Strategic Marketing Track

The arsensal of tools and resources you need for the practice success you want.

Strategic Marketing Track

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1. How to Hire the Right IT Professional for Your Firm

Every law firm needs to work with an IT consultant, yet not all IT consultants and companies are right for you law practice. Attendees will learn how to establish a technology baseline in their practices to understand what they need an IT consultant to do for them and what they can handle on their own. They will learn how to evaluate an IT professional’s credentials before hiring them and what the certifications their cyber insurance policy may require the IT professional to hold. They will understand the basic tasks and roles of the IT professional and the potential costs involved. Finally, we will discuss how to hire a professional in a time of real crisis and not be taken advantage of during a potentially damaging situation.

2. What Will We Cover in This Training Session?

This session focuses on practice development strategies, tactics, and techniques for you to consider implementing in your law firm. We encourage you to jump in and listen to this training designed to help you create the success you want in your practice.

3: Let’s Get Training!

In this section, you will find our recent webinar on this topic. We have a clean recording for you right here to watch in case you missed the live session available to you 24 / 7 / 365. Want to look at our calendar of live sessions? Click this link to look at what is coming up in the coming months.

4: Supplemental Materials are Being Designed For You!

There are checklists, forms and resources that support this training session. They are being created just for your right now. We will let you know when they are available. Do you have questions right now? Don’t wait to contact us by phone at 1-850-933-5072 or by email at [email protected].

1: What is this training course really about?

Fireproof or Paperless? A Blueprint for Law Practice Success is a training program that dives into several questions in one focused presentation. These questions include, but are not limited, to:

  • How effectively are using technology to enhance your practice?
  • Do you know all the ways the existing technology you use can assist you each day in your office?
  • Are you as efficient as you need to be in your law practice operations?
  • Are you prepared for a possible disaster with strong internal policies such as security and backing up?
  • Can you really work from anywhere or are you tethered to your office location?

This training section is about challenging you to be intentional in your practice.

We want to discuss with you applications and integrations you may not know existed, while also getting you excited to discover your own.  We encourage you to think about what you really need to operate at your best in your law firm, help you identify the tools that can make it happen and support you as you evolve to the next level of success.

Let’s start this training program and maximize your law practice operations efficiency!

 

2: What if I’m not comfortable with creating a completely paperless law practice?

We understand, not everyone is there yet. We’ve designed this course knowing this may be a completely foreign concept to you. The training is designed to be relevant to all user levels and experiences. Should you be resistant to this idea, know we are going to talk about two specific concepts we believe will be of interest to you regardless of your comfort level: the paper/tech office and a usable fire safety policy. While the latter is self-explanatory, we are going to go in-depth talking about the former. The idea of a paper/tech office may be an ecosystem idea you are a little less familiar with in application. To better explain, when it comes to paper/tech, we are talking about paperless solutions that can enhance the productivity and efficiency of an office that is not paperless yet.

3: Who should watch this with me?

Your team of employees are welcome to watch any of the courses in your membership library but this is one of those where we encourage you to include them. Your employees will have their own ideas about your law practice paperless capabilities and what you really need to improve your efficiency and productivity. Use this training session, to get the conversation going about how to improve the practice and as the basis for the accountability you will need to get things done. What we don’t want to see you do, however, is assign watching this to a team member while you pass on it. Your paperless (or not paperless) policy needs to have your guidance to be a success moving forward.

4: Let’s Get Training!

In this section, you will find our recent webinar on this topic. We have a clean recording for you right here to watch in case you missed the live session, available to you 24 / 7 / 365. Want to look at our calendar of live educational training sessions? Click this link to look at what is coming up in the coming months.

5: Highlights from the Practical Technology Webinar!

 

We have the highlights from the webinar right here! This section has our favorite parts, attendee’s favorite sections, and the take-aways we think you should have on-hand. Check out these excerpts from the transcript:

“…in the paperless office, the advantage really becomes that when done right everything is available at your fingertips. With that framework being said, your fingertips could be sitting with the rest of your body on a beach overlooking the ocean on a beautiful Monday afternoon. So the idea is – how do you take everything you’re doing in your office and be able to work from anywhere, even if you’re meeting with clients that day? You need to be able to put hands on everything, anytime, with no interruption. That’s the basic concept of paperless.

As you dive deeper into the paperless law office, though, and start to really develop this for your firm, you’re going to want to look at increased functionality. We are discussing automatic record keeping, workflow assignments and work product collaboration tools. Collaboration tools are incredibly powerful when it comes to improving efficiency and increasing productivity. A specific example (of the latter) is the Google product family. We’re talking Drive, Docs and Sheets. Working within Google itself, which has real time application, multi-user editing and communication features. (In other words) you could be working on something at the same time as a team member… actually communicating within the program…

… Communication within the actual document is a powerful way to increase productivity and you may want to consider on a product like Google or a cloud integration like Box or Dropbox (this can also be accomplished in Word for Mac and within Office 2016). You can also use a collaboration tool that operates like a real time news feed with multiple levels of integration like Evernote or Slack… For example, let’s say you’re drafting a client letter. Instead of editing the printed copy, having a face-to-face discussion on questions or writing an email, you could pick up your tablet or phone and literally write “change this” and an automatic notification would be written into the document and you could watch the changes be made… we are working to eliminate (the need for redundant communication)…

…Recruit them (your law practice team of employees) into working with you on this, not order them. Your goal is to move everybody forward and to get everyone growing in the same direction. When we’re talking about overcoming workflow issues and creating and building a better practice you need to ask your team – how do they see this moving forward? Yes, you can do it all yourself…but really that’s not going to be the plan that gets you to the next level of success…

… Your team may already have things that really concern them that they want you to be thinking about when it comes to a paperless office. You may not have to do any of the heavy lifting here. Your team may have already thought about this and how they can help you… Especially, if you’re looking at your ecosystem and you’re not sure where to start, ask one of your trusted career team members, the people who are there for the long haul – what do they see that you and your office could do to improve? …

…In our company, we always talk about the superfecta (of paperless business processes) as opposed to the trifecta. The four, the superfecta, are the policies for protecting your practice when you decide to go paperless…team training, backing up, insurance, and security policies. When you decide to go into this arena you need to have all four of those pieces of protection in your practice because we’re stepping out of the world of paper evidence and we’re going to a bit more complicated, a bit more sophisticated level, of our interaction. It’s not intuitive for everyone. But I will couch that statement with the fact that there are some team members that feel this (the paperless office) is much more intuitive than expecting them to use paper and pen…

… about the law firm policies you need in place to go paperless. You have to be very, very intentional in how you protect your office going forward (especially in the cyber security area). I know I mentioned earlier about insurance and, here, your cyber-insurance is so, so crucial for your firm at this point. Yes, you have malpractice, yes, you may have umbrella, yes, you may have business insurance, but you need to look at all of the policies and see what is their protection for you when it comes to cyber-terrorism and cyber threats… because all of your records are now stored electronically, what is your intention on how you’re going to protect them? What is going to make you be able to sleep at night knowing your firm is protected? …

…You have to have your backup policy. I know it’s redundant but you need the first-line backup, the first line’s backup, the third backup and the backup systems in your office. So often even I forget to ask – who’s in charge of the backup and the backup policy? So often we think that the backup policy is just going to operate, but who’s in charge of it? Who are the checks and balances?

… If you’re using a cloud server (for backing up) – have you read the terms and conditions? So often we don’t, because who wants to spend eight hours reading hundreds of pages of terms and conditions. I’ll say to you – read them anyway. You want to know the data release policy for your information. If you’re using a practice management software that’s backing up or storing your data in a cloud file or file server, under what terms will the company release your information when they’re charged with a subpoena? That’s incredibly important for you to think about as you’re looking at the storage of your files…

… You do need to have a fire prevention policy as well…  we don’t want the office to burn down. We need to have a fire prevention policy in place… you want to make sure that all of the electrical cords in your office are good. Make sure your tech areas are dust free. Make sure your tech outlets aren’t overwhelmed by technology…

… A lot of you already have software that you’re using to run your practice. What I often find is law firms just aren’t using it to the degree it can be used because they’ve found the big-ticket items that made them purchase the software in the first place. With your initial goals met, you may not have explored all the amazing things it could do for you. I would challenge you to look at the top ten software efficiencies you need in your law firm. My number one thing is always the capability to integrate with other software…for lawyers, we’re looking at email or Fastcase or QuickBooks … earlier I mentioned the BCC on client files automatically emailed and recorded, accessible anywhere with minimum headache. To me, having to log in to your server for remote control is not being accessible anywhere. You want to think about minimum headache…

… Ask yourself when it comes to choosing your law practice strategy – are you going to be paperless or paper/tech?  Then I really want you to look at the last year and ask – how are you going to do it compared to last year? How will it help you shift away from maybe some of the bottlenecks or pitfalls you’ve seen this year? What will make it better? Based on your analysis –  what do you really want to accomplish? Make a list of all of it… I was with a firm  who had thirty-four things they wanted to do based on their evaluation and that was overwhelming to them. We saw the thirty-four things and they said, “We can’t get any of this done.” But it was the best thing in reality. We broke it down to tackle six at a time and the remaining of the thirty-four are our wish list as they grow… Interestingly, I got an email from the lawyer this morning, and of the six we picked, he’s already finished three in less than a week.

Write out everything you want to manage to move over to a paperless or paper/tech system. Then think of those items in terms of thirty day projects… you’re going to think about six hours a month going forward, so go ahead and schedule six hours a month on your calendar right now for this. I know that seems like a lot when you first start hearing that but if you’re looking at a full work week, you have one hundred and sixty hours in a month, we just want to have six of them. In the first week, use two hours to find your solutions, apply it and further research it. Dedicate one hour in the second and third weeks to play around with it, making sure it’s working for you, and then two hours in the final week to make sure you can go forward or do you need to allot more time… This is our blueprint for success as you move toward a paperless or paper/tech law office….”

6: Want a little more? Check out our infographic on 6 Ideas for Going Paper/Tech in Your Practice?

6 Ideas For Going Paper/Tech in Your Practice

The Blueprint for Paperless Office Success

9: Additional Resources that accompany this Practical Technology section

Whenever we have a training session, we find it gives rise to numerous other topics and resources that can significantly help you in your law practice. Here is our list of additional materials you may want to consider that accompany the Fireproof or Paperless? The Blueprint for Practice Success training section. These resources may have been mentioned during the training directly, plus a few we know can be of assistance based on questions from our clients.

Managing the Business – Is Software in Your Future? Strategies for CRM Success

          

Lions, Tigers and Bears, OH MY! Software is Not Created Equal           

In this specific training section, we also include external resources you may want to check out to assist you in your paperless journey:

How to Start and Run a Paperless Office By: Nerino J. Petro, Jr. (ABA Resource)

The Myth of the Paperless Office By: Abigail J. Sellen & Richard Harper / MIT Press (Amazon)

Paperless – A MacSparky Field Guide By: David Spark (iTunes)

Going Paperless from the ABA (ABA Resource)

FYI: Records Management / Document Retention (ABA Resource)

Cloud Ethics Opinions Around the U.S. (ABA Resource)

1: Integrated Digital Marketing and What It Means for Your Practice’s Future

When it comes to marketing, its been said that all of it works and none of it works. We’d challenge that statement by asking – what if in marketing all of it works and all of it works? If the latter is the case, and we firmly believe it is, this means that you need to need to have an integrated approach to all of your marketing efforts. This approach also needs to operate seamlessly in the digital marketing arena. During this training we will share our custom approach to integrated digital marketing and what it means for your practice’s future.

2: What will we cover in this training session?

This session focuses on practice development strategies, tactics, and techniques for you to consider implementing in your law firm. We encourage you to jump in and listen to this training designed to help you create the success you want in your practice.

3: Let’s Get Training!

In this section, you will find our recent webinar on this topic. We have a clean recording for you right here to watch in case you missed the live session available to you 24 / 7 / 365. Want to look at our calendar of live sessions? Click this link to look at what is coming up in the coming months.

4: Supplemental Materials are Being Designed For You!

There are checklists, forms and resources that support this training session. They are being created just for your right now. We will let you know when they are available. Do you have questions right now? Don’t wait to contact us by phone at 1-850-933-5072 or by email at [email protected].

1: What are we talking about in this training session?

In this training session we are going to start learning internet strategies. Specifically, we are going to discuss how to be the first result on a search engine results page. In other words, “how to get found first” in consumer searches on main search engines.

Whether you are a beginner or an advanced user, all of us can benefit from taking a moment to research where we show up on the internet. In this training session, we will start by using the tools to determine where you really do rank. Then we will move into the discussion of why this matters to your practice and the strategies you need to incorporate now into your law firm strategic marketing plan.

2: Does it really matter to my law practice?

Absolutely! In truth, your website and your website search engine rankings matter more than ever before when we are talking about getting new clients to your law firm.

The research and statistics that support this statement are overwhelming. Did you know over 75% of all consumers today will not look for an answer to their searched question beyond the first page of search results? Also, did you know they will leave your website if it does not load in under 3 seconds? What about the fact that there is a new generation of internet users – the Smartphone Dependent Generation – that make up 7% of our population and who will only be able to search for you and find your website through a smart device?

Search engines continue to evolve, to provide a seamless interaction between your searches and the answers the internet can provide to them. There is no sign this trend will slow down or that we will have the luxury of remaining in place for a period of time. You need your website to be visible to search engines so you can be there to answer questions first for your potential clients and referral sources when they ask them.

3: Let’s Get Training!

In this section, you will find our recent webinar on this topic. We have a clean recording for you right here to watch in case you missed the live session, available to you 24 / 7 / 365. Want to look at our calendar of live educational training sessions? Click this link to look at what training sessions are coming up on the education calendar.

4: Highlights from the Practical Technology Webinar!

We have the highlights from the webinar right here! This section has our favorite parts, attendee’s favorite sections, and the take-aways we think you should have on-hand. Check out these excerpts from the transcript:

“Search engines are what we’re going to dive into and getting you found first there. So often, people don’t realize and lawyers don’t realize how important that is for your practice growth and to have an eye on for your practice future. Right off the bat, I thought before we even get into the details of the presentation, we would answer what we’re doing. Really here, we’re talking about search engines. If I slip into jargon a little bit and use the term SE, just know that SE stands for search engine for the purpose of this presentation and overall…

Moving forward, what are we talking about today? What is our goal in what we’re discussing today? We want to know how to be found first on search engines. That’s what’s crucial for us today. We really want to know what’s going to get us found first and what’s going to move us forward. We want to talk about why it matters to your law practice. In everything that we do, from the practical, customizable approach, we want to talk about why it matters for and what our points are for you.

That’s really how this matters, and it doesn’t matter what your neighbor is doing or your friends down the street, but why does this impact your practice because if you decide to use it when you go forward, what really matters for you and where do you want to spend your money and your time and really put your investment in. It’s not always the same for every practice, so we want you to really have a good foundational understanding of how you can raise yourself up to be found first.

Then we want to make that decision per practice and for each of us, that unique customized decision of what are we going to focus on because everyone’s marketing plan is different. The marketing plan that works for your neighbor may not be the one that works for you. We want to decide what is your message and how do we best get that out there. If we are going down the strategic marketing plan approach that integrates with an integrated digital marketing campaign for taking things forward into the digital marketing arena, which is in very much where most law practices are going, we want to make sure you have all the practical tools at your fingertips to know how that’s working…

We really want to know if we’re being found first on search engines. As a marketer and a tech person, one of the things that is one of my pet peeves is that when you don’t truly know how to look at your baseline. With everything that we’re doing here, it is crucial that you know your baseline. Where are we starting from? What is your ground zero? Because we can’t really assess our progress on anything unless we know what our ground zero is. I talk about the marketing plan. I say we need to know what is our historical data for the last three to six months to a year to five years? What do we have for historical data?

When we step into search engine optimization and the marketing there, we need to know what your true baseline is. When someone is searching for an attorney in your practice area, in your community, if they’re searching for your firm name, if they’re searching you by name, for all of these pieces, where do you show up? How many pages in there … How many pages down or how many clicks down are you? Do you show up first? Or do you show up on the 45th page? What page are you on? Page one? Page 45? Page 10? Page three?

So often, my pet peeve is I come in to working with law firms and for years, they’ve been told by the marketers they work with that they’re on page one. They’ve never been trained to really figure out if they’re on page one and for which parts of their practice are they not on page one or are they on page one? With their name, their firm name, their location, their address, their brand, they’ve never really been trained how to do that (we are going to show you how here)…

With that training under us, why does it matter? Why are we doing what we’re doing? Why are we having this conversation today? The truth is it’s because it’s about business. More and more and more, and it’s not slowing down, people find businesses through digital marketing. That is where your clients are coming to you from. We really have to have an eye on now and and an eye on the future. The longer that we progress in an electronic age, and there’s no sign that it will slow down, this is becoming more and more important.

You need to be found within a search engine search to get business to your, to get clients to your business. We all know you need a steady stream of clients to be able to keep your doors open, to be able to continue to have the law practice that you love and care about. You want clients who are in need in your services. That’s the trick to all of this. It’s not really a trick but that’s the catch. You not only want a steady stream of clients for your business. You want clients who are in need of your services and what better way to get them is by pre-education…”

5: What Should Your Website Be Doing For You?

We want you to showcase yourself as the expert through your electronic presence, that is at the core of this training session. It may require you to change your thinking on your website. Your website is a validation tool to your audience today and is one of the first things any consumer looks at. We want you to change your thinking to your website as your business card. The “must have” piece that you virtually hand out to everyone who could become your client or send you business.

This is your first impression piece that wears so many hats including, but not limited to, being your business card, your welcome packet, and your frequently asked questions brochure. Your website needs to reflect who you are and what you do, while being easy to navigate. Ease of use is crucial so people aren’t frustrated by it and then do not choose to hire you.

Beyond the content, which is crucial, it also has to the work well with the internet to get you ranked first on search engines like Google. This is where we need you to look at the tech side (often called the back-end) of your website. How is it set up to interact with search engines? Will it be easy for the search engine to find content to answer consumers questions when they search? Have you submitted a site map? Are your pages optimized for SEO?

Do you have analytics set up to know what happens when a visitor comes to your website? Remember, search engines are still the number one driver of traffic to websites. The majority of visitors to your website may be coming from a search engine and analytics can give us this data. You need to be set up from a functionality perspective to capitalize on this strategy you are investing in.

6: How should you build local search engine presence?

You want to know where you rank when it comes to your local search engine optimization. The majority of consumers use professionals who are within thirty miles of their home.

When you perform this search be sure the internet will not recognize you and give you positive, yet often biased, results.  When you search yourself in this capacity you want to use your web browser’s private browsing feature.  This is typically found in the search or settings features found in your brower’s action panel. Different search engines call private browsing by different terms. For example:

  • ME (Microsoft Edge) and Internet Explorer (IE) call it InPrivate Browsing
  • Mozilla Firefox calls it Anonymous Mode
  • For Google Chrome, it is an Incognito Window descriptor

Remember, a majority of your clients will look for and use an attorney within thirty miles of their home. Knowing this, how are you ranked when it comes to several keys areas, including:

  • All of your practice areas (search each one for your firm)
  • Your legal services
  • Your frequently asked questions
  • Your name (and the name of any of your associates and/or team members)
  • Your law practice’s name
  • Your location
  • Your images

If it’s easier, don’t forget we can also run a complimentary audit for you at no charge. Just email us at [email protected] to request one.

7: Five Strategies that Improve Your Ranking When Added to Your Strategic Marketing Plan

In our training session on marketing plans for your law firm, The Strategic Marketing Plan Your Law Practice Needs, we discuss that your digital marketing should be 25% of your overall marketing strategy. How do we take what we learned in that training session and apply to what we just learned here?

The result is five strategies that you can use to improve your rankings for your law firm on search engines. Specifically they are:

  1. Organic Content.
  2. Analytics and Webmaster Tools
  3. Social Media
  4. Local SEO
  5. Global SEO

Each of these strategies has a role in your law firm marketing plan and, often, they overlap together. For example, you may be creating organic content for your law firm website. This could take the form of descriptive text-based content on your website such as your Frequently Asked Questions webpage or on your blog posts each week. From there, you would make sure the content is optimized for search engine optimization for both local and global purposes, and publish it to social media.

8: Additional Resources that accompany this Practice Development section

Whenever we have a training session, we find it gives rise to numerous other topics and resources that can significantly help you in your law practice. Here is our list of additional materials you may want to consider that accompany Strategies that Get Your Found First training section. These resources may have been mentioned during the training directly, plus a few we know can be of assistance based on questions from our clients.

Your Law Practice’s Strategic Marketing Plan

Integrated Digital Marketing Strategy

In this specific training section, we also include external resources you may want to check out to assist you in your paperless journey:

U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015 By: Aaron Smith (Pew Research Center)

The Web Turns 25 By: Bridget Shirvell (PBS Newshour)

The Web at 25 in the U.S. By: Susannah Fox and Lee Raine (Pew Research Center)