If you find the prospect of setting up an eNewsletter to be daunting, you might consider the free-to-use TinyLetter, a subsidiary of MailChimp. With TinyLetter, it is more like sending a long email or blog post to subscribers, rather than “creating campaigns.” It’s very simple to use (there are no templates to set up), and it lets you read replies to your letter, unlike with traditional eNewsletters. Though eNewsletters are still best practices for businesses because of their robust features such as surveys and ROI tracking, TinyLetter is a way to get your thoughts out, send holiday greetings, or position yourself as an expert in your practice area. You can archive your letters and make them accessible like a blog, or you can have them be email-only. Because of the intimate nature of email and the fact that it was sent by you the individual and not a business, Tinyletter can be a breath of fresh air in a cluttered inbox. There is a 5,000 subscriber limit, and you can add your contacts either through Gmail or a csv spreadsheet.
Images can be a powerful tool in your online marketing, but how do you get them? You can take your own of course, but the web has a few resources on where you can find images that are not only have free licenses for commercial use, but are also completely free as well.
First up is www.morguefile.com. Named after an old newspaper-industry term for where they store print templates, Morguefile is a great resource for finding free images. Search Morguefile’s image database by typing in the keyword (for this example we will use “Traffic Light”).
All of the images that appear will be free in terms of cost, but also in terms of license. You can even modify them and use them for commercial purposes.
Though the search feature is not a good as MorgueFile’s, www.unsplash.com is filled with beautiful, high resolution images. Explore Unsplash’s database either through search or by browsing their collections.
Like MorgueFile, it’s free in every sense.
The New York Public Library has released a treasure trove of free-to-use images. It features prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, and even streaming video. This year, NYPL enhanced access to all public domain items in the Digital Collection. Visit http://publicdomain.nypl.org/ to search.
Do you know who you’re sharing with on Facebook? The audience selector tool is available for you when you post status updates, photos and more. Click the tool and select which audiences you want to share with. By default, Facebook allows you to select making your post entirely public, available to “only friends,” or set to “only me.”
You can further customize who you share with by selecting “More Options.” An expanded menu will appear that allows you to select Smart Lists, which are automatically generated based on profile information. I have indicated on Facebook I live in Chicago, IL, so I see “Chicago, Illinois Area” as a Smart List option. When selected, this means my post will only be shared with people who live in Chicagoland.
To get even more specific, you can select “Custom,” which will bring up a new, “Custom Privacy” window that allows you to restrict the post from certain people.
You can select to share with certain people or lists by name, but you can also restrict who can see the post. Type in the names of the people you do not want to see the post in the “Don’t share with” field and select them from the list. The post will be shared with all of your friends except for whom you named.
Facebook’s audience selector tool remembers whom you shared with the last time you posted something and uses the same audience when you share again until you change it. If you choose a custom setting, such as Friends Except for (insert person here) for a post, your next post will also be set to that custom setting unless you change the audience when you post.
You can change the privacy of your posts retroactively, meaning that after you’ve shared a post, you have the option to change who can see it. If you want to change the audience of a post after you’ve shared it, click the audience selector and select a new audience.
Do you have a Facebook friend who, at certain times of the year, posts too much about sports, politics or religion and you don’t want to see them in your News Feed, but you don’t want to unfriend them? Facebook has come up with a way for you to silence these contacts, but remain friends with them. This means you can still visit their profile and post on their wall if you wish, but their updates won’t appear in your News Feed. There are two ways to do this: “Hide Posts” or “Unfollow” the person.
You can do both on the News Feed itself. When you see a post on your News Feed that you would rather not, click the “V” in the top right corner:
You will see a few options. I can “Hide post,” meaning that this particular post will disappear from my feed, and Facebook will use its enigmatic algorithm to determine how to show me less content similar to this in the future. My friend, Justen will still appear in my feed. But if Justen has offended me, and I don’t want to hear anything he has to say on Facebook anymore, I can click “Unfollow Justen.” This means his posts will no longer appear in my News Feed. He and I will remain friends, and I can take any action as his friend. I can still see his posts if I go directly to his profile.
If this post violates Facebook’s standards, you can click “Report post.” Facebook will then review the post and potentially review it. The friend in question will not know you reported them.
Another way to unfollow someone is to go to their profile page directly and click the Following tab:
From here you will have the option to click “Unfollow.”
Now your News Feed will be filled with news you actually want to see!
Does your firm have a Facebook page? If so, you should know what page type you selected when you set it up. Different features are available on your firm’s Facebook page depending on what category you select, and each has their own advantages. To find out what type you have, sign into your page, click on About, and then click Page Info on the left. Under category, it likely says either “Local Businesses” or “Companies & Organizations.”
Selecting “Local Business” as your page type allows you to have a map and contact information displayed. It also allows you to enter your practice areas as subcategories and displays them prominently over your cover photo. These features are not available if you choose “Companies & Organizations”. The “Local Business” option also creates a Ratings and Reviews section, meaning that anyone can leave a review or give you star ratings. You may want to have this feature if you’re practicing consumer law since good reviews on Facebook mean more clients. If you’d rather not let clients be able to leave reviews, switch the category to Companies & Organizations.
You can change your page type category as often as you’d like. To do so go to your page and click the “About” section. Mouse over next to “Category” so the blue “Edit” pencil appears.
Click “Edit” and then change your category from the dropdown menu. In this example my page is currently a Local Business, and I want to change it to a Company & Organization.
When you’re finished, click “Save Changes” and your new page features will take effect.
You might be familiar with shortened links from social media or email. They’re handy for keeping things tidy and within a character limit, but you can’t see what you’re clicking on. What if the link is malicious or just a waste of time? Turn that short link into a long link with unshort.me and see where you’re going. Copy and paste the short URL into the text box, and the site will expand it for you. A Chrome extension is available, allowing you to right-click and unshorten any short link you see on the web.
Conversely, you may want to shorten links, either to make a character limit or clean up an email. For instance, the URL or link for the 2012 Law Practice Management & Tech Tips for Lawyers program is http://www.chicagobar.org/source/Meetings/cMeetingFunctionDetail.cfm?section=Calendar&product_major=C8215W&functionstartdisplayrow=1. Instead, to get to the same webpage you can shorten the link with Bit.ly to: http://bit.ly/1EaKaU7. The first link is long, can’t really be read to someone, it breaks onto a new line, and is cumbersome. Bit.ly neatens it up.
There are many URL shorteners available for free on the web, such as ow.ly, goo.gl, and the originator of this technology, tinyurl.com, but Bit.ly has some really useful features. It has browser plugins for all major browsers so it is always available in one click. You can also add notes to the link, create link bundles (see: http://bitly.com/bundles/catherinereach/3), create private links, share via email in one click, and also track whether people have clicked on the link. Finally, you can customize the link so the above Bit.ly link (http://bit.ly/1EaKaU7) can be: http://bit.ly/2015techtips.
Check it out and get your free account at http://bitly.com
LPMT Tip of the Month (January)
Got a LinkedIn profile? Maximize your efforts by doing two things.
1.) Go into Accounts & Settings – Privacy & Settings and click “Manage”.
Under “Helpful Links” click “Edit Your Public Profile”.
On the page that appears in the right column click on the pencil icon under “Your public profile URL”.
Now, change the link to your personal profile from a generic link to one you choose.
2.) Add your new public profile URL to your email signature block.
Voila, you’ll be connecting with more people in no time.
Immerse yourself in legal marketing tips, strategies and techniques from the experts and your peers. Each video in our Legal Marketing Bootcamp library, with accompanying materials, will teach you about marketing your practice including how to do it right – and wrong. Find out how marketing is not just about promoting your practice, but also about providing great customer service to keep your newly gained clients coming back.
You can earn IL MCLE and Professional Responsibility Credit for this day-long course by registering and watching online or CBA members can log in and watch individual segments for free (no IL MCLE or PR credit).