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How to Remain Authentic in Your Practice

Credibility (Words)  

Credibility means never being dishonest. Regardless of how experienced you are, where you went to law school, or where you have worked-if you make a mistake with credibility in the legal profession your career can, without a doubt, suffer. When it comes to being credible, the words we speak have an everlasting impact. How knowledgeable are you in the content that you are delivering, and can you follow through with what you say?   Do what you say you are going to do and do not cut corners. This will only result in credibility lapses while building a bad reputation for yourself.

Reliability (Actions)

The key is to remember that being dependable and consistent are major factors in building your customer clientele and making a reputable brand for you.  Show up, be punctual, and be readily available to serve your clients.  Being punctual will show others that you are a person of your word. Keep your word and allow your actions to rise above your excuses.  It all boils down to whether or not you can be taken seriously.

Understanding (Emotions)

Become an engaged listener. Instead of focusing on what you should say, listen to what your client is saying. When it comes to listening to the needs of others, it is important to understand the emotions in which they are also trying to convey. Sympathize with your clients.  Allow them to feel secure and reassure them that they can put their trust in you.

Self-Orientation (Motives)

Are you focused on your self- interest or the best interest of your client? Making your client the focal point and working to become “client-centric” is of the utmost importance.  Their concerns should be your first priority. Pay close attention to the needs of your client and give a strong consideration to whatever is going to help them and their case succeed.  Fill them with constant positive reinforcement- show them that they made a good choice when selecting you as their lawyer.

How to Build Trust in Your Law Firm’s Online Brand

Be specific with your values.

Many times, potential clients can’t tell exactly what your firm values or specializes in solely by the main page of your site. Be specific with the wording on your website and keep it consistent with your legal brand’s image. Emphasize what you stand for!

Use visuals and videos.

In this visual era, online consumers often glaze over large bulks of text. Add multimedia elements and content to break up large areas of text that will entice viewers to continue searching your website. This could include images, videos, or infographics.

Put a face to the name.

Clients want to talk to people, not computers. Give your online viewers a personal sense of who you are by adding photos or videos of yourself, your employees, and what you do. Using professional photography of you and your team is a great way to elevate your website, and increase your credibility. Be transparent about your work environment to gain trust of clients and potential ones.

Be responsive and receptive online.

Online consumers are impatient and approach online brands with skepticism. If your consumers don’t trust your brand, they will swiftly move on to one that they can trust. Treat each potential client how you would your current clients. Oftentimes, potential clients will choose the attorney that contacts them the quickest. Respond with swiftness and purpose to ensure they know they are cared about and appreciated.

Create custom landing pages.

Viewers may end up leaving your site if they don’t find immediately what they are searching for. Your website should have custom tags and keywords for each area of expertise that your firm specializes in. Lay your website out in a way that is user-friendly and easy to navigate.

6 Steps to Growing Your Social Media Presence

Encourage digital word-of-mouth

In today’s digital era, there are infinite reviews of various products and services available at people’s fingertips. Seventy percent of people review products before buying them, and 30 percent of those people go on to review the product themselves. Word-of-mouth is the number one source of insight into whether a product will be bought and consumed. Encourage your loyal consumers to spread the word about your business online and share your content across digital platforms.

Be an active social media listener

In order to identify potential brand opportunities and weaknesses, businesses should be actively listening and monitoring online conversations about its company, brand, and services. Effective social media listening involves following the online voices between clientele and future consumers, the good and the bad, and building a media strategy based on what you hear.

Focus on relationships, not technologies

People trust other people, and businesses must rely on the fact that people want to communicate with other human beings, not computers. Show consumers you value them and care about their opinions by avoiding generic responses to questions and concerns.

Know your objectives before your strategies

Before you start the race, you need to know where you’re headed. Decide what your business goals are before strategizing your social media presence. Each objective should invite a two-way conversation and move forward your overreaching business goals.

Content is king

Your social media content should be positively congruent with your brand and align with your business’s goals, beliefs, and values. Give people content they will find valuable and look for ways to create online engagement through non-marketing opportunities. Brands should adhere to the 80/20 rule, meaning 80 percent of content should be beneficial to viewers while 20 percent should be used for social marketing opportunities.

Build a brand community

Consumers are just regular people with an emotional need to connect and feel a part of something bigger than themselves.  Allow a place for consumers to talk about your brand. Don’t try to be an online mediator. Instead, give consumers an open platform to converse and share ideas with each other. This will show that your business is transparent in its online communication with and between its consumers.

5 Tips to Prepare for a Media Interview

Media interviews are a great opportunity to showcase your knowledge and skills in order to build your public reputation. One of the most important steps to nailing that interview is preparation, so here are five tips to help you prepare for your next media interview.

Know Your Audience.

Take the time to get to know the media outlet’s demographic before your interview. Most trade and business publications include this information in the media kit on their websites, but if it’s not there, ask the reporter to share that information with you prior to the interview. Understanding the audience will help you tailor your message in an effective way that sufficiently delivers key points.

Know the Reporter.

Similar to how reporters do research on attorneys before the interview, you want to spend time getting to know the person asking you questions. Read some of the articles the reporter recently wrote so you get an understanding of his/her writing style and issues that are most important to them. This will also help to build rapport with the reporter if you’re able to reference an article he/she wrote. The better you know the reporter, the smoother your interview can go and could potentially create an opportunity where they want to interview you again in the future.

Know the Topic of Discussion.

Often reporters will share a few questions or a broad outline of what the interview will cover so you can prepare. If not, take the time to do some research on the topic so you know your facts and can feel confident for the interview.

Have a Sense of What You’re Going to Say

Once you’ve done your research about the topic of discussion, then begin to have an idea about your responses. Write down your key messages that you want to portray and refer to those notes throughout the interview to ensure that you are staying on topic. If you get asked a question during the interview that you cannot answer, try to gracefully steer the discussion back towards the messages that you want to communicate.

Think Before You Speak.

Once you say something, the words cannot be unsaid. If you are speaking about a particularly sensitive topic, be careful about the wording you choose. You do not want to say something that could negatively impact your business or self-image.

Mastering the Art of the Follow-Up Phone Call

While a mass email is the easiest and quickest way to get a story out to journalists, it may not be the most effective. Phone calls that follow your initial outreach will allow for real-time feedback and give you a personal touch.

Make the most of your next story with these 5 tips.

Be aware of your surroundings.

Sending a polished, follow-up email can be done from any environment. Phone pitching does not share that same luxury, but has the advantage of adding that personal touch. When you are ready to make your calls, be aware of your surroundings. Make sure you’re in a quiet room with little chance of any interruptions, and in a location that ensures a good phone connection.

Remember, their time is valuable too.

Many journalists hold your calls in the same light that we do telemarketers’. Thanks to years and years of negative impressions, you are already working against that negative connotation. How do you beat it? By altering your original outreach to a 30 second (at most) pitch. Remember, their time is valuable too. By including only the highlights and any new information in your phone pitch, you become more compelling.

Know who you’re pitching.

While this one may seem tedious and unreasonable, but you owe it to the reporter you’re about to call. At a minimum, browse their recent coverage and Twitter profile.  Who knows? You may uncover something that makes your outreach particularly serendipitous.

Keep your ears open for new intel.

Even if your phone call follow-up doesn’t result in a story, it might not necessarily be time wasted. If you keep your ears open, you can learn new information, like a “mystery” editor not on your list. Or you may discover that your contact is no longer working there. Whatever it may be, every piece of information you can gather can be helpful.

Adapt your message to the medium you choose.

The beauty of a phone call, is that you are able to receive real-time feedback. While an email can quickly be opened, closed, and forgotten about, a phone call provides an opportunity to obtain feedback that can be applied to your next call. It can help you to tailor a more enticing message that will resonate more with the reporter on the receiving end. With each call, you have the opportunity to perfect your pitch and make the next one more effective.

3 Things Your Law Firm Should Be Doing to Stay Competitive

Embrace Technology.

There is no doubt that technology has changed most of how we communicate with one another. This stands true for how we conduct our businesses as well. We are living in the digital age and it’s time to embrace it. This can include things like using virtual assistants, cloud computing, and using collaborative software like SharePoint to increase your efficiency and productivity. Giving your website a facelift by adding a blog or client testimonials will keep your content up-to-date and gear more traffic your way. In today’s market, you want technology on your side.

Respond Promptly.

When it comes to potential clients, most aren’t leisurely looking through attorneys for fun. They are searching for a reason! This means that often-times, the first attorney to reply is the one they will choose. While quick responses are necessary to keep current clients happy and informed, it is important to remain diligent to interested, potential clients. If you get an inquiry, respond to it! While it may seem tedious and somewhat annoying, it is the easiest way to quickly snag them away from your competition.

Reevaluate the Basics.

Reevaluating the basics means rethinking some of the firm’s basic organizational, pricing, and delivery models. Look at your firm’s core clientele and evaluate the strengths your firm offers to them. Then, consider that there may be weaknesses that have potential to improve. The world around us is evolving and changing all the time, so don’t be afraid to switch things up! You might be surprised at the results.