How Client Reviews Help Law Firm Branding
Legal Branding

How Client Reviews Help Law Firm Branding

Do you go to a movie or restaurant without checking its reviews? Thanks to social media, our purchases are often influenced by reviews and ratings. Today, reviews are an important part of legal marketing.

Hiring a lawyer is a big decision. Many potential clients rely on word-of-mouth and reviews to help with their decision. A happy client is a law firm’s best advertising.

Your law firm may be familiar with review-based websites like Martindale and Avvo. But, you can use client reviews in a more active way. Your clients’ opinions and experiences can be a powerful way to extend brand identity.

Reviews on Third-Party Sites

Reviews on Third-Party Sites

Sometimes, clients will voluntarily post a review. These reviews often appear on third-party sites like Facebook or Yelp. These reviews can be sporadic and unreliable.

Everyone loves a positive review! But, your client’s positive review may lack detail and marketing value. Which of these reviews do you prefer?

  • “My lawyer was great!”
  • “My lawyer kept fighting, even when things got tough. She always listened to me. I was surprised how quickly the other side settled! I have already sent friends to my law firm for help. Thank you.”

Both clients were happy with their lawyers. Clearly, the second review gives more information to potential clients. You can’t edit a client’s online review. But, you can encourage happy clients to post detailed online reviews.

If you receive negative reviews, write a prompt and empathetic response. Encourage the unhappy client to meet with you, and work to resolve the issue. While you cannot make everyone happy, prospective clients will notice your quick and courteous response.

How to Create a Client Questionnaire

How to Create a Client Questionnaire

You should also create your own client questionnaire. At the end of a case, send each client this questionnaire. Information from a client questionnaire can be used both internally and for marketing purposes.

A client questionnaire is simple to make, and should ask open-ended questions. Potential questions include:

  • What did our law firm do best?
  • How would you describe your relationship with your lawyer?
  • How would you improve our law firm’s services?
  • Would you hire our law firm again? Why?
  • Would you refer friends and family to us?
  • Would you like a free subscription to our email newsletter?
  • Can we publish your review on our website?

If you want to publish reviews, you must get the client’s permission.

Client Reviews Can Show Strengths and Weaknesses

When you use a client questionnaire, you should analyze the responses, and look for trends.

Internally, these client reviews can be used to highlight a law firm’s strengths and weaknesses. If a staff member is providing exceptional service, it should be recognized and rewarded. Similarly, if clients regularly complain of communication delays (or other problems), you should improve your processes.

Your clients’ experience should always be consistent with your marketing message.

Client Reviews and Website Marketing

Client Reviews and Website Marketing

Again, a well-branded law firm’s reviews will reflect its mission or identity. You can use these reviews to extend your brand.

Prospective clients value reviews. If the reviews are consistent with the law firm’s message, they build trust. So, publish client reviews that express elements of your brand or mission.

For example: A personal injury firm prides itself in both its compassion and fierce representation. These characteristics are the pillars of its marketing message.

On its client review page, the firm has published these comments:

  • “I always knew I could call my lawyer for help. The firm helped me through my darkest hour—and negotiated a great settlement!”
  • “The insurance company couldn’t push my lawyer around. I was in good hands. He never stopped fighting for me.”

These client reviews match the law firm’s message—and are particularly persuasive because they come from clients.

A well-designed law firm website should include published client reviews. Give your prospective clients insight into your firm culture and mission through client reviews.

Use Buyer Personas to Get Better Legal Clients
Legal Branding

Use Buyer Personas to Get Better Legal Clients

Lawyers know their clients, right?

Lawyers think about their clients every day. You understand their daily challenges. You guide them through complicated legal processes. You celebrate their successes and victories. But, do you ever see your clients as buyer personas?

In today’s competitive legal market, lawyers and law firms need to think strategically about client marketing. Buyer personas can bring your law firm the best possible clients.

What is a buyer persona?

Marketers build “buyer personas” when developing a marketing or branding strategy. A buyer persona describes part of your client base and helps you create targeted marketing messages.

Each of your law firm’s buyer personas has different goals and perspectives. A message that convinces a father of a disabled child to hire you for an SSI appeal may differ from than that of a business professional facing a drunk driving charge. Your marketing plan for these two personas should be different.

Your client base contains multiple buyer personas. You need to understand who they are. Once you identify your firm’s personas, you can create branded messages that speak to them.

How to Identify Law Firm Buyer Personas

How to Identify Law Firm Buyer Personas

Since you work closely with your clients, it should not be difficult to identify your firm’s buyer personas. It does, however, take some time.

First, go through your law firm files, and build demographic profiles. Use the data you already have to spot trends.

  • Do you clients tend to be men or women?
  • What are the average ages?
  • What are their average incomes and educational backgrounds?
  • Why did your clients hire you, and not your competition?

Your intake interviews probably contain a lot of this information.

You should also consider who you want your clients to be. Do you want higher income clients? Do you want to expand a practice area? Or, do you want to extend your law firm’s geographic reach? You will create profiles for these desired clients too.

Finally, you need to do market research. If your intake interviews are lacking information, ask your clients for more information. You can send a client survey, or perform a follow-up interview.

You will also want to evaluate your competitors. Examine their marketing materials. Do other law firms target different buyer personas?

What Does a Buyer Persona Look Like?

What Does a Buyer Persona Look Like

Next, build profiles that summarize your client demographics. Your buyer personas may resemble these:

  • Name: J.Q. Public
  • Average Age: 45
  • Job: Skilled laborer/electrician, union steward
  • Goals: Resolve workers’ compensation dispute and protect financial stability.
  • Fears: Losing home and other assets, not getting back to work, tension at home.
  • Attitudes: Not tech savvy, but okay with email. Prefers face-to-face meetings. Experienced with union negotiations and basic employment law.
  • Name: Marta Smith
  • Average Age: 60
  • Job: College Professor
  • Goals: Needs help with estate planning.
  • Fears: End-of-life expenses.
  • Attitudes: Travels often for research. Prefers email and video conferencing. Likes long-form explanations.

Again, your law firm should always have more than one buyer persona.

How to Use Buyer Personas in Law Firm Branding

Now that you have buyer personas, both for your current and desired client base, apply them to your marketing strategy. Think about how you have successfully marketed to a buyer persona in the past. Build a strategy that speaks specifically to each persona.

A marketing strategy for J.Q. Public may include:

  • Both digital and printed workers’ compensation brochures.
  • Discussion of your ties to labor unions.
  • A targeted email campaign about workers’ rights.
  • Offers to run free workers’ compensation and FMLA training sessions at union steward meetings.
  • In-house family law and bankruptcy referrals.

In comparison, Marta Smith’s marketing may involve:

  • A detailed estate planning blog.
  • An electronic client portal, allowing easy access to documents and information.
  • E-books and downloadable forms.

Modern marketing focuses on building a buyer’s trust and confidence. By using buyer personas, law firms can convey expertise, and help build that trust.

Do You Need Marketing Help?

Do You Need Marketing Help?

Lawyers’ time is valuable. Many law firms do not have the time or resources to handle their own branding and marketing. If you need help, contact an experienced professional.

Wedding planner
Local Branding

Effective Wedding Planner Marketing Strategies

It’s a great time to become a professional wedding planner. Statistics recently gathered in 2012 show us that the average income for a wedding planner is more than $45,000, which is well above the national average. And 10 year projections demonstrate that industry will grow by 33%.

Why Become A Professional Wedding Planner

Wedding planner

On average, most wedding planners get into this industry by working for a larger firm. Some self-starters jump into this occupation and immediately go into business for themselves. No matter which situation you find yourself in, building your new unique brand is necessary so as to create an excellent reputation while building your own brand.

If you are just getting started in this industry, using effective marketing strategies will help develop your brand and create name recognition that will eventually lead to bigger and better clients.

Let’s look at some of our favorite wedding planner marketing strategies right now.

Wedding planner

Making a Connection with Your Target Audience

In an effort to have success in business, you must figure out your target audience. And once this information is discovered, you can then create a focused marketing plan that will help you reach these individuals.

Thankfully, as a wedding planner, discovering your target audience is very easy. It’s probably easier than any other business model. Connect with your audience and use proper strategies to build your brand

So who is your target audience? For the most part, your target market is women in their 20s and 30s. And as you can probably figure out, these women have yet to be married.

Since your target audience is relatively young, it’s easy to find them online. Social media is a great place to build a wedding planner platform.

Sure, you can have success using traditional marketing methods. But those methods are often very expensive. Most likely, when first starting out, you will not have a huge marketing budget at your disposal. So going the social media route makes the most sense for a number of different reasons.

Economical ways to get your message in front of your target audience includes building platforms on Twitter, Facebook, and especially Pinterest and Instagram. Utilizing these platforms is the cost-effective way to build your online brand and connect with your target market.

Content marketing

Use High Quality Content to Build Your Online Brand

Besides relationship building through social media, disseminating high quality content is another powerful way to build your online brand. And if you create the bulk of the content yourself, you’ll put in sweat equity without needing a large content budget.

Content market is the ideal way to expand your reach even further. And not only that, when you share high-quality content with your target audience, you will establish credibility and authority in the wedding planner niche. This goes a long way to converting potential prospects into paying customers.

Are you unsure of the type of content to create with the aim of building your online brand? We found an excellent example of the perfect wedding planner’s blog. You can check it out by visiting the blog  of San Diego wedding planner Amy June.

Conclusion

Getting into the wedding planning business is a great way to develop a healthy financial future. Use the strategies presented today to help effectively market your wedding planner business online.

Legal Branding

The Right Action to Take After Experiencing a Dog Bite

In case you have been bitten by a dog, or have been involved in a vicious dog attack, you should take careful steps after the incident to make sure everything is correctly recorded, where you may decide to pursue a lawsuit. There can be several parties involved in your dog bite case, including dog owners, dog sitters, property owners, and in some rare cases, animal control authorities. This tends to make the dog bite cases particularly challenging to litigate; even more so if the victim is unaware of the laws in Virginia regarding dog bite injuries in his or her particular county, city, and state.

The initial step to take after a dog bite is to seek medical treatment. If your injuries do not require medical treatment, then there is no reason to file a claim. Nevertheless, irrespective of the severity of the injuries you sustain, you should always report the incident to animal control authorities. The dog’s owner must be held responsible for the dangerous propensities of his or her dog, and the attack needs to be documented.

After getting medical treatment for your injuries, it is extremely important that you identify the dog and its owner. You’ll need to get the relevant contact and insurance information from the owner, in addition to verifying that the dog has been vaccinated for rabies. If the dog has not been vaccinated, you might be required to receive rabies treatment; an often-painful procedure that should be avoided if possible.

Identifying the owner of the dog is paramount, especially if he or she has been negligent concerning leash laws, or other pet ordinances, in your specific city or county within Virginia. If the dog attack occurred while the dog was in the care of another person, you would need to identify that caregiver, as well. This additional step could be crucial to your case in court.

Be sure to write down all contact and insurance information that the dog owner gives you, as well as the registration or tag number of the dog (which should be clearly printed on the dog’s collar). If the owner has insurance, be sure to get the name of his or her insurance company, as well.

Do not, under any circumstances, be satisfied with the owner’s offer (or his or her insurance company’s offer) to take photos. You also have to take pictures of your injuries, as well as the torn or bloody clothing and the scene where the incident took place. It is always advisable to take a picture of the dog snapping, barking, or trying to intimidate. Such photos will be valuable evidence for your case in court.

Insurance companies often try to settle dog bite cases outside of court, for less money than what you deserve for compensation. A dog bite injury requires extensive medical treatment, for short and long-term, as well as time off from work for healing. Often, the victims of dog bites are entitled to compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, foreseeable losses, disfigurement, and pain and suffering.

If you have been the victim of a dog bite injury, consulting an experienced Virginia dog bite attorney could make a significant difference in the compensation and attention you receive in court. Negligent owners; especially those who keep a dangerous pet, should be held legally responsible for their actions, and a qualified dog bites attorney at Parrish Law Firm, PLLC http://www.theparrishlawfirm.com/dog-bite-lawyer/ has experience with dog bite cases in Virginia and will help you in the proper lawsuit.

Digital Branding

How Technology Is Influencing Artwork Today

It has been said a lot of times: technology is changing the way we are doing a lot of things. This is especially manifested in how artwork is treated in today’s modern times. Here are some of the changes that artists face with regards to the relationship of art and technology:

Technology enables artwork to be worked on continuously

Various advancements in technology have made it easier for artists to work on their projects in a continuous manner. So do not be surprised when the mural you see on the wall will be different in a few days. That is exactly the case with the abstract artwork in a gallery in Berlin. The daily changes in the artwork are made possible by a mini-robot called Vertwalker that paints based on an established pattern coded into its program.

Technology brings a different way of experiencing and accessing art for enthusiasts

Don’t have time to go to the art museum? The Internet gives art enthusiasts, viewers and other artists the chance to see various artwork such as films, photographs, paintings and sculpture online. Artquisite, an online art gallery based in Munich, for example, shows viewers and potential buyers a variety of contemporary and modern art pieces.

Technology brings a sense of community among artists

Social media apps such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram now connect artists all over the world. Not only will they be able to communicate with their fellow artist, they can now also do group critiquing on their friend’s art projects. There are also social media networks dedicated solely to artists and their work such as Deviantart, Dribbble and Behance. Websites and apps like Adobe Portfolio, Cargo and Format also present an online outlet for creators to showcase what they are producing.

Technology presents a new medium for artists

The advent of the computer age has also paved the way for the creation of software helpful to artists like Photoshop, Illustrator, Corel Draw and After Effects. These art programs will not in any way replace actual art tools soon, but they are now being used increasingly to make many design projects. What used to take days through painting can now be made using computers in a few hours.

Technology is a bevy of inspiration for creatives

If you are an artist, you would be hard pressed to find a better source of inspiration for your projects. Also, satirizing how technology affects the world is now a major theme across many forms of art.

Technology revolutionizes how business is for artists

Again, due to the accessibility that the Internet provides, creators now have to adjust to the new business environment. While it is now easier to make money through their artwork, the market has also become incredibly competitive so artists have to strive hard to stand out.

A lot of artists are still adjusting to the changing landscape of the art community and sector due to the advancements in technology. That said, it has presented a lot of opportunities that may well be manipulated in favor of many creatives in the industry.

Uncategorized

Expenses Small Businesses Can’t Write Off on Tax Forms

Paying taxes is unavoidable. However, minimizing tax liability is your choice. By taking advantage of the many tax deduction options available for small business owners, you can significantly reduce your tax burden. Knowing a few home business tax tips will help you save some of your hard-earned money.

Record keeping: Small business owners often ignore keeping an organized record of all business-related expenses incurred throughout the year. This is essential to make use of tax deductions on expenses related to running your business.

In the event of an audit by IRS, only deductions that can be backed up by relevant documents are accepted. Ensure that you save all the receipts and bills for a period of at least seven years. Also, it is prudent not to mix personal and business expenditures when you run a home business.

Know your deductions: If you run a home business, you can deduct certain costs associated with the maintenance of your home from your taxes. However, only the maintenance costs for the specific area that is used as home office is eligible for legal deduction.

Some of the expenses that qualify for this deduction include mortgage/rent payments, property tax payments, utility bills, and home insurance premiums. Additionally, a small business owner can deduct any cost related to the business from the tax. This covers a whole gamut of expenses from equipment purchase and maintenance to telephone and fuel bills to advertisement and entertainment expenses.

Small business owners can claim deductions on the costs of purchase and maintenance of computers, domain name registration and hosting, software, internet service, magazine subscriptions, and office supplies, provided these are exclusively used for your business. You can keep a log of your mileage when you use your car for business travel, even if it is for visiting a post office or library for business purposes. This can be later deducted as a travel expense at the prevailing rates.

Health insurance is another expense that qualifies for tax deduction. If you are the sole proprietor, health insurance premiums for yourself are tax deductible, whereas if you have employees, premiums paid by you for their health insurance also become eligible for deduction. A small business owner can indirectly save on taxes by employing their family members, as they pay less tax on their income and you can keep the money in the family itself.

Tax laws keep changing every year, bringing in new deductions and making some older ones obsolete. While a small business owner is advised to keep up-to-date with tax laws, some of the tax code can be quite complicated.  You might need the services of a law firm such as Attorneys Tax Relief who can be help you stay out of legal troubles. The cost of such services will be recovered from the money you save by paying less tax.

Pay tax on time: An important tax tip for a small business owner is to pay tax on time rather than putting it off. Avoidance of tax payment will result in paying the entire tax amount plus interest and fine on that amount.

As a home business owner, you are required to pay taxes quarterly. An estimated amount should be paid every three months, failing of which will attract penalty. When you file your returns at the end of the year, pay up any deficiency, if you have paid less, or get a refund, if you have paid more.

colorado-springs-450
Legal Branding

10 Rejuvenating Activities in Colorado Springs

If you have recently been the victim of an injury due to someone else’s negligence and you are currently involved in a personal injury case in Colorado Springs, the holiday season could be a stressful time. Now is a great time to care for yourself and do one or more of these rejuvenating activities that Sawaya Law suggests this Christmas to center your mind and help you enjoy the Holidays.

Visit a Spa

There are many spas in the Colorado Springs area whose aim is to help stressed out and overwhelmed people relax. Try the Alluvia Spa and Wellness Retreat. Besides being beautiful and relaxing on the inside, the view from the outside is spectacular. From the porch you can see Pike’s Peak and the city sweeping before you. They even have special Christmas packages and events, as well as retreats for you and your spouse to help you to reconnect. The Spa at the Garden of the Gods Club and Resort offers everything from steam rooms to a full service salon where you can get your hair and nails done. Or take advantage of their fitness center to work off some of the holiday stress (and calories)!

Train Rides

Colorado Springs is a hub for exciting and beautiful train rides. The trains take you to places with stunning views with little effort on your part. Skip the car ride, and sit back and relax on the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. This train runs all year, leaving from Manitou Springs and going to the summit of Pikes Peak. In January and February the train does not go all the way to the top due to weather concerns, and there are limited hours, so be sure to check if it is open before you go this winter. If you have children, take advantage of their Santa Train Ride which goes to the Minnehaha Siding and includes stories, cookies, hot chocolate, and a visit with Santa and his elves.

Electric Safari at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Regarded as one of the best zoo lights the United States, the Electric Safari at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo features a wide array of stunning lights as well as a select number of animal exhibits that will be open. Warm fires are scattered around the zoo to keep you warm as you enjoy the sites. Don’t forget about the fantastic view of the city which provides its own array of lights!

Take an Art Class

One of the most relaxing and restorative activities that you can do is artwork. Whether or not you consider yourself an artistic person, taking an art class can be wonderfully healing. Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center provides art classes for people of all ages and skill levels. They offer classes in pottery, painting, photography, art journaling, drawing, jewelry making, paper crafts, and many more. If you are looking for something more low key, try Painting With a Twist. Painting With a Twist offers a onetime painting class where you can drink a glass of wine, paint, and come home with your own painting. It is a wonderful activity to do with your friends.

A Visit to Manitou Springs

Take a day trip into Manitou Springs. This is a wonderful town, and is charming in the winter as well. Take some time to wander in and out of the shops lining the main street and try some of the famous mineral water. Afterwards, relax in one of the coffee or tea shops. The Maté Factor is a unique and quaint choice, and features an interior that is reminiscent of a forest. If you have never tried Yerba Maté (which is a delightful and energetic alternative to coffee), this is the place to do it. In the evening, try the Iron Springs Chateau Dinner Theater. This theater serves a delicious dinner and a funny melodrama which will have you in stitches and have you coming away relaxed and refreshed.

Personal injuries can be exhausting, painful, stressful, and overwhelming especially during the holidays. If you are feeling drained from the many hours that these cases sometimes take, carve out some time to enjoy one of these relaxing and rejuvenating activities. Whether you prefer something active, or need something sedentary and laid back, there are plenty of options for you in the Colorado Springs area. Try one of these or come up with creative ideas of your own and watch your Holidays become a time of cheer and enjoyment.