Musings

Liza Rodriguez

Recent Posts

Four Important Reasons Why Lawyers Should Blog

Posted by Liza Rodriguez on Nov 13, 2015 12:46:43 PM

Reasons why lawyers should start bloggingWant to generate more leads and grow your client base? Then it’s time to start writing.

Blogging is an incredibly valuable activity, with all sorts of practical benefits including networking, marketing and business development. Here are four of them:

No.1:  Gets You Seen.

More than three-quarters of new leads are generated online. Rather than thumbing through the Yellow Pages, most new prospects are scouring the Web. Potential clients are doing their homework online, only contacting those they feel they can trust. Blogs help make you credible in their eyes and get you seen.

No.2:  Lets You Cast a Wider Net.

Why just network locally when you can network globally? The Internet allows you to expand your reach exponentially.

No.3:  Opportunity to Show Off Your Expertise.

A good blog, one that is informative, useful and interesting, establishes you as an expert and thought leader. Moreover, other media sources take notice when you consistently push out great content. Media outlets often reach out to bloggers as a source or feature their posts on their own websites.

No. 4:  Potential Clients WILL Google You.

Whether a person is looking for an auto mechanic or an attorney, chances are he or she will turn to Google first. That means you’d better show up in their searches, and it had better be ahead of your competitors. Blogging is a great way to make that happen.

Search engines are designed to deliver the most relevant information to the searcher. Relevance is measured by how much content is viewed, cited and shared. Website content is rarely cited and shared, but blog content is.

 If you’re not already blogging, then it’s time to get in the game. A blog is essential in demonstrating your expertise, showcasing your services and being found online. Contact us if you need help or aren’t sure where to start.

Topics: Content Marketing, Blogging, Law Firm Marketing, Best Practices for Law Firms

The “About Us" Page as Part of a Law Firm's Marketing Plan

Posted by Liza Rodriguez on Oct 26, 2015 3:13:42 PM

about-us

Many firms think of the “About Us” page as a throw-away page with useless filler designed to pad a website. But when done right, an “About Us” page can be a powerful part of a law firm’s marketing plan.

The main purpose of an “About Us“ page is to build trust. It is not just about what you do, it is about who you are, as a firm and as a brand. The “About Us“ page should show a more personal side of your firm. People don't want just a list of qualifications, they want to know that they can trust and work with you. The “About Us“ page should never be boring. Use it to show a lighter side of your law firm.

Mission Statement
Obviously, your mission statement should be unique. Not only do you want it to show potential clients the unique reasons they should work with you, you also want your mission statement to serve as a marketing tool. You want it to grab the attention of potential clients by using specific SEO keywords so they can find you and fall in love.

Talk about who you are
Don’t just talk about your qualifications, talk about your values and personal interests. Remember, you’re trying to build relationships and get people interested in working with you. Imagine you are sitting across from a potential client. What would you want them to know about you?

Share what you believe
Tell people about your beliefs and values. Talk about what motivated you to start the law firm or became a lawyer.

Charitable work
The “About Us“ page is a great place to show potential clients any charitable work you do. It humanizes your law firm and shows you care about your community.

Show off (just a little)
Now is the time to show off any awards your law firm has won. Also, talk about your team, their talents and what they have to offer. You should include a fun personal photo or two. You should also have individual portfolio pages if you have more than two lawyers working for your firm. Remember, this is all about potential clients getting to know and trust you. So don’t bog them down with statistics and long-winded details. Keep it simple and approachable.

Testimonials
Your current and past clients are some of your best resources. They already know and trust you, so have them write, or better yet, record a short testimonial.

Use a video
Online videos are an essential part any law firm’s marketing plan. Use a video on your “About Us“ page that talks about why you started the firm or your charitable work. Clips of any media coverage or interviews you have done also work well. Your videos should spark an emotional connection. Be sure to link videos to your company’s YouTube channel. YouTube is a superb way to market your law firm.

Social Media
Your “About Us“ page should have your firm’s Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn/Google Plus links as well as your partners' professional social media links. This allows clients to connect on a more personal level.

Remember, an outstanding “About Us” page is a powerful marketing tool for any law firm.

 

Topics: Law Firm Marketing

6 Journalism School Lessons That Will Help You Create Better Content

Posted by Liza Rodriguez on Jul 9, 2015 9:58:00 AM

6a00d8341bf67c53ef0168e7bd2560970c-800wiI’ve recently come across several articles that discuss the reasons why one should think like a journalist when creating content. They stress finding credible sources, focusing on accuracy and being objective, all good ways to make your content stronger and help build trust with  readers.

I’m completely onboard with the advice, especially since I have a journalism background.  But I’d like to take it one step further and suggest that it isn’t enough to think like a journalist.  You should write like one too.

Here are six writing tips I learned in Journalism School that will help you create better and more readable content:

Include a Nut Graph. Every good story has a nut graph. Think of it like a thesis in a research paper.  It tells readers exactly what the story is about  -- it’s the story in a nutshell.  It also serves several other important purposes such as transitioning from the lead and explaining its connection to the rest of the story.

Use a News Peg. A news peg refers to the timeliness of a story. It’s a topical hook that allows you to capitalize on the themes, ideas and events that have already captured your audience’s interest. 

Here’s an example:  The Washington Post reported today that Latinos now outnumber Whites in the state of California. This is a great peg for an article that offers advice on how to market to Latino Millennials.

Kill Your Darlings. William Faulkner said “In writing, you must kill your darlings.”  Stephen King piggybacked on the idea with “kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”

So, what does it mean? It means that sometimes you have to cut the parts of your piece that you love most.  Each choice you make as a writer should further or support your main point. If your darlings (those clever little turns of phrase, funny anecdotes, etc.) aren’t serving those purposes, give them the axe.

Kings-promo-7Write with Bricks and Balloons. All good stories include both hard facts (bricks) and entertaining details (balloons).  The bricks keep your piece grounded  -- they are the data, stats and findings that support and prove what you are saying.  The balloons are those extra details that give color to a story.  In short, balloons are the elements that make for great storytelling.  Check out the balloons in this story written and reported by John R. Roby from the Press & Sun Bulletin  in Binghamton, NY:

“Two next-door-neighbor-dads, having just returned from watching their kids march in the local parade, agreed to spend the afternoon sharing a pot of homemade Maryland crab soup (red, of course) and iced-cold National Bohemian beer.”

Numbers are Numbing. Using data and stats from reputable sources help with the credibility of any piece, but that doesn’t mean your copy should read like an Excel worksheet. Make numbers easily digestible for readers when possible.  For example, a recent story in the Daily Mail describes the world’s largest yacht as 656-ft long or the length of two football fields.  It’s much easier for readers to understand just how big the yacht is when they are given a comparison that makes sense to them.

PADCABANNOGLACGP_jPick up a copy of Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style.  On my first day of Journalism School, I was handed a packet of materials. Among them:  an actual facebook and a copy of The Elements of Style.

You can decide for yourself whether the book is deserving of its reputation, but despite your final decision, there is no denying that Strunk and White offer some good advice, especially if you want to write like a journalist. Some of their most useful tips:

  • Avoid fancy words. Do not be tempted by a twenty-dollar word when there is a ten-center handy, ready and able.
  • Write in a way that comes naturally. Write in a way that comes easily and naturally to you, using words and phrases that come readily to hand.
  • Be clear. Clarity is not the prize in writing, nor is it always the principal mark of a good style… But since writing is communication, clarity can only be a virtue.

By employing some of these tips, you will craft content that resonates and is remembered. And isn't that the whole point?

Topics: Content Marketing, Content Creation, Blogging, Writing

Build Your Brand in 5 Easy Steps

Posted by Liza Rodriguez on Jun 24, 2015 4:20:23 PM

Rome wasn't build in a day and neither is a strong brand. But that doesn't mean there aren't ways to speed along the process. Check out our "How to Build a Brand in 5 Steps" infographic below. We've taken some great advice and information from marketers, including the brilliant team at Canva, and compiled it into a simple worksheet that will help you streamline the branding process.

Brand_in_5_Steps 

Back to the Basics: 11 Key Marketing Terms Defined

Posted by Liza Rodriguez on Jun 17, 2015 1:55:29 PM

157589329_compThere’s no shortage of jargon in the business world, especially when it comes to marketing.  With the help of our friends at Hubspot, here are 11 key terms that anyone involved in marketing today needs to know.

1.  Analytics: The discovery and communication of meaningful patterns in data. When referred to in the context of inbound, it’s looking at the data of one’s marketing initiatives (website visitor reports, social, PPC, etc.), analyzing the trends, and developing actionable insights to make better informed marketing decisions.

2.  Blogging: This is short for web log or weblog. Will traditionally include regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material, such as photos and video. Blogging is a core component of inbound marketing as it can accomplish several initiatives simultaneously, such as website traffic growth, thought leadership, and lead generation.

images-113.  Call-to-Action:  A call-to-action (CTA) is a text link, button, image, or some type of web link that encourages a website visitor to visit a landing page and become a lead. Some examples of CTAs are “Subscribe Now” or “Download the Whitepaper Today.”

4.  Inbound Marketing: Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert into customers.

5.  Keyword: Sometimes referred to as “keyword phrases,” keywords are the topics that webpages get indexed for in search results by engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Picking keywords that you’ll optimize a webpage for is a two-part effort -- first, you’ll want to ensure the keyword has significant search volume and is not too difficult to rank for. Then, you’ll want to ensure it aligns with your target audience. After deciding the appropriate keywords you want to rank for, you’ll then need to optimize the appropriate pages on your website using both on-page and off-page tactics.

how-to-optimize-landing-pages-for-conversions-ebook-016. Landing Page:  A landing page is a website page containing a form that is used for lead generation. This page revolves around a marketing offer, such as an ebook or a webinar, and serves to capture visitor information in exchange for the valuable offer.

7. Mobile Marketing: The practice of optimizing marketing for mobile devices to provide visitors with time- and location- sensitive, personalized information that promotes goods, services, and ideas.

8. Persona:  Sometimes referred to as a “buyer persona," a persona is a basic profile of a target consumer. It helps an inbound marketer visualize the ideal prospect, their behavior, demographic profile, and psychographic information.

9. PPC:  PPC, (or Pay-Per-Click) is an advertising technique in which an advertiser puts an ad in an advertising venue (like Google AdWords or Facebook), and pays that venue each time a visitor clicks on the ad.

10. Responsive Design: This is the practice of developing a website that adapts accordingly to how someone is viewing it. A responsively designed site will be easy to read and navigate, regardless if you’re viewing it on a laptop, tablet device, or smartphone.

images-1011. SEO (or Search Engine Optimization): The practice of enhancing where a webpage appears in search results. By adjusting a webpage's on-page SEO elements and influencing off-page SEO factors, an inbound marketer can improve where a webpage appears in search engine results.

 

 

Topics: Content Marketing, Inbound marketing, Glossary, Back to Basics

The Science of Brands on Instagram

Posted by Liza Rodriguez on Jun 8, 2015 11:48:00 AM

Still trying to figure out where to spend your time on social?  Here's a tip:  if you're not marketing on Instagram, it's time to start, especially if you are looking to reach audiences that are willing to engage with your brand.

As a recent article published in Fast Company mentions, "all data indicates that users are moving away from Twitter and Facebook and shifting their time to Instagram."  On top of that, Instagram users are more actively engaged on the network.  Forrester Research found that Instagram users were 58 times more likely to like, comment or share a brand's post than Facebook users and 120 times more likely than those using Twitter.

If you're not sure where to start, check out this handy dandy infographic from our friends at KISSmetrics.  It has some helpful tips for building a successful Instagram strategy.

 

 

The-Science-of-Brands-on-Instagram

Topics: Branding

On Storytelling

Posted by Liza Rodriguez on Feb 18, 2015 3:31:00 PM

Even in today’s digital age, modern brands must still be great storytellers in order to attract and influence consumers and their habits. The difference, however, is both brands and consumers are part of the exercise creating a multi-dimensional storytelling exchange.

157335003_compSuccessful brands use stories to collaborate with their consumers, as well as to educate and entertain them. Consumer-generated stories play a vital role in the identity of a modern brand. This is due to the consumers need to tell their own personal stories, as well as those that do not originate from within the brand. They desire to work together with brands as a means of shaping something bigger than they are, as a means of self-expression and personal participation.

A great story can exist across multiple channels and multiple formats. Not all channels have to relay an entire story and content shouldn’t be illustrated identically across all channels. The truth is, there storytelling-18642are significant advantages to revealing different components of a complex story across linked channels. Each channel’s distinctive strength is leveraged to include additional detail or different importance.

A brand’s presence in the marketplace is dependent on its ability to tell a single story with strength in each main narrative element. Most importantly is the creation of the “big idea,” which serves as the glue that connects and organizes the immense amount of creative assets into a lucid narrative that can help shape and define a brand’s desired outcome.  In short, the general purpose of a story is to relate the events on the surface while promoting common experiences at the core.

 

Topics: Content Marketing, Content Creation

Want more genius and craftiness? Subscribe to Musings!

Recent Posts