How will Apple’s timed notifications affect your LinkedIn posts?

On Sunday, 27 March 2022, Apple introduced timed notifications. This groups existing app notifications into less intrusive groups.

But if you want your LinkedIn posts to travel, you need to exclude LinkedIn comments from these grouped notifications.

Here’s why:

  • Comments are the lifeblood of how far your post will travel.
  • The effect of a comment is four times higher than a like.
  • But that is doubled during the first couple of hours when you’ve posted.

So, if you switch off notifications, then you’ll likely miss out on comments, and opportunities to respond, take conversations into other channels.

So, for now at least, my advice is to keep LinkedIn outside of your notifications groupings, and respond organically as the comments roll in each morning.

On your iPhone, choose

  1. Settings
  2. Notifications
  3. LinkedIn
  4. And then make sure that notifications are selected as ‘immediate’

As in the image below.

apple-notifications

How will Google’s switch from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 affect my law firm?

What is the switch from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics?

In a move to adhere to privacy laws Google has recently confirmed that Universal Analytics, UA, will stop processing new website visits and will permanently shut down on 1st July 2023. The change will see UA become replaced by the latest version of Google Analytics, GA4.

If you currently use Google Analytics, it’s likely that you’ll be using UA, and so will need to switch. Although UA doesn’t deprecate until 2023, there are two reasons why you need to at the very least, set up GA4 today: 

  • Larger accounts (such as top 100 law firms) can no longer add new goals to their UA Google Analytics account; and
  • GA4 will not import any historic UA data, and so for you to be able to compare month on month and month vs. last year performance, we need to run both instances for the next year.

 

What will the switch mean for my law firm?

If your law firm doesn’t add GA4 soon, from deadline day next summer you will lose all of the data you have collected and you’ll no longer be able to set up goals for your marketing campaign under UA.

In fact, some larger sites are already facing restrictions and some are unable to set up additional goals in UA.

Whilst this may come as a surprise, the switch does have some benefits. One key positive point to note is that the move to GA4 is built with GDPR in mind and adheres to all privacy laws. This is because the tracking implementation is changing from a predominantly cookie-based and session orientated tracking, which relies on I.P addresses, to an event-based tracking system.  

GA4 will work synergistically across all apps and your website so that you can get a complete and more accurate view of how your customers interact with your business across various platforms. 

Other benefits of GA4 include:

  • Upgraded benefits to customer journey tracking
  • Improved user engagement analysis
  • Additional audiences for your ad campaigns
  • GDPR safe privacy and tracking features
  • Simplified goals and events setup
  • Enhanced data reporting

 

Why do I need to make the switch for my law firm website?

In order to continue to use tracking benefits and your visitors’ data to help you make data-led decisions for both your advertising and marketing campaigns when UA is discontinued it’s vital that you make the move. 

Not only will there be a process in making the switch, transferring your UA data over but there will also be a huge period of adjustment for your team to familiarise themselves with the features and plugins. 

The good news is that we have developed some plug and play dashboards for law firms, where you’ll be able to focus on analysing the outcomes, rather than worrying about building the input for GA4.

 

Why do I need to do it now?

Unfortunately, there’s no magic button and whilst the switch-off doesn’t start until next year, firms must start preparing to keep valuable data because it’s recommended that firms need 12 months of data gathering using both systems to have a hassle-free, end-to-end transition. 

Firms that leave it to last-minute risk being unable to build the necessary historical data, and will likely stumble upon harder to resolve problems.

The 14-month handover period gives you and your team a chance to get used to the tracking elements, for instance ‘goals’ will now be termed as a ‘goal event’ with conversions set to each event that provides a transaction or lead. 

After the complex and unusual data your firm has received during the pandemic, this year should be a huge focus on tracking through both programmes so that from next year you have strong data foundations into your client activity. 

 

Can I store my historic data from UA Analytics?

Yes, we can help you do this. It’s likely to be a bespoke SQL database in light of your specific needs. We’re happy to quote for this.

 

Can TBD Marketing help me to switch over to GA4?

Yes, we’d be happy to. We can also show you our industry standard reporting dashboards in the process (we’re offering the move to GA4 for free to analytics dashboard subscribers). Contact us to arrange an informal chat.

The irresistible case study. Why your law firm needs them

The way we shop for services has changed. As consumers, the digital world has trained us to seek reviews, ratings, testimonials, and case studies before buying.

Think about the last high-value service you bought. Was it bought quickly, without you being exposed to any marketing and with no recommendations from others you trust? We thought not..

Nothing builds credibility and trust with your prospects like a success story featuring your product/service. Case studies need to be a consistent part of your content marketing strategy.

 

Why you need case studies in your marketing mix

Not only do case studies demonstrate your expertise, they build client trust and give your prospect that all important social validation. 

From a SEO perspective, case studies are one of the most straightforward, natural places you can write content around your target keywords. They keep your website content fresh and give you the opportunity to publish in-depth content, all of which is great for SEO.

 

What makes case studies so influential?

Case studies take a different approach to traditional broadcasting. You are showing your expertise, rather than just telling.

Your firm needs to demonstrate that your service solves a problem. If you can articulate your approach and show how this provides value to your clients then it gives your customers the social validation they need to buy.

Case studies are also key to brand storytelling. A great case study tells a complete story. Readers can see the whole picture from start to finish. A great case study has a compelling story with a problem, a strategy to solve the problem and the journey to resolution.

 

How case studies help with lead generation

A major benefit of crafting a case study is to eliminate the doubts of your prospects. If they can visualise their success by seeing others’, it supports the value your firm brings.

User generated content – which a case study is – holds great weight with your online audience. Real-world results that come from your customer are more compelling than a brochure you’ve written will ever be.

When your case study is structured correctly, it might just answer many of the questions you frequently get asked by your prospective customers.

 Once you gain the trust of a prospect, it becomes much easier to convert them.

 

Ways to incorporate your case studies

  • Create a dedicated case study page accessible from your homepage
  • Use case studies in your sales and content marketing material
  • Repurpose quotes and sections of your case studies into graphics, snippets as supporting marketing and in your social media

 

But what about client confidentiality?

First things first, your case studies should never breach your firm’s guidelines and should feel in keeping with how you want your firm to come across online.

Secondly, don’t let client confidentiality discourage you from sharing good news on behalf of your clients and firm.

You may be surprised how many clients will share their story once asked.

Alternatively, there are ways of maintaining anonymity by grouping cases together, leading with results and detailing the process rather than the individual/business.

Whilst client confidentiality can feel like a barrier, there is often a way to showcase your success, and it is so worth it. This simple testimonial increased conversion by 34% so just imagine what a detailed case study could do. 

 

FAQs

What is a case study and why should you create one?Case studies are a powerful tool to increase sales and drive conversions. They provide real-life examples of how your brand helps customers reach their goals.’ Neil Patel.

What is the purpose of a case study? The main purpose of case studies is to show how a product or service has been implemented successfully by customers.

How to get clients to agree to be in case studies.

  • Make it as easy as possible for your clients to contribute.
  • Asking for 20-30 minutes for you to interview your clients based on their experience is a good way to get buy-in from time poor customers.
  • Craft a series of questions, interview your customer
  • Share with your customer for sign off once written.

Where can I share my case studies? Social media, a customer success stories page on your website, add them to your proposals, events and webinars.

What is social proof? – ‘Social proof is a psychological and social phenomenon wherein people copy the actions of others in an attempt to undertake behaviour in a given situation’.

Buying legal services is a considerable commitment from your client and isn’t a decision that is made quickly and without research. Building social proof should be a key component to your marketing and business development strategy. Without them, your customers take longer to convert and your firm is harder to trust.

 

So, where can I start?

If you’ve recently submitted entries to the Legal 500 or Chambers submissions we help a number of our clients recycle this great content into case studies. Contact us here to maximise the work you’ve already done.

Law Firm Marketing in 2022 – It’s about more than Social Media

The role of marketing within law firms has changed. In a world that has become increasingly digitized, the way our employees and customers experience us is wildly different than it was just two years ago.

For the firms that have adapted to this digital revolution, the marketing rule book has been re-written, and those that haven’t have found themselves left behind. 

We are seeing more of a shift towards building communities, social selling and adopting a digital-first mentality. Maintaining a presence on social media is still vital, but as a part of your marketing mix.

So, where does that leave us in 2022 and beyond? 

Below are some of the key findings that will help your law firm marketing this year.

 

The Digital 100 data

We have seen The Digital 100 firms becoming savvier about SEO and firms gaining record followers because of their presence on social media. Linked to this activity, we’ve also seen increased views in response to video marketing (more on that later).  

But, there is work to be done! Some of our data revealed the following:

  • Five of the top 100 don’t have a YouTube channel. A presence on the platform is a vital part of video marketing for Law Firms.
  • Firms have taken their eyes off old social.
  • The top 100 have yet to take full advantage of new social opportunities e.g. newsletters, audio and cover stories.
  • A lot of firms have given up on organic reach in favour of paid only.

So, what can be done to make a difference in 2022?

 

There’s opportunity in old social

Some might say ‘Facebook is dead’. Well, we respectfully disagree.

Consider these two statements.

  • Facebook ranks as the third most visited website in the world, even today.
  • People are very proud of where they work and will often share content with their network.

Facebook is used differently across the world and you should be mindful of any cultural differences. But, let this also work to your advantage, what you disregard may land better elsewhere.

We recommend you look at the posts that perform well and experiment to see what happens when you tweak certain elements. 

 

Organic vs paid

Many firms have given up on organic reach in favour of focusing on paid advertising. But, there are still many ways to benefit from organic reach.

Once you have created and published a fantastic piece of Evergreen content, you’re not done! This approach does take time, but ‘set and forget’ leaves money on the table.

Look at Hubspot, their content is constantly renewed, refreshed and refined. Content that was created in 2019 is refreshed in 2022 so you know what you are reading is fresh and relevant.

Effectively, if you don’t get your organic reach working for you properly, you will get taxed when you come to paying for reach. So, do we suggest you focus just on organic reach? No, it’s a balance between the two.

Draft something, see how it’s received, ask questions, add to it, refine it, add faqs. Primping and refreshing your content is so worth your time.

 

Share it, but say something about it

“Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.”

T.S. Eliot, The Sacred Wood

It’s very easy to share an article from your law firm with your network. But what value does that add to your network? How do you feel about it? Why should your audience care? Why are you sharing this?

Why not take a shared update from another lawyer/blog post/press release etc and add your authority to it?

Being able to share relevant content with an added layer of you is a great way to build both credibility and your personal brand.

 

Social selling and narrowcasting

‘Hitting the phones’ is no longer enough, when it comes to sales in 2022, you need to be an all-rounder and use the data and opportunities that are readily available. So, what does social selling mean? 

Using social media to find prospects, build brand awareness, and build relationships with potential customers.

And ‘narrowcasting’? Well, it’s the opposite of broadcasting. With narrowcasting you target specific groups in specific places (in person and online).

In a sales context, this means always keeping your end user in mind when creating content on social media. What problem are you solving for this particular customer?

Social selling also highlights the difference between posting and commenting. We all know that person who only posts about themselves. If you only ever broadcast, it’s always about you. Engage with your community, add value first. 

When social selling is done well, it keeps your audience warm and helps you qualify marketing leads.

 

Making the most of mobile

If you’ve not visited your own site via your mobile recently, we’d encourage you to have a look. How quickly is it loading? Are any of your pages cropped, are there any buttons missing?

It sounds dry – and it is – but how many times have you x’d out of a window because it was just too hard to get the information you wanted? Your website and social content needs to be frictionless.  

Potential customers unconsciously form opinions about your firm based on the mobile-friendliness of your content. If it’s too hard to navigate on their phones, they’ll most likely spend their money elsewhere.

Whilst we’re on the subject, what does your email marketing look like when read from a mobile? If you’re unsure, start with the following:

  • Limit image size to 600-700px on desktop, and 320-385px on mobile.
  • Design the email so users don’t have to pinch and scroll to read.
  • Use short paragraphs and bullets to make your content as scannable as possible.

As well as how it looks and functions, of course your messaging needs to be on point. Which leads us to…

 

Intent based email marketing

To nurture your email list effectively, you need a clear understanding of your prospects, their interests, and where they are in the buying journey. 

It’s not enough to assume your buyers are all at the same stage in their buying journey and simply direct readers towards your practice website.

It’s time marketers focus on their biggest business goal: finding buyers who are ready to buy. To that end, it’s helpful to know who’s searching for your solution—and who is potentially in-market. Intent monitoring is the answer, and it’s a top trend that we anticipate will grow in 2022. When combined with actionable insights, it offers a powerful way to impact business growth. – Paula Chiocchi, Outward Media, Inc.

So, what does that mean from an email marketing perspective?

Intent-based email marketing is an approach that targets prospective buyers as soon as they show interest in a particular topic. The email simply references the prospect’s interest and provides relevant content. 

 

Video marketing for growing your firm

It’s well known that video has been an emerging trend for the last 10 years, but people are still watching more video online than ever before.

Firms that use video marketing as part of their strategy build loyal followings, build brand equity and convert the most customers. When it comes to creating awareness of your brand, a video is an excellent way to build trust.

Not convinced? Here are some stats we hope might convince you:

Video FAQ

Where should I put my videos? We suggest LinkedIn and YouTube (we assume they’re already on your website).

I have a graduate channel, is that ok? No, we’re afraid not, you need a main channel.

But, I’ve created content on LinkedIn already? Great, you’re at an advantage, get it loaded on to YouTube. Whilst you’re at it, share any recent webinars and events you’ve held.

What do I post about? Think about the questions your prospects ask you the most. What are the biggest problems you solve? Make a video about that. 

Do I need captions? Yes please. For accessibility and for secret scrollers at work (with the sound off).

 

Make your marketing minutes count

Whether you’re an in-house marketer or a founder, marketing has changed for all of us and it will continue to do so.

Buyers today are shrewd and connected. Once upon a time, customers might have hoped you have what they want, today they expect you to have it.

The good news is that with more tools and insights at our disposal than ever before, we know what needs to be done to effectively market your firm. 

The bad news is that it takes experience. Just as your fee-earners protect their billable hours, so should you.

 

If you’re a founder and reading this has made you think about marketing in a different way, we’d love to talk. It might be that the best use of your time is outsourcing this type of work. Get in touch here.

 

How does your marketing stack up? Why watching the competition works

Whilst having a laser focus on your goals can help you stay on track, it can also insulate you from learning from others, the industry and other market leaders.

It might feel like progress to see that your firm’s social media following is growing each month. But what if you learned that your competition is growing at twice the rate? Without this context your firm can fall behind without ever knowing it. 

This data matters, and it’s how you edge your rivals when they have become complacent.

 

What are the main reasons I should benchmark against my competitors?

By benchmarking, you are able to:

  • Understand your firm’s performance versus the industry and your key competitors. 
  • Find opportunities to gain market share by outperforming where your rivals are weak. 
  • React to market trends and adjust accordingly.
  • Track your position in the market over a period of time.

Competitive benchmarking can be as simple or as specific as you like and your approach should be informed by your aims and priorities.

 

How do I start benchmarking?

Decide which KPI’s you will measure. We suggest choosing three to five to start. You can always add one in if you need to at a later date.

If you’re unsure, think about ways you could measure growth; things like social media, SEO, brand awareness and customer feedback. 

Or, if you want to stay fairly broad, you could opt for measuring:

  • Company marketing
  • Digital marketing
  • Pitches
  • Pricing

 

Identifying your competitors

One option is to look at your closest competitor in terms of size and success. Is there a competitor who you are neck and neck with? Could there be gains you can make in the short-term that give you an edge? Looking to your peers can also give you a view on who may be ‘gaining on’ your firm.

If your ambitions are bigger than edging your close competitors, you might set your sights a little higher. Focusing on the leaders in your field (whilst initially depressing) will help you see which commonalities these bigger firms have, and where their weaknesses are.

It’s also worth looking at the smaller firms and new players in the market. It will give you a sense of who might be coming up and who is doing things differently. Disruption in the legal services is always a potential risk and it would be a mistake to ignore the smaller players. Minimise the chance of being caught off-guard further down the line as the smaller firms catch up by taking into account different ways of working.

 

Deciding on your metrics

Where possible, keep what you’re measuring simple so that you don’t become overwhelmed and the data is straightforward to track over a period of time.

For example, if you want to focus on website growth: you could track your site traffic using a tool like Google Analytics.

If you want to increase your social media following, you could compare competitors’ number of followers using a tool like hootsuite or sprout social. 

 

The benchmarking bit

Create a report for each goal (i.e. the social media, SEO, brand awareness and customer feedback we talked about earlier) and decide on a schedule for tracking.

You will know what rhythm suits your firm best, be it weekly, monthly or annually. It’s probably more often than you think, so you can take advantage of when the data is live and less often for the data you have to find manually. Like most meaningful marketing, it’s nuanced.

Regularly check that the things you are measuring are still relevant to your company’s goals. If your aspirations change then your benchmarking may need to reflect this.

 

Resources we think you’ll like:

Compare website speed results of your peers: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-gb/feature/testmysite/ 

Analyse your firm’s email marketing open rates with the industry standard: https://mailchimp.com/resources/email-marketing-benchmarks/

Google Analytics benchmarking marking report so you can filter data by channel, location and devices https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/6086676 

Similarweb: Find out where your traffic is coming from compared to others https://www.similarweb.com/ 

SEMrush: Find the gaps between you and your competition with backlinks, ads, keywords and more. It’s totally free up to 10 inquiries per day. https://www.semrush.com/ 

 

All the gear and no idea?

Tech and data is cool isn’t it? At least we think so. But it might be that your time is best spent winning new business. If you know you need to benchmark but want someone else to do the heavy (data) lifting, get in touch here and we can set up a session to discuss your benchmarking strategy. 

How do I use the hero’s journey to market my law firm?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock it’s likely that you’ve laughed, cried, and maybe even experienced both when being exposed to a ‘hero’s journey’ storyline.

Think of Lord of the Rings, The Alchemist, the original Star Wars trilogy, even Toy Story, and you’ll know exactly what I mean.

Whilst each of these films or books capture us with their different storylines they all share one very important theme, the hero’s journey.

A pattern that was spotted way back in 1949 by Joseph Campbell who noticed that heroes in mythology typically went through the same stages in their journey to victory.

By using this arc some of the greatest creators of our time, and before it, have been able to invent stories that we can all identify with, taking us each on a journey of our own as we witness their victories.

the-heros-journey

Traditionally our hero will follow 12 steps taking them from their ‘ordinary world’ to receiving a call to action which will lead them through the other stages, until they eventually loop back to the elixir, ending with their rebirth as a better person with some knowledge to share with others.

The elixir is, often, not what we think it is.

The hobbits don’t return with the ring. Luke Skywalker doesn’t return with his dad: he returns with peace. Coelho’s alchemist returns with… what he always had inside him. Woody realises it’s not Andy’s love he needs, but that he always had a friend in Buzz.

Whilst these stories are fictional we can learn a lot from the arc they are based on when it comes to creating compelling content for our law firms and using them in our marketing strategy.

As human beings, we are intrigued by each other’s stories, as long as they are well told! We love to be taken on a journey and relate to a person or a brand through this storyline.

Storytelling helps those reading our content think about what we are, and how we can really help them.

By using the art of the hero’s journey law firms can tell their own compelling brand story and create content that encourages them to reach their business goals. Whether that’s finding new clients, impressing investors, networking, or growing their business.

 

What are the 12 steps of a hero’s journey storyline?

The ordinary world

This is where it all begins. Maybe it’s today? Our hero (you) lacks something, or has something is taken from her that she wants back. You’re not getting the recognition you deserve.

A call to action

Our hero is presented with a challenge or problem which they have to solve. It might well be that this appears to be happenstance – as the challenge is so out of their frame of reference – the ordinary. This stage is when we understand what the goal of the adventure is.
You’d like to grow your business – for profit or stability but don’t know how.

The refusal of the call

Our hero has a chance to turn back and return to the safety of the normal world. (Red pill, blue pill in The Matrix). Yet the desire to face the challenge lures our hero onwards. Their motivation is set and they overcome their doubt. This comes in useful at any point in the journey when they need to remember why they committed to the adventure.

Meeting with the mentor

Gandalf, anyone? Our heir meets a wise figure who prepares her for the journey ahead. The mentor gives the hero advice or an item but – for reasons which may or may not be made clear – can’t travel with the hero.

Crossing the threshold

In Greek myths, our heroes have to traverse the threshold from the known to the unknown world. This stage is often characterised by a threshold guardian. Maybe like Greedo in Star Wars. Who shot first? Who cares, it’s now essential to leave the known world behind.

Tests, Allies and enemies

In the special world, the hero learns the new rules by meeting people and obtaining new information. There is often a “local watering hole” component. This is where the true characteristics of the hero are revealed.

Approach to the inner most cave

Now our hero, and often his allies, have come to the edge of the dangerous place where the “object of the quest” is hidden. This stage often is the land of the dead.

The supreme ordeal

The hero faces danger, often a life-or-death moment that is either physical or psychological.

Reward, or seizing the sword

After surviving, our hero takes possession of the object, typically a treasure, weapon, knowledge, token, or reconciliation.

The road back

The hero must now deal with the consequences of their actions. They may be pursued by remaining forces. They now face the decision to return to the ordinary world.

Resurrection

One final test is required for the purification and rebirth of the hero. Alternatively, it may be a miraculous transformation.

Return with the elixir

The triumphant hero returns to the ordinary world bearing the elixir. Common elixirs are treasure, love, freedom, wisdom, or knowledge. A defeated hero is doomed to repeat the lesson.

 

How do I use the hero’s journey in my brand story?

So now we know more about the arc we can look at how you can use the hero’s journey in your own law firm brand story.

To do this you either need:

1) Your ‘superpower’, sometimes known as your unique selling point, or a theme that journey. reoccurs throughout your business.

For instance this trait could be your speciality in a certain practice area. It’s what sets you apart from the rest. You might be a female founder who’s fought through discrimination to get to where you are today, leaving a big corp to run your own boutique business? Or maybe you’re a personal claims genius with an impressive track record? Whatever it is this is your special power for the purpose of our story.

If you don’t know this, now’s a good time to find out! A good marketeer will help you to brainstorm all aspects of your business to find the golden nugget that will help you rise above the rest.

2) Your authentic message, this is your tagline, it’s a sentence or two that defines you. It’s what summarises your brand, your story and what you stand for. It’s what you will see businesses using to describe their company in snappy, authentic and emotive ways on Linkedin.

Without this, you can’t move forwards with your hero’s journey because every step along your journey, every failure that transformed to success stemmed from this sentence.

Think of it as the root of your business, it’s where all aspects have grown from and everything you do is shaped around.

Again, if you’re scratching your head here don’t worry. Working with a marketeer will help transform your tagline into something that you can say proudly and use to create your content going forwards.

From either of these, your brand story can be born, using the hero’s journey as your recipe for storytelling success.

Each stage of the journey can reinforce your authentic message or your unique selling point, you can keep dripping into the story of how you’ve worked hard and overcome difficulties and challenges to claim the truth of your core values.

You are free to tell your story. Where you came from, what your struggles were, what breakthroughs you had, how you overcame prejudice and adversity, how you triumphed, how you decided, restless, that a new adventure beckoned as a result.

Done well your brand story will be a cut above the rest, it won’t be boastful or self-indulgent it will be victorious, inspiring, heroic.

It will tell the very real, authentic journey that you’ve been on to achieve the success and knowledge you have now. From this brand story, it will be difficult for a new client, investor or prospective employee to say ‘no’.

This powerful art of storytelling will enable your law firm to tap into the emotions of these people helping them to connect with your tagline, or brand values.

In the same way that we root for the heroes in the films or novels that we watch and read, readers will be rooting for you.

 

How can I use the hero’s journey in my client stories?

Just like in our favourite films where the hero’s journey has been used in different ways, following similar themes, law firms can do this too.

In fact, your firm doesn’t always have to be the hero, your prospective client can be too.

It’s here where your firm becomes the mentor in the story, a powerful role that helps the hero get to their victory. Giving them the tools i.e. the legal advice that they need to survive and thrive.

Using the hero’s journey theory, content around client successes can be crafted, where you share your hero as the client and you as their mighty mentor.

You can draft inspirational blogs, web page content, emails, videos using the hero’s journey as your base for content where your prospective client is the hero.

They are the one with the problem, a legal matter they need help with and you write the narrative towards their dilemma. Featuring your lawyers as the experts, the mentors who can assist them to reach their resolve.

It’s one of the best ways you can share your skillset, whilst really connecting with your audience on a human level.

 

Can you help me with my hero’s journey?

If you’re reading this feeling inspired but thinking, where do I start? Or when am I going to find the time to do this?

Or scratching your head thinking that can’t possibly work for my law firm?

Don’t worry. We can help.

We will work closely with you to help you establish your hero’s journey inspired brand story so that you have a compelling, well written, engaging story that’s different from other law firms.

We will tap into the emotions of your readers so that prospective clients, investors or new employees feel connected to you before they even pick up the phone.

When you work with a team like ours we will support you to find the stories in your business, whether they are based around your brand, current clients or prospective clients.

And we’ll write them for you, using our knowledge of what works for readers to create engaging content that builds your brand and ultimately helps you to achieve your goals.

Let us be the mighty mentor in your hero’s journey, helping you reach your true potential.

27.92% of Magic Circle jobs on LinkedIn have zero applicants

Worryingly, across the top 100 firms, 825 lawyer jobs have no LinkedIn applications

(4th of February 2022, London) Concerns over the talent pipeline for the nation’s top-quality law firms has been highlighted following research from Flare Insight and TBD, two leading law firm marketing agencies.

In its analysis of the current vacancies available at law firms, the research found that:

  • among the Magic Circle law firms, 27.92% of their roles had zero applicants
  • lawyers jobs are the most commonly listed on LinkedIn by law firms
  • And yet, on average, the top 100 law firms only had 1.34 applicants per lawyer role compared to an average of 5.21 applications for vacancies within Learning & Development.

As part of its research, TBD looked into factors such as the total number of employees each firm has, the volume of jobs each firm has on both their website and LinkedIn, and which of these have been advertised or have an option to easily apply via LinkedIn.

It found that whilst global firm DWF had the most roles advertised on LinkedIn – but over half of their jobs  (53.1%) had no applicants.

Lewis Silkin’s jobs received the most applicants, with an average of 6.5 applicants per role.

The research also highlighted that out of all top 100 firms, Watson Farley & Williams and Lewis Silkin were the only two firms who shared five or more jobs and had at least one applicant for every role.

Out of the Magic Circle law firms, Slaughter and May had the most applications per role, but it only had one job advertised on LinkedIn: which was for a recruiter. Fellow Magic Circle firm Clifford Chance came second in the most applicants per role, with an average of 3.65 applications per advertised role.

The research also found that Ince Gordon Dadds, which ranks eighth on average for applications, was the only firm using LinkedIn’s easy apply tool for all its job vacancies.

Founder of TBD, Simon Marshall, said: “It’s a hot market for law firm talent and law firms are struggling to attract the right applicants right now. Before conducting the research, we didn’t expect to see quite so few applicants per role. In previous years, our experience tells us that each of these roles would’ve had maybe 30 or 40 applicants each.

“What’s clear is that recruitment teams need to try some new approaches. Our view is that recruitment teams should be working with their marketing and communications teams to ensure that these job descriptions are going to attract the talent that the firm needs.

“Two years ago, perhaps remote working or flexible working made you stand out in the market. But today? No. We’ve all been working remotely since 2020 and firms haven’t yet communicated what they stand for as of today that is proving attractive enough to candidates to want to move.”

Catriona Collier, founder of Flare Insight, who worked on the report said:

“People are going to spend on average at least five to six years working at your law firm, so it’s incredibly important that make sure that your job descriptions are tailored to the specific role and really details what that person’s going to be doing, who they will be working for, and what might be expected of them.

“It’s clear from the results in the report that we need to see a change in how people are using content marketing methods to attract the very best talent. We hope that a lot of firms are going to consider their position in relation to advertising and promoting these job roles until they’ve nailed the kind of language that attracts people to roles in 2022.”

-ends-

Notes to editors

TBD is an agency that advises marketing, recruitment and management teams on how to better position law firms in the UK market and beyond. If you have any queries please get in touch: simon.marshall@tbdmarketing.co.uk

W: tbdmarketing.co.uk

Flare Insight is a research and strategy consultancy helping firms understand their markets and seize opportunities. For any queries please contact info@flareinsight.co.uk

W: flaresinsight.co.uk

What does the Pareto principle mean for law firm marketing?

The Pareto Principle is very simple, yet extremely effective when it comes to your law firm marketing and business development including sales. The 115-year-old rule is named after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto who found that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population.

The most important thing about his findings is how they can be applied to businesses across the world even in the digitalised way we live today. For example, in general, 20% of your time produces 80% of your results or 80% of your revenue will come from 20% of your clients. 

Sometimes referred to as the 80/20 rule it gives you a really unique insight into shifting your balance of responsibilities to work with marketeers differently to secure you more business.

By looking at the important role that marketing plays in forming new business opportunities for you Pareto’s principle can be applied not just to increase leads and warming them up to say yes but it also saves you precious time, which you can then spend on tasks that only you can do, like meeting up with prospective clients.

What are the stages law firms use to generate new business leads? 

Traditionally, lawyers, like yourself, have tended to enjoy holding the pen and so lead towards dominating the marcomms output, because you see it as safe. You can keep editing and red lining it as you please.

Plus you see seminars, articles as much safer than, say, pitches or live events which are open to the general public.

In fact some lawyers I’ve worked with have even admitted that they stay commandeering marcoms as an excuse not to do the business development.

Therefore there’s an imbalance when it comes to the efforts and skill sets, which we can revitalise with inspiration from Pareto’s law.

Let’s start by analysing the marcomms and BD process as four different stages: 

  1. Stage one is communications, this is where you would broadcast, for example, a Linkedin Post, to a relatively unknown but very wide audience with the objective of ‘eyeball time’ aka lots of views, clicks and interactions. The key here isn’t to necessarily tick any box, it’s just to get content out there with the main goal of getting it seen by as many people as possible. 
  2. The next step will really try to narrow the wide audience down and tap into people’s interests. Usually, this will involve asking the audience to do something, so it could be signing up for a webinar, reading a white paper or downloading a pdf. This stage requires the audience to take action and we usually take them from the page they found us to a new tab elsewhere. It’s here where we want to capture their email address so that their marketing journey can continue.
  3. This is where your audience has now become your ‘leads’ and it’s time to decide if they align with you and your firm and whether a business meeting would be appropriate. To put it simply – do you want to meet them for coffee? Do they want to have coffee with you? Having a coffee with someone is business development. For things to move forward, even above and beyond technical excellence, there’s a need for the right chemistry to exist.
  4. The follow up to coffee is a pitch or presentation or proposal. This is sales or, for existing clients and targets, CRM. This is the point at which people decide: can we work with you to achieve this outcome at the price you’ve quoted? That’s a lot of moving parts.

How can Pareto’s principle be used by marketers and law firms?

Traditionally steps one and two are very safe as you can heavily control them, redlining and editing where you see fit.

But shouldn’t your focus be on business development? Shifting the marcomms weight towards a marketing expert who can take one idea, and turn it into a fountain of content looking at what it means for your audience, how they are going to buy it, and importantly what emotional factors are at play.

Marketeers can inject the much needed emotional aspects to help the audience connect with you, your values and your messages. They add warmth, personality and a tone that can’t be tamed with a red pen. 

So, what if we used Pareto’s principle and rebalanced the load so that it was an 80/20 marketing experts/ lawyers for marcomms, and 20/80 when it comes to business development and sales.

With just one single good idea from you, a marketeer can do more than that you will ever have time to do. For instance, from a single blog post, a marketeer can craft multiple pieces of content and opportunities, including opinion pieces, news stories, video content or even an event! Your singular post can suddenly become a web of different content, reaching out to audiences through a range of platforms and broadening the scope. 

And most importantly it will ooze emotion which will help your audience connect with you and what you’re offering them.

This way the marketeer is using their skills to reduce the amount of time you’re investing in marketing and reusing, recycling and recreating content from a relatively small amount of work on your side. 

And because there is more content available on a range of different platforms the net to catch an audience is wider and the marketeer can reel in more potential business leads for you.

The magic of all of this work really sparks in the final stages, because whilst 80% of the business development and sales is down to you when it comes to your face to face meeting, your new business lead will already have a really thorough understanding and context of your brand, your business and how you work, so effectively they are not just warm to the idea of you working together, they are scolding hot and ready to say yes before you even sit down! 

In business development the 20% that the marketing experts hold will be spent preparing you for your meeting, sharing with you insights and rehearsing with you any key messages. But really at this stage is up to you to impress – it’s you or your firm that the client is buying.

 

In summary, why does Pareto’s principle work in law firm marketing?

Working with Pareto’s principle in this way means that by splitting communications and marketing 80/20 so that it is led by marketing experts they can plant many seeds of touchpoints for the audience which will grow into new business leads for you.

By using Pareto’s principle in this clever way marketeers can save you time and energy whilst simultaneously increasing a firm’s presence and business leads. Your time saved can then be spent doing the factors that only you can do – which is meeting prospective clients and wowing them with your knowledge. 

The balance then shifts when it comes to business and development and sales, weighting 80/20 to you meaning that you can focus your efforts ensuring that your client signs on the dotted line. Through preparation, planning and focus you’ll be able to pour over the necessary documents and rise above your competitors. 

Sounds good doesn’t it?

Becoming a Rockstar unicorn: learning to recognise and prevent burnout #LeadersWithValues

Leah Steele, a self-confessed reformed stress addict, talks about the importance of setting boundaries

I stumbled across Leah on LinkedIn when one of her posts really grabbed my attention. A quick Google search threw up her website Searching for Serenity. I quickly fell down a rabbit hole and spent my lunchtime reading her blog. I could personally relate to a lot of what she was writing about and was intrigued enough to ask her to meet me for a coffee, so I could find out more about exactly what it is she does. SM: Can you explain what you do in under 20 words? LS: I mentor and train professionals who are exhausted, overwhelmed, and burning out. I help them love life and work again.   SM: I think you might be the first person to have done that so confidently. Now we have an idea of what you do, tell me a bit more about it, who you work with, and how you help. LS: I’m a former lawyer, but I work with any professional or aspiring professional who feels that my blogs and videos resonate with them. Past clients have included lawyers, medical professionals, teachers, students, business analysts, tech and design professionals. For the most part I work with women who have been in their careers for 10+ years, who love what they do but are slowly drowning under the Shoulds, Ought-Tos, administration, and other bullshit. My clients learn not to take themselves and their work quite so seriously; a group of them now call themselves ‘rockstar unicorns’. My favourite clients have a dark and sharp sense of humour, just like me. We might be talking about difficult topics, but we have an uproarious amount of fun doing it.   SM: How did you end up helping women beat burnout? LS: I started my very first job at 13 years old: preparing documents for microfilm! I remember one of the managers chiding me for working through my break, with the words “don’t do that, no-one here appreciates it”. Looking back, it feels like eerie foreshadowing of many of the people pleasing, overachieving behaviours I deal with now. From there I got a few big breaks, including the associate who helped me develop my specialism in law and the partner who I convinced to help me qualify. I spent a decade of working 70+ hour weeks to progress and gain recognition and respect, without stopping for breath. My resilience waned and I started isolating myself from my friends and family, to the point that my health collapsed. Since then, I’ve rebuilt my personal and professional life from the ground up.   SM: Can you tell me more about what you’re currently working on? LS: I move quickly in my business and rarely advertise a product or service for more than two weeks. That’s how I’ve launched dozens of home study courses in the past three years. Currently, I’m inviting new members of my monthly membership programme The Resilience Academy, which blends home study, live (online) training, a Netflix style array of past trainings to dip into and 1:1 support. It costs less than £1.25 a day and is insanely good value for anyone who feels that my message resonates with them. I’ve also just written a book on how to identify, manage, and reverse burnout, which will be published on 1 August. You can order your copy here.   SM: Reading your website, it’s clear that you’ve learned from some of the mistakes you’ve made, but which one taught you the biggest lesson? LS: My biggest regret is working 50+ hours in 4 days, thinking I’d take the Friday as holiday to do Christmas shopping, relax and recharge before calling my mum. That Friday night the police knocked at the door. My mum died that morning.   SM: I’m so sorry to hear that that must be crap. I had more warning before losing my dad as he had cancer so I spent a lot of time with him. I have to say Osborne Clarke was really supportive of me doing so.   SM: Do you think the business world is finally starting to wake up to the importance of mental health and wellbeing? LS: My concern is that it’s being approached in such a superficial, tick box way. Firms and companies think having one or two mental health first aid trained individuals is going to cut it, but we need more than signposting and shovelling off issues. We need a wholesale change in the way we view work and life, and integrating the two in a supportive and healthy way. There is more of a conversation about mental health, but in the professional world, I think it is still a taboo.   SM: Does that tie in with the biggest challenges you face in your own business? LS: Somewhat. It’s about helping people get over the fear that they shouldn’t need help. Ego also has a lot to answer for, for a lot of people. Much as I want mental health and resilience to be open topics, there are plenty of my clients who are scared of their colleagues finding out. It goes without saying that no matter how glittery the title, my clients are as anonymous as they choose.   SM: What can older business people learn from younger business people? And vice versa? LS: I’ve so many brilliant stories of working with older lawyers and my biggest take away has to be the pace. We might be constantly connected, but more established lawyers have learned to work at their own pace and not be at the mercy of every client with ‘an urgent issue’. The market has opened up greatly even in the time I’ve been working, and adopting new technology and new ways of delivering what the client wants in a way that works with the employee’s life? It’s an untapped goldmine still.   SM: And finally, what gives you the greatest buzz? LS: That moment when my client calls me to tell me that they had a problem…. and how they resolved it and are celebrating! The day I do myself out of a job I’ll be a very happy woman.   And that’s it, our coffee break is over and Leah is off to share her wisdom with another professional struggling with burnout. Reflecting on our quick chat, I’d say that:

  • Leah wants Searching for Serenity to give women the opportunity to pause and take back control of their personal and professional lives
  • Our egos often prevent us from asking for the help we desperately need
  • If employers treat mental health as a tick box exercise, the real problems will only be buried even deeper
  • Setting and respecting boundaries is the key to work-life balance.

 

Leah in a nutshell

She’ll no longer sacrifice anything for her core values: time, space, and laughter. She uses the sale of her jewellery to support her local food bank (you can buy some here), and has plans to grow more support for women’s charities. If that’s not enough, she also dreams of being an ethical landlord, so she can provide long term, secure, affordable lets to the people of Bristol. Her partner and closest friends are her biggest cheerleaders. You can find Leah on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  


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Job security or your values: the choice we all have to make #LeadersWithValues

Terry Webster explains why he ditched the 9-5 and went back to university

  I recently managed to pin down Terry Webster, founder and director of Lindis Consulting, to find out why he chose to leave employment and start his own business. I first met Terry at a dinner and was impressed with his genuine interest in what other people had to say. His active listening is a trait that’s often overlooked. I was also intrigued as to why he’d chosen to do an MBA at the age of 45, so I asked him if he’d be profiled for this blog.   SM: Can you explain what you do in fewer than 20 words? TW: My skills and experience in business, pensions and as an actuary help company directors work more efficiently and robustly. SM: Ok, so what does your typical client look like? TW: I work with clients in various industries and sectors. That’s one of the things I like most about my job: the variety and learning how different ways of thinking and culture impacts how problems are approached. The people that come to me are usually the FDs of SMEs. But they’re quite often not only FD, as they’re also wearing the hat of IT Manager, HR Manager, Pensions and Employee Benefit Manager, and others. That’s quite an ask, so it’s no surprise that they often need some help and support. The clients that I work with best are usually values-driven, self-aware, open-minded and collaborative, confident, trusting but not naïve. Self-awareness is a particularly valuable attribute, as for me to function effectively, the FD needs to understand the gaps I can fill and think of me in that context. SW: When did you get your big break? TW: It was probably my first job at London & Manchester, a relatively small UK-based pensions and life assurance company. The actuarial training I received, resulted in me working in several roles. The first two of which involved supporting the client services team and marketing department. This meant dealing closely with clients, potential clients, and those directly in contact with them. It was these experiences that helped me understand the importance of being able to meet others’ needs and to explain issues, sometimes of a complex nature, in ways that your audience can understand and relate. SM: Some would say it was lucky to get your break with your first job. Has it always been plain sailing? TW: No, not at all. In early 2016, I chose to leave the security of a full-time job for a new and unknown world. In my final months there, I got comfortable with the fact that I was a square peg trying to fit into a round hole and the reality was that neither of us were going to change enough to make it work: I just didn’t fit within the business, so I decided to leave. Quite a few of my prior clients wanted to carry on working with me, and I came to a mutual arrangement with my former employer that allowed me to do so. As a result, instead of spending my summer out on my boat as I had intended, I was setting up a new business. I had to learn a lot of stuff I’d never done before: accounting, IT, all the kinds of things that are done for you within a big organisation. Again, in hindsight, it was refreshing. I was invigorated by the new challenges, and by my clients valuing me enough to go to great lengths to employ me. By July, I had enough clients with contracts and the infrastructure to run a skeleton business. SM: It sounds like you were on to something, so what made you go on to do an MBA? TW: A friend who worked at the university sent me a text out of the blue. It said, “Do you fancy doing an MBA?”. I didn’t know what to make of it really, so I ignored him. He phoned me the next day to talk about it, and that afternoon I had an interview with the course leader. Three days later I was sitting in an economics lecture. I felt like a fish out of water. I was 45, surrounded by people much younger and probably much brighter than me. It was a new subject matter and I’d had no preparation, but I believe in things happening for a reason. It’s not very often you get an opportunity like that, so I went with it. The fact that I was able to keep my head above water and then actually start swimming, despite not having any preparation, improved my self-confidence no end. SM: What do you think older business people can learn from younger business people? And vice versa? I’m going to give the opposite answer to most in that older people should stop thinking they know it all! I’m often blown away with how intelligent, enthusiastic, and talented young people are. I fear we don’t generally benefit from their perspectives, insights, and technical know-how as much as we should. Conversely, and building on some of my experiences above, young people would in my view benefit from considering who has the power and who they need to influence (whether they like it or not), and tailor their communications and actions accordingly. SW: What’s topical in your world right now? And what would you like your clients to take action on? TW: I’m very interested, concerned and passionate, in equal measure, about redefining business practices and society, with a greater focus on sustainability and wellbeing. In this respect I’m pleased we’re starting to have meaningful conversations about climate change, mental illness, and plastic waste, for example. The One-Planet MBA I graduated from in 2017 had a strong focus in these areas, and accountability in its widest sense, which was a major factor in my decision to do it. People are drawn to things that resonate with their values. I’d encourage clients to think more long-term, more strategically, and do more to identify and mitigate risks; while at the same time being aware of and taking advantage of market changes and their business strengths. SM: And finally, what gives you the greatest buzz? TW: Knowing I’ve done a good job and made a positive difference. If my client values that and expresses their appreciation too, and especially if they say they’ve enjoyed our interaction, that’s really the icing on the cake.   Reflecting both on what I learned about Terry the first time we met, and during this interview, I’d say that:

  • If you’re unhappy with where you are, take a calculated risk and try something different
  • It’s often worth accepting the opportunities that arise, even if they’re outside of your comfort zone
  • It takes guts to be genuinely driven by your values, but it usually pays off in the end.

 

Terry in a nutshell

He’s a sports enthusiast, currently training for the 110-mile, 10,00 feet Dartmoor classic bike ride and repairing his ageing wooden yacht, Lindis. His favourite restaurant is Casa Velha on Maderia, where he enjoys the occasional round of golf. Being a Spurs fan, he admires Mauricio Pochettino, but more surprisingly Arsene Wenger. You can find out more about Terry and Lindis Consulting on LinkedIn.  


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