Post-Convention Hangover Cure

We are all guilty of this. Going to a great conference over the weekend, having a lot of new ideas, meeting some great people and coming home fired up with what we have learned! Only to look up 2 months later and realize that nothing was implemented, nothing has changed, and we have forgotten that person’s name that we really need to reach out to now. I have 3 easy steps to keep it from being completely lost.

This weekend, Twofold Marketing went to WordCamp in Atlanta, and it was an amazing time. On Monday, I woke up feeling all the expected things after a conference- tired, overwhelmed and playing catch up with my business and personal life. I was also struggling not to zone out in a post-event extrovert/introvert hangover. We met some AMAZING people and both work & personal friendships were formed that I really want to see grow. However, the danger of the post-event hangover is that we risk losing what we learned, before we ever get a chance to implement it. To prevent that from happening, here is what I suggest that you do.

First, I urge you all to take just a few minutes, shut off your devices, block out the world and process what you took in this weekend. Our brains can absorb so much information, but I find that I must take a moment to organize it all or else it quickly vanishes.

If you have followed these 3 small steps of my post-convention hangover cure, hopefully by now your brain fog is clearing a little.  It helps by sorting through all the things spinning around in your brain, putting them onto paper and outlining a plan of attack. However, the most important take-away that I hope you get from all of this is- do it today.  Tomorrow will have it’s own to-do list.

Hacking Today’s SEO to Improve Your Company’s Rank on Google


SEO Foundation + Staying Up-to-Date + Good User Experience = SEO


Recently, I was at a WordPress meetup with a variety of digital professionals, along with some who were new to the business. As the discussion went around the table, I noticed that the topic kept circling back to SEO, Google, and the confusion surrounding it. Though Google is a constantly moving target, I can shine some light on this topic that will help your business. Hopefully it will de-mystify SEO for you, or possibly, help someone avoid a fast-talking salesman that would charge you a lot of money for little return.


If you’ve been in digital marketing for a number of years, you already know that 2019 SEO tactics look worlds apart from those used in 2005, or even 2018 (Really? 2018… Yeah! Think indexing podcasts, the chatbot explosion, etc…). The big brains at Google are always making changes, and I believe it is to prevent those who have deeper pockets from being able to constantly crush the little guys.

A Tip Worth Mentioning: If Google Moves, You Move

Constant changes are frustrating, but if you look at it with the right perspective, you will see that today’s SEO elements have evolved to give the consumer a more valuable search result.

Do you remember the days of cramming as many keywords into a website, with the hopes that it would increase your chances of being in the top 3 spots of a search result? I pray that no one reading this still does that on their website. If so, change it now! 

That is the type of trickery that Google has been frowning upon for years and can lead to Google blacklisting your site. Keeping up-to-date on all the metrics Google uses to rank a business and their website. (we’ve compiled a short list to get you started below). We recommend signing up for daily blogs from Search Engine Land, Google, and more to stay informed with the ongoing changes.


The 4 Main Puzzle Pieces:


This is the most obvious, and often, the only element that is focused on when discussing SEO. People spend many hours or tons of money on writing “special content” with all the pertinent keywords, crafting new services pages and writing blogs. This is important, no doubt, but it is just one piece of the puzzle. The requirements to having strong SEO is much broader. If this is the only piece that you or your SEO company is focusing on, you won’t see a lot of gains from your efforts.

TAKE AWAY #1: Even if you think that your content is better than sliced bread, if users don’t stay, the page loads too slowly, or looks like it came from a Game of Thrones era… YOU ARE LOSING CUSTOMERS. It could be time to rethink your website and get a marketing audit.


This has always been head-scratcher for me. More than once, I have worked with an established company that has been around for years, only to discover that they never created their Google business listing. Listen up people! Make sure that you have a Google business profile that it is set up, verified & categorized correctly. According to Google, searches for “_____ near me” has increased by 150% in the last year. This is the most common starting point for a consumer who is looking for something, including what you have to offer.  If you do not have a Google profile, you won’t show up. It is equivalent to not being listed in the yellow pages back in 1984. Without it, you are simply invisible and this is a tragic mistake. Second, your Google My Business profile should be well built out, and you should post OFTEN!

TAKE AWAY #2: Make sure your Google My Business Profile is alive, verified, and well-built. Post often, and get reviews from customers. Do you think that yours may not be good enough, or do you need one? We can help! Get a Free 10-Minute Discovery Call and have us review it!



Some industries do not directly profit from an active social media account, whereas others generate much of their business from one. However, everyone needs a social media presence to some degree because it legitimizes you in Google’s eyes. If they see that you have a website, plus a Google listing and social media accounts, they will rate your company higher. The more credible that you appear to Google, the stronger your ranking will be. You do not have to have all of them, but it is recommended to be active with a couple of the main players – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Youtube, etc – whatever fits your industry best. Make sure that your information on these matches what you have listed on Google and that you have a small amount of ongoing activity on them.

P.S. – You could use a tool like Yext to give you a broad look at how you are appearing over the internet. It’s a little pricey though, just a heads up.

TAKE AWAY #3: You need social media profiles that match your information on your website and Google. Be active, and don’t try to sell, sell, sell… or people will just ignore you. Thinking your social profiles are a snooze fest? Take advantage of our Free 10-Minute Discovery Call and have us review it!



This is about the source code that your website is made up of and what Google “reads” to determine where your webpage should appear in their index for a search result.  Unless you are very comfortable with making back-end changes, this might be a good area to allocate some budget for a professional. If something important is broken, it could cost you a lot more paying someone to fix it.

If your website has been around for a while, odds are that you may have some deep cleaning to do. Some of the common things that need attention are back-link cleanup, updating/merging/deleting plugins, correcting keywords & alt text, indexing or 404 errors, having a clean internal linking structure, etc. On a site that is a few years old and has not had on-going clean up done, this could realistically take a professional a few hours or up to a few weeks, depending on how big your site is. You want to make sure that this is up-to-date, because Google serves fresh, fast, fascinating websites first. If your code is unreadable or corrupted, your website may get skipped over.

TAKE AWAY #4: Make sure someone who is well-versed and up-to-speed on all things websites and Google is actively maintaining your website. Always get a third party to occasionally check it out to make sure those guys in the basement your hired are actually doing their job… If not, it will cost you business, and that’s what you’re online for. We do Website Audits, and we can answer that question for you.


This list isn’t doesn’t cover everything you’ll need to improve your webpage’s SEO, but it’s a great place to start. Typically, when we do a marketing audit for a client, we find that they are only focusing on 1, maybe 2, of these areas, which is why they are not seeing returns on their digital investment.

FINAL TAKE AWAY: Take some time and critically look at where you rank. If you are not performing strongly, make a plan on how to improve them and follow through. I bet within about 3 months; you will see a great uptick in your digital traffic. Unless Google makes another drastic change, that is… DUN DUN DUN!

If you have any questions or would like some advice about your SEO, feel free to contact us at Twofold Marketing.

Always happy to help!

My Name Is Heidi… And I Have A Confession

Confessions of a Marketing Professional

Business Growth through unconventional methods.


marketing confessions


Getting to look behind the scenes into a company can be interesting and enlightening. Today, I am going to let you have a peek behind the curtain and divulge something that you might find surprising.

Jessica and I were both Marketing Directors for many years before we opened Twofold Marketing. We have more than 30 years of experience between the two of us, so would it be safe to say that we know a little bit about business marketing?  Absolutely.

We are skilled in everything from branding, community marketing, digital marketing, graphic design, content writing, etc. and we offer that to all of our clients- big or small. The thing that makes us different from other marketing companies is that most offer disjointed marketing services. Company A does your website, Company B does your social media. This leads to a muddy message and branding.

Twofold doesn’t operate that way.  When we work with a client, we craft an effective and extensive plan that encompasses all areas of marketing- digital, community, SEO, PPC, and branding. We know from experience that a business must implement a fully developed and comprehensive marketing approach to get incredible results.

We also offer business coaching and development to our clients. That can apply to anything from a financial audit on allocating money wisely, to advising a Dentist on the best pay structure for their new Associate.  We passionately believe in entrepreneurship and want to equip the small companies with tools that are typically only available for the big guys.

 “We passionately believe in entrepreneurship…”

So, you are probably wondering about the promised confession. Ready for me to spill the tea? Ok, here goes.

Twofold Marketing has an appointment with a marketing company, and we are the clientIsn’t that the craziest thing that you have ever heard?

You might be thinking “You are a MARKETING COMPANY for heaven’s sake!  Can you not handle your own marketing?!” Of course we can, but we are taking our own advice. 

We frequently advise our clients of the following recommendations:

Twofold Marketing is fortunate to have a full client roster, and our core value is to deliver more than we promise to each of them. It is what we are known for, and what drives us every day. However, our business must be cultivated as well, which is a balancing act that many business owners can relate to. Recently, we had an “A-ha!” moment. We need to do what we tell our clients to do- hire a marketing professional! This allows us to offer the highest level of service to our clients, and develop our business without sacrificing quality.

 Tip: Practice the spirit of reciprocity. Give more than you get.

So, there’s my confession and I have no shame. Just because you are great at something does not mean that only you can do it. There are only a certain number of hours in each day, so you must make them count.

Look at your to-do list with a fresh perspective. What can you delegate or pass along? What process can you change to double your growth? Make changes that allow you to fully immerse yourself into the things that are crucial in your business, without letting the other areas suffer. This is how a business grows, and it’s the smart thing to do.

How Much Are You Losing to Google’s Wall?

A Breakthrough Plan to Ensure Your Law Firm’s SurvivalWith or without Google.

By now, most of us are aware that Google likes to change its algorithms frequently. Those changes have often made a dramatic impact on websites. But this year, there is way more going on underneath the hood than your typical ranking changes. Recently, at a cutting-edge Internet conference, the burning topics raising concern with marketing experts were Zero-Click Searches and Google’s Wall.

Google is Stealing Your Clicks and Building a Wall Around Your Potential Clients

Have you noticed while using Google on your mobile phone that the organic results are pushed further and further down the page? That’s not an accident. Google’s goal is to keep people on their properties, many of which you are familiar with, like Search, YouTube, Maps, Android, and Google’s blog.

Google has taken it a step further by building features into the search engine, like “People Also Ask,” that are designed to answer your questions right in the search without the need to go to a website (See Image1). When a person doesn’t click any site, this results in a “zero-click” or “no-click” search. Why click a website for Sunday’s NFL lineup when Google gives you the answer right in the search?

You may already see why this could be a dilemma for your firm: Fewer people clicking your website equals fewer clients. This trend won’t be going away anytime soon. Zero-clicks are already capturing over 50% of all search results, and experts are predicting that it will grow exponentially in the next five years, with mobile affected most.

That’s Just Organic Searches, Right? What About Paid Searches?

At first glance, the numbers for paid clicks look good. The number of people clicking ads is going up. The problem is that you are paying more for the same amount of clicks compared to previous years. This paints a scary picture. You will either get fewer clicks or spend more money to get more paid clicks.

Social Media is Taking a Chip Off the Ol’ Block

Just like Google wants to keep people on their properties, so do social media sites, like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. They want you to stay on their platform because it means more advertising dollars for them. To do this, these social media giants have limited the organic reach of posts containing links that lead a user away from their platform. According to a recent talk given by Rand Fishkin, the founder Moz and Sparktoro, his agency tested this theory by split testing an identical post – Post A included a link to a website, and Post B had no link. After the test, the post with no link, Post B, had a much higher organic reach and engagement. The results were the same with repeated testing. The message is clear – all these Internet platforms are building a wall that is hurting your website traffic.

What’s a smart lawyer/marketer to do? 

If you are asking yourself if that new website you just paid for was a waste, or if SEO has finally bitten the dust, the short answer is: No. However, SEO, as we know it, is changing. You will have to find ways to influence potential clients outside of the traditional click.

5 Tips to Optimize for Zero-Click:

  1. Optimize Your Google Properties – Focus on improving your Google My Business account and your YouTube account. They take up quite a bit of real estate on page one and are the most customizable for your business.
  2. Aim for Featured Snippets – We recommend using SEMrush to see what your website ranks for. You can do this by exporting your organic keywords and looking at the numbers. What legal questions do you organically rank highly for? Run a report on your competitors. What featured snippets do they own? See if you can steal a snippet. We recommend focusing on page speed, media attachments, and answering the question well.
  3. Target Pages with High Clickthrough Rates – Compare your highest search queries from Google Search Console with your top landing pages. Improve the user experience and quality of those pages.
  4. Align Your SEO with PPC – Use the data from your Google Search Console and line it up with Google Ads. Find keywords on Google Search Console that you rank well for organically that are worth bidding on and start bidding! On the flip side, if a paid keyword phrase is performing well, start targeting that keyword organically on your website.
  5. Diversify Your Traffic Sources – Google may be King, but it isn’t your only resource for traffic. SEO and PPC are a good start, but smart social and video campaigns can widen your reach to more potential clients.

 Let Google Push You To Be a Better Law Firm

The truth is, even if you are perfectly optimized online, most people don’t hire you after seeing one Facebook post or a single commercial. Instead, it’s a long journey of seeing ads, reading your well-written articles, watching your videos, and seeing your firm in the community that gets your name to stick in their minds.

It’s never been more important to diversify your traffic sources and invest in growing your firm’s brand in the community. Focus on a blended marketing approach, much like keeping your financial portfolio diversified. The payoff is far more lucrative than purely focusing on whether you come up for “accident lawyer” or not.

Our best advice is that you broaden your reach with strategic SEO, PPC, Social Media, email, and community events. Doing so will ensure your law firm’s survival, with or without Google.

Data from 40M+ browser searches on mobile and desktop devices in the United States, courtesy of Jumpshot and Sparktoro

Five Ways to Ensure Your Law Firm's New Satellite Office is a Success

There are plenty of ways to grow your practice, but none are quite as tricky as opening a satellite office. Some attorneys have experienced success in opening a new location, while others find themselves checking the “permanently closed” button on Google and eating the costs.

The reality of expanding into a new area is that it is a significant financial risk, but when done right, your law firm can reap tremendous benefits by breaking into a new market. However, unless you have ample time and money to nurture your new satellite office, you may be better off putting your marketing dollars elsewhere.

Our team at Twofold Marketing has helped several satellite offices get off the ground successfully, but learning how to launch a new office took a while to get right.

If you are thinking about expanding to a new area, we invite you to consider some of the following things we have learned:

Have a REAL Presence

You cannot just buy a mailbox or rent a conference room occasionally. You will need an office, a door, and a sign with your firm’s name on it. Google likes a real location, with a unique phone number and address, and frankly, so do your clients. You will get clients who only reach out to you because you are close to them. So, be ready to travel to your satellite office, or at the very least, have a system in place so that a representative can meet them there.

Be the Only “Personal Injury Lawyer” in the Building

If you are renting a suite in a building that has several law firms of the same practice, you may be cutting your own throat. If two or more law firms practice the same type of law, like personal injury, in the same building, then typically Google will not allow both listings to display for the same search criteria, even if the businesses are officially registered.

Be Willing to Play the Waiting Game

If you don’t get business right away from your new location, do not get discouraged. Though you may start to show up organically in just a few months, it can take up to two or three years for Google to see your new location as an established, viable location to send more business to, especially in a highly saturated market. Just make sure that you plan for the long haul when budgeting for your new office.

Choose Your Location Wisely

If you want to open a new office, you are going to need to spend ample time researching where you want to plant your flag. Demographics, population, and competitors are a good start. You may also want to spend some time in the city to see if it is an area you are willing to travel to and spend time in, when necessary.

Join the Community

You may have been the “big dog” in the town of your main office, but in your new market, you’re just another lawyer that’s come to carve out a spot. A great way to start making a name for yourself is by joining the local chamber of commerce. Also, plan to take part in networking functions and sponsor local events. You can’t cut corners when it comes to grassroots marketing in your new city.

There are undoubtedly many challenges to consider if you want to open a satellite office. Before deciding, it is wise to count the cost, not just in expense, but in time. Your investment will be well worth the effort if you do it right!

If you would like help opening a new satellite office, Twofold Marketing offers a Satellite Office Launch program that includes everything you need to get a satellite office up and running successfully. Please e-mail us at to see how we can help you start expanding today!

Winning Over The Hard-Sell Client

How Your Personal Injury Law Firm Can Get Potential Clients Convert from Your Website.

For years, many of us believed that being in the top 3 spots of Google was a rock-solid plan to getting new clients from the internet. Google makes billions every year based on this deeply held belief. However, recent studies show that the average consumer is evolving, becoming harder and harder to sell to. What does this mean for your firm? What can you do to get them to click, call, and convert?

When a potential client gets on the internet to search for an attorney, picking YOU may not be the obvious choice anymore, even if you are doing everything right. Many attorneys are now "local" with satellite offices. Many have hundreds of great reviews, informative videos, and free legal guides. What is going to drive that hard-to-sell client to click you instead of the other guy? The answer might surprise you.

A recent study by Ignite Visibility has analyzed why users click on one search result as opposed to another, and 62% of respondents said that the title and description of the website (the "meta description") are what prompted them to click. That insight is powerful. If a webpage's meta description answers the client's search query, they are more likely to click that attorney over another whose ranking is higher.

Conversely, the study found another clickthrough behavior that is even more enlightening. More than half (55%) of the respondents stated that they only click on a brand they know within the search results. Take a moment to think about that. More than half of searchers will not click the website of an attorney that they do not recognize. Could the key to getting more clicks be an offline strategy?

Get More Clicks with an Offline Strategy

If a potential client searches, "accident attorney near me," they will be met with tens of thousands of results. In reality, only a fraction of those attorneys stand a chance in getting picked. Why? Because the average consumer usually chooses a brand they feel they already know. That means your firm needs to be known. How do you do that? By ensuring that your marketing methods are diverse, consistent, and widespread.

Build out your brand recognition by becoming a face that they "know" and a name that they recognize. You can do this by being a visible part of your local community. Host a fundraising 5k, begin a Teacher of the Month program, or an annual scholarship to a local high school. Make your name known through non-traditional marketing channels that also build goodwill within your community. Start a lunch-and-learn, produce a local podcast, and host local contests and giveaways through social media. Then, the next time a potential client sees your name in a search result, they will be much more prone to choosing you out of the list of options.

Get More Calls with a Better Website Experience

Your potential client has heard about you, read your great reviews, and now they have clicked to your website. Your goal is to get them to call. To do this, you need to make it as straightforward as possible by taking away the obstacles that would make them say, "No."

Have a fast website

If your website takes too long to load, the potential client will leave your site. Make sure your website is optimized for speed on both desktop and mobile.

Have multiple ways to contact you

Have diverse media

Great images, infographics, and videos can enhance a user's experience, build authority, and keep a visitor on your page longer.

Lead generation magnet. Make sure that all your pages have free guides, giveaways, or webinars available to capture a potential client's contact information and encourage them to engage with you in a way that appeals to them.

Stop making them hunt

No one likes clickbait websites. If someone clicked your website to get a specific answer to a question, don't make them scroll forever. This can make your site seem spammy. Be precise, quick to answer, and knowledgeable when writing content.

Create a Funnel

By creating robust content, engaging article series, and interactive questions, you can create funnels that lead potential clients to contact you. If you find many people are leaving your website, start using tracking services like LuckyOrange that lets you watch live visitors on your website. You will be able to see what they click, what they read, and how they leave. Use this knowledge to improve your visitor's experience.

Get More Conversions by Having the Right Person Answering Your Phones

The intake call is the most crucial step in the conversion process. Who is answering the phone when a potential client calls your office? It should be a live answer, someone who is warm and caring, and able to take the caller through the intake process quickly. If a caller gets an automated response or placed on hold early in the call, they are likely to hang up and call a different office. Invest in quality, ongoing training for your Intake team to make them very skilled in scheduling new calls. Listen to call recordings and have random mystery calls to know how they are being handled. How smoothly your receptionist handles the call and how quickly they can make a connection with them will determine if they will convert to a client. You spend a lot of money and effort to make the phone ring, and you certainly do not want to lose them at this step in the process.

Don't Just Read It. Do it

Implementing the suggestions will take time and planning. However, once you put these recommendations in place, you should see a significant increase in your caseload. Your brand will now be more developed, and you will no longer have to rely 100% on your Google rankings to make the phone ring, which is good because it's getting more and more expensive to do so.

If you are having trouble getting clicks, converting visitors from your website, or have too many canceled appointments, there may be a breakdown in one of your processes. Have an objective outside party look at your marketing funnels with fresh eyes. Have them review your website's analytics to see where your traffic is coming from, and why they are leaving. Let them look at your website as a whole and make recommendations as to how to improve the website experience. Most importantly, listen to your phone call recordings and see if there needs to be some training or position changing at your firm.

If you would like to set up a comprehensive analysis to review your marketing processes, Twofold Marketing would be happy to help. Just contact us!

Post-Pandemic Lawyer Marketing: Be Human

Overnight, it seems that the whole world has changed. The Disney magic is nowhere to be found, beaches are off-limits, and Paris can't be the city of romance since hugs & kisses are now risky. How did the world get turned upside down in the blink of an eye? 

No doubt you are feeling a similar turmoil in your business and trying to find some guidance on navigating this new landscape. You are not alone, but this is manageable and will pass. So what do you do right now?

We have been saying it for a while: Lawyers need to stop entirely relying on Google for new business and diversify their marketing portfolio. Never has this rang truer than within the context of the Coronavirus pandemic. Firms who have been heavily relying on SEO and pay-per-click (PPC) to get new clients have seen a drastic downturn in phone calls. If that sounds like your firm, you are not alone. Everyone has taken a hit due to the pandemic. If you are wondering how best to market your practice right now, my response would be it's time to let your humanity show.

On a global scale, people are experiencing shelter-ins, loss of income, loss of jobs, and loss of loved ones. March and April were nothing but virus-related content, as to be expected. Those who continued to market "as usual" met with backlash and bad PR. So, it's safe to say that any legal marketing you do cannot be unsympathetic or ignorant about what is going on in the world. If you've been letting your typical content and campaigns run – stop. It's time to reevaluate and adapt. 

Recalibrate Your Marketing for Your Audience

Google said it right at their 2015 conference: To get new business, you need to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time. That means we need to know who our ideal clients are, what their problems are, and how we can solve those problems today. Amid a global crisis, our marketing message and delivery need to change rapidly. People are looking for and expecting humanity and empathy. Make sure that your marketing is not tone-deaf. 

How would we recommend you change your marketing?

  1. Don't stop marketing. Within the first week of the crisis, we were shocked to see some lawyers posting on Facebook groups that they were slowing or stopping their marketing efforts altogether. Unfortunately, this method is a bit shortsighted. It's been proven that marketing during a recession can boost financial performance throughout the year following the recession. The marketing you do also contributes to slowing the decline in business and consumer spending that can create worse economic crises. So keep marketing, just do it wisely.
  2. Don't create Corona-only content. Though you might feel tempted to create a lot of content related to the Coronavirus with the hopes of getting more engagement, remember that people are already bombarded with it everywhere else. It is OK to write content, do a live video stream, or run a few ads that don't have anything to do with the virus, just as long as it doesn't seem insensitive to the ongoing crisis.
  3. Don't be self-serving. No one wants to see your ad about how many years you've been practicing law, that you give free consultations, or awards that you've won. This is not the time to be blasting an irrelevant message. Not only that, but your message is also competing with content that is more relevant and more worthy of people's time, given the situation. People want to see how you are helping others and improving their lives. If you are a personal injury lawyer, lay out the benefits that appeal to people right now, like no out-of-pocket fees, getting their medical bills reduced, not having to have health insurance, and getting in to see a healthcare provider more quickly. Whatever platform you use for marketing, make sure people can see how you are meeting their needs, and helping your clients.
  4. Reevaluate your marketing. Maybe you created the perfect COVID-friendly post with a great message on Facebook about giving back to the community, but without realizing it, you left a button that said, "Subscribe Now" that makes no sense. Check your entire marketing experience, from the first click to your website, to the thank-you-for-contacting-us page.
  5. Show how you are helping during the pandemic. If you are supporting a charity, organization, or specific workgroup in your community, talk about it! Getting exposure for your good deeds can actually encourage others to reach out and do more too. We always recommend local community involvement, but it is even more important now. Expanding and showing your efforts to improve your local community is how you can market without solely relying on Google and PPC campaigns. 

Lawyers Who Are Doing It Right

There are already many lawyers leading by example and shifting their marketing efforts. They are following the guidelines above, but what is more important is that they are taking the extraordinary opportunity to be seen as human during this crisis and not just a business.  

One Georgia law firm is promoting other businesses in their monthly printed and e-newsletter free of charge, which includes a guide of local companies that are providing curbside services, meal packages, virtual experiences, and more. This firm is also resuming their Teacher of the Month program over Zoom, and planning to provide lunch to first responders and nurses in the coming weeks.

The Takeaway: Your charitable programs don't have to be expensive or grand to make an impact. Remember that your community is made of the people who live in it. Every opportunity you make to touch the life of someone else matters and is marketing in it of itself.

Las Vegas attorney has personally taken on the challenge to help provide local hospitals with thousands of masks, gowns, disinfectants, gloves, hairnets, and more. She has privately funded much of it and recently started a GoFundMe account to continue to help.

The Takeaway: Is there a specific need in your community you can fund? Do you have a large following on social media that you can reach out to to help support a cause? Getting the community involved not only makes people aware of your work but can inspire others to help and make them feel involved.

We also want to recognize Ken Hardison and his wife, Tiana (We didn't tell them we were writing this). As the crisis amplified, many attorneys expressed their concerns about being able to pay their employees or losing their businesses. Almost overnight, PILMMA rolled out open-discussion webinars, blogs, and other various content to help lawyers feel more confident about what to do, and how they can improve their law firm during the months ahead. No doubt, all of us are very grateful for their quick response!

The Takeaway: Be the first to respond to the needs of your community, your local chamber, and your clients. Keep an eye on local forums and groups for your city and county. Speak up and help out where you can. Provide free content answering people's questions and concerns, even if it's not your exact area of practice. Don't ask for anything in return.

If you decide to continue marketing right now, do your best to follow the guidelines above. There are plenty of ways to help in your community right now. When you do decide to market, keep the tone empathetic, and prepare for a more significant marketing push in the months ahead when your potential clients will be more welcoming of it. It won't be long before the conversation starts to change, and it won't be corona-virus saturated. By continuing to market effectively through the crisis, you are giving your firm a better chance of future success.

Be safe and stay home. We will get through this together!

Be a Memory Maker and Get More of the Cases You Want – Referrals

Referrals from previous clients usually make the best clients, but many lawyers struggle to capture these cases. How can you pivot your marketing to create raving fans and get more referrals? The answer is to be a Memory Maker.

It's likely your law firm has felt the effects of 2020. If your usual marketing efforts haven't been working, you may feel like you are pushing a boulder uphill and spending a lot of money to do it. How can you get more out of your marketing dollars and get the kind of cases you want? To answer, I'm going to share the story of the most famous stuffed animal in the world: Joshie the Giraffe. Stick with me here, because this story perfectly sums up how to create raving fans and a continuous set of repeatable actions that you can scale.

"The Most Famous Stuffed Animal in the World…"

The story starts at the Ritz Carlton, a hotel known for luxury and customer service. However, if you've stayed at the hotel, you know it's much more than that. All the staff is encouraged to help their visitors make lasting memories. In fact, every employee is authorized to spend up to $2,000 to resolve a customer's problem, without a manager's permission. This fosters a mindset throughout the entire organization to seek and find ways to make memorable moments. One little boy brought Joshie, his stuffed animal and best friend, on a family vacation to the Ritz Carlton. The boy accidentally left Joshie at the hotel. When the family arrived home and realized the beloved stuffed animal had been left behind, they called the hotel in a panic, hoping the staff could find him and send him back.

Not only did the staff find Joshie and send him back, they included swag and a photo album of all Joshie's adventures while being away a few extra days. The album contained pictures of Joshie suntanning at the pool, getting a massage, and making friends with other stuffed animals. Wow. Did they have to do all of that? Of course not! Tossing the stuffed animal in a box and mailing it would have been over and above compared to other hotel chains. Instead, they took the time to be a Memory Maker. Did it work?

The family was amazed that a hotel would go to such lengths for them. They shared their experience over social media. Since 2012, that experience has been shared thousands of times in magazines, videos, and blogs. If you type in "Joshie the Giraffe" into Google, there are over 6,000 results. And, of course, that family became a lifetime client, raving fan, and referrer.

Memory-Making Over Your Law Firm

No doubt you would love to get the kind of return the Ritz received from your marketing efforts. As you saw, the amount of time and cost was minimal for the Ritz to make the family's trip memorable. For you to have the same success, you will need to put systems and a budget in place, foster the right mindset for yourself and your employees, and then let your systems and employees run without interference.

Five Ways to Improve Your Client's Experience

  1. The First Impression – When a potential client first calls, make sure that your receptionist or intake staff are providing a warm, empathetic conversation. Follow up by sending them a greeting card and booklet in the mail before their first appointment.
  2. The First In-Office Appointment – Your receptionist should greet the new client right away, offering a beverage and/or snack while filling out their paperwork. If the client has brought any children with them, provide coloring or activity books. If you have the capability of offering public Wi-Fi, do so for their convenience. At the end of the appointment, make sure they walk out with a gift bag filled with any documents they need, and a few promo items. If ethics allows, provide them with a gift card to a local restaurant or food delivery service so that they don't have to worry about dinner that night.
  3. Throughout the Case – One of the biggest frustrations we hear from clients is the lack of communication from the attorney's office during treatment. Granted, there isn't really anything to "update" them on while they are treating. However, if you reach out over the phone to check and see how they are doing, or send a card in the mail, you create a bond with your client, and it will impress upon them your genuine care. If your client has surgery, have dinner or flowers delivered. You may even want to visit them if it is particularly severe, to show your support. Your time is valuable, and they know it. You are giving it to them in a way that will stick in their minds for years to come.
  4. The Final "Check" Appointment – When your client's big day comes to get their settlement check, it is something to celebrate, whether the settlement is big or small. I've met many firms over the years that do some amazing things at their clients' check appointments. Some throw a little party for the client with a cake and their staff. This not only makes for an excellent picture for your newsletter, but you can also hang your photos and make a "Wall of Clients" for others to see. Other firms go big, especially for a high-profile case, by sending a limousine to pick up the client. I would definitely call that memorable! Don't forget to ask them to give you a five-star review while they are there.
  5. Staying in Touch – Even if you've made your client's experience memorable, the real trick is making sure they continue to remember and refer to you for many years to come. Many of you stay in touch with folks by mailing a printed newsletter and/or birthday card. That's great and smart. But can you take it to the next level? Host an annual or semi-annual client appreciation event or holiday party and make sure to invite past clients. Start getting involved in community festivals, giveback programs, and events, and you'll be sure to see more and more of your clients, opening up the opportunity to continue that relationship and remind them of you and your firm.

These are just a few ways you can turn your clients into your fans and get more referrals. If you want more ideas, there is no better place to ask than your employees. They are the ones who are in contact with your clients the most and are more aware of their needs. Schedule a meeting to talk with them about their ideas and implement a few of them.

A Note for the Owner

The decision to be a memory-making law firm must start with you. It takes commitment to go the extra mile for your clients, and you need to allow your employees to do the same. Whether you choose to have your entire staff implement your strategies or one person, you must be on board one hundred percent. Set aside time each week to fulfill your staff's needs, such as shooting a video or signing a few greeting cards.

A Note on Your Employees

If it makes more sense to dedicate the implementation of this program to one person in your firm, you should make sure they will be a good fit. How do you hire or find the right one? A good start would be to give candidates the CliftonStrength Assessment. Those who have any combinations of positivity, empathy, responsibility, or harmony could be a great start.

If all of this is making you feel a little overwhelmed, don't fret. You don't need to do everything right now. If you find one or two of these things are working well, GREAT!

Over time, your firm will develop a well-oiled system to making your client's journey truly a five-star experience, which will give you a competitive advantage, leading to better results, higher-quality cases, and less reliance on Google. Just don't expect the first few tries to be easy. That's why it works – few law firms are willing to make that kind of investment.

If you'd like us to help you implement some of these ideas, or if you would like us to develop a customized marketing plan for you, please give us a call at Twofold Marketing. We can't wait to talk to you!

Ready to Try Google’s New Location Services Ads?

Here’s What You Need to Know About Google’s New Local Services Ads

As if 2020 hasn’t brought about enough change, Google has rolled out some significant changes that are causing a lot of headaches. Their latest algorithms have wrecked rankings, and their glitches are boosting spam websites to show up in search results instead of industry experts. In addition to that, they are now expanding Local Services ads to lawyers, which has people wondering if this is a good or a bad thing.

What are Local Services Ads?

Local Services ads are a paid-per-lead service provided by Google, similar to Google Ads. Local Services ads appear at the top of the Google Search results when people search for services in a given area (example: “Atlanta Accident Attorney”). As the provider, you can download the Local Services app and reply to messages, track bookings, and manage all your leads. For most, this sounds like an excellent new marketing venue. Lawyers would much rather pay per lead rather than click. It’s also important to note that this service does not replace Google Ads; instead, they will appear above Google Ads. So now the first page will look something like this:

  1. Local Services ads
  2. PPC ads
  3. Maps
  4. FAQ/snippets
  5. 2-5 organic results (if there is room)
  6. PPC ads

As you can see, the space for organic listings is continuing to shrink, making the #1 spot even more critical. Conversely, it also means that you could show 2-4 times on the first page if you are willing to pay for it.

Our team has been digging deep into Local Services ads (formerly known as Home Sevices Ads), which was only open to a few industries until recently. Usually, we are fans of building your online presence with Google. However, before signing up and trying to qualify for this service, we feel that it’s essential to know the benefits and risks of doing so.* 

Benefits of Using Google’s Local Services Ads

  • Increased Exposure on the Top of Page 1. You could be on page 1 multiple times: Local Services ads, PPC ads, Maps, and organic. 
  • Connect with customers the moment they’re looking for legal services for higher conversion rates
  • Access to an easy-to-use app for managing leads
  • Receiving the Google Guaranteed badge (builds trust in your brand)
  • Less time chasing potential clients

Risks of Using Google’s Local Services Ads

  1. Google Can Monitor & Record Everything. All phone calls, emails, and text-based communications delivered through Google will be monitored or recorded and are subject to Google’s privacy policy. 
  2. Less Control Over Geographic Location. Like Google Ads, you can set your preferred geographic area by choosing cities and postal codes where you would like your ad to show. Your ad will display in two ways: (1) To people who are in your preferred location and (2) people who search the name of your location and service, even if they aren’t in the physical area (example: “Atlanta Accident Attorney”). The disadvantage of this is that accurate, localized targeting will be harder to control, and competitors in other areas will be able to see your ads and send you spammy “leads” while wasting your ad dollars.
  3. Unqualified Leads. If one of your leads isn’t legitimate, you can dispute it with Google, but there is a chance you won’t get your money back. If you are a personal injury lawyer, you are able to select specific categories within Personal Injury. If you get a different type of lead that falls under PI, Google may not reimburse you for that lead. The following Personal Injury categories available are: 
    • Assault & battery
    • auto accidents
    • bicycle accidents 
    • motorcycle accidents
    • dog bites
    • injury from DUI
    • product liability
    • wrongful death
    • and other services
  1. Local Service Reviews are separate from your Google My Business profile and reviews. Many of you have spent a lot of time building your reviews on Google, and that is great! However, you will need to get new reviews for your Local Services’ profile. At this time, reviews collected through Local Services will only appear in the Local Services profile, and they won’t be deleted if you leave the Local Services program. Google also mentioned that these reviews might be combined with other reviews across Google in the coming months.
  2. If you aren’t quick to respond to leads, your ad rank will drop. Google recommends responding to leads immediately. Reacting quickly to leads can boost your ad’s ranking on the search and possibly increase the number of leads you get. If you habitually fail to respond to messages or have repeated delays in your responses, the option for customers to send message requests to your business could be removed. If you’re too busy to receive incoming requests, you can always pause your ad to protect your ad rankings.

What Will You Need to Get Started?

To sign up with Local Services ads, your law firm may be required to go through Google’s screening and qualification process. For personal injury attorneys, they may ask you for:

  • Business background check
  • Owner background check
  • Malpractice insurance (where applicable by state)
  • State bar license checks for each personal injury lawyer in the firm

You must fill out your application accurately. Google uses the phone number and company information you provide in your ad, and for now, there is no way for you to edit it personally. So, if you want to use call-tracking, make sure you use that number during setup. Double-check that the locations and services you select are accurate because Google uses that information to determine invalid leads.

If you need Google support, it’s important to remember that thousands of businesses are starting this program, and it may take time to get everything up and running.

So Should You Sign Up?

That is a question that only you can answer. We have spoken with many of our clients about this new service because it is big news. Some are excited to get started, while others are taking a wait-and-watch approach, so it depends on your comfort level. It is always a good idea to keep your eyes wide open when starting any new venture, and we are trying to help everyone do that based on the information that is currently released by Google. Our team will be keeping a close eye on this new Location Services ads program.

If you have any questions about this new program or how it can affect you, feel free to reach out to us. Thanks to Google, the digital world is always rapidly changing, and we strive to stay at the forefront of the latest changes. 

Please note that Google is rapidly adapting their program as more customers use it and request changes. All information in this article may be subject to change by the time you read it!