Category Archives: Ultimate Guides

What Shoes Should Lawyers Wear?

As you step into the courtroom, you’ll want to put your best foot forward. Your appearance strikes an immediate impression and people are constantly looking you up and down as you move through the room.

A striking appearance can help you build an appearance of authority and your shoes are usually the first thing noticed.

When you’re out shopping for the best shoes for lawyers, here’s a few things to keep in mind.

Tips For Lawyers Shopping for Shoes

If you’re reading this, you’re may be in need of advice to shop for the perfect lawyer shoes. To get things started, depending on price to determine the quality of a shoe is not a smart option. Many designer brands, like Prada or Gucci, depend on their brand reputation to make a sale. While they may offer well-constructed shoes, the overall quality may not be suitable for you.

When you are taking a look at the lower-end of shoe prices, quality can vary significantly. To help you with your shoe shopping, here are a few guidelines to follow:

  • Soles: having real, genuine leather on the bottom of your shoe can improve longevity and comfort. When you’re browsing through high-cost shoes, be sure to check the material the sole is made of. Sometimes, shoe companies will use a synthetic leather or create a rubber material that seems like leather. These lower quality materials don’t last as long.
  • Stitching: don’t be fooled. There is a difference between how low-cost shoes and high-cost shoes are bound together. Shoes at a high price point will be delicately stitched together and often use a detailed pattern that is striking and aesthetic. Lower priced shoes tend to have each piece glued together with an illusion of stitching. This can lead to your shoes falling to pieces before the end of their first year.
  • Details: in the lower priced shoe range, you’ll find many shoe companies attempting to mask the markings of high-priced shoes. Instead of hand detailed designs in genuine leather shoes, you’ll find factory machine presses which may have details and miss prints in the final design. A common method of faking design is through injection molding which reduces the appeal of a shoe, especially for lawyers.
  • Leather Quality: avoid cheap leather shoes. It can be tempting for a lawyer to pick a cheap pair of shoes, especially if you’re on a tight budget. However, the factories in China producing many of the shoes being sold today are using cheap scraps of leather and gluing them together to produce high yields. In addition, these shoes will use lower quality, harder leather that will likely be stained to cover any imperfections. Over time, this kind of leather will crease and the imperfections will begin to shine through. Quality leather is often soft and develops a beautiful patina as it ages.

Universal Style

You don’t need a closet full of shoes to be a well-dressed lawyer. Keeping a simple, clean, yet classic appearance is all you need when heading to the office. To achieve that, all you need is black.

Black shoes are a universal standard when it comes to matching your suits to your footwear. It goes with everything and you won’t ever have to worry whether your new suit jacket, whether it is navy, charcoal, or black, will match your shoes.

One thing to keep in mind is that black won’t work with bright colored outfits. However, you are likely not going to be wearing a bright blue jacket into the courtrooms.

Because black shoes are the norm in the business world, it will be easy to find a pair of shoes that fits your budget.

5 Recommended Shoes for Lawyers

If you’re not sure which brands or styles you like, here are five recommendations to guide your shoe shopping.

Paul Evans Brando Semi-Brogue Oxford

While coming in at a high price, the Brando Semi-Brogue Oxford by Paul Evans offers a professional looking shoe for lawyers. It has a classic style with upper lacing and full-grain Italian leather. The Brogue pattern ingrained in the letter is what makes these shoes shine.

Florsheim Castellano Wingtip

The Chicago based company designing these shoes have been around since 1892. Not only do they offer a beautifully crafted for but it also comes at a fair price. If you’re looking for something with a little more elegance, this is the shoe you want.

 

Plain Toe Derbys by Dquared2

Here’s a simple yet powerful black shoe lawyers can wear in any situation. The Plain Toe Derbys by Dsquared2 is made with genuine black leather and use a simple lace style to tie it all together.

 

To Boot New York Finn Chelsea Boots

These professional looking leather boots are great for a lawyer on the go. The leather has a burnished finish with a soft calfskin upper. This shoe delivers confidence in any suit your wear.

Allen Edmonds Verona II Italian Loafer

If you’re looking for something more comfortable and relaxed, having a pair of loafers is a great alternative style of shoe for lawyers. The Allen Edwards Verona II features calfskin Italian leather and silver accessories to accentuate the style.

Guide To Google Trends For Lawyers

If you plan on using search engines to lead new clients to your legal services you’ll want to know the latest trends. Having all the latest data and information about what people are searching for on the internet is the key factor for any business offering their services online. Luckily, Google Trends offers a tool that does that.

Understanding the data surrounding search data allows for an effective marketing strategy to emerge. The behaviors of consumers are constantly changing and adapting. Search data reveals new insights about your clients, competitors, and industry.

Let’s explore how search data can influence your marketing decisions and the content you create for your law firm’s blog.

What is Google Trends?

Google Trends reveals the frequency (or popularity) of a search-term being entered compared to the total search volume across various regions of the world. Using this tool, you will be able to see the trend of a search term across time. You can also look at search data for in real-time, too.

Science Direct studied the usage of big data and found that notable search queries were performed for statistics, policy and law. This big data can be used to make informed marketing decisions for your law firm.

In addition to marketing, Google trends can:

  • Analyze the interest of search users related to your area of practice
  • Forecast legal issues that require immediate attention
  • Acquire a diverse set of information from various sources
  • Access raw search data related to your area of law

Having a better understanding of how people are using Google, especially in terms of people dealing with their legal questions, puts your law firm in a position where it can solve their problems.

How to Use Google Trends

Getting started with Google Trends is simple and the best part is it’s free to use. On the main page, you can browse trending stories or explore topics using the search bar.

To start your own research and analysis of big search data go to Explore and enter your search term or topic.

Before hitting enter, you may want to adjust a few of the settings to obtain search trends related to your practice and your area. You can make adjustments to:

  • Choose your country or anywhere else in the world.
  • Choose from past hour, 4 days, 7 day, 30 days, 90 day, 12 months, 5 years, or from 2008.
  • Choose a category based on your area of practice (i.e. an personal injury lawyer may choose Autos & Vehicles).
  • Search type. Choose from News, Web, Image, Google Shopping, or YouTube.

How Lawyers Can Use Google Trends

If you’re wondering why traffic to your attorney website is declining, Google trends can help you reveal why keywords which ranked well before may no longer bring in new visitors.

However, SEO experts can spend hours creating a strategy from a deep analysis of Google trends. Here’s a few ways your law firm can use Google Trends:

1. You can use the search bar to explore general topics like “practice area + lawyer” or “law related search term” keywords (i.e. divorce lawyer or divorce in New York).The first screen you’ll see is Interest Over Time which shows the popularity of those keywords over a certain period of time.

When you add additional search terms you can better understand the overall search demands related to your area of practice. The peaks and dips show trends throughout the year which can guide you toward when and what you publish on your blog. 

2. Next, you can see where each search words and being used throughout the country. When you browse over each state and you will see the interest based on each search query.

After selecting one of the states, you can get more detailed results of trends based on metro locations.

3. At the state level, you can start to see some specific search queries being made throughout the state. This feature is useful to make decisions about opening an office in a location where law-related terms are being searched the most.

You can see that the search term Divorce has high interest in Bakersfield. This could be an ideal location to open an office because of the high search demand.

From the state level, you can go even deeper to see where and how popular a search term is being made. However, if there is not enough data you will see a notification. You can try using a more general search term to obtain more information.

4. Try searching YouTube trends. Not everyone is using Google’s search engine to find answers to their problems. YouTube is another great source to analyze trends and perhaps find ideas for your own advice or news related video channel.

5. Use Trending Search to find the latest news and searches trending right now. You can find this by navigating to the menu bar on the left. Trending searches is a great way to get ideas for your content. If there’s a popular news item or topic that’s related to your law firm, consider writing an opinion piece or offer your perspective on the situation. Doing so can put your law firm’s website into by spinning current events toward your legal services.

If you want to get notifications to your inbox as-it-happens, each day, or each month, you can click the “+” button to subscribe. When you regularly update your blog with fresh content, this sends a signal to Google and other search engines that your website is active and providing value. Knowing the trends can help you adjust your blog content toward an audience with a specific search demand.

Ready to Use Google Trends?

Remember, Google Trends is showing you what is or has been popular on their networks. Lawyers can use this information to:

  • Discover which keywords (or search queries) are most popular
  • Find related keywords that are becoming popular
  • Compare law related keywords that are gaining or decreasing in popularity
  • Identify geographic locations where keywords are used

While you can use this to create your content and social media posts, there are better and more accurate tools you can use for SEO.

What’s Inside A Lawyer’s Briefcase

Lawyer’s need the right tools to provide their legal services anywhere they have to go. From the office appointments to courtroom appearances having a full suite of supplies will keep a lawyer equipped for any situation.

If you’re soon to be associate at a firm or just a polished lawyer looking for a few new tools for the “toolbox,” here you will discover what’s inside a lawyer’s briefcase.

Digital Recorder

Although smartphones can provide this solution, some old fashion lawyers may still carry around a recording device. Recorders are important to make notes, collect thoughts and record instructions. If you happen to be one of those lawyers using a cassette tape to record, upgrading to a digital device can save a lot of time.

Digital Camera

If you’re required to collect evidence for a case, such as a car accident, having a digital camera is a must. There are many small and compact cameras that can fit inside a small inner compartment.

Smart Phone

You could probably eliminate all the previous items on this list by just using a smartphone. Calculators, recorders, and even matter management software can reduce the weight in lawyer’s briefcase. However, there could be privacy concerns if you’re using your personal phone for your clients. Designating a phone for your law practice can be a smart idea.

Cellular Headphone Set

Cellular headsets are great to have when reception is bad and a client makes an urgent call. These take up little space, however, using a clip from the office to bundle the wires is a smart way to avoid untangle them each time you pull them out.

Notebook Computer

A lawyer’s briefcase is usually designed to perfectly fit a notebook computer. If you’re carrying around your client’s notes, matter, and also a computer, you may want to get a briefcase with a shoulder strap to reduce the load.

USB Scanner

This may not be a common item found in a lawyer’s briefcase, but it can be useful if you’re always on the move. Having a USB scanner can put documents on your laptop whenever you need them. You can send priority documents to clients immediately after court hearings while waiting in the break room.

Stationary Supplies

All lawyers require the stationary supplies to be functional for their job. Pens, pencils, notebooks, and other essentials can be stored in designated compartments for quick and easy use. Don’t forget to replenish your supplies whenever they run out.

Legal Matter

Inside most briefcases, you’ll find a sleeve dedicated for loose papers and folders. Storing the necessary legal matter in these places not only protects the documents but can also keep them organized. However, if you’re caseload is very large, you may require a larger suitcase to handle the load.

Final Thoughts

A lawyer’s briefcase is more than just a bag full of tools to perform legal work. When going from the office to the courtroom, a briefcase provides a secure and safe way to transfer sensitive and private information. Having a briefcase with anti-theft features with tracking may be over the top, but in a worst-case scenario, you’d have no regrets.

One last thing to remember, especially if you’re using or own multiple briefcases, is to be sure to transfer the contents on one into the other. You may find yourself rushing out the door with the wrong briefcase and wonder why all your client files disappeared.

38 Digital Marketing Tools Lawyers Can Use

The old days of listing your law firm in the local newspaper may not be entirely dead, but there are now many effective and cost efficient ways to market legal services. From ads that cost you per click to clever tricks to drive traffic to your attorney website, here’s a list of digital marketing tools even lawyers can use.

Notice: some of the marketing tools on this list may not be specific for legal services, however, these are popular tools used by digital marketers.

1. Lawyer Website. This had to be at the top of the list. If you don’t have a website for your law firm or legal services, you won’t be able to take advantage of the rest of the tools on this list.

2. Law Blog. Starting thinking of a law blog as a tool to attract potential clients to your law firm. You can write about trending topics or provide valuable information about your area of practice.

3. Google Trends. When it comes to popular stories and search terms that create the most buzz, try Google Trends. You can find all the hottest words related to your law firm. You can also read this about Google Trends for Lawyers.

4. Google Keyword Planner. SEO is dependent on keywords. Once you know which words are trending, use Google Keyword Planner to find variations and other stats to influence the content you make on your blog.

5. BuzzSumo. Many digital marketers use BuzzSumo and can lawyers to find the best content across social media and search engines.

6. Google Webmasters. Putting your law firm’s website on Google Console allows you to debug any critical errors to your SEO or receive notifications should your site get hacked.

7. Canva. Here’s a place to get creative elements, such as graphic designs, logos, posters, flyers, and more for free. Use this to attract more prospective clients from your Facebook ads.

8. Visually. If you want to offer a stunning infographic explaining the increasing rates of divorce throughout America, try Visually. Here you can get great ideas and images to create incredible online content.

9. Lexicata. This CRM (Customer Response Manager) is made specifically for lawyers. It helps you with client intake and managing your messaging system to deliver to the perfect message at the perfect time.

10. SEMRush. If you’re serious about your SEO and want a premium tool to dig deeper into popular search terms, use SEMRush. They also provide strategy ideas, content ideas, and technical SEO solutions to help your firm’s SEO methods gain traction.

11. Google Adwords. Once you have an understanding of the keyword your soon-to-be clients are using, start a Google Adwords campaign. You’ll be able to put your law firm’s services to the top of Google’s Search Engine.

12. Facebook Ads. Alternatively, you can tap into the millions of people who are actively using Facebook. Lawyers can use Facebook Ads to target specific people, locations, and other detailed demographics.

13. Facebook Audience Insights. Perhaps you should do a bit of research on your target audience before setting up your ads. Facebook Audience Insights gives you a detailed look at the types of people using Facebook, it’s perfect for understanding the types of clients you can help the most.  

14. Medium. In addition to your attorney blog, you should try this popular platform where people share stories that matter. Who knows, you may be the guru of law your country needs.

15. Ahrefs Blog. For those lawyers with a curiosity for the way to web works, Ahrefs Blog offers incredible insight toward SEO and online strategy.

16. HubSpot Blog. This is a place where you’ll find many digital marketers turning to for internet marketing advice. Maybe you can find some fresh new ideas to market your law firm here.

17. Buffer Blog. If you’re a social media enthusiast, the Buffer Blog is best to read about the latest trends and gain new insights.

18. Adspresso Blog. Sometimes Facebook Ads can leave a dent in your marketing budget. If you check out Adspresso’s Blog, you learn a lot about setting up and succeeding with your ad campaigns.

19. WooBox. Do you offer a free consultation and want to share this with as many people as possible? WooBox helps you create all kinds of creative campaigns to marketing your law firm.

20. MailChimp. Email marketing is a common strategy to send information and content to past clients and newly acquired emails. MailChimp is a simple email automation tool that lawyers can use for their drip campaign.

21. Ad-Roll. Re-targeting is a method of featuring your ads throughout the internet after someone visited your site or saw your ad in a different location. With Ad-Roll, you can tap into their vast network and feature your legal services in your region.

22. Sizmek. Advertising is all about impressions and Sizmek focuses on making the most out of the impressions you get while saving you ad dollars. They use a data-focused approach to serving up and managing your law firm’s ad campaign.

23. Vimeo. Does your law firm offer video content? An alternative to publishing all your videos on YouTube, you can use Vimeo to share your content and reach more viewers.

24. Unbounce. Instead of sending web traffic to your website you can use Unbounce to create landing pages. Here you can design a strong message that tells potential clients why your legal expertise is the best in town.

25. VWO. Marketers understand the internet in terms of conversion optimization. This means the traffic you send to your website has a greater chance of purchasing a product (or becoming a new client). With VWO, you can get detailed analytics and test variations of your lawyer website, content, or call to actions to achieve the best results.

26. Google Analytics. This free analytics tool gives lawyer a basic overview of the traffic coming to their website, from what source, and more. Setting up Google Analytics requires an account then adding a small piece of code to your website.

27. Facebook Analytics. Does your law firms use Facebook? If so, setting up your Facebook Analytics will give you additional insight to optimize the journey from your Facebook Page to your law firm’s office.

28. IFTTT. Is this you? After you write a beautiful blog post you publish it, then share it on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and any other place you can find that will accept your link. Well, with IFTTT you can automate that process and save a significant amount of your time.

29. Feedly. You can use Feedly to create an aggregate of news channels and offer them on your website. If you’re a personal injury lawyer, you can add blogs and other news sources related to accidents and incidents in your community.

30. Scoop It. If you want to join a content network, join Scoop It. Here you can share your latest blog posts and write exclusive articles to drive new clients to your firm.

31. ColorZilla. If you’ve ever seen a color on the internet and wanted to know what it was you can use ColorZilla to get you the code.

32. Evernote. You likely keep your office organized and you can use Evernote to help with your computer related tasks. However, as a lawyer, you may want to keep confidential information off this platform and stick to more secure apps for lawyers.

33. Calendly. Looking for a simple solution to schedule new intakes directly from your website. Calendy lets you manage what times you are available which can be particularly resourceful if you want to offer a free 15-minute consultation by phone.

34. Trello. If your law firm has a lot of lawyers and you want an efficient way of sending notes and making sure office related tasks are achieved on time, use Trello. Their platform lets you create “boards” with lists of tasks and to-do lists which can improve the workflow in your office.

35. Chat.io. When visitors come to your website having a live chat button in the bottom right corner can help turn questioning visitors into new inquiries. Chat.io offers an easy to install lawyer chat on your website which can be monitored by your or your staff.

36. Screaming Frog. Sometimes a small improvement to your website can increase the amount of visitors. Screaming Frog is a free web auditor tool which can evaluate your law firm’s on-site SEO.

37. PageSpeed Insights. Here’s yet another resourceful Google tool that allows you to measure your site speed and receive suggestion on how to improve it. Remember, a website with a faster load time improves the likelihood they’ll stick around for it to load and contact the firm.

38. SimilarWeb. Have you ever wondered why your competitor’s law site is doing so much better than yours? With SimilarWeb you can figure out their online strategy by gaining an inside look at their content and keywords.

Should You Become A Partner At A Law Firm?

When you’re law career begins, you may find yourself working at a law firm as an associate and provided with a base salary. Transitioning from employee to becoming a partner at a firm is a great leap.

The path from associate to partner at a law firm may not always be clearly defined. However, there are a few criteria that can assist you if you’re being considered or have been offered to become a partner at a law firm.

The Path to a Partner at a Law Firm

Firms hiring lawyers often choose the best they can find. Applicants from top law schools are recruited first with interviews being limited to specific schools only.

There is a chance of distinguishing yourself in another way, however, most candidates for law firm positions will be considered by pre-selected schools.

Upon hire, your career often starts as an associate. You will be working with a mentor to learn how to practice law. At this time, you will be paid a relatively high salary as the law firm is investing in you at their firm.

While law firms seek to find the best potential lawyers, not all make partner at their firm. Some may leave to start their own private practice or start a firm of their own after a few years with the firm. The path to becoming a partner can be long and take now take over ten years before it occurs.

Partner vs. Non-Partner

On becoming a partner at a law firm, you not only take on more responsibility but also receive an equity stake in the firm’s profits. This provides you access to draw profits to cover your bills and monthly expenses. At the end of the year, you’ll be able to take a larger share when profits are distributed.

This is the typical style of partnership, however, there is also the possibility of becoming a non-partner which does not give you an equity stake in the law firm. Law firms have been adopting varying styles of multi-tiered partnerships which provide increases in salaries (and responsibilities) instead of receiving a small percentage of the firm.

In some cases, law firms may have different types of partnerships available. For example, you can be able to become an executive or managing partner.

There are many factors that influence the structure of a law firm and how it establishes available partnerships. Depending on the size and growth of a firm, offering a non-partnership promotion may be more financially secure than offering equity stakes. Law firms can be an LLC or a corporation and their level of success can determine how much access to equity their rising associates may receive.

Cost of Making Partner

Becoming a partner may not come cheap. Law firms that offer a partnership with an equity stake will often ask for a “buy-in.” That amount varies for each firm, however, some of the top firm’s may require hundreds of thousands of dollars as a capital investment.

Law school is already an expensive investment and many lawyers take years to pay back their loans. If you’re one of the few being fast-tracked to a partnership, consider the capital that may be needed to partner-up.

The “base” capital investment is not the only expected cost new lawyers are expected to cover. Becoming partner means you will be responsible for the costs of benefits and additional income tax deductions.

Finally, some associates moving into a position of being a full-fledged lawyer may experience a shift in lifestyle. This too can come with a heavy price tag.

Putting the financial situation into perspective, law firms don’t want to see their selected partners making less than senior associates. Partners are carefully groomed into their position and law firm’s take precautions to choose them carefully.

Why “Buy-in” to a Partnership?

The capital required to “buy-in” to a partnership position is needed to make investments and expansions at the law firm. You may not have to contribute the full amount as some law firms allow for a contribution that is spread out over a couple years.

Firms may offer a loan structure which secures the capital while imposing a debt onto the partner. However, other firm’s may opt out of requesting “buy-in” capital to avoid paying out a partner who decides to leave after the first few years. Another approach may be to delay the required capital investment by a year so that new partners can develop their services and get into the flow of their new career.

Benefits to Becoming a Partner at a Law Firm

After years of law school and enduring the high-stress legal world as an associate, becoming a partner adds the following benefits to a career in law:

  • Increased pay
  • Equity stake in the law firm
  • Greater prestige and power

Disadvantages to Becoming a Partner at a Law Firm

While the increased pay and access to the firm’s profits may seem like a lucrative leap in your career, here’s a few things that may be disadvantageous:

  • May take years to the firm before being considered a partner
  • Greater liability (i.e. sued for malpractice or if the law firm goes bankrupt)
  • Must pay additional fees: medical insurance, malpractice insurance, etc.
  • Required capital “Buy-in”
  • Consequences for not keeping the firm profitable

If becoming a partner at a firm is not your interest, you may want to consider starting your own law firm.

Best Facebook Advertising Agencies 2019

QUICK ANSWER: BEST FACEBOOK ADVERTISING AGENCY 2019

  1. Voy Media
  2. OrionCKB
  3. CIBO
  4. Lyfe Marketing
  5. Sprague Media

Digital advertising is quickly becoming the most important brand awareness tool for small and medium-sized businesses across the globe. But finding the best Facebook advertising agencies to represent your brand isn’t easy, hence this guide! Together we’ll look at how you should go about hiring an agency, as well as recommending five that we think are outstanding.

Best Facebook Ads Agency

RankAgencyLocationMinimum Budget
1Voy MediaNew York, NY$5,000
2OrionCKBWalpole, MA$5,000
3CIBOSan Francisco, CA$5,000
4Lyfe MarketingAtlanta, GA$5,000
5Sprague MediaPortland, OR$5,000

Choosing a Facebook Advertising Agency

While there are some stand-out agencies, no one company is going to be the right fit for every business owner. Instead, it’s important that you learn how to search through the pile to find the perfect agency for you. This search involves weeding out those with red flags and asking the right questions, don’t worry, we’ll show you the ropes!

How to Choose an Agency

Once you’ve decided that you need a Facebook advertising agency to take your marketing to the next level you should find a list of companies to search through. These can either be local or international, depending on whether you think it’s important to have face-to-face contact, or not.

The first thing you’ll want to consider when hiring an agency is any red flags. Perhaps it’s pessimistic, but rather than searching for the benefits of a company; it’s quicker to look for faults and rule those companies out. Obvious red flags include; guaranteed results, bargain prices, lack of contact information, a low-quality website and packages rather than a bespoke approach.

After you’ve pruned the garbage, you’ll be left with a more realistic set of options. From there you can consider factors like their locality, pricing, previous work examples and their responsiveness to your messages. It’s always wise to contact all of the companies to ask for a quote and a prospectus up front so that you’re aware of their typical pricing structure and past work.

Although the cost isn’t the be all and end all, it’s vital that you’re getting value for your money and comparing the quote to their previous work is a fantastic estimate of this potential value. With all the quotes in hand, examples of their previous work and experience communicating with their employees, you’ll be in a great position to decide which agency is right for you and your brand.

Why Should You Hire a Facebook Advertising Agency?

Agencies aren’t the only game in town. After all, it’s possible for you to hire a freelancer or to bring an employee in-house who can manage your Facebook advertising campaigns for you. So, why should you bother to hire an agency?

By managing campaigns for tens or hundreds of different companies at once, an agency has the scale and resources that they need to test extensively and create fantastic images and copy for your ads. What separates one ad manager from another is their data and the way that they can manipulate it to learn from it.

With thousands of previous campaigns, agencies have millions of data points, giving them a unique insight into the best practices for running Facebook advertising campaigns. This data gives them a head start and can help them to generate better results for you than a freelancer with less experience might be able to.

Do You Need a Huge Budget?

A common misconception among companies looking to scale advertising campaigns is that you need a huge budget to work with an agency and that small and medium-sized businesses can only afford freelancers. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Many agencies are willing to work with clients of all budgets; it’s only the biggest outfits that reserve themselves for international brands.

The types of company that would be ideal for an SMB to work with tend to have flexible budget requirements, especially for advertising campaigns that will continue for months or years to come. As long as you’re willing to spend hundreds or thousands, rather than tens, of dollars each month, there’s an agency out there for you.

Top FIVE Best Facebook Advertising Agencies

#1 Voy Media

Voy Media, founded in 2015 by Kevin Urrutia and Wilson Lin, is a stand-out agency that has successfully managed Facebook advertising campaigns for countless small and medium-sized businesses across the country. As a boutique agency, you get the intimacy that you want, often talking directly to one of the founders who can explain to you what they are doing and why it’s beneficial to your business.

As well as offering Facebook ad campaign management and setup, they also complete audience research consultations for their clients. Voy Media believes in telling a story through your advertising and to do this, they need to understand your audience better, which they can do through detailed and scientific research.

Whether you are interested in Facebook ads, Instagram, retargeting e-commerce visitors or mobile advertising, Voy Media handles it all with their talented team of experienced campaign managers. Unlike many of their competitors, they offer a scaling pricing system based on the amount of money you spend on ads each month, rather than a flat fee.

Working with businesses spending as little as $2,000 each month on advertising, they charge between 10% and 20% of your monthly ad spend per month. Your Voy Media dedicated account manager and the team will work on your Facebook and Instagram ads, as well as audience retargeting, creative creation, copywriting and overall ad strategy.

As far as boutique Facebook advertising campaign agencies go, Voy Media is a stand-out choice because of their reputation for success, diligent attention to detail and fantastic customer service. For small to medium-sized businesses that need a helping hand to take their ad return to the next level, Voy Media is a tremendous choice.

Pros

  • Dedicated account manager
  • No setup fee
  • Full-service Facebook advertising agency
  • Known for getting results

Cons

  • Bi-weekly reporting for most customers
  • Work primarily with Medium  / Larger clients

#2 OrionCKB

OrionCKB has been known for years as one of the premier social media advertising agencies for medium and enterprise level businesses who need a hands-off solution for their Facebook and Instagram paid to advertise. Recently acquired by Elite SEM, they are now a powerhouse of search and social media paid to advertise that uses a data-driven approach to generate an outstanding ROI for their customers.

Based out of Massachusetts, OrionCKB is a big agency with a boutique family feel that gives their clients the best of both worlds. After joining forces with Elite SEM they have more resources than ever before, but by acting separately, they still get to employ the focus and determination that has made them famous.

They’ve worked with household names such as Hallmark eCards and Zipcar, which gives you some insight into how powerful their team is and the results that they are capable of. Many of this medium to enterprise companies have in-house advertising teams, but they choose to use OrionCKB as an extension of their staff because they provide stellar results and sophisticated strategy.

OrionCKB has a strict process that they’ve refined over many years of leading the industry forward with new tactics and incredible conversion rates. Starting with strategy, they develop long-term plans that they believe will drive down-funnel KPI’s and show a solid ROI. Their team focuses on placement and ad optimization, ensuring optimum performance.

But they don’t just tweak existing campaigns, they create brand new creatives and copy that they can use to test new ad types without your design team having to lift a finger. After all the hard work is done they present their clients with a deep analysis including trends to test and optimize against, rather than a bland report that offers little to you or your team.

Pros

  • Extensive resources at their disposal
  • Dedicated and experienced team
  • Constantly testing new ideas
  • Focused on KPI’s and ROI

Cons

  • Part of a larger corporate brand
  • Work primarily with larger clients

#3 CIBO

CIBO is an integrated brand experience agency that believes in the game-changing power than a brand experience can have on a customer. Rather than working solely on paid advertising campaigns, CIBO is a complete agency that has worked with some of the biggest names in the world including Subaru, Anki, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Tesla.

They believe that digital marketing today is very different from how it was in the nineties and even the early two thousand’s. Rather than focusing on simple messages in huge quantities, they believe in guiding customers through a brand experience from their first awareness event through multiple purchases and even sharing the brand with their friends.

Working with enterprise level clients in every industry imaginable, CIBO has a broad range of experience in optimizing online advertising campaigns for direct ROI as well as overall brand awareness, reputation, and impact. For many enterprise clients, the gold isn’t in direct conversions, it’s in spreading awareness or altering their reputation even among those who may never be customers, but whom may speak to others who could become customers.

Pros

  • Very experienced team
  • Full brand experience agency
  • Work with leading brands
  • Huge amounts of data

Cons

  • Not specialized in Facebook advertising
  • Less focus on direct conversions

#4 Lyfe Marketing

Lyfe Marketing is a boutique social media management company focused on offering social media advertising, search engine optimization and website design services. Working primarily with small and medium-sized businesses in the United States, Lyfe recognizes that ROI is vital for their clients who have little interest in brand awareness and more focus on generating direct revenue.

Their social media advertising services allow their customers to leverage the most cost-effective advertising method available today and with a specialized team, they can deliver tangible results. Their work involves optimizing existing campaigns for decreased cost and increased conversion rates, as well as creating new ads which could potentially deliver superior results or bring in new clients.

As a relatively small and niche agency, they have the flexibility to work closely with their customers to provide bespoke solutions to complex problems. With an experienced social media manager dedicated to an account, Lyfe Marketing gets a greater insight into what makes your audience tick.

Pros

  • Bespoke solutions
  • A flexible and small team
  • Focused on tangible results
  • Specialized in social media

Cons

  • Lack of the resources of larger agencies
  • Setup fees

#5 Sprague Media

Sprague Media is a comparatively tiny agency that works with niche players in small and medium-sized markets, but their small size is more than made up for by their versatility, speed of execution and flexibility. While working with a renowned and larger agency brings in greater resources, it often loses you the people hours and dedication that a smaller agency like Sprague Media brings to the table.

Boasting 654% ROI in 3-months for a pest control client, it’s evident that Sprague Media knows how to get results on even small budgets. Their process is modeled on larger agencies that have been around for decades – they start by spreading brand awareness, they engage your target audience, and then finally they make the “ask” or sell.

Based out of Portland, Sprague Media is entirely focused on digital paid advertising. This focus gives them the ability to become complete experts in their craft, while other agencies offering a broad range of services often struggle to offer any at a world-class level.

Pros

  • Complete focus on paid advertising
  • Small and nimble team
  • Proven results

Cons

  • Lack of resources of larger agencies
  • Less dedicated admin and account staff

Conclusion

Digital advertising is quickly becoming the most important method of marketing for companies both small and large. Google AdWords is leading that charge, but Facebook is close behind, and with an unmatched ability to target specific audiences with detailed specifications, Facebook is the ideal advertising channel.

Finding the right agency to manage your Facebook advertising campaign isn’t simple, but it is extraordinarily important. Choosing the wrong team could cost you time and money, which is why we’ve specifically recommended five companies that have generated proven results for their clients at a reasonable cost.

How To Advertise on Facebook

If you are thinking of online advertising, then there is no better way of advertising than Facebook advertising. Research conducted by eMarketer found out that more than 95% of social media marketers consider Facebook as the most efficient social media marketing platform. This huge love for Facebook as an advertising platform is because it allows business to target their campaigns efficiently. It doesn’t discriminate growing business from established businesses. A few hundred dollars is enough to generate a significant amount of traffic. It is also an easy to learn platform and most advertisements are incredibly customizable and flexible.

Aside from that, Facebook has a massive following of more than 2.2 billion users cutting across all age groups. What’s more, Facebook has a micro-targeting feature that allows you to reach your target audience based on their behaviors, location, demographics or even interests. So advertising with Facebook ensures you reach an audience that is more likely to purchase your products and services making it the most efficient advertising platform.

Now that you have a heads up on the effectiveness of Facebook advertising, you are now ready to try it out. Here is a complete guide to Facebook advertising. The guide aims to equip you with Facebook advertising knowledge and take you through your first Facebook ad strategies

Types of Facebook Ads

Depending on the ad you would like to post, Facebook allows you to post a range of products or services in a single ad. Some of the ads that could be helpful include:

Carousel ads (multi-purpose ads)

A carousel ad is an ad format that allows you to show up to ten videos and images, calls to action, links and headlines in a single ad unit. It is beneficial for e-commerce advertisers that seek to promote a range of products forms their store.

This kind of ad is supported on mobile newsfeeds, desktop newsfeeds, Instagram and audience network. Some of its specs include:

  • A link description of 30 characters
  • A headline of 5 characters
  • An ad copy text of 90 characters
  • A recommended image size of 600 by 600 or 1080 by 1080 pixels

Dynamic product ads (DPA)

Facebook’s DPA is similar to remarketing display ads on steroids. They target users based on inactions of past actions on your application or website with a well-planned Ad. All you need to do is to upload a product catalog on Facebook and ensure that your Facebook pixel is correctly installed on your website’s pages. Facebook will do the re-targeting and remarketing.
DPA is supported by mobile newsfeed, desktop newsfeed, Instagram, audience network, and right column.
Some of its specs include:

  • A link description of around 30 characters
  • A headline of 25 characters
  • An ad copy text of 90 characters
  • A recommended image size of 600 by 600 or 1200 by 628 pixels

Facebook lead Ads

Leads are the perfect way to advertise on Facebook. This type of Facebook Ad allows your audience to sign up or download your content, without leaving the Facebook page. This makes the lead ads an ideal method for getting a potential customer’s email easily. Facebook lead ads are supported by mobile newsfeed, desktop newsfeed, audience newsfeed, and Instagram.

Some of its specs include:

  • A website URL and a privacy policy
  • A context card button of about 30 characters
  • A context card headline of about 60 characters the context card can be in paragraph format that has no bullet point format or character limit that allows a maximum of 80 characters per bullet
  • A link description of about 30 characters
  • An ad copy text of about 90 characters
  • A headline of about 25 characters
  • A recommended image size of 1200 by 628 pixels

Once a user fills in the form, Facebook stores their email addresses on your Facebook ads account. You now have to move these new leads tour CRM system. The easiest way to do this is to automate the whole process. You can do this by setting up your campaigns using AdEspresso.

Canvas ads

A canvas Ad is an engaging ad that allows users to interact with content on Facebook. It is currently available only on mobile newsfeed because we tend to interact more with mobile devices. With canvas, your target audience is able to swipe through a carousel of images, tilt the images in different directions, or zoom in and out by moving their fingertips. An advantage of a canvas ad is that it loads ten times faster than normal mobile web applications.
Some of its specs include:

  • A headline of about 45 characters
  • An Ad copy text of about 90characters
  • A recommended image size 1200 by 628 pixels
  • A canvas Ad has the following components
  • An auto-play video
  • A text block
  • A header with logo
  • A button for offside links
  • A product set
  • An image carousel

Collection Ad

A collection as showcases a variety of products being sold on your website. it makes it easier for users to browse, discover and purchase products or services in an immersive and visual way. It is also supported only by mobile newsfeed It has specs like

  • A recommended headline of about 25 characters
    doesn’t support images within more than 20% text
  • The image ratio is 1:9:1
  • The image size is 1200 by 628 pixels

Single Video Ads

Single videos as the name suggests are ads that contain a single video. Almost 50% of Facebook users prefer watching about an hour of Facebook videos per week, so it proves to be one of the most efficient Facebook ads. Also, a majority of the audience prefer videos without sound, so you can use captions rather than sounds. A preferable video ad length should be about 30 seconds but shouldn’t be longer than 60 seconds.
Some of its specs include:

  • the maximum file size of 2.3 GB
  • a resolution of at least 720P
  • an aspect ratio of 16:9
  • a video format of MP4 or MOV

Now that you have the basics of the Facebook ad types, you want to put this into practice. If you are advertising on Facebook for the first time have no worries, here is a complete guide that would help you do just that.

A step by step guide to Facebook advertising

Step 1: Choose the main goal

Different businesses have different goals when it comes to advertising. You only need to identify your business with the type of goal you would like to achieve. Facebook offers eleven different marketing goals based on what you want your ad to achieve. But first, you need to log in to Facebook ads manager, then select campaigns tab and click on create. After this, you will have to select one of the 11 different business goals. They include:

1. Lead generation – get new leads from your target audience
2. Video views – get your video to be watched by more users
3. App installs – get Facebook users to install your app
4. engagement – get to a significant number of users that aims to increase an attendance at your event, encourage people to claim an offer or increase the number of page likes or posts
5. Reach – expose your ad to as many people users as possible
6. Brand awareness – get your new brand to reach a new audience
7. Store visits – get your target customers to visit your nearby store
8. Catalog sales – link your Facebook ad to your catalog product to show your audience ads of products they are most likely to buy
9. Conversions – encourage people to take a particular action on your website like buying your product or subscribing to your list.
10. Messages get your audience to contact you via Facebook messenger
11. Traffic – drive a traffic to a particular app or webpage
You can choose an ad objective based on the above goals for your specific ad. Remember that if you plan to use exposure objectives, you can pay per impressions, but for conversion-based objectives like sales, you can pay per action

Step 2:  Name your campaign

After you have come up with an objective, scroll down on your Facebook ad campaign and select whether to use an A/B split test. A/B testing is a marketing strategy that includes small tests on a fraction of your campaign before committing fully to the campaign. You also have the option of choosing whether to turn on budget optimization. This method can be powerful when you are using several ad sets. But since you are a beginner, you can focus on single ads first.
In the engagement objective, you may choose whether to focus on event responses, page likes or post engagement. After you have decided on the focus, click set up ad account to continue.

Step 3: Set up your ad account

This step is imaginary if you have already set up your account. So will go straight to your target audience. But if you are a new Facebook advertiser, you will have to enter a few important account details here. Some of the details may include, your country, time zone, and your preferred currency. After you have finished you can click on continue.

This step is very essential and it is important that you choose your details wisely. It is difficult to change these details thereafter and you might be forced to set up a new account.

Step 4: Target your audience

After you have clicked on continue, you will be directed to a different page where you will be required to name your Facebook ad campaign and select what page you wish to promote. Scroll down to start building a target audience for your ads. The first option is to add a custom audience of people that have interacted with your business before, be it on Facebook or off Facebook.

You will be required to select your target location, language, gender, and age. There is audience size indicator on the right that gives you a sense on the potential ad reach, make good use of the audience size indicator.

After you have selected our target audience, you need to filter them to ensure you remain with an audience that is most likely to purchase your product or services. Remember, effective targeting is important in maximizing return on investments (ROI). There are two ways you can ensure that your audience is as specific as possible:

Connection – you can exclude or target users that have an existing connection to your event, app, or a page you manage. For instance, if you want to target a new audience, you would select “exclude people that have already liked your page”. If you want to promote a new product or an offer to an existing audience, you would select “people that have already liked your page” so as to reach users that have already liked your page.”

Detailed targeting – you can use this field to include or exclude people based behaviors, interests and demographics. This option allows you to be as specific as possible. For example, you can choose to target an audience interested in both yoga and meditation while also excluding an audience that is interested in hot yoga.

Step 5: Choose where your ad will appear

How your ad appears on Facebook is important. If you are new to Facebook, the easiest way to do this is by using automatic placements. When you select this option, Facebook automatically places your ad across the audience network, messenger, Instagram, and Facebook depending on the best place to get good results.

After you’ve gained more experience, you can decide to place your ad in a specific location based on where you are likely to get more traffic. You have a few options that include:
Operating systems and mobile devices – Android, IOS or both
Platform – audience network, messenger, Instagram, or Facebook with a few subsections within each category like stories, right column or newsfeed.

Step 6: Set your schedule and budget

You need to decide the cost you are willing to incur on the Facebook paid ads. Facebook paid ads has two options, daily or lifetime budget. Select either of them then click on set start and end dates if you want to schedule your ad In the future or choose to automate it immediately. There’s an advanced budget option if you want to get finer details of how you spend your money. Note that using a schedule when running your paid advertisement is the most effective way to spend your ad budget. Scheduled advertisement allows you to choose only the ad your target audience is most likely to interact with. After you have made your selections, you can click on continue.

Create your ad

When creating your ad, you need to choose the media components and the texts you wish to include in your ad. The available formats vary based on the objective of your campaign at the beginning of the process.

There is a preview tool at the bottom of the page that you can use to test your ad and ensures it looks good for all your potential placements, be it on the right column, the desktop newsfeeds or the mobile newsfeeds. When you are satisfied with your choices, click on the confirm button to submit your order. You will receive an email from Facebook notifying you that your AD has been approved and will be posted soon on Facebook.

Advertising tips on Facebook

Advertising on Facebook especially if you are new to Facebook ads can be a daunting task. You need a few strategies to ensure that your ad is as effective as possible. Here are a few of the strategies that could be beneficial.

Use audience targeting

A good way to starting on Facebook ads is by using a small audience then broaden it gradually as you gain experience with Facebook ads. For instance, if you are advertising a new brand of wine, you could start by using a specific location that you know target wines. After a few weeks you can broaden to wine tasting, then food and wine and so on. This is a good strategy for expanding your target audience and ensure it affects your results positively.

Audience targeting can also be used to create several ads for groups related to varying business objectives. With the audience target, you can relate to existing customers differently than you would have with new customers. If you have a local business and seeking to target audience within your location, you can use postal code or zip code. This is especially helpful if you know of a neighborhood that converts traffic well.

Use Facebook pixels

A Facebook pixel is a small piece of code that may have a huge impact on your Facebook ad campaign. This code allows you to track conversions, create lookalike audience and remarket your product to people that have viewed the product on your website.

Facebook pixel is an essential tool, even if you don’t have plans to use it currently it might be beneficial in the future so it is important that you have it installed. This way, you will have to remarket and tracking data ready to implement when you want to start Facebook optimization.

Use quality videos and photos

Facebook users dislike blurry, or pixelated photos and jumpy videos. The words may be catchy but without a quality video or photo, you have lost it already. You visuals are what grabs your audience attention and create a good impression.

Ensure you have tested everything

Ignorance can be really costly. Making assumptions on what might work and what might not work can really cost your business. Every time you place an ad on Facebook, you need to test it against the previous ads you posts to check if there is any improvement you are making. Currently, technology is evolving, and if you keep relying on the previous ads on Facebook, you might fail terribly. Therefore the only way to stay relevant is to keep testing every ad you post on Facebook.

Optimize and track performance

Check how your ads are performing constantly in the ads manager dashboard. If you find an ad that isn’t performing to your expectation, take it out and invest in an ad that is performing. There are tools that will help you manage this. One of the common resourceful tools is adsensepro. Can create, manage, and optimize your ad. If you have a larger firm, then the Hootsuite would be perfect for you. From the dashboard that you use to monitor your ads, you can test and create lots of Facebook ads in a few minutes. It has an easy to understand analytics that uncovers your best ad fast.

How do you get Facebook ad ideas?

Now that you have all the tools ad essentials to create your ad, the challenge comes in on how your ad will be or how it will look like. If you have this problem, then have a look at the following strategies

1. Convert every piece of content to an ad

Every brand has its own content that drives most of the traffic every month. You can adapt this piece of content to an ad and get a perfect way to advertise using it in form of a video ad or a photo ad. To create a video ad, there are several ways you can convey the key contents in your ad through short text image. You then can use a few social video tools to compile them into a video in Facebook ad manager.

2. Drive direct sales

If your brand is well known to provide good quality products, you have every reason to generate direct sales from these products and services. For instance, if you are planning on introducing a new product in the market and your previous products were received well, you can use the Facebook ad to target the same audience that purchased your previous products. You can also reach out to a new audience by using lookalike audiences to reach the audience that is more likely to purchase your product or service. This strategy could earn you nearly a million users in traffic and could generate more sales.

3. Strategize on offline lead generation

Facebook shouldn’t be your only source of traffic. Focus on other sources like offline purchases. You can use engagement objective to drive traffic to an offline event and use the lead generation technique to get them to your dealership or store to experience the products and services you are providing. You can do this through a test drive.

Facebook allows you to track offline conversions so that you have an understanding of how effective ads are in driving offline sales. You can also use tracking data to develop custom audiences of users that interact with your products offline so that you can effectively target them in the future.

How do you improve Facebook ad conversions?

Conversions rates are one of the most targeted metrics by social media marketers. Conversion rates are a top priority for most marketers. A good conversion is one that is capable of bringing in more success this delivering a strong ROI. Conversions are not only used to drive purchases but also drive actions. The main aim of an ad campaign is to increase the number of shoppers or the number of subscribers to their websites. Given the benefits of ad conversions, you might want ways to improve your ad conversions. Here is how you go about it:

1. Define your conversion event

Before converting any traffic, you might want to know the actions people take after viewing your ad on Facebook. There are a few types of conversions that Facebook supports. They include: purchase, initiate checkout, add to wishlist, and view content. Your ad can’t serve all the conversion goals, so you need to create an ad for each goal. Consider where the goals fit into the journey of the customer and convert this appropriately.

2. Prioritize on your destination

An ad should be as good as its landing page when determining where you would want the conversion to take place, ensure everything is in order for you to deliver the promises of your ad. The steps below could help you achieve this:

Optimize for apps – a significant number f people prefer purchasing via mobile so it would be important that you utilize this to drive people to your app. So ensure you have registered your app and integrated it with Facebook SDK.

Aim for continuity – if you focused your ad on a specific objective, ensure your landing page delivers just that. Don’t get your visitors frustrated by mixing up things. If for instance, your ad focuses on shoes, ensure your landing page also focuses on shoes. Anything else will lead to the potential visitor being frustrated therefore you would have lost an essential lead. Language and design are important here also.

Implement pixel – after you have decided on the page you would like the conversion event to happen, you will have to add the ace pixel code to the page to track events. With this, you can determine what ad performs better and what doesn’t perform. This way you can focus on ads that perform and leave out those that don’t.

3. Create an attractive visual

The impression of the user determines their interactions with your ad. It just a matter of seconds for a user to determine where to land. So it is important that you create an ad that is very attractive if you want to convert more leads. Most first impressions are brought by the design so ensure your visuals are as good as possible.

Use videos or GIFs – opt for shorter interesting videos. If possible use static videos. Ensure you have tested these videos for mobile devices to ensure they are supported by every device.
Size-to-spec – low-resolution videos reflect poorly on your ad. Ensure you have the right image size to meet the right size specifications.

Do not overload images with text – it is recommended that you use texts sparingly on images. If you have to use texts in your image, use facebook’s image text check to check the right size of text to include.

4. Crisp copy should be short and sweet

A string ad is usually characterized by crisp copy. Therefore ensure that the copy is interesting and short a well.

Keep it short – a lot of text can intimidate your audience. Therefore focus on what is important and leave out the rest.

Avoid jargon – use a language your audience can understand.

Get personal – use personal pronouns like you to suggest a relationship between your brand and the audience.

5. Use a direct call to action

A strong call to action is essential since conversions are all about motivational actions. You can use strong verbs like explore, discover, start, find if you aim at educating your audience about your organization. If you aim at driving subscriptions or purchases, be direct with phrases like sign up or buy now.

6. Broaden your audience

Facebook has a target expansion option that is essential in looking for more leads. This option allows Facebook to find more users similar to you have included in the interest target section. This allows you to reach more people as well as driving more conversions at a lower cost per conversion.

7. Track using several devices

Regardless of where you have decided your ad will be placed, you should ensure you track the conversions and clicks from all devices, whether mobile or desktop. Even if you have only put up an ad that runs only on desktop devices. You can install, Facebook SDK on your mobile app that allows Facebook to capture more data based on audience and expand the target of the audience.

8. Use link click optimization
If you feel your campaign is not driving enough leads and conversions within the first few weeks, then your data isn’t delivered the right way. Facebook requires about 50 conversions per ad within the first week too effectively deliver the ad. If your ad has less than 50 conversions in the first week, then you might consider optimizing for link clicks rather than conversions.

Get the most of your Facebook ads with the above guide. This guide has a detailed step by step guide that ensures you follow every step appropriately while also ensuring you put up quality ads that can be accepted by a wide range of Facebook users.

Advertising Guides

Best Facebook Advertising Agencies
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Best Snapchat Advertising Agencies
Best Google Ads Advertising Agencies
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Steps For Setting Up A Virtual Office At Your Law Firm

For a solo practitioner or a small law firm, setting up a virtual office at the office can make legal services run more effectively and efficiently.

A virtual office allows for lawyers to reduce their management and also their marketing efforts. This can help free up time to focus on client cases and other aspects of growing the firm.

If you’re thinking about setting up a virtual office, here are 5 steps to help you get started.

Step 1: Understand your needs

A virtual office can exist anywhere with the common belief that telephone operators from developing are taking calls and working the front desk.

In the legal world, having inexperienced and unprofessional telecommunication companies handle the intaking and scheduling of your prospective client’s can be both bad for your reputation and your business.

There are telecommunication services available that are dedicated to lawyers. They have trained staff that may even be specialized in your area of practice, such as criminal defense or family law.

Alternatives to using a telecommunication service are to add Live Chat to your law firm’s website. In this list of the best Live Chat services for lawyers, you can quickly and easily add a professional button to your website and interact any visitor.

Overall, there are various types of virtual office solutions. Here’s an overview of a few services virtual office service available to lawyers:

  • Customer Relation Management (CRMs)
  • Live Chat
  • Accounting Software
  • Virtual Receptionist

Virtual offices allow you to automate and improve the efficiency of your daily routines at your firm. In addition, with technology trending toward mobile interactions, you can expect to find various solutions you can manage with your smartphone.

Step 2: Consider the Pros and Cons

Establishing your law firm into a virtual office comes with both benefits and disadvantages. If you’re sure this is the right decision for your firm, there must be substantial reasoning and benefits to do so. Here are some of the benefits a virtual office can include:

  • Reduce costs
  • Increased productivity
  • Effective client intaking
  • Flexible employment
  • Operate your intaking 24/7/365

The disadvantages to a virtual office may be difficult to imagine. However, when considering the sensitive information that passes through a law firm, you may want to think twice before outsourcing work to those outside the office. Here are a few disadvantages to establishing a virtual office:

  • Reduce moral in current employees
  • Lack of support
  • Privacy liability
  • Bad for reputation (i.e. outsourcing calls)
  • Security risks

Using technology and outsourced solutions will always alleviate the workload at the office. However short-term benefits may have long-term consequences. Carefully evaluate which services are right for your legal practice.

Step 3: Measure costs

Cost reduction and savings are two major factors that influence the decision to establish a virtual office. Accounting software can provide invoices with the click of a button while tracking cash flow to make taxes easier. Virtual receptionists can handle inquiries at the office and schedule appointments for serious inquiries.

When selecting the services for your law firm, it’s best to shop around. The pricing and features offered with each will vary. There is a competitive market to provide solutions specifically for lawyers and each service will provide similar yet varying options.

If possible, you can start with a trial of their services which is usually free and does not require a credit card.

Step 4: Stick to your budget

When you sign up for virtual services you’ll be locked into a monthly or yearly billing cycle. You’ll have to determine your monthly costs accordingly and select the services that you feel will help your law firm yield the best returns.

There are services that stick to a monthly pricing plan and others that invoice you per client or lead they acquire. If you’re paying per lead, be sure that you are successfully converting those prospective leads into new clients. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting your money.

Step 5: Analyze effectiveness

Even though you have spent a significant amount of time and money investing in potential virtual office solutions, it is best practice to analyze their effectiveness on a quarterly or yearly basis.

If you’re using a virtual receptionist, measure how many new clients they help you acquire per month. Determine whether their services are providing you an improvement to your legal services or simply using up your budget.

Here are a few points to analyze with your law firm’s virtual office services:

  • How many clients does it yield
  • How much time is being saved
  • How are much are costs being reduced
  • How many issues have occurred
  • How often is tech support needed

The ease of installation for more virtual office services may reduce the hassle of finding a talented staff to hire at your firm, taking the time to develop in-house employees can sometimes be worth the effort.

In-house staff can reduce headaches of spending hours on a phone with support teams that may or may not be able to resolve your problems right away. Also, training staff can establish to long-term employees which understand the process of how your law firm functions and can lead to better performance than outsourced solutions.

These 5 steps are just a guideline if you’re thinking about turning your law firm into a virtual office. For solo-practitioners, reducing the number of administrative tasks may be the best option to improve efficiency and effectiveness of your legal services. If you’re looking for the best virtual solutions, check out these law firm management software.

Guide To Law Firm SEO Strategy

Having an effective SEO strategy for your law firm will not only keep you competitive but also give you access to more prospective clients. If you already reviewed our SEO Tips for Lawyers and advanced SEO methods, we put together any missing pieces to the SEO puzzle right here.

Understanding SEO

Ever wondered why certain websites appear on the front page of Google when you search, “Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida”?

This is made possible by SEO.

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is simply increasing your visibility in search results. There are many different ways to improve your search rankings such as backlink building, decreasing website load time, and more.

If your website is currently found on the 27th page of Google’s search results implementing just a few of the ideas in this article could see a significant increase in your search rankings.

Keep in mind, getting your website ranked on the top pages takes consistent effort because there are likely other law firms competing for the same position. However, by implementing an SEO strategy for your law firm you can take advantage of getting free traffic from search engines.

SEO Strategy #1: Know Your Search Words

The first step to improve your website rankings in the search engines is to understand the words people are using in Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines.

In a Google Consumer Survey, it was found that 96% of people use search engines to find legal advice. They also found that 74% of them would go to a lawyer’s website and take action.

This makes search words extremely important so that your law firm is discovered by people looking for your legal services.

How to Find Your Keywords

There are a few free and simple tools you can use to find the keywords being used in the search engines.

Tool #1: Google Keyword Planner

Google’s Keyword Planner allows you to find all the keywords people use which are related to your law firm. The insights you get from this tool includes keywords, ad group ideas, historical statistics, competition, keyword, trends, bidding and much more.

To use Google’s Keyword Planner, you need an AdWords account. Don’t worry, you won’t have to add your credit card or purchase any ads to use their free keyword planner.

If you’re unfamiliar with Google Keyword Planner, follow these steps to get started.

Step 1: After you sign in or sign up, you’ll arrive at the AdWord dashboard.

Step 2: Click on the tool icon in the top right corner.

Step 3: Select “Keyword Planner”.

Step 4: Enter your search terms.

Example:

Let’s use “Divorce Lawyer California” for our example.

The results show some important stats like Avg. Monthly Searches, Competition, and ad-related details.

You can use these results to put together keywords your web pages and blog content.

To improve the effectiveness and accuracy of your law firm’s keyword research, be sure to adjust the location and the date.

Adjusting the Location

Your law firm SEO strategy may be to attract more clients from your local area. To do this, you can use the location settings to find all the keywords being used from within your city or town.

Use the location search to be as specific or as general as you want.

Adjusting the Date

What if there were higher rates or accidents at certain times of the year? Or you’re a tax attorney and caseloads tend to increase at certain times of the year?

If adjust the date settings, you can see keywords that are used during certain seasons, recent searches, or an overview of keywords used throughout the year.

Even though Google’s Keyword Planner is meant as a guide for setting up your Google AdWords PPC, you can take advantage of the statistic for planning the keywords for your law firm’s SEO.

Tool #2: Keyword.io

Keyword.io allows you to find longtail and other related keywords. Longtail keywords are more detailed phrases (up to 3 words) which can be used to target a smaller demographic of people.

Instead of focusing all your effort on popular and competitive search terms, longtail keywords can be used to find prospective clients your competitors might be ignoring.

With Keyword.io, you can create a strategic list of keywords for any search engine including Google, Bing, Yandex, and Yahoo.

You can use Keyword.io to research keywords for a PPC Campaign, SEO, or article writing (more about this later).

Example:

Let’s use the same search term from before, “Divorce Lawyer in California”:

With Keyword.io, you can see variations of how the keyword is being used in the search engines.

Combining these results with Google’s Keyword Planner, you can come up with a strong set of keywords to use for your law firm’s SEO strategy.

SEO Strategy #2: Write and Publish Quality Content

The purpose of your law firm’s website is to attract prospective clients. To achieve this, you should write and publish quality content.

Here are a few simple strategies to guide you toward effective SEO Content Strategy:

  1. Publish only compelling and quality content. You want to make sure that what you publish is both unique and useful to the people reading it. Ask yourself this, what value does your content give readers?
  2. Use keywords. You now know how to search for relevant and current keywords so put them into your content. Use different keywords for each piece of content you publish. This not only expands your reach but also prevents SEO issues with Google and other search engines.
  3. Share on social media. You’ll soon learn how popularity is important to improve your SEO. Start by sharing your posts after they are published and encourage others to share them as well.
  4. Keep your content fresh. When you are writing and publishing new content on your law firm’s blog, keep it fresh and up to date. Spend a few minutes researching current events and try to write something related to today’s trends.
  5. Obtain backlinks. You’ll learn all about this in SEO Strategy #3.
  6. Publish frequently. Don’t just publish one or two articles and think that’s enough. You have to publish frequently to remind the search engines that your site is live and your content is important.

To get started on your law firm’s SEO content strategy, you want to be optimizing content for discovery and conversion. This means using the keywords you found and writing in a way that turns website visitors into new clients.

Also, you also understand the intent of the search words being used in Google. If someone searches, “Divorce Lawyer Fees,” they are likely shopping around for the best prices. If that person chooses your website, which do you think would be more compelling?

Sample Content #1:

Our divorce lawyers fees start at $100 per hour. Contact us today for a consultation.

Sample Content #2:

We offer some of the lowest divorce lawyer fees in town. Contact us for a free consultation to get started.

Another example of keyword intent could be someone searching for, “My wife wants a divorce.” Here, the intent is for information, both emotionally and legally, that will help them handle their divorce. In this situation, you may not want to sell your service but instead, come across as a warm friend with helpful advice.

Remember this: when you write content for your law firm’s website, you should always put your audience first. Writing to satisfy the ever-changing algorithms of Google and other search engines could lead to a negative SEO. Instead, focus on providing quality content that comes from you and resonates with your current and prospective clients.

Implementing Longtail Keywords

Let’s take another look at the list of longtail keywords from before:

You’ll notice quite a few keyword phrases found that can be used to shape the type of content you create. Alternatively, if you’re out of ideas you can use this list of longtail keywords to write articles like:

  • 7 Reasons Not To Get a Divorce in California Without a Lawyer
  • Low-Cost Divorce Lawyer in California | YourLawFirm.com
  • 3 Simples Steps for Filing for Divorce Without a Lawyer

Creating Quality Content

You could have a blog talking about your thoughts and experiences as a lawyer or you could create content with a strategic plan and a specific goal.

Again, using the list of keywords you researched related to your law firm, you can create a long-term strategy to publish and share content related to the needs of your prospective clients.

For example, during the Christmas season, you may want to write a series on the consequences and outcomes of drinking and driving. Or, if you’re that divorce lawyer from California, you can write about divorce rates and actions to take if they’re considering divorce.

Take note of what Matt Cutts, Google’s software engineer, has said about creating content:

“You need to find some way to pull people in, to get them interested, to get them enticed to try to pick up whatever concept it is you want to explain. So I would argue, first and foremost, you need to explain it well, and then if you can manage to do that while talking about the science or being scientific, that’s great.”

SEO Content Calendar

Planning out your content in advance can make your marketing efforts significantly easier.

You should plan for one to two months in advance and prepare content that can be interlinked with each other. Interlinked content are pages linking to another page on your website (this adds SEO benefits and also keeps visitors on your website longer).

Once you have created an SEO content calendar, you can start to publish on your social media accounts, email newsletter and any other places you can think of. However, before you do, you should consider the best times to publish your content. Here’s what Hubspot recommends:

  • Facebook: 9 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm (with 1 pm getting the most shares) on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
  • LinkedIn: 7-8 am, 12 pm, 5-6 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
  • Instagram: 2 am, 8-9 am, and 5 pm on any day.

You’ll have to test your own content to see which times get you the most traffic and the best results. Ultimately, here’s a few tips to follow for your law firm’s SEO content calendar:

  1. Post consistently (i.e. three times a week)
  2. Use multiple social channels
  3. Choose times that get the most engagement with your target audience

SEO Strategy #3: Build Your Backlinks

By now, you may notice that your law firm’s SEO strategy is quite complex. However, to keep things simple, the ultimate goal of SEO is to improve your popularity.

In order to boost your law firm’s “popularity” and get prospective clients coming to your website, you have to build backlinks from various online sources.

Search engines like google are looking for law firms with relevant and authority links pointing to its website. The way authority websites are measured is also based on the amount of traffic coming to that website.

Steps for Build More Backlinks

Building backlinks to your law firm’s website can be challenging. There are some methods you can try, but they could get you in a lot of trouble. For example, if you decided to purchase backlinks from an unreputable source, Google may put a penalty on your website which can block you from the search results.

To ensure your website doesn’t get blocked, here’s a few steps for building quality backlinks:

1. Publish quality content. If you’re producing great content that connects with the people who read it, there’s a great chance that they will share it with their friends and family. This is the best way to introduce your legal services to new people.

Take note of these blogs rated by the American Bar Association to be the best law blogs:

Clio offers incredible law firm management software and they use their blog effectively to share their knowledge and expertise.

Verdict is a magazine blog provided by Justia (an online resource where you can sign up, add your website, and find prospective clients) which has a blog full of content on every aspect of the law.

Overlawyered is one of the oldest law blogs exploring the American legal system. Take a look at the bottom of this blog, notice the comment section? Here is a great way to contribute to the discussion and sometimes share a link your website:


2. Network and help others. Expecting people to link to you is unthinkable. You have to reach out to others and show off your expertise. You should join various forums and online groups to meet new people and offer help when you can. Here are some examples:

Quora is an active community of people asking and answering questions. After you set up an account for your law firm, you can search for relevant questions related to your legal services. Here’s an example using our California Divorce Lawyer:

If you had an article titled “Low-Cost Divorce Lawyer in California | YourLawFirm.com” you could insert a link into your answer. Quora is an authority website and not only can you use it to send new visitors to your website but it’s also effective for your backlinking efforts.

Reddit is a community of news enthusiast sharing and reading the top stories in America. Before you start sharing your content here, you should know that direct marketing is often frowned upon by its community members. There are various discussion boards where people are seeking answers to their problems, however, the website uses a rating system to rate anything posted and commented. So, be careful.

In this example, you can see that people are sharing their experiences getting or considering divorce in California. Here’s your chance to make direct connections with a potential client by offering content related to their situation and sharing your insights in a response.

When selecting which posts to comment, choose the ones with more points as these are receiving active engagement and interest.

LinkedIn Pulse is one of many social channels you can use to publish your content related to law firm’s blog. Here’s an example of a law firm using LinkedIn to share direct links to their blog:

LinkedIn may not be best place to find new clients but it’s a great way to build links and increase your website’s authority.

Want more ideas for marketing your content? Read 30 Law Firm Content Marketing Ideas

3. Become an online authority. If you’re publishing great content consistently, you can expect people to start writing and linking back to your website. You can’t expect your online authority to change overnight. By following the previous two steps and consistently engaging with people online, you can start to see more of your links getting shared online and you may even get featured on top news channels (links from these sources carry a significant authority that can boost your website’s search rankings).

Summary

Creating the perfect SEO strategy for your law firm starts with knowing which words prospective clients are searching online. Once you research these terms and create incredible content, you can start to share links to authority websites to grow your online presence and increase exposure to your legal services.

7 Simple Steps To Become A Freelance Lawyer

If you’re looking for a change in your law career that provides more freedom and flexibility, becoming a freelance lawyer could be it.

Life at a law firm isn’t for everyone. The working hours are long, the caseloads are stressful, and the working environments may not meet your ideals. Becoming a freelance lawyer allows you to choose which client projects to work on and who are your colleagues.

There’s no doubt that being a freelance lawyer has benefits. If this is the direction you want your legal career to take, keep reading to learn a few simple steps to get started.

Step 01: Decide Your Legal Services

The first thing freelance lawyers should do is decide what legal services they are going to provide their clients. At a law firm, associates and fellow lawyers must choose a single area to focus their practice. For a freelance lawyer, there’s a bit more flexibility.

When shifting your legal career toward freelance, it’s best to do some research before taking the plunge. If you decide to provide legal services in an area that is uncommon in your region, you can expect to go out of business pretty quickly.

Choosing the right area that has a steady demand will keep you in business longer as well as provide you with stimulating cases on the job.

Step 02: Register Your Services

Depending on your personal goals, you have complete control over the destiny of your legal profession. Once you have an idea of what you want to practice, the next step is to begin the legal steps to register your service.

Will you be a sole proprietorship? A limited liability company? Or, a corporation?

Understanding the differences between the three can help determine how you wish to operate your freelance legal services.

Step 03: Administrative Tasks

With your legal services registered, you’ll need other important elements to organize and maintain your administrative responsibilities. You may need a separate bank account for billing and tax-related purposes.

If you plan on working completely on your own and without the support of any legal assistants, consider using lawyer accounting software. Not only do these program help automate repetitive administrative tasks, they can also be used for the following:

  • Calendaring
  • Document management
  • Invoicing
  • Billing
  • Payroll
  • Time tracking

See a complete review of the best accounting software for lawyers.

Step 04: Network

Once you have laid the foundation for your freelance legal services, you can share your new service with your network.

Traditional lawyers working at a law firm tend to target individuals and other businesses for work. The clients you’ll often find as a freelance lawyer will typically come from other lawyers and law firms.

If you have a large list of contacts, this is the best place to start searching for business.

Alternatively, you can set up accounts on social networking websites to begin expanding your personal network. If you don’t have one already, LinkedIn is one of the leading social networking websites for all professionals. Other sites to network with lawyers and in-house job opportunities can be found here:

If you want to join a social networking website rising in popularity check out Foxwordy. At Foxwordy, you can reach out and connect with other lawyers and contribute toward various projects in the legal industry.

Finally, if you haven’t done so already, you should join your local bar association and participate in as many local events as possible.

Step 05: Get a Website

Freelance lawyers with a website can offer a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Lawyer websites are a great way to showcase your services and allow for prospective clients to discover what you do.

Your website can feature some of your past legal projects and highlight your area of expertise.

If you decide to get a website, it is also important to understand how to use it in a way to benefit your business. If you’re on a tight budget, performing these local SEO methods can help more people find your services.

Or, if you some money to spend, you can try advertising your services using Google PPC or Facebook Ads. Both advertising choices have their own set of benefits and features.

Step 06: Start a Blog

Are you an expert in a particular area of law and want to share your knowledge with others? Starting a blog is a great way for freelance lawyers to make more connections with prospective clients.

If you’re unsure about the benefits of blogging about law, here are a few:

  • Free service promotion
  • Improves your website’s SEO
  • Make connections with prospective clients
  • Build a credible reputation online

It will take a bit of time and commitment for a blog to become a successful marketing tool. However, with these tips for lawyers who blog, you can get ahead of your competition.

Step 07: Be Patient

Becoming a successful freelance lawyer is not going to occur overnight If you decide to take this path in your legal career remember that it is going to require strategic planning, time, dedication, and most importantly patience.

Keep in mind that your legal services are much like a business and like all business, there is a chance of failing. The beginning will be some of the toughest moments until the momentum builds and your reputation spreads amongst your community.

Thinking about starting your own law firm instead of being a freelancer? Give this a read.

Top 7 Benefits of Being A Solo Practitioner

Whether practice big law and you’re looking for a break or you’re junior associate searching for your career path, becoming a solo practitioner comes with some unique perks.

Solo practitioners are considered to be private lawyers who work for them self at their own office or remotely. Typically, these lawyers handle almost all of the responsibilities required for their legal services and may occasionally hire legal assistance (i.e. clerks) for support.

If you’re considering your career path in law, here are 7 benefits of being a solo practitioner.

1. Complete Control

Since solo practitioners work for themselves, they’ll have more control over the direction of their service as a business. Not only should a solo practitioner be a great lawyer, but they should also have a strong sense of business as well.

Having control over the destiny of your legal services allows you to decide which client cases you take on and which ones you don’t. There will no longer be a need to seek approval before making a decision that affects a law firm. Instead, every decision you make will have a direct impact on your legal services as a business.

2. Diverse Clients

Working as a solo practitioner can allow for a greater diversity of client experiences. For example, lawyers who work at a firm and have been told to focus on criminal cases associated with violent crimes may not be able to specialize also in property crimes. In some cases, violent crimes and property crimes can overlap. Solo practitioners can have a greater flexibility in the areas which they practice.

If you’re the kind of person that enjoys new challenges in their work, being a solo practitioner offers just that. You can gain experience discovering which cases and legal situations you are more interested in and can later tailor your legal services to areas you are more interested and dedicated.

3. Cost Effective

There is a significant difference in cost of operations between big law firms and solo practitioners. Big law firms tend to have higher bills which cover rental expenses, staff, benefits, and more. Solo practitioners on the other hand usually operate out of a small office and may have few to no staff at all.

In regards to staffing, if you’re a solo practitioner that really wants to save, there are various lawyer software which makes operating your legal business more efficient and cost-effective. If you want to improve your intaking, you can hire a virtual receptionist or place some live chat on your website. Or, if you need something to manage your taxes and ensure invoices are sent out there are accounting software programs specifically for lawyers.

4. Benefits for Clients

Not only are there great benefits for being a solo practitioner but also for their clients. By reducing the overhead costs, solo practitioners can cut the total costs of their legal fees. In situations where a client may have to hire their lawyer for a longer amount of time can allow for more time and resources to be dedicated to a case.

One of the biggest influencing factors which affect someone’s decision to hire a lawyer is a price. If you’re able to cut your operating cost while providing legal services at a competitive price, you may be able to take on more clients. This can be very strategic for new lawyers searching for their first clients to get their name out there.

5. Work Environment

When you have the ability to design your work environment it can lead to a happier and more productive work environment. Solo practitioners have complete control over their working conditions. From the office space to the office supplies, everything is decided and designed by the lawyer in charge.

Creating the perfect office environment may come out of your own budget, but this will be the foundation of your legal services. Working from a place that suits your style and quality of service can set a strong first impression with your clients.

6. Custom Work Hours

Custom hours if often one of the most rewarding benefits for solo practitioners. Working at a firm, big or small, can create a high demand for a lawyer’s time both after hours and in the off-season.

By gaining more flexibility over your legal services, you can choose just how much, or how little, you want to work. If you want to take time off for vacationing or to attend a conference to further your professional development, you can. For those who have a family, being a solo practitioner allows for more time at home.

Having more time to focus on your legal services can also lead to better quality work. You can create strong marketing campaigns to find prospective clients that need your service. Or, if you have a website you can dedicate any extra time toward developing a blog and sharing your legal expertise to more people (see lawyer’s with a blog).

7. Higher ROI

 

The choice of becoming a solo practitioner may have a greater risk but it also involves greater reward. To emphasize the importance of having strong business skills, solo practitioners can work harder and see a high net gain.

If you’re working at a law firm, you may take on more client cases yet your salary stays the same. As a solo practitioner, the profitability of your legal practice will be based on your ability to find clients and handle their legal needs successfully.