SEPT 2020 (800) 406-7229 SpotlightBranding.com
CONSIDERING HIRING? NOW IS THE PERFECT TIME Right now, we’re stuck in a pretty turbulent economy. Millions of people have lost their jobs or been forced to leave them because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the whole world feels a bit upside down. Because of all that, it might feel crazy to take the leap of hiring someone new right now. But in reality, this uncertain period mid-pandemic is the perfect time to bring a new employee onboard if you have the means. This is particularly true if your firm’s practice area is slammed (I’m looking at you, bankruptcy attorneys), and you could use the extra help. I’d suggest three reasons why hiring someone sooner rather than later, even if it feels like a strange time to do so.
1. The candidate pool is larger than ever.
This is pretty obvious if you do the math. In February, before the coronavirus pandemic really hit the U.S., the national unemployment rate was 3.5%. By June, it was 11.1%, and the second wave of the virus was just beginning. A higher unemployment rate means more people looking for work to potentially answer your job advertisement.
2. Higher-quality people are up for grabs.
Typically, when you’re hiring, unless you have a lot of money to offer, your candidates are fresh out of law school, newly unemployed, or disgruntled with
the firm where they currently work. None of these things are disqualifying, but I’m sure you’ve sat across from plenty of people like this and wondered, “Is it possible this person doesn’t have a job right now because they weren’t very good at their last one?” I’ve asked myself the same thing in interviews more than once. It’s just human nature. But right now, odds are that most of the people in the job market weren’t let go for incompetence or poor performance. They were let go because COVID-19 hit and the budget was tight. This means more experienced high achievers are out there at this moment than you’d find in a better economy. As a bonus, now that remote work is the new normal, you could even expand your search further afield.
3. You might snag a great fit with a low offer.
We’re in what you might call a buyer’s job market. The demand for work is higher than the demand for employees right now, and that can work to your advantage. If you’ve hesitated to post a job advertisement because you’re worried you can’t offer the going salary, this is the perfect opportunity to go for it. You could wind up snagging a fantastic hire simply because the market is so tight and they can’t find a better offer elsewhere.
“YOU WIN BECAUSE YOU GET AN EXCELLENT CANDIDATE, POTENTIALLY AT A LOWER PRICE, AND THEY WIN BECAUSE THEY GET THE PEACE OF MIND THAT COMES WITH A STEADY PAYCHECK IN THESE DIFFICULT TIMES.” Some of these explanations might sound a bit insensitive, but honestly, hiring someone during a pandemic is a win-win. You win because you get an excellent candidate, potentially at a lower price, and they win because they get the peace of mind that comes with a steady paycheck in these difficult times. So, get that ball rolling! Hire that paralegal, legal assistant, or receptionist you’ve been dreaming about! Free yourself up to take on the cases you enjoy most, and get the help you need so you can sleep better at night. It’s okay to be opportunistic right now. In fact, it’s the smart thing to do.
–Marc Cerniglia SpotlightBranding.com
TAKE THE AWKWARDNESS OUT OF ASKING FOR TESTIMONIALS
HOW TO LEAD YOUR CLIENTS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION Do you ask your clients for testimonials? Maybe you don’t because you’re worried it will make you look needy. Or maybe you do, but you drag your feet through the process because it feels awkward to ask. Those positions are totally understandable, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Asking for testimonials doesn’t need to be a gut-wrenching, unsatisfying process. With the right strategy, you can solicit them quickly and easily.
Our Winning Strategy
1. Choose three or four of your best clients. 2. Send them an email that says, “Hey there! Would you be willing to share a couple of words about your experience with our firm? I’d love to put your thoughts on our website as a testimonial. If you have time to draft a few quick sentences about what it’s like to work with us, I’d appreciate it.” 3. When they send you their thoughts, tweak the phrasing to make the testimonial flow better. Then, email them back with the new version, saying, “I’d love to use this on our website with the minor tweak I made. What do you think?” 4. When they give you the green light, put it up! We recommend creating a page on your website exclusively for testimonials that you can add to over time.
Pro Tip: If the client is busy, you can even offer to write the testimonial for them! Create a testimonial from their perspective and alter your email to
add, “I know you’re busy, so I’ve summarized your experience below. Please feel free to make any changes that you’d like, and let me know if you’re comfortable with me adding this to our website.” When you’re putting the testimonials up, remember that visitors to your website will be particularly drawn to those they relate to. Instead of using a client’s name, consider using details about their demographic or case. For example, if you’re a family law practice, the byline “Mrs. Jones” won’t be nearly as effective as “a divorcing mother of two.” A great testimonial is invaluable. It’s social proof that you’re an experienced, effective lawyer, and the right person to take a client’s case. If you have any more questions about our process, reach out to our team today.
CLIENT SUCCESS STORY ZAFIRO LAW / FAMILY AND IMMIGRATION LAW / SEATTLE, WA Along with our amazing Operations staff that delivers great service and executes our marketing strategy for our clients, we also have a fantastic sales team. That really stuck out to Katrina Zafiro of Zafiro Law. She took things at her own pace, but never felt bombarded with sales calls or high-pressure emails as she had experienced with other companies.
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“I appreciated their no-pressure and transparent approach to selling their services,” says Katrina. “From the very start, they were clear about the price of their services and there were no additional hidden costs attached to my account once I signed up.”
Now that Katrina has been with us for a few years, she’s even happier with her experience from day 1. In the past, Katrina worked with several companies and saw minimal results. Since working with Spotlight Branding, the results have consistently increased. She has more than doubled her caseload and hired two full-time staff members.
HOW TO CREATE BLOG POSTS PEOPLE ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT
2 STRATEGIES TO EMPLOY WHEN CHOOSING A TOPIC As you’ve probably discovered, the trickiest thing about writing blog posts isn’t actually writing them — it’s thinking of something to write about. Topic choice trips up a lot of our clients, and we understand why. With so much legal knowledge rattling around in your head, it can be tough to know what would appeal to the average reader. But it’s not impossible. If you’re struggling to pin down blog topics, try the approaches below. Our team has this down to an art, but you don’t need a professional to get it right. 1. Reverse engineer a common scenario. Think of a situation that your average client might find themselves in. If you’re a tax attorney, this could be receiving a letter from the IRS. When that letter comes in, what’s the first question your client would have? Maybe it’s, “Is this letter really from the IRS?” Write that question down and BAM!, you have a blog topic: “3 Ways to Tell if Your IRS Letter Is Legitimate.”
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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. WAYS TO FIX CASH FLOW ISSUES IN YOUR LAW FIRM – LFMM 320 Cash flow issues are one of the biggest challenges that solo and small firm attorneys face in running their business. In this episode, we share some lessons and tips we’ve learned as a small business to help you level out those cash flow peaks and valleys. 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 lawfirmmarketingminute.com and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
This strategy works in every practice area of law, from business to family. Simply imagine yourself in your clients’ shoes and answer their burning questions. This will reassure your readers you’re the right lawyer to clear up their confusion and allay their fears. 2. Rely on the multiplier effect. Once you have a single question or scenario in mind, you can easily spin it into more! Take the IRS letter example — surely, your client won’t only be asking themselves if their letter is legitimate. Once they open the letter, they might have other questions, like, “What type of IRS letter is this? How many kinds of letters does the IRS send? Why does the IRS use this particular language? What does this term mean?” Any of those queries could become a relevant blog post. Don’t worry about your topics overlapping, either — repetition just reinforces your expertise. These topics might seem basic, but ultimately, the basics are what people care about most. They want to know that you’ve mastered your field and can help people in common situations like the one they’re in. Hopefully, these strategies help you puzzle out interesting blog topics. But if you’d rather not worry about writing your own blog posts, we can do it for you. Visit SpotlightBranding.com/NL to learn how.
RESOURCE OF THE MONTH
EASILY MULTIPLY YOUR CONTENT! CONVERT VIDEOS AND PODCASTS INTO BLOGS Want to add even more content to your website and marketing? Descript is a tool that allows you to convert audio to text in just a few minutes! This allows you to take your videos or podcast episodes and turn them into blogs. After all, people consume content differently. Some prefer to listen or watch, and some prefer to read. Descript can also considerably cut the time it takes for you to write a blog. Imagine recording yourself talking through a concept, running that audio through Descript, and then making some small edits to have it read like a blog. Just like that, you’ve turned an hour of writing into 30 minutes or less of work. Lastly, if you have longer podcast episodes or a series of webinars/ seminars you’ve recorded, you can run them through Descript and easily turn it into a book! Best of all, the free trial provides you with 300 minutes of transcription, which is a TON of time.
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THIS ISSUE 1
Why Mid-Pandemic Is the Perfect Time to Hire
The Trick to Earning Quality Testimonials
Client Success Story
How to Create Blog Posts People Actually Care About
Spotlight Branding’s Industry-Leading Podcast
How StoryBrand Can Clarify Your Message and Attract Customers
DOES IT FEEL LIKE YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE IGNORING YOU?
USE STORYBRAND TO GET THEIR ATTENTION What if one small shift in your messaging could change the way you do business and make you more successful? No, it won’t cost you thousands of dollars in your marketing budget. In fact, it will save you money in the long run because it will make your marketing more effective. Though it may not feel easy at first, this simple shift accomplishes a big task: It makes your customer, not your business, the star of your advertising. That’s the concept behind StoryBrand, a marketing framework developed by author Donald Miller that has changed the game for thousands of companies. StoryBrand helps businesses clarify their message by making them answer the crucial question of how their company will help customers survive and thrive.
As Miller has figured out, the easiest, most engaging way for humans to digest information is in the form of a story. Think about some of your favorite high school teachers. Did they spice up a lecture about American history with anecdotes of George Washington or Benjamin Franklin? Did your biology teacher regale you with stories of their trip to the Galapagos? Chances are when someone has your attention, it’s because they’re telling a story, and StoryBrand teaches you how to use stories to do the same for your business. At its core, every story contains a hero, something the hero desires, an obstacle the hero must overcome, and a guide who helps the hero on their journey. These are elements you can utilize in your messaging. To do so
More Referrals. Better Clients. Higher ROI.
effectively, your business must address three crucial questions: 1. 2. 3.
What does the hero (your customer) want? Who or what is opposing the hero’s journey to get what they want? What will the hero’s life look like if they do (or do not) get what they want?
By recognizing your customer’s journey and positioning them as the hero and your company as their guide, you can create messaging they actually hear rather than marketing that simply sounds like the rest of the noise out there. In fact, we use the StoryBrand framework to guide how we write our website copy for our clients! Learn more about the StoryBrand process at StoryBrand.com.