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4 Ways to Ensure You Deliver Reciprocity to Your Networks

When it comes to building lasting relationships, it is imperative that you help those who take the time to help you.

Here are 4 small ways to ensure you keep things mutual:

Buy them lunch.

When the tab comes, grab the check. This behavior builds immediate kudos for you and makes it appear as though you truly do appreciate someone taking the time to meet with you. Offering to pay for something as simple as lunch is the easiest and one of the most effective ways to show reciprocation.

Show a genuine interest.

When meeting with your networks, be sure to show a sincere interest in getting involved in what they are involved in. Whether it is a non-profit organization or an independent business—be engaged and eager to help. Also be sure to ask questions about their cause and find out exactly what you can do to help.

Put them in contact with other networks.

Once you find out what interests them and what categories they can identify with, place them in touch with a network of their interest. By offering a potential business relationship, it heightens the possibility that they will one day do the same for you, creating a strong chain of networks.

Provide free legal advice ethically.

To build lasting networks, you have got to be willing to help someone who seeks your advice. Do this by answering questions they have or offer to help them find the answers they need.  Providing free legal advice is a great way to reciprocate back to your networks. Do this ethically, and be careful to follow your moral responsibilities as a lawyer.  Also be cautious on the answers you provide, making sure to follow your firm’s policies.

4 Steps to Creating Stellar Events for Your Organization

Live events are a useful and critical tool in building a close following and personal connections. According to the Event Marketing 2018: Benchmarks and Trends report, 80 percent of marketers believe live events are critical to their company’s success.

Know the “why” behind your event.

Before planning an event, you need to know what you want to accomplish and convey before you decide what elements your event needs. It’s important for you to know what the purpose of your event is in your organization’s overarching goals. Make it clear to your audience and participants what the event’s purpose is and how it could be beneficial to them. Provide a call-to-action that your audience can follow up with.

Align your event with your overreaching mission.

Take your goals and grow the event around them. The event you put on should fit into the broader context of your goals and what you do as an organization. How can you make your event promote your brand in a positive light? Stay consistent with your brand promotion. Be purposeful and mindful about the types of events you put on and how they are perceived to your audience.

Have your most enthusiastic staff and consumers present.

Your organization can have the most caring staff out there. Your business could foster great personal relationships with each of its clients. However, people will always look to other consumers to validate that your organization is trustworthy and that your products and services high-quality and consistent. Eighty-two percent of consumers will proactively seek referrals before making a purchase, according to Business to Community’s website. Trust in positive word-of-mouth to promote your brand and allow your consumers to engage with one another.

Know your three key words.

Can you summarize the purpose of your event in three words? Let people know early on what the purpose of the event is in short. People lose focus when bombarded with information that they find is seemingly irrelevant. Have your three key words tell a story about what your organization does and can do for its consumers, versus what the consumers can do for you.

 

 

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.