Foster Web Marketing Feed http://www.steakoutvt.com/ Foster Web Marketing Feed en-us 2021 Foster Web Marketing, All Rights Reserved, Reproduced with Permission http://www.steakoutvt.com/ Fri, 22 Jan 2021 08:08:01 GMT Foster Web Marketing Feed http://www.steakoutvt.com/images/logoprint.gif http://www.steakoutvt.com/ <![CDATA[World of Marketing 79: Put Me in Coach With Matt Tate]]>.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }

Matt Tate has worked with FWM since 2013. He started out in marketing and coaching and became a business development strategist. He helps clients exceed their business development goals through his work with Tom in our coaching program.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • What FWM coaching is all about. Matt explains that it starts with determining each clients’ personal and business goals and the types of cases they want to attract.

  • How coaching holds clients accountable and keeps them on track. During monthly calls, Matt and Tom walk each client through the Marketing Growth Plan and discuss the mindset, strategy, and tactics that will set them up for success.

  • Strategies and techniques that lead to more business. Matt and Tom know what works and what doesn’t. Their diverse knowledge is an asset to those who seek their guidance, and they take pride in helping our clients exceed their goals.

Download our Marketing Growth Plan

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http://www.steakoutvt.com/library/put-me-in-coach-with-matt-tate.cfmwww.steakoutvt.com-134884Fri, 15 Jan 2021 09:00:00 EST
<![CDATA[How important is loading time for law firm websites?]]>A computer monitor with an hourglass and gears.

The “loading time” on your law firm’s website matters a lot more than you might think—and only a matter of seconds can make a HUGE difference. Research from Google as far back as 2016 shows that, as page load time increases from 1 second to 5 seconds, the probability of bounce increases by 90%. And it gets worse as load times get slower:

  • 106% probability of bounce as loading time increases to 6 seconds
  • 123% probability of bounce as loading time increases to 10 seconds

Does that give you an idea of how important loading time is for your law firm’s website? We’ll get into this a little deeper below, but you should know that it’s not JUST potential clients bouncing away from your website that you have to worry about.  

At the end of 2020, Google announced that its new page speed criteria would go into effect in May of 2021. While Google has been interested in loading time for a long time, this shift makes it even more important for your website to load quickly. Fast websites will be favored in the ranking mix, and you’ll need to get your loading time under 3 seconds to avoid problems.

What does all that mean? While loading used to impact your rankings a little, it will soon impact your rankings A LOT. So, in terms of importance, it’s now up there with other major factors like backlink health and relevant content. 

Loading time isn’t the only measure of your website’s success. Check out the 5 most important metrics for your law firm website, or give us a call at 888.886.0938 for more answers about your website’s performance.

Why Do Visitors to My Law Firm’s Website Care About Loading Times and Page Speed?

Most of us perform at least a handful of Google searches each day. And most of us have clicked on a result only to be met with a blank or broken page that seems to be hung up while it loads. 

In that moment, how often do you wait for the page to load? How often do you instead click back to the search results to try a different page? Are you more or less patient with a page’s speed when you’re using your phone to view a website?

If you’re like most people, you probably click away pretty quickly. And, even if you don’t, you start your interaction with that website already frustrated. 

Your website is the first impression many of your potential clients will have of your law firm. If it loads so slowly that they get impatient, then they won’t see the experience you worked so hard to create. They won’t see your homepage or click through your compelling content. Instead, they won’t see anything but the “back” button as they click away to a faster competitor’s site. 

This is why your website’s loading time has such a big impact on your traffic, leads, and conversions. Even speeding it up by a second or two could have a dramatic effect!

Why Does Google Care About Page Speed?

Your potential clients aren’t the only ones paying attention to how fast your law firm website loads. Google wants to provide a good user experience for its own users, so it favors websites that will make users happy and helpfully answer their search queries. Law firms that provide a thoroughly excellent website user experience rise in the rankings; law firms that don’t will fall. 

While there are lots of facets to that “user experience” in Google’s eyes, page speed or loading time is a part of it. And, just like your potential clients, Google wants you to serve up website pages that quickly load and become interactive for the user. Google doesn’t want to send its users to slow sites that people get frustrated with and “bounce” away from—it’s not good for their own business!

While page speed has been a part of the ranking algorithm for a while, Google is putting much more weight on it in 2021. Starting in May, slow loading times will have a much bigger impact on your overall ranking than ever before. So, you need to take the speed of your website seriously!  

Get Back to the Basics With Your Ranking Factors 

Ultimately, Google rewards the things that make your website better for your perfect clients—and you can’t really go wrong with that. After all, Google has access to a huge amount of data about user behaviors online, and they set the pace for all things search-related. It’s up to you to use what they know to your advantage!

Nailing the new page speed criteria set by Google has everything to do with the foundation your website runs on and how you use and optimize the heftier elements on each page. And, since page speed isn’t the ONLY thing Google is looking at it, it’s also an excellent time to improve other core ranking factors, too. Remember, it’s not just fast sites that rise to the top of search; the real winners are fast sites that go the extra mile to give their “perfect clients” exactly what they want.   

Ready to get back to the basics and build a speedy site that delivers for YOUR perfect clients? Schedule a website design consultation with our team, or give us a call at 888.886.0939 with your questions. 

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http://www.steakoutvt.com/faqs/page-speed-and-loading-time-on-law-firm-websites.cfmwww.steakoutvt.com-68104Tue, 12 Jan 2021 12:38:00 EST
<![CDATA[How to Make the Most of the Thank You Pages on Your Law Firm's Website]]>A computer screen with blue icons representing various ways to improve a thank you page.

It's polite to thank your potential clients when they download your book or reach out to your law firm. But, if your thank-you page is too simple, it can leave your potential clients hanging at a very critical moment. 

And no one wants to disappoint a curious potential client right after they've taken the first step! 

Sure, it might seem like a small thing. However, the thank-you pages on your website can be so much more, and they can do so much more for your business. The trick is to apply some smart strategy to the small details, which we'll get into below. 

With this advice and a little effort, you can maximize what your website's thank-you pages can do and put more of your fresh leads in a hiring mood. 

Hey, by the way, your thank-you pages aren't the only little details that matter on your website. Check out these 7 small details that really pack a punch in law firm website design.

Wait! What's a Thank-You Page?

On most websites, visitors are directed to a thank-you page directly after completing a goal, like requesting a book, signing up for a consultation, subscribing to a newsletter, or otherwise filling out a contact form. The thank-you page typically thanks the visitor for reaching out and delivers the offer requested (or tells the visitor when and how it will be delivered).

While that's the most basic idea of what a thank-you page is, the reality is that it's not quite enough. Keep in mind that this is the first thing that someone will see after deciding to reach out to you! They've taken their "customer journey" to the next level, which means it's a perfect opportunity to really show them what you and your law firm are about. 

So, don't just use your thank-you pages to say thanks! Below, we're going to talk about five ways to really make the most of the thank-you pages on your law firm's website. 

Tip 1: Link to the Best Content on Your Law Firm's Website

If someone is interested enough in your law firm to fill out your contact form, then they're probably going to be interested in your website's best content. A thank-you page is the perfect place to suggest some further reading that might answer questions, inform, or otherwise be relevant to the requester's needs.

Think about your very best blog posts, FAQs, and articles. Choose a few that are relevant to the offer the thank-you page is linked to. Thank your potential client on the page and point them toward those resources. You'll increase engagement, build a stronger connection, and provide an awesome user experience—and all you did was add a few extra links to your standard thank-you page content!

Tip 2: Tell Them About Your Other Relevant Offers

You don't have to stop with blogs, FAQs, and articles. The thank-you pages on your law firm's website are also a great place to point to your books, offers, law firm newsletter, webinars, local speaking engagements, and other "extras." Make sure the offer is relevant enough to make sense on the page, and make it clear if you will be sending them newsletters or emails in the future.

Pointing freshly converted visitors to another relevant offer on your thank-you page is like a little "upsell" that comes at just the right moment. Your potential client gets the heads up about other offers that might be helpful to them, and you get a stronger and more informed lead. 

Tip 3: Ask for Feedback

People like it when you ask their opinions, and feedback from potential clients that are actually using your website and interested in your law firm is like gold. So, make the most of your thank-you page by including a survey or an invitation to submit comments. 

You can make this even more powerful if you ask questions in your thank-you page content that encourage people to answer. For example, you might ask, "how was your experience on the website?" Or you might ask, "how do you feel about video consultations?" It just depends on what kinds of feedback and information from your potential clients is most valuable to you. Be sure to also let them know where to click or call to leave their comments! 

Tip 4: Ask Them to Refer a Friend or Family Member

Lots of law firms get their best clients and cases from word-of-mouth referrals, but not a lot of law firms actually ask for those referrals. In the moments after someone has requested something from you, it's more likely that they'll be willing to: 

  • Do something that helps you, like sending a friend your way 
  • Tell their friends that you are offering something that might help them, too 

So, it's the right time to ask! You don't have to get complicated with it or sound like you're begging for clients. Instead, it can be as simple as saying, "If you found this offer helpful, share it with any friends or family members that could use it." 

Doing something like this on your thank-page is a truly easy way to multiply the power of each lead you get through your offer forms. Plus, it makes your potential clients feel good when they can share the "insider knowledge" they learned from you with other people they care about!

Tip 5: Link to Your Social Media Pages

Follow up your gratitude with links and buttons that welcome people to get involved with your social media pages. Make it easy for people to share your offer with their friends and family on the most popular sites, and invite people to "like and subscribe" with your brand around the Web. 

Whether it's YouTube or Facebook or Twitter, most Americans spend a big portion of their time each day on social media sites. Adding social media signals to your website reinforces the idea that your law firm is real and ready to help. Plus, it gives your freshest leads an easy way to get to know you better and get involved with your brand!  

Create Thank-You Pages for Your Law Firm Website That Put Your Leads in a Hiring Mood

Thank-you pages are simple but very powerful. They constantly work for you in the background, while consistently multiplying the power of your campaigns and putting your leads in a hiring mood. 

But keep it simple! Don't bowl people over with thank-you pages packed with ALL the options above. Instead, test out one or two ideas at a time. You can track and measure what works best for the types of potential clients you attract, and you won't overwhelm visitors with all your enthusiasm at once.

Need to create a thank-you page that rocks? Schedule a website design consultation with our award-winning team, and let's start talking about your ideas. 

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http://www.steakoutvt.com/faqs/5-ways-to-slay-with-thank-you-pages-on-your-law-firm-website.cfmwww.steakoutvt.com-68059Mon, 11 Jan 2021 04:04:00 EST
<![CDATA[World of Marketing 78: Kicking in Doors With Jennifer Rose]]>Podcast title card with Jennifer Rose on the left and Tom Foster on the right

Jennifer Rose is the executive director of the Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce. She helps local business owners connect and network because it’s impossible to do everything yourself, so you need to seek experts. Jennifer likes to think she’s an influencer in the community, and she encourages entrepreneurs to ask for advice and tap into the diversity of ideas their communities have to offer.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The benefits of community networking. Jennifer explains why entrepreneurs and small businesses benefit from helping each other by sharing ideas, advice, and solutions to common problems. 

  • How to leverage your local network, especially during trying times. Jennifer says, never stop connecting with other local businesses because they will become your support network and understand what you’re going through.

  • What your local Chamber of Commerce can do for you. Jennifer “kicks doors in for people,” and that’s not all the Chamber does. It also offers a variety of resources to help you, but just like anything else, you have to take advantage of what’s offered to make the most of it.

Visit the Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce

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http://www.steakoutvt.com/library/world-of-marketing-78-kicking-in-doors-with-jennifer-rose.cfmwww.steakoutvt.com-134665Fri, 08 Jan 2021 08:47:00 EST
<![CDATA[How do I know if my law firm website is successful?]]>A computer monitor and clipboard graphic with a large check mark.

What makes a law firm website a success? Some people will tell you to look deep into all kinds of analytics data for your answers—especially your traffic and engagement numbers.

And, while all that analytics data can be legitimately helpful, there is really only one number that matters. Why did you build a website in the first place? Was it to get more people on the internet to come look at your website? Was it to bump up your traffic or get people to spend more time on the page before they leave? Absolutely not!

You built your website to bring in more cases and clients. Period. 

If your law firm website converts visitors into leads, then it’s successful. If it doesn’t, then it’s really just a “pretty face” that isn’t doing much for your business. 

You can have the prettiest website in the world. You can have a ton of traffic that you’ve paid for with your time or your money. However, if your law firm website’s design isn’t consistently converting that traffic into real cases and clients, it’s failing in its primary duty—and you need to get to the root of the problem. 

Conversion is absolutely the most important thing to look at, but other metrics matter, too. Find out more about all the law firm website metrics that matter the most. 

Why Isn’t Your Law Firm Website Successful?

Lawyers and law firm website designers often get overly focused on the wrong stuff and end up designing law firm websites that fail. Why? There are lots of reasons, but it’s often because they fall prey to a bunch of common misconceptions, like the four I’ll talk about below. 

Misconception #1: My law firm website should be designed to get to Page One. 

Too many websites are designed, developed, and written for search engines. However, law firm websites that are created to get to the top of Google’s Page One often give a disappointing performance after launch. People are not search engines, and they use Google searches to find answers to their questions. They don’t care that your website is seeded with keywords, and they don’t care how much you spent on pay-per-click (PPC) for stuff like “Texas product liability lawyers.” They aren’t searching for those kinds of keywords, anyway!

Your law firm website should be designed for your perfect clients and referral sources—not for search engines. Buying your way to Page One with PPC might get you more traffic, but it probably won’t get you more clients, at least not on its own. And you can try to calculate the perfect set of keywords for organic search, but it’s going to fall flat if people don’t find what they actually need on your website when they get there. 

Ultimately, if you design your law firm website solely for search engines, you’re choosing search traffic over actual, valuable conversions. 

Misconception #2: My homepage is my most important page. 

Lawyers often put too much focus on the homepage of their websites. They assume that everyone will come in through the homepage, so that’s where they need to put all their effort. 

The problem is that this really asks the homepage to do too much on its own! You need those supporting pages on your law firm’s website to be just as great.

A lot of your best potential leads will never even see your homepage. Instead, they’ll land on a supporting page and call you. So, you really have to think about how consumers find an attorney and what steps they take to get there. 

For example, most people facing a legal problem will first ask their friends and family if they know a good lawyer. If they get a recommendation, they’ll type the attorney’s name or the law firm’s brand name into search. These are the people that will come in through your homepage. It’s where you want to concentrate on capturing those kinds of referrals, orienting them to your brand and personality, and helping them navigate to the right place for their concerns. In short, homepages are all about referrals and brand-name searches. 

However, if friends and family don’t know any lawyers, then most people will turn to Google with their questions. They might type in something like, “lawyers near me” or “estate planning law firm” and land on one of your practice area pages. Or, even more likely, they might type in questions or long-tail keywords that lead them to your blog and content pages, like “what is probate,” “rights in PA after truck accident,” or “why do I need an attorney after work injury.”  

The point is that there are at least three different ways people might find you online, but only one of those ways involves your homepage. So, if you want to succeed, you have to look at your website holistically and really strategize how it all works together to bring in all kinds of leads. 

Misconception #3: Content doesn’t matter. 

If your website isn’t converting, it’s probably because you’re not feeding it content—and I mean actively, frequently, and in a disciplined manner. 

I touched on this a bit above, but the content you stock your website with matters. Some folks get so distracted by sleek designs and flashy widgets that they forget to stock their websites with videos, articles, blog posts, images, and other compelling content. The law firm’s website design LOOKS amazing. But, as people visit it and try to dig in, they don’t find enough substance to match what the style seems to promise. 

If you want your website to convert visitors into clients and leads, then you have to create relevant, original content that answers questions and educates. 

Need some tips for feeding your website the content your perfect clients crave? Find out how to think about content and write like an expert

Misconception #4: People will figure it out on their own. 

Some people will visit your website, get what they came for, and then call you or fill out your contact form without any prompting. However, you’re going to get a much better rate of conversion if you design your law firm’s website to take people on a logical journey that periodically ASKS them to reach out. 

The organization of the content on your website—and the design of your navigation—should help people get to the specific kinds of answers they’re looking for. It should take them from the general to the specific and give them options for pursuing the information that is most relevant. Along with that, your design should also incorporate relevant “calls to action” on every page that let visitors know how to take the next step as soon as they’re ready.  

Grow Your Success With a Law Firm Website Design That Converts

If you aren’t sure if your website is doing what you want it to do for your business, test it out for yourself. Do some searches that are relevant to your practice and see where you show up. Try to get to different kinds of information on your website. While you do it, don’t think like an attorney. Instead, think like the consumer—a.k.a. your perfect client. With that mindset, it’ll be easy to identify the areas where your website could use some work. 

Is your website design getting in the way of your success? Are you ready to invest in a conversion-focused website that resonates with your perfect clients? Start with a fresh foundation that focuses on the things that actually bring you new clients and cases. 

Join us for a website design consultation, or talk to my team at 888.886.0939.

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http://www.steakoutvt.com/faqs/how-to-know-your-law-firm-website-is-successful.cfmwww.steakoutvt.com-67486Mon, 04 Jan 2021 11:23:00 EST
<![CDATA[The Night Before Christmas]]>'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Foster Web Marketing Law Firm and Attorney Marketing Attorney Jim was well worried, and so was his spouse.

No leads for his law firm; the phone would not ring.
He laid in his bed, his hands they would wring.

"I've worked long and so hard to make us some money,
Dear, what can I do? Please help me here, Honey."

His beloved wife, Mary, arose from their bed.
Something nagged inside; it was something she read.

With a cup of hot cocoa, she opened her laptop,
Scrolled past all her emails, even the one for the dress shop.

Finally, she found it, a note from Tom Foster.
A marketing agency with a full all-star roster.

She went to his website, seeking some type of direction.
Immediately she found the detailed resources section.

With how-to guides, videos, and helpful information,
She discovered right quick how to help Jim's business of litigation.

Requesting a download, "Five Mistakes Lawyers Make,"
It finally seemed she could cure husband Jim's ache.

Suddenly at the front door, a very loud knock.
She opened it to see Chad Foster in full Christmas smock.

"You asked for our help, so now I am here!" 
"I need just thirty minutes. Can I have your and Jim's ear?"

Mary called for her husband; he was a bit confused.
"I've used agencies before and was left feeling used."

Chad explained to them both we were different than others.
"Would it make you feel better to confirm with my brother?"

In the blink of an eye, Tom Foster appeared.
To Mary and Jim's shock, Chad did not find this weird.

Tom explained to the couple our Marketing Growth Plan.
It totally made sense as Jim quickly released Tom was a smart man.
"We preach DSS, content, and working your list!
We can get the phone to ring. You get the gist!"

Tom pulled out a snow globe from out of a case, 
inside it showed Future Jim at his workplace.

Intake was hopping, his calendar stacked!
All of these clients, Foster Web Marketing helped to attract.

The heavily stressed couple breathed a sigh of relief.
"We were under the impression marketeers led only to grief."

"I now understand just what we must do.
We need help and guidance provided by you!"

Chad offered a discount for paying up front,
saying, "You can claim on your taxes; this isn't a stunt."

Jim and Mary agreed and wished the Fosters both well.
Foster Web Marketing Lawyer and Attorney Marketing Services Tom said, "Enjoy your holidays. Later we will set you up with our personnel."

He nodded to his brother, guided Chad to the door.
Knowing that soon Jim's intake would certainly soar.

The couple felt great, turned on their floodlight.
Tom smiled and announced, "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

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http://www.steakoutvt.com/blog/the-night-before-christmas.cfmwww.steakoutvt.com-202005Tue, 22 Dec 2020 12:10:00 EST
<![CDATA[World of Marketing 77: Clean Water for All With Scott Harrison]]>Podcast title card with Scott Harrison on the left and Tom Foster on the right

Scott Harrison is the founder of charity: water, a non-profit organization with a mission to bring clean, drinkable water to everyone around the world. Scott started the charity in 2006 after volunteering as a photographer on a hospital ship off the coast of Liberia for two years. He decided he wanted to make clean water his mission since 1 out of 10 people in the world are still drinking unclean water. Scott was recognized in Fortune’s “40 Under 40,” Forbes’ “Impact 30,” and was ranked 10th in Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business.” He is also the author of The New York Times bestseller, Thirst: A Story of Redemption, Compassion, and a Mission to Bring Clean Water to the World.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How having it all doesn’t equal a fulfilled feeling: Scott was living the “good” life as a club promoter, making tons of money, and hanging out with celebrities. He tells the story of how he woke up one morning with health issues and was faced with his mortality.

  • About a life-changing experience that led to a new mission: Scott spent two years working on a hospital ship in Liberia and saw first-hand how dirty water caused a variety of health problems for the people there. He returned to New York City in 2006 with a mission to bring clean water around the world.

  • How 100% of donations go to the cause: Scott knew many people were skeptical of charities and where their money was actually going. He explains how charity: water is funded by businesses and entrepreneurs, so all donations go to providing clean water.

  • What you can do to get involved in the mission: Scott says charity: water has helped 12 million people get clean water, but there is more work to do. Find out how you can get involved and help people around the world.

Donate to the cause here

Find out more about charity: water

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http://www.steakoutvt.com/library/clean-water-for-all-with-scott-harrison.cfmwww.steakoutvt.com-134321Fri, 11 Dec 2020 08:54:00 EST
<![CDATA[World of Marketing 76: Killing It with Video With Gerry Oginski]]>Podcast title card with Gerry Oginski on the left and Tom Foster on the right

Gerry Oginski is a medical malpractice and accident trial lawyer in New York. He started his legal career in 1988, working for Leahey & Johnson, a well-known defense firm on Wall Street, representing doctors and hospitals that were being sued. He decided to open his own law firm in 2002, and he now works for Kramer, Dillof, Livingston & Moore.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The power of video and how easy it is to do it yourself: Gerry has created more than 3,200 videos and shared them on YouTube. He provides simple tips on how to create videos people will actually watch and share with others.

  • How good, easy-to-understand content draws people in and keeps them coming back: Gerry suggests figuring out the path your clients take to get to you and then creating a variety of content pieces to help them along the way.

  • The secret to crushing your competition in organic searches: Gerry says you not only need to be energetic and enthusiastic but also educational and controversial to attract and keep viewers. He says it’s important to feel comfortable, be yourself, and create so many videos with related content that you push your competition out of the picture.

Check out Gerry's YouTube channel

Visit Gerry's website

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http://www.steakoutvt.com/library/killing-it-with-video-with-gerry-oginski.cfmwww.steakoutvt.com-134239Fri, 04 Dec 2020 08:44:00 EST
<![CDATA[World of Marketing 75: Stampeding for a Cause with Tricia Rightmire]]>Podcast title card with Tricia Rightmire on the left and Tom Foster on the right.

Tricia Rightmire is an executive assistant for FWM’s sales team, and she’s been working with us for 10 years. Tricia is also the founder of Buffalo Stampede, a crowdsourced organization based in Kansas that supports various community projects.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The story behind how Buffalo Stampede started in 2012: Tricia shares how her dad always made Christmas special and how losing him made her want to bring that same joy to kids in her community.

  • How something small can turn into a full-blown organization that impacts an entire community: Tricia talks about how social media helped grow the group from just friends to more than 200 members across the country and how they help others throughout the year.

  • How easy it is to start your own community outreach projects: Tricia says “it’s staggeringly simple” to find something you’re passionate about, get your friends involved, and find ways to support your community.

  • How you can help Buffalo Stampede bring holiday magic to foster kids this Christmas: Tricia tells you how you can support the cause now by sending gifts or donations.

Click below to support the cause!

http://rightmire.com/stampede/index.cfm

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http://www.steakoutvt.com/library/stampeding-for-a-cause-with-tricia-rightmire.cfmwww.steakoutvt.com-134119Fri, 20 Nov 2020 08:22:00 EST
<![CDATA[[USERS' GROUP] VIDEO OPTIMIZATION 101]]>

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Amazon.com: Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro  Tools | First: Musical InstrumentsFOCUSRITE SCARLETT SOLO USB AUDIO INTERFACE (GEN 3)

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http://www.steakoutvt.com/blog/-users-group-follow-up-video-optimization-101.cfmwww.steakoutvt.com-200122Thu, 19 Nov 2020 13:57:00 EST
<![CDATA[World of Marketing 74: A Diverse Town Keeps Life Interesting With Chris Russo]]>Podcast title card with Chris Russo on the left and Tom Foster on the right.

Some people never wonder what they will be when they grow up, and for some, it’s just a given. If a family member is part of something steeped in history, you tend to want to follow in their footsteps and become part of that legacy.

Building and maintaining long-term relationships within your community and with your clients keeps you top of mind. Chris Russo, an attorney and long-time client from Rhode Island, said, “Cultivating and nourishing your existing clients is most important. It makes a difference when they’re comfortable with you.” Chris and Tom talked about how Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum is one of the oldest firms in the state and how marketing is critical to preserving your reputation.

Chris said, “Stay in your zone. Know your limitations.” Are you focusing your marketing on your strengths or trying to cover all the bases? Find out why Chris loves living in town rich in character and says clients continually refer friends and family to the firm.]]>
http://www.steakoutvt.com/library/a-diverse-town-keeps-life-interesting-with-chris-russo.cfmwww.steakoutvt.com-134045Fri, 13 Nov 2020 08:27:00 EST
<![CDATA[How to Make the Most of Testimonials on a Law Firm Website]]>

Testimonials are the glowingly positive statements people share with you about your law firm. And while testimonials are similar to reviews, they do differ because they don’t come through an independent website, like Yelp. Instead, testimonials are typically collected by you to be used on your website and in your marketing materials. 

(Confused? Find out more about the difference between testimonials and reviews.)

Testimonials are a huge deal for law firm websites because they carry so much power to impress, assure, and convert potential clients and referral sources. They give people that are new to your brand a taste of the positive experiences others have had, and they can even create a subtle sense of “missing out” on something that so many other people are willing to say is great. 

When you use testimonials well, you motivate more people to click, call, or dig deeper into what you have to offer. And you show them, in a concrete way, what you do for your clients and why you’re a good choice. 

However, while hearing and reading testimonials about your law firm is great, you have to actually USE your testimonials in your law firm’s website design to make sure they can do all the above and more for you. 

So, if you’re new to testimonials, or if you just want to use your testimonials better, here are some quick and easy ways to do just that.  

Love these tips? Check out 7 Small Law Firm Website Design Details That Make a Huge Difference for even more quick ways to make your law firm website rock. 

1. Get Your Testimonials Ready for Your Law Firm Website

Raw text and unedited videos aren’t always a great look, even if the testimonials hidden under the mess are superb. So, before you start flexing your testimonials on your law firm’s website, you have to get them ready to shine for you. 

First, make sure you ask for permission to use the testimonial, especially if you make any small edits to the grammar or phrasing. Format your testimonials, so they look great on the page, and add a name, location, and photo if possible. Do what you can, within sensible and professional limits, to show that these testimonials are from real people and businesses that are offering sincere praise. 

If your website and software include the functionality, make your testimonials modular! In DSS, for example, you can build your testimonials into panels and sidebar widgets that can be used over and over again. Even better, you can tag your testimonials by practice area, making it super easy to find and use a relevant testimonial when you need one. 

2. Create a Testimonials Page

Once you have collected your testimonials, feature them on a dedicated “Testimonials” page on your website. Link to it from your homepage, and make it easy to navigate to from all the most popular and important pages on your website. Remember that reviews and testimonials are often the first things people look for when considering your law firm or visiting your website for the first time. 

So, make sure they’re there and look great! 

It is critical that those testimonials are clearly available, easy to get to, and collected in a way that makes sense and is easy to read.  

3. Place Testimonials Strategically

Even if you have a dedicated testimonials page that you link to from your homepage, you should still use a few testimonials directly on your homepage. That way, those testimonials are working for you right from the get-go. 

And, since lots of people DON’T come in through your homepage, make sure you place testimonials on all your most popular landing pages and posts. It doesn’t have to be hard! If your website is built on DSS, for example, you can easily set testimonials to automatically show on the sidebar or at the bottom of just about any page. Ultimately, you want your testimonials peppered throughout your website, so they’re always beaming that sense of trust and authority!

However, there is a little more strategy that you can apply to how you place your testimonials on your law firm website. For example, the right testimonial appearing near a contact form or offer can be a powerful motivator for potential clients. So, choose your best testimonials and use them at all the points where trust really matters. Any time you ask your reader or viewer to call you, request an offer, send an email, fill out a contact form, or act on some other call to action, there should be a testimonial nearby that shows you are worthy of that trust. 

4. Incorporate Testimonials Naturally in Your Law Firm Website Content 

Along with the above strategic placement, don’t forget to use testimonials in the text of your website. Naturally weaving a few testimonials into your landing page content, blogs, FAQs, and articles can add weight to what you have to say and convince readers that you’re the person to talk to about it. Testimonials can help illustrate a point, show that you get results, and lend more credence to your expertise. 

Make sure that the testimonials you choose are relevant to the page and fit with the content. If a testimonial seems disjointed, irrelevant, or too sales-y, you could diminish trust instead of increasing it! 

Ready for a Law Firm Website Design That Will Make Your Testimonials Glow?

The FWM design team has worked with lawyers and law firms for decades to build websites that are modern, functional, and ready to do what you need them to do. If you’re having trouble making changes to your website, attracting new clients online, or converting potential clients, then we know from experience that you’re not really getting what your law firm needs out of your website. 

Looking for the freedom to use testimonials and other elements better on your law firm website? Give us a call at 888.886.0939, or schedule a design consultation with our team to discuss the possibilities.

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http://www.steakoutvt.com/blog/the-best-ways-to-use-testimonials-on-a-law-firm-website.cfmwww.steakoutvt.com-199967Wed, 11 Nov 2020 11:04:00 EST
<![CDATA[World of Marketing 73: Where Everybody Knows Your Name With Dave and Robb Frees]]>Podcast title card with Robb Frees on the left and Dave Frees on the right.

When your family has lived and owned businesses in a city since 1885, your family name becomes well-known. If you decide to continue the family tradition, that history follows you around town.

The Frees family is a staple in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania; generations have lived and worked there. Robb Frees, owner of Frees Insurance, said, “We understand the fragility of relationships, why they need to be maintained, and why you need to be honest.” Robb and his brother, Dave, an attorney, talked to Tom about how they’ve been doing business together since they were kids and how they were raised to understand what people around them want and need.

Dave said he was introduced in his shop class by the teacher saying, “If a Frees can make a buck, they’ll probably sell you something.” How have you used history and relationships to cement your standing in your community? Find out how Dave and Robb’s involvement has led to years of community support.

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http://www.steakoutvt.com/library/where-everybody-knows-your-name-with-dave-and-robb-frees.cfmwww.steakoutvt.com-133985Fri, 06 Nov 2020 08:09:00 EST
<![CDATA[World of Marketing 72: The Tricks to Retiring Early With Marybeth Crane]]>Podcast title card with Marybeth Crane on the left and Tom Foster on the right

The pandemic brought business to a standstill for a lot of doctors. Many shifted to telemedicine visits and looked for other ways to bring in revenue.

Email marketing is a key way to stay in touch with your patients, offer your services, and keep them updated on what’s going on in your office. Dr. Marybeth Crane, a Texas podiatrist and long-time FWM client, said, “Resiliency is what gets you through these times because this too shall pass.” Marybeth and Tom talked about how her practice used an email offer to their client list to make up for lost office visit income and how each doctor reached out personally via email to explain all the safety measures they put into place when the office reopened.

Marybeth also said, “If you don’t have a great website, you’re dead in the virtual world.” What marketing strategies do you use to stay top of mind? Find out how Marybeth’s ability to adapt and try new things has led to many years of marketing success.

 
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http://www.steakoutvt.com/library/the-tricks-to-retiring-early-with-marybeth-crane.cfmwww.steakoutvt.com-133886Fri, 23 Oct 2020 08:28:00 EST
<![CDATA[Making Ghost Calls Work for You and The Most Important Tool]]>“Great Marketing Is Not Enough if Your Prospects Don’t Convert”

Making Ghost Calls Work for You

By now you know it’s sort of a mantra with me: Inspect What You Expect? This may sound ominous, but it’s not when you do it right. And getting it right is pretty simple…

Relationship Is Key

The educational portion of your business – the ongoing coaching and training you’re providing for your staff – must be based on relationships, communications, and sales. How you treat your internal customers (your team) is how your team will treat your external customers.

So, when you tell your team that you’ll be doing mystery calling, or ghost calls as we call them in our phone sales program, they won’t like it. Initially, they’ll be concerned, afraid, threatened or feel like you don’t trust them and that you want to catch them doing something wrong so you can get rid of them or lecture them. (Check the laws in your state regarding recording calls.)

Any of the above reactions are normal, and you should expect them. Don’t back off or get nervous; remember, this is your business, and you make the decisions. You’ve got to monitor your staff daily. The telephone is one of the most important sales and marketing tools in your business for prospects, clients, and referrals. Without the phone and good staff, in that order, you’ve got nothing! No matter how good you are, you’re done.

Ease into this process. Explain to your staff that ghost calling is a positive program to help them become sharper than ever, to do even better than they already are, to enhance what they’re already doing right. Notice what I just said: to enhance what they’re already doing right. That’s a better message than “We want to fix what you’re doing wrong” or “We want to correct your mistakes.”

Another way to ease into ghost calls to your own business is to have your staff ghost call your competitors. Intake specialist Anita found when she called a competing firm that empathy was totally lacking. This showed her how important it is to express concern for callers. Making ghost calls can help your team members prepare to receive their own ghost calls, all in the spirit of improving themselves.

Your Most Important Tool

We’re Talking About the “S” Word

Folks that aren’t hired to be hardcore sales closers hate scripts. They hate the “S” word because they don’t want to be phony, to lie or to sound like a robot with no feelings or empathy.

You don’t have to read the script word for word, but there are some very important words and sentences on your script for a reason. A script is a guide, a cheat sheet, a road map to guide you accurately to the next step while staying focused on what the sole purpose is: to close the deal.

Here’s exactly what we teach our students to do when it’s time to learn a new script. In fact, I do this myself. I use scripts all the time, but I don’t sound scripted.

  1. Get a recorder and read your script into your recorder three different times. Pick the best one, and then delete the others.
  2. Listen to the recording every single day a minimum of three times per day for 10 consecutive days. That’s while you fall asleep, while you’re on the treadmill, while you’re driving in your car.
  3. After 10 days, test yourself. If your intake calls are recorded, listen to them. Did you leap ahead? If you don’t have recordings, have one of your teammates do a difficult role-play with you. Also, record the role-play and listen to it over and over again.
     

Andrea is a paralegal, and she reported in her recent What I Learned (WIL): “Chris’s explanation helped me understand what we can achieve when we follow the script.”

Real sales athletes never stop role-playing or listening to their recordings or practicing new scripts. They do it daily to stay sharp, more often when they’re trying to learn a new script quickly. Try this, and you’ll lose your fear of the “S” word!

Feel free to email Chris Mullins, The Phone Sales Doctor for Intake Specialists Worldwide with any questions at: phonesuccessdoctor@gmail.com Office: 603-249-5878. Chris would also love to review some of your real call recordings. Remember to always Inspect What You Expect?/p>]]>http://www.steakoutvt.com/blog/chris-mullins-the-phone-sales-doctor-making-ghost-calls-work-for-you.cfmwww.steakoutvt.com-199581Thu, 22 Oct 2020 15:03:00 EST<![CDATA[There's One Big Reason Most Law Firm Websites Are Designed to Fail]]>A computer monitor with a large X across the screen.

There’s something wrong with most law firm websites. And, although it’s something that’s obvious to visitors and potential clients, it’s something that can be a little tough for lawyers to spot for themselves. On the surface, your law firm’s website design may be attractive and modern. You may think that it showcases all the best parts of you and your business. However, you might be missing the one important thing that really divides the best websites from the less-than-stellar ones. 

What is that “special something” I’m talking about? 

If you look around, you’ll see that most law firm websites out there are designed for lawyers’ egos, not for the consumer that’s being served. You’ll see the same ego-based designs over and over, with the same formula and same competition over who can shout the loudest about the highest-dollar case results. 

It’s a huge mistake! And it really misses the whole point of what your website needs to do for your law firm.  

Want to get granular about the design of your website? Learn more about the small details that go into a successful law firm website design.

The Big Picture: What Your Law Firm’s Website Needs to Do

Your website must make a connection with the clients and referral sources you want to attract. Instead of focusing on you and your accomplishments, it should focus on:

  • Answering your perfect clients’ questions and offering solutions
  • Empathizing with and speaking to your perfect clients’ pain 
  • Building trust with new visitors and showing the success you have given to other clients

That’s how you build online relationships that turn into real-life cases and clients!

Remember this: people buy from people they like. So, make your website less about your greatness and more about how you’ve used your expertise to resolve problems for real people. 

By the way, don’t be afraid to be authentic and really show your potential clients who you are and why you do what you do. You don’t want a website that gives you a generic personality, just like all the other guys. Instead, your law firm’s website should facilitate real connections with the clients, contacts, and referral sources that matter the most to your business.  

The Small Details: What Your Law Firm Website’s Design Needs to Do

To accomplish the big picture, you need to look into some of the smaller details of your design. You have to think about what your potential clients are looking for when they visit you, and you need to meet those needs at every turn. You want all those little touches that show you care about their experience.

This kind of care can be built into your law firm’s website design in a number of ways, including:

  • Contact information. Don’t make it hard for people to reach out to you. Your firm name, phone number, address, and other contact information should be right in front of your potential clients when they need it. 
  • Device responsiveness. All kinds of businesses make this mistake with their websites. If your website can’t deliver a great experience on the most common devices and browsers, then it is designed to fail. This is something that WordPress templates are particularly bad about!
  • Clear and intuitive navigation. If people can’t figure out how to get to the answers they want and need, they won’t spend a lot of time digging for it—they’ll move on to a competitor’s site!  
  • Personality. Like I said above, you need to be authentic, not generic. Ditch the “lawyer tropes” you see in everyone else’s website designs—the gavel image, the Scales of Justice image, the photo in front of the bookshelf, tough poses with arms crossed, etc. Instead, use your photos, videos, and even website colors to tell your story and welcome potential clients. And don’t forget to use your bio and office pages to build trust and show people what to expect if they hire you! 

Of course, there is a lot more that goes into it, but that should give you a taste of the kinds of details that build up to a great user experience. It all adds up to a law firm website that is designed to SUCCEED.

Have you been wondering how to measure the success of your website? Are you ready to start fresh with a new design? Join my team for a website design consultation, or give us a call at 888.886.0939 with your questions.  

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http://www.steakoutvt.com/blog/why-most-law-firm-websites-are-designed-to-fail.cfmwww.steakoutvt.com-197498Wed, 21 Oct 2020 10:54:00 EST
<![CDATA[World of Marketing 71: Inside the World of Print Marketing With Kia Arian]]>Podcast title card with Kia Arian on the left and Tom Foster on the right.

Kia Arian is the owner of Zine, a marketing, design, and printing company based in Fairfax, Virginia. She specializes in direct-response marketing for attorneys and other business owners. She is a long-time friend of Tom Foster and creates a variety of print marketing materials for FWM.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why you should never give up because you never know what’s around the corner: Kia shares the story of how meeting Attorney Ben Glass changed her business—and her life

  • The rules of serendipity: Kia talks about the law of attraction and why all the relationships you form and the networking you do matters

  • The stories behind meeting and working with great marketing minds: Kia shares how she came to know and work with marketing powerhouses, like Dan Kennedy

  • Newsletter secrets everyone should know: Kia gives you the inside scoop on why print newsletters are so important and why your content strategy matters

  • How you can get the Implementation Map: Kia gives you access to her map that details the marketing journey from lead generation to conversion

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http://www.steakoutvt.com/library/inside-the-world-of-print-marketing-with-kia-arian.cfmwww.steakoutvt.com-133673Mon, 19 Oct 2020 08:08:00 EST
<![CDATA[Can't stand another day of your sub-par marketing strategy? ]]>http://www.steakoutvt.com/video/do-you-have-a-sub-par-marketing-strategy.cfmwww.steakoutvt.com-32065Fri, 16 Oct 2020 15:12:00 EST<![CDATA[World of Marketing 70: How to Improve Your SEO With Matt Tate]]>Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your website to increase its visibility when someone searches for it. SEO can be confusing, so it’s crucial to get it right if you want to rank above your competitors and get more traffic to your site.

Podcast title card with Matt Tate on the left and Tom Foster on the right.

There’s no shortage of SEO tools on the market, but FWM has one of its own. Matt Tate, business development strategist for FWM, said, “This tool has been simplified and made for people doing DIY work. This is the most focused one I have seen that really, really drives in the organic.” Matt and Tom talked about how the DSS SEO tool is a tracking and diagnostic tool that shows you how to improve your technical and page SEO, and how to rank for your selected keywords.

Matt said the SEO tool also analyzes internal links, backlinks, and toxic pages. What are you doing to improve your SEO? Find out what strategies Matt suggests you use to make the most of the SEO tool.

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http://www.steakoutvt.com/library/how-to-improve-your-seo-with-matt-tate.cfmwww.steakoutvt.com-133505Thu, 08 Oct 2020 15:06:00 EST
<![CDATA[World of Marketing 69: Exploring Google's New Legal Ad Format With Cody Moulton]]>Google is where everyone goes to search for things, no matter what they need. And, now they’re offering very prominent ad space at the top of their search results.

Podcast title card with Cody Moulton on the left and Tom Foster on the right

This brand new format for local legal services has been around for years in other service industries. Cody Moulton, senior digital marketing strategist for FWM, said, “It would be foolish not to give this a strong consideration.” Cody and Tom talked about the extensive set-up process, including background and license checks, and how advertisers are only charged for calls to their office.

Cody says Google wants more people to use their services, instead of legal directories like Avvo and FindLaw. Are you willing to try a new form of advertising? Find out why Cody thinks this new ad format will help lawyers get more leads and more easily track its effectiveness.

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http://www.steakoutvt.com/library/exploring-googles-new-legal-ad-format-with-cody-moulton.cfmwww.steakoutvt.com-133368Thu, 01 Oct 2020 15:09:00 EST
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