Monday, 28 July 2008

Blogging Benefits - identify yourself as an Industry Expert

Blogging, like any marketing or networking activity is about building your brand. With lawyers and other professionals that means showing your expertise, engaging in conversations about your expertise and publishing your expertise.

Blogs allow all of this and certainly do a better job than most firm's rather static websites.

Over in America a new study by eMarketer shows a further benefit - 38% of reporters rely heavily on blogs for finding new story ideas and 29.5% use blogs to locate experts in particular fields. Reporters will search Google blogs to find an area of interest - they will then call/get in touch with the author of the blog.

This is great FREE publicity -it obviously takes time, effort and considerable patience to set up your blog, but this far outweighs the benefits.

So, if you have not yet started to blog, now is the time to consider the idea. Your name in print identifying you as an industry expert should be enough to "spur you on"!

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Latimer Hinks Website goes to Word Press

We have a new website!

When I originally started this blog I began to travel on a very steep learning curve.

I learned about Technorati, Feedburning, Widgets - all of which seemed to be a foreign language to begin with! But by trial and error, alot of patience and a willingness to learn Social Networking Guineapig started to reap a few rewards (for which one was being shortlisted in the North East Digital Awards for Best Use of Blogging)

Anyway, since then I have been involved with the redesign of the Latimer Hinks website. I wanted the new website to be:
  • interactive
  • user friendly
  • easily amended

After discusions with our design company - The Ad Agency, they suggested a website which would basically be (non technical speak here) a Word Press Blog with a Website Front.

This means that:

  • news releases can be bookmarked more easily through bookmarking buttons.
  • All content can be changed by me, I can add/delete pages/images etc - at no agency cost
  • I can (and have) claimed the blog on Technorati and i'm about to "burn a feed"
  • There is already an RSS button for people to subscribe to.

Hopefully, all of this will encourage an increase in our postition when it comes to search engines.

I may even get to grips with adding some widgets - eventually!

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Promotion Through Good Old Snail Mail

Good old mail shots as a method of promotion are often forgotten. Web 2 and social networking has a lot to answer for... but I've recently sent letters to businesses/organisations offering FREE presentations on a variety of subjects.

One of the main advantages of using "Snail Mail" is that in some cases email is becoming less effective. Spam filters will block anything that remotely looks like a marketing ploy.

Snail Mail should also make our offer "stand out" - we have taken the time and expense to mail the offer, the reader will appreciate the effort.

The other reason is "burnt fingers"- in the past i sent out an email campaign (see entry Tale of 1000 emails) and it was a nightmare week. Computers crashed, we received claims for compensation etc etc.

On this occasion our target audience (carer support organsiations) will appreciate "snail mail" - and i won't have to worry about 1000+ emails appearing in my inbox overnight.

The FREE presentations can be tailored to the businesses/organisations requirement. At the moment we will be keeping the presentations within the North East/North Yorkshire area - but who knows, if they are successful we could maybe hold some online.

Topics include:
  • Wills
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Longterm Care Issues
  • Asset Protection
  • Trusts
  • Public Guardianship Office (Court of Protection)
  • Affairs of the Elderly/those with Disabilities

The aim of the excercise is to educate people of legal issues which may affect them and in turn offer advice/solutions on issues that may be of concern.

The presentations will provide the opportunity to :

  • create awareness of Latimer Hinks Solicitors
  • raise the profiles of fee earners involved
  • show Latimer Hinks as knowledgable in the above areas

My first mail shot has been sent to groups providing help and advice for carers. I shall keep you informed of the progress.

If you know of an organisation/business that may be interested in educating it's members/employees on any of the above subjects please contact me, we can tailor our presentations to suit your requirements.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Photoshoots & Weather - they don't mix!

It's been said, never work with children or animals - well i can certainly say never try for a dry/sunny photoshoot in July in the UK - it ain't gonna happen!

I had to arrange a photo shoot with three charities, a bank and solicitor from Latimer Hinks in order to present money raised from the Latimer Hinks Charity Ball

I thought it would be ideal to hold the shoot outside Wynyard Hall - fabulous building.

When we arrived, the heavens opened. So we took the opportunity to take a few pics inside.

Then, the rain stopped so all 7 of us traipsed outside. We'd just managed to get the correct pose when again the heavens opened - a quick dash back in and the rain stopped.

We thought we'd give it one more try, by this point we were looking quite bedraggled (everyone took it in good spirit) - and hey presto out popped the sun. We dashed to position and finally managed to get an outside photo. (That's me in the front, i always manage to get the silly posing jobs!)

All in a days work! - Latimer Hinks Hands Over £10,000 to Three Charites

Charities present:

Monday, 7 July 2008

How to get the Most out of LinkedIn

When Social Networking Guinepig first came to fruition I mentioned a few social networking sites which I joined to help me on my journey to Web 2 - one of which was LinkedIn.

This is a great networking site which has loads of potential. It provides the opportunity to build relationships with professionals all over the world.

You can even use LinkedIn to ask a question. These questions are answered by members with expertise or experience in the particular area you seek to find more information on.

LinkedIn can be a little daunting to begin with.

Common Craft (I am a great fan) have developed a video for LinkedIn which helps you "get the most" out of LinkedIn

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Fred Burton Continues to Enjoy Fame After Retirement

72 years at Latimer Hinks and Fred finally retires... but he's never been busier!

Not only has Fred featured in The Daily Mirror, The Northern Echo and on ITV News - the Sunday Telegraph are hoping to have a magazine insert featuring lives of people who have retired.

We still aren't sure if he's the longest serving employee (for one firm) in the UK. The question was asked in the Nothern Echo interview so it will be interesteing to see if we receive any responses.
Colleagues at Latimer Hinks wrote a special newsletter for Fred. It makes for interesting reading