Tuesday, July 20, 2010

LinkedIn - what's the point?

Writing on Grow My Law Firm, Christine Pilch writes a great article about the benefits of LinkedIn.

7-20-10Of the big-4 social media platforms, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube, I believe that LinkedIn is the most underutilized. Many consider it to be an online resume, and it is, but it also has so much marketing potential that people leave largely untapped.

Sure, LinkedIn can offer a snapshot into the benefits of hiring you as an employee or consultant. It has such a huge and powerful database that your LinkedIn profile is usually one of the top results when someone Googles you, and I've heard that people are actually using its PDF conversion tool to produce their resumes these days. As long as you've committed the time and effort into developing a complete profile, there is maybe no better way to represent the benefits you bring to the table right now.

But it is equally as powerful as a personal marketing tool. It provides many opportunities for you to demonstrate your expertise, cement your place in your industry, and create professional introductions that can turn into business potential.

Group participation is an easy way to raise awareness of yourself. Pose a question for discussion, answer another member's question, and post interesting news items. The key to maximizing Groups is participation. You'll get little value out of them if you don't read and respond to posts.

Answers are similar to Groups, but participation is open to the entire LinkedIn community, whereas participation within Groups is limited to their membership. Like Groups, however, successfully using Answers a business tool revolves around your commitment to participation. Monitor the questions people ask within your area of expertise, and answer as often as you can. This soft-sales technique can help distinguish you as a helpful leader in your field. You can also pose questions in industries outside your area of expertise, For example, a small business owner may pose an employment question within law & legal / employment & labor law.

Polls are a great way to sample the LinkedIn community about any issue. It's easy to create one, and the statistics are surprisingly robust and insightful.

You can also gain insight into the business models of your competitors or the internal hierarchy of a company you're trying to sell something to or gain employment with by utilizing the Companies component. Imagine how much easier it is for recruiters these days than pre-LinkedIn.

LinkedIn also has terrific aps that can enhance your profile. I like the Slideshare ap to upload presentations and videos that help promote my brand. I also like the TypePad blog ap, which seamlessly integrates my blog posts with my LinkedIn profile.

These are just a few of many ways you can use LinkedIn to promote yourself. So how about building a little time into your schedule each day to tap into LinkedIn's powerful marketing potential?

Please click here for the original article.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information of Harding & Associates Family Law

Great Case and Statue App For The iPhone

I got an iPhone 4. So far I love it. I hate AT&T, but there is no other option. As for the phone, good stuff! I personally have not suffered any antenna issues. Because I am an app junkie the phone feeds my need.

In searching the App Store I came across the Fastcase app, it is awesome. A complete library of the case law and statutory law for my state. If you have a need for a mobile law library, that app can bring it home for you. Check it out by searching Fastcase in the App Store, or by clicking here.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information of Harding & Associates Family Law

Thursday, July 15, 2010

You Like Gadgets? Then Check Out Boy Genius Report For The Best Gadget Info

If you have any gadget curiosities or compulsions, Boy Genius Report is for you! This blog provides breaking news, reviews, rumors, and speculation regarding cell phone manufacturers, cell phone service providers, computer software and hardware companies, and just about everything else connected to the gadget world. I look forward to reading it every day! It is filled with great stuff!

Click here to visit Boy Genius Report.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information of Harding & Associates Family Law

Monday, July 12, 2010

Time Matters Software Dying a Slow Death

Time Matter was one of the pioneering case management apps. For years it was at the forefront of the category. Then Lexis Nexis bought, and everything has been downhill from there.

John Heckman used to work for Time Matters. Even after he left the company he continued to push the product, until now. Here is what John haw to say (or write):
I have been involved with Time Matters for about 10 years, 7 of those as a CIC (Certified Independent Consultant). Many people are aware that I was unceremoniously excommunicated from the CIC program by the late unlamented Charlie Rogers just days before the CIC conference in 2007 for criticisms of LexisNexis.

I had drafted an article on the state of LexisNexis in February of that year (2007) and finally published it my blog in February of 2008 as “Acquire, Merge, Destroy.” I published a followup a year later, and numerous articles since then

Sad to say, most of the analysis in those articles has been borne out, and many of the predictions have come about.

Since that time, I have continued to recommend Time Matters as one of the best products on the market. More recently, to the increasing number of people who have asked me about switching, I have advised them to sit tight for a year or two. Their existing software (assuming it is reasonably up to date with a version that supports Windows 7) will perform well for that amount of time, and by then other options may be available, SaaS programs such as Clio or Rocket Matter will have matured and it may be easier to switch (Amicus, for example, recently released a Time Matters conversion option).

However, with the brain drain of Time Matters programmers, including with some programming apparently now being outsourced, with senior Quality Control people having left, I now believe that LexisNexis is no longer capable of maintaining the original quality of Time Matters. The latest fiasco with Service Release 3 for TM 10 was the final nail in the coffin. This is an objective assessment, independent of the more subjective issue of whether the current leadership is adequate to the task or even has the desire to maintain Time Matters at the quality level it was under Bob Butler. Given the number of Time Matters consultants who have more or less surreptitiously been looking around for other options, I believe this assessment is widely shared, if not expressed.

A number of third party vendors have solutions that will make Time Matters work decently, but then you are looking at a significant additional cost on top of the program and maintenance.

I recently received an invoice to renew my Annual Maintenance Plan and was also contacted by email to the same end. Over the past several years, Time Matters’ pricing has become increasingly predatory in an effort to churn additional money out of existing customers who may not be in a position to do anything about it. However, since I do not depend on TM for my daily work, I am not in that position.

In fairness to LexisNexis, predatory pricing seems to be the way the industry is going. Amicus seems to have started down that path as well, and of course if you purchase Word 2010 there is no upgrade pricing from previous versions – the first time this has happened. And don’t forget, Microsoft has about an 80% profit margin on Word and Windows.

I have therefore decided not to renew my maintenance and not to upgrade to TM 11 when it comes out. Sayonara Time Matters.

As a consultant, where do I go from here? For me, that decision is colored by the fact that within the next couple of years I expect to substantially reduce my business, focusing mainly on Worldox and Amicus (I will be 70 in September). If I were 10 years younger, I would probably link up with PracticeMaster and a couple of the SaaS programs in addition to the other software I support.
Please click here for the original blog post.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information of Harding & Associates Family Law

Steering Traffic To Your Website

Have a website? Is it getting enough views? Is it working for you? In order to succeed with your web marketing people have to see what you are putting out there. Lee Rosen offers his thoughts in yet another great article.
About 2,000 people visited our family law firm’s website yesterday. More than 250,000 people have visited so far this year.

Why do so many people visit?

Is it that sweet picture of me in the middle of the page? Probably not.

Is it all the money we’ve spent this year on search engine optimization (SEO)? Nope, we haven’t spent any money on SEO in quite some time.

People come to the site because they are in pain. Their marriages are unraveling, and they are afraid. We give them what they need: answers to their questions. That’s why they come.

Every week, we add something to the site. We put up a new article or video. We tweak something here or there. We do our best to keep it current. We answer questions on the site every day; we dream up new ways to provide assistance, via the site, at every opportunity.

Of course, the site ranks well in Google and other search engines. Why? Because it has many, many inbound links from other sites. Other sites link to our site because they want to link to resources that are helpful for visitors to their sites. Our site is useful.

Many visitors to our site become our clients. They also become the clients of the many attorneys we link to from the site. The site is a powerful marketing tool.

Want traffic to your site? Want that traffic to convert to clients? Then build a site with great content. Be helpful to those in need, and you’ll get all the business you can handle. It’s working for us.

Please click here for the original article.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information of Harding & Associates Family Law

Thursday, July 1, 2010

One of my favorite sources for marketing information is Carolyn Elefant. Her myshingle blog is awesome. She is also in charge of Nolo's Legal Marketing Blog. Here is her latest article.
It's been a while since I've done a marketing round-up post -- either updating older posts or throwing out a couple of links. So let's get started, and see what's new in the world of legal marketing.

Generating Business From Conferences

A while back, I posted about how you can market your practice through speaking engagements. Of course, speaking engagements at a conference can be hard to come by. If that's the case, you can also extract value just from attending a conference - particularly if you read this piece, How to Use Conferences to Generate Business Opportunities by Lee Rosen which appears in the May 2010 issue of TechnoLawyer. Rosen sets out a three-phased approach for conferences which includes: (1) pre-conference reconnaissance where you identify prospects you want to meet, as well as rehearsal on what you'll say; (2) working the conference, which involves getting around during the conference to meet attendees and (3) post-conference follow up. (Incidentally, as the video at the end of this post shows, a whopping 80 percent of conference attendees fail to follow up on leads).

The Importance of Being Mobile

Over the past year, I've twice posted -- here and here about the increased importance of being mobile when it comes to marketing. Well, mobility still matters more than ever. As law firm marketing gury Larry Bodine reports at his Law Marketing Blog, smart phone ownership is up 38 percent, and lawyers need to start thinking about ways to deliver marketing and education-based contents through mobile media. Along these same lines, a recent post at Marketing Profs notes that frequent users of social media (those who use social networking sites several times a day) have more than doubled to 39 million in 2010, up from 18 million a year earlier. These frequent users are likely to be using mobile technologies, both to engage in social media and for other purposes. In short, it's not premature to think about ways to make your web content and other marketing messages accessible for mobile platforms.

Marketing Tips from MyShingle

For those of you who don't read my blog at MyShingle, I occasionally post marketing ideas over there. In the past month or so, I've posted on ways to market your practice on the government's dime and also created the short video below on Marketing by the Numbers for lawyers.

Please click here for the original post.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information of Harding & Associates Family Law

Solo nets Supreme Court win!

I know this has nothing to do with technology, but I think it is pretty cool. Andrew Simpson is a sole practitioner in the U.S. Virgin Is...