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To Gate or Not To Gate — Should You Give Away Your Whitepaper or e-Guide?

We’ve all experienced this before: we visit a website, and a pop-up showcases a whitepaper or e-Guide that we can download or have emailed to us if we provide our first name and e-mail address.  This is how most businesses use content to build their e-mail marketing lists, which comprise of leads they can nurture over time towards conversion into a sale or appointment with a sales person. In marketing automation parlance, it’s known as “gating” your content.

Should you do the same with your firm’s website? Or should you provide such content for free, without requiring a visitor’s name and contact information? After all, if your content is free, then anyone (including your competition) can download it without your having captured their name and e-mail address. To some, this is a lost opportunity for building your e-mail list and nurturing a prospective client towards becoming a paying client.

The way I see it, much depends on the rest of the content on your site.  Read more

Can QUORA Help Your Law Firm Find New Clients?

Engaging on Quora can amount to a prospective client throwing a question out into the ether that you can answer directly.

In a world where search engine algorithms have transitioned from simple key word searches to how people actually ask questions when they type into a search box, Quora offers an interesting way to market yourself directly to potential clients who want your specific expertise.

So much of marketing (and marketing technology) these days is built around trying to decipher or pre-empt what people want and need. Quora essentially tells you what people are interested in knowing in your area of practice precisely because they post specific questions that relate to your field. If you consistently answer questions related to your area of practice, you can start to build you name as a credible expert.

(For an overview of what Quora is, visit www.Quora.com/about. Do a quick search to see what people are talking about in your area of practice.)

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Lawyer Bios – 2-D or 3-D?

Perhaps it’s because I deal so much with creating and curating content that I have become – like so many of us – a little weary of subjecting my eyes to further strain.  Little wonder that so much has been written about how video is about to dominate (if it hasn’t already) how content is delivered. And why not? It’s so much more interesting to watch information (or a story) unfold like a little movie clip, than to read it in words.

Which got me to thinking about how video could (should?) replace the written bio.

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Is Direct Mail Still Relevant For Law Firms?

We see much less of “junk” mail these days. Digital marketing has largely taken over, save where retail catalogs and niche publications are concerned. But direct mail can still be a cost-effective way to get your message out, especially when your offer is highly specific (e.g. a complimentary consultation for a limited period of time).

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Are Your Testimonials Up to Par?

Testimonials from good clients are your best calling card and can be one key reason why a prospect could be persuaded to pick you over the competition.

If you’re in the business of providing a service that comes directly from who you are, and your expertise, being trusted by a potential client (and existing clients) is the foundation of a sustainable business. I suspect that if you spoke again to your more established peers, they’d tell you that referrals form the bulk of their new business.

You and I both know referrals don’t come from people who didn’t have a good experience as your client. As for those who do recommend you because of their client experience, they can be one of the most powerful resources in marketing yourself to potential clients.  How often have you – after reading product or service reviews which are intelligently written – made a decision to contact the vendor or provider or to purchase a product?

What should testimonials contain? 

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Marketing Automation – What You Need To Know

Some years ago, when I worked in wealth management marketing, I tested automated marketing on Facebook. The results were mixed – lots of clicks on the ad we ran, but not enough conversions i.e people didn’t sign up in response to an offer of a complimentary consultation.

There was, however, a great lesson learned: marketing automation, when done right, can be a cost-and-time effective way of generating specific prospect interest that would convert to paying clients.

In not doing it the right way, the firm learned the following valuable lessons, which I happily share with you here:

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Why Having a “Call-To-Action” Matters … A Lot

What is a “call-to-action”? Essentially, it’s a reaction on the part of your target client or prospects – they respond/take action in a specific way, depending on the nature of the call-to-action. Calls-to-Action (CTAs) are a crucial step in the conversion process – from visitors or readers to clients.

The following are examples of common but necessary CTAs. These days, your website is your primary channel of engagement with prospects, so it’s imperative that you include them on your site:

  • “Download this e-guide”
  • “Schedule an appointment”
  • “Register for a workshop”
  • “Sign up for our weekly tips”

How should you use/present these CTAs?

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Videos – Another Way To Keep Visitors On Your Website

Content is still king. But the way it’s being presented has moved from being text-heavy, to visuals and even audio (podcasts). This shift to formats that are more “interactive” create variety and freshness, and in some cases can give relief from text-heavy content.

Videos have become the standard means by which experts share their expertise, and market themselves. In fact, a visitor would probably regard a website that lacks multimedia as being somewhat … dated.

As an attorney, you can create two types of videos:

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Is Your Website Stuck in 2010?

In the last few years, websites have began to have free themselves of the density of text. In place of eye-straining text are interactive features such as videos. More and more, stories are being told through video and audio. As a marketer, I can see how videos and audio clips and rich images can make messaging all that more compelling. After all, marketing is about telling a story that resonates. I suspect I’m like most consumers – when I’m faced with too much text to digest, I feel overwhelmed (or worse, imposed upon) The result? I simply abandon the page or the website altogether.

Lawyers love content that’s detailed and dense, but your clients i.e. lay persons do not. Since marketing is about appealing to your target audience, your law firm’s website should be accessible by a lay audience. Remember that non-lawyers are often anxious about reaching out to and working with lawyers. Presenting a website that overwhelms them only increases that discomfort.

Also, new website infrastructure (like Apto Marketing’s) allows for pages to be unified for scrolling –instead of having to click on a “next page” icon or jump between sections or pages, your visitor simply keeps scrolling to read more. Infinite scrolling is increasingly popular as it makes for a tighter user experience, allowing for them to engage with your content in a shorter time.  

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How To Spend Your Marketing Dollars (Applying Method to Madness)

There are lots of moving parts in your firm’s marketing machine. And sometimes it seems so ….  overwhelming. After all, the practice of law – and not trying to balance your marketing budget – is what your business is all about. Still, you’ve probably had that nagging feeling for a while that while business is pretty decent, it’s time to restart your marketing that’s lain dormant for a tad too long.

Should you just jump in and spend money like all the other lawyers you know? How much should you set aside in marketing dollars? What should you focus on?

Here’s a thought: why not just start with what you’ve done before. To help you, I’ve put together a simple document that’s highly usable  your Marketing ROI — what you have now, what you need to get, what you can let go off (and stop spending money on).

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