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Many law firms pride themselves on helping others such as car accident victims or those injured by a recalled product. However, doing something good is not just about clients, it should also be about the community. Volunteering is a great way to demonstrate a commitment to the community as well as increase the connection you have to your neighbors.

Community involvement is about more than getting business, although that is an advantage. Furthermore, law firm community involvement goes beyond working with your local Bar Association. Find something you and your team members are passionate about, it does not necessarily have to be something that has impacted you or your family. Enjoy golfing? Find an event going on for charity; participate in local toy drives and give back just for the sake of giving back.

The Lanier Law Firm proudly displays their community involvement work online by detailing their work with each organization. The law firm gives a brief explanation of the organization they are working with and how they helped them whether it is donating to local food banks or sponsoring a debate program. The pictures they post are also a great way to showcase that everyone from the firm is involved.

Luvera Law Firm also lists the groups and organizations they are involved with on their website. The firm gives a brief description of their work with each organization and provides a link so that readers may learn more about what the organization does. Focusing on the organization the firm is involved with promotes not only the firm’s community involvement but also the organization they are working with.

Gordon & Doner promotes their community involvement front and center with a link directly on their home page. The webpage lists a slew of community involvement events including recent happenings and others dating back to 2008. By providing up-to-date community involvement activities on their website they are showing a continued commitment to serving the community.

Getting involved in your community provides the opportunity for photo and video coverage which, in turn, can be promoted on your blog and social media pages. Photos and videos can help your community see you and your team as real people and members of the same community working toward the same goals.

Most importantly, law firm community involvement allows you to provide help to those in your community who truly need it.

Legal writing is an enormously valuable tool for the law firm looking to enhance their web presence. By publishing relevant and informative content, a firm can increase visibility while solidifying itself as a credible source of information for potential leads. It requires a unique set of skills, but if the proper tools are utilized and intelligent copy is created the benefits of legal writing can be tremendous.

Publishing written materials provides an opportunity to establish a firm’s reputation with potential clients and peers. Traditional outlets like press releases convey the firm’s ability to remain current on topics that are important to their audience—consumer alerts; product or drug recalls; changes in local laws.

Maintaining a law blog, or blog, provides a way to publish less formal but highly-relevant content to increase traffic on a site. Equally important to increasing traffic is a blog’s ability to establish the firm as a credible and forward-thinking resource on a variety of law-related topics. We’ve all visited websites that aren’t up-to-date and what is the result? You don’t want to stay and search a site that isn’t offering the latest information, so you leave within in a few seconds. Keeping a current blog with interesting discussion topics is a great way to engage your audience organically, and entice them to come back at a later time.

If producing legal content is in an effort to increase site traffic and gain clients, then it is valuable to consider where the future of search engine optimization (SEO) is headed. To maximize the impact of your firm’s digital writing it should be highly optimized for SEO. Google Authorship is quite literally changing the game for law bloggers and content writers, as it allows firms to claim the content they have produced, which drives up the article’s ranking thus increasing traffic to the site.

Surprisingly, many bloggers have yet to embrace Google Authorship, but there is no doubt it is making a huge impact in the digital writing world. By allowing an author markup to appear next to posts, readers will identify a name and image with great content and begin to recognize the firm as an authority in the legal industry. Statistically, search results that contain an authorship markup have a click-through rate 15% higher than results that do not.

Other tools necessary for a successful digital writing strategy include familiarity with HTML, keyword research, knowledge of legal terms and definitions, and impeccably produced content. It also requires the ability to offer a fresh perspective on topics that can be repetitive, like practice area information. Finding a new angle on a story gives readers something newsworthy to sink their teeth into. What’s crucial to remember is, regardless of the outlet, content is always king.

Google is a highly-evolved creature, and search rankings are becoming increasingly influenced by how well written an article is. The key is producing blogs, press releases and informational onsite pages that are on-topic, grammatically flawless and interesting. Remember to keep it quality and use the tools available to you—higher rankings should follow.

Whether you’re new to web generated leads or have been using the practice for years, a question that often comes up is “how quickly should I call a lead?” The answers often vary and the rationalizations for these answers are mixed.

Generally, the rule of thumb is that you should call a lead back as soon as possible in order to catch them while they are available and because they will still be in the moment of recalling their situation. Calling them right away can increase your chances of setting up an appointment.

A study by Lead Response Management (LRM), a provider of lead response management tools and services, had some interesting findings.

The chances of connecting with a lead increases by 100 times if the attempt to contact the lead was initiated within five minutes. The odds of converting the lead within those five minutes is 21 times higher than if you tried to reach them within 30 minutes.

On the other hand the odds of contacting a lead decrease by over 10 times in the first hour and the odds of qualifying them decreases by 6 times in the first hour. After 20 hours, every time you attempt to reach the lead you’re actually hurting your ability to contact and qualify them.

The survey also found that Wednesdays and Thursdays were the best day to call and qualify leads and the best hours were between 4 and 6pm. Does this mean you should wait until then to contact your lead? No.

Another study by Harvard Business Review notes that companies who try to contact leads within an hour of receiving queries are 6 times more likely to have a meaningful conversation with decision makers than those who try to contact them later.

Unfortunately the study also notes that only 37 percent of companies respond to inquiries within one hour.

If your firm is not part of the small percentage that is returning a lead’s inquiry within an hour, it is time to create a system or plan. By creating a proper course-of-action you will know that your firm is working to maximize your online lead opportunities.

Medico-legal assessments have long been used to inform cases for both plaintiffs and defendants. In personal injury claims, psychological assessments are used to determine the mental state of the patient as it relates to the accident—how much mental pain and suffering did the experience cause them? Rather than use psychological assessments as purely a litigation tool, a lawyer can utilize the information an assessment reveals to delve into the mindset of other potential clients and gain a deeper understanding of their target demographic.

In an assessment, a psychiatrist will identify the psychological suffering that arises from an accident and the consequences that result from it, such as physical injury, loss of employment, or strained finances. What effect does this suffering have on the plaintiff’s life and work? Are they likely to make a full recovery from their psychological suffering?

A study conducted by Brian F. Hoffman, Head of Inpatient and Day Hospital Units in the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Toronto, examined the psychological and demographic commonalities of 110 personal injury plaintiffs. The results came from individual assessments of the plaintiff’s perceived suffering, the effect of the accident on the plaintiff’s emotions, and a complete psychiatric history.

The data was organized by demographics (age, gender, marital status, employment, education, etc.) as well as by accident type and outcome. The average litigant was 40 years old and sought representation approximately 25 months after their accident. One hundred-one plaintiffs were involved in auto accidents while the remaining nine experienced another type of injury, such as a slip-and-fall. The group was comprised of 47 men and 63 women. Sixty-two percent of patients had not completed high school, while 19% attended a community college or university.

The psychiatric conditions of the plaintiffs were measured according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders III (DSM III) and included major depression, somatoform disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and grief. They found that depression correlated most often with being the driver in the accident while symptoms of anxiety were related to accident severity.

Most of the plaintiffs were married with children and previously worked in the school or the home. Interviews revealed that the majority of litigants felt strong obligations toward their employment and were hard working but unimaginative individuals.

When the assessments were conducted, 70% of plaintiffs had some identifiable physical injury from the accident that could, in fact, cause depression, frustration, and anger. The interview further revealed that most plaintiffs were motivated to bring their case more by guilt of temporary disability than by greed, though the lure of possible compensation was a factor for some.

In general, the study group exhibited personality traits that prolonged the negative effects of their injuries or prohibited their recovery. According to Hoffman, the group suffered from psychological and physical injuries that would last far beyond settlement of their case. 

What we can gather from this study is that the mental anguish an accident victim suffers can lead to physical illness and other life losses. Injury victims need to feel a personal connection with a lawyer they trust; taking the time to understand a client’s motivations and background might make the biggest difference of all.

Digital marketing offers an opportunity to add an exceptional service to your law firm, while allowing you to tap into a thriving resource including millions of people. However, if your firm is new to digital marketing it is imperative not to throw all your eggs into one basket attempting to keep up with the largest law firms in town.

In order for your digital marketing efforts to be effective, it is important to first understand your market and how to attract potential clients to your firm. In any case, you will essentially be paying for leads with your online marketing efforts, whether you buy them directly from a vendor, or pay for traffic to your website through Pay Per Click, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Mobile Apps, Radio or Television Advertising.

No matter how we look at it, your firm must have a plan of action once your new leads begin arriving in order to turn them into appointments and optimally new cases.

Time is of the Essence

One of the largest mistakes that law firms often commit is not immediately following up with a new lead. Not only has research proven that when there is a delayed response to a lead the probability of closing that case reduces dramatically, it may also develop a poor name for your firm with negative reviews, or worse, your lead goes to your competition where they respond immediately.

So, you may be wondering how soon to follow up with a lead? The answer, immediately. Often times we get the notion in our heads that contacting a lead immediately gives the idea that we are too eager, rather it demonstrates how much your firm truly wants to help a person in need of your legal support. Therefore, the likelihood of gaining a new client is high.

Even if you don’t See Immediate Success, Keep Trying

Following up with a new lead is without a doubt the number one most important technique for online lead conversions, but it doesn’t stop here. Law firms must be prepared to attempt contacting new leads multiple times during the first couple of days. If you cannot seem to get ahold of that individual immediately, make sure to leave a genuine voicemail, and also sending a follow up email.

Remember; when leaving voicemails, do not seem desperate saying “Hello, this is Jack Smith from The ABC Law Firm. We are the greatest law firm in town and are sure we can help you with our many resources and experience.” This sounds too much like a sales pitch and the desperation is pouring out, while this technique will not typically result in your lead responding. More so, create a well-crafted voicemail without attempting to force anyone into using your law firm. “Hello, this is Jack Smith from The ABC Law Firm. We just received a request asking you to be contacted. We have a very interesting question for you which could affect your case. Please give us a call when you get a chance.” This voicemail provokes a level of curiosity, leaving them thinking what the interesting question may be.

Add Them to your Contact Database

While you may not make initial contact with this individual, or they may not be the best fit, there is no reason to throw this valuable lead away. It is important to add the name, phone number, and email address into a spreadsheet. It would also be beneficial to add the contact to your subscriber list if you are running an email marketing campaign. If your firm makes an impact on this individual, they are more likely to refer you to family and friends in need of legal counsel, or may come back to you for legal advice in the future.

Converting a new lead is not a difficult process, while it does take time and discipline.  By following these guidelines, establishing a system, and remaining consistent; your law firm too can land a career changing case and be on your way to becoming one of the “largest law firms” in town.

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