Owner at Firm Theory
Learn more about Mark's work at http://firmtheory.com
Where are you working now, what is your role and how did you get here?
My partner and I currently own and run an agency named Firm Theory. We focus on helping lawyers and legal professionals grow their practices and their exposure through digital and traditional marketing channels.
I started my online career in the late 90s when a roommate and I began building computers and selling them online. After moving to Arizona for school I began working in web hosting where I learned more about coding, SEO, email marketing and more. It gave me a taste for marketing.
I was the first in the company to start reaching out through social media to begin helping customers and pitch them on products that would help them. Those early tweets turned into a full department that now handles the branding and social for over 10 brands.
In 2012 I followed a girl to Orlando (where we got married) and began working for attorneys helping them grow their practices. At first, I worked in-house work. I later joined an agency and learned a bit about how they work.
After leaving the agency I took another in-house gig where I met my current business partner. As we began winding down the project we were hired to do we decided to start growing our new business and launched it at the beginning of this year.
What is your favorite marketing area? (Social, SEO, Sales etc.)?
I love working with onsite SEO. Making slight code and content changes, adding schema and alt tags to images and then seeing the site grow in the SERPs always makes me happy. Add the new opportunities with local results and the changing possibilities in social and seeing how one tug on the web raises or lowers the rest is really amazing.
Why do you love marketing?
The ability to help people find what they're looking for when they're looking for it is great. Being able to add something to a site and see it overtake the big firms with all the commercials is just fun.
What are your favorite books?
I'm a big fan of science fiction and alternative history. Seeing how people envision the future, or how one small change could have a huge influence on how things might have turned out is just fun.
It also gives insight into the way that people look at the world. One person sees misery where another sees hope. It's all a matter of perspective. I find that those insights help me see things in other perspectives and allow me to change the way I look at the problems I'm tackling.
What marketing related blogs, magazines etc. do you read to keep your skills up to date?
I use a Google Chrome plugin called Zest. It aggregates the top marketing stories from across the web and puts them all into a single screen where I can look into what the latest is on any given trend or tool.
What brands do you like or follow on social media and why?
I tend to follow mostly law firms that are doing interesting things. People who publish regularly, are ranking high, or are doing things that you wouldn't consider "normal" for a law firm. It's a good insight into what's working for others in the space, and what we can suggest and try for our clients.
How do you find good content?
Content is literally everywhere. Anything that happens has multiple aspects that can be written with a legal eye. From contract writing, to insurance defense aspects, to potential criminal charges being brought, even a simple deal between two large companies can be written up as new content that our clients can use on their sites, blogs, or social profiles
How do you get to know your target audience?
We rely heavily on information from the law firms' former clients. If we can pull together a profile based on the demographics from past clients helps us craft the branding and messaging we use.
From there we track any and all information that we can access through analytics and data collection from site traffic, social shares, and calls into the firm. That helps us further hone the customer profile we build and helps us better target those who may need the firm's help.
What tools do you use for social marketing?
We use HootSuite for Twitter and Facebook, and Later for Instagram. Primarily we rely on the direct site of app for most of what we do. It's usually the simplest way and gives us the best result as we can actually see what readers will see.
What tools do you use for analytics?
Google Analytics of course, as well as the insights from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We also use Ahrefs and SEMrush to give us data on how our SEO and design efforts are working and what keywords we might try focusing on to better help our clients grow.
We also track calls to the locations through Google My Business, Bing Places, and even Yelp! Where the client is willing and able, we'll set up different phone numbers specifically to track what calls came in off what ads or profiles are being promoted. It's a slightly more expensive way to track, but it's great for A/B testing and better defining what is really working over what isn't.
What CRM tools do you use?
We have dashboards set up for our clients through Grow. They allow us to give clients a real-time look at how their digital marketing efforts are working. We do also provide either monthly or quarterly reviews where we highlight what work was done and what effect it had on the site traffic and incoming calls.
What's your #1 advice for people starting to get into marketing?
Find a niche and learn as much as you can about it. If you love Instagram, become the go-to person for everything you can about its features, tips and tricks to get new follows, etc.
If you love the potentials of messenger bots, then again, learn anything and everything possible about their use, implementation, and best practices. Whatever it is, find something you love and focus on it.
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