It is only fitting that with increased cross border activity and major changes impacting networks and global law firms alike, this year’s WSG Annual Meeting be held in New York City. With over 140 firm leaders representing over 70 worldwide jurisdictions, our host, Lowenstein Sandler LLP, has pulled out all the stops in developing the program and demonstrating their global reach. The agenda includes accomplished presenters from corporate giants including Google Ventures, Deloitte and Estee Lauder, as well as expert panelists covering relevant topics such as technology, cyber security, and regulatory changes. There will be ample opportunities to drive robust discussion and highlight market trends and issues.
This program represents the true depth and breadth that a network like WSG has in the global world.
Fundamental changes in the regulation of legal services are gaining momentum across the globe. From alternative legal structures to measures to open the legal market to outside capital investments, keeping up with these changes in itself is one of the most important issues firms are facing. The independent firm is always going to be important to the industry, and a firm with recognized history, contacts and stability in the market will always have an advantage in navigating market changes. By actively participating with WSG the independent firm gains size, strength, access and stability and secures its place among reputable go-to firms. It’s about leveraging the network to better understand and adapt to changing landscapes.
Programs like the WSG 2015 Annual Meeting – and numerous other meetings and initiatives that the network offers – demonstrate the unique opportunities and value that WSG provides to its members: bringing together leaders and experts from across industries and the world to address trends and issues impacting businesses, and then determining how to utilize the strengths of the network along with innovation and technology to differentiate ourselves and stay ahead of the competition. In a rapidly changing industry, firms must be able to meet changing client needs and find new and innovative ways to provide value and differentiate themselves. While these may be viewed as challenges for some firms, for members of a network like WSG, they can be viewed as opportunities. I applaud the efforts that host firm Lowenstein Sandler has put forth in creating an exceptional program and look forward to record participation.
WSG offers countless opportunities for firms and professionals to continually leverage the network. Over the next few months, WSG will feature blog posts on “How to Leverage the WSG Network” through marketing, news and articles and networking.
Part 1: Marketing
Whether your firm has a specialized person or a whole team in charge of marketing, it is a critical component of being part of WSG, and there are numerous opportunities to better leverage the WSG network from a brand standpoint.
1. Keep your WSG firm profile up to date to improve visibility and search engine optimization
Updating your firm’s information on the WSG website is as simple as it sounds, yet it has an invaluable impact on your presence and influence across the network. Take a look at your Firm’s Overview on the WSG website. Does your profile mirror the most important information and updates on your own site? What additional content and key words can you include to drive more traffic, improve search engine optimization and increase profile views? Finally, make sure your firm’s most recent logo, contacts and areas of practice are reflected on the WSG website. These are easy changes and updates to ensure your firm’s messaging is consistent, relevant and engaging.
2. Ensure all firm professionals maintain their individual WSG profiles
In addition to updating your firm’s information, it is equally important for professionals to maintain their individual WSG profiles. Each updated professional profile provides additional content that can enhance your firm’s visibility, leadership and search results from viewers within and outside of the network. Are your professionals, their headshots and descriptions up-to-date and congruent with your firm’s current website? Are their Areas of Practice, affiliations and successes highlighted? Each professional has a unique profile that can easily be updated and maintained to gain the most value for your firm. Take a few minutes right now to log in to the WSG site and review your own profile.
3. Showcase your WSG membership on your firm’s website – it’s a significant point of distinction
Your firm is a member of a premier global network. When clients are looking to hire a firm, they want to know that they are working with an industry leader who can offer comprehensive services and resources as their business needs change and grow. Showcase your WSG membership and industry influence by adding the WSG logo and description to your firm’s website. Do you have an affiliations page? Make sure WSG is featured there and on your company’s homepage. As a member of a premier global network, this is an easy way for your firm to increase your credibility and influence globally. Find WSG’s logo and messaging in the Knowledge Center, and be sure to feature your prestigious membership in WSG.
4. Utilize the resources and information found in WSG’s Knowledge Center to promote your membership and the value it brings
WSG’s Knowledge Center is a valuable resource for professionals, marketers and partners alike. The information and materials provided on this page have been designed to help firms best leverage their network affiliation across business development opportunities, presentations and communication channels such as websites, ranking authority listings, social media, marketing materials and press. The WSG Knowledge Center offers numerous resources including webinars,presentations to include in your next RFP, brochures, WSG handbook, brand guidelines and WSG messaging. With this recent page launch, it has never been easier for your firm to leverage the network with marketing materials right at your fingertips.
Be sure to watch out for Part 2 of our How to Leverage the WSG Network blog series. If you have questions or ideas in the meantime, contact WSG Marketing at +1 713 650 0333 or [email protected]
It’s obvious that awards season is here. Many World Services Group members can be seen front and center, acknowledged for their exceptional work through prestigious industry awards, professional rankings and other notable achievements. This is always an exciting time for the network as these deals and successes further affirm the quality and leadership of WSG members and provide ample opportunities to promote the strength and premier status of the network.
As noted by one of our member firms, “Industry awards and rankings are of significant value and constitute an important marketing tool. We ensure that any awards and leading rankings are promoted to our clients, via our website and social media channels for example, as a means of affirmation of the level and quality of our services from internationally-recognised third party sources”.
Whether you are looking to further establish expertise in a specific industry, gain new clients or increase traffic to your website – making sure you leverage awards, rankings and recognition can provide a big boost to marketing efforts. If you need further proof, consider the following:
Awards and rankings become part of and contribute to your online presence.
Clients searching for firms to hire or firms looking to make a referral will compare your online search results, including accolades, ultimately influencing decisions.
Awards attract and retain top professionals.
Industry recognition can help a firm stand out as an employer of choice.
Awards automatically brand your firm as successful and as an industry leader.
WSG stands behind our strong and distinguished membership base as we only accept the top providers of professional business services. Seeing the many awards received by member firms further supports such objectives. We look forward to continued successes by our member firms, and will continue to promote yours and our brand collectively.
Be sure to contact WSG Marketing at 713.650.0333 or [email protected] if you have any questions or suggestions on how to promote awards and recognition.
It used to be that your brand was what others said it was, today your brand should be defined by you. In an increasingly competitive business environment most certainly shaped by what is searched and found on the Internet, it is more important than ever for a firm to distinguish its brand online. Blogging is an important tool being used to demonstrate expertise, improve search engine results, build brand awareness and ultimately, increase business opportunities.
Because blogging and content development are so important, WSG has continued to define and refine tools and technologies with members in mind. Consider the following helpful list of tips to enhance your blogging efforts – and build brand identity:
1. Establish objectives. What are your goals for your blog? Don’t start a blog because “everyone is doing it” or “just to do it.” If your firm does not have a goal for your blog, chances are your audience will not understand its direction either. Figure out what areas of your firm you want to strengthen and focus your blog on those.
2. Be consistent. Your blog posts should be consistent in both timeframe and formatting. Determine how often you want to post – daily, weekly, or monthly. Once readers recognize a pattern in your postings, they are more likely to return to check on new posts. Formatting should also be consistent. This means fonts, layouts, colors, etc. that correlate with your brand and image. Remember, your blog is an extension of you and your brand.
3. Content is king. This is where you demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. Content is what builds trust and gets your audience to return. Keep in mind that search engines will also read your content, which could lead more individuals to find your blog and you. Keep your content interesting by using a collection of media in your postings such as images, infographs, links, videos, or audios.
4. Give your firm a voice and a personality. Your website is static and conveys content in the third person. Let your blog be more dynamic. Determine what writing style and personality your blog will have. Express opinions and share current news. Remember that while sharing your opinions you must be accurate professional, and that every post should be aligned with your firm’s goals and mission statement. Another way of being more dynamic is to show your audience the faces of your firm. Who runs it? Did anyone get recognized for their accomplishments? Highlight those around you.
5. Follow other individuals in your industry and do your research. Following others in the industry will help discover trending topics, assist in establishing an opinion, and determine ways to separate you from the pack. Mingle. Interacting with others can help you drive more traffic to your blog. Find individuals in your company who are blogging and comment on their blogs. Be insightful and respectful. Share blog posts that you find interesting. Chances are they may return the favor and share your content as well.
Don’t have a blog? By contributing to your chosen WSG Practice Group Blog, WSG will automatically distribute that content to the targeted audience. This improves your chances of reaching decision makers and leaders in the industry with one click. Contribute today and find your space in the industry!
If you do have a blog, view the WSG Blog homepage today to ensure your blog appears on the WSG site with other member firm blogs. Be sure to view other blogs, comment, share insights, and contribute today.
WSG Quick Links:
View WSG Member Blog Roll: http://worldservicesgroup.com/blog/
View WSG Blog: http://worldservicesgroup.com/blog/default.aspx
View WSG Practice Group Blogs: http://worldservicesgroup.com/blog/practice/default.aspx
Clients are relying more and more on the content they find across the Internet and social media to vet and select who they work with. Over 69% of in-house counsel listed attorney-authored blogs as somewhat or very important in selecting outside firms for hire, and a majority of in-house counsel reported following lawyer-authored blogs as closely as those written by professional journalists. (Greentarget 2014 State of Digital & Content Marketing Survey)
The Big Picture: How we communicate and make decisions in the business world is changing rapidly – and the Internet and social media play a growing part in both. By harnessing the power of content, you can engage clients in conversations and topics that are most important to you, demonstrate your expertise, build trust in your brand, and grow traffic to your firm’s website. But, with the vast amount of content being produced every day, how can firms break through the clutter? WSG’s Join the Conversation webinar, Content is King, discusses the key steps and tips to best leverage the Internet and WSG to improve your firm’s online visibility and ultimately help meet your business goals.
Consider the following:
Have a plan. In order to produce a consistent stream of high quality, relevant content, you’ve got to have a plan. Start by creating an integrated strategy that aligns with your overall business goals. Next, determine what information and news are the most important to your existing and potential clients. Your plan should include an editorial calendar with specific tactics, suggested topics and headlines, content deadlines and allocated responsibilities. While it’s a major undertaking, you’ll be thankful for your hard work in the end.
Create meaningful content. Your clients are searching for information, answers and validation, and they trust sources that consistently provide all three. Be relevant and engaging – demonstrate your expertise and how you solve client problems. Include a mix of content types including original (by firm experts), curated (3rd party content with commentary from a firm professional) and syndicated (3rd party content republished on your site).
Distribute and promote across distribution channels. You took the time to create great content – now make sure it is received, read and shared. Repurpose and optimize content across multiple firm, WSG and other available channels and tools (yes, plural) – and make sure content is easy to share. Give people the best chance to see your content.
Measure & refine. In order for content marketing to be successful, you must have analytics to regularly track user behavior and be committed to refining your approach as necessary. Content effectiveness can be measured through web analytics, social media activity, downloads, comments and more.
Are you harnessing the power of your content? For a more in-depth look at how to leverage content marketing for your firm, view a replay of WSG’s recent webinar “Content is King”.
Content is King is the third webinar in WSG’s Join the Conversation Webinars series. Presenters include guest speaker and WSG Alliance Partner, Joe Beccalori, Co-Founder and President of Interact Marketing, as well as WSG’s own Maricarmen Trujillo, VP, Jess Ferdinand, Marketing Director, and Kendall Repka, Senior Marketing Coordinator. The Join the Conversation webinars are a critical part of bringing additional expertise, resources and value to the network and ensuring that we are doing everything we can to make sure your content – and your firm – get noticed. If you would like to discuss how to best leverage WSG’s web-based marketing initiatives and opportunities for your firm, please email [email protected] to schedule a time.
WSG is proud to announce the addition of 2 new practice groups in the European region: Intellectual Property and Insurance/Re-Insurance. Both groups offer a new platform for WSG members to connect and leverage their skills and expertise throughout the region and on a global scale.
Mr. Gary Assim of Shoosmiths will be leading the IP practice group. With over 20 years of experience, Mr. Assim has built up a strong reputation on both a national and international basis. He specialises in resolving disputes dealing with anti-counterfeiting and parallel importing.
Mr. Mark Helyar of Bedell Cristin will be leading the Insurance/Re-Insurance practice group. Mr. Helyar specializes in the use of protected cell companies (PCCs) for investment funds and insurance purposes and assisted in drafting the 2006 Guernsey law relating to incorporated cell companies. He has substantial expertise in corporate, commercial and investment fund practices as well.
These new groups are sure to garner much interest from the network as they both impact business leaders and clients alike. To see the full list of WSG practice groups for all members, please click here.
And let us know what you think! If you have any ideas for a new WSG Practice Group or blog, feel free to comment below of contact WSG's Practice Group Administrator Mrs. Gaby Saldaña at [email protected].
So you have joined a WSG Practice Group. Now what? While joining a WSG group is the first step, unless you regularly engage and participate, you’ll never receive value from your membership. The same goes for any other WSG, practice or industry groups you join.
Consider these 5 tips to optimize your membership and reap the benefits today!
- Start or participate in forum discussions and messages – Beginning or participating in forum discussions are great ways to engage in conversations about a specific topic or current issue. All WSG Practice Group members can easily access forum discussions without having to travel, contribute in a meaningful manner, and follow the discussion in real time as it develops. Similarly, sending a message through the messaging tool can instantly connect you to individuals who share the same interests. Messages can be sent to the entire practice group or you can narrow your conversation and select as few group members as you wish.
- Write and post to a WSG Practice Group Blog – For the “adventurous” type that enjoys an interactive and visible dialog with other members, writing a practice group blog is a great way to highlight and promote specialized knowledge and experience in order to create thought-leadership and global recognition. These posts are automatically distributed to WSG members of the group to further engagement, and posted on the collective Practice Group blog. More importantly, a blog can be read by existing and prospective clients and partners, allowing them to develop an intimate level of trust in you.
- Upload an interesting article or piece of news and comment on it – For the less adventurous users (think more: “invisible user”) that actively consume information but are less likely to develop original content, uploading an article is a great way to draw attention and drive conversation around practice areas and interests most important to you and your firm. Include a paragraph or two about why you think the information is relevant or add a comment about “how I see it”.
- Spearhead a meeting or networking event with WSG for the group – A group can decide to meet and discuss best practice strategies, current trends or important news in a given practice industry. Means of meeting include a cocktail reception in conjunction with a larger event, an annual hosted practice group meeting, or even a small breakfast on the day of a happening. Meeting members face-to-face is a great way to create momentum within a group and forge strong network relationships and referral opportunities.
- Contact WSG! Not that we’re your mother, but we want to hear from you on a regular basis, even if it’s a quick note letting us know what is going on. We welcome details about collaborations forged together through the network’s practice group participation to further demonstrate how professionals are making a difference in today’s business world by being part of a smart and premier network.
We look forward to working with you to further the valuable resources WSG has to offer, enhancing your network of professionals in your practice industries today! If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact the Practice Group Administrator, Gaby Saldaña at [email protected].
WSG works diligently to continually deliver upgraded advancements and resources to members, and as a result, WSG recently launched a new and improved ‘My WSG’ page. With this recent reveal, WSG mobilizes member professionals to “power up your WSG membership”.
Being 21,000 professionals strong, this upgraded ‘My WSG’ page expertly positions member professionals to engage, connect and collaborate with professionals across the network and the world. A benefit of the WSG network is having these unique member profiles, allowing members and clients alike to identify strong professionals in the industry. It has never been easier for you to enhance your professional identity online and build relationships with members and groups. Upon logging into the WSG website, you will find invaluable resources, various groups and relevant news on one single ‘My WSG’ page. We encourage you to take a look, refresh, and reconnect with your profile to power up your WSG membership.
How can you best power up your existing My WSG profile? This involves updating or adding your practice categories, joining a practice group to further network across your expertise, or starting a private group to enhance communications with particular professionals. Additionally with the updated ‘My WSG’ page, members are able to discover and share news and insights on topics that are the most important to you and your firm. Easily access and publish your collaborations, news, articles, blogs and upcoming events in one place.
Through WSG’s launch of the new and improved ‘My WSG’ page, it has never been easier for professionals to gain the most of their membership and maximize on WSG’s premium network.
An important cornerstone to any organization’s business success is a well thought-out marketing strategy. While the legal, accounting and investment banking professions may be steeped in distinguished tradition, the marketing world is dictated by vogue trends and cultural shifts.
The two worlds come together when firms determine the clients they want to attract and the messages they need to convey to engage those clients. The recent Ford Trend Report for 2015 focused on the new client powerhouse: Generation Z. This generation is prone to conduct independent research through social media, rather than asking peers and mentors for advice. They are more likely to take the risk and start a business and less likely to pursue an advanced degree than a Millennial (Ford Trend Report for 2015). The new Generation Z client will still need all the legal, accounting and investing advice that earlier generations needed, but they will seek it and conduct “pre-purchase” research from a completely different source.
Enter: World Services Group. WSG continues to develop new platforms to help members and their respective marketing groups to showcase businesses and leverage efforts across new media. WSG hosted the 'Join the Conversation' webinar series to help members understand the world of SEO, social media and content marketing, as well as rolled out the new Practice Group Blogs page and introduced a mobile app. All of these tools provide enhanced exposure to member organizations, create searchable content on the web, and ultimately help to increase business opportunities. Continue doing great business as usual and being part of the Network – We’ll continue with our mission to stay in tune with the current trends and enabling member firms to remain competitive in today’s global multidisciplinary services environment.
World Services Group continues to expand their tools and resources available for member firms by successfully launching their first webinar of the series titled, “Join the Conversation: Learn the Best Ways to Build Your Brand.” By launching this webinar series, WSG is well poised to leverage and optimize web-based opportunities, and in turn, bring unique benefits and value to member firms.
For the first webinar of the series titled, “Increase the Reach of Your Brand by Harnessing the Power of Social Media,” WSG welcomed digital marketing expert Joe Beccalori, Co-founder and President of Interact Marketing, to participate in the panel discussion along with WSG’s own marketing experts, Maricarmen Trujillo, Jess Ferdinand and Kendall Repka. The panel discussed with attendees the importance of leveraging social media to building a brand’s visibility, as well as specific tips and information regarding how to best utilize social media for a firm’s increased credibility and advancement.
The webinar provided useful recommendations beneficial to firms who are both beginners and advanced in their social media marketing. Expert guest speaker, Joe, discussed the critical importance that research and “knowing your audience” holds with online marketing as well as strategy, managing an editorial calendar, establishing and measuring goals, and sharing quality posts over quantity. The presentation also included a concise infographic highlighting the “do’s and don’ts” of social media. This visual provides an exceptional summary of the points discussed by Joe and WSG marketing team members, as well as a quick social media go-to for those not in attendance.
WSG is immensely pleased with the success of their first webinar and firms in attendance. The next webinar, “How to Show Up in Web Searches: Creating and Implementing an Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategy,” is scheduled for Tuesday, December 16, 2014 from 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Central Time. To learn more and register, please click here.
If you would like to discuss how to best leverage WSG’s web-based marketing initiatives and opportunities for your firm, please email [email protected] to schedule a time.
Click here to view a full replay of the webinar, “Increase the Reach of Your Brand by Harnessing the Power of Social Media.”