find information about any company on the internet – via client`s web site, content searches, case-filing searches and your own lawyers.

Probe the potential client. Acquire additional information prior to the meeting and find out who will be participating. Call your potential client and ask about the company`s goals, culture, emerging challenges and legal needs. It will not only make a favorable impression but prepare you for a great meeting.

Prepare relevant materials. Use generic firm, group and biographic materials as supplemental materials to demonstrate how your firm has successfully solved problems for clients like them industries like theirs.

Focus conversation on the potential client. Ask specific questions about the potential client, its market, administrative structure, operations, business and legal challenges. Then, use the answers to generate follow-up questions. Make sure you understand their problems first and then switch gears and talk about your solution and “leave it all on the table.” Act as if the potential client has already hired you and provide advice of value that demonstrates exactly how you and your colleagues function as trusted advisers.

Follow up with the potential client. Do not wait around passively for the potential client to contact you. Try to leave the meeting with a specific next step and follow up with a schedule of regular contact to continue to build the relationship. Asking questions like “Can I call you in a week to see if you have any additional questions?” and sending thank you letters are both great follow-up strategies.

In other words, a business development meeting is not about you. Successful law-firm business developers know how to turn the spotlight away from themselves and shine it on the potential client.