Here is an article which outlines the various qualities a solo attorney needs for success. They are:
- Pattern Recognition
Tenacity is a close cousin to “Patience.” This is essential for attorneys wanting to build a solid referral network for themselves. You can give presentations, join networking groups but it takes time to build trust with people so that they will use your services or refer you to people who need your services. Make sure that you take that into account and also be prepared to give of yourself – time, expertise, referrals before beginning to receive them in turn.
Here is a post from Martindale Hubbell talking about the importance of the “AV” rating. What they don’t talk about is who really understand their value? In the pre-Internet days, attorneys had access to the Martindale Hubbell directories and that was it. And Martindale was the premiere directory and all attorneys consulted, valued and understood the “AV” rating.
Internet Revolution for Attorneys
However, with so much information available about attorneys now on the Internet and with so many consumers and business professionals (non-attorneys) willing and able to do their own research to find attorneys, I don’t think the “AV” rating has the same cache. It is still important to attorneys and particularly older attorneys but now “Superlawyers” and “Avvo” have as much or more credibility in the market place.
This post makes an important point, “ignore technology advances at your peril.” Recently, my laptop died and I had to learn Windows 8. I was not happy about learning an entirely new paradigm for managing my computer but the fact is, there will be time savings associated with this that may help.
Take the Plunge & Learn that New Technology
Ten years ago, I saw cell phones as annoyance and disliked how distracted people became because of them. I had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the cell phone world. Then the cell phone become the smart phone and now the savings these devices provide are undeniable and essential to streamlining ones’ worklife. The key is to take on the new technology with a question in mind, “how will this technology make me more efficient in working with my clients?” If it isn’t clear how this would happen, move on. If it is, then adopt the technology. Doing nothing is no longer an option.
Widgets allow the website owner to easily add new functionality to their website. Many widgets allow you to provide customizable content, social media functionality like a Twitter feed, stream in headlines or place a logo in sidebar of your website pages.
This post discusses how you can further customize a widget so that a sidebar can appear on some pages directly through the widget settings. Previously you had to program that logic into the website’s code to make that happen.
WordPress is constantly bringing functionality to the layperson who has to manage the website rather than requiring a programmer to make these adjustments. This suggests that increasingly website technology will be directly in the hands of the business owner who with little training can bring his or business vision into their company’s website.
Since DSD employs WordPress exclusively as the platform for client websites, this statistic is good news. I’m not sure why these heavy hitters favor WordPress but here are some of the reasons why I do:
- It is very easy to use
- Because it is open sourced, it reflects current developments in best website practices
- The content management system captures everything
- Plug-ins allow us to offer new features quickly and easily
- The WordPress community has an open and supportive attitude
The best learning opportunities happen for me when my laptop dies. I’m not afraid of new technology but neither do I seek it out unnecessarily. Only when I had to bury my old computer and purchase a new one, did I learn about Windows 8. Let me say that so far, I’m not a big fan. The idea of building a user interface that you can add to in a smart way isn’t the approach here. Instead it is the notion that we should start over. Hide the hard drive and the file structure so it can be more like a tablet! But guess what? Its not a tablet, its a laptop. But here is the purpose to my rant – Skype for Windows 8 is not your friend!
No where was I told that I still need the “Windows for Desktop” application. Since I have Windows 8, it made perfect sense to me that I should download and use “Skype for Windows 8.” Wrong. No, that version is scaled down and does’t have much of the functionality that is available on the desktop. Once I downloaded the desktop version, I was happy again but I had to figure it out all by myself.
So do yourself a favor, stick with Skype for Desktop!
In real estate it is, ‘location, location, location.’ Increasingly, it seems the same for small businesses. It all about local search which is basically all about Google and Google, ‘Places for Business.’
WordPress to the Rescue
We have used the “Yoast WordPress SEO” for clients which is a basic, commonsense approach to making a site visible. By itself, this won’t guarantee quality leads but it is a start. Now comes a new plug-in by the some folks called “Local SEO for WordPress” which focuses on Google “Places for Business” and Google Map to improve visibility. There is a onetime fee of $69 which seems pretty reasonable provided it actually makes a difference.
What Does Google Say?
My guess is the official Google line would be that you shouldn’t have to use a plug-in to improve visibility because Google search will do that automatically. However, we all know it takes time and know-how to make sure your website is treated favorably by Google. If Google would even say that this tool and tools like it, help in this regard, that would make it a useful tool. For now. Next year? It probably be a different answer.
In a recent court case, a company took control over a former president’s personal LinkedIn profile, denied her access to it and re-populated the profile with information about the new company’s president. While the former president as the plaintiff won on the merits, the court didn’t award her any damages because it didn’t believe she lost out on a business deal because of the misappropriation of her LinkedIn profile.
Whether it is LinkedIn or Facebook, an employer or prospective employer, the individual faces many challenges in maintaining control of free social media profiles. In fact, there maybe value in paying for your business profile. If there was a license based on payment between the social media provider and the individual, then the individual would have contractual protections. However, as it is, free is free. My advice is to use your website as your primary resource for your public persona and keep Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ etc. of secondary importance.