10 Ways for Lawyers to Share and Re-purpose Firm News on Social Media

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DW: I invite you to read and study this comprehensive guest post by my friend, Mitch Jackson. Mitch is a successful trial lawyer who has used social media extensively to build his practice.

Social media is all about sharing good content and helping others. Results come from engaging, caring and providing value. My general rule is that only 20% of my posts on the various platforms are about me or my firm. The other 80% are focused on sharing tips and curating good third party content that helps others.

This article is about the 20%.

Overview

You’ve just settled an interesting case or obtained a favorable verdict. Maybe you’ve even made new case law. Here are 10 ways to share this news or update with your tribe (current and past clients, family, friends, and other followers on social media).

Before we get started, remember that in today’s digital world, we’re all media companies. Producing and sharing good content is now, in my humble opinion, mandatory. It’s also important to understand and appreciate the fact that while content is king, context is everything. Each platform is different (some more than others) so care must be taken to post to your tribe the right way on each platform.

Also make sure to start with a good profile on each social media platform. On the internet, you only have about the average attention span of a goldfish (9 seconds) to capture someone’s attention. Make sure to complete each profile with your picture (not a firm logo) and short interesting bio (not a boring lawyer bio).

Step #1: Website and Blog

Share your good news or update in a properly written blog post. Use effective headings and appropriate keywords. Use a story format and write in your own voice and in a non-legal way. Make the post interesting and easy to read. Increase interaction by always including a picture, graphic or video in your post.

If you’re writing your blog posts like all the other lawyers out there, then you’re probably doing things wrong. Be yourself and unique. Share your art.

If you don’t have a website or blog, this is your first high priority step. Everything is going mobile (smartphones and tablets) so make sure your site is mobile responsive (no exceptions). I’m a big fan of WordPress with Studio Press hosted on WPEngine.

Click here to see how we’ve setup our firm website and communication tips blog.

Step #2: Twitter

Share the catchy heading of your blog post, together with a short description sentence on Twitter. Include the link back to your post. Use a hashtag. Although Twitter allows for 140 characters, try and keep your post to about 120 characters to leave room for people to retweet with comments.

Because pictures attract more attention, add the picture you used in your post to your tweet. If you don’t have a picture, use one of the free or paid online services to grab an image that relates to your story (I like Fotolia). One of my favorite techniques is to download and use the free screenshot service called “Jing” by TechSmith to capture a picture of the top portion of my blog post to use later for posting on the other social platforms.

While you’re thinking of Twitter, take your blog post and break it down into 5-10 snapshots addressing key points and topics contained within your blog. Each snapshot or tweet is worded in its own unique and eye catching way. I use a Word or Google document and keep a list of these mini snapshot tweets for future use.

Sit down at night or early in the morning and use Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule these additional tweets once or twice a day, over the next 5-10 days. Each tweet links back to your original blog post.

Click here to see how I’m using Twitter.

Step #3: Linkedin

Take one or more of the tweets that you have listed in your Word document and share it on Linkedin, linking back to your blog post. Normally I do this in the above step by telling Hootsuite to send out the tweets I schedule to both Twitter and Linkedin.

Click here to see how I’m using Linkedin.

Step #4: Facebook

Again, I take one or more of the tweets I’ve listed in my Word or Google document and re-purpose the language for Facebook. Unlike Twitter, Facebook posts can be longer so I usually add a bit more information in Word before posting with the link back to my blog post.

Images are powerful attention grabbing magnets on Facebook and will result in more interaction, shares and comments. Because of this, make sure to include an image with your post. Rather than allowing the link to my blog post to automatically pull an image back into my Facebook feed, I prefer to upload my own image from the blog post. Doing this will display a larger image in your Facebook post.

I have a personal and business Facebook profile and depending on the nature of the content, I post to each once or twice a day.Click here to see how we’re using Facebook for the firm or here for my personal page.

Step #5: Pinterest

If you’re not using this platform then you’re missing out. Upload the picture or screen shot relating to your blog post and add it to one or more of your Pinterest Boards. Several boards you may want to set up include current news, verdicts and settlements, legal tips, testimonials, videos, photos, podcasts, newsletter, and community service, just to name a few.

After using the content in your Word document to complete the description in Pinterest, make sure to add 3-4 relevant hashtags at the end and also include your blog post link in the source link box. This way, when someone clicks on the picture they will be taken to your linked blog post.

I have both personal and law firm Pinterest sites. Feel free to click on the links to see how I’m using them.

Step #6: Youtube

Video is huge on social media. Within a year of posting our first video (it wasn’t very good but it was a start), we received hundreds of new client inquires and dozens of new cases. I was also featured in various high profile websites, blogs, and even the ABA Journal. Talk about good publicity!

If you haven’t already done so, setup your Youtube channel and start making and posting short 1-3 minute long videos. Also share other interesting videos about your activities and events on your channel. People will relate to you when they learn more about your interests, passions, and even your family.

You don’t need a fancy camera and the process is pretty simple. There are plenty of “how to” resources out there but I think you’ll figure things out once you complete and upload your first couple of videos. Using a lapel mic is key to getting good audio.

By far, the best videos we’ve shared are the ones that do not look like they are professionally shot. For example, one involved me stopping while riding my mountain bike and using my smartphone to shoot a selfie video about why staying healthy will help you be a better trial lawyer. It received a great deal of favorable traction and feedback once shared on all the platforms.

Putting the camera up on a tripod at the office and sharing my take on a breaking news event (called newsjacking) has also resulted in articles on Lawyers.com, national interviews, speaking engagements, and even being mentioned or profiled in more than one book. One bit of advice is to remember to pay attention to your background and how you look, and keep your video short and sweet.

Tip: Here’s a secret most people overlook. There are many services and programs that will allow you get the audio of your video transcribed so that you can use it for a future blog post. Others will allow you to rip the audio from the video which you can then use as a podcast more fully described below.

The key is to keep things interesting and snappy. Don’t be a boring lawyer. Don’t sit behind your desk and sound like bla, bla, bla. When I look back, I’m embarrassed to watch my first dozen videos. But guess what, it was a learning process and in the long run, it’s all good.

Here’s our Youtube channel if you’d like to see the bad and the good.

Step #7: SlideShare

This often overlooked platform is well respected and used successfully by marking pros around the globe. I’ve been neglecting this platform for far too long. This past weekend, I uploaded a new SlideShare about negotiation and within the first 24 hours it had more than 900 views and trended on Twitter and SlideShare. The response was so good that this presentation was then profiled on the SlideShare home page. Two days later, we’re over 2,000 views. The exposure for my firm was huge!

You can and should do the same thing. Think about this for a moment. Everything you do as a lawyer is based upon steps and checklists. Take the material you already have that can help consumers (“10 Things to Know and Do If You’re Arrested” or “6 Steps to a Successful Patent”), create compelling and easy to read PowerPoint slides and then upload them to SlideShare. Take the blog post we’ve been talking about and break it down to a 15-20 slide presentation. Link back to your original blog post.

Here’s how we’re using SlideShare.

Step #8: Podcasts

Podcasts are very popular because mobile technology now allows us to easily listen to podcasts anytime and anyplace. Take your blog post and turn the content into a short 10-20 minute podcast. Start with a snappy and attention grabbing intro and then share your information using your own voice. Use your post as an outline and just share your message from your heart. Close with a call to action referring back to your website or blog.

Interviews are also a great way to expand your sphere of influence. Once you’re up and running, reach out and interview other people who your listeners might find interesting. When you’re done, share the link with your interviewee and he or she will almost always share the interview with their audience. This is a great way to expand your sphere of influence and increase the number of eyeballs to your website, blog and podcasts platforms.

There are plenty of resources our there to help get you started but my one stop “how to” podcast site is Cliff Ravenscraft’s Podcast Answer Man.

Once we add and upload a podcast to our host (we use Libsysn), we share the podcast link back at our original post. We also upload and link to Stitcher, iTunes, and Soundcloud.

Note, once my podcasts are completed and uploaded, I share the unique links of these three platforms to most of the above-mentioned social platforms. The heading and short description is changed from the earlier descriptions and posts. Links are also shared on the original blog post or website page, just in case a visitor would rather listen to the material.

Step #9: Spreecast and Google Hangouts

These live video platforms allow you to have your own internet television station. For me, Spreecast has been an awesome platform that has connected me with interesting and well known people from all around the world. I even had the chance to chat with Katie Couric and later that day, we both made TMZ. How cool is that!

Some of the people I’ve interviewed are New York Times best selling authors and celebrities with 250,000 to 1,000,000 Twitter followers. What do you think happens when they tweet out that they’re going to be on my Spreecast?

You can use these platforms to interview guests about legal topics or approaches. I’d also recommend that you do what I do and, depending on your passion, reach out and interview people associated with your unique interest. Your show may not have anything to do with the law but it will highlight the real you to your audience. This allows people to connect with you and that’s a good thing!

Promote your show on all the platforms well before the event and also afterwards (they’re recorded). Share the event links and embed the video of your interview at your blog and platforms. Many of my Spreecasts will have 1,000 unique views within the first hour or so and several thousand in the first 24 hours. Lifelong friends have been made simply from using this single platform.

As I mentioned in the Youtube section, you may also want to have your interviews transcribed or audio ripped for future use on blogs and podcast. Rarely is there a need to duplicate your efforts!

Here’s my Spreecast page to give you an idea about what I’m talking about.

Step #10: Vine, Instagram and Snapchat

Whether you “get it” or not, young adults are using these platforms and they’re becoming more and more relevant in the business world. Several high profile marketing experts are very keen on the future of these platforms. This in and of itself is good reason to get involved on these channels. Setup accounts and start using these platforms to share legal tips in a fun way.

Take the screenshot image of the blog post and share it on Instagram with a link or reference back to your website or blog. Instagram will not allow you to hyperlink, so that’s why we setup a fun and easy to remember domain we direct viewers to. We tell viewers to visit MyLawyerRocks.com for more informaton :-)

As an example, here is our Vine account  and you can view our Instagram here.  As of this post, Snapchat does not have a web based browser, so connect with me on the platform to see how we’re using it.

Final Thoughts

The above approach is working very well for me. A single blog post can be shared using the above method over several days or weeks. Whatever works for you is fine. Just take action and get started.

Keep in mind that what’s important on social is the 80% part of the equation. That is, engaging and helping others. However, when I do jump over to the 20% side of things, this is exactly how I do it.

Without a doubt, the best increase in influence and engagement I’ve experienced on the digital platforms have come from my efforts relating to other interests that complement the practice of law. When I blog about a legal theory or explain new statutes or case law, all I usually hear are digital crickets. But when I share a blog or social media post about my passions, family, youth sports, or family trips, the interaction and feedback explodes.

For example, I have a communication tips blog where I share a weekly communication tip. This blog is my passion and I enjoy providing useful ideas to help everyday people communicate more effectively. Over time, trust and rapport is established with people (my tribe) who share a common interest. When my tribe has a legal question or someone needs a lawyer, who do you think they call? Here’s my communication tips blog if you’d like to see what I’m talking about.

Along the same lines, I enjoy trying cases and sharing trial tips. My Google Plus Trial Lawyer Tips Community is one of the platforms I use to expand this interest. Over the past year, the community has grown to over 1,500 members (mostly lawyers) sharing hundreds of outstanding trial tips. Click here to visit or join this community.

Conclusion

Today, smart lawyers use social media to inspire, inform, educate and build new relationships. Hopefully you will use some or all of these ideas to do the same thing. I encourage you to use the different approaches in this article and start incorporating social media into your daily activity to expand your sphere of influence.

But remember one thing. Social is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Be patient and consistent in your efforts. Be transparent, share your unique art, and good things will happen.

I hope you found this article useful and I look forward to seeing you on the digital platforms!

——-
Mitch Jackson has been a trial lawyer for 28 years and is the 2013 California Litigation Lawyer of the Year (CLAY Award) and 2009 Orange County Trial Lawyer of the Year. When he’s not trying cases, Mitch uses social media to help good attorneys become great trial lawyers and to show everyone (not just lawyers) how to communicate more effectively. His law firm website is JacksonandWilson.com and his communication tips blog is MitchJackson.com

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What do you like best about being an attorney?

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It’s time to write another article for your website, blog, or newsletter. If you’re ready, say, “I’m ready!” and let’s get started.

The title of your post is: “What I like best about being an _______attorney in ________”. The first blank is your practice area. The second blank is your city or town. This will give you a title with some keywords prospective clients are likely to search for.

So, what do you like best about being an attorney? Your answer will give clients and prospects some insights into why you do what you do. They want to know what drives you because they want to hire an attorney who is passionate about what they do.

You might start your article by describing several things you like, followed by the one thing you like the most. You might describe a typical day, showing what you do and how you feel about what you do. Or a crazy day that tested you but ultimately defined you. You might talk about why you went to law school.

Whatever you like about being an attorney, make sure you tell the reader why. Sure, you like being able to help people solve problems, but why? Share a story about what you did for a client in the past, how it changed their life, and how this made you feel.

What about money? I say, don’t hide from the subject. If you do well financially and that’s something you like about your practice, say so. Clients want to hire successful attorneys. I probably wouldn’t make it number one on the list, however, unless you can also show how you use the money to make the world a better place by supporting charitable causes and the like.

If it helps, you might want to pretend that you’re writing this to a young relative who is considering a career in law. What would you say to show them that it’s hard, but worth it?

Give your readers some insights into what you do and why you do it. Clients hire attorneys they know, like, and trust and your article will help them do just that.

Want more ideas about content for your website? Get this

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Why I don’t obsess over SEO

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I take a rather relaxed approach to SEO. I pay attention to a few things like using keywords, but not at the expense of good writing, and by that, I mean writing that informs, persuades, inspires, and (at times) entertains.

I don’t study search engine optimization. I don’t hire consultants. And I don’t spend time contorting my posts to conform to arcane rules of the day.

Why?

First, I hate this kind of stuff. It’s boring. And frustrating. One day it’s this way, next week it’s something else.

Second, I don’t need to. Google is smarter than I am and they always find a way to figure out what I’m saying and who should read it. What they want more than anything is well-written, high quality information, and that’s what I try to give them.

A recent article over at the SearchEnginePeople.com blog, about five common SEO misconceptions, agrees that quality is king.

My favorite misconception is, “every headline needs a keyword.” I like this because I do try to include a well-searched keyword phrase in most of my headlines, but frankly, it often ruins an otherwise compelling headline.

Apparently, I can loosen up on the reins a bit. “If you can add a niche keyword in there, then all the better but don’t make that the be all and end all of your headline writing… A captivating headline brings click-throughs, links social shares and more traffic.”

There is a trade-off between being found (keywords) and being clicked (benefit rich headline). Apparently, if we write clickable headlines and high quality copy, Google will send us people who want to read it.

Content marketing for attorneys: click here

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Networking and your legal marketing plan

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If you do it right, networking can become a cornerstone of your legal marketing plan and one of your biggest sources of new business and career opportunities. But it can also be time consuming. 

One way to get more out of your networking is to use it as a springboard to finding content for your blog or newsletter.

Interview people you meet through networking and post it on your blog or in your newsletter. Do a profile of them or their business or practice, or promote their cause.

They get exposure, traffic, and new clients or customers. Your readers learn valuable tips from these subject matter experts. You get content for your blog that may bring you more search engine traffic.

And you get the gratitude of your new networking partner.

Their gratitude may lead to good things for you. Or it may not. Not all of people you feature in your interviews will reciprocate by interviewing you or sending you traffic or referrals. But some will.

These interviews can lead to other things. You can invite your networking partners to submit guest posts or articles for your blog or newsletter. You can explore other marketing joint ventures.

Go find some professionals, businesses, or vendors who sell to or write about your target market or community. You can find them online or in person. Reach out to them and ask questions about what they do. Then, ask for the interview. I can’t imagine anyone turning you down.

Wait, I’ll make it even easier for you. Start (this week would be good) by approaching someone you already know. Call your best referral source or business client and tell them you want to interview them.

What’s that? You don’t have a blog or newsletter? I guess you better start.

Learn how to create or grow a blog or website. Click here.

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Search terms for lawyers: let’s write another post together

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Time for us to write another blog post together. Like the previous one, this is designed to bring you search engine traffic for a high ranking search term.

Last time, we wrote a post optimized for, “What to ask a ________ lawyer”. You filled in the blank with your practice area. Today, we’re going to write a post optimized for another oft searched phrase, “How to find a good __________ attorney”.

Remember to use this phrase in your title and body of your post. It’s also good to add the phrase to the post’s meta data. I use a wordpress plug-in for that.

For the content of the post, I suggest providing two basic recommendations for finding a lawyer in your practice area:

(1) Referrals. Tell readers to ask someone they trust for a referral. This could be another lawyer, an insurance agent, accountant, doctor, business owner, or other professional. It could also be someone who might have hired an attorney in your field. Provide a few questions to ask about the attorney, especially why they recommend them.

Now, you’re probably thinking, “why suggest that they ask people for a referral that might lead the visitor to another attorney”? Because it’s good advice. Because your post is providing objective information prospective clients need to know. Because when someone reads this, they are on your site, where they can see what you do and all of the reasons why they should choose you. And because this post is what brings prospects to your site who might otherwise not find you.

Add some criteria for selecting an attorney in your field, referred or otherwise. Provide questions to ask that attorney, and things to look for on their site, i.e., background, and so forth. See my previous post for recommendations.

(2) Search. Visitors are on your site most likely because of a search. So, endorse what they did to get there by providing a list of additional search terms for lawyers in your practice area.

Again, being helpful.

Might visitors take those terms and go find other attorneys? Yes. But they might do that anyway. They also might see that you are helpful and confident and know what you’re doing, and choose you. They might go look at other attorney’s sites, see that they are not as helpful, and come back to you.

Remind readers that search is just a starting point and that they should investigate further using the same criteria you spoke about for referred attorneys.

If you have additional recommendations for finding and evaluating an attorney in your practice area, by all means add them, especially if you are strong in those areas. If you have a strong presence and lots of positive reviews on consumer rating sites, or a big social media following populated by lots of fans, you might want to say something about how this could be either a good starting point for a search, or a good way to validate that the attorney candidate is worthy of consideration.

You might want to explain why some ways of finding attorneys are not recommended. Directories, for example, are often paid listings (ads) and in any event, don’t provide enough information to make an intelligent decision.

Once this post is published, as with the previous post, write other posts on this subject, optimized for variations of your original search phrase. For example, “How to find a great ______ attorney,” “How to choose the right _______ attorney,” and “How do I select the best ______ attorney?”

For more ideas on blog posts and other content that brings traffic to your site, get your hands on Make the Phone Ring and learn, um, how to make your phone ring.

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How to write a blog without writing a blog

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I get it. You don’t have a lot of time to write a blog. Even once a week seems daunting. But you know that having content online is a great way to highlight your capabilities and draw traffic, and you’d like to find a way to make it work.

One way to do this is to let others do the writing for you.

You could have your partners, associates, and staff do some or all of it. You could hire a ghost writer. (They’re not expensive.) Or, you could let other professionals write guest posts. Let’s talk about this one, shall we?

One way to do this is have five or ten other lawyers, consultants, experts, accountants, and so on, who each contribute a post every other month. They get exposure for their practice or business, you get content.

Some of those other professionals will undoubtedly notify their clients, subscribers, and readers about their new post on your site, and provide a link to it, which gives you exposure to their contacts. Of course you can offer to provide guest posts on their blogs, too, if and when you have the time.

If you don’t have enough other professionals who want in on this deal, no problem. You can easily find professionals online who would love to get exposure to your readers. Reaching out this way is a great way of networking with potential referral sources.

One thing you might want to do is add your comments before, during (by interlineation), or after the guest post. In other words, you introduce the guest blogger and his or her post and add your thoughts about how the post applies to your practice area or clients. This should take you very little time and will add value and context to a post that might otherwise seem a bit off topic.

First, make sure you flesh out your blog with ten or twenty substantive posts, written by you, about your practice area. Why? Because it’s your blog and you want to show visitors what you know and do. Also, you’ll be able to link to this content in your comments to guest posts. For example, if you handle employment law and have a guest post by a psychologist writing about how to handle a difficult employee, in your addendum to that post, you can link to your article about the legal implications of what employers might say or do.

Okay, one more idea. Ask one of your guest-post team if you can interview them. Have them give you five or ten questions to ask them, in advance. Record and transcribe the interview and post it on your blog. Easy content.

Of course it’s just as easy to have them interview you for their blog.

For more ideas on how to write a blog, get this.

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Attorney marketing plan: time vs. money

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I talked to an attorney yesterday who wanted to drive more traffic to his website. A plan to get more traffic to your website, like any attorney marketing plan, comes down to a choice between time and money.

Here is a list of the more common (and acceptable) marketing options for attorneys who want to get more traffic:

MONEY

  • Advertising (PPC, display, offline, direct mail, radio, etc.)
  • Hire a PR firm to get you coverage, interviews
  • Self-hosted seminars
  • Hire people to ghost write content or assist you in writing content

TIME

  • Writing a blog
  • Guest posts and comments on other people’s blogs
  • Writing articles for article directories, offline publications
  • Webinars/teleconferences
  • Public speaking, seminars
  • Write reports, ebooks, articles, audios, courses
  • Build an email list
  • Staying in touch with former clients
  • Social media networking
  • Youtube videos
  • Networking
  • Marketing joint ventures
  • Podcasts/webcasts/hangouts/interviewing experts
  • Interviews, panel discussions

Most attorneys can’t or don’t want to advertise. Or, they don’t have a big enough budget to compete with some of the bigger advertisers.

The problem is, most attorneys have even less time than money. At least that’s what they tell themselves. They could invest more time in marketing. They often don’t because (a) they don’t know how and/or (b) they don’t think they’ll see a return on their investment.

What if I could prove that one hour invested in marketing (the right way) would bring a three-fold return? In other words, if you’re time is worth $300 an hour, and I proved to you that investing one hour in writing a blog post would bring you $900 in revenue, would you invest that hour?

Of course you would. Yo mama didn’t raise no fool.

But here’s the thing. That blog post might bring you a three-fold return this month, and then again next month. And every month. There will always be new people searching for your content and your solutions.

No guarantees, of course. Your results may vary.

My point is that many time-oriented marketing activities have a long tail, whereas advertising generally doesn’t.

Your website content can bring you traffic and new clients for months or years to come. Networking and building relationships with new referral sources and joint venture partners can do the same. Building lists and staying in touch with people can provide you with a long term source of new business.

When you look at it this way, instead of worrying about how much time marketing is “costing” you, you’ll realize that every hour you AREN’T marketing is costing you.

As Wayne Dyer puts it, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

If you want more traffic to your website, get my Internet marketing course for attorneys

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How to get more search engine traffic

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Would you like to get more search engine traffic from prospective clients who are looking for a lawyer who does what you do? I thought you might. Okay, let’s write a blog post together and make that happen.

The title of your post is, “What to ask a _______ lawyer”. (Fill in the blank with words that describe one of your practice areas.)

Why this title? Because every day, prospective clients type the following words into a search engine: “What to ask a ________ lawyer?”

Are you with me? You’re going to write a post that uses the exact keywords that your prospective clients are searching for. Put those keywords in your title and again in the body of your post.

Later, you can write variations on this original post with similar keywords they may use in their query, i.e., “What questions to ask. . .,” “What do I need to know about. . .,” “What information should I find out about. . .”, and so on.

Now, write five to ten questions prospective clients should ask a lawyer in your field. Start by jotting down the questions prospective clients typically ask you. Add some questions they don’t ask, but should.

Here are some ideas to help you get started:

Background/experience: Years in practice, practice areas, certification/specialty, awards, jury verdicts, etc.

Doing business: Fees/payment plans, free consultation, satisfaction guarantee, etc.

Procedural: How long, what happens first, what happens after that, what if X happens?

Law/advice: Why do I need to do X? or  When would you recommend x instead of y?

Why you: Why should I hire you instead of any other lawyer in your field? or What do you do/offer that other attorneys don’t do/offer?

Personal/philosophy: What do you like best about your practice?or Why do you do what you do?

Once you have the questions, answer them. Obviously, you should have a good answer to these questions yourself.

Many, if not all of these questions, should already be answered on your website, on a FAQ page, your “About” page, and in articles or posts. Then, in this new post, link to those other pages or posts so the reader can get more information.

And, that’s all there is to it.

Now, when someone searches for “What to ask a _______ lawyer?” in your market, there’s a good chance your post will come up at or near the top of the search results. When the reader clicks through and reads your post, they’re going to find exactly what they have been searching for and see that you have some really good answers to those questions.

Targeted traffic made simple.

Want more ways to get more search engine traffic? Click here.

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The second best source of new clients

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According to a study of online marketing metrics, the best source of new clients (customers) is through generic search engine traffic. Nothing else comes close.

You probably knew that.

What you may find surprising is what’s number two. According to the study, it’s email, which is 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter.

So, if you aren’t leveraging generic search engine traffic by creating and posting quality content online, you’re missing out big time. Prospective clients go to search engines looking for information about their legal situation, the available solutions, and for lawyers who can help them. Post information that answers their questions and provides those solutions and they will find you.

You don’t need to hire a team of experts. You don’t need to spend a lot of time. Once a week or so, write 300 to 500 words about something prospective clients want to know and might go looking for and post it.

Make sure you use keywords in the title and body of your post and follow a few other best practice to tell Uncle Google and his cousins what your post is about. Remember, search engines want to help their customers find what they’re looking for. Write and post that content and they’ll help you find prospective clients.

Now, not everyone who finds your website and reads your content is ready to hire you right away. In fact, you have to assume that most visitors to your website aren’t ready. In a few days or a few months, or perhaps a few years, when they are ready (or know someone who is), they probably won’t remember you. There’s a good chance they’ll wind up on some other lawyer’s website.

Unless. . . you stay in touch with them . . through email. . . the second best source of new clients online.

Your website needs to collect visitor’s email addresses. If it does not, you’re losing business. Probably a lot of business. Even if you practice in an area where most people make a hiring decision quickly like personal injury or criminal defense, because some clients wait and some clients are unhappy with the first attorney they hire.

Offer your visitors something free as an incentive to sign up for your email list. A report, checklist, form, or ebook. Add a form to your site to make it easy for them to opt in. Use an autoresponder to collect emails and automate much or all of the “staying in touch”.

Marketing online is not difficult and does not take a lot of time. Create search engine friendly content and build an email list. They are the number one and number two best source of new clients online so if you do it, you won’t have to do much of anything else.

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Lawyers with blogs aren’t necessarily bloggers

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One of the best ways to show prospective clients and referral sources what you can do to help them and the people they know is to post high quality information on your website. Whether that information comes in the form of articles, blog posts, videos, or anything else isn’t that important. It’s also unimportant whether you post that information on a static website or a blog.

If you post your content on a blog, that doesn’t make you a blogger. A blog is merely a convenient format for displaying content to visitors in a way that is accessible and search engine friendly.

Blogging is often said to be more than just writing and posting content. We are told that there is a distinct social aspect to blogging, involving things like engaging visitors through comments, interviewing subject matter experts, and conversing with other bloggers. But it appears that the importance of these activities may be overstated.

I read a post this morning which asked whether introverts can be successful bloggers. The author cites Pete Cashmore (Mashable), Guy Kawasaki, Brian Clark (Coppyblogger), and Darren Rowse (Problogger.net), four successful bloggers and self-confessed introverts, in support of his position that yes, introverts can be successful bloggers. In fact, these four individuals have all built big businesses through blogging.

I noted recently that a preponderance of attorneys are introverts. I am, too. I have a successful business that is built on a framework of blogging. While I don’t ignore the social aspects of the job, my primary focus is on creating and delivering content.

Am I a blogger? Perhaps. I don’t know. I really don’t care. What’s important is I don’t let my introversion stop me from leveraging the power of the Internet, and neither should you.

Quality content attracts traffic via search engines and social sharing (done by your visitors). That content then educates visitors about their legal issues and the possible solutions. In so doing, it shows those visitors how you can help them and demonstrates your skills and experience. It helps visitors get to know, like, and trust you, and prompts them to hire you or inquire about doing so. If they’re not ready to hire you immediately, your content can prompt them to join your email list so you can stay in touch with them until they are ready to take the next step.

If you want to add more of the social elements to the mix, that’s fine. It can help. And if you’re an extrovert, you’ll be naturally inclined to do so. But if you are an introvert, you can dabble with the social aspects, as I do, or ignore them completely.

You don’t have to be an extrovert to have a blog and lawyers with blogs aren’t necessarily bloggers.

Content marketing for attorneys. Click here to learn how.

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