What if you could have a steady flow of leads coming to your law firm’s website? Not just a few, but enough to allow you to choose who you represent and the cases you take on.
Accomplishing this may sound like it would take an expensive marketing budget and a commercial on daytime television, but it’s possible without many traditional marketing methods. Sound too good to be true?
With so many people near you searching for lawyers, you don’t have to go after them if they find you. Access to the Internet is quickly rendering traditional marketing obsolete. Personal injury, Social Security disability, divorce, settlement claims and other individuals with legal trouble are more likely to look for a lawyer on their iPhone than to call.
How Do You Adjust to This Change?
The best process is called Inbound Marketing, and it can change the way you find clients. So, how exactly can it help your law practice?
This is a tough question to answer. Not because it is a stretch. It’s due to the fact there are so many ways that it works for small businesses, especially law firms. Inbound rather than traditional marketing helps you gather specific, targeted leads that need what you have.
Click to read Top 5 Reasons Inbound Marketing is Better than Traditional
To start, you identify your ideal clients. Figuring out the characteristics of the cases and people that further your business and personal goals as a lawyer will help lay the foundation for your inbound marketing efforts.
Next, you’ll create tailored content directly to those ideal personas and optimize it for search engines, like Google. Then, when one of the many people suited for your skills finds your content while searching, they will be attracted to your firm’s website.
Your Website Plays an Important Role
You probably don’t work alone. There are legal assistants, secretaries, and possibly other lawyers where you work. Everyone is doing their part to ensure the success of the firm. Although, your website may not be pulling its weight. Chances are, your potential clients are visiting your virtual office before setting an appointment with your secretary.
A focused site could be the most important element in your inbound marketing strategy. Having a website that gives an ideal client what they are looking for, while leading them to an action that you desire, is work that only a well-designed and thought out website can do.
This post is just the start into a world of inbound that can bring you ideal clients that have already begun the education process when they contact you.
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What if you could, with one tool, create a podcast, YouTube video, and a live talk show that can even take guests live on air? Would that change your business or get your message out faster?
I’m guessing it would.
Blab is a new tool that is incredibly versatile. In fact, it can turn your platform into a multi-media content publisher overnight. You have probably heard that podcasts can help grow your brand, and maybe you’ve heard the same thing about a YouTube channel. Now, the internet is abuzz with live streaming capabilities offered by companies like Periscope and Blab.
What makes Blab Different?
Periscope may have been early in the game, but Blab makes up for it’s later entry with incredible functionality. Instead of a talking head on an app, you can stream a live show with up to 4 people. You can also do it right from their website, no app needed. This function allows you to have guests live on-air talking with you. You can even have someone watching jump on and ask a question during your show.
The concept is allowing Blab to grow rapidly. Instead of one person being a talking head to many it can be a studio setting with multiple guests in multiple locations talking to your audience, possibly live.
What about That Multi-Media Publisher Thing?
The best part may be after your live show is off the air. Once you are done a recording is available in two forms. You can download the mp3 for an easy transformation into a podcast. You can also download the mp4 for an immediate upload to your youtube channel or another video player. Your content can now live on forever on multiple platforms from one recording. Your one show can be consumed three different ways; live on-air, replay video, and audio.
That’ a whole lot better than your video being gone in 24 hours.
Blab for Business
Small businesses can rock this platform in their inbound marketing strategy. You just have to know what your customers want to hear. Creating an audience around useful content that is related to your industry is incredibly easy with Blab. Even if you don’t have many people checking out the live show at first, your audio and replay video will continue to attract people increasing your live audience over time.
- [icon type=”angle-double-right” class=”fa-li accent”]You can have interviews with prominent people in your industry
- [icon type=”angle-double-right” class=”fa-li accent”]You can coach your audience and take their questions live on video
- [icon type=”angle-double-right” class=”fa-li accent”]You can have troubleshooting discussions about products and services
- [icon type=”angle-double-right” class=”fa-li accent”]You can record podcasts live with listener questions just like the radio
Overall, it is still early in the game for live media. It will be exciting to see how this platform and others evolve to bring even more functionality.
To stay in touch and see how I’m using Blab for my business check it out here…
The only thing indefinite about your marketing strategy is the fact that you have to do it, continuously and most likely forever. Marketing never stops, even though it’s the first thing businesses cut in terms of budget when times are tough.
However, there are life cycles to certain marketing activities. You’ve probably noticed that famous brands like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s switch out their ads every so often. Even the big dogs like them, who have no trouble with brand loyalty and customer retention, understand they can only run the same ad for so long.
Life cycles are especially true for online marketing, where strategies change often. What worked a year ago might not be so relevant today.
There are marketing activities like content strategy and creation that need to be consistent and have no deadline, at least in the next few years. But for other marketing, they have a certain shelf life. That’s why it’s important to set time-bound goals and know exactly when to pull the plug.
Marketing for Multi-Channel Campaigns
Multi-channel campaigns refer to a specific message your company is trying to promote everywhere, whether it is Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or others. This message might be about a promotional offer, a big sales event, or an upcoming product.
These campaigns should typically last 45 days. Anything longer makes them less effective, as people become too familiar with the message and lose interest. Anything shorter makes them not register in people’s mind.
It’s no secret that people want quick fixes, and at one point in time, SEO was able to provide that. It was easy to determine a few keywords to rank for and hope for the best.
Now that the game has changed vastly, SEO is not something that can work overnight. In fact, anything less than 90 days is putting a lot of expectation on its effectiveness.
SEO strategies are most commonly divided into a 6-month plan. The first month is about planning and auditing current strategies in place. Months 2 to 6 are about implementing new strategies, pushing new content, amplifying visibility on social media, and having natural links.
Most companies start seeing results between 4 to 6 months. At some point, usually after 12 months, results from SEO efforts will taper off. Then it becomes more about maintaining them.
Why Life Cycles Matter
When you define life cycles for your marketing strategy and activities, it allows you to pivot when something doesn’t work. If you are expecting 5,000 visitors per month at a certain point and you’re within 80% of that goal, that’s a good indication that what you’re doing is working. If however, you’ve only met 20% of your goal after 6 months, you know it’s time to kill whatever you’re doing and strategize again.
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You’ve probably heard of the marketing adage, “content is king.” That’s only half true; it’s not any old marketing content that’s going to bring visitors to your website and increase engagement. The content has to be valuable, first and foremost.
But constantly pumping out new marketing content is a full-time endeavor in itself, not to mention there are too many platforms to keep track of. It’s typical for a business to have a blog, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a LinkedIn page, a Google+ page, and a YouTube channel. These are just the popular ones. Who know what social media platform will become popular next?
There actually is a solution to this perpetual cycle of content production. It’s called upcycling.
Upcycle Marketing Content
Upcycling marketing content is the process of creating one type of content, for example, a blog post, and turning it around to use on other channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
Upcycling has two major advantages. First, you don’t have to spend as much time on producing content. Second, your content and brand gets more exposure when it’s on multiple channels.
Content is useless if it’s not seen, read, or consumed somehow. Remember the 80/20 rule; in this case, your focus should be on creating awesome content 20% of the time and promoting it 80% of the time, for more exposure and outreach. Upcycling helps with the promotion.
Examples of Content Upcycling
Suppose your main content outlet is through videos on YouTube. You don’t have to stop there. After publishing on YouTube, you can publish the same videos as iTunes’ videos and audio podcasts. You can have the videos transcribed and turn them into blog posts. You can tweet the main ideas from your content and link to your blog posts. You can post on Facebook and Google+, with a slightly tweaked headline and copy.
Without recreating any content, you already have 7 different channels of promotion. You can go even further with Slideshare presentations, infographics, or images. Images are often overlooked, but using them is a great way to humanize your brand.
You can expand on your most well-received content and turn it into an e-book. There are bloggers who provide a “download this post as an e-book” button on particularly long posts, in exchange for an email address. This is a win-win because an e-book is a convenient way to digest content (so you’re providing value to your readers) and you’ve just got yourself new subscribers.
Where you multi-purpose your content depends on the type of business and target audience you have. Go where your core audience is hanging out. Rather than spreading yourself too thin across different channels, it’s best to focus on a tight group of channels where you have the best ROI.
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Social media is inherently a narcissistic thing. It’s the place where people like talking about themselves, first and foremost.
This is where many small businesses fail. They don’t understand that people don’t care about brands; they care about what brands can do for them. This lack of understanding is transparent in their social media postings. They’re either promotional or boring.
If you’re a small business wanting to strengthen your brand with social media, you need to put yourself in the mind of social media users and plan your strategy accordingly. Here are 3 ways you can start today:
1. Provide Value
Always ask yourself before posting on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media channels: What’s in it for them, meaning your customers or audience? How is your content valuable?
Value can be conveyed in several ways. Your posts should be entertaining, offer some kind of a reward (through coupons, discounts, etc.), or be helpful to someone else’s business.
When you publish helpful content on a consistent basis, your audience will start associating your brand with something that provides value.
2. Start Conversations
You’d be surprised how many “one-sided” conversations are on social media. There are many businesses that only post promotional content but don’t interact with their customers. As mentioned in the beginning, social media is an inherently narcissistic concept, but businesses shouldn’t follow suit!
Respond to someone’s off-hand comment on Twitter. Encourage followers to leave comments. Lululemon Athletica, a yoga apparel company, did this brilliantly by posting “fill in the blank” questions and asking people to design their dreams.
3. Tell a Story
Now you get to be a bit narcissistic yourself, but only 1 out of 10 times or so. Tell a story about your brand, how it got started, and who works for it. Stories are interesting as long as they tap into people’s emotions.
Post something that shows appreciation to your employees if you have any, because people like to feel they’re supporting businesses that are nice to their people.
How to Pick the Right Social Media Channel
With so many time-sucking social media outlets, which one is right for your business?
If you want to build a community and your target demographic is older than teens, Facebook is right for you.
If your business is B2B and your content revolves around helping other businesses, LinkedIn is where you want to hang out.
If you’re in a visual industry (architecture, interior design, etc.), consider Pinterest and Instagram.
If you post a lot of time-sensitive information, Twitter is your answer.
If your business revolves around “showing” how things work (like auto dealership), YouTube is the way to go.
The best way to build your brand through social media is to focus on one core channel first, gain a following, and branch out. This way, you can focus on providing the best content and avoid spreading yourself too thin.
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Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing
The term “inbound marketing” was thought to be a trendy buzzword soon to go away. But many years later, it has become the strategy for online marketing efforts of small businesses.
Guy Kawasaki famously said, “If you have more money than brains, you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing.” It would seem that the skeptics are wrong and inbound marketing is here to stay, because it’s hard to deny its effectiveness.
That is not to say outbound marketing, or traditional marketing has no place. But it pays to take a good look at what advantages inbound has over traditional tactics.
Traditional marketing includes advertising on TV, radio, print, outdoor, tradeshoes, etc. These channels are not cheap and oftern can run in tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.
With inbound, you may spend a portion of your marketing budget on strategy, content creation and SEO, but the costs associated are no where near that of traditional marketing.
Custom content is more relevant than ever. Inbound focuses on building relationships with customers through customized content. It feels more personal and relevant than traditional advertising, which is primarily used for awareness building and branding.
When was the last time you were excited to receive junk mail or a call from a telemarketer? Probably never. On the contrary, inbound is based on your customer giving permission, or “opting-in.”
Inbound is not intrusive because you can decide you want to visit a certain website. Social media sites like Facebook display only relevant ads related to something you searched for recently. And even if those ads don’t speak to you, they’re not “in your face” like a TV or a radio ad.
Traditional marketing through expos or trade shows can only be done once at a certain time. Then the vendors have to return again the following year. For the most part, print ads are only relevant within a day or two of their run date.
Inbound marketing through blog posts, white papers, ebooks and social media, on the other hand, can sustain itself. It only has to be written once and put up once, and people can download it over and over. The content created for inbound marketing campaigns is a durable digital asses that generate leads for years.
Again with the trade show example, traditional advertising takes longer to plan and execute. Trade shows are typically a week long and take time to transport, set up, and tear down. This requires manual labor.
While some parts of inbound like content generation can’t be automated, many parts can be automated to save time.
It’s important for businesses to know which marketing efforts give them the best ROI. Many times, inbound is the answer.
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