4 key Marketing Strategies in 2016 Teleseminar Led by: Martha Chan, V.P. Marketing, Divorce Marketing Group

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Martha Chan:

Today, our seminar’s objective is to share with you ways that you can get regular referrals, convert prospective clients into clients, enhance your authority as an expert in your field, and also stay focused instead of wasting your marketing money.

Topic #1: Stay focused instead of wasting your marketing money.

I’m going to start talking about the last item first: Being focused instead of wasting your marketing money. That’s an interesting comment. For having worked with so many divorce professionals in the last 20 years, our company has seen a lot of ways that people like yourself are throwing your marketing money away. Some of us don’t know that, and some of us actually know that because, after the fact, you look at it and say, “Well, that really didn’t do anything for me,” or that the service provider really didn’t do what they said that they would do.

I’m going to share with you a few signs as to how you know that you might be throwing your marketing money away.

First of all, if you are someone who spends thousands of dollars every year on your website hosting, then you are definitely throwing your money away. We’ve come across large companies who are offering services for hosting and maintaining family lawyers’ websites, and the charge is $1,000, $2,000 a month. When we talk to these clients of ours who used to be with those companies, we ask them, “What is it that you’re getting from paying $1,000 a month?” which amounts to $12,000, and if you’re paying $2,000, it’s $24,000 a year. That’s a lot of money that you could put to really good marketing programs to help you grow your business.

Majority of the people, when we ask them, “What are you getting for that?” have no idea. When we ask them, “How has your website been altered or updated in the last whatever number of years you’ve been paying for this service,” they mostly would say, “No, not much.” If you’re paying even hundreds a month, you should know that there are alternatives. Just as a comparison, our company, after we build your website, we charge $450 one year for that service. So check into that.

A second sign as to why you may be throwing your money away is that your website is not mobile friendly. What do I mean by that? If someone were to visit your website through their smartphone, what is it that they will see? If all they’re seeing is your regular website that you see on your desktop crunched down to fit into the screen of your mobile phone, such that people have to pinch and enlarge so that they can read the text, then your website is not mobile friendly. All you have to is look at it yourself on your mobile phone. But I know that a lot of my clients, they don’t visit their own website often, and so they don’t realize that.

In April of 2015, Google has declared that if your website is not mobile friendly, then you wouldn’t be favored in terms of search results, so it’s really important that you look into that. There are two ways of having your websites be mobile friendly: One is that you have a responsive website. The term responsive refers to how your website is displayed according to the device that the visitor is using. If they are using a smartphone, then your website would respond to that and adjust itself accordingly. If they’re using an iPad or a tablet, your website will adjust accordingly. You don’t have to do anything, and the visitor doesn’t have to do anything either. So check that out.

In today’s environment, majority of the people are visiting websites on the go, so you really cannot afford to have your website not be responsive. Just as an example, I’ll show you our statistics to two of the websites that Divorce Marketing Group owns. For DivorcedMoms.com, which has about 20 blogs inside of our website, 63% of our visitors come through smartphone. The other major website that we own is DivorceMagazine.com. On that website, we don’t have as much blogging going on, and on that website, 50% of our visitors visit us by way of their smartphone, so it’s important that way. If you don’t have it, then you’re really throwing your money away.

You may be paying to have mass-produced blog posts added to your website. There are companies that offer that service because it’s supposed to help you out because a lot of you are very busy and don’t have time to write or blog. So why don’t we buy a service that would post our blog posts for me every week, I don’t even have to worry about it. Well, it sounds good, however, these what I call “mass-produced blog posts” are really doing you a disservice more than good. They are written by people that don’t know your business. You don’t know who they are, they cannot represent your voice, and there’s no personality whatsoever in what they write because they don’t know you. Because they are mass-produced, they don’t just feed the blog post to just your website; they feed it to hundreds and maybe thousands of other subscribers to that service. What they end up doing is posting stories about divorce that nobody cares about.

If someone were to visit your website, and they go to the blog, they’re not seeing you; they’re not seeing what it would be like to work with you. In fact, some of my clients, when I pointed that out to them, immediately stopped using it mostly because they find the information to be inaccurate, aside from the fact that they don’t know your business.
Another sign that you may be throwing your money away is when someone Googles you, they can’t even find you. If they Google your name and can’t find you, then all the marketing that you’re doing is not up to snuff, because in this online world, you need to tend to your presence and reputation online.

That takes care of how it is that we think that you need to focus on really solid marketing so that you’re not throwing your money away. The next portion of the seminar, I’m going to introduce you to some of those ideas.

Topic #2: Enhance authority as an expert in your field.

Topic number two for today’s seminar is enhancing your authority as an expert in your field. How do we do that, and can we all do that. In my view, it doesn’t matter how good your reputation is, you can always improve it, particularly online. A lot of our clients are fantastic experts. For example, family lawyers, they’ve been in practice for 20, 30, 40 years. Everybody knows them, except when it comes to online; they don’t have that same level of authoritative presence.

So how do you get that? Doesn’t matter whether you are starting out, doesn’t matter whether you’ve been doing it for a while. There are at least three things that you can do to enhance your authority:

One is to hold seminars. You could hold it by yourself or you could hold it with other professionals that are in the same field who are interested in generating business the same way you are. For example, if you are a family lawyer, you may want to hold a seminar with a business valuator one time or you may want to hold a seminar with a child custody valuator another time. It also reduces the amount of preparation time that you need. When you hold a seminar, people naturally think of you as the expert.

Second, get yourself published by media and by other websites that are way bigger than your own website. I’ll first talk about getting yourself published in the media. Imagine that you are interviewed by CNN or you get interviewed by our company because we have got two publications – one is called Divorce Magazine, which is meant for people going through divorce, and the other magazine is called Family Lawyer Magazine, which is meant for family lawyers. When you build your reputation and authoritative platform, you want to do it with both people who may be going through a divorce as well as people who may be able to refer business to you.

Imagine that you’re being interviewed by Family Lawyer magazine, and it’s published in our magazine or on our website on a topic that would allow you to demonstrate your skill set. The other one is get yourself published on big, big, big websites. Now, Divorce Marketing Group has seven divorce-related websites, and we reach three million people in one year. If you were to be published there, that would be a much bigger sandbox to play in than keep on publishing blog posts or articles on your own website.

The other thing that we do is re-post some of the articles that we have posted on our website with our content partners. I’ll give you an example of our content partner: Huffington Post is one of our content partners. We could re-post an article that has already been written by us or for us on DivorcedMoms.com or DivorceMagazine.com. Last year, the top post that we re-posted on Huffington Post brought us 22,000 visitors. That’s one article that we have already written that we just re-posted on Huffington Post.

Now, some of you may already be writing for or blogging on Huffington Post, and you may not experience these kind of huge numbers. There’s a reason as to why we get that huge number, and I won’t go into further details too much. We have a content partnership relationship with them, and I’ll post, in some cases, on page one of the Huffington Post. That’s not the only content partner we have.

To summarize, what you want to do to enhance your authority as an expert is to hold seminars, be a speaker. Get yourself published and get yourself published on much, much bigger sites.

Topic #3: Get regular referrals.

Now we’re going to move onto topic number three, which is to get regular referrals. Let’s face it, majority of our good prospective clients do come from referrals if we are good at what we do at all. Such is the case for a lot of professionals, including people who are in our business. If we were to look at what you do for referrals, I would say that, if you’re a lawyer, you might attend the ABA meetings, you may be taking people out for lunches, you may be attending social functions – all those are good. But this is 2016, so let’s look at some of the things we want to be doing in 2016, and make use of the technology that is available.

First of all, I’d like you to look into producing a newsletter on a regular basis. In that newsletter, what you will want to do is include some valuable information so that the newsletter is not all about you. What can you include in the newsletter? You could be giving away information about how to choose a professional in your field. So, for example, if someone’s going through a divorce, they want to know how to choose a divorce lawyer or a divorce mediator. You can give them tips on that. Or you could send out an article about custody, child support, and how is that calculated.

In your newsletter, if you give them maybe three to five articles to look at, the links can always be linked back to your website, which is where these articles would be. You may say to me, “Well, I don’t have anybody that I could send my newsletters to.” I’m going to start you off by having you think this way. Consider current clients that you are serving and past clients that you may be serving, because just because the divorce is finalized, doesn’t mean that they couldn’t use some tips on maybe how to recover from the divorce or how to communicate with your ex after the divorce.

You may also send your newsletter to colleagues that you went to school with because, if they were conflicted out of the case, they may be referring business to you. You want to send it out to people who have referred businesses to you. You just may have to start with a small list, but, in time, it will grow. If you want to grow your subscribers list, one of the things that you want to do is, on your website, allow them to subscribe to your newsletter and make that prominent. Every now and then, you reach out to people and say, “Hey, I now have a newsletter. If you’re not aware of it, come to my website and subscribe.” Or you take their business cards and you say, “I’ll send you a link to where you can subscribe.”

The reason why I ask you to say, “I will send you a link so that you can subscribe,” is because, today’s family law, you want to make sure that they are the people subscribing to your newsletter list – not you inputting them into the list.

Topic #4: Convert prospective clients into clients.

Now I’m going to move on to talk about how it is that you can convert prospective clients into clients. There are three major things that you can do:

One is you can have on your website services. For those of you who are on the shared screen, you can see there is a pop-up on the homepage of DivorceMarketingGroup.com, our company’s website. There’s a pop-up that says, “Let’s talk. We offer a free initial marketing consultation, so please don’t hesitate to schedule on with us.”

When a visitor comes into our website, that is popped up there automatically. If they want to schedule a meeting with us, all they have to do is click on it. They have a choice of three possible times, and then we receive the email and can immediately respond and confirm a time. The reason behind my recommendation of doing that is people want things, and they want it now. If they want to schedule a time, why would I not let them schedule a time right away? Why would I not make it convenient for them?

There is also another service attached to this one, or independently, that allows you to chat with someone. Imagine a divorcing person comes to your website and really wants to get a question answered, so they may want to chat with someone. Now, there are pros and cons with that. The downside of having a chat there is you may not be available, or someone qualified to even remotely answer some questions may not be available to provide the answer. A lot of chat services actually are powered or answered by people who are not from your firm; they’re just there to kind of correspond with them with the ultimate goal of setting up a consultation. Personally, I find that kind of chat to be a waste of time.

Now, some of you may have a different experience of that, because if ultimately you cannot provide me with an answer to my question, and you’re just wanting a scheduled appointment, you might as well be up front about it, as in what we have done here on our DivorceMarketingGroup.com. The service that we’re using is vCita. We don’t benefit from it, but we find it to be a good one, so you may want to check it out. Again, this would be given to you in the recording if you ask for it.

Second, what we also want to let you know is video marketing can add so much credibility to your service and let people know what it is like to work with you. We highly, highly recommend videos. There’s a recent release on information about the use of videos that came out October 2015. It says that there were 1.3 billion users on YouTube. YouTube obviously offers, serves up a lot of videos. On average, they watched 4.9 billion videos every day. YouTube is a larger search engine than Google.

If you have, that points to the consumption of videos. It’s an easy way to absorb information, so if you have videos, I recommend that you don’t just have a video about your firm; you should also have videos with FAQs that answer some useful questions. And feature them prominently on your website.

The last thing is you have to manage your online reputation, because people will Google you. Even if you were given to me as a good lawyer, before I contact you, I would try and Google you. If your reputation online is bad, as in somebody might have said something bad about you or I cannot find you, then it’s a negative impression on me. So I may never even call you. I might, in searching your name, end up finding somebody else. You will never know that I didn’t call you.

Just to re-cap, these things that I recommended are really simple ideas, but some of the executions may be beyond your level of expertise. If you’re using someone, if you have someone that you could go to, by all means get them to help you out. If not, source some experienced providers who could help you. Needless to say, Divorce Marketing Group does that too.

Before I close off, given that I only have two minutes to go, I want to invite you to attend our next seminar, which will be on Thursday, March 31. The next seminar is on Seven Steps to Managing and Maintaining Your Reputation. Whether you’re a seasoned family lawyer or new to the practice of family law, maintaining and enhancing your reputation is critical to your success. We will be speaking about that on March 31 again between 2:00 and 2:30.

I want to close off by thanking you for coming to this session. Again, if you wish to receive a recording, please email me at marthac@divorcemarketinggroup.com. Now we’ll end the session, and thank you very much for attending. See you at the next session.

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