JAN 2021 (800) 406-7229 SpotlightBranding.com
4 RESOLUTIONS FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS IN 2021 LET’S START THE NEW YEAR OFF RIGHT! It’s January, baby! We can finally wave the disaster of 2020 goodbye and start fresh. For me, that means making some businessfocused New Year’s resolutions to put my company on track for greater success. If you’re chomping at the bit to get started in 2021, I’d suggest doing the same for your firm. These would be my top four resolutions for you based on my experience as an entrepreneur and marketer.
1. DECREASE YOUR WORKLOAD. As
Spotlight Branding has gotten busier and busier, I’ve found myself with less and less to do. And I think that’s how it should be! No one becomes an entrepreneur because they want to work themselves to death and have a terrible work-life balance. To lighten my load, along the way I was constantly looking for opportunities to delegate and build trust in others. This year, I have a challenge for you: Grow your firm in a way that makes your personal workload go down. There are a few ways to do this. First, you can look around at your team and see who might be able to take on your least favorite tasks. Then, if there aren’t any good candidates, either create a new system or process to make the task easy enough to pass off or hire someone who would be able to take it on.
2. LOSE THE (DEAD) WEIGHT. Almost everyone resolves to lose a few pounds on Jan. 1, but while we’re focused on our waistlines, we often forget to lean out our businesses. Think about the people in your office. Is there anyone on staff who wasn’t a team player last year? Have you found yourself making excuses in your
head for why you shouldn’t fire Person A or Person B? Let’s get real. Very few business owners get an adrenaline rush out of firing someone. It’s almost always an awful experience. But as much as we hate to admit it, sometimes an employee becomes “dead weight” and needs to be let go for the good of the company. This year, resolve to lose that weight before it drags your business down.
“THIS YEAR, I HAVE A CHALLENGE FOR YOU: GROW YOUR FIRM IN A WAY THAT MAKES YOUR PERSONAL WORKLOAD GO DOWN.” 3. MAKE MORE (AND FASTER!) DECISIONS. One of the biggest lessons
I learned in 2020 was that while being diligent and thoughtful has its place, more often than not, the thing holding you back from progress is the speed at which you make decisions. The longer you take to consider a course of action, the longer it takes to actually accomplish something. Think about Thomas Edison. It famously took him more than 1,000
tries to make a working lightbulb, but he did it! To succeed, you need to be willing to take leaps and make mistakes. Start thinking of your decisions in terms of quantity rather than quality. If you try two solutions in a week and fail both times, but your third attempt in week two succeeds, you’ll still reach your goal faster than someone who thought for three weeks before choosing the successful path. Ultimately, when you stop talking about things and just try them, the results are net positive.
4. INCREASE YOUR MARKETING CONTENT. Three
things trended up last year: Zoom stock, mask sales, and the demand for content. Content continues to be king (read more about that on Pg. 3), and social media platforms are growing around the world. Last year, people trapped at home because of the pandemic consumed ads, blogs, videos, podcasts, and social media posts at a record pace. TikTok burst onto the scene, and thousands of large businesses added content and editorial teams to their marketing divisions. Content is still trending upward, and it’s not too late to get on the bandwagon! This year, resolve to crank up your content creation (with our help or on your own) to reach more people and generate more leads, referrals, and revenue. If you do all four of these things, 2021 will not only kick last year’s butt, but it just might be your business’s best year ever.
–Marc Cerniglia SpotlightBranding.com
CLIENT SUCCESS STORY
THE MATUS LAW GROUP: ESTATE PLANNING The Matus Law Group, led by attorney Christine Matus, is an estate planning law firm in Toms River, New Jersey. In addition to their estate planning work, the Matus Law Group has a unique focus on special needs children and helping families navigate the legal and educational challenges they face. Prior to coming to Spotlight Branding more than four years ago, the firm was handling all their marketing on their own and struggling to effectively get their name and message out there. After starting their blogging, e-newsletter, video, and social media service (and eventually having us redesign their
website!), Christine and the firm began receiving several compliments, especially about the e-newsletter, and the referrals started rolling in.
“I receive messages on a regular basis from prior clients who love our message, love our newsletter, and say they have a referral for us or have been thinking about the things we’ve been writing about, and they need to see us,” says Christine. “That’s so satisfying.”
WANT MORE REFERRALS AND BETTER CLIENTS?
In the four years Christine and the Matus Law Group have been working with Spotlight Branding, they have grown by 67% to become the 77th fastest-growing law firm in the country, according to data reported by Law Firm 500. Christine doesn’t think there’s any coincidence there.
Visit SpotlightBranding.com/NL to schedule a call!
2020 WANTS YOU TO THINK LIFE ISN’T FAIR BUT IN 2021, YOU CAN MAKE IT FAIR “That’s not fair” — it’s a phrase everyone hears and says far too often. And, it’s just as often followed by the retort, “Well, life’s not fair.” The concept of “fair” is very misguided, and the year 2020 took it to a whole new level. Nowadays, saying “life isn’t fair” feels like the best scapegoat for everything we’ve been through this year. But fairness is often like luck: It’s better to be fair or have a little luck on your side, but most of the time, how fair life is or how much luck you have is a product of your own creation. In life, and especially in business, human beings get stepped on and pushed down by others. That’s just in our nature, as it always has been. We get upset with people who aren’t treating us fairly, and when we don’t get our way, we throw a fit. And then, the next time we get any power of our own, we oppress someone else, who then reacts the same way. You might think you’ve never oppressed anyone, but everyone has done it in some way or another, even if they may not realize it.
However, there’s a bright side to this topic, and it’s that entrepreneurs always have an opportunity to make their world a better place. Every morning when you wake up, you can decide what kind of boss you want to be and what kind of business you want. You can run one filled with concern for others that goes beyond enriching just your own life. You can decide to not keep every marble from the business for yourself and instead use some of your gains to help others. You can build a culture in your company that doesn’t allow oppression. You can create an environment where there’s no reason to say, “That’s not fair!” Many entrepreneurs are focused on what’s in it for them, and as an entrepreneur, you absolutely should be rewarded for your hard work and risk. But you don’t have to be rewarded while someone else is punished. You don’t have to make them feel like their life is “just unfair.” As you head into operating your business in 2021, it’s crucial to remember two things: 1. Culture trumps strategy every day of the week. 2. Happy employees make happy customers, and happy customers make a happy bottom line. If you focus on the people in your business this year, you’ll find all your marketing efforts and business dealings to be fairer, no matter how unfair life has seemed lately. Because the reality is that life can always be as fair as we decide to make it.
More Referrals. Better Clients. Higher ROI.
CONTENT MAKES ALL MARKETING WORK BETTER ‘CONTENT IS KING’: THE FOUR LAWS OF CONTENT MARKETING, PART 1 You’ve probably heard of the four laws of thermodynamics, and maybe even the four laws of love thanks to the famous Jimmy Evans book. But what about the four laws of content marketing? Does that sound familiar? If not, you’re in luck! Over the next four months in this newsletter, we’ll be going over each of the four laws and how you can use them to improve the marketing efforts for your law firm. This month, we’re starting with Law #1: Content is king. This is the first law because it describes content at its most basic level. The truth is, everyone engages with your content, whether they’re a referral, a lead, a colleague, or someone you passed your business card to at a networking event. Think of it this way: If your marketing was a spider web, your content would be the sticky center where all the threads join together.
If you want to leverage the power of your content, it needs to do three things: position you as the expert in your field, educate your audience, and keep your firm top of mind. There are infinite ways to accomplish these goals (on Pg. 4 we outline one of them), but they’re only necessary because Law #1 holds true. Content is king! At this point you might be wondering, “Where does SEO fit into this equation? Isn’t that part of the reason why content is king?” Well, you might be surprised by our answers to those questions. Stick around for Part 2 of this series in next month’s newsletter to find out about Law #2 and why we feel the pursuit and benefits of SEO are overrated.
Understanding this is key to leveraging your content successfully to improve your overall marketing efforts. Once you realize that everyone is going to engage with your content in some way, shape, or form (whether it’s by visiting your website, scrolling through your social media pages, or listening to your podcast), you can see the power it has to influence their decisions and start using that power for good. The right content marketing strategy will help you bring in leads, referrals, and ultimately, more revenue.
FEATURED EPISODE THE VERY BEST EPISODES OF ‘THE LAW FIRM MARKETING MINUTE’ PODCAST
If you’re looking for more great resources to drive your business forward, take a look at this episode from our industry‑leading podcast “The Law Firm Marketing Minute.” “MARKET TO THE BEST CLIENTS, NOT THE MOST CLIENTS” LFMM 339 Most people in the legal world have been of this mindset that the internet completely changed how you market your firm. FALSE! The internet can help you grow your firm using the same strategy that has worked for decades but in a much more efficient way. If you want More Referrals, Better Clients, and Higher 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/lfmm and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
RESOURCE OF THE MONTH
INCREASE YOUR WEBSITE’S CONVERSION! UTILIZE THE POWER OF CHAT AND RECEPTION SERVICES Websites that use a live chat feature have been shown to convert at a higher rate. Many services out there provide chat support for law firms, and we recommend Smith. Smith.ai provides live chat agents as well as receptionist service. In addition to answering website chats, Smith’s agents can also answer texts and social media messages to unify your sales communications. Even more, Smith’s agents are on duty 24/7 and can help visitors book appointments and collect payments. Lastly, they integrate with over 30 different CRM programs, meaning you’ll have seamless communication between your apps. To help out attorneys like you, we’ve partnered with Smith to get $100 off any upfront costs. Just mention the code SPOTLIGHT100 when you have your consultation. Want more great tools for your law firm? Visit SpotlightBranding.com/rotm
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21 Start 20 ! off right
4 Resolutions for Business Success in 2021
Client Success Story
Creating Fairness as an Entrepreneur
How Content Makes All Marketing Work Better
Spotlight Branding’s Industry-Leading Podcast
Create Helpful Blog Posts Effortlessly
CREATE HELPFUL BLOG POSTS EFFORTLESSLY BY USING THE ‘ONE-TIP METHOD’ cooperative, and avoid being sued. Pick just one of these things, and move on to step two. To create a relevant piece of content for your readers, you only need one thing: a single, solid piece of good advice. In the past, we’ve discussed multiple ways of outlining blog posts, videos, podcasts, and social media posts in this newsletter, but this “one-tip method” is hands-down the most streamlined approach there is. To come up with your piece of advice (aka your one tip) and turn it into a blog post, you need to follow three simple steps. 1. Ask yourself, “What does my audience want?” The options here are endless! If you’re a business lawyer, for example, your readers probably want to make more money, keep their partnerships
2. Identify one thing your audience should do or should avoid doing in order to achieve their goal. As a business lawyer, if you chose “avoid being sued” for step one, your “one thing” for this step might be creating air-tight contracts, knowing a particular law, or even hiring a good lawyer. Again, pick just one of these things and move on. 3. Combine steps 1 and 2, and explain your tip! When you add your answers from step one and step two together, you have a topic. For the business lawyer, that might be “How Airtight Contracts Help You Avoid Lawsuits.” From there, you just have to explain the “how.” Because this is your area
More Referrals. Better Clients. Higher ROI.
of expertise, it should be easy! Don’t overthink it — just start typing, or press the record button. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can type out 400 words or speak for four minutes on such a simple topic. That’s it! In only three steps, and using just one solid piece of advice, you’ve created content that will educate your audience, position you as the expert in your field, and keep your firm’s name top of mind. This is the trifecta you should always aim for in your marketing. Do you want to see an example of a one-tip article? Check “Content Makes All Marketing Work Better” on Pg. 3. In that one-tip article, we expound on one piece of advice — using the first of the four laws of content marketing — to help our readers (yes, you!) achieve the goal of making their marketing work better.