Start-Up Businesses And The Dangers Of Legal Self-Help Websites

Entrepreneurs naturally have to watch their capital closely. You have a limited amount of capital to get started with and legal fees are high. The option for many new businessmen and women is to opt for legal self-help websites. To save on the cost of dedicated legal advice, they’ll search for an online guide and clumsily apply it to their situation.

This is the wrong thing to do. Entrepreneurs should stay away from these websites, apart from for general interest purposes.

Here are some of the reasons why.

General Guidelines

A self-help website can only offer a limited number of examples where they apply general legal principles. If you’re lucky enough to own a business that matches these examples perfectly, self-help websites are fantastic. For everyone else, these general guidelines will only offer you context. They won’t offer a solution.

When you employ a legal professional, you’re not employing them for their legal knowledge. You’re employing them for their practical ability to take their legal knowledge and use it for your specific situation.

Legal Requirements and the Changing Law

A website that offers free legal advice won’t constantly update itself each time the law changes. Furthermore, there’s no telling what laws the site follows. They might focus on Federal laws only, as opposed to laws that only apply in a limited number of states.

They aren’t watching out for you. It doesn’t matter to them if you get yourself in a legal tangle, so they have no incentive to follow-up on any enquiries. And if you do find yourself in a difficult position legally, it can cost much more than you initially expected to start putting it right again.

Ruining Companies

If you’re working with someone else in your company, a legal mistake can rip relationships apart. Whether you’re unsure as to who gets paid what, or what chunk of capital was designed for what, everything has a potential legal implication. The added stress of attempting to deal with these issues will only make the splitting up of a partnership more likely.

A legal self-help website can’t help you. In fact, it’s probably going to lead to every person involved employing their own legal representation. This will only lead to conflict and spiraling legal costs, regardless of who comes out the victor.

It’s not only conflicts between partners that can ruin companies. It requires a lot more time and effort to concentrate on legal matters alone. Think about how much time this takes away from running your business.

The Fees

We’ve spoken about what can happen if things go wrong. You can find yourself in a position where you lose your case, or commit a legal faux pas, and end up paying out far more in legal fees and fines.

Even if you represent yourself using your very limited legal knowledge gleaned from the Internet, it doesn’t protect you from any fees. Professional lawyers have an obligation to try to limit the costs you have to pay.

In the long-term, they will save you money.

James Whitaker is one of the most highly regarded individual at a very prestigious law firm. He shares law related news and advice through his posts. He says when you need a good attorney to fight your messy legal battles for you, contact www.bfw-lawyers.com.

4 Content Marketing Tips For Law Firms

4 Content Marketing Tips For Law Firms

Content marketing has been hyped in the internet marketing space during the last few years, with its popularity only increasing. Just about any law firm with ambition has started employing content marketing to improve their online visibility. While content marketing is definitely still very important for law firms to improve their online marketing, the fact that everyone is doing it means that you have to be doing it better than everyone else. This often takes a lot of time and effort and doesn’t usually show immediate results. In order to improve your firm’s content marketing efforts, you need to make sure that you are producing the right content and distributing it online where prospective clients will actually read it. We’ve gathered some tips that can help your firm more effectively use content marketing.

Find Your Niche

This goes for your entire practice as well as your content marketing. If you want to be known for being the best, you need to niche down. No law firm (especially not a small one) can be the best in every legal area. Focussing on a very specific niche doesn’t mean that you can’t take on any other types of cases anymore, but for your content marketing efforts you should focus first on the legal area(s) that you have the most experience and expertise in. It will be much easier to find the inspiration to write on topics that you have a lot of knowledge on. Once you have defined a small (profitable) niche that you want to focus on, create a content marketing plan for creating extremely valuable content related to this niche.

Tailor Content for Different Publishing Platforms

Different publishing platforms have different types of readers, which means that you need to tailor you content to suit the readers of a certain platform that you publish on. For example on Facebook your audience will likely be interested in a very different type of content than the audience that an online legal magazine attracts. By knowing what type of content people enjoy on different platforms you’ll be able to create a much more successful content marketing campaign.

Use Video Marketing

Video marketing is the new content marketing. Not everyone likes reading, especially not long articles. A lot of people, especially online, prefer visual content. It is for this reason that more and more business are focussing on video marketing. Keep your videos short, because people’s attention span on the internet is generally very short and share your videos in as many places as possible.

Be Responsive

If you are writing a blog or guest blogs and people comment on them with questions or remarks, make sure that your respond promptly. This will show your audience that you are engaged and want to provide value. Try to avoid getting into any heated debates however.

Content marketing is hip and happening so if you haven’t reassessed your content marketing goals for 2014 yet, now is the time to get started. If you are feeling overwhelmed with all the work it involves, you may want to hire a content marketing firm to help you out.

Zane Schwarzlose is a writer at Alamo Injury Attorneys, a personal injury law firm in San Antonio, Texas. Zane thinks that content marketing is aespecially effective in the legal field.

10 Reasons Why Your Social Media Campaign Isn’t Working

Disappointed by traffic or sales figures? Been putting extra effort into your social media campaign and still not seeing any changes? Here are ten things that could be going wrong, and what you can do to resolve them:

1. Too much skepticism

If you’re approaching social media with the opinion that it doesn’t work, doesn’t sell, and doesn’t make a difference, you’re not going to have much luck. How can you put your heart into something you don’t believe in? A little open-mindedness can go a long way here.

2. Poor understanding of platforms

Many DIY social media marketers are aware that they need to have an online presence, but aren’t sure how their Twitter presence should differ from their Facebook or LinkedIn one. Learn your platforms, and find out what works best for each. For example, Twitter is best for growing awareness, but Facebook may be better for advertising products.

3.  Forgetting that communication is a two-way street

Talk to your customers, not at them. If you’re constantly advertising, customers will switch off. Open up dialogue, start conversations, and engage with what’s going on in the world. Make yourself relevant.

4. Inconsistency

If you start the week tweeting ten times a day and then trickle off into nothing, customers won’t see social media as a viable way of communicating with you. If finding time is a problem, spend a few hours scheduling posts at the beginning of the week, and then just spend a little while each day responding to customers.

5. Not using images

Image-based posts are shared far more than text-based ones. If you’re asking a question to your Facebook fans, just add a relevant image to the post to boost engagement.

6. Spreading yourself too thin

If you’re using every platform you’ve heard of, you’re doing it wrong. There’s no need to be everywhere at once — it’s far better to focus on the platforms that count. Find out where your customers are, and focus on that.

7. Too much self-promotion

On Twitter, only a third of your tweets should be promotional. The rest should be engaging in conversation and retweeting others. The same more-or-less applies to other platforms, too — keep the advertising to a minimum, and you won’t look like you’re spamming.

8. Lack of direction

Being present on social media is not the same as having a campaign. Believe it or not, you’ll actually make your life easier by planning your strategy — it might seem like more work, but it’s easier than bumbling along then panicking about what to post.

9. Not being flexible

If your social media campaign isn’t working, adjust it. In fact, even if it is working, you’ll still need to adjust it now and then – the internet moves extremely fast, and you’ll quickly find yourself outdated and overtaken if you don’t keep your eye on the ball.

10. Not enough patience

You need to be open to change, but on the other hand, you don’t want to be scrapping campaigns every five minutes. You need to stick with a campaign in order to tell if it’s working, and if you keep changing trajectory every five minutes, you’ll look disorganised and unprofessional. If you haven’t got any faith in what you’re doing, your customers won’t have faith in you, either.

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By Sam Wright

Sam Wright is a freelance writer specialising in small business. He’s currently working for Brand Republic.