Top Do’s and Don’ts for Marketing - Feb 2012


Top Do’s and Don’ts for Marketing in 2012

A number of classic marketing techniques are increasingly being seen as alienating to potential customers. You could be pouring money into techniques that are doing more harm than good.

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for your marketing plan in 2012:

Online

Do:  Build long-term relationships with your web followers by giving them great information or deals. Keeping contact with past clients while showing your expertise increases the chances of repeat business.

Don’t:  Under no circumstances should you be circulating personal information or cat pictures through your business social media outlets. Also, if you’re making ridiculous YouTube videos that don’t have anything to do with your law practice, then you should stop. Nobody is laughing with you.

Mobile

Do:  Make sure your website is visible from all types of devices like cell phones and tablets.

Don’t:  If you don’t have “sharing” buttons on your blog (etc.) then you may be losing out on new web traffic. Try adding ShareThis to your pages.

Overall

Do:  Take your marketing plan seriously this year and invest in your practice. There are a lot of excellent opportunities to get your name out there so don’t be afraid to spend a little money. Just make sure you’re not throwing it away.


Getting the Most Out of Your Tax Deductions?

Lawyers are, for the most part, excellent at paperwork. We do need a little guidance from time to time though. For me it’s during tax time.

Since we love looking out for you and your money, we’ve put together a list of “deductibles” so you don’t miss out. Below is a list of the most commonly overlooked tax deductions for small business owners:

  • Professional fees to lawyers, consultants, and tax specialists.
  • Educational expenses related to your practice.
  • Utilities like water, gas, internet, and cable.
  • Up to $25 in client gifts and up to 50% of meal and entertainment costs for all client-related outings.
  • Automobile expenses for business travel, including mileage and tolls.
  • Retirement fund contributions.
  • Moving costs for relocating more than 50 miles away from your original location.
  • Advertising and promotional materials.
  • Business books and computer software.

Top 3 ‘Bang-for-Your-Buck’ Vacations

We all need a nice vacation from time to time. The Medical Review Board contends that vacations promote creativity, stave off burnout, strengthen relationship bonds, relieve stress, and promote overall well-being. 

However, going on vacation can cost serious dough. Below are 3 of our favorite vacation ideas to make your hard earned dollar go a long way:

Camping—Camping spots are nearby wherever you live.  Take advantage of one of the United States’ truly breathtaking National and State Parks. Camping is practically free at an average of $20-40 per night, depending on the park and time of year. At that low price, you can commune with nature and still have enough money to eat at all the best locations nearby. When have fresh air and a little exercise hurt any of us?

Las Vegas—Need I say more?  Las Vegas is renowned for having the most affordable flights and accommodations as well as the most extravagant entertainment. There’s truly something for everyone here - even the kids.

Mexico/Canada—Depending on where you live, a short flight North or South can provide just the break you need. Most of the main destinations in Mexico are just as safe as the U.S. and relatively cheap. You can eat and stay like royalty for practically nothing. Canada can be a little more expensive with the weakening U.S. dollar but they have some of the best skiing and resorts like Whistler Blackcomb.


Cost of Advertising

You heard correctly - it was a cool $3.5 million for each 30-second spot during Super Bowl XLVI!  So what does this mean for the non mega-corporations? What about the folks just hanging shingles? Is it time to succumb to the Big Law only mentality?

The answer, obviously, is “No.”  One of the advantages of being a medium or small outfit is adaptability and innovation. You can come up with the most bizarre but affective advertising schemes, try them, and move on if they don’t work.

That said, you also don’t want to be throwing money at every passing scheme, right?  Television is definitely not always the best outlet for a lawyer, especially when there are now so many better ways to track performance via online campaigns.

Currently, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has the most alluring ROI numbers. You can do some of these tasks yourself, but most people opt to hire a SEO professional or firm. Remember to weigh your options by cost and commitment. Also, target a specific audience with a message that speaks to them.

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