Top 5 Reasons to Use Numbered Lists

Why you should be using top 5 lists

“Wooden Numeric 5” by Stoonn on freedigitalphotos.net

Top 10 lists are extremely popular within the blogosphere. Someone is probably writing a new one even as you read this. But can numbered list posts be useful to a blogging lawyer? Aren’t the issues we deal with too complicated to explain that way? Here are 5 reasons I say no:

5. Built-In Structure

Creating a Top 10 (or 5 or 3) list automatically breaks your blog post up into manageable pieces with natural headings. This makes it easier for the casual browser to get the gist of your blog and decide whether he wants to read on.

4. Enforced Brevity

If you are monitoring your word count, you will notice you don’t have many words to explain each of your Top 10 points. This forces you to get to the point and be compelling.

3. Cohesiveness of Ideas

For your regular subscribers, Top 10 lists are a great way to show how some of your other, more in-depth posts fit together. Whether they are all “top tips” or different stages in the same process, you can use a numbered list to bring the ideas together in one place.

2. Teasers and Links

You’ll never be able to fully explain each of your Top 10 items in one post. But don’t despair, you just created teasers for 10 great new posts! As you publish them, go back and add links to your Top 10 to give readers instant access to more information.

1. Trends on Social Media

No matter how accurate your explanation of Michigan No-Fault Insurance may be, it is not likely to get shared on any of your social media platforms. But a Top 10 list that includes mention of that explanation could be. Why? Because social media is enamored with easy reads and bite size information. Sure, many readers will just scan your list and be done with it, but the real potential clients will find something in that Top 10 that speaks to their need and will click on links to read more.

Numbered lists are a great way to connect with casual readers through social media and on your blog. Use them to create gateways to your other blog content, and to your door. If you need help creating content for your blog, contact blogging coach Lisa Schmidt for help.

Why Make a LinkedIn Company Page?

LinkedIn-Logo-02If you’ve been following this blog from the beginning, you’ll know that last year I wasn’t too keen on the LinkedIn Company Pages. While I definitely saw the value of creating your personal profile, I viewed the company pages as pretty well worthless unless you were looking to hire. But times have changed and so has my opinion.

In October 2013, Google changed the way it indexed websites, giving far more weight to certain “trusted” sources and directories. LinkedIn is one such source. Suddenly it has become much more important for your firm, not just you, to have a presence there.

But LinkedIn shouldn’t be seen as just easier access to the first page of Google. It is also one of the sites people go to specifically for referrals. As much as Facebook is about staying in touch with friends and Twitter is about getting the latest news (or gossip), LinkedIn is about connecting to professionals. Because the site encourages endorsements and reviews, people trust it to help them find the right skilled professional.

LinkedIn has also added Status Updates, which allow you to connect with your followers. By linking your blog to your company’s LinkedIn page, you will be able to reach all of your professional connections to help keep you on their radar.

The world of social media is always in flux. This year has meant big changes for LinkedIn and for Google. If you want to maximize your online marketing dollar, you need to change right along with them.

By creating and updating your LinkedIn Company Page, you can improve your SEO, keep up with business connections, and connect with potential clients looking for your kind of professionalism. If you need help setting up your online presence, contact blogging coach Lisa Schmidt to see how to make bigger returns on your web marketing dollar.

What to Post on Social Media

What to Post on Social Media

“Social Media Diagram On Laptop Shows Information And Communication” by Stuart Miles on freedigitalphotos.net

You’ve made a resolution to start taking your social media marketing seriously. Maybe you’ve committed to posting something every day, or maybe you just want to make your presence known. Fantastic. But how do you fill that social media quota? What kind of content will make people interested in your business?

Pictures

This is especially true for Pinterest and Facebook. If you are going to catch the attention of a potential client scrolling through hundreds of posts, the best way is through a big, colored picture. Whether it is of you, your business, a stock photo of a related topic, or even a cute cat or dog, potential clients will be more likely to click on posts with a picture to catch their attention.

Testimonials

LinkedIn and Facebook have separate sections for other people to post testimonials about your business. But even on those platforms, there is nothing stopping you from posting a client’s kind words (with their permission, of course). Testimonials are one of the best ways to lend your firm credibility by showing that someone else liked your work.

Stories

Even if the client isn’t interested in sharing their experience, you can still post generalized stories about what you did for another person. These posts might look like

Dismissed! I just got the prosecutor to drop the charges against my latest OWI client. I love it!

These kinds of posts let potential clients see that you are successful right now, and maybe in a way that directly relates to them.

Updates

Has something changed in your business? Are you bringing on a new associate? Are your prices going up or are you having a sale? By letting your followers know ahead of time you’ll make them feel like they’re part of a special club. You could even consider having a special discount for Facebook or Twitter followers.

Articles

When business is slow it may be hard to come up with stories and updates, but you have probably filled your time by reading articles related to your field. By sharing these with your audience you show that you are an expert and that you keep up to date on the latest developments, maybe more than your competition.

Jokes

Just because this is your business doesn’t mean you can’t have fun once and a while. If you see a relevant meme or a tasteful, funny picture that relates to your business, share it! Your followers will enjoy the laugh and will be reminded that you are human too, not just a business.

There are lots of ways to meet your social media goals. By sharing pictures, testimonials, stories, articles, and the occasional joke, you can keep your page fresh and your content interesting. If you need help setting up your social media platforms, contact Lisa Schmidt, blogging coach, to get you started.

What Is Your Story?

The best advertisement is your own story.

“Book And Glasses” by Simon Howden on freedigitalphotos.net

Advertising is all about making your firm stand out from the crowd. Whether your focus is on your expertise, practice area, or particular approach to legal issues, the one thing that your business has that no one else does is you. So why not use that asset to its fullest by telling potential clients your story on the About page?

Modern clients are looking for one thing more than any other in your advertising: authenticity. They don’t want a sales pitch. They want to know what makes you different. The best way to answer this question is to tell prospective clients just why you dedicate 40 (let’s be real, more like 60 or 70) hours a week to this business. Then you can use that story to show the unique value you can add to their experience. Here are a few examples:

  • A man served as a police officer for years before an injury took him out of the line of duty. Rather than retiring, he went to law school and now handles criminal defense and police misconduct claims. His years on the force gave him an insight on the policies and procedures used in these cases that other criminal lawyers might miss.
  • A general practice lawyer went through a hairy divorce that dragged on for over a year. After getting a chance to see the dirty side of family law from a client’s perspective, she became certified in collaborative divorce and focused her practice on helping others minimize the conflict she experienced.
  • A top rated student from a top rated college went to law school because of his love of learning. He was particularly fascinated by the tax code and spent hours studying it. Now, he applies that same level of intensity to answering tough tax questions for businesses.

None of these stories focus on number of years practicing, GPAs or cost. Instead, they describe people who are passionate about what they do.

So what is your passion? Why are you a lawyer? Tell your story and make potential clients understand just what makes you and your business unique. If you need help writing content for your website, contact Lisa Schmidt.