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7 Must-Have’s for Your Law Firm’s Website

Whether or not you’re in the office, your website is always on the clock. In many scenarios, your site acts as a potential client’s first impression and introduction to your firm and is often the thing that persuades them to call, or not. You must be able to capture your visitors’ attention and maintain it. Your website is your stage to display your firm’s overall image, goals, and message. While each law firm’s website will be unique, here are seven changes that can take your law firm’s website to the next level.

Responsive Design.

In the digital age we live in, most people do their searches from mobile devices. Whether it is a smart phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop, users expect a good experience on every screen. A responsively designed website adjusts fluidly to fit the screen width of any user’s device.   With responsive design, you do not have to try to anticipate every screen size and program pages accordingly. Instead, your website will adapt to whatever the screen size may be, and offer your users a consistent and hassle-free experience.

In-Depth Bio Pages.

Attorney bio pages are some of the most-visited pages on a firm’s website. People want to feel comfortable in their choice for legal help and one way to nudge them in the right direction, is by incorporating great bio pages. People care about the type of experience and personality of the person, or people, that they will be working with. Sprinkle bios with details about interests, passions, and legal background. Also, don’t be afraid to include personal information. Do not just publish a resume style list. Lists are not memorable and resumes do not make an emotional connection.

Easy-to-Find Contact Information.

If someone is visiting your website, it is to either find information on your firm, and/or to hire a lawyer. It may sound trivial, but if a potential client must work to find your contact information, they may just move onto the next. Make that transaction easy, and reap the benefits.

Simplicity.

Too much visual stimulation is stressful. To keep your website from looking cluttered, stick too two fonts (maximum) and don’t underestimate the importance of breaks in text. Breaking up long paragraphs with sub-headings or bullets, can make your website easier to navigate and easier to read. Same rules apply to color. Too many colors will make your site look sloppy and unprofessional. Choose one dominant color and create a palette based on that.

Distinct Calls to Action.

To have this, you must identify the primary function you want your website to have. Do you want users to contact you, or is your website more of a tool to confirm experience and credentials? Whatever the goal, make it clear and make it easy do.

Reviews.

Social proof is a powerful influencer. If a potential client is not so sure who to hire, their decision may lie with whoever offers a more positive overall experience. What better way to do that than with reviews that potential clients can reference. If you have client testimonials, post them on relevant practice area and bio pages and encourage previous clients to post Google reviews.

Professional Photography.

Use photography to give users an authentic sense of your firm. Professional photography helps your website look polished and professional. It’s time to toss the generic empty courtrooms and showcase your firm’s personality.

Why Knowing Your Customers Can Improve Your Brand’s Success

Relationships are a two-way street; we both want to be heard and acknowledged as the individual we are. Business is no different as many PR professionals are in long-term relationships with their customers.

As important as it is for your customers to understand your brand’s values, it is as equally beneficial if you spend the time getting to know theirs. The more time and energy you put into getting to know your audience, the more successful you will be.

Research shows that repeat customers can be your greatest ally.

  • The longer the relationship with a company, the more money the customer will spend. On their 5th purchase, customers will spend 40% more than the 1st and on their 10th purchase they will spend 80% more than the 1st.
  • Repeat customers will refer more people than one-time buyers. After their first purchase, customers are liking to refer 3-4 people. After 10 purchases with your company, they are likely to refer 7-13 people.
  • Majority of consumers are loyal to their special brand. 64% of Millennials are as brand-loyal or more brand-loyal than their parents.

So if you have repeat customers that seem brand-loyal, why would they end the relationship and move on to another brand? Here are the top 4 reasons a consumer would “break up” with your brand:

  1. A negative review remains unaddressed while similar products continue to be offered (57%)
  2. Data leak or breach (53%)
  3. No live or real-time customer service support (42%)
  4. No timely sales and promotions offers (38%)

At the end of the day, customers want to feel important to you and crave personalized experiences. 79% of consumers want brands that understand and care about “me” and 56% are loyal to brands that deeply understand their priorities and preferences. It’s no longer about what product you can provide them, but also what kind of personalized experience you give them with the product.

Find a Master Database Management tool to help you better understand your audience then customize their experience in a way that keeps them coming back for more. Similar to nurturing your relationships at home, you need to invest the time into your customers in order to become a successful brand.

3 Tips to Improve Your Lawfirm’s Brand

  • Be Authentic and Build Trust with your Community

When it comes to building your personal brand, authenticity and trust are two key components to developing a credible identity. If you want to be the best attorney in your area, prove it with your work ethic and let your website reflect that mentality.

Being authentic is highly praised within today’s society and one of the best ways to build trust with your audience. You must become comfortable with talking about yourself and asking others to talk about you too through client reviews and testimonials. Once your audience understands who you are and what you have to offer, they will trust your work and be drawn to your business.

 

  • Use High-Quality Photos and Develop a Strong Unique Selling Proposition

We all know that first impressions matter. When it comes to your personal brand, first impressions can either make or break your business. It’s important to go the extra mile and use professional quality photos for your website and social media platforms. The more professionalism you display with your online identity; the more credibility and trustworthiness potential clients will credit you with. Don’t hurt yourself by using low-quality photos. Find a local photographer that can take high-quality photos of you and your firm to use for your various online sources.

Along with first impressions is the importance of a unique selling proposition (USP). This is what sets you apart from other attorneys and draws clients your way. Some may call it an elevator pitch or a tag line or even a mission statement, but ultimately it’s what distinguishes you from the rest. In a short phrase or sentence, make it clear as to why a prospect should choose you and your law firm opposed to anyone else.

 

  • Consistently Engage in Social Media

Whether we want to admit it or not, social media plays a huge role within growing your personal brand. Effective social media strategy is the art of making your own voice and is essential to branding yourself as an attorney. Creating a personal profile for each of your law firm’s attorneys helps to engage clients in the effectiveness of your business because it helps display a timeline of experience and history of a specific attorney. This enables your community to follow along and feel a personal tie to him or her.

Facebook and LinkedIn are essential for the growth of your personal brand. You must consistently engage with your community and show that you are active within your field. Consistency is key. Do not post all of your photos at once in order to play catch-up and get content out there. Instead, create a schedule for when you want to post content periodically that way your audience continually comes back.

H&A Hits Lucky 13th in San Diego Business Journal’s 2018 Book of Lists

Once again, Heying & Associates has made San Diego Business Journal’s list of top Public Relations Agencies in the area. Starting the new year off right, H&A has jumped two spots on the list from last year, and there is no end in sight! SDBJ provides you with hundreds of the greatest area companies in their fields by ranking. They do this by compiling deeper, better and more “rigorously researched data than any other national database.”

Be sure to follow us on social media to stay in the loop with what we’re up to!

5 Ways a Blog Can Improve Your Law Firm’s Website

It is no secret that blogging has erupted with popularity over the past decade due to social media and other platforms for self-expression. To some professionals, blogging can come off as cheesy, unimportant, and time consuming. We think, however, that blogging has more potential and can be an increasingly effective tool in professional circumstances, such as your law firm’s website. This does not mean you need to incorporate a blog in the traditional sense. This can include news, updates on your law firm, awards and more.  Whether or not you agree, take some time to first read these 5 ways a blog can improve your web presence.

  1. Search Engine Recognition

When it comes to search engines paying attention to your site over thousands of others, it has a lot to do with the quantity and quality of content. If you are only updating your website once a year (or less), there is no way for search engines to detect new key phrases and updated content. By dedicating time every week to update frequently asked questions, news, updates, or link relevant articles, you are creating a more dynamic web presence and making yourself easier to find.

  1. Increased Visibility for New Clients to Find You-

This goes hand-in-hand with search engine recognition. If there is more of a variety of content in association with your website, your website can become an informative tool. It allows potential clients to come across your website in a variety of ways. Whether or not someone is looking to hire a lawyer at that point in time, you have then created name recognition and when they are ready, you will already have an advantage over your competitors.

  1. Illustrates Expertise and Constant Involvement-

Having a blog of some sort will allow you to show more than one area of expertise. You can touch on various areas of law in an organized, non-overwhelming way. This can also give potential clients a sense of what it might be like to work with you. The way you approach certain subjects can spark intrigue and ignite a professional relationship.

  1. Efficiency for Those Seeking Information-

If you are writing content that addresses the questions and concerns of potential clients, it not only is a useful tool for those searching for information online, but it also becomes an easy and organized resource for you to point to when those topics arise with new people. Updating this information weekly or bi-weekly will also allow your website to remain in line with current projects you are working on and acknowledge arising concerns or questions about your law firm.

  1. Self-Promotion-

Lastly, a regularly-updated section of your website can also serve as a place to announce firm awards, cases won, or accomplishments. This is the perfect platform to showcase what you have done and what you are capable of!

5 Questions to Consider When Writing for An Audience

The first step in conveying an effective message is knowing who you are talking to. The key is adapting your content to align with the anticipated values and concerns of those who will be receiving your message. Whether you have a generalized group of readers or you are writing to a closed group of people, there are five questions you should ask yourself before you begin:

Where do they live? Are you writing content for a localized area or will it be available to people all over? Taking the geographical location of your readers into consideration when writing is one way to pinpoint your audience’s values. Researching local customs and cultural traditions can also help you establish context in their current events.

What is the context? Researching events that have been in the news in that area will give you a sense of context. Remaining sensitive and mindful of current events will help you adjust your content in terms of what is appropriate to discuss and what might be portrayed as offensive.

How big is the audience? While this may seem insignificant, this small detail can help determine what kind of “voice” you use in your writing. For example, if you were to write a newsletter for your colleagues, you could assume that your readers are college educated and have at least a basic knowledge of the company. However, if your audience is a large and more generalized group of people, you will need to tailor your message so it is palatable to more than one demographic.

What demographic would you like to reach? It is no secret that you would not speak to a high school student the same way you would a business woman. Knowing or anticipating the demographic of your readers can help you determine the level of vocabulary to use, the formality of your language, the level of detail, and the types of visual aids, or lack thereof, to use. For example, if your goal is to persuade readers, statistics and facts might work for scholars and professionals but will not be as effective in a younger, less educated demographic.

What do they value? Finally, you must consider what your intended audience values and what they might be looking to gain from reading your content. If you can anticipate what is important to your audience, you can ultimately create something that will resonate with them.

Create Videos and Make your Law Firm Stand Out

As digital marketing continues to grow, the amount of competition for views, clicks, likes and follows is steeper than ever before. It can be difficult to make your firm stand out when so many attorneys are investing a lot of money on their online marketing. One way to strengthen your social media presence and gain online attention is to create videos for your website or YouTube channel. Videos will give you an extra opportunity to explain your experience, connect with potential clients and generate website traffic.

How Will Video Marketing Benefit your Law Firm?

Considering the fact that an average internet user spends over 2 hours per day using social media and messaging services, effective videos can offer many advantages.

Increased traffic to your site. In addition to Google search results, potential clients also take to YouTube, Google Videos, Vimeo and other video-specific sites to find answers to their legal questions. Your video could lead them to your site and begin an attorney-client relationship.

You can explain complicated topics more simply. When discussing law, many attorneys speak “legalese” and sound too technical. In order to gain attention, videos used in law marketing are usually short so they force attorneys to explain concepts in the easiest way possible. This simplicity lets potential clients know you are knowledgeable but easy to communicate with as well.

Link your videos to your social media accounts. It is possible to connect across multiple mediums with one post, increasing the chances that an Internet browser will find their way to your firm.

Getting Started with Legal Marketing

Think of videos as an extension of your communication with clients, where you will be answering to their questions in a concise and understanding way. Here are a few tips to get your video marketing project started:

Keep your videos short. If it lasts longer than a few minutes, viewers will likely lose interest and be turned off by your site. Whether it is a frequently asked question, an attorney introduction or an explanation of a practice area, it is best to keep your videos short. Aim for an average of 2 minutes per video depending on the topic

Share everywhere.  It is a great opportunity to generate a chain reaction, up traffic to your pages and promote the accounts that are linked to your video. When you share a video with someone, they can also share it with people, and it will keep people interested in what your firm is doing. \

Publish regularly. Having videos will be useless if you make only a few or if the information on your site quickly becomes outdated. Be consistent and post videos regularly to keep information current and increase your following online.

5 Common Content Creation Mistakes You Want to Avoid

Content marketing is a massively effective strategy as its conversion rates are way higher than traditional marketing. Although creating content is not optional for your brand anymore, it needs to be valuable high-quality content in order to effectively attract your audience. The question is: how?

Not all content is created equal but there’s a few content crimes that are really common in the PR world. Take a look at this list and find out what you can do to fix your mistakes and get back on track to content marketing success.

1.There are typos. Your content may be beautifully written, but if you have glaring typos, you’ll instantly turn your audience off. Typos make your brand appear sloppy and unorganized. You want your content to leave as good of an impression as possible, and ensuring your copy is free of errors is the first step. Implement a proofreading procedure in your content creation process, and don’t leave both the proofreading and writing to one person. If you write a copy, send it to someone else to proof. And always give the piece a final proof before publishing.

2.It’s too generic. Content is a great tool for establishing your brand’s expertise and showcasing thought leadership. But if your content reads like everyone else’s, it won’t set your brand apart from the competition. Think about a topic you can speak to, and research what else has been said about it before you write. How can you take the idea in a new direction? Giving the topic a fresh angle will make the piece more interesting to your audience.

3.It’s not what your audience wants. If your content isn’t relevant to your audience, they won’t read it. So how do you know what types of content your audience is interested in? Use your social listening tools and pay attention to their online habits. What topics do they interact with most? Before you begin writing, ask yourself: how will this piece of content benefit my audience? What will they gain from it? Focus on helping your audience and build your content around solving their problems.

4.You don’t have a call to action. Getting people to read your content is just the beginning. After they’ve read your content, what do you want them to do? Perhaps, you want them to subscribe to your blog or email list, read another page or buy a service. Without a call to action, your readers will not take the next step. Including a call to action will drive leads and convert customers. Use tracking links to easily demonstrate the value of your content and prove its impact.

5.You’re pushing the hard sell. Content that is too promotional isn’t appealing. Your audience doesn’t want to read a sales pitch; they want to know how you can help them. It’s okay to mention or highlight your brand within your content but it should never be your main focus.

Are you guilty of committing one of these content crimes? Avoiding them will make your marketing content more efficient.

Join Our Team As A Public Relations Account Coordinator!

Heying & Associates, one of San Diego’s most dynamic “boutique” PR/marketing agencies is seeking a talented Public Relations Account Coordinator.  We offer a people-oriented, team environment and mission driven accounts. Solid writing skills are a must as is an interest in legal/education/corporate/non-profit and professional services industries. We are looking for a team member who has excellent time management skills and enjoys a fast paced, professional yet fun working environment.

 

The Account Coordinator reports directly to the President and Account Executive of the agency.  The position is currently open as part time – 25-35 hours per week and may quickly turn into a full time position for the right candidate.

Click here to read the job description, requirements and instructions for the application process!

4 Tips to Align Marketing and PR

In order to a cohesive plan to attract more customers and make a name for your brand, the marketing and public relations departments need to be connected. They are both essential but it is often the case that one branch doesn’t know what the other is doing. PR and Marketing often don’t have aligned goals so how can you get them back on the same page?

Start Meeting Together. The two departments can be aligned if they meet as a unit. This is a great opportunity to work on establishing overall goals that both halves can work on, as well as get updates on what everyone is working on. The meetings don’t have to be long but they should be fairly frequent so that nothing slips through the cracks.

Get a Plan for Every Marketing Campaign. When both PR and marketing are involved in the same plan, one can support the other. Set up metrics for each activity in the plan and put each department in charge of those results.

Identifying Issues and Obstacles. Sometimes the misalignment between two departments is due to challenges that create roadblocks. Maybe the folks in PR aren’t as tech-savy as those in marketing, and they just don’t understand why they need to go digital. Or maybe one department has a bigger budget, and the other is resentful of that fact. Whatever the concern is, address it. You are both on the same team so start acting like it.

Set Goals Together. The staff on both marketing and public relations team get a say in establishing goals and objectives, and they have to be cohesive. Act like a team and make it a democracy, letting everyone get a vote. Those common goals can be used as metrics to measure against on both sides and every day both departments should move in favor of those goals.

Remember: marketing and PR are two sides of the same coin. They should work in harmony, not counter to one another.