Law Offices, Professional Image, and Marketing

Face it. Financial bottom lines are affected by the fact we live in a world that judges a book by its cover. Pretty singers sell more records, court cases rank higher in the news if the person is attractive, and politicians are elected based on their image as much any other factor.Looking at your own industry, don’t you have to fight the public’s perceptions? We see it on TV and in movies every day. More often than not, young lawyers, paralegals, and others just starting out in the profession are portrayed as cheap, petty, low-rent, and usually called “ambulance chasers.”It’s not right, but this issue of image is one that you have to live with and learn to work with.Let’s cut to the bottom line which is this: In today’s business climate, everyone should realize that a professional image is crucial to reputation and everyone could stand to improve theirs to some degree or other. It’s what you need to do to keep your individual firms alive. Therefore, let’s cover some opportunities for improvement using the acronym A.L.I.V.E.:Appearance – Your physical persona and the way present yourself.Letterhead – The level of professionalism demonstrated in your printed marketing materials.Information – Accuracy and honesty; the keys to presenting the data gathered during a case.Voice – How you communicate to everyone you’re associated with.Education – The continual improvement to your professional knowledge base.Appearance: People base a large percentage of their first impression on your appearance. When a client meets you for the first time, they’re sizing up your credibility, your ability as a legal professional, and deciding just how well you might conduct yourself in public. As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a good first impression, so let’s look at a few pointers.Always dress in a professional manner. For men and women both, the attire should be “business professional,” which for men means suit and tie whenever possible, and for the ladies, business suits, nice skirt and blouse, or dresses. If you look unkempt or “second rate” the client will wonder how you’ll represent them while working their case.A close cousin to dress is personal grooming. Simply put, make sure your hair, facial hair, hands, nails, and teeth are all clean and well kept. By the way, how’s your breath? Always keep some mints handy.Another key opportunity to exhibit a professional image is in court. Make your trial presentations well-organized and polished works of art. You’ll notice down in our bio box we have a link to a free ebook that will help you create a very professional trial notebook.Letterhead: In some cases, the first contact someone may have with you might be one of your business cards. For our purposes though, “letterhead” refers to any printed material (paper or electronic) anyone outside your office might see.Business cards are a must. Make them distinctive, but with minimal content. Let your website or brochure carry the heavy content.On business cards, stationery, and your website stay away from trite, cliché, or negative icons such as someone running after an ambulance. In your web address, phone numbers, or email addresses, stay away from negative phrases like “[email protected].” These might seem cute, but to many potential clients, they’re a turnoff.For stationery, choose quality paper and have your letterhead and envelopes, as well as your contracts, professionally produced by the same people who do your business cards. Make sure their color themes match. Your local print shop or office supply store should have everything you need. If there’s any one place you want to spend a little money, this is near the top of the list.Stay away from blank notepads and manila folders. They’ll both get too messy too soon and not only will that make you look unprofessional and disorganized, but blank notepads make you look unprepared, and lost or disorganized notes lead to inaccurate reports and invoices. Invest a little time and/or money into buying or developing a comprehensive set of forms or an organizer system to use while assembling your case.Information: In the legal business, the glass is neither half full nor half empty. It’s 50%. And, unless you know what’s in it, don’t speculate. “Just the facts Ma’am.” One of the biggest opportunities for a good impression, and naturally the most important, is the timely delivery of honest, accurate, information. Nothing will kill your image, reputation, and livelihood, like incomplete, inaccurate, biased, or late case work. Likewise, an inaccurate invoice can cost you by being either too low or too high.Rule one is, always has been, and always will be, “Use a good case management system.” Make sure everyone working for you uses the same system, and that your standards of accuracy start at the beginning, and continues through the whole case and through any follow-up you may ever have with that client. Then treat all of your other clients the same way.Use nice presentation folders for all your reports; even the “small dollar” ones. Each client is important to you from a marketing standpoint and therefore deserves to be treated with respect. Putting your work product on better stationery, in a well-organized format, and in an attractive presentation folder will provide a greater perceived value to your client. These people have probably paid a hefty sum for your service and a more professional report will help assure them that it was money well spent.Voice: Voice is a general term used to describe not only the actual verbal communication you have with your clients and others, but the “tone” your business has with those it deals with.When you answer the phone, do so cheerfully and actually smile. You can tell when someone’s not happy to be on the phone and so can others. This phone call might be your first contact with the next big client, so make it count.If you can’t personally answer every call, the next best thing is to have a receptionist or answering service. A person is always better than voice mail. Go with what you can afford, but since the phone call is one of your opportunities for a first impression, anyone answering the phone should be trained to be courteous, cheerful, informative, and as professional as possible.Education and intelligence are just as necessary as a cheerful hello. You want people to know that you are every bit as qualified and capable as they could hope for. Therefore, when speaking with people, speak clearly, and choose your words carefully. They don’t have to be big words, but they do have to make sense, and grammar is important.The written word should follow the same rule. Make sure your business cards, letterhead, brochures, reports, invoices, and all other written documents use correct spelling and proper grammar. Though your client may be enamoured enough with your abilities as a legal professional to overlook a minor grammatical error, you never know who else of importance might see your report or correspondence.Education: Here we continue where your writing skills leave off and cover the actual knowledge or skill base upon which your legal expertise is founded. Experience is the best teacher, but classroom education can certainly help keep you informed and up to date. Also, the fact that you are continually updating your expertise is impressive to most potential clients.Many states require continuing education. If your state does, you should publish this fact in your firm’s literature. If your state does not require CEU, you should still take it upon yourself to keep your own training updated and make that fact a prominent component of your marketing materials.Join professional organizations where possible. Many of them will offer various classes and training programs and the benefits of networking are considerable.Keep your library stocked. Many people learn as much from books and videos as they do in a classroom setting.As you attend some of these educational functions, take the opportunity to look around you and either further your own education on this issue of appearance by studying your colleagues, or help improve the way they represent you by helping educate them as to the benefits of a more professional image.

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Successful Film Marketing Strategies

“It’s not what a movie is about, it’s how it is about it”.
– Roger EbertUnlike any other art, Films have a much greater impact on human’s mental consciousness. It holds the capability to impose an emotional instability in human minds. This is why it is said that movie making is more about observing and imagining. Now in this century, Filmmaking is not just about the script, screenplay and all. It comprises of lot many other factors. In Fact, a successful film promotion is merely about the Film marketing strategies related to that.So, what is film marketing?Many of us believe that the success of a film is all about how well it run in theaters.Well, I would say, Film marketing is all about driving the desired audience unto the theaters. Sometimes called film junket or press junket, Film marketing consists of various elements such as press releases, advertising, interviews, media involvements and most prominently Social Medias nowadays.It’s no longer about Television, Print, and OutdoorThis is more like an enlightenment for every filmmaker these days. Back then, an efficient Film marketing strategy was all about the television, prints and all. But now it has changed, because, in order to reach the audience you need to find them at first. Today, it’s all about the internet.You need to find more people, you better go online, as simple as that.Film Marketing strategies went digitalWell, it’s not a big surprise factor that film industries have adopted Digital Marketing techniques as a part of well structured Film Marketing Strategies. In fact, movie studios are moving beyond the typical techniques such as teasers, trailers and lot more by conducting Google hangouts with the crew, live streaming music launches, contests and so on.And the most interesting fact is that the spend on Film marketing Digital strategies has risen enormously these years.I believe there are three major stages in a successful film marketing strategy, introducing, interacting and involving. Digital Media has involvement in all these three stages, great involvement indeed.Search engine optimization for an effective film marketing strategiesSearch engine optimization as an overall term for all the works and efforts we are investing on to the promotion of any services/products are not negligible. Unlike any other Digital marketing campaigns, Film marketing deserves more conviction as well as perception, even in its promotional campaigns.There are so many factors involved in this ranging from keywords to social media.How Social media influence the way movies are marketed?As a part of Digital marketing strategy, Social media has become one of the ‘behind the change’ reason, as films can gain a huge amount of buzz through it. It means, there is no longer need to rely on official reviews and adverts to know about the latest releases. Here is a quick review of few film marketing strategies in relation to social media.Leaked images- Even though this seems to be an outdated technique, it still works. This kind of techniques is used probably for the promotion of superhero movies. The theory behind this tactic is that the movie producers will generate some excitement, years before the release of their films through leaked images. As the images would not reveal much more about the movie and characters, yet will definitely create a huge amount of online publicity and chatter.Visual micro content- This is more like an emotional way of marketing, I would say. A movie called ‘If I stay’ recently implement this film marketing idea very successfully. The initial step towards this kind of campaign is always targeting the right social media platforms. And then generating visual micro content suitable for the platform. Sharing the banners, posting the behind the scenes pictures are also effective.Content marketing campaign- Content is always effective and it’s definite that it will bring some results to you. Once again it is more related to social media channels. Even if a film marketing strategy is all about the kind of film to which we are dealing with, content is always helpful. One can also try local news stations, discussion boards and more along with Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and so.Video marketing- Very familiar, much effective, this is how one could interpret the role of video marketing Film marketing strategies. No matter what, we are ready to take chances on some products that we have not seen or tested properly, this is why the trailers are significant. It gives an initial impression and it’s a proven success. And I recommend seeing your trailer video initially through your official website, which obviously allows the audience to make more interaction through your social media mediums.Social competitions and quizzes- It will become a huge disaster if you believe that the introduction part is enough.The fact is that you will miss the entire party. Interaction is very significant especially when coming to Film marketing. It may not be the most innovative thing you can do to improve the engagement but it can very effective at times.Persona marketing- Your film will certainly have some interesting character that the audience could connect with in one way or another.Lot many Film marketing campaigns have already played on the audience’s emotions for particular fictional characters by developing a persona around those characters on social media. A Perfect example for this is the Ted character in the Twitter. With almost 7 lakh followers, Ted began posting some funny comments which in fact brought some unexpected results.Alternate reality games- A slightly more complicated and deep Film marketing strategy is Alternate reality games (ARGs). This develops a fictional world that the users in the real world may interact with by using online communities. ARGs is a wonderful way to get your movie audiences involved and thereby creating ‘brand loyalty.Make use of memes and other UGC Forms- This is more like a mutual beneficial Film marketing strategy. Memes are offering a great marketing opportunity, in such a way that your audience will create some highly shareable content that conclusively benefits your Film promotional strategies. The benefit of using memes is that they are easily customizable as well as quick to produce. Yet another possible strategy is to use caption contests, fan art or any other effective user-generated content tactics.Google AdWords for the more targeted outcome- Each day, millions and millions of movie related searches are made in Google. I would say, the quickest way to reach those people is always Google AdWords.Even if it is not much of a cost effective way, it definitely is an option for those who care about reaching more targeted audiences.Final thoughtsHow powerful the visual media is or How much impact it can impose on humanity? The answer to his question is always about how well it reach the people. And Film marketing or Movie promotion is the beacon that leads to this destination.Cheers
Team eetti