Clear & Convincing Feature Article

Roberta Gubbins

Roberta Gubbins has served as the editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides services as a ghostwriter editing articles, blogs, and e-blasts for lawyers and law firms. She is the editor of Briefs, the Ingham County Bar Association e-newsletter, and The Mentor, SBM Master Lawyers Section Newsletter.

Recent Articles

How to Upgrade Your Website
January 19, 2018

After just a few clicks, you should be able to determine how many people visit your website, who they were, what action they took, and how long they stayed.
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It’s That Time Again—Time to Update Your Profile
January 12, 2018

The "About Us" or "Profile" page is the second most visited page on your website. Potential clients find the home page and then click on your profile to learn more about you.
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Use Niche Marketing to Find More Clients
January 5, 2018

Lawyers can no longer be generalists. Because the law is too complex for you to be all things, it is necessary to select an area of practice that suits you and your firm.
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Your 2018 Marketing Plan—Part 2
December 21, 2017

In part one of Your 2018 Marketing Plan you set the goals and purposes of the plan. In part two we’ll look at some elements you must establish to accomplish those goals.
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Writing Your 2018 Marketing Plan—Part 1
December 15, 2017

A marketing plan that considers the firm’s purpose, goals, and results of past efforts and describes how to reach future goals will help spur growth in 2018.
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How & Why You Should Analyze Your Website
December 8, 2017

It’s December and the year is coming to a close. Before you start planning for the new year, take some time to look back at how your internet marketing efforts performed.
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How to Answer When a Reporter Calls
December 1, 2017

When reporters come to you for information, they want a clear, succinct discussion of a legal question that adds information to their story. How should you respond?
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Your Profile on LinkedIn—It’s Time for an Update
November 17, 2017

If you haven’t visited LinkedIn in the last three months to review your profile, it’s time for an update. LinkedIn is now one of the most powerful social networking tools for lawyers.
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Call to Action: What it is and Why You Need it
November 9, 2017

Calls to action are some of the most important language on your web page.
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Six Steps to Protecting Your Online Reputation
November 3, 2017

Your online reputation and identity are vital to your practice. These steps can help ensure your online reputation is not costing you clients.
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Hoping for Clients is Not Enough—You Need to Market
October 27, 2017

Hoping for clients may be beneficial, but analyzing the type of practice you wish to create and the marketing methods needed to connect will bring better results.
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Comprehensible Writing for Your Clients
October 20, 2017

Using plain language helps you to be precise in your writing, whether it be a legal contract, an e-mail to clients, or a blog post.
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Keeping Your Clients Informed with Newsletters
October 14, 2017

The purpose of your newsletter is gaining new contacts and clients; make sure your audience knows you really want to talk to them.
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An Integrated Campaign is a Winning Campaign
September 29, 2017

An integrated marketing campaign is an approach that ensures all forms of communications and messages are carefully linked.
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Five Steps to Great Content Marketing
September 25, 2017

The core assumption of content strategy is that if you deliver consistent, worthwhile information to prospective clients, you’ll be rewarded with their business.
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Profile Badge to Connect Instantly to Your Profile Now Available
September 15, 2017

The State Bar of Michigan has made it easier for people to find your profile with the addition of a badge you can post on your website and blog.
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How to Organize Your Contacts for Business Development
September 11, 2017

The key to developing your law practice is staying at the top of the minds of your clients, referral sources, and contacts.
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Is it Time for Video?
September 1, 2017

Using video on your website captures attorneys in action, showing prospective clients the service they will receive from that lawyer.
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Fifteen-Minute Marketing
August 25, 2017

Fifteen minutes a day is all it takes to keep your present clients informed and attract new ones to your practice.
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Lawyers Are Great Sources of Referrals
August 18, 2017

Referrals are vital to a successful law practice. To get as many referrals as possible remember that every person you meet is someone who will need a lawyer at some point.
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You Still Need a Business Card
August 11, 2017

The business card is one of the most compact business marketing tools in use today. It fits in your pocket, you can make notes on it, and it never needs charging.
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Making the Move to Long-Form Content
August 4, 2017

Long-form content is longer than most blog posts. Long form offers a greater depth of information, is more comprehensive, and provides visual support of the written text.
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Finding Topics for Your Blog the Easy Way
July 28, 2017

Bloggers have to regularly search for topics to keep readers. It's important to search for topics to understand who your target reader is and what they want to know about.
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Finding Your ROI on Your Website
July 21, 2017

Measuring your website's return on investment (ROI) is the key to assessing the effectiveness of your Internet marketing efforts.
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LinkedIn Revisited—Still the Place to Be
July 14, 2017

LinkedIn is said to be one of the most powerful social networking tools available for lawyers.
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Reaching New Clients in Rural Michigan
July 7, 2017

67% of Michigan's rural population uses Facebook. And those folks, per the U.S. Census, live in the northern half of the state, the thumb, and the Upper Peninsula.
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Podcasts—What Are They & Should You Have One?
June 30, 2017

The newest and fastest growing entrant into the digital marketing world is the podcast.
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Five Ways to Extend the Life of Your Speech
June 23, 2017

Preparing and giving a speech takes a lot of valuable time and effort. Using the material before different groups and in many outlets makes the whole procedure worthwhile.
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Distribution—Needed Support to Great Content
June 16, 2017

Knowing where your content will perform best is vital to its success. Consider the readership, relevance, and purpose of your content to help decide your distribution plan.
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In-House Counsel Prefer Client Alerts for Information
June 9, 2017

A client alert is a mass e-mail message addressing a new or developing legal topic—perhaps a recent precedent-setting decision or a pending change to federal or state law.
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Easy Marketing Ideas for Your Practice
June 5, 2017

Business development or marketing is vital to your practice.
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Conversion Rate Optimization—What is it & Why You Should Care
May 26, 2017

Conversion rate optimization is using web design techniques to improve or enhance your home page, making it more attractive for consumers to use.
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Four Ways Google Analytics Can Help Improve Your Website
May 19, 2017

Most likely, the reason you have a website is to attract new clients. Google Analytics is a good tool to learn how to make better marketing decisions.
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Use a Blog to Grow Your Small Firm Practice
May 12, 2017

In today's technological world a blog is one of the most affordable ways to reach a large number of people.
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How to Write a Winning Lawyer Profile
May 5, 2017

Consider breaking with traditional patterns to make your profile more relevant, revealing, and engaging. Show present and future clients why they should want to meet you.
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Remember to Market to Your Existing Clients
April 28, 2017

We spend a lot of time writing about attracting new clients; however, it's important not to forget about your current and past clients.
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Is Your Practice Page Ready for Prime Time?
April 14, 2017

Each practice page should focus on one topic. By doing so, it's easier for search engines to find you and a prospective client to find the topic they are seeking.
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Why & How to Hold Press Conferences
April 7, 2017

Press releases, interviews, and informal media contacts are great ways to get keep your firm's name in the news.
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Links & Your Website
March 31, 2017

Links are the mainstay of the Internet. They are what make it work. When you're browsing and come across a highlighted or underlined word, it's probably a link.
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Five Thoughts on Selecting a Website Designer
March 24, 2017

Are you trying to increase brand awareness, or are you looking for new leads for your practice? How do you select the best designer for you?
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SBM Member Directory Offers New Payment Options
March 17, 2017

Prospective clients feel more comfortable contacting a lawyer when they know the cost of representation. Take time now to edit your profile to include your payment options.
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Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?
March 10, 2017

A mobile friendly website is designed to work the same way across all devices. A website with no usability concerns, regardless of where it's being viewed, is mobile friendly.
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Content Marketing in 2017
March 3, 2017

Client-focused content will continue to be a big theme in 2017. Your content should inform, build trust, and each page should give readers a way to contact you.
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Receiving an Award Benefits You and Your Firm
February 24, 2017

Awards presented by reputable legal organizations to members of your firm confer recognition on the firm and position your lawyers as leaders in the law.
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The Many Features of Your SBM Member Directory
February 17, 2017

In the two-plus years the SBM Member Directory has been up and running, many features have been added and expanded. Enhance your basic profile to gain more contacts.
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Non-Traditional Lawyers Also Need a Web Presence
February 10, 2017

An online presence in the form of social media or a website is as necessary for non-traditional lawyers as it is for lawyers working as solo practitioners or in a law firm.
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Community Outreach—Good for Community—Good for Your Firm
February 3, 2017

Adding local community outreach events to your strategic plan can benefit both the firm and the community.
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Your Law Firm's Brand in 2017
January 27, 2017

Having a brand identity and message will lead to more targeted and consistent marketing, which will increase your business.
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E-mail Marketing in 2017
January 20, 2017

E-mail marketing campaigns are still the best way to deliver a targeted message to a particular and receptive audience.
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Voice Search Meets Law Firm Websites
January 13, 2017

Voice search is the fastest growing type of search. It's faster, hands-free, and allows you to multi-task.
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Law Firms in Your SBM Online Member Directory
January 6, 2017

Your SBM Member Directory now has a Law Firm package, which allows access to the profiles for every person in a law firm with one username and password.
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The Best New Year’s Resolution for Lawyers
December 22, 2016

Start by looking back at 2016. List three things that worked and three things that didn't work.
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Use the Active Voice for Winning Website Content
December 16, 2016

The visitors to your website want writing that is clear, concise, and formatted correctly. To keep the reader on the page, use the active rather than the passive voice.
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Which Voice or Point of View is Right for Your Website?
December 9, 2016

Point of view, or voice, in writing is the perspective the writer takes to tell the story. It is the mode of narration used to inform your clients or prospective clients.
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Website Design that Turns Seekers into Clients
December 2, 2016

The design of your website helps attract business to your firm. Yes, you need compelling content and your contact information, but a good design is a website's foundation.
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Who are Your Clients & How Do You Reach Them?
November 21, 2016

The practice of law is both a business and a profession.
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Small Steps = Giant Leaps
November 4, 2016

Marketing for your law firm is comprised of both large and small steps. There are several small marketing steps you can take that will help you.
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Is Your SBM Profile Ready for Prime Time?
October 29, 2016

The State Bar of Michigan and Zeekbeek have created a site you can use as your only online presence or as an addition to your website.
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The Millennials Are Coming. Are You Ready?
October 21, 2016

By 2020, 46% of the U.S. workforce will be millennials. What legal issues could the millennials, aged 18–34, have?
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Social Media in Late 2016
October 14, 2016

Social media is a necessary part of your marketing efforts. Right now, your potential clients are on their phones or tablets, checking in, sharing, and engaging with others.
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10 Marketing Tips to Build Your Practice
October 10, 2016

What type of law are you going to practice? Where? Do you want a partner?
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How Lawyers are Using Social Media in 2016
September 30, 2016

Now, as social media has become a major part of our culture, lawyers are accepting its importance to their profession.
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Frequently Asked Questions about FAQs
September 23, 2016

Adding a Frequently Asked Questions page to your website will improve your client's experience.
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Snapchat—It's for Lawyers, too
September 16, 2016

Snapchat is great platform for the storytelling lawyers among us to improve their skills, create new connections, new business, and unleash their creativity.
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Internet Searches Now Favored Method to Find a Lawyer
September 9, 2016

According to a study done by FindLaw in 2014, searches on the Internet have overtaken word of mouth as the preferred method to find a lawyer.
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Your Firm Newsletter—Print, Digital, or Both?
September 2, 2016

Newsletters are a powerful way to build lasting relationships with your clients. When you use both digital and print newsletters, you can boost firm recognition.
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Speaking Engagements: Great for Client Development
August 26, 2016

Speaking engagements are an effective way to connect with potential clients. Presenting on topics in your practice area helps to establish you as a leader in your field.
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Three Easy Ways to Get Your Blog Noticed
August 19, 2016

Your blog entry is written and posted. The content is informative and interesting. The formatting is attractive and will draw readers. Now you want to get it noticed.
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Finding a Lawyer the Lawyer2Lawyer Way
August 12, 2016

The Lawyer2Lawyer Directory is an efficient and effective way to find a lawyer to help you with a project. It is also a great way to offer your services to other lawyers.
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Using SEO to Attract Readers to Your Site
August 5, 2016

SEO is about visibility with your posts, but it's the consumers, readers, and users of the information who are most important to consider.
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Search Engine Optimization—In Plain English
July 29, 2016

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a technique used to ensure that a website can be found in search engines for the words and phrases relevant to what the site is offering.
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7 Formatting Steps to a Readable Blog
July 22, 2016

You've come up with a topic for your blog. The piece has been written, revised, and edited to perfection. You know it's what your clients want, but is it user friendly?
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Consumer Reviews—The SBM Member Directory Way
July 15, 2016

Future clients want reliable information when deciding on an attorney for their legal needs. Client reviews are an important part of the decision-making process.
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Is There a Book in Your Future?
July 8, 2016

A book written by you for the benefit of your clients and colleagues is an innovative marketing tool.
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The Mysterious World of #Hashtags
July 1, 2016

Definition of hashtag: Word or phrase preceded by the symbol # that classifies or categorizes the accompanying text, such as a tweet. (Merriam Webster Dictionary)
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The Pluses & Minuses of Using Social Media
June 24, 2016

It seems everyone is busy using social media to market their practice. Should you jump into the social media pond?
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Need an Online Presence? The SBM Has You Covered
June 13, 2016

Your SBM Member Directory powered by Zeekbeek is an online marketplace where lawyers can increase their visibility and consumers can find lawyers.
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Interview with Julie Fershtman, Lawyer-Blogger
June 6, 2016

Julie Fershtman, former SBM president and attorney with Foster Swift, writes a blog on equine law. She speaks on how blogging has benefited both her and her firm.
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Good Endings Make Good Beginnings
May 27, 2016

Use your ending to inspire readers to keep reading your blog. Give them a call to action.
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How Do I Find Readers for My Blog?
May 20, 2016

"How do I find readers for my blog?" is a question I get asked frequently—most recently standing in line by an attorney pondering the vastness of the Internet.
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Interview with a Lawyer Blog Writer
May 13, 2016

Jeanne M. Hannah has maintained her own solo practice since 1987. She has published a family law blog, Updates in Family Law, since June 2005.
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Where Do I Find Topics for my Blog?
May 9, 2016

You have the best of intentions when it comes to writing your blog.
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Is My Website Effective?
April 29, 2016

Has the feedback concerning the effectiveness of your site been limited to casual comments from clients or colleagues?
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How to and Why You Should Network Face to Face
April 22, 2016

Meeting people face-to-face, sharing experiences, ideas, and interests is a valuable opportunity to keep your name and practice a step ahead.
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Making Time for Online Marketing
April 18, 2016

“I know we said we would do an online marketing activity every week,” Lance said to sister Linda.
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Why Video on Your Website
April 8, 2016

"What type of lawyer are you looking for?" Sally Consumer asked her friend Jane sitting across from her in the coffee shop.
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Branding is Essential to a Successful Law Practice
April 1, 2016

Branding is the cornerstone of your practice. It is the framework, the basis of all your marketing decisions, and the way you communicate your values as a lawyer.
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5 Steps to Getting Noticed on the Web
March 25, 2016

You will get noticed on the Internet if you try these suggestions.
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Six Easy Steps to Improve SEO
March 21, 2016

So what is SEO? Search Engine Optimization is focused on finding ways to improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase awareness in search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
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Facebook Page—It's for Lawyers
March 18, 2016

The next time you're standing in line at the movies, look around at the people on their smartphones, laptops, or tablets. How many are checking their Facebook accounts?
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LinkedIn—the Professional Networking Tool
March 11, 2016

LinkedIn is about networking and building relationships.
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Build a Better Blog, Add More Readers
March 4, 2016

"Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door."—Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Twitter in 2016
February 26, 2016

Twitter, a social media platform begun as a way for friends to stay in touch, has grown to be both a networking tool and news source.
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Tell Stories to Find Clients
February 20, 2016

Simply stating the facts loses readers, but stories with characters experiencing legal problems keep the reader on the page.
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Your Website in 2016
February 12, 2016

In 2016, a website and web presence is both a convenience and the standard by which consumers judge your business.
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What is Marketing?
February 6, 2016

Marketing: A management process through which goods or services move from concept to consumer.
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Online Appointment Scheduling is Here
January 29, 2016

When Sally Consumer wants to find a lawyer to help with her case, she is most likely to hop on the Internet to find lawyers who are accepting new clients.
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Jump-Start Your Referral Business in 2016
January 22, 2016

Referrals are vital to a successful law practice. The SBM has developed a Lawyer2Lawyer Professional Referral Directory.
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7 Trends in 2016 Marketing
January 15, 2016

It's the time of year when, like Janus, the two-faced Roman god of doorways and for whom January is named, you look to the past and plan for your marketing future.
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It's Time to Update Your Profile
December 18, 2015

"I think our profiles on the SBM Directory and our website need updating," said Lance walking into the conference room of L & L Law.
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Find the Legal Needs in Your Community
December 11, 2015

If you've added a new legal service to your practice but aren't sure what that service should be, your first step should be to analyze the people in your community.
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How to Find Marketing ROI and Why You Need It
December 4, 2015

We've celebrated Thanksgiving, the holiday season has begun, the end of the year is approaching and it's time to plan for 2016.
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A Week of Marketing
November 20, 2015

Lance and Linda Lawyer of L & L Law are sitting in their conference room early Saturday morning. Their conversation is focused on business development.
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How Sally Consumer Uses the SBM Directory
November 14, 2015

The SBM member directory offers consumers, like Sally, access to 44,000 plus Michigan lawyers on the site.
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Make Contact Information Work for You
November 6, 2015

Your SBM member profile serves several functions; it helps keep clients informed with articles and blogs, it improves client service, and it helps potential clients find you.
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Post Your Publications on SBM Enhanced Directory
October 31, 2015

You've written a great blog. The headline is compelling and it's presented in an interesting format. Now it's time to circulate it to current and future clients.
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The Importance of One Client
October 24, 2015

Michigan native Joe Girard, a car salesman, is in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the world's most successful retail salesperson.
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SBM Annual Meeting From an Exhibitor’s View
October 16, 2015

The exhibit hall was a great place to discover the many services.
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Are You Ready for Video?
October 9, 2015

Using video can help attract more clients and grow your law firm by establishing your expertise online.
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Identify Your Brand With a Logo
October 1, 2015

A logo or symbol representing your firm can be the cornerstone of your brand.
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Seven Steps to a Better Blog
September 24, 2015

When your reader looks at your blog, the first question in their mind is “Why should I read this?”
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Your Name, Your Profile
September 17, 2015

In today’s world of the Internet, the selection of a name for your profile in a directory, website, blog, twitter, and Facebook account is important.
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Press Releases for Lawyers
September 10, 2015

A well-written press release generates power, passion, and publicity.
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The Words of the Internet
September 3, 2015

Every year after the ABA TechShow, a survey of the attendees, mainly lawyers, is conducted. In answer to whether they used a “web-based service,” only 30% answered yes; 70% said no.
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E-mail Marketing—Effective & Efficient
August 27, 2015

E-mail marketing is still considered the best way to deliver a message. While many e-mails are deleted after reading the subject line, e-mails with a message of value will be read.
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Your Firm, Your Brand
August 20, 2015

A firm’s brand makes a promise; it tells the world what service to expect and how it will be delivered.
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Facebook? For Lawyers?
August 13, 2015

It is a social network where people connect and build relationships. All are welcome, including lawyers.
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Twitter for Your Law Practice
August 6, 2015

Twitter can be a great resource of information, a place for you to network with other lawyers, a way to keep in touch with clients, and develop your personal brand.
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Writing for Your Reader
July 30, 2015

All writing involves two people—the writer and the reader.
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What is Mobile Friendly?
July 23, 2015

Being on the Internet + being found on the Internet = an effective marketing program.
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Time for Review of Your Online Presence
July 16, 2015

In the cold of our Michigan winter, AKA January, experts created lists of marketing trends for 2015.
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Is One Online Presence Enough?
July 9, 2015

The more places you can be found on the Internet, the higher your search engine rankings and the easier it will be for your clients and consumers to find you.
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Lawyers Can be Legal Consumers, Too
July 2, 2015

The same rules apply to marketing to lawyers as publicizing to consumers with a few additions.
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The Internet is for All Lawyers
June 25, 2015

You can establish relationships and connections that would otherwise be unworkable because of distance and time.
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An Online Presence may be a Legal Necessity
June 18, 2015

A website can cultivate relationships and help you find your next best client.
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Finding the Licensed Attorney in Michigan
June 11, 2015

Only the SBM Member Directory prominently highlights at the top of every active member’s business card and profile that the lawyer is "Active and in Good Standing."
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Avoid Internet Risk, Keep Your Social Media Safe
June 4, 2015

Social networking sites can help you better serve your clients and bring in new business. But, remember your ethical obligations when using the sites.
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Your Profile, Your Door to the World
May 28, 2015

Roughly three quarters of those looking for a lawyer will turn to the Internet as part of their research.
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Search Engine Optimization or How Robots Find You
May 26, 2015

Creating a relevant and popular site that gets lots of visitors is called Search Engine Optimization.
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Consumers Use the Internet—You Need to Be There
May 14, 2015

The newly redesigned Member Directory lets you add information to your online profile listing with easy-to-use tools.
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