Five Reasons why Law Firms must use the Power of Social Media

Five reasons why law firms must use the power of social media

In this digital era, the power of social media cannot be overlooked as it not only provides you with a platform to showcase your identity but also gives you an exposure to engage with a wider audience at the same timeThe outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted all the industries significantly but it has surely altered the way people live by accelerating the usage of technologies which has brought the future far more sooner.  Social media for law firms and lawyers is not a new concept anymore because the legal industry has welcomed digitalisation in the lockdowwith open hands 

According to the UNDP, India has the second-highest number of social media users in the world”. So, what’s stopping you from being on social media and market your law firm? If you are still not convinced, let me guide you with the benefits of social media presence for law firms. 

Here are the reasons, why you need to have solid social media presence for your law firm in 2021:   

  1. BUILD CLIENT RELATIONSHIPS AND ENGAGE YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE: As a lawyer, you not only work on winning a case but also on building a solid relationship with your clients. Social media is a platform where you can connect with your target audience by putting out content. Following the latest trends and posting them accordingly surely catches their eye. This tactic enhances your engagement, builds your connections, and makes your brand recognized which attracts new clients to your firm. 
  2. B2B NETWORKING: Most of the law firms claim that new client comes through referral. Social media gives you a chance to connect with people with whom you have lost contact, maybe your fellow alumina. In this way, you can engage with them via social media and promote each other’s work to your social audience. This is another way of attracting potential clients.  
  3. ENHANCES WEBSITE VISITORS: The people who follow you on social media gets all the latest updates about your firm through social media posts. You can also share the links of your blogs on these social networking sites and bring more audience to your website. Look for new content ideas for lawyers, update your blogs weekly and share the link with your social media audience for enhancing the chances of an amazing response.  
  4. INCREASED SEARCH ENGINE RANKINGS: Social media websites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc, hold enormous value. For lawyers and law firms, it makes it easier for your clients to find you and the best way of doing it is by enhancing your search rankings. Share links of your blogs, vlogs, and other website links on social media. Make sure that your web content and your social media is on the same page. 
  5. KNOW INSTANTLY, WHAT PEOPLE FEEL ABOUT YOU: A law firm can get to know about its actual position by getting instant feedback on social media. With social media, you can talk with people and can get to know what they actually feel about you and your law firm.  

Becoming smarter in this smart era is the key to gain advantage over your competitors. It is important for you to build a strong image of your law firm in the eyes of the audience. Creating content and being updated is one aspect but posting regularly and engaging your audience is the way to make your mark! Digital marketing for lawyers can be a strategic move to turn the tables to your side.  

Tactics and practical approaches to using social media for law firms

Tactics and practical approaches to using social media for law firms

Enough has been said about the indispensability of using social media for campaign creation. But how often do law firms use social media effectively to optimise their reach? We take a step forward in this direction and answer some questions on the tactical use of social media. With a variety of platforms available to us, it becomes imperative to figure out which ones to use and how to use them.

Sites to look at

LinkedIn is arguably the most bankable and professional platform for branding, connecting, and visibility. To connect, try writing to people as often as you can. The audience may follow links posted here all the way to the website and end up booking appointments. However one must be wary of the algorithm which discourages offsite content and rewards onsite content with more visibility. Also, one’s impression count is much better if the audience comments on the post rather than just liking it.

Twitter is another useful platform to rebrand but discretion is recommended as it tends to be an explosive platform. Use it judiciously and skip the controversial issues. You can (and must) put up information relevant for your clients, say, in the form of blogs etc.

YouTube has gained unprecedented impetus during the pandemic. Since the consumption of video content has gone up in recent years, it has proved an excellent platform for increasing visibility of the content manifold.

Facebook is a non-formal and fun platform. For lawyers, it is best suited for the promotion of CSR-related activities. It is perfect for projecting the humane side of the company. Family and divorce lawyers could exploit this feature to connect to potential clients on Facebook.

WordPress, though not a conventional social media platform, holds significance for lawyers. Blogging is intrinsic to amplify your online presence. Lawyers’ blogs should become a go-to source for information for clients and prospective clients. This blog content can then be integrated with other platforms.

Type of content

Be very careful while putting out content. Creating content requires an acute understanding of your audience. A quick Google keyword search will tell you what kind of questions one must address to keep the audience interested in your content. While attending to your clients, do not forget about the needs of potential clients. Thorough research of market trends will give you insights into the type of content expected by the audience. Visuals and charts generally perform better.

If blogging, do not do legal blogs only. Be creative and do personal stories, Q/A interviews, etc. This content will also improve social presence and connections.

Company pages or individual lawyers’ profiles?

While individuals’ profiles are more likely to get more engagement, this can still be a two-way equation. Banking on an individual’s reach, the company can comment, like, and share his/her posts and thereby reach its audience via the individual/s.

On the other hand, company pages can make social media interactions much safer, especially for newer lawyers. Also, it’s only a company’s page that can run events.

To conclude, find out where your clientele is and bank on that. Choose your platform based on the data of the audience and what they want. Also, make sure to have a social media policy for your law firms. A few right steps at the right time go a long way in ensuring the best possible results for you and your firm in the long run.

How to handle camera/video interview online?

How to handle camera

Online interviews may not be new but have certainly gained momentum in the past few months owing to the coronavirus-induced lockdown worldwide. Most companies as well as universities, etc have switched to online interviews, in absence of a better alternative. However, there are some absolutely essential things we often forget while preparing for an online interview. Here are some handy tips to help you ace that interview.

  1. Find the perfect spot
    Make sure to look for a quiet and comfortable place with ample light. Natural light is the best to count on, so try and pick a spot, say, near a window. In case that’s not possible, make sure the room is well lit and that you are properly visible to the interviewer(s). Ensure the place has uninterrupted internet connectivity. Ideally, have a plain wall in the backdrop. Too many details around you can be distracting for the interviewer(s). To avoid distractions on your part, de-clutter the space you have chosen. Also, take care how you dress. You wouldn’t want to wear anything either too gaudy or too casual. Dress professionally.
  2. Check your devices
    Since this interview is going be online, it is elementary that you check your devices beforehand. Ideally, keep your devices fully charged. At the same time, ensure that you have enough charging points near you, just in case. Put your phone on silent before you sit for the interview. Check your Wi-Fi connection. You may want to use Wi-Fi signal boosters if your internet connection is not very stable.
  3. Trial run
    Get your colleague, friend, or family member on board and run a trial test of the devices and the interview. This will expose loopholes, if any, in the setup. It is very much possible that you might have missed out on something important. This exercise will prepare you to face any possible contingencies. It is advisable to consider having a backup for devices et al.
  4. Practice
    Even though the interview is happening online, some of the skills of a conventional interview will still be put to use. To feel more confident, practice some of the frequently asked questions. Go over the interview in your mind. This will shake off nervousness and help you think with a clear head during the interview.
  5. During the interview
    This part plays almost the same as in a conventional interview. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer(s). Now remember, for that, you must look into the camera and not at the screen. During the interview, smile from time to time. Stay calm and listen attentively to the questions being asked. It is okay to take a few seconds to reflect before you answer. You must keep your answers simple and sound confident. Do not over complicate. Attempting to answer a question you know little about is a big no.

Online interviews are not a big deal. They just involve a little homework before the final show. Once you get a fair idea of how to navigate that, you are good to go. All the technical arrangements may seem chaotic (and to some extent they indeed are!) but the only way to go about it is to go through it. The more you prepare beforehand, the more prepared you will be for the interview.

Social Media for law firms– Create Campaigns and not notice boards

Social Media for Law Firms

Before thinking of creating any campaign one must think of the need that the campaign must fulfil for the brand. Generally, the need is to communicate – with clients, potential clients, target audience, potential employees. So, through the campaign the brand must talk about itself, maintain its image, deliver what it promises and keep the audience interested by creating relevant and engaging content. This brings us to the key requirement of any campaign – understanding the audience. Once you have a fair understanding of what the audience needs and expects from you, you can devise strategies and choose channels/platforms to reach out to them.

Need for Campaign Based Social Media Outreach

A social media campaign is not much different – except that it plays out entirely on social media. Besides, social media campaigns for brands can be effective tools for brand promotion and outreach. This is made possible by the democratisation that social media affords. An ideal social media campaign should help in networking, search engine optimisation, content promotion, research and even recruitment. It is meant to make the brand more accessible to the audience through social media interaction. Proper research of trends and grasp of market needs help in generating SEO-friendly content. Social media is also the best platform to meet and hire new people who might be able to pool in their talents and skills to help the brand grow.

Let’s start this by a simple test. Look at your social media posts over a period of last few months. Does it convey simple messages such as ‘this firm has a strong grasp of say, technology law (or whatever your strengths are) or ‘this looks like a really cool organization to work with’?

This can be achieved only when you plan your campaigns well in advance. This requires understanding the strengths of the firm, growth areas and what the audience interests are. Based on this, you can devise a campaign with multiple posts reinforcing the messages, which also connect well with your audience.

Executing an Effective Social Media Campaign

As important as it is to understand why we need a campaign, it is important to know how to plan and execute it. Campaigns work best when they are set in a time frame. A well thought schedule is absolutely necessary to have before the plan is implemented. Considering a social media campaign, one can try figuring out which social media platforms the target audience uses and connect with them on those platforms. The choice of platform and nature of content the audience is interested in will determine the content that the brand posts for audience consumption. The firm will also have to ensure that it addresses issues that the audience is concerned about. It is equally important to be consistent – in quantity and quality of posts. The idea is to make the content as captivating and relevant as possible.

Law firms should also consider going beyond the conversations about their area of expertise and show their softer side. Sometimes showcasing some social outreach, posting pictures of fun activities of lawyers create that brilliant connection with the audience. These posts make your audience remember you for long as a nice and humble organization that they want to do business with.

To put it in other words, a social media campaign can do wonders for the brand image by increasing its visibility. The trick to master is to learn how to play one’s cards in the best possible way by understanding how the game works.

4 Lead Generation Strategies on LinkedIn that work

4 Lead Generation strategies

If someone has given you some advice on LinkedIn or you have watched any videos or even paid for training, 90% was only about optimizing your LinkedIn Profile.

While it is important to have a strong LinkedIn profile, it is not that you will get the clients (In the same manner a great resume doesn’t get you a job – you have to go out and nail the interview that counts the most).

In this blog, I will tell you about the most proven 4 Lead Generation Strategies on LinkedIn that Actually Works.

Strategy 1: “Connect and Nurture”

1st strategy is the most advisable and the easiest way which you will hear from most LinkedIn experts i.e. Connect and Nurture Strategy.

What you do in this strategy is search on LinkedIn for your potential clients and you offer to connect with them with a tailored connection message with some common point between you and the client or you will mention some reason why you want to connect with them.

Once you have connected, you nurture them through an initial LinkedIn messaging – so you might send them a link to your Webinar, Video, or an article which will be useful for them. You get the conversation going and asking them few questions and at some time that may result to a phone call or email or may be a Face to face meeting.

There are three things you need to keep in mind while following this strategy:

  • They need to be your high-value potential clients because you will personally be nurturing them and investing your lot of time on that one client/ person. It should be worth your while to get the ROI.
  • The second important aspect is that they need to be open to that kind of nurturing. Some people love it and some people do not. There are plenty of industries like Law, CA, and CS that helps them in this strategy by building a strong personal relationships and they meet new people, they will build strong network around them that will eventually help them in getting business. On the other hand, many people are not and don’t value it, so you’ll have knock on a few windows and kiss few frogs before you built that relationship with them.
  • The third suggestion you need to keep in mind that you yourself must be “go to person” and you must be best in it. Its an outreach strategy and many people feel reluctant or uncomfortable with the outreach. You have to master the art of having conversations via messaging – asking the right questions and of course, connecting over the phone or meeting them personally.

Personally, it works for me. As I enjoy meeting new people and building a strong relation with them. It does work tremendously well for most of the people.

Strategy 2: “Referrals”

The second strategy you use on LinkedIn is – referrals.

In this strategy you will be using LinkedIn as a card index of potential clients you can get introductions to and what you have to make sure you are connected with the strong people on LinkedIn which you feel will give you strong referrals – may be clients and ex-clients for the work great work you have done or you have been doing which they would be comfortable in referring you.

Afterwards you just do a LinkedIn search to identify the second set of connections, contacts of contacts who are your great prospects. You make sure to use the right set of filters to identify those prospects and when you will have the list which will highlight who are your mutual connects who you think will give you a good referrals then you simply ask them for that referrals.

This is different to the conventional referrals approach of going to someone to ask for referrals and kind of saying “Do you know anyone who works for the Investor – Startup relationship?” That kind of thing where you will make them to all the hard work in finding or thinking about the person. But if you use LinkedIn, then you can say “oh I spotted on LinkedIn you’re connected to Iliana Sharma of Sharma & Ventures. If you were me how do you go about getting in touch with them?”

Strategy 3: LinkedIn Content Marketing

The third strategy – which is LinkedIn Content Marketing. Usage of LinkedIn has really changed in the past few years with a lot of improvement in the usability.

Nowadays a lot of people try to equip themselves with the interesting news and the content. The first think comes in their mind is LinkedIn. They go and see their newsfeed scrolling through the articles to see if there’s anything interesting to the topic and what that means is content marketing on LinkedIn which is proving to be most effective and people who are sharing those content are highly qualified and keep that expertise on the topic.

So if you scroll through your newsfeed the major thing you’ll notice is there are a lot of posts with images and links to external article and stuff like that which have only got zero engagement or one or two likes at the most. But if you’ll see there you will find a post with 50 of comments and 100 of likes and at the backend with thousands of views. In other words, the person who wrote that content and getting a lot of traction is the one in the mind of thousands of people who follow him and his content and read it because they find some value addition to them.

The LinkedIn algorithm changes all the time. Right now, it is favouring pure text-only posts. So, if you look down in your newsfeed, you’ll find most of the posts with a lot of traction are primarily with the text only or they are bite-size videos directly uploaded on LinkedIn.

Write a good post in 1300 words especially where you can capture people’s attention with something kind of emotionally absorbing in first few words because usually the first few lines are appeared on the top of the feed before they expand to read the whole content. If you provide them with a content in the story format it attracts the maximum attention and engagement.

Likewise, if you are putting a video and you ask a question more likely it will result in people commenting on that video post. If you garner the traffic in the initial few hours then LinkedIn sees that the people have more interest in such content or the topic and it starts spreading it more and more and you can get a kind of mini-viral effect. Now this is dependent on your connection that you are connected to the right set of people parallelly which are your potential clients who are seeing that content.

There is a lot more to talk about content marketing on LinkedIn and I will come back to that another day.

Strategy 4: LinkedIn Advertising

The last and the final strategy is LinkedIn Advertising. LinkedIn advertising is advance with direct ROI. LinkedIn is expensive then Facebook but gives you the direct result. The targeting criteria on LinkedIn which is majorly based on demographics and firmographics (who someone works for, their job title, their level of seniority, the number of people in the company etc). If you can utilize the criteria and target your clients really well then you can do best with the LinkedIn Advertising. I tested on a couple of occasions. The last time I tested it was something like a four hundred percent ROI within a couple of weeks for me in terms of people then going to a sign-up page signing up and a number of them then signing up for my paid programs so LinkedIn advertising can work well.

These are the four proven strategies. Four of them work but depends upon case to case basis. Example, if you have high-value potential clients you should go down the connect and nurture or may be referrals. If you have a product or service to sell where you need large number of people you should go for content marketing or the advertising.

Visibility & Business Development for Law Firms & Legal Professionals

Visibility & Business Development

Nine Ways to Leverage LinkedIn

1. Build relationships with potential clients. If you deal with corporate business, small business, or real estate issues, you can use LinkedIn to network with potential clients—and educate them so they will want to come to you with their problems.

2. Identify and connect with potential referral sources. A lawyer who specializes in banking laws can network with lawyers at Debt Recovery Tribunals. Business lawyers can network with general counsels, accountants, and business advisors. Lawyers who work in the real estate industry can connect with realtors who can refer business to them and so on.

3. Create a community of like-minded professionals. A real estate attorney can share information with a group of real estate agents who may refer business when their clients need advice. Within this group, you can develop conversations and link prospects, referral sources, and the media back to your blog or website where they can get even more information. Your LinkedIn group is part of the lead generation funnel.

4. Build relationships with the media. More media professionals are on LinkedIn—92 percent— than on any other social networking site. That means editors, journalists and reporters of local, regional, and national publications and other media types are available to you on LinkedIn. Reach out and invite them to your group so they can see the type of information you offer their readers, listeners, or viewers.

5. Spread your content and prove you’re a thought leader. Placing your content—and expertise—in front of targeted prospects is the absolute best way to attract new clients and referral sources. That’s why you need to join the groups your prospects are going to for information. That is where you can provide and engage in conversations.

6. Nurture relationships with existing clients. Your marketing and relationship-building efforts should not stop once someone becomes a client. Consider creating a LinkedIn group specifically to provide exclusive content and information just for clients. This can help you with client retention.

7. Conduct market research then promote it (and yourself) via articles and press releases. Recently, a client who is a workplace communication expert used LinkedIn to conduct a study of CEOs, presidents, vice presidents, and managers. From his research, he found that 44 percent of the executives surveyed were unhappy with their employees’ performance and their own communication style. Through survey questions, he was also able to uncover the specific problems they were encountering. With this knowledge, he then created: ` A report that showcased the results ` A Press release to reveal the results and position him as a thought leader ` Webinars to discuss solutions to the problems his audience were encountering ` Articles and LinkedIn discussions to promote the study, the report and the event ` A complete marketing and public relations plan based on the study

8. Stay in touch with what’s happening in your specialty. Join groups that your peers, colleagues, and competitors belong to. It will help you stay current on trends, problems, concerns, and even specific cases. You will be able to see what others are talking about and what they have to share. And you can use this as an idea bank for articles and press releases you can write to promote your own firm.

9. Showcase the abilities of every lawyer in your firm. Every attorney in your practice should have a LinkedIn profile, and there should be a link to each LinkedIn profile on the individual lawyer bio pages on your firm website. This enables clients or prospects to reach out to your practice in another way and on a more personal level. It is often easier—and less expensive—to keep your LinkedIn profile updated than it is to update your own website biography.

Mental harassment is punishable or not?

Mental Harassment is punishable or not?

Mental Harassment is no good, or is it? We all suffer mental harassment of one form or the other at least once in our lifetime. Nevertheless, we hardly realize that we just added a burden of a harassment on our head. For most of us, mental harassment means the domestic violence, abuse, stalking or workplace abuse, but trust us, the horizon of mental harassment is much wider than we think. Any disturbing incident that occurs in your surroundings, irrespective of you being in your social circle, workplace, home or anywhere else is termed as a kind of mental harassment. Of course, the intensity of the same can vary.

What is Harassment?

We already explained what a mental harassment could be, nevertheless, let us understand it by way of an accurate definition.

Mental Harassment or Emotional Abuse is any kind of non-physical attitude or behaviour that intimidates, controls, sub judicates, punishes, demeans, or isolates another person by way of humiliation, fear or degradation. The following are some of the common examples of mental harassment:

  • A constant abuse from a person again and again.
  • Cheating by spouse or mental torture for dowry.
  • Any kind of abstinence from something that a person loves to do.

Many a time mental harassment is caused by bad words or emotional thrust. However, it can be even be physical in some extreme cases.

Fortunately, the Indian Penal Code has established strict and stringent laws against any kind of harassment. There are various sections under which a case can be registered for such harassments and abuses. Seek shelter from law and it will protect you against any form of cruelty or torture you are experiencing in your life.

Section 498A of IPC

This section covers any physical or emotional harm caused to a married woman by her husband or in-laws. Any such kind of offense is punishable under law and the punishment can be an imprisonment of three years or more and the culprit shall be liable to heavy fines. Further, this offense is non-bailable.

Section 294 of IPC

If a person does an obscene act in public, recites or utters obscene words to annoy and torture a person in public, is punishable under the law. The offender would be booked under section 294 of the Indian Penal Code and would be liable for an imprisonment up to three years or with a fine or both.

Section 304B of IPC

When a married lady die within seven years of her marriage and the reason for her death is due to the emotional abuse she experienced by her husband and in-laws, and the cause of the harassment was non-payment of dowry is termed as dowry death. The term for imprisonment ranges from seven years to a lifetime.

Section 509 of IPC

This section is established purposely to punish any person who demean the virtues of any woman intentionally by any physical or verbal conduct. The person would be liable to an imprisonment of up to three years

Apart from the above-mentioned IPC sections, there are specific acts such as The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. These acts help woman fight for his or her rights and that they support the feminine fraternity to steer a cheerful, peaceful, and equal life within the society.

Mental Harassment at the Workplace

Besides the domestic abuse and violence, we should not forget about the mental harassment at the workplace. As per a survey, 50% of the women experience workplace harassment. They suffer humiliation, and defamations regularly, but only a few of them dare to report it to the law.

Most of the people believe that mental harassment at the workplace can only be sexual, but the mental harassment and tortures are categorized. Look at the classification below:

  • Distinction based on the grounds of age.
  • Defaming or demeaning an individual in public.
  • Discrimination on the grounds of caste.
  • Discrimination on the basis of sex or marital status.

It is sad that there are still no laws protecting the rights of the employees against such kinds of behaviour, but there are plenty of HR and labour laws that help the employees fight for their rights. The acts such as Payment of Wages Act, 1936, Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 are quite helpful in securing the rights of the employees at workplace.

Every citizen of the country has the right to live with dignity. Mental Harassment or emotional or physical abuse is a punishable offense and by any means, if you are a victim to such acts, you should report to the police immediately.

Building your Legal services brand

social media blog

Legal services marketing as a discipline is mostly unheard of, at least in India. As marketers, we did not get the opportunity to learn this in any school. There are no specialized legal/professional services marketing firms that can provide a 360-degree view either.

Those who work in this field must know the business of law, policy environment and deal market in order to understand the dynamics that bring in work for law firms. Marketing is impactful only when it is in line with business goals. Public relations (PR) agencies carry out media relations, which is a small part of the whole mix.

The Indian legal profession is one of the last few sectors to remain closed to foreign players. Indian firms bill in US dollars for work that comes in through the “best friends” system, which consists of warm and reciprocal business ties with foreign counterparts. With newer firms growing bigger and expanding their reach globally, this will become tougher. Therefore, marketing professionals need to consider all the elements to create a robust strategy that focuses on below-the-line activities such as content marketing, social media marketing and PR.

So, what are the measures that Indian law firms can put in place to ensure that they are strategically positioned for success?

Content is king

In global firms, a marketing professional supports roughly 20 legal practitioners, while in India, he/she supports over 50 fee earners. The overall strategy rests primarily on: (1) content to establish thought leadership; and (2) client engagement, which can build the brand and provide visibility.

For any professional services firm, content plays a major role in marketing efforts. Law firms generate a huge amount of content but the challenge is to make it more usable for clients. The legal marketing professional needs to make use of their business and legal knowledge to do this. Since a lot of high value work comes from overseas, activities must be chosen wisely in order to reach clients from different parts of the world in a more focused way.

With intense competition among firms and almost no differentiators (as everyone claims to be a full service law firm), doing good work and collecting client testimonials is a great way to be remembered by prospective customers. Client referrals work wonders for business development and they help in improving your ranking and visibility in legal directories.

With a complex and evolving regulatory scenario, covering the legal angle is a growing need for business media, and provides a good opportunity for law firms to be visible to their target audience. Law firms must be quick to react to policy changes and be able to provide legal insights to media and their clients on a regular basis. Law firms should also be able to understand business challenges and provide clients with commercial solutions to legal problems.

Indian firms regardless of size need to focus on areas such as business intelligence technologies like their international counterparts. Activities regardless of firm size include tracking industry trends and financial markets. The commonly deployed tools to execute these tasks are customer relationship management, litigation tracking, news aggregators, and return on investment analytics. Among firms that outsource to external agencies, the objectives typically include online presence management and audio-visual content creation.

Big disruptor

Social media are seen as a big disruptor with more than half the international firms increasing their digital marketing budgets in the next two years. It is an important aspect of an omni-channel approach to marketing and widely regarded as a game changer for lawyers who want to build relationships at a scale required to sustain their legal practice. Notably, law firm social media profiles are emerging as a valued digital asset for firms looking to go global.

The focus on marketing and business development is essential and needs concerted efforts and professional support. There are already some good examples being set by global law firms and the “Big 4” consultancies that Indian law firms should take seriously if they want to build agility and resilience in what may soon become a hyper-competitive marketplace.