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EL107: WordPress Secrets and Tips, with Syed Balkhi

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“Giving free content isn’t just about giving away information, it’s about buying trust”– Syed Balkhi

Syed Balkhi moved to the US from Pakistan at the age of 12. It was his family’s struggle for an income that led him to his work in the online world. His desire to teach people how to maintain their own websites led Syed to creating his free information website, wpbeginner.com. Today, Syed has a number of product and plug-ins which helps people get the most of their sites and in today’s show Syed and Jacob chat about giving away content for free,reaching out to influencers and the challenges faced by website owners today.



“I don’t think that websites are going obsolete”– Syed Balkhi

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Times to Post

Learning how to post on social media accounts is the first step toward growing your practice and brand online. You’ve increased your followers and likes, and now have a regular, consistent demographic who appreciates and interacts with your content. If it seems, though, like the new growth has tapered off, it may be time to look at WHEN you are posting. There is both an art and a science to finding the optimal time to publish your posts, and a matter of mere hours could be the difference between attracting a few and a few hundred perspective new clients.

While each platform and audience have their own timing cycles, you can pull reports from each platform’s dashboard to see for yourself that there are definite trends in each network for the ideal times to post on your social media channels.

  • FacebookTimes to Post

As the most widely used social media network, Facebook is viewed at work and home on mobile and desktop devices by over one and a half billion users worldwide. Some studies have shown that between noon and 1 p.m. on the weekends, between 1 and 4 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, and between 3 and 4 p.m. on Wednesdays will get you a higher reach. Other top Facebook times are at 9 a.m., and 1 and 3 p.m., with the highest engagement reported Thursdays through Sundays.

  • Twitter

Most Twitter users are checking their feeds when they have brief downtime. Think in terms of commutes, breaks, or school pick-up lines. Because of this, the best times to tweet are between noon and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and between 5 and 6 p.m. on Wednesdays. B2B tweets perform best Monday through Friday; B2C tweets are the highest on Wednesdays and the weekends.

  • LinkedIn

An absolute MUST-HAVE for attorneys, LinkedIn is a professional networking site designed to help users increase their business connections. Predominantly used during work hours, the highest times of use on LinkedIn are at the beginning of the work day (7:30 to 8:30 a.m.) at lunch (noon), and at the end of the day (5 to 6 p.m.) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Tuesdays between 10 and 11 a.m. are also periods of higher traffic.

  • InstagramTimes to Post

The desktop version of Instagram isn’t an ideal way to log on to the network since the app was designed to be used on mobile devices. Really, anytime you feel like posting Monday through Thursday (except between 3 and 4 p.m.) is a good time to upload and share a photo. Videos tend to do best between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m.

  • Pinterest

71% of all Pinterest users are female according to comScore. More specifically, this particular channel caters to those who browse and post on social media during their spare time. This leads to the majority of Pinterest engagements occurring between 2 and 4 a.m. and all evening hours, every day. They also have high usage times at 5 p.m. on Fridays and between 8 and 11 p.m. on Saturdays.

Now that you have a better idea of when it is most advantageous to post on your social media for your practice, you may be asking yourself “What is the best way to keep my posting schedule consistent and organized?” The answer is very simple…AgoraPulse! This scheduling tool has particularly helped law firms manage all of their social media channels in one convenient place. Learn more about AgoraPulse!

Target Audience

There’s no way to understate how important it is to target your audience. Without a clear picture of the people who are interested in your message, you’re basically throwing all of your hard work into the winds of chance. A lot of practices do just that. They spend time working on their business plan and building their website, but they never spend time understanding their audience. When they do think about the who, they assume instead of researching.

Your optimal goal is to create messages that are individual. Your content speaks directly to that client and your follow-up messages are tailored to their needs and responses to previous messages. If you don’t know the audience, the best you can hope for is to moderate success with a generic message. Or maybe you’ll magically hit upon the perfect audience and go viral just by being you.

Defining your target audience sounds more difficult than it is. Let’s break it down into simpler steps to digest.

  1. You Know Nothing: Don’t assume you know who your potential clients are because you THINK a demographic will be interested in your law services. Even with personal evidence like, “Hey, my Aunt Ruth is in this age bracket and she likes my website.” Aunt Ruth might just be nice, or an anomaly or she might actually be on to something. Before you decide what demographic your law firm consists of, back that assumption up with solid research.
  2. Narrow Your Demographic: A market of young women from 13 – 35 isn’t going to help you. That’s a huge demographic and capturing the attention of a 13-year-old will be a lot different than that of a 35-year-old with 2 kids and a mortgage. You can’t send out a massive message meant to lasso everyone. You need to pinpoint your firm’s brand so it speaks to each potential client.
  3. Build Your Client Profile: Build a client profile or several. Be as specific as possible. What age bracket, gender, income level is your ideal market in? Do they live in a city or suburb? Give them a name. Make them a real, breathing character in your thoughts.
  4. Learn Their Psychology: Don’t stop at a client profile of demographic characteristics. Really step into their shoes. What are his concerns that your practice can appease? Why would she choose your practice over another? Delving into the way they think will help you answer those questions more effectively.
  5. Research Their Favorite Platforms: Your ideal audience will have favorite online platforms. Whether your audience is more likely to use mobile apps, read blogs, check social media, or only check email, you need to research where they are so that your findability increases.
  6. Find Their Favorite Experts: If you know your ideal audience, you should become very familiar with their favorite experts and mentors. Building relationships and guest posting on venues your audience trusts will also build their trust in you.
  7. Keep Your Eye On The Analytics: Wash, rinse, repeat. If you’ve done your research, built your platforms according to your target audience and started your campaign, the next step is to see how well it works. You should see continued growth in viewers, clicks, and conversion. Keep your eye on the data as you go. If you don’t see marked growth, or if after the initial surge it dies instead of continuing, it might be time to reconsider who you’re targeting to and how you’re marketing.

Merging Your Creative Message With Your Data

People get confused by marketing because the analytics involved are very precise, but the actual meat of the job is more humanity based than number based. There is a science to marketing, just like everything else. There are steps which are proven to work. When the outcome isn’t growth, it’s a good indication that something is off. It may be that your message isn’t perfectly tailored for your audience. It might be that the audience you’re aiming for isn’t the right one for conversion. Regardless of your practice model, the key is in finding the clients who want and need your services and differentiating yourself in a way that speaks directly to them. By targeting  your primary demographic, you’ll also want to strive to grow that email.

Once you feel you have gotten a good grasp on targeting your primary demographic, another step is keeping them consistently informed and updated on the services you provide. This is where growing your email list is considered marketing GOLD. As always, your questions and comments are highly welcomed, so share your thoughts in the box below. I look forward to connecting with you!

Social Media Inbox

If you’re like me, chances are you belong to a number of social networks, especially for your law practice. While social media often is one of the biggest time wasters, it’s also one of the best places to generate leads.  After all, anyone who is sending you comments or messaging you is probably interested in learning more about you and your practice. Here’s the thing, however: you’re not always glued to your computer.  So, how do you respond to your social media in a timely manner?  Through your smartphone or tablet, of course!  You need to set up your own hand-held social media inbox that you can take anywhere and can respond even when you are on a big case or with a top-tier client.  Here’s how simple it is…

Get the App!

Before you get started customizing, the first step is getting the official apps from whatever social media you use.  The apps will make it that much easier to interface with the social media, and if you get the official apps, you can be sure they’re going to interface correctly with the social media, and they aren’t a scam. Most social networks have only one app, but Facebook has a slew of them, as do LinkedIn and Google+. You don’t need all the apps Facebook (or any other social network) has available, but having the Facebook app, the Facebook Messenger app, the Pages app, the Mentions App, and the Ads Manager app are good starts.  You need to be able to pay attention to Mentions, receive messages, handle any traffic on your pages, and adjust your ads.

Downloading Apps

Choose the apps you’ll need so that you can handle everything you need whether you’re at work, meeting with a client, or on the road.  Do keep in mind that apps do fill memory quickly, so choose those apps you know you’ll use and use the main app for the occasional tasks that may come up from time to time.

You’ll need to get your apps from the app stores for your appropriate social media channel.  With Android, it’s usually the Google Play store. With iPhones and iPads, you’re looking to Apple’s Store.  Microsoft has its own app store for its smartphones, but the choices may be limited.

Set Up Your Preferences for App Notifications in Your Device

Once you have your apps downloaded and ready to go, it’s time to set up how often you want to get notified by your apps and for what. I’ve found that this is a handy thing to do to keep the amount of notifications to a dull roar.  You really only want to get notified of things that you need to take direct action on, like someone mentioning you in a post or sending you a message.  In Android you can do this by going to Settings -> Sound & Notification -> App Notifications.  In iPhones, you’ll want to go to  iPhone’s Settings -> Notifications.  There, you can set your apps and how you want them to notify you.

Set Up Your Preferences for App Notifications in the App

The good news is you can have your social media app notify you for just about anything.  That’s also the bad news. You’ll be amazed how many notifications makes your phone buzz or ring if you leave the defaults on.  Set the notifications in the app for the stuff you want to be alerted on.  You may want to be notified of comments to your posts or messages you receive.  You may want to know about new friend requests or new followers.  All of that is strictly up to you.

Facebook App Notifications

Facebook apps are particularly chatty, which is why you should first go to Facebook on your computer and go to Settings-> Notifications.  You should be able to turn off many of the notifications there.  Now is the time to go through your groups and leave them or set them to not notify you.  You only want notification from the pages and groups that matter.

Twitter App Notifications

Twitter can be chatty as well, depending on the number of followers you have. With the Android, tap on the three dots (on an iPhone, it’s the Me icon), and select Settings->Mobile Notifications.  Here you can choose what you want to be notified via Twitter.

Other App Notifications

Almost every App has some way to remove notifications. The best way is to go into the settings within the App and set the notifications the way you want them.  Between setting the mobile device and the app, you should be able to have control of your apps and your notifications.

It is simply impractical to sit down for extended periods of time in front of a desktop to read all incoming inquiries to your law firm. This is precisely why having a mobile inbox at your fingertips is extremely ‘handy’ in receiving important client or prospective client inquiries. Do you manage your social media and/or receive business notifications through your mobile device? If so, has it significantly benefitted your practice by saving you time and energy? I’d love to hear your personal experiences! Please feel free to share your success stories in the box below and help your fellow attorneys enchant on-the-go!

Facebook Ad Tool

How would you like to build your leads quickly, effortlessly, and cheaper than you ever thought possible? As an attorney, you know that it’s sometimes hard to generate Internet leads, but not for the reasons you think.  It isn’t because your potential clients hate ads — it’s the difficulty filling out the information. We love forms because they give us the information on our potential clients, but forms are unwieldy, especially when so many people are using their mobile devices as their primary Internet access point.

Formulating Problems

A good portion of your clients use their mobile devices as their main Internet access. Somewhere around 80 percent of people have a mobile device they use regularly and for the first time, we’ve seen that in March 2015, more people are using only mobile devices to access the Internet than using only desktops. And the number is sure to increase. While it is handy to have your smartphone or iPhone around, mobile devices are not the most efficient for entering data.

Formulating a Better SolutionFacebook Ad Tool

Mobile devices are the way of the future so it makes sense to serve ads that make it easier for your potential clients to sign up. That’s why Facebook’s lead ads are so important. With just two taps, your potential clients can send you the information you need to contact them to arrange a consultation. With Facebook’s lead ads, customers see the ad targeted at them. They tap on the ad, which then brings up a form you design already populated with the potential clients’ information that they entered, verify the information, and then with a tap send it. You get the lead quickly; they don’t have to do any more filling out forms.  And because the Facebook lead ads are customizable, you can determine what type of information you receive.

A Real Game Changer

Making something easy for customers to use takes the hassle out of getting new clients. Just ask the CEO at Properati.  He endorses Facebook’s Lead Ads wholehearted for his real estate business in generating leads:

Lead ads were a game-changer product for Properati. In the past, we had tested similar products from other channels but they didn’t work for us. Since testing lead ads, we have seen a 4x reduction in the cost per lead, with a more than 3x increase in the number of leads we normally generate in Brazil.” – Gabriel Gruber, CEO, Properati

Will it Work for Law?

The next question is whether Facebook’s lead ads will work for attorneys.  There’s no doubt that it will. Rather than waste money on ads that may or may not be used, you can tap into one of the most powerful social networks and build leads fast. Facebook is already well known for highly targeted ads.  If you want ads to serve the right people, you can’t do wrong using Facebook.  Your customers can sign up for your newsletter, free consultations, or offers that will help you bring them in the door.

More Powerful than You can Possibly Imagine

If you have an eNewsletter (and if you don’t, why don’t you?), you’ll be glad to hear that Mailchimp integrates nicely with Facebook lead ads through Zapier as an interface. Zapier does more than just put the name in a Newsletter database, though.  It can add the new contact to your CMS and even text you with the number of your lead (called a “Zap”) so you can give that person a call or email and follow up faster than the potential client ever thought possible. Once Zapier has the contact, you can choose any different combinations you’d like.  Facebook and Zapier support the following CRM tools:

  • Hibspot
  • Highrise
  • InfusionSoft
  • Intercom
  • SalesForce
  • Streak
  • and others

You can also just send an email text or SMS message if you prefer.

Facebook lead ads are going to help you build your lead funnel fast. So, if you’re spending your money on other forms of ads looking for leads without much success, stop.  Use Facebook lead ads to build your client list. Have any further questions, or simply wish to share your experience with your own lead funnel successes? You can provide your very own food-for-thought in the comment box below, or connect with me on my Facebook Page for even further tips on better digital marketing practices. I look forward to hearing from you!