10 Tips to Make Your Attorney Law Practice Successful

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An attorney law practice, like any other business in the world, is subject to the same set of rules as any other business – an extremely competitive environment. So how do you make your attorney law practice stand out from the competition?

Having worked with lawyers throughout Northern New Jersey for over 7 years as their Business Coach and Marketing Agency, we have some marketing tips that can help you IF you are willing to put in the extra hours and effort. If not, your law practice will just stagnate and go nowhere.

Tip #1 – Get yourself a customizable website that can grow and evolve with you and your business. Customizable means exactly that. No cookie cutter template nonsense just because it’s free. If you want to set yourself apart from the rest, you’ve got to walk the talk and look the look. Find out more here.

You think you’ll pass on having a website? Then you may as well pass on the business cards, and the overhead………. like the rent of your law office. And while you’re at it, figure out a different way to pay the bills.

Tip #2 – Figure out your niche target markets – what areas of law are you going to practice in. Understand that over time this may change and evolve. In order for you to become a successful law practice, you need to excel in a few areas and become the expert. If you feel like you’re just going to jump in and practice in all areas, you’re just branding yourself as a jack of all trades and a master of none.

Tip #3 – Populate your website with quality content, and lots of it. Each area of practice needs strong positive content, letting the public know what you can do for them. Potential clients are not interested in you patting yourself on the back. They are in trouble and need to see what you can do to get them out of said trouble. End of story. It’s not about you. It’s about your clients.

Tip #4 – Blog on a fairly consistent, constant basis. Your blog posts need to focus on your targeted niche markets. Your blog posts need to detail aspects of relevant cases, case outcomes, new laws and how they can and will affect various criminal court outcomes. The more information you make available in a professional helpful manner the more your law practice comes over as a leader and expert in the field.

Tip #5 – Make your branding consistent across the board – using the same handles and branding hashtags on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Your law office should be instantly recognizable by your consistent brand hashtag. Potential clients may not remember your name when they go looking for you, but your hashtag will be your saving grace as they very well may remember that and find you that way.

Tip #6 – Populate your website with meaningful informative videos. This also establishes you as the expert that people can turn to for their legal issues. Whether they video is a lecture you gave, part of a round table session, or a short video on your chosen niche areas of practice, this goes a long way in establishing you as the expert. Plus, people like the visual. They feel like you are talking to them and this makes you much more approachable and relatable.

Tip #7 – Get involved with your local Bar Association, get on some committees. This brings up your visibility within the law circle itself. No, it’s not just schmoozing and nonsense. It’s networking, gaining peer respect, and getting referrals from other attorneys.

Tip #8 – Populate your website with all of the professional memberships you belong to, speaking engagements, education, continuing education seminars you attend over the course of your career. This is another very valid tactic to establish yourself as the pre-eminent expert in your field. This goes a long way in gaining potential client’s trust because they feel you actually know what you are talking about. Remember, they don’t know you from the next attorney and they have many other potential choices to take their legal issues to.

Tip #9 – Hire yourself a good marketing agency that will work with you to either build your website for you, or do a complete audit of your current website. A reputable marketing agency will identify all issues and weaknesses with your website after a thorough audit. Your marketing agency will then work with you to implement all organic methods possible to establish your presence in the search engines through proper white hat SEO, organic marketing techniques, local geo targeted SEO, reputation management and responsible social media marketing.

Tip #10 – Take advantage of your free listing on law directories. Don’t spend thousands of dollars a year on paid listings. Even on paid listings there are still other attorneys appearing on your page. This leaves the door open for a potential client to still click on one of them. Take the free listings, encouraging your clients to leave reviews for you there as well as on Google, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Remember, people like 5 star ratings. The more legitimate 5 star ratings, the stronger your reputation will be without you breaking the piggy bank.

Maureen McCullough LLC is your Bergen County New Jersey website design, SEO and marketing agency. We care about your business and want you to succeed. Give us a call today at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.

10 Tips For More Traffic To Your Etsy Shop

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I’ve been asked by quite a few Etsy shop owners for tips and critiques of their shops so they can at least get more traffic if not more sales. Happy to oblige!

Here are my quick Top Ten Tips for exactly this purpose below. For some points of reference I have used my own e-commerce store and my own Etsy shop as examples. It’s one thing to talk about something and quite another to actually SHOW you what I mean.

Here we go!

1 – Establish your BRAND IDENTITY.

What do I mean by that? Brand Identity is something that sets you apart from everyone else, enables you to be found quickly over a variety of venues, regardless of actual website addresses, or shop URL’s.

For example. I thought long and hard about my own Brand Identity before I established it. I eventually came up with mmdesignsnj – perfectly good with a hashtag – #mmdesignsnj – or @mmdesignsnj. If you simply Google my Brand Identity – mmdesignsnj – you can find my website, my Facebook business page, my Instagram business account, my Pinterest business account, my Twitter posts, and since I’ve just started including it in my Etsy product tags, right at this moment not so much on Etsy. A few things are popping up though.

Everything is always evolving and is a work in progress to improve and market better across platforms. A never ending task.

It’s highly advisable to make your Brand Identity a “handle” you can use across the board – even put it on your business cards. Easy for people to find you without remembering longer website URL’s.

2 – Make your PRODUCT TITLES relevant, descriptive and keyword rich. 

Etsy product titles are no different than your website product titles. They will be indexed by Google. If they are not relevant, descriptive and keyword rich, you may find yourself somewhere on page 268 of Google search instead of on page 1 or 2.

So, no matter what it is you sell on Etsy, you need to pay attention to that product title. Target your audience – baby, jewelry, home decor, – with a title that does the product justice and is what people are searching for.

Baby Shower Gift Basket, Handmade Wooden Home Decor, Bridal Wedding Pearl Bracelet. The more descriptive you get, the more you are targeting your audience.

Owl Theme Girl Baby Shower Gift Basket, Rustic Country Cow Handmade Wooden Home Decor, Blush Pink Bridal Wedding Pearl Bracelet.

3 – Make your PRODUCT DESCRIPTIONS relevant, descriptive and keyword rich.

Keeping in the same spirit as the TITLES above, you need to be as detailed as possible with your product descriptions. For example, the following example below is taken directly from our Etsy listing for our Golden Topaz Crystal Bangle Style Bracelet  – you can see the actual listing HERE.

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Our Golden Topaz Crystal Bangle Style Bracelet is an elegant sparkling bangle style bracelet where less is more. Created from golden topaz Preciosa crystals with AB finish, sterling silver filigree beads, antique silver bumpy spacer beads, and sterling silver curved tube beads. Sterling silver swivel lobster claw clasp and one inch hand linked chain extender.

Fits ladies wrist sizes from 6 1/2 inches to 7 1/2 inches. This bracelet is custom made at the time of order.

Handmade for you in our jewelry studio. Custom orders are always welcome.

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As you can see, we mention the NAME of our product in the opening sentence. This reinforces the product, albeit subconsciously, with the potential customer.

Then we describe what the product is made of, colors, clasp, the fact that is is adjustable because it has an extender chain. Remember, people cannot play touchy feely with your product like they could in a brick and mortar retail store. So you need to create a well worded description that is accurate, and detailed enough.

Next we talk size, that is is custom made, we reinforce that it is HANDMADE, and that we LOVE custom orders.

This sort of Product Description makes you approachable and gives a personal feel to the product. It also gives the search engines, such as Google, plenty of solid meat and potato keywords to feed upon and index.

4  – Product Tags – Do Your Due Diligence.

Jewelry, Bracelets, Bangles – again, these tags are taken directly from our listing as noted above. These first three represent the category (categories) we listed the item in on Etsy.

These next tags are relevant to the actual product, and are how people will find it. I did a great deal of research as to what tags were working well for other jewelry designers on Instagram, believe it or not. Instagram is SO visual that I always research my tags based upon that venue.

antique silver, bangle bracelet, beaded bracelet, crystals, custom made bracelet, golden topaz, handmade, sparkling, sterling silver, silver filigree, gift for her, fashion jewelry, arm candy

This item was listed on Etsy before I decided to incorporate my Brand Identity into the tags – mmdesignsnj – which is fine – however, moving forward I am including mmdesignsnj on my product tags. I may even go back and tweak the older listings. When I have spare time. Whenever that may be.

But I highly recommend that you start out including YOUR Brand Identity as one of your product tags.

5 – Blogging

Most e-commerce websites come with a built in blog, if yours does, USE IT! If you have an e-commerce website AND an Etsy Shop, and sell the same products on both, make sure you blog consistently and highlight your new products, new creations, seasonal products, etc. in your blog posts. Always include a link back to the product on your website as well as to the listing on Etsy.

You can say something like:

“You can find this gorgeous home decor accent on our website HERE! (HERE will be the link back to the listing on your website.) If you prefer to shop on Etsy, click HERE to see it in our Etsy Shop! Thanks for visiting!” (Again, HERE will be the link to the listing in your Etsy Shop.)

6 – We Love Pinterest

Assuming you have the e-commerce website and an Etsy Shop, you can promote both through your Pinterest Business Page. Simply create a board on Pinterest called Our Etsy Shop Favorites, or something similar, and pin your products directly to that board. You can even create several boards like this on Pinterest. We are assuming that your main e-commerce website will be the focus of your Pinterest Business Page.

Draw attention and traffic to your Etsy Shop by creating boards as noted above. Use the word Etsy in the board name, of course. You are not allowed to use hashtags on Pinterest, so write a good title and a good description for your Etsy boards.

This showcases your Etsy products on Pinterest. Give it time. People who favor shopping on Etsy will find you.

7 – Back to Etsy – List your products in the most relevant categories possible

This one can be tough. What we did was what we always do…………. our due diligence by researching our competition. We singled out similar products that we really liked, that were classy, well made and might even be something we ourselves would purchase. We took note of what categories these items were listed in.

One of our steno pads really took a beating because we made copious notes but this served us well in the end.

Our products are listed in the most absolutely relevant categories humanly possible. No fishing expedition as to Oh Gosh where should I put this? No Way! Do your research first. Relevancy means so much.

8 – Etsy Shop Sections – Fill them out, tell your story, show your passion for what you do

So many Etsy sellers have really crappy shop sections, simply because they don’t want to put the time into getting creative and spinning a good story about themselves and their craft.

Store description – that one liner underneath your store name – that’s what Google indexes as your store title.

mmdesignsnj – (click HERE to visit our Etsy Shop)

Handmade Must Have Beaded Fashion Jewelry Trendy Style

We changed our store description several times until we were pleased with it. You only have so many characters to play with, choose your words wisely. Make them on point, keyword rich and of course they have to read well and make sense.

Our ANNOUNCEMENT Section tells our story to the point, briefly, but hits all the important points.

Our ABOUT Section is our combination Bio plus tells a good bit about the artistic end of things. Do people read these sections?

Who knows? But you cannot afford to skimp on these two sections, if for nothing else than to attract the sort of customer who reads, appreciates, and moves on to buy something.

Next as you scroll down the home page you will see AROUND THE WEB – which has a list of links –

This is mission critical to fill out – add your links to your website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

9 – Your Website and Your Etsy Shop – Cross Marketing

As noted above, you can add your website link to your Etsy Shop. And, on your website, you should make a note, preferably on your home page, that “For those of you who love shopping on Etsy, we have a shop there too! Come visit us HERE!” (HERE being a link to your Etsy shop that preferably opens up in a new tab, so the shopper is never disconnected from your website.)

The link opening up in a new tab is very, very important.

10 – Consistent Constant Posting on Instagram and Facebook

We personally prefer to do our posting on our Instagram Business Page, which is connected to our Facebook Business Page. We do our posting, complete with all relevant hashtags, then we “SHARE” that post on our Facebook page. If you don’t have it set up correctly, things can go a bit south.

Then once we share on our Facebook Business Page, we share again on our personal page. Not every time. But at least once or twice a week, just to keep the friends up to date on new offerings without being sales pushy.

We personally don’t use Twitter too much for business. And we pin to Pinterest every so often. Ideally it should be once a week. Sometimes life gets in the way. But we find when we are more or less consistent with Pinterest, we get sales on our website. This may also work with Etsy if you make the boards we suggested in Step 6.

Maureen McCullough LLC is your Bergen County New Jersey website design, SEO and marketing agency. We care about your business and want you to succeed. Give us a call today at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.

 

 

 

Own a Start Up? 7 Tips for Taking the Next Step

So you own a start up business. You came up with a great product or service and have had some success with it. You even have a website and a great domain name.

What are the next steps to taking your business to the next level?

  • Establishing Your Brand
  • Deciding which segment of the market to target
  • Retail, wholesale or both – what are your realistic capabilities?
  • Product or service production and refinement
  • Selling on multiple venues – what is appropriate for you?
  • Refining your presentation from a personal approach to a professional approach
  • Setting realistic goals for the future

Setting Realistic Goals For the Future ~

This is listed last however it is something that you will find is constantly evolving over time. It is also a point that you need to keep in the back of your head at all times. As your business evolves and grows, suffers setbacks, changes direction, starts growing again, you’ll find that your realistic future goals will need to be adjusted as well in order to keep your business on a healthy path way to success.

Establishing Your Brand ~ Brand Recognition

Your eventual “brand” that you establish is what sets you apart from all other companies and businesses that might be offering / selling the same or similar services or products that you do. It makes you identifiable visually to the consumer and makes you stand out from the pack.

Your brand is the visual message you send out to all who see it. Careful planning needs to be given to the visual, the colors used, the headline, and the tagline. Color psychology plays a big part in your branding as does your message.

Your branding will be used on business cards, brochures, company letterhead, social media, signs, and more. That’s huge.

Deciding Which Segment of the Market To Target ~

If you offer a product, who is your target market? Retail, consumer, wholesale? Sell directly to consumers via your website? Open a retail brick and mortar store? Sell wholesale to distributors and retail businesses, essentially becoming a supplier?

If you offer a service, the same question applies. Will you offer your services from your home office, going out to meet with clients? Will you open an office on Main Street so the clients can walk in and come to you? Does your pricing structure lend itself well to offering service packages, bundling services?

You can always open yourself up to more options as time goes on. Starting out, this is a critical decision. Make the wrong decision and the life of your business hangs in the balance.

Retail, Wholesale or Both – What Are Your Realistic Capabilities?

This step ties in directly to the one above, your target market. It also addresses a key point. If you offer products, are you in a position to offer them wholesale? Can you keep up with supply and demand? A business that cannot keep up with supply and demand gets a bad reputation and often closes down.

If you offer services, there is a supply and demand issue there as well. Can you keep up with regular on demand services for your clients as well as those carefully crafted packages and bundled services? How many clients can you realistically deliver to in a day? In a week? On time and high quality services are of premium importance.

Product or Service Production and Refinement ~

Over time, as you become more successful, you will see products or services that will need to be refined as the business evolves and customer needs evolve. Some products or services will need to be deleted from the lineup. And new offerings are always a possibility based on customer need and demand.

This important point will become the bridge by which your business crosses over to either becoming more successful or staying stagnant and eventually dying. Don’t turn a blind eye to this. It’s part of the heartbeat of your business. A regular review of products and service offerings is your best bet.

Selling on Multiple Venues – What is Appropriate For You?

We are assuming you already have a website. Again, products or services makes no difference, multiple venues will open up doors for your business. The big question is, which venues are right for what you offer?

This is a critical step and not to be taken lightly. Just throwing your products or services to the wind will do more damage than good. This usually happens when a business is motivated strictly by making as much money as possible quickly (dare we say it – becoming money hungry) instead of carefully crafting a brand, a reputation that can be trusted and doing their due diligence – research.

Research, vetting and making a plan is so very important when expanding out to multiple venues. This needs to be manageable, and cost effective and in line with your business plans and goals.

Which will it be for your business? eBay? Amazon? Etsy? Your own e-commerce website? A combination of some or all?

Refining Your Presentation From a Personal Approach To a Professional Approach ~

This is the “grow up” phase you must learn if your start up is going to take off successfully. It’s time to stop thinking of it in a personal sense, as “me”, and think of it and treat it in a professional sense, always as “we” and “our”. You are a company now, out to make your impressions on the world and attract new clients, customers and businesses. Start acting like a company and not as a personal endeavor you hope people will like.

Maureen McCullough LLC is your Bergen County New Jersey website design, SEO and marketing agency. We care about your business and want you to succeed. Give us a call today at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.