Tag Archives: E-Mail

Leveraging Your Reputation: What to Do When You’re Tired of Blogging

Tom Ciesielka is President of TC Public Relations (www.tcpr.net). Tom has over 25 years of marketing and public relations experience, working with individual lawyers and midsize law firms. He is also a former board member of the Legal Marketing Association in Chicago and has spoken at Chicago Bar Association CLE programs. Reach him at tc@tcpr.net.

If you’ve been writing a blog or newsletter and have found it difficult to come up with content, don’t quit. It’s better to put out content on a regular basis than to stop, because you have to connect with your clients and continue expanding your publicity plan. Here are a few tips that will help you when you feel like you’ve dried up and feel burnt out:

Interview someone. Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves to constantly create new content and writing a blog or newsletter can become a chore and make us stressed out. Look at the books you’ve read and the interesting people you know. If you ask experts if they want to be interviewed, they will often say yes. Make a schedule to interview someone once a month, and you will find that it not only helps you relax, but will help their own reputation, for which they’ll be appreciative. You might also notice that your readership is increasing because the person you’re interviewing will post your link on their website and social media sites, too.

Create a quiz. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated; ask 5 or 10 questions, and keep the options simple. If it’s about a topic that people are interested in, your blog could get thousands of hits for years to come, and when you put it in your newsletter, it might be forwarded to several people.

Have a guest blogger. I know someone whose blog got thousands of visitors, but when she had no more motivation to do it and ran out of ideas, she wanted to quit. A friend of hers who was a good writer and wanted to get more exposure asked if he could post once a month, and it was the best thing that could have happened. Her friend’s posts were substantial, well-researched and interesting, which helped increase the blog’s traffic even more, and made her feel a lot better. If you know someone who you think can provide quality content to your blog or newsletter, ask them to submit a few posts that you can spread out over a few months. You can also rotate guests once a month or every other month. Not only will it relieve the pressure on you, but it will also help you to not feel alone in your writing pursuits.

I’ll share some more tips in the future, but try these out first. I bet you’ll notice a weight has been lifted and you’re able to come up with even more ideas to keep your blog and newsletter fresh.

Leveraging Your Reputation: Time for an e-mail review?

Tom Ciesielka is president of TC Public Relations (www.tcpr.net). Tom has about 25 years of marketing and public relations experience, working with individual lawyers and midsize law firms. He is also a former board member of the Legal Marketing Association in Chicago and has spoken at Chicago Bar Association CLE programs. Reach him at tc@tcpr.net.

Even though there are now a lot more ways to communicate other than e-mail, it is still frequently used, especially professionally. However, it seems that people are not paying as much attention to how their e-mails can help their reputation because the trend is to emphasize the importance of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media. If it’s been a while since you’ve thought about how your e-mail can be more effective, here are a few things to consider:

Enhance your signature. Your signature probably includes your name, firm, and contact information, in addition to a legal disclaimer or privacy notice. You can add one more line that could be a link to an article that you wrote or was featured in, or a link to something else that you want to share. You might have just written a book or have an upcoming speaking engagement. Remember to share whatever you’ve done or are going to do, and keep the language simple so that your recipient doesn’t feel like your signature is a commercial.

Lighten the graphics. I know people who take a lot of time to create beautiful e-mails that resemble a brochure more than a piece of electronic communication, but the problem is that your audience can view your e-mail on various kinds of monitors, browsers, and phones. Make sure that your e-mail is simple enough for people to view and open. Sometimes if there are too many graphics, your message can go to someone’s junk mail, or may simply not be legible. It can also take a while to load if it is too complex.

Give ways to share. If you’re sending an e-mail that you would like someone to pass along, such as a promotional e-mail about a seminar that you’re organizing, then include ways for the recipient to share it with other people. Also remember to write the e-mail so that anyone would be able to understand it, instead of making it too customized to just one person. People who forward emails to others often don’t delete your personal message to them, so keep such communication short, yet friendly.

And here’s an obvious tip: Proofread your e-mail to ensure it doesn’t have mistakes and can’t be misunderstood. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had to smooth over misunderstandings after I hit the “send” button too quickly before realizing that I wasn’t clear, or had embarrassing errors.

Leveraging Your Reputation: Small steps to a bigger & better legal business

Tom Ciesielka is President of TC Public Relations (www.tcpr.net). Tom has over 25 years of marketing and public relations experience, working with individual lawyers and midsize law firms. He is also a former board member of the Legal Marketing Association in Chicago and has spoken at Chicago Bar Associations CLE programs.  Reach him at tc@tcpr.net.

As America continues the healing process from this recession, many firms are hesitant to make big changes and grand plans for next year. But don’t let fear hold you and your firm back from moving into 2011. If you’re not ready for a big change, then start with some baby steps.

Walk before you run with social media

When babies learn to walk, they don’t begin by bounding around the house at high speeds. They steadily put one foot in front of other and built on it each day. Follow their lead when it comes to social media – don’t think you have to jump on the technology bandwagon and immerse yourself in every platform and tool available. Choose one or two that you (a) understand and see value for your firm, and (b) can reasonably keep up with when it comes to consistency.

(Taste) test website changes

Often times parents will taste-test their children’s food before they eat it. They want to make sure everything – taste, temperature, texture – is just right before their children shove it in their mouths/throw it all over the kitchen. If you want to add some spice to your website but aren’t ready for a complete overhaul, do “taste tests” and make small changes over time. Consider adding flash video to your homepage, including endorsements and testimonials from your most recent clients or displaying links to your social media profile(s). Take the baby steps approach to plan and add one thing at a time, so you are not overburdened in revamping your website’s look and feel, but are still adding value for your firm – and for your website’s visitors.

Polish up your industry ABCs

Just like baby steps teach us how to walk, the ABCs give us the tools to communicate. Ask yourself, “What are my industry ABCs and how can I brush up on them?” Only you can answer the first part of that question, but I can give you some suggestions for the second part. Search for local business groups that have networking luncheons and/or informative meetings, where you can attend to connect with fellow industry associates and stay abreast of new trends and challenges for your firm. If you can’t attend a meeting, often times you can tune into a webcast or read a follow-up report online. Also the Internet offers an opportunity to find free webinars or reading material that is essential to your industry, but doesn’t require you leaving the office. Don’t forget the e-newsletters of the industry websites, and also free trials of leading industry publications. All of these simple, easy tactics are strides toward staying on top of the legal world without adding too much to your firm’s schedule or budget.