This week in the Client Spotlight is Ann Levine, Esq., Law School Admissions Consulting Expert and author of The Law School Admission Game: Play Like an Expert. Ann is the former director of admissions for two ABA law schools, and more than 100,000 law school applicants have relied upon her Law School Expert blog to guide them through the application process.
What do you wish you’d known about creating an online presence before you started?
I wish I’d understood the importance of branding. I started in 2004 with a free template website that looked TERRIBLE. I spent a lot of time teaching myself everything and thought that because I had a lot of credible information on my site that the site itself should appear credible. A year later I upgraded to a basic web design and paid about $700 for it – which felt like a lot at the time. It looked better, but was really still a template. It did the trick but didn’t brand me because it was fairly generic. Only when I (literally) sat down with someone who understood my brand and what my online presence needed to project did I feel like I was projecting credibility and deserving of charging higher prices to my clients as a result.
What’s the most important thing you learned about online marketing along the way?
To employ experts. People hire me to have an expert at their side through the law school application process, and I hire others because I don’t have time to become an expert on web marketing, SEO, PPC, etc. So, I hired people to help me who already know this stuff better than I ever could learning it on my own. It’s not as expensive as you might imagine, but it only works if you work with people who “get” what you’re all about. I flailed using big companies that I found online and only thrived once I found that one person who understood what I meant in a sentence long email or 2 second phone call and didn’t need me to coach her to get what I wanted.
What’s the best advice you have for someone just getting started now?
Use a blog to provide quality information and form relationships with others in your field and related fields. If you are good with people, Twitter and Facebook. Network constantly, and help others in their quests because good acts come back around.