Category Archives: Marketing

How To Build A Visual Identity For Your Law Firm

It may be unfair and hopelessly shallow, but clients will judge you based on how you look. You know to dress the part in the courtroom, but what about your website and social media presence? Does it look like you: polished, professional, and worthy of a client’s trust?

Be honest. Be brutal. Your clients will be.

A strong brand identity relies on the fine balance of cohesion, presentation, and personality.

There’s a sea of law firms out there that look either out of touch or overly generic. In fact, I’m pretty sure some of these law firms just copy and paste their entire visual identity from other brands. Yikes.

That may be okay (it’s not okay) for fly by night, side-eye worthy amateurs, but not you. You’re the best, and you’ve got to look the best, or no one else will know it, except for me and your mother.

By the end of this post, you’ll learn exactly how to create a visual identity that looks smart, savvy, and purposeful. This visual identity will make your brand more memorable and more trustworthy. Ready to get started? Let’s go!

Psst… Would you like to get 12 tools for creating a stunning visual brand? Subscribe to receive this free resource.

What message would you like to convey?

Here is the best place to start. Would you live to cultivate a friendly persona or an intellectual one? They aren’t mutually exclusive, however you’re looking for the dominant tone in your visual identity.

Perhaps it’s best to think of your ideal client. Are you in family law? Are you an entertainment attorney? Do you work primarily in real estate? Your target clientele shifts depending on what type of law you specialize in. Keeping that client in mind, you can create a brand identity that reaches and relates to them.

How can a law firm that specializes in entertainment be satisfied with a dated and bland visual identity? Or, how can a firm that focuses on family law create a visual identity that’s aloof and unsympathetic?

Actually, it’s easy and a lot of brands do it unintentionally. However, it’s also easy to create a visual identity that deliberately gives off the vibe you wish to present. Let’s take a look at the components that create your visual identity.

The Components of Your Visual Identity:

Color

Color has a profound impact on us. One color can make us feel calm, another can make us feel creative. Studies show that the color called drunk tank pink can actually reduce violent and hostile behavior. There’s little doubt that color influences our psychology.

This is why you need to think about what colors to use in your visual branding. Each color affects us differently. Depending on the message you’d like to convey, use a corresponding color to subtly but effectively echo it.

Here’s a breakdown of each color and how the brain interprets it:

Green – Fresh, Organic, Natural, Eco-friendly, Gentle

Blue – Trustworthy, Secure, Peaceful, Calm, Loyal

Purple – Creative, Unique, Vibrant, Luxurious, Royal

Yellow – Friendly, Excited, Positive, Joyful, Energetic

Orange – Playful, Warm, Cheerful, Social, Confident

Red – Passionate, Bold, Strong, Dynamic, Brave

Pink – Feminine, Sweet, Compassionate, Affectionate, Caring

Brown – Reliable, Approachable, Stable, Dependable, Practical

Gray – Modern, Neutral, Conservative, Futuristic, Advanced

Black – Sophisticated, Traditional, Classic, Powerful, Elegant

White – Pure, Good, Clean, Honest, Open

You’ll probably want a combination of two or three colors to create a unique and intentional visual identity. For example, the color combinations of blue and gray say modern yet trustworthy, while brown and pink say dependable and compassionate.

Do you need help deciding which colors should represent you? Browse the most loved color palettes of all time over at ColourLovers. Pick up inspiration by the user-submitted color palettes and use it to jump-start your brand identity.

Graphics

Graphics are a huge part of visual branding. Along with color, graphics are an immediate way to communicate your brand’s unique identity. This includes images, photos, icons, infographics, and other visual elements.

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. If you want to immediately impress your firm’s identity, personality, and tone, you need to intersperse graphical elements into your online content.

On your general website, your blog, and your social media accounts, use graphics to craft a uniquely identifiable visual brand.

When you post an image on your blog or social media accounts, make sure that it:

  • includes your brand logo. In case your image goes viral, you want to leave your calling card.
  • continues the same look and feel as the rest of your brand. Consistency is important for developing a strong visual identity.
  • supports the text if on your blog. Your image should make sense and emphasize the blog post.
  • is high quality. There’s nothing worse than a tiny image that your visitors have to squint to see.

Where to Find Images

Speaking of high quality, there’s no reason to settle for cheesy images when there’s plenty of free and amazing stock libraries on the web. Check out this list of my favorite stock images (and subscribe for even more resources).

Be sure to check the license and usage requirements. Most of these sites require no attribution, but terms can change at any moment.

Logo

Your logo is the best way to instantly impress who you are as a brand. Think of your logo as a first introduction. It can immediately convey the tone and personality of your brand before your client has an opportunity to look at your services, testimonials, or blog posts.

Because your logo represents your brand, don’t go ordinary and buy a template that every other law firm uses. To really stand out, commission an original logo from a reputable logo designer. Find designers, and their portfolios, on Dribbble or Logopond.

Fonts

Last, but not least, is your font choice. Your font says a lot about your brand identity. It can say that you’re fun and hip or serious and staid.
Font libraries like Fontspace and 1001 Fonts let you search for fonts based on the type of mood you’d like to convey. Simply type in “classic” or “modern” to find the perfect font for your brand.

Put it to Work

Now that you’ve been introduced to the four components to your visual identity, it’s time to put it to work on your blog and social media platforms. Here’s how:

Your blog

Be sure to include an image on each and every blog post you write. Not only will it provide visual interest to your post, it will subtly reiterate your brand identity.

Facebook

One in seven people on earth use Facebook. No doubt some of your clients use this popular platform. Take advantage of the cover photo as a prime opportunity to reinforce your brand message.

LinkedIn

With 300 million monthly users, LinkedIn is a powerful marketing tool. Use a professional image here to represent your brand.

Twitter

On Twitter, use the header photo as another opportunity to brand just like on Facebook.

Pinterest

Not on Pinterest? Pins last longer than Facebook posts, and can greatly expand your marketing reach. On Pinterest, use similar cover images to create a consistent visual branding.

Psst… Would you like to get 12 tools for creating a stunning visual brand? Subscribe to receive this free resource.

Final Thoughts

To create a visual identity that mirrors your brand message, remember to ask yourself what your clients need and expect from you. Once you understand what that is, use these tips to build your visual identity.

Don’t forget to download our extra set of recommended tools to help you create a winning visual brand identity for your law firm.

How To Get Clients As An Attorney

If you’re fresh out of law school, you might consider starting your own law firm. In order to succeed, having the ability to find new clients will become the foundation of your success.

One of the first things you can do to spread the word of your career is by simply talking about it. Whenever you meet new people, let them know you’re a lawyer.

What you shouldn’t be doing is giving away free advice but instead discuss what it is your law firm can do and how they can get in touch with you.

If you want a few more ideas on how an attorney can get clients, here’s a list of ideas to help you grow your firm.

Friends and Family

Your friends and family will be one of the best referrals to help you find new clients as an attorney.

Since they know you best, you’ll become the first person they’ll mention if one of their friends or someone they know needs a lawyer.

If you’re opening a new firm, be sure to send an announcement via letter or e-mail to let everyone know.

Join the Bar Association in Your Community

If you have absolutely no connections, the first thing you should do is join any bar associations of committees in your community. Making connections and building relationships with other attorneys will give others a chance to get to know you and what you do.

Eventually, this can lead to mutual exchanges of clients back and forth. If one of your new connections has a client they can’t help (i.e. your connection is a divorce lawyer looking for legal advice for a car accident) they may refer that client to you.

In exchange, when you get clients at your law firm seeking services you don’t provide, you can refer them to someone in your list of connections.

Develop Your Online Presence

Social media and online browsers are great places to start finding clients as an attorney.

Get started with a website. Having a website allows you to showcase your previous cases, give information about your law firm, and most importantly, let’s visitors know how you can help.

Once thing to consider when setting up a website to find new clients is your domain name. The domain name you choose for your law firm’s online identity should stand out and briefly highlight your area of expertise. Make sure you choose the right domain name for your law firm before going live.

With your newly made law firm website, you can begin to share your knowledge on a blog. Blogging allows you to share content about your law firm in a way that connects with prospective clients dealing with legal problems.

Articles like, “What to do if you want a divorce” or “Steps to take after a car accident” provide information people may be searching. Of course, within articles like those will include “contact a lawyer to start a consultation.” If you’re content marketing is done well, you can use blogs to attract visitors to your website, get them to contact your firm, and potentially increase the number of clients you get.

Social Media

With a blog for your law firm’s website you can begin sharing content on places like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn. Sharing on these platforms allow you to make direct connections with those who may need your legal services.

As your social media channels grow in size, you can occasionally share promotional posts such as “Get a free consultation” or “You pay if we win!”

Posting frequently on social media is how you’ll stand out online. While this may seem like an added amount of work, your posts have the ability to get new clients organically. An alternative to this would be advertising.

Advertising

Two methods of online advertising for lawyers is by hiring a Google Adwords agency or a Facebook Ads agency / Instagram Marketing Agency.

Creating a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign with Google will put your law firm’s website at the top of the search engines. Instead of worrying whether your website is ranking high in the search engines organically, you can use a PPC campaign to put you at the top.

Google AdWords uses keywords to match your ads with someone searching for it. For example, if someone was searching for, “attorneys in New York,” having an ad using that phrase will increase the likelihood of it being clicked. However, depending on where you live and what area of practice you are in, Google AdWords can be very expensive.

Facebook Ads is another way for an attorney to get new clients. You can modify your ads to target specific groups of people and create a distinct purpose. Facebook ads can be used to grow your social media page or directed toward a contact page or get in touch with your firm.

You can also create ads for LinkedIn and Instagram depending on your practice and how detailed you know your prospective client types.

When using online advertising to push clients to your website, be sure to send traffic to pages that convert. You could end up paying a lot of money if you’re web pages are not created to turn a curious visitor into your next client.

Attorney Lead Generation Services

If you’re not good with technology, social media, or websites, you can use an attorney lead generation service to find new clients.

Total Attorneys and AttorneyBoost are services which allows you access to a pool of people looking for a lawyer. Total Attorney handles your marketing and sends traffic to your website.

Online attorney solutions vary in quality of clients and conversions on your website. Use these with caution.

As an attorney, getting clients is the key to a successful legal practice. How you find clients will require a combination of the above ideas in addition to the methods you discover and learn.

Best Snapchat Marketing Agencies 2019

Snapchat, founded in 2011 by Evan Spiegel, is known as a young person’s app. Why should you take this app seriously if you’re a business owner? Last quarter, Snapchat brought in $298 million in revenue. Snapchat currently has about 186 million daily active users. Snapchat earns about $1.60 per quarter in revenue per daily active user.

Like other free social media companies, Snapchat earns revenue by advertising to its user base. The average Snapchat users open the app over twenty times per day and spend about thirty minutes on the app. The daily average of total Snaps created by users is around 3 billion.

As users spend more time on computers and mobile devices each year, companies are spending more money on digital advertising. According to a recent report by MAGNA, online advertising sales now account for 51.5% of all U.S. advertising sales. Digital advertising allows companies to obtain better data on return on investment (ROI), and precise demographic targeting.

If you are a business owner over the age of 34, chances are you do not personally use Snapchat. But that’s no excuse for dismissing or not understanding the app. 85% of Snapchat’s users are between the ages of 18-34, with just 15% over the age of 34. On a given day, Snapchat reaches 41% of 18-34-year-olds in the United States.

Plenty of Snapchat users are age 25 or older, meaning they have real purchasing power. Snap’s fastest-growing demographic is 25 and up, with more than 50% of Snapchat’s new daily users coming from this group.

If you’ve never used Snapchat but want to reach Snapchatters through advertising, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Luckily you don’t need to become a Snapchat user in hopes of learning the app, because you can hire an agency who has experience in Snapchat advertising.

In this guide, I’m going to teach you everything you need to understand about Snapchat advertising and how to find the perfect Snapchat advertising agency for your needs. I’ve also combed through hundreds of websites and user reviews to bring you a top five list that has the best of the best agencies, so you don’t have to spend hours of your time comparing them.

What You Need to Know About Advertising on Snapchat

If you aren’t already a Snapchat pro, you need to begin by learning the basics about how Snapchat advertising works. Once you grasp the fundamentals of Snapchat’s advertising services, you will be better able to choose the right agency to run a successful campaign on your behalf.

What Does a Snapchat Ad Agency Do?

The best Snapchat advertising agencies bring years of experience, knowledge, and insight to help you choose which type of campaign to launch. You will set goals together, and discuss budgeting. Depending on whether you already have a marketing department, the agency may or may not assist you with branding. Then they will create a branded ad to run on the platform.

A good agency works with you to determine goals, adjust existing marketing materials for Snapchat, and adjust and optimize your ads over time to meet your goals. They will use Snapchat’s metrics as well as their tools to report results to you on a regular basis, so you can understand your return on investment (ROI) and make important decisions with confidence.

What Can a Snapchat Ad Agency Achieve for You?

A Snapchat ad agency can achieve a plethora of different marketing goals for a business. Some business owners have false assumptions about the limitations of digital advertising on Snapchat, but in reality, the platform is a great place to achieve various desirable outcomes:

  • Increase in-store sales
  • Increase online sales
  • Promote new products
  • Lead generation
  • Promote your app
  • Promote videos

At its core, Snapchat advertising is about forming relationships with dedicated daily active users. The platform is conducive to creativity, and a good agency will offer up their creative skill set, paired with an analysis of your needs, to create a vision together with you.

Snapchat can make it easier for users to find out about your business and share what they’ve learned. It can help you find new online or in-person customers or leads, and create deeper relationships with existing customers, improving your conversion or sales rate.

The app is also great for creating excitement and momentum around the launch of new products, services, and even apps. If you design and launch a great app, Snap is the perfect way to keep users engaged and telling the world about your app.

Precise demographic targeting on Snapchat helps to ensure that your target audience views your advertising videos, and the built-in metrics (as well as in-house ad agency tools) allow you to customize further and target the appropriate demographics, building on your success.

Options for Advertisers

Snapchat offers different options for advertisers, so another reason you probably want to go with an agency is that the various options can get a little bit overwhelming. There are three main types of ads:

  • Snapchat Ads
  • Lenses
  • Sponsored Geofilters

All Snapchat advertising is interactive to varying degrees.

With Snapchat Ads, advertisers get to decide between Web View (also known as interactive Discover Ads), Long-Form Video (used to drive traffic to trailers, for instance), Articles, and App Install (a short video with a call-to-action to install an application at the end).

Snapchat Lenses are a perfect example of Snapchat’s innovation. Users taking selfies use lenses a LOT. They are a visual overlay of an image or animation that shows up on the phone screen of anyone viewing an image, and they have shown excellent results for increasing brand awareness and purchase intent. Snapchat Lenses can reach about 16 million users per day.

Geofilters are similar to lenses but linked to a specific place or cause. If you run a restaurant, for example, an ad agency could create a geofilter campaign to help promote brand loyalty among existing customers when they visit and increase brand awareness among their friends. National delivery campaigns have resulted in exposure to 40-60% of daily users!

3V

Snapchat’s 3V philosophy, or “Vertical Video Views,” is another feature that sets it apart from other social media platforms. Because most users capture and view the video in a vertical or portrait (as opposed to conventional horizontal or landscape) orientation, Snapchat has embraced this tendency and applied it to advertising.

Native Snapchat ads are vertical-made and mobile exclusive, filling up the whole device screen. Short video ads are perfect for telling your company’s story. The ads are always full-screen with the sound on, and Snapchat’s internal studies show that vertical ads perform up to nine times better than traditional mobile video ads!

3V means your company probably can’t use its existing videos for Snapchat advertising, but a good Snapchat advertising agency will set you up with everything you need to understand and meet Snapchat’s unique creative requirements for future ad video submissions.

Ad Pricing

Snapchat offers advertisers daily, weekly, and annual rates and their minimum daily spend budget is $100 to get on the platform.

Snapchat uses a pricing approach called goal-based bidding (GBB). The pricing structure varies depending on what type of ad you purchase (Web View, Long-Form Video, App Install, Article, Lenses, or Geofilters).

Goal-based bidding is offered by cost-per-thousand, which is called “CPM” for short. You can place CPM bids for swipes (which are like clicks), impressions, or app installs depending on the type of ad. The CPM price will vary with different kinds of advertising and different user actions.

You can also purchase each type of ad several different places: from Snap Ad Manager, Snap Ads API partners, the ad auction, or direct from Snapchat via an Insertion Order. If you hire a professional Snapchat advertising agency, they’ll help you decide the best strategy to use, and the best place to buy your ads.

Demographics, Targeting, and Metrics

Snapchat features excellent built-in demographic insights and targeting techniques, which makes it a capable platform for precisely targeting your advertising to the appropriate user and getting a good ROI.

Here are some ways Snapchat allows you to target user demographics:

  • Interests – Snapchat has 60+ interest categories including topics like festivals, news, politics, and parenting, all based on users’ actions on the app
  • Classic demographics – based on factors like name, age, language, household income, and education
  • Location
  • Device Attributes – device, OS, carrier, and network
  • Snap Audience Match (SAM) – Create a custom list, discover a new audience similar to your current audience, a list of all customers who have engaged with your content, and more.

An agency that specializes in Snapchat will know the ins and outs of running a targeted Snapchat campaign with these built-in features and pass the savings on to you, the advertiser.

Snapchat’s metrics allow for instant feedback on the effectiveness of an ad campaign. An agency will share these metrics with you, and work with you to apply the valuable lessons contained within the data.

There are five significant metrics Snapchat uses to verify your ads’ effectiveness:

  • Reach – users reached by the ad, and their demographics
  • Viewability – the number of users who have viewed your ad
  • Resonance – information on people’s thoughts and feelings about your brand derived from Snapchat and partner polls
  • Reaction – the impact of the ad on driving purchases or other actions
  • Verification – the number of times Snapchat has attempted to serve your ad

With dozens of ways to target demographics and numerous ways to verify the effectiveness of an ad campaign, Snapchat can be a treasure trove for advertising just like Facebook advertising or a complicated nightmare, depending on your comfort level with the platform.

Instead of trying to learn from the ground up, most businesses looking to advertise on Snapchat or advertise on Twitter should choose from among the top ad agencies that specialize in Snapchat.

Top FIVE Snapchat Advertising Agencies

Take the guesswork and anxiety out of winning customers on Snapchat by going with a proven ad agency. If you haven’t already gotten an idea of what you want out of an agency from the previous sections, here are our top picks.

#1 Firebelly Marketing

Firebelly Marketing is a social media marketing agency initially founded in 2007 in Indianapolis, IN. Their singular mission is making brands more likable and profitable via social media. Firebelly is our top pick for Snapchat advertising; they offer social media audits, social media management, ad management, blogging, community management, and influencer marketing.

The marketing director of a rug and furniture company hired Firebelly to increase the growth of their audience. Their customer base and traffic grew throughout the social media campaign, and Firebelly was able to deal with any conflicts that arose. The client was impressed with the way Firebelly exceeded expectations in a tight and competitive market.

Firebelly is the 2018 winner of Sprout Social’s distinguished CULTIVATE award for going above and beyond in providing excellent social media services to clients. They aren’t cheap, but their premium services are of great value.

#2 Media Bounty

Hailing from London, Media Bounty is the U.K.’s leading social media marketing agency. They focus on long-term growth through deep insights, outstanding strategies, and “kick-ass creative.” Media Bounty only works with bigger companies with an ad buy budget of at least $10,000 per month.

The marketing manager of Cellar Trends, a beverage distributor company, hired Media Bounty for SMM and digital branding. They say that the “number of video views has increased markedly since Media Bounty was first engaged” and find the team’s exceptional understanding of marketing technology to be “a hallmark of their high-quality work.”

Media Bounty isn’t an inexpensive agency, but they regularly handle campaigns in the millions of dollars, so you know they’ll bring a winning perspective to meet your advertising needs. They have received three awards from The Drum’s Recommended Agency Register, and two awards from RAR Digital Awards.

#3 Viral in Nature

Viral in Nature, based in Calgary, Canada, is multiple award-winning ad agencies entirely focused on SMM. Three different market research companies have selected Viral in Nature as one of the top social media and agencies in the world.

The owner of an outdoors lifestyle brand hired Viral in Nature to increase his company’s social media presence. The agency oversaw social media campaigns and created relevant video content. The owner says Viral in Nature were excellent listeners, and the campaign went smoothly with excellent results.

If you run a smaller company with a tight budget, Viral in Nature is a good choice. Their relatively low cost per hour makes them attractive for smaller organizations, and they will bring you a good return on your investment.

#4 AdvertiseMint

Based in Hollywood, CA, AdvertiseMint is another agency that focuses exclusively on social media marketing. Depending on whether you have other needs, that could be a pro or a con. Some companies choose to merge their Snapchat advertising into their overall marketing campaign, but others benefit from allowing an SMM specialist to manage their social channels (Instagram, Facebook, Google Ads).

If you need a new perspective on digital marketing via Snapchat or need a campaign rolled out ASAP, you can’t go wrong with AdvertiseMint. They pride themselves on their agility and fast-paced ad campaigns.

#5 i76 Solutions

When i76 Solutions began as a digital marketing shop in Philadelphia, PA they were tightly focused on strategy, execution, and analytics. They later grew into a full-service marketing agency that delivers their customers results in all areas of marketing, but they maintain a strong focus on digital marketing and social media marketing.

AAA Mid-Atlantic, a car insurance and emergency roadside assistance provider, ran a seven-figure campaign with i76 Solutions. Within six months, they had earned significant upticks in brand awareness and membership rates. AAA says that the i76 team was “innovative, detail-oriented, and knowledgeable.”

I76 is a top marketing agency in Philadelphia. Their skilled team of designers and developers can work with you on every aspect of the digital process.

Wrapping Up

In the world of Snapchat advertising, the learning curve is long, but you shouldn’t let that discourage you from targeting customers through the platform. Unlike the old days of digital marketing when a company could handle everything in-house, the current climate dictates that it is wiser to delegate.

If you are willing to look for an agency outside your company to run your Snapchat advertising campaign, you can reap all the rewards offered by Snapchat: innovative features, relationship-building with a loyal user base, precise demographic targeting, extensive metrics, and enough options to suit nearly any type of advertiser.

If you’re having trouble deciding which agency to go with, we recommend Firebelly Marketing as the overall top pick. They’ve been around a while, but they know how to adapt to new trends. Because they focus exclusively on social media marketing, Firebelly brings the depth of knowledge you’ll require to run a successful Snapchat campaign.

Advertising Guides

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Choosing The Best Social Media Platform For Your Brand

Here’s a question that’ll give you a deer-in-the-headlights look: what social media platform should you focus on?

You’ve heard a little bit about Twitter, you use Facebook to keep up with your friends and family, and you watch YouTube everyday, but how can you use any of these platforms to advertise your legal services?

That’s not the only question you have about social media. I’m sure you’ve asked yourself one or more of the following:

  • Can I be on more than one platform?
  • How do I get more people to follow me on this platforms?
  • What if I don’t do it right?
  • How do I find time to post on social media when I’m already busy as it is?

If you’ve asked any of the above questions, this post is tailor-made for you. We’ll tackle all of them (and more). By the end of this post, you’ll be confident in which social media platform to choose and how to work it like a boss. Are you ready? Let’s do this!

Would you like an example of law-related brands that get it right on social media? Subscribe to receive this extra resource.

Here’s some totally non-creepy advice: find out where your ideal client lives (online) and set up shop there.

If you’re focused on corporate, tax, or labor law, your clients are probably on the social platform LinkedIn. LinkedIn is for professionals who are looking to hire for their companies. That’s why it would make sense to be there if your law firm services businesses and not individuals.

On the other hand, if you’re focused on individuals and not businesses, you’ll find more success on platforms like Facebook. Family law, personal injury, and bankruptcy lawyers can do well with a representation on Facebook.

We’ll go into more detail a little further down below.

Can I be on more than one platform?

Absolutely. You can be on one or five. That said, you don’t want to spread yourself too thin. It takes time and effort to make posts for each platform. If your target client doesn’t exist on a specific platform, there’s no need to be there, no matter how popular that site is.

For example, if your client is all corporate all the time, there’s no need to be on a personal-leaning platform like Instagram.

How do I grow my list of fans and followers?

You’ll grow your list of people who follow you by posting valuable information and doing so consistently.

Don’t post sporadically. If you post multiple times per day every day for two weeks and then go dark for two months, you’ll lose a lot of subscribers when you decide to post again. Why? Because they’ll forget who you are and wonder why you’re posting in their feed—or they’ll just unsubscribe after your lengthy absence because they figure you’ve left for good.

Also, engagement matters. You can’t just post a bunch of self-promotion about you and your law firm. You should take the time to interact with your followers. Answer their questions, even if they’re not directed directly at you.

What if I don’t do it right?

Unless you infuse politics, religion, and too many cat pictures in your social updates, you’re going to be fine. Scratch that last part—there’s never enough cat pictures on the Internet.

bullet-cats

Image Courtesy of Know Your Meme

The most important thing to remember in your social strategy is to provide value to your fans and followers.

What does this mean for a law firm? Discuss current topics, especially those related to your area of practice. Are you an immigration attorney? Highlight human interest stories in the media that may inform or entertain your followers. Are you a labor attorney? Your audience may enjoy a series of visual infographics that illustrate (and make plain) current labor laws.

Remember: Don’t aggressively tout your services. Give as much information as you can. They’ll crave more.

How do I find time to post when I’m already busy as it is?

For just about every social media platform, there’s a scheduling service that can help you automate your posts. We’ll highlight them below.

Twitter

You have 140 characters or less to say something epic. The average Twitter user is between the ages of 18-49 with a college degree. Slightly more men are on Twitter.

Types of lawyers who should consider this medium:
Bankruptcy, Business (Corporate), Civil Rights, Criminal, Entertainment, Environmental, Family, Health, Immigration, Intellectual Property, Labor, Personal Injury, Real Estate, Tax

Why you should consider this medium:
Twitter is great for connecting with other lawyers, sharing inspiration with your followers, and providing quick bursts of useful information.

When to post: 1pm – 3pm Monday through Thursday and Sunday

post-planner

Image Courtesy of Post Planner

When not to post: 8pm – 9am everyday and Fridays after 3pm

How often: three times a day to as much as you’d like

Best practices:
+Use Buffer or Hootsuite to automatically post, even when you’re away from your computer.
+Ask questions and post polls to encourage interaction.
+Use a lot of #hashtags (around five is the sweet spot).
+Follow new people every day to grow your potential followers. Use Twitter’s “who to follow” recommendations to find more people who’ll love your content.
+Favorite retweets to show your gratitude.

Facebook

Approximately one out of every seven people on earth have a Facebook profile. That’s reason enough to create a business profile here.

Types of lawyers who should consider this medium:
Bankruptcy, Civil Rights, Criminal, Entertainment, Environmental, Family, Health, Immigration, Intellectual Property, Labor, Personal Injury, Real Estate, Tax

Why you should consider this medium:
Use Facebook to grow your community, promote events, and help explain complicated subject matter. There are a lot of people on Facebook, so it’s a good place to start no matter what type of law you practice.

When to post: 1pm – 4pm Mondays through Thursday

When not to post: 8pm – 8am or on Saturdays

optimizely

Image Courtesy of Optimizely

How often: No more than five times per day

Best practices:
+Ask questions.
+Include photos with every post to grab people’s attention.
+Upload a cover photo that shows off who you are.
+Keep your posts to 40 characters or less.

sumall

Image Courtesy of Sumall

Instagram

This visual medium appeals to the young crowd (under 30). It’s used mostly by women in urban areas.

Types of lawyers who should consider this medium:
Criminal, Entertainment, Family, Immigration, Intellectual Property, Personal Injury

Why you should consider this medium:
Instagram is all about visual stimulation. Use this platform to share daily inspirational quotes, post behind-the-scenes images, and share a day in your life. You can also post graphics that illustrate a complicated law or idea.

When to post: Daily

When not to post: n/a

How often: Two times per day

Best practices:
+Hashtags are your friend. Use them to get discovered in organic search.
+Follow hashtag trends and engage in the conversation.
+Encourage user-generated content by asking your followers to post under specific themes with your personalized hashtag.
+Use captions for clarity.
+Follow those who follow you and like your posts.
+Use high quality images.
+Use services like Schedugram, Onlypult, and Latergram to schedule out your Instagram posts.

YouTube

The largest demographic on YouTube is between the ages of 25 to 44. It’s highly targeted to millennials, though.

Types of lawyers who should consider this medium:
Bankruptcy, Business (Corporate), Civil Rights, Criminal, Entertainment, Environmental, Family, Health, Immigration, Intellectual Property, Labor, Personal Injury, Real Estate, Tax

Why you should consider this medium:
YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world. It also serves as a wonderful discovery engine. Your client can reach you simply by typing in keywords like “bankruptcy law for Florida.” As long as you’ve added this term to your video, you’ll pop up in the search results.

When to post: Monday-Wednesday: 2pm-4pm EST

Thursday-Friday: Noon-3pm EST

Saturday-Sunday:  9am-11am EST

trackmaven

Image Courtesy of TrackMaven

When not to post:

Over the holidays (July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas, end of December and beginning of January)

hypebot

Image Courtesy of Hypebot

How often: It’s more about consistency than how many per week

Best practices:
+Keep your videos under three minutes long.
+Unless your law firm is moonlighting as a sitcom, don’t include a long intro with a theme song. It’s a waste of your three minutes.
+Post on a regular schedule, whether that’s once per week or specific days each week.
+Respond to comments.
+Film your video in landscape mode, not portrait.

Pinterest

Approximately 69% of Pinterest users are women. Sorry James Brown: on Pinterest, it’s a woman’s world.

Types of lawyers who should consider this medium:
Bankruptcy, Family

Why you should consider this medium:

If most of your clients are women or families, you should definitely consider creating a profile on Pinterest. It may even be a good idea to pay for promoted pins (this is a paid ad on Pinterest).

When to post: 2pm – 4pm and 8pm – 1am

When not to post: 5pm – 7pm

How often: Five posts per day

Best practices:
+Add a thorough description on your pins (this is what they call a post on Pinterest) to make it easy for people to find you.
+Vertical images are better than horizontal.
+Use Tailwind, Viraltag, and Viralwoot to schedule your pins on Pinterest.

tailwind

Image Courtesy of Tailwind

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the social platform for professionals, most between the ages of 30-64. It’s strictly business here.

Types of lawyers who should consider this medium:
Business (Corporate), Entertainment, Intellectual Property, International, Labor, Real Estate, Tax

Why you should consider this medium:
LinkedIn is the best place to reach businesses who may need your service.

When to post: 7am to 9am and 5pm to 6pm Tuesday through Thursday

When not to post: 10pm to 6am and the weekends

coschedule

Image Courtesy of Coschedule

How often: One post per day Monday through Friday

Best practices:
+Give endorsements and get endorsements.
+Write posts on your legal discipline to increase your expert status. +Focus on writing how-to and list-based articles.
+Add photos and videos to spice up your posts.
+Join legal groups.
+Don’t include #hashtags (it’s not useful).

Overall Tips

+Interact with your audience whenever possible. Respond to comments.
+Use the 80/20 rule. Post helpful content 80% of the time, and market yourself 20% of the time.
+Only focus on the social platforms that provide you with the most engagement.
+Create a consistent visual brand on your social media platforms. Check out this post for more details on how to build a visual identity.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the perfect social media platform isn’t so hard now that you’ve got this guide to help you out. Remember that there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for your legal practice, and you may have to experiment with different platforms to see which one gives you the best results. If you need extra guidance, we’re here to help you every step of the way.

Would you like an example of law-related brands that get it right on social media? Subscribe to receive this extra resource.

The One Thing You Need To Do To Grow Your Email List

You’ve heard of email lists and how you need to build one, right? Or maybe you haven’t.

Not to worry. In today’s post, we’re going to delve right into what an email list is, why you need to build one, and how to get people to subscribe to your list.

What is an email list?

An email list is a catalog of email addresses that you’ve collected. You may collect these email addresses from your website visitors, social media followers, or the prospects who’ve stopped by your law firm to inquire about your services.

An email list should always consist of those who’ve willingly volunteered their email address. It’s never a good idea to purchase or rent email addresses, for more than one reason.

email-lists

Image Courtesy of HubSpot

Why do I need an email list?

These days, having a website isn’t enough. An estimated 500 websites are created every minute. That means that a site visitor can easily leave your website, never to return again. That’s not because they don’t want to return– maybe they’ve simply forgotten how to find you.

That’s why an email list is crucial. When a visitor loves the information on your site and signs up to receive regular emails from you, you don’t have to worry about them getting lost ever again.

Here are a few other reasons you need an email list:

It helps you stay top of mind. Your email subscribers may not need your services yet, but if you keep in contact with them on a regular basis, they’ll know where to turn when the time arises.

It provides valuable information to your email subscribers. You can educate your email subscribers and keep them in the know about things going on in your practice.

You own your email list. You may have a lot of fans and followers on social media, but at any moment, a social platform could deactivate your account and poof! goes all of your hard work. With an email list, you’ll always have access to your subscribers.

Email is better than social media. A post on a social media timeline or profile only lasts for a few moments before new posts take their place. With email, you have a permanent spot in a subscriber’s inbox until they manually delete you.

Need a step by step checklist for growing your email list? Subscribe to resource our free checklist.

How do I get people to subscribe to my email list?

To get people to subscribe to your email list, you need to present it as an option. People won’t subscribe if they don’t know about your email list. They won’t go searching for it, either.

Here’s how to get people to join your email list:

Ask them. It may seem obvious to you, but it’s not obvious to visitors. They may not notice your email list unless you tell them it’s there. Ask in your blog posts, on your website (have a permanent spot for email signups– we’ll help you with this), and on your social media pages.

Give them a reason. Sometimes, asking isn’t enough. You may also need to encourage them with a lead magnet. This lead magnet will draw subscribers in and give them an instant reward for signing up to your email list.

Wait, what’s a lead magnet?

You’ve seen lead magnets before, but probably didn’t know them by name. A lead magnet is an incentive offered to site visitors in exchange for their email addresses.

A lead magnet should be valuable and relevant for site visitors. It’s not about stroking your ego (i.e. ‘check out why we’re so great’). It should be about helping, informing, or entertaining your audience.

We have our very own lead magnet right here on our site. By entering your first name and email address here, you’ll receive a weekly marketing plan delivered straight to your inbox.

weekly-marketing-plan

Join our weekly marketing plan here

Here are a few takeaways from our lead magnet:

It’s not smarmy. We’re not trying to trick you into joining our email list with smoke and mirrors. You know that by giving us your email address, we’re going to email you.

It’s valuable. It gives something in exchange for joining. We tell you how you’ll benefit from joining our email list (you’ll receive a free actionable plan every week).

It doesn’t ask for too much. Anytime you’re asking your site visitors for more than a name and email address, you’re scaring them away. Keep a simple form for your email signup.

How to create an amazing lead magnet

Now that we’ve gone over what a lead magnet is, it’s time to figure out how to make one that your site visitors will actually want.

First, settle on an idea for your lead magnet. As you can imagine, your lead magnet will vary depending on your area of practice and the needs of your client.

Here’s a few examples for different practice areas:

Bankruptcy – An ebook, Which Chapter of Bankruptcy is Right for Me?

Business – A guide, LLC, Corporation, Sole Proprietorship, Oh My! Which One Should You Choose?

Criminal – A guide, Is Marijuana Still Illegal? A List of States and Their Laws Concerning Marijuana

Entertainment – A video series, How Do I Know If I Need An Entertainment Lawyer?

Family – A guide, A Guide to Calculating Child Support in Your State

Immigration – An ebook, Understanding the Rules of a K-1 Visa

Intellectual Property – A guide, A Step by Step Guide to Copyrighting and Protecting Your Ideas

Labor – A printable, A Printable List of State Labor Laws

Medical – A guide, Medical Malpractice: Should You Settle or Go to Court?

Personal Injury – A checklist, What Should You Do Immediately After Getting Injured on the Job?

Second, create your lead magnet. Don’t worry– it doesn’t have to be fancy. It can be simply created and formatted with a program like Microsoft Word or Pages for Mac. If you don’t have either of those, you can create a lead magnet with the free web-based option Google Docs.

Start by creating an outline of what you’d like to talk about within your lead magnet. Don’t hold back. The more content you can add, the better. Next, type it all out and don’t edit yourself until you’re done. After you’ve written a rough draft, you can come back and edit for clarity and cohesion. Finally, add graphics to your lead magnet to spice it up and inject visual interest. Here’s a list of free stock libraries that you can check out.

Third and finally, set up an account with MailChimp, if you haven’t already. MailChimp is an email marketing service that allows you to send out your lead magnets to new subscribers automatically. Even better– AmazeLaw seamlessly integrates with MailChimp. Set up is easy, but if you have any questions, let us know.

Final Thoughts

Voilà! You’re done. A lead magnet will draw your clients in and grow your email list. You’ll wonder why you didn’t do this sooner.

Need a step-by-step checklist for growing your email list? Subscribe to resource our free checklist.

Best Google AdWords Advertising Agencies 2019

If you are interested in online advertising, it pays to understand and consider Google AdWords. Google earned over $95 billion (approximately 86% of its revenue) from advertising last year because their pay-per-click (PPC) advertising model is highly effective. Whether you are an entrepreneur who’s just starting or have millions to spend on advertising each month, you need to have AdWords on your radar.

If you’re already proficient at online advertising and promotion, you may be able to learn AdWords on your own or hire a suitable employee. Some people run their paid search strategy in-house.

But most business owners and managers already have their hands full with running a successful business or even already using a Facebook advertising agency, and the complexity and long learning curve of AdWords are obstacles to successful PPC campaigns.

Big and small businesses often choose to hire a professional agency to assist with implementing and running an AdWords campaign. Hiring or training one employee may be less cost-effective than going outside your company.

A PPC agency that specializes in Google AdWords can provide you with valuable advice, devise short- and long-term strategies, and save you time and money navigating the world of pay-per-click advertising.

Unfortunately, when it comes to choosing an agency to assist with AdWords, beginners may find it difficult to select the right agency – or even to understand what the differences are between one PPC agency and another. There are hundreds of agencies out there, but unless you know a thing or two about AdWords, it’s hard to choose the right one.

I’ve put this guide together to make your life easier. I’ve compiled the most important facts to consider when choosing an AdWords agency, so you can learn the basics without putting in hours of research. I’ve also combed websites and read hundreds of reviews of different providers to bring you the best of the best in the world of AdWords agencies.

What You Need to Know About Google AdWords

Before you hire an agency, you need to understand some of the basics of Google AdWords. The whole point of hiring an agency is for you to focus on the things you’re good at, but without a basic understanding of AdWords, you won’t be able to find the right agency for your business.

Hire an Agency Experienced in Your Industry

You may encounter dozens or hundreds of different AdWords agencies as you search for the perfect match. Here’s a simple test to narrow that number down: does a given agency have experience in your industry? If so, they’ll know norms and benchmarks like typical cost per click (CPC) and return on investment (ROI) for your specific niche.

You don’t need someone with direct experience in your precise area of focus; experience in a similar area works, too. For example, if you sell and install vinyl siding, an AdWords agency that’s worked with a roofing contractor would probably be a good match.

Before you hire an agency, be sure to check if they’re more experienced with sales as a service (SaaS), lead generation, mobile marketing, e-commerce or Instagram marketing. Even if the agency is the best in the world at lead generation, if you need PPC management for an e-commerce business, you may need to look elsewhere.

AdWords Certified and Google Partners

At a minimum, you want a firm that’s AdWords certified and part of the Google Partners program. That isn’t the only relevant criterion in selecting a provider; it’s a relatively low bar, so anyone who doesn’t have these credentials should be ruled out automatically.

Any agency that’s AdWords certified has passed certification exams and must maintain a minimum monthly AdWords expenditure of $10,000. If an agency has this certification, you can know they have some level of competence. Google Partners get inside tips from Google as well as beta-testing opportunities, both of which can provide your business with a competitive edge.

Hire a Multidisciplinary or Networked Agency

For best results, you need to hire an agency with a multidisciplinary team, or one that has established connections with other high-powered specialists. Pay-per-click (PPC) is a huge part of advertising for many businesses, but it’s not a standalone proposition.

If you hire a PPC specialist, you’re also going to need to track conversions, design a landing page, probably engage in email marketing or e-commerce design, and the list goes on.

If you hire a multidisciplinary agency, you’ll save money through sheer efficiency as opposed to hiring multiple contractors. If you don’t, you’ll face some of the same downsides you would have faced going with the do-it-yourself approach: juggling vendors and trying to coordinate the AdWords project when you’d prefer to be managing other facets of your business.

Different Agencies Have Different Pricing Models

The PPC advertising industry has multiple pricing models that will determine how an agency gets paid. Here are the most popular models:

  • Hourly
  • Percentage of ad spend
  • Performance-based
  • Milestone-based

Hourly is the most common pricing model, and also the most straightforward. It’s easy to understand what you’re paying, and therefore the hourly pricing model is attractive to small businesses with low budgets who are interested in keeping PPC advertising costs manageable.

Percentage of ad spend is the second-most common pricing model among AdWords agencies. With the percentage of ad spend, you will typically pay the agency between 15-30% of your total PPC expenditure.

Percentage of ad spend is an excellent choice if you want to stick with a set budget, and let the agency take care of the rest. If your business is large or if you have plans to scale, you can get better deals with the percentage of ad spend.

Performance-based pricing is similar to a sales commission for the agency. They get paid based on a predetermined performance metric like impressions, clicks, conversions, or revenue from ads.

The best part about performance-based pricing is that you know the agency will work hard to give you results. Some agencies combine performance-based pricing with a base rate or minimum rate per month.

Milestone-based pricing is similar to performance-based pricing, but it is based on agreed-upon medium- and long-term goals. Companies that offer milestone-based pricing will typically require longer-term contracts and have a detailed approach to onboarding you and understanding your company’s needs.

Is There a Contract?

Some AdWords agencies require contracts, and others don’t. This decision is best left to your gut instinct and personal preference. If you own a small business and want to test the waters of AdWords advertising, you may be more comfortable with a month-to-month commitment. That way, the agency has to earn your repeat business each month.

Not all contracts are created equal. If you get involved with a contract-based agency, make sure the arrangement suits your needs. If you know you want to commit to PPC advertising, you may be attracted to performance-based or milestone-based pricing with a detailed long-term contract that benefits both parties.

Ad Rank = Quality Score x CPC Bid

“Pay per click” sounds simple and easy, but there is more to running an AdWords campaign than just paying for clicks or conversions! Google computes your actual ad rank from the CPC (cost per click) bid and Quality Score.

For AdWords, you want the highest possible ad ranking and the lowest possible cost per click bid (CPC bid). That means you need a high “Quality Score.” The Quality Score is Google’s hidden metric that takes into account your click-through rate per 1000 impressions or views, time spent on page by customers, and more.

A good AdWords agency can help you with all of this, meaning you can save money buying clicks if you hire a professional rather than do it yourself.

Don’t Neglect Organic SEO

According to Clutch’s 2018 Small Business survey, 45% of small businesses invest in pay-per-click advertising. Of those that do invest in PPC, 90% also use organic search engine optimization (SEO) strategies.

You will get a better return on investment (ROI) by spending your advertising money on PPC and SEO together, and even coordinating your strategies (for example, applying lessons learned from PPC campaigns to your SEO approach).

PPC is an excellent choice for short-term return and a wise way to direct your growing revenue to accelerate growth further, while organic SEO is an essential long-term strategy if you want to become an online leader in your industry.

Track ROI

Any good AdWords agency will track all sorts of variables for you like cumulative ad spends, quality score, conversions, impressions, and cost per click. But you must not neglect the most important outcome of all: return on investment!

If you are getting a positive ROI, you can learn from your success to get even more revenue. If you aren’t getting a positive ROI, it’s important to know so you can stop wasting money and fix the problems.

To track your ROI, you need to keep a record of every single cent you put into AdWords and PPC advertising, including costs other than ad spend. You also need to use tools that allow you to see data like cumulative sales from advertising leads or e-commerce clicks, or ensure that the agents you’re working with show you that data.

Some agencies will help you track ROI, but you need to discuss this up front.

Top FIVE Best Google AdWords Advertising Agencies

Here are our top five picks, narrowed down from thousands of listings and hundreds of user reviews.

#1 Disruptive Advertising

Founded in 2011, Disruptive Advertising is an industry leader in PPC advertising and Google AdWords. They are industry pioneers in A/B testing, scaling, geo-targeting, and other revenue-building tweaks that can improve your ROI. Disruptive is known for working with businesses of all sizes, from nationally-known retailers to companies with relatively low monthly advertising budgets.

Ryan A. says he appreciates Disruptive Advertising’s proven systems and the way everyone he’s worked with has been on the same page. Since he switched to Disruptive a few months ago, his sales are at record highs, and his overall costs – including the agency fee – have come down. He says he cringes when he sees the missed opportunity in not beginning work with Disruptive sooner.

Some clients reported that their account was repeatedly moved from one client manager to another as Disruptive was recently reorganizing, but Disruptive has since resolved this situation. They deserve their reputation as perfectionists.

#2 Ignite Visibility

Ignite Visibility is an online marketing agency based in San Diego, CA, founded in 2012. They specialize in pay-per-click, website design, web development, social media marketing, and viral marketing.

One of Ignite Visibility’s clients, the Chief Marketing Officer for a boutique cosmetic company, says that the agency helped the company meet its goal of sales conversions. Ignite visibility used a strategy that combined PPC digital marketing, content creation, social media, and organic SEO. The client was particularly happy with the high-quality reports that Ignite generated throughout the campaign.

Ignite’s main selling points are their versatility, excellent communication, and reporting.

#3 AdVenture Media

AdVenture media belongs to a small and exclusive group of Premier Google Partner agencies. They were awarded that credential because they have produced outstanding results for their clients. AdVenture is 90% PPC-focused, and as one of New York city’s fastest-growing PPC ad agencies, they currently manage over $50 million in advertising budgets.

The director of marketing for a medical oxygen group reports that under the management of AdVenture, the company’s ad spend has decreased while the number of leads has stayed constant. He says their clear communication, quality deliverables, and excellent results justify the investment.

AdVenture’s online marketing educational content has reached over 900,000 students and is worth checking out if you want to learn more about digital advertising.

#4 Loud Mouth Media

Loud Mouth Media is a top-ranked pay-per-click agency in the UK and is also a Premier Google Partner agency. They have offices in Belfast, Dublin, and Glasgow. The agency provides a fully-managed digital marketing service that is 70% focused on PPC. They earned awards for “Best Small PPC Agency in the UK” two years in a row at the 2017 and 2018 UK Search Awards.

An online clothing store manager who approached Loud Mouth with a limited budget says business is growing and website traffic is on the rise. She says Loud Mouth Media went above and beyond to accomplish all goals, and is a reliable partner.

Loud Mouth is a good choice for an all-in-one solution if you want to combine your PPC strategy and organic SEO, as I recommended earlier.

#5 CPC Strategy

The appropriately-named CPC Strategy agency is 100% focused on providing pay-per-click services. In particular, they focus on e-commerce and PPC for various retail channels.

The owner of a retailer specializing in cooling products says that CPC Strategy has increased the number of customers and revenue per customer, and is an excellent deal.

They excel in responsiveness and are always available, providing answers to his important questions immediately. He appreciates their transparency of operations and extensive experience.

CPC Strategy is our top pick for a Google AdWords agency if you run an e-commerce business and check if they can also do Amazon advertising.

Wrapping Up

Whether you’re an entrepreneur running a brand-new startup or the CEO of a high-revenue established company, you can benefit from hiring the right AdWords agency to handle PPC advertising for you.

Look for a multidisciplinary agency with specific experience in your niche. Consider what pricing model best suits you, and whether or not you’d like to enter into a contract. Be sure to track your return on investment so you can be confident your dollars are being put to work properly.

If you haven’t already settled on an AdWords agency check out our top pick, Disruptive Marketing. They have the perfect blend of experience, innovation, reliability, and scalability to work well for almost any size or type of online business.

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