December 2021

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DEC 2021 (800) 406-7229 SpotlightBranding.com

THE SHORTCUT TO BOOSTING YOUR TEAM’S COMMUNICATION Hint: It All Starts With a Quiz Have you ever found yourself explaining something to a friend for the third time, then stopping in your tracks and thinking, “How the heck can I get through to him?!” We’ve all been there. And it doesn’t just happen outside the office. People have different ways of thinking and processing, so communication hurdles between bosses and employees — or between two team members — are par for the course. But that doesn’t mean you should accept ineffective communication at work. There are shortcuts you can take to ensure everyone on your team can speak each other’s language. Here at Spotlight Branding, personality assessments are some of our favorites. Personality tests get a bad rap, but they’re not all created equal. The ones we use for our team go way beyond the standard “Which Harry Potter house are you in?” quiz on BuzzFeed. They’re detailed, comprehensive, and designed to really drill down into a person’s traits, strengths, and tendencies. We’ve found that these quizzes have three big perks: 1. They help our employees understand themselves better. This benefits the company because they can gauge their own abilities and capacities more accurately.

–John Hinson

2. When we share the results, they help the whole team understand and communicate with each other better. This makes collaboration faster and easier. Continued on Page 2 ...

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It’s Our 10th Birthday! WE’RE GIVING AWAY A $30,000 MARKETING MAKEOVER

Spotlight Branding was founded 10 years ago in Miami, Florida, and boy, how things have changed. We’ve come from a one-stop shop for any industry that wanted to work with us to one of the most respected legal marketing companies in the country. (Talk about the power of niching down!) We’ve gone from two founders to a team of more than a dozen employees. We moved our headquarters to Charlotte, North Carolina, and became a million-dollar company. Now, we can’t wait to see what the next 10 years will bring. But first — it’s time to party! We’ll be doing a lot of cool things to celebrate over the next few months, all surrounded by the biggest giveaway we’ve ever made: a $30,000 marketing makeover! Here’s what the lucky winner will get: • •

First-class airfare and transportation to our Charlotte-area office One-on-one consulting with our CEO, Marc Cerniglia

• • • •

A strategy session with our copywriting team, who will create a year’s worth of blog content for you A full video shoot A free email newsletter template Social media strategy review and account setup Podcast strategy session and show build

Basically, you’re getting a full year’s worth of content and more in just a couple days. All for free. Entering the contest is easy, and there are multiple ways to do it! • • • •

Having a free strategy call with us gets you one entry. If you decide to become a client, you get five more! Send us a referral, and you get one entry. If your referral becomes a client, you get five more!

The drawing will happen at the start of 2022. What better way to start the new year than to get a full marketing makeover for your firm?! Visit SpotlightBranding.com/ makeover to enter.

... continued from Cover 3. They help our managers figure out the ideal traits for each position on the team. If someone is struggling in their role, we know their strengths aren’t a good fit for it, and if they’re excelling, we know the opposite. With that information in hand, we can test prospects in the hiring process and pick people who have the right strengths for each position.

What you can glean from those results tells you a lot about how you approach your work, how you work with others, how you work alone, and how you communicate. For example, someone who ranks high in terms of achievement will be more apt to take on projects and see them through, while someone who ranks high for inclusion might work better in groups and excel at motivating others.

There are two tests we swear by: CliftonStrengths and Enneagram.

The Enneagram test (EnneagramInstitute.com) is even more comprehensive. It’s a true personality test (not just a strengths test) that uses Likert response scale questions to reveal how people function, respond, and see the world. There are nine “basic personality types’’ in the test that fall into three “centers” (Instinctive, Thinking, and Feeling), each with a dominant emotion and adjacent types called “wings.” It’s a really deep dive but incredibly helpful in the workplace.

CliftonStrengths (Gallup.com/CliftonStrengths/) is a 177-question paired statement test. This means you’ll repeatedly choose from two sentences that could best describe you. At the end of the assessment, you’re given your personalized ranking based on CliftonStrengths’ 34 strengths that you embody, ranked from most to least. It also puts you in a “domain” — Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building, or Strategic.

To truly leverage these tests, we compiled our team’s results into personality indexes that are displayed on their desks. The indexes show off their top 10 strengths and their Enneagram number. If you’re in the know, this transparency makes it easy to figure out their communication style so team members can collaborate effectively. If you’re having workflow hang ups at your firm, we’d definitely recommend giving CliftonStrengths and/or Enneagram a try. They just might turn you from a personality assessment skeptic into a superfan.

–John Hinson 2

More Referrals. Better Clients. Higher ROI.


7 Foolproof Ways to Create Engaging Content PART 1: THE ‘TOP 3’ METHOD In our employee lounge at Spotlight Branding, we have several posters hanging on the wall. They’re not memes or our core values (those are elsewhere). They’re a series of seven prompts we use as jumping-off points to generate engaging, informative content for our clients. These prompts are some of our team’s success secrets. We’ve kept it under wraps for years, but now we’ve decided it’s just too good not to share. So, for the next seven newsletters, we’ll give you a rundown of one prompt from the list and explain how you can use it to create valuable marketing content. This month, we’re covering what we call “The Top 3 Method.” The Top 3 Method is pretty simple. To create an article based on it, all you need to do is choose a category in your legal niche (e.g., special needs trusts if you’re an estate planner, things to financially prepare for if

you’re a divorce lawyer) and come up with three things in that category. Here are a few titles you might find on a “Top 3” article: • • • •

The Top 3 Provisions You Must Include in Your Estate Plan 3 Things to Financially Prepare for in a Divorce 3 Steps to Take After a Car Crash Use These 3 Methods to Avoid an IRS Audit

Once you have your three things, you just need to throw together an introductory paragraph, a paragraph about each thing, and a short conclusion to create a blog post or podcast script. Just make sure the things you’re ranking are relevant to your industry, your firm, or you personally (e.g., My Top 3 Restaurants in Houston) to build your expertise.

RESOURCE OF THE MONTH

PERSONALIZE YOUR DIRECT MAIL REFERRALS WITH TOUCHNOTE Every year, many law firm owners send out birthday and holiday cards to their current and past clients. And while these cards are a nice gesture, most firms usually just grab the same card from a stack in their closet and sign their name. TouchNote gives you the opportunity to go above and beyond. How much more likely is it that a personalized, unique card will be read by the person who received it? How much more of an impact would it make in helping them remember who you are and how you help others? TouchNote allows you to send personalized cards without all the hassle of mailing everything out. Plus, TouchNote has thousands of unique card designs and personalization options to make your cards truly unique. Head over to TouchNote.com to check it out! Want more tools for your law firm? Visit SpotlightBranding.com/rotm.

This prompt works well because you only have to think of one category, and the three things fall easily in place. It also gives you a built-in article structure of headings and subheadings that’s easy to read! To see “The Top 3 Method” in action, turn to Page 4. Stay tuned next month for Part 2!

FEATURED EPISODE From Our Newest Podcast, Center Stage If you’re looking for more great resources to drive your business forward, take a look at this episode from our newest podcast, Center Stage. 040 – “Perfecting the Hiring Process With Attorney Allison Williams” When it comes to hiring, many business owners waste hours sifting through hundreds of resumes hoping to find the best fit. In this episode, Attorney Allison Williams from Law Firm Mentor joins us to discuss how you can improve your hiring process so you can find the right fit for your business. If you want more referrals, better clients, and higher return on investment (ROI) on all your marketing, call us today at 800-406-7229 to schedule a consultation! Listen to this episode and find even more at SpotlightBranding.com/centerstage and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Pandora, Spotify, or over a dozen other platforms!

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9624 Bailey Rd., Suite 270 Cornelius, NC 28031 (800) 406-7229 SpotlightBranding.com

INSIDE

THIS ISSUE

PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411

Take a Quiz!

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Improve Your Team’s Communication Today

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Special Announcement: It’s Our 10th Birthday!

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Foolproof Strategies for Creating Content: Part 1 TouchNote Makes Cards Extra Special! The Latest From Center Stage

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3 Ways to Improve Your Firm Before Jan. 1

3 STEPS TO BUSINESS SUCCESS IN 2022 Check These Boxes Before the New Year! Ah, the holidays — the busiest and slowest time of year! Let us guess: Right now, your home life is a chaotic mess of gift buying and party planning, but your office is an oasis of calm before the Jan. 1 storm. If that sounds about right, you’re in luck! You finally have time to step back from the daily grind and look at your firm on a macro level. To succeed in 2022, take these three steps before New Year’s Day.

We’re not saying fire your employees on Christmas — we’re not Grinches! But this is a good opportunity to assess where each team member is doing well, identify areas they can improve, and chart a course of action. Maybe your intake specialist would be a great paralegal. You’ll never know unless you ask, “Do I have the right people in the right seats?”

STEP 1: AUDIT YOUR SYSTEMS AND PROCESSES. Do you have SOPs for all of your core systems and processes? Are they documented? If not, now is a great time to build out and revise your in-house policies, procedures, and manuals. Writing down the steps your team needs to take to onboard a new client or wrap up a case will make training new hires easier and your whole team more efficient.

STEP 3: REEVALUATE YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY. The new year is an ideal time to launch a new marketing campaign. To figure out if you need to do that, try working backward. First, identify your ultimate marketing goal for 2022. Do you want to generate more leads? Double your referrals? Then, sit down with your marketing vendor or your in-house marketing team to create a plan to achieve that aim. You might be able to do it with your existing marketing, or you might need to launch a new campaign. To get expert advice on reaching your goals from our team, visit SpotlightBranding.com/NL.

STEP 2: EXAMINE YOUR TEAM. Does everyone on staff understand their job, want their job, and have the capacity to do their job? If not, consider making changes.

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More Referrals. Better Clients. Higher ROI.