Advocate Capital, Inc. Holiday Hours


In observance of the New Year’s Holiday, our offices will be closed on Monday, 12/31/12 and Tuesday, 1/1/13.  All payments, fundings and other transactions received on these days will be processed promptly on Wednesday, 1/2/13.  Should you have any questions regarding the processing of any transaction, please feel free to contact our Accounting Team at 1-615-577-5448 or by email to this address:
The entire Advocate Capital, Inc. Team wishes you a safe and happy New Year’s Holiday!


Kelly O’Leary, CPA, CGMA, MBA, CITP

Vice President, Finance and Administration


Advocate Capital, Inc. Holiday Hours


In observance of the Christmas holiday next week, our offices will be closed on Monday, 12/24 and Tuesday, 12/25.  All payments, fundings and other transactions received on these days will be processed promptly on Wednesday, December 26. Should you have any questions regarding the processing of any transaction, please feel free to contact our Accounting Team at 1-615-577-5448 or by email to this address:
The entire Advocate Capital Team wishes a safe holiday season to all!


Kelly O’Leary, CPA, CGMA, MBA, CITP

Vice President, Finance and Administration


The #1 Mistake You Are Making With Your Legal Marketing


We’re always on the lookout for useful content for our friends and clients.  Today we welcome guest blogger Yvette Valencia.  She is the co-founder and COO of WeDoWebContent.  I hope this is useful to you!


Michael J. Swanson,
President and Chief Executive Officer



The #1 Mistake You Are Making With Your Legal Marketing

By Yvette Valencia


Are you sitting in your office wondering why your attorney website content isn’t generating a flood of leads? Are you racking your brain for ways to increase your online presence and conversions to no avail? Well, you’re in luck! In this post I will reveal the number one mistake you could be making with your content strategy.


First things first – take your hand to your face and gently remove your blinders. It’s time you come to terms with the fact that you are in one of the most commercially competitive spaces on and offline. So, it makes sense that as you journey off to make a name for yourself online, you look for ways to set yourself apart from the hive and become the king or queen bee of an untapped/under-serviced area. In other words, dominate a piece of space that is not so competitive.


It’s equally as important to understand that before you can begin to think about conversion, you have to know the type of clients you want to represent. Be honest with yourself. Do you know your target audience as well as you know yourself? When asked what you want to do, do you vaguely respond: “I want to represent ‘anyone’ who has been seriously injured in an accident.” If you’ve answered “no” and “yes” respectively, it’s time for some tough love. You are not converting because your attorney website content is not laser-focused. If you’re not creating the content searchers are looking for, you will never convert them to clients.


Consider this before starting an online marketing strategy – develop a niche. Sure, some folks might say that niche marketing is bad business or that you’ll be limiting your potential clients. Not true! In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Niche marketing can open the door to:


More Effective Marketing


Focusing on the cases you really want enables you to market directly to that segment of the population with clear and actionable attorney website content. This focus will also help you and your prospects understand the types of legal scenarios your firm will and will not handle, saving you time and money, as well as increasing the amount of attention you can devote to viable cases.


More Referrals/Cases


When a prospect contacts you with a legal situation you don’t handle (or care to handle), it’s likely you know an attorney who does. A referral partner whose name pops into your mind immediately. Think of all the referrals you’d get if your peers thought of you in the same way? That’s exactly how it goes down when you position yourself as an expert in a particular field. “The dog bite attorney” or “the lawyer for toxic mold injury claims,” for instance.  Your networking partners – other lawyers, doctors, etc. – will no longer have to guess who your “anyone” is. They will know who your ideal client is because you have taken the guesswork out of the equation for them. To get business, you have to make it easy on everyone. No guesswork allowed.


More Networking Opportunities


Speaking of networking, when you begin to pursue your newfound niche, you’ll start meeting other professionals in your field. For example, if you’re looking to represent individuals with injuries from asbestos exposure, you may be connecting with construction and medical professionals in the respiratory field. These connections build your potential client pool and can eventually lead to speaking engagements at industry seminars. Suddenly, your reach goes from hundreds to thousands just by narrowing your focus!

Convinced? Great!


Find Your Niche Now!


Let’s start the niche exploration process by asking yourself the following questions:


  • What cases do I care most deeply about?
  • Which clients do I relate to or sympathize with the most?
  • Who will benefit most from my services?
  • Which area of law do I already have the most experience with?
  • If I were in a room with 200 potential clients and could only represent one, who would I choose?
  • Who are the clients that are most likely to give me positive feedback on my services?


Once you know the answers to these questions, your path (and ultimately your attorney website content) will become clearer. Only then can you begin the process of validating your potential niche.


Validating Your Legal Niche


Start exploring your niche by researching how your ideal clients are searching for information online. Google’s AdWords tool is free and effective in identifying the terms your ideal clients are using at various stages of the buying cycle. It can also provide suggestions for similar keywords (and maybe even a new niche!).




Keyword research is also critical in determining whether your potential niche satisfies these three criteria: 


  • Demand  are there enough monthly searches to justify going after the term?
  • Buyers – is this segment of the audience hiring lawyers online? If not, you will have to identify another niche.
  • Viability – are the search terms you want to go after reasonable in terms of competition? Always aim for medium to low. Otherwise, expect to engage in a costly pay-per-click campaign for the highly-competitive terms.



If your potential niche is worth the investment, it’s time to start implementing. You do this by identifying and creating the content that will satisfy your potential clients, as well as the search engines. This is the winning combination that gets your law firm found and increases your conversions.


Remember, searchers will only click on the content that promises to answer their queries. If your attorney web content is off-mark or misaligned with their needs, they will continue their search until they find a legal website that will.



TN Supreme Court Takes Positive Step to Increase Access to Courts


I have blogged numerous times regarding the need for all individuals to have full access to our court system.  The Supreme Court in our home state of Tennessee has taken a very positive step in this direction.  They have established a very informative website to help educate individuals on their rights, give guidance on how they may obtain legal representation and show them how they can access the court system to resolve grievances.


The website provides access to various resources for individuals – from attorney guides, to “how-to’s” for representing yourself in court, to FAQs about rights and access to the court system – and many other topics.


Paul Myers
Chief Credit Officer


Claude Wyle Interview – Part One


Click on the video to watch part one of Mr. Swanson’s recent interview with Claude Wyle of Choulos, Choulos & Wyle, LLP of San Francisco, California.



Public Justice – 30 Years of Public Interest Advocacy


Please consider supporting Public Justice as they wrap up their 30th year of serving the interests of our Nation’s citizens.  In honor of their excellent work and in celebration of their 30th anniversary, you can make a donation to their “30 for 30 Campaign” by clicking here.


In case you are not familiar with Public Justice, they are America’s public interest law firm.  Through creative litigation, public education, and innovative work with the broader public interest community, they:


  • Protect people and the environment.
  • Hold the powerful accountable.
  • Challenge government, corporate, and individual wrongdoing.
  • Increase access to justice.
  • Combat threats to our justice system.
  • Inspire lawyers and others to serve the public interest.


Please join me in supporting this wonderful organization today.


Michael J. Swanson

President and Chief Executive Officer


Let’s Help WILG Get to 1,000 Members!


Many of our most successful clients who handle workers’ compensation cases are members of the Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG).  WILG is the national non-profit membership organization dedicated to representing the interests of millions of workers and their families who, each year, suffer the consequences of workplace injuries and illnesses.  The group acts principally to assist attorneys and non-profit groups in advocating the rights of injured workers through education, communication, research, and information gathering.


If your law firm assists clients with workplace injury claims, I think you should give serious consideration to becoming a member.  They have been growing rapidly in recent years and are about to cross the 1,000-member threshold, so now would be a great time to join and help them get a step closer to that goal.  Don’t delay.  Follow this link to their fast, easy, on-line membership application and sign up today.  Your clients will benefit from your increased access to knowledge and networking that WILG provides.


Still not sure if WILG is right for your firm?  Click here to read about the many member benefits, or email me any time if you have questions.


Michael J. Swanson

President and Chief Executive Officer


Soldier’s Angels


The decorations are up and the aisles of every store in town are filled with people rushing around completing their holiday shopping. As chaotic as the season is, it is great to hear so many stories of people giving back. There are countless number of charities that people donate to year round, however there is one charity in particular we chose to help out with this holiday season.


Soldiers’ Angels is a volunteer led, nonprofit that provides aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces and their families. It was founded in 2003 by the mother of two American soldiers. The volunteers of Soldiers’ Angels work tirelessly to demonstrate active care and concern for veterans, wounded warriors, deployed service members and their families.


Operation Outreach Christmas Adoption is a special program that gives lower-enlisted families some extra support around winter holidays. The goal is to help military families in need with presents for their children as well as a grocery gift card for the family to purchase a holiday dinner. Many of these families have endured a parent being deployed at least once. An enlisted soldier’s salary is not much, and we couldn’t be more thankful for their service to our country. Any help that could be given to help the men and women who defend our freedom is the least we can do.


Advocate Capital and it’s employees chose to support Soldiers’ Angels this year. If you would like to adopt a family, donate gifts, send letters or e-cards to deployed soldiers please do so here.


Tina Burns

Vice President


Ken Shigley Interview – Part One


Click on the video to watch part one of Mr. Swanson’s recent interview with Ken Shigley, former President of The Georgia State Bar. Mr. Shigley is currently practicing in Atlanta, Georgia.



Law Firm Marketing Magazine


There is an excellent new publication available for the iPad called Law Firm Marketing.  It is a fully interactive digital magazine and is available through iTunes by clicking here.  Since the magazine is digital, it can make use of video interviews, hyperlinks and other interactive content.


The first issue (November 2012) featured an in-depth interview with trial lawyer legend Gerry Spence, along with a lot of other useful content.  My friend, Cindy Speaker, is the President of Speaker Media, the publisher of this new magazine.  Cindy and her team have done a fantastic job of delivering useful, relevant information in a very innovative format.


If you are a trial lawyer (or are involved in law firm marketing) you should download your own copy of Law Firm Marketing right now!  (And if you do, let me know what you think by emailing me here).


Michael J. Swanson

President and Chief Executive Officer


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