Tips to Improve Your Online Marketing

TIps to Improve YourOnline Marketing

Cleveland court reporters should be mindful of their online presence.

From Michelle Cady-Cook, Cady Reporting Services, Cleveland, OH

The old saying goes, “you are either growing for you’re dying.”  One of the only ways to grow your Cleveland court reporter business is to focus on your marketing strategy.  In this economy, it’s imperative that your business gets noticed.

There is no one way to do things when it comes to marketing, and the only wrong way is to do nothing at all.  Some have large budgets and others work on a shoestring.  Regardless of what type of business you have, you can tap into and apply some very practical strategies that will work for your business.  Here are three areas that can make a big difference:

  •            Ÿ Increased visibility in your community
  •            Ÿ Online presence
  •            Ÿ Great customer service and contact to build deep customer relationships

When you are looking to grow your business, make friends!  Connecting with people in a positive way shows them “you” and from there they are able to understand what your business is driven by.  So join local organizations where you can network with people and build relationships.  From here, you can tap valuable resources and become a resource yourself.  Interview others when you find that they have information helpful to you.  People are honored when you ask about their opinions and experiences.  Tape the interview, give them a copy and post it on your various sites.  When you in turn become a resource to others, it lets people know that you’re an expert in your field.  This makes you a trusted and valuable resource.  Your network will increase in quality and quantity.

Analyze your internet presence.  The internet is the place most people look for information about businesses.  How is your website placed on sites like Google and Bing?  Are you actively using social media sites? Being active on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ is important, and will only get more so as time goes on.

Many people do not see the immediate benefits or ROI of social media and then choose not to participate.  However, there are many reasons to do so.  Social media makes it more possible to connect with customers. Logging onto these sites has become daily routine for most people.  Be visible where the people are.  You can be in front of your existing and potential customers every day for free!

When you post interesting, informative and helpful content you grow respect and form better connections with customers.  You may not always be able to see the exact like-to-loyal-customer trail on sites like Facebook, but not having a social media presence may cause customers (and especially potential customers) to question why you don’t have one.  Lack of presence may cause people to ask questions or have thoughts such as, “are they trying to hide something?” or “they must not be very cutting edge.”

Social media sites help your company to be transparent, and therefore likeable.  Not only can you market your company, but you can also see what makes your competition tick.  What are they posting? What is getting them likes?  Keeping track of competitors, and also your clients’ activities is very valuable.  Of course, as with everything, as an owner you must establish common-sense rules for yourself and employees using social networking and discussion sites, and always be positive and helpful on them.

 

Once you follow your plan and achieve your goals of more customers, keeping them is important.  Building deep relationships with customers will keep them coming back.  They should be made to feel important and appreciated.  Always treat customers as individuals by using their name and sincerely caring about their needs because people value that in a company.  Ask yourself, “How can I make my customers feel good about doing business here?”  Thank your customers every chance you get.  Hand-written notes tell people that you took time to sit down and think about them for a few minutes out of your day.  If one of your customers has a need that your company does not normally fulfill, remember the power of the word, “yes”.  When you can go a little bit out of your way to help them, doing business with you becomes easy, and people always want to return to people who are easy to work with.

 

One of the most important points is to not let yourself be your own obstacle to great marketing.  The future of the company lies in your hands.  There is never a good reason to not do at least some of these things.  It is like brushing your teeth, or exercising.  We make time for these things because they are essential for the health of our bodies.  Marketing activities are essential for the health of our companies.  Keep focused on your marketing strategies and work toward your goals a little bit at a time, and you will watch your business grow.

Producing Day in the Life Videos for the Courtroom

Producing Day in the Life Videos for the Courtroom

an experiences videographer can make the difference in a legal video.

From: Michael E. Levinson, President, DALCO Reporting, New York, NY
If you are an attorney or law firm representing an accident victim, video can be one of your most powerful allies in front of a jury. More often than not, when the services of a legal videographer from White Plains court reporters are requested, it is for the purpose of recording a deposition.
If an attorney trying a case believes that a deponent’s testimony could be more impactful when seen by a jury, he may elect to have those depositions video-recorded for playback in court. Nothing, however, strengthens a case like a properly composed Day in the Life video once an individual’s quality of life has been altered by some accident or event. It is one thing to hear the details of an individual’s physical or mental limitations as described by an attorney familiar with the facts, and a completely different experience when actually seen with your own eyes.
Here are a few tips to ensure you maximize the effectiveness of your Day in the Life video, in a more cost-effective way:
  • Coordinate with the hospital staff or social worker to schedule any daily activities or therapy sessions for early in the day. It is a waste of both time and money for the videographer to record hours of footage when the person is just sitting there not doing anything.
  • Prepare your client. An uncooperative or irritated subject can be distracting to a jury.
  • Interview family and friends for higher impact.
  • Experience matters. The experienced videographer knows what to focus on and how to blend in.
  • Ask your local court reporting firm about post production editing options of the video.

Civil Process: Serving a Subpoena & Tracking Down Elusive Witnesses

Civil Process: Serving a Subpoena & Tracking Down Elusive Witnesses

Locating an elusive witness can be an issue for process servers.

From: Sunbelt Reporting and Litigation Services, Houston, TX

On paper, civil process service seems easy: knock on the door and hand the witness the subpoena. But what if the witness isn’t home? What if the witness doesn’t want to be found? While most legal papers are routinely served with few hassles, the occasional elusive witness can cause problems. Houston court reporting companies can help locate witnesses you need for your case.

Tip #1: Know the Civil Process Service Laws for the State Where the Papers will be Served
Each state has its own civil process service laws, making it important to understand the process for the state in which the subpoena must be served. Attorneys, public officials, civil process service providers, and private investigators are usually knowledgeable about civil process laws for their states. However, not all states require licensing of process servers. For example, in Massachusetts, any person over age 18 who is not a witness to the case and who is not related to the person being served may serve a subpoena. In Texas, process servers do not need to be licensed; however, they must be authorized by the county court that is involved. Because laws vary, crossing state lines to serve a subpoena requires knowledge about that state’s civil process laws. What may be permissible in Texas may not be in Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, or New Mexico.

Tip#2: Keep Your Business to Yourself
In some jurisdictions, sub-service, or substituted service, is allowed. This means that if the witness or defendant is not home, you can serve the papers to another person in the household. Again, rules vary by state, so make sure you understand when, where, and under what circumstances sub-service is allowed. If sub-service is not applicable, someone else answers the door, and the witness is not home, you generally do not need to identify yourself or why you are visiting. Simply thank the other person and excuse yourself. Giving information to the other person could tip off the witness that a process server is looking for him, causing the witness to go deeper into hiding.

Tip#3: Use Investigative Skills
If you know where the witness works, calling the office and asking when the best time to reach him is often effective. Social networks may also provide you with clues. While many people choose not to share too much information online, others are careless and could lead you right to them.

Depending on how important the witness is to your case, you may want to hire a private investigator. Private investigators have access to huge databases of public and private information and can quickly discover a person’s employment history, home and rental home history, and other information that can point to the person’s possible whereabouts. However, this could prove to be quite expensive, especially if the witness does not want to be found.

Tip #4: Use a Civil Process Service
Like private investigators, companies specializing in civil process service often use tools like public information databases to guide them in their searches for elusive witnesses. What would take you hours or days to discover, takes a professional with appropriate database access just a few keystrokes. By hiring a civil process specialist, you can rest assured that the witness will be found and served according to all local civil process service laws. Instead of wasting your time trying to find a witness yourself and risking mistakes and delays, let a specialist do the job for you.

Pros and Cons of Remote Depostions

Pros and Cons of Remote Depostions

Houston legal professionals are using remote deposition technology

From Sunbelt Reporting, Houston,TX

Holding remote depositions is a viable option when a witness is located in a distant location. However, there are pros and cons to holding remote depositions. By understanding the challenges, you can take measures to overcome them.

Remote Depositions: The Pros
Teleconferencing and videoconferencing make it relatively easy for attorneys, Houston court reporters, witnesses, expert witnesses, and other parties to communicate despite geographic differences. Once a remote deposition is organized, you can expect to experience some of the following advantages:

  • Reduced travel expenses – Flying to another city to conduct an in-person deposition (or flying an expert witness into your city) is expensive in terms of airfare, hotel, and local transportation costs. By holding a remote deposition, these costs disappear.
  • Time advantages – In addition, when you hold a remote deposition, you’ll realize significant time savings. For example, if you had to fly out of town for a deposition, not only would you incur travel expenses, your productivity would suffer. You may be out of the office for three full days for a one-day deposition simply because of travel requirements.
  • Convenience – Depending on how your remote deposition is set up, you may be able to participate in the proceeding simply by clicking a few buttons on your computer or walking across the corridor to your firm’s teleconferencing room.
  • Electronic records – Many teleconferencing facilities provide you with electronic files of the teleconference or videoconference which you can review at your leisure after the deposition is complete. If you use a full-service litigation support firm as your teleconferencing provider, you may even receive a synchronized video transcript that incorporates the realtime feed from the realtime court reporter.

Remote Depositions: The Cons
Unfortunately,  remote depositions don’t happen by themselves; there is some coordination required to ensure that the deposition goes as smoothly as possible. Be aware of the following challenges:

  • Technology needs – At their most basic, remote depositions need a reliable telephone line, preferably a speakerphone system capable of teleconferencing. A court reporter must be present with the witness and able to clearly hear all parties. If you’d prefer to see one another, videoconferencing or Skype is a must. This adds to the complexity of the technology needed. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to find videoconferencing suites across the nation for yourself and your witnesses.
  • Technical difficulties – Disconnected phone lines, microphones that don’t work, and other technical difficulties are a possibility. To avoid these challenges, use a professional teleconferencing facility.  Most teleconferencing facilities will do a check ahead of time to be sure that the connection will be a clear one.  You should instruct all parties to arrive in plenty of time to test connections again just to be sure and perform sound checks.
  • Litigation support needs – As mentioned above, a court reporter is a must for any remote deposition. Consider upgrading to a realtime court reporter to take advantage of realtime transcripts delivered to your computer as the testimony occurs. A legal videographer is also essential for remote depositions. While it may seem daunting to line up court reporters and videographers in a different city, your local litigation support firm will likely be happy to coordinate these services for you.

When you consider the cost, time, and convenience advantages and weigh them against the few technical challenges, you’ll see that holding remote depositions makes sense. After all, your litigation support firm can handle all of the challenges with ease while also providing you with a realtime court reporter and legal videographer.