May 5, 2017 nº 1,862 - Vol. 14

"The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence."

Thomas Henry Huxley

In today's Law Firm Marketing, 14 marketing misconceptions that cost lawyers a fortune

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  • Top News

Obamacare is 'dead' says Trump after healthcare victory

Trump has declared Obamacare "dead" after the Republican healthcare bill was narrowly passed by the lower chamber of Congress. The 217-213 vote marked his first legislative victory and goes some way to keeping a key campaign promise to roll back his predecessor's law. Democrats say the American Health Care Act will leave millions uninsured. The bill now heads to the Senate, where Republicans have indicated they will cast it aside and write a new law. Groups representing hospitals and doctors have also expressed concerns about the Republican plan, which they say has yet to be properly assessed. The ill-fated Republican bill in March would result in 24 million more Americans losing insurance within a decade, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said at the time. (Click here)

EU proposes Brexit negotiation terms

European Commission Brexit Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier on Wednesday published the European Union's proposed directives for the UK's departure from the EU, saying the highest priorities were citizens' rights, financial settlement and border regulation. EU Treaty Article 50 governs the departure of a member state from the union, and Barnier emphasized the importance of both sides agreeing to the amount the UK will pay to leave the EU before negotiations advance further. UK Brexit Secretary David Davis has expressed skepticism over the amount the EU may seek. The proposed directives will be considered by the EU General Affairs Council on May 22. (Click here)

Appeals court declines to reconsider net neutrality decision

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said on Monday that it will not reconsider its ruling to uphold the government's "net neutrality" rules that require internet providers to treat all online traffic equally. This means that the rules put in place by the Federal Communications Commission under former President Obama will remain in place for the time being. Last year, a three-judge panel ruled 2-1 to uphold regulations that bar service providers from favoring certain content or allow rival video-streaming companies to pay more money for faster streaming. In its decision, the appeals court likened Internet service providers to utilities, saying that they should act as "neutral, indiscriminate platforms for transmission of speech." Service providers asked the court to revisit this decision, but the court declined to do so. The FCC under President Donald Trump, who has indicated his intent to remove this Obama-era policy, could refuse to enforce the rules or change the rules completely.

Angel investors

In this exclusive article, Gabriel Rios Corrêa and Isadora Ramos de Albuquerque Lima, of Lobo & Ibeas Advogados, talks about how angel investors can invests in Brazilian startups according to the Law. (Click here)

  • Crumbs

1 - Shell sees profits jump as oil price rises click here.

2 - Apple announces $1 billion fund to create U.S. jobs in manufacturing click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

China's first passenger plane to take off

The C919 aircraft is a key symbol of the country's ambitions to enter the global aviation market. The jet by state-owned firm Comac has been planned since 2008 but the flight was repeatedly pushed back. The C919 is designed to be a direct competitor to Boeing's 737 and the Airbus A320. It's estimated that the global aviation market will be worth $2tn over the next 20 years.

  • Law Firm Marketing

14 marketing misconceptions that cost lawyers a fortune
By Trey Ryder

MISCONCEPTION #1: You must have a huge, expensive website and blog to attract desirable cases and compete head-on with other lawyers. Wrong! If you want a formal, corporate-looking website for all the world to see, fine. But please don't think you must compete in this arena. Every week I get calls from lawyers who are unhappy because they have spent huge dollars on their websites, search engine optimization, and ongoing maintenance hoping they can break even on their investment And when they talk with their web company account rep, the answers are usually the same: You need to pay us more money so we can... (insert here whatever service they think you need).

Handsome websites and search engine rankings are not the only answer. A website is only one piece of your marketing mosaic, and you can attract highly desirable cases without spending a fortune with your website company.

MISCONCEPTION #2: Common marketing methods don't work in today's competitive environment. Wrong! Common methods -- such as advertising, publicity, seminars, newsletters, websites, social media -- can be highly effective when used correctly. If they don't work for you, more than likely you're sending an incomplete marketing message or using an outdated approach. The method you choose is only as good as the message it delivers. If your message lacks any needed components, you'll lose clients to other lawyers who deliver a complete educational message.

MISCONCEPTION #3: Your marketing's most important function is to promote your services. False! The most important function of your marketing program is to establish that you can be trusted. Most of us don't do business with people we don't trust. While your prospect is considering whether to hire your services, he is also trying to determine whether he trusts you.

MISCONCEPTION #4: All you need to do is get the word out. No! You must both get the word out and get a response back. This is the meaning of "direct response marketing," often shortened to "direct marketing." As our media society grew in the 1950s and 60s, marketers had no need to measure direct results, so they used institutional advertising. But today, your marketing efforts must be built on proven principles that cause prospects to respond. Because if you don't get an answer, you can't be sure your prospect even received your message.

MISCONCEPTION #5: A public relations program that generates feature articles and broadcast interviews will attract new clients to your practice. Maybe not. In most cases, p.r. programs bring exposure, but exposure does not always bring new clients. Attorneys routinely report, "We were happy with the number of articles about our firm, but we didn't get even one new client!" A good publicity program can be an important part of your marketing effort. But whether your publicity program generates only exposure or solid marketing results depends on the experience and know-how of the person carrying out your program.

MISCONCEPTION #6: The toughest challenge you face is to persuade your prospects. No! Your toughest challenge is to find potential clients. Your marketing program should attract qualified inquiries so you start to build a trusting relationship with genuine prospects. You could have 100 new clients tomorrow if prospects knew how you could help them and where to find you. But, in most cases, prospects don't know you even exist. So you must assume the burden of getting your message into your prospects' hands.

MISCONCEPTION #7: Word-of-mouth referrals will bring you all the new clients you want. Usually not. Every lawyer wants good, qualified referrals. But when you rely on referrals as your only source of new clients, you allow third parties (referral sources) to control your flow of new clients. In addition to attracting referrals, you should have an ongoing marketing program that generates inquiries directly from genuine prospects.

MISCONCEPTION #8: The most effective time to start delivering your marketing message is when your prospect is in your office. Wrong! The most effective time to deliver your marketing message is when your prospect first thinks about his problem and wants to know what solutions are available. You have a significant advantage over other attorneys when you have a packet of materials you can mail to your prospect, regardless of his location. You can offer your information packet any number of ways, such as through advertising, publicity, newsletters or direct mail. When your prospect thinks about his problem, he sees that you offer material on the subject He calls your office and requests your information. Then you send your materials by mail or e-mail. In many cases, this puts your marketing message into his hands before he calls other lawyers.

MISCONCEPTION #9: You should mail your newsletter to clients and prospects quarterly. Not even close! Every day -- when your prospects are knocked over with an avalanche of advertising -- you're fortunate indeed if you can create an impression in your prospect's mind. If you hope to make your impression stick, you should send your newsletter at least monthly. The more often you mail to prospects on your mailing list, the more new business you will likely attract. The frequency with which you deliver your newsletter is much more important than the number of pages.

MISCONCEPTION #10: Prospects will go out of their way to do business with you. Hardly! You must go out of your way to attract their business. Lawyers often think a small obstacle, such as having to pay for a long-distance phone call, will attract calls from more qualified prospects. And this is true when your prospect comes to you by referral. But if your prospect does not have a personal recommendation -- and has not yet received your marketing message -- he may have no greater interest in hiring you than in hiring any other lawyer or law firm. So the small barrier that you hope will qualify him actually causes him to call someone else. I urge you to provide an e-mail address, toll-free number, business-reply envelopes (where you pay return postage), and other conveniences. These increase the likelihood that your prospect will contact you before he calls your competitors.

MISCONCEPTION #11: By lowering your fees, you gain a competitive advantage that you can make up in volume. In your dreams! When you lower your fees, (1) you undermine your credibility because prospects wonder why your services are no longer worth what you once charged, (2) you attract clients who know the price of everything and the value of nothing (people who are loyal to the dollar are never loyal to you!), and (3) you lose money because it is usually impossible to achieve the volume of cases you need to make up for the profits you lose. Instead of lowering your fees, leave them alone -- because it's easier to justify why you charge so much than to explain why you charge so little.

MISCONCEPTION #12: If one person can make good marketing decisions, three people can make great decisions. Wrong! Your marketing program needs one quarterback who calls the shots. The more people involved in making the decision, the longer it takes to make and the more watered down it becomes. Marketing is like football. Can you imagine how long it would take if the entire team offered their ideas and everyone had to agree before they could make the next play? If your marketing program doesn't bring you the results you want, change methods or change quarterbacks. But don't compound your quarterback's problems by bringing in more people to help him make a decision.

MISCONCEPTION #13: You make your marketing more efficient when you cut out the bells and whistles. Usually not. Often, what lawyers think are bells and whistles are actually the essential steps that make their programs successful. Here's what happens: After their marketing plans succeed, lawyers trim back their programs to make them more efficient. Their attempts to "streamline" their marketing -- aka make it cheaper -- seem like a good idea until they realize their marketing no longer works. You're wise to test different steps in the marketing process to see if they're necessary. When conducting a test, change only one variable at a time and track results closely. If your results start to decline, you'll know that variable is important to producing the results you want.

MISCONCEPTION #14: To attract new clients, you should promote your services. No! When you promote your services, you take on the role of a salesperson, which undermines your credibility. This is called selling-based marketing. Instead, promote your knowledge using Education-Based Marketing. This allows you to attract new clients, increase referrals, strengthen client loyalty and build your image as an authority without selling. Education-Based Marketing gives your prospects what they want, information and advice -- and removes what they don't want, a sales pitch.

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© Trey Ryder
FREE LAWYER MARKETING ALERT: If you'd like to receive Trey Ryder's weekly Lawyer Marketing Alert, send an e-mail to Trey@TreyRyder.com. Write "Subscribe LMA" in the subject line and write your name and e-mail address in the body of the message.

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  • Historias Verdaderas

Celulosa

La empresa finlandesa UPM y el gobierno de Uruguay afinan acuerdo para la construcción de segunda planta de celulosa. El proyecto tendrá una inversión de US$ 6.000 mlls., de los cuales Uruguay debe desembolsar US$ 1.000 mlls. (Presione aquí)

Minería

La Corte Suprema de Perú ratifica fallo que declara inocente a una campesina acusada de usurpar terrenos de la multinacional estadounidense Newmont Mining, en la mina Yanacocha, donde pretendía instalar una planta de oro. (Presione aquí)

Inversiones

La holding chilena Quiñenco, brazo inversor del Grupo Luksic, mantiene su idea de internacionalizar su negocio de distribución de combustibles, al que arribó en junio del 2011 tras adquirir los activos de la angloholandesa Shell en Chile, con la que maneja 470 estaciones en el país andino. Ahora apunta a adquirir las más de 600 estaciones de servicio que opera Shell en Argentina. Se conoció que Quiñenco es uno de los que ya habría presentado una oferta, la que superaría los más de US$ 1,000 mlls.

  • Brief News

Judicial association decries personal attacks on judges

A national judicial association has a message to political leaders who make personal attacks on judges: Back off. The American Judges Association is encouraging its members to defend judges who’ve been targeted by disparaging rhetoric. At the group's mid-year conference in Arlington, Va., last week, AJA's board of governors released a statement expressing alarm over what it described as "intemperate personal attacks" on judges.

Puerto Rico files for bankruptcy protection under special law

The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico on Wednesday filed for bankruptcy protection for the territory following the expiration of provisions that had shielded it from litigation. The filing comes under Article 3 of PROMESA, a special law passed last year to allow Puerto Rico to manage its significant debt. The territory has created a fiscal plan to address its debt and begun negotiations with many of its debt holders, but the board said the filing was necessary as a number of other creditors started filing lawsuits against it earlier in the week.

What's in Trump's religious liberty order?

Trump has signed an executive order to ease a ban on political endorsements by churches and religious groups. The order loosens a provision of the tax code which prohibits religious organizations from directly supporting or opposing political candidates. Trump often complained about the rule as a candidate. Repealing it would require action in Congress. The Executive Order on Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty directs the IRS to provide "regulatory relief" to faith-based organizations that are tax-exempt. A current provision in the US federal tax code, known as the Johnson Amendment, says that churches can be investigated and lose their tax-exempt status if they directly support or oppose any political candidate. Since he cannot repeal the law without congressional legislation, Trump is directing the IRS to "exercise maximum enforcement discretion to alleviate the burden of the Johnson Amendment". Few religious groups are known to have lost their tax status for violating the law, despite many churches openly advocating for political causes and hosting candidates during their campaigns.

GOP health care bill would cut about $765 billion in taxes over 10 years

The Affordable Care Act was funded with a patchwork of taxes — mostly but not exclusively on the wealthy — which would be undone by the Republican repeal-and-replace bill.

Republican-led House panel votes to gut Dodd-Frank financial law

House Republicans took a major step toward their long-promised goal of unwinding the stricter financial rules created after the 2008 crisis, pushing forward sweeping legislation that would undo much of President Obama's landmark banking law. A House panel on Thursday approved Republican-written legislation that would gut much of the Dodd-Frank law enacted by Democrats and signed by Obama in the wake of the financial crisis and the Great Recession. The party-line vote in the Republican-led House Financial Services Committee was 34-26.

'Unlock iPhone', says judge in US sextortion case

A Florida judge has ruled that two defendants in a sextortion case must hand over the passwords to their mobile phones so officials can search them. The defendants said the ruling broke their constitutional rights. But Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Charles Johnson said he was following the law. "For me, this is like turning over a key to a safety deposit box," he said.

French poll favorite files lawsuit

Emmanuel Macron takes legal action over claims that he has a secret bank account in the Caribbean. (Click here)

Swiss 'spied inside German ministry' in tax scandal

German investigators suspect that a mole spied for Swiss intelligence from inside a government office which was trying to catch German tax dodgers. The allegations are part of the case against an alleged Swiss spy arrested in a Frankfurt hotel on Friday. He is suspected of monitoring German tax investigators. Switzerland objects to the practice of buying data stolen from Swiss banks. Investigators suspect that the mole - not yet identified - gave the Swiss spy the names of tax investigators, and that the Swiss Federal Intelligence Service ran the operation. Since 2010 North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's most populous state, has paid whistleblowers millions of euros for data CDs revealing secret Swiss bank accounts. They are trying to recover millions of euros hidden by German tax dodgers.

KPMG's audits of Rolls-Royce accounts probed by regulator

Britain's accountancy watchdog has opened an investigation into KPMG's audit of the accounts of aero-engine maker Rolls-Royce. The Financial Reporting Council will probe the accountancy giant's oversight of Rolls-Royce's financial statements covering four years. It follows Rolls-Royce's settlement of $870m with the Serious Fraud Office in January over corruption allegations. KPMG said it was co-operating and was "confident in the quality" of its work.

Thailand human rights lawyer charged for insulting royal family

Prominent Thai human right lawyer Prawet Prapanukul was charged Wednesday with 10 counts of breaking Article 112 and 3 counts of breaking Article 116 of Thailand's criminal code for allegedly insulting members of the royal family. If found guilty of all the charges, Prapanukul faces up to 171 years in prison. Article 112 prohibits defaming, insulting or threatening members of the royal family and is punishable by 15 years in prison for each violation. Article 116 prohibits speech, writings, or other means designed to instigate a violation of the constitution and is punishable by 7 years in prison for each violation. It is currently not clear what Prapanukul said or wrote which led to his arrest and array of charges, which is the largest number of charges an individual has received in recent years.

UN expert: Saudi Arabia anti-terrorism policies threaten rights

UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism Ben Emmerson said Thursday that Saudi Arabia's anti-terrorism laws are too broad and post a threat to individual rights. He said that Saudi Arabia's definition of terrorism, which includes "endangering 'national unity' or undermining 'the reputation or position of the State'" is over-inclusive and should conform to international law, which says terrorism must include "acts or threats of violence."

Google agrees to pay Italy $334 million in back taxes

The move follows a similar deal that Apple struck with Rome in late 2015, and comes as Europe wrestles with how much tax Silicon Valley companies should pay overseas. (Click here)

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