Video: 8 Ways to Create Compelling Content [Lawyernomics 2018]

For a company operating in today’s landscape, content is king. But when every business is writing blogs, and producing podcasts, and adding to the 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, lawyers need a compelling content strategy to realize a return on the investment.

Nicole Abboud, a former lawyer turned influential podcaster who now owns Abboud Media, and Alycia Kinchloe, the owner of Kinchloe Law and host of The Growth Goal podcast, want lawyers to become thought leaders and put the “social” back in social media through compelling and shareable content across every medium.

Watch the full presentation, 8 Ways to Create Compelling Content, here:

It starts with what they call the First Commandment of Content: make it about the clients. Many lawyers make the mistake of producing content about themselves. But potential clients want to read blog posts, watch videos, and listen to podcasts where they envision themselves and connect with the message. That’s what makes people pick up the phone and call a lawyer.

Creating an experience for the audience, and engaging with them through a platform that others want to be part of, is essential. One example is hosting workshops or seminars that don’t focus on marketing, but instead let clients talk about themselves and their lives.

“I didn’t expect anything in return, but the very first [seminar] I did had 100 percent return on that investment,” Kinchloe said. “Every gentleman came in for a paid consultation or hired me.”

For many lawyers, the biggest hurdle to creating compelling content is strategizing and scheduling. Abboud and Kinchloe stress the importance of thinking about what you want to achieve and taking time to plan it out.

Taking time to plan and schedule content releases ahead of time ensures your marketing is purposeful, not rushed and random. Tools like Google Keyword Planner and CoSchedule can help you generate topic ideas and schedule every piece of content you create.

Attorneys should also be timely with content, and not shy away from sparking controversy or conversation. While planning content is essential, now and then, something will happen in the news or pop culture that you can comment on and become part of the discussion. For many lawyers, it may be difficult to step out of their lane and comment on potentially controversial topics, but these are the moments that make lawyers more approachable and more human to clients and referral sources.

So whether it’s a topic you’re passionate about, or an issue you’re interested in but not necessarily related to your practice, lawyers should be bold and go for it.

Going for it also extends to not so serious topics as well. Whether it is a blog, video, podcast, or seminar, the content that resonates most with an audience is content that tells a story. If you want to be approachable and for clients to trust you, Abboud says you shouldn’t take yourself too seriously.

“Don’t be afraid to show your human side because that will attract clients,” Abboud said. “They want to see that side of you.”

It’s especially important for lawyers to understand this and to produce content, not clogged with case studies and citations, which relates to shared human experience and love of storytelling. By doing so, attorneys and legal marketers can create something their clients or potential clients can’t help but share across social media.

[Read More …]

Thank you for reading our blog here at Smith Kendall Law Firm

For a company operating in today’s landscape, content is king. But when every business is writing blogs, and producing podcasts, and adding to the 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, lawyers need a compelling content strategy to realize a return on the investment.

Nicole Abboud, a former lawyer turned influential podcaster who now owns Abboud Media, and Alycia Kinchloe, the owner of Kinchloe Law and host of The Growth Goal podcast, want lawyers to become thought leaders and put the “social” back in social media through compelling and shareable content across every medium.

Watch the full presentation, 8 Ways to Create Compelling Content, here:

It starts with what they call the First Commandment of Content: make it about the clients. Many lawyers make the mistake of producing content about themselves. But potential clients want to read blog posts, watch videos, and listen to podcasts where they envision themselves and connect with the message. That’s what makes people pick up the phone and call a lawyer.

Creating an experience for the audience, and engaging with them through a platform that others want to be part of, is essential. One example is hosting workshops or seminars that don’t focus on marketing, but instead let clients talk about themselves and their lives.

“I didn’t expect anything in return, but the very first [seminar] I did had 100 percent return on that investment,” Kinchloe said. “Every gentleman came in for a paid consultation or hired me.”

For many lawyers, the biggest hurdle to creating compelling content is strategizing and scheduling. Abboud and Kinchloe stress the importance of thinking about what you want to achieve and taking time to plan it out.

Taking time to plan and schedule content releases ahead of time ensures your marketing is purposeful, not rushed and random. Tools like Google Keyword Planner and CoSchedule can help you generate topic ideas and schedule every piece of content you create.

Attorneys should also be timely with content, and not shy away from sparking controversy or conversation. While planning content is essential, now and then, something will happen in the news or pop culture that you can comment on and become part of the discussion. For many lawyers, it may be difficult to step out of their lane and comment on potentially controversial topics, but these are the moments that make lawyers more approachable and more human to clients and referral sources.

So whether it’s a topic you’re passionate about, or an issue you’re interested in but not necessarily related to your practice, lawyers should be bold and go for it.

Going for it also extends to not so serious topics as well. Whether it is a blog, video, podcast, or seminar, the content that resonates most with an audience is content that tells a story. If you want to be approachable and for clients to trust you, Abboud says you shouldn’t take yourself too seriously.

“Don’t be afraid to show your human side because that will attract clients,” Abboud said. “They want to see that side of you.”

It’s especially important for lawyers to understand this and to produce content, not clogged with case studies and citations, which relates to shared human experience and love of storytelling. By doing so, attorneys and legal marketers can create something their clients or potential clients can’t help but share across social media.

[Read More …]

Thank you for reading our blog here at Smith Kendall Law Firm

Originally seen here

Video: 5 Simple Ways to Build Client Trust [Lawyernomics 2018]

a couple talks with a lawyer

If lawyers can gain their client’s trust, they can win their business. Luckily, thanks to technology and a swath of online tools, earning trust and providing a better overall client experience is as simple as ever. All it takes is a little effort, and for lawyers to think of clients like any other consumer.

Avvo Corporate Counsel Esther Sirotnik’s full presentation is available here:

“The attorney-client relationship embodies a level of trust,” Sirotnik says. “This is about providing information and transparency to consumers so that they become your clients, and then it’s about taking that relationship and continuing to foster it and leverage it moving forward.”

As Sirotnik puts it, there are five ways lawyers gain their client’s trust, and it begins the moment a potential client sits down at a computer or pulls out their phone. Lawyers have to be proactive in managing their online presence and meet the consumer’s expectations for information. And in a world where consumers know the origin of the bean before ordering a cup of coffee at Starbucks, they’re certain to be researching lawyers and reading reviews online.

In fact, before even picking up the phone and calling a single attorney, a typical consumer will check at least seven different sources of information about the lawyer to get an idea of who they are and how they practice.

“In order to trust you, and have the confidence to even reach out to you, they need to feel like they understand who you are and how you practice,” Sirotnik says.

This means getting out of the cul-de-sac and establishing an online presence where consumers can easily see you from the comfort of their cellphone. From having a user-friendly website with professional photography to being active on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, lawyers need to tell consumers who they are and what they do.

Being accessible online doesn’t help if the lawyer doesn’t respond when a consumer reaches out. This is the first chance for a lawyer to prove they will be there for the client, and even waiting a couple of hours to respond to a call or email can erode any amount of trust they established with their online profiles. One way lawyers can eliminate communication issues is through online tools like autoresponders, virtual assistants, and live chat.

Once lawyers make that connection with a potential client, they have to be transparent from the very first meeting and communicate information in a way that consumers easily understand, especially when it comes to pricing and the engagement letter.

One of the biggest obstacles to client trust is misunderstanding—when lawyers aren’t upfront with fees, or can’t communicate well through an engagement letter, they won’t be trustworthy.

Open communication shouldn’t end after the client signs the engagement letter, either. It has to continue throughout the relationship. Lawyers today cannot work on a case and expect the client to simply wait for an outcome without receiving any updates.

“Give them a channel and tell them ‘I’m going to be responsive to you,” Sirotnik says. “This isn’t just about proactive communication and keeping them in the loop. It’s about listening to them.”

The number one cause of disciplinary actions for lawyers isn’t stealing money or fee splitting. It’s failing to respond, and failing to keep clients informed about what’s happening with their cases.

By having open lines of communication when something does go wrong, the client will go straight to the lawyer instead of turning to Twitter and other social media platforms to complain or leave negative reviews.

The final piece of the puzzle is what Sirotnik calls “closing the loop.” Lawyers can bring the cycle back to the beginning by leveraging the trust they earned with clients by requesting reviews, sending out surveys, and even communicating through quarterly newsletters.

“The relationship comes back together to the very beginning, because it’s the foundation on which your next consumer will stand when they look at whether or not to hire you.”

You may download the slides from this presentation here.

[Read More …]

Thank you for reading our blog here at Smith Kendall Law Firm

a couple talks with a lawyer

If lawyers can gain their client’s trust, they can win their business. Luckily, thanks to technology and a swath of online tools, earning trust and providing a better overall client experience is as simple as ever. All it takes is a little effort, and for lawyers to think of clients like any other consumer.

Avvo Corporate Counsel Esther Sirotnik’s full presentation is available here:

“The attorney-client relationship embodies a level of trust,” Sirotnik says. “This is about providing information and transparency to consumers so that they become your clients, and then it’s about taking that relationship and continuing to foster it and leverage it moving forward.”

As Sirotnik puts it, there are five ways lawyers gain their client’s trust, and it begins the moment a potential client sits down at a computer or pulls out their phone. Lawyers have to be proactive in managing their online presence and meet the consumer’s expectations for information. And in a world where consumers know the origin of the bean before ordering a cup of coffee at Starbucks, they’re certain to be researching lawyers and reading reviews online.

In fact, before even picking up the phone and calling a single attorney, a typical consumer will check at least seven different sources of information about the lawyer to get an idea of who they are and how they practice.

“In order to trust you, and have the confidence to even reach out to you, they need to feel like they understand who you are and how you practice,” Sirotnik says.

This means getting out of the cul-de-sac and establishing an online presence where consumers can easily see you from the comfort of their cellphone. From having a user-friendly website with professional photography to being active on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, lawyers need to tell consumers who they are and what they do.

Being accessible online doesn’t help if the lawyer doesn’t respond when a consumer reaches out. This is the first chance for a lawyer to prove they will be there for the client, and even waiting a couple of hours to respond to a call or email can erode any amount of trust they established with their online profiles. One way lawyers can eliminate communication issues is through online tools like autoresponders, virtual assistants, and live chat.

Once lawyers make that connection with a potential client, they have to be transparent from the very first meeting and communicate information in a way that consumers easily understand, especially when it comes to pricing and the engagement letter.

One of the biggest obstacles to client trust is misunderstanding—when lawyers aren’t upfront with fees, or can’t communicate well through an engagement letter, they won’t be trustworthy.

Open communication shouldn’t end after the client signs the engagement letter, either. It has to continue throughout the relationship. Lawyers today cannot work on a case and expect the client to simply wait for an outcome without receiving any updates.

“Give them a channel and tell them ‘I’m going to be responsive to you,” Sirotnik says. “This isn’t just about proactive communication and keeping them in the loop. It’s about listening to them.”

The number one cause of disciplinary actions for lawyers isn’t stealing money or fee splitting. It’s failing to respond, and failing to keep clients informed about what’s happening with their cases.

By having open lines of communication when something does go wrong, the client will go straight to the lawyer instead of turning to Twitter and other social media platforms to complain or leave negative reviews.

The final piece of the puzzle is what Sirotnik calls “closing the loop.” Lawyers can bring the cycle back to the beginning by leveraging the trust they earned with clients by requesting reviews, sending out surveys, and even communicating through quarterly newsletters.

“The relationship comes back together to the very beginning, because it’s the foundation on which your next consumer will stand when they look at whether or not to hire you.”

You may download the slides from this presentation here.

[Read More …]

Thank you for reading our blog here at Smith Kendall Law Firm

Originally seen here

Video: Alternative Revenue Streams Panel [Lawyernomics 2018]

professionals exchange money

Managing a successful law firm is like running any other successful business. It takes talent, hard work, a steady stream of clients, and—most importantly—the willingness and ability to adapt and change with consumer trends. And while many people might say legal innovation and new ideas are in short supply, or perhaps not even necessary, many forward-thinking attorneys believe differently.

The traditional lawyer is a character most people know well. They are intelligent, quick on their feet, good at arguing, and charge you by the hour for an undetermined amount of time. That’s not how this panel of attorneys operates.

Kimberly Bennet, Gabriel Cheong, and Brooke Moore are here to challenge your assumptions on how a lawyer can run his or her business, and more importantly, how one may adapt to meet the needs of the next generation of clients who need legal services. Instead of charging clients by the hour, this group bills up front and offers both on-demand and subscription legal fees.

For Bennet, who owns a virtual general counsel practice that focuses on trademark business and employment law, she was tired of chasing after clients for invoices and instead charges a flat fee up-front.

Additionally, she also offers a subscription service based on individual projects or needs that’s a lot like a legal-services version of Amazon Prime or Netflix. Unlike a retainer model, where a lawyer bills for future legal services, a subscription model means Bennet is actively working for the money she collects.

“There are quarterly reviews; there are included contracts reviews, there are as many calls as they want,” says Bennet. “And they’re actually on the project; we’re actually doing some type of work, so that could be an audit or a contract, or drafting a contract.”

Cheong, who runs a family law practice in Boston, MA, knows it’s unusual for lawyers in her practice area to not charge by the hour. She saw an opportunity to change this fee arrangement and implemented a subscription model based on purchasing four-month blocks. That’s because four months out is typically when discovery is done, and the client can decide whether or not to settle or purchase another four-month block of time.

For family law specifically, Cheong noticed her clients were sometimes hesitant to call and talk to her about any developments, or to merely vent, because they knew they were being billed hourly.

This was in direct contrast with her philosophy of having clients give her more information than not enough.

“I put it in terms of the unit that clients understand—which is on average, a four-month chunk of time—but really, it’s tied to something real in the background which is sort of the track assignment for the courts,” Cheong says.

Moore owns MyVirtual.Lawyer, a law firm run entirely online, and offers both flat-fee and subscription models as well. Whatever they choose, clients can pay upfront or make payments on a payment plan through auto-draft, so she never has to chase down an invoice.

Another way she harnesses the convenience and power of technology for a better client experience is through a client portal where most communications occur between lawyers and clients.

“They get faster responses that way,” Moore says. “They can be having some kind of crisis at midnight, and they know that there is a direct link to the attorney or staff member that they’re working with. It’s about time management.”

For lawyers looking to adopt some of these changes and find new revenue streams, there’s no substitute for staying curious. Cheong encourages attorneys always to check what’s new and what’s available, technology-wise, whether that means staying up to date with online communities or attending conferences at least once a year.

“I think there is a knee-jerk reaction for a lot of people, when their time is filled up, is to start looking into hiring people to do that work,” she says. “Your first reaction should be: how can I automate this, and how can I use technology to solve that problem before I start paying somebody 60, 80, $100,000 a year to do something that technology can probably do for maybe $1,000?”

Bennet echoes, “I tell businesses: tech before labor. Labor is a huge cost, so figure out a way to automate process technology.”

After adapting technology to automate some areas of the business to increase efficiency, lawyers can also use technology to bring in more clients. Whether that’s hosting webinars, virtual or in-person talks, or spending time interacting with people on social media, meeting people where they are can help lawyer market themselves and draw in more clients in the future.

“I think what sets you apart is you know that legal consumers are driving changes,” Moore says. “We don’t really have control so if we can meet them where they are and figure out your client, that’s what sets us apart.”

[Read More …]

Thank you for reading our blog here at Smith Kendall Law Firm

professionals exchange money

Managing a successful law firm is like running any other successful business. It takes talent, hard work, a steady stream of clients, and—most importantly—the willingness and ability to adapt and change with consumer trends. And while many people might say legal innovation and new ideas are in short supply, or perhaps not even necessary, many forward-thinking attorneys believe differently.

The traditional lawyer is a character most people know well. They are intelligent, quick on their feet, good at arguing, and charge you by the hour for an undetermined amount of time. That’s not how this panel of attorneys operates.

Kimberly Bennet, Gabriel Cheong, and Brooke Moore are here to challenge your assumptions on how a lawyer can run his or her business, and more importantly, how one may adapt to meet the needs of the next generation of clients who need legal services. Instead of charging clients by the hour, this group bills up front and offers both on-demand and subscription legal fees.

For Bennet, who owns a virtual general counsel practice that focuses on trademark business and employment law, she was tired of chasing after clients for invoices and instead charges a flat fee up-front.

Additionally, she also offers a subscription service based on individual projects or needs that’s a lot like a legal-services version of Amazon Prime or Netflix. Unlike a retainer model, where a lawyer bills for future legal services, a subscription model means Bennet is actively working for the money she collects.

“There are quarterly reviews; there are included contracts reviews, there are as many calls as they want,” says Bennet. “And they’re actually on the project; we’re actually doing some type of work, so that could be an audit or a contract, or drafting a contract.”

Cheong, who runs a family law practice in Boston, MA, knows it’s unusual for lawyers in her practice area to not charge by the hour. She saw an opportunity to change this fee arrangement and implemented a subscription model based on purchasing four-month blocks. That’s because four months out is typically when discovery is done, and the client can decide whether or not to settle or purchase another four-month block of time.

For family law specifically, Cheong noticed her clients were sometimes hesitant to call and talk to her about any developments, or to merely vent, because they knew they were being billed hourly.

This was in direct contrast with her philosophy of having clients give her more information than not enough.

“I put it in terms of the unit that clients understand—which is on average, a four-month chunk of time—but really, it’s tied to something real in the background which is sort of the track assignment for the courts,” Cheong says.

Moore owns MyVirtual.Lawyer, a law firm run entirely online, and offers both flat-fee and subscription models as well. Whatever they choose, clients can pay upfront or make payments on a payment plan through auto-draft, so she never has to chase down an invoice.

Another way she harnesses the convenience and power of technology for a better client experience is through a client portal where most communications occur between lawyers and clients.

“They get faster responses that way,” Moore says. “They can be having some kind of crisis at midnight, and they know that there is a direct link to the attorney or staff member that they’re working with. It’s about time management.”

For lawyers looking to adopt some of these changes and find new revenue streams, there’s no substitute for staying curious. Cheong encourages attorneys always to check what’s new and what’s available, technology-wise, whether that means staying up to date with online communities or attending conferences at least once a year.

“I think there is a knee-jerk reaction for a lot of people, when their time is filled up, is to start looking into hiring people to do that work,” she says. “Your first reaction should be: how can I automate this, and how can I use technology to solve that problem before I start paying somebody 60, 80, $100,000 a year to do something that technology can probably do for maybe $1,000?”

Bennet echoes, “I tell businesses: tech before labor. Labor is a huge cost, so figure out a way to automate process technology.”

After adapting technology to automate some areas of the business to increase efficiency, lawyers can also use technology to bring in more clients. Whether that’s hosting webinars, virtual or in-person talks, or spending time interacting with people on social media, meeting people where they are can help lawyer market themselves and draw in more clients in the future.

“I think what sets you apart is you know that legal consumers are driving changes,” Moore says. “We don’t really have control so if we can meet them where they are and figure out your client, that’s what sets us apart.”

[Read More …]

Thank you for reading our blog here at Smith Kendall Law Firm

Originally seen here

Trial Attorney Bradley Cosgrove Discusses Clifford Law Offices

Trial Attorney Bradley Cosgrove Discusses Clifford Law Offices
Bradley Cosgrove is a medical malpractice attorney, personal injury attorney, and partner at Clifford Law Offices in Chicago, Illinois.

In this video, Brad shares his most memorable cases and discusses Clifford Law Offices.

Learn more about Brad Cosgrove here: http://www.cliffordlaw.com/Attorneys/Bradley-M-Cosgrove.shtml

Thank you for reading our blog here at Smith Kendall Law Firm

Trial Attorney Bradley Cosgrove Discusses Clifford Law Offices
Bradley Cosgrove is a medical malpractice attorney, personal injury attorney, and partner at Clifford Law Offices in Chicago, Illinois.

In this video, Brad shares his most memorable cases and discusses Clifford Law Offices.

Learn more about Brad Cosgrove here: http://www.cliffordlaw.com/Attorneys/Bradley-M-Cosgrove.shtml

Thank you for reading our blog here at Smith Kendall Law Firm

Originally seen here