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Joe Reevy

Joe Reevy is the Managing Director of Words4Business and LegalRSS, which combines automated CRM and content delivery across all web channels with a steady stream of firm-client-targeted legal news content delivered by rss, atom, xml or javascript direct to subscribing websites.

This article is about a new product created by my firm called Crosselerator™ which I immodestly believe is likely to be one of the most profitable pieces of software for users that they’ll ever own. It was producing enquiries for us almost as soon as we started using it, and as I write this (Jan 2018) we are still 2 months away from any serious marketing. If you want to skip the “why” and just look at the “how”, scroll down to “How it Works”; the detail is in the series of videos on the Crosselerator YouTube channel. It takes only 15 minutes to watch them all.

We describe Crosselerator as “the software that turns everyday email into income – every day”. It is the first tech product our firm has built where the target market is not specifically professional practices: it can be used by any “silo” business (most largeish businesses are).

There are so many excellent tools for different purposes that I think I need to start with two pieces of rather generic advice.

Firstly, your time is expensive and limited; so fast, easy things are generally better value than less slick free ones. Secondly, where a product has a free version and a paid-for version, the latter is almost always a lot better. Insisting on “free” is normally a false economy.

Here are my five favourites.

As an accountant who has spent almost his whole career building businesses – mainly start-ups – I really value good data, especially those predictive of future outcomes.

I have been active in building web-based businesses – businesses that “live” on the web, not just “use” the web – so they have to succeed on the web because there is no physical business presence.

However, in recent years I have become increasingly concerned about some of the data being collected on the web and then used to make important decisions. The reason for this is the issue I have with all data – it is easy to interpret a lot of data to mean what you want them to mean.

I have recently spent some time looking at the blogs on law firm websites. I looked at more than 1,000 blog postings on more than 100 websites. They all had one thing in common: zero visible engagement. Not a single one had had a comment added to it.

I think there are a lot of reasons why people wouldn’t want to comment in a public forum about legal issues that affect them and few reasons why they would, so lack of visible engagement is no surprise at all. Besides, from the firm’s point of view, to start an online conversation with a browser to your site has clear risks and also may lock up valuable fee-earner time. However, the lack of engagement does raise the question: is blogging worthwhile for solicitors?

The legal profession is awash with talk about brands and branding. It is accepted wisdom that firms should “build their brand” or join in a “legal brand”. My own view is that it is very difficult to build a professional service brand for an advisory service.

Recently there has been some new thinking as to how RSS can be used. By combining RSS (supplied content) which is flexible and adding in simple content management, it is possible for firms to have RSS pages which are not “cookie cutter” versions and which appear to the viewer to be unique.

The question of the fitness for purpose of words is especially important in the communications of professional firms. In this article, I will be outlining how to make sure the words you use are fit for purpose.