Marketing

Time Matters for Law Office Practice Management

A question posed on a lawyer listserv that I monitor asked what practice management software to you recommend?  The text below is my response to the questionner.

I’ve used TimeMatters since 1998 and love it.  I cannot imagine practicing without it.  I recently invested a lot of time inspecting and trying the latest online practice management systems and not one comes close to the power of TimeMatters.  I will continue to use TM indefinitely because I must have its power to help me make more money.

My small three lawyer firm has 21,000+ people and clients in TM plus 240,000 documents saved in the TM document management system.  We can find a person in TM and see their phone number or email address in a few seconds.  Everything relevant to that person is available in a few clicks.  I can search the 21,000+ contacts for Simpson and select Homer Simpson then click on the related tab and see the name of the three LLCs I created for him.  Next I can click on one of the LLCs and click related to find out who the CPA is for that particular LLC.  I then click on the CPA’s name and it opens the CPA’s TM record where I see the CPA’s phone number and email address.  I can call the CPA and make a record of that call in the LLC’s contact record.  I can also click on the CPA’s related tab and see that the CPA is the CPA for 15 other LLCs I created.  Based on that I will call the CPA for lunch and do some marketing to the CPA.

TM’s document management system(every law firm should use a document management system) is one reason we have been 100% paperless for nine years.  A person can call me and as I am answering the phone I see the person’s name showing on caller id so that when the person says I have a question about Section 9.2 of my trust I can have the document opened on my computer monitor and be looking at section 9.2 before the client finishes the question.  If a client calls and says I’m at the bank and need a copy of the Articles of Organization for my LLC I can email the pdf version of the document to the client within 15 seconds.  To learn how to be a paperless law office see my article on this topic here:

www.keytlaw.com/lawofficetech/paperless-law-office/

TM allows us to keep everything related to a client in the client’s contact area.  When I look up a client I can see what was discussed during every phone call in and out, every document in the client’s file including pdfs and Excel files, every email message in and out, calendar events, to dos & ticklers, websites relevant to the client, notes made by us concerning the client and other people and companies related to the client such as the CPA or opposing counsel.  If I click on the email tab I see and can access all client email messages.  If I click on the Documents tab I see all documents organized by tabs.  If I then click on the Operating Agreement tab I see all versions of the Operating Agreement for the client and can right click on a document to open it or check the box to the left of the document to email it.

TM has approximately 200 fields that can be customized to be any type of field you desire such as a text field, drop down list, date field, email field, etc.  I have customized TM fields to do many important tasks.  For example to help us track estate plan prospects I created the following custom TM fields: date of 1st contact, type of contact (drop down that includes office visit, phone call, website, referral and other choices), date the person was entered into our automatic follow up email marketing system called Infusionsoft, date we mailed the prospect my hard copy book called “Family Asset Protection,” dates of my 1st, 2nd and 3rd follow up calls and a note field I can insert any text.

TM is a fabulous marketing tool.  As estate planners, we must market if we want to increase our review.

I also created a custom tab for the Contact records called Estate Plan Prospect.  When I click this tab I get a list of all the people who are estate plan prospects starting with the person whose first EP prospect contact date is the oldest.  I configured TM to display in spreadsheet format all of the custom fields mentioned above.  The TM screen lists the name of every contact in the first column.  The next column is the date of first EP prospect contact.  The other columns displayed are all the custom EP data fields.  This fabulous screen  allows me to get an overview of all estate planning prospects and see where each prospect is in the pipeline.  If I see somebody that has not had a first, second or third call I will call that person and make my marketing pitch and mark the date of the call in TM.

When I click the tab called Estate Plan Prospect the display shows only people who have the code EPP entered in their code field.  The ability to create multiple codes for a person or company gives you a lot of power to track and display data.

We all know that people procrastinate doing an estate plan.  You will make more money if you have a system like TM coupled with Infusionsoft that allows you to track EP prospects and do follow up marketing.  Marketing people say that most of the time when somebody contacts you they are shopping or doing research and not ready to buy.  If you want them to purchase from you when they are ready to buy you must do follow up marketing, but you can’t do that unless you have a system to identify prospects coupled with a system that will market automatically (Infusionsoft) or that allows you to do it manually TM.  For more about Infusionsoft see my review of the software here:

www.keytlaw.com/lawofficetech/infusionsoft-review/

Very soon TM will add a new feature I’ve been waiting for: the ability to check a box next to documents saved in TM’s document management system and have the selected documents uploaded to the cloud to TM’s secure server so that we can send an email to selected people in the TM contact database to give them a link, user name and password to login and access the documents on TM’s server.

TM does much more than what I have described above.  For example, I can prepare a letter in Word that includes merge fields and save it in TM.  I can then do a look up in TM for every estate plan client who signed between (pick a date) and (pick another date) and TM will generate a custom letter to each client by doing a merge of the data fields into the Word document.  A great way to do mass, but customized mailings.

There’s two ways to buy TM, the right way and the wrong way.  The right way is to buy TM from the best TM consultant, a man named Tom Caffery.  You should also buy his TM in a box, which is TM installed on a shoe box size server with one terabyte data storage.  I bought TM in a box from Tom  Tom sent me a package that had the little server in it.  Our IT guy connected it to our system and Tom’s TM guru JP configured it remotely for us.

The wrong way to buy TM is any way that does not involve Tom Caffery.  For TM to work properly you must have it set up and configured by a true TM expert.  If you use anybody else you will become one of the TM haters who complains about things not working right.  Call Tom Caffery at 856-429-3010.

P.S.  Client data is a gold mine, but you can’t mine the gold unless you have a system to compile the data and that allows you to use the data for marketing.

By | 2018-01-14T08:40:28+00:00 September 3rd, 2013|Marketing, Time Matters|0 Comments

Author Rank

Blind Five Year Old:  “The idea behind AuthorRank is that your reputation as a content creator will influence the ranking of search results. Here’s the specific language from Google’s Agent Rank patent.

The identity of individual agents responsible for content can be used to influence search ratings. Assuming that a given agent has a high reputational score, representing an established reputation for authoring valuable content, then additional content authored and signed by that agent will be promoted relative to unsigned content or content from less reputable agents in search results.

Agent? Agent is Google-speak for an author. This excerpt states that verified content by an author will be graded and it is that grade that influences the rank of content in search results. . . . AuthorRank won’t replace PageRank it’ll just make it more accurate. This is one of the more powerful applications of AuthorRank. In essence, Google identifies authors who can help curate the link graph.”

See also “How to Prepare for Author Rank and Get the Jump on Google.”

By | 2018-01-14T08:40:28+00:00 February 28th, 2013|Google, Marketing|0 Comments

Your Law Firm Will Benefit From Google Authorship

LawWebMarketing.com:  “Google Authorship gives you the ability to identify yourself as the writer of Web content, as well as to boost your law firm’s marketing efforts and online presence. . . . One of the many benefits of a Google+ profile is the Google Authorship capability; with Google Authorship, you can claim all the content you create – no matter where it is published. Google Authorship markup works by connecting the pages where your content is published back to your Google+ profile.”

By | 2013-02-28T07:20:27+00:00 February 28th, 2013|Google, Marketing|0 Comments

Blogging & Content Marketing Replacing Traditional Marketing

Real Lawyers Have Blogs:  “Traditional advertising is rapidly losing out as marketing professionals begin to realize the effectiveness and advantages of content marketing. . . . The number of businesses blogging jumped 29% in the last year, going from 51% of businesses to 65% of businesses blogging. Blogging not only helped businesses gain trust, credibility, and authority, but companies that blog receive 55% more web traffic.  Blogs are also increasingly being viewed as effective in marketing with 58% of businesses believing blogs are an effctive marketing vehicle. Belief in Social media effectiveness jumped 61% from 31% in 2011 to 50% in 2012.

By | 2018-01-14T08:40:42+00:00 October 29th, 2012|Blogs, Marketing, Websites|0 Comments

Google+ Pages for Law Firms

Google+ is an important marketing tool for lawyers and law firms.  We are just at the beginning of this relatively new Google feature.  Google+ has the potential to pay off big time, but there is a steep learning curve. To learn more about it I recommend an excellent article by Gyi Tsakalakis called “Google+ Pages for Law Firms.”  There are a lot of good links in the article to other important sources of information about Google+.

By | 2012-08-28T08:07:47+00:00 August 28th, 2012|Google, Marketing|0 Comments

How to Promote Your Blog With Social Media

Marc Pittman on Social  Media Examiner:  “Are you looking to use social media to promote your blog?  Sharing your blog posts on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and even Tumblr can help your content gain significant exposure.  But each social media platform is distinct with different benefits and abilities. You need a simple process to tailor your social sharing to generate as much engagement as you can on each of these platforms.  Here’s a process you can use to ensure your posts get maximum mileage. Consider these steps and adapt them to the social platforms where you find your customers.”

Marc’s article explains how to take advantage of:

  1. Tumblr
  2. Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn
  3. Google +
By | 2018-01-14T08:40:44+00:00 June 19th, 2012|Facebook, Google, Marketing, Social Media, Twitter|0 Comments

Are You Struggling To Get More Business From Your Website?

Legal Marketing Mavens:  “Are you driving regular traffic but it feels like no one is taking the next step to pick up the phone and call? . . . A great way to neutralize the overwhelm and capture a prospect’s information anyway–even if they aren’t quite ready to call–is to implement a strategy of lead generation.  Effective lead generation is the process of offering something of value to the prospect in exchange for their contact information.”

By | 2012-07-16T19:08:11+00:00 June 11th, 2012|Blogs, Marketing|2 Comments

25 Awesome Free Google Tools for Marketers

Kissmetrics:  “Whether you love Google or love to hate Google, you have to admit one thing. Google offers a lot of free tools to use with the convenience of being able to access them with one login.  Marketers in particular should take advantage of these tools to get more out of their search engine and social media marketing experience. The following are some of the top Google tools marketers should embrace from A to (almost) Z!”

By | 2018-01-14T08:40:45+00:00 June 6th, 2012|Google, Marketing|0 Comments

Top 6 Marketing Mistakes Lawyers Make On Their Websites

Stephen Fairley of the Rainmaker Institute:  “Websites are an essential part of a law firm’s success when it comes to reaching and converting prospective clients.  If you don’t market your law firm, few will know you exist. Your law firm relies on quality prospects and returning clients.  Let’s get clear about the challenges we all face.  As you know, the legal industry is evolving more rapidly than ever before. Competition, technology and consumerism seem to be taking huge bites out of our business possibilities.   Not to mention the challenges of not being able to reach our desired prospects. We’re working harder, feeling more stressed, and not yet seeing the results we want. We are afraid the old answers to building and sustaining our law firms just don’t seem to be working any more.   Whether we like it or not, it’s time to take action and re-engineer our marketing efforts and our law practice  – or risk our futures.   With this in mind, let’s talk about the most common law firm marketing mistakes many lawyers make on their websites and how to correct them.”

By | 2018-01-14T08:51:54+00:00 June 6th, 2012|Marketing, Websites|0 Comments

Copywriting Tutorials for Crafting Effective Copy

Copyblogger:  “Copywriting is one of the most essential elements of effective online marketing. The art and science of direct-response copywriting involves strategically delivering words (whether written or spoken) that get people to take some form of action. . . . This tutorial is designed to get you up and running with the basics of writing great copy in ten easy lessons. Afterward, you’ll get recommendations for professional training, plus links to tutorials on SEO copywriting and writing killer headlines.

  1. Don’t Read This or the Kitty Gets It!
  2. To Be or Not To Be?
  3. How to Write Headlines That Work
  4. Why Writing Headlines Deserves a Second Installment
  5. The Structure of Persuasive Copy
  6. Now Featuring Benefits!
  7. “Kids Eat Free” and Other Irresistible Offers
  8. This Article Rocks. . . I Guarantee It!
  9. The Long and Short of Copywriting
  10. The #1 Secret to Great Copy Is. . .
By | 2018-01-14T08:51:54+00:00 June 6th, 2012|Marketing|0 Comments

The Beginners Guide to Twitter

Kissmetrics:  “For a company diving into Twitter for the first time, it can be a little intimidating. Where do you start? How do you get followers? How are you supposed to get customers? These are just a few of the questions that arise for businesses that are beginning their Twitter efforts.  In this post I’ll address some of these questions and give some advice for making sure you have an effective Twitter account. But before we begin, and just in case you don’t read anything beyond this point, please always remember this:

The key to remember with social media is that it’s about engagement.

It should not be looked at as a place to advertise your products. It should be looked at as a place to have meaningful conversations with people important to your business.”

By | 2018-01-14T08:40:45+00:00 June 2nd, 2012|Marketing, Social Media, Twitter|0 Comments

Why Facebook Is Letting You Promote to Your Fans and Why You Should

Duct Tape Marketing:  “Facebook recently added a new ‘promoted post’ feature that makes it dead simple to promote individual status updates to you existing fans for a fee. This will be one of the more lucrative features that Facebook has created and comes as a sign that Wall Street needs them to ‘show me the money.’  First off, this move clearly highlights what many have been saying, but until now few could quantify. Facebook uses various signals to determine which of your fans gets to see your status updates in their timeline. If you have lots of fans, but little interaction with those fans, you can bet only about 10% of your fans actually ever see your updates. . . . With the new ‘promoted’ updates feature Facebook spells out to page admins exactly how many fans are seeing each post. Admins are then offered the ability to buy more impressions for $10, $20 or more.

By | 2018-01-14T08:40:45+00:00 June 2nd, 2012|Facebook, Marketing|0 Comments

Facebook to Marketers, It’s Time for a Click to Action

Brian Solis:  “Marketers must now rethink their Facebook strategy to define click paths and results. As Josh Constine recently reported, Facebook is now giving advertisers access to its API to improve post-click actions. In his post, Constine walks through a series of various scenarios for brands, developers and also local businesses to take advantage of the new Ads API. Here, we’ll talk more about how to start with strategy.  With the updated Ads API, advertisers must now think beyond the ‘Like.’ Facebook’s Ads API will allow advertisers to present ads most likely to take specific post-click action such as content sharing, in-app purchases, Facebook Offers, among a list of other actions (see below). In the great pursuit of ROI, Facebook is also taking a lot of the guesswork out of ad campaign development and deployment to enhance desired performance. The new improvements give Facebook advertisers an unprecedented opportunity to connect with specific market segments based on intelligence to introduce more informed campaigns that trigger relevant clicks, conversions, and return.”

By | 2018-01-14T08:40:45+00:00 June 2nd, 2012|Facebook, Marketing|0 Comments

Lawyers Will & Should Use Facebook

Real Lawyers Have Blogs:  “With Facebook’s IPO coming this week you can’t get away from all the news and talk about Facebook.  Is all the hullabaloo warranted? Should you care as a lawyer or law firm?  Yes. . . . You as a lawyer are going to use Facebook to . . . grow your business so you can do the work you love doing.”

I agree.  I see Facebook as a vast potential goldmine for lawyers who want more clients.  The reasons lawyers should learn and use Facebook for marketing are:

  • Facebook has over 900 million users.
  • Facebook is a one to many marketing tool.

This one to many relationship is what gives Facebook huge potential for law firm marketing.  When a visitor comes to your website you have a one to one relationship, i.e., the visitor and your firm.  Facebook has a one to many relationship because if one person creates a Facebook link to your website or blog that link is seen by all of that person’s friends.

Facebook is another marketing tool that has a steep learning curve.  It does require an investment in time.  I think this is wonderful because I know that very few of my competitors will learn how to use Facebook to maximize its marketing potential.

By | 2018-01-14T08:40:46+00:00 May 23rd, 2012|Facebook, Marketing|0 Comments

Google Guy’s Video Explains How to Get Your Picture Next to Google Search Results that Show Your Content

I figured out how to configure my website/blog content with Google so that when Google displays search results that show a link to any of my pages or posts my picture will appear to the left of the link.  People say that having your picture next to your Google search result will substantially increase the number of clicks the link will receive.  I’m ready to implement this new feature Google calls “rel=author,” but I am going to up date my bio picture first.  Some people also call this feature “rich snippets.”

The process is confusing, but not difficult.  This video is by Google employee and SEO expert Matt Cutts.  He and Othar Hansson discuss how to rel=author works.  I recommend watching this video first so you will have an understanding of the big picture.

For more about this topic read “Google Plus & Google’s Rich Snippet.”

By | 2018-01-14T08:40:46+00:00 May 23rd, 2012|Google, Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Video|0 Comments

75% of Consumers Seeking an Attorney in Last Year Used Online Resources

Larry Bodine of LexisNexis and the Editor in Chief of Lawyers.com wrote an article that should get the attention of attorneys who do not know that the internet is an untapped goldmine of potential new clients.  In his article called “Most Consumers Go Online to Look for an Attorney” he says:

“The way consumers look for a lawyer has changed in today’s digital age. The advent of social media, smart phones and search engines has dramatically affected the way consumers find lawyers. . . . For lawyers, it is essential to have a website and blog that discuss the legal problems of consumers. An attorney’s online presence should feature FAQs, white papers and checklists to be found by consumers conducing online research. . . .  For lawyers who want to get leads and find clients, it means having a robust directory profile, activity on social media and client-friendly websites. Lawyers can join the conversation – or miss many opportunities to find consumer clients.”

By | 2018-01-14T08:40:46+00:00 May 17th, 2012|Blogs, Marketing, Websites|0 Comments