How Are You Using LinkedIn?

Most professionals have developed a LinkedIn account at some point in their career. But just having a profile doesn’t let LinkedIn work for you the way it could. How you use it can make the difference between a waste of time and a lucrative business opportunity. Continue reading

Take Your Networking Online Through Social Media

Modern professionals may find in-person networking difficult. It may seem time consuming or you may not enjoy interacting in that kind of setting. Luckily, modern technology now allows you to take your networking online through social media. And you can use your blog to do it. Continue reading

Where Does Your Professional Stage End, and Your Personal Life Begin Online?

Whether you are a small business owner, manager, attorney, or anyone else with a public persona, it can be hard to draw a line between professional time and personal space. Nowhere is that more true than online. So how do you decide where your professional stage ends? Is it ever okay to be “off camera” while you are online? Continue reading

Drip Marketing: Not Just a Drop in the Bucket

When you get hit with one drop of water, it’s easy to ignore. But as I am writing this blog, a torrent of drops are pouring down outside my office. It’s enough to make me take notice (even without a window). The same is true with email marketing. One impression won’t drive much traffic, but a constant drip marketing strategy will bring clients to your door. Continue reading

Is Your LinkedIn Profile Working for You?

You probably still have a LinkedIn profile active from the last time you did a job search. Maybe you even get friend requests from time to time. But are you actually using your LinkedIn profile to build your business?

A LinkedIn profile is almost part of the college curriculum these days. Job seekers build one to give them access to the platform’s jobs database and the endless recruiters trolling (badly) for new blood. But what happens after they get the job or, better yet, start their own business? How can job-havers use LinkedIn to build their reputation and their following?

Update Your LinkedIn Profile

If the last time you logged in to LinkedIn was just before you interviewed for your current job, then you have some work to do. Your business connections will want to know where you ended up and what you are doing now. Make sure to keep your profile up to date by adding job responsibilities, big wins, and memberships and associations as they come along.

Update Your Headshot

None of us look like we did in college. Hairstyles change, clothing goes out of style, and faces age over time. Rather than ignoring your maturity, embrace it. Take a new professional headshot at least once every few years, and add it to your LinkedIn profile page. That way the people you met at last week’s networking event who are looking for a woman with short brown hair and glasses won’t skip over you because in college your hair was long and dyed blonde. Don’t be ashamed of your age! An up to date profile photo will make it easier for connections to find you and will express your experience in your field.

Add New Connections

When you get back from that networking event, you will probably have a stack of new business cards. Rather than throwing them in a drawer, run the names through LinkedIn. By connecting with people you have met you will remind them of what you do (in far more detail than on a business card). Not only that, the list of experience and accomplishments that you’ve kept updated is sure to impress them and increase the chance they refer to you in the future.

Publish Content

How do you keep a connection coming back to you once you have made the connection? Set up your blog to push regular updates to LinkedIn. Re-using your web content this way will help build your reputation as an expert in your field, and will keep bringing your connections back to see what you are doing now.

LinkedIn can be a great source for professional referrals. Because the people there are already looking to do business, your connections will see you as a colleague first, rather than a friend. The people who browse Linked In are often looking for someone who provides services. By keeping an updated profile you can make the right first impression and get more calls leading to more closed business.

Lisa Schmidt is a writer for Legal Linguist. She helps attorneys and small businesses create a robust online marketing strategy that focuses on recruiting referral partners and hooking potential clients. If you need someone to give your web content new life, contact Legal Linguist today to arrange a meeting.

Is There Such A Thing As Too Many Webpages?

You have spent a lot of time and money building up your web presence, particularly a professional website. Now your marketing manager wants to add pages for every aspect of your practice. So when is enough enough? Continue reading

3 Things Bloggers Can Learn from Spiderwebs

You may not want to get up-close and personal with spiders, but believe it or not, there’s a lot you can learn from their spiderwebs about how to write blogs. Their focus, reach, and interconnection provide a great model for how your blog should look in cyberspace.

Focus on One Central Point

No matter how many lines radiate out from it, every spiderweb starts at one central point. This point is the focus of all the spider’s creative work. The lines it casts out from that point strengthen it and help hold it in place so it can’t blow to far one way or the other.

Your blog needs to be centered on one point as well. The finer the point, the stronger the blog, and the less likely it will stray from your original concept. By focusing your blog you can become a thought leader on that one topic, rather than blowing to whatever the topic of the day might be.

Spiderwebs can teach you a lot about blogwritingConnect to Your Surroundings

The focused center of a spiderweb wouldn’t do much good on its own. To catch its prey a spider casts out lines to surrounding pillars in its immediate area. These anchor points give the web strength and durability.

Your blog’s anchor lines are your connections to social media and the use of popular keywords. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are pillars in the SEO world that will strengthen your SEO. By casting strong lines between your social media platforms and your blog, you can increase your durability in search engines and draw more flies into your web.

Keep Your Articles Interconnected

Not every line in the spiderweb connects to the anchors. Instead, most lines are internal. They connect one part of the web to another, creating a tangle that keep insects that stop by much longer than they originally intended.

You can do the same thing on your blog through internal links. By linking from one blog post to another, or to your landing pages for relevant topics, you can engage your readers and encourage them to read on. The longer they spend reading your content, the more likely they are to see you as an expert, and the more likely they are to bring business your way.

Spiders may not be cute and cuddly, but their architectural instincts have a lot to teach bloggers. By making their webs focused, durable, and interconnected, they can catch all the flies they can eat. And by doing the same, your blog can become a source of plenty of new readers and new clients. If you need help building your web-blog, contact ghost-blogger Lisa Schmidt for guidance.

What Happened to the Homepage?

Have you noticed a decline in the number of views on your homepage? If so, you’re not alone. The New York Times’ hits dropped by 80 million views over the last 2 years. And lawyers’ homepages have taken a 20% hit in the last year alone. Could this be a sign that you need to forsake your website and say goodbye to your hard-earned marketing dollars?

No. While it is true that far more web traffic is coming to your site through social media than ever before, they are still coming to your site. Especially if your blog is hosted on your website, it still provides a branded one-stop spot for potential clients to learn all about you.

But just because they come to your website doesn’t mean they’ll visit your homepage. That’s why it’s important now more than ever to ensure that your blog’s imagery matches your law firm’s brand. No matter which way potential clients find you – whether through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any of the other social media platforms your clients may use – you want them to see the same carefully crafted online image.

What this shift in web traffic does mean is that it’s more important than ever for your website to be fully integrated into the world of social media. It should be easy for people who stumble onto your blog to like you on Facebook, follow you on Twitter, or check out your connections and reputation on LinkedIn.

By making sure people can easily click between your website and your social media sites, you encourage them to engage with your brand and become part of your contact network. If you need help integrating your website, blog, and social media, contact blogging coach Lisa Schmidt today.

Does Your Blog Engage Your Clients?

It’s great to provide consistent, informed content to your clients and referral sources. But are your readers engaged? How can you increase your followers’ involvement in your writing?

I recently attended a blogging for business workshop hosted by social media guru Heather Coleman Voss and the Ferndale Michigan Works. Professionals of all kinds came together to learn how to improve their blogs.

One question was on everyone’s lips: how can I better engage my clients through my blog?

Support Your Blog With Social Media Engagement

Your blog is the place to provide great content, but to make it popular you need to pair it with excellent social media outreach. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and many other social media platforms give you a great opportunity to reach a broader audience. The key is to embrace and encourage likes, shares, retweets, and favorites.

Provide Accessible Content

Your readers aren’t looking for a legal treatise. They want quick answers that are easy to understand. You can do this by structuring your blogs as numbered lists, how-to guides, and tutorials.

Diversify the Voices

You want to have a consistent voice, but that doesn’t mean that every post has to sound like you. By using client testimonials, quotes, and guest bloggers, you can give your readers a variety of perspectives. This can help them understand your topic and your business.

Ask For Feedback

Your blog has a comment section that is designed to engage your readers in conversation. But often lawyers will find their posts riddled with spam and nothing else. If you want quality comments that start a dialog among your readers, ask for it. End your posts with thought-provoking questions, and don’t be afraid of controversy. You can always moderate offensive content later.

There are a lot of great ways to engage your readers on your blog. The most important thing is to create a conversation whether in the comments or on social media. What techniques have you tried connect with your clients online? Let us know in the comments.

 

Which Social Media Networks Should Your Law Firm Be On?

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and on and on. There are so many social media outlets that demand your attention as a business owner. But you can’t possibly do them all, can you? So how do you choose?

Just like when it come to choosing a topic or scheduling your posts, the decision of which social media sites to focus on depends on your audience. Where are your potential clients spending their time? That is where you have to be.

That said, for most law firms, venues that focus on articles and professionalism tend to provide the largest return on investment:

  • Facebook has made it easy to link blog articles and other websites with eye-catching photos.
  • LinkedIn‘s emphasis on professional networks and discussion panels make it an ideal place to show off your expertise to other professionals, if not direct clients.
  • Twitter‘s emphasis is on immediacy, so it is ideal for the fast-paced aspects of law, like updating your followers over the course of a trial.

On the other side of the spectrum, the very visual mediums of Pinterest and Instagram are much better suited to product markets rather than the service industry. Unless your target market is craftsmen or women or you work well with infographics, your attention may be better spent elsewhere.

YouTube breaks this rule. While YouTube’s video feeds are inherently visual, they are a great way to demonstrate your likeability and expertise directly to potential clients. Using YouTube to create quick tips, FAQ, or blog videos can give you a face and set you apart from your competition.

The world of social media has gotten too big for small law firms to cover it all. You have to be selective and focus on the venues best suited to your practice. If you need help planning your social media presence, contact blog coach Lisa Schmidt today.